There is no hiding my love for Bend, Oregon.
A couple of summers ago, the Iler family packed up and took an amazing road trip to Oregon. We had no idea what the trip would give to us, we just knew we were burned out from the hustle and bustle of Southern California. With our truck packed, we decided to make the 13 hour drive to a place that friends kept telling us we should visit, it was our “kind of pace and lifestyle.” So, with no expectations, we rented a refurbished barn and immersed ourselves into Bend living for 5 days. Clean air, crisp mornings, hiking trails galore, fishing holes, fire pits and gourmet food trucks, it was perfect family fun for the Iler family.
Four months later, Scott and I made a trip back to Bend in November to experience life during the autumn season. This time around we were on a quest to find jobs and real estate; in hopes to relocate to this magical place. We also wanted to have a bit of luxury and decided to stay at the Mills Inn Bed and Breakfast, which is in the heart of the Old Town.
Although every part of the Inn was beautiful, what stuck in my mind the most was the coziness of walking down the stairs each morning to a warm dining area filled with a variety of breakfast items. The smell of bacon frying wafted up to the second floor, sweet blueberry muffins baking, and coffee percolating was so enticing to get up, even in the 25 degree weather. The amazing chef in the kitchen was so happy each morning, singing to Oldies Music, banging her pots and pans while she whipped up more batter for waffles, or resupplying the coffee. Her quiche was a must that quickly disappeared. If you woke up past 8 am, there was always tomorrow.
What I realized over those 4 mornings, that after nourishing my body with good food, I also felt nourished mentally, and ready to take on the day. The simple act of eating a meal together and not rushing was what my soul needed. I was ready to go outside, get my heart pumping with fresh air and see the possibilities the day had in store for me.
So, fast forward, 2 years later. . .we are living in our old 1930s home in Southern California. That trip to Bend, Oregon was pivotal for us. It was sliding doors. . . would we move or stay in California? Having faith, trust, and acceptance for what lied ahead of us, is what led us to our current spot. However, we also wanted to recreate that feeling in our own home from the Mills Inn and capture that spirit of contentment we had each morning.
“Welcome to the Iler Woods Cafe.” We embrace weekend breakfasts. Lazy mornings, when the kids can sleep in, watch a favorite movie, Scott gets extra time to not rush, and I make a surprise breakfast. These are the recipes I would not have time to make on a Tuesday morning, when we are trying to complete a science project, or get ready for a before school work meeting. My daughters like to take turns in the kitchen. They create part of their own fancy meal, from freshly squeezed orange juice, to mango/
strawberry smoothies, or lemon curd with blueberry pancakes, to a gourmet waffle bar, with toppings galore. My favorite is a Mexican fiesta brunch that my grandma used to make when I would stay the weekend with her. Eggs and Chorizo, salsa infused potatoes, fresh tortillas, and pico de gallo.
With my swinging door from the kitchen to the dining room, we do not allow anyone into the organized mess of cooking. When it is all done, I have been known to say, “Welcome to the Iler Cafe.” We jokingly take the orders from each customer. It is a fun way to mix up the monotony of weekday routines and we look forward to sitting together, enjoying a meal in the morning.
Think about the last time you enjoyed a meal with family or friends? What stood out to you the most? I bet you can almost taste the food, smell the scents, and hear the conversation you had. The connections you make with family and friends over a meal is priceless. We want to share that feeling with you. We want to welcome you into a very Iler experience; we want to incorporate these wonderful memories into our business in a memorable and special way.
That being said, and although I would love to invite you into our home, this holiday season we would like to invite you to our first “Virtual Iler Woods Cafe” to kick off the holiday season. Grab a cup of coffee, a breakfast scone, or a smoothie, and join us on Saturday, November 28th. We are going to take you on an exclusive, registration-only, behind-the-scenes tour of what we, and our artisans have to offer for our upcoming "12 days of Iler Woods!"
So what will Iler Woods Cafe be serving you? It is our hand-curated holiday shop filled with new, one-of-a-kind items. It is the offering of specialty creations that our artisans are bringing to this holiday season. You will have a chance to hear each artisan and see some of the gifts that will be featured on our website. You will be able to hear stories of our inspiration, be first to see this holiday collection of items, and we will even share the memories that helped shape the Iler Woods Cafe that you will learn to love! We invite you to be a part of our lifestyle, our creative brain, our urban homesteading, and our holiday traditions! If you haven’t joined our Iler Woods family, remember to become a site member. This holiday season, we want to nourish your hearts and souls.
After all, “Deep human connection is the purpose and the result of a meaningful life - and it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity, and humanity.”