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How to create a mini-garden

May 30, 2013 --


by Shannon Ables
Portland writer
The Simply Luxurious Life.

Almost as much as I love organizing and building my wardrobe, I love the arrival of spring as it means I get to shop for my yard and garden. And the good news is that it is far less draining on my budget.

Cooking for me is very pleasurable and often therapeutic. And in an effort to try to cook food that is in season for more flavor and better prices, I try to grow what I can in my herb and vegetable garden. And while everything I plant doesn’t always grow as I had hoped, when they do, I can’t help but do a mini happy dance in my kitchen.

Whether you live in a small studio in the city or a sprawling country estate, creating a mini garden that is easy to access while you are in the kitchen creating your culinary works of art is a simple and relatively affordable idea.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Parenting lessons I learned from Basketball & movies

May 29, 2013 --

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by Crystal Kupper,
Crystal’s Cliffnotes
Salem Writer


“That singer’s full of crap,” Nick mumbled. He yawned, head-butting his pillow into the perfect resting place, trying to steal one more minute’s rest.

I rolled over, carefully switching Avinly from one side to the other. At 7:30 in the morning after a night of feedings, my brain was in no state to solve the easiest of puzzles. Down the hall, I could hear the dog whining for his breakfast, the cat meowing to be let out and the boys fighting over a toy. All loudly. We had exactly 90 minutes before we had to have 3 small children and ourselves fed, dressed and in the van for church.

“What singer?” I asked.

Read the full article and discuss it »

My challenge to money man Dave Ramsey

May 28, 2013 --

yard sale


by Jamie Brazil, Portland
Her blog
Author of Prince Charming, Inc.

I’ve shopped and loved garage sale for decades now.  I’m a self-styled expert in the new-to-me treasure hunt. And I also know there are there are three types of sales to avoid at all cost… plus, I’ve got a beef with author and radio show host Dave Ramsey, who, in my opinion, is not doing his fans any favors when it comes to selling their stuff.

The three types of yard sales to avoid:

The first is the dead person sale.  Meaning the body of the deceased has been in the house a long, long time before it was removed.  Last June I happened upon one of these sales. A gal I know was there first… and went in.  She exited with a plastic Fred Meyer bag full of jewelry – much of it gold – for a couple Andrew Jackson’s.  Her face was flush with excitement.  Mine was barely holding back a gag reflex as corpse-stench stench wafted out the front door.  I have my limits.  Even for a bag of gold I wouldn’t cross that threshold. (Would you?)

Read the full article and discuss it »

My addiction confessed

May 24, 2013 --

 

Dori Clark
Oregon writer
Roses and Thorns Blog

I’ve found that people with addictions do better overcoming them with a support group to hold them accountable.  I recently discovered that I have an addiction, and so I’m openly confessing to it in this forum with the hope that you will take on the responsibility of helping me conquer it.   Confessing weakness is difficult, but I must.

 

I am addicted to annual bedding plants.

 

I discovered this last week on a warm sunny day when I returned home from a recent shopping trip.  I’d stopped at my favorite garden store just to look and see what they had in.  I picked up a plant, then another and soon carried plant after plant, flat after flat up to the owner/cashier, who watched with a wicked smile at my growing collection.  His helper carried them all out to my car and put them in as, in a dazed condition I paid for them and drove home.  Getting out of the car I opened the back.  My Honda Pilot, all seats folded down was overflowing front to back with colorful blooms.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Teacher gift ideas

May 23, 2013 --

Fiona Brown
Oregon Blog
Earth Monkey Moms

Once upon a time there was a lady whose parents loved her very much. Christmastime was just around the corner when the parents said to the lady, ‘What would you like for Christmas? Make a list for us’. Being the good and dutiful daughter that she was, the lady made a list and sent it off to her parents. Christmastime arrived and parcels galore were delivered to the lady’s house. What was it the parental units had chosen for the lady? Was it be to the new cookie sheets upon which she could bake tasty treats for her family? Was it to be ‘The Pioneer Woman’s’ latest cookbook? Or another choice from the varied list of thoughtful and practical gifts, given to her parents (with direct links to the amazon pages)?

The time came to open the lady’s Christmas box.

In it was a most unexpected gift.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Support local author. Free download of her hit book today only!

May 22, 2013 --

chockingonacamel

Oregon author Michal Ann McArthur has had big success with new book Choking on a Camel.  The Kindle version went up for free Monday (May 20). By Tuesday, it had hit #1 in literary fiction, #1 in Christian fiction, and #1 in Christian books. Yowzer!

The book is still free today, but this is the last day. If you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the book to your computer using Kindle’s free app.

Download your free copy here.

 

Read the full article and discuss it »

Reunion with returning soldier — A mother’s prayer revisted

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Thanksgiving Reunion with returning Afghanistan—A Mother’s Prayer Revisited
Olivia C. Rossi, RN, MSN, ACSM
Your Personal Trainer

Previously I told you about my son’s friend who was injured in Afghanistan. His name is Chris. It happened in August. A rocket hit his bunker and he was bombarded by shrapnel. Hee came home to Oregon for Thanksgiving, a mother’s prayer answered, a family’s hopes fulfilled. We were invited to dinner on Saturday. Our son was here visiting, too, another mother’s prayer, another prayer of thanks.

As we knocked on the door, we were filled with anticipation, not knowing what to expect. We weren’t sure if we should hug him—we didn’t want to hurt him! Then the door opened and there was Chris, smiling and, yes, he hugged us, carefully and oh, so wonderfully! This tall, strapping, left-handed soldier, his left shoulder torn and shattered, imbedded with pieces of shrapnel, had a spirit that buoyed us all—his smile, his eyes, his joy at being home with his family and friends.

Read the full article and discuss it »

10 reasons this Portland newbie loves this town

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by Shannon Ables
Portland writer
The Simply Luxurious Life.

Portland, Oregon, can be described in a handful of ways depending upon your predilections for weather, ideology and geographic inclination. As someone who has lived in Portland before and visited it regularly throughout my life, I have come to appreciate it as one might appreciate any place: with an understanding that no place is a utopia, but depending upon what you enjoy, value and need to thrive, it has the potential to be the perfect utopia for certain people.

 

Portland is such a place for me.

 

As I have begun to settle into my flat in the Pearl District – a district that is revived, European-esque with its focus on walk ability and bike-friendly streets, eco-friendly urban spaces and very much a dog owner’s sanctuary – I would like to show you where my first few weeks have taken me and what I have discovered.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Honor Memorial Day today with local author’s free ebook on vets

May 21, 2013 --

luv-vets
Welby O’Brien, Oregon writer
Love our vets blog

LOVE OUR VETS: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD by Welby O’Brien will be FREE ($0.00!) (normally $9.99) for 2 days: Tuesday May 21 and Wednesday May 22 on Amazon in the Kindle version. To everyone!

Please spread the word! It can also be given as a gift. Still free. (May 21-22 only).

Here is the link to LOVE OUR VETS on Amazon Kindle:

Read the full article and discuss it »

Avoid interior design on an impulse

May 20, 2013 --

Avoid Design on an Impluse
by Julie Nolta
Julie Nolta Design

Ever gone to the grocery store without a shopping list when you’re REALLY hungry, and you end up buying stuff that you don’t need just because it looked good at the time?

Well, the same thing can happen when you’re shopping for a room makeover or remodel without a design plan in mind. So before you bring home the next darling accessory that doesn’t go with ANYTHING else you own, take a little time to evaluate your room.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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