Tag Archives: Portland

Project Earth Day Ivy Pull in Washington Park

I’m a tree hugger!

Seriously, since my childhood camping in the woods on a regular basis with  my family, I’ve developed a deep and abiding love of trees and nature. So naturally when I saw that Kalso Earth Shoes was awarding community service project scholarships for Earth Day, I wanted to apply and do something great for trees.

Several of my coworkers at Oregon Zoo are raising awareness and funds for Acres for the Atmosphere, which has the goal of planting more trees to combat climate change. Climate change, of course, being the biggest threat to polar bears.

Photo courtesy City of Portland, No Ivy League. The No Ivy League hosts ivy removal projects on the first and third Saturdays of every month. Take the kids!

But instead of planting more trees, I’ve decided to rally around the removal of ivy. I love planting trees – it provides instant gratification! In fact, I’ve been a crew leader, volunteer and board member for Friends of Trees.

But so many of our existing, big giant trees in Portland are being suffocated by invasive English ivy. Ivy in Oregon is devastating and inexorable. Pulling ivy is hard work. Which is why we need to draw more attention to it, and rally people to fight for our urban forests!

So here’s my plan:

WHAT • Ivy removal in Washington Park: “girdle” as many trees as possible!

WHEN • Wednesday, April 18, 3 – 5 p.m.  (I chose this time because most zoo keepers get off work at 3:30, plus kids are out of school. Also, who doesn’t want a good excuse to get out of work early – for those that work until 5?)

WHO • Specific target will be all the staff of the attractions around Washington Park (Oregon Zoo, Children’s Museum, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Garden, International Rose Test Gardens, City of Portland). Anyone else who can take an hour to come help, plus my kids, your kids, their kids!

HOW • Gather equipment in a central location. Keep a trainer to orient people as they drop in to give instruction and send them to work sites.

COMMUNICATION • insert into employee newsletters of above institutions, targeted online advertising, and earned media via press release to local papers, television and radio stations. Email to neighborhood associations surrounding Washington Park to invite neighbors to join.

AFTER PARTY, 5 – 7 p.m. • Approach local restaurant (Sylvan Steakhouse!) to co-host an after party to celebrate our success – which should help encourage more volunteers!


I really believe that most people want to do good for our community, but often we don’t know where to start, or our good intentions just turn into delayed action until nothing happens. By providing this Earth Day opportunity, Kalso Earth Shoes and I will give people a fun and direct way to help wildlife habitats, and the planet itself! I know I am looking forward to pulling some ivy with my family!


Thanks to Leah Segedie and Mamavation for making me aware of this opportunity!


Filed under Nature, Oregon

Amenity Shoes: Perfect #MomStyle?

My early morning runs often take me my Amenity Shoes on NE 41st just off Fremont in Portland, Oregon. My girlfriends and I often stop to gawk at the shoes and boots in the windows, but I’ve never actually gone in the store. Between work and kids and everything, I just don’t get out shopping very much! Plus I’m frugal as all get out, so that doesn’t help.

But today I saw such adorable shoes that are just what I’ve been looking for, so I just have to go check them out! For years, I’ve been looking for “in between” shoes. Shoes to wear to the farmers’ market, to the library with the kiddles, on weekends, on a casual date night… More stylish than sneakers or sandals, not as fussy as work shoes. I call this limbo place “MomStyle,” and I apply it to all areas of fashion and beauty. But clothes and beauty products haven’t been as hard for me to nail down that limbo area as shoes have been. I have yet to find my perfect MomStyle shoes.

Until today! I think Amenity Shoes has stocked a slew of perfection just waiting for me and all the other stylish moms in Portland.

I took a few pictures from the window so you can see what caught my eye from the sidewalk!

These red shoes caught my eye from the sidewalk. I need every pair in this window, I'm telling you!

I love that these shoes are fun and interesting, have a bit of a heel, but nothing precarious. Perfect MomStyle! I would wear any of these with neutrals, jeans, a dress & tights, even to work.  I’m in love!

These will all be fabulous when the rain stops... You have got to love a wedge for carrying you all over town being super mom!

I’m making a strong effort to actually go inside the store soon. I’ll report back on what I find!

Yours in {mom}style,


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Filed under Fashion

Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians

Read more: Here it is: Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians.

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Filed under Oregon

My Friend is Cool

I was sitting at West Cafe having lunch with my dear friend April Severson, when who should pop by but former Governor Neil Goldschmidt?

He informed us that “someone” had recently asked him who his list of top 10 Oregonians would be. I can’t imagine who would have asked him this, but in any case, he said he hadn’t finalized his list, but he had the first 5. So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s Top 5 Oregonians (in the order he listed them, he said I could quote him on this)
1. Phil Knight
2. Dan Wieden
3. Thomas Lauderdale
4. April Severson
5. Arlene Schnitzer

So there you have it – I already knew that April is mighty special, but it’s always nice to hear it from unsolicited outside sources.
“They broke the mold after making this one,” he said.
I couldn’t agree more!

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Filed under Oregon

Christmas Ships #inPDX

One of our Advent Calendar family activities was to watch to the “Christmas Ships” on the Willamette River. I have very few free evenings this time of year – between ZooLights and Brian’s pool night, and holiday parties and school meetings – so I was glad that my one free night last week coincided with the ships parading near us. Here’s what the website says:

Tuesday, Dec. 13th – OMSI to Fremont Bridge
At 7:00PM, the Willamette Fleet assembles in front of Riverplace Marina, (1750 SW Harbor Way, Portland). The parade will begin across the river in front of OMSI and travel downriver to area of the Fremont Bridge  The fleet will go under the bridge and then turns to return to Riverplace Marina. The fleet will be out for about two hours. Restaurant and hotel links, outdoor viewing location and further details

Eric loved that these boats were decorated as a fire truck and an airplane

We bundled up in coats, scarves, hats & mittens, with my favorite little cashmere hand warmers from Restoration Hardware. We raced to get near the start of the parade by 7 pm, not wanting to miss it. We parked ourselves on the beach under the Hawthorne Bridge, where Brian and I used to go to watch fireworks. It’s nice to be so close to the water, and not many people go down there. Anna was terribly worried that perhaps we weren’t supposed to be there, actually refusing to come with us at first. But Brian explained, “This is our city, and we are allowed to be here in our city.” That finally convinced her. I’m so glad she’s so concerned about doing the right thing!

The colorfully lit & decorated ships circled in front of us (okay, technically in front of Riverplace Marina) for a good 40 minutes. The kids enjoyed talking about the lights on each one. We were wondering why it took so long to get started with the actual “parade,” but once it finally started, it was kind of anticlimactic. The circling & assembling brought the boats fairly close to us on the east side of the river, but once they started their promenade, they were close to the west shore, and very small to us!

Santa's sleigh. Sorry so fuzzy from my phone!

Next time, we’ll just count on watching the assembling & circling. If we want to watch the parade part, we’ll find a spot at Waterfront Park on the west side of the river to hunker down. I think we’ll bring hot chocolate in a thermos, as well, along with the real camera! My phone takes some great photos, but it wasn’t quite up to this challenge.

Both the Willamette and Columbia River fleets parade together each night starting the weekend of the 17th, so it should be much more spectacular with more boats. Here’s the rest of the schedule, below, and details here:

Wednesday, Dec. 14th – Riverplace Marina to Milwaukie Boat Ramp • 7 pm

Thursday, Dec. 15th – OMSI to Fremont Bridge • 7 pm

Friday, Dec. 16th – Riverplace Marina to Milwaukie Boat Ramp • 7 pm (loops by Oaks Park)

Saturday, Dec. 17th – Riverplace Marina to Lake Oswego • 5 pm

Sunday, Dec. 18th –  Riverplace Marina to St John’s area, continuing on to Columbia River • 5 pm

Monday, Dec. 19th – James M Gleason Boat Ramp, WA Shores, Wintler Park, I-5 Bridge (Columbia) • 7 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 20th – I-5 Bridge/Hayden Bay (Columbia) • 7 pm
Happy holidays,

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Filed under Family

Bad Dick!

We call our next door neighbor Richard Cranium because we don’t want the kids to pick up on “Dick Head.”

I gave up on killing him with kindness about 5 years ago. When I moved in with Brian, I said, “I’m going to make that guy be friendly with us!” I had heard horror stories over the years about how awful this guy was.

10 years later, 4 failed attempts at mediation (he refuses), a police report we filed for harassment & trespassing.

We called the police several years ago because he had dumped a bunch of hedge clippings in our yard. Brian went over and told him to clean it up, to which Richard Cranium replied, “Fuck off!”

We called Resolutions Northwest to seek mediation, and every time we saw him outside, we’d ask him when he was going to come clean up his mess. Finally, after nearly a month, I got so fed up with the mess that I cleaned up the clippings and dumped them on his grass. We came home later that day and he had neatly piled all the yard debris back in our yard, in the middle of our path, about 8′ in from the sidewalk. I called the Police non-emergency line (503-823-3333 in Portland, btw) and asked, “At what point is this harassment and trespassing?” To which the operator replied, “Right about now. We’ll send an officer over.”

The police officer warned him about trespassing, and actually made him clean up the yard debris:

Cleaning up his mess under police supervision, circa 2008

Every time he attacks us, it ends up biting him in the ass. Seriously, when he complained to the city about our retaining wall, nearly every other neighbor on the block had to replace their sidewalks, including him. Once he sent a threatening letter (on his law firm letterhead, trying to be extra-intimidating!) about how he would remove our retaining wall because it was 5″ over the property line. He implied that a survey had been taken, so we demanded to see the survey. A few days later, a survey crew was out there, and it turns out his fence was actually over the property line on OUR side!

So why does he keep coming after us when it always turns out badly for him? Definition of insanity?

He’s definitely escalating lately. Last week he was raking his leaves into the street in front of our house when I arrived home. I was staring at him, trying to decide if it was worth confronting him, when he called me a bitch! Right there in front of my children! We called the police, but they said it was free speech. Seriously, in front of my children? So Brian told him to stop trying to bully us, and we called Resolutions Northwest again.

Today is leaf removal day, when the city sweeps the streets. We parked our cars directly in front of our house, because we were worried that he’d park his car in front of our house, preventing our leaves from being removed. Instead, he used his leaf blower to blow the leaves out of his yard into ours:

He blew them out from under his boxwood bushes, after Brian spent most of the afternoon yesterday clearing all the leaves out of our yard.

Brian went out and confronted him:

BRIAN: “Hey, why are blowing your leaves in my yard?”

RICHARD CRANIUM: “Hey Dumb Shit, how’s it hanging?”

B: “Stop blowing your leaves in my yard.”

RC: “Why don’t you blow me?”

B: “I think you’d like that.”

RC: “Maybe I would, why don’t come try it?”

B: “Why don’t you just stop trying to be a bully?”

RC: “Well you’re a dumbshit.”

B: “Maybe I am. But you’re a bully. So stop it.”

We both agreed that confrontation got weird in a hurry. How’s it hanging? Come blow me?

Brian came in, and we decided to call the police non-emergency line again. We are concerned that he seems to be escalating, and clearly attempting to provoke a physical confrontation.

RC looked up and saw me on the phone, so he cleared up most of the leaves from the sidewalk and quickly sped away in his car.

He left just enough to be annoying. Jackass. Of course all the leaves he blew in the yard are still there.

The police offered to send an officer over to talk with us, but we decided to just try mediation again. I don’t know why I worry about seeming like I’m over-reacting. It just seems to petty to call the cops over a leaf incident. But this isn’t just about the leaves. This is about RC’s ongoing harassment of us. His attempts at intimidation.

But other than yelling at him, calling the cops and seeking mediation, there’s not a whole lot we can do. He WANTS Brian to attack him physically. He’s purposefully trying to bully us and provoke a physical confrontation, and we won’t give him the pleasure. He always tries to intimidate me, saying, “I’m a lawyer, and I can destroy you.” Well we’re not lawyers, but we’re not stupid either. So we document. And we try for mediation. And we hope this all goes away soon.


Filed under Home

You can be a VIP at Dosha!

Dosha Salon Spa is hosting a series of VIP parties at their various locations. I stole away from work for an hour today to visit the NW Portland store because I love me some Aveda products and Dosha always treats their clients well. I’m a fan of the facials and pedicures!

If you’re in the Portland area, you should try to hit up one of the upcoming parties. Here are my highlights, and the schedule of upcoming parties is at the end:

In addition to snacks & wine, they offered special attention in the form of hand massages and make-up touch-ups.

Me getting a little makeover from Dana, manager of the Clackamas store

Dana used these Smashbox & Aveda colors on me, going for a "dewy" effect which I likey.

The finished product!

The really great thing, though, is your chance to pick up a VIP card. The card entitles you to 10% off just about everything all year.

The advantage of getting your card at one of these parties is the 10% can also be applied to the already discounted holiday packages – not normally eligible for the VIP discount!

Smashbox pre-packaged eyeliner and lipgloss gift sets. Separately sold for $96, only $22 and $30, respectively. At the VIP party, you get an additional 10% off. Great gifts, or break apart the packs to make stocking stuffers!

The ever popular hand & foot relief gift set, discounted only at the VIP parties.

You can RSVP to the parties on Dosha’s Facebook page.


Filed under Beauty, Fashion