Where to Celebrate Soup Month in Lake Oswego


January is Soup Month and there are plenty of restaurants in Lake Oswego that can help you celebrate. From a legendary creamy mushroom version to an authentic Vietnamese pho, you’ll find the variety, warmth, and taste that makes soup a natural dining choice in the midst of our cold, wet winter.

Here are some options for you to consider.

GUBANC’S RESTAURANT. While this third generation owned and operated restaurant features daily selections made fresh from scratch, the Cream of Mushroom soup that is serve d up every Friday is considered legendary. It dates back to one of the original owners—Anne Gubanc—who was known for her delicious creations and this one has stood the test of time. Recent Yelp reviews call it “to die for.” Check their website for this week’s lineup of soups. 16008 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.2102.

FLYING ELEPHANTS DELICATESSAN. Elephant’s Delicatessen has had a Lake Oswego presence since 2005. They feature monthly soup specials (like Indian Spiced lentil and Mulligatawny) but are often lauded for their classics: Tomato Orange and Mama Leone. Several Yelp reviewers attest to combining the two for a true gastronomic delight! If you’re feeling industrious, you can follow the recipe for their Tomato Soup and make it at home. 5885 SW Meadows Road, 503.620.2444.

LA PROVENCE. The signature soup here is French Onion featuring deeply caramelized onions in a rich homemade beef consommé. Top it with melted Swiss and Parmesan cheese on toasted bread and you may feel so warm and cozy inside you won’t want to leave! One Yelp fan described it as a “rich brown homage to the humble onion with a thick beret of melty cheese.” 16350 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.4533.

PHO’ LAVANG. Pho is Vietnam’s national dish and this family-owned Vietnamese restaurant does it justice. The rich, aromatic broth is filled with vegetables, rice noodles and your protein of choice from steak and chicken to shrimp and barbecue pork. 16120 Lower Boones Ferry Road, 503.697.6253.

POT BELLY SANDWICH SHOP. Want your soup served your way? You can customize your order here by adding ingredients to your soup. Add-ins include avocado ($1.25 extra), bacon (75¢), cheddar (65¢), jalapeno crisps (60¢), pot pie topping (60¢), or onions. Selections include Chicken Pot Pie, Loaded Baked Potato and Broccoli Cheddar.                  9 Centerpointe Drive, 503.840.6974.

TAVERN ON KRUSE. Priding themselves on their use of seasonal ingredients, you can enjoy Apple and Butternut Squash Soup here right now as well as Steamer Clam Chowder. 4835 Meadows Road, #133, 503.303.5280.

ZUPAN’S. Want to grab and go? Zupan’s rotates their daily selections and label whether they are gluten and/or dairy free. There are six to choose from with recent selections like Turkey Lentil, Steakhouse Beef Vegetable and Wild Salmon Smoked Chowder with Bacon. Call in and ask for the deli to get that day’s lineup. 16380 Boones Ferry Road, 503.210.4190.

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What’s the Housing Market in Lake Oswego Look Like for 2019?

Stocks aren’t the only investment undergoing a correction right now. So is the housing market. But that’s not necessarily bad news.

After decades of boom and bust cycles, slow and steady can be good for everyone. Here’s what I mean.

Home prices in Portland and Lake Oswego in particular are still going up but at a much slower and sustainable pace making homes more affordable for buyers. Sellers are having to adapt, relying more heavily on comparative market analyses from professional Realtors than on their personal ideas of what their homes are worth. While this may seem like bad news for sellers, if they are planning to move up or move on, the same market conditions work to their advantage.

These circumstances make it an excellent time for buyers to move into Lake Oswego where traditionally higher priced homes may have been out of their reach.

Other factors are also at work making the next five to six months a good time to make your move.

I believe interest rates will come down if not ½, then ¼ of a point in the next 90 days. All you have to do is look at the 10-year treasury note–it has no legs. It’s back where it was a year ago after climbing up 60 basis points and couldn’t hold it at all. The current average rate of 4.4% would look pretty good to buyers in 1981 who took out loans at almost 19% or even to those in 2000 with rates of 8.05%. We’ve enjoyed historically low interest rates under 6% since 2008, and while they’re not at the 3.31% we saw in 2012 they’re still much better than in years past.

That’s not to deny that even an increase of 1 percentage point can affect the price a homeowner can afford to pay for a home, which may keep a check on how fast home prices can increase.

A rebounding stock market will abate people’s fear factor, spilling over into the housing market as well. Why do I say “rebounding?” A couple of factors are at play. Historically stocks perform well in the third year of a presidential term. And while the current gridlock in Congress is frustrating to us voters, more often than not it has been good for the stock market. Psychological factors come into play as much as financial so an upbeat outlook bodes well on all fronts.

Housing supply is another condition that affects the market. I predict that the supply will remain steady for the next 12 months—about a 2 ½ to 4 months inventory of homes. It will be closer to 4 months in Lake Oswego where home prices are higher. This is a range that still tends to favor sellers but I am seeing more price adjustments being made on higher end homes. The Oregonian recently reported that in November, a third of active Portland home listings dropped their price. Again, this reflects the need to involve a professional Realtor when listing your home to ensure that prices reflect market conditions, not seller expectations.

If you’d like a personal assessment of how current market conditions are affecting the value of your home or the type of home you can afford to purchase, please give me a call at 503.939.98901 and/or check out my website. I’ve been helping people move in, move up and move beyond Lake Oswego for over 30 years. I’d love to put my experience to work for you.

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Here’s Your Lake Oswego Holiday Recuperation Plan

The holidays—whether you love them or hate them, now’s the time to celebrate you survived them! What better way to do that and to start off your new year than by taking a break to revive and restore.  Here are some ideas for how and where to do that in and around Lake Oswego. From a massage to a quiet respite, consider this your holiday recuperation plan.

SPA TREATMENT. Take some time out with a massage or facial that can put you in the ahh zone instead of the aargh one. Here are a few places to check out:

●rumi simone. How’s a candlelit Ritual Bath filled with stress relieving salts sound followed by an aromatherapy massage? Deciding what spa service to select will be challenging but once you cross that hurdle, all you have to do is unwind. 345 First Street, 503.699.8899.

●Skin Sense Spa. Choose from a long list of facials or after a long season of shopping and hitting the mall, you might want to opt for some Peppermint Foot Therapy—a 30 minute treatment that includes an invigorating scrub, soothing oil and foot massage.  15450 Boones Ferry Road, Suite 7. 503.307.3833.

●Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa. It’s a smorgasbord of options here including a massage with heated Himalayan salt stones that add a healing element to all that relaxation. If your partner has been working as hard as you, there’s a couples massage as well. 4328 Meadows Road, Suite 123. 503.308.1516.

LABYRINTH. Dating back to ancient times, a labyrinth has been called everything from a healing tool to a “watering hole for the spirit.” If you’re suffering from decision overload, a labyrinth is a perfect place to give your mind a rest. It’s a pattern of pathways that weave in a circle around a center point with only one way in and one way out. So all you have to decide is to start and the path will guide you. You can find some local ones like at Marylhurst Heights Park, 1800 Valley View Drive in West Linn or by checking out this website.

NATURE WALK. From lowering your blood pressure to improving cognitive function to reducing stress, a walk in the woods is a highly touted do-it-yourself escape route from a stressful day. Luckily for you, you don’t have to go far to get away from the maddening  crowds. Head out to one of these nearby parks.

●Tryon Creek Park. Eight miles of hiking trails and three miles of a paved bike trail help you meander through the 658 acres of second-growth forest right next door to Lake Oswego. Check the map for local access points. 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd., 503.636.9886.

●Elk Rock Garden. Also known as Bishop’s Close, this close getaway is a tranquil spot with a view. A map with suggested garden walks is available in the Visitor Center. 11800 SW Military Lane, Portland. 503.636.5613.

●Lake Oswego Trails. Download one of the city’s maps detailing the growing system of trails and pathways that cut through our town and preserve nature’s beauty. Popular ones include the Iron Mountain Trail that runs behind Hunt Club and Cook’s Butte with one access point at the end of Atherton Drive.

MEDITATION. What better way to take a timeout than to tune in and tap into your awareness of your breath, your sensations and your space. Learn to observe your thoughts without being taken hostage by them. Could come in very handy when your New Year’s resolutions start screaming at you.

●Free classes through Gale Courses and your Lake Oswego library card. Learn different meditation techniques through online courses. Just click on the Gale Courses tab on the library website and register.

●Pause Meditation Studio. If you do better learning in person, then check out a drop-in class at Pause Meditation in Portland. There are a variety of offerings including Introduction to Meditation on Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Beginner’s Mind on Tuesday evenings from 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Drop-in fee is $12. Reserve a cushion online. 213 SW Ash Street, #209. 503.343.4831.

The holidays aren’t the only thing that can stress us out. Buying or selling a home can do the same thing. Let me make the experience stress-free for you by putting my 30+ years experience to work. Check out my website and/or give me a call at 503.939.9801.

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Catch Trivia Night Four Days a Week in Lake Oswego

Ever wonder when the first New Year’s Eve was celebrated? That’s the kind of trivia you might be asked at one of Lake Oswego’s popular Trivia Nights held around town each week. Since Friday is National Trivia Day, I wanted to give you a round-up of where to get your brainpower and your sense of humor tested.

The good news is that if you have a hankering for trivia, you are not alone. From Monday through Thursday nights, you can find a local spot to gather with like-minded folks. Check these places out.

HOP N’ CORK. This Lake Grove neighborhood taproom has added Trivia Nights on the second and fourth Mondays to its offerings. Enjoy premium craft beverages from a local Northwest IPA to authentic German Pilsner to help those brain synapses fire. Food offerings are available too. The fun begins at 7:00 p.m. 17450 Lower Boones Ferry Road, 503.305.5903.

HANKO’S SPORTS BAR AND GRILL. On Tuesdays you can get your trivia fix at this Mountain Park establishment. The questions start firing at 8:00 p.m. but you can warm things up during Happy Hour from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 4 Monroe Parkway, Suite F, 503.697.7819.

LAKE THEATER AND CAFÉ. The competition starts at 7:00 p.m., every Wednesday but you can get there early and order something to eat and drink. Up to seven of your well-read friends can join you on a team. Top three teams get gift certificates valid for the next month at the café. 106 N. State Street, 503.387.3236.

GEMINI BAR AND GRILL. The questions start rolling at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday, but if you’re going to make a night of it, come in early for the Happy Hour from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 456 N. State Street, 503. 636.9445.

Back to my earlier trivia question, just in case the questions are New Year’s related this week. The first New Year’s Eve was probably celebrated around 2000 B.C. in Mesopotamia around the time of the vernal equinox in March. It wasn’t celebrated in January until 45 B.C. when the Julian calendar went into effect.

And since I’m a Realtor in Lake Oswego, here’s a little bit of Lake Oswego real estate trivia.

  • The number of homes sold in Lake Oswego through November of this year was 696.
  • The average sales price was $866,118.
  • On average, a home in Lake Oswego took 46 days to sell.
  • Prices increased 3.9% over last year.

Feel free to call me at 503.939.9801 with your real estate questions. Be sure to check out my website as well. I’ve been helping people move in, out and around Lake Oswego for over 30 years and I’d love to put that experience to work for you!


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New Holiday Traditions You May Want to Consider

Donning Santa hats while searching for the perfect Christmas tree is one of our holiday traditions that my kids moan about but that I think they may just carry on with families of their own someday.

Ask our kids about some of our holiday traditions and they’ll grimace and groan but I have a feeling they’ll carry on some of them like writing clues on every gift package and wrapping up jokes we find on the internet which when read, provide us all with the gift of laughter at a bargain price!

As much as I take delight in our own homegrown traditions, I love hearing about what other families do. Here are a few other rituals that might inspire you as they did me!

CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES CHRISTMAS COVERUP. In the latest issue of their magazine, Magnolia Journal, Chip Gaines wrote about a tradition he has carried on from his own family. A few days before Christmas he covers the door frame leading into their family room with wrapping paper to keep everyone guessing about the gifts and surprises hiding behind it. Come Christmas day, they rip through the paper to discover what’s on the other side, but not before they’ve had several days to anticipate which as Gaines points out, is truly the gift he is trying to pass on from his own childhood memories. Anticipation is half the fun, and the Gaines family has found a very creative way to draw it out and ramp it up.

REVERSE ADVENT CALENDAR. When our kids were little, my wife would list a different holiday activity on the Advent calendar that ranged from leaving their shoes outside for St. Nick on December 6 to baking Christmas cookies. In a recent article in the Lake Oswego Review, Tracy Smith, program coordinator at Tualatin School House Pantry suggested families consider a Reverse Advent calendar. Instead of getting things each day, families can give one food item to a food box to countdown the season. Hunger Fighters Oregon is a good place to donate your food once you’re done!

NEW YEAR PREDICTION LIST. We’re all familiar with New Year resolutions—how about predictions? This tradition has family members predicting what they think will or would like to have happen in their own lives or that of other family members, write it down on a piece of paper, and store it away in a prediction jar until the next Christmas season to see how well they looked into the future. My daughter Riley tried this last year with a planner, writing in activities, accomplishments, trips she wanted to take in the coming year. Read about it in a blog she recently wrote at sincerelyriley.com.

SCAVENGER HUNT. We have sent our kids on a scavenger hunt in search of one gift sometimes, but one family I heard about posts the first clue in the Christmas tree and then each subsequent gift has a clue leading them to the next gift. When they were younger, the gifts were spread out just around the house, but then as they got older, the hunt spread out into the neighborhood and eventually, once they could drive, around the city. Now that’s a great way to spend your Christmas day!

WRAPPING PAPER FIGHT. After all the gifts are opened, one family wads up all the discarded wrapping paper and starts throwing it at each other. After sitting for a while, it’s a good way to burn off some calories before your big Christmas meal!

HANGING STOCKINGS ON THE BED. When her kids were younger, one mom I know would hang their stockings on their bedposts so when they woke up Christmas morning, they could each unwrap the first gifts of the day on their own timeframe (and maybe buy Mom and Dad a few more minutes of shut-eye).

CHRISTMAS EVE SMORGASBORD. My wife’s hairdresser has warmed up to her in-laws’ tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve dinner with everyone’s favorites. So options may include everything from McDonald’s french fries to Green Machine sushi rolls from Bamboo Sushi. It’s Christmas–here’s to everyone getting what they wish for!

Have any holiday traditions of your own you’d like to share? Leave a comment below—would love to hear about them!



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Make Plans Now to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Lake Oswego

If “make New Year’s Eve plans” is on your holiday To Do list, the time to act is now. There are a couple venues hosting events in Lake Oswego but they fill up so you want to put the shopping and wrapping aside for a moment and make your reservations. Consider these two options.

Tavern on Kruse. If you want to get all gussied up with someplace local to go, this is your spot. Enjoy a club-like atmosphere while rocking out on the dance floor to the tunes of the StimPak band. Purchase your libations of choice at two bars and enjoy complimentary appetizers and champagne at midnight. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the party gets started at 9:00. Limited tickets are $55. 4835 Meadows Road, 503.303.5280.

Gemini Bar and Grill. If you want to get things started a little earlier, make plans at the Gemini Bar and Grill. This popular Lake Oswego hangout will open its doors at 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and later in the night you’ll find yourself dancing to the sounds of Stump City Soul. Toast in the New Year with free champagne and enjoy free snacks before you head home. Tickets are $50. Pick your reserved seats from the layout online. 456 N. State Street, 503.636.9445.

Wilsonville Family Fun Center. Head down to Wilsonville for an earlier start still…especially if you plan on celebrating with your kids. For $20 a person, you can enjoy unlimited use of Go-Karts, Miniature Golf, the Rock Wall, Batting Cages, Sky Trail Ropes Course, Lazer Tag, Bumper Boats, Kidopolis Playland, the Frog Hopper and $5 Arcade Credit and an all-you-can-eat pizza and soda buffet (served 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p. m. to 7:00 p.m.) Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 29111 SW Town Center Loop, Wilsonville, 503.685.5000.

Oregon Garden. Another family-friendly way to ring in the New Year is a visit to the Oregon Christmas Garden in Silverton on its last day of the season. Activities include live music, artisan vendors, ice skating, snowless tubing, a 100 foot long candy cane tunnel,  a Biergarten and one million lights. Activities and pricing varies. Night skating and tubing opens at 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. 879 W. Main Street, Silverton.

If you are looking for a more non-traditional way to ring in the New Year, take a look at one of my earlier posts here.

And if buying or selling your home is on your New Year’s To Do list, be sure to give me a call. I’ve been helping people buy and sell their homes in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and would love to put my experience to work for you. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website.

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Holiday Shopping in Lake Oswego Makes Giving So Much Easier!

The bad news is that there are only 16 more shopping days until Christmas. The good news is that you can find something for everyone on your list right here in Lake Oswego. Santa’s elves went looking recently and here are some of the great gift items they found.

ADORN. This boutique is one of the new kids in town but is the fourth location for this Portland based shop. Stylish with price tags that will help you check several women off your list, the store offers everything from jackets to jumpsuits along with accessories like jewelry by Portland artist Betsy Cross. Her betsy & iya line feature cuff bracelets inspired by Portland bridges like Tilikum Crossing and the Steel Bridge. Another thing to consider: exfoliating sugar cubes by Harper & Ari that come in wonderful fragrances like lemon and gingerbread and lovely packaging that is sure to impress. And if you know a redhead (or a blonde or a brunette) who is proud of her locks, crewneck sweatshirts that tout their hair color are sure to be a hit. 369 First Street. 503.303.5614.

LUCKY ME. This accessory boutique is filled to the brim with jewelry, PJ Salvage robes and PJ sets, greeting cards, and stocking stuffers. For the Lake Oswego resident on your list choose from Lake Oswego signs, socks, and ornaments. Wine toppers range from the elegant to the whimsical. Give yourself some time to wander through this store—there’s lots to choose from! 385 First Street, Suite 115. 503.636.9595.

RAIN SPARK GALLERY. This seasonal art gallery is back again displaying the work of 31 member-artists and 8 guests. The wide selection includes tiles, baskets, jewelry, poetry, fused glass, handwoven wraps and recycled metal art. 1st and A Avenue, 971.294,2042. Be sure to check out the other artistic holiday marketplace at 510 MUSEUM AND ARTSPACE for more handmade gifts, including selections by some of our Gallery Without Walls artists! 510 First Street, 503.675.3738.

SUR LA TABLE. Make this your stop for the foodies on your list. Ornaments come in all flavors from hot sauce and bacon to donuts and a six pack of beer. The Nespresso machines take coffee brewing to its highest (and easiest) level, making your favorite drip or espresso drink and frothing your milk like the pros. There are gadgets galore, including many your gift recipient didn’t know she couldn’t live without. 390 N. State Street, #120. 503.636.2181.

GRAPEVINE. Name dropping is encouraged here. That’s why you’ll find fashions by Joie, 7 for all mankind, Rails, Vince, Citizens of Humanity and Eileen Fisher just to mention a few. Stop in between December 13 and 16 for the Jewelry Trunk Show with Girl in the Pearl. 310 N. State Street, #112, 503.635.6009

FLEET FEET SPORTS. For the road warrior on your list, consider a gift card to Fleet Feet Sports. They pride themselves in their “Fitlosophy” taking care to get to know a runner/walker’s history and study their feets’ biomechanics before recommending the right shoe. They can even scan your feet with a 3D scanner in just five seconds, measuring everything that goes into a comfortable fit. So buying a pair of shoes without this input would be missing the point! Gift card them and let them get the customer service that has helped this store grow to three locations with Lake Oswego being their newest! 368 1st Street, #123. 503.305.8616

ECOVIBE APPAREL. This holiday pop-up shop carries affordable, ethical, and trendy fashion from their main store at 1408 Northeast Alberta Street in Portland. Since that can mean different things to different people the management looks at how things are made, by whom, and out of what materials and then try to feature fashions produced ethically and jewelry and accessories locally made from recycled materials. Versatility and sustainability are also factored in. Plus they donate 1% of your sales to two local nonprofits. And did I mention that the items will make a person look good as well as feel good?! 385 1st Street, #121.

GLASSYBABY. Another feel good store is just around the corner from Ecovibe. Glassybaby sells hand-blown votive holders that each come with a story. With names like Courage, Skinny Dip and Awesome Ain’t Easy, I imagine there is a votive that would speak to the friends and family on your list. There are also sets to choose from like Blessings: Thoughtful in green and Grateful Red in red; and Naughty (in red) and Nice (white). A portion of all sales go towards the White Light Fund to support causes close to glassybaby’s mission: helping people who need medical treatment get it; helping animals find sanctuary and keep animals in the wild from becoming extinct, and preserving our planet. 390 N. State Street, 503.804.5415.

CHICO’S. Lake Oswego managed to garner one of the 600 locations of this franchise and the location seems to be a good match—Chico’s was one of the original Lake View Village tenants. The company prides itself on personal stylists who work with you to select the right style with the right fit. Share a little with one of their stylists about your recipient—what colors does she like…are there certain styles she gravitates towards…is machine washable a requirement…and let her go to work for you, letting you look good when she opens her gift. 385 1st Street, #119, 503.675.6655.

WISHBONE HOME DESIGN. Dress up your home for the holidays with seasonal décor that includes fresh or preserved plants, rugs and holiday candles. Gift items include jewelry, candlesticks, frames and gift cards. Pick up a little decorating advice while you’re at it from the experts on hand. 41 B Avenue, 503.636.1229.

THE GROVE. Here’s another new kid on the block in the Lake Grove shopping district featuring a collection of unique gift items that include jewelry, candles, purses and bags, stationary, tea, jellies and plants, many made locally. An entire wall is dedicated to co-owner Jasmine Fullman’s Naturally Knotty scarves and wraps. It’s a cozy place to hang out or take a class. Recently participants learned how to create their own centerpieces. Follow their Instagram account @thegrovelo to learn of upcoming events. 4473 Lakeview Boulevard, 503.953.4056.

PASTICHE FRAME SHOP AND GALLERY. Located just around the corner from The Grove, this spot is for the adventurous shopper who likes fun surprises. Walking into this eclectic mix of repurposed and new home décor and gift items, you can rest assured the person on your gift list is going to receive something unique. 16780 Bryant Road, (503) 636-0208.

PAPER CAPER. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts you can check a lot of people off your list at this store. Children’s pop-up books, holiday headbands, Mixture candles, holiday serving pieces are just some of the treasures you’ll find in addition to their wide selection of greeting cards. 16829 65th Avenue, 503.620.9460.

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