Portland Happenings

pizzaSince we got back home from our amazing vacation, I’ve been trying to find some local Portland happenings for the kids to enjoy.  Preferably those that don’t cost too much since we spent a fortune in Europe.  The first thing I checked out was the annual Free Northeast Portland Fair for families.  I particularly liked the word in that title – Free – so figured I really can’t lose anything but taking the family there.

So last week I took them to the fair – which was held outdoors at Multnomah County’s Northeast Health Center in the afternoon.  There was great music, activities for kids and even dancing!  I took advantage of a couple of health screenings (also for free) and Daniel enjoyed the local youth art exhibit.  So all in all it was something to do – for free – for an afternoon.  We ended up having a late dinner with the kids at Sparky’s Pizza…sooooo good, although perhaps not the greatest education in healthy living for my kids!

Eating Out

foie-grasWhen we take our annual break we don’t budget.  We figure we work hard all year round (well, Daniel does) and so we deserve to relax in style.  With that mindset, tonight we’re off to L‘Aromate for what we heard is a real fine dining experience.  I checked it out online and it looks amazing.  The food really looks like a work of art and it has a great reputation for having an extremely talented owner-chef.
Daniel is going to try the Pigeon du Lauragais rôti à la sarriette et foie gras de canard grillé.  I know that he loves foie gras and hardly ever gets it so I’m sure he’ll love this dish. I don’t know what I’m going to have for my main but I definitely want to try the chocolat noir guanaja Dans un tube craquant, noisettes caramélisées, crème glacée au café grillé, émulsion vanillée.  Not quite sure what it all means but there’s chocolate, caramelized nuts, cream, coffee and vanilla flavors so really, what could be bad? Sometimes I think it’s good not knowing exactly what you’re getting – it takes the predictability out of life.  Anyway the fact that this restaurant has great reviews and the setting is said to be intimate is enough to make me salivate…

June Portland Happenings

Dragon Boat RacesThere is so much going on in Portland over the summer. So, rather than dread the long holidays with the kids I have started to search for all the Portland happenings that will be good for me and the kids.  Thankfully, June is packed with Portland happenings that I think will really meet my requirements.

The first thing I want to take the kids and Daniel to is the Rose Festival and Pride Parade and Festival.  This provides the perfect excuse to just get outdoors and start developing that summer feeling.  While Daniel’s not so excited by the outdoorsy aspect, he is definitely wearing a smile on the thought of the volume of alcohol that will be available! Indeed, since the beginning of this month there have been four different beer festivals in town – total dream for the hubby!

Other Portland happenings at the Festival include the Grand Floral Fireworks, CityFair, Rose Cup Races and Dragon Boat Races.  I’m concerned these events will be too crowded for me and the kids though, given their obvious popularity.  But maybe Daniel will just go with Jayden and Ethan and I will just find something else to enjoy while they are there.

Once the school year ends, I might also get together with a group of friends and take the kids to the Old Church. Every Wednesdays they are having free concerts and even though it’s not exactly what the kids will enjoy the adults will and the kids can just run around!  The other Portland happening that looks cool to me is the Pedalpalooza Bike Festival – Jayden will for sure love taking part in some of those cycling-themed events, especially since he just recently starting getting really good on his bike.

So, lots of fun Portland happenings coming up for us!  I think it could be a really great summer with the kids in our city.

Professional Women’s Network

working-womenA little while ago I got together with a bunch of hip, talented women for a networking session.  Casa del Matador hosted the NAPW Portland Chapter and we discussed an array of different topics with a focus on stress management.  Portland Chapter President Franchesca Vermillion, D.C., discussed the four types of stress that exist: chemical stress, emotional stress, physical stress, and mental stress. All these can lead to: blood pressure issues; mood swings; difficulty sleeping/eating, etc.  People deal with these stresses in different ways and the most popular method seems to be caffeine, which is actually a drug and can have side-effects if used long-term, including osteoporosis, which is more commonplace amongst women.

Well, that was definitely food for thought for me. I know that I consume way too much caffeine, and, some years ago, was diagnosed as having borderline osteoporosis back from when I was in college and had terrible eating habits and was probably under-nourished.

However, the thing with me is that I don’t use caffeine as a stress-crutch.  But according to Vermillion since many people do (especially women who seem to want it all), it is time to figure out how to combat the problem.  She said that we must first take care of ourselves and then worry about others.  But, as Daniel always likes to point out “you’re usually Number One on your list!”

Still, although I didn’t really relate to too many stresses in life which seemed to be the seminar’s focal point, I did have a tremendous opportunity to connect with new people.  I now feel that I can actually use the connections to further some of my potential business ideas.  Plus, there could be more women with whom I can rotate for my “ladies who lunch” rotation!

Portland Entertainment: Mark Your Calendars

kids-theaterThere are a lot of fun things happening in my neighborhood now.  I think I’m going to go to some – if not all – of them.  I’m happy also because there are fun things for the kids to do too.  First, there’s the 49th Annual Portland Swap Meet between April 5th to 7th at the Portland Expo Center.  It’s pretty cheap too so that is an added bonus. I think Daniel and I will get a babysitter Friday night and head out to Mago Hunt Center for the comedy Bluffoons.  That looks like fun and I could do with a laugh.  I thought of going for salsa lessons too at the World Famous Kenton Club but when I mentioned it to Daniel he gave me “the look.”

Still, now that I think about it, that doesn’t include much for kids.  So then I checked out if there was anything going on at the Portland Stage and was delighted to see that the summer is packed with entertainment.  The theater is set up just for kids and there are professional actors for them to learn from.   This is a great way for kids to use their imaginations, bringing modern literature to life and developing acting skills.

So it looks like there are going to be a lot of fun activities for the whole family over the next few weeks.