A Weekend with Grandma and Vegan Beer & Food Festival.

Happy first day of summer!!  I can’t believe June is more than halfway over.  Summer is so much fun but it is also typically so jam-packed – I’m afraid I will blink and miss it.

I know that summer also means I’m at my computer less, and I apologize for that.  Although this summer brings big changes for us – just a few weeks until both boys are in school a few mornings a week.  I am going to miss them so much, but I’m also really excited about having some hours I can plan on for getting some much needed work done!

So backing up to last week – we had a very short visit from Grandma!  She was only here a few days, but we sure did manage to do a lot.  She flew in Thursday morning and the boys got right to work begging her for books and to play board games.  Even Indy piled on for attention.

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And since I can never just take it easy and relax, I decided my mom visiting was the perfect time for me to rip Cullen’s room apart and paint it!  Why not, right?

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My main motivation for painting was the impending arrival of the bunk beds I had ordered that would be arriving a few days later.  I never imagined I’d be able to paint the room first, since someone is always sleeping in there!  But we had a string of 90 degree days that meant the bedrooms were too hot for sleeping.  We ended up hooking up the window AC unit in Graham’s room, and making a temporary bed for Cullen as well on the floor.  It turned out that the kids loved it, and he didn’t want to go back!

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So with Cullen’s room sitting empty for a few days, I figured I’d take advantage and get some new paint up on the walls!  The current color was okay, but sort of a dingy yellow, and it was the paint that had been there when we moved in three years ago (so who knows how old it was). 

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I wish I’d taken some true “before” pics before I started moving everything out, but you can get the basic idea. 

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I spent a whole afternoon taping, prepping, removing hardware and plug covers, and picking out paint. 

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The goal was to keep things nice and light, but a bit more neutral since the accents in the room already have a lot of color.  We also wanted to work with the existing bedding we already had (from Target!).  I picked a nice light tan called Alpaca that ended up being perfect. 

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I did one full coat on the walls before we had to wake the kids up from their naps. 

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That night, we started a new farmers market with the kombucha business!  We already do Saturday and Sunday markets, so why not throw a Friday night on there too, right?  For the rest of the summer, we’ll be at the Juanita Beach Friday market in Kirkland on Friday evenings.  Funny enough, this was the market we shopped when we lived in Kirkland – our old house is just a few minutes away!

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The first night at the market was super chilly and windy, and honestly not much fun.  And just as soon as we unloaded all our materials from the truck, we were up and at ‘em, and loading it all back in again.  The main purpose for my mom’s visit was to watch the kids while Casey and I headed off on a big adventure! 

Our kombucha company was invited to be a vendor at Vegan Beer & Food Fest – a huge food festival down in Portland.  We were really excited to participate, and it was a lot of work to figure out all the logistics and details.  We made the (poor) decision to save money on a hotel and just go up and back in one day.  So that meant we were up at 4am in order to load up and hit the road at 530am.  Coffee, anyone?

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We knew we were part of a larger kombucha tent, but we didn’t really know what to expect until we got there.  We brought our basic farmer’s market setup and hoped it would work.  A few hours later we were all set up and ready to go!

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It was really cool to be at the festival before it opened and see the giant empty field and all the tents buzzing with anticipation. 

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We were super lucky to have this awesome corner spot – which was the first thing you saw when you entered the festival from the ticket area.  All the kombucha tastings were FREE, and each ticket holder got a 4oz glass they used for tastings.  In addition to this large kombucha tent, there were rows of tents full of food and beer as well – and all vegan!

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The calm before the storm…

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The VIP ticket holders had early access from 11am to 1pm, and I was surprised at how many people there were so early in the day.  I decided I’d better eat quickly before the main door opened!  I started with this incredible vegan mac ‘n cheese with greens – to die for!

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And no meal is complete without a sprinkles donut. 

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The main doors opened and people started to flood into the venue.  It was NUTS.

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It was such a neat experience to get to be there, right along side big brands like Kevita, Health-Ade, Revive, Brew Dr, Humm, and then…Puget Sound Kombucha!  We got really great feedback from everyone we talked to, including the staff and reps from the other brands.  It was really encouraging, and made me feel really proud and grateful to be part of such a neat business and community!

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And it was super fun to be part of such a big event.  I’ve been to plenty of festivals before, but never from the perspective of a vendor.  From the inside looking out, it was CHAOS.  Thousands of people in every direction.

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And on the inside of the tent, we all had tubs of kegs and ice buckets everywhere.  There were four thousand people there sampling food and drinks, and the lines pretty much never stopped. 

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We snuck food in whenever we could.  These kimchi spring rolls were a highlight!

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And finally, at 7pm – eight hours of pouring, talking, and sampling later – it was time to break it all down.  And sadly for us, it was time to hit the road back to Seattle.  We stopped for a quick dinner at the Bye and Bye to decompress before the long drive back.  BBQ Brussels and tofu bowl HEAVEN.  Portland, I love you. 

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We drove a painfully long three hours back home and we were SO EXHAUSTED.  It was awful and we had to switch drivers several times because we were so sleepy.  Note to self, next year we will get a hotel! 

Sunday morning came so early, as the kids were up at 5am and I felt like I was going to fall over from exhaustion.  It was my mom’s last day with us, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her.  We are always so grateful for any visits out west, but this one was just way too short.  We miss you so much, Grandma!

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And the rest of the day, because I am a crazy person, I dragged my body back into Cullen’s room to finish painting before the bunk beds arrived.  I got it all cleaned up and ready to make into a new shared big boy room!

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More final room pics to come when the finishing touches have all come together.  We are LOVING  the space so far though!

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Tomorrow kicks off what will be a super busy next few weeks for us.  I feel so lucky that I stay home with the boys and that our summers can be so full of adventure and fun!  After breakfast, the boys and I will head to Bend, Oregon to visit friends for a few days.  And as soon as we come back we’ll have Mimi and Grandpa arrive in Seattle, before we all head to Lake Chelan for a few days too!  Hello summer, indeed!

I hope your week is off to a great start!