What I’m Loving Lately

Hi everyone, I’m still here! I know it doesn’t always seem like it sometimes since I post sporadically now, but I’m around and still care about my blog and all of you. As most of you know, I post when I can and when I have something I deem share worthy.

Meanwhile, I’ve been really enjoying my summer so far — crazy hot temps and all! Luckily, it’s supposed to start coming back to normal summer temps now. Anyway, you really can’t beat summer in Portland though. It’s kind of the best. My mom is coming to visit me in less than two weeks and will stay with me while Jesse goes home to Michigan for a visit. I’ll be going back home at the end of September for my cousin’s wedding and didn’t want to go back twice in a such a short period of time. Jesse did and had the funds to do so though, but I’ll be here working and hanging out with my mom. I’m totally good with that and am happy to stay here!

Anyway, with summer in full swing, I thought I’d share some things I appreciate and am loving lately. Here goes:

  1. Fresh-picked blueberries: Jesse and I did our annual blueberry pick this past weekend. You may recall my blueberry picking post from 2013 and 2012. Anyway, we picked a whopping 21 pounds in the mid-day heat. They are the best blueberries and so plump! We kept a big bowl in the fridge and froze the rest. Sadly, we did not make it to Besaws for breakfast this year before our annual pick. I did miss that part.Jesse picking blueberriesBeautiful blueberries
  2. Walks around my neighborhood: I walk all year round, but it’s wonderful not having to bundle or cover up in the summertime. I get a good dose of vitamin-D and take in both new and familiar surroundings. I love exploring and walking with no destination and finding the unordinary in the ordinary. Sometimes, I challenge myself to find 10-20 things I haven’t noticed before. The other day, I found this and thought it was a gem of a find and totally Portland appropriate.Random find in my neighborhood
  3. Kombucha “cocktails”: squeeze of fresh lemon, kombucha (I like this with GT’s Gingerade or Trilogy), ice and splash of sparkling water for extra fizz. If you wanted to make it an adult beverage, you could add a little vodka, which mixes pretty darn well with kombucha.Kombucha "cocktail"
  4. Ham lettuce wraps: fresh green leaf or romaine lettuce, New Seasons fresh sliced honey ham (good quality and no junk), yellow mustard, cucumber and thin slices of grass-fed cheddar cheese. Sometimes avocado too. This has been my favorite lunch lately. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture to share, but I think you all get the idea, right?
  5. Jasmine Primal Pit Paste: this new Jacked-Up Jasmine scent reminds me of my late grandma. She often wore floral scents and I can’t help but think of her when I use this. It’s an added bonus to a product I already love. The smell is fresh, feminine and lovely. It works pretty well too, at least the strong does.

Jacked-Up Jasmine Primal Pit Paste

 

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Weekend Berry Picking Fun

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Our favorite blueberry farm.

This past weekend was a goodie. It was filled with sunshine, Oregon bounty, contemplation, reading and time with Jesse. It felt great all around and productive too.

It started with sleeping in on Saturday morning and taking a little leisure time at home before going out to breakfast at Besaw’s. We had to wait for a bit once we got there, but that’s not unusual. Luckily, it was bright and sunny outside, which made for a pleasant wait. Once we got settled, I surprised myself with my order. I always order the two-egg meal with sauteed veggies and bacon…ALWAYS! Well, this time, I got the salmon scramble (no cream cheese) with veggies and bacon. Call me crazy for switching things up, right? Nah, not really, but the change is good for me. The scramble was pretty tasty (it was just house-made smoked salmon and fresh herbs), but I think I’m still partial to my usual. It’s a classic.

My Saturday breakfast at Besaw's. I accompanied it with hot lemon water. My pal, Ashley at Craving4more got me hooked on it. She ordered it once when we went out to Dick's Kitchen. So clever, yet simple.
My Saturday breakfast at Besaw’s. I accompanied it with hot lemon water. My pal, Ashley at Craving4more got me hooked on it. She ordered it once when we went out to Dick’s Kitchen. So clever, yet simple. (Taken on iPhone).

After breakfast, Jesse and I drove up to Sauvie Island to pick blueberries. We go every summer and to the same place: Sauvie Island Blueberry Farm. They specialize in blueberries, and have the BEST and BIGGEST ones around! Remember when we went last summer? We went to Besaw’s before picking last year too. I’ve decided that Besaw’s is now part of the yearly tradition. It is my favorite breakfast place, after all.

Jesse in the berry bushes.
Jesse in the berry bushes.

My picking style is pick a bunch, eat a bunch, repeat. At least, that was my picking style this time. Normally, I only focus on filling my bucket, but this time I couldn’t resist snacking on them too. In the end, we each filled a tub and accumulated about 15 lb of fresh, plump blueberries. After we got home, we washed and spun the berries, and put them into freezer bags. Of course, we left a huge bowl in the fridge for eating too. It’s so wonderful to open the refrigerator door and see a bowl full of gorgeous, fresh blueberries.

Then, on Sunday, I was convinced by a friend that I needed to make some sort of cobbler, so I took it upon myself to do some experimenting and baking in the afternoon. I had good results with the cobbler I made and will be sharing the recipe soon, so stay tuned!

Hot and sweaty, but got my tub full of berries!
Hot and sweaty, but got my tub full of berries!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

How many of you go berry picking?

On another note, my blueberries n’ cream scramble was featured on Mark’s Daily Apple for Weekend Link Love! I’m so flattered and actually, this is my second recipe to be featured! Mark Sisson is seriously one of my heroes, so it’s a real pleasure and I’m honored.

A Weekend of Local Delights

This past weekend was absolutely stellar, especially Saturday. First off, Jesse and I slept in until about 8 a.m. and then headed to Besaws for breakfast. Let me just say that I adore going out for breakfast, but sadly, it’s something we rarely do. We truthfully couldn’t even remember the last time we went out to breakfast together. Needless to say, it’s a real treat for both of us and it was so nice to spend our Saturday morning together (usually I’m at yoga and sometimes Jesse is teaching).

We made a point to get to Besaws early and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait longer than 10 minutes to get a table, but the place was already packed and it was only 9 a.m. Besaws is always hopping and there’s always a wait on the weekends. It’s well worth waiting for though. The food and quality is fantastic.

I had a pot of jasmine green tea, two eggs over easy, seasonal vegetables and honey-cured bacon. I also shared some fresh seasonal fruit with Jesse. Everything was perfect — the food, Jesse’s company, our conversation, the sun shining in through the window next to us — it all made me so cheerful.

Breakfast at Besaws
Seasonal vegetables, honey-cured bacon and two over easy eggs.
Jasmine green tea
Jasmine green tea.
Fresh fruit
Fresh seasonal fruit.

After finishing, we went for a walk through the neighborhood to kill some time until our next stop, or I should say my next stop. I popped in at Recreate Fitness to speak with the owners about some details. I love that place and the people — both teachers and students alike — and was elated the other day when I got an email from them asking if I wanted to join the Recreate team as a fitness coach. I think you know what my answer was. I am beyond excited!

From here, Jesse and I zipped up to Sauvie Island to pick blueberries at one of the farms there. The weather was so perfect for it — sunny and warm, but not too hot. We enjoyed each other’s company while picking berries and tossed around  some great ideas regarding fitness, health, etc. while harvesting. It was a good time. Plus, we left with 17.5 pounds of fresh, local blueberries! Our freezer is stocked and there’s a big, ol’ bowl in the fridge to snack on.

Welcome to the Sauvie Island Blueberry Farm
Welcome to the Sauvie Island Blueberry Farm.
Jesse working hard harvesting blueberries
Jesse working hard harvesting blueberries.
Beautiful blueberry bounty
Beautiful blueberry bounty.
Jesse and I filled two of these tubs
Jesse and I filled two of these tubs.

On Sunday, I remembered to go back to the farmer’s market and picked up some grass-fed stew meat, grass-fed ground beef, and one dozen duck eggs. I was stoked about the duck eggs for two reasons. First, I’ve never had duck eggs and am excited to try them out and second, I got the eggs for half off! Normally, it’s $8 for a dozen duck eggs, but I paid $4! The farmer said her ducks are popping out eggs like crazy and she can’t sell them fast enough. I was happy to help her out and excited to try something new. The eggs are HUGE … probably about the size of jumbo chicken eggs. I can’t wait to fry some up for breakfast with some sausage and avocado. I’ll keep you posted about how they taste.

Duck eggs
HUGE duck eggs from the farmer’s market.

What’d you do this weekend? I’d love to hear about it!