Pumpkin Beer Taste Test

Fall has hit the northwest in full force. I spent this weekend wearing cozy flannels, raking leaves, and cuddling up with my dog under a heated blanket watching Harry Potter.

With my renewed zest for fall has come a little pumpkin beer taste test. I recently went to a place I’ve nicknamed beer heaven with a huge selection, and picked up this mixed six pack: Continue reading

A very good weekend.

I managed to fit a lot of my favorite summertime activities into the last 24 hours:

Drive-n movie theater

Food carts

Ride the OHSU tram


Milwaukie farmer’s market

Get someone a birthday present

Visit the dog park


Sleeping in

Time in the hammock

Yard work


Visit the rebuilding center

Learn to cook on a charcoal grill

Thrift shop


Buffalo wings

Dinner date

Sunset beers

I guess it’s okay with me that this is the last weekend of August. Now that the deck project is done, I’m working to get the most out of my remaining summer.

What I learned this weekend about having two dogs

Hello! Happy Monday!

So the highlight of my weekend was having a chance to dog-sit for a couple of friends for a night. Sharky is pretty much Osa’s equal in every way. Same size. About the same level of energy. Both black dogs who love to play. I was looking forward to seeing what life with two dogs might look like, having grown up with 2+ dogs at any given time (not to mention cats, chickens, fish, birds, rabbits, etc.)

So first things first, here’s the cute stuff:


Both dogs love cheese. But not as much as me, so I didn’t feel like sharing.


It was hard to get a picture of them both sitting outside, because they were generally a big blur of chasing and wrestling this weekend.


When it’s time for dinner, dogs go on one side of the gate, and humans with pizza go on the other.


…that is, until the doggies need a break from bugging each other. Then they both are in time out.


Osa wasn’t too happy when I took Sharky inside and left her. This is her way of letting me know. Subtle, right?

So here’s my insight from the weekend:

This weekend, I realized something. Two dogs don’t behave like two separate minds. They behave like one dog with a lot of momentum.

Let me explain. Let’s say I call to Osa, and she has two choices. Either she comes, or she doesn’t. Being pretty generous to my training of her, we’ll say there’s a fifty-fifty chance that she obeys. Given this, you’d think that with two dogs, you’d have two cases of this: each dog has a certain likelihood of obeying, given their disposition, right?

Nope. See, with two dogs, they enter this kind of pack mentality. If you give them both a command, they BOTH have to want to obey it to have it happen. If one or both of them doesn’t want to obey the command, neither of them will. That takes a fifty-fifty likelihood down to this:

Osa and Sharky punnet square opposite-01

…about one in four. (and yes, the middle school science nerd in me revels in using a punnet square to explain this idea.)

Now, let’s say, as a hypothetical, that my dog isn’t that well trained. Hypothetically. Let’s say that in reality, it’s more likely a one in three chance that she’ll actually do what I say. Sharky’s a much more solid guy. This would be a better illustration of my weekend:

Osa and Sharky punnet square where osa is a stinky-01

So that’s my big lesson I learned. The collective mind is more powerful than the individual will. Just like the Borg. Or wolf packs. Or hey! Middle school kids. That kind of came full circle.

And today? Osa is missing her friend, and still dead tired from her weekend of fun:


Erin’s First Post-High School Book Report and Hey March is Women’s History Month

We should all be feminists.

That’s what I came away with to after reading this essay by Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie. Although I’ll admit, I held this belief long before opening these pages. I’ve recently read Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun and loved them both, so when I saw this 52 page book, I knew it would be a perfect bus reader.
We Should All Be Feminists on Hey Hey Erin May
If you’re interested in an articles that well summarize this book, I’d recommend this article that calls it the most important book you’ll read all year, or here.
One thing I like about this book is that it’s accessible as a primer on what it is to be a feminist. It uses plain language and interesting anecdotes.
On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the message is nuanced enough for the well versed and well established feminist by speaking to the  inherent complexity in the term.
I especially identified with the way Adichie felt she had to qualify what “type” of feminist she is:
…since feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands…I decided to call myself a Happy Feminist.
These qualifications keep going until she’s calling herself a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men.”…when really being a feminist is being “a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Doesn’t that sound simpler?
This resonated with me in so many ways; as a woman, a hardworking professional, a wife, a blogger, a fashion loving lady, a sister to three boys– and all aspects of my values, traditional AND modern, are part of how I identify with being feminist.
Because March is Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share a few links I found particularly relevant, given my recent read:

Building your online brand, while being yourself?

Last week, I attended a free networking/lecture event put on by pdxMindShare, focused on “Building your personal brand through social media.”

This event, featuring the wicked smart Kent Lewis (and his dry sense of humor), was largely intended for use in professional settings, as a career-focused workshop. The intent was to learn to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and more to build an online presence, including boosting your own visibility and credibility.

After sharing some great insights on what platforms to use for what purposes, etc, I was able to pose the question:

How much of yourself do you share through social media, and where do you draw the line between personal and public profiles, let alone personal and professional?

This is a question I return to pretty regularly with regards to my own social media usage. As a marketer, I’m aware of the power of building a professional brand online. On the other hand, I’m a real person with friends and family I like to connect with, interests outside of work, and a sometimes quirky sense of humor. The example I used at the event was that, though I’m a marketer and want to show off my industry acumen, I’m a multidimensional person whose top blog post to this day is “DIY Hipster Tank Top“… and I like it that way.

There are a lot of articles out there about protecting your private life from exposure via social media, but what does this mean for a digital native who wants to share everything, from what they ate for dinner to their weird obsession with polka dot pants?

I’m not sure! And there is probably a different solution for every individual, industry, and preference out there.

I’ll leave this with an interesting comment I first read on Reddit’s “Shower Thoughts” subreddit:

“The future President of the United States probably has a Facebook account right now. And there will probably be some embarrassing photos on there.”




The creative to do list: where left brain and right brain thinking intersect.

(Post-it notes are particularly satisfying because you can crumple up the task and throw it in the recycle bin when you’re done. Unless you’re me. Then you miss the bin entirely and make a mini mess.)