Product Review: Power Bank

We just had a Rue 21 open up in town, and I went to check it out. hasGenerally unimpressed (cheaper quality than Forever 21, higher prices, and smaller sizes…yuck). But I saw this little extended iphone battery and I had to check it out, since I was getting ready for my vacation and I knew I would be using my phone as a camera.  With a $4.99 price tag, I figured it was worth the risk.


The charger took a few hours to charge with it’s internal rechargable battery. When you plug it in to charge it has a red light on the back to indicate it was charging.image (2) You then throw it into your purse with your iphone cord (or anything else, it uses a USB port). When your device is running low on juice, plug it in and let it be.  The light on the back will turn blue to indicate your device is being charged.image (1)My device was able to recoup about 60% of it’s battery life in an hour or so before the charger ran out of juice. That was WITH me using it to surf the web while it was charging. I’m sure it would have lasted longer if I had left it alone.

Similar products can cost upwards of $50 a piece, and work about as well as this one. I was very impressed by the quality for the cost. I am excited to have this for my phone emergencies on vacations or long days out of the house!


I got mine in store at Rue 21, but here is the same product on Amazon.


Wonderful Wednesday: A Little Bit of Lovely

Today I dedicate to the wonderful gift of marriage! My beautiful cousin Koralynn is marrying her sweetheart Ben this weekend, and I am so excited for them. It was such a gift to be able to celebrate with Kora at her bridal shower on Sunday, and I am so excited to welcome Ben into our crazy clan. Congrats Mr & Mrs. Kuenzi!

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No Menu Post Today :(

I hope everyone had a very restful holiday weekend! No meal post today, I am getting ready for an exciting trip to Las Vegas for my darling friend Camille’s bachelorette party! All I can think about is all the tasty margaritas I’m going to be drinking on Thursday.  Here is a link to a great Prickly Pear Margarita over at the Pink Patisserie that that is good for the soul! I don’t know the great folks who write that blog, but they are an inspiration in my little kitchen. 🙂

Click to check out the Prickly Pear Margarita at Pink Patisserie

Outdoors Gear For Dad

In a few short weeks we will be celebrating the glorious holiday of Father’s Day. If you are like me, you have a rock climbing-hiking-hunting kind of Dad, who loves all things outdoors. Here are some great gear items to consider for Dad this Father’s Day.

  1. REI Pinnacle 50 Packc93eb225-5a2b-4860-beb8-6d48b9cb1a04I have been really impressed with REI’s line of backpacks the last few years. Very affordable, sturdy, and lightweight. This is a great mid-sized pack, and the color is very visible, which is useful for backpacking in Oregon and other areas where hunting is popular.
  2. Columbia Max Chill T-Shirt 90069edc-c0ac-4a5f-ae72-28d8b869f14cI love the Columbia Sportswear hiking shirts more than any other brand. They last forever, and this line has special fabric meant to keep you cool, which is perfect for summer backpacking and adventuring. this also dries fast and makes a great swim top for pastey dads like mine who are prone to sunburn.
  3.  Gerber Paraframe Ifd938816-03fb-4298-8d44-ced9eea3624cI am a Gerber loyalist and I love the crap out of this knife. When I worked as a camp counselor this is the knife I carried every day in my pocket. This is a lightweight and versatile knife that I highly recommend.
  4. Keen H2 Newport Sandalsbcaa3270-861b-432b-a9f1-c8cf01400ce4These are super great water shoes for all things river related:rafting, fishing, or “tubing”. An outdoors classic that comes in a variety of colors and styles.
  5. Columbia River Eat’N Tool77b39e1f-8135-436a-bc7d-ad56a950c6f5This super cool lightweight gadget is a must have for your day treks and excursion. It weights almost nothing but has the basics for a short hiking trip in case of an emergency, or to eat that tasty lunch you have in your pack. At less than $8, it’s also a total steal.

Marriage Equality in Oregon!


It is no secret to those who know me well that I am an avid and outspoken advocate for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered rights. As an openly bisexual woman, and also as…a PERSON, I believe profoundly that all consenting adults should have the same rights to marriage, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

My foray into politics began about 10 years ago in the Fall of 2004 when I canvassed with my high school’s Gay Straight Alliance against measure 36 in Oregon, which defined Marriage as being between one man and one woman in the Oregon Constitution. I remember very clearly crying in my choir teacher’s office with my high school friend Mara when we found out the measure had passed. I came out a few months later. I remember the devastation that if my life partner was a woman, I would not be able to marry her. This devastation led to the past 10 years of activism and political involvement on my part, and has shaped me in uncountable ways.

Of course, I met Vaughn and we fell madly in love, and our right to marry hasn’t been impeded by archaic laws, but I know hundreds of couples out of the thousands all over the State of Oregon that have been denied that right. I am thrilled and overwhelmed with joy that on May 19th of 2014 the State of Oregon stepped into the 21st century and made marriage rights equal for all Oregonians. As I write this I am in tears of joy!

The battle is not over yet, as GLBTQ people all over the world are still suffering and struggling from oppression and inequality. But this victory in Oregon is a huge milestone and a huge accomplishment. I am overwhelmed with joy.

Congrats to the newlyweds! May your marriage be filled with love and light!

marriage equality

Menu Monday: Camping Breakfast Burritos

This is one of our favorite camping breakfasts that my mom made growing up. It’s high calorie, but when you’re camping you tend to be more active….and this warm and filling breakfast is an essential camp meal when you’re waking up on a chilly morning in the campsite.


  • 1 bag tater tots
  • eggs
  • meat of your choosing
  • shredded cheese
  • salsa
  • peppers or tomatoes to your liking.2014-04-26 09.57.23


  1. Oil a frying pan and start cooking your tots on medium. camp stoves are Tricky, but its better to cook it slow then burn your tots. They will take the longest to cook. Make sure to keep your eye on them and stir them as you go. They will get soft and separate as you cook them.2014-04-26 10.25.16
  2. Cook up your meat of choice. When it’s are done, cover them to keep them warm.
  3. At this point, you can lay your tortillas on top of the tots to start warming up.2014-04-26 10.32.18
  4. Scramble up your eggs last.
  5.  Pile everything into the tortillas and enjoy!2014-04-26 10.43.23Om nom nooooooom.

10 Best Outdoors Apps

As technology increases, many of us have taken to our smartphones trying to find ways to improve our outdoor experiences. I’ve tried quite a few apps over the years, and here are the most useful and most fun I’ve used so far.

2014-04-18 10.44.20

  1. What Knot to Do: Columbia Sportswear – This is one of my favorite apps, because it is useful both in the outdoors and also to fight at-home boredom. It has step by step instructions on how to tie an abundance of knots, and is an overall very useful app.
  2. The North Face Explorer – This is a great app to track your adventures! It has some fun features that allow you to earn badges for exploring, tells you how much daylight is left, and much more!
  3. Star Chart – this is a fun app for nights under the stars (or when teaching the astronomy merit badge, scouters!). Point this app at the night sky and it will help you to identify constellations! Very cool!
  4. Peakfinder – I LOVE this app. Especially in Oregon, where you can see peaks everywhere you look, point this app at the skyline and it will tell you which peak you are looking at. Also good for settling debates with Dad.
  5. Classic Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner by Coleman – This is a great app for planning camping meals, especially when car camping with groups. It gives you a variety of directions and meal plans, which is ESSENTIAL when you want to eat more than hotdogs and beans.
  6. EveryTrail – I have used this app a lot when trying to find a trail in a new area, or in general. We have found a ton of great new hikes in our area. This app can also track you via GPS if there are new trails to follow. I used this app to make a trail map of YMCA Camp Silver Creek when I worked there!
  7. Elevation Pro– This app does what it says: gives you your elevation, anywhere, based off the USGS survey.
  8. ReserveAmerica Camping –  Reserve campsites at thousands of campgrounds, nationwide. Several states and federal campgrounds also use this for their reservations, it’s a great resource for last minute camping trips.
  9. First Aid by American Red Cross & Pet First Aid by American Red Cross – While you should always be prepared and know your first aid BEFORE you go camping, this app will give step by step instructions for a variety of First Aid situations.
  10. Trip Journal – This is a SUPER fun app for adventures.  It allows you to take photos and write journal posts on  a trip and they will link through GPS, which is great if you want to remember EXACTLY where you saw that bear!