Monday, July 31, 2017

Statement Necklace: Jewel Tone Buttons

A button can do more than hold things together. I want to make everyday objects more beautiful in the eye of the beholder. This is my colorful button necklace in my online Etsy shop. As I meet new people and make friends in Washington, I am learning how to articulate my brand and condense my world into a sound byte.

When I speak at a book signing, the audience doesn't realize that I made my purse and jewelry. When I deliver a cigar box purse to a customer, they often don't know that I have published 3 books. It's fun, in a way, because I can direct my comments and suggestions to the part of my business that interests them. 

But in an effort to expand my reach and build familiarity, I am going to bounce between topics a little more in the blog and be more flexible about information in "real time." 

Have you seen my Bobbin Necklaces? Did you know that I specialize in reasonable and preppy Ribbon Watches? I know, I need to speak up more, they're super cute!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Blueberry Farm: Bybee Farms in North Bend, WA

I am so happy that we found a U-Pick Blueberry Farm! In Michigan, all of the blueberry farms are too far away to enjoy on a weeknight, but here in Washington, I found one that is just 15 minutes from our house! 

We dropped Bybee Blueberry Farm a half hour before closing time and were invited to pick berries "until the air horn blew."  An air horn is the genius way they notify guests that it's closing time and that they should come in from the field to weigh and pay.

We picked a pound of blueberries in 30 minutes and paid $2.25/lb - not bad, huh?
The Bybee Blueberry farm boasts 6 varieties of blueberries available for U-Pick. I am not certain which variety we picked but they were delicious and the bushes were loaded!
We had enough blueberries for snacking and to make one of my gorgeous blueberry gateau. Blueberry season is still in full swing and I intend to go back and pick even more! Happy Summer!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gig Harbor: Tides Tavern was a Lucky Find

Gig Harbor is a little resort town that we barely had the chance to visit, but I already know that I want to go back. When we drove through town I saw cute gift shops, ice cream and plenty of places to sit and enjoy the water. If you look in the photo above and find the kayak, look directly above him, that's Mount Rainier!

We took a driving trip in late May with the goal of reaching Port Townsend on the northeastern tip of the Olympic peninsula. It was a beautiful day, we had a picnic in the cooler and our plan was to enjoy the ride.

We stopped in Gig Harbor to stretch our legs and find a picnic table. We noticed a large public dock called the Maritime Pier and parked so that we could walk out onto it. From the pier, we noticed this seafood restaurant called Tides Tavern.

Out of nowhere, my mom said that she thought she had read about Tides Tavern in Coastal Living magazine recently. Really? I goggled "coastal living, tides tavern" and sure enough, Tides Tavern was selected as one of the best seafood dives in all of Washington. Good job, Mom - what a memory! We decided that if the timing was right, we'd return to the restaurant that night for dinner

We found a spot in Gig Harbor for our picnic lunch and then packed up and drove to Port Gamble, then up to Port Townsend, back down through Port Ludlow and then made our way back to Gig Harbor again around 7:30. It sounds like a lot, but it was an easy drive and simply beautiful!
When we returned, we noticed that the tide had come back in! Look how pretty the restaurant looks in the evening. We had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, but enjoyed our fish & chips in a favorite local hangout.

Gig Harbor, we will be back! #summerinwashington #daytripping #finddelight

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rose Bouquet: Apricot Candy

How do I elevate a hastily prepared meal? We eat outside! Pretty place mats and flowers elevate an everyday dinner. Plus, everything tastes better outside, don't you think?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Glimpse of a Great Blue Heron

I was quick on the draw and was able to capture a Great Blue Heron fly past our deck on Lake Michigan. Isn't it wonderful?

My mom saw him first and pointed in his direction. This handsome fellow chose the wrong section of wetlands and tried to "come home" along our section of beach. From where she was sitting, my mom saw this great blue heron fly in toward our shore and then do a quick about face when he realized that he had the wrong section of beach.

He must have his nest in the natural wetlands farther down the shore. As we both enjoy this beautiful summer weather, I will keep my eye out for this magnificent bird.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

School Supplies: Driven By Color

I had to stop and show you this beautiful selection of solid color binders available at Target. I use binders filled with clear plastic sleeves to organize my magazine recipes and decorating or garden articles. I have used the same binders for years, but I am rethinking everything now that I have seen this selection. 

When I get back to Seattle, I am going to invest in a whole new set of of these binders to make my office shelf look tidy and professional. I need 8 or more, the question is, which color/colors should I use? Stay tuned...

October 2017:

Okay, by the time I flew back to Seattle, the oranges and yellows were sold out. I ended up buying various widths of the coral and solid white notebooks and I love it. I have them in our mudroom on the counter and each folder holds scores of magazine recipes in plastic 8x10 sleeves. I highly recommend managing your papers and ideas this way. Pinterest is fun but this is the kind of system that works for me.

My categories are:

Main Dish
Brunch & Appetizers
Betty Book (a melange of tips for the kitchen; folding napkins, making raspberry coulis)
Candy Making

#target #schoolsupplies #color #candycolors #colordriven #backtoschool

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Customize Napkins with Darling Rose Print Iron Ons

These pretty peach iron on roses stopped me in my tracks! Michaels Craft Stores carry Iron-It Out decals that are absolutely darling and exactly the style I was looking for to embellish some white cotton napkins. I love the look of a soft watercolor painting and these images were simple to iron onto my pre-washed napkins. Follow the instructions and you too can have a set of napkins in under 30 minutes.
Each set includes 3 coordinated watercolor roses for $4 (use a 40% off coupon to bring the price down to $2.40). I bought 2 sets and made myself 6 incredibly cute napkins. The fact that my Apricot Candy rose is blooming doesn't hurt either! 

#crafting #embellishthis #customizeyourhome #momentsofdelight #finddelight

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lake Life: The Shores of Lake Michigan

When I say I'm from Michigan, is this what you picture? 

Since moving out to the Pacific Northwest, I've been astounded at how rarely people associate water with Michigan. We have the Great Lakes...we ARE the great lakes. 

Granted, my lake life was only in the summertime, but scenes like this make an impact on a girl. This is my Michigan, where Lake Michigan is so grand that it looks like the ocean.

I have been shopping in Leland and Traverse City and feel drawn to the souvenir items celebrating Michigan. I've seen tiles, stationary, mittens and more. I want them all and though I have resisted so far, I have been pointing out that my birthday is August 20th (wink).

#puremichigan #souvenirs #momentsofdelight #lakegirl

Monday, July 10, 2017

Traverse City: Mama Lu's Tacos

I love to get restaurant recommendations, however this was the first time I've gotten one from my 24 year old nephew. When did he get so old? I was looking for a fun place to have a date night dinner. William and his girlfriend raved about Mama Lu's Taco Shop in Traverse City and insisted we try the Street Corn appetizer. 

Everything that came out of the kitchen was fresh and picture-worthy. So much so that I turned our tablescape into a watercolor image (above) with one my Waterlogue phone app. Doesn't it look cool? 
The street corn was delicious! Roasted cob pieces are slathered with lime mayo and rolled in chile cotija cheese and I will certainly order it again. However, eating it was a mess! I wanted to be cute and lovely on our date and instead I was thankful that I was already married. Street Corn is not first date food.

***Update: Mama Lu's saw my post and let me know that they offer their delicious Street Corn cut off the cob! Just let your server know...

The tacos were small but mighty. I had one steak and one pork and they were really flavorful and satisfying.  Dan had 1 steak and 2 chicken and he was very happy.

Mama Lu's is a cute place that specializes in bright fresh flavors and the overall vibe was happy. The restaurant was full and everyone seemed very happy with their south-of-the-border selection. Try it!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Omena, Michigan: Sail On

We were driving along Grand Traverse Bay toward Omena and it was too beautiful to keep driving. We simply had to pull over and soak up the scenery.

I raised my camera and could only see shades from blue to white.

Inspirational photo, anyone?

#puremichigan #photography #summernights

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

United States of Jell-O

Happy 4th of July!

It's a little nerdy, but I want to show you my United States of Jell-O. I'm afraid you'll have to search eBay for another mold like this. My mom bought it years ago and it has served us well. The trick is to make the Jell-O firmer, as if you were making Jell-O Jigglers. That way, the states retain their shape and your guests can easily serve themselves "the bible belt" or the "upper Midwest."

Dan outdid himself and skillfully cut out the state of Idaho from this mold. I wouldn't have believed that the rest of the mold could stay intact afterwards, but it did! I ate Washington in honor of our move. What area would you choose first?

#jello #4thofjuly #United States #holidaycooking #familydinner

Monday, July 3, 2017

Summer Fun Bracelet: One Fish Two Fish

I couldn't resist these ceramic fish and it turns out you couldn't either.

Due to popular demand, I am selling a limited number of ceramic One Fish Two Fish bracelets this summer. Available here on my Etsy site.

It's summer and they are ridiculously cute. Ships immediately.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thunderbirds over Traverse City, Michigan

It was the perfect summer day for a Thunderbird air show: comfortable temperatures and a city full of spectators in town for the National Cherry Festival. The area swells by 500,000 the week of the festival and happy families lined the streets across from the bay.
I loved watching the F-16 scream across the blue sky. Traverse City is a terrific venue because Grand Traverse Bay gives you the space to enjoy the approach and fly by of the jets.
What a sight!
A beautiful formation.

 #thunderbirds #airshow #landofthefree #homeofthebrave #traversecity