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As I’ve gotten involved in the Bremerton Farmers Market, I’ve been asked pretty frequently “what do you DO?” Well, I’m not a vendor. I’m the president of our board of directors, but what that means is that I’m really just a big time supporter or our market, similar to lots of other folks in our community. Over here at OurSoundHome, I’m a lover of all things good for Bremerton, and the market just so happens to embody a lot of the things that I think will make Bremerton a better place. The BFM involves supporting local small businesses, healthy food grown by Washington farmers and the overall sense of COMMUNITY that comes from being at our local market.



 What is the best part of being president of the Bremerton Farmers Market? Working with truly incredible people. Some of these are our market members and vendors, or our amazing manager, for example. These are people that spend countless hours creating or growing their products, making displays for their booth, often managing a website to market their business and then additional hours managing their both at the markets each week. These are the people that put in the hard hours and show up each week to vend for you and bring you a fantastic market.


 I’ve also encountered people that have supported the market from the outside as community participants – people like City Council members Leslie, Nick, Greg and Roy. These are people who pick of the phone to have a call about a market issue, or have even joined our committee meetings held at board members homes to connect about how to make our market better. Or take Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, for example. She has far surpassed my expectations in terms of communicating with us regularly and also jumping in to support where she can. I can remember being at a Washington State Farmers Market Association strategic planning meeting earlier this year, and I got multiple calls from not only City Council members but from Mayor Patty Lent regarding a hot topic affecting our market. These are people that care and  are making a difference by being deeply involved and showing up with action to support us. These folks go above and beyond in supporting market initiatives, responding to our questions and encouraging us along the way.




What do all of these people have in common? They DO. They show up, they put their words of support into action. That being said, although I am pleased with the support from community members, I can’t say that I’m surprised. You see, I grew up in a family of DO-ers. I grew up with parents that volunteered in my elementary school, that coached soccer teams and lead Girl Scout troops. I grew up with grandparents that volunteer at libraries and manage county political campaigns, and give their love and artistic talent back to their community. I grew up in a family where it is normal to give and DO, to enrich the lives of others and our communities.



 So, what do I DO at the market? I join the others and I give – my time and energy to an organization I care about. I DO this market, because I believe in this market, and the good that it does in our community. I encourage each of you to give – your own time and your own energy to the things you care about. What do you want to make better and what do you want to give back? Don’t just think about it, DO it. I tell you this not only because its fun and it feels good, but because our community needs it. It needs help! We need people like you to step up, to volunteer, to make a difference, to make our community better. We need more people to take action on the things they care and talk about, we need more people to DO.

2012 New Year Manifesto

Hello, 2012! It’s OurSoundHome here with a project inspired by Ashley’s Manifesto over at From Dahlias to Doxies, a way of simplifying and writing down goals for the new year. So, I created one myself! Check it out:




I’m planning on  printing a few copies on card stock for my work and home offices. Looking forward to using this as inspiration for the year!  Another idea is to break out a few different versions, if you wanted to separate your goals for personal life, your professional goals or vision, or other categories.  Have any of you written down or crafted up some goals for 2012?

Garden Updates for OurSoundHome

Does it seem like summer has hardly began, but it’s already almost over? Sheesh. That was fast.


Here are some photos of our summer garden here at OurSoundHome. Our tomatoes have been a huge success (just starting to ripen now – love fresh, ripe tomatoes!), same for our lettuce and squash. We also grew pickling cucumbers, which haven’t had much success yet.




For herbs, we’ve had basil, rosemary, dill, lavender, cat nip and cilantro. Next year, I’m going to skip the dill and maybe even the basil. I love basil, I just don’t seem to have much luck growing it. However, the cilantro and cat nip were a success – Sophie loves fresh nip!!


Our artichoke plant and brussel sprouts plants are still growing – but they are so pretty!





My biggest lesson is to grow what we eat most often. There were a couple things I thought would be fun to try, but because we don’t eat much of a particular vegetable already, I almost felt like we were a bit wasteful.




I also have learned to really space out plants appropriately and watch EXACTLY which spots of my garden bed get the most light for future planting and planning.
I am starting to think about whether I need to do a cover crop for the winter, does anyone have suggestions for what works best?

I’m in love – with a mirror.

Hi folks – It’s OurSoundHome here with a little post about a big mirror, and I’m in love!

I saw this mirror a few months ago at Pier 1, at the time for $250. You know me, I love a good deal, so I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much on a mirror. Even if it was super beautiful and unique, I just couldn’t do it.


via Pier 1


But, I have thought about it over and over again since then. It’s one of those purchases I didn’t make, that I look back on and wish I did.


Not only that, but I was continuing to get reminded of my love for the honeycomb mirror via Pinterest and other bloggers (here, here and here for example). Apparently I wasn’t the only one loving this mirror.




Well, I just so happened to be in a Pier 1 the other day with my sister, and what did I see? The mirror! In the clearance section for only $100. It was missing a couple of the smaller mirror pieces, but I knew those would be easy to find and replace if I did a little shopping online. Still, $100 for a broken mirror? hmmm…



So, I asked the sales associate if they could bring the price of the mirror down any lower.  I’m usually not very good at wheelin’ and dealin’ but I knew this was a mirror from the spring season, and it had a couple missing pieces after all. Sure enough, she brought the price down to $50! Wahoo!




Now, I have one last problem: the hubster (husband). He’s not so in love with this mirror, in fact, he kind of hates it. I know it’s a statement piece, and I probably should have asked his opinion in advance since it’s so huge, I just felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity since I had been thinking about it for so long.


What if I lost my last chance to get the mirror?




I am of course curious what you think! Let me know – do you love it or hate it? Leave me some love in the comment section! Part of me likes that it’s so pretty and shiny but also kind of rough – it looks almost nautical for some reason, like a sea creature. Am I going crazy over here?


P.S. Here are two last images, of a similar mirror from Wisteria for almost $2,399 – makes my deal even sweeter, right?


image via Domino


image via Wisteria


Commuter Humor

As a ferry long-distance commuter from OurSoundHome, I had to share this silly photo via A Cup of Jo.






This is a Dutch subway slide that they encourage people to use when they are running late to catch a train! Check out more here. I wish it could be so easy (and quick) for me when I’m running late in the morning – which is frequent for me. Thank goodness I work for a coffee company!

P.S. I thought this was an interesting article (also via Cup of Jo) on commuting.

Cafe on my mind

I spent a beautiful day in Bellingham yesterday. It was fantastic – spent with people I love and lots of sunshine. We started off at the farmers market and got some lunch, spent time catching up there, and then went on a walk to the park.


There is something about Bellingham that gets me more inspired than other places. Orcas Island is the same way for me. It gets my creative “juices flowing” and day dreaming of creating my own cafe some day.





As I sit here with my cup of coffee this morning, it makes me wonder what it is about a cafe in particular? Why am I drawn to creating one in our community?





I think my time as a barista at Cafe Destino gave me the taste of what I would love to create someday. A place where I see friends from my community every day, and help make their day a little more special. Where I could serve things that I love most and share them with the world. To create a cozy little spot in Manette is a dream for me.





As the next week starts at work and life picks back up, I know this little bit of inspiration will float away again. But I can count on it to always come back, until I’m ready to take that next step and make that little dream come true.


P.S. Thoughts on a Manette cafe with chickens in the backyard?




Outside Our Window: A June Boat

A couple of days ago I saw something really odd in the water. I was inside the house, upstairs, and noticed a little boat floating by outside our window.  When I say little, I mean child size – check it out:



So I went outside to take a closer look. It was actually a beautifully carved little boat, and there was a note of some kind inside. I tried my hardest to get it, but it was just too far out in the water, the tide was out, and it was way too cold to go swimming after it (I admit – in the moment, that thought briefly crossed my mind!).


I am curious who eventually got the boat, or will find it some day in the future. It sure was a fun little surprise outside my window this week!

The Importance of Being Neighborly

We are so blessed with amazing neighbors, I really don’t think we could have it any better.


Our house here at OurSoundHome is pretty close on both sides of the house to our neighbors, so being neighborly we’ve learned is so important! We had neighbors from a few houses down drop off flowers, wine, and post cards when we first moved in with nice little notes with our neighbors contact information.  We’ve had numerous neighbors check-in after Kyle’s health incident earlier this year.  We’ve also exchanged ideas on anything from keeping the ants out of the house to yucky bugs out of the garden. I’m learning that neighbors that have lived here longer than us not only have fantastic advice for us as new homeowners, but as gardeners, as community members in Bremerton, and to help keep watch over the neighborhood.


We have a very sweet couple on one side of our house, who have helped a bit with our otter situation. When the otters started coming, they helped us construct the make-shift fence to keep them away. That same couple recently left a bucket of these amazing peonies on our patio this week – aren’t they beautiful?!



We returned their bucket with fresh cut flowers from our garden – yellow and pink roses. It’s fun being friendly with your neighbors, and makes our life in Bremerton that much sweeter.


Right now we’re enjoying these in our kitchen and dining room – love the look of these beauties in our home.




Do you have any tips or examples of being neighborly?

Outside Our Window

We saw a submarine outside our window over at OurSoundHome last night!



It was fantastic. We were both surprised to see an odd wave in the water, with no big boats in sight. It was bigger than a ferry boat wave. We wondered if it could be a submarine… and knew that something had to be going on under the water we couldn’t see.




Soon enough, we saw a submarine emerge from the Puget Sound! Now that is an amazing view from our window and backyard!




Our Garden Kitty

We got Sophia Kitty when she was about 4 years old; we found her at Seattle Animal Shelter back in 2008. One thing we have always been sure of is in her previous life, she was at least partially an outdoor kitty. She has always seemed pretty content staying inside (she never tries to get outside and make a run for the door), but from the way she attacks her toys to the way she watches the birds outside our window, there is something in her that shows us she was outside at one point in her life.



Kyle and I have made the choice to keep her inside, not only to protect her from vehicles, but also so she doesn’t get lost. Before Sophia came to Seattle Animal Shelter years ago, they found her outside alone. So, one of my biggest fears is that for whatever reason she goes outside and doesn’t make her way back home.



I have always felt a little guilty keeping her inside, because I can tell by the way she sniffs fresh air in the window and the way she lays in the sun that she certainly would enjoy going outside every once in a while. So, it made me smile when we brought this bouquet of roses and mint from the garden into a vase on our kitchen table, and see Sophie enjoying them so much.



Maybe she can still be an indoor garden kitty, after all. I couldn’t bring myself to shoo her off the table, seeing her enjoy the roses so much! Too sweet.