Category Archives: Parks

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Summer in Full Swing

This Summer, my family has discovered an extraordinary activity where you drive for miles with all your stuff and then sleep under the stars!  I know camping isn’t a new idea, but it is to us. I know you all must be shocked being that we live in the camping capital of the world (or maybe it just seems like that).

I have no excuse really. Other than I just never did it. My husband and i grew up in Urban NJ very close to NY and camping wasnt a priority in either of our families.

That has all changed! We are hooked. Our girls too.

What a fantastic experience for us all.

We camped at Sol Duc Falls in the Olympic Mountains and it was beautiful! *sigh* If you have never been, it is so worth it!

We were all squished in our 2 person tent, but had a blast eating outside and hiking and even just listening to the quiet.

I know we will do so much more of this before the Summer is over!

You can see more images and read a bit more about it here.

What new things will you try this Summer?

Do you have any favorite places to camp in WA?


~Michelle is a mom of 2 who loves to sew, create, thrift~ and to be a Mom. You can read more about Michelle at her blog Falafel and The Bee (formally Noggin’ Toppers), where she has been blogging and creating since 2008.


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What’s Up on the KitPen this weekend?

Looking for a few things to do with the family this hopefully sunny and warm weekend? Well, guess what?! There are some!

Saturday, June 4th

Did you know it’s National Trails Day? Well, now we both do! And the City of Poulsbo has Walking Ambassadors on tap to walk you around nine different routes. No pre-registration required! Read more at their site.

Also, Saturday, get your filthy (well, mine IS) car washed and help out the Bainbridge Island School District. Bainbridge Schools Foundation is hosting a car wash from 9am-3pm at the island’s Chevron station. Do good and look good for it!

Sunday, June 5th

Kitsap Mini Maker Faire is happening Sunday and will have all kinds of items made by knitters, welders, inventors, craftsmen, artists, you name it. Plus, a food booth, so who can beat that?! All the stuff I am totally unable to do and totally impressed by those who can!

Once you’ve checked out the Kitsap Maker Faire, save some energy (and $) to come to Bainbridge Schools Foundation Family Fun Fair from 1-5pm. They’ll have a dunk tank, cake walk, crafts for sale, putt putt golf and more, at Bainbridge’s high school.

So, there, you have no excuse not to have fun this weekend and tear yourself away from your yard for a few hours! Enjoy!!

To Bird or Not to Bird

I have a family of Birders. Do you know what I mean? People who like to spot and identify birds. Bird Watchers.

I am not. I find it hard to get excited about birds (even though I like our fine feathered friends) but I do appreciate the fact that they get so much enjoyment out of it.

My husband decided, since the sun was out, it was a good day to Bird with the girls today. I decided that I wanted to stay warm, at home. Silly Mama.

He took them to our favorite beach at Point No Point in Hansville. It is the sole reason we decided to move out here. It is that lovely.

They found rocks and shells and driftwood and oysters…and birds. There was so much more than just birding going on. They got some fresh air and spent some quality discovery time out there on the wild beach, together.

The pictures they took for me were filled with so much beauty and awe that I almost felt like I missed it (notice the almost. I still prefer to be warm inside).

It inspired me to share with you. This shows if you just get out (especially when the sun breaks through) even if it is a cold winter’s day, you may be surprised at what you find.

***For all of you birders out there: They spotted 4 Great Blue Herons, 1 Bald Eagle, a Western Gull, a Glaucous Gull, a Brandt’s Cormorant, and a sparrow they couldn’t identify because it was too quick.


~Michelle is a mom of 2 who loves to sew, create, thrift~ and to be a Mom. You can read more about Michelle at her blog Falafel and The Bee (formally Noggin’ Toppers), where she has been blogging and creating since 2008.


Keep up with news posts by subscribing to our RSS feed (it’s free!). And don’t forget to join our Facebook fan page! It’s where all the cool kids are hanging out… It’s true.

in which I express my flaky, feathery fickleness

Pardon me, can we take a moment here to talk about….birds?

Mere months have passed since I confessed my true love for a certain little guy.

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)

And, at the time, I really meant everything I said about him and his yellowy dashing-ness.

But a recent stroll at our local Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island led me over to the duck pond where, lo and behold, my heart was reminded about true love.

There he was, in town for a brief over-wintering visit, the Bufflehead.
Or as I like to call him, heartus skipus.

He swoops, he swims, he dives–he is all water fowl, Itellyouwhat. Plus, he’s ready for any formal occasion.

It’s all there in black and white. Sorry, Goldfinch.

Any birders out there with crushes in this county? Any birds you look forward to seeing in one season or another? Tell me I’m not the only geek one!

Wendy has two daughters, one covered in fur and rolling in….um, never mind. She’d love for you to read more of her writings at Let the dog in! and see pictures of all the reasons her pants are stretching out this holiday season (BAKED GOODS, ya’ll!).

Peace at Battle Point Park

What happens when the sun makes an appearance in this neck of the woods? You grab the kids and dog and dash to Battle Point Park to run down their endless energy enjoy it. That’s what my daughter and I did recently.

Battle Point Park, so named for what happens when your child must leave it, is a large, 90 acre park complete with giant playground swarming with kids and 1 1/2 mile walking path around the park’s perimeter.

You might slide the slides or if you’re lazy like me, bench yourself on the benches.

You might lay low and have a snack in a quiet spot.

You might see a few couples enjoying a stroll.

You might feel small compared to the largeness of your surroundings.

It’s also a great destination to avoid that annual ritual that I never manage to do: spring cleaning.

(I think he missed a spot)

Yes, spring is in the air at Battle Point Park.

To which, I say, Achoo!

So, bring your Kleenex, avoid your chores for one more day, and come enjoy our local outdoors!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Be sure to visit Wendy at Let the Dog in! where she shares funniness, fact, fiction and photos, and where her dog, Becca, also shares about her dog life, right before she lets herself out. You can find Wendy and Becca both tweeting from time to time. Come, join the conversation!


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Dancing Through Kitsap!

If you know me, then you know I like dancing. But this is not about me dancing… And if you know me, you may be aware of my adoration of coffee. You may (ormaynot) also know I frequent Central Market… I also adore Poulsbo Perk and the standard-issue Starbucks here in the Northwest…aaaand the bevy over other coffee sources we have in our fair county…

But I needed basil. I get my basil from Central. And also my wheat grass. But I don’t juice my wheat grass. I make cute gifts with my wheat grass… and take blurry pics of said cute gifts…

fun with wheatgrass!

I digress.

I had to get some basil because I am on this mozzerella/feta/tomato/pesto grilled sandwich/pita kick, and the spinach wasn’t doin’ it for me. This warm melty goodness called for basil… yadda, yadda, yadda… from Central Market.

Where was I headed with this *scratching head*…

Well, there I was at the coffee shop there in Central Market (getting my double tall mocha with *just* a splash of raspberry), and my friend Sarah (may I call you “friend”, Sarah? Too bad. It’s out there. You’ll have to deal with the fall-out, I’m not takin’ it back. Nope. Are you on Facebook???) Aaanywho, Sarah said, “Hey. Have you seen the video on YouTube, ‘Where the Hell is Matt?‘” I was all, “Yeah. U-huh…”

She went on to tell me that her friend Rachel made a “Where the Hell is Rachel” video, but instead of traveling the world like Matt did – she (with the help of her camera-man brother Tristan) danced all around Kitsap… I was all, “I gotta see it!”

So I went home and got onto the Google and found the video. I want to share it with you, my fellow Kitsapians! Let’s watch Rachel travel Kitsap in December… dancing in all the places we’ve seen… on a trademark cloudy day… Enjoy! I know you will!


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You can keep up with Jenny on Twitter or her personal blog, Jenny on the Spot.

You Know You’re a Kitsap Mom When… Parks & Rainy Days

rainy dayI decided to try a little series here.

“You Know You’re a Kitsap Mom When...”

But instead of leaving the observations to my own narrow experience, I opened up the topic to my trusted circle of friends on Facebook. Besides, is you don’t like what you read here, then I can coyly reply… “She said it, not me! Dude. Don’t shoot the messenger. Psh.”

Therefore, today I give you the first installment of “You Know You’re A Kitsap Mom When…”

My friend, Sheila from Kingston, submitted her observation:

You go to the park in the rain and play, A LOT. Then you eat soggy pb&j picnics just because there is not school that day.

Sheila is a local mom and blossoming blogger. You can follow her insanity here!


Don’t miss a thing! You can get Mom on the Spot by RSS feed.

You can keep up with Jenny on Twitter or her personal blog, Jenny on the Spot.

Dear Weather,

What gives?

We had, what a record run of sunshine and rainless days in May/June, and, and, and… then you rip it from our pale Vitamin D starved epidermis just as school lets out? !!!


What’s the deal, Weather?

I painted words of summer celebration all over the windows of my very attractive minivan for the last day of school.

And by the end of the day, the letters looked like they had been crying over a break-up. I did not take pictures of their “tears”. I wanted us to remember the good times… *sniffle*

I hate to be a complainer, Weather.  I reside here in the Pacific Northwest fully expecting rain and cool-ish weather. However…

How. Ever.

You just can’t give us the glory of the sun for days on end, only to rip her away — the weekend before school lets out!

Come on! We want to bask in the shade of the Indianola Dock… our children want to feel the burn of a hot slide on the backs of their legs… Remember that one day back in May when I took my kids to Lyons Park and the sprinkler system went off? My youngest… her eyes burned from the “sunscream” that dripped in her eyes. Oh the joys that sunshine brings!

Just look at the fun we had in the sun, Weather:

In fact, the sun was so bright, not one child could bear to keep his/her eyes open for one measly picture. However, they did eat all of their 50 cent ice cream cone from Central Market. Weather, we want to to be blinded by the sun!

We want to wear our sunglasses, sunscreen and let ice cream be our source of relief.

Weather, will you please let the sun come out and play? We promise, we won’t take it for granted.

{A special thanks and shout out to Lisa of The Blozulfog for her permission to post a picture involving her children in the “Ice Cream Eaters Blinded by the Glory of the Sun” picture}


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The Sun Came Out!

a-warm-day-in-april Last Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous days here in Kitsap County. Though I had a list(s) of things that “needed” to get done, I tossed it. I knew we had 2 short days of wonderful, cherished warmth, and no to-do list was going to keep us indoors. Rays of Vitamin D were calling my name…

My older two children had school all day. That just left Lucy (4) and me, to soak up the rays. After lunch on Monday we headed to the Waterfront Park in Poulsbo. Lucy climbed on the anchor, the rocks, she got an ice cream cone all over herself, and we caught up on some “girl” time. We even ran into my friend and Lucy’s preschool classmate. He was very generous and shared his slice of pizza with her. Lucy will never turn down food.

Of course, she immediately dropped all the cheese from the top of her pizza, but… *sigh*…

On Monday night I made a call-out to a few friends over there on the Facebook, “Tomorrow. You. Your Kids. Lion’s Park. Noon. Bring a lunch.” Some of us I brought smashed p b & j sandwiches, while one mom brought these:


*Intact peanut butter and jelly star sandwiches*

Aaaanyway. We spent a couple of hours eating and swinging and talking and swinging. I must have given 134 underdogs (the move where the swing-pusher runs under the swing-er while pushing said swing-er above the pushers head – makes sense?) to FOUR VERY brave and terribly adorable preschool girls. My arms are still sore, but I think they really like me now!!!

At the end of our “outdoor celebration”, we packed up our gear, threw away our trash and discovered one of my friends took my car keys. Accidentally? OK, it was an accident. And it was really all my fault *hangs head*… Had I put my car keys IN MY PURSE instead of tossing them ON THE GRASS… the whole predicament could have been avoided. *sigh*

Alas, it all worked out. My wonderful friend Lisa came to the rescue. She picked up Lucy and Me, drove us to my cars keys, I got her a coffee “thank you” (an iced carmel macchiato thankyouverymuch), and made it back to my van in time to drive home and meet up my older two kiddos at the bus. PHEW!

Ya know… sometimes a day at the park, is not always a walk in the park… but there is always an adventure!


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