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Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 4

We're back to getting all caffeinated with Portland's coffee culture. In this series, I visit three or more independent coffee shops in the city and tell you what sets them apart from the rest and what I liked and didn't like about them. It's a chance to get away from the millions of Starbucks in the city and get a coffee in a new setting and give back to small businesses. 

portland coffee

I'm not against Starbucks. In fact, I love it because I always know what things will taste like, because I've had them before. They're great to pop into when on a trip, because they're quick and easy, but sometimes I just want to slow down and with so much great coffee in the Portland area, it's a shame I don't branch out more. So, here are the shops I've visited in June:

Case Study Coffee

Located in the Downtown area, this shop is one of the largest I've visited and has the most Starbucks-y atmosphere. The staff are super friendly and the shop is still cozy, despite its large size.


I parked across the street in the parking garage next to Case Study, so my visit was quite easy. The pastry case made it hard to choose something, so I went for a garlic herb bagel with cream cheese (though I could have also had it with either butter or hummus). The flavor was outstanding and they actually gave me enough cream cheese for both halves of my bagel, which seems like an issue a lot of places if they don't put the cream cheese on for you.


I just went with a vanilla latte as my drink of choice. The coffee prices seemed a little high here, so I just ordered a small size, which was still kind of large. While I waited, I watched one of the baristas make a pour-over. They seem to be all the rage now. Since I paid for parking, I ended up well over $10 for my breakfast. That would have been fine if I had been downtown for another reason, but I wasn't. My coffee was a whopping $5, but my bagel (which came from Bowery Bagels) was $2.50 ($2 for the bagel and $.50 for the cream cheese). $7.50 is still on par with Starbucks though, so I suppose it's not that spendy in comparison. 


Prosperity Pie Shoppe

Multnomah Village in SW Portland has been getting a huge overhaul these last few years. One of the newish places that has moved in is this coffee/pie shop and educational center. It's a lovely and warm cafe with comfortable seating, friendly staff and large windows that open onto the sidewalk.



We were invited to Prosperity to see my father-n-law and his friend play music. We took the opportunity to order dessert, since they are open in the evenings. We got an iced chai tea latte (medium: $4), an iced mocha (medium: $4.45) and a slice of banana cream pie ($6.25). The coffee had a wonderful rich flavor and was very refreshing on the warm night. The slice of pie was large enough for us to not need to get a second slice between the two of us and was easy to tell it was homemade. Plus, look at this sweet little message on my plate!



Considering the shop is near a lot of fun boutique stores and up-and-coming restaurants, it makes it even more appealing to hang out in the area. I'll be returning in the future, whether I have a gig to go to or not. It just feels like a nice place to meet friends or have a chill date night. They serve real food as well, mostly salads, and also have a ton of different kinds of loose teas to choose from. 

Bogza Coffee

Sometimes, it's just fun to search your neighborhood for gems and Bogza is a wonderful hidden coffee shop in Beaverton's The Round. This warm and inviting bistro has all your favorite coffee drinks and then some of their own. They also have pretty wooden walls with a miniature gallery.  


I went in looking for the specials. I got a 16 oz honey lavender latte ($4.25) and a chocolate croissant ($2.50) that turned out to be as big as my face. It was a wonderful way to start the morning. I looks like they also have breakfast sandwiches, which I will definitely try next time I'm there. 


Several people were working from the shop, because there are some comfy seats throughout and you get a nice view of the "Round", which is sort of like a park made by apartments, restaurants, and businesses. It's also right on the MAX line. The staff were all super nice and welcoming. At less than $7 for a quick breakfast, this is a great place to hit up when starting your day, or for a pick-me-up in the afternoon.

What are some of your favorite coffee shops where you live or from your travels? What's the "thing" to order?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Business Travel On a Budget

Just because you're traveling for business, it doesn't mean that you have to spend big bucks to get there and back, especially if you work for yourself. Save money, while still being productive by knowing where to splurge. You can be the hero of your company and the envy of other business people. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your money and get ahead.  

better business travel

Get the wireless package
Gogo Wireless is your ticket to successful flying. If you take to the skies often, save big by buying a monthly plan instead of paying per flight. You can use it unlimited throughout the month on your chosen airline, or, for a few dollars more, on all participating airlines. Get all your work done online while other people are watching the in-flight movie or reading a book. The monthly plan pays for itself in just a few three-hour flights.

Purchase a Priority Pass for airport lounges

It’s hard to work in a crowded terminal or even at one of those tiny coffee shop tables, plus you need to find a place to plug your laptop in if you start to run out of juice. Airport lounges are so much more comfortable and efficient. Membership at Priority Pass gains you admittance to over 600 airport lounges across the world, where you can enjoy Internet access, free drinks and snacks and more. The best part? You don’t need to pay for a business class ticket to gain entry.

Pack light

Packing light is always a budget move. Not only do you save on baggage fees, you can go from the plane to your business meeting right away, without having to wait at the baggage claim or drop your bags at your hotel if you don’t have time. Women can make use of a little black dress, a blazer, cardigan and different accessories to make many outfits out of a few key pieces. Men can get by with one suit and several different shirts and ties. You can pack less and still look great and professional every day.

Use your smart phone to save time, money and aggravation

Chances are your phone bill is paid for by your company (or you write it off on your taxes), so use it to make the most of your time. Use a service like TripIt to keep track of all your miles and itineraries, book flights and get travel alerts on-the-go. You can also use it to make reservations with dining programs like OpenTable to get rewards and discounts on dining. Your clients will never know you wined and dined them on a budget!

Get more airline miles

As frequent travelers, business people spend a lot of time in airports. Why only get frequent flyer miles for flying? Accrue miles for parking, shopping and dining when you sign up with Thanks Again and get free flights faster. Use the free flights for your personal trips if you have to use your own money and get reimbursed for the costs. If you use a business credit card for your travels, use the free flights to save on your future business trips.


These are some great ways to make the most of your time and money, making you a more effective business traveler. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and look your best when you arrive at your destination, in case you don’t have time to freshen up. Good walking shoes will also be a lifesaver, as they can be perfect for work situations and also for sightseeing if you have some extra time before heading back home. Feel better and more productive on all your trips!

How do you save on your business travel?
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