Wednesday, January 25, 2012

30 Day Photography Challenge- Day 2,3 & 4!

I sincerely apologize for "slacking" on my photography challenge.... actually my computer was crashing for about a week plus! Thank goodness for a brother who is a computer guy genius, I am finally back on my computer! So here we are... time to catch up!

Day 2: What I wore today

Above is one of my FAVORITE work outfits. Those flats are comfortable, I love my ninja socks, the tank top fits me well, the sweater is perfect for the office and black slacks are a must! When it comes to clothes, I am no fashionista. =) Any fashionistas out there want to go shopping with me to help a sista out? ha..ha!

Day 3: Clouds

Recently I went to the coast with the winery crew for a work retreat. This was a view from the condos during one morning. I was in love with the clouds and the cloud line. The scenery this morning was stunning, and the sunset on this evening was breathtaking. Clouds add a great element of beauty to nature.

Day 4: Something Green

I have no idea what the objects in this photo are, but they were hanging in the window of a gift shop. I thought that they were fascinating, so I snapped a few photos of them, and thankfully there was some green in the shot!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wine Chat (#winechat) February 29th! Join us!

A row of carmine at Kramer Vineyards- fall of 2011
 On February 29th 2012, AKA Leap Day, Beau and I will have the privilege to host #winechat from 9-10 EST! The topic we chose is "obscure and uncommon northwest varietals". As wine geeks lovers, it is always fun to taste and share the gems that are not part of the mainstream.

Now perhaps you are curious exactly what we mean when we suggest "Obscure and Uncommon Northwest Varietals". Here are some examples:

Oregon Grenache:
Abacela is a winery located in Roseburg, Oregon. I have tasted through their wines a few times and they are of great quality. They do make a grenache, however, it is not listed on their website. We found a bottle at a wine shop, so they are in circulation. They do have a grenache rose listed on their website, which is a wine I would love to try! Perhaps I can get my hands on a bottle for this tasting!

Oregon Tempranillo:
In southern Oregon there are several wineries that are producing tempranillo. Tempranillo is a wine that I am not completely familiar with and I would love to get to know it a lot more! I went to a tempranillo tasting earlier this year where I had my first Oregon tempranillo and I fell in love. I see Oregon tempranillo on shelves in wine shops around Portland, but I would really love to see more of it avaliable. A few tempranillo producers in Oregon are Abacela, Anna Maria (Valley View Winery), and Roxy Ann.

This is a wine that has my sweet spot. It was the first wine that I ever really loved to enjoy, and I can drink it year round. I love it either still or as a sparkling wine. It pairs beautifully with spicy foods, especially Thai cuisine. The two producers I will mention for muller-thurgau is Kramer Vineyards and Montinore. Kramer produces both a sparkling and still version of muller while Montinore produces only the still. Unfortunatly Montinore is all sold out of 2010 muller-thurgau at this time, so I look forward to their next release in the spring. I am currently on the hunt for other mullers, so if you discover a muller that you love, please share with me!

So please grab a glass, a wine that you feel fits the category, and join us on twitter!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicken Fried Steak Smackdown #1

Chicken fried steak is one of my favorite breakfast items. I was introduced to this irresistable fried cubed steak heaven roughly four years ago. Since then I have been HOOKED. If its on the menu, I must try it! My love of this gravy smothered breakfast has led me to go on a mission to find what I think is the best chicken fried steak in northwestern Oregon.

Chicken Fried Steak #1!

Yesterday morning Beau and I were out delivering some wine and one of the stops was at Coleman's Shady Rest in Gales Creek, Oregon. I have heard plenty of buzz about their breakfast, so we stayed to see what this place was all about!

Upon arrival of our food, I was amazed by the proportions. They were huge! My chicken fried steak took up about half of the plate (as it should), the potatoes were crispy home style potatoes, and the eggs were perfect (over medium). Beau's burger was also stunning. He ordered a pastrami burger and the bun probably had a diameter of six inches. We were drooling over the food that was in front of us.

Upon cutting into my steak I immediately noticed how easy the meat was to cut and that it was not tough or stringy. I have had some chicken fried steaks where I needed a saw to cut through the meat, but not this one. The meat cut very easily. I *drooled* again over the beautiful, hand breaded, gravy covered cubed steak.   The food wasn't overly salty and it had the right amount of pepper. The gravy was greasy spoon style country gravy with sausage chunks. The dish is greasy, as it should be! I left there saying over and over "Oh my, that is one of the best chicken fried steaks I have had".

Coleman's Shady Rest has set the bar high for this dish. The bottom line is that this chicken fried steak is a greasy spoon, home style chicken fried steak that is a must try! If you are headed to the coast on the Wilson River Highway, please stop in. We both thoroughly enjoyed what we ordered and will be back to visit for more!

Friends- Do any of you have a place you think is a must visit place for chicken fried steak? I am on the hunt!



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Photo Challenge: 30 Days of Photos

First off- I need to thank my friend Megan for introducing me to Pinterest, my new addiction. Secondly, I must thank her for showing me the photo challenge. This photo challenge requires you take 30 photos in 30 days over various topics. A challenge that includes photos? Hell yes I am up for it. I may not take a photo a day, but I will keep posting on my blog the photos that I take, in order and label them accordingly.

Here is the challenge:

If any of you think this would be fun to do, please join in!! Would love to see you convey your creativity with a camera. Well here we go:

Day 1: Self Portrait

In my opinion- taking self portraits SUCK! Here was my attempt at a self portrait. No make-up, just a straightener to the hair and that's it. Since this is my first self portrait for this photo challenge, I thought I should leave it basic to show the plain Becky Boo! Perhaps for the photo on day 30 I will get creative =) Till then~



Monday, January 2, 2012

2012- What shall I expect?

From my last post 2011: A Year to Remember, I highlighted many milestones that happened in my life. Now that it is 2012 I keep thinking....What shall I expect? I am currently happy at my job but I know that I wont be there forever. I am realizing that it soon will be time for me to take my career in a new direction. I will need to seek out a job that is more of a challenge for me in 2012. I will need to find a job that gives me something I strive for. Most importantly this job must help me get to my goal of "doing what I love, and to love what I do". The HUGE question is "what" will I be doing that I love in my career?

Things that I know I love: Food, wine, beer, photography, and cooking (yes...epicurean). I hope that I can find a career or own a business where I am able to take what I love and am passionate about and share it with others. I don't see myself being stuck behind a desk for the rest of my life, nor working in the corporate world. I come from a small family business, and that is where my heart is. Perhaps in the next 5 to 10 years I can make that small business happen. 

Until then, here are my 2012 goals:

Goal #1: Many of you know I am an avid homebrewer so I plan to learn much more about brewing beer. I plan to hit the books harder and get as much brewing knowledge into my brain cells as they can handle. I would love to find an intern position at a brewery or *gasp* find a part time job!

Goal #2: I am passionate about photography, and this is an area that I really need to expand on as well. I need to learn about processing photos, as well as more photography techniques.

Goal #3: What is New Years goals without having a health one? I want to incorporate more clean eating into my diet. The past 6 months I have been splurging so now its time for me to cut back and work on my health.

Goal #4: Honestly I hate running, but I make myself do it because its good for the body. One of my goals this year is to run a half marathon. I have done a 5K, but never a half marathon. Perhaps this year I will finally get into cross fit too =)

Looking into the future of 2012, there is a lot of exciting things that could happen. There are a lot of directions my life can go. I look forward to the adventures that the next year has to bring.

Cheers to 2012!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: A year to remember!

2011 is now over and today marks the first day in 2012. The past year was a huge year in my life and is one that I will cherish in my memory for years to come. It deserves some praise, so here are the highlights:


 I graduated with a degree in Business Management and Human Resource Management from Portland State University. This has been one of the biggest days of my life because it is one of the biggest accomplishments I have achieved. I met some wonderful people going to school there. I had one professor who has changed my life. In her classes she pushed for students to use their creativity, and she made students light up in ways that other professors cant. One thing that I walked away from that class with, which is also something that I now strive for is to "Do what I love, and love what I do".

For graduation, my parents and my grandmother helped fund a trip for me to Finland. It is a place I always dreamed of going because my heritage is Finnish and my best friend Pauliina lives in Finland. After graduation I jet setted to Finland to visit for 2 weeks in July. The country is absolutely beautiful, the people are delightful, the food was great, and I wish I could go back year after year. Finland felt like a second home to me, and Paulina's family made me feel welcome. I traveled the country from the Arctic Circle where I went and saw Santa, traveled west to Vasa (the town my great grandfather was from), and south down to Helsinki. This trip was memorable and very meaningful for me. I cannot wait to go back. Lucky for me, I snagged a better half who is Finnish as well!

My bathroom is my brewery- for now =)
In March of 2011 I began to brew beer at home, and now I am addicted. I have close to 15 beers brewed and I have plenty more I plan to do in 2012. My interest in beer has grown dramatically in 2011. I am very thirsty to learn everything about beer that I can. I hope to someday have a job at a brewery so I can help create some of this heavenly beverage on a commercial scale. My favorite homebrew from 2011 is a raspberry hefeweizen. I entered this at the state fair and got 2nd place!

In 2011 I met my better half Beau.  We began to chat on Twitter about wine and other various topics. Beau and I met in May of 2011 when he came up to visit Portland. He was trying to figure out where he wanted to move to and Portland was one of his options. I had one goal in mind; convince him to come to Portland! We had an epic time touring the Oregon Coast, Portland, and the Willamette Valley together. We drank lots of wine, beer and ate plenty of food. I did my best to show him the highlights of what Portland has to offer and why he should MUST move here. Secretly I had a fear that the dreamy SoCal guy wouldn't go for a small town Oregon country girl like me, but he did! I snagged the California cutie and he is now sitting across the table from me at an apartment in Beaverton, Oregon.

In March of 2011 I became an aunt! My brother and his wife had their first child, Marcus. He was born weighing almost 10 pounds. It has been a joy to watch him grow over the months. He has been growing like a weed, and is one adorable little man. My family was very excited to welcome Marcus.

2011 was also full of great dinner parties, I started my blog, cooked like crazy, began a photography website (, and met many wonderful people through the wine industry and twitter. To everyone who I have met and to those that have helped me: thank you! I look forward to sharing a glass of wine or a pint of beer with many of you in 2012.