Archive for July, 2008

Our Weekend on Anderson Island


David rowing me around Lake Josephine after dinner at the Riviera Lakeshore Restaurant

David and I spent this past weekend on Anderson Island, the southernmost island in the Puget Sound. A little over two hours from Portland, it was close enough to drive, and yet far enough to feel like we were really going on a little vacation to celebrate our anniversary.


The trail down to Andy’s Marine Park

Mussel shells that look like hearts and a view into the ocean. Those black specks are tiny snails.

The pretty inside of another shell and the tiniest little crab I’ve ever seen.

Anderson Island is quite small. I think I heard it measures a mere 4 miles across. To get there we drove north of Olympia to Steilacoom where we took the 20min. ferry to the island. Being small, it is really a place to getaway and relax. There is just one general store (with actual bins of 1¢ candy!), one coffee shop, and one very good restaurant (delicious fish ‘n chips). There are also two fresh water lakes with swimming holes and a couple of nice public parks. Everyone is pleasant, and it is interesting to imagine what it must be like to live in such a tiny, somewhat secluded community. I also couldn’t help but notice there seemed to be a lot of churches, and I’m guessing they provide services beyond religion where people have an excuse to get together to socialize and whatnot.


August Inn Bed & Breakfast and the view from our room, nicer than we expected.

If we lived here, we’d definitely want a house on the perimeter by the ocean (versus inland, by the lakes). We’d have a small boat and buy crab traps and go fishing for our supper, have a large vegetable garden (all covered by high fences to keep out the deer) and then, when we felt the need for bigger things, we’d just hop the ferry and drive into nearby Tacoma or Seattle. Not a bad life at all. Of course, there is always the question of jobs…


Photo of the single general store. Our ferry home to the mainland.

Here is the Sunset article that inspired this trip.

4th Anniversary


Us, four years ago today

Today marks our 4 year anniversary. David and I celebrated with a lovely 3-course dinner at Urban Fondue downtown, after he got off work. It felt like ages since we shared a nice dinner out together, and I was glad I had made the extra effort to dress up. He also surprised me with some delicious morsels from local Sahagun Chocolates and plans to order a gift certificate for prenatal massage, which I will certainly welcome. A lot of things have happened this past year, with even more to come, including a getaway this weekend for the two of us. I’ll try and remember to bring my camera this time. 🙂

Handmade Baby Boy Booties


My first attempt at baby boy booties

Introducing little Lorenzo. Isn’t he a cutie!?

I finally got around to making these felt little boy booties for Marcy & Alex’s adorable son Lorenzo. I’ve posted about handmade baby girl shoes before here and here (with tutorial links), but mary jane’s just don’t work for little boys. The template for the pair above are based on one from B is for Baby: 26 Projects from A to Z by Suzonne Stirling. A really nice book with lots of fun projects. Also, did you know that Joann’s now carries ecospun felt, made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles? Nice.

Diary of a Day Trip to the Oregon Coast


A Photo of Manzanita from Hwy 101, taken last year

David and I spent the lovliest day at the coast on Saturday. This entry is an overview of our day, as both a reminder for myself and to anyone who might want to travel this same Portland/Oregon Coast loop. My only regret is that I forgot my camera (and phone), but in a way, it may have freed me up to experience the day in a way that I wouldn’t have normally. Who knows. But it sure was wonderful.

After a leisurely Saturday breakfast at home, David, Barkley and I left Portland mid-morning and headed toward my favorite, Cannon Beach. If I had pots of money, this is where I would buy a vacation home. Yes, it is super-touristy (more so every year), but it retains lots of its original small beach-town charm. We walked north through town, peeking in various shops until we reached Pizza à Fetta. We ordered two slices of pepperoni pizza and a coke and from the to-go window. (Our other favorite lunch spot is Ecola Seafoods, but neither of us felt like fresh halibut fish ‘n chips today). We ate our slices in the little courtyard, and enjoyed some entertaining people and dog watching.

After lunch we perused a few more galleries on our way to Bruce’s Candy Kitchen. We love to watch them pull fresh saltwater taffy on their old-timey machine, but we must have arrived between showings. I picked up some hard-to-find watermelon and cherry zotz, some sweet and sour Haribo fruit salad, and a nugget each of semi-sweet chocolate seafoam and haystack (my sweet tooth existed way before pregnancy). David decided on a small handful of Atomic Fireballs and his favorite fresh taffys out of the individual flavor bins.

While heading back to the car with our pink and white striped goody bag, we were surprised to find a hole-in-the wall I had never seen before called The Center of the Elephant Ear Universe. It specializes in a while-you-wait deep fried, thin & crispy pastry with your choice of toppings (similar to funnel cake – see side story). We opted to split a half classic (butter glaze with cinnamon sugar) and half dutch baby (butter, sugar and lemon). It disappeared off our plate in seconds, licking our fingers afterwards.

Side Story: one of the things I had been craving since getting pregnant was funnel cake. For some reason I have never seen them on the west coast, so I thought maybe this was one craving that wouldn’t get satisfied. However, while in picturesque Manitou Springs, Colorado, a few weeks back, Marcy noticed a place that did make them called Patsy’s. Mmmm! We even went back a few days later for a second round, no matter that it was a half hours drive away)!

Back at the car, we drove a short way down scenic hwy 101, turning into the smaller beach-side town of Manzanita. Much less crowded here, but just as sweet. David noted that he would much rather have a vacation house here, and after thinking about it I had to agree. The sun had finally come out, but it remained cool and windy. There were more kite boarders and windsurfers than I had ever seen dotting the horizon with their colorful equipment, enjoying the waves. We stopped to check out a few of the shops here and I’m glad we did. At Overboard, we found a christmas gift for our nephew (shopping early this year, due to our baby on the way) and found several goodies for ourselves at eco-conscious Unfurl. We walked out with a cool new hat for each of us, 6 postcards for the new nursery frames by one of my favorite Portland artists, Trish Grantham (love her website), and a bar of Coastal Sage soap. I was this close to also walking out with the sweetest Kate Quinn Organics Baby Kimono Bodysuit and pant set in hibiscus, but then put it back at the last minute. I don’t know how I resisted. The other shop I liked in particular was Four Paws on the Beach. It was fun to check out over-the-top dog goodies like organic frozen yogurt and ‘doggles’ (eye goggles for dogs).

Again we headed back to the car to continue down hwy 101. The little towns and scenery are really beautiful, and there were many places we could have idled away the day, but decided on Rockaway Beach for our third stop. This long stretch of sandy beach had a lot less people, perfect for playing fetch with Barkley and allowing him some wave crashing fun. It was here David found a perfect whole sand dollar, but we left it for some other lucky beachcomber to find.

Driving south again we entered the town of Tillamook (known especially for it’s famous dairy). The factory makes a fun tour for those who haven’t been their before, with a nice sampling of their cheeses. We passed through town after a brief look at some crab traps for sale, and headed partially down the Three Cape Scenic Loop Drive to the Bay Ocean Spit. From the parking area we walked along a sandy path until we came out to the ocean, basically having the whole beach to ourselves. It is hard to believe that places like this still exist, pristine and beautiful with nothing man-made on the horizon to mar its remote beauty, and still be so close to civilization. Eventually, happy and hungry we headed back into town for a hearty mexican dinner at La Mexicana, situated in a cute pink house on the way to hwy 6, our route back home. Hwy 6 follows the Wilson River, so we stopped a couple times to look for fish, and for David to try his luck before eventually making it back home by 10pm. Wow! I think I’ll be remembering today for a very long time.

Footnote: It would be easy to spend all day at any of the areas listed above, but because we’ve been to some of these places many times before, we opted to keep on going, stopping at more places. These visits could easily be broken up over a long weekend or more, with lots more to see and do than just listed here.

Here is a map starting from the Oregon Zoo and following the individual destinations listed above.

Yard Sale Score

Our very first yard sale finds for the future nursery – a set of Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Alphabet Blocks (with a letter, a corresponding word, or image on each side) and 2 Pottery Barn white wood frames, all at a fraction of retail price. Normally, we wouldn’t even consider more Pottery Barn stuff, considering our history there, but these were an exception. There was lots of other baby/kids stuff, but not much that really suited our taste or aesthetic. But, you never know. We’ve been advised many times that yard sales (and craigslist) are the way to go for cheap and still-useful baby goods.

Tea Collection

Not too long after we found out we’re having a little girl, I ordered two of my first baby dresses online. I had gotten a catalog for Tea Collection months ago, although I’m not sure how I ended up on their mailing list. Fate, maybe? I’m not on any baby or children-related mailing lists that I know of. Anyway, I just LOVED their asian-inspired styles. So once I knew, I got on their site to find that they were having a summer sale and that most of my favorites were 50% off! How could I resist?

So this is what I got:


Daily Tea Blossom Tank Dress (Check out the Video View…so adorable!)

Daily Tea Mini Blossom Tank Dress


Daily Tea Solid Bloomers (which matches both dresses)

It was kind of weird buying outfits in next summer’s sizing, considering she is not even here yet, but I didn’t want to loose this opportunity. I rarely see baby stuff I like this much, and their fall collection is Norway-inspired, which doesn’t really impress me the same way.

The package just arrived today, and they are just as cute as I’d hoped! I wonder if this color scheme could somehow translate to the nursery…

At the Halfway Mark


Self-portrait – at the halfway mark

I feel like it has been ages since I last posted and I was thinking about why that might be. Am I simply unmotivated to write? Not exactly. Am I out of tidbits and thoughts to share? No, that can’t be it either. So what is it? And then I realized. I think it is because I’m pregnant. I mean, I think about being pregnant and baby things quite a lot now, and I am secretly afraid that it will be all I’ll write about, or even want to write about. And would that be so boring? The same topic over and over? And then I thought, well, this is my blog. And I am pregnant. And it is not like I force anyone to read my entries at gunpoint or anything. As a matter of fact, I am always surprised to find that happens at all.

So. I guess, this will be a turning point for this blog, at least for now, to include some babyness (probably a lot). And hopefully, now that we know the gender of our little one, then some appropriate crafts will also make their way back into my agenda. Meanwhile, I think I’ll post about some baby things, just to get them out of my system.

P.S. Turns out our little peanut is a girl :-).