Who Doesn’t Love A Picnic….Especially When You Don’t Have to Do Anything?

I have always loved the thought of going on a picnic.  What I haven’t loved is the thought of planning it and packing all the stuff to go and do it.  It’s probably why I’m soooo obsessed with this week’s hot spot of the week’s Instagram Feed – Picnics With Elegance

Picnics With Elegance is the brain child of it’s founder the beautiful Kelly.  She loves making people feel special and has a background in non-profits and event planning.

It doesn’t matter what you are celebrating there is a picnic choice for you.  Here’s a few of the ways you can celebrate with a picnic:

  • Bridal Shower
  • Baby Shower
  • Birthday Parties
  • Engagements
  • Anniversary
  • Weekend Brunch with Your BFFs
  • First Date

Now I know what you’re thinking we live in Oregon so a picnic is going to be seasonal or what if it looks like it might rain?  Never fear Picnics with Elegance has a portable, weather proof pod for those types of days.

I know you’re wondering what exactly is included in a picnic right?  Here’s some of what you can expect:

  • One stop shop for the perfect picnic
  • Event Set Up
  • Table Decor
  • Place Settings
  • Floral Arrangements
  • Food
  • Take Down
  • Personal Hostess
  • Cell Phone Pictures
  • Personalized Touches

So what do you need to do?  Provide a date, time and theme.  They do have add ons available at an additional charge.

Packages start at around $250.00 and a picnic is typically 1.5 to 2 hours in length. Be sure to check out their website for more detailed information.

So my only question is how are you going to use a picnic to celebrate?

 

 

 

Yep, I Admit it I get Botox.

Yes friends, I admit it, I get botox, much to my husbands dismay.  He can’t understand why on earth I would want to inject botulism into my body.  The reason is that yes, the older I’ve gotten the more the fine lines and wrinkles have bothered me.  I am not going to lie for many years botox was something I wanted to do but was afraid to, until one day my friend had a botox party.  At the time she owned a waxing studio and invited me.  It’s at this party that I met Katherine Foster who put me at ease.  She answered all of my questions and made me feel comfortable getting those first injections. (Katherine uses Xeomin)

This experience is why her business, Skin by Katherine is my business/hot spot of the week.  Since that initial appointment I have continued to receive botox injections from her.  One of the things that I find so interesting about botox is that the longer you continue with the treatment the longer you are able to go in between treatments as the muscles have a memory.  I feel like I look more rested and can tell when it’s time to go in for treatment.

Katherine treats patients at the Contour Chiropractic offices in North Plains, OR.  She’s a registered nurse so you know you’re in good hands with her.  In addition to botox treatments Katherine also offers the following services:

Skin care consultation service

PDO Threads

Chemical Peels/Masks

Micro Needling with HA Serum

Dermal Planing

Dermal Fillers

Spider Vein Removal

Yes, I know that some of you may be surprised that I admit to getting botox treatments.  I feel that it’s important to show that it’s okay to take steps to help with those fine lines and wrinkles.  If it makes you feel better than that’s great.

A Letterman’s Jacket, It’s a Right of Passage

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was sooooo excited when I earned my letter in band and was able to go and order my letterman’s jacket.  I remember begging my mom to take me down to the store and get it ordered as soon as I was able to.  I couldn’t wait to wear it and was so excited when it came in.  To this day it sits in my hall closet and I’m never getting rid of it.  So of course when my daughter earned her letter in color guard I was beyond excited to take her in to get her letterman’s jacket.  Little did I know that times they had changed.

In Hillsboro the place to go to get that letterman’s jacket is LaHaie’s in downtown Hillsboro.  My family has walked past it every Saturday that we go to the farmers market so I knew right where to take my daughter to get her jacket.  What I didn’t know was we were going to quickly become overwhelmed by all of the customization options.  When I got my letterman’s jacket there were two choices:  the one the girls typically chose with the hood that would zip, and the one that boys chose with the leather sleeves.  You didn’t choose much of anything other than where to put the year and what you wanted on the back.  So of course when they started asking us all of the questions we got overwhelmed.

Thankfully the person helping us took a step back and helped us determine everything step by step starting with base color for the jacket, sleeve color and yes even the band colors for the arms, waist and neck.  From there we went on to choose which Tide Guy to go on the back, name, font, etc.  We were so thankful for their patience with us and having gone through the process once made it easier when we went in to get my son’s jacket ordered.  The folks at LaHaie’s truly are amazing.

Now I know what you may be thinking, I’m not in need of a letterman’s jacket.  Friends, they do so much more than that.  They also offer the following services:

  • Embroidery – one of the things that was really cool was that they could make all sorts of patches for the jacket thanks to embroidery and chenille.  They do everything digitally and can put names on uniforms, logos, and more.
  • Sewing – they provide sewing and alteration services.
  • They have a BSA Scout Shop for all your scouting needs.

Like I said I know that you may not be in the market for a letterman’s jacket but do stop by and say hello.  Looking at all of the patches and their work is so much fun.  LaHaie’s is located in Downtown Hillsboro at 277 E. Main Street.  Their store hours are Sunday-Tuesday – closed/by appointment only, Wednesday – Friday – 10 AM – 6 PM and Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM.

Love Board Games and More??????

It seems like finding a store dedicated to board games, role play games, trading card games, etc can be hard to find.  It’s certainly not something you find on every corner right?  If you have a love for these types of games then you will love this week’s hot spot of the week, Rune & Board in Hillsboro.

Owned by Nick and Sadie who both have a love for board games.  Sadie is a Dungeons & Dragons fan, and has been playing different editions of the game for over 30 years.  Nick has a love for board and card games, which he has been playing for over 30 years as well.  Along the way he found he had a passion for magic so you will find some magic items in their store.  Nick also loves to play euro and role play games as well.

If those types of games are not your jam never fear as they also have Legos, puzzles and educational games.  There’s honestly something for everyone at their store.

When we aren’t under COVID restrictions they do host events at their store.  If you would like to go into the store and play they are taking reservations for parties of no more than four with a minimum $5 purchase per person.  Great way to get to see your friends and have some fun.

To stay up to date on what’s happening be sure to follow their blog. Rune & Board is located at 238 SE Washington Street in Hillsboro.  If you are traveling to their store via Max or bus the nearest stop is Hillsboro Central/SE 3rd TC Max Station.  Their hours of operation are Monday to Saturday 12 – 7 PM and Sunday 12 – 5 PM.

I’ve Got a Shoe Problem and Gimres Is My Friend……

Ok, I’m not going to lie, I have a shoe problem.  Like most girls I LOVE shoes.  During the winter months you can find me in my Converse and in the summer I’m in either Olukai flip flops or Birkenstocks and this month’s business of the week helps with my love for these two brands of shoes since they carry both.

When I moved to North Plains 10 years ago, my then boyfriend, now husband introduced me to Gimres.  Finding an amazing shoe store isn’t one of the things that is typically on your radar as far as something new to find when you move, however it is one of the small things that allows you to feel like you’re part of your new community.

So why do I love this shoe store so much?  One reason is that it is the oldest family run shoe store in the Western United States.  They have served the Hillsboro community for 124 years.

Another reason that I love them is that they are knowledgeable and willing to help you find the right shoe for you.  One example is that my husband has a specific style of Ecco brand shoes.  We were having a hard time finding them, and Gimres helped us find them online and ordered them from the company for us.

If you are looking for a great pair of shoes go visit Gimres.  They are located at 256 E. Main Street in Hillsboro.

You’ve Bought Your First Home Now What?

You’ve did it!  You purchased your first home, but now as you sit in your fabulous home you’re feeling a little overwhelmed because of all of the “things” that come with owning a home.  You know what I’m talking about, the maintenance, the yard work, the furnace, etc.

While this can be completely overwhelming having a quarterly schedule of maintenance items to be done can really help.  I’m going to provide. you with a few tips for each quarter of the year to help you get started:

 

SUMMER 

Remove the lint from your dryer, dryer vent and vent hose.  According to the US Fire Administration approximately 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year and it is estimated that they cause five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property losses.  In addition, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home dryer fires in America.

Clean the exhaust fan in your kitchen.  You would be amazed at how greasy and icky they get over a year from all of the cooking that we do.

Check your dishwasher, around kitchen/bathroom cabinets and toilets to see if there are any leaks.

Seal your tile grout.

Prune trees and shrubs.

FALL

It’s time to rake your leaves and aerate your yard.

Have your trusted HVAC company come out and make sure your furnace is in proper order for the colder winter months.

Do touch up painting on the exterior and trim of your home.

Have your fireplace professionally inspected and have a chimney sweep come out.  Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll be on any adventures with Bert from Mary Poppins when they do come out.

Drain and store your hoses, and also drain your sprinkler system.  You don’t want spring to roll around and find out you have broken pipes.

WINTER

Cover your A/C unit.

Inspect your roof, gutters and downspouts after any major storms.  Left over leaves, and pine needles can clog them after major storms and create problems for you the next time it rains.

Clean the drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bath tubs and showers.  It’s amazing how much hair can wind up going down the drain and start to clog things up.

SPRING

Change your A/C filters in preparation for the warmer days that are ahead.

Clean windows and screens.

Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Fertilize your yard

 

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include all of the items you can do to keep your new home in tip top shape it does hopefully give you good start.

 

The Days Are Longer Why Not Grab a Brew……

This time of year makes you just want to be outside so you can enjoy the weather, and maybe a cold brew.  This week’s hot spot of the week is a place that you can do just that, Ambacht Brewing

Located in Hillsboro, Oregon Ambacht Brewing is Oregon’s only brewery without an IPA.  Ambacht strives to create American Ales inspired by Belgian brewing.  Their tap room is open from 12-5 PM Thursday through Sunday for you to enjoy a brew.

You are able to bring food in with you and your floof to enjoy their outdoor seating.  You’re also able to grab bottles or have your growler filled.  If you are a cherry fan you’ll want to check out two of their newer brews as they are their cherriest brews to date – Ambacht Pie Cherry Pale and. Ambacht Pie Cherry Dark.

The next time you’re looking for a brew or want to share something local with a friend from out of town hit up Ambacht.  They’re located at 1060 NE 25th, Suite B in Hillsboro.

Shop Local This Holiday Season

The city of Portland has launched a website that makes it easier to find small businesses by letting people search for them by category.

“PORTLAND, Ore. — Ruthie Crawford, owner of jewelry lines Harlow Jewelry and Ruthie and Olive, says her business is down 60% this year.

She said the holiday shopping is what can help push a small business into next year.

“When you’re purchasing holiday gifts or whatever, you’re not just purchasing a gift for your loved one. You’re actually helping keep food on the table and helping a small business survive,” Crawford said.

Through her businesses, she not only support herself but others as well.

For every necklace purchased through Ruthie and Olive, money to purchase three meals is donated to the Oregon Food Bank. A percentage of sales through her Harlow Jewelry line goes to a different organization each month as well.

Crawford sells her designs in stores and boutiques, but with the pandemic it’s forced her to make changes throughout 2020 to keep business coming in.

“I think we’re all having to be really innovative and just come up with new ideas to reach people,” Crawford said, “because we’re competing against large companies that have big advertising budgets that can afford to reach the masses. Where, us as small businesses don’t have that ability normally.

This past July, Matan Steinfeld purchased Bull in China PDX, a barware company with a Northwest focus that caters to the bar owner or home bartender.

“When you’re buying from a small local business, it’s not just them,” Steinfeld said.

Bull in China PDX utilizes local small business owners to make the shop’s different products through businesses that include jewelers, glass blowing studios, a local wood worker or even a t-shirt company.

“So like every time you’re buying a t-shirt from me, you’re supporting a local t-shirt shop and you’re supporting a local business too.”

Using sites like Amazon is a quick and easy way to shop online, but Ashley Cintas, owner of CityShoppe.com, said her e-commerce website connects shoppers with locally owned small businesses to make it easier to support those businesses.

“It’s local in the sense that it’s bringing local virtual. So local isn’t always within your own city, but who’s to say that you can’t shop locally in New York.” Cintas said. “Being able to still support local, regardless of where your physically located, is our biggest mission.”

Cintas has started a change.org petition to encourage shoppers to consider shopping small before considering shopping at a big box store or e-commerce giant like Amazon.

“That’s what we’re trying to promote. How can we make it as convenient as possible because what we live in right now is what kind of big boxes like Amazon created, is this instant gratification of shipping next day,” Cintas said.

The city of Portland launched a website, shopsmallpdx.com, which has a growing list of small businesses around Portland that you can look up by category.”

This article is written by Devon Haskins and it originated, here.

 

Growth in Local, Innovative Coffee Subscription Company

Subscription services can bear a resemblance to the story of Goldilocks: Sometimes you end up with way too much of what you ordered, risking spoilage. Other times, you run out faster than planned. The answer, according to one company, is a scale” (Wallace, 1). 

Bottomless, a new Seattle upstart, created a coffee subscription company that makes the reordering process automatic and predicts the days you’ll need a new bag of beans to arrive at your door by using a smart scale to determine when you’re running low. The company knows exactly what you want, when you need it. 

After each use, coffee subscribers place their bag of beans on a wifi-enabled scale, sending data and analyses of consumption activity. The service includes the scale and starts at $5.99 per month with coffees that range from $12 to $20.

The pandemic resulted in a skyrocket of e-commerce purchases, increasing the demand for subscription and delivery-based services, therefore helping boost the coffee subscription company with more people stuck in their homes.

As of the week of Friday, October 23rd, Bottomless counted 6,000 customers. Last year around this time, their customers counted up to only 750. 

With COVID influencing the way people view technology and online services, the trend of buying products online has increased dramatically and will most likely continue for a few years.

“The company has come a long way since its inception in 2016 when Herrera and co-founder Michael Mayer — neither of whom had backgrounds in hardware development — conceptualized and invented the smart scale that would serve as Bottomless’ backbone. In true startup fashion, the duo bootstrapped the firm and spent the early days hand-soldering 3D-printed scales in their tiny apartment. They partnered with some roasters and signed up a couple hundred customers” (Wallace, 8)

At eighteen years old, Herrera emigrated from Peru without any knowledge of english at the time. She held different jobs until she was able to attend university in Portland, Oregon. Herrera grew up believing there was no other route to success other than hard work; She applied those lessons and skills she had learned during her upbringing to her career.

Bottomless received venture capital backing, business connections and mentorship after landing in the Winter 2019 cohort at Y Combinator, the legendary Silicon Valley startup accelerator. The company was able to afford their first manufacturing run earlier this year in which they said goodbye to handmade scales. 

“What has resulted is a “premiumization” of coffee purchases at retail and grocery stores, said Jim Watson, senior analyst for beverages research at Rabobank. People are spending more for whole bean coffee and pricier grounds, he said” (Wallace, 14). While grocery stores do carry a good selection of specialty and premium coffees, most of them are from global and national brands. With COVID-19, the importance of shopping local has been emphasized along with the opportunity to tap into local roasters.

Helping local businesses and being an online subscription service has worked out in the companies favor, but drastic economic shifts from the early part of the pandemic has caused instability in the finely-tuned system. 

In spring, some roasters experienced higher turnover after stark drop-offs in sales, so new employees had to be retrained on the Bottomless process. When the USPS timelines got rocky, Hererra and Mayer rebuilt their machine learning models. In addition to the shaky times COVID brought, existing customers that suffered from job loss were forced into cancelling their Bottomless subscription. 

Now, eight months into the pandemic, these aspects stabilized and the company is seeing steady growth in new customers and sales. “The activity is fueling optimism for a future where Bottomless could expand its technology into other product categories such as pet food and personal care” (Wallace, 19).

To find or subscribe to bottomless, click here.

 

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.

Mamancy Tea Brings a Taste of Kenya’s Tea Culture to Beaverton

Mamancy_Anne Johnson
Anne Johnson at the newly opened Mamancy Tea in Beaverton. IMAGE: DEANN ORR

We know that Portland loves coffee, but what about tea? Anne Johnson of Mamancy saw the opportunity in the great Northwest and decided to open up a tea shop. It’s not just any tea shop, it’s a place where you can sit and chat just like you would over coffee. Anne has incorporated her roots into the shop, as well, bringing Kenya’s tea culture to Beaverton.

“In Anne Johnson’s native Kenya, she says, inviting a guest into your home is synonymous with drinking tea. Black tea, that is—with milk and sugar—served with snacks like tea sandwiches, samosas, cookies, and fruit.

“It doesn’t take five minutes—it becomes an hour, two-hour thing,” Johnson says. “It’s about connection. Regardless of how hot it is, you have to offer them tea.”

After she moved to Portland for college, Johnson began dating her now-husband, and they were looking for activities other than the usual dinner and a movie. That’s when Johnson realized the coffee-obsessed Pacific Northwest didn’t have many tea shops where guests could sit down for a leisurely chat and a cup of tea.

So Johnson decided to start her own tea company, called Mamancy Tea Co, an amalgamation of the names of her husband, Mark, her son, Matthew, herself, and her daughter, Mercy. She attended tea sommelier school in San Francisco and took chocolate-making courses so she could make truffles to accompany her teas. The company also has a giving-back component: 10 percent of Mamancy’s profits go to underprivileged women and children in Kenya. Since Mamancy started, Johnson has been donating to the Angel Centre for Abandoned Children, a Nairobi orphanage.

In December 2018, she opened the first location of Mamancy Tea in a Washington Square Mall kiosk. Now closed, it was an expensive marketing strategy, as Johnson calls it, to interact with passing shoppers and familiarize customers with her products.

In March, it looked like her dream of opening a sit-down tea café was finally going to come true in Beaverton, but the lockdown came just days before the planned opening. That put Johnson’s dreams of hosting full tea ceremonies inspired by tea-drinking cultures all over the world, including Britain, China, and Kenya, on hold indefinitely.

Mamancy_shop
Mamancy has plenty of different teas on offer. IMAGE: DEANN ORR

Though tea ceremonies are on hold, Mamancy Tea was still able to open with indoor and outdoor seating for customers to enjoy teas, chocolates, and boba. Johnson herself prefers black tea with milk and sugar, the way it’s traditionally drunk in Kenya due to British colonial influences; chai masala tea is another popular option. Some of her teas, like the Kenya Kilimanjaro black tea, are grown in Kenya, but Johnson also offers multiple types from different parts of the world, including green, white, oolong, herbal, rooibos, matcha, and mate.

Mamancy is also a boba shop, with the classic tapioca pearls available as well as popping boba in unconventional flavors like chocolate, coffee, pomegranate, and passionfruit. Customers can drink their boba in the shop, take it to go, or take home a make-your-own boba kit, which Johnson says is equally suited for kids, teenagers, or adults (the popping boba pairs particularly well with sangria, she says).

Artfully decorated truffles are on offer in flavors like blood orange and crème brûlée. Other truffles even incorporate some of Mamancy’s teas—Earl Gray, matcha, or masala chai—into the ganache.

Her tea ceremonies may be canceled for now, but Johnson has received plenty of interest for the day when she finally can host a tea ceremony—in fact, guests have filled up four sign-up sheets. And though opening during a pandemic has certainly been a challenge, Johnson says she’s heartened by the many customers interested in patronizing Black-owned businesses like Mamancy.

“Being a Black-owned business brought a lot of business from customers who are looking to support us,” Johnson said. “That gave us hope.””

Mamancy Tea, 3831 SW 117th Ave, Suite E, Beaverton, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon–Sat, mamancytea.com

This article was written by Katherine Chew Hamilton. You can view the original, here.