Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Small Business Spotlight: The Local

Tri Cities is having a resurgence of small businesses and I am loving it!

The Local has been open for some time now but I finally found this gem and feel the need to shout it from the mountains. Tucked in off of Gage Rd in Richland, the Local is awesome! With simplistic decor and clean lines galore, this coffee shop is cozy without feeling rushed. A few tables, some couches and outdoor seating make this place feel like home. 

With a simple menu and delicious paninis this is the perfect place to dish about your week with a girlfriend,  work on the computer with the free wifi, or spend some quite time with yourself and a cup of Joe. 

Only downside, it is in a strip mall. I guess that means good parking but what is with the Tri Cities and strip malls? I will never get it.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Vineyard time lapse

A glimpse into Washington State Vineyards as flowers become berries and berries become wine. 

This Chardonnay cluster is almost in full bloom. Washington hit bloom in record time this year. With record heat units and ideal weather, fruit set happened without a hitch. 

Fast forward a few weeks and those flowers have set into berries. 

And now, we begin the mad dash toward harvest with verasion appearing on theWahluke  Slope in both red and white varieties.  Check out those purple berries!  

Now taking bets on the likely hood of harvest beginning before Labor Day here in Washington 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

First Anniversary, A Look Back

Sara Welch Photography 
Easter Sunday marked our one year anniversary.  We dove into the top of our wedding cake that has been living in our freezer for a whole year. It was just a little freezer burned but we got to enjoy it in the sunshine.  And the center of the chocolate cheesecake was pretty darn tasty, even if it has been a year.

Top of our wedding cake... One Year Later
Sara Welch Photography

One whole turn around the sun as a Lybeck and as Chads wife.  And oh what a year it has been.

You can read more about our wedding Here

We spent the year Wine tasting with friend, Cheering on our Cougs, and even made the trek to ABQ for a great southwestern style football weekend, Pep rally included... even if our beloved Cougs lost...

We got to see the SUPER BOWL CHAMPS play at the Clink

We Gardened, and dreamed of our plans for 2014

It is safe to say we are both looking forward to what year number 2 has in store!  And the 60 more after that!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Raised Lettuce Bed

When the sun is shining and the weekend is upon us, there is one thing to do.  Garden!

Full raised bed tutorial after a tour of the fun stuff! The greens inside the bed!
Some serious mixed lettuce
Kale screaming "juice me!!"
Spinach! To be paired with the strawberries for salads all summer long!

With a trip to Home Depot and the purchase of:
            • Two 12' x18"x2" boards
            • 12 Bolts
            • Three 12'x1" PVC pipes
            • Three 2'x1.5" PVC pipes
            • 6 U fittings
Plus the use of One 8'x4"x4" Board that we had on hand
Not having kids (yet), we removed the kiddo play kingdom from the backyard, leaving enough wood for raised beds, our compost area and we are hoping to create shelving within our shed! 
 Up-cycling at its finest!

We were able to make the bed for around $36.
We cut the boards to create 8'x4' beds and made sure to leave enough room for a stool, bucket or even better, a wheelbarrow between beds (and fences)!
Each hoop is 12', to anchor the hoop, cut the large diameter 2' pipe in half and attach with the U fitting.

It was a little bit of work but seeing these greens thrive is pretty awesome! And I must give thanks to my hubby for manning the saw and drill!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Beauty of Spring

Spring is upon us in Washington Wine Country

The birds are chirping,  the temperature is in the 70s and the valley is dusted with beautiful blooming fruit trees.

These lovely apricots are breathtaking against the bright blue sky. Follow me on Instagram @laceylybeck

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In The Garden: Lettuce Bed

April means it is time to start rolling in the garden.
Cleared away are the wind blown tumble weeds and leaves galore.

With our starts going crazy, our to-do lists are shouting "spring!"
Mmmmm, onions!

A few weekends ago, the hubs and I set some goals and were able to transform one area of our garden:
the lettuce bed.

I always wanted my lettuce bed to be in a sitting garden area, a spot to catch some shade in the hot summer months. A spot to munch on the spoils of the garden as we Barbueque. And darn it, I had to have a spot with stepping stones and walkable mosses and plants! What an awesome way to use the brick we have lying around!  And of course what is a lettuce bed without a bed. You know, for the lettuce. And the hubs built quite the bed! 8'x4' this bad boy is sturdy, with PVC pipe hoops to boot! With some plastic sheets added on top, we were able to build a nice little raise bed for under $50 including the soil! 
Our future salads and green smoothies are looking GOOD!

These bad boys got transplanted into it last weekend! With a lot of love and a little bit of Miracle Grow hopefully they will be dinner soon! 

Photos to follow soon, are you doing any garden transformations? Have any advice on growing spinach, kale, or lettuce? I would love to hear from you,

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Road not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
  I took the one less traveled by,
 And that has made all the difference."
                           -Robert Frost

It amazes me how I drive this road often, for work, traveling between vineyards and yet on this day, it was like I was viewing this with new eyes.  I had to stop. 

I turned around a corner and there it was.  An image which took me directly to Robert Frost's lovely Poem, The Road Not Taken.

I was moved to stop and soak in the meaning of that poem which I memorized and fell in love with in 4th grade poetry class.  Life takes many turns and I believe we all have the power to choose our path, not by a road map but by an accumulation of many small decisions over time.  It is easy to compare oneself to others, wanting for more, wishing to be a little different.
 Comparison really is the theft of joy. 

I am reminded to be me.  Take risk and adventure.  Go against the grain.  Be different. Be YOU.
In this materialistic world, be you and be the best you.  That is all you need.  
Be unique.
Be You.
It makes all the difference.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Change in the Air

And just like that, in the blink of an eye, Spring is in the air all around Washington Wine Country!
The vineyard floors are greener by the day, my sign Spring has sprung!

February was an interesting month to say the least.
6 inches of snow.
Temperatures in the single digits.
[ok East Coasters and Mid-westerners... I know that is nothing to you]
Our grapes were able to slide by unscathed.

What is your sign that Spring is on its way?
With longer days and more sunshine ahead of us, spring really gets me excited!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seeing Green

A few days after starting my seeds, I am seeing Green!!!

The Lettuce has sprouted and is getting me excited for Spring!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rubber to Road: Starting up those starts!

We have talked about it.
We have budgeted for it
This is the year we will have a kick ass garden.  Step One: From seeds to seedlings.

The Seedling vs starts  debate has been settled and here I present you with grow station.  Here is what you will need for your own starts station:

Total Cost: $125

We were able to find the lights and bulbs at our local Habitat for Humanity store here in Richland.  I recommend one cool and one warm spectrum bulb per light.  I do not spend the money on the garden grow lights as these have seen me through thus far.

Why start our own?  I love to see the first germination, the first leaf unfold and see as our jungle of a garden grows and grows.  I love to pick exactly which variety I want to grow and have lots of options.  I love tending to an indoor garden when the February cold hits.  And finally, we are looking forward to staggering our plant dates a few weeks to hopefully encourage a long and plentiful harvest.

I cant wait to see the first little guy push through the soil!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow days in Wine Country

The rest of the country has been buried snow for the past forever (seriously... we get it midwesterners, -40 degrees sucks) but we here in Washington have just now decided to jump on the winter train!  And it is beautiful!

Snow fall in the vineyard made everything feel quiet and peaceful.

 Pruning is in full swing.  Each bud will produce 1-3 clusters per vine.  Each one of those bad boys is important for the perfect end product, that delicious glass of wine.

 The haircut looks good on 'em!

And the snow shows all the footprint from deer and coyotes.  Cheers from wine country!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The beginning of a Garden

Ever have that dream of getting home from work and going to the garden (with a cold beer) to harvest what you will cook for dinner?

 I have that dream.

The Gasparotti's Garden Haul
We are friends with an awesome couple in Walla Walla whom have inspired us.  Almost all of what they eat comes from their garden. They can, They pickle, They are basically AWESOME.  So awesome, in fact, that after opening their home to us, guiding us around that awesome town, cooking dinner from their garden and hanging out in the rain under cover, we got to wake up the next day, join them in the garden and pick enough veggies to fill two grocery bags home.  Like I said, AWESOME!!!

And this year, we are attempting to get on their level.

With hopes of more time outdoors, less time in front of the tube and a healthier "dirt to table" relationship with our food, the hubs and I are diving in!  The to-do list is long but the reward will be great!

2013 was a good start but there is lots of work to be done and am looking forward to see our garden grow in 2014!

Monday, January 27, 2014

ABQ: Pep Rally and Game Time!

Nothing is better than a prebowl game pep rally!
The Cougar faithful gathered at the ABQ Old Town Square.
The sea of Crimson
Fans of all walks of life who have traveled from far and wide to cheer on the Cougs!

We sang the fight song, cheered on the band and the ensuing drum-off that followed and ended the day with some delicious Southwest fair.  Although the game was a heart breaker, we held our heads high and look back at the progress we have made in Mike Leach's first years!  I for one am hoping for a bowl in Hawaii next year...

Go Cougs!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

12th man at Starbucks!!

Have you heard!
12¢ tall coffees at participating Starbucks locations around Washington State tomorrow in honor of Blue Friday!

Wear your Hawks colors and enjoy yourself 12 oz of fan excitement in anticipation of Sundays big game!  What go to dips are you making for the game?! If you are lucky enough to live in the big city, check out the Seahawks Press release Here for rallies and other discounts happening around Seattle.

 I think it is time the Husband and I whip up some Smoked Jalapeno Poppers on the Traeger,
Recipe to follow!

Now get ready to hit Starbucks in your best Seahawk gear and Go Hawks!

ABQ in a weekend

The Husband and I went bowling to end 2013.
Go Cougs!
As alumni of Washington State University, season ticket holders, CAF members, we knew it was our duty to root our Cougs on in Albuquerque as they took on the Colorado State Rams. Seriously it took me like a week to figure out how to spell that so from here out, I will refer to the ABQ!

Have an A1 day!
What does one do in ABQ, I asked myself before we planned our big journey south.  We had to do the Breaking Bad tour, stoping at the building used for A1 Car wash as well as creepily driving by The White's home for the show.  The home is actually someones home, those poor people!

Bloody Mary at Scalo, Marble Brewing Company
Our time in ABQ was also spent wetting our whistle, south west style with some delicious Southwest style chili Bloody Mary's followed by seeking out a local microbrewery.  The Marble Brewery did not disappoint.  With a nice outdoor sitting area complete with picnic tables and bowls for your pooch to cool off and sip from and an open, wood lined interior, we had an enjoyable backdrop for some afternoon vacation beers.  It is always 5 o'clock somewhere, right?  We enjoyed a limited release Pumpkin Cask Dark Ale (pictured above) as well as their IPA and sips of some creamy Oatmeal Stout.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Garden Debate: Seeds or Seedlings

Planning a garden can be a challenge.  What variety to pick?  If you plant eggplant, will your husband eat them?  When do I need to have these in the ground by?

Lets rewind and tackle the first of many big questions: Do you start your plants from seeds or do you purchase your seedlings from the store?

Why start your plants from seed in your own home?  The reasons are different for each gardener.

Tomato Seedling reaching for the light
From Seed 

Pros- More seed and variety options, You know exactly what the plant has been treated with, the joy of watching the seedlings grow and prosper.
Cons- Time, lots of time planting the seeds, transplanting seedlings, watering, 

Purchase Seedlings

Pros- Ready when you are.  Varieties (Hopefully) already selected for your climate. 
Cons- May already be exposed to blight, Mildew, other diseases.  Heirlooms may be limited

The husband and I have opted to start our seeds in our home this year.  Little lessions from 2013 will be employed to make this the most productive year to date on Holly Court!  Last year I attempted to start everything from seed in our home.  

Jalapeno Peppers
Ready to Harvest
 Ill prepared, I ran into road block after road block.  The cat laid on all my little precious baby starts, smothering all the cucumbers and carrots and squash.  We had our wedding & honeymoon extravaganza and while we were off enjoying the beach in Hawaii, our little starts took a nose dive to the grave.  That is also how we ended up with 9 jalapenos plants, one bell pepper plant and none of the other 4 varieties of peppers I had in my goal garden. Same with the 5 Cherry tomato plant and no heirlooms. You would think I would have the whole "plants need water to live" thing down by now... working in Ag and being a farmers daughter and all.   And finally, we were too cheap/busy to purchase a lamp so the seedlings that survived were spindly little guys.  I seriously didn't think they were going to make it.  BUT this year will be different!!!

My garden pinterest board is brimming with ideas, My sights are set high and I am so excited to see where 2014 will take my garden! 

 Next up: Seedling Starter Stand and Light