Thursday, January 26, 2017

Far Flung: Finding Beekman 1802 on the Other Side

What luck! While my mom, aunt and I were spending the day in Snohomish, WA, we happened into a cute shop called Lost & Found

It was lucky because the store had a display of my friends, Josh & Brent's brand Beekman 1802. I took the photo of their mansion that is used on their Honey & Oats Goat Milk scrub bar packaging and it was fun to be able to show my aunt the product in person. It's a little thing, but I was feeling proud.
Have you tried the Beekman 1802 soaps yet? They smell terrific and create lather x10.

So there I was thinking that I'm starting a new life "on the other side of the world" and then I see this display. It's a small world after all.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pure Pyrex in Snohomish, WA

My Aunt Carol made the big trip out West to see my mom and we had a wonderful week showing off our new turf. Knowing that she and my mom loved antiquing, I hoped for a nice day when we could drive up to Snohomish, WA for a day of treasure hunting.

Country Living magazine published an article calling Snohomish the "antiques capital" of the Northwest and having visited the town twice, I knew that we would have fun looking in the boutiques full of up-cycled items, as well as the tried and true antiques they both collect.

Our most successful moments were at the Star Center Antique Mall and Remember When Antique Mall. We spent hours looking everything over and considering things like how much room my aunt had in her suitcase and trying to remember which pieces of vintage Pyrex I really owned. I stood looking at this massive display for quite a while before I realized that I probably had a photo on my phone of my aqua Pyrex. Remember this day? That photo helped me make my decision. I wanted to buy one piece of Pyrex to remember this day paling around with my mom and aunt.
I bought this small turquoise bowl in Butterprint at the Remember When Antique Mall. It's perfect.
When I got home, I took a picture of my collection in the new cupboard. Now I can refer to this picture on my phone (in the favorites album) whenever I am in doubt. You can see that the new bowl fits perfectly right in the center of the lower shelf.

Throughout the day, my mom kept saying, "Stop calling it vintage; we both got these same pieces for our weddings." Ha!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pie Auction to Benefit Compassion House in Issaquah

Dan and I were invited to join our friends at a charity pie auction and dinner to benefit Compassion House in Issaquah, WA. I quote my friend who wrote this description: "Compassion House provides transitional housing to homeless families in the Issaquah area. Their focus is on single mothers with two or more children. In addition to low-cost housing, they provide each resident family with the support required to re-build their life, overcome past troubles and create effective life habits." 
It was a great evening and it felt nice to support a good cause and meet people who lived in our new neck of the woods. I mixed and mingled and pretended I knew about the stores, cross roads or local celebrities people were referring too. There is a steep learning curve when you move across the country, no doubt about it. That's okay. When you admit to being new, I find people go out of their way to make suggestions and fill me in. 

Dan and I had fun considering all of the items at the silent auction table and ended up with the high bid on a "Glass Blowing Experience for 4." A local glass blowing studio in downtown Issaquah, Art by Fire, donated the class to support this charity. 
I was impressed with this pie - the spun sugar crown is a triumph. 

Seattle is known for being a high density area for creativity and glass art. The city and surrounding area boast glass blowing studios, art glass stores and the famous Dale Chihuly museum. I am linking you to this interesting article from Seattle magazine about the rise of glass art in Seattle. I have been hoping to find a way to try glass blowing and was tickled to have this chance.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Packing Cube: Peace of Mind

Last July I blogged about my favorite travel item of all time, the Lewis N. Clark Pressure Reducing Ear Plugs. They work continually to reduce the pressure in my ears as the plane's altitude changes. I won't fly without them.

After coming across my blog post online, the company reached out to me and asked if I would like to try some of their other products. I selected a few that looked great and I will tell you about my experience using them.

The funny thing is that I have had an incredibly stressful year and I didn't use the products as I expect to, but I loved them just the same. I thought I was on-the-go a lot before, but my old schedule doesn't hold a candle to this last year. 

From April to December 2016, I flew to southeastern Michigan to sell 2 houses (my house and my mom's), pack-donate-store-ship the contents of 2 houses and make decisions on the new house we were building in Seattle. During those same months, my mom needed surgery twice and I found myself with stress fractures in my hips from the constant moving. 

By the last week in September, I was living in a Marriott for 3 days with my husband and my mother as we closed on our houses and waited for the car transport service to pick up our cars. The hotel rooms were brimming with clothes, dry cleaner bags and precious items we wanted to fly with us.  

I had cuttings of my beloved roses wrapped in wet newspaper lined up in mailing boxes on the hotel dresser. I had notes, paperwork, keys and stuff. By the time we were finished, there were 11 suitcases and 3 carry on. (yes, we did just send a truck out West and no, I don't know how this much stuff still remained!).

The night before we left, my mom came to me in the hotel room with a stack of her favorite sweaters. She hadn't packed them back at the house because she didn't want them to get crushed. 

I pulled out the magic Electrolight Expandable Packing Cube and handed it to her. It is a rectangle of whisper light fabric, rimmed with zippers that expand to allow the cube to accommodate even more. This travel cube is part mesh for breath-ability and smooth so there is no risk of snagging. My mom slide her sweaters into my neon yellow packing solution, zipped it shut and said, "that's perfect!" and handed it back to me. I found a place for it in the last bag and we were packed.

Do I love the idea of having a separate clean expandable pouch to pack my clothes in when I fly to Houston or take a road trip to Vancouver? Yes! Am I even happier when my mom can relax and have her concerns taken care of? Absolutely. 

Thank you, Lewis N. Clark, you did it again. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy New Year: Unpacking

Happy New Year! This is my life right now. We are finally able to move into our new house on January 6th. We are unpacking our entire life and starting anew on the east side of Seattle, Washington. 

I'm hapy to report that only 6 dishes were broken in the move, and it was entirely my fault. I didn't recognize the box they were in and didn't turn them over to the movers to wrap. They traveled thousands of miles, with only a little foam sleeve as protection.  I have a date with some Super Glue and I hope to fit at least one back into the shape of a plate. I think I could prop a repaired plate in a stand and enjoy it on display that way.

Anyway, the house is a wreck, but it is OUR wreck and we are very happy.   

Monday, January 2, 2017

A Rare Treat: Dinner Party on New Year's Day

Is this New Year's at Seattle's hottest new restaurant? No, ladies and gentleman, this is a small dinner party that was hosted by my friend Kathy. Isn't her table gorgeous!? When everyone picked up their fork, I reached for my camera. This moment of delight needed to be captured.

We have been welcomed with open arms by our friend, Kathy. Her roots are in Michigan and an when old friend of hers told her look after me when I was in Seattle, she took it seriously. She and her sister, Paula and good friend, Mary have been there for me ever since, even coming to the hospital to sit with me during my mom's surgery. To cap off the holiday season, they invited Dan, my mom and me for a quiet dinner on New Year's Day.

Look at dynamite tablescape Kathy arranged for dinner. Mirrored trees, red votives and scattered gems gave the table a modern holiday feel. Dinner was the perfect prime rib served with mushroom orzo and carrot souffle. I have never felt so spoiled. 
That is until she served dessert. We indulged in a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream covered in white chocolate chards in a pool of raspberry sauce. Yum and yum. 

I would never expect someone to go all out entertaining like this, but you know what? I love it. I love the formality. I love the sparkle of the wine glasses and the real cloth napkins. I love housewares and I love entertaining and when someone goes out of their way to make a night special, I appreciate it!

We laughed about our adventures in moving, told stories of life in Michigan and planned for fun times in the future. In fact, Kathy has called dibs on helping me unpack the many boxes marked "crafts/fabric/ANA/jewelry/duct tape" and organize my new home studio into a proper maker space. I don't know if she understands what she's in for, but I know we will have fun no matter what.

Thank you, Kathy. This peaceful meal was a wonderful way to start 2017.