Best of 2015

Architecture, food challenges, roadtrips and a really weird haunted house are all part of my Best of 2015 list.

Happy New Year!
This is one of my favorite holidays.  January 1st just feels so new and clean, full of hope and promise.  Plus it’s a chance to say goodbye to the gluttony and stress that are the holidays.  This year was just too much for me.  I was STRESSED.  Nothing bad happened, I just got overwhelmed early in the month and had a tough time recovering.  

2015-05-26 11.05.15-1

So I’m really looking forward to 2016.  Last year I was all about keeping little Brigitte alive and healthy.  We did it!  But now I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.  It feels like a chance to reset, start over and re-asses my goals.  I don’t set “resolutions”.  Instead I set goals.  What do I want to accomplish this year? I make a list of 5-7 things I want to accomplish this year and then post it on the wall in my bedroom.  Seeing the list everyday reminds me of the bigger picture and helps me prioritize.

I’m still trying to figure out my goals for 2016,  so for now I’m looking back at 2015 to see what went well and what didn’t. I am pleasantly surprised at how many great posts I got up this year.  Despite being a new mom, I managed to write 110 posts.  Wow!  My most popular post by a long shot is still 25 Awesome Things To Do In Portland that I wrote back in 2014, but here are some from this year, that I’m really proud of:

  • With a tiny baby in my arms, I toured Frank Lloyd Wright’s only home in Oregon, The Gordon House, at the Oregon Gardens outside Silverton.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed enjoyed seeing the home and learning about Wright’s work.  It’s really opened my mind to the beauty and importance of architecture in our lives.  Gordon House exterior
  • One of the most popular posts of the year was 10 Portland Day Trips.  A good one for visitors trying to plan their trip or for locals trying to plan a fun weekend. 
  • Last spring, one of the local sensory deprivation tank centers here in Portland, Float On,  invited me to try a float.  It was fun and kind of trippy.  If you are a spa lover or interested in self exploration, check this one out.  
  • I am prone to wanderlust, so sometimes I just browse AirBNB for cool places to stay.  After exhausting the properties in Paris and Reykjavik I started looking at what’s available in my own backyard.  In true Portland fashion there are some weird rentals out there, so I created a guide to Portland’s Coolest AirBNBs.
  • This August the Oregon Food Bank invited me to participate in their Local Food Challenge.  I pledged to spend 10% of our family food budget on local foods.  I was happy and surprised to find it was easy!  Without much work I was able to devote 20-30% of the budget to local foods.   You can read more about my challenge here.Island cafe deck
  • I finally got around to sharing one of my all-time favorite Portland hidden gems, the Island Cafe a floating restaurant hidden away on Hayden Island.  A must-visit during the summer.  If you don’t have the cash for a tropical vacation, the Island Cafe is a pretty good alternative.  
  • I was so fortunate and honored to be awarded a blogger pass to Feast 2015, Portland’s biggest and best food festival.  This was my first time attending and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.  I ate and ate and ate and drank then ate some more.  
  • My family and I took a fun roadtrip through Northeastern Oregon with stops in the Wallowas and The Painted Hills.  Both are considered one of Oregon’s “7Wonders” and they didn’t disappoint.Painted Hills lines
  • In a perfect world all my posts would be as weird and wonderful as the Doll Asylum.  It is by far the most “Portland” event I covered all year.  One local family sets up a free halloween spook house featuring baby dolls and baby doll parts.  Hilarious and creepy.  
  • After na long string to questions from readers and friends,  I created a guide for visitors Where Should I Eat?  Tried and true restaurants that won’t disappoint locals or visitors. 
  • After years brewing in my brain, I finally shot my photo essay on the Best Neon Signs in Portland.  Kind of a silly little project but I enjoyed it.  

Doll asylum campfire

Listing it all out, makes me realize just how much I managed to do.  It was a lot!    And if you’ve been reading for all that time, thank you!  I love sharing this beautiful city with the world.  
Now I’m anxious to get 2016 started.  I have big plans for my blog, my freelance career and my personal life.  Projects are bubbling over in my mind….can’t wait to get started.  Please have a safe and happy new year.  Cheers!


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