Triple “R” July & August Give-Back

GiveRacking up those give-back hours this summer, I’m working on the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle realm – wrapped up in the all-important education component.


I started a compost bucket a few weeks ago at work. It was something I thought about for months, but I wasn’t sure how well-received it would be. Some people think, “oh gross!” when compost is around, but I thought “what the heck, let’s try it!” All my worries about smell, bugs (fruit flies) and anything else that might turn my colleagues sour have so far been non-existent. Fingers crossed we continue to have zero problems. Granted, it’s mostly used for coffee grounds and only minimal food scraps.

Working in Lake Oswego, I thought there wasn’t a compost program, but good news, they recently adopted one! For now it’s easy to take the re-used coffee container (I love repurposing), every Friday and throw in my compost bin at home, but I have a future commercial composting project on the to-do list. Info on the program: here.

In just three weeks, we have diverted 8lbs of compostable items from the landfill (we are a small office).


My recycling efforts in the office are going along smoothly. We have nearly everyone doing their best to place items in the appropriate bin. 


I take materials to the Far West Recycling (formerly known as Far West Fibers) center about once a month. I throw it in with our household pile, so it’s not a lot of extra work, and it’s satisfying to see it diverted from the trash. All the clamshells (before my co-workers knew better), used to go in the recycling – yikes!

As a side note: Did you know Far West Recycling takes:


I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) as a Master Recycler for the second year in a row. I love volunteering at festies! Doing something good for the community and the planet in a fun environment, and be rewarded with a beer mug and tokens to boot – can’t beat that! (FYI for my fellow festival volunteers – OBF offers double beer tokens when you volunteer on Sunday. You can use them earlier in the week on the honor system or they are valid to use in future years.)

Special Announcement:
I now have 51.25 hours logged for the Master Recycler program. I’m half a Centurion!


Master Recyclers assist with managing the waste prevention volunteers, ensuring they are educating the public on how and where to place trash, compost and recycled materials. This year the festival wasn’t able to compost the plate ware since the ban is now in place, so I didn’t think the rate of landfill diversion would be very high…but Mitzi, waste coordinator for the event, rocked it out in other ways. Way to go Mitzi and the Waste Prevention Crew!

Here is her follow-up message:

“Great news, OBF reduced its overall waste by 25% this year! (From 12.28 tons to 9.28 tons.) Our overall diversion rate this year was 52.4% (4.86 tons).  I’m bummed that the garbage was so darn heavy…but the good news is that we didn’t have a huge increase in actual garbage, despite the fact that all food service ware was going in there, so we must have done much better on our overall recycling efforts.”


I joined the Recycling Advocates board this spring and had the pleasure to table for the non-profit a couple of weeks ago in the Hazelwood community fair at the soon-to-be-developed Gateway Park. It was one of those 100 degree days resulting in a small turnout, but I did receive the surprise gift of seeing a friend whom I have not seen in years, so it was well worth my time! She works for Friends of Trees (Portland has SO many great non-profits) and our tables created the eco-corner.

RA Collage

Want to learn more about Recylcing Advocates, or simply passionate about recycling and living an eco-friendly life?
Join us for our annual meeting!

What: Recycling Advocates Annual Meeting 2015
When: September 1st, doors open 6:30pm, program begins at 7:00pm
Where: Sierra Club, 1821 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214
Who: YOU! RSVP to
or call 503-777-0909

This event is free and open to all Recycling Advocates members and friends. We’ll provide food and drinks from our friends at Laughing Planet and Lucky Lab.

Finally, to round out mid-summer, my daughter and I checked out the Recycled art show at Edgefield McMenamins for a couple of hours one night. Pretty impressive stuff!


-Cracked Pots – Recycled Art Show-

Celebrating Earth Day 2015


One of my favorite days to celebrate! Here’s a little history: “The very first Earth Day, April 22nd, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” Excerpt Taken From: HERE

I started Earth week out giving a somewhat informal recycling presentation to my colleagues at work. It was great fun to share my knowledge, answer questions and a really good reminder that recycling can be confusing. Living in the Portland Metro area, most people REALLY want to recycle, so they throw items into the recycle bin that shouldn’t go in there (I know, I was one of them).     But…When IN DOUBT…THROW IT OUT!


Do you live in the Metro area and interested in recycling and waste management? Check out the Master Recyclers Class.  Part of graduating class 54, I was shocked at how much I learned since I was already so eco-minded. It’s a fabulous experience-you will learn a great deal and be with a room full of like-minded awesome individuals.


My family started a tradition several years ago to volunteer for SOLVEIT  – one of SOLVE’s big volunteer days. Last Saturday we went to the Wilkes Creek Headwaters (154th and NE Fremont in Portland) to discover a new area, enjoy the beautiful weather and clear invasive English Ivy from the restoration site.


SOLVE partnered with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council (yes, one of my favorite non-profits I volunteered with a few years ago), Portland City Parks, an employee group from Boeing (yes, there is one in Portland too with 1,700 employees) and Portland Geocaching Group. So it was a fantastic eclectic crew and a wonderful turn-out.


A small group planted native species and mulched a designated area while the rest of us pulled English Ivy. It was a gentle procedure because we didn’t want to disturb the native plants, many of which are blooming and growing this time of year.





                      -Trillium and an awesome mushroom patch that quilted the forest floor-

Wilkes Creek Headwaters contains the springs that feed the only free flowing stream in the city that still enters the Columbia Slough. The City of Portland and Metro acquired the site in 2011.


Portland Parks uses some herbicide to clear unwanted plant life, but since this site was full of Native Indian Plum trees, they wanted to resort to manual volunteer labor. Indian Plum apparently is very sensitive to any kind of herbicides… Glad we could all help!


Indian Plum Tree

 11160503_10205121453610541_1187658544_n-The Family-


Over 8,500 volunteers came out on Saturday for SOLVEIT events all across Oregon! SOLVE estimates that this year over 25 tons of trash and debris was collected from 162 sites including neighborhoods, parks, school grounds and natural areas around the state. Invasive non-native plants were cleared from 11 acres and 3,000 native trees and shrubs were planted.


Sunday my sweetie and I went to Sauvie Island to hike the lighthouse trail I featured back in 2013 HERE. At that time, we saw 2 other cars in the parking lot. Last weekend was a complete madhouse (granted, it was in the high 70’s). I love that so many people are enjoying our natural areas, and hopefully are inspired to care for them, but it’s hard to share sometimes. Fortunately, most everyone was hitting the nearby beach so we had the hike mostly to ourselves.



-Happy pups exploring a cave in the river bank. Inca (on the right) went all the way through. :)-

Happy Earth Day Around the World! Get outside, enjoy some natural beauty, breathe fresh air, walk barefoot, soak in the sun or rain and feel gratitude for all the beautiful gifts we receive from this planet.


March 28th, 2015 is a Big Day!


This Saturday provides several ways to ramp up for April Earth Month! If you are near the coast, you have the opportunity to give back to Oregon in the morning hours by volunteering with SOLVE at one of their beach cleanup sites. (Obviously a nonprofit I love since I serve on their communications board.) Shop for Native Plants in the afternoon at a fantastic fundraiser, and then celebrate EARTH HOUR with the rest of the world in the evening-what a day full of opportunity!


The following link has all the information you need to get involved with SOLVE’s Spring Oregon Beach Cleanup. You can see my 2014 volunteer fun below (although it wasn’t on the beach).

There are 45 cleanup sites scattered along the coast, from Astoria to Brookings. Pick your favorite beach or site near you by checking the online Calendar of Events and registering!

Last year, 4,800 volunteers cleared more than 48,000 pounds of debris from the Oregon Coast! See the final report and photos from the 2014 event.


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One of my favorite events, and this year it almost slipped right by me! In 2008, we played a board game via candlelight and my daughter asked to do the same the following year! (It was very memorable.) Earth Hour started in 2007 in Australia as a lights-off event to raise awareness about climate change. It has grown to engage more than 162 countries and territories worldwide. For just one hour, don’t use electricity – no lights, no electronics, no power tools, or appliances (well, leave the fridge running) …get creative!

           Earth Hour is on Saturday 8:30pm – 9:30pm          local time all over the GLOBE!

Visit the website for more information: HERE

Friends of Baltimore Woods

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In 2014, we volunteered with Friends of Baltimore Woods for two of SOLVE’s big volunteer events. (Photos Below) Located in St. Johns (North Portland) between Cathedral and Pier Parks, the 30-acre Baltimore Woods Connectivity Corridor is a unique urban greenway with a ton of community support & love turning it into a wonderful natural site.

This Saturday, Friends of Baltimore Woods is having a Pacific Northwest Native Plant Sale in Portland’s St. Johns Plaza from 10:00am – 3:00pm!


Our Volunteer FUN – 2014

My daughter and her friend (volunteering is way more fun with a buddy) and I volunteered on SOLVE IT Earth Day, April 26th, at Baltimore Woods. I was so surprised I hadn’t noticed this special gem!



Look closely behind the people standing in the photo above, you can barely see the cement steps in the back covered in ivy, shrubs and debris. My helpers were super motivated to clear these steps-and they rocked it!



Volunteer Day #2

My kiddo and her two friends volunteered with me September 27th, 2014 at Baltimore woods for the second time last year, and we could already see some changes!







The next volunteer opportunity at Baltimore Woods is right around the corner-so mark your calendars!


Plus you get this awesome view!


So, this Saturday-March 28th – Volunteer with SOLVE in the morning, check out the Native Plant Sale in the afternoon, then Celebrate Earth Hour in the evening – what a great day and wonderful way to prepare for April…Earth Month!

The 2013 Job Journey Conclusion- and Many Many Thanks!


I haven’t had as much time to write blog posts recently, but I wanted to get a final update out for all those rallying behind me in my job seeking goals the past year. After 9 months of being unemployed or underemployed, I now have a full time job! Woohoo for consistent money! Here is a look back at 2013 and my job seeking journey…

At the beginning of 2013, I made a New Years resolution to take back my career path. In addition to updating my online presence, networking my butt off, attending job-seeking workshops, and applying for jobs continually, I joined the blogging world again. I made myself accountable with this blog post: The Long Hiatus is Finally Over

In those first few months I spent a lot of time building my connections. For all of you out there presently looking for work, the adage “It’s all about the people you know,” is absolutely true! Every door that opened for me was a result of my own determination, and the help of someone I met along the way.

I knew volunteering would be key to meeting new people, and building that network, plus I love giving my time to organizations doing good things, (and… being unemployed offers you a little more time in your week).

My first venture was with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, a non-profit focusing on stewardship and place-based education.  I wrote a 4-part blog series here: CSWC Blog Series


I did some volunteer communications work with LettuceGrow, a  nonprofit that brings gardens and gardening education to correctional facilities in the State of Oregon. I assisted with the annual fundraising dinner and wrote all about the big night HERE. (pictured above)

Last fall, I joined the Communications Board at SOLVE (an organization I have had my eye on since moving to Portland). Here is our Earth Day volunteer experience.

university-of-oregon_200x200I wrote a 5-part blog series for the University of Oregon Career Services Department, and a 5-part series for Mac’s List, a well-known Portland based job-seeking platform. Both of the series were based on my job seeking journey, and tips I came across along the way. (Links to these posts below)

networkWhat really sealed the deal on my employment in 2013 however, were the individuals I met along the way. Not only did these people assist me in my job seeking goals – inspiring me, coaching me, telling me to “hang in there,” some of them have become friends. It’s beautiful to watch your network grow. Although many people touched me and encouraged me along my path in 2013, there are a few that really  went the extra mile, or came into my life at just the right time. Below is my example of just how connected we all become, and how one thing truly leads to the next!

My networking break really came when the fabulous Aimee Fahey came into my life. I met Aimee through Twitter back in the spring. She reached out to me, asking to meet for coffee and I remember thinking, “things are really starting to turn around for me!” Aimee owns her own career coach & recruiting business, and knows A LOT of people. (She also writes a great blog!)ecogrrl

Not only was Aimee the catalyst for many of my new connections, she has been a huge support to me. She is a strong woman with conviction, and I admire her spirit and tenacity. Aimee has encouraged me to believe in my abilities, value what I bring to the table, and ask for compensation that is fair – all things I appreciate so much. It’s partly because of Aimee that I negotiated my current salary. (A few years ago, I would have accepted what was first offered without question.)

Macs ListAimee introduced me to Jessica Williams, which led to the blogging opportunity on Mac’s List. At the time, Jessica was leading Mac’s List (a Prichard Communications project), and I met with her for an informational interview. She was so kind, very encouraging, and offered to let me write some blog posts for the site. (Just weeks before this unfolded,  I was reading a guest post on Mac’s List thinking, “how did this woman get on here-it would be so COOL to have that opportunity”….Well-manifesting what you want really works sometimes)!

I also did an informational interview with Mac Prichard, such an outstanding man of the community, and I really appreciated the time he gave.

One of my favorite job-seeking events of the year was with Vicki Lind (I found on Mac’s List). She offers a free interviewing & networking practice workshop once a month. This opportunity was extremely helpful, and Vicki was kind enough to give me a copy of her book, “Finding a Job Worth Having.” 


Aimee introduced me to Michelle Lasley, Executive Assistant at SOLVE, which led me to meeting Mark Bendinelli, SOLVE’s Marketing Committee Chair, and now I’m on the Marketing Board for SOLVE! (Check out Michelle’s blog!)

My involvement with LettuceGrow was also Aimee’s doing, which led me to meet the Founder and Executive Director, Sarah Patterson. Not only did Sarah rally behind me in finding a job, she actually helped me get one! Sarah introduced me to Mark Gaskill, President & CEO of MKG Financial Group, Inc.

office view-4thof July-My Office View – Fourth of July weekend, Waterfront  Blues Festival-

I was interviewed for a communications/marketing position for MKG, and started a few days later. I was thrilled to finally have a “real job.” And getting to work downtown in a beautiful office on the river was exhilarating. But, this position was only part-time, and after 4 months, I decided to begin looking for something more full time with benefits.

Two days later, I received a phone call from Jackie Mathys from Mathys+Potestio, the creative recruiting company that I made connections with way back in February! I wrote about them in my Dance of Networking  post. Jackie had a position she was trying to fill and thought I would be a good fit. She met with me briefly to explain the job duties; but more importantly, she was a real cheerleader, encouraging me to fight for what I want in my career life and be a strong woman. I value these conversations and moments dearly.  Don’t ever underestimate the impact you may have on another individual!

I interviewed on a Friday, and started working the following Monday. After two months of the temp-to-hire arrangement, I was offered a permanent full-time position. See how everything comes full circle!

New Office View2-No “Office” view at the new job, but we are right next to the river trail in Johns Landing-so I have a slice of nature on my walk every day.-

During this time, I also had the good fortune of meeting Greg Bell, founder of Water The Bamboo Center For Leadership. I love how we meet individuals during pivotal moments of change in our lives. Greg met with me one morning, and his presence is calming and his spirit is inspirational and encouraging.

BambooGreg wrote the book, Water The Bamboo, a highly recommended read for any individual forging their dreams, or any business desiring to create a solid foundation. I am so grateful Greg took a morning out of his week to meet with me, as the seeds of hope he planted that day have become a new foundation for my living. Again…never underestimate the impact you may have on another!

I now work for the cyber security event company SecureWorld Expo as there communications and marketing coordinator. It has been a great atmosphere for learning many new things with a fun group of people. Plus, I have my very first “grown-up” job with paid vacation and benefits!

I’m slowly learning the life-work balance, and my career journey certainly isn’t over; but for now, the stability of employment is a true blessing I’m very thankful for.

Office SunriseAnd…I still work very part-time at MKG, so I get the perk of that great office view every so often. Now I watch the best sunrises as I start my day very early!

Many thanks to all of my friends and family that supported and believed in me through my 2013 job seeking year, and many thanks to all the new people that entered my life – what a journey it was!

Extra Links From 2013:

Guest Interview: Post on Aimee Fahey’s EcoGrrl interview blog series

Mac’s List 5-part Blog Series:

1. Don’t Do These Four Things When Looking For Work in Portland (This was shared nearly 2000 times.)                                                                                                           2. What to do Before You Send Your Resume to a Portland Employer                     3. How to talk about Your Job Search                                                                                       4. Maintain Your Online Presence-4 Tips to Keep it Fresh                                              5. Use Feng Shui to Help Your Job Hunt                                                                    BONUS: Top 10 Most Read  “Mac’s List” Blog Posts of the Year

University of Oregon 5-part Blog Series:

1. Introducing Heather – What I learned From My Job Search Mistakes
2. How to Start Your Job Search
3. How to Maintain That Online Presence – 4 Tips to Keep it Fresh 
4.How to Talk  About Your Job Search –  Keep if Fresh                                                        5. How Heather Got the Job – BONUS Interview Video  

Urban Backyard Farming Part II

  A Look Back…Late Summer 2013

vegies1-August Harvest-

Although I haven’t had time to write new blog posts, I collected photos and took notes over the past few months, and as promised, here is part II to my urban farm story.


Our darling chickens started laying in mid-August. I was a very proud mama, and we have been so happy with our fresh eggs. Since we have four different breeds, we have varying eggs from size to color, making the carton a beautiful site!

We wanted to maintain their natural laying season so opted not to install any artificial lights in the coop. (This is how farmers make chickens lay year-round.) Most chickens will stop laying when the days grow shorter, yet even in mid-winter we still got a couple eggs every day.



Because my partner loves to grow things, and he loves to make beer, HOPS are an obvious part of our garden. The harvest wasn’t as large this year as last year, but he made 10 gallons (two batches) of tasty beer from our very own hops!



Most will say, “You can’t grow pomegranates in the Pacific Northwest.” But, we did, and we grew a handful! (Well, it’s not really a “we” thing, I can’t take any credit.) The tree got a beating this year, as we got a new roof installed and the roofers weren’t very sensitive to our vegetation – but it bounced back and looked great all summer and fall.

plant2-Pomegranate Tree-

We had some late sunflowers bloom beautifully in the front yard (courtesy I’m sure from the neighborhood squirrels and birds). These were so fun to have near the front window.


If you missed it:  Urban Farming Part I

Stay Tuned For Part III!

The Necessary Struggle

                                                       -Image Source-

In honor of my birthday today, I wanted to share a story from earlier in the year about growth, inspiration, and hanging in there. In the middle of my recent job hunting journey, I interviewed for a position I thought I was perfect for. It had the most ideal blend of my communication skills and the meaningful work I had been looking for. It was a position at a community college (a location I have longed to work at), that provided a flexible schedule working with students and local nonprofit groups. I honestly felt the job description was written for me, and I would be the perfect hire.

The interview went well, so I waited for the phone call, just knowing I was getting the job. While I waited, I continued my job seeking goals. One night I attended an event at the University of Oregon, Portland campus. The speakers were great, the free beer is always fun, and  I was so convinced I had this community college job in the bag, I was on cloud 9 with very little worries. 

As I left the event and waited for public transit to take me home, I checked my email. That’s when I got the terrible news…I didn’t get the job. I was devastated. At this point, I had been looking for work nearly four months, and I was SO excited about this job, I just thought it was meant to be.

I boarded the MAX with tears in my eyes, feeling so defeated. This was an entry level part-time position. All I could think of was, “If I can’t get this job, what job can I get?” I sat there letting the news mull in my mind. Maybe I should have answered a question differently during the interview, maybe I was too confident, maybe I didn’t have a particular skill-set, or enough experience. Then suddenly, a vision flashed across my mind.

I saw myself entering a stage in front of hundreds of people. Although I’ve clearly aged, I have a spring in my step, I’m smiling, waving, and the people are there to hear my story.  Then I realized, my story will start out with trials, struggles and rejections, but my story will end with, “I just kept trying, and look where I am today!” I had a beautiful “aha” moment. 

This vision made me smile as I realized that all the “no’s” I receive today make my story that much more interesting and inspiring for those to follow. I’m paving the way, I’m making myself stronger, and one day, I will make it!

Looking at my rejection in this positive light gave me hope again.  I thought about a story I read recently in a parenting book, about the necessity of letting our children struggle because it’s the key to making them strong and independent. This story really resonates with me as a job seeker, and as someone figuring out my path still facing rejection from time-to-time.

-Image Source-

“A teacher sends his students into the woods to watch a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. The student watches and waits, and the butterfly struggles to free itself from the cocoon. The student begins to worry about the poor butterfly. He watches some more and waits, and finally, his heart is filled with compassion for the poor butterfly’s struggle. Very gently, he reaches over and helps the butterfly out of its cocoon. The butterfly flies for a few feet and then falls to the ground and dies. The student begins to cry and runs back to his teacher. “Why,” he demands, “why did the butterfly die?” The teacher replies, “When you reached in and helped the butterfly out of its cocoon, you deprived it of the opportunity to strengthen its wings in the struggle.”                                      -“How to Hug a Porcupine” by Julie A. Ross, M.A.

Roadside Libraries

Free Books Right on the Side of the Road!


Several months ago, walking my dogs around the neighborhood in North Portland, I came across this little box on the side of the road. Obviously I was intrigued with my first roadside library encounter.


I started envisioning walking down here with my daughter and the dogs, sitting on the swing (shown below), enjoying our books. There was something so simple, yet so fun and special. I thought warmly, “Only in Portland…”


Then a few weeks ago, I came across another one! Still in North Portland, but an entirely different neighborhood. I didn’t realize this was a “thing,” assuming the the first one I saw was a creative whim of the household behind the library box. I love the Green Roof on the one below!

Library5library 3

                                                                                                                Then, even more recently, I saw a local news clip on roadside libraries. There has been one in the Sellwood neighborhood for 15+ years! I guess it really is a thing…I haven’t actually borrowed or donated a book, but I love that this exists.

Have you seen one in your neighborhood? Have you borrowed a book?

Library 1

Library 2

Backyard Farming-Chickens to Corn: Part 1

…Enjoying Our Own Backyard…

Hadlie &Chick-Hadlie and our friendliest Chicken Scarlet-

Inspired by my friend Aimee and her blog EcoGrrl, I thought I would share some of our homey photos and our summer backyard fun. One of Aimee’s blog series provides updates from her fabulous garden. I found myself really enjoying these simple photo updates, so I thought I would follow her lead.

Chickens 3

After years of thinking about getting chickens, we finally took the plunge two months ago. Although we are vegetarian we eat eggs, and having fresh eggs from chickens we care for has always been a goal.

Knowing where our eggs come from (just like any food we eat) is such a treat. Knowing we aren’t supporting all the factory farming that takes place in this country simply makes my heart sing.

CoopWe built a coop and a yard for them, but they are already spoiled running around our entire backyard most days – they are some lucky chickens! Not only will these birds provide us delicious eggs, but they are so incredibly entertaining. We can sit in our backyard watching them run around, peck the ground, chase each other and explore for hours. (Well, while we drink home-brew.) 


My sweetie did a lot of work getting garden beds into our yard last year, and I’m so glad he did! This year we had good friends give us corn starts. I’ve never grown corn, it’s not really one of my favorite vegetables, but for some reason it has been SO fun to watch that corn grow. Between the corn and the chickens, I feel like a real farmer this summer! :) 

Corn 1Watermelon Chicks

                                                                                                                With our bird feeders full of sunflower seeds, we now have a beautiful crop of sunflowers! In addition to all the amazing birds we saw all spring, we had 2 different nests in our yard, Chickadees and Red-Shafted Flickers. The Flickers actually pecked a nest into the telephone pole in our front yard-pretty incredible.

Sunflower 1 

I will write my Backyard Farming Part II when we husk our corn, gather our first eggs and harvest our melons!


How to Use Feng Shui in Your Job Hunt

Simple Feng Shui Suggestions 

The following post was originally written for my Mac’s List series. I think it’s fun, so thought I would share, enjoy!

At the very beginning of my job hunt journey I found myself trying all sorts of things, and Feng Shui was one of the most fun. You might think Feng Shui is used for decorating homes, but the principles can be useful in many areas of your life, including the job hunt. When used in conjunction with your hard work and determination, Feng Shui can bring the right kind of energy to your career goals. If nothing else, the small effort you put into Feng Shui helps solidify your intentions. The idea of Feng Shui is to create space in your home that allows energy to flow freely and harmoniously. During the job search, it’s important to be open to new things coming into your life (i.e. that new job). Here are a few Feng Shui tips I learned in my research to help create that energy.

1. De-Clutter:

According to Feng Shui teachings, clutter is the antitheses of energy flowing through your home freely. Check that your closets aren’t over stuffed, areas under the bed are orderly, and your desk is cleared before beginning work.

2. Identify the Career Corner:

The North area in your home is connected to the flow of energy in your career life, also called “Path in Life.” This can also be the north sector of your living room, office, bedroom, or dining room. There are elements that activate the career chi, bringing in opportunities. Try hanging or placing in your career corner a few metal objects (especially gold in color), a mirror, water feature, or decorating with blue and black colors. You can also display images of people whose career and professional life you admire in this North area.

3. Home Entrance:

According to Feng Shui philosophy, it’s important to make the entrance to your home as attractive as possible to invite new opportunities in. Make sure the front door isn’t blocked or difficult to open, and the path to the front door is well-lit and clear. Wash the door and hinges, and perhaps buy a new welcome mat, potted plant or wind chime. Another suggestion is to tape your dream job description on the inside of your front door to help manifest it into existence.

4. Other Corners:

Identify the Southeast corner of your home, this is your money and abundance area. The element for this area is wood, so avoid metal objects and try placing a green plant or water feature in the corner. Good Feng Shui in the Northwest corner, including art with a metal element, can attract helpful people in your life.

Finally, recognize that your personal energy is connected to the energy in your home / office. Take care of yourself, and the rest will fall into place.

Do you have some favorite Feng Shui tips that would benefit the job seeker? Please share below! For more detailed Feng Shui suggestions to use in your office, visit: Using Feng Shui in Your Home Office.

Earth Day – SOLVE – FORCE LAKE – Volunteer #3

SOLVE-Our Volunteer Crew-

Continuing my 2013 Volunteer Series, here is our super duper fun EARTH DAY volunteer gig. (I know this was a couple months ago, but better late than never.) Being outside is key for me on Earth Day, and finding a way to give back and volunteer is even better. Thankfully, we live in a region that provides a plethora of opportunities. This year I decided to keep it VERY local. I found an outdoor beautification opportunity in North Portland only 1.5 miles from my home-it was perfect.


Force Lake Area Map

Force Lake is located in the Kenton Neighborhood of North Portland on N. Force Avenue next to the entry to Heron Lakes Golf Course. The lake is near the Portland Expo Center and the I-5 interchange with Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Marine Drive West.


In full disclosure, I had never heard of this gem in North Portland, so I was intrigued, and a little embarrassed I hadn’t explored this lake so close to my home.

The way to get things done: WORK TOGETHER!

Introducing the lovely collaboration between SOLVE, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC), and Friends of Force Lake, with Portland General Electric (PGE) as a business sponsor.

According to the Friends of Force Lake website, 38 of us hard-working volunteers worked for 3-5 hours (depending on the family) to provide these results:

  • 25,000 sq. ft. cleared of invasive Himalayan blackberries and English Ivy
  • 500 native species planted
  • 500 lbs. of trash removed from in and around the lake

SOLVE 4My 12-year-old daughter was reluctant to fulfill her volunteer duty. She didn’t want to get up early on her precious Saturday, and volunteering with her mom didn’t sound like tons of fun. (She has volunteered with me countless times on a variety of tasks, but as she get’s older it’s harder to “convince” her it’s still an awesome thing to do.)

However, as we started clearing the invasive species, and planting the natives, her face lit up. At one point she said, I’m so glad you made me do this mom, it’s actually really fun.” That is what an eco-mama wants to hear- music to my heart! Additionally we had friends visiting from Seattle that volunteered with us. What better way to spend time together than volunteering outdoors!

I have to provide a huge shout-out to SOLVE. This is an incredible organization that cares for our beautiful state harnessing all the awesome volunteer power we have. Here is a quick rundown of their accomplishments during the Earth Day volunteer extravaganza during April taken from the website.

1 month — 343 projects — 10,000+ volunteers — and a whole lotta LOVE for Oregon as thousands of volunteers pitched in for a spring cleaning of Oregon’s beaches, waterways and natural areas.

On Earth Day: 143 volunteers came out to make a difference across the state as part of the 24th annual SOLVE IT event, presented by PGE. These impressive watershed improvements were made:

  • 3,970 native trees and shrubs planted
  • 74,260 pounds of trash removed
  • 259 tires collected
  • 39 acres cleared of invasive weeds

Force Lake Cleanup was a SUCCESS!


In addition to the Collaboration Team mentioned above, a big thank you goes out to Portland Parks and Recreation for disposing of the trash and providing mulch. To Champoeg Nursery and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services for donating native plants, and to the Kenton Neighborhood Association and HEART for their support.


                                                                               Want to see the other posts in my Volunteer For A Year Series? Visit:                         Oregon Food Bank                                                                                                             Columbia Slough Watershed Council