Tired of being tired?

New Car-Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Well, we made the decision to trade in the Smart Car for something with a bit more room. Not only that, but hearing every single time that you drive somewhere, that you're going to die, or you're driving a coffin on wheels, got a bit tiresome. Unfortunately, we didn't want to trade it in, but people's comments and negativity about it, was really starting to affect my anxiety levels. It's a real shame that people can't seem to see the damage their words do to people overall. We did make a decision that once we are in a good place with this car payment, we'll be looking into getting a new Smart Car again, regardless of what others say, but for now, this car is awesome. 

It's a Hyundai Veloster Turbo and it has three doors. I like how sporty it is and that is has some decent horsepower. I like to switch it over to the turbo at red lights and take off fast. We purchased it in Corvallis, Oregon, at a Toyota dealership and funny enough, I was leaving class one day at the college and noticed them putting the stickers and information on it. I stopped the next day and asked about it and went back a day later to test drive it. Two days later, I was signing the paperwork and driving it away. I was really sad to see my Smart Car go, but I did happen to see it for sale a few days later, in the same spot this very car was sitting. 

The day we drove the new car off the lot, we took it on the interstate and got up to 110 miles and hour. It didn't even feel like we were going that fast, so it was a lot of fun. Of course, we don't plan on taking it that fast very often, but that moment, it was cool to live on the edge with it. We are definitely going to have a lot of fun with this car.

Five simple things


Hope your week was a good one. The week before was rainy, cold, and at times windy. It was the perfect time to sit inside under a cozy blanket sipping hot cocoa and eat soup for dinner every night-And we did just that. When Friday rolled around the weather hadn't let up any and I decided to skip posting and The Mr. and I made a batch of beer instead. Seems like the perfect excuse really. The batch is currently bubbling its little heart out in the brew closet. For this week though, the weather completely made a turn-around and is/was sunny mostly. We did a few spring-type things outside, but really just sat and soaked in some sun. The winters here in Oregon are pretty hard on a sun lover, so anytime the sun peeks I am out and about in it. Currently, The Mr. and I are getting a quick Easter basket together for The Bean. Believe it or not, he is 14 and still believes in the bunny. I know, soon it will end, but for right now, we like to keep the magic going. So here are five simple things that made this week great!

1. These Mount Hood hops.

These are the hops we used with our batch of beer we cooked up. We also have this same variety growing in our hops garden and are hoping to get a few blooms from it this summer. They smell amazing! And I like to eat them while we brew because they are delicious.

2. This reminder...

Life is good isn't it? We all should slow down, enjoy the little things, and for God's sake, stop taking offense to everything that happens. This quote is a reminder to us that no matter what, keep life simple, be humble, enjoy the little things, and always take life at a Swell's pace.

3. Yogi Surprise boxes for March.

I really can't say enough about this company. Based in Portland, so it's local for me, and most of the items in the box come from small business in and around the United States. It's a great monthly box and I love each and every item that comes in it each month. Get on April's mailing list here. (enter code Springs25 and get 25% off your first box. This weekend only!) Grab a Spring Equinox box here, too!

4. Fab Fit Fun for Spring.

I have decided to give Fab Fit Fun another year of a subscription. Mainly because of the latest spring box. Everything in this season's box was perfect! It's a nice seasonal box to give you a jump-start on items you might otherwise overlook. The pampering products picked for this season were fantastic. Get on the list for the summer box here. You won't regret it!

One last thing about the Fab Fit Fun box, check out the box illustration. All women! How great is that! Power to the women!

5. This little recap of Saint Patrick's Day and Earth Hour

"Cassie" the bronze dog in Corvallis, Oregon, and our shamrock window.
We decorated the front window the week of St. Patrick's Day and enjoyed it all week. We decided the night of St. Patty's to spend it in Corvallis, Oregon. We took a walk through downtown and after we went to dinner. We pass "Cassie" a lot on our Corvallis walks and we just admire her so much. She reminds us a lot of our dog, Baz. And before his passing he touched noses with her, so to us it's as if our beloved Baz is sitting there waiting for us to walk by and say, "hi," and give a pat on the head. 

Earth Hour was on March 24. If you didn't get a change to celebrate this worldwide event, you can mark it down for next year and get ready. It's a worldwide awareness movement to reduce climate change. For one hour you turn all the lights off in your home, office, or school, and help reduce energy use. It starts at 8:30 p.m. your local time. Try to get on board next year and help be part of a movement that really does reduce energy consumption in more ways than one.

-I don't want to go without mentioning: Today is Professor Stephen Hawking's funeral. What a wonderful addition to the Earth he was. I never met him in person, but I bet he was a great person to know. The picture below was on a billboard on Highway 34 between Corvallis, Oregon, and Lebanon, Oregon. It was a nice thing to see and a wonderful reminder. It was paid for by Oregon State University's science department. 

A few more things:

Laundry tip: Synthetics create more static and cling, so air dry them instead.

Household tip: Switch to metal light switch plates to add notes, etc. with a magnet. 

Burn better candles. "Goodlight" candles are made with farmed palm wax instead of beeswax.

Health tip: Add a spritz of olive oil, or truffle oil and hot sauce, or brewer's yeast to air-popped popcorn instead of salt and butter.

Household tip: Dropping the thermostat to 60-67 degrees at night will help you sleep better and keep more $$$ in your pocket.

Five simple things


Spring, sprang, sprung here in the Valley. ...Or at least we "think" it has. The tulips and the daffodils are slowly making an appearance and the Japanese cherry trees on our street are pretty in pink. We had hoped that there would be another sprinkling of snow before the season was over, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. We are ready for day-long sunshine and to start planning out our garden for the year, so maybe not getting another snowfall is a good thing. March is definitely the month that puts "whether" in the weather prediction. We are stuck in the month that isn't spring yet, but not winter either. There is one thing for this month that is a definite though, and that's St. Patrick's Day. We have already made shamrocks for the front window and are preparing Irish grilled cheese sandwiches, potato soup, and of course some Irish Soda Bread for tomorrow. Looking forward to a great weekend here. For now, here are five simple things for the week.

1. The sheep of the valley.

Most of the sheep in the Valley are getting their seasonal haircuts. In some fields there's hairless sheep running and lambs running around, but in this field, near Brownsville, Oregon, they haven't seen the clippers yet.

2. Forest adventures and schooling without walls.

We are on our fourth year homeschooling The Bean and the forest school approach to homeschooling is priceless. We are also starting a new class in April that's going to incorporate and focus on food foraging.

3. This view at the top.

Between The Cascade Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range is an area in the Valley that has it's own "rolling hills." This happens to be one of those particular places. This area is called Washburn Heights.

4. Samples from Seed Phytonutrient.

A fresh new company on a mission to create better quality products. They are launching in April 2018, Their products are made with all natural ingredients and their packaging is better for the environment. They believe that beauty can, and should be, sustainable. Find out more here and here.

5. Mightynest for March.

Last, but definitely not least, is the Mightynest for the month of March. The All-Purpose Spaghetti Scrub on the left was the Mightyfix for the month and the items on the right are my addons. Sage essential oil, Let It Go essential oil blend, Clean Well hand wipes, and can you believe it-USDA Organic toothpaste! Wonderful group of items for this month and we can not wait to use the spaghetti scrub on our cast irons. You can sign up for Mightfix here. (Or Mighty Body here.)

A few more things:

Support female farmers here. And here.

Did you know that Macy's has a subscription box?

"Twister," the movie was the first movie on DVD and the last movie on HD DVD.

Comestible Journal subscriptions for 2018 are here.

Events on 9/11 still taking lives. Douglas Greenwood's famous Bleecker Street Pizza.

Doomsday clock moving slowly toward midnight. DDC explained.

Plants are Magic.

Astrophysics as explained by Professor Stephen Hawking.

Surfing took a blow this week with the loss of Nokie Edwards.

Legacy of Syd Barrett won't be forgotten by true fans. Long live the "real" Pink Floyd!

Have a nice weekend and a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

Five simple things


We've had quite a two weeks here thus far and Friday for this week is welcomed with open arms. Sort of a good thing, really. I ended up finishing up our taxes and did a few friend's taxes throughout the last two weeks and now I am ready for a break in the numbers game. Friday last week was a hustle to try and get everything done before the day ended so I could sit down and type out a quick "five simple things," but I rushed in vain. It seemed every night I was crashing into bed and asleep within five minutes. Needless to say, it was a long two weeks here. So here we are with five simple things that made my week.

1. These bands.

The Mr. and I privately renewed our vows on February 14, 2018, which happens to be our wedding anniversary too. We met on August 18, 2000, got married on February 14, 2003, and became parents on September 30, 2003. If you do the math here, we have been together 18 years-married for 15. When we got married in 2003, we purchased a wedding set for both and paid $100 for all three rings. Interesting enough, while moving to Oregon, my wedding ring came up missing. We looked high and low to no avail. In that amount of time, 15 years, we both never wore our bands. Now, after 15 years of marriage and 18 years of life together, we wanted to celebrate the highs, the lows, and the in between. We started looking for 15-year bands back in January and found these two a few weeks ago. We got them sized/fitted, ordered, and finally picked up this week. These bands serve as a reminder that no matter what happens, love is really all you need.

2. This snow duck.

Because nothing is funnier than watching a duck in the snow. Side note: She was hatched in August last year, so this was Happy-duck's first time seeing snow. 

3. This duck house.

Happy-duck has her own condo now. We haven't placed it in its permanent location, but for now we have allowed her to try it out. She seems to only like being in it if Hardy is in there with her. 

4. These bags.

On our quest to go zero-waste we've been slowly shifting our habits to more sustainable options. These two bags are helping with that. The one on the left is being used in place of paper or plastic grocery bags and the one on the right is a wonderful habit shift in not using plastic bags for vegetables or fruits, or even nuts, from the produce/bulk department. We've used them already this week and the habit shift has been a great success. 

5. And lastly, Influenster's new VoxBox: Clairol's Temporary Root Touch-up.

This is a powder that is similar to eye shadow and is brushed onto the roots of the hair. I really enjoyed this product for two reasons; One, it was easy to apply. Two, it wasn't permanent, chemical hair coloring. I'm not really big on coloring my hair and I am embracing my grays as I age, so this product was a wonderful test product for someone like me.

           Before                       First                                Second                            Third             

As you can clearly see from the pictures above the root touch-up really does cover grays with repeated application. The best part is I could have stopped at any number of application I wanted to. It was really up to me how much coverage I wanted. If you do plan on using, or trying this product, keep some witch hazel face pads near to wipe away any stray powder that lands on your forehead. There wasn't a lot that fell, but enough that I wanted to clean up a bit. I like to use this kind here

I would have to say that I DO recommend this product to anyone wanting to touch-up some grays here and there. I have light grays and dark hair, so the color match was spot on. The second application almost appeared to look like I had highlights and the third appeared as darker highlights. I was pleased to be part of this Voxbox campaign with Influester. If you'd like to be part of the testing panel at Influenster, you can join here for free. (I received this product complimentary for testing. All opinions are my own.)

A "few" more things:

What did the pioneers stockpile in hard times?

Goodbye to Brenda Starr and her original creator.

History of Portland, Oregon, at a glance.

Hygge vs. Fika-Which is best for you? (More on Hygge. More on Fika.)

Imperfect: Ugly Produce can still get the love.

The real price of gold.

Health benefits of strong relationships.

Sammy David Jr.'s automobile accident in 1954.

USDA Organic Himalayan Salt and Black Pepper.

• Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes. (the actual book)

Have a nice weekend!