Author Archives: Julie Dodd
The Willamette Valley Lavender Festival was a treat for the senses with fields of purples and a range of fragrances. The two-day event (the second weekend in July each year) included more than a dozen lavender farms near Portland that were open to the public. At Mountainside Lavender Farm, the fields of lavender stretched for […]
A recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was a wonderful time of hiking and enjoying nature. I first started hiking in the Smokies with my parents and had my first camping experiences and backpacking trip with my Girl Scout troop. My time on the trails and in the Sugarlands Visitor Center on […]
Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park always is special for me. The wonderful views. The challenging hikes. The chance viewing of wildlife, from ravens to black bears. I experienced all of that during a recent hiking trip to the Smokies. I also enjoyed seeing so many people appreciating their time in the Smokies. […]
Building castells (human castles) is a Catalonian tradition dating back to the 1700s, with more than 100 people working together to build human towers that can reach six levels or even higher. I watched the castellers build their amazing castells during the Festes Sant Josep Orio in Barcelona.
The gegants (giants) are part of Barcelona’s culture and history – and are such fun to see. I was unaware of these Catalan icons until my first visit to Barcelona. After seeing photos of the gegants, I visited La Casa del Entremesos (The Giants Museum) to see them in person. The gegants are constructed with […]
As part of your approach to personal health and fitness, I’d encourage you to read or listen to Matthew Walker’s “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.” Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California/Berkeley and a leading sleep researcher, explains how sleep impacts our daily lives – from driving […]
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
That was the theme of a nutrition workshop led by Garreth Smoak and Elizabeth Burt to encourage healthy weight loss. Smoak, a physical therapy assistant, has written a cookbook of healthy recipes. Burt lost 70 pounds by following a new healthy eating plan. I’m sharing strategies from their workshop.
I love books and reading, but I realized that I needed to downsize my book collection. I’m offering some tips about reducing the number of books that you have.
I’m wishing you a holiday season of good health and good cheer. Let me offer a few encouragements for your good health. I realize these suggestions can be difficult to follow because of travel, family eating traditions, and all the demands of the holidays. More activity, less sitting One of the challenges of the holidays […]
Explore the outdoors as part of #OptOutside, a national movement started by REI in 2015. Rather than open its stores on Black Friday (Nov. 23), REI gives its employees a paid vacation day and encourages them — and the rest of us — to get outdoors.