Central Oregon Activities, Entertainment

7 Vegan Recipes for Grilling Season

Barbecue season is upon us and it’s all fun and games until you’re vegan at your friend’s house and all they’re serving is meat.

Lucky for you, we’ve curated some amazing recipes to give you your grilling vibes without compromising your morals.

1. Balsamic Garlic Grilled Mushrooms

DP-Balsamic Mushrooms

Um, hello? Balsamic and garlic? Who needs anything else.

2. Memphis Style Dry Rub BBQ Tofu

DP-Dry Rub Tofu

Getting creative with tofu can give you even more of a BBQ feel than veggies. And here is a recipe that even your carnivore friends will love.

3. Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant

DP-Grilled Eggplant

Eggplant is an all time favorite of ours, and it can be done in so many different ways. Try this one this summer to wow yourself and your friends.

4. BBQ Cauliflower Wings

DP-Cauliflower Wings

You don’t have to eat meat to enjoy the beauty of wings. This cauliflower option will give you all the flavor you’re looking for.

5. Pulled Shitake Mushroom BBQ Sandwich

DP-Pulled Shitake Mushroom

Our mouths are watering just looking at this.

6. Veggie Burgers

DP-Veggie Burgers

Of course, we have to throw in some veggie burgers (because they’re just classics). And these ones have us wishing for a BBQ right now.

7. Vegan BBQ Brisket

DP-Vegan Brisket

To top things off, we’ll just leave this right here. Because what?? This looks amazing. Don’t let the picture fool you, these are totally vegan.

What are your favorite barbecue recipes?


5 Podcasts We Love Right Now

Podcasts are an excellent way to pass the time in the car, gym or daily run with your pup. And new ones are popping up all the time, making them accessible for everyone and addressing many different styles and tastes.

We have a few favorites we want to share with you if you’re either a. looking for something new, or b. trying to get into listening to them at all.

1. Being Boss

Being Boss features two incredible women, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson, who are changing what it means to grow a creative business. Their expertise and insight when it comes to how to start a business, how to grow it and how to stay sane is real, authentic and addresses some of the real issues we face every day when running and loving our work.

“Being Boss is owning who you are, knowing what you want, and actually making it happen.”

A Few of Our Favorite Episodes: 

“#168: Money, Mindset, and Energy with Danetha Doe”
“#192: Cultivating Optimism”
“#203: Build a Community for Your Business with Jadah Sellner”

2. Don’t Keep Your Day Job

Another business-related podcast, Don’t Keep Your Day Job goes beyond business and behind the scenes to what makes us dream big and then shoot for those dreams with everything in us. The host, Cathy Heller, interviews incredible business owners, shares her information and genuinely believes in her audience as she pushes to provide amazing content and valuable information.

“Each week, host Cathy Heller has honest conversations with successful creative entrepreneurs about the hands-on, practical steps to make a living doing what lights you up, and build a life that you can’t wait to wake up to every single day.”

Some of Our Favorites:

“Make Space for Self Care”
“How to Live Life on Your Terms – Sarah Knight”
“How to Change the World Without Being an Expert – Suze Schwartz of Unplug Meditation”

3. From the Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl 

Rachel Brathan, also known as Yoga Girl, has started a revolution based on the idea that every body is a yoga body. Her positivity, encouragement and authenticity shine a light on what it means to be a human living in a world that is stressful, chaotic and imbalanced. She shares everything from her personal stories with her daughter to interviews with incredible humans like Deepak Chopra. She is many things, but what she is the most is relatable.

“The light you are seeking is within your own heart.”

Recent Favorites: 

“The Art of Slowing Down”
“What If Every Challenge is a Blessing in Disguise?”
“Deepak Chopra Wants You to Move, Sleep and Practice Gratitude”

4. Behind the Brilliance

Behind the Brilliance is one we’re more recently getting into. Hosted by Lisa Nicole Bell, this podcast brings innovators, big thinkers, creatives and entrepreneurs to the light to share their insight, information and secrets. We love Lisa’s approach to her interviews and it’s a great podcast for staying motivated and learning about amazing individuals who have done incredible things.

“The show delivers a smart and funny take on pursuing ambitions, designing a life, and living joyfully.”


“Q+A: Defining Success + Personal vs Business Brands”
“On Friendship and the Shortness of Life”
“Jonathan Jackson on Love, Lifestyle Design, and Living Intentionally”

5. One Plus One (New)

One Plus One is a new podcast that we just heard about today (through Being Boss as a matter of fact). We don’t know a whole lot about it yet except that the hosts, Rico Gagliano and Faith Salie, will bring stories of the world’s most incredible creative duos. From John Lennon and Paul McCartney to Beyonce and Jay Z. They will ask questions like: Why does creative tension often spark something magical? And what can we learn from these stories to help with our own life and work partnerships?

“Every great collaboration is a love story. It’s intense. Passionate. Along the way, there’s flashes of love, hate, pride, ego, ambition, and brilliance.”

What are your favorite podcasts?


9 Books to Cozy Up with This Winter

Not sure if we’ve said it enough, but we love getting warm and cozy with a good book and a fire. Winter is starting to feel more like winter and we wanted to know what good books there are to add to our list.

Here are the top nine to keep an eye out for come 2019.


1. Milkmanby Anna Burns, Available Now


Milkman is the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize and is sure to be one of the season’s most talked-about novels. In it, readers travel back in time to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, where an unnamed young woman (who serves as the story’s narrator) is living quietly, reading books and spending time with her mother and siblings. A man named Milkman who has a reputation as a dissident begins following her, and she soon finds herself at the center of a swirl of rumors in her town. At such a tense historical moment, these events will have far-reaching repercussions for the narrator, her family, and Milkman.

2. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield, Coming January 22

Book-Once Upon a River

In a town on the Thames in the late 1800s, something strange is afoot at the local inn. A man staggers into the establishment, holding an apparently dead young girl in his arms. Inexplicably, the young girl begins to breathe again, and those gathered at the inn scramble to determine her identity and how she could have come back to life. Three different families are convinced that the girl is, in fact, one of their own. As this novel unfolds, readers will come to understand the lives of those families, the circumstances that took a young girl from each of them, and exactly what happened that night at the inn.

3. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker, Coming January 15

Book-The Dreamers

In Santa Lora, California, an epidemic is underway. It starts on the local college campus before spreading to first responders, and then, to the town at large. Victims fall asleep and do not wake up despite showing extremely high levels of brain activity. This is the world into which Karen Thompson Walker plunges her readers in her new novel, The Dreamers. As the contagion spreads and the town scrambles to figure out what is happening and how to stop it, readers will peek into the lives of those who are trying—successfully or otherwise—to avoid becoming infected.


4. Breaking and Entering by Jeremy N. Smith, Coming January 8

Book-Breaking and Entering

Jeremy N. Smith’s latest takes readers into the life of a hacker who is simply known as “Alien.” She began hacking at MIT when she was a student there, and made friends with fellow hackers who practiced literal, physical trespassing rather than just the virtual kind. From there, Alien went into the field of cybersecurity, and watched as her peers worked both to protect large organizations and to infiltrate them. Alien now runs her own company that helps clients protect themselves against hacking. Kirkus called this book: “A page-turning real-life thriller, the sort of book that may leave readers feeling both invigorated and vulnerable.”

5. When Death Becomes Life by Joshua D. Mezrich, Coming January 15

Book-When Death Becomes Life

Organ transplants, if you really think about it, are nothing short of miraculous. Livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs—body parts that seems so permanent, so intrinsic to an individual’s very being can in fact be relocated from one body to another, sometimes saving a life in the process. This is the subject of Joshua D. Mezrich’s engrossing new memoir about life as a transplant surgeon. Mezrich narrates fascinating, high-stakes surgeries that succeeded, as well as some that tragically failed. He also provides readers with historical context about the history of organ transplants. For fans of Henry Marsh and Atul Gawande, this is the perfect nonfiction book to pick up this winter.

6. Savage Feast by Boris Fishman, Coming February 26

Book-Savage Feast

Boris Fishman’s family came to the United States from Soviet Belarus when Boris was a child, and brought with them a rich tradition of cooking. In their new country, those traditions took on new meaning and became a way of preserving a connection to their old home. Fishman writes about the foods that meant the most to him as a child as well as the new dishes that gave him insight into what food means to other families, people, and cultures. Interspersed into this book are delectable recipes from Fishman’s family. If you aren’t hungry when you start reading this book, you will be by the time you’ve finished.


7. Watching You by Lisa Jewell, Coming December 26

Book-Watching You

Tom Fitzwilliam has many admirers in Bristol, England. He’s had a big impact on the school in Melville Heights and now serves as its headmaster. He’s also been the object of a few crushes over the years, and why not? He seems like a good guy, and he is certainly charming. But there are people in town who aren’t sure that he’s the upstanding citizen that he appears to be. There are rumors about Tom, unpleasant rumors about things like stalking and inappropriate relationships, that have kept some of the townspeople from fully trusting him. Then a murder upends the community, and everyone’s secrets start to come out.

8. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, Coming January 8

Book-An Anonymous Girl

Jessica Farris works as a makeup artist in New York City, and could use a little extra cash. That’s why she signs up to participate in the morality and ethics study she hears some of her clients talking about. The study is being conducted by Dr. Lydia Shields, and from the beginning, Jessica lies to Dr. Shields about her identity (she claims, instead, to be one of the women she heard talking about the study in the first place). The relationship between Jessica and Dr. Shields is unbalanced from the beginning, wrought with manipulation and control. Will Jessica be able to escape Dr. Shields’ clutches?

9. As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney, Coming January 15

Book-As Long as We Both Shall Live

First comes love, then comes marriage. Then comes… murder? In JoAnn Chaney’s latest, a husband named Matt reels in the aftermath of his wife’s death. He and Marie had been hiking when she stumbled off of a cliff. At least, that’s what Matt says happened. It would be easier to believe him, however, had his first wife Janice not also died rather suddenly. Detective Marion Spengler and Detective Ralph Loren are assigned to the case, and are charged with answering a basic question about Matt: Is he a sociopathic, wife-killing liar? Or is he just an extremely unlucky man who has lost both of his wives to unspeakable tragedies? This twisty thriller will keep your heart rate elevated right up to the final page.

What books are on your reading list this season? We’d love to hear of ones we haven’t checked out yet!

Central Oregon Activities, Entertainment, Home Fun

Guide to Hot Tub Decision-Making

Summer isn’t quite over yet, but we’re nearing the end and moving into…hot. tub. season. The weather this week is making us think about being cozy, warming up, hot teas, comfy cardigans and relaxation. Maybe you’re even thinking about how to make your winter mornings and evenings a little more enjoyable with a hot tub addition. Here are some things to consider before making the leap.

1. Make Sure You Have the Room

Hot tubs aren’t just a little addition to the home. It’s important to check and measure your space before moving forward. You’ll want room for the hot tub itself as well as space on all sides for maintenance and getting in and out. It’s also good to consider positioning for stargazing and views of the mountains.

2. Zoning Approval

Before you go to the hot tub store and start making your hot tub decisions, you’ll need to check with building codes in your area and make sure you’re allowed to have a hot tub. Sometimes you need to get a permit before installing. If you don’t follow these requirements, it could result in fines or even having your hot tub removed entirely.

3. Choosing Your Location

Ideally you’ll want concrete or spa pads to place the tub. This will create a smooth area for the hot tub to sit. If you’re going to add it to your deck, make sure it’s strong enough to handle the weight the hot tub bares. You’ll also want to think about a walkway to the tub so you’re not walking through grass or dirt on the way to it (which could cause maintenance problems down the line).

4. Talk to an Electrician

“Hot tubs can take a 120 or 240 volt electrical hook up. Be sure you have one available near the future location of your hot tub. If you are upgrading, then this shouldn’t be a problem, but new owners need to be aware of this. Having electrical nearby will make maintenance is easier and you can quickly access them while you are using your hot tub.” We recommend consulting a professional to make sure everything is done correctly.

5. Associated Cost

Installing a hot tub includes more cost than just the purchase of the hot tub. It will increase your electricity bill significantly.

6. Which One? Which One?

Like any big purchasing decision, you’ll want to make sure you get the best quality for your lifestyle. The more reliable the hot tub, the less you’ll pay in repairs over time. When on the search for a hot tub, find places that get good reviews online as well as a dealer that will have the parts you need on hand to avoid complications. It may seem easy to pick the cheapest option, but don’t sacrifice quality for price when it comes to this decision.

7. Choosing the Right Size

Two-person or six-person hot tubs are the most popular. If you’re buying for your whole family, make sure you get one big enough to fit everyone (plus even a few friends here and there).

8. Must-Haves

There are three must-have accessories when purchasing your new winter addition: cover, cover lifter, steps. Make sure these are included with your new hot tub. They will make your life a whole lot easier in the long run.

9. Schedule a Wet Test

“Wet testing is the act of actually soaking in a filled hot tub before you make your purchase.” Test the hot tub with everyone who will be using it. Might as well since you’ll want it to give you the experience you desire. If the dealer doesn’t allow you to do this, take that as a sign to find a different dealer.

10. Sleep On It

Don’t be pressured by anyone to make the decision right then and there. This could lead to a hot tub you weren’t ready for or a style you don’t like. After going through your checklist and wet testing a few models, go home and let yourself sit with the possibilities before moving forward.

Do you have a hot tub? Do you have any suggestions for those looking to buy? Share with us!

Article Inspired by The Complete Homeowner’s Guide to Buying a Hot Tub