Best Ballard Mother’s Day Gifts

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Photo Courtesy of Blackbird

If you’ve shopped around and still haven’t been able to find the right gift for mother’s day this year, don’t worry we have a great list of items that every Ballard mom is sure to love! Does your mom love to keep the house smelling great? Head over to Blackbird and pick up an incense pyre sampler for $30, with scents like Ai, a bright green aroma with mossy and soil tones, and Izba, a warm wood and light smoky fireplace aroma. If she’s not into incense, Blackbird also has a variety of hand soaps like the tomato leaf and clay square soap perfect for the kitchen.

Does your mom love the outdoors? Check out Second Ascent’s collection of base layers and yoga pants. They also have a ton of camping gear, including this awesome Marmot trestle sleeping bag designed for the female physique. If your mom digs local art, head over to Venue and check out their collection of photography, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other fun gifts. If your mom could use some time to unwind, get her a spa package at Habitude Salon and Spa, we like the Beneath the Spring Thaw Falls package which includes a hydrating salt glow, massage, scalp revitalizer, followed by a hot rocks sauna.  If your mom really enjoys dining out, take her to Ray’s Boathouse on the waterfront, or dine at Bastille and pretend you took her to Paris for the night! Whatever you decide to get her, make sure to tell your mom how appreciative you are for all she does this Mother’s Day, and Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful Ballard Moms!

Last Minute Gift Ideas at the “Last Minute Market”

Have you been procrastinating on your holiday shopping? Me too. If you’re looking for some original gift ideas, check out the Seattle Creative Arts Center’s “Last Minute Market” tomorrow and Saturday for great local finds. The last minute crafts fair will have 15 or so local artists selling jewelry, glass, paintings, and other items for holiday gift-giving.

Some fun items for sale this year include hand tailored ties, glass blown vases, and Colter Candy Company will have their small batch toffee on hand! The fair will be held Friday from 12:00PM-10:00PM, and all day Saturday from 10:00AM-5:00PM. Feeling overwhelmed and shopped out before you’ve even started? They’ll also have pleasant music going, and snacks available to settle some of the Holiday shopping nerves.

Seattle Ranks High on Best Cities to Trick or Treat; Which Ballard shops are Handing out Treats?

How does one rank trick-or-treatiness? The statistic gurus over at Zillow are at it again, this time measuring which cities across the country are the best for this year’s trick-or-treaters! Seattle ranked fourth overall, behind, Honolulu, Boston, and San Francisco, and they measured the rankings according to who is likely to provide the most candy, with the shortest walking distance, in the safest neighborhoods.  According to their findings, the top neighborhoods around the city include Loyal Heights, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, Madison Park and the Roosevelt area.

Halloween is just around the corner, and  it falls on a Wednesday. If you’re taking the little ones trick or treating this year, be sure to check out the list of which Ballard shops are handing out candy from 4-6pm on October 31st. Happy Halloween!

Desserts in Jars Author Comes to Ballard For Tasting and Book Signing

Photo Courtesy of tidymoms.net

It’s no surprise Seattle has recently become obsessed with putting just about anything in a mason jar, from pickling veggies, to beer, to flowers in a haphazard vase. But desserts created in jars is a new concept to me, and author Shaina Olmanson has an entire book dedicated to the delectable art. Tomorrow afternoon she will be joining the folks over at Hot Cakes, who also have a love for serving desserts in jars, to promote Olmanson’s book, “Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats That Shine.”

The book signing will take place at Hotcakes in Ballard at 1:00pm, and attendees will get to sample some of the desserts from the book, as well as some of Hot Cakes favored sweet treats. The event is $20 per person, and everyone will receive a signed copy of the book. For more information on the event visit Hot Cakes.

Good Bye Plastic Bags, Hello Sustainable Seattle!

After this weekend, the plastic bag ban in Seattle will go into affect July 1st, so if you haven’t already been accumulating some reusable grocery totes, this weekend might be a good time to get your hands on a few! The law states that all retail stores are prohibited from providing customers with single use plastic carry out bags, even those advertised as compostable, biodegradable, etc.

Retail stores will now be providing customers with any size recyclable paper bag, at a cost of a minimum of 5 cents per bag. Bag charges will show up on customer receipts, a friendly reminder to bring your totes with you next time you pick up your groceries. If you’re picking up party favors and fireworks this weekend for the July 4th holiday, say your goodbyes to the plastic bag for the week to come! If you haven’t picked up any bags yet, Safeway stores in Seattle will give away 32,000 free reusable totes this Sunday in preparation for the Bag Ban.

 

Is North Ballard Seattle’s Best Kept Secret?

Trulia recently released a report analyzing neighborhoods that locals look at but out-of-towners frequently look over in the daunting home searching quest. These would be considered a city’s best kept secret. According to the report, summarized in the Seattle P.I., Ballard’s zip code of 98117 is Seattle’s best kept secret. Encompassing Loyal Heights, Crown Hill, North Beach, Whittier Heights, and Greenwood, the 98117 zipcode offers quietly upscale homes without the expensive prices. Personally, I live in the 98117 zip code and think it is a fantastic neighborhood. It offers lots of restaurants and stores, yet still has a neighborhood feel to it.

What do you think? Do you think 98117 is Seattle’s best kept secret?

Amazing Winter Season in Store for the PNW

If you’re into winter sports, it looks like we’re going to have a fantastic winter. According to a Seattle Times article, Accuweather predicts that we will have a traditional La Nina weather pattern, which means higher than normal precipitation and cold temperatures. We’re not talking pineapple expresses here. That’s the perfect recipe for snowfall and lots of it!

Looking more into the snowfall, the Cascade Mountains is predicted to have heavier snowfall after the New Year, around February and March. So, come 2012, I’m going to be in one place in Ballard and that’s Second Ascent, my favorite outdoor sports shop, located at 52nd and Ballard Avenue NW.

I like Second Ascent for one main reason. It’s not REI. Don’t get me wrong. I love REI. I’m a proud co-op member and I wear my Gortex jackets with Seattle pride. But Second Ascent in Ballard offers some things that REI cannot.

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