This year, we spent the 4th of July weekend down at Janene's mom's place. From homemade, fresh squeezed lemonade to sparklers and sunsets, it was a relaxing break from the craziness of life.
What did you do with the holiday weekend?
Is Sprummer a word? Or Summing? You know, that time where it's not quite spring anymore, but not exactly summer yet. If you live in Western Washington, that sort of describes the springs we've been having for the last couple of years. A master gardener friend of ours says that we're running about 2 months ahead of schedule this year. Hopefully that means lots of produce, sooner rather than later!
For a while there, I was holding my breath a bit, afraid that a frost would come and kill all these early blossoms, like the strawberries. You never know what's going to happen around here in the spring. We won't have a single snowflake all winter, then have our version of a snow storm in March after the apple trees have decided to blossom (that was a sad year for apples). So far this year, things have been warm, mild, and wonderful. Around these parts, we've been enjoying a mixture of spring and summer activities.
Doing some art outside, painting signs....
Taking lots of walks, and finding sweet discoveries like this....
...and this! This is a duck egg. Did you know duck eggs came in Robin's Egg Blue? I didn't. (A friend pointed out that maybe robin's eggs come in Duck's Egg Blue. That blew my mind.)
Flea Markets have begun!
Ice cream! It's not too early for ice cream. (I think it is always a good time for ice cream).
Warm sunny weather is great for staining! Staining some new signs....
How are you enjoying your Sprummer/Summing??
The second Thursday of each month is Ladies Night Out, and this coming Thursday is no exception.
From 6pm - 8pm many of the Village shops stay open for your shopping pleasure. We'll have treats, giveaways and specials, and so much more!
If you haven't been, or if it has been awhile, then come on in this Thursday and see us! If you're on FB, check out the official event information . You can also visit the Country Village Bothell website for more information!
We're SO excited to be part of the Summer Wine Walk this year here at Country Village Shops! This is an annual event here, and everybody LOVES it! This will be our first year, and we really hope you'll come out and join us and the other shops for an awesome evening of fun, food, wine, and shopping!
Buy your tickets now, and don't forget to BYOG! Check out the official event on FB, or check out the event page on the Country Village website for more information!
The Bothell Blues Festival is entering it's third year, and each year has built upon the enormous success of the previous years - this year should be no different! Once again sponsored by Carolina Smoke BBQ Restaurant here in Country Village, this event boats an all-start lineup of Blues talent, a beer garden, some great vendors, and an all around fantastic time!
This year, the fun happens on August 31, 2013 - from 11am until 8pm.
The current band lineup includes: The Wired Band, The Chester Dennis Jones Band, The Stacy Jones Band, Palmer Junction and Eric Freeman.
Head on over to the Bothell Blues Festival Website or the Facebook Page for more information, to buy your tickets (a TON of the shops here at Country Village are offering discounts for festival attendees!), and to learn more about everything that's going on!
I really wanted to blog tonight. I had so many things to share with you - new video for our YouTube channel showcasing a bunch of the new fall and halloween; Ben's first day at school (and riding the bus!); other new product arrivals; some killer reasons to "like" us on our Facebook page (yeah, if you haven't done that yet - NOW would be a REALLY good time, as we've got some great new stuff coming down the pipe over there..) ....
The videos are taking too long to deal with tonight (hey, with a new baby on the way - hopefully NOW - I've gotta get SOME sleep!), the pics of Ben appear to all have been taken on my parent's camera as we were apparently too busy just trying to get him out the door and onto the bus to think about it, I don't have pics yet of the new products ....
But I still wanted to blog. So I started going through photos from recent months, and I came across these beauties - and then I realized that ... WAIT! This was one of our last outings as a family of three - and it happened on July 24th! Geez. When life gets crazy busy, I guess life gets crazy busy. Not that we haven't done stuff since then - actually, we've done a TON - but apparently none of it warrented photos, so how boring is that?
If I recall correctly, we were on our way in to the store on 7/24/2011, with Ben in tow. He had been going with us a LOT those days, and we were really trying to get some down time in with him, so (without telling Janene) I drove us off the beaten path down to a small beach in Edmonds. Ben recognized this beach, since we had been there before and saw a TRAIN there, so he was pretty dang excited. We got out of the car and walked up and over the tracks and down to the beach, where Janene plopped herself on a log and Ben and I started the time wading out into the water. Yep, I don't seem to have pictures of that (although I could have sworn I took some...oh well). We explored all over, and I finally had to reel him in because I (foolishly) had no shoes on (I had worn my hiking boots that day) and boy - that beach is all rock and no sand, and it's SHARP!
Not nearly ready to be finished, Ben grabbed Janene and said it was time for an adventure - so they went for it (she was better prepared than I, despite no warning... go figure?). As they waded through the surf, I was able to shoot some pictures - among them some of the only we have of Janene pregnant with the new one, so that was probably good...
I think that every time we've been out somewhere, I have a picture of her bending down to show Ben something tiny. At the beach it's usually a crab or something; in the forest it's a caterpillar or something else interesting - she is quite in tune with her surroundings, much to Ben's delight.
I don't remember much about the rest of the day, but in looking back I sure am glad that we took that little detour. Sometime's that the best thing that can happen in a day, you know?
Man, did this summer fly by for everybody else as fast as it did for us? It sure feels like we just turned around and BAM - summer is over and September is here! So... where the heck have we been, and what have we been up to?
To start, Janene is nearing the final hours of her pregnancy with our second child - literally. She's officially due on September 10, but we're anticipating an earlier arrival than that (as in, we spent the whole day running errands so that she could walk and maybe stumble over that edge...). This has certainly made for an interesting summer, between getting the tent sale up, opening pallets and pallets of freight (thanks to our fantastic employees, spearheaded by one of our newest, Donna - GREAT job guys!), converting the back room to Christmas preview (which really hasn't been finished yet...), to converting the entire store over to Fall and Halloween - all while she has been sick!
That said, the store looks FANTASTIC - I don't honestly remember a time when we've had as much Fall and Halloween as we have this year, and that doesn't even touch the Thanksgiving that hasn't made it to the floor yet. And it doesn't touch all the stuff that's still on its way in to the store! Check out tomorrow's post for some pics of the store!
At home, we've been working to get the house ready for our newest addition; we painted Ben's room, painted our room, and still have more to do than we can before baby arrives - but she won't know the difference anyway, so I think we're good. The garden has literally exploded - another post will touch on all of that - and it has been seriously awesome to be planting and harvesting and eating our harvest.
We hired two fantastic new gals to work the store - Lynn and Donna, and they are absolutely wonderful. If you haven't met them yet, come on in and say hello!
We were listed as a resource in Country Living Magazine, and as a result our online sales really took off - thanks to all you fantastic new customers! It was a fun experience that we (of course) hope to replicate. The new website didn't make it up in time, in part because Chris' computer died and we had to get that back up and running - that's also one of the (many) reasons that we were a little quiet here on the blog front.
We were also able to bring Janene's childhood piano up from Esther's house, and it's sitting beautifully in our living room - now we get to find someone to tune and repair it - but it's here, and that's a major first step that has given Janene much joy. Additionally, she's been able to tinker in some art - the first in a very long time - and we're all hoping she can do more of that.
All in all, it has been a busy but wonderful summer, even if parts were a bit stressful. And now we're going in to Fall - Ben starts preschool on the 7th of September, we'll have a new child in the mix, the store is looking better than it has in a long time, there's tons of great events going on at Country Village, and life just feels good!
How has YOUR summer been?
Summer is upon us (according to the calendar at least... hopefully the weather will follow suit soon!) and THAT means it's time for the Bothell Farmer's Market here at Country Village Shops! Check out the official pages for vendor lists and details, but basically you NEED to be here on Fridays throughout the summer! :) The market hours are "officially" 12pm - 6pm, but really they are generally here and ready earlier than that.
Last week Janene, Ben and I walked through the market and we were very impressed with some of the vendors! Of COURSE there are flowers, a veggies, plants, and produce... But there was also a brick oven pizza vendor (it smelled AMAZING, and looked perfect), handmade soaps, handmade pottery, handmade (dried) pastas, arts and crafts, and SO much more! Without further ado, here's some pics from last week - come check THIS week out, support your local vendors and farmers, grab some fantastic deals, and have a blast all at the same time!
A little over a week ago we started getting some of our plants in to the store, and we're just SO excited! Part of our thrill is, of course, directly related to everything we're doing at home in the yard - and it's fun to see what some of our options are at the store. But that's not all - we've got some amazing prices on our plants, as customers have pointed out recently. Since the back patio isn't yet finished and opened (still have to clean it up and fix the roof...!), our current options are lined up ready for you to browse as you walk in the front door of the store - and we must admit, we think it looks pretty darn great!
We've got both annuals and perennials - from Osteospermum and fuschias (the non-hardy variety for hanging baskets) to bleeding hearts, hostas, lilys, Peonys, a killer Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) that grows SIX FEET TALL, Fuschias (the hardy variety), and SO much more... now is a great time to come in to the store!
Do you have a garden at home? What's your favorite plant(s)?