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My 2013 Goals


My annual end of the year goal [review/planning] time snuck up on me this year. Last year was the first time we combined goals with an overnight getaway — and I really like this as a new tradition. It’s really helpful to get out of my daily routine/distractions to take some time and reflect and plan for the coming year. So on Saturday night, realizing 2013 was steadily approaching, I started thinking Astoria would be a closer and cheaper option than back to Pacific City (like last year). And turns out there’s a cool, budget hotel in Astoria now that didn’t exist when I lived there for half a minute. The Commodore Hotel is right downtown, with “European-style” bathrooms and rooms from $75. Think McMenamins meets The Ace Hotel. The perfect quick trip from Portland.Astoria, Oregon

Astoria is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies (which feels positively ancient in the States). I’ve always loved Astoria for it’s old soul and big, small town vibe. One of the many places I say “I could live here” about, which usually receives a response of “you say that about everywhere.” Not about everywhere, but quite often. :) After a quick trip up to the Astoria Column and watching the sunset, we headed back to the waterfront for a beer at [the also relatively new] Fort George Brewery, and then settled down to goal time with my trusty, annual goal setting template. On to the goals!

Some of my 2013 Goals:

  • Work remotely for 1-3 months in 2013 again
  • Plan to work remotely internationally (end of 2013 or early 2014) – Vietnam is on my mind at the moment
  • Get a road bike (shhh… don’t tell the mixte)
  • Visit another (new to me) North American city
  • Take another 2-3 week trip
  • Visit my bff in Hawaii
  • Attend 12 new Portland/Oregon things
  • Take a new class
  • Get my immune system back to normal
  • Make my new place feel like home
  • Apply for 2 new credit cards to get airline miles or hotel points
  • Host 1 dinner party & 1 cocktail party

I feel like a lot of my goals are pretty similar to last year (travel! local adventures! Save!), but I do have fewer goals this year. I’ll get back to you in 365 days on if that was a wise idea or not. :)

What’s on your list for 2013?

Create or Learn Something Every Day


Last week’s ‘Create or learn every day’ goal was a success! Here’s what I created and learned last week…

Monday: Create - Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing design and background

Tuesday: Create – P&L Statement for Nicaragua Coffee Farm
My dad has been in the process, for the last couple years, of working on his coffee farm in Nicaragua. So after talking a few weeks ago, I decided it was high time he had a Profit & Loss statement to play with, so he can start making projections and really start planning for the future. Funsies!

Wednesday: Create – Pattern Making for Sewing a Skirt
I bought a cute skirt this summer that promptly ripped after a first wear. I was fairly annoyed because it wasn’t an easy fix like re-sewing a seam. Instead it was like the front of the fabric shredded! So in my anger at [cheap clothing store], I decided to just reconstruct the skirt into a pattern and make my own instead of returning it. I haven’t done a massive sewing project for oh… 12 years. So it’s been fun remembering things as I go.

Thursday: Create – an adventure with an impromptu solo day trip to the Oregon Coast
Don’t judge. You can create an adventure. Still counts as create/learn. :)

Friday: Learn – Creative Mornings
I attended this month’s Creative Mornings meetup at Pacific Northwest College of Arts. Julie Sabatier of podcast and radio show Destination DIY spoke about her process of story telling. Fun times.

On to week two!

What are you creating or learning?

JSConf + FireSky Resort Pool + Sunshine = Weekly Love


After being back in Portland for what seemed like just a few days, we headed to Scottsdale, Arizona for JSConf. Newsflash: my skills in nerdliness have not increased that much in the few weeks since I designed my WordPress theme. I was there for the ‘significant others’ track. Say what? A cool idea, indeed. An even cooler idea on my part would have been taking a vacation along with it. But alas, here’s what I’ve been loving this week…

This week:

-Pool at FireSky Resort – If we had a do-over, we would have stayed at the conference hotel — the amazing FireSky Resort & Spa. Since the conference room block was sold out by the time we booked, we ended up staying down the road, but Arizonans are so chill that I ended up hanging out at the FireSky a bit. You know how stock photos always have pictures of a laptop at the beach — like that would ever be a good idea? Sand and sunshine and laptop screens don’t play well together. However, in the Phoenix area, it gets so hot in the summer that they have plenty of shaded areas all around the pool — great for actually being able to see your screen. Perfect office. (well for a few hours anyway).

-JSConf – Working for dot com companies for seven years, I usually feel pretty comfortable chatting about most things tech related. So it’s always a fun experience to be the little fish in a big pond of [foreign language] engineering speak. JSConf after-parties were half me thinking “ha, I actually know about this” to half “node JS, huh?”

-Cartel Coffee Lab – I needed a coffee shop to work out of while in Scottsdale, and after a bit of Yelping I discovered Cartel Coffee. It was Portland-y. I enjoyed it. And the staff were crazy friendly. So I ended up staying all day.

-Foodie tour – The only “significant others” track I ended up doing at JSConf was the Taste of Old Town Scottsdale food tour. I can’t imagine it’s as enjoyable in the summer months, but it was an awesome breezy, walkable lunch between six different Old Town establishments and tasting everything from tacos to sangria. I don’t say no to tasty eats combined with exercise. One of my favorite ways to see a city is on foot and by bike.

-a rare, warm April weekend in Oregon – spent happy hour-ing at clarklewis (one of my fav happy hours in Portland), breaking in my new knock-off Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes, sipping ginger berry smoothie from Sip Juice cart, relaxing at the park, Pyro Pizza from Cartopia, and a quick visit to the Central Oregon coast. Oh Oregon, I love you.

-Inventing on Principle – save Bret Victor’s talk for when you have an extra hour, grab a cup of coffee and scribble a furious amount of notes. “Ideas are important. Creators need an immediate connection to what they create.”

What are you loving this week?

60 New Winter Eats: Portland to NYC

Ramen. Macarons. Cheese. French 75. Paneer Roll. Cheese. Thai. IPAs. Cheese. It’s been a lovely winter of eating. It’s also been a few months since I did a ’52 new restaurants’ post. Thanks to our Cook at Home challenge, new restaurant-ing was at a minimum in January, but throw in a few new cities and finally here are all the new lovely places I’ve ventured to eat since Thanksgiving.

60 New Restaurants:

  1. The Mermaid Tavern, Tampa Florida – very Portlandly. Nice beer selection, and apparently it had just opened that week.
  2. Agave, St Pete Beach, Florida
  3. Ricky T’s, Treasure Island, Florida – cougar patrol
  4. Super Scoop, Treasure Island, Florida – adorable little ice cream shop in Treasure Island
  5. Pinky’s, Tampa, Florida – Tasty, tasty, I had the stuffed French toast
  6. Taverna Opa, Orlando, Florida – this was a big restaurant in one of those mall-ish areas, which Orlando seems to just be one big shopping area. Anyway, the food was decent regardless. And I ordered ouzo. :)
  7. Goofy’s Candy Company, Lake Buena Vista, Florida – I went to Disney World. Like, I went to Downtown Disney. And all I got was this handful of jelly beans?
  8. House of Blues, Downtown Disney, Florida – 30 minutes in the land of Disney and I needed a drink. Joking. Kind of.
  9. Datz, Tampa, Florida – some reviews on Yelp said it was Portlandy. It wasn’t. But it was still a tasty breakfast. (Maybe because there’s a bearded man that works there?)
  10. La Creperia Cafe, Tampa, Florida – mmm crepes in Ybor City
  11. Pho Quyen Vietnamese, Tampa, Florida – this place had really good diy fresh rolls (and they let me order tofu)
  12. La Teresita, Tampa, Florida – Cuban food? Check! And tasty cafe con leche
  13. Nitally’s, St Petersburg, Florida – Thai & Mexican? It’s actually an amazing combo. Someone please open a cart here in Portland with Thai + Mexican!
  14. Urban Taco, DFW Airport, Texas – Airport food that isn’t downright foul? I’ll take it.
  15. Portobello Vegan Trattoria – Finally got around to trying this place. Apparently it was new menu night. The burger was good, the gnocchi was alright. Honestly, I was a little disappointed for the price and taste, as I’ve heard so many amazing things about this place.
  16. Old Town Pizza
  17. Black Cat Cafe
  18. The Buzz Cafe & Espresso Bar, Vancouver, BC – cozy little place to get some work done.
  19. Raw Canvas, Vancouver, BC – a bar with art (that you create). Cool idea. Portland should have one.
  20. Granville Island Brewing, Vancouver, BC – winter ale. nom.
  21. Roaming Dragon food truck, Vancouver, BC – tasty
  22. Robo Taco
  23. Greek Islands, Kennewick, WA
  24. Boke Bowl – my new favorite ramen place in PDX
  25. Interurban – cool new bar old-timey bar on Mississippi
  26. Mother’s Bistro & Bar – yep, first time. Finally.
  27. Pelican Pub & Brewery, Pacific City, Oregon – one of my new favorite destinations on the Oregon coast.
  28. The Schooner, Netarts, Oregon
  29. Cha’ba Thai
  30. Townshend’s Tea House – I survived no coffee month!
  31. Tea Zone
  32. EastEnd
  33. Mi Mero Mole
  34. Hop Haven Beer Bar & Bottle Shop
  35. PaaDee – a new Thai place 28th aka “restaurant row”
  36. Amnesia Brewering – finally stopped in here.
  37. Lotus
  38. The Cheese Bar – glorious, glorious cheese. I got a little carried away.
  39. Tortas Frontera, Chicago O’Hare airport – airport foooood
  40. The Tippler, New York, NY – cool cocktail bar near the Meatpacking District
  41. Spice Market, New York, NY – I don’t even remember all the amazing food I ate here — crispy brussel sprouts, samosas, ginger margaritas, coconut sticky rice. And the building is like a work of art.
  42. The Otheroom, New York, NY – cool little wine/beer bar in the West Village
  43. Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Co, New York, NY – requisite NYC bagel. Check.
  44. some food cart, New York, NY – why yes, I did eat a hotdog.
  45. Kati Roll, New York, NY – cheap and tasty eats. I could have eaten about 10 of the Paneer roll.
  46. Schiller’s Liquor Bar, New York, NY – got in before the crowds for burgers and margaritas. American food, but really cool atmosphere on the Lower East Side.
  47. Back Room, New York, NY – a speakeasy (prohibition era apparently) on the LES. Fun vibe before it got too packed.
  48. The Summit Bar, New York, NY – cozy little cocktail bar in the East Village.
  49. Cornerstone Cafe, New York, NY – when Clinton Street Baking company has a crazy wait, this seemed to be the next best alternative. Tasty.
  50. The Whiskey Brooklyn, New York, NY – you would think by it’s name that it would be more… whiskey-ish and less… frat boy-ish. I was served IPA from a can. C’est la vie.
  51. Lulu’s, New York, NY – Free pizza with a pint? NYC you have been redeemed. Cool little dive bar in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn.
  52. Remedy Diner, New York, NY – pre-brunch breakfast.
  53. The Smith Restaurant, New York, NY – by the same people who own Schiller’s. Great brunch place, had a lovely Ranchero scramble.
  54. Drop Off Service, New York, NY – finally a NYC bar with a serious beer selection and great prices. Spent an afternoon here (don’t judge) catching up with friends. $3 happy hour pints, and a few Oregon beers representing :)
  55. Luzzo’s, New York, NY – Seriously good pizza in the East Village.
  56. Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop, New York, NY – on a quest for breakfast, we ended up with lunch on the Lower East Side.
  57. Almondine Bakery, New York, NY – stopped in for macarons and a coffee after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO.
  58. some random food cart, New York, NY – sampling NYC staple of a pretzel.
  59. Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY – by chance arrived exactly when they opened so were seated immediately. Everything was amazing, especially the lime/beet swirl soft-serve, and the beet salad with smoked ricotta, hazelnut and endive.
  60. Bua, New York, NY – After attempting to go to the PDT speakeasy across the street, and seeing that there was an hour wait, we opted for Bua across the street. Nice way to end our NYC trip.

How it all started: I had a goal to visit one new restaurant a week.
1-52: Go To 52 New Restaurants – 30 Before 30 List
53-103: 52 [More] New Restaurants
104-156: 156 New Portland Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops in 299 Days
157-208: 208 New Places in One Year
209-260: 52 More New Restaurants: Portland, San Juans & Vancouver, BC
261-312: New Restaurant Fatigue #312!
313-364: New Portland Favs: Rum Club & Via Tribunali + 50 more
What new restaurants have you been to lately?

Oregon Humane Society {Week 7}


Two years ago this week, I brought home my kitty from the Oregon Humane Society. I’d been wanting to get a cat for a while and after 3 scouting trips, I finally found a lovely little lady that looked like a fellow, (because she has a mustache!).

IMG_3692-290x290Pets are such wonderful creature. When I first got her, she was a friendly, but nervous little creature. Now she’s a super friendly and often gregarious little creature. :)

So Week 7 of the Forkover Friday project is for Oregon Humane Society..

Meow. —Essa, my cat

Oregon Humane Society

humane-society-cat-310x231What they do: Find homes for 11,000 cats and dogs each year.

How we can help:

Who it helps: kittehs! (and dogs/small animals)
What non-profit or company: Oregon Humane Society
Where: Oregon
Why: Kittehs!

Want to participate in Forkover Friday?

Match my donation of $12 this week to Oregon Humane Society or pick your own cause and leave a comment below if you feel like sharing!

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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