Lavender Hill Farm – Vashon Island

IMG_3535With my twins entering Kindergarten this fall, I am acutely aware this summer is very special for us, a last moment of calm before the storm of schedules, reading, writing and school activities hit. Lavender Hill Farm on Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from our home in West Seattle, was an easy day trip for us, a picnic packed in the back of my car.

IMG_3448For starters, the ferry ride was gorgeous. And we did not have a long wait for the ferry, which is not always a given during summer.

IMG_3533When we arrived at the farm, we learned it was the last week they were open (end of July). Lucky us! What a charming property, not very large, with a private home (that is available for rent most months of the year), picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and a quaint store. IMG_3536

IMG_3475You can cut your own lavender or buy a bunch already cut for $6. They have a wide variety of products in the shop including hand creams, body scrubs, and, of course, lavender oil, of which they have a few varieties. They grow 20 varieties of lavender on the property, and they distill their own oil. The lavender season is short, 6-8 weeks, so plan ahead and make a point of visiting next year.

IMG_3503IMG_3504All photos by me.—Bethany

Twilight Gallery, The Cool Girl of West Seattle

Walking into Twilight Gallery in the Alaska Junction of West Seattle is akin to stepping into a cool, artsy friend’s living room filled with elegant yet cozy furniture of various genres, arranged in funky, thought-provoking ways, the walls covered in obscure art pieces which beg you to step in for a closer look. You feel at once comfortable and a bit on edge for the mixture of energies around you. It’s a delightful space, a wickedly wonderful feast for the eyes where you could hang out all day and see something new every time you glance up. IMG_1667

But the best thing of all is the jewelry. Oh the beautiful, masterful, “how did they think of that?” jewelry. Many of the pieces in Twilight Gallery are one-of-a-kind, wearable art, true investments. Some of the featured artists in the gallery are local, but there are many jewelry designers who are based on the West Coast, around the U.S. and some are also international. The earrings I am wearing in the photo below (taken by my five-year old son) are by a designer who lives in Bali.

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Jewelry is my Achilles heel.  I have been investing in jewelry (mostly semi-precious) since my mid-twenties, and it is fascinating to see how my taste has evolved since that time, much like my style overall.  My early twenties were about looking “right,” proper and conservative. From there I began to participate more in fashion, most notably after a trip to San Francisco when I was in my later 20’s. I have never felt so plain and boring-looking as I walked around the city in awe of the fashionable gals confidently striding past me in their tall leather boots, knee-length skirts and trench coats. Now my style is more modern, clean and relaxed. I am not spending energy or time wondering what other people think about how I look. I know what I like and I wear it. Period. Love it or leave it.

Enjoy the sampling of photos I took this week in Twilight Gallery, and if you have not been there in a while (or ever), go as soon as possible and return as frequently as you can. It changes every time you go. She’s tricky that way!—BethanyIMG_1683

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Who doesn’t need a ram head ring?!
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These are so lightweight.
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Get a rope.

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Seattle Street Style – Inaugural Edition

Last fall while pondering ways to get involved in the scene here in Seattle and spread the word about my image consulting business, I got the bright idea I would take street style photos. Never mind that I do not know how to take professional photos, let alone have the guts to ask perfect strangers if I may take their photo.  Oh, dear. What’s a girl to do?IMG_0635IMG_0624

Last week I attended a MeetUp of lovely small business owners who were, thankfully, happy to allow me to turn my lens in their direction. I am pleased with how my first street style photos turned out. I still have much to learn, but my professional photographer friends keep telling me to just get out there and practice. That’s what I did.

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Most people imagine that Seattle style is casual, if not sloppy, and not at all stylish. I beg to differ! I see a lot of creative, fashionable people here. Regardless of where you live, dress well for your life! A good image positively impacts your interactions and your outlook.

Zelda Zonk Consignment – West Seattle

IMG_0582I am fairly new to Seattle (just over one year), and even newer to West Seattle (11 months).  I have always prided myself with being a great shopper, and, in particular, being a savvy bargain shopper.  My previous home, Dallas, TX, is not only a mecca of wonderful shopping but also a gold mine of consignment and second hand shops.  So, it was my great delight to discover Zelda Zonk Consignment on California Avenue in the Admiral District of West Seattle on a recent drive by. The shop opened in mid-June of 2015, culminating a long-time dream of shop owner Carrie Zimney to have her own boutique.

IMG_0586Once I stepped inside, I knew I had found one of my spots.  The racks are stocked with quality brands like Vince, Tory Burch, J. Crew, Halogen and DVF in near mint condition. Carrie is friendly and helpful, yet not at all pushy or sales-y.  Much of the space utilizes recycled materials, going hand-in-hand with the consignment concept of clothing recycling.  Carrie recently opened up the back room of the shop, which upon my most recent visit was well stocked with designer jeans and jackets. Overall, the shop is well organized, which if you have shopped at consignment shops as much as I have, you know is not always the case.

IMG_0576I recently consigned with Carrie, and she makes the process easy. She sets an appointment for you to bring in your clean, current items, and she lets you know what she is taking and where she is pricing it while you wait. You can track your sales and credit online, and whatever does not sell by the end of your consignment period is donated to a worthy non-profit organization unless you otherwise arrange for pick up.

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Carrie is currently accepting items for spring, which means the fall/winter inventory is being marked down. Now is the time to jump on great deals for next season! Here I am on Instagram modeling a couple of stylish layering pieces I spotted on my last visit. While these items may no longer be available, you can be assured Carrie has many things in-store that are covet-worthy. As always, if you would like assistance finding pieces that are right for you, I am at your service. Happy bargain hunting!—Bethany Siggins

Canon Camera Practice

Being the new kid on the block in Seattle, and not being super comfortable networking at luncheons and by other traditional methods, I have been thinking of ways to meet people and to spread the word about my business that would feel natural and organic.  I have always enjoyed photography, though I have never taken a class.  And I love street style photos by The Sartorialist and others.  So, why not try street style photography here in the Northwest? The style here is vastly different than what you see in Dallas, and I think it would be cool to try to capture it.  Seattle, as one of the fastest growing cities in America, is quickly becoming a melting pot of cultures and fashions.

I have bitten off more than I can chew, honestly.  Professional photographers make it look easy, and these days everyone with an iPhone thinks they are a pro. But there is no going back now.  I bought a nice starter camera by Canon and a 50mm prime lens that was recommended by two professionals.  Below are a few photos I have snapped recently in practice sessions.

I will definitely need your encouragement and a lot of courage to approach strangers on the street once I feel I can capture some decent photos.  Wish me luck!  Have a great weekend!

FLOR to the Rescue

FLORsignFLOR popped upon my radar earlier this year when a friend on Facebook asked where to buy a quality rug at a good price.  Over and over the responses to her post were, “FLOR.”  When I looked into it, I discovered FLOR is a modular carpet tile system, which gives the customer the freedom to create a rug in whatever shape, size, color or style they desire.  I was intrigued, and I filed that little nugget of information away for later use.

Fast forward to summer. We are settled in a lovely craftsman-style home in West Seattle with beautiful hardwood floors throughout.  As you enter the front door of our home, you can see straight to the rear of our home to our family room which is just beyond our open kitchen.  This lengthy stretch of hardwood begged for a runner to not only add spice to our interior but also to protect the floor from foot traffic.

I went to FLOR’s website to investigate my options.  It is mind-blowing, actually.  I was stumped.  I decided to best place to start would be to order samples.  My lack of understanding must have showed having ordered a couple of squares for pet rugs.  Woops!

Thank goodness FLOR has design consultants to assist.  A consultant from the Seattle store e-mailed me shortly after the samples arrived to see if she could help me.  I immediately made an in-store appointment for a consultation.  She and I discussed the space, our aesthetic and our interior colors.  She guided me through my options, and she kept it simple.

By the end of our appointment, I had happily settled on a lovely multi-colored patchwork runner that covers the most highly trafficked stretch of our entry floor.  I love that I was able to incorporate many colors we have in our home.  The various textures and patterns I chose keep it from looking basic or boring.FLORWithPics

I installed it myself, and that part was much easier and quicker than I expected it to be.  I highly recommend FLOR.  When I walk in our home, it makes me smile.

If you live in Seattle, contact their store at 206.448.3365.  Ask for Kirsten.  Address: 2000 1st Avenue, Seattle, 98121.

Siggins in Seattle

FamilyPhotoHi, everyone.  My apologies for not keeping up with my blog, newsletters, etc.  The move from Dallas to Seattle on January 23, 2015 was harder on my body, my mind and my soul than I had anticipated.  But here I am, still standing (better than I ever did – to copy a phrase from Elton John).

As most of you have likely learned by now, John (my husband) took a job in executive recruiting for Amazon Web Services which necessitated a move to Seattle.  It was a very difficult decision for us as we weighed many pros and cons for moving to Seattle versus staying in Dallas.  Ultimately, we had to look at the much bigger picture.  This job would provide John with a great career challenge and opportunity, which benefits our family.  So, here we are!

We had not been told before the move how difficult it is to buy a home in Seattle (low supply, high demand).  Despite the odds, I trekked out almost daily to see homes all over the city and on the east side as they call it here.  Many people were praying for us, and it showed.  God was in control.  In 30 days’ time (miraculous by Seattle standards), we had a contract on a home in West Seattle.  We took the above family photo on the back deck of our home in April.  At least John and I appear happy about it!

We moved into our lovely blue craftsman home Easter weekend.  We love West Seattle, which has a gritty, urban feel mixed with a friendly, small-town vibe.  In addition, we live 1-1/2 miles from Alki Beach, which is where many Seattlites congregate in the warm sunny days of summer.  So, along with being new residents of the Pacific northwest, it looks as though we are also going to be “beach” people!  Who would have thought?

In the coming days, weeks and months, I would like to introduce you to some of the places I’m visiting in Seattle and in West Seattle, and keep you in the loop on the things I am doing here.  I hope you will enjoy the posts.  Thank you for reading!  I miss you, Dallas! xo