Friday, May 28, 2010

in this case the customer is always right...

90th Anniversary Bean Boot.

last night after work i went to the freeport outlets for the memorial day sales and before all the tourists. i got a few things...a new pair of underwear, a shirt, a casual dress, a fancy dress to wear at every wedding i'm going to this summer, and a new pair of running shorts. i finished out the evening by returning a few things at l.l. bean...from christmas.

i walked up to the customer service desk, placed my items on the counter, and explained that i didn't have a receipt and these items were from months and months ago. "oh, it's can return these items now, or next year...or the year after that...we'll take them back." i liked this l.l.bean employee with the short amish style beard. he was talking my kind of customer service!

at the end of our interaction it felt like he actually meant it when he asked if there was anything else he could help me with and when he wished me a nice night. as i walked out i had a thought...imagine if:
  • everyone who worked in customer service was this good and happy at their job.
  • all companies had a product guarantee as simple and customer focused as l.l. bean.
  • you had something to bring back because it broke, it wasn't what you wanted, or you were dissatisfied and the person you dealt with said "i completely understand, you're right" from the very second you arrived at the counter. how refreshing! no need for a manager. no need for raised voices. no storming off. just quality customer service.
l.l. bean you are just one of the many reasons i love maine.

well dears i wish you a wonderful memorial day weekend. i can't wait to share all of my weekend adventures with you next week...and tell you about the awesome care package i received yesterday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

hot days and cool treats

i'm going to make avocado popsicles this summer...and i can't wait. the recipe calls for mixing up avocado, coconut milk, cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt. i'm hoping to experiment and make them as healthy and delicious as possible. i have my little freezer pop molds all ready to go. oh to be sitting in the back yard in the afternoon sun with a good book, a comfy chair, and a popsicle. now that is summer!

speaking of mashing up food...leslie and i have plans to take a day to make eva a bunch of homemade baby food. doesn't that sound like fun? i usually ask my friends who are having babies to invent a baby food flavor...part of a silly gift i make them. the responses have ranged from apple crisp to steak. right now i'd make cucumber mint flavor...or maybe an apple, peach and raspberry combo. what flavor would you like to invent or bottle up?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a farm share...

Tantre Farm Share, week 18
this summer o and i decided to create our own kind of csa. instead of joining a specific farm share and getting what ever they give us each week, we are going to take the money that it would cost to join and commit to supporting a wide range of farmers at the weekly market for 22 weeks (from the beginning of june to the end of october). that's $20 per week that we'll get to use at the market to buy exactly what we want.

since i never carry cash, i'm going to take out the money next week and place it in an envelope marked with a sticky for each week. it will be a delicious, fresh, and healthy treat for either the wednesday market in monument square or the saturday market in deering oaks...or both!

fresh corn, black cherry tomatoes, berries and more! and...i'm so excited to hit the market today. i'm planning to go before work since it i supposed to be in the 80s around lunch time. i think my upper lip just started sweating when i wrote that (too much information?).

stay cool my little cucumbers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

pile of color...

we found this pile of rope on a dock in new harbor last weekend. so pretty! i imagine the float ropes will be repurposed as doormats or maybe they are just piled up and ready for another season at sea.
either way, i love the colors against the weathered dock...especially the light blue rope with yellow flecks and the solid blue rope with the curly tail.
if i could go back in time i would have written a word or left a message in rope. i probably would have written hello or oh hey! or how do you do?

what about you...what would you have written?

Monday, May 24, 2010

farmer jill?

Tomatoes at Union Square
it was a farming kind of weekend...

jersey and i went to the farmer's market on saturday morning and it was just love...yellow wagons, kids, dogs, portlanders, plants, bluegrass. i could have walked back and forth along the vendors all morning.

yesterday i got a glimpse at the farm of my dream...acres of land with trails leading to the river, a post and beam barn, big gardens, and old farmhouse with a post and beam addition perfect for a home business...just potential! i had visions of big farm parties, selling fresh eggs, tilling the whole pasture and making a huge cutting garden, and driving a little farm tractor. o assures me that a farm like this will come our way in time. i'm having a hard time being patient.

to make matters worse...i watched food, inc. last night, which made me want the farm even more. since it's clear that it may be a few more harvests before this is the case, i've decided that 'll just have to support those already living the dream. and that's a good thing! watch out portland farmer's market...yeah you wednesday...and you too saturday...farmer jill is on the loose!

p.s. i'm going to host a tomato tasting party this summer. doesn't that sound like fun?

Friday, May 21, 2010

and the survey says...

Dogs Delight

did you know i got a dog bed for my birthday? no dog...just the bed. so we are looking for a puppy or young dog. yesterday my boss asked if o and i had taken the eukanuba breed match test. we had not, so this morning i did.

i'm excited for o to take the test on his own and see what he gets.

i was told an american water spaniel would be a good fit. when i googled for images i got this...

no no no were supposed to tell me that i love wheaten, welsh, and airedale terriers.

my boss said he has been trying to figure out what to enter so it will tell him to get a newfie (that doesn't drool)...i may try the same tactic for the cuteness above!

however, we are open to recommendations. any ideas?

happy weekend all.

image credits: 1, 2, 3.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

fresh eggs...

on our way to new harbor this past weekend we stopped to get fresh eggs at penniman's. you pull up to the barn down a long dirt road. abby and ryan stopped here once and it wasn't quite what they'd expected. abby thought she'd open this door and go into the barn, but that isn't quite the way it is...
i just love the colors of the barn and the sign...and that when you open the door there's a fridge right there.
you put your money in the little container and voila...fresh eggs!
which reminds me...i need to eat breakfast, shower, and get to work in 33 minutes. got to go! have a great thursday.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the book of awesome...

bryce and kelly gave me the book of awesome for my birthday. guess what? it's awesome!

the book was born out of the blog 1000 awesome things and it is incredible just how simple (and awesome) the items are in the book.

here are just a few things...
  • when cashiers open a new checkout lanes at the grocery store
  • using q-tips the way you aren't supposed to use them
  • intergenerational dancing
  • the moment at a concert after the lights go out and before the band comes on stage
  • bakery air
  • using all the different soaps and shampoos in someone else's shower
  • when you get the milk to cereal ratio just right
  • pushing those little buttons on the soft drink cup lid
  • when you push the button for the elevator and it's already there
  • saying the same thing as a sports commentator says just before they say it
  • squeezing through a door as it's shutting without touching it
  • listening to couples tell you how they met
what would you add to the list?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 rocks...

my parents gave me 30 heart shaped rocks for my birthday that they gathered from the beach near their a few whoopie pies (which is what my mom calls the rocks with a perfect white stripe in the middle). so sweet. i love 'em..the rocks and my parents!

i've added most of them to a small corner of my garden...
which i finished planting with all the great plants and veggies my dad gave me this weekend...

i feel like our backyard is really coming into it's own...and i'm loving it. come on over for a visit and check it out. this month of may is really something lovely...don't you think?

Monday, May 17, 2010

i was surprised...

on friday i thought i was going to jedd's house for dinner. well...i walked into my surprise 30th birthday party that o had planned. i couldn't believe it...i'd already had my birthday the night before! so many special friends were there. then...i walked into the kitchen to get a drink to find a bunch of boston friends hiding in there. holy crap! this picture accurately captures how i felt...shocked, beyond happy, surprised, and a tad confused.
i say confused because em had been lying about her plans for this evening and weekend for weeks, changing our shared google calendar, trying really hard to disappoint me on my actual birthday, and throw me off on this party. it all worked...even the little things that could have tipped me off didn't...i just fell for it.

i spent the night loving the decorations seen above (thanks kari, christina, and little birdie), bouncing from conversation to conversation, reminding the bryceners not to forget to move to maine, and looking around many (many) times to realize how blessed i am to have these friends.

on saturday we drove to visit our parents, where we celebrated again. o assures me that is it...there are no more surprises or cakes. phew!

photo credits: poms and kelly k.

Friday, May 14, 2010


number 30

today i am filled with such deep gratitude for all the love, emails, cards, comments, gifts, chats, calls, text messages, visits, and thoughts i received yesterday. i think over the course of a year i often forget just how important birthdays actually are...and how much they really matter. thank you to all the friends and family who helped me to remember that in such a big way yesterday. i feel beyond blessed and thrilled to call myself 30.

happy weekend to each of you. any fun plans? we're gathering with friends tonight to celebrate everyone being back in town after many adventure and getting together with our families later in the weekend for a belated mother's day and birthday celebration.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

loving jill-happy 30th to you!

as some of jill's biggest fans, we decided to do a little surprise for her today since it’s her 30th birthday! so, first off, happy birthday jill! we are so lucky that you were born (thanks jim and chris!) and even more lucky that we get to have you in our lives. we’ve hijacked your blog on this special day to list just a few of the millions of reasons why we love you so much.

so, here it is, 30+ reasons why we are loving jill... today and always:

1. your wonderful blog and how it allows us to be a part of your daily life even when we’re separated by great distances!

2. how you allow your friends to be your personal hairdressers and even give them second chances after they royally mess up (hair always grows back!).

3. your amazing bursts of creativity and how you can whip up anything in seconds.

4. your quick wit and great timing. no one delivers a dirty joke quite like you!

5. your love of board games...even if you are a little competitive at times!

6. answer: jill sady. question: who is ridiculously loyal to alex trebek?

7. the merkin shop – always funny! (if you don't know what that is, look it up!)

8. you are a dreamer and a schemer.

9. how you think everyone should write a blog because you think everyone has something valuable to say.

10. your love of guster and "arrested development".

11. you’ve got a great style all your own.

12. your twinkly eyes.

13. the creative gift giving.

14. the coolest purple leather jacket.

15. your love of maine and your constant campaigning to get everyone in your life to move there!

16. how quick you are to drop everything to support a friend during a tough time, and - if the situation calls for it - offer them a ginger chew!

17. you find beauty everywhere – color, nature, people.

18. you always know when someone needs a cheerleader and are happy to fill that role J

19. the limitless and insightful questions.

20. your ridiculously amazing memory!

21. your love of bridges in songs.

22. your stalwart commitment to self growth. you inspire those around you to better themselves.

23. you constantly challenge yourself – the book you’re writing, your yoga certification, running a marathon, the outward bound trip, and much more!

24. that you’ve reconnected with your high school boyfriend!

25. your community organizing skills.

26. your depth and passion.

27. how you want to be a doula to help women in a personal and profound way.

28. your love of trader joe's and whole foods.

29. the way you devour nonfiction books.

30. you are classic in every way.

and a few extra for good luck!

*your impressive and diligent flossing regimen.

*10-minute lunchtime phone chats!

*the easter egg hunt you plan each year at your parents' house

*your love of list-making.

*your infectious laugh.

*who you are inside and out!

we love you jill,

abby, jana and tobi

(and a special thanks to the sady family for all the wonderful pictures)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

the netherlands: a to z...

Google Earth alphabet - The Netherlands - capitals

here is what i loved...from a to z (these letters above were all shot in the netherlands):
aerial view of the tulip fields when we arrived on the plane
cars that give way to bikers...always!
dutch language
english spoken, too
fresh mint tea
giggling when catharine's daughter thought o was dutch (such a compliment)
i amsterdam sign
just wandering
kids riding on bikes (on the back, in a baskets, on the front, and newbies in baby bjorns)
library that puts any other i've ever seen to shame
mozzarella and pesto sandies all over the place
north amsterdam bike trip
orange bike and their relaxed way of doing business
peddling through the rain with renee
queen's portrait on the rijksmuseum
students and hearing about their experience
train ride past the miles and miles of greenhouses
using the bike bell...and when o did it at the stoplight and everyone turned around
vondelpark dreamhouse
witnessing all the old tourists in the red light district
xing over the many canals and bridges
you tube videos of the dam square crowd craziness (catharine's son is the kid in the second one)
zzz...the most comfortable bed for good nights of sleep

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

new take on an old favorite...

it was a little rainy while we were in amsterdam, which made me crave warm tea...all the time. the tea would come in a glass mug with two sprigs of fresh mint stuck in the steaming hot water. there was always a small spoon and a little tea biscuit on the side. it was just perfect and so soothing.

i'm excited to make this drink on the cooler days and nights of summer (maybe today!) and the iced variety with lemon in the dog days. we had to cover our plants last night...and included in that group was fresh mint. i put the plant in a container so it doesn't go crazy and spread everywhere.

there are too many things taking over the back yard right now...morning glories, cats, and regular old grass. speaking of which, i tried to cut the grass (which was so tall that i saw the path where the cats had walked) yesterday evening with our old fashioned push mower and now it looks like a five year old boy found his dad's hair trimmer and gave himself a haircut...short in places, really short in other places, and pieces that were completely missed. i even tried to get a running start like o's dad showed us. however it's hard to do on .04 acres. so is going to take some time today and fix it. athankyouverymuchbubby.

from fresh mint tea to fresh cut grass, i wish you all a wonderful tuesday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

in need of a big breakfast...

The Porthole Fountain , Portland ~ Maine

hello dears! o and i arrived home late last night from amsterdam after a full day of avoiding the ash cloud, movie watching, waiting in airport lines, and driving home. phew. it was so nice to step into our house last night. o went directly to bed, i had to shower and wash away all my plane cooties!

we both slept until 1:00pm/13:00 amsterdam time and just 7am our time. and...oh our house has lots of condiments, canned goods, and odd foods...nothing we could make a meal out of. so we are off to the porthole for the lobsterman's breakfast, which essentially includes a little bit of every breakfast item on one big plate...eggs, homefries, a pancake, and more.

yum yum yum.

i haven't had a second to load videos and photos, but i will this week. in short, our trip was fantastic and amsterdam was a dream (minus the stampede and the trash strike...more on that later).

Friday, May 7, 2010

downright impressive...

oh no big deal...i'll just peddle my 3 little kiddos on my bike...back, front and in a milk crate, in my boots and my shades. these moms are impressive...and strong! that tandem bike with the additional seat for a kid that we saw at the bike swap last year should have been ours! have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

fat and happy...

i love how fat and how many rolls this gal had. she's a string bean now...who'd have thought? take a peek at the personal blog of the folks at the blog is found...funny parents, silly kids, tons of style.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a row of little ones...

abby posted this photo on her blog the other day of all the little newbies from her birth center class. i love how the three in the middle are crashed out. and...i love little ezra's yellow pants.

can't wait to meet the little guy! he get's to meet aunt jani this week!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

guest blogger: kari herer!

i was so excited when my good friend jill asked me to be a guest blogger on her fabulous blog! I wasn't sure what to post about, but then while while picking out some fabric for an upcoming birthday party, I thought - what about my number one fan who is turning number one? so here it goes...instructions in making a one year olds reversible birthday crown.

first pick out your fabric, i chose an amy butler print and blue felt to give it a little stability.

here is the template i used...

you will have six pieces in total. four sides and two front pieces.

sew in the elastic band. then hide the poms on the inside and sew the top together as shown

i then sewed the bottom two panels together and flipped it right-side-out leaving the bottom of one panel and edge.

sew the other side of the elastic in and flip again. now sew the remaining open bottom panel closed (i wasn't so perfect about this part)

for the fabric number, i used a double sided tape along with some sticky tack paper and sandwiched the fabric inside. once cut out, i removed the paper backing, placed the number on the finished crown and finally removed the printer paper template.

use any combination of fabrics, poms, rickrack, or trim. they are made to be fun, fast, and simply adorable on your little one year old.

happy birthday little birdie,


kari h.

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