"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sooooo cooool!! And something for you....

We got back to Florida Saturday night, full of good feeling and our minds bouncing around with possibilities! We did love Seattle, and we did love Portland, but did we decide to move to either place? More on that later :)...

Meeting up with Rain again at this adorable cafe, and then for the first time with Stacy and her little Mica at Gas Works Park were both treasured highlights I'll keep for a long while :). They are both soooo cooool!!! Blogging has blessed me in so many many ways...

Just so you know, it did rain the first day we arrived in Seattle, but then, it was clear skies for the rest of the week (sorry to my friends in the east who experienced quite the opposite :(...).

Mt. Rainier was clearly seen across Puget Sound...

We did a little "digging" for the troll under the Fremont bridge. I think he has seen better days as the bridge is getting some TLC...but what an amazing landmark for Seattle, truly...

And then there is Beecher's Handmade Cheese. Now, me and cheese don't always get along very well so I usually steer clear, but when my beautiful friend Naomi promised me that it was the best mac-n-cheese on the planet, how could I resist? She was sooooooo right.

Then there was this fantastic building where the Dutch Bicycle Company is housed, with a cute cafe in front, and two restaurants around back. One of the restaurants is an oyster bar called the Walrus and the Carpenter.  F. and I are seafood junkies and if you say "oyster", we'll say "WHERE!?" And that's how we landed at the Walrus. And if your curious about where the name came from like we were, take a look at this poem by Louis Carroll found on their website--soooo coooool!!!

And there's more I could show you, including the Seattle Art Museum, Carkeek Park, more hiking trails,  etc., but I think I have reached my limit on using the word "cool" in one post. I have so dated myself at this point, I know I know... So I'll stop here and leave the rest up to you. You MUST visit the PNW if you haven't. You must. Summer is best. You will not regret it and you will get your fill on cool-ness, I promise. Maybe I'll be there to greet you! Maybe...

And now the GIVEAWAYS!

I have 3 things to give away, some souvenirs I picked up for you:

sorry for the fuzzy pic!
1) A beautiful "Blue Wave" garden bell (about 1 1/2 inch tall) from the Portland Japanese Gardens. I've  had an owl bell for 5 years that dings above my Buddha when the wind blows, it's a lovely sound :)...

2) One book from Powell's City of Books!! Now, I know you can get these on Amazon or at the library, but these have lived and breathed on the shelves of Powells book store!! The best place for bibliophiles--EVER.  But I digress... First to giveaway is a wonderful poetry and essay book by Mary Oliver called Owls and Other Fantasies. "Wild Geese" is the first poem in this book, one of my favorites....

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

3) And the second book to giveaway is Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs and the Powells bookstore shopping bag. I also bought a copy for myself and I may be one of the last people on the planet that doesn't have it! It's a wonderful how-to book on making everything from your own salves and first aid, dish and laundry liquid, gardening, using essential oils, making shampoos, furniture and wall cleaners, pest control and more!! Anyone interested in sustainable living must have this book!! And if YOU are the last person on earth who doesn't have this book then enter, go go go!!


There will be three separate drawings for each item. Just post a comment on which one you would love to have. That's it. AND... if you don't care which one you want, tell me so and you will be entered in the drawing for each of the three...Sorry, you can only win once though :). You have from today to Thursday night to enter. I will draw the winners and announce them on Friday!!

I'm linking with Amanda's Weekending, it's been too too long since I have!!

So glad to be back, I missed ya...
much love


  1. We also love oysters. Must have been some amazing variety choices there.
    I can't wait to hear about your upcoming plans! You're keeping us in suspense!
    And how sweet of you to host a giveaway. The gifties all look good to me! I love Oliver and I love sustainable living and I love garden bells. So there.

  2. Oh, MJ. How beautiful (and COOL) are you??? Not only do you come home bursting with news and wonderful photographs and the most divine energy ever, but you also want to share that joy with us. What an amazing friend you are.

    I love every one of your sweet giftie things—they are all so perfect, and so perfectly right coming from you. I could see myself thinking of you every time I used any one of them. :) So if I could have my name in all three hats, I would be so grateful.

    Welcome home, dear friend. I can't wait to hear where you have picked to live, and about all the adventures in wait for you. Such a big smile on my face (and in my heart) right now…

  3. What a wonderful adventure you have had. Love the first photo of M, she looks like she would be at home at the bow of a ship. The goodies for your giveaway look lovely. Not sure if it is open to international entries, but if it is, I'd be happy with any of the sweet gifts. Jacinta

  4. That is a very exciting maybe! I'm thrilled for all the possibilities you've got in mind.
    Got to say I'm also pretty excited about this giveaway! I'm another of those few people who doesn't already have Make Your Place! Fingers crossed.
    Thanks, MJ!

  5. Yup, the troll and the cheese: Seattle staples. Looks like you had a blast. Every time we venture down, we come across something new. I just might have to try a Walrus oyster next time...
    Hmm, I'm thinking the bell would sound great with the ferry's fog horn on these dreary days.

  6. looks like we both got back on the same day in our part of the world!

    LOVE that you and Stacy met up!

    (not entering btw lol)

    can't wait to hear more about possible moves.

  7. What a lovely visit you had. I've never been, but would love to someday.

    I love the bell, but really any of the items would be a wonderful gift. Thank you! :)

  8. I'm so glad your back and can't wait to hear where you will be going next. How sweet of you to think of us on your trip and pick up gifts. I love all three so thank you for a chance to enter. xx

  9. looks like you had a great trip! love your photos, and I promise I will visit one day. all the 'cool' has totally convinced me, lol...


  10. Welcome back! I have never been to the PNW, but goodness, I so want to go after seeing your photos. I love the troll under the bridge!

    Thank you for thinking of us and offering a give-away! (all three chances are equally enticing!)

  11. Welcome back! Sounds like all of you had a wonderful adventure. I LOVE the Pacific NW.

  12. Looks like such an amazing trip. I've only made it out to the west coast once, I really must go again. That bell looks gorgeous! And the Mary Oliver book looks oh so sweet. I do have a copy of Make Your Place, a great little resource for sure.
    You are so sweet MJ, always bringing souvenirs back from your adventures for give aways.
    You absolutely should come up to Maine sometime! Portland is such a fun city, I think you would really enjoy all it has to offer! As far as the cold...just don't come in the dead of winter:) Spring, Fall are my favorites, and of course the summer months are plenty warm! Make sure you look us up if you do make it this way!

  13. What wonderful, generous giveaways! I love them all!

    Sometimes a place that touches you can only be described as "cool" over and over and over again! I am so happy you had such a wonderful trip. It has been one of my dreams to get to the PNW...will one day!

  14. Missed you too sweetie. Love that troll and all of your photos. What a wonderful and cool trip. I can't wait to see where you guys go! I am all about that bell and the Mary Oliver book. I already have Make Your Place and I love it. One day it would just be wonderful to go to Powell's. Thanks for sharing your awesome trip!
    Welcome back!

  15. oooh--so generous of you to share beautiful items from your trip! i would love either of the books. good luck choosing your next landing stop--so curious to hear!

  16. COOL! I would love that bell.

  17. sounds like a very full trip! love, love that bell :)

  18. It sounds like a wonderful trip! I would love to win the bell... Hopefully I will have a Garden of my own to hang it in come spring!

  19. COOL! so glad you had fun and can’t wait to hear the verdict! any of the three would make my day!

  20. Beautiful photos, as usual. In all of my Seattle travels, I never saw the troll under the bridge - didn't know that was there! It really looks like you all had a lovely time. I'm eager to hear where you have decided to call home!

    Regarding your lovely souvenirs, I'd consider my self a lucky lady if I were the winner of any one of them :)

  21. so neat! your trip looks amazing. and i would love any of the things you are giving away. thanks so much!

  22. what a lovely thrip you`ve had : )
    i would love to enter for giveaway no3!
    thanks for the opportunity

  23. how cool you and stacy met! i loved all your pictures and thoughts on your adventure. i too was inspired by the pnw when i took the same trip - portland, puget sound, and seattle. just amazing. i too am the last person on the planet to get the sustainable living book and would love a chance to win! you're so sweet to pick up winnings for your readers!

  24. Can't wait to hear if I was successful ;-) Yeah, uh...guess I forgot to mention the potential danger of living here. Sorry about that, although to be fair - I never think about it. It was so much fun to see you again and I hope there will be many more opportunities in the near future! Oh, and I would LOVE any of your treats. Thank you!

  25. I just found you, via the lovely Leonie Wise, and delighted, I added you to my google reader and settle down to read a while ...
    I couldn't resist leaving a comment on this post :-)

  26. I forgot to say why ... well, I love the bell, it would hang next to my little clay Virginia bird here on my red bookshelves. Or, I adore Mary Oliver. It seems a little cheeky, since I've just arrived but anyway, I'll go and read somemore.

  27. your trip to the pnw sounds amazing, it was really fun to read about. you are so lucky to be able to document this way(blogging) for yours and your childrens future.

    i love your passion for life, it comes through in everything you write about. and this giveaway, so completley generous (and full of passion too).

    we would getalong really well because i love all these things you've chosen, that represent you. m.o. is coming to santa barbara next weekend, i'm crossing my fingers i can get a ticket this late. she is my favorite.

    xxx lori

  28. What gorgeous photos, looks like you had an amazing time.

    I would love to receive either of the three!

    Thank you for this giveaway :)

  29. What a fabulous trip. You found some funky places to hang out for sure.

    Thank you MJ for your kindness, thoughtfulness and genuine sweetness of offering giveaways like this. It really shows your beautiful big heart.

    So my hope is for, 'Make Your Place.'

    A storm has just hit the coast here and all my babes are sleeping - aah joy! I'm off to sit and look out the window with my cat.

    I wish for you sweet sweet peace MJ. Love Katie x


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw