30 April 2010

for whom the bella tolls - mother's day is may 9

Nothing quite says you’re the world’s best mama quite like a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. At Terra Bella Flowers in Phinney Ridge, the majority of stems are organic, and many sourced locally including tulips from Alm Hill Garden in Bellingham, peonies, berries, dahlias, and chocolate cosmos from Jello Mold Farm in Mount Vernon. Owner Melissa Feveyear also buys from local farmers’ markets and from The Children’s Garden in Carnation. Roses come from Portland, California, and Ecuador, although Melissa suggests buying local tulips and hyacinths for Mother's Day if you want to be as green as possible. Wrap ‘em in willow with a couple sprays of hot pink roses and cymbidium orchids from Portland's Peterkort Roses and you have a beautiful European garden mix of sustainably grown blooms to drool over. By buying flowers grown here in the Northwest instead of sourcing buds grown around the globe, we support out own economy and reduce the need for mass transportation. TerraBella Flowers also rents and reuses its props and containers and is more than happy to set up a carbon offset program for your wedding or other event.

Wanna Try?
TerraBella Flowers & Mercantile, 8417 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; (206-783-0205)

Small Changes Add Up
If 10,000 Seattleites bought roses sourced from Portland, OR instead of Ecuador, it would keep the weight of 385 Liberty Bells out of the landfill.

west seattle community garage sale

Next Saturday, May 8th from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., I'm partaking in the West Seattle Community Garage Sale. All proceeds of my sale will benefit The Global Citizen Project.

There will be garage sales taking place all over West Seattle that Saturday, but I'll be part of the Hotwire Coffeehouse and Ginomai group (in the Ginomai lot at 4410 California Avenue SW).

For more details, click here. If you're in spring cleaning mode and have stuff to get rid of, I'm taking donations and able to pick-up. Big thanks in advance to Alex Kralicek and Chelsea Lin for pitching in to help (wo)man the stand. These gals have gone above and beyond to help support The Global Citizen Project. Thank you, ladies.

21 April 2010

national volunteer week

Whew. There’s a lot going on this week. It’s National Volunteer Week (April 18-24), which I honored today by volunteering a few (far too fast) hours at Marra Farm Giving Garden in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle via the United Way of King County. My county’s United Way chapter works closely with Solid Ground, an organization that provides shelter, food, home care, transportation and other basic services to more than 38,000 families and individuals in need throughout King County. Under the aegis of Solid Ground and several other organizations, the four acre Marra Farm engages people in sustainable agriculture and education (of all ages) while enhancing local food security. (The food grown at Marra Farm goes to local residents and the senior lunch program through the Providence Regina House Food Bank, Mien senior citizens, and Concord Elementary School students and their families.) To get an idea of how much this little four acre plot contributes to the local community, consider this: In 2009, more than 1,400 volunteers contributed over 6,200 hours to help us grow more than 16,000 pounds at Marra Farm. Wow.

Marra Farm also has one heckuva fascinating history. First of all, it is one of only two historical farms preserved with Seattle city limits (the other being Picardo Farm in Wedgwood, Seattle). It was operated from the early 1900s until the 1970s by the Marra family, until they sold it to King County Parks and Recreation under the premise that the parcel must remain open space. The land got very little love until the immigrant neighborhood residents joined efforts, along with a VISTA volunteer to kickstart restoration efforts in the late 1990s.

Big thanks to Marra Farm Coordinator, Sue McGann for being such an amazing ambassador of the land and of farming and for reminding us to honor the farmers who grow our food and to always support our farmers' markets. You made me leave Marra Farms yearning to return and get my hands back in the dirt to play some small part of the bigger picture. Also, thank you Erica and Yuri of United Way of King County for coordinating this volunteer opportunity and for throwing free Seattle Mariners tickets into the mix to sweeten the already satisfying deal. I look forward to working with all of you again. (Be still my volunteer lovin' heart.)

A quick side note also in the volunteering vein. I'd like to thank Sarah Van Auken of Volunteer Global for the nice mention of The Global Citizen Project's fundraising efforts in her "Fundraising for Your Volunteer Trip" blog post. Sarah's been an incredible supporter of my project and a fantastic proponent of volunteer travel and I'm so very glad this gal is on my team. She rocks.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there this week and do something for the world already. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare, between National Volunteer Week and Earth Day (coincidentally, my birthday), there are oodles of volunteer opportunities this week. Go make a difference. (Because I know you can.)

14 April 2010

honduras gumbo

Thank you Gladys Chavez for sharing this blog about life in Honduras, Honduras Gumbo, especially since my first stop for The Global Citizen Project will be volunteering with Building a Future in Tegucigalpa. I love Laurie's most recent post about New Orleans, having spent last weekend in the Big Easy for a wedding, and extra love that she mentions La Petite Grocery -- one of my favorite new(ish) restaurants. I didn't have the  opportunity to swing by on this recent trip, but loved a late-afternoon lunch there last January.

03 April 2010

less than two months to go

Less than two months from today, The Global Citizen Project will kick off. Ten of the twelve projects have been confirmed and I hope to have the few remaining nailed down as soon as possible. Several of the flights and program fees have been paid for, with strategic frequent flyer mile planning kept in mind to help cover airline costs later in the project. Despite going into this with a clear plan and a projected budget, the act of pulling all of the logistics together has required a tremendous amount of well-thought out (read: overanalyzed to death) decision-making. In real life, I tend to be a jump-into-the-deep-end-of-the-pool-sans-water-wings kinda gal, who just has a knack for making things happen. Planning The Global Citizen Project has required a great deal of patience and thought as I try to make the smartest decisions possible. While I’m still pinching myself that I was able to raise over $20,000 in 90-days (thank you), there is not much wiggle room for budgeting errors and I want to make sure that every dollar will have the greatest effect possible. Fingers crossed, I should have a final itinerary of where I’ll be and when, and a little bit about each project available in the next week or so to share with you. Thanks for bearing with me on this one. Once I take off in June, I need my plan to be locked, loaded and logistically squared away and I want to be as certain as possible that I'm making the best possible decisions for the project.

As I pull details together for TGCP, I’ve been catching up on non-TGCP related editorial work. Most recently, I wrote a travel feature for The Costco Connection on the ambitious culinary programs at Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, worked on some press material for one of my favorite publicists in the whole wide world, Andrea Burnett, penned a top ten honeymoon feature for HotelChatter.com and articles on Montpelier Plantation in Nevis, B.V.I. and The Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco for Jetsetter.com (a member of the Gilt Groupe). I also started a loose outline for a book proposal on The Global Citizen Project (you never know) and have been lining up some TGCP-related writing gigs for pre/post projects.

The last few weeks have also seen a non-stop string of fantastic visitors, house guests and new friends. I absolutely love to cook, entertain and show off Seattle – even more so now that I know I may not see some of my favorite faces for quite some time. Sure, TGCP is only a one year commitment, and yes, I will be back and forth to Seattle over the course of the year, but the reality is that there are a lot of people whom I will miss dearly. The last house guest arrives Monday, a dear friend from Chile, followed by friends visiting from Alaska on Tuesday, before I take a red-eye Thursday night to New Orleans for a long-time friend’s wedding. There, in one of my favorite parts of the country, if not the world, I’ll get to see several close friends, many of whom I haven’t see for years due to great geographic distances. As an added bonus, the timing of the wedding also coincides with the French Quarter Festival. I'm one giddy girl just thinking about all of the free musical entertainment to be had just two blocks from my super cheap hotel (found on Hotwire, natch).

In other project related news, this past week I went to the University of Washington Travel Clinic where I survived the first of three visits to complete all of the necessary vaccinations for the next year of travel. Full disclosure: Despite a childhood filled with Friday afternoon allergy shots (for nine years), I’m a total baby when it comes to shots and blood. So, when Nurse Lisa spelled out exactly what would be needed to travel safely and my per appointment injection threshold, I almost fainted. (I’m not even going to go into the stacks of country-by-country printed material of warnings she sent me home with.) And here I thought I was all fancy already having Hep A, Typhoid and Yellow Fever vaccinations under my belt. Oh, how far my yellow World Health Organization card has come and I still have two appointments to go. I suppose a few pesky needles (and bruised/sore arms – every vaccination in the first round was administered intramuscle) is no great shakes compared to the possible complications should I pick-up the diseases in question. Plus, Nurse Lisa wields a needle with such deftness that my wincing really was kept to a minimum. That alone will make returning for round two all the more easier.

One last housekeeping issue as I’m in full-tilt logistics mode: If you have not received your backer reward yet, please send me your mailing address to cpfeuffer (at) yahoo (dot) com. There are still a few Chipotle Burrito Bucks, Theo Chocolate Bars and one lonely bag of Lighthouse Roasters coffee still milling around. Jennifer B., your Theo Chocolate is wrapped and ready to go.

Here's wishing everyone a happy Easter (if you celebrate) and a happy spring.