Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015 | Portland, OR Edition

Summer officially starts this Sunday! Whose excited? I know I am, although I feel like summer has already started and that for some reason it already feels like it is flying by. Here are a few ways to get out and celebrate the Summer Solstice; which is at 9:39am on June 21, 2015 for those who live in PDX. 

Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015 | Portland, OR Edition |  Athleta Porltnad

Looking for a fun way to kick of summer? If you are in Portland the Athleta at Brewery Blocks​ (and I think Althleta’s across the country – check your local store) is hosting a Summer Solstice event on Sunday 6/21 from 9-11am. Join instructor Jasmine Ziska for an invigorating sun salutations class celebrating the beginning of summer.  Greenleaf Juicing Company​ will be in house sampling fresh juices.  Since this is a special day for Dads, bring the kiddos and let them have fun at our Father’s day card making station while you take class! We are camping but are planning to stop in to join the fun and have Edith join in the card making. 

Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015 | Portland, OR Edition

Once your done celebrating the Summer Solstice at Athleta grab your bike and head across the river to North Portland for the North Sunday Parkways. Enjoy 9.5 miles of care free (except local traffic) bliss as you bike, walk or roller blade around North Portland. Plan to stop for some free ice cream, a concert in the park or a jump in the bouncy castle or maybe a little disc golf or zumba. 

Celebrate the Summer Solstice 2015 | Portland, OR Edition

If yoga and biking aren’t your thing than just get out and spend some time in nature. You don’t need to live in Portland to do this but if you do why not head to Forest Park and explore the trails? There are so many beautiful trails and it’s the perfect way to celebrate the start of summer. Might I suggest starting at the Audubon Society and heading up the Wildwood Trail to Pittock Mansion for beautiful views and if you time it just right you just might be able to fit in a few sun salutations at 9:39am to ring in the Summer Solstice. 

Disclaimer: Athleta provided me with a free top and yoga mat in exchange for sharing their event. I think it’s a great event and was happy to share. All other events are ones I chose to share. I received no compensation for this post. 

SPRING FAVORITES | Food | Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature’s Bakery

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds
SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery
Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds. When I was pregnant with Edith I must have gone through about five bottles (maybe more) or sriracha. I was obsessed with having it on everything and just couldn’t get enough. While it’s almost three years (yes my baby is turning three in three weeks) since I was pregnant with Edith my love for sriracha shines on. To say I was eager to try the new Blue Diamond Sriracha Almonds was an understatement and let me tell you they do not disappoint.
SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery
These almonds have a nice spice to them without being too over the top and they are bold, savory and have just a bit of a nice vinegar tang. We brought these hiking with us last weekend and between the three of us (Edith included) we finished off 3/4 of the tin. We would have finished off the entire tin but we had to practice a little restraint since we had brunch plans but oh it was hard.

These are a great hiking snack, moving snack – ooo these would be so good tossed into some popcorn with a little vegan butter and nutritional yeast – and these would be great for a cocktail party. Basically these are just good. I know I’m rambling but they are. 
SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery
Tidbit Food Farm & Gardens. I am embarrassed to say how often we head to this food cart pod (and how many more trips we already have planned) but after the first visit we were hooked. The first time we visited we had vegan waffles, ramen and salad – all were so delicious. On our last trip we got an amazing vegan burger from Earth Burger and oh the fries and the smoothie – they were so good. We also went back for another salad from Garden Monster; a bit on the pricey side but so good (try the vegan ranch). I love the layout of this food pod, all the vegan food options and the location. Tip: If you can’t find a seat grab your food to go and head one block down to the park. 

SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery

Tidbit Food Farm – Earth Burger

SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery

Tidbit Food Farm – Salad Monster

Nature’s Bakery. I figured I should end my food favorites with the snack that we don’t leave home without these days. We have been devouring Nature’s Bakery fig bars for the past few months. We received a stock for our snack dates over on Naturally Family and we have been eating them ever since. I have to say I was a fan of these bars before we received samples but we got to sample the soon to be released gluten free bars and OMG they are simply amazing. 

SPRING FAVORITES | Food |  Sriracha Almonds, Tidbit Food Farm, Nature's Bakery

The regular whole grain bars are delicious but the gluten free bars are soft and moist and oh so good. I’m thinking I need to go get one to snack on right now just writing about them. They are a fan among everyone in our family and our snack date groups. Just so good. 

What foods are you loving right now? 

My First Floating Experience | Float On Portland

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This past Saturday Neil and I headed to Float On, a sensory deprivation float tank center here in SE Portland, for our very first floating experience. I’ll admit I was pretty excited but I also was feeling pretty anxious as well. The thought of closing myself in a tank, in the dark and just floating there really freaked me out however the benefits which include deep relaxation, stress & pain relief where pretty enticing. 

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.32.28 PMOnce we arrived I tried to calm my nerves by reading the Beginners Guide to Floating over and over but after the fifth time I was just making myself more anxious. So I put it down, grabbed a cup of herbal tea (caffeine is not recommended 4-6 hours before floating) and just tried to relax until it was time to float.   
FloatOn-5Once it was time to float Neil and I were given a little tour of the float rooms. We had rooms 1 and 2– the ocean float rooms which are taller and have a light as well. Neil was lucky and got room #2 the room with the star lights on the ceiling of the tank (see photo below). 
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Once we were walked through the steps of floating and I realized just how in control of the situation I was I began to feel less anxious. It also helped when I found out the float tank only contained around a foot of water. 
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Now it’s time to actually float. I put in my ear plugs which transported me back to my childhood when I had tubes and had to wear ear plugs to swim. Anyways moving on. 
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I showered (check out the lighted shower) and then it was time to hop into the tank. I chose to bring in the neck noodle just in case I wanted to use it to support my neck (and I did).

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photo credit http://floathq.com/

I climbed into the tank, closed the door, took a deep breath and turned out the light. I instantly felt super relaxed just floating there. Neil and I both agreed that while floating we felt both heavy and weightless at the same time. Being in the dark wasn’t strange at all, I actually found it completely relaxing and it wasn’t until I started feeling a little stuffy that I really noticed that I was closed in; you really just lose all sense of space. When I started to feel a little stuffy I felt around, grabbed the handle and popped open the door just a crack to let in a whoosh of cool air.

floaton

photo credit https://www.facebook.com/floatHQ

So what did I do while I floated? Nothing really. I just floated and I spent some time focusing on my breath. I actually thought that I would spend a lot of time thinking and brainstorming but instead my mind just calmed down and I really didn’t think about much at all. I just completely relaxed. I thought I might fall asleep as well but I didn’t, I just floated there with my eyes wide open until it was time to get out.

As I said above you lose all sense of space (unless you drift towards a wall and touch it) and you also lose all sense of time. I will admit I started to feel a little bit anxious towards the end because my life seems to revolve around the clock. I start my morning trying to help Neil get out of the house in time for work and then the day revolves around nap times and meal times so not knowing how much longer I had made me want to jump out and check my phone -and I almost did. It wasn’t because I wanted to be done but rather because I had no idea how much time had passed. In the end I didn’t jump out to check my phone because seconds later the music came on signaling that my float was over and it was time to get out, shower and be on my way. 

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The above photo is a perfect image of blissed out Neil. Seriously we both left in a positive state of mind. We were relaxed and just felt absolutely amazing. 

Would I float again? YES! I would definitely float again and I think that the next time I will most likely be even more relaxed because all of those (silly) little anxieties I had won’t be there. I think knowing that I could get out of the tank whenever I felt the need (ie. just feeling uneasy, needing to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, ect.) really made me feel in control and okay to do the float. Once I actually started the float I was kicking myself for not trying it sooner, especially when I was pregnant. I mean seriously what could be better than essentially feeling weightless while pregnant. Plus I truly believe water is a magical thing that just makes life better.

After floating I was thinking about how often I turn to water for therapeutic reasons for myself. I take a shower when I am feeling anxious or frustrated or a bath when I am feeling sore or just need to relax. I give the kids a bath or we do some sort of water play when they are cranky. So really floating is just another level of these things and when I think about it that way it makes so much sense to me why people love to do it. 

Have you ever tried floating? Would you like to? 

*Disclaimer: Float On provided Neil and I with free floats. I was not required to write a positive review and I received no compensation for this post. 

WIAW: Rawdacious | Portland, OR

Rawdacious PDX

This week it’s all about the cheesecake; specifically gluten free and vegan cheesecake from Rawdacious here in Portland. 
Rawdacious PDX-1

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the Rawdacious kitchen to see where all the magic happens. Little did I know until about an hour before going that I had actually tried these delicious cheesecakes before at some of my favorite Portland restaurants. So that being said I was even more excited to try some new flavors. When I arrived Jenn, the owner of Rawdacious, presented me with three mini cheesecakes to sample.  While we chatted away while I stuffed myself silly with the most insanely delicious gluten free and vegan cheesecakes.  

Rawdacious PDX -12

I sampled the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Northwest berries and cream and a chocolate one that I am forgetting the official name of. Of the three the PB one was my favorite but I already knew this because I have enjoyed it before at Sweet Hereafter and The Bye and Bye. I actually had no idea that cheesecakes at these two places where from Rawdacious but now I do and so do you!. My other absolute favorite from Rawdacious is the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake that I had last Fall at Canteen (see photo here).

Rawdacious PDX -11Anyone want to go in on this Matcha With Coconut Cheesecake? Rawdacious PDX-5

All of the cheesecakes are naturally vegan and gluten-free without a soy base. The raw base of the cheesecakes is made from organic cashews, homemade organic almond milk and organic coconut oil. The cheesecakes filled with quality organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. You can read more about the cheesecakes here.

Rawdacious PDX -1

These beautiful and delicious handcrafted cheesecakes now come in mini sizes as well and can be found at Alberta Co-op, People’s CoopFood Front Cooperative and this summer you can find them at the St. John’s Farmers Market. You can also find them at a few other shops and restaurants around town including two of my favorites Prasad and HarlowRawdacious PDX -2

Not interested in venturing out for cheesecake? You could always have Postmates (if you’re lucky enough to live in the radius) deliver a 4-pack of minis or even a whole cake right to your doorstep. Rawdacious also takes special orders and does catering and would be perfect for a wedding or your next party ; Edith has already requested a few mini’s for her birthday (I don’t know who’s more excited me or her). Until then I’ll just have to find excuses to pick up a slice or mini when we are out and about.

Which flavor of Rawdacious cheesecake would you like to try? The Lemon Fig is at the top of my list and the Coffee With Cream & Fudge and ….well all of them really. 

*Disclaimer: I was invited to visit the kitchen and sample the cheesecakes. I was not compensated in any way for this post. I just simply can’t tell you enough about how insanely good these cheesecakes are.