There are hikes for everyone in the Columbia Gorge - easy, long, hard, scenic. Depending on your experience and who is with you, think family, the Columbia Gorge is a must see for visitors. Living in Portland, I get to visit the Gorge throughout the year and enjoy the different levels of water flow based on how much it has been raining lately. The Gorge has a different feel every time I go there. The difference is very apparent when you go in full summer sunshine versus a misty dark day, and each one is beautiful in its own way.

If you're looking to see a lot of waterfalls in a short amount of time with very little work, you can start at the Vista House exit and make your way along the Columbia River Historic Highway.

First stop Vista House

Prom-esque pictures are welcome.

Next stop: Latourell Falls - an easy walk to the bottom of the falls. All fitness levels can make this rating this waterfall as one of the best you can get really close to.

There are a couple other stops you can make before you get to the famous Multnomah Falls - Shepherd's Dell, Wahkeena and Bridal Veil. You've probably seen a lot of pictures of Multnomah Falls, but I still find there are different ways it can be captured depending on the day. When we went it was very lush from recent rain and sun mixtures. It's a gorgeous rain forest. This is a good place to practice your photography skills.

Checking out the Columbia River Gorge falls is a great activity for the rainy or summer Portland days. It's a versatile activity that pleases everyone who sees them. It can be hard to find things to do for family members that come into town. Especially the ones that may not like to do many outdoor things. Some other Portland rainy days activities could be the Portland Art Museum, Powell's Books or a brewpub movie theater. Even rainy days in Portland are full of adventures.

Bitches gotta have adventures.

01
Jan
2015

Happy New Year

2014 was a really good year for me. I hope all of you also had a great year. 2015 is already shaping up to be something magical. We rang in the new year on the Oregon coast and captured colorful sunsets, drank the Portland hipster staple - PBR, and enjoyed a celebration of old and new friends in a beach house. I am starting a new job and taking a spontaneous trip to Maui during my time off between jobs. I can't wait to share more adventures with you this year.

If you're not from New Jersey, you probably think the jersey shore is not a place you want to go. You might even think it's not beautiful, but it is. True story. Jersey has a lot of great places in it and one of them is the jersey shore. That is not to say that all of the jersey shore is worth seeing, but there are definitely hidden gems. In South Jersey, my favorite beach spots are Ocean City, Sea Isle, Somers Point, Long Beach Island and Brigantine and in north jersey my favorite spots are Pleasant Point, Asbury Park, Ocean Township and Monmouth Beach.

During Thanksgiving weekend, my Dad and I took an adventure to the jersey shore. We made our way to Ocean Township and Asbury Park. I forget how much I love it the jersey shore until I'm there on the boardwalk looking out to the ocean with the wind brushing across my face and the smell of the ocean sweeping into my nostrils. 




Best friends are hard to come by. When you find them, try to keep the good ones as long as you can. There a few friends I keep in contact with even being over 2,000 miles away. It's beautiful that you can make that happen with certain people, but others in your same town you barely see anymore. It happens and is a good reminder to keep the ones you are able to still cherish over 2,000 miles. My friend Jenna is amazing, she has chickens. I'm surprised she doesn't have goats yet. She is living in South Jersey and making it her own little farm. She's so cute. Look at these chickens and that serious sunset. I mean this is in South Jersey!

Hope you all have amazing Christmas Eve adventures!

Do you know who makes a great Thanksgiving meal? The Asselta family. I'm sure your family's Thanksgiving is also the most delicious. At least I hope so. It's a good thing we don't eat like this all the time. 

I think this turkey could be in a cookbook or a food magazine.

This would also be a great Christmas turkey. Think cranberries with rosemary. These are the things that make the holidays smell so nice.

This is why we can't eat like this all the time it's too much food. I know, what a terrible thing to complain about. It's not really complaining, it's just the truth. My family is so cute about their name tags. You can't tell from the picture below, but they were turkeys. I had to help make five of them, it took forever. I don't recommend being this cute and making these kind of name tags.

And then there was dessert. So many options. We don't mess around with dessert. Holiday desserts are the real deal with the Asselta family. Don't even act like you aren't going to try three different slices of pie and cheesecake. Be real. You're going to walk away from Thanksgiving gaining five pounds here. It's ok, no one is going to tell. It is always worth it.

The next morning my lovely Aunt Becky made us breakfast. I think my Aunt needs to write a cookbook. I'll take the pictures, she can provide the recipes. New Jersey bagels are way better than west boast bagels. Portland has nothing on Jersey and New York bagels, FOR REAL.  

I don't even know how we are still eating food at this point. It seems really unnecessary.

I haven't mentioned yet that there was a storm brewing on the way out to the east coast. My Dad told me to pay attention to the weather. I had no idea there was a storm working its way up the coast. Thankfully my flight was early enough, so I arrived just in time before it really started to dump snow. This snow was the heavy thick sticky snow that is great for making snowman with. It is not the best to drive in, but it is the best excuse for wearing pajamas and playing board games all night.

Happy Holidays from my cats to yours. 

Not a weird cat lady. Just weird.

Guys, the holidays have been keeping me busy. I went on an adventure to the east coast, pics to come soon maybe some hilarious thoughts. I don't know, do you even think I'm funny at this point? I one time saw a shirt that said "I'm not funny, I just quote movies." Truth.

Do you like to listen to things while you are busy working or cleaning the house or doing yoga? I don't know, get creative. Well if you don't listen to things while you work or at home, you will now. Because I just started listening to the Serial podcast on Monday. That's two days ago. And I've already listened to all of the episodes. The episodes on average are about 45 minutes long, so yeah I kind of head a serious binge session. It's THAT good. 

Serial is a podcast about a real crime story. Without giving to much away, Adnon claims he was wrongfully accused in the murder of his ex-girlfriend named Hae. They were all still in highschool when the crime occurred. Jay is an acquiantance of Adnon's who claims Adnon is the killer, because Adnon told him he did it. There is a lot more to the story. It's seriously worth listening to. There are a lot of opinions on the internet about all the different theories of Serial. A lot of people are unsure if Adnon did it, some think Jay did it, some think one of the girls in the story did it, so on and so on. It's hard to even decide what your own feelings are on all of it. 

If you want to know my thoughts on it, leave a comment below or email me at everydaytamara@gmail.com. Discussions need to be had. This is a real life drama. I understand there are some feeling about portraying this crime and characterizing these real life people, but it happened and if the guy truly is innocent it's good that this was put into the public for debate.

Start with Serial Podcast Episode 1

All other episodes - http://serialpodcast.org/

A description of the podcast from the Serial Podcast website:

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae's body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she's been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators' notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence - all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.

 

Sometimes food resembles things in life that make it look unappetizing. Like chili and poop or chicken pot pie and vomit. But, it smells great and is delicious. So there is no worry about the pictures I will show you. It might look like spew inside delicious dough, but it is chicken pot pie and this is the best thing on a cold winter day. Also, it's not that time consuming if you make the spew filling ahead of time. 

Ingredients (creates two pie fillings)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of sliced carrots
  • 2 cups of cubed potatoes (sweet or white)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 4 easy pie crust recipe 

Instructions

  1. Add all of the above ingredients, besides the frozen mixed veggies and pie crust into a slow cooker. Yes, it's that easy. Isn't life awesome with a slow cooker? 
  2. Set slow cooker on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  3. In the meantime, you can make the easy pie crust recipe found in a later post.
  4. When the filling is done cooking, roll out the pie crust and place in pie pan.
  5. Preheat oven to 425F.
  6. Add filling into pie crust. Lay over second piece of pie crust over filling to enclose your pie filling. Pinch the edges and poke holes in the top to allow air release. 
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. 
  8. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
  9. This recipe makes enough filling for two pies. I made one pie and then used the rest of the filling as a casserole with biscuits on top. Chicken pot pie versatility!



This pie gets made with serious love. That heart is full of meaning and fork holes. The holidays are keeping me really busy. I made cookies for 4 hours last night. I just can't get enough of warm baking season. December is hectic, but also kind of my favorite with all the Christmas stuff. Don't act like you don't enjoy a few Christmas jingles. Kevin pretends he doesn't like them either and then I catch him singing the tunes. 

There are hidden Christmas lovers all around us. 

Enjoy the pie, bitches.

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