Just when I thought I had shaken this cold, round two came from out of nowhere to kick my ass. It completely disrupted my plans for today. Nothing is pleasant when your face is completely stuffed up and you feel like you’re on fire. Nothing, that is, except maybe soup. And the only thing better than that? Hot pot.

Why would you take a decongestant when you can sit next to a boiling pot of broth?! I know…how was that even a question. We had walked by Hot Pot City for months before we tried it. Now it’s a constant craving. It doesn’t get any better than sitting at a table with your own personal pot of broth and a bar full of fresh meats, veg, noodles, and seafood for you to choose from.

You know things are heating up at Hot Pot City when you walk in ten minutes after they open for dinner service and the windows are already steamy.


We can easily sit at the bar for an hour and slurp away at our soup. Each trip we make to get ingredients for our soup gets more and more outrageous. We pile our plates high with lamb, noodles, spinach, tofu, and fish balls.


How is it even possible to leave without having to be hoisted or rolled out?! I don’t even know but after an hour I was defeated and my nose was probably running down my face.

Hot Pot City.

Go. You can thank me later.


It’s Friday, you should grab a beer

Don’t know where to grab a beer on a Friday? Try a beer bar. Portland has some of the best beer bars in the country. Since I’ve been to Bailey’s and it’s pretty awesome, I figured we should try Apex sometime.

Last weekend Adam and I found ourselves on the Eastside so we gave Apex a shot.

As you can see, Apex doesn’t have a parking lot (for cars). So when we were on our way back home from New Seasons and decided to stop, we had to hunt down street parking in a neighborhood we weren’t familiar with. The neighborhood is not sketchy, at least I don’t think so, but I hate circling for parking and not really knowing where I’m going.

Once we found parking we sidled up to the bar to check out their offerings. They’re (quite nicely) displayed on a flat screen TV behind the bar. Since we didn’t plan on visiting Apex, we hadn’t checked out their live menu on their site (cool, right?). They also have hundreds of bottles available to go (they even have SIerra Nevada Hoptimum- try it, you’ll love it).



They have a good amount of tables inside. We went on a Saturday afternoon and didn’t have a problem snagging a table. They have a ton of tables outside which would be an awesome idea in the summer but seems like a waste of (parking) space when it’s freezing out. I bet it’s lovely sitting out in the sun when it’s not 35 degrees out.


Also they have pinball.


Overall Apex was awesome. It’s hard not to compare and contrast with Bailey’s but Apex is its own beer bar. Would we go back? It’s definitely a drive for us and driving and imbibing is a no go, so probably not for anything more than one beer. They have so many different types of beer on tap, why just try one! If you’re on the Eastside and have a safe way home go have some beer at Apex.

Cheap and easy

I’m a cheap date. I’m not going to lie. Yeah, I enjoy good quality, high end dining establishments, but I also love places that serve chili cheese fries and/or beer for a dollar. We live super close to PSU and that means there’s a pretty good selection of cheap food within walking distance. Adam and I really haven’t seen much of each other lately and since I got home a bit early today we decided on a quick little date in between running errands. We originally planned on swinging by the ups store to drop off some return packages and then swinging by a little sushi place, but since we live in an apartment building with nice front desk people, all I had to do was drop off the boxes with them!

Since we moved here we’ve been talking about possibly finding a half decent sushi boat place since I’ve been telling Adam about sushi boat for years.Today was Adam’s lucky day! We went to sushi boat.

blue fin


This was the first sushi boat that I’ve been to that wasn’t actually a boat floating along with plates of sushi. It was also the first sushi boat I’ve been to with all $1.75 plates. We couldn’t afford not to eat.

sushi rolls

It was good. It was quick. It was cheap. For six plates of sushi, Adam and I paid $10.75 (not including tip). It was definitely somewhere we will have to try again…especially on $1.75 PBR nights. Granted, Blue Fin is no Masu (Masu is amazing) but it was the definitely the place to go when you just want sushi and are short on time/cash. And then when you get your bill, you get to have a little chuckle too.


Blue Fin Sushi

 *no water was hurt in the eating of this meal


Sunday is for brunching

Adam has a wonky work schedule. The only day we get to spend together is Sunday. And it’s not even all day because I work until noon. Last Sunday we decided to go to brunch since we hadn’t seen much of each other in a while. When I got back from work we sat down and tried to find some local brunch place we hadn’t been to before. In the end we went to Brix Tavern. It’s not so much an old stand by as it is our favorite brunch place in Portland to date. Why do we enjoy Brix so much?


They give you breakfast appetizer doughnuts! And they have bottomless mimosas.

We mostly love them for their bottomless mimosas. But they also have one of my favorite and underrated breakfast items-chicken and waffles.


Adam got some ham skillet thing that was layers with eggs, and ham, and hash browns. It was glorious.

ham skillet

I couldn’t leave knowing that we hadn’t used the brand new crayons.

new crayons

Since Adam and I aren’t that great at drawing, we copied something from the internet.

challenge accepted

all the mimosas

Brix is my favorite. It should be yours too.

Memory Jar Monday

Happy new year! Happy first week of the new year!

New years are like clean slates. It’s like whatever happened last year all gets thrown out the window on January 1st. It’s the perfect time to pick up a new hobby, update your wardrobe, or overhaul your life. Well, if you’re looking for something fun and easy to get your new year/new you started, Paper Coterie has a fun, free download for January.

I’m not one to journal, but I think the Memory Jar download has 52 awesome questions that really got me thinking. So instead of writing them in some notebook, I decided to use them as blog prompts. What I’ve done is cut each question out, folded them up, and put them all in a jar. Every week I will pick one and blog about it.

The topic for the first week of January 2013 is: Would you rather lose your old memories or never be able to make new ones? 

I really wish that the first topic I picked wasn’t such a hard one. I think what the question is asking you to chose between is waking up tomorrow and not being able to remember anything from my past or from this day forward not being able to remember anything I do. It would be awful to wake up and not know why or how you got to be where you are. What would it be like not remembering how we came to adopt Sierra or the day we moved to Portland? Or what would it be like to not be able to make any memories in my new city? I think I’d rather scrap my old memories than not be able to make new ones. I don’t care to remember how ridiculous high school was, how I was severely overweight and teased for it in elementary school, or life before I started drinking coffee. I do want to remember when Sierra jumped into the Willamette River on our waterfront walk, what it’s like to look down the street and see Mt. Hood, and the time Adam and I stood on our balcony and watched the slow flurries flit around on New Year’s Eve. If I had to give up my old memories in order to make new ones, I’d definitely do it.


Well apparently that is where I stand on that. What would you pick?

A little late, but I had to share

 I love these pictures too much not to share them. On Christmas Eve, Adam and I went out for a walk down by the river. It was cold, I had my camera, and we had a whole day to ourselves to do whatever the hell we wanted. In true Ashley fashion, I held a mini photo shoot at South Waterfront Park. Something about seeing the mossy trees… and tall reeds… and not liking to take pictures of nature just got to me so I told Adam to go stand in front of a tree so I could take his picture.

Of course he did.

After a bit of whining I got my way.

And he even took a picture of me.

We even got a picture of Sierra and her gross disgusting beard.

Oh well. She needed a bath anyway after getting in the river. I think she likes it here.