Category Archives: Random Thoughts

20Twenty-1One-4Four Review

So it’s been a while. Remember what I said about the theme of 2014?

20Twenty-1One-4Four: The Year of More

Meme - Star Trek

Well, we *definitely* did that… and since I shared none of it here, let me just include a brief year in review so that we can jump, jump, jump ahead!

Healthy Schmealthy Stuff

Walking, yoga, so many park strolls with my slave-driver, Fitbit. Suffice it to say, it was a good year of crunchy granola Portland goodness and awesome little yoga studios on Stark & 28th Avenue!

Big Girl Job Stuff [aka, Work]

Well, they say that opportunity comes knocking when you are least expecting it… and it certainly does! After a crazy busy 2013 and a decision to settle into a more calm 2014 professionally, I ended up accepting a new position as Development Director for Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest! They really couldn’t be a better organization, so I am thrilled to be helping them to realize their potential!

New Journeys, New Streets, New Doors

Did we do stuff in 2014?? I’m sure we did… it’s kinda a blur… here’s a recap of some highlights:

  • Favorite Coffee Shop – See See Motorcycles! Stumptown for me, bikes and gear for the hubby… does it get any better? Oh yes, it does, they have sausage breakfast sandwiches!!
  • Favorite Urban Getaway – Lan Su Chinese Gardens! Tucked away behind four walls in Portland’s somewhat dingy Chinatown, Lan Su is an urban escape of beautiful proportions.
  • Favorite Actual GetawayHaceta Head Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast! The closest you can get to staying in an actual lighthouse on the west coast… the views of the iconic light through your bedroom window is haunting and unforgettable!
  • Favorite New RestaurantTrifecta Tavern & Bakery! From the glutteny-goodness of Ken Forkish, Trifecta is equal parts bread, smokey cocktails, and seasonal small plates. Disclaimer: the hubby happens to work there, so you know, we’re regulars!
  • Favorite Hidden GemC.C. Stern Type Foundry! This little industrial hideaway is a step back in time with first-hand knowledge of an incredible profession. Smelling of lingering metal and quality paper, this is a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
  • Favorite Portland PastimeRose City Rollers! These ladies are about as badass as they come, with such creative names that my marketing director in me wants to steal all the idea.

No matter how quickly this year flew by, Portland was, as it always is, a pleasure to enjoy! Don’t go so fast Portland, let’s stop to enjoy the flowers soon, hey?

PIC - Portland

And Did We Mention…

2014 brought big news in the form of a very small beginning:

PIC - Baby

“Even the Baby is Homemade!”

Thus, ever in pursuit of that balance that we all talk about, we can’t really hope for anything more wonderful in 2015 other than health, happiness, and so much time with our newest little family member. Thus, this New Year, with all of its new changes and chaos, will be aptly named:

20Twenty-1One-5Five: Stayin’ Alive, Stayin’ Alive!

Oh, and once again, I really would love to blog some more.

And on that note, I will end with something of a new mantra for myself…

In the Words of the young Erin Hanson:
| what if i fall? | oh, but darling, | what if you fly? |


Say It Ain’t So.


It’s the post-holiday travel rush and we are arriving back to Portland. I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news: at least one coffee shop is still open at 11:00pm. The bad news: I’ve heard some awful news:

There is a terrible rumor going around that Portland International Airport will be replacing its iconic, and oh-so-retro carpeting in the near future. But it can’t be so! This carpet means “home” to returning Portlanders, so much so, in fact, that there is an entire KATU Article dedicated to the topic, and a huge following on the Carpet at Portland Airport’s Facebook Page. I’ve done the signature feet & PDX carpet photo myself – I have small feet – see above. And yet, this may be the last one I get to take…

Since the rumor remains… and may be less than a rumor at this point… I am considering investing in some trademark PDX Carpet Socks, or better yet, a T-Shirt, that will only be well understood by those that hold a special place for this quirky, foot-bearing, ultra large size “Welcome Home” mat that greets us on every return. But seriously Portland: say it ain’t so.

20Twenty-1One-3Three Update

Alright, alright, alright, my planned “quarterly” reports are more like a bi-annual report – as in, I did one update and here’s the second. But hey, we had a lot planned for this year and holy hell if we didn’t do a TON of it, as well as some extras. So here’s my update on the epically named…

20Twenty-1One-3Three: The Year of Me

FRAME - 2013 1 (1)

Healthy Schmealthy Stuff

Just as the first trip to Africa was pretty good for our figures, the second return trip to Africa was not bad. But once again, the return to the land of American-Burgers-and-Mexican-Food-Carts was not… but not all is lost (or gained).

Weight Watchers – 17.8 lbs. lost

I would have *loved* to lose about 30 lbs. this year, but I know, it’s not a diet afterall. My slightly more realistic goal was 20 lbs, so overall, not so bad I suppose!

2014 Goal – the remaining 2.2 lbs + 15 more! Eeek!

Yoga – not *nearly* enough hours logged…

While I’m still a true fan of All In Yoga – especially since I turned off the guy’s voice and changed the practice to Sanskrit audio – I have been more of a “fair weather fan”, of sorts. Simply put, when schedules got busy (and you’ll TOTALLY see whey I got so busy if you continue to the professional part below…), I was less likely to pull out the yoga mat. Side note: the new kittens love our yoga mats as scratching posts, so at least its getting some use!

2014 Goal – at least 2 practices a week + 1-2 monthly drop-in classes

Walking – I kinda forgot to track this one… fail.

The utterly Free Pedometer app certainly is handy… if you remember to turn it on.

2014 Goal – meh, don’t worry about it!

Quit Smoking – $743.68 saved

As Quit It keenly points out, it’s been exactly 1 year, 4 days since I quit – woot woot! To be perfectly honest, I haven’t noticed a huge improvement in my health – though it certainly did make the Weight Watchers lack-of-snacking factor a bit more difficult… ugh – but I am pretty impressed by how much money I’ve saved. Any motivator is a good one in my opinion!

2014 Goal – easy enough: don’t start. Shouldn’t be a problem this time around! 🙂

FRAME - 2013 1

Big Girl Job Stuff [aka, Professional Development]

Holy moly on a honkin’ stick! I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into when it came to all the geekdom of my professional development obsession. In addition to some *very* exciting work-related news (coming soon… I promise!), 2013 has been a year filled with far more professional successes than I ever could have imagine!

WVDO – 2013 Starbright Crystal Award Winner & 2014 Winter Conference Speaker

Willamette Valley Development Officers has become a “home base” for me since moving to Portland – with an incredibly selection of development options & some truly great mentors to guide the way. My goal for 2013 was to become more involved in this great organization and I ended up being nominated for the Starbright Crystal Award, as well as being selected to present our RFP on Multi-Generational Marketing at the 2014 Winter Development Conference. In fact, my obsession with mutli-generational marketing, with an emphasis on Millenials and giving, has sparked an interest in the community and we (myself and a fellow YNPN Portlander) are taking our passion to other audiences at universities and other professional groups. #sototallyexciting

2014 Goal – nominate a fellow Starbright, nail this presentation, take our show on the road!

AFP & CFRE – 2013 CFRE Applicant & 2014 CFRE Co-Chair

I lovingly refer to the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the “big boys” of fundraising. And the Certified Fund Raising Executive is kinda the “big boy” certification that makes you legit. This year, I joined AFP, signed up for the CFRE Review, applies (and was accepted to test!!), but did not pass my first exam. Nevertheless, the fearless leaders of AFP felt that I had something to bring to the study table and made me Co-Chair of the 2014 CFRE Committee… kinda frightening… but at least it means lots of free study buddies!

2014 Goal – pass that *$#^%#*&$ test 🙂

PDX Development Roundtable – Going Strong

While I wasn’t quite sure how I was suppose to facilitate this group in 2013, it was a beautifully organic and only semi-chaotic experience that we have all decided to continue in 2014 – so it couldn’t have gone too terribly! Ha! We are working towards determining our focus and building more advocacy events for cross-sector awareness – you know, all the good stuff of overly-busy do gooders!

2014 Goal – organize, organize & specialize!

YNPN Portland – Done. Done. And Continuing!!

This one was probably the most work for 2013 – but oh so worth it! I asked at the start of the year: how is there not a Young Nonprofit Professional Network branch in Portland? Well, now there is a YNPN Portland. Bam! As the Membership & Marketing Chair on the board, I am the devoted & lovingly addicted contributor to our YNPN Portland website, Monthly eNews, Social Media Platforms, and ever-flashy Networking Cards. I have been surrounded by a most talented team of like-minded and equally hard working nonprofit folks and, therefore, made some truly amazing friends along the way. I am so proud of all the time, effort, and skills of our YNPN Portland crew and – long weekends and late nights aside – I am looking forward to an incredible second year!

2014 Goal – find that balance between midnight drafting & ultimate all-volunteer excellence

FRAME - 2013 2

New Journeys, New Streets, New Doors

Needless to say, we kept ourselves a bit busy this year. Nevertheless, we found time to fit in some new discoveries that are certainly worth a mention!

PDX Discoveries – a dozen or so down, roughly 6,429,751 to go…

You know that iNote I allude to with all those totally awesome must-do’s? Well here’s some of the ones that we made it to this year:

  • Oregon Coast Lighthouses – daytrips via Harley & foggy car rides, and we got to see quite a few, including Yaquina Lighthouse in Newport, OR
  • Ground Kontrol – the adult’s gaming-meets-beers destination!
  • Karaoke – okay, I didn’t really have this one on the to do list, but it happened anyways, and most commonly at Alibi Tiki Lounge. Typical.
  • Milwaukie, OR – okay, I *really* didn’t intend to visit this one, but it happened by chance due to a professional development thing… did you know that two guys that carried fruit in a wagon founded this town?!? Crazy!
  • B Movie Bingo & Hecklefest – both essential must’s for any Portlander (according to me) and both hosted at the oh-so-cool-and-nonprofit Hollywood Theater – There’s texting, and yelling, and judging, and bad minivan posters… I can’t explain, just go.
  • Portland Burger Week – nom nom nom. This year we tried three, next year we shall try them all!
  • Desserts – not that we needed more points to add to the last one, but this one is *always* on my list! We spanned the Passionfruit elegance of Papa Haydn’s to the totally quirky ice cream sundaes of Rimsky-Korsakoffee… mmmmmmm, sugar coma.
  • Salem, OR – it’s the capitol! And that’s basically it… but pretty nonetheless!
  • Peculiarium – this one just seems appropriate to end with: there’s bugs and lazy ramen and mass-homicide doll houses and a huge big foot. Keep. Portland. Weird.

And I should probably note that most of these certainly deserve their own posts… so that might happen. In 2014. Eventually. I [kinda] promise.

And Did We Mention…

I can’t end this Year in Review without mentioning some of the other “new journeys” that we took this year, namely – a trip to North Africa & The Kittens! Utterly different in the joy that they brought us, they both earned one (or more) of their own blog entries this year and have helped to make 2013 a truly unforgettable year!

So it may go without saying that our primary resolution for 2014 is to just keep it going! This year may have been a whirlwind with not quite enough downtime, but the rewards have been incredible. So with a splash of continued motivation, a couple dashes of new interests, and a healthy heaping cup (or two) of balance, and we’ve aptly dubbed the New Year:

20Twenty-1One-4Four: Let’s Do Some More

Oh, and I should really blog some more.

And on that note, I will end this update with some very simple wisdom…

In the Words of Lynyrd Skynyrd:
| bring it on | uhh huh, that’s right | bring it on |

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