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 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!
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. :)
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?
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…
-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.”
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.
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?
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!).
Pets 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
What 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
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!