Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Foodie Penpals

Sometime during the end of March I stumbled upon The Lean Green Bean and blogger Lindsay's brainchild of Foodie Penpals. Yup, it's exactly what is sounds like. Submit your name, get the name of another blogger (or reader) and send them a foodie's delight! Your name goes to someone else and you get a box of goodies from that person.
Lindsay says "Foodie Penpals is a program I started in September 2011. It was born from a random idea  and I wasn’t really sure how it would work out. Turns out, it’s amazing! We’ve grown from about 30 participants the first month to over 1,000 blogger & reader participants in the US, Canada and most recently, plus several hundred in the UK!"
It sounded like such a fun idea that I had to sign up right away!
On the 5th of April I received an email with the spreadsheet of names. I located mine and found Miss Aimee from Atlanta, Georgia! I was so glad when I emailed her and found out she had no food allergies and her food preferences were completely doable (Pro: Chocolate and candy. Anti: Oysters and Mayo). So I headed over to the Made in Oregon store and picked her up some iconic Oregon products (Tillamook cheese, hazelnuts, marionberry jam and Oregon rain water).

On the 5th I also received an email from the woman who received my name, Patti from Lynn MA. I answered her questions about likes, dislikes and allergies and then sat by my mailbox and waited (not really). But I was so excited when I received my (heavy) box of goodies from her on the 17th (hooray next day priority shipping). Here's what I got from Patti:

Marshmallow fluff from Lynn, MA (where Patti is from), amazing looking "Red Gravy" (marinara), delicious Belgium milk chocolate, lemon pepper, pasta for the gravy, her favorite granola, killer caramel sauce made with goats milk and an awesome Trader Joe's bag.
It was such a fun experience I've already signed up to participate again next month. If you want to participate too go check out The Lean Green Bean and sign up before the 1st of May.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Own Lil English Garden

I suppose with spring finally in the air, and so many friends and family moving into their own houses, I'm wishing I had a place of my own to create and cultivate my own little private English garden.
I currently rent a little one level condo that does have a back and front "yard" space; and I have planted a few things over the years. When we came it had six rose buses, daffodils and iris. I've since planted a variety of lilies in the front and a variety of annuals (pansies, marigolds, etc) in the back.
I get so attached though, and where this isn't somewhere I hope to be living much longer I don't want to put too much work into the space. But when I come home to a few bright yellow daffodils, ruby red tulips and lilies as tall as I am, I can't help but want to expand the space even more.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Name Change

You ever just feel like a name doesn't exactly fit.
There isn't anything particularly wrong with it.
It's a perfectly "fine" name.
It just doesn't feel....right.
So you start to think about changing your name.
Think about the way it sounds rolling off your tongue.
Does it sound right?
Does it fit you?
You fall asleep thinking about the possibilities.
You text your friends and family getting their opinions.
You wonder if or how many others have that same name.
You just want something that says "YOU!"
Finally one day you think you have it.
Maybe it came to you in the shower or grocery store.
You ask one or two select people and for the most part
So that's it.
You decide to do it.
You're going to pay the money
And make it so.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Biryani Quinoa Salad

About a month or so ago I went to the 2013 Portland Women's Expo with a few girlfriends. It's a sales expedition with companies from spas to food vendors, beer and wine to exercise equipment...all with the sales pitch towards women. It was a lot of fun and it was actually here that K connected for her Passion Party.
One of the vendors (and I sadly don't remember the name of the company...Recipe Girl or something like that) gave me this recipe for Biryani Quinoa Salad and I wanted to share it with you.

Under Construction

Hi everyone,

Please be patient with me while the blog undergoes some construction.

I've decided it's time I purchase a URL for the blog and with it is coming some design changes and most importantly...


Don't worry. The delicious food posts will still be here. My love for all things vintage and pin up won't be going away. And my outspokenness for being a plus size fashionista will only get stronger.

So hang tight and get ready for something fantastic.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I'm Currently....

I've seen this on a few blogger's pages before and just never got my act together to join in....

Until today that is. So here we go.

What I'm currently eating, drinking, wishing, loving, dreaming....

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Actions > Words

Sometimes it's hard when you see a person you love hurting. Someone you would do anything for in pain. You want to pull them into your arms, hide under the blankets and wait for the evil in the world to pass.

Jeans with a Purpose

Just over a year ago I came out as a sexual assault survivor. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, telling my family that I had been keeping this a secret from them for 15 years. But at the same time it was a weight off my shoulders, soul and mind.
Today is National Denim Day. A day to wear denim (jeans, skirts, jackets, ties, jumpsuits, anything) as a united front and stand up against the myths that surround sexual assault. To say as a country, and a world, that it doesn't matter what someone wears they are never "asking" to be raped.
There is no excuse for rape.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trolley Wine Tour

Life has been kind of stressful lately....okay I'll be honest it's been stressful to the point I'm not sleeping well, I have heartburn, am exhausted to the point of being a zombie and am sure I'm one family phone call away from developing a non-reversible twitch in my right eye.
So now you have a better idea when I say I've needed a vacation or at least a day of relaxation. Luckily I found about six hours of relaxation in a wine tasting tour this past Sunday. Or as I put on my FB Sunday was a day of "1 vineyard, 2 wine bars, 6 hours and 26 bottles of wine later"....
I went with my sister K. I had bought the Groupons back in October or November when the BF and I had plans for him to come up to Portland. But with his work schedule and the expiration date getting closer and closer I had to just use it. I knew K needed a break from reality too so we had ourselves a "Sister Date"
It was a lot of fun. The transportation company does these tours not only in limos and personal cars (like many tours do) but they also have an old fashioned trolley (that fit the 28 of us just fine) to drive us around. And yes, it was equipped for the highway!

Like I said above we went to two different wine bars (one of which is associated with a vineyard we just went to their tasting room location instead) and one vineyard.
I think my favorite wine came from the first tasting room (Artisanal Wine Cellar): a 2010 Dovetail White comprised of 50% Vionier and 50% Roussanne. The wine had a sweet smell but a dry taste and was very nice; a perfect weekend lounging wine.

My least favorites came from location #2 (Hauer of Dauen Winery). There were at least four or five that after the smallest sip I just dumped out (01 Chardonnay Barrel Fermented....and boy was it....the Gamay Noir and the Lemberger...which did smell/taste like cheese).

The last location (Wine Works) had one of K's favorites. She ended up buying a bottle of their 12 Hodgepodge (white combination of Pinot gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling and Auxerrois). The woman behind the counter said her BFF calls it a "Breakfast Wine". As in she'd have it for breakfast....

Overall the day was so much fun and we got to try a number of new wines. However the biggest thing was I got to spend 6 hours enjoying myself, life and not worrying about taking care of anyone other than myself.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Celebrating Earth Day

This weekend we celebrated Earth Day a little early. A while ago we purchased a few types of bulbs and on Saturday I finally planted them. The Dahlia and Peruvian Daffodils were planted in the back yard under a window. I just love Dahlias and have never heard of Peruvian Daffodils! I can't wait to see what they look like.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Vietnamese Pork Chops

Last week I decided I was going to try and start a Foodie Friday regular posting - recipes I've tried or want to try. My first entry was sharing the amazing recipes I found for a cannoli cupcake and a chocolate and Irish cream cupcake - both of which I made for K's Passion Party last Saturday.

This week I'm sharing a Vietnamese Pork Chop recipe I found on Pinterest. I haven't made them yet, but do have most of the ingredients. I just need to find lemongrass. I don't have an outdoor grill so I won't be able to get the beautiful charbroiled grill marks like in the picture but we'll see what I can do with my cast iron pan.

The original recipe can be found on Hungry Foodie Pharmacy who apparently found it from Viet World Kitchen. That's the great thing about Pinterest - sharing of amazing recipes. Yum Yum.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Asian Pork Chops

I grew up in a family that had pork chops the same way every time - dredged in flour, salt and pepper and then browned. The end.
Sometimes a girl wants to spice things up a little in her life. And what better way than with a little Sriracha!!
Here's an Asian inspired marinated pork chop recipe that my family LOVED when I made it for them the other night.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cocktails, Cupcakes and C-rings

WARNING! This post is for 18+  It is a post for those who are comfortable with discussing sex (we're talking Rated R for Mature Audiences not like XXX).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cannoli and Irish Cream Cupcakes (2 recipes)

A week or so ago I found a recipe for a cannoli cupcake over on My Sweet Life. How could I not try this out? So I figured this weekend for my sister's Passion Party I would make a sweet treat to go along with the libations.
Now I didn't follow the recipe exactly but they still turned out amazing. I used a yellow cake instead of a white cake. I didn't actually make my own cannoli for decorations. Instead I bought Peppridge Farm's chocolate hazelnut twilled cookies, cut them in 1/3 and decorated the tops. And I also couldn't find Marsala wine, as in the original recipe, so I bought a Port instead (because my sister, who hosted the party, loves Port)....however, I followed the recipe and even added more wine than recommended and didn't taste the wine at all in the whipped cream topping.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I don't know if it's jut me...maybe I just haven't found my bloggroove...but I find myself voted with my blog look, wanting to shuffle and redesign every few months (if you're a regular reader you'll notice the latest look...still don't know how I feel about it).

I also find myself envious of those bloggers with (what appears to be) a blogging routine. I tried a whole back and just couldn't keep it up. I went for a few months and then just one day it didn't happen.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello My Name Is...

Everyone, now and then, will get called by the wrong name. Whether it's a person you met once months back at a party calling you Kate instead of Kathy . . . the woman who does my nails has been calling me Megan for so long (even though when I schedule I say "Morgan"). It happens.

However, if you are a company or business that is trying to find promoters, sponsors or bloggers to spread the word about your company/product. My simple word of advice. Make sure you call us by the right name or at least use a generic greeting.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Boston: Little Piece of American History

So many adorable places. Like this antiquity book shop
I found right around the corner from my hotel.
Last Wednesday I woke up early and headed to the airport for a 7:45AM flight to Boston. I was headed for a student leadership conference (which this blog is not about but was pretty darn good). This was not only my first time to Boston . . . my first time to Massachusetts . . . but also my first time to New England.  And for as big of a history nerd as I am this was a trip of a lifetime!
I always knew if I had the opportunity to go to New England, Boston would be my number one preferred place to go. So much of our history as a country, so much of who we are, was given birth there. I had to see, taste, smell, feel and experience it for myself.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Feeling 32

Okay since I'm on this WTF 30s* bit today I'm going to post this for some fun. A friend posted a link to a song parody of Taylor Swift's song "22". I'm not the best at keeping up with pop culture so I had to go and find the original first, before I watched the parody.

In case you need to watch the original too here it is:

Now here is the parody called "32"!

LMAO!!! Oh, my side hurts....hahahaha.....so true!!

I am a Chia Pet

There it was.
Abnormally long.
At least half an inch
White and course.
Sticking out where it doesn't belong.
. . . A HAIR . . . IN. MY. EAR!!

Okay so it wasn't really "IN" my ear. It was more the side of my face near where sideburns would be (you know if I had sideburns) . . . but still it was a white hair coming out of a part of body I've never had hair before!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Foodie Penpals

I remember being in middle school (maybe?) and having a pen pal. She was a girl about my age that lived in Germany. I think we wrote twice and exchanged pictures but that is it. I can't remember who stopped writing (I'm sure it was me, I'm awful and keeping in touch) or how we even got connected.

I have a "pen pal" type relationship with one of my good friends. She and I both love letter art and will send one another fantastical cards we find in bizarre little shops (I have at least three blank and waiting to send her), she has recently designed and made her own stationary, and in college we used to make collage envelopes together.

I've also been known to send a care-package or two before (to a boyfriend when we were long distance, to a cousin when he was stationed in the Middle East, to friends just because).

I mean who doesn't love getting mail? Especially when it comes in the form of a package!

So when I came across this idea of Foodie Penpals on It Bakes Me Happy's blog I thought it was the best idea ever! How much fun to get a package of foodie-goodies from someone!?

I've already signed up and am starting to think of all the goodies I could package...even with a $15 limit! Portland is such a great town for this because there are so many DIY and Mom/Pop food shops! I promise to share with you what I put together for my yet-to-be-identified Foodie Penpal.

The Lean Green Bean