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Posts from the ‘Living Aware’ Category

Memorial Day

We hope everyone was able to take a moment to remember all of those that have sacrificed for the freedoms we, as a nation, enjoy today.   Living Aware, personally wants to extend a very grateful and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the service men, women, and family members.





Yard Sale ~ Hood Canal, WA

Today we shopped the plethora of Memorial weekend yard sales around Lake Cushman off of Hood Canal. This annual event spreads across neighborhoods of mostly retirees looking to purge, as well as donate to the grand kids college fund. We all scored finding items we wanted, needed, and just thought were fun.

I got a great pair of cake pans for 20 cents, yes you heard me 20 cents. I also picked up a great wood bowl that we are using for almonds as we speak for $1. My fabulous find for the day was a lap desk in an awesome red-orange color with a firm ergonomic pillow underneath for $2! I was literally going to buy one of these this weekend for writing on-the-go and I am positive I would have paid a lot more. The more important part is that I will use and appreciate this board and keep it out of a landfill.

We all did our part today to recycle great items and reuse them. You too can save money and natural resources by shopping used first, you won’t be disappointed.


Happy Birthday to our Chief Curator

We are celebrating at the beautiful, modern, and LEED Platinum Bardessono Hotel in the heart of California’s wine country with family and friends. Cheers to all of our readers!


The 19th Annual Carmel Art Festival

It is a gorgeous sunny day here for The 19th Annual Carmel Art Festival. This amazing nonprofit hosts their annual function the first weekend after Mother’s Day to benefit local youth art programs. Hundreds of artists are displayed throughout the weekend in conjunction with demonstrations and receptions at local galleries. It’s a must see event benefiting an even better cause.


Too Much Garbage

We have all seen trash cans like this one somewhere in our town and it is always revolting and disappointing.  Why isn’t there a recycling bin next to it?  Why so much waste?  As you, your family and friends are out and about this summer remember to bring reusable container/s for your water, juice, or favorite coffee beverage.   Pack a picnic using a real basket, with dishes and silverware that can be washed and used again.  If you see a need in your local park for a recycling bin contact the Parks Department and request one, they are usually eager to help and just need to know where there is a need.  If it is a bus stop or street can, like the one pictured, you need to contact your municipality’s Transportation Division, and they are also more than willing to help keep the streets clean and green.

The Clean Air Council reported that every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times!  Let’s work together and lessen our waste and impact on Mother Earth.

Oyster Rama ~ Hama Hama Oysters

After an amazing stay in Portland we headed to Liliwaup, WA on the Washington Peninsula for the 2nd Annual OYSTER RAMA! Festivities started at 11 AM at their company store and the party went into the early evening.  The event not only has the delicious Hama Hama Oysters, beer, Whidbey Island Winery, and fun, but lots of great information about the tidelands!

If you didn’t already know, Puget Sound is one of the last great oyster producing regions in the world.  Ocean acidification, toxic storm water runoff, accumulation of heavy metals (PCB’s and PAH’s, by-products of burning fossil fuels) are a few of the many threats facing shellfish and the shellfish industry, and it requires a significant amount of social awareness to address.  The tideflats that the oysters are produced from are an economic, cultural, and ecologic resource that need to be protected.

 Hama Hama Oysters, used the Oyster Rama Event to educate and engage people with shellfish in a really fun, dynamic way to generate support to keep the Puget Sound healthy.  The fabulous event also taught participants how to harvest their own oysters and clams, skills they’ll be able to use on many public beaches throughout the State.   Ecologists from Washington Sea Grant were on hand on the flats to interpret the sea life, a sea-creature “I-Spy” competition to get people to investigate the flats, and oyster farmers who will talk about how we use the flats to produce food and livelihoods. Upstream, there were environmental groups (everybody from salmon restoration members to Shellfish Ecologists to the Surfrider Foundation) setting up booths and talking with event attendees, putting on dynamic seminars on how we farm oysters, and of course oyster tastings.

The tideflat celebration had tons of delicious shellfish to eat, as well as an oyster sports competition that highlights the work that happens on an oyster farm (single picking, shucking, clam digging, etc).  Hama Hama Oysters hosted some great live music in front of a mountain of oyster shells, art vendors, and other delicious treats like crab cakes that and oyster ice cream.

 Beyond the enlightening environmental aspect of this amazing event also encompassed significant social responsibility to fund arts and cultural programs at the local school (where approximately 80% of the kids are on free or reduced lunch).  If you didn’t make it this year, I highly recommend you join us and celebrate local, Olympic Peninsula food and wine and the local artists and artisans displaying their wares at the 3rd Annual Oyster Rama in 2013!

Brilliance Heard at Living Future 2012

The Living Future Conference was not lacking in the attendance of brilliant leaders and speakers sharing their stories in work, life, and the living world.  Men and women flocked from cities around the world to Portland, OR to come together for an array of reasons but one common cause, to make the world a better place.  Through the several people we met and the numerous sessions we participated in we picked up some great bullet points some obvious but still need to be thought about again and shared with you.

  • Transparency is key to innovation.  In the example of the new Brooks Running headquarters in Seattle, the developer, Skanska, was transparent with them about cost per square foot, what the investor needed to see on the return for the development to be viable, and the developers goals in making a successful brand statement of a Living Building for them.  The two entities have put their trust into each other to make a state-of-the-art building for a  healthier community for the occupants and those that surround it.
  • Risk doesn’t have to be bad, risk can have amazing positive outcomes too. 
  • It is a  disservice to your client and ultimately their client by not pushing innovation and creating the same old energy-inefficient product for the market.  Adding more “safe” product to the market actually devalues what you’ve repeated, take a good risk, do something better.
  • Bean counting gets in the way of action.
  • Don’t just be green or talk about being green to those that you think want to hear it.  Start a conversation with someone new or that you think wouldn’t be interested, you would be surprised at the connections and how far deep that can penetrate.  Think about your next suggestion at your book club, discussing your favorite ecofriendly beauty products and of course spreading Living Aware to everyone you know.
  • In real estate, you’re foolish for choosing an inefficient building or home.
  • Seek out an EcoDistrict for your neighborhood, it makes sense.  Risk is good and it is a positive opportunity to organize and bring together a community.
  • Life is the process of becoming you.
  • Passion is key for any entrepreneurial endeavor.
  • Have patience and solve the long-term problem.
  • Where women flourish, families flourish.  When the families flourish the community flourishes.
  • Build value in yourself, your business, and your ideas through collaboration.
  • A building is part of “healthcare”.  There is a direct connection between your health and the building you inhabit and the home you sleep in.
  • Be innovative, take a risk, it is okay to fail, do something better for you, your family, community, and business.

We hope these tokens of wisdom empower you, like they invigorate us.  Now go, conquer today and change your world.

Sunday ~ Hood Canal

We love Sundays as a time to be with family, friends, and enjoy nature. Rain or shine we use them to recharge our batteries and take stock of all that is good in the world. Today we are cleaning up and exploring the beach in Hood Canal during low-tide. Join us by taking a walk, preparing a meal from the garden and laughing with those you love. Enjoy today and be well.

Featured on Organic Nation Spirits


Living Future Conference 2012 ~ Portland, OR

I am so exciting to be driving down to Portland for another important conference on sustainability.  Not only is this sold-out event dedicated to, Women Reshaping the World, but it is being held in such a vibrant city that embraces a green lifestyle.   The conference is being hosted by the International Living Future Institute allowing  for brilliant minds in the green building movement that are creating and seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues to come together.  This incredible forum for learning and networking formats will  provide visionary design methods, innovative technical information, and the motivation needed to achieve meaningful progress toward living aware.

Many of you may remember that we went down last autumn for the amazing EcoDistrict Summit which is one of the world’s premier annual conference dedicated to urban sustainability.  During that awesome event we were not only able to listen to inspiring speakers like Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, but we were also able to network with city officials, designers, innovators and an array of other like-minded people who are pushing boundaries for greener cities. In turn all of those amazing individuals and no doubt, the attendees of the Living Future Conference, are creating a greener way of life for  communities spread around the world and link us together. 

During our last visit we stayed at The Nines Hotel, a lovely and luxurious LEED Silver Certified property in the heart of Portland.  We dined at their amazing organic/local/sustainable restaurants Departure and Urban Farmer, as well some others around town like Pok Pok and Bamboo Sushi which are some of my favorite restaurants to-date.  On this trip we are resting at Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a block or so from, The Nines.  While the property is not LEED Certified, its service is spectacular and it offers a plethora of luxurious green amenities.  For shopping, the Pearl district was full of amazing boutiques like Woonwinkel that we will be sure to stop in on during this trip, as well as search out new shops on the scene. 

Stay tuned, we will have a lot more coming on the Living Future Conference and being green throughout Portland.