Who Doesn’t Love Tacos

I know that in our house tacos are a favorite.   For whatever reason they seem to be that one food that brings everyone together.  We love to go out for Mexican food.  It’s always a fun and festive time plus who doesn’t love free chips and guac?  Our family favorite is Margarita Factory however there are lots of great Mexican Restaurants on the Westside.  Here are just a few of our other favorites:

Amelia’s Rustic Mexican Restaurant – Hillsboro

Peppers – Hillsboro

Casa Lola Kitchen de Mexico – Beaverton

La Hacienda Real – Beaverton

El Guajillo – Tigard

I hope that you find a great new restaurant to try, and if you do please let me know how you liked it.

The Official End of Summer Doesn’t Mean Camping Season is Over Right?

everett-mcintire-W7_tcn9KuA4-unsplashLabor Day…….

It’s the mark of the official end to summer, yet I do not know about you but it certainly hasn’t felt like summer.  There was only one day trip to the beach instead of the overnight trips to the ocean or time spent out of town exploring with family.  For many I know that summer also means camping trips, and who are we kidding,  there hasn’t been a lot of that going on either.

However as campgrounds are slowly starting to open back up, and distance learning in progress that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a few camping trips during the fall.  So, if you’re looking for a quick get away that is still close to home (just 34 miles west of Portland)  why not consider a camping trip to L.L. Stub Stewart State Park located in Buxton, OR just off of the Nehalem Hwy and near the Banks-Vernonia Trail.

This beautiful state park features (taking reservations 30 days in advance):


  • 78 Full-hookup RV sites 
  • 13 Full-hookup RV Horse sites with four stall corrals. Two with double (six stall) corrals MUST HAVE HORSE OR PACK ANIMAL
  • 12 walk-in tent sites with water nearby
  • 15 cabins (5 pet-friendly) OPEN –Reservation required.
  • Brooke Creek Hike-in Camp CLOSED until May 2021
  • Playground open
  • Flush toilets NO SHOWERS
  • Firewood for sale
  • Reservable Meeting Hall Facilities CLOSED
  • Universal Access: 3 sites at Dairy Creek West, 2 sites at Dairy Creek East and 13 cabins are accessible to campers with disabilities.

The park consists of 1,800 acres of hills, forest and streams with over 25 miles of trails.  There is honestly something for everyone even if you do not plan on camping overnight. Families can enjoy some quality time together at the Hilltop Day-use Area where you have the ability to head out for a hike or ride the trails from Clayhill’s horse stage area. 

In addition, the park has several multi-use trails including 6 miles of cross-country or free-ride mountain bike trails which go from an easy going ride to something that is challenging.  If none of that sounds appealing you can always take advantage of the 18-hole disc golf course that wins its way through the east side of Hilltop or enjoy the 3-hole course near the amphitheater.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 protocols are in place at this time.  The day use park is open daily, with reduced services, from 7 am – 9 PM, and restrooms are open from 9 am –  7pm.  Those services include: 

  • Depot sells ice, snacks, beverages, annual parking permits and used disc golf discs – OPEN limited hours.
  • Reduced garbage service. Pack out trash.
  • Facilities may close without notice.
  • Do not travel far to visit. Be prepared to turn around if crowded.
  • Hilltop Day Use Picnic Shelter – Now accepting reservations for Sept. 4 and after. Max 30 people; face covers required.
  • No stargazing after hours for day-use visitors

So, while the calendar may say that summer is officially over, there is still so much fun to be had.  I hope that you get the opportunity to go out and explore L.L. Stub Stewart State Park soon.

Get that heart rate up with the business of the week – Orange Theory

I do not know about anyone else but exercise has been one of the things getting me through everything that has been going on over the past 6 months.  I had started walking in my neighborhood on a consistent basis right before the stay at home orders hit.  Fast forward a few months, and I have added an online workout service too because I’ve realized I am the type of human who would rather workout from home.  I realize that not everyone is like me, and that many of you prefer the accountability that going to a gym provides which is why I choose Orange Theory Fitness as my business of the week this week.


I have several friends who workout at Orange Theory and I know that they love it.  They love it for the fact that the workout is HIIT based.  The Orange Theory coaches will help you through 5 different heart rate zones which are telling you when you need to push harder and when you need to pull back in order to recover and bring that heart rate back down.  They say that the goal is for you to spend 12 minutes or more with your heart rate elevated.  They call it “The Orange Zone” and it is meant to help you burn fat, burn more calories and boost your metabolism.  The exercises that will help you get into the zone are cardio, rowing and strength training.
I know you may be worried about heading out to the gym right now, however please know that they do require masks/face shields and social distancing is required while working out with them.  They have several locations on the Westside of the Portland metro area.  In addition the Orenco Station Orange Theory located in Hillsboro is currently offering 1 month free.  Be sure to check out their Facebook page for more information. 

I Love a Good Kitchen Gadget!

My Copy of May 2020 Graphics  (1) copy 5Friends I am a self-proclaimed gadget guru.  If it’s a gadget, be it kitchen or technology, I love it.  Which is where Kitchen Kaboodle comes in.  They have got so many unique kitchen gadgets that are meant to make your life easier.  One of the things I love to do is bake and frost sugar cookies and they’ve got so many amazing goodies to help me make my cookies look awesome.  Oh, and they’ve got so many amazing cookie cutters.  I mean who doesn’t need a corgi cookie cutter right?

They have been in the Portland metro area since 1975 with five different locations, and if you don’t live in the Portland metro area be sure to check out their website because YES, they do offer online shopping.  Don’t forget to check out their gadget of the month.  It might just be something you didn’t know you needed.

Let’s Celebrate a Non-Profit on National Non-Profit Day!!!!

My Copy of May 2020 Graphics  (1) copy 5Today is National Non-Profit Day therefore the business of the week this week is just that, a non-profit.

If you are a gem hound the Rice NW Museum may just be a must see place.  Founded in 1952 by Richard & Helen Rice as their family home.  Richard was a logger who incorporated many rare Oregon woods into their home.  They built a gallery in their basement to display their personal mineral collection.  In 1997 the entire building was turned into a public museum and in 2005 an additional gallery building was also constructed.

One of the things that is so unique about this building that Richard built is that the architectural style incorporates natural stone work as well as extraordinary natural Oregon wood work which given Richard’s profession isn’t a surprise.  I wonder when Richard and Helen began their personal collection if they ever thought that their home would be on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Rice Museum offers on site tours (appointments are required to visit), off-site Portable Earth Science Programs, and educational tours.  If you are looking for something unique to go do maybe a visit to the museum is just what you need.

You can find them on Facebook at Facebook @RiceNWMuseum, and they are located at 26385 NW Groveland Dr. in HIllsboro.  Phone number to make those appointments to visit is 503-647-2418