Central Oregon Activities

Building a Better Central Oregon – Round 2

In case you missed our BBCO story from a few weeks ago, here’s a recap: Each year, the Central Oregon Association of Realtors embarks on Building a Better Central Oregon, which takes place during the summer. Each week, a group tours several locations throughout Bend that are doing cool and innovative work to make Central Oregon the best place to live (even more than it already is).

BBCO’s main purpose is to recognize worthy residents who have enhanced their community with outstanding new or renovated residential, commercial or industrial buildings. Projects are judged on economic impact, neighborhood improvement, unique design or use of materials.

At the end of the summer, locations are awarded with a variety of awards. Check it out to see who won what in 2018.

Patty has been going out every other Thursday to tour and highlight these amazing companies doing some incredible things around Central Oregon.

Week one, at the beginning of April, they toured the Bethlehem Inn, Northwest Storage, Trampoline Zone and On Tap. Check out what’s going on at these spots.

On April 16, they set out to the Redmond Pump Track at Homestead Park, Grocery Outlet in Madras, KEITH Manufacturing also in Madras, and Madras Vision Source. Here are some highlights.

Redmond Pump Track at Homestead Park

“This is a grassroots project in partnership with the City of Redmond, the Redmond Parks Foundation and local youth. It started when local youth made a case to the Redmond City Council that there was no place to ride their BMX bikes in Redmond. $50,000 was raised to create the first asphalt bike pump track of its kind in Oregon. Pump tracks are world renowned and this one has already been recognized by Velosolutions of Switzerland and BMX Oregon, bringing BMX riders from all over the country to enjoy another level of Central Oregon biking and outdoor adventure sports. Located off of NW Canal Blvd in Homestead Park, the pump track showcases vibrant outdoor lifestyle within view of Hwy 97. It offers a combination of turns and jumps for all skill levels and teaches the basic skills of carrying momentum, balance and speed.”

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market – Madras

“Grocery Outlet in Madras brought a discount grocery market to Jefferson County and employs an additional 25 people within our county.”

KEITH Manufacturing Co. New World Headquarters

“The KEITH Manufacturing Co. New World Headquarters is an impressive addition to the Madras industrial park. The two-story, 12,545-square foot building was built to replace six deteriorating modular units. The modular units had been in use for decades and were spread across the KEITH 62-acre manufacturing site. KEITH employs over 200 people at this location. And as KEITH continues to grow, it needed a larger and more technologically advanced office space. The new space is a modern, open concept work space. KEITH looks forward to increased collaboration and future space flexibility as the company continues its growth.”

Madras Vision Source

“Recently, the Madras corridor area has seen an uptick in revitalization efforts, and Madras Vision Source may be a catalyst for these positive changes. In February 2019, the eye care provider completed a significant interior and exterior remodel thanks to design services and guidance from Ascent Architecture & Interiors. The new durable and versatile exterior materials will stand the test of time, suggesting a sense of permanence and timelessness for the nearly 50-year old business. Leaders such as Dr. Jessica Tegen of Madras Vision Source deserve recognition for making Central Oregon healthier, economically stronger, and more beautiful as their efforts generate ripples of improvement in our communities. A revitalized urban streetscape incentivizes vibrant economic activity from which both residents and business can thrive.”

Stay tuned for more from Building a Better Central Oregon!

Buying a Home, Real Estate

Larry Wallace on The Housing Bubble

We’re going to be introducing some pretty amazing people to our blog to get their input and take on different topics throughout Central Oregon and real estate. To start, we connected with Larry Wallace, Branch Manager at Caliber Home Loans, to give his take on the “housing bubble” we keep hearing about.

With 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Larry has gained the knowledge and dedication required to provide the ideal financing options to borrowers in the Western US. Before he began his career in mortgage lending, he worked as a Fully Certified Ski Instructor in Park CIty, UT. The experience he gained during this time enabled him to explain technical issues in a simple, understandable, and friendly manner.

If you’re looking for loan financing, get in touch with Larry at Caliber. Their competitive loan financing rates, combined with state-of-the-art technology and dedicated support staff, enables them to provide borrowers with one or more customized loan options while minimizing any stress they may feel. In addition, since Caliber is a dedicated mortgage lender, they can offer you a wider selection of loan products than many banking institutions.

Now, here’s Larry:

A New Housing Bubble?

Wow. Plenty of headlines indicating a new housing bubble is about ready to burst.

Funny though, I have been reading articles screaming “bubble” since 2013.  Thus, I’ve become skeptical of those headlines – unless they are accompanied by actual supporting data. Seldom is such data forthcoming. Yes, like you, I hear comments such as “…it can’t keep going on like this forever” or “…we are back at the same pre-crash prices” or “…the average median income is not going up as fast as the average median home price.” But those are simply statements, not back up data. Remember when we were kids and our math teachers said “show me your work”? That’s what we should seek when we hear claims about the next real estate bubble – supporting documentation, i.e. “show me your work.”

Once past the scary headlines most housing related articles become benign and frequently state “…home price appreciation is slowing down.” That’s the evidence? That is hardly a bubble popping! But you wouldn’t know it from the headline. Can you imagine if a jet liner was taking off at a steep angle – and then eased back into a more gentle angle of ascent…and someone tried to say that was proof the plane was crashing?

Are we being bombarded with scary headlines just to get our “click” on the link? Is that how journalists get paid these days? While sensational headlines is nothing new, but it sure seems worse in this digital age. So, what can you do?  I’d suggest demanding they “show you their work” before putting off the purchase of a new home. You might want to ask good real estate agents and mortgage professionals for their “work” too. My hours and hours of work in this indicates you are safe (even smart) to buy now.

Central Oregon Activities

Skin Health in Central Oregon

For the last few months, we’ve partnered up with some amazing professionals here in town to shine light on some of our health related questions and concerns.

Last week, Erin Bishop, Nurse Practitioner at Vitality Integrative Skin Clinic, brought her knowledge to the Coldwell Banker Morris conference room to get to the bottom of what makes our skin do what it does. Here are some of the takeaways.

A Few Things to Know About Your Skin

The skin is a reflection of what’s happening inside the body, so what you eat can affect your skin. The products you put on your skin affect internal health and common prescriptions and topical products are usually only a bandaid type of fix, ignoring the underlying cause. Beneficial bacteria in the gut and on the skin are our friends.

Skin Basics

The skin is your largest organ and it’s composed of 3 layers:

  • Epidermis-outer layer: melanocytes & the sight where skin cancers form.
  • Dermis-middle layer of your skin: mostly collagen, elastin, & hyaluronic acid.
  • Hypodermis-beneath the dermis: comprised of fat, connective tissue & blood vessels.

What Impacts the Appearance of Your Skin?

Aging occurs because of two different factors: Intrinsic & Extrinsic factors. The most significant factor to aging is UV exposure. Its’ responsible for 90% of the visible signs of aging. Other factors include air pollution, stress, smoking, diet and lifestyle choices.

To Combat Air Pollutants

Air pollutants are real, even here in Central Oregon, so wash your face twice daily, especially at night with a gentle cleanser. Air pollutants including polyaromatic hydrocarbons are known to contribute to aging, pigmentation and acne.

What Are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are unstable Oxygen molecules missing at least one of their electrons. They try to steal an electron from nearby cells in your body to make a pair. This causes Oxidation of that neighboring cell and results in DNA damage or even cell death. When you add in Extrinsic factors like UV exposure, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, toxins like air pollution, pesticides, and chemicals used in households and agricultural products, it overwhelms your body and leads to Oxidative Stress.

What is Oxidative Stress?

Oxidative Stress sets off a chain of events in your body that begin to cause visible damage such as breakdown of your collagen, elastin and premature gray hair. It also causes skin to wrinkle, age, and appear thinner. As we age, collagen production is already slowing down. Combining extrinsic factors with natural aging accelerates this process.

Food – What It Really Means to Your Body on a Cellular and Molecular Level

The food you consume is broken down into Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Macronutrients are your fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Micronutrients are your minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. Food provides information to your DNA to tell it how to function.

As it turns out, if you’re not giving your body what it needs to function, imbalances will start to occur. A healthy diet will impact your skin positively whereas an unhealthy diet will impact it negatively.

Here Are Some Foods and Vitamins to Consider for Your Skin Health

Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid fights free radicals and increases immunity. It is essential for production of collagen and Elastin. Consuming vitamin C rich foods daily is recommended and eating foods fresh and raw is best to maximize the benefits. Great sources of Vitamin C: pomegranate, cantaloupe, collards, strawberries, kale, mangoes, onions, oranges, pineapples, spinach, tomatoes, green peas, currants, raspberries, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E contains potent anti-inflammatory effects and improves healing, reduces scarring and also plays a role in making your DNA.
Great sources of Vitamin E: avocados, dark green leafy veggies, anchovies, salmon, nuts, seeds, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, olive oil, eggs, organ meats.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A has important role in the maintenance & repair of skin tissue. It boosts immunity, slows the aging process and neutralizes free radicals.
Best ways to get Retinoids & Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe apricots, mangoes, eggs, shrimp, fish (tuna, trout, salmon), shrimp, liver, milk.

Other Carotenoids – Lycopene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin

Lycopene is especially powerful in protecting the skin against UV damage. Lutein and Zeaxanthin have also been shown to help protect the skin from UV exposure. They help prevent damage and maintain the structural integrity of your skin.
Best sources of Lycopene: red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon, and guava. Best sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin: cooked green leafy veggies like spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens & romaine lettuce.


Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties. They can absorb the entire UVA, UVB, and UVC spectra and prevent penetration of UV radiation into the skin to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and the DNA-damaging effects of UV radiation in the skin.
Foods high in Polyphenols are deeply colored fruits and cruciferous veggies: watercress, arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, pomegranate, black currants, grapes, plums, cherries, and strawberries.

A Special Note about Pomegranate

Pomegranate contains not only polyphenols, but phytochemicals such as indoles. Indoles help stop cancer before it starts. Pomegranate has been named Nature’s power fruit.
Taken internally or applied topically pomegranate protects against UV induced oxidative stress, cell death, and cancer formation.

Healthy Fats – Omega 3 Fatty Acid and Olive Oil

There are three main Omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Your body can not make ALA, so you must consume it from your diet. However, your body is proficient at converting ALA to EPA and DHA. It keeps the skin healthy and looking younger and less wrinkled. Omega 3s fight free radical damage and exert significant anti-inflammatory effects.
Eat Omega 3 rich foods several times a week.
If you are not a fish lover, you can supplement with flaxseeds 1tbsp or fish oil capsules about 1000mg a day.

Tea – Rich in Antioxidants

Both Green and Black tea have been shown to help prevent skin cancer. Tea has polyphenols, with powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tumor-inhibiting properties. Green tea taken in orally or applied topically prior to sun exposure has helped protect against sunburn. A study showed drinking 4-6 cups of freshly brewed green tea daily was protective against melanoma.

Coffee – Also Rich in Antioxidants

Coffee is rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. A higher consumption of caffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of basal cell carcinoma and may also have an effect at lowering melanoma risk. How many cups to consume still needs more research, but even 1 cup a day showed benefits.

Even Seasonings Have Benefits 

There are a few most beneficial herbs and spices: oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage, dill, coriander, thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon, basil, star anise, celery seed, & curry powder. Parsley contains Apigenin, which helps to protect skin against the sun. Turmeric, ginger, & garlic are especially powerful anti-inflammatory agents and improve the appearance of skin and have sun-protective benefits. Turmeric inhibits UV-induced cellular damage, reduces inflammation, and prevents cellular changes leading to tumor formation.
Find any excuse to add these flavors in!!

HELLO, Dark Chocolate 

Yes, dark chocolate is rich in flavanols that help your skin protect itself from UV damage. It helps to fight free radicals and increase blood flow. Dark chocolate flavanols improve skin hydration and thickness. But keep in mind, the benefit is only seen in 70% cocoa or higher.

Skin Supplements

Ensure you are getting a good quality supplement without impurities and that it is tested for potency. Check with your Healthcare Practitioner to ensure they are appropriate for you as some will interact with prescription medications.

  • Astaxanthin: Has been shown to protect against UVA-induced DNA damage and adds protection from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
  • Vitamin E & C Topically: Prevents free radicals from forming during UV exposure and improve the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Resveratrol: Benefits include anti-aging, sun protection, reducing inflammation and cancer prevention.
  • Vitamin D: Boosts the skin’s immune system and helps destroy free radicals.
  • Niacinamide: Boosts the immune systems ability to repair DNA, but also reduces the UV induced immune suppression.
  • Polypodium Leucotomas (PL): Protects against sunburn, neutralizes free radicals, inhibits DNA damage and UV induced inflammation. It can stimulate a molecule internally to suppress tumor formation. This is not a replacement for sunscreen!

Skin Products

Approximately 70% of what you apply to your skin is absorbed into your body. This includes products you apply directly as well as household cleaning products. Women use approximately 12 personal care products daily containing 168 ingredients and teenage girls are using 17 personal care products daily. The FDA doesn’t regulate the safety of ingredients in personal care products and the US only has 11 banned ingredients compared to 1,400 in European Union.

Why You Should Care About Skin Products

Serious and chronic illnesses have been associated with some ingredients, including cancer, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, hormone imbalance and skin irritation. Many of these ingredients are used in commonly used shampoos, body soaps, deodorants, and makeup.

What You Can Do About It

Read labels of your personal care and household products just like you would food labels.

Avoid these 10 most commonly found skincare ingredients that have been identified as either causing, irritation, disruption of normal body functioning or suspected carcinogens.

  • Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl)
  • Triclosan
  • Peg/polyethylene glycol
  • Quaternium-15
  • Talc
  • Imidazolindyl urea
  • Toluene
  • Diiazolidinyl urea
  • Frangrance
  • Bha/butylated hydroxyansiole

Resources for Skin Products

  • EWG.org (Environmental Working Group) provides an excellent resource for additional information.
    • Provides the general public with free evidence based information about personal care items and household products.
    • EWG has a free app for your smart phone called Skin Deep.
  • Think Dirty is another free app for your phone.
  • Start slowly and pick the 3 products you use most to see if they have clean ingredients.

Do Skin Checks on Yourself Monthly

Use the ABCDE methods for checking your spots:

A – Asymmetry: If you were to cut your spot down the middle would it look the same on both sides.
B – Border: A spot should have a uniform sharply marked border. You don’t want to see irregular, scalloped or poorly defined margins.
C – Color: There should be uniformity of color throughout the spot. You don’t want to see a spot that is multi-colored.
D – Diameter: Typically a spot is the size of a pencil easer or smaller (5mm)
E – Evolving: The most important factor. You are looking for any spot that has changed in size, color, and appearance compared to your last exam.

If you suspect any of your spots have changed, you should seek assistance from a trained professional





Building a Better Central Oregon

Each year, the Central Oregon Association of Realtors embarks on Building a Better Central Oregon, which takes place during the summer and started last week. Each week, a group tours several locations throughout Bend that are doing cool and innovative work to make Central Oregon the best place to live (even more than it already is).

BBCO’s main purpose is to recognize worthy residents who have enhanced their community with outstanding new or renovated residential, commercial or industrial buildings. Projects are judged on economic impact, neighborhood improvement, unique design or use of materials.

At the end of the summer, locations are awarded with a variety of awards. Check it out to see who won what in 2018.

This year, Patty joined the group and we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing things happening around Bend.

First up, they toured the Bethlehem Inn, Northwest Storage, Trampoline Zone and On Tap. Here’s a few things that are going on at these incredible spots.

Bethlehem Inn

“After 20 years in existence, the Bethlehem Inn homeless shelter finally has their own home. The Inn doubled its family units from 5 to 10 in 2018 with Phase I, which included the administration and service hub along with a commercial kitchen and in 2019, the Singles Building will be complete which increases the capacity from 70 to 100 men and women. SunWest Builders and Ascent Architecture, along with a host of excellent subcontractors contributed to the success of the project, which serves a large population of homeless people in Central Oregon. The Inn works with over 70 agencies to assist in transitioning our under-served population to stable housing and health.”

Northwest Self Storage

“This building has had significant impact on the beautification and improvement of this neighborhood. It also has a unique design and enhances the area greatly. This company also has a program for their employees called the “Give Collective.” Northwest Self Storage foundation donates several $1,000 grants to their employees who apply on behalf of nonprofits that they are passionate about. Through that, they have given to Bethlehem Inn, Grandma’s House and Kid’s Center in Central Oregon, just to name a few. Which benefits our community even more.”

Trampoline Zone

“18th Street Sportsplex is a new 50,000 sq foot facility located on Bend’s east side near the 10 Barrel Brewery. This four story multi-sport facility is home to Trampoline Zone and Adventure Park, the Jumping Pickle Cafe and Pickleball Zone. Since opening the doors in November 2018, 18th Street Sportsplex has put a smile on over 30,000 visitors. The company is on a mission to create safe, wholesome, affordable family fun in our community.”

On Tap

“On Tap is a wonderful place to enjoy a beverage, tasty meal and do it with a view. It has 30 tap handles and six food trucks. They have a newly enclosed and covered patio with heaters, bar seating and TVs. The two large outdoor fire pits and lawn are great to sprawl out and let the kids and dogs play. On Tap filled a need in NE Bend for a fun family friendly place to hang out in the community. The owners remark that the community has been so appreciative and supportive since their opening.”

There’s more to come from Building a Better Central Oregon and we’re excited to see how things unfold!

Central Oregon Activities

Why We Love Living and Working in Bend

We sure do love where we live (and work). And I think we can all agree it’s one of the best places to explore, try new things and enjoy being outside.

Central Oregon has so much beauty to offer and we love it for so many reasons. Here are a few.

Because the Sun is Usually Shining

Boasting 158 of clear skies a year and 105 days that are mostly sunny, Bend is an incredibly happy place to be. It fuels us with the Vitamin D we need to be healthy.

Small Town Feel

Central Oregon offers amenities of some big cities, but has that small town vibe where you can see people you know shopping, out walking the river trail or at a restaurant.

River Trail Only 10 Minutes From Downtown

You can start at the Old Mill and follow the River Trail to feel like you’re out of town, but really you’re right in the middle of it. A real treat for a brisk one hour walk with your dog.

Dogs are Welcome Everywhere! 

Love to take our dogs to breakfast and sit outside, we always have people stopping by…mostly to talk to our dog, but sometimes they even talk to us too!

Diverse Restaurants

As we continue to grow, amazing restaurants continue to show up. We’re getting lots of healthy and vegetarian choices. There’s something for everyone.

Places to Sit Outside

Whether it’s wine or beer you’re after, there is somewhere to post up on a patio and enjoy the sunshine and a beverage with friends.

So Many Outdoor Activities

This one is a given, and one of the biggest reasons people move here, but there really is something for every one’s passion. Whether it’s water sports, trail running, skiing, biking, the list goes on and on.

High Level of Community Involvement

Bend is a very civic minded town and people love to get involved and support each other.

Generous Philanthropy

There are many many generous donors for many important causes and people show up to give and make change in our community.

What is your favorite part about living in Central Oregon?