Friday Favorites: Theler Wetlands and Links

One of the many benefits of moving away from the city is my proximity to parks and nature trails that aren’t teeming with people. Seattle is filled with some beautiful parks, but I always found it a challenge to endure the constant traffic battles to get to any of them. Then, once I arrived at a park, it would nearly always be filled with people. There is, of course, nothing wrong with sharing a park with others, but if I was seeking solitude in nature, I’d have to go beyond the city.

After moving out to the lake, I discovered a beautiful nature preserve just a fifteen minute drive from my home. Theler Wetlands is located at the eastern tip of Hood Canal and has a variety of trails guiding visitors through a quiet saltwater marsh. There are times when I’ve walked three miles through the trails and only seen one other person. On the busiest day I’ve been there, I passed by twenty people.

I love that only a short distance from my house, I can frequent a protected area that is different every time I go. Every time I go I am treated to a full sensory experience: the scent of saltwater tickling my nose, the sounds of swallows happily chirping, the sight of the tall grasses being blown by the wind in waves across the marsh, and the feeling of the warm sun hitting my skin. With very few trees, it feels like you can see for miles.

Cattails taller than me.

Looking out across the marsh:

The mud flats – my favorite spot along the trail:

 

Here are some links to some of my favorite things this past week:

Le Shack

Making succotash for the first time. I didn’t use a recipe but used two kinds of squash, onions, corn, and lima beans. It was a hit!

This Bookou bag

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - a movie about how the foods you eat affect your health, and specifically, using juicing as a way to reboot your body.

One of my favorite musicians, Sera Cahoone, is coming out with a new album soon and has released a great single for her song, Naked.

Have a great weekend!

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Slow Sunday: Adventures on the Lake

I try to reserve Sunday as the one day a week I intentionally try to slow down. I avoid making commitments on that day, and I try to let the day unfold in an organic way, meandering through the day just doing whatever we feel like doing at each particular moment. While we don’t have a set routine, we usually start the day listening to jazz while making brunch. It’s my favorite day to bake, so this is when I will usually do that. It’s my time to be alone, and the kitchen becomes my domain.

Yesterday was different, but only slightly. We had good friends stay with us for the weekend, so the house was naturally filled with more buzz than usual. It was a welcome variation to our typical Sundays. We made breakfast for a larger group before heading outside to cool off from the record-breaking heat in the crisp waters of the lake. I had every intention of spending some time taking pictures yesterday, but I was so involved with the day, that I only managed to capture once decent shot.

We spent the day floating, swimming, napping, riding on the boat, barbecuing, and reading magazines. Our friends left at 8pm and we ended the day by indulging in root beer floats. Summertime Slow Sundays can be so exhausting.

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Friday Favorites: Vintage Olympia Typewriter

I’m starting a new series on the blog to highlight some of my favorite things that may not otherwise come up in my posts. I’m planning to spend some time focusing on one item, either a place or a thing, and also include links to some of the most interesting things I come across during the week.

Today, I’m kicking off the series with an introduction to my darling vintage typewriter.

Frequenting thrift stores is the best way to find these little treasures. We bought this little Olympia De Luxe for a few dollars just for fun, and we didn’t even realize it was a script (cursive) typewriter until we got it home and started playing around with it. That’s when I really fell in love.

Although there aren’t many reasons to have to use a typewriter like this, it’s fun to use it for a variety of paper crafts, writing old school letters, and, of course, typing up the seed packets for your little seed business.

We use our typewriter to hand-type each seed packet we sell at E&M Seeds, our open-pollinated heirloom seed shop.

Friday Favorite Links:

Here are some of the most interesting/fun things I came across this week. Enjoy!

This vintage white gold wedding band from Erica Weiner’s Collection. It looks exactly like the beautiful wedding band I inherited from my great-grandmother, right down to the wear on the ring.

The new changes to the nursery on Bleubird Vintage.

New Grizzly Bear song, Yet Again

Jason DeBriere’s biscuit recipe via Martha Steward. I tried this for the first time today. It’s simple and excellent.

Orla Kiely partnering with Method for a line of hand soaps hitting Target this month.

The Scarf Shop’s August scarf color, vermillion, makes me think of crisp autumn days.

The launch of FabKids, a new subscription clothing service for kids with Christina Applegate as a creative partner.

Finally, a new trailer  for Season 7 of Doctor Who.

Thanks for all of the support you’ve given for the new blog. I’m excited to be working in this space again and hope to create a space you’ll like to visit often.

Have a great weekend!

 

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The Lake

As part of the recent big changes that have occurred this year, my family and I have moved out to a small lake near Hood Canal in Washington State. We are about an hour and a half away from Seattle, but it feels like another world. In Seattle, we lived under the flight path for SeaTac Airport. At the lake, we are in the flight path of bald eagles. I’m not exaggerating here. One casually flew over my head as my husband and I were sitting out on our deck two nights ago. The difference between the two environments is profound.

This is where I live now.

And the view from our deck:

This is a sacred place to me. The property has been in my family for about eighty years, and my great grandfather built the house I’m living in today. When I was a child, I spent long summer days swimming in the water, leaving only to eat necessary meals. As an adult, it has become the place I come to find peace. No matter how crazy my life may be, the moment I step out of the car when I arrive, a sense of calm overcomes me. Now, when I swim in the water, I feel invigorated and healed from anything that may be ailing me. As I slowly glide through the water, I can smell the pristine, spring-fed lake. It’s a smell I can only describe as that of clothes that have dried outside – fresh.

I will continue to share photos of the place here on the blog. We are working hard to make some upgrades to the place, so I’m sure there will be a variety of before and after posts as we complete each job.

I love that we can all carve out our special, sacred places in the world, and I would love to learn about what places help you feel happy and peaceful.

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A New Beginning

I started the first version of this blog back on October 2005. After seven years, a good portion of which I haven’t been blogging, I have decided to redesign the blog and make somewhat of a fresh start. My circumstances have changed considerably since I started my silly little blog way back then, and it felt like the right time to start something new.

Back when I started, I was an unmarried woman living in Seattle with a boyfriend and three cats. Today, I’m living in the country with my husband, two children, two cats, and a dog. Professionally, I moved from working in a traditional field, law, to working in the tech/start-up industry – a refreshing change. This past April, my family and I moved away from Seattle to a very small town about an hour and a half away. It’s been a big transition for us, and I plan to spend time talking about some of our experiences related to that change.

In the meantime, I wanted to kick off the new digs with one of my favorite summer recipes. I discovered this recipe about ten years ago thanks to my mom, and I have made it at least once every summer since then. I look forward to berry season all year, and blueberries have always been my favorite. This recipe has only a few, simple ingredients, with only a cup of flour, allowing the blueberries to really steal the show.


 

Blueberry Gateau

(adapted from Country Living)

Berry Mixture:

2 1/2 C Fresh Blueberries

1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice from a fresh lemon

Cake:

1 tsp. Flour

1 C All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1/8 tsp. Salt

1/2 C Unsalted Butter

1 C Sugar

2 Eggs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 10″ springform pan by coating with butter then flour. Set the pan aside.

Next, prepare the blueberries by mixing them with the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of flour. Set berries aside.

Using a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

Using a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until mixed, then gradually add the flour mixture until blended.  Once the batter is mixed, add to the springform pan. I usually use a rubber spatula dipped in water to evenly spread the thick batter in the springform pan.

After spreading the batter, pour the blueberries into the pan, evenly distributing the mixture across the top of the buttery  batter.

Put into the oven and cook for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the springform pan once it’s cool and sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.

Enjoy!

 

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