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Hi, I'm Meredith! A Montana gal living and loving life in PDX. I love great restaurants, getting creative in the kitchen and making a house home. I hope you'll follow along for all the recipes, restaurants and adventures. More info...
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NW Portland Favorites

Hello friends! If you're Portland-based you're VERY over weather we're having. The snow storm was cute for a day, but it is time for the city to get their blow on and salt them streets. Don't believe me? Bakery Bingo agrees!

A lot of people are hurting - and I'm certainly feeling compelled to chop things up ala Shining - and feeling the effects of cabin fever. Small businesses are hurting the most. While I don't want to promote anyone getting out there and driving on unsafe roads, I strongly encourage getting out in your neighborhood and supporting these shops.

I live in Northwest Portland and these are some of my favorite spots. What hood are you in? How are you surviving? I'd love to know what restaurants and shops you recommend.


1036 NW 18th 

These ladies all rock!! Don't need any hair removed? They sell candles, jewelry, and a selection of fancy lotions. You know your skin is dry like a snake.

Photo credit: Ovation

941 NW Overton

This is hands down the very best coffee shop in Portland. The customer service is exceptional and the Moroccan tea is crave-worthy.


417 NW 21st

Coffee shop in the morning. Epic wine bar at night. THe drinks are cheap, the pours heavy, and the people watching phenomenal.

Photo credit: Nuvrei

404 NW 10th

Three words: fresh. croissants. hourly.


333 NW 18th

Hummus, sexy lighting, and delightful cocktails. What better way to make googly eyes at your neighborhood tinder match??



1129 NW Johnson

Trust me, get the bucatini. 


735 NW 21st

Have a fireplace? Or a Netflix app? Head to City Market for fromage or some really fancy seafood. Your sweetie will thank you.

photo credit: try caviar

500 NW 21st

Judy's Noodles, soy curls, and an abundance of fortune cookies! Don't you want to know if Spring is coming?



1000 NW 17th

Best burger and nicest staff!




Hello 2017!

Happy New Year, my friends!! The last few months have been a time for reflection, questioning, and exercising the introspective muscle. It feels, for me, all that contemplation and work came to a head in the last two weeks. My time home for the holidays (more on that Thursday) was a very necessary reset. I came down with the flu (I assume my body saying, "Lady!!! You need to lay in bed for a few days and organize all these thoughts. And support the Kleenex corp.") and thought long and hard about 2016. I thought about times I was proud of myself, and moments when I could have done better. I contemplated what brought me joy and happiness, and what induced stress, anger, and mistakes.

What hurt me? When it feels as if I am not a priority to my village. And I know Eleanor said they need your consent to feel inferior, but sometimes love (platonic and romantic) just hurts. When that cute guy you're dating doesn't make the effort to schedule a date more than 48-hours in advance, that hurts. If a good friend is continuously busy and can't make an impromptu wine night, that hurts. What do you mean you have a dinner every night this week and can't get together until next Saturday?? Don't you realize I'm stressed with work and the lawyer hasn't text me back in 72 hours??? I need wine and your counsel RIGHT NOW! And that happened to me in 2016. Truth is, I think I did a lot of that to other people in 2016. I was the disengaged love interest. I was the overly scheduled and busy friend.

I became the person who saw everything in her life is an obligation. A life that is incredibly privileged, healthy, and full.

It all came down to two common denominators: Opportunity and Priorities.


Passing on, or taking, opportunities either upset me or made me extremely happy.
Overbooking my calendar, or selective No's and spending my resources (time, energy, love, dolla dolla bills) on what matters most to me, either made things feel like an obligation or living my absolute best life.

This year I want to take the right opportunities. Maybe that is a date with an unlikely match. Perhaps a last-minute trip to Seattle. I want to take on the right clients that are intellectually challenging and help me grow. I need to have impromptu dinner parties or hikes. I want to take that international trip or learn how to make superior sushi.

To take these opportunities, I need to prioritize. I can't be forcing connections or going on a 3rd date with the nice accountant with whom sparks are nowhere to be found. The calendar can't be so booked that free weekends are non-existent. Trusting my gut needs to be factored into decision make. Spending and saving needs to provide me with the runway for those trips, classes, and hosting -- instead of obligation bridal showers or saying yes to group events I don't want to attend.

So how am I doing this?

Well, I've upgraded my wine purchases to the $14-20 range. Why? I'd rather spend a little more or drink a little less, while enjoying an interesting bottle of vino and not having a headache the next morning.
I'm no longer a token bridesmaid. 
I won't be saying yes to each and every event or dinner.
I have invested in a spin studio membership. This gives me energy and I love the structure.
I renewed that passport!
My scheduling format has changed to allow for more clients and specific project types.
I'm learning French!!! Thanks, Duolingo!
Booked a trip to Crater Lake!
No takeout or delivery in January!!!!


What are your plans? Did you make resolutions? I'd love to hear what you'll be doing in 2017 and how you plan on pulling it off.


2016 Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway


The holidays are upon us, and so is the time to gift those you love, like, or share a friend group with. ;)

3 Month Membership
$45

I am a reader and love to gift books. I think they are thoughtful, useful, and give a reason to touch base after the holidays. I love a, "Hey, cousin! Just finished the book you gave me. I can't believe Joe was the killer!!" text. 

Book of the Month Club is an awesome gift for an avid reader or someone you may not know incredibly well. Here's how it works, each month you get to pick one of five book options. Don't like any of the options? Feel free to skip a month.


Scovare Sail

Over the summer I picked up a Groupon for a BYOB sail on a whim. It turned out to be one of my favorite activities in Portland to date! 

Scovare Expeditions has an impressive fleet of sailboats and yachts, not to mention the nicest staff! And as a lover of gifting experiences, I HIGHLY recommend gifting a sunset sail to your sweetie, bestie, or favorite colleague.

Red Ridge Olive Oil

Want to bring a hostess gift, but the hostess is expecting? Maybe you need to bring a lil' something for a work gift exchange or to your child's teacher. Perhaps you think wine is o-v-e-r. Whatever your reasoning might be, I highly recommend locally made oils and vinegars. Here in Oregon, Red Ridge has become my go to for a gracious hostess gift.

Tattly

Temporary tattoos as a holiday gift?? YES!! Can you think of a more exciting or interactive gift swap item or stocking stuffer? Personally, I think being alive is an occasion for a temporary tattoo, and holiday tattoos are just ink on the bicep.

I've found Tattly designs to be the most creative and highest quality. Their winter collection includes a dapper reindeer, gold, and a scented line.

Smith Tea


Personally, I find stocking stuffers to be the most challenging gift to give. They can't be too expensive, should be relatively compact, and must never be dust-collecting junk. I've found luxury items like tea or coffee to be a thoughtful, budget-friendly, and healthy gift to give. Especially Smith Tea!! A box can be split up or your favorite sister can be gifted a holiday edition flavor such as Silent Night or Morning Light.



Now for the giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Recipe {Apple + Sausage Strata}

Happy Thanksgiving week! What are your plans for the holiday? I will by flying down to the Bay Area to spend the holiday with my sisters and brother-in-law. We have a Turkey Trot, and then having Thanksgiving with about 12 people. I'll be making Parker House Rolls and helping out where needed. To be honest, when planning the trip Thanksgiving was an afterthought. What I'm really flying down for is to watching Gilmore Girls on Friday! We've dubbed it #ThanksGilmore! I suspect there will be a lot of Pizza and Chinese food with a side of Rolos.

If you aren't planning on eating all the processed food, I'd highly recommend making this Apple + Sausage Strata for a holiday brunch. The hearty dish can be made before, has a nice mixture of salty and sweet, and has the cheddar gets real crispy. I used Autumn Glory apples, a variety out of Yakima, and they bring a very bold sweetness to the dish, while also maintaining their crunch. I was very happy with the texture of the apples and them not turning to mush.


 Need another apple recipe? Head over to The Spicy Bee where I shared a recipe for cheddar-buttermilk biscuits. 


Apple + Sausage Strata
Serves 6-8

1 loaf day old crusty bread, cubed
1 lb ground sage breakfast sausage
2 Autumn Glory apples, cubed
8 ounces sharp cheddar, small cubes
6 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
Salt + Pepper

Preheat an oven to 375. Cook sausage until brown and crumbly. 

In a large bowl combined bread, apple, cheddar and sausage. Let sausage cool and bread soak up sausage drippings.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Salt and pepper to liking. Pour over bread mixture, stirring every five minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes.  

Place mixture in a large casserole dish. Bake for one hour. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.