Monday, April 20, 2015

The Fresh Berries: DIY Wood Sign {how-to}

The Fresh Berries: DIY a rustic vintage looking wood sign {how-to}

I finally got myself a sign that's been on my mind for years! Weird, right, to have a sign in my head for years?! And such a specific sign too. Well, let me tell you a story about that.

♪ Now, this is a story all about how
My board got flipped from scrap to a sign
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the fresh Berry of a town called Bel Air...♪

I don't know where that came from. We don't even live in Bel Air.

Here's the actual story:

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Vacation with Your Parents Without Losing Your Mind: A Tour Around the Island of Oahu

How to Vacation with Your Parents Without Losing Your Mind: A Tour Around the Island of Oahu
Last month I took a trip with my parents back to Oahu. Now to some people, spending 9 days and 8 nights together in close proximity with your parents may not be your idea of a vacation, but I've gotta say, it was a great time - it's ranked high up there as one of my favorite vacations. We've taken several trips together over the years and we really enjoy each other's company. I'm fortunate enough to have pretty fun and active parents who are game for trying new things, that definitely helps. When I try to explain to people that we were on vacation together, sometimes I get a strange look and some kind of mumbling that sounds like they'd rather spend time in a dentist chair having a tooth pulled than go on vacation with their parents. I have one simple tip on how to vacation with your parents without losing your mind. Ready for it? Here it is:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tiptoeing through the Tulips at Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2015

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2015

Last weekend, two of my favorite galpals and I had a fun girls day visiting the Skagit Valley tulips in Mount Vernon, WA. I love making this trek to the tulip fields - the sea of bright colors is such a happy way to welcome Spring, so I thought I'd bring a little cheerfulness to the internet today with photos captured from our day.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Grilled Island Jerk Shrimp and Sausage Skewers

Grilled Island Jerk Shrimp and Sausage Skewers
Olá, amigos! Como você está?
That is the extent of my Portuguese, and Google Translate had to help me with part of it. Seems random, right, to greet you in Portuguese? It'll all make sense in a moment...

There's nothing like the enticing smell of food sizzling away on an outdoor BBQ grill, would you agree? We are huge fans of outdoor grilling - we'll grill just about anything, at any time of year. And when I say "we", I mean RickAll the credit for this delicious meal goes to my favorite grillmaster! My husband is the guy out there in the middle of winter, while it's raining, happily grilling something yummy for dinner, often with a beer in hand. Could that be why he likes grilling so much?! Rick cooked up these skewers on the grill the other night and each time he makes something with this jerk marinade, I loudly announce throughout the meal, "Mmm!!" and "This is soo good!" - I figure if I like it that much, some of you will too.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Live Aloha ~ Recycled Goodwill Painting Gets Two New Looks

Live Aloha! Recycled Goodwill Painting Gets Two New Looks

We have had a pretty mild winter in the Pacific Northwest and even saw quite a few beautiful sunny days here in the past couple weeks. I am very grateful for that considering that so much of the country has had severe winter conditions that would challenge the sunniest of dispositions. It is still cold here though, so about this time of year I'm ready for some warmer weather.

I'm talking REALLY ready.

Tropical getaways.

Sitting on a lanai somewhere listening to island music.

Mai tais. Or pina coladas. Both.

Swaying palm trees.


Sand between my toes.

Ocean waves.

Who's with me, people?! 

I try to keep the Aloha spirit in my heart and my mind all year 'round, but living in a state of Aloha is just not the same as being in the state of Hawaii and sometimes I really miss being there. Coming up with fun ways to bring more Aloha into our lives helps, like making a "Live Aloha" canvas sign for a friend who reminds me of this message every time I see her. So here's how this sweet little sign came to be...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Decorating for the Japanese Gulch Dinner & Auction 2015

Japanese Gulch Dinner and Auction 2015

Well hello, friends! It's been awhile since I last posted - early January was the last time! Things are fine here and we are all well. Life has been moving along as it does - things to do, places to see - you know the drill. But mostly I haven't been blogging because I didn't think I had much to write about lately. Well, I do have things I'd love to chat with you about, but I just haven't been able to hold a thought long enough to actually formulate those thoughts into complete sentences that turn into paragraphs that somehow manage to turn into a finished blog post. Ha!

I thought I'd jump back into the blog by sharing one of those "things to do" things that I recently did, decorating for the Japanese Gulch Dinner & Auction. This auction is an annual community fundraising event that was held at the beautiful Rosehill Community Center a couple weeks ago. For those that don't know about the Japanese Gulch, it is a 144-acre urban forest in our little city that is home to a variety of pacific northwest wildlife such as bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, blue heron, barred owls, coyote, deer, mountain beavers, and more. The Japanese Gulch Preservation Group has worked hard over the years to save and secure this land's future as a permanent greenspace for outdoor recreation and ecological preservation. The group continues to serve as an advocate for this outdoor space to be cared for and maintained for future generations.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

18 Adorable Mason Jar Ideas for Drinking {Hometalk Curated Board}

Happy Tuesday! It's been dark and rainy here non-stop in the Seattle area for the past few days and I'm taking advantage of being stuck indoors by catching up on some online blogs and websites I like to follow, like Hometalk. If you've followed along with this blog for awhile, you might already know that I'm an active member of Hometalk. It's been really fun to be a part of this community of home enthusiasts and professionals and to actually get to collaborate with Hometalk on several projects over the past couple of years. I've curated several feature boards for them and also got to participate in the Hometalk & Michaels Pinterest party last February with 99 other bloggers at Michaels stores across the country. That was so fun, and I met several blogging friends out of that. :) For that event, we had to come up with a craft project to share and show how we made it, so I made the XO mason jar drinking glasses you see below (it was near Valentines day; x's and o's were on my mind!), which then led to curating a feature board for Hometalk this week filled with 17 other fun mason jar ideas for drinking. I'm sharing it here on the blog today as well!

Mason jars are everywhere. People love them because they are so versatile. I have a bunch of them lying around because I make jam every year, but instead of just stashing them away in a cabinet when they are not in jam use, I try to find other ways to use them. Grabbing one from the cabinet and drinking from them is so easy just on their own, but when you take a crafter and give them a mason jar, fun things happen. :) Hope you find as much inspiration with these as I did!