Sometimes I get emails asking questions about things. As much as I love hearing from the sweet friends of Blooming on Bainbridge I have to admit, I struggle with balancing all that needs doing during the course of a day. Now that Bags by Bloom is in the making, I have a full time job to tend to. Please don't hesitate to email. I love it when you ask questions like what lipstick do you wear and how do you get your hair so pooofy. The FAQs on this page will be ongoing dependent upon questions I receive.

If you have a question not listed here please email me.
Thank you for reading this blog. I love getting to know you!

You seem so happy and positive. Is this the real you? How are you so happy all the time? Believe it or not,  I've been asked this question over and over again most of my life. I always give the same answer. For me, living happy and seeing the bright side of things is not an option. It doesn't mean that I don't struggle with sadness and heartache. I do. I have. Happiness for me runs deeper than things that happen in life from day to day. In other words, my happiness is not up for grabs. It's part of my soul. It's also a responsibility. As God's child, I'm responsible for shining bright within His world. 

Do you regret not having children? The answer to this is no. Sometimes girls need to hear that choosing not to have children is "okay." Having or not having children should not define who you are as a person. Living a life without having children is a fabulous way to live. Back in my late 20s and 30s I just knew I would meet who I was meant to marry and start having kids. God had other plans for me. He had His reasons for me not marrying as early as I thought I would. A girlfriend once told me that "until I had children I would never really know the true meaning of JOY." I knew then, and I know now, true JOY is not dependent upon other people and things. True JOY is found within one's soul. It's a gift we're given. I'm very blessed by the children that are in my life. As much as I love and adore children, I like my life the way it is. I'm perfectly content.

Why did you start blogging? I began blogging when we moved from the South to the Northwest. Blooming on Bainbridge was created so that friends and family "back home" could see what was going on in the Northwest. Not too long after creating the blog, I realized that members of my family were rarely reading what was being posted. I can remember crying on the phone to my sister in disappointment that no one in the family seemed to care what I was sharing. As disheartening as this was, I kept blogging. Honestly. It was such a slow process. It was so weird writing and publishing not knowing if anyone was reading. I'll never forget the first comment. After that first comment Greg would ask everyday, "How many comments did you get?" Little did I know what was ahead. Blogging has opened up a world of friendships. Some of the sweetest friends I've ever known have been created through blogging. How could I have ever known that some sweet lady checking me out at the market would say "Hey! Don't you have a blog? I love your blog!" I don't cry on the phone to my sister anymore about blogging. She reads THE BLOG now! She reads it because people in her life are always asking her about it! If you're thinking about creating a blog, do it! Blogging will bless your life in the most unexpected ways. That's a promise!

Do you consider yourself a FOOD blogger? No, and I'll tell you why. Blooming on Bainbridge was not created for the sole purpose of blogging about food and recipes. I've always loved to cook. I've been cooking and baking in my Mother's kitchen since I was little. Even though I've always considered myself a "good baker and cook" I've never had any professional training on how to cook, or how to describe what I'm cooking. As Blooming on Bainbridge began to grow, it was clear that readers loved the recipes, and I loved sharing them. To me a Food Blogger is someone who creates a blog for the sole reason of sharing about life with food. I am completely amazed at the Food Bloggers within the blogging world. Their ability to style food for pictures and describe the food they're making requires skill and talent far beyond what I'm capable of. I'm grateful for the fabulous FOOD Bloggers we all follow. They are FOODie Rock Stars as far as I'm concerned!

What camera do you use for the pictures on your blog? As much as I love my really nice camera, I'll have to admit, I'm a bit addicted to taking "on the spot" pictures with my iPhone. To be honest, I'm not at all ashamed of sharing pictures that were taken from the iPhone. I don't claim to be professional at taking pictures. I could seriously use a course in photography. I'm amazed at the pictures taken by professional food and lifestyle bloggers. The camera I use to photograph food and take on trips is a Cannon EOS Rebel XT.  The lens that I use for close up food shots is Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. I also have a Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM
 Zoom lens that I travel with for close up shots from a distance.

What kind of dog is Doogan? Doogan is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Lots of people think Doogan is a Goldendoodle. Doogan's hair is not as straight as the traditional Wheaten Terrier's coat. The breeder made mention of this when we trying to decide which puppy to take home. Of course I loved hearing that his hair would be kinky and poofy! My kind of fur~baby! Doogan is 4 years old and enjoys sports like hiking and sea kayaking. He has quite a few fans here on Bainbridge Island. Doogan starred as "Sandy" in the Bainbridge Performing Arts production of Annie. You can read about it here.  

How do you keep Doogan looking so handsome? Doogan has a fabulous groomer and friend here on Bainbridge Island. Miss Julie at The Fluffy Ruff Dog Spa keeps Doogan looking fluffy and spiffed up! 
I don't know what we would do without Miss Julie! 

Has Doogan been trained? Yes! Before we moved to Bainbridge Island Doogan had been romping about on a farm in the country. Doogan had no idea how to behave himself on the ferry, around other dogs, walking the trails on a leash and strutting about in downtown Winslow. The first thing I did when we moved was find Doogan a good trainer. I don't know what we would have done without Miss Judith from BeauJes Dog Training. Miss Judith is Doogan's trainer and friend. Doogan gained his Canine Good Citizen Certificate and Therapy Dog License under the guidance of BeauJes Dog Training. Doogan was also trained by Jordan Taylor of Reel Dogs {who he adores} for his audition and starring role in Annie.

Can Doogan recommend a boarding kennel around the Bainbridge Island area? Yes! Doogan highly recommends Miss Stacy at Primrose Lane Dog Boarding. Miss Stacy knows her stuff and keeps fur~balls like Doogan at their best.

How are you not fat? Do you eat all the sweet treats you feature on the blog? I totally get why readers might ask this question. I do nibble on the sweet treats that I bake. Sometimes I indulge...but that's not very often. For the most part I strive to eat healthy. There are days I agonize over how my body looks and feels. There are days I won't go to yoga because I feel "fat." I have a long history with my body. You can read about the truth of it all here. The good news is, I no longer strive to be as tiny as I can get. That's not even possible. If I enjoy food at all I have to be content with a body that is short, squatty, pudgey and SHORT. As long as I'm strong and healthy and glowing and able to wear my cute clothes...I'm happy with my body.

Do you workout? Yes! I've been working out consistently since college. By consistent I mean that for years I've been keeping a fitness journal and doing some sort of cardio 4-5 days a week. In my 30's I worked with a trainer who educated me on the importance of lifting weights. I walk/hike and have gone through phases of running. I love to swim laps when I'm on the farm. I have a workout studio at home where I have a Precor Treadmill and a Concept 2 Rower. Since moving to Bainbridge Island I've discovered the beauty of yoga.

Do you like yoga? Where do you take Hot Yoga classes? How ofen do you practice yoga? Yoga for me is a journey. It's also a mindset. Before moving to the Northwest I didn't know the slightest thing about the practice of yoga. I didn't even know you "practiced" yoga. I thought you just "did" yoga. I describe my first experience with yoga here. Yoga is a lifestyle for those who have been practicing much longer than I have. You can read about my journey with yoga here. I am blessed to be part of the Bainbridge Yoga House community. On a good week I practice yoga 3-4 times per week. When I'm distracted by things in life, and don't take the time to nourish my mind and body, I can go several weeks without practicing yoga. I'm striving to find balance. When I'm in the YOGA ZONE...I'm at my best! When I'm out of the zone...something's missing. It's all part of the journey. Yoga for me is an unexpected gift. It's real. It's true. It impacts you body, mind and spirit. Yoga is therapy for the body and mind times a million. I am grateful beyond words for all that I am learning from Jen and Misty, the best yoga teachers imaginable. Yes. I like yoga. In fact. I love it.

How did you learn to sew? I grew up watching my mother sew. My sister also sews. I always wanted to learn but would never take the time. At home projects I wanted to do, like make pillows, required that I learn to sew. When I decided to create Bags by Bloom I knew learning to sew was a must.  GUSSY's story not only inspired me, but created a belief within myself that I could learn to sew and create a handmade business. I took Home Ec, an online sewing e-course, from Freckled Nest. This is a must~take sewing class for beginners. I was also inspired, and continue to learn from Michelle at Michelle Patterns. Michelle's patterns are fabulous and her blog is jammed packed with sewing tips!

What kind of sewing machine do you have? I sew with a Bernina B350. I love it!

What is Bags by Bloom? Bags by Bloom is an online handmade business where you'll find hip and funky bags of all sizes. Colorful fabrics and playful trims create bags that are happy and fun!

Why did you create Bags by Bloom? I love to create! Nothing suits me more than a messy room filled with beads, glitter, paint and pompom balls. Before moving to the Northwest I taught kindergarten and first grade. I loved being a teacher, but there was always a tremendous yearning to create my own business. Moving to an island, known for it's lively, artistic community, inspired me to pursue this dream. A love for bags, color, design and fabric led to the creation of Bags by Bloom.

When will Bags by Bloom be available online? Bags by Bloom is a work in progress. We're busy everyday on production and design. Freckled Nest Design is creating the blog design, logo, and online shop. I am thrilled with how it's coming together. Freckled Nest is capturing all I had envisioned for Bags by Bloom! You're going to love it! Coming soon! I promise! I'll keep you posted as the weeks move forward towards the opening. Thanks for your love, support and patience! I adore the enthusiasm and encouragement you bless me with everyday! Thank you!

I'm traveling to the Northwest and planning to visit Bainbridge Island. Can you recommend places to stay on the island? What about things to do and good places to eat? This is by far the most frequently asked question. It makes my heart beam when friends of this blog email, letting me know they are planning a visit to Bainbridge Island. Honestly. Nothing thrills me more! Of course I have favorite things to do on Bainbridge, favorite shops and places to eat. I'm happy to share these favorites with you. I try my best to respond to your emails. If by chance you don't hear back from me, please contact Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. They'll be happy to assist you in planning your visit to this lovely island. Also visit BainbridgeIsland.com where you'll find lots of local information. Please don't hesitate to email. I love hearing that you're headed this way.