1. Green EP by Fortune’s Folly
Earlier this year, one of my favorite “local” bands finally released some new music, which can be found on their Green EP ($10) ! Fortune’s Folly is based out of Eugene, Oregon and they always know how to put on a great show! Calysta’s energetic and captivating stage presence, surrounded by groovy, dynamic beats from Ira Mazie (guitar), Jesse Sanchez (bass), and Alex “Squatch” Koleber (drums) is a show you don’t want to miss in person.
The Green EP includes five new songs which will all easily become ear worms after your first listen through. While every song has had the glory of consistently playing in the background of my brain, Freak Flag is an easy favorite to sing along to—especially after watching the impressive music video!
2. The Original Air Fryer by Philips
Okay, I’m a bit late to the air fryer game, but now that I finally have one, I often find myself wondering how I’ve survived 29 years on this earth without one. Gratefully, I was gifted this Original Air Fryer ($148) for the holidays (Thanks, mom!), and it’s changed the way I cook almost everything. Vegan drumsticks? Check! Breakfast potatoes? Check! Chimichangas? Oh my—check!
Air fryers are a newer way to cook foods that could be easily fried or cooked in the oven, but in a much healthier and quicker way. This kitchen appliance circulates hot air around the food to cook it, while making it nice and crispy. There’s a knob for changing the temperature (dependent upon what you’re cooking), as well as a timer, which will start and end the cooking process. I’ve found that many of the dishes I’ve cooked so far come out being restaurant quality—especially the chimichangas! Next up on my list of food to make? Jalapeño poppers from JL Field’s book!
(Side note: Mine came with this double layer rack with skewers, making more room to cook more chimichangas at once. Would recommend!)
3. Salted Caramel Swirl Frozen Mousse from So Delicious
Somehow I didn’t know this product existed until it was shoved into my hands about a week ago. While having a major chocolate craving, and after naming a variety of chocolate things I wanted (which did NOT include chocolate bars), a sweet friend of mine indulged in bringing me treats—this Salted Caramel Mousse being one of them. (Pricing varies depending on location. Use the store finder to find frozen mousse near you!)
The mousse is so light when picking it up; it feels like an empty container! The texture of the frozen mousse is ridiculously creamy, light, and fluffy. I’ve never experienced anything like it! I don’t have a lot of favorite non-dairy ice creams, but this one has quickly been added to the list!
(Side note: Check out the plethora of flavor options of Frozen Mousse from So Delicious!)
4. Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge
I am so hashtag blessed to live in sunny Portland, Oregon, less than an hour away from the Columbia Gorge. A place that’s always beautiful for hiking, Latourell (free!) is one of my favorite hikes to do. Out of many hikes I’ve accomplished in the gorge, I find Latourell to be on the easier side, especially after the initial switchbacks that you climb to get as high as the waterfall you see in this photo to the right.
Along the way, you might find salmonberries, an arched maple tree, beautiful sword ferns, Oregon wood sorrel, and a ridiculous amount of photographic opportunities. Once you’re done, I suggest having a picnic at the view point in the parking lot, or crossing the road to have a snack at the Guy W Talbot State Park picnic area.
(Side note: The Columbia Gorge is filled with a number of waterfalls, hikes, and picnic areas where you can appreciate the forest! Remember to do your part: Leave No Trace! If you pack it in, pack it out! Mother Nature is very precious, and we need to do everything we can to take care of her.)