The Alchemist Book Review

Although it was first published in 1988 and has become one of the best-selling novels of all time, I only recently learned of The Alchemist, written by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. This 174-page allegorical story of an Andalusian shepherd, who follows a dream in search of a treasure, can be read in just a few hours ....more

Portland’s 4T Trail

For my birthday this year, my husband vowed to take a day off from writing and go with me on an adventure of my choosing. Since nice weather was in the forecast after a long rainy spell, I opted to do Portland’s 4T Trail, aptly named because it uses 4 modes of transportation (trail, tram, trolley and train) to explore the southwest quadrant of Portland ....more

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper Book Review

Recently I joined a book club that focuses on food-related books. For my first meeting I read Fuchsia Dunlop’s 2008 memoir Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China ....more

People Before Profit Book Review

When I visited Bob’s Red Mill World Headquarters a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of the book People Before Profit: The Inspiring Story of the Founder of Bob’s Red Mill ....more

Summer Reading

When I was a kid, my parents would sign my sister and I up for summer reading at our local public library each year. It is one of those few childhood memories that I still have, and my participation perhaps instilled in me a life-long love of books ....more

Spar for the Spurtle 3 + A Giveaway

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember that last year I entered a recipe in Bob’s Red Mill’s annual Spar for the Spurtle United States Porridge Making Championship. I love a good competition and the grand prize for this Olympics of Oatmeal is high: $2,500 in cash plus an all-expense paid trip for two to the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland.   ...more

A Visit to Bob’s Red Mill

Last month I entered a Pinterest contest to promote the new Gluten Free Muesli from Bob’s Red Mill. I was one of the lucky winners, and for my prize I received a case of their Gluten Free Muesli, a fancy Le Creuset cereal bowl and a $50 gift card for their Whole Grains Store ....more

Hippie Chick Half Marathon

Back in December, I signed up for the Hippie Chick Half Marathon organized by the local race company Run with Paula Events. There were many factors that made this race appealing to me. For starters, I am a slow runner (who likes to take frequent walking breaks) and the race had a 4 hour time limit, catering to runners and walkers of all abilities ....more

Glaciers Book Review, World Book Night 2013 + A Giveaway

Last year, while still living in Las Vegas I participated in the inaugural World Book Night. The mission of World Book Night is “spreading the love of reading, person to person.”  This event takes place on April 23rd — the anniversary of both the birth and death of Shakespeare. This year, an estimated 25,000 volunteers will freely give a half-million paperback books to light and non-readers in their communities ....more

Muesli, Chocolate Chip + Applesauce Cookies

Since I am training for a new part-time job this coming week, and I need to get used to bringing a lunch to work again, I thought it would be advantageous to whip up a few quick recipes on Sunday afternoon that could last me an entire week. On Friday, I impulsively bought an entire carrot cake, thinking I could get 8 breakfasts out of it (hey, it’s high in Vitamin A), so I needed to come up with a fairly ...more