March 2017 Lifestyle Letter

After this extraordinary winter, I find myself dreaming of spring, and even the arrival of warm summer days. While I do love the way our landscape remained a winter wonderland for so long, like most Bendites, I reached a point where I was so ready for it to be over.

Cascade School of Music Rock Showcase

Cascade School of Music's Rock Department put on a showcase January 20 at McMenamins Old Saint Francis. 
Over 20 students performed original songs and rock classics. Photography Gray Calicott

“Little Women” Opens

Local actors prepare for the opening of Cascade Theatrical Company’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s novel 
“Little Women.” The play enjoyed a successful two week run. Photography Barbara Dudley

March 2017 Around Town

Have you noticed the Bend JOY Project’s bright orange graphics popping up all over Bend? This community kindness initiative is a challenge, a conversation, an opportunity, an experiment and a mission to bring joy in small, meaningful ways to keep our community happy, strong and beautiful. The idea is simple; to share and inspire joy in the community. Can kindness,…

The Sound of Music

Since the birth of our nation, music has helped to define—and bring color to—the cities and towns that make up our country. Fife and drum corps in Boston provided the soundtrack to the American Revolution while San Francisco hippie bands illuminated the 1960’s cultural revolution. Take a walk through Nashville’s Music Row and hear up-and-coming country artists or head to…

Wood Renewal Business Focuses on Home and Environmental Health

The home is where the heart is. Anyone who has suffered through the multitude of decisions in a home remodel knows this to be true. The mere act of remodeling—or refurbishing—one’s kitchen cabinets and floors quickly becomes a labor of love. N-Hance, a residential and commercial wood floor and cabinet renewal franchise with a branch in Central Oregon, aims to…

Art & Music in Our Town

My wife and I moved to Bend in 2001. Our goal was to start a family in a small town, away from the problems—crime, home prices, traffic—of big-city living. We smiled at the amount of new families who flocked to Drake Park for events, enjoyed out first home on half an acre, and marveled at the fact we could get…

High Desert Artistry

As Central Oregon has grown, so has the number of talented artists, naturally drawn to the high desert for its enriching environment and intimacy—the perfect backdrop to create. Whether it’s public art, jewelry, furniture or architecture, our corner of the world has a plethora of passionate craftsmen whose creativity seems to never end. Three local artisans—Jim Rozewski, Erik Hoogen, and…

Freedom from 

Retired fourth grade teacher Judi Van Houweling always incorporated the arts into her lesson plans. For 26 years, her classroom at Tumalo Community School was one where acting, painting, drawing and crafting were central to learning. One day, Debra Mae Fisher—an artist-in-residence at the school—encouraged Van Houweling to bring her love of the arts and teaching into her plans after…

February 2017 Lifestyle Letter

In a salute to the thriving craft brewing industry in this town, we’ve dedicated this issue to brews—complete with a comparison of different types of beer, a listing of local beer festivals, and a guide to choosing a local watering hole, depending on your mood. Celebrate February with your favorite beer in hand, a warm fire in the fireplace and…

February 2017 Around Town

The Sisters Folk Festival has announced the final two shows in their 2017 Winter Concert Series. The February 21 concert will feature a bluegrass showcase of dobro/guitar duo of Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, and the powerful yet intricate music of the Molly Tuttle Band, each doing their own sets. Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley are touring on the release…

The Business of Beans

When strolling along the streets of downtown Bend, a coffee aroma seems to drift around every corner and down every alley, leading to a myriad of coffee shops. Tucked in the center of NW Minnesota Avenue is a local favorite, Dudley’s Bookshop and Cafe, a cozy spot for conversation and delicious caffeinated drinks featuring coffee from Bonsai Beans.

Hoppy + Fresh

Perfect for a fresh, deep clean scented with hops. For continuous upkeep and a quick and easy refresher.

2016 Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival

Hundreds of dark beer lovers sampled more than 20 winter ales inside the heated tent in GoodLife Brewing Company's 
Biergarten December 10. The festival benefited the Central Oregon Brewer’s Guild. 
Photography Steve Giardini

Swampy Hut Dedication

Dozens of skiers and snowshoers said goodbye as the old Swampy Hut was set ablaze, and then christened the new Swampy Hut December 10. The ceremony was hosted by the Central Oregon Nordic Club and U.S. Forest Service. 
Photography Steve Giardini

High Desert Hydrotherapy Ribbon Cutting

Attendees braved wintry roads to see the Bend Chamber's ribbon cutting ceremony for High Desert Hydrotherapy in December. Located downtown, High Desert Hydrotherapy specializes in colon hydrotherapy, body contouring, full body detox wraps and more. Guests enjoyed a tour by owner Camilla Drabeck, a full spread of appetizers and champagne, and door prizes. 
Photography Provided

Hops in the Kitchen

Stout Chocolate Brownies

Be a Valentine’s Day Superstar!

Ah, the romance of it all! You want to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day for you and your sweetie. You’re giddy with anticipation as your heart swells. Yet every single idea that bubbles up is something you’ve done before, and wasn’t particularly well-received. Your giddiness is immediately replaced by a wave of panic.

The Beers of Beer Town, USA

With Oregon having over 200 breweries—34 in Central Oregon alone—the days of walking into a bar and telling the bartender you’ll have a “beer” are long gone. Choices now range from locals’ favorite India Pale Ale (IPA) to specialty beers, crafted for the season.

Where to Grab a Beer

Are you in the enviable position of trying to decide between multiple craft breweries? Here's our guide to local watering holes that best suit your needs.

2017 Central Oregon Beer Festivals

As if Central Oregon needs more of a reason to get together and celebrate beer, each year a dozen beer festivals take place throughout the High Desert. Some specialize in certain beer distinctions, while others invite various breweries from across the country to participate. Add the sounds of local bands and culinary delights served by local vendors and you have…

January 2017 Lifestyle Letter

With the New Year upon us, chilly winter nights have arrived here in Bend. For me, that’s mostly about staying snug and warm in the evenings! But, the stories in this issue have challenged me to venture out into the cold and try new experiences after dark. Although I love the outdoors on a sunny winter day, I admit I’ve…

The Center Shevlin Clinic Grand Opening

The Center for Orthopedic & Neurological Care & Research invited the community to tour their new, state-of-the-art facility at Shevlin Health and Wellness Center October 27. Guests enjoyed a ribbon cutting, door prizes, an opportunity to meet the expert medical team and music by Kurt Silva and Lilli Worona. PHOTOGRAPHY GARY CALICOTT AND PROVIDED

High Heels for High Hopes

the presenting sponsor and host of the March of Dimes Central Oregon High Heels for High Hopes Runway Show on November 17, World Prematurity Awareness Day. Nine local women walked the runway and helped raise over $30,000 to support the March of Dimes. PHOTOGRAPHY KELLIANNE JORDAN

January 2017 Around Town

4 Peaks Music Festival is excited to announce a new venue for their 10th Anniversary festival weekend, taking place June 15-18, 2017. Months of searching for the right site led them to Southeast Bend’s Stevenson Ranch. The 100+ acre ranch—over 60 acres larger than last year’s location—maintains the same Cascade Mountain views and mellow vibe as the previous location, but…

A New Year’s Eve Snowshoe

Each Central Oregon winter, the Virginia Meissner SnoPark becomes a popular destination for nordic skiers and snowshoers. The Meissner Nordic Club cares for the pristine park by grooming the trails four times a week and maintaining shelters throughout where visitors can warm up. While Virginia Meissner is gorgeous during the day—with fresh blankets of snow covering the towering Ponderosa and…

Bend Winter Nights

Central Oregon is known for breathtaking Cascade Mountain views, Bend’s bustling downtown area, and over 300 days of sunshine. Even when long winter nights cut the days short, the high desert has a picturesque mountain sky and an entertaining mountain town experience. So, next time a cozy home fire tries to lure you into staying home, resist the urge and…

Removing Obstacles

I step around to the unsafe side of the safety fence. The ledge—300 feet above ground—isn’t quite wide enough to fit the full length of my feet. My mind goes eerily calm. I take a deep breath, focus on the horizon, and await the countdown. Then, I jump.

Get Organized!

Modern-day living has become increasingly more demanding as people get married later, work longer hours, and relocate more frequently. As a result, an organized, relaxing, and inspirational home has become even more important.

The Benefits of Honey

Honey is great for your skin! Did you know that raw organic honey is great for your skin too? Honey has natural antibacterial properties, so it is an effective acne treatment option, and it is loaded with antioxidants and enzymes, so it helps boost your skin’s immunity and fights free radicals to help slow down aging.

December 2016 Lifestyle Letter

Joy! With the holidays in full swing, I hope you have a chance—despite the craziness—to take in the joy this season brings. I know I sometimes lose that focus when things get so hectic this time of year. But, I always imagine a peaceful, joyous (and, hopefully a white) holiday that overshadows the stress.

2016 BendFilm Festival

Thousands of filmgoers celebrated independent filmmakers October 7 - 9 throughout Downtown Bend. Festivities included film screenings, parties and lectures. Films battled for awards ranging from Best of the Northwest to Best in Show. PHOTOGRAPHY BRENT BARNETT

Bank of the Cascades Bend Fall Festival

The 2016 Bend Fall Festival took over the streets of Downtown Bend September 30 - October 2. Dozens of bands performed on two stages while more than 250 fine artists lined the streets selling their wares. PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE GIARDINI

December 2016 Around Town

The High Desert Food and Farm Alliance’s (HDFFA) Grow and Give program recently finished up their summer growing season by donating over 9,000 pounds of local produce to NeighborImpact and the 43 food pantries that they service. The bounty—which exceeded their 8,000 pound goal—was the culmination of a year’s worth of Grow and Give events. The Madras, Redmond, NW Crossing…

Confessions of a Non-skier in a Ski Town . . .

I live in a mountain town called Bend. In the winter, snow blankets our streets and turns our Cascade Mountains into majestic photo opportunities. People flock to our town to enjoy the slopes of Mount Bachelor or the wilderness backcountry terrain. At night, conversations center on the day’s escapades or the promise of tomorrow’s adventures.

Gifts That Give Back

Ready to make the holidays less about commercialism and more about spreading love? These local businesses can help! In fact, they are all about helping—in every possible way. Come along as we stroll through conversations with Bend’s social entrepreneurs. Better yet, plan a visit of your own. If you do, chances are you’ll find these hands-on, hard-working, heart-involved business owners/managers…

My Central Oregon Holiday Tradition

Each year, I look forward to chopping down my own Christmas tree. Without fail, I wake up in the morning with a gigantic grin on my face, throw off the covers and pronounce, “Let’s get ready to go Christmas tree cutting!” While my family is small—just my husband and myself—my enthusiasm isn’t. There are no children jumping up and down,…


Looking for holiday gift ideas? Try some of these exceptional, locally-made products for the loved ones in your life.

Holiday Giving With a Twist!

The holidays bring an opportunity to deliver unexpected acts of kindness to family, friends, business associates or even total strangers. They are a time for gatherings—complete with eating, drinking, and of course, gifts! In turn, the celebratory season teaches us that gift giving is more fun than receiving.


Thanks to Stephanie Anderson Stroup, Owner of Twist Cocktail Catering Company, for these festive drink recipes to bring out your yuletide cheer.

What November Brings . . . 

Undoubtedly, those of you who live for winter sports here in Central Oregon are impatiently waiting for the snow to fall. This transition from warmer temperatures to our winter season leaves me with mixed feelings—I’m sad to see our long summer days fade, but am excited for the holiday season to be upon us.

Bend Open Streets

Bend Open Streets, a Commute Options event, shut down more than two miles of midtown streets from noon to 4 p.m. on September 18. Almost 3,000 people took advantage of the closed route, complete with food, games, and live music. 

November 2016 Around Town

Oregon State University - Cascades has received a $500,000 gift from Robin and Curt Baney, owners of Oxford Suites properties in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, as well as the Oxford Hotel in Bend. The donation will directly support the creation of an endowed faculty scholar position within the university’s recently launched hospitality management program. This is the second endowed…

Warm Fires & Dry Tents

Four friends—exhausted from the day’s conquests—sit around a roaring fire as they swap stories, exaggerated to be sure. Any pause in conversation is the result of polishing off a pre-packaged meal or becoming lost in the never-ending sea of stars overhead. The conversation turns to the following day’s plan of attack and the hint of an early bedtime.

Sisters Folk Festival

The Sisters Folk Festival proved once again that “all the town’s a stage” September 9-11. More than 40 bands played on 11 stages for thousands of fans. PHOTOGRAPHY GREGG MORRIS


The Portland Winterhawks hosted a meet and greet September 16 at the Deschutes Brewery. Hockey fans, young and old, came out for autographs and photos with the players. PHOTOGRAPHY STEVE GIARDINI

Red Rock and Snow

From Mt. Bachelor’s pristine runs to the Cascades’ many snow parks, colder months turn Central Oregon into a winter wonderland. But, when storm cycles make the mountains unpleasant, places like Smith Rock State Park offer dry ground and panoramic volcanic rock views as a fun hiking option.

‘Tis the Charitable Season

It’s no secret that the bulk of donor activity happens during the holidays. Some nonprofits receive almost 33% of each year’s donations in November and December. So, if you’re just now starting to consider where to focus your charitable efforts, you’re not alone!

Cold Weather Fun–Add Ice Fishing to Your List

Central Oregon is surrounded by many forms of water throughout the year. Lakes and rivers, big and small, dot the landscape in every direction. Because we live at a higher elevation, summer’s water playground turns into a winter landscape full of ice and snow.

Holiday Wish Lists for Local Nonprofits

The holidays are just around the corner. While many of us have been counting down the days with glee, others wish they could just ignore the whole thing. We have neighbors and friends here in Bend who are living with chronic disease, food insecurity, homelessness, loneliness, and sometimes just really difficult holiday memories. Reaching out to others with any kind…