Monday, June 27, 2011

We(s) painted the house.

We painted our house this week...by "we" I mean Wes.  Here are some before and after pictures of our house.

Before

After

I love how paint can inexpensively transform a house.  You can save thousands of dollars by painting it yourself.  Of course by "yourself" I mean your spouse.


And while you are at it and have the sprayer out...why not paint anything and everything that needs some help.
Before
After




New improved potting shelf

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime and the living is easy...

I LOVE SUMMER!  Long days, warm weather, flip flops, outdoor movies and concerts are just a few of the things I love about this time of the year.  With summer right around the corner here are some free activities in the Portland area to keep you busy.  (If you don't live in Portland, check with your city's website to check out what is happening in your neck of the woods.)


Movies and Theater
Movies in the Park. Portland Parks celebrate this summer tradition with movies from Despicable Me to the Goonies; Iron Man 2 to Free Willy. Pre-movie entertainment includes the likes of The Toy Trains, Mr. Hoo, Mo Phillips, The Beaver Boogie Band, and tons more. Many also feature a portable rock climbing wall. All movies start at dark, with pre-movie entertainment starting at 6:30. Movies start in June and run through September. 
What's more summer than Shakespeare in the Park? The Portland Actors Ensemble is performing The Tempest at Lovejoy Fountain in June and July, and Much Ado About Nothing at all sorts of locations in August. All shows are free!
Music
Concerts in the Park. Portland Parks has summer concerts most days of the week in July and August at parks across Portland. There's everything from "smoky rockabilly" to Afro beat, and from "Boogie Cat" to good ol' Mr. Ben. 
Washington Park Summer Festival. From August 4 to 13, Washington Park is alive with music, dance, and fun. Samples include NW Dance Project, Portland Summerfest Opera, and Portland Festival Symphony. 
Music on Main.  Portland Center for the Performing Arts puts on this music festival every summer where they shut down Main between SW Broadway and Park and let the music ring.  This summer, acts like Celilo, The Buckles, and Lisa Mann will be performing.  All shows are free, from 5 to 7, and appropriate for all ages.  The first concert is June 30, last is September 1. 
Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts.  The Zoo outdoor summer concerts bring in some of the hottest stars of today and yesterday.  This summer's line up includes k.d. lang, The Go-Gos, Chris Isaac, and lots more.  Shows start in June and run through August.  Ticket prices vary. 
McMenamins Edgefield Summer Concerts.  This summer's lineup includes outdoor performances by Willie Nelson and Jethro Tull!  First show is in June and they run through September.  Ticket prices vary.  Kids under 3 do not require a ticket. 
Portland Festival Symphony.   The thirty-year tradition continues with Portland Park's Festival Symphony.  Man, Portland Parks rocks!   This season there will be 5 free symphony concerts at parks around PDX.  All are free!  From July 30 to August 14 at 6 PM.  
Kruger Farm's Farm Tunes.  Outdoor concerts from the likes of Jackstraw and The Midnight Serenaders.  Plus hayrides, farm animals, and u-pick berries.  Bring your own food, or purchase there.  Thursdays from June 23 to September 1.  All shows are from 6:30 to 9:30 and are $10 per car.  
Pioneer Courthouse Square has a number of events throughout the summer, including free Noon Tunes.  Running every Tuesday and Thursday from 12-1 on July 5 to August 18, it's a great chance to get outside and hear some new music, or hear some music from local favorites like St. James Gate.  They also typically host flicks on the bricks, a great chance to see some free movies outside! 
Director Park also has a number of events throughout the summer, like free dancing, opera, shakespeare, and music from July to September.  
Sundown at Ecotrust Concerts.  These outdoor concerts tell a story about how to live deliberately in our bioregion.  Each week's concert, plus its sponsors and information booths, highlight the topic.  Featured musicians include Y La Bamba and the Vagabond Opera.  All events are from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday from June 30 to July 28 and are FREE!
Active
Sunday Parkways are a great way to explore your neighborhood or a new neighborhood!  It promotes healthy, active living through a series of free events opening the city's streets to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation.  The first one is May 22 (East), and the last is September 25 (NE). 
Portland Parks have a number of swim-related events, including open swims, itty bitty beach parties for kids 6 months to 6 years, and "dive-in" movies.  Get your suits and get ready for summer! 
Portland Parks also traditionally has a summer program, which includes a traveling rock climbing wall, crafts, and lots of other great events.  
Ladybug nature walks.  Let your preschooler explore one - or many - of Portland's parks with these weekly nature walks.  The walks are Fridays and some Saturdays in June, July, and August.  $3 per preschooler. 
Weekend Guided Walks at Leach Botanical Gardens.  From May to October, you and your little one can take a tour of the gardens and learn a bit more about what's in bloom.  Free!
Street Fairs
Food, vendors, sales, music – sometimes even parades! Here's this year's lineup. 
Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. Radio Disney, music, theater performances, and art. June 24-26. 
King Neighborhood's Good in the Neighborhood festival. June 20 through June 26, complete with live music, food, a kid space, $5 bike helmet sales, and more. 
McMinnvilles Turkey Rama festival, with carnival rides and games, food, music, and entertainment. July 8-9. 
Mississippi Avenue Street Fair. Details forthcoming. July 9, 2011. 
Division/Clinton Street fair. Celebrate the fair's 25th anniversary with a parade, shopping, eating, contests, dancing, and friendly neighbors. Saturday, July 23. 
Ramona/Lents Street Fair. Music, arts and crafts, kids activities, food – fun! July 31. 
Beaumont Business Associations annual Fremont Festival. Kids zone, a parade, food and music. August 6. 
Alberta Street Fair. Vendors, musicians, artisans, and more. August 13. 
Multonmah Village Days. Parade, kids zone, vendors, arts – this is a great one! August 20. 
Festa Italiana's 20th annual festival of food, culture, and all things Italian. August 25-27 in Pioneer Courthouse Square. 
Hawthorne Street fair. This fair will be paired with Sunday Parkways – bonus! August 28. 
Art in the Pearl festival. A fabulous display of art plus hands-on activities for kids. September 3-5. 
Belmont Street Fair. Start planning ahead – this fair is September 10. 
West Linn arts festival. Art, music, food and other kid-friendly attractions. September 10-11.


Pioneer Square Movie
Washington Park Concert
    



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My husband "rocks!"

 When Wes and I first started dating he worked at Cinnabon.  He would give me free boxes of Cinnabons.  I'm not saying I started dating him because I like dessert, but it definitly "sweetened" the deal.  Later on he worked at a granite shop...this really sweetened the deal.

I learned that most granite shops have granite remnants and scraps.  If you have a small project call up a local granite shop and see if they have a remnants you could use.  This will save you a ton of dinero.  Another tip is to ask if they have a dumpster of granite scraps.  This should be free.  I have used the scraps for landscaping my yard.

York Stone (Yorkstone) stepping stones
To sum up, if you are looking for a mate find someone in the granite field.  If you can't find someone there...go to Cinnabon.