Tuesday, September 30

L'Shana Tovah (A good new year)

In celebration of Rosh Hashanah I thought I would share this important (and funny!) video message from Sarah Silverman.

The Great Schlep

Monday, September 29


Henry is loves his new Kettler balance bike. We spent the weekend practicing stunts at Foothills Park in Lake Oswego. He was pretty proud of this video.

Friday, September 26

Friday Finds: Some of my favorite things that cost less than $5

My new favorite dessert!
$5 will buy you the most delicious and adorable chocolate cream pie at Baker & Spice Bakery. This little pie is a gem with rich chocolate pudding, whipped cream that is very lightly sweetened, and the yummiest chocolate shortbread crust that has the perfect touch of salt. If you haven't been yet, be sure to visit Baker & Spice Bakery in Hillsdale. You will find many treats for under $5.

Baker & Spice
6330 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, Oregon 97239

Tuesday, September 23

Thrifty Tuesday: A shiny clean car

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This morning I took a risk. For a year I have been driving by this abandoned building located at N Fremont and N Vancouver. It is located about a half mile from my office. There is a small, hand written sign that says, "hand wash". There are usually a few guys hanging around and not more than one car. As I drive by I see some hoses, buckets and sponges around the back. I always think, "I wonder if that place is any good", but it really looks too suspicious to try without a strong recommendation.

This morning I was desperate. My car was embarrassingly dirty. Once you have a child, your car is always filled with crumbs, sand and dirt. I decided that I was going to give that place a try. I was greeted by a kind man with a thick African accent. I asked if I could leave the car and return at noon. He said that would be fine and I gave him my car keys. That was it... no receipt... No business name... no telephone number... I wondered if I would ever see my car again. I wondered if I had done something really foolish.

I walked back at noon, and from a block away I saw my shiny red car safely parked in the parking lot. The same man greeted me and was pleased to show me the car. It was thoroughly cleaned inside and out. Every crumb had been vacuumed, the surfaces had been dusted, the windows were cleaned, the wheels were polished and the car was shiny and clean.

I was very relieved and thrilled that I found a wonderful new car wash. The best part is it only cost $20! I was told that it is usually $14 (when the inside is not so dirty).

If you live in Portland, be brave (or foolish) and give them a try!

Saturday, September 20

Sunday Splurges: Historic Columbia River Highway

I originally envisioned Sunday Splurge posts to focus on things that cost a lot, but are well worth it. Last Sunday our family splurged on driving time instead of dollars. We packed up our bikes and drove over 60 miles East on I-84 to the Columbia River Gorge to the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. This five mile paved trail is located between Hood River and Mosier. It sits about 500 feet above the river with basalt bluffs and signature wooden guardrails. It is a bit indulgent to pack up and drive over an hour for a short ten mile roundtrip bike ride, but the views are breathtaking. It was a lovely afternoon.

Therapeutic Sport Riding

This fall we are offering our son a new experience to strengthen his gross & fine motor skills and increase his stamina and self esteem. Yesterday Henry participated in his first class at Forward Stride, a therapeutic equestrian center. Henry was really nervous at first, but then quickly adjusted once he got on his horse, Blesie. He learned to instruct the horse to move, "WALK ON" and to tell the horse to stop, "WHOA". He was able to ride around the arena holding a ball over his head and he also played catch while sitting on Blesie's back. He did a great job and really enjoyed it. He will now be placed in a small group class and attend a weekly lesson.

Friday, September 19

Nature Hikes With Alex

Over the past month, Henry has made a great new friend with our neighbor, Alex. They have enjoyed fabulous adventures throughout Portland. It is sweet to see the way Henry looks up to Alex. Alex makes him feel like a cool kid. We have been working with Henry to increase his endurance and strengthen his body. I can see that he really pushes himself around Alex. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Alex this weekend, as he is returning to college. We will look forward to him coming home over the holidays. Thanks Alex for some fun adventures!

Friday Finds: Some of my favorite things that cost less than $5

Have your tried Plugra yet?
Plugra (pronounced PLOO GRA), is a European style butter lower in moisture and higher in butterfat than conventional butters. Once you get hooked on it, you will not want to ever eat conventional butter again. It costs about $4 for an 8 oz. bar. It is so worth it.

Splurge a little and buy a salted block for your butter dish today!

Thursday, September 11

Friday Finds: Some of my favorite things that cost less than $5

I have been inspired to revamp my blog. I am pleased to introduce...

Friday Finds (under $5): Here I will share some of my favorite little pleasures that won't break the bank.
Sunday Splurges: Things that may cost a lot, but are well worth it.
Thrifty Tuesdays: My thoughts about money saving tips or ideas.

With that I must tell you about my favorite new gelato flavor for 2008. Last spring Mio Gelato introduced a new flavor, Yoggi, Italian-style yogurt gelato.
I know... you are probably thinking, "frozen yogurt... been there, done that... not interested". NO... trust me. Yogurt gelato is nothing like any frozen yogurt you had in the past. It is so creamy and rich, yet it has a delightful tart and tangy flavor. It turns out this flavor is also wildly popular in France. I enjoyed this fabulous combination of yogurt gelato with mango sorbetto when we were in Paris this summer. Fruit gelato is the perfect compliment to this flavor.

Seriouly... go and try it. It is so good. You can easily get a double scoop for well under $5. Enjoy!

Goodbye Burley... Hello Trailer Bike!

Last week we sold our Burley. I'm pleased to report that we were able to get $300 for it on Craig's list. We thought it was time to give our son a more active role during our bike adventures so we purchased a trailer bike. We have been out on three rides now. Last week we rode down to Sellwood - about 20 miles RT. We indulged in yummy treats at Grand Central Bakery and played in Sellwood Park. Henry loves his new bike. He looks very confident and strong when he rides.

Multnomah Falls

We have lived in Portland for over 9 years now and we have never been to Multnomah Falls. For months now, Henry has expressed an interest in visiting the falls. Last week we finally made the short 45-minute drive. Henry was determined to hike to the top of the falls. The hike was a moderate, 2.2-mile hike with 700 feet of elevation gain to the top. This was a great accomplishment for our 4-year old. We had a great time and look forward to going back to the gorge and exploring some of the other hikes and falls in the area.

Thursday, September 4

The Final Chapter

They did it! My husband and son are reading the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It has taken three weeks to get through 17 chapters, but clearly they both enjoyed it. Henry has really taken to chapter books this summer. In addition to James and The Giant Peach, We have also read the first four books of the Magic Tree House Series. Tomorrow they are planning to begin Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.