Fun Stuff!Tips August 9, 2021

Home Library Inspo for #nationalbookloversday

For #nationalbookloversday we’re bringing you some Home Library tips and ideas! With the right inspiration, you can make your space (no matter how big or small) the perfect space to escape the world, and curl up with a good book!


  • Choose a room/spot in your home with less traffic/noise, and lots of natural light! If that’s not an option, take the time to choose the best lamps and lights to brighten your space, fit your aesthetic, and provide ample light to read by.


  • Set the mood! Create the right ambience, based on how you want to feel in your library. Maybe you love the coziness of rich, luxurious reds and browns… Or maybe the airiness of whites and pastel blues, greens, or yellows. Maybe you want your library to be a focal point and bold colors are more your style. Whatever makes you feel at peace in your library – start with those colors!


  • Bring comfort to your home library space with the right seating… A sofa, large cozy armchairs, a swinging hammock chair, a rug with floor cushions, a window seat… Where do you want to spend your time reading and relaxing?


  • Choose the right shelving! Consider how large your collection is, how many shelves you need, what size shelving you can fit in your space, the sturdiness of the shelving to support your books, and whether you want to secure your shelves to the wall, and what will fit the style of your room.


  • Decide how you want to organize your book collection! This part can be so much fun, because there are so many ways to do it, and not a SINGLE wrong way! Do you want to organize by color, by author, by series, by genre, by size, theme, hardcover/softcover, alphabetically… The options are endless!


  • Give your home library some extra personality by adding accents like a rug – patterned, shag, Persian – whatever suits your style and feel of your room! Add some throw blankets and pillows, some of your favorite art pieces, geometric or other eye-catching shelving options, an electric fireplace, or feature books/series that are especially important to you prominently on their own shelves.


📚 Have a home library or reading nook that brings you joy? We want to see it! You can share your photos in the comments, or via our social media – Facebook or Instagram.


Tips May 3, 2021

Viewing A Home – Now What?

You’ve been scrolling through local listings for weeks… but that oneThat listing is the one. The photos are stunning, the house has all the bedrooms and bathrooms you were hoping for, and even the location isn’t bad. You are excited. So excited. You call your agent, and they get a showing set up for you. You arrive to the showing, already planning how to arrange your furniture in the living room…

But what could you be missing? 

When you’re so wrapped up in the excitement of “this could be it!” – it’s easy to lose sight of the important things you should be considering, and overlook potential issues. Of course, if you’re working with a good agent, that you trust, they should be able to help you keep these things in mind. But sometimes it’s good to just refresh your mind and ask yourself, what exactly am I looking for at this showing?

Obviously it’s important to watch for the basics – Do you see any cracks in the foundation or walls? Are there any obvious signs of mold? Do all of the lights work? Do the cabinets and drawers function? Are there any obvious broken items, like doors, light fixtures, windows, etc.? Is the fence sagging or broken anywhere? Is there moss or are there any missing shingles on the roof anywhere? But beyond these basics, what else should you be looking for or considering?

To help guide you in the right direction, I’ve collected a list of the most commonly overlooked or forgotten items to consider when viewing a home:

  1. Location – will you be willing to make this commute daily?
  2. Lot size and location. For example, is this a corner lot? How is the traffic at this corner? How much space is between you and your neighbor?
  3. Adequate Storage. Coat and/or linen closets, enough cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, a utility/laundry room, garage, shed, bedroom closets… Does this home meet your personal storage needs?
  4. Room to Grow. Consider whether this home affords you the space to grow. Whether this means an extra room for a new addition to the family, a separate living space for a family member who may come live with you, or even a home office or home gym, try to think ahead to see if this home will still meet your needs in 5-7 years.
  5. The Neighborhood – Are you looking for an active neighborhood, where you get to know your neighbors? Have you looked at things such as crime rates for the area, or speed limits through the neighborhood?
  6. School Zoning. If this is a consideration for you, check into the local school zones to find out if the schools meet your family’s needs for academics, child care, extracurriculars, transportation, etc.
  7. HOAs/CC&Rs. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the HOA and CC&Rs of the property, as applicable, as there are often rules for maintaining your property, building restrictions, livestock/animal restrictions, information on the Board structure, dues assessments, and more.

Don’t put yourself in a position to end up with buyer’s remorse. If you think the home you are viewing is your dream home, make sure that it stays your dream home, by remembering these often overlooked features.

Neighborhood SpotlightUncategorized April 27, 2021

Neighborhood Spotlight – Admiral’s Cove

Admiral’s Cove is a beautiful neighborhood perched on the gorgeous shores of the Puget Sound on Whidbey Island, just south of Coupeville. Admiral’s Cove homeowners have direct access to the Admiralty Inlet, a historic waterway linking the eastern end of the Juan de Fuca Strait to Puget Sound. With beautiful views of the Olympics, this is a perfect spot for those who love rock-hounding, kayaking, and just generally being on or near the water!

The Admiral’s Cove community was created in 1963, and a  well water system was completed that same year, to support the community. In 1970 the Admiral’s Cove Beach Club was established, and in 1992, the residents of the community voted to establish the Admiral’s Cove Water District, which bought the existing well water system, and made major improvements. The Water District is a separate entity from Admiral’s Cove Beach Club. It has its own Board of Commissioners who are responsible for providing safe water and maintaining the water system for the ACBC subdivision.

​The Admirals Cove Beach Club is not an HOA, but rather a recreational organization, as it offers “associate memberships” for those that do not own land in the development, but still want to be able to use the facilities. The governing documents do, however, run with the land, binding property owners in the Admiral’s Cove community to these governing documents, and property owners in the Admiral’s Cove community can’t opt out of belonging to the Club.

All property owners in the Admiral’s Cove Development, Divisions 1 through 7, are members of the Admiral’s Cove Beach Club. The Admiral’s Cove Beach Club Board consists of 7 directors elected by the community. These homeowners are elected by mail-in ballot, to serve 3-year terms on the Board of Directors as volunteer representatives of the entire membership. The Board is responsible for protecting the value and character of recreational areas and shared community property. The Annual Meeting of the members is generally held on the fourth Saturday in the month following fiscal year-end. At current, dues are $350 per year.

Since 1967 the Admiral’s Cove Pool has been an oasis for Beach Club members, their families, and guests. It has been recently remodeled and is located right on the beach!










The Beach Club Shelter located adjacent to the pool can be reserved by any members in good standing. Rental includes access to the open air and enclosed gazebo area, picnic area, grills, horseshoe pit, one of the two fire pits and the restroom at the east end of the pool building.

Admiral’s Cove is a diverse community, with neighbors from all walks of life, and at all stages of life. The community is very active, and likes to come together for events like Morning Coffee on Tuesdays, Community Garage Sales, and various BBQs and Potlucks! You can check out their events on their website, or see their newsletters for reports from the Social Committee.

As a homeowner in Admiral’s Cove, you can have dogs, cats, and other indoor household pets. You can’t, however, have any livestock (including chickens or other birds). So… If fresh eggs are your thing, you’ll still have to purchase them from locals who can have chickens. Admiral’s Cove is part of the Coupeville School District.



Tips March 25, 2021

Spring Maintenance!

We’ve had our official first day of Spring (though Whidbey weather, naturally, did not cooperate lol). And now we’re looking at brighter, longer, warmer days! Spring is the perfect time to do some little maintenance tasks around your home, indoors and out, to brighten things up and set yourself up for an easy summer. If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, this list of ideas is the perfect way to start preparing your home for a winning sale!

  1. Wash all your windows – inside and out!
  2. Power wash your outdoor surfaces
  3. Give your entry a facelift! Maybe brighten up your front door with a new paint job, clean the cobwebs off your light fixtures, grab a couple potted plants/flowers for by the door, a new doormat… the possibilities are endless!
  4. Paint or replace the street numbers on your house
  5. Make sure all exterior lights are working
  6. Give every room a purpose!
  7. Let the light in – Get some new curtains, clean up or replace your blinds, open those windows and make them an accent to your beautiful home, to let that Spring sun shine in!
  8. Declutter your house. Spring is the perfect time for garage and yard sales, so take a weekend and go through that storage closet, guest room, junk drawer, shed, garage… wherever it is you tend to stick the things you just don’t know what to do with! Clear it out! It feels so good.
  9. Clean everything! Everything. I know that sounds intimidating, but you can do it! Need a comprehensive list or a great monthly cleaning schedule? Let me know! I can send you some of my favorites! I’m not always great at sticking to them, but they are definitely good for motivation and ideas!
  10. Fix anything that’s broken. Now is a great time to replace those lightbulbs in your bathroom or dining room that have gone out. Replace the one piece of door trim outside, that the dog has scratched up. Replace those cracked bits of vinyl siding. Maybe even patch that dent you put in the wall, moving furniture two years ago, lol. Whatever the little fixes are, that you’ve been putting off – now is a great time to take care of them!

Whether you need a list of great local contractors or recommendations on what to fix and replace, let’s connect to make sure your house is ready for a top-dollar sale this Spring! And if you’re not looking to sell just yet (or at all), you can still reach out any time for recommendations or some ideas and inspiration!

Happy Spring!

About our Whidbey CommunityFun Stuff! March 1, 2021

March is for Reading!

Happy March! March is home to Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and Read Across America Day (both March 2!), and the whole month is National Reading Month. So to start the month off right, I’ve put together a list of fun little book shops in Oak Harbor and Coupeville for all you book lovers!

  • The Book Rack (Oak Harbor)

The Book Rack: Books, Comics, and Games is your one-stop shop for everything… well… books, comics, or games related! They have a great selection of bestsellers, a really fun kids section, diverse teen and young adult picks, and all the normal categories we’ve come to expect from book stores. Anything they don’t have, that you’re looking for, they can usually order for you!

They also have a wide variety of games, art supplies, coloring books, miniatures and miniature painting supplies, dice and dice accessories, trading cards, and more!

The Book Rack · 551 NE Midway Blvd. #3, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 · (360) 675-6705

  • Wind & Tide Bookshop (Oak Harbor)

A quaint little shop in Historic Downtown, Wind & Tide Bookshop has a wide variety and great selection of both new and used books! A large kids selection, great books about our Island, nature, and history, and fun featured picks from local Whidbey authors, make this a great stop on your way through downtown.

Wind and Tide has served as Oak Harbor’s bookstore since 1967. They can order any book you’re looking for (new or used), and even have them sent directly to your home!

Wind and Tide Bookshop · 790 SE Pioneer, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 · (360) 675-1342

  • His Place Christian Books & Gifts (Oak Harbor)

A wonderful little, well-stocked bookstore with an espresso bar inside! A large selection of books (both religious and not), children’s books, Bibles, devotionals, journals, stationary, DVDs, gifts, and home décor! Espresso bar serves up delicious coffee, tea, and even smoothies. The staff is great at helping you locate what you’re searching for, and can order items they don’t have on-hand.

His Place Christian Books & Gifts · 350 SE Pioneer Way#103, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 · (360) 675-1430

  • Kingfisher Bookstore (Coupeville)

The Kingfisher Bookstore is an independent family-owned bookstore on Coupeville’s historic waterfront. They have a great selection of both new and used books. You can also order online or by phone, and they offer shipping, delivery and contact-less curbside pickup. Delivery is free anywhere in Coupeville and the Reserve.

They also have other fun things to browse, including puzzles, games and activities, maps, art, stickers, and gifts!

Kingfisher Bookstore · 16 Front St. NW #1155, Coupeville WA 98239 · (360)678-8463



Fun Stuff! February 22, 2021

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…!

A rainy, dreary Monday today, and even more rain in the forecast. So many of us are still working from home, have kiddos who are doing school from home, shopping from home… you get my drift. With all this time at home, indoors, and now the rain – are you feeling stuck? It’s easy to let the rain discourage you from getting out and having fun. It’s easy to think that a day is “ruined” when it’s pouring rain outside. And we all know that bad weather can have a negative effect on our emotions and mood. But if you’re tired of letting the weather mess with your day, remember that it’s just that. Weather. You still have the power to make the day all that you wanted it to be.

Next time that the rain threatens to dampen your spirits, I challenge you to find something in your day to lift your spirits. Counteract that rain! I’ve put together a list of fun ideas, to help you get to brainstorming!

  • Put on your rain jacket and rain boots, grab an umbrella, and go for a walk in the rain! (I definitely recommend jumping in some puddles along the way too)
  • Go for a trail walk in the forest – the trees block most of the rain, and the quiet is so peaceful!
  • Pick up some bright flowers to put on your desk, to brighten your space as you work from home
  • Build a fort and watch movies with the kids
  • Keep your lights on around you to brighten your day (literally)
  • Read a good book you’ve been meaning to get to, but never find the time for
  • Don’t skip your workout! – If you normally head to the gym at a certain time, stick to that routine. If you normally work out outdoors, look up a workout or exercise video that you can do from home
  • Catch up with friends or family during a break from work –  talking to those you love often brightens your mood
  • Make time for crafting, cooking, baking, art or music – Let those creative juices flow!
  • Play a game with the kids or whole family, or challenge the kids to a Lego build-off
  • Get moving! – Take frequent breaks to get up and walk around, use a break to do some yoga, or even have a dance-off with your kids!
  • Play your favorite music, loud, throughout the house, and sing along!
  • Take an opportunity to check off an item on your to-do list, like organizing a closet or cleaning out a junk drawer
  • Do a fun home/DIY project
  • Have an at-home spa day
  • Surprise the kids with a pillow fight!
  • Meet friends for an impromptu lunch date at a local restaurant or café

What are your favorite ways to beat the rainy day blues?


Fun Stuff! February 13, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Things may still not look quite the way we’d hoped by this point, but you can still celebrate a lovely Valentine’s Day here on Whidbey! Whether you’re celebrating with your family, kiddos, significant other, friends, yourself, or not at all, we’ve collected some fun ideas for this Valentine’s weekend!

Crafty Type?

If you’re the crafty type, any holiday is a great excuse to get crafting! From messy paints with kiddos, to cross stitch, to scrapbooking, to anything in between – holidays are a perfect outlet for your crafting energy. Check out some of our favorites:

Kids-Friendly Valentine’s Day craft: 

Supplies: Glue, white paper doily, pink and red construction paper (or any other color you’d like to use), scissors, pencils, crayons, markers, or red paint (to either trace and color or to dip and press your child’s hand), and any other Valentine’s day decorations (like stickers) that you’d like to use. — helpful tip: all of these supplies can be found at out local Dollar Tree! — 

Instructions: Glue paper doily to red construction paper. Fold pink paper in half and cut into a heart shape, slightly smaller than the doily. If your child can’t manage scissors yet, you can pre-cut the heart. Place your child’s hand on the pink heart and trace it, or paint your child’s hand red and make a handprint. Glue the heart on the doily. Write Happy Valentine’s Day or any other message on the paper, and allow your child to continue to decorate with any other supplies you’ve gathered. Check out our example:

Adult Valentine’s Day craft – DIY Valentine Gnomes:

Supplies: fuzzy soft socks (one pair per gnome), faux fur fabric (one piece per gnome), rubber bands (2), stuffing, wooden beads (approx. 1.25″ diameter) (1 per gnome), hot glue gun, felt hearts (optional)

Instructions: For your hat sock, grab a bit of stuffing and make a round pom pom at the top and tie it off with a rubber band. Then add a bit of stuffing to the inside of your hat. For your gnome body, take another sock and mainly stuff the foot part. Then use a rubber band to tie off and take the remaining sock and fold it over the stuffed foot portion. Wrap your hat sock over you body sock. At this point you can secure with hot glue if you’d like to make sure it does not slip off. We did not show this step in the video. Hot glue your wooden ball right below the ending of your hat. Cut your faux fur in a slight triangle or V-shape so it looks like a beard and cut it the length you want for you gnome beard. Hot glue to your body sock. Decorate your gnome at with felt hearts if you wish.

(Source: Hello Wonderful )

Food Finds!

Maybe you’re going out to dinner – yay for Phase 2! – or ordering out from somewhere local (yummmm!), but another idea to make the day special is to spend some quality time preparing a meal together. Depending on your helpers, the group effort may cut down on the actual work time, and it’s something that you can do with your children as well (although in this case chances are your work will not be cut in half, lol)!

And if celebrating Valentine’s Day is NOT on your list of fun things to do this weekend, you can still take advantage of the great deals on steak this weekend, and cook yourself a delicious dinner.

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter:

Ingredients: 1 1/4 pounds sirloin steak, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 tablespoons butter softened, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley or chives, plus more for garnish

Instructions: Pat each steak dry with a paper towel. Heat a large cast iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium high heat. Pour the olive oil into the pan. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steaks in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side or until browned. Use a thermometer to cook the steak to your desired level of doneness. I recommend cooking to medium which is 145 degrees F. While the steak is cooking, place the butter in a bowl along with the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes off the heat. Place a dollop of butter on top of each steak. Slice the steak. Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired, then serve.

(Source: Dinner at the Zoo )

Fun for Kids – Easy Heart-Shaped Cinnamon Rolls: 

Ingredients: 1 tube (13 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated flaky cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing, Valentine’s Day Sprinkles

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet or round cake pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Carefully unroll each cinnamon roll into a long strip of dough, leaving one end still tight and rolled. Roll the other end of each strip in toward the center, making equal rolls on each end of the dough. Bring the two rolled ends together towards the middle and pinch the bottom middle of the dough strip to make a point that will be the bottom of the heart. Pinch together to make sure it stays formed. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake according to the instructions on the package. When the cinnamon rolls are a golden brown, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with cream cheese icing and transfer to cooling rack. Sprinkle with Valentine’s Day sprinkles!

(Source: Simply Being Mommy )

Making Valentine’s Day fun, doesn’t have to be difficult or cost a lot! Some other fun food ideas are DIY heart-shaped pizzas, heart-shaped pancakes, fruit kabobs with strawberries that look like hearts, a strawberry yogurt parfait, or cupcakes or cookies. I try to remember that sharing love is sharing your time!

But what to do?

If you’re still scrambling for some last minute ideas of fun things to do consider the following:

  • Go see a movie at our local drive-in (reservations required)
  • Go for a walk/hike at one of our many parks
  • There’s supposed to be snow?! – so go sledding, have a snowball fight, build snowmen, or make snow angels!
  • Have an indoor picnic
  • Play some fun board games
  • Challenge your loved ones to some Valentines trivia
  • Write a letter to a family member or friend you haven’t spoke with in a while
  • Video call friends or family who are far away
  • Read a good book!
  • Treat yourself! – Schedule a fun spa day or hair appointment to look forward to

Whatever you do this weekend – whatever this Valentine’s Day looks like for you – we hope that you find yourselves content and happy.

Fun Stuff! February 2, 2021

Game Day Snacks – The Real Winners!

HAPPY FEBRUARY! How (?!) is it already February?

Between Groundhog Day (please, please, let Spring be on its way!), Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and the inherent shortness of the month, it feels like this month is shaping up to be busy. So… here is a list of some of mine and my team’s go-to game day snacks! Whether you’re feeding yourself or a small crowd, these are sure to go the distance. And, bonus? They don’t have to be just game day snacks – use these all month to make take some stress out of your planning and make some fun memories!

Tina’s Jalapeno Poppers

Ingredients: 12 jalapenos, 8 oz cream cheese, 12 slices bacon

Directions: Cut jalapenos in half, and scoop out insides. Fill with cream cheese. Cut slices of bacon in half. Wrap half a slice of bacon around each filled jalapeno half. For best flavor, grill on BBQ. You can also bake them in the oven on 400°F for about 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is brown and crispy.

Alison’s Favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients: 16 oz cream cheese, 2 cups shredded chicken (or 20 oz canned chicken), 1/2 cup red hot sauce, 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning, 2 cups shredded cheese (1/2 cup reserved)

Directions: In a large bowl combine everything except reserved 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Mix well. Spread evenly into an oven safe dish with a spoon or spatula. If you plan to broil at the end, make sure your dish is also broiler safe. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and bake at 350°F on middle oven rack for 20-30 minutes, until everything is heated through. If you want to get the top bubbly and a little browned, turn the broiler on for 2-3 minutes at the end, watching closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. Serves best with celery sticks, Ritz crackers, and Pretzel Thins!

Original recipe courtesy of: mamalovesfood

Germaine’s Go-To Taco Dip

Ingredients: 8 oz cream cheese, 16 oz sour cream, 8 oz mild taco sauce, 1 package taco seasoning, 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 3 chopped tomatoes, chopped lettuce (about half a head or one bag), tortilla chips

Directions: Beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning until fully combined. Put on a platter/serving bowl. Top with a layer of taco sauce, then a layer of shredded cheese, a layer of chopped lettuce, and a layer of chopped tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips!

Original recipe courtesy of: Chef Andrea of  Alpine Deli Spokane

We have so many other favorites, we can’t include them all! So below you will find, linked, some of our other top contenders! Now it’s your turn – share your favorite Game Day snacks/meals with us too!

Andouille Sausage Appetizers

Beer Cheese Dip

Best-Ever Italian Meatballs (Instant Pot) – Use these leftovers for meatball subs for dinner one night!

Cowboy Caviar

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Stovetop Spinach Artichoke Dip – We like to throw some jalapenos in this one for a little kick, or some local crab meat for a completely different take on the classic!

About our Whidbey CommunityFun Stuff! January 27, 2021

Whidbey Island Eats Local

As many of you already know, I grew up here on Whidbey Island. I’ve seen countless restaurants come and go, but one of the best things about the ebb and flow in our food industry, is that the majority of those businesses are LOCAL. Whether they stay 6 months, 6 years, or become a fixture of our little island, so many of these restaurants are opened by local folks, just like you and me… they could be your neighbor, the family next to you in church, or in front of you in the grocery store checkout line. And what is cooler than knowing that every time you eat out, you are supporting local families – Your own community?!

Sadly, we’ve lost a few good businesses in the past year, but there are still so many wonderful restaurants and cafes currently operating in Oak Harbor. Although it has brought many struggles, tears and unknowns to these businesses, so many of them have managed their “pivot” beautifully, and now even offer take-out, delivery, curbside-to-go, and other imaginative options to keep their doors open. So let’s support them!

Let me tell you about some of my personal favorites!

I think that one of my favorite parts of growing up here has to be Penn Cove Mussels. They have the best flavor of any mussel (fight me… It’s true, haha). So many places have fabulous recipes for their mussels that I love, and Scott and I enjoy cooking our own, at home. But, when we’re craving mussels that we don’t have to cook, Front Street Grill has my FAVE. Green Curry Mussels, over linguine! Mussels never fill me up, so the linguine add-on is a game changer. Your favorite, delicious sauce (they have several, and they’re all incredible) over noodles… It’s just… Perfect.

Front Street Grill >>>

I also LOVE a good California Burrito, and El Cazador has the best California Burrito locally. It’s just so big, and smothered, and… yum! It’s perfectly packed with delicious steak, rice, beans and pico… then it’s SLATHERED in verde sauce (my absolute fave), topped with cheese, more pico, sour cream and guac. I always get the full size, with a side of rice and beans, because I get two entire meals out of it. 😉 They have in-house delivery, and even offer their specialty cantina drinks to go! They have a convenient app that you can download, as well.  El Cazador >>>

If it’s not a mussel night, and not a burrito night, maybe a burger is more up your alley? My favorite local burger spot is Flyers Restaurant and Brewery! The hurricane burger is my go-to, it has swiss cheese, grilled pineapple and teriyaki sauce – the savory sweetness is delicious!  My girls’ favorite is their pickle chips! When I first introduced them to pickle chips, there was massive apprehension… fried pickles?? GROSS! That quickly changed. The comeback sauce it’s served with?? Delish! Flyers >>>

And now a stop for dessert. How about Toppins Frozen Yogurt?! They’re currently doing take-out and even delivery! That’s the last thing I needed… a froyo delivery option, haha! But what a great option for getting that sweet fix without ever having to leave the house! Every time we’ve gone in to Toppins, we have received the BEST service. The employees always have cheer in their voice and smiles in their eyes. I truly believe their employees find joy in the magic children see in topping their own froyo. I, personally, love the fruit sorbets, topped with even more fruit… and gummy worms. 😉 My girls will mix just about anything together.

If eating out or ordering out isn’t in the cards for you right now, there are a ton of other great ways to support our local food industry. Check out some local farmers and grocers (and farmers market during its season). Haggen offers a lot of local options, in their store. Stop by 3 Sisters Market, on the corner of Highway 20 & Holbrook Rd, between Oak Harbor and Coupeville. They have tons of local food, drink and gift options. They sell a variety of delicious options, including their own 3 Sisters meats, local produce, breads, cheeses, beer and wine! Buy a gift card as a gift, leave a great review for your favorite local places to boost their visibility, buy merchandise or pre-packaged options. Save this blog post as a list of places to go back and try when you’re able. Just don’t forget about your small businesses and favorite restaurants, right now. And when you do get the chance to eat out, tip well (if you are able)… these servers took a huge pay cut when they lost their ability to serve tables.

With so many of our community restaurants and small businesses struggling to stay afloat, we’re hearing the phrases “support local” and “eat local” more than ever.  But maybe this shift to a local focus, in our minds as consumers, will be a lasting positive in this whirlwind of negative that our community has been fighting through. Cheers!


Other great local options:

Frasers Gourmet Hideaway – Gourmet restaurant, located on Dock Street, near Fidalgo. We love their Brie Fondue. They’re currently offering takeout options, but take a little extra planning. They accept orders from Monday-Thursday to pick up your precooked, ready to reheat meals the following Saturday.

Kau Kau Korner – Awesome Hawaiian cuisine, with a great rotating menu.

Caribbean Lunchbox – Delicious Caribbean food, located in a small stand on Goldie, near Ault Field.

Sweet Rice Thai – My FAVORITE Thai food, located on Pioneer Way. I enjoy the jasmine fried rice, with chicken and I love adding pineapple (notice a trend??). Their curries are also incredibly scrumptious. I can’t name which one I like best.

Noe Jose – The best breakfast, nestled in the Old Town Mall on Pioneer Way. I absolutely love their biscuits and gravy. The whole menu is really good, but it’s my go-to for yummy breakfast and great service.

Mi Taco is Your Taco – Awesome Taco Truck, located on Ault Field in the business area near the base gate. My favorite is going to Café De Lisio (a little coffee shop, right next to the truck) and ordering an Attitude Adjustor (delicious coffee drink) Americano style, iced with Bold shots, cream and adding the espresso whip cream to the top of it. I pair it off with a Mi Taco breakfast burrito (chorizo is my favorite). They heat them, right there, so it’s a one-stop coffee and breakfast stop. SOOOO yummy.

What are YOUR favorites, in this community?

Neighborhood Spotlight January 19, 2021

Neighborhood Spotlight – Lyle Ridge Circle

There are so many things to consider when you’re searching for your dream home… and they’re all unique to you, your lifestyle, and your future plans! Are you a pet-owner? Do you have children, or are you planning children in the near future? Are you looking for a quaint neighborhood, or acreage? Easy access to stores and restaurants, or a quiet street a little out of town? Do you want a low maintenance condo, where everything on the outside is taken care of for you, or are you up for a little (or a lot) of yard work? Is an HOA a big “no” for you, or are you okay with a few restrictions?

As you go through and consider your needs, you start to get a clear picture of the type of neighborhood you may be happiest in, and you may be surprised to learn just how different each area can be. To help you in your search, I’ll be filling you in on many of the details of some of the well-known (and lesser-known) neighborhoods on the north end of Whidbey! Starting with my own! Lyle Ridge Circle…



Lyle Ridge is a planned gated community located a few miles outside the city limits of Oak Harbor, off of Scenic Heights, on beautiful Whidbey Island.  It is centrally located between Oak Harbor and Coupeville, and a very short distance to Penn Cove – known for its famous, and super delicious, mussels and for watching beautiful orca whales.

It’s a wonderful little community (yes, I may be a little biased, but it really is!), with neighbors at all stages of life – Young families, families with older kids, empty-nesters, retired couples, and more. The neighborhood truly is a circle, with one gated entry, which greatly reduces the amount of traffic and solicitation. It’s a neighborhood where many parents feel comfortable letting their children play outside together, or ride bikes or scooters in the streets. The community comes together for fun events like a 4th of July Parade and fireworks show, community yard and garage sales, neighborhood barbecues, awesome Halloween nights and lots of other fun events! We have a long-time resident, right at the front of the neighborhood, who goes all-out with his holiday decorations, and lights up the neighborhood with his friendliness. Halloween is his favorite, and he even decorates the front gate, and moves giant spiders around the circle to keep all of our residents on our toes. Every morning, my kiddos get such a kick out of searching to see where they moved to overnight. Sometimes they’re in someone’s yard, climbing up a house, climbing out of a tree, or playing around the gate.

During quarantine, the neighborhood did a teddy bear hunt. Each house who wanted to participate put teddy bears in their windows, so children could go around and see if they could spy them all from the road. We also started a new tradition, by accident, when the 4th of July fireworks got canceled last year. I decided to collect money and put on a show for the neighbors to see, at whatever distance they felt safe from. Many watched from their driveways, decks, or upstairs windows. I really just wanted to fill in the missing fun, last year, but received a ton of requests to make it an annual thing!

There is a Home-Owners Association for this community. Membership in Lyle Ridge Homeowners Association is automatic upon close of escrow at time of purchase, and terminates upon close of escrow at time of sale. The HOA maintains common area landscaping, private streets, the front gates, and retention pond. Repairs to common areas, architectural review of landscaping and modifications to residences, enforcement of CC&Rs and rules, and collection of the annual assessments are handled by the HOA Board. Three homeowners are elected to serve 1-year terms on the HOA Board of Directors as volunteer representatives of the entire membership. Homeowner meetings and elections are held annually in September and are open to the general membership. At current, dues are $400 per year.

While HOAs can be a bit scary or a complete turn off to some clients, I happen to prefer them in a neighborhood setting. I like that we are held accountable to keep our homes looking nice. We are required to park our RVs, boats and trailers behind fences, keep our trash cans out of sight, keep our yards and culverts looking nice and free of weeds, and need to have approval for any color changes, structure additions, etc. In my 3 years as president, we’ve never turned a request down… So it’s not meant to be restrictive and mean. It’s really more to keep people from erecting eye sores, painting homes crazy colors, or other things people really don’t want to live next to anyway. In all reality, it keeps our home values up – the better the neighborhood looks, the more desirable it is to live here. It’s more about pride in ownership than it is to be restrictive, and I like that!

Out here, you can have dogs, cats, and other indoor household pets. We can’t, however, have any livestock (including chickens or other birds). So… If fresh eggs are your thing, you’ll still have to purchase them from locals who can have chickens. if it’s a deal breaker, there are many other neighborhoods who allow them. For me, personally, I’m okay with it… More animals means more work and, with my crazy schedule, I’m all about less work.

We’re currently in the zoning for Hillcrest Elementary school, in the Oak Harbor School District. Each level up from there only has one school option. So, if you do have kids, and they’re 5th grade or higher, where you live in Oak Harbor won’t “matter.” The bus stops right in front of our gate, so all of our bus riding children wait together. A few of our residents have had success enrolling their children in Coupeville School District. There isn’t transportation for them, but the commute is about as close as it is to Oak Harbor schools.

I know this will likely be one of the longer neighborhood blog posts I do, but I wanted to start with my own to give you an idea of many aspects to consider when selecting a neighborhood. I also want to use this as my introductory neighborhood post to give you an open invitation to ask me questions! Ask me specifics about this neighborhood, or any other neighborhood you may be considering. Give me your requests for my next neighborhood info blogs. Talk to me about what sounds attractive to you, or what may be a deal breaker. Tell me about YOUR neighborhood! I may know the basics of what they offer, but I want the insider info like what I just gave you! Help me learn more, so I can share more. I want these to be fun, informative, and beneficial to people searching for their perfect Whidbey home.