Sarah Hopwood

Writer // Storyteller // Bread Baker // Cat Mama

A Return to the Family Tree

Walking the streets of Seguin, Texas, is a passport back to a simpler time. Oak-lined streets lead the way through this modest town of 27,000, and its one main street showcases the requisite small-town-Texas necessities: the bank, the diner…the giant concrete-and-plaster pecan proudly perched just outside the Seguin courthouse. Yes, you’re deep in pecan country, and Mark Walls has just returned home to his grandfather’s farm. Like many people in his generation, Walls left this town for college a

Dinner Under the Stars Made Easy

When I think about camping there are a lot of positive memories that come up – watching the sunset, the smell of a smoky campfire, long hikes with beautiful views. But hardly ever do I think of delicious food being associated with camping (besides s’mores, arguably one of the most delicious processed food combinations ever). I wanted to disprove the idea that camping means eating beans and weenies out of a can hunched over a campfire. So with leg work and a bit of planning ahead I managed to mak

Portland Food News To Chew | Portland Monthly

Portland Chef Jenn Louis Arrested for Domestic Violence The Oregonian reports that Jenn Louis, co-owner of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern (and a Food & Wine Best New Chef), was arrested April 29, after punching her husband and co-owner David Welch in the nose. Charges were dropped on Monday. Louis plans to open a still-unnamed Israeli restaurant in Los Angeles later this year. PDX Int’l Switches Up Its Food Carts Aybla Grill and the Whole Bowl join the list of rotating food carts at the Best Air

How One Portland Author Went from Self-Publishing to a Major Book Deal | Portland Monthly

Jason Gurley writes “weepy science fiction”—a label he didn’t choose for himself, but one that readers have ascribed to his particular, world-building fiction. His process has been long and at times arduous, but after nearly 15 years of chipping away at his first novel, Gurley self-published Eleanor in the summer of 2014. It's a story that dips in and out of worlds as protagonist Eleanor copes with a childhood tragedy and its effects on her family. After rave reviews—and climbing to number 25 in

Wildlife at Malheur Takes Back the Spotlight with New Film Screening | Portland Monthly

Malheur has been a household word since a group of militiamen thrust this Southern Oregon Wildlife Refuge into national headlines last month. But did anyone know much more about this natural resource so close to home? One way to find out what’s so important about these 187,757 acres of wildlife habitat is to head for the Alberta Rose Theatre this Sunday, February 21, for the first public screening of Malheur: Seasons of Change. A documentary by filmmakers Diantha and Jan Knott, made over the co

Mini Vacation? Try on Mt Hood Village's New Tiny Homes for Size | Portland Monthly

There's a housing revolution afoot—and it's shrinking. Maybe you’ve caught wind of the Tiny House movement on HGTV—with shows like Tiny House Hunters, Tiny House, Big Living, and Tiny House Builders (yes, all on the same network)—or maybe you follow popular blogs like The Tiny Life or Tiny House, Giant Journey. Whether the appeal lies in creating a niche community of like-minded people, or the freedom to pick up and go at a moment’s notice, the tiny home movement is hot.

A Giant Outdoor Movie Screen on the Oregon Coast? YES, PLEASE. | Portland Monthly

Our new favorite amenity on the Oregon Coast: the Pacific Reef Hotel in Gold Beach has an outdoor movieplex featuring a 33-foot wide, 12-foot high screen. The "smart screen" transitions from transparent in the day—meaning, your view of the Pacific remains unobstructed when it's light out—to opaque in the evening while movies play. Nightly screenings include a 16-minute video of gorgeous Southern Oregon scenery and selected Disney shorts all just yards away from the vast Pacific. Gold Beach is

Indoor Skydiving on Valentine's Day—Because Why Not? | Portland Monthly

Maybe you fall into the camp of people that totally forgot V-Day was coming up (despite our many posts with ideas on gift-giving, trip-taking, and where to dine). Or maybe you’ve made the age-old mistake of arranging a first date on Valentine’s Day (despite Liz Lemon's traumatizing PSA on 30 Rock). Fret not. You can still impress your cutie with a quick trip out to Tigard for a simulated sky-diving experience at iFly's Tigard facility. According to iFly's marketing team, the wind tunnel has ins

Impress Your Person with a Valentine's Day Getaway | Portland Monthly

It’s one of the unfortunate truths about the American calendar: Valentine’s Day arrives on the tail end of a long string of gift-giving, family-appeasing, and heavy-drinking holidays. This year, vow to give your special someone a break. No presents—just a weekend away. Whether you opt for an anti-Valentine’s Day staycation (we've got plenty of ideas for that!) or set forth seeking some much-needed vitamin D, you’re sure to win major points for thoughtfulness. (And if you need extra reason to cel

Three Ways to Become a Local Outdoors Expert | Portland Monthly

As Oregonians, we pride ourselves on being nature-savvy. But with the never-ending list of parks, wetlands, beaches, mountains, and canyons begging for our attention, we can’t be expected to know it all. Thankfully, with the help of a few local conservation organizations—Columbia Land Trust, Audubon Portland, and Oregon Metro—we can give things like canyon geology and identifying rare bird species the old college try. Below, a primer on upcoming day trips, weekend excursions, and even weeks-long

Get Sweaty with Your Sweetheart at One of Oregon's Valentine's Weekend Races | Portland Monthly

Making plans for a memorable Valentine’s weekend? Why not kill two birds with one stone, achieving your new year's resolution to get outside and run more while fulfilling your Valentine’s Day duties? Get your heart pumping at any of these races, and you’re sure to create some lasting warm feelings for the weekend. What: Enjoy beautiful views from country roads as you wind through Hillsboro on this early morning Valentine’s Day race. Choose between a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or 1-mile kids run.

A Portlander's Guide to Austin, Texas | Portland Monthly

Austin in January is basically Portland in July—but with better breakfast tacos. The best part: Alaska Airlines is now offering a nonstop flight for as low as $319 roundtrip. Time to finally get down to the bottom of the whole “Who’s Weirder” debate. Here are the nine must-see places to extract the essence of Austin in a time-crunched weekend. Immerse yourself in the downtown cityscape by getting on the lake that runs right through the middle of town. Follow small channels to little-known cove

This Portland-Made Trailer Will Make Your Glamping Dreams Come True | Portland Monthly

If you’re like us, you’re already champing at the bit for the first signs of warmer weather, hoping for that early spring camping trip. But let's be real: We have months of snow and gray weather to go. Not to fret—this just means you've got few more months to save up for your next camping toy. Why not put those pennies (at least $9,000 worth) toward the American Dream Trailer? The 1961 teardrop trailer replica comes complete with a rowboat that attaches as a secondary roof for compactness and c

Run Towards Paid Parental Leave This Mother’s Day | Portland Monthly

If you have children of your own, you may be all too aware that only 12 percent of private sector employees in the US have access to paid parental leave, and one in four employed mothers return to work within just two weeks of childbirth. With an abundance of research and evidence showing that children’s health and overall wellness improves when parents are able to… er… parent, it’s no wonder Oregon and the country as a whole have lagged behind the movement towards policies that ensure family fi

Gym Spotlight: Hyatt Training | Portland Monthly

Let’s face it: your New Year's resolution to force yourself out of bed and run on the treadmill for an hour at your local big-box gym every day was completely unrealistic. No judgment here—we know it’s easy to fall into a workout rut. But now it’s March, and you’re no closer to reaching your fitness goals … so you’re panicking. Hyatt Training has your back. This husband-and-wife-owned personal training gym has everything you need to help you achieve your best health.

Six Quick Tips to Sleep Better Tonight | Portland Monthly

If you struggle to get enough Z’s, you’re not alone—nearly half of Americans report suffering from insufficient sleep. The Oregon Clinic's Dr. Bill Bowerfind, a physician specializing in sleep health, warns that the side effects of getting not enough quality sleep include high blood pressure, weight gain, depression, brain damage and threats to the immune system. Luckily, his simple, practical tips will have you sleeping like a log in no time.

Have a Healthy, Happy March with These Local Wellness Events | Portland Monthly

How to Get The Best Possible Sleep What: Whether you're trying to lose weight, decrease anxiety, or foster flawless skin, experts tell us that we need more sleep. But with so many factors (like caffeine, alcohol, technology, and kids), how are we supposed to get down to the nitty gritty of knowing how to get the best sleep possible? Dr. Bill Bowerfind of the Oregon Clinic tackles these questions in a 45 minute lecture, followed by a Q&A and social hour. Where: Hyatt Training Studio, 1622 NW 15

Gym Spotlight: Müv Training Portland | Portland Monthly

If $225 a month for a single type of exercise—a Barre membership, say, or unlimited hot yoga—sounds excessive, then Müv Training might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Müv offers strength training, yoga, barre, and cycling classes, all focused on small group training sessions (never more than 24 people and usually fewer than 10). Classes are filled with humor and high-tempo music that makes you want to get down with your bad self in between squat reps and push-ups. Müv is tucked away in

Mother’s Day in Portland: Salumi Picnics, Cascadian Spas, and High Tea | Portland Monthly

Pack a picnic with help from Olympia Provisions What: It’s obvious the local salumi kings have a lot of love for their mothers. Their ready-made picnic includes a bundle of cured meats, pork rillettes to saucisson sec, chocolate salami for dessert, a specially-made walnut cutting board and Opinel pocket knife for prep, and a custom-branded Pendleton picnic blanket to set the scene. Also included: the official Olympia Provisions cookbook, should you feel like tackling your own charcuterie on Mot
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