Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bus Barn Bonanza

I had a "bazaar" date with my husband Saturday.  I took him to the Barn!  LOL!!!  It's actually the Bus Barn Bonanza in Auburn.  It was started up by two school bus drivers who are both jewelry makers.  It's where vendors, whether it be handcrafted or direct sales, get together the first Saturday of each month to sell their wares.  The event benefits the Auburn High School and helps fund scholarships. Really cool idea! 

The "barn" was kind of tight, especially through the hallways, where tables were set up.  There was one bigger room and one small room with more vendors.  This is not the kind of venue that would allow for strollers, as there is no room.  But I was surprised how many vendors were actually there and fit in the space.  The majority of the vendors looked like they were handcrafted items.  I love to see how creative and talented people can be, and hopefully making money doing something they love. 

We bought a few things.  Easter is coming up, so we bought each of our kids a little gift.  I bought a pair of earrings for myself.  My husband bought soap and body butter.  It's funny because I make these body products myself, but I'm currently out of beeswax to make anything at the moment.  The soap was made and sold by a 14 year old boy.  We were so proud of him and his little business called "Suds and  Verse."  He names his soaps with a word or phrase taken from a quote or verse from a famous author or person.  The soaps smelled really good, and so we bought a couple. Now my kids need to do something just as productive. :)

If you are in the area, check out the Bus Barn Bonanza in Auburn. Open the first Saturday of the month: Feb., March, April, May, June, Oct., Sept., Nov., and Dec. Their website has more details and location.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The British Pantry

We went to Neville's Restaurant this past weekend with our daughter and her friend.  It's a British restaurant and gift shop/bakery.  DD and her friend love Dr. Who, and wants to visit London so badly.  Well, this is as close as we can get at the moment.  I never knew this place was here.  We had our Around the World Cooking Class on England months ago in this post. So it was fun to try some authentic British food.

Our server was neither friendly nor rude, just efficient.  DH ordered the Royal Tea (I think it was Royal, they have a few different plate options), but wasn't offered a choice of tea, nor did we know he had a choice.  We overheard the other table being offered a choice, so now we know.  But, the house tea that he was given was really good.  The teapot came in a cute little cozy.  The dish consisted of some cucumber sandwiches, crumpets, fruits, jam, and a tart (which tasted like almond, and delish).  Our first taste of crumpets and we really liked it.  We divided this tiny little tart into 4 pieces, so we each could have a bite.

DD ordered the Fish and Chips (small, which means 1 fish).  It was perfectly fried, both the fish and the chips.  The fries were thick and golden.  The batter was crisp and the fish was nice and firm. It was not greasy or mushy at all.  Although it was very good, I have to say the recipe I used in our cooking class for the batter and the tartar sauce were just as good or better.

DD's friend ordered the Vegetarian Salad, which looked like a garden salad with a side of potato salad.  She said that it was really good.

I ordered the Lancashire Pasty.  It is a pastry filled with ground beef and some vegetables.  It has a pot pie kind of flavor.  It tasted good, and in the middle was some gravy.  I really did like the dish and it was very filling, but not something I crave.  If/when we go back, I would try something new.

After lunch, we looked around the little shop.  It is loaded with all kinds of British treats and snacks.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the Jaffa cakes my husband loves, or maybe that's a good thing.  It's a hot item and they sell out fast every time they get it in.  They had all kinds of cute gifty things.  I found these measuring spoons by Ganz and loved them so much, I had to get a set.  Regardless of the $20 price tag.  I thought these were exclusive to England, but you know what?  Amazon carries them too. Ganz ER27033 Mom Measuring Spoons - 'Mom, the Heart of Our Home'  This link looks like the set I bought.  They are made from zinc alloy and are suppose to be lead free from what I looked up.

The bottom right is a blueberry pie

The bakery had quite the selection of tarts, so we picked out a few.  I got the pecan tart and everyone else got the Viennese.  We all enjoyed them and they are the perfect size for a little treat.  They also have their meat filled pasties you can purchase and bake up at home.  They had other meat filling besides the flavor I had for lunch, like a chicken curry.

I guess the whole place is considered The British Pantry and we really enjoyed our time there.  The shop was fun to look around.  DH plans to take our son their for an English breakfast, since he couldn't join us for lunch.  Definitely stop by this place and give it a try.

Neville's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

*post contains affiliate link

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mesquite, NV

We just spent a lovely week in Mesquite, NV.  It was our chosen destination because DH wanted to play the Wolf Creek Golf Course there.  I guess I wouldn't say Mesquite is a family destination.  There really isn't much to do there unless you gamble or golf.  It does make for a good location for some National Parks and it's about an hour away from Las Vegas.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, and it was a really nice hotel with an outdoor pool.  It sat atop a hillside, so there was a pretty view of the valley.  It was warm and sunny, compared to our record breaking "wet" month here in WA.  DH loved Wolf Creek Golf Course, very expensive, but they gave him a $25 gift card to use each time he went.  He was sweet enough to use one of them to buy me a really nice golf shirt, as a surprise.

We drove to Nevada, which is about an 18 hour drive.  We did get stopped by a cop once. We were on our way to Vegas, just to have lunch at In n Out Burgers before heading to a State Park.  DH passed up a cop, but didn't know it was a cop until he started flashing his lights at us.  DH says, "Yeah, we're heading to Vegas to get me some In n Out Burgers, man."  The cop kind of chuckles and says he's never heard that one before. Tells us to slow down, that they won't run out of burgers, and lets us go.  It was pretty funny and the guy was cool. 

The only park we got to see this trip was Valley of Fire.  BEAUTIFUL!!!  We didn't spend much time there because our main goal was to get some nice sunset photos of "The Wave".  It's about 1/2 mile hike to "the wave", so 1 mile round trip.  Park in parking lot #3, and walk across the road, you'll see the trail markers for "the wave."  There were a few people there, not many.  From my understanding, most people don't know about it because the park doesn't really advertise the location.  The whole park has such beautiful scenery.  I wish we had gotten there early to spend most of the day, but DH had to get him some In n Out burgers. :)

We did take the kids to Vegas, and we apologized to them beforehand for what their innocent eyes might see.  Our first stop was Count Kustoms.  Have you watched that show?  He's a total car guy and they have a free admission tour of his auto collection.  Unfortunately, Count wasn't there himself, but we did recognize a couple guys from the show.
We also went to the Hoover Dam.  Our kids were toddlers the last time we were there.  They built this cool arch bridge across the canyon, so now the traffic kind of bypasses the dam.  You can walk onto the bridge and get this awesome view of the dam.  Our family golf day was spent at Boulder Creek Golf Course, which was pretty close to the dam.    DH first used Golf Now to schedule our tee time and it was around $41 per person. Then I called to cancel because we thought we wouldn't be able to make it. I spoke with an unpleasant fellow, sounded pretty gruff.  Then I called back the next day to uncancel the cancel because we decided to go anyway.  Mr. Gruff answered and was still gruff  and huffy and told me it would be $31 per person.  That sounded better, as it was a discount from Golf Now.  When we got there, someone other than Mr. Gruff was at the desk and said, "I don't know why you are being charged so much, it's only $21 and the kids get the junior discount."  Our total went from originally being $164 to $78.  That was a blessing of a discount.

On our way out, we drove through the Vegas strip.  It was cool to see all the lights, and hopefully the kids diverted their eyes from inappropriate advertising.  It's been years since we've been through here and it has changed dramatically.  Really beautiful and extravagant though.

Mesquite was a really nice place to stop.  Not too close to Vegas, and not too far.  We did some geocaching and learned our way around a bit.  You should also stop at Southwest Spirit and do some shopping.  LOTS of beautiful gifts, jewelry, moccassins, arts, pottery.  I should have bought myself something, but I was being frugal.

On our way home, we drove through the Salt Flats in Utah.  We didn't make it to the Speedway, but we got to the rest stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats where people stop to take photos.  We got there minutes before sunset.  We were able to walk on it.  I was thinking it would be like sand, but it was hard like ice.  Really cool and covered a vast expanse of land.

Bonneville Salt Flats

All in all, we had a great vacation and made it home safely despite the snow over the mountain passes.  And I just gotta say, we LOVE Redbox.  We have a DVD player in the car.  The kids would get tired of watching the movies we already own, so we use to have to purchase movies while on the road.  This time, Redbox was along our route and we just rented movies along the way.  I love that you can rent from one Redbox and return it to another, even if it is out of state.  They watched quite a few movies. One being Ender's Game.  I didn't think I would like it from the previews, but it turned out to be really good.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blue Valley Meats

I recently heard about Blue Valley Meats and placed an order a couple of months ago.  They are from Eastern WA, and they deliver to several different locations throughout the state, plus Alaska. Drop offs are once a month.  They sell 100% grass fed beef and lamb, 100% gluten free beef, free range chicken, and natural pork. They also have raw milk, eggs, and turkeys.

I ordered the 15 min. meals beef pack. For about $100 this is what you get:
1 Top Sirloin Steak
1 Pkg. 1/4 pound Beef Patties
1 Pkg. Pre-Cut Beef Stir Fry
1 Pkg. Carne Asada
1 Boneless Ham (fast left-overs)
1 Pkg. of 2 Pork Chops
1 Pkg. Bulk Breakfast Sausage

We really liked the beef, except I wouldn't get the beef patties again.  I didn't much care for the texture and I like to make my own patties.  The ham was excellent.  I just baked it in the oven for a couple of hours at 300 degrees to warm it through.  The bulk breakfast sausage was also very good.  It had a nice mild flavor.  I made a creamed sausage over toast with it.  Almost like a gravy, but thicker.  As for the pork chops, they were thick cuts and very fatty.  I didn't seem to get as much meat as most of it seemed to be fat.

Separately I ordered the pork butt to make BBQ pork sandwiches, and we enjoyed it.  I felt good knowing that our pork was non-GMO fed and no antibiotics or growth hormones.  I definitely plan to order from Blue Valley Meats again, though I may not get this particular package. 

We met the driver at our drop off location, and I was kind of surprised to see quite a few people there picking up meats too.  I really don't remember how I found out about this company, but all these people knew about it.  We were fortunate to find a package of leg quarters in our bag when we got home.  I wondered if it was a first time purchasing gift. :)  I emailed our driver to let her know we had this extra pack of meat.  She said their loss was our gain, and to go ahead and enjoy it.

Check out their website and see if there is a location drop off near you and give their meats a try. Grass fed, NON-GMO.  I will give their ground beef a try next time, though I really like Snoqualmie Cattle Co. ground beef, it is a lot more expensive. 

If you order from Blue Valley Meats, let us know what meat cuts you like to buy. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lilla Rose April FOTM Sale

April Fools!!!  I did a double take when I saw this one, wasn't quite sure what to think of it.  But below is the real April Flexi of the Month:
Great News!!!  We have a 24 hour sale starting April 1st at 12AM: Get 15% off the April Flexi of the Month and You-Pins!!! 

Easter is coming up and you may want to think about how you'll fix your hair and if you have a flexi to match your outfit.  Lilla Rose has many designs to choose from.  Check them out here: Hairglitz

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vendor Event-Lacey

Last weekend my daughter and I went to a vendor event at the Lacey Senior Center.  I wasn't sure what to expect, plus my concern was the distance.  It was a bit over an hour drive.  I didn't get to look around because I had my own booth, but from what I could see, there were some pretty talented crafters.  DD found herself a pretty ring and earrings.

Here is my booth for Lilla Rose:

I think my table is 4ft.  I may have to invest in a bigger one, as it was a pretty tight set up. As my daughter was taking photos of my table, a fellow vendor came over and asked if she was in a photography class.  She is, actually.  He said he is trying to build a website and needs a photographer to take pictures of his merchandise.  He makes really nice wood work.  So I basically lost my helper for a couple of hours while she went and took pictures, but she enjoyed herself.  He was really nice and gave her a fancy wooden pencil he made.  Once she sends him the disc of photos, he will send her a wooden sign with her name carved in it.  He said she was attracting sales because people were wondering what she was doing. :) He doesn't have his website up yet, but here are a few photos of his work:

I really enjoy doing these vendor events and seeing how excited some ladies get with discovering Lilla Rose hair jewelry.  My daughter is helpful when she's actually at my table. :) 

I had been eyeing a fellow vendor's hair all day.  She had long, thick hair and I recently bought a Mega size to add to my stock.  She finally came over and I said I've been waiting for her. :)  She bought my Mega and was so happy she found something that fit her hair.  Isn't it funny how a hair clip can make a woman feel happy!?!  Well, these do for sure and I love them myself.  Check out my site:  It was a good day overall. I'm glad I drove the distance and spent some quality time with my daughter.  Fortunately, she doesn't mind going to these shows with me.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lilla Rose Spring Sale

The new Flexi of the Month (FOTM) is: Flying Jewel-humming bird and flower.  The picture is kind of hard to see, but go to my website link to get a better view.  It's 15% off the FOTM and 10% off select items.  Type "Celtic" in search keyword to see all the sale items.  March 7th to March 8th only-hurry before they sell out!  They ship to US, Canada, and Mexico.


Celtic Cross

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