Doodling DIY (in the Kitchen!)

When I was in high school, they deterred deviants from doodling. No writing on desks! Stop doodling and pay attention! Well i’m telling you its time to let your inner doodler out and run free. 🙂 One of my jobs is as an after school art teacher. The program I teach is fun and useful, but some days I wish I could teach Advanced Doodling. The class would be about adding details, expanding the imagination, and thinking outside the box in general. Ahh someday…
Anyways, back to reality. My lovely mother is always giving me stuff, often stuff I really need. A while back she gave me some cutting boards to, well, cut on. They are plastic and come in a set: green for vegetables (with a little decal), red for meat, and a little clear one because I like little cutting boards. The first two are opaque but the last is a murky- clear color that makes it hard to spot if there’s nothing on it. It has sat on my kitchen counter, unnoticed for days at a time because you can’t see it!
Yesterday, I came up with a plan. Doodle the damn thing. Now, I’ve never done anything like this before but I thought i’d take the chance. If it doesn’t work then I’m down a free plastic cutting board (a thin one at that). All boards in the set bow one direction so it’s easier to use them when the curve goes down, NOT when the sides curve up to your hands. With that in mind, I took a sharpie, wiped down my little board, and got to work on the back side. The main reason I chose a side is to avoid sharpie-food contact. Is that necessary? I have no clue. But it sounded good so I went with it.
I started in the corner with the 1/4 circle, and then started drawing the other shapes overlapping. I did each shape and interior lines before drawing another shape. The details came last. I knew I wanted a kind of intricate doodle/henna look to my board. I wanted to cover a lot of space but chose in the end to leave some negative space as well. Lastly, I wrote backwards “This side up” so that the user knows the sharpie side. Below is the evidence of my project in the form of “Before” and “After” photos. Has anyone else doodled on something weird? Did it work out?

Before:

Before

After:
After

 

Ava Roasteria Review

Onto coffee shop #2 on my quest for the perfect coffee shop!(See my first here)

AVA

Ah Ava Roasteria. Last summer, before I had moved to town, I went to Ava Roasteria but wasn’t really impressed. I think they messed up my order and/or I was in a bad mood. Either way, I was not happy afterwards. It’s been close to a year since then and a few days ago I met up with a potential new roommate and gave Ava a second chance.

AVA2

I don’t know what I was thinking last time! I got a medium cappuccino and they offered me a real cup when I said I was staying.The baked goods had a beautiful display and they bake everything there. I had an almond chocolate triangle (not the real name) and it was delicious. Kind of a tart-crust bottom with oats on top and dipped in (presumably) dark chocolate. Because I was staying, that came on a real plate too. My cappuccino was tasty with lots of foam. Almost too big haha but I downed it all the same.  I didn’t notice any music. The seating was nice with tables but no big comfy sofas or chairs. There was a lovely outdoor seating area with landscaping and a waterfall but it was raining so we stayed indoors. Total score? 7/10

This article was written originally days ago but I ran into a disappearing draft snafu so I got frustrated and gave up. But it’s finished and here for you to read now. I’ll try to be more timely with my new system. Sorry for the bad photos.

Has anyone else been to Ava Roasteria? What did you think? Was there music playing? What did you get?

Coffee Station Review

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’m on a quest to review all the coffee shops in the Beaverton area while ignoring all Yelp reviews. Today I’ll give you my first review of a shop I’ve been to many times. The reason for my frequent visits is mostly convenience, hence why I’ve started this quest in the first place. The place is called Coffee Station. It’s really close to my house (I can even walk there), so it gets points for convenience. Coffee Station is small place but in an established building with a drive-thru. My overall score? Well let me break it down first. The coffee you get really depends on the barista. Most days its not any better than what I can make at home, but each time I hope I’ll still get that amazing barista (they have a lot of rotating staff). The barista’s are nice and attentive.

I highly suggest a latte over a mocha. Whatever syrup they use is no bueno. When you get that latte, don’t be crazy and take their offer when they say “Do you want anything in that?” ITS A LATTE! Not a syrup filled drink! However, I did go there once and they had a special drink, the s’mores mocha. It was delicious and taste just like a s’more which I had been craving for days. So maybe order that when you go.

They get baked goods delivered from somewhere else, which is not always a bad thing. By the time I visit though (early afternoon) they are down to the last three random options. They don’t bother covering up their white boards that temp you with all the options when the options don’t exist. The goods themselves are okay. Nothing I get wild about.

If you chose to go inside, you’ll usually find it empty. The wall art is cool and local, and I think they have one comfy chair, but that’s it. I have never stayed long enough to check if they even have wifi.

So all in all, this is a good to-go place if you forgot to make yourself coffee in the morning. Chose walk in over drive-thru in the morning because there is usually 2-3 cars waiting and they’re not the fastest. The score? 4/10.

Has anyone else gone here? What did you think?

The Quest for the Perfect Coffee Shop

I’m from Seattle. True to the stereotype, I REALLY like coffee. What do I like even more than coffee? A cool coffee shop serving it. I like wood-centric interiors with second hand cushions. I like a good playlist and friendly baristas. I’m usually not in it for the speed of service (but there is such a thing as too slow).
I now live in Beaverton, Oregon and although I’m sure there’s lots of great coffee shops in Portland proper, I’m looking for something closer. So i’m on a quest to find the perfect coffee shop in the Beaverton area. Maybe Hillsboro too. What am I generally looking for? A good latte, and mocha, cool atmosphere and sit-for-a-while-ability. Bonus points for yummy baked goods, porcelain cups,  friendly baristas, eclectic music, or a view to a busy walking street. I found all of this in a few places in Ballard Seattle so I’m planning on doing the same here.
I’ll score each place on a scale of 1-10 and give you all the details I can. I am going to every place I can find, despite Yelp reviews. In fact, until i’m done, I’m going to IGNORE Yelp reviews entirely. First review coming up next!

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How to Look Good When Sick

I’ve been a little under the weather this past week or so. It sucks. Stuffy nose, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, body aches, etc. Despite all that, it was also my first few days at a new job and I was bound and determined to not call in sick. So how does one work two jobs and fool everyone? A little magic and a lot of drugs (by drugs I mean medication. I always call medicine drugs because that’s what they are. It’s called a drugstore. ).

First, I recommend that you do all you can medically to make yourself better and/or minimize your symptoms. (All of the following advice is for colds. If you have a fever,are throwing up, or have a severe case of anything, call in sick and stay home.) I’m a fan of Day Quil, Ibuprofen, Neti Pot, and soup. Another big thing is sleeping at night. I may wake up often most nights but I’ve woken up restful in the morning (though not feeling any less sick). Drink water like a fish. Or like a dehydrated sickie because that’s what you are. Also try to avoid coffee and dairy ( I still give in to the coffee, today i’m switching to black). Drink tea instead. Tea with sugar or honey is still better than coffee with milk. (Dairy increases mucus production, coffee is really dehydrating.)

Second, I want you to stay clean. Shower as often as you can (it feels amazing and you’ll smell better) or take a bath. Brush your teeth often to hide that you might smell sick. Keep up with your grooming habits: pluck your eyebrows, shave your legs (if visible), shave other things (face, armpits, etc), comb your hair if that’s what you do. The idea is to 1) mask/erase the smell of sickness 2) imply that nothing is wrong with you.

Thirdly , and this one is more aimed towards girls or those who wear makeup, put a little effort into your morning. Give yourself extra time, maybe an hour. I move really slow when I’m sick because, well, I’d rather not move at all. But I must get ready for work so I take an extra hour if I can spare it to get ready. For my first job, I try to curl my hair well and wear a little makeup. At my second job, I have to put my hair up so I just throw it back but I touch up my makeup with powder. If you don’t normally wear makeup, i’m not saying “Go buy makeup!”. But if you do wear makeup, don’t skip applying it. If you are constantly blowing your nose, bring foundation/powder with you to touch up later to cover redness. Invest in the lotion based tissues. It’s okay to put a tiny bit more effort into your look, people will think you’re having a good hair day or whatever. But don’t overdo it. If you don’t normally wear makeup, don’t go to work or school with a full face (mascara, foundation, powder, blush((which I would avoid now anyways)), lipgloss, eyeliner, etc.) Don’t forget chapstick if you have chapped lips! It will also make you (almost) look like you’re wearing lipgloss. If your lips are not chapped, but likely to go there, get some Burts Bees tinted lipbalm (not the shimmer kind, the other kind). It gives you a slight tint, plus moisture.

Lastly, dress normally. At home, you can wear PJ’s all day, sweatpants, yoga pants, or no pants! But when you head out to work or school, and you want to fool everyone, wear your normal clothes. For my first job that means tights and flats and a skirt and blouse. Kinda fancy. If your normal wardrobe is yoga pants and uggs, then wear that (but we should have a talk).

I hope this was at least a little helpful for those who have never faked it til they had made it. I am not a doctor, or a beautician. This is just what I do to get by when I have to work. If I don’t get better after a week, I’ll call out sick from both jobs if I can. Now go eat some soup! But keep an eye on the clock 🙂  cool-cartoon-1195800

Getting Over Losing Stuff

I really like my stuff. My physical belongings. I take time and put a lot of thought into what I keep and what I get rid of when organizing and downsizing (which I LOVE to do). So I was entirely surprised when I realized losing my favorite ring is not the worst thing in the world.
As I mentioned, I own 3 rings. Two cocktail rings and a small band style ring that was my mother’s wedding ring. The third, which I wore almost daily, is my favorite. It was not a traditional wedding ring in any sense of the word. It was a band with embedded triangular stones, alternating turquoise and a navy blue stone. It was simple, it was comfortable, and it was beautiful.
Originally, when I realized I had lost the ring, I shrugged. I lose this ring all the time. It always shows back up in a few hours, days, or even weeks. But this time I think it’s gone for good. When I thought about that today, I didn’t cry. I didn’t even get upset. I just thought about how cool it was to wear the same ring for years before it leaves my life. I know, it sounds cheesy. The ring is not a person. But it did mean a lot to me.
Now there are very few things I have lost right after getting them. I did have an awesome pair of sunglasses that were broken by a toddler the next day. That sucked. But at that early stage of attachment , it was not a big loss (not even monetarily, they cost me $5-$10). But I can imagine losing something newish (weeks old), and that would be more difficult to deal with emotionally.
But here is what I want you to try: Love your belongings, really love them. Spend time choosing them, and take care of them. But also realize that they are things. Clothes are there to keep you warm or make you look stylish. Rings are there (in my case) to remind you of your family or make you look stylish. Couches are for seating, tables are for eating, houses are for protecting you from the elements (and making you look stylish). Take them all away (hopefully not at once), and what are you left with? A slightly less stylish individual , standing naked, exposed to the elements. That person can go get new clothes, find a place to stay, and work their way back to feeling good about how they look (the stylish stuff). Everything you own, and I mean EVERYTHING (even your garbage can, if you picked it) is just a reflection of you. Take away the stuff, and you are still you.
So separate yourself (just the tiniest bit) from your belongings, and you will find when you lose them, it will be that much easier to move on. This doesn’t mean I won’t miss my ring. I miss it right now. But I can move on, sans meltdown.

(Some funny videos on people being too attached to stuff and losing stuff by George Carlin)