Monday, November 28, 2016

On my Radar: tattly

I thought that as we approached the giving season that I would randomly share some favorite gifts and at the top of my list would have to be tattly. From discovering them on instagram about three years ago they have quickly become a favorite. You may scoff at being in love with a company that makes temporary tattoos but this is something special. 
Sam with one of her first tattlys

They employ designers of every kinds so there is something for everyone. They have color, they have black and white, they have metallics, they have tattoos that smell good! I mean really...who wouldn't love a peacock to put a little punch to their ensemble? 

Sam sharing her tattly subscription on instagram

And top to bottom they have great customer service, fun media and I haven't found a thing I don't like about them yet. Samantha asks for a subscription every year for Christmas and the happy mail makes the gift last longer! I gave out the scented flower tattoos at my last birthday party and they made the memory last.

I find them to them to be the perfect accent to a card, tag or a little something to give someone when fun is absolutely needed. Sometimes they become the gift. Sometimes the accent. And they always add the perfect touch.
Warrior not Worrier 

A couple of months back near the beginning of the school year they included one of our stories on their blog and newsletter which had us both beyond the moon! We find that most of our friends that we have shared them with have enjoyed them as much as us...so thats why I am sharing this now. No, this isn't a sponsored post. It's just true love. Let me know if you check them out and are as compelled as we are to play with tattly. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Crazy Joe Baribeau

With the holidays fast approaching (hello Thanksgiving!) I find myself thinking about family. About our little family of four and how thankful I am that we are all under the same roof for the time being. About extended family and who they are to us. 

And how you can know about someone in that extended family, and then something comes up that makes them feel more real to you somehow. More flesh and blood than before. 

Crazy Joe Baribeau
Such was the case with my Great Grandad, who was known as Crazy Joe Baribeau. A couple of months ago my Dad forwarded an e-mail to me regarding this man that I had grown up knowing a bit about. There was a coin with his image on it. There was some knowledge of his involvement with motorcycles in Winnipeg. But something about this e-mail made me want to know more. The photos were fascinating. The story was big! So I sent out an e-mail to the Antique Motorcycle Club of Manitoba, not expecting a reply. Surprisingly it led to a response from a second cousin! 

He then shared more links which I will share at the end of this post for anyone interested. And the photos! The stories. Suddenly the man that was an image on a coin was someone with drive, with a family, with a life that made an impact. 
Joe Baribeau seated in front of his Indian motorcycle
Joseph Baribeau set a world record as the first rider to average 60 mph covering 100 miles in 1911. When I started reading the e-mail that was sent, then researching further I realized that this man, my Great Grandfather was something of a legend in Winnipeg Canada and had a lot to do with the sport of motorcycle racing at the time, and the Indian Motorcycle company in particular. 
Joe Baribeau astride his Indian Motorcycle
What was even better about all this was the conversations over coffee with my Dad about his memories of this man, his achievements, and what he was like in his daily life.  And this lead to even more discoveries about family. And a new connection with a second cousin that I never knew about. Who was so wonderful about sharing photos and stories. And made me feel my place in the world anchored even stronger in a funny way. 

I love old photos. Even better is the story behind them. And when they lead to discoveries about family, it's something I feel thankful for. And once again the "interwebs" as a friend calls them, have been a place of connection. Both within my family and outside of it. 

Have you ever made a discovery about someone in your family, or even in your circle? 

Links if you'd like to explore more:

Antique Motorcycle Club of Manitoba 
Motordrome/Leslieville Historical Society
Antique Motorcycle 








Monday, November 14, 2016

Deep Thoughts: 5 Mood Busters

Ugh. We are heading into the time of year when I can easily fall into a pit of mild depression.And with all the unrest and uncertainty it's even worse this year. What that looks like for me is jammies at 4pm, disconnecting with friends, lots of Netflix, and some unhealthy eating. This year I am determined not to let it get the best of me so I have been compiling some ideas of how to beat it this year. Following is a very informal list of a few things that have been helping me bust the blues so far this year! 

1. Self care. This can be anything from a bath, to a few hours of reading. To trying some crazy new beauty treatment. And if it's silly, that can be a great mood lifter, and a beautifier in one! 
Boston on the trail

2. Get outside. Many times I don't want to go outside, but after a few minutes on a walk with our pooch, I feel so much better. A few deep breaths of fresh air, some time out on the trails and my mood is adjusted for the better. 

3. Wallow. Some days when I'm feeling blue I decide to just go with it. I find a sad movie sure to bring on tears, grab a blanket and my dog and just allow myself to be sad. After a few hours of it, I usually feel ready to get myself back together. 
An out of breath me between rounds on the rink! 

4. Play. Recently we went roller skating. The idea of doing something from our youth compelled us to try it, and it was so worth it! We had so much fun, chasing one another around the rink, trying not to fall and remembering what it felt like to be teenagers! It was a really fun night!

 5. Explore. Anytime I get out and about and explore a new to me area, new restaurant, or local museum I usually find myself feeling inspired and wanting to share with friends my new discoveries. Forcing myself to get out is usually the last thing I want, but the best thing for me! 

How do you take care of yourself? Any tips you'd like to share? I'm highly appreciative for any tools to fight the blues! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Would you take the plunge?

This time of year marks a restart of sorts for some. School starting, change in the weather., back to a schedule. This year my friends and I felt moved to mark it in some BIG way, so when my friend Elizabeth suggested she has always wanted to jump off the Taylor Street Dock it wasn't too hard to round up a group to do it together! 

Heading down Taylor Street Dock
On the actual day that we headed to the dock we had the addition of my daughter Sam which made things even more interesting. It was funny to see how we all handled the anxiety of the jump.   Some of us were freaking out about having an audience with the amount of tourist hanging around the area. Some of us were worried about the height of the jump. One friend became really quiet as she processed that we were about to do it, while another chattered a lot! It became really clear that we all handle fear in different and complicated ways. 

We all had it in mind that we would be jumping together, but found that to be too tricky. So, somehow it ended up being Samantha and I jumping first. This was actually really helpful for me as I had the pressure of everyone waiting and knew that if my daughter was jumping, I was with her! 

Samantha & I jumping! (check out my friend D'ann's face!) 
So we jumped. And it was scary. And then it was exhilarating! And then we wanted to do it again! 

I have called this my "Year of Yes" and I have been trying to be open to doing things that scare me. I have found that the more I do these things, the more crazy alive I feel! It's been terrifying, and the best thing ever! 

D'ann, Cherie & Elizabeth jumping! 
And I owe a huge part of this experience to my friend Elizabeth. She is an amazing friend, cheer-leader, and just plain leader. She rallied all of us to try this and cheered us all for doing. And made it look amazing while facing fear in the face! 

Elizabeth & Samantha contemplating jumping again! 
Would you have jumped? Do you have something that you have pondered doing that you might consider trying? Having a friend group that is ready to rally and do the scary fun things has meant so much in my life.  Let me know in the comments…I'd love to be your cheerleader!



Monday, August 22, 2016

Field Trip: Whatcom Museum

Saturday when the heat got to be too much and we were feeling uninspired, I figured out a place to go that would take care of us on two counts…
Main Gallery with Installations

We have a lovely museum here in town that has not always been on my radar. When Steve and I lived in Seattle we were members of SAM and even got engaged there! (this was the era before social media…so no sweet photos to dig up unfortunately!) I have had a love of art  that included study in college, and Steve has always been up for an exhibit and to check things out. So you'd think that we would see what the situation held in Bellingham the minute we got here. Sadly, that hasn't been the case. Sure, we have taken part in Art Walks, visited the Galleries, etc. But making the Art Museum here in town a priority hasn't happened. Until now. 


Me with Installation by Ashley V. Blalock

 The Whatcom Museum occupies three building with two having regular hours and being so different visually they are worth the visit in their own right. When you pay admission at one, you are granted access to both. 


Samantha with piece by Elizabeth Gahan

So, Samantha and I first visited the Lightcatcher building to see the Colorfast Installations. It left us breathless. I can't even tell you how something seemingly so simple, and of such basic materials could be so moving. Each installation being made for the space made them even more special. And each one begged for a photo full of color! This being a town full of active, outdoor types we honestly had the place to ourselves barring a few others. It was a colorful, quiet and cool heaven! 

Having the inclusion of video of all the artists talking about their intentions and process made the enjoyment of the art even better. We took our time wandering and taking it in. 


Samantha in the Just Woman Gallery 

And then being able to visit the exhibit Just Women of art made by all women left us both feeling even more inspired. Samantha is feeling ready to tackle some larger pieces of artwork after visiting both exhibits. And I'm feeling edified by seeing the impact of women in art and in the world at large. 


View of Old City Hall Building from the roof of the Lightcatcher
With a quick walk down the block we were in the gorgeous and historic Old City Hall, a Bellingham  landmark, viewing Nostalgic Separation: Mid-Century Bellingham in Historic Color. This exhibit of photos from Bellingham ranging in time from the 1940's thru the 1960's inspired in a different way. It makes me think about the photos we keep, and the ones we don't. The ones that we edit, and the ones that we crop. And it was another reminder to print more and get them off our phones and printed to treasure. 


Photo from Nostalgic Separation Show

We left feeling edified, inspired and ready to create. And also left feeling spoiled that we have such a resource at our disposal.We are planning to become members in the near future to keep a hand in the doings of this remarkable part of our city life. 

Nostalgic Saturation is an ongoing show, while Just Women ends on September 4th. Colorfast is running thru September 18th. So if you get the chance to go share your photos with me & the museum! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

On My Radar: Salt + Pepper + Oil

Thanks to the Downtown Bellingham Partnership's Morning Jam, I was made aware of an exciting new service in town. The Morning Jam brings in people from Bellingham and the surrounding areas to talk about their passions and how they have lined them up with what they do and who they are. 

Oleg Vetkov
Oleg Vetkov is the man behind Salt + Pepper + Oil, a Fresh Ready-to-Cook Meal service. What he shared is that he has a passion for food, and a passion for a well balanced life. He is working to have that for himself and offer it to others in his business! He knows that we are all short on time, but have a love for meals that are nutritious, fresh, and made from ingredients that are sourced responsibly. And that if you aren't burdened with all the prep, there is room to have a little bit more fun in the kitchen!

Sam at the Salt+Pepper+Oil Storefront

Oleg was gracious enough to give my family a couple of meals to take home and try to see how they would go over for a typical family. We are a crew of three, a full time worker, part-time worker, and one 16 year old that is preparing to go back to school soon. The adults in the picture are fairly adventurous, while the 16 year old is working on it! 

Triple Zested Chicken Breast with Caprese Peach Salad (plus utensils)
The first of the two meals we tried was Triple Zested Chicken Breast with Caprese Peach Salad. The ingredients are all labeled to coordinate with instructions on the packaging and in a  really helpful manner, the list of needed utensils is also included. The crew all gathered around to get started! 

Samantha getting busy with the cherry tomatoes!

Though she says she doesn't love them, our daughter Sam was happy to cut the gorgeous cherry tomatoes! The colors were beautiful, and the taste even better! But this was just the beginning of the side salad. Once cut there were ready prepped peaches, fresh mozzarella,  some mint and basil to quickly dice up and a lovely basalmic glaze ready to drizzle over the whole works. Along with the chicken that was ready with an easy coating of the packet of zest and a quick cook we were ready to go. 

Happy Steve with the finished product!
That face you see above? That's a happy guy! This meal was perfect for a summer evening…and the salad was so beautiful. It was like having a restaurant meal…at home. And the cleanup was minimal. What a sweet deal! 

Capicola and Garlic Sauce Flatbreads

Meal two was much like the first! All the ingredients are packaged together and well marked. And this one had us all drooling before we even cut into it…Capicola and Garlic Sauce Flatbreads! We figured it was a great Friday evening meal, because well, pizza! But this…well this was elevated to another level! 

Flatbread ingredients

The flatbreads were incredibly easy to put together. Everything was ready to go and it was a matter of cutting open the packages, and putting everything on the flatbreads based on preferences. We all decided we were game for everything, and just went for it! 

Flatbread with side salad
And we were so glad we did! We made a side salad on our own to go with this meal, but all we could talk about was the flatbread. In our family lingo it tasted like "more" which meant we all wanted lots more of it! It was SO GOOD. The serving of sliced capicola that came with it was so generous that there was enough for Steve to make himself a small cheese plate the next day and include it. But all he could talk about was the flatbread. The heat, the cheese, it was a perfect combo. 

So, needless to say we are all converts to Salt+Pepper+Oil and have already put an order in for a couple of items on his next menu. The ordering is so flexible and having the option to either go by and say hi and pick it up, or have it delivered is really cool. We think being able to eat well, have it be easy, have your family help (bonus!), and feel like you are trying innovative, locally made items is worth our dollar. I hope you decide to give it a try! Let me know if you do and what you think! 



Monday, August 8, 2016

Field Trip: Renegade Craft Fair - West Coast Tour



Thanks to catching a shout out about it on Moorea Seal's snap chat (yay for the practical uses of social media!) Samantha and I were able to attend the Renegade Craft Fair on it's Seattle stop on it's West Coast Tour. It was our first visit to this fair and we found a lot to love about it! Sidebar, if you ever get the chance to visit Moorea's store in Seattle I highly recommend it. Sam and I have had the luck to meet her twice and both times have found her to be gracious, warm and so much fun! This time found her oohing and aahing over the puppies that were coming by, greeting everyone as if long lost friends, and just being the cool, sweet friend that everyone want to hang with. 


It was held at Hanger 30 in Mangusen Park. It's a beautiful setting that was at one time a Seaplane base. My husband remembers visiting it as a kid with his family as his Dad was in the Navy! It's a big, airy atrium like space filled with gorgeous crafts, warm and creative vendors…and lots of beautiful dogs along with their owners! 

A vendor that was new to us that we were glad to stumble upon was Mane Message with her beautiful tray of Vintage French hair barrettes. She has so many different hair options that we will be checking out in the future via her online store, but at that moment we only had eyes for these beauties! Can you guess which three came home with us? 



There were so many things to go crazy over! We had taken a peek at the vendor list and had some idea of where we would like to make our purchases. And then the rest we left to chance. And it's a good thing too, since there was so much to fall in love with. 



And there were people to fall in love with too! We had plans to check out Snash as I had been mulling over one of their rings for some time…it's just a matter of figuring out which word! While mulling over their display we met MaryJo Bono and decided if we ever moved to New York where I believe she lives we would probably become stalkers! She is the funniest, warmest, coolest ever! I mean, her skirt had the Golden Girls on it! And she had great stories, was really helpful and started us out on our Snash ring addiction. Mine says "Girl Gang," Sam's says "gross."  Seriously fun! And a highlight for me, as I like my craft with a side of sly fun…having worked at a scrapbook store I like when things aren't taken too seriously. SaveSave


There is so much I didn't get a photo of, and so much more we would have loved to bring home. We are looking forward to the Winter Show happening in December on the 17th and 18th. We relaxed that evening with one of the teas we picked up from the colorful and fragrant booth manned by the lovely owners of T-We Tea. A tea company based out of San Francisco, their booth caught our eye with it's color palate and hilarious tea names, and then hooked us with the delicious tastes. We came home with three tins and expect to continue with a love for the branch. I mean, Cougar Tranquilizer? I'm thinking their tea will come in handy for gifts this year!