Monday, June 27, 2011

Avonlea's Sandbox

Recipe: One tupperware storage bin, two bags of play sand, two cinder blocks, shovels, buckets, pine cones, and one busy little girl.






Summer Days


Friday, June 10, 2011

Amazon Mom

Diapers are expensive. Especially if you just pick them up at the grocery store. Convenient, but pricey. So I've got my diaper-buying down to a discount science. I go to Target for my disposables and wipes, and I go to Babies R Us for our gDiaper inserts. We use cloth diapers at home during the day, but we use the biodegradable gDiaper disposables at night for absorbancy and traditional disposables when we're out and about. I can only find the gDiapers at Babies and Target has the best price around (now that we dropped our Costco membership).

I hate making these special trips once a month or so. It's such a time-waster.

I just have to share my new discovery: Amazon Mom. My friend Rachel told me about it. Here's what it boils down to: It's free. It comes right to your door. Delivery is free. And the prices are better than anywhere else. How perfect is that?

Here are the details: You sign up for Amazon Mom, which is free, and you are automatically given a 15% discount on products for mom and baby. They also run special deals on other products, like right now they have some for Father's Day.

You are automatically given the benefits of Amazon Prime members, which usually costs a membership fee. Amazon Prime gives you free two day shipping on anything, not just Amazon Mom products. And as long as you continue purchasing a certain dollar amount of Amazon Mom products (I think $25), this benefit is extended for another month. Just from the two packages of diapers I ordered, and a pack of cloth diaper liners (something I can only find in specialty stores, so I seldom buy), I now have free shipping through October.

Here's the best part. When you select the diapers or wipes you want delivered, you have the option to "Subscribe and Save." You can select to have that product delivered every month, two months, three months, or six months. By selecting this option, you save 30% on that product. And it comes automatically without having to think about it. That kind of thing makes me nervous because I don't always want to be locked in, but you can change the frequency or cancel altogether at any time.

You can also buy formula, bottles, baby food, carseats, strollers, and maternity clothes--all with the 15% discount and free shipping.

How genius is that? Saving time AND money. I'm so used to having to choose one or the other. I'm in mommy heaven.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Morning on the Deck...

...with friends and books.


It was so fun to see Lilly and Finn DeLatour today!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Treehouse Point: a Fairy Forest Escape

I feel as if I've just returned from a visit to the elves.

Matt and I wanted to get away this weekend with Avonlea, and we had planned to crash at a friend's cabin out near the coast. But they were having some problems with their plumbing, and bugs, and we were beginning to wonder if we'd be better off camping somewhere instead.

Then someone gifted us unexpectedly to go spend the night at a lodge somewhere! We've been wanting to visit Treehouse Point, where you can stay in beautiful handmade treehouses, only a 30 minute drive from where we live. Matt booked the reservation and we headed out on Saturday afternoon.

We thought it would be smart to stay in the main lodge this time, with a toddler in tow. We didn't feel at all deprived by not staying in an actual treehouse, though. The lodge was gorgeous, a craftsman style home with lovely grounds all around it.

We stayed in the Fir Suite, which had a private bath, a four-poster bed, a window seat, and even a little sunroom where we set up Avonlea's crib.


I don't know if it's just a girl thing, but there's something wonderful about needing a footstool to crawl into bed.



I couldn't help thinking how Avonlea's sunroom would make the perfect mini-office for a writing retreat.

Downstairs, the main building felt like a home. We were the only ones staying in this part of the resort this weekend, and although the main floor is a public space, we were the only ones who made use of it in the evening. We lit a fire, sat in armchairs and read, drank wine, and pretended we lived there for real.

Entry

dining area

Hearth

Upstairs, there were two other rooms: the Cedar Suite, with its magnificent built-in bed, and the Madrona room, an add-on for families or bigger groups.

Cedar Suite

Madrona Room

Matt, Avonlea, and I loved exploring the grounds, which are situated beside a bubbling creek that feeds into the Snoqualmie River, and filled with wandering trails through the old-growth forest.


The Treehouse Workshop building and event space

The deck of the Pond Room beside their pond

Upper Nest treehouse, Japanese maple tree

Back of the Pond Room

Trilium treehouse

Temple of the Blue Moon treehouse

We were delighted by all the unexpected features on the property, open to all guests. In addition to those I've photographed below, there was a spot on their property map labeled "Big Dream Net." When we got there, we found a huge net high up in the trees, with a long ladder leading up to it. It seemed an ideal place to disappear for hours with a book and a cup of warm, swaying up in the treetops.

The Outlook platform

A fairy forest stage in the woods


The Hermitage: a tiny treehouse with a built-in desk and 180 degree view of the creek


The River Nest, for dreaming



first river


After a down-home meal at the Fall City Roadhouse, and our lovely fireside evening, Matt and I snuck outside to peek at the Big Dipper, perfectly framed by the treetops of cedars. We fell asleep to the sound of frogs in the marsh and woke to the sound of birds. I snuck out early with my journal and a sweater to sit in the River Nest and welcome the day.

Breakfast back at the lodge was far more than we expected: homemade granola (I asked for the recipe), plain yogurt, honey, oatmeal, fruit, strawberry turnovers hot from the oven, boiled farm fresh eggs (mine had a light blue shell), coffee, and orange juice.

After a family hike on Rattlesnake Ridge, just a few exits further up I-90, we headed home.

This place was truly magical, stirring Matt's sense of creativity in design and nature, and stirring my own desires for homesteading and hospitality. It isn't often that one's experience of something so far exceeds expectation. We're keeping our ear tuned to their summer concert series, and may be back to visit this summer. What a perfect event venue.

We also can't wait to come back sans Avo--I want to stay in Trilium.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Curls

I love Avonlea's freshly-washed hair--so full of soft little curls.




It reminds me of when Matt and I were in college. He wore his hair loooong for a while--I think it was a social experiment--and my friend Ashley and I used to try to find the "curl of the day." Which, of course, meant the curliest, fattest, spirally-est curl we could find protruding from that fierce mane.

Hopefully Lady A won't have such a crazy 'fro as her daddy, but I do love her sweet little waves.