Coffee House #6: Creswell Bakery

These coffee cups can be purchased for $10 at the Bakery

These coffee cups can be purchased for $10 at the Bakery

Since we moved to this community, I’ve been anxious to visit Creswell Bakery in Creswell, OR. This morning, Kevin and I finally made the trip. We arrived at 10AM, and one of the first things that stood out was the number of cars surrounding the building, so we assumed it would be a full house. We walked into a spacious dining hall with plenty of available tables, and plenty of customers. I had an idea of what I wanted to try from the menu on their website, http://www.creswellbakery.com, and ordered the breakfast burrito. It had potatoes, eggs, sausage, salsa and guacamole. Kevin ordered a version without sausage. I also ordered a cup of coffee. This particular bakery only offers brewed coffee, so if you are expecting a latte, you’ll need to go elsewhere. The coffee they offer is Stumptown Coffee (www.stumptowncoffee.com). It’s delicious! It ranks up there with the coffee we buy for special occasions. The ladies waiting on us were friendly and cheery. These burritos were huge! They were very filling. I couldn’t finish mine, but it was delicious. I’m looking forward to going back and try the other dishes they offer, such as French toast or pizza. So, anyway, that is my short review from our latest breakfast/coffee venture. If you want to try something new, Creswell bakery may be your cup of tea……..or coffee!

Elizabeth

CoffeHouse #4- Tailored Coffee Roasters in Eugene, OR

It was my turn to pick out the coffee house for #4, and I chose Tailored Coffee Roasters. TCR is located at 291 E. 5th Ave, right across the street from the 5th Street Market, tucked in along a row of various businesses that share the same building. I had heard of this place from a Facebook friend who had photographed the process leading to it’s opening.

Good Morning!

Good Morning!

When we arrived, it was still early on a Saturday morning. There was only one other customer and the barista. It was very quiet.

There are coffee cups available for purchase.

There are coffee cups available for purchase. They also sell coffee beans

Also, several vinyl record covers decorated the wall. I even saw one from The Roots (those who watch "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" will know who they are.   There was a lot of peppy music playing over the stereo too.

Also, several vinyl record covers decorated the wall. I even saw one from The Roots (those who watch “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” will know who they are.) There was a lot of peppy music playing over the stereo too.

Ok, I was surprised that my coffee was served in a drinking glass, however, that did not influence my opinion of the coffee.  It was delicious and I always love it when the barista can make a design with the foam!

Ok, I was surprised that my coffee was served in a drinking glass, however, that did not influence my opinion of the coffee. It was delicious and I always love it when the barista can make a design with the foam!

The menu was rather short, which took us by surprise.  I ordered toast with peanut butter & honey.  What was really neat though is that it was artisan bread with the fresh ground peanut butter, and the toast was served on wooden cutting boards.

The menu was rather short, which took us by surprise. I ordered toast with peanut butter & honey. What was really neat though is that it was artisan bread with the fresh ground peanut butter, and the toast was served on wooden cutting boards.

On a personal note, TCR’s location is right next to the railroad tracks and they have a window through which you can watch the train go by. A big plus if you have a train enthusiast in your family…………..like we do.

If you are interested in checking this place out and all they have to offer, their website is at http://www.tailoredcoffee.com/

Elizabeth

Happy New Year (a little late)

Hello Everyone,

I hope that your holidays  were fun and that you’re enjoying your new year.

Our new year started with the need for a floor replacement in one of our bathrooms.  Usually when we’re ringing in the new year, we’re wondering what the year will bring. I don’t think that water damage and mold in the sub-flooring was what we thought we’d start with.  When all is said and done, I hope to have “before” and “after pictures.   In the meantime, we’re getting ready for a bit of  a remodel.  Something we’ve never experienced before.  We’re also sharing our bathroom with the kids. Extra toothbrushes and shaving supplies and not a lot of counter space.   We’re adjusting.   Learning to adjust is a good thing.

School is back in session for Kylin.  He probably wishes that Christmas vacation lasted longer, but he hasn’t complained. However, there are days when he’ll hide out in his room to play and hopes that I’ll forget about school.

This year is also the “year of firsts”.  That first year of holidays and events after a loved one passes.  We lost two family members in the past two months.  My grandma passed away one week before Thanksgiving.  My sister’s mother passed away on the Monday before Christmas.  So the holidays were a bit mellow, and full of thoughts of our loved ones.

I guess that this is the year of adjustment, and not just adjusting to one less bathroom.  Also adjusting to the new normal, and whatever else may change the plans or hopes we have for this new year.

Here’s to a  new year and opportunities to adjust, or be flexible.

Cheers!

Elizabeth

 

 

 

Coffeehouse #3- Allan Bros Coffee Roasters/The Beanery in Eugene, OR

So, this week’s choice was Allan Bros Coffee Roasters/The Beanery, located at 152 West 5th St. Allann Bros has several locations in the state as well. But we didn’t feel like making that road trip to compare all of the locations. This one also happens to be right next to our favorite home and garden store, Down to Earth (which is were we went for garden starts after our coffee).

When we first walked in, there were people everywhere. It wasn’t crowded, but you could see that this was the place where a lot of people liked to come, sit and enjoy their coffee and food while reading the local paper or visiting with friends. So, we did like the atmosphere right away.

There are plenty of bags of coffee beans for purchase, in case you want to brew some for later at home....

There are plenty of bags of coffee beans for purchase, in case you want to brew some for later at home….

Shelves of beans are everywhere!

Shelves of beans are everywhere!

From this case, I chose a piece of crumbly coffee cake.........

From this case, I chose a piece of crumbly coffee cake………

My non-fat Vanilla Latte.......It was delicious!

My non-fat Vanilla Latte…….It was delicious!

Doesn't this look like a neat place to visit with friends or read the paper on a Saturday morning?

Doesn’t this look like a neat place to visit with friends or read the paper on a Saturday morning?

Doesn't this look delicious?

Doesn’t this look delicious?

I am looking forward to another visit to this cafe (followed by a visit to Down to Earth to check out their kitchen gadgets and dishes). If you’d like to visit before I get another chance to, here is their web address for you to check out http://www.allannbroscoffee.com/

Elizabeth

CoffeeHouse 2: The Washburne Cafe in Springfield, OR

Hello Everyone! Ok, the second coffeehouse we reviewed is the Washburne Cafe.IMG_2642 The first thing that I noticed when I walked into the building was the smell of roasted potatoes. I absolutely LOVE potatoes, so I was ready to give it a “thumbs up” without even tasting the coffee! I checked out the decor while Kevin ordered our breakfast (and I made sure to choose a dish featuring those potatoes). This place felt cozy and inviting.

This would be a great corner to just sit down, enjoy your coffee and visit with a friend (or read a good book)

This would be a great corner to just sit down, enjoy your coffee and visit with a friend (or read a good book)

Or how about this corner?  I thought that the photographs of produce on canvas was very clever.  It'd be a neat way to decorate a breakfast nook!

Or how about this corner? I thought that the photographs of produce on canvas was very clever. It’d be a neat way to decorate a breakfast nook!

The cafe also sells locally made decor that would go well in any home (especially if you have a quirky sense of humor)

The cafe also sells locally made decor that would go well in any home (especially if you have a quirky sense of humor)

I really liked these!  I found at least one or two that I wanted to take home!

I really liked these! I found at least one or two that I wanted to take home!

The coffee was delicious!

The coffee was delicious!

And here is my breakfast!  A bown of roasted potatoes, topped with an omelette, packed with bacon and veggies!  It was delicious!

And here is my breakfast! A bowl of roasted potatoes, topped with an omelette, packed with bacon and veggies! It was delicious!

The service was friendly and fast, the food was delicious and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I’m looking forward to the next time I go to The Washburne Cafe! For more information, here is their web address http://www.thewashburnecafe.com/ Elizabeth

Coffee House Visit #5: Coffee Plant Roaster in Eugene, OR

Hi Everyone!
Our next coffee house to check out was Coffee Plant Roaster on West 11th in Eugene. This is a local coffee company that we’re familiar with as we’ve been buying their coffee beans for over a year for special occasions.
Usually, we review coffee in the morning, but due to a very busy day, we had our coffee just before dinner. I’m the type of person who really doesn’t drink coffee after noon. However, a latte in the afternoon, I was willing to break routine.

When we first walked into the building, the first thing to catch our eye was the decor. Then we were greeted by the friendly barista, who patiently waited while we decided whether or not we wanted a treat with our coffee. IMG_2767

Plenty of merchandise to buy

Plenty of merchandise to buy


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These look rather tasty!

These look rather tasty!

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I thought that selling coffee beans in canning jars was clever!

I thought that selling coffee beans in canning jars was clever!


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I love my lattes, but I hate to mess up the cool designs made in my coffee.

I love my lattes, but I hate to mess up the cool designs made in my coffee.

The coffee was delicious! We expected it to be though, because we buy Good Plant Roaster’s coffee beans from Market of Choice for special occasions in our house. The atmosphere was quiet. Possibly due to our visit happening in the early evening. There were a few other patrons who were enjoying some coffee while studying. I would like to go back, in the morning, have another latte, and perhaps try some of their treats for breakfast.

Until next time,
Kevin & Elizabeth

Have A Great 4th!!

Hi There,
Just a quick note wishing you all a Happy July 4th!
I’m spending this afternoon getting ready for tomorrow. From getting sodas and water chilled for celebrating in the hot sun, to buying food for our “All American” lunch tomorrow.
Also just a reminder to please be careful with your fireworks, yourselves and your pets tomorrow. We had a historic landmark baseball stadium in our town burn down this week, thus prompting a ban on fireworks in that area. As far as I know, the fire wasn’t started by fireworks, but served as a reminder that hot weather, dry grass and wood, and fire do not mix and puts you on the news (and not in a good way!)

I don’t know about you, but I like to decorate for holidays, and the 4th is one of my favorites. So I thought I’d share what I’ve set out this year. Enjoy! IMG_6839
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Have a wonderful and safe holiday!
Elizabeth

Graduation

The graduate with her mama/teacher

The graduate with her mama/teacher

We now have a graduate. That was a sobering thought for us this past weekend. It seemed like she had been with us forever, even though, we remember that time in our lives before she was born, when she was born, and all of the years watching her grow up. Yes, we did get teary-eyed (at which point my son looked at me and asked, “Are you crying again Mom?”)
Before I had ever met Kevin, I knew that when the time came for me to have children, I wanted to homeschool. I had experienced going to public and Christian schools myself before being homeschooled during my last two years of high school. So I felt that I was making an informed choice. When Kevin and I were dating and talking about getting married, I told him that I wanted to homeschool, and he was on board with that idea. He had met a few people who had been homeschooled and thought that they were very smart, so he had no issue with going that route.

Our daughter arrived 2 months after our first wedding anniversary. Her arrival was just the medicine I needed after a stressful pregnancy. My mom had passed during my 5th month and so I was grieving and trying to still be happy and prepare the extra bedroom for my baby. There were some folks who were concerned that my grief would adversely affect my baby in the womb. Heather’s arrival gave me a new focus. She was a fairly easy baby. I had this little gal to watch as she grew and discovered all of the little things that we take for granted. The name “Heather” means “Joyful Spirit”. She fits that description. Yes, she’s had moments of not feeling so joyful, but she is generally a happy kid with a sense of humor (much like her parents humor).
By the time Heather was 3, I was already scouting around for homeschool materials. I asked friends and relatives who had been doing this for years asking about curriculum (because the one I used in school……..could have been much better). My original plan was to homeschool through the local Christian school that oversaw my homeschooling and in the end, would issue her a diploma. However, by the time my daughter reached the compulsory age to start, the school stopped having that arrangement and a couple of years later, the Christian school closed too. That meant that we were truly taking our child’s education into our own hands. Believe me, I felt that huge responsibility. It sometimes scared me. So I started with a curriculum fair and gathered used books, brochures for all sorts of companies, and had signed up for catalogs for curriculum from all sorts of denominations. To say the least, it was overwhelming to start with. I started with boxed curriculum from one company for most of the subjects and then something else for math. A couple of years later, finances dictated that I find curriculum that was more affordable, and I went the route of workbooks. There were a few years where we were trying to find the right math books that didn’t frustrate us. Math-U-See seemed to be the best fit. When she turned 18, I decided that really the best way to get her diploma was to get a GED. So I called the local community college and found out what she needed to do. They offered classed in Math and Language/Writing. She would have to study for the History and Science on her own. I bought the History and Science books that the college recommended. The classes that the college offered were free. She went to test to see which classes she should be placed in and tested into the top classes! She was relieved! I was thrilled to know that I hadn’t totally messed up her education. So last summer, she started riding the bus to the college. It was her first time in a classroom, and talk about diverse! People of all ages, lifestyles, from all walks of life were in her class, working for the diploma that for whatever reason, they didn’t get when they were in highschool. She surprised me when she’d tell me about volunteering to work math problems on the board for the class. Who does that? Apparently she does! She had teachers who encouraged everyone to not just stop with the GED, but to continue their education. People with GEDs have even been accepted into Ivy League schools! My daughter’s teacher also taught a class covering what to expect from college. At this time last year, college was not something she wanted to do, and now she’s not opposed to it. When she started those classes, she wasn’t sure that she wanted to walk through the graduation ceremony with the college. However, about 4 months ago, she decided that she did because “I worked hard for that diploma!”. Once she had made up her mind about that, she was encouraging her classmates who had taken their tests to go through graduation. By graduation day, there were 5 graduates from that class. That’s the most that the GED department has had in at least a couple of years. The teacher had to get herself a new cap as she hadn’t attended the ceremony in about that long. She took a lot of pictures like a proud teacher would. So, at the ceremony, we were teary-eyed. This part of my job is done. I have a full-fledged adult who is moving on to new things. What they are remains to be seen. Only God knows what is next. I’m looking forward to see what that is.

Walking toward the next phase of her life

Walking toward the next phase of her life

We are very proud of you Miss Heather!!! Love, Dad & Mom

Coffee House Visit #1: Max Porter’s in Junction City, Oregon

For awhile, Kevin and I have toyed with the idea of going out and trying the various privately owned coffeehouses in the area. Probably what hindered that idea from happening was that we’ve become really busy lately. Our schedules fill up and by the time we have a moment to go out, it’s evening, and we’re tired. Mornings, tend to work best for this venture as coffee is the morning drink. I know that some folks drink it throughout the day and into the evening, and it does taste good with dessert, but, at least for me, by noon, I have no more need for coffee.
So………….
Last month, we started on this coffeehouse venture. I suggested Max Porter’s in Junction City, Oregon. Junction City is a small town where everyone knows everyone and if you don’t know everyone, chances are that you know someone who does. This town is known for the “Function in Junction” (where folks cruise up and down the middle of town in their classic cars) as well as the Scandinavian Festival (four days of celebrating the town’s Scandinavian roots, with Frijos, aebelskivers, and all sorts other delicious food, as well as crafts ). The town is full of old buildings which house several antique and craft stores, and nestled in this part of town, is Max Porter’s

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

When we arrived, it was around 10:00 AM. There was relaxing music playing quietly, while the two baristas greeted us with a smile (I thought that one of them looked like one of my daughter’s friends from church. She confirmed it later). I had been to this place at least a couple of times before and I was impressed with it then. Most of the walls are brick (which I really like) featuring artwork and crafts that are for sale. One of the items on their wall was a small chalkboard with the password to the free WiFi on it.  I liked that because it saved me the trouble of getting out my chair to go ask for it (it does sound lazy. I just wanted to relax that morning).

There are rooms for gatherings, or comfortable couches in corners where two or three can just visit.

photo by Kevin Prociw

photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

We decided to order breakfast with our coffee, because well, if we’re going to tell others about this place, we should sample the menu! Kevin ordered the bagel sandwich (which has eggs, tomato, spinach, & cream cheese, grilled on a bagel. Sounds delicious doesn’t it?). I ordered the Max Croissant Special (which has Eggs, bacon & cheddar grilled on a croissant). Kevin’s sandwich arrived with bacon on it for some reason. If you know me or have read my earlier entries, then you know that Kevin is a vegetarian. He was a good sport and just took the bacon off of the sandwich. I did tell him that there was still “bacon essence” on it. Along with our lattes, the meals were filling and delicious. Before leaving, we took one last picture. I thought that the “COFFEE” wall-hanging behind us was perfect against that brick wall!

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Photo by Kevin Prociw

Soooooo, iff you ever find yourself in Junction City, Oregon, with time to spare, I would recommend stopping in at Max Porter’s for some coffee and a treat!
Kevin & Elizabeth

The Papasan Chair

In my last post, I shared that we had decided to put Kevin’s papasan chair in the spot where our Christmas tree had been. The intent was to have another place to sit. Well, it is another place to sit………and nap. However, not for any of us.

The furry family members have claimed this chair as their own.

The furry family members have claimed this chair as their own.


Today's "claimjumper" was Oswin.  Cute little mooch!

Today’s “claimjumper” was Oswin. Cute little mooch!


"Ooooooohhhh, you wanted to sit here?"

“Ooooooohhhh, you wanted to sit here?”

One day, it’ll be my turn. But I may need to move the squatters!

Elizabeth