My favorite Eats in NW Washington State.

There’s just nothing like going back home after a long absence. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest so I get all exited and start making lists of things I want to do and people I want to see. But inevitably my list ends up being a bunch of places where I want to eat!  So here is my list of places that you absolutely MUST go if you ever visit the north-west corner of Washington state.

Bow, WA – The Breadfarm. This tiny place is the bakery to end all bakeries. They make THE BEST sourdough bread around and OMG the cookies are amazing! It’s a little off the beaten path but it is SOOOO wort the effort to go check it out. Be sure to bring cash because they don’t accept credit cards. They also go to most of the local farmer’s markets so you may be able to find them that way also. What i like to get here is a big box…then I start picking cookies that look good to me. Cookies for breakfast even? You betcha!

Mount Vernon – Skagit Valley Food Co-op. The Co-op is Ahhhhmazing! It is an organic grocery store that sells everything from produce to essential oils. They have a shop upstairs where you can buy jewelry and kitchen gadgets but their deli is what always gets me! The food is fabulous and good for you too! They have a hot table full of yummy goodness, desserts, a salad bar and cold case full of prepared foods. They also pull a mean shot of coffee.  My favorite thing is the coconut cuban rice pudding. Try it, you won’t be sorry!

Anacortes – The Store This little shop at the top of Anacortes is a big surprise! It doesn’t look like a whole lot from the outside but boy do they deliver! The sell wine and other various sundries and also have a small cafe where they serve coffee and snacks. But where you will find the line of people is at the bakery counter where you can buy humongous muffins that will leave you wanting more and more and more! My must haves are the coconut muffins or a bag of mini macaroons!

Anacortes – Gere A Deli This place is an Absolute MUST. The decor is vintage and the food is fabulous. EVERY single time I go to Gere A Deli I get the Reuben. It’s hot and a little spicy and they use this sweet mustard that just makes my mouth drool even thinking about it! My second favorite is their Clam Chowder that is served on Friday. But if you want some you better get there early because it sells fast!

Seattle – Little Water Cantina This place is a little slice of Mexico right in the heart of Seattle. They are located on Eastlake Boulevard just south of the University of Washington on the east side of Lake Union. There is seating outside that overlooks the boats and they have monthly live music during the summer. I tell people about this place all the time! The MUST HAVES are their margaritas (one kicks my butt) the homemade guacamole and chips and the Posole. The posole is so good that it makes ME – a confirmed poor cook want to learn how to make it!

Seattle – Ivars If you grew up in Seattle you know all about this place. It’s the best. It’s the one place that my Dad absolutely HAS to visit when he comes to town.  It’s entirely nostalgic and brings back tons of memories of eating outside with my grandparents and feeding the seagulls my uneaten french fries. There are several Ivars locations but I recommend the one on the Seattle waterfront.

So there you go, the best eats from a girl born and raised in Seattle. Enjoy!

Wild Carrot Herbals – You gotta try this!

I’ve been on a crusade lately. I want to eat food that is fresh from the garden or farmer’s market. I want to use Essential Oils as natural remedies for health and skin care and I want to use products for my body that are a combination of all things good: fresh, healthy, holistic and clean. And Wild Carrot Herbals is all of the above!

I first became acquainted with this company a few years ago while working in a yoga studio in Stanwood, WA. I fell in love with the Wild Rose Eye Cream and also their “Lord, my hands are so dry!” lotion.

So I looked them up online and found out that they offer a Sampler Pack by mail. For only $5 I received this great packet of trial size products.

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In it I found good things like Luminous Lemon & Lavender Eye Brightening Cream and Gaia Goo Healing Salve (say what?) Borage Butter Cream (sounds like a dessert) and even Hemorrhoid Healing Salve – glad I don’t need that today. LOL.

Every email I received was signed with “Love and Blessings” from the owner and I found myself looking forward to checking my email to see what I would find there – THAT doesn’t happen very often with companies that email me – how about you?

In the world of Sacred Commerce they are doing everything right. They are a small family owned company in rural Oregon. Their packaging is made from recycled materials. They make everything from scratch and package it in small batches. Everything has an expiration date – because it’s FRESH and organic.

But more than anything I love this company because of the way they make me feel. I feel like I am a valued customer and that I am furthering the ethics that I choose to live by….by working with them…..AND that’s the kind of company I want to purchase from.

Why the name Wild Carrot?

from their website:

“According to the ‘Flower Essence Repertory’, by Patricia Kaminsky and Richard Katz, Queen Anne’s Lace flower essence harmonizes both ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ energies, so that one can stay connected with the Earth, yet also be emotionally clear and objective in one’s spiritual insight and vision. The Queen Anne’s Lace flower (aka Wild Carrot) helps to ground and stabilize, as well as to refine and sensitize the soul’s ‘clear-seeing.’

See you way clear to the Wild Carrot Herbals company. I promise you’ll be glad you did.

Peace, Love & Namaste – from Dawn.

Trying On Guard!

I get sick EVERY time I fly. It never fails. With the enclosed space, the re-circulated air and 150 bodies – some of which are carrying nasty bacteria – I’m usually a goner. Within a few days of flying my throat gets itchy, my eyes water, I start sneezing and the misery sets in.

About a month ago I had a flight planned from California to New York for Valentines weekend. My boyfriend was being trained for a new job and he wanted to show me the big city! The problem was that he had been sick for a few days and I was really dreading coming down with his bug.

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(That’s me in the middle being overrun by two BIG guys on either side!)

As a Yoga Instructor and Health/Wellness Advocate I always try to use products that are holistic and pure which is getting more difficult these days. I don’t like it when I buy cough drops and there are ingredients that I can’t pronounce on the label! I want to use products that are pure and simple and effective! It’s the same principle as clean eating – no chemicals, no by-products and simple ingredients please.

So I decided to try something new. I bought some On Guard from a friend of mine. On Guard is an essential oil that you can use topically or take internally to boost your immune system and I was willing to try anything!

During the trip I used On Guard like perfume. I dotted a little under each ear, on my wrists and at the base of my neck. I used one or two drops each application. My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other for far too long and with the extra incentive of Valentines Day I knew there would be at least some Kissing!!!! 🙂

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(Proof of kissing.)

The trip was wonderful. I loved touring New York City even with the rain and snow. Even my flights went smoothly – which is a feat when flying all the way across the country! I returned home and began waiting to see if the sniffles would set it……and I waited……and waited……and waited…and almost a month later I still haven’t been sick!

So, if you’re like me and you are prone to picking up every sniffle going around, if you work in a school or daycare environment, If you are a nurse, If you fly a lot, If you have kids who get sick often, give On Guard a try. It worked better than I imagined. It’s the newest item in my arsenal of Good Stuff!

If you are interested in learning more about On Guard or any of the other doTerra products please visit my website and have a look! If you find something you like, you can have your choices shipped directly to your home! There are several On Guard products that can be used in your laundry, to sanitize your kitchen or even brush your teeth!

https://www.mydoterra.com/dawnjex/#/

Hayloft Yoga – Bow, WA

As I lay in Savasana last night, cuddled up in my blanket, I could hear the sounds of horses munching their food, birds flying under the eaves and somewhere in the distance an owl hooting soft and slow. Hay Loft Yoga was a magical experience. I had never done yoga in a barn before but somehow the smells of hay, dirt and grass made me feel right at home. The location and smells helped me let go of everything that had happened in my day and allowed me to revel in the here and now.

I met Jessie Tierney several years ago when she was organizing Free Yoga Day at the Mount Vernon Co-op. Jessie is one of those people who just makes you smile when you see her. Her energy is calm, sweet and friendly. Not only is she a great yoga teacher, she also works as a Physical Therapy Aide and is on her way to school in Virginia soon to become a Physical Therapist herself.

Jessie’s love for alignment was evident in last night’s class. She came around and made sure our hips were level and that we were continually “elongating our tail bones.” She even showed us how to use our hands to feel the position of the pelvis in Virabadrasana I. Class was slow and thoughtful and thorough. I had to modify a bit because I had taught two classes earlier in the day and I was feeling pretty exhausted but by the time class was over, I was feeling better, looser and happier.

What I love the most about visiting other yoga teachers and other studios is that as a yoga teacher I need to be fed sometimes. My body gets tired, my energy gets low and I can begin to feel like I have nothing new to share. But last night Jessie’s love for yoga and horses and her students filled me back up again and helped me remember why I do what I do.

You’ve probably witnessed something like it before. When you are around someone and they just totally love what they are doing – it’s evident. It’s like they sparkle. There is a special energy shining out of them that you can’t help but notice. It’s a beautiful thing to see and to experience!

Jessie will be teaching every Tuesday night at 7 pm at Double S Quarter Horse Ranch in Bow Washington until the beginning of August. I’m planning to go as many times as I can before she heads off to Virginia. Please join her and see how the sounds of horses nickering in their stalls, the smell of peppermint oil and the view of the sunset through the barn doors brings you a whole new understanding of what a yoga practice can be.

P.S. Here is a link to a blog about their home in Sedro Woolley called The Woolley Green House.

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Fidalgo Fitness in Anacortes, WA.

I can’t lie. I thought it would be easier. When I looked through the window at the pool all I saw were gray heads. A pool full of senior citizens! They were talking to each other and smiling. It looked like they were having fun so I figured how hard could it be? I’ll give it a try. I thought Aqua Aerobics would be super easy. Boy, was I in for a big surprise!

My first class was deep water aerobics. After donning my swim suit, I strapped on a wide blue float belt and synched it in tight – to keep it from sliding up to my armpits! I then swam gently over to the deep end of the pool – which in all honesty makes my tummy a little squishy feeling – and tried to find a spot where I wouldn’t bump into anyone.

Kirsten, our instructor is young and perky. She is red headed with fair skin, freckles and enough energy to light up Time Square! She played upbeat music with a quick rhythm and started us out jogging in place – then moved on to jumping jacks followed by cross country skiing. Very quickly I started to warm up! I found that the water provided a resistance to my movements that supplied a full body work out that was amazing!

I also learned that I could alter that resistance by opening or closing my fingers. Bending my knees made things easier but keeping my knees straight and moving from the core and hip worked my body in a whole new way! And increasing the tempo made my muscles work overtime! Kirsten varied our pace and encouraged us to keep our core engaged which made me feel stronger as I bobbed/danced about trying to keep up with the choreography.

I have since attended two more classes and I absolutely love the work out that I am getting from this type of exercise! Now I know why the pool is full of senior citizens! It isn’t because this class is easy, It’s because they are SMART people! They know what works. They know that exercise in the pool provides a low impact, full body resistance work out that you can modify depending on your needs! And it’s fun!

So, if you live in the area, please come on by the Fidalgo Island Pool & Fitness Center in Anacortes, WA. We have a weight room with cardio machines, group fitness classes upstairs and a wonderful pool with open swim times, lap swimming and water fitness classes that will kick your butt into shape! And if you drop in, tell them that Dawn sent ya! See you soon!