Archive for the Fun Things to Do Category

Smith Rock State Park

Aug 19th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Nature, Fun Things to Do | no comment »

We took a small detour on our road trip to Bend this year and stopped to hike at Smith Rock State Park. What an amazingly, beautiful piece of nature.

Years ago we took an easy, flat hike along the bottom of the canyon, but somehow Brian convinced us to head up Misery Ridge for the grand tour of Smith Rock. Geez, that’s a brutal climb. I mean, who voluntarily climbs “Misery” Ridge. But, after some minor cursing and huffing and puffing, we were rewarded with gorgeous views. And seeing the crazy climbers from the top was priceless.

The hike took us about 3 hours with 3 kids (ages 13, 11 and 8), 1 mini-Schnauzer, frequent water breaks and some wading in the river. Bring lots of water, a camera and good shoes with traction. The trail is steep and going down takes some skill to keep from slipping. That said, we saw several people running the trail with those slip on glove/shoes. We followed their lead and found that a quick gallop down worked best and was way more fun. We all managed the well, though the Schnauzer kept diving under boulders for shade and was obviously sore the next day 🙂

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Sweetest Thing Cupcakes – Review

Jul 28th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

Oh, baby. The boys and I gave ourselves a summer treat by stopping by Sweetest Thing Cupcakes in Newberg. So, so, so good.

First off, the place is adorable. It’s in an old, craftsman bungalow with a cute porch to sit on and an even cuter room on the inside. It screams for a little girl’s birthday party or an afternoon coffee and treat for the ladies. Way better than finger sandwiches at a tea house for sure.

Right when you walk in, the display case has your eyes popping. It’s full of both the “regulars” and the daily specials. We had cupcake choices like:

Rootbeer Float: Rootbeer cake filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with a rootbeer buttercream r
Fallin to Pieces: Chocolate cake baked with Reese’s Pieces and topped with chocolate buttercream and more Reese’s Pieces.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry: Chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and topped with strawberry buttercream and chocolate covered strawberry.

Fantastic stuff. And, cupcakes are just the right amount of indulgence, don’t you think? Not too big, but satisfying.

Only downside? They are messy! Hard to deal with that tower of buttercream and crumbly cake. Plan to dine in and ask for a plate and fork. Brian shamed us for not bringing him one home, but I honestly didn’t think it would transport well…and it certainly couldn’t take any heat.

– 2501 Portland Rd Ste A, Newberg, OR 97132
– CLOSED Sunday and Monday. Open all other days 10am-7pm
– They do serve some great looking pastries for breakfast
– They have daily gluten free options
– They do parties
– They strive for local, natural ingredients (no hormones, pesticides, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives. RBST free sweet cream, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, Bob’s Red Mill flours and ingredients, evaporated cane juice, Cacao Barry’s chocolate, India Tree’s natural colors and sprinkles and more)

Bonney Meadows – Camping Review

Jul 26th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Nature, Fun Things to Do | 2 comments »

Not everyone can be a slave to the Oregon campground reservation system and plan 9 months ahead. Some of us find a rare, free weekend, and spontaneously decide to head to the hills. We foolishly thought that by leaving on a Thursday evening, we could find a campsite for the weekend on Mt. Hood. But, no. We tried Lost Lake, Trillium Lake , Frog Lake, Joe Graham Horse Camp, Little Crater Lake, and Clackamas Lake. Lost Lake (a no reservations campground with 110 spots) filled up an hour before we got there. In all of the others, we found practically empty campgrounds with reservation tags for the weekend. So frustrating. We found one site at the Horse Camp (definitely a next-to-last resort) but were told to move along, because we didn’t have a horse. Serious? Guess hitching up my Schnauzer doesn’t count.

So, as the sun fades and we get desperate, we decide to brave the rough road to Bonney Meadows Campground. This was not the plan. This is not a road you take a canoe and utility trailer on. 45 very tense minutes later, we arrive to a small, lovely and completely deserted campground!!! Some of the eggs cracked and multiple soda cans exploded on the journey, but we made it and IT WAS WONDERFUL. Total privacy. Real camping, but with the benefit of a vault toilet, toilet paper, fire pits and picnic tables. We only saw a few folks passing through with horses, and one couple stayed a few nights on the other end. Couldn’t even tell you what they looked like. We played in the creek, caught lots of frogs, mountain biked the rough trails, used the slingshots, played drums on tree stumps, let the dog go wherever the heck he wanted to, hiked to the gorgeous Bonney Butte and hiked to another great view point above Boulder Lake. And the wildflowers? So, so, so pretty.

I know we’ll go back again. The kids LOVED it. We will pack a lot lighter next time. That road is wicked rough. No trailer and no canoe…but maybe bikes. We’ll also pack a lot of bug repellant. The high octane stuff. Serious squitos there.

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Clean Water Festival

Apr 28th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - General, Fun Things to Do, Sherwood Schools | no comment »

Yesterday I had the pleasure of chaperoning Joe’s 5th grade class to PCC-Sylvania for the annual Clean Water Festival. The Clean Water Festival is designed for 4th and 5th grade students to learn about water and how it relates to our world. Water experts from Oregon and Washington work with 4th and 5th graders to explore water science and watershed ecology. It was very fun and educational day. We played a salmon migration game, wetland bingo, watched a “green” magic show, learned about the Missoula Flood that created the Willamette Valley and found out how much water we use just by brushing our teeth. It was pretty cool. During lunch, the kids got to be inside a giant bubble. We also played with the worms in a worm bin, saw the bacteria in a drop of unfiltered water and laughed at a giant jar of the objects found in sewer pipes (the guy at the booth said that all sewer guys keep collections…too funny). Of course, all of that was a hit with the kids.

The festival is every year, but there is a limited amount of space. I highly recommend applying to attend if you have a 4th or 5th grader.

Farm to Fork – Review

Apr 26th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Good Eats - Restaurant | no comment »

OK, now this is the way to celebrate a girlfriend’s birthday! We started by going for a late breakfast at Farm to Fork in Dundee. It’s very cute and as Karla would say, it’s very “yum.”  As the name implies, all menus are fresh daily, and ingredients are locally sourced within 200 miles of Dundee. I had the daily special frittata which was awesome. Also on the tables was a fantastic skillet with a mushroom gravy, some to-die-for French toast, some sort of yummy brioche toast with egg and gruyere cheese and, and, and. Nobody tried the trout hash, but I have no doubt that it’s excellent. For six of us, the total bill was $65.  Priced well, fresh and creative. I’ll definitely be taking Brian there soon.

We ladies followed up our late breakfast with some wine tasting in Newberg. We went to the Fox Farms, Hip Chicks and Chehalem tasting rooms. I, being the designated driver and current avoider of yeast, abstained from the tastings, but sniffed some very nice pinot noirs, checked out some excellent art and enjoyed chatting with the girls. Newberg is really blossoming on First Street and we all agreed that we should attend the next First Friday Art Walk and tastings on May 7th from 5pm-9pm. A pre-Mother’s Day night out? We’ve decided Mother’s Day begins on Friday and ends a midnight on Sunday 🙂

Celebrate Arbor Day 2010 – Part 2

Apr 20th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Nature, Fun Things to Do, Quotes, Sherwood Happenings, Yard Happenings | no comment »

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

If you didn’t have an excuse before, then this month’s Earth Day and Arbor Day should get you motivated to plant some trees!

The Stella Olsen tree planting was very fun. Lots of volunteers, doing lots of good work. This was my first time volunteering for a collective tree/shrub planting. It was great fun. Everyone is happy to be there, ready to work and getting some exercise. I will definitely seek out more opportunities to dig in 🙂

If you are looking for some ideas on what to plant and where to buy some trees or shrubs, I have a few suggestions. The Sherwood Rotary tree sale is underway in the Albertson’s parking lot. $10 per bareroot tree.  I bought myself two peach trees to fill out my orchard and one Golden Chain. I’ve always wanted one and they had a great specimen. They also have just about any kind of fruit tree you can imagine, lots of willows, maples, oaks, alders, etc. Just make sure that when  you go that you are ready to plant right away. Bareroot trees dry out very quickly and you really want to get them in the ground before the completely leaf out.  The trees are small, but they’ll grow. I bought some birch 3 years ago and am really happy with their progress. And, hey, I mean $10! Awesome!!

Another good source of trees and bareroot fruit bushes right now is Loens Nursery on Hwy 99. The trees are 40% off. I bought a beautiful Dogwood for just $50…a steal for sure. They have great deals on bareroot grapes, blueberries, currants, raspberries, etc. At the Stella Olsen planting I discovered I had to have some currants. I bought both black and yellow shrubs. Can’t wait to taste them this summer.  They have great flowers and a really interesting smell, too.

Plant a Tree

Apr 14th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do | no comment »

Just a reminder that Friday is the big tree and shrub planting at Stella Olsen Park. You’ll need your gloves, some boots and a shovel to join in the fun from 11am to 3pm on April 16th.  Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Brian and I will be there as will our friends from Raindrops for Refuge to make sure we do it right. I get to be a “crew leader.” Very exciting :-)

Click here to sign up or contact Olivia Collins, Volunteer Coordinator, 503-625-4251

Thoughts on Facebook

Apr 9th, 2010 Posted in Fun Things to Do, Random Thoughts | no comment »

I resisted Facebook for a long, long time. I had two reasons. One was that I’m already on the computer enough and really don’t need another excuse to be online. Another was that I didn’t think I wanted to connect with people from the past. We’d lost touch. So what?

Well, I’m singing a different tune now. I joined Facebook to help launch Angie Windheim Photography. But I’m a “fan” of Facebook now because it’s helped me reach out and feel so much closer to friends and family who live far away.  It’s fun to see the comments and off-the-cuff remarks. I now know that one friend is a serious coffee addict, another runs a yoga retreat and yet another just got a job as a Foreign Service Consular Officer for the State Department. And, I have a brand new baby second cousin in Japan and another cousin teaching in Korea. Facebook is very fun.

That glowing recommendation aside, it is another massive drain on my time. I have to find a way to limit the minutes I spend on it. What’s right? Once a day? 15 minutes a day? Less? More? I don’t know. Right now, I’m not able to resist checking it as frequently as email. It’s just too easy with my iPhone.  Maybe it’s just like a new toy that you can’t put down and my interest will fade over time. Yeah, right 🙂

Fun with Tie Dye Frosting

Apr 8th, 2010 Posted in eHow Articles, Fun Things to Do | no comment »

I love using tie dye frosting to dress up cakes and cupcakes. They never look the same twice, but they always look cool. You check out my tips on eHow.

Goodreads for Lit Ladies

Apr 1st, 2010 Posted in Book Review, Fun Things to Do | one comment »

The Lit Ladies Book Club has been going strong for over a year. We’ve had fun at our meetings whether the books were good or oh-so-bad. The discussions about the “bad” books are usually the most entertaining 🙂

Most of us Lit Ladies read more than just our monthly assignment and are always looking for the next book. I recently passed along the idea of the group joining Goodreads.  I’ve really enjoyed my experience with this virtual book club. And with more friends joining, I’ll have an even better source of reading material.

On Goodreads member share a list of the books they’ve read, rated and reviewed. It’s pretty easy to do and you can make the reviews as long or short as you want or just click how many stars you’d give the book. In just a few minutes, I can find dozens of books that sound great and have a personal recommendation from someone I know.  You can also search reviews on thousands of other books that other folks have read (just like Amazon). I’ve even used Goodreads to find book ideas for my kids.

Another fun feature of Goodreads just popped up this week. The author of one of my favorite books The Little Giant of Aberdeen County was available for question and answer session online through Goodreads. It was pretty cool to submit a question to her as well as see the discussions between her and other readers. Can’t wait for her next book!

Goodreads has hooks into Facebook as well. I’ve built up my reading list with both Lit Ladies and miscellaneous Facebook friends. If you are a reader or want to be, this is a great way to expand your to-read list. Another perk? You could possibly even save some money on books with some organized borrowing from your Goodreads “library” of friends.