Tag Archives | summer

Summer Near Home & At The Ocean

Summer & sunshine

The summer season is coming to a close and there will be less sunshine and blue sky in the horizon {predicting lots of rain next 6 …7…9 months}.  It has been a fairly laidback summer for us with most of our activities and trips being short distances from home.  The above picture is me enjoying the warm sunshine and ocean air and just beyond the trees is a short walk to the beach {click HERE to see more pictures on Facebook of our family trip to the ocean}

The following pictures capture some of what went on close to home this summer.


deer 1

deer & cat

This cute little deer is one of my four new “friends” that likes to come over for a visit during the summer.  They tend to come in pairs, while the other deer went off into the woods, she decided to stay awhile and visit with the neighbor cat and me.


Rattle Snake Lake

Rattle Snake Lake

Hannah & Grace having fun paddle boarding at Rattlesnake Lake …nothing but mountains, water and the view.  This is also a great place to go on a family hike.


fields of  flowers, Zinnias

Fields of flowers, Zinnias

corn fields

Taking the backroads is a favorite driving excursion.  A few miles away from our house are farm lands where cows, horses, water buffalos, chickens, goats and wildlife live.  My favorite area to cruise below the 25 mph speed limit is where the farmers have planted fields of flowers {shown: zinnias} and rows of corn stalks.  Late in the afternoon and early evenings they will be busy filling buckets and buckets of fresh picked flowers to be sold the next day at Pike Place Market / Public Market Center in Seattle. What can I say about local corn other than … they are the sweetest. These backroads are also a favorite area for Bikers and dog walkers {Glory & me}.


fly fishing 201

Fly fishing  201

Last June, Bill wrote a blog post about Orvis fly fishing 101 class {read more …}.  He took the kids to the class and after that session ended they had the opportunity to go out on a stocked pond {here in the Snoqualmie Valley} and catch trout.  Staff from the Orvis store were there to instruct and guide everyone.  All the participants caught fish and learned more about fly fishing.  Caleb caught his first two fish that day!  Look for these {Free} fly fishing 101 classes to be available again at the Orvis stores across the United States in May and June 2014.


Snoqualmie Falls

 Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls is a big attraction here in the valley.  A great day hike along the river to the falls is fun for the kids and adults.  The first time my two girls went on the hike was many years ago when Grace was 5 {above pic} and Hannah was 8 years old.  They have since walked the trails many times.  If hiking is not what you want to do, there is a lookout area near the falls that’s a short walk from the parking lot.

I hope you had a wonderful fun summer!



posted by: Kay


Blueberries & Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buckle

 Blueberry Buckle is an old-fashinon single-layer cake with a streusel topping.  This is a wonderful and versatile cake that’s also great to serve for breakfast, brunch and anytime {with tea/coffee}.  The consistency is like coffee cake but not as sweet.

Blueberry picking near Mount Si

Before going any further about Blueberry Buckle, I want to share where these plump blueberries came from.  Everyone in the family was busy except for my son Caleb and me so we decided to go blueberry picking at a nearby farm. Bybee Blueberry Farm is situated at the base of Mount Si offering incredible views while picking these sweet blueberries.

picking blueberries

So ready for picking!

bucket full of blueberries

For about an hour of picking {and a little bit of eating}, we got almost 9 pounds of blueberries.

Blueberries in snack cups

These blueberries have been washed and ready to be eaten in these fun snack cups.  Blueberries are one of the best snacks.  They are rich in antioxidants, full of vitamin C, manganese and fiber.


Blueberry buckle

2         cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2   teaspoons baking powder
1/2      teaspoon salt
3/4      cup sugar
1/2      cup unsalted butter {room temperature}
1         egg
1         teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2      cup milk
5         cups blueberries {can use frozen blueberries}

1       teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4    teaspoon salt
1/4    cup packed brown sugar
1       cup flour
1/2    cup unsalted butter {room temperature}

 Heat oven to 350°.  Butter and flour springform baking pan {ten-inch round}.

Blueberry Buckle step 1 & 2

STEP  1.  In a bowl of an electric mixer cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

STEP 2.  Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.


Blueberry buckle step 3 & 4

STEP 3.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Reduce mixer speed to low, alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to mixer, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

STEP 4.  Gently fold in blueberries {all 5 cups}.  If using frozen blueberries, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the berries and mix gently to coat each berries with flour before adding to the batter mixture.


Blueberry buckle step 5

STEP 5.  Pour batter into prepared pan {butter and flour springgorm baking pan}.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the streusel topping ingredients with a fork to form large clumps.


Blueberry Buckle step 6

STEP 6.  Sprinkle streusel topping directly onto the cake batter.

Place the springform baking pan on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  This will help to contain any leakage from spreading all over the oven. Bake 60 to 70 minutes until cake tester comes out batter free.  Remove cake from oven and let it rest on the cooling rack for 10 minutes.

 Blueberry Buckle steps 7 & 8

STEP 7 & 8.  Remove from springform pan.

 Blueberry Buckle

Good things come in simple packages.

 Blueberry Buckle



posted by: Kay


Beach Scavenger Hunt {printable}

Beach, Scavenger Hunt

To the beach!  With a bucket in one hand and a shovel in the other, my kids are ready to have fun in the sand {if and when they get there}.  Their buckets were always full of treasures by the time we left the beach.  I created these simple illustrations of the sea life and things often found along the Pacific Northwest beaches.  Fun and whimsical drawings to be used on a beach scavenger hunt and/or as a fun print to display and remind you of the trip.
{free printable Here … beach scavenger hunt list}

.Beach Pacific

A Trip to the ocean is our family annual summer vacation.  Great family time to enjoy a little bit of beach living, the sand, the ocean, salty air and relaxation.  Last year we skipped it and headed to the mountains instead.  I was a little surprised at how much they are craving the ocean.  For the past few months the question kept popping up as to when we will be going?  Sometimes in life we take things for granted and realized how much we miss it when it’s not there.


Pacific Beach

The Pacific Northwest beaches tends to be cooler in temperature with clouds and wind.  There are rare occasions on our visits when the temperature hits the high 80s°F, blue sky and it felt like we were on a tropical island, and then at other times the rain, hail and a lot of wind.  No matter what the weather may be, we have not been disappointed.  Our kids are looking forward to the next beach vacation!
{we’ll be updating our Facebook page with new pictures when we get back from the trip}


at the beach

This is one of my  favorite pictures of Hannah(L) and Grace(R) from many years ago.  The curiosity and the excitement of finding treasures along the beach and sharing them.


Beach display

Share with us your family’s favorite vacation spot?

Beach illustrations KS

 {free printable Here … beach scavenger hunt list}
All printables are for personal use Only


posted by: Kay


Red, White & Blue Breakfast {Pancakes, Bacon & Berries}

July 4th breakfast: pancakes, bacon, berries

 Do you think there’s enough red, white and blue in this picture?  If you have this breakfast, you’ll be ready for the busy 4th of July celebration; parade in the morning, picnic in the afternoon and fireworks in the evening.

The first step is to cook the bacon (Oscar Mayer Bacon).  Preheat the over to 375° F, line the baking pan with parchment paper, place the bacon strips side by side on the pan and bake them for about 23-28 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

While the bacon is in the oven, get started on the Blueberry Buttermilk Pancake mix.

July 4th, pancakes & bacon

Basic Buttermilk Pancakes
{makes about 12  four-inch pancakes}

2  cups all-purpose flour
2  teaspoons baking powder
1  teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon salt
3  tablespoons sugar
2  large eggs, lightly beaten
3  cups buttermilk
4  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for griddle/pan
fresh blueberries (optional)

1.  In a medium bowl, melt 4 tablespoons butter, then add buttermilk and eggs.  Mix the mixture lightly with a fork.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and combine the dry ingredients with the liquid mixture.  Mix  them with the fork until the batter just combined and it should have small to medium lumps.  Let the mixture rest for 5 to 10 minutes, it will bubble slightly.

2.  Heat the pan/griddle on medium for a few minutes.  Brush it with butter and pour about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of pancake batter.  Scatter the top with blueberries and flip it over when the pancake bubbles and is golden brown on the bottom (about 2 minutes per side).    Repeat with the remaining batter.

3.  To keep the pancakes warm, place them on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 175° F, or before serving put the pancakes in the toaster to heat and crisp them up.  Serve with maple syrup.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


July 4th, strawberries

Top the stack of pancakes with fresh blueberries and strawberries.  The sweetness of fresh picked strawberries can’t be compared to store bought.  It has been a treat for us, filling our little berry basket full of strawberries from our garden just about every other day.  As I was putting these strawberries together for a quick photo op, our dog Glory couldn’t resist them and took a few for herself.

Glory & strawberries

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

recipe source: adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine, January 2002


posted by: Kay


Gardening & Entertaining Outdoors

gardening & entertaining


Gathered a few favorites things for entertaining and gardening this summer.   It’s nice to add a twist to the basics that’s unexpected like the “Cape Cod birdhouse” painted in a pale mint color and soft blue hose that should be on display.  I am eyeing the citronella candle in the square container.  What about you?

1.garden tote, West Elm    2.Heritage garden hose, Terrain   3.Cape Cod birdhouse, Terrain   4.matches butterfly brocade cylinder, Boutique Theo   5.happy boat, Design Lemonade   6.Washi bandages, Pretty Strips   7.Galvanized square citronella pot, Crate and Barrel   8.garden labels, Paulova Ceramics   9.metallic coil terrarium, Anthropologie   10.garden tags, free printables White Gunpowder  11.Gumboots Toile clog, Hard to Find


flower / herb garden{English Bluebells}

flower / herb garden{Strawberry flowers}

flower / herb garden{chives}

A wonderful time to enjoy the garden and the beauty that can only can be observed early in the morning.  It was about 6:30am when I decided to take a stroll through the garden as the sun started to peak through the cool, misty air.  I came back around the second time with my camera and took these pictures with the dew still clinging to the leaves and flowers.


posted by: Kay               4

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