Jameson Caskmates hop field adventure

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A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Jameson to see if I’d be interested in going on a little adventure out to Yakima for the launch of their newest Caskmates series collaboration with Bale Breaker Brewery, and I was 100% down. We left Seattle on a bus yesterday afternoon, and a couple hours later we arrived at the Bale Breaker Brewery nestled in the middle of acres and acres of hop fields. The lovely founders of Bale Breaker, Kevin and Meghann Quinn, and Kevin Smilth, gave us an amazing tour of the brewery (accompanied with a taster of their Topcutter IPA), and then we hopped on the bus for a quick trip a few minutes away to check out the hop fields where they grow all the hops for their beer, and the original building where they started the brewery (though you might say it was more of a shed-sized “building,” haha. It’s always incredible to see where people’s visions began and the humble start to what would become an incredible, successful, growing business).

We did a little tour of the hop fields, were served delicious Jameson Whiskey cocktails, and had some mindblowingly delicious appetizers, and were treated to watching Ger Buckley, a 5th generation cooper, demonstrate how a barrel is made, which was super interesting and surprisingly entertaining! And then… the real magic began…

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We were treated to an incredible meal out in the hop fields, tucked between towers of hop vines, beneath zig-zagging cafe lights. Tasters of the Caskmates whiskey, plus the Topcutter IPA (which is the beer that was first aged in the Jameson barrels, then those barrels were sent back to Jameson for them to age the Whiskey in to create the Topcutter IPA Caskmates Whiskey. Such a cool collaboration!), and then some mouthwatering dishes crafted by local chef Matt Lewis which were truly unbelievably delicious.

The whole evening felt incredibly special and it was so much fun to take part and experience it all. I was able to bring my husband Dan with me, which was exciting, as he’s a big whiskey and beer fan, so I loved that he also got to be a part of the experience. As someone who loves putting together beautiful events and photographing beautiful events, it was a really fun and inspiring evening. Trying to convince Dan we need to plant some hops at our new house so I can have my own hop field dinner in our backyard, haha.

I mean, come on, how magical is that?! Huge thanks to Jameson for the invite and to Bale Breaker for the hospitality (and to Dan for coming with me, even though he had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning to go to work!).

Simple ways to elevate your home for guests

Thank you Angel Soft® for sponsoring this post. Ditch the spray and switch to Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender-Scented Tube.

Simple ways to elevate your Airbnb

In the past five years or so, I’ve realized that one of my favorite things is putting together events and/or creating beautiful experiences for people. A lot of times, this manifests in me putting on parties that are, like, a liiiittle bit extra, but since becoming an Airbnb host, it’s been something that I’ve been trying to put into how I set up my home for my guests. I like to have fresh flowers in the house for every guest, I like to have little snacks and quick and easy breakfast items available, and I spritz some fresh essential oil in each room before the new guest arrives. Having little things around that make a guest feel special or comfortable is something that I love, and if it’s easy and quick to do, even better.

When I learned about Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender-Scented Tube toilet paper I knew that’d be a super easy way to elevate my guest’s experience with something simple and everyday. Plus, I don’t have to do any extra work since I have to have toilet paper anyway! There’s lavender scent right in the tube, so every time a guest uses it, they’ll get a nice subtle lavender scent. I happened to already have some lavender hand soap in the bathroom, and I have some dried lavender hanging in my kitchen from last year’s lavender harvest in my garden, so it kind of matches a little lavender theme I have already going on!

My mom is a great host, and while throwing parties stresses her out (whereas I revel in throwing parties), she too enjoys creating a lovely space for guests to stay, so I definitely learned from her! Her and my dad have a couple vacation rentals, so seeing how they set up those spaces for guests helped me consider extra little touches I might not have thought of. My mom always has extra little travel lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, and tissue for people to grab in case they need it, so I included some of those little things for guests. As my friend was helping me clean the Airbnb one day, I saw her put the little triangle on the toilet paper and I was like ah! of course, that’s such an easy little thing to do, but it makes the bathroom feel like it’s been cleaned and prepared for every new guest, and it’s a very hotel-y touch.

When I travel, I almost always stay in vacation rentals instead of hotels, so I’ve experienced a lot of different ways people host. One of my favorites was the artist loft I stayed in when I was in Paris. The host left me a bottle of wine, cheese, and a baguette— very French and felt special!

I’m always on the lookout for new ways I can make my own guests feel special too, and while Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender-Scented Tube probably won’t be the ultimate memory that stays with them, it will definitely contribute to the overall sense of care that I like to take with creating a space for them to stay!

Want to stay at The Brave House on your next trip to the Seattle area? We’d love to host you!

Easy ways to elevate your Airbnb
Easy ways to elevate your Airbnb
Easy Ways to Elevate your Airbnb

2019: the year of credit repair

Thank you Lexington Law Firm for sponsoring this post. A high service partner and consumer advocate that will help you fight for the credit you deserve!


2017 and 2018 were pretty hard years for our family financially. Between moving, loss of income, and relying too heavily on credit cards, we incurred a lot of debt and also hurt our credit score in the process. For a long time I just couldn’t face the reality of our financial situation, and I also was paralyzed by feeling lost in the whole process of just starting to tackle our debt and credit, and so I just kept putting it off. Come January 2019 I decided to finally give our finances and credit the attention they deserved, and have started making strides to repair our situation.

Credit can feel like a mysterious and arbitrary number, based on a bunch of stuff that doesn’t seem all that clear. I know I made a bunch of mistakes even in the couple months of starting to fix our credit (pro tip: don’t cancel your 10 year old credit card even if you’re trying to get rid of credit cards. The age of your credit matters to your credit score! I cancelled mine just wanting to get rid of unnecessary credit cards that I’d paid off and now my credit age is only a couple years. boo!).


Having someone who knows what the heck they’re doing to help you make a plan (and avoid mistakes like mine), can be incredibly helpful and take the stress out of a process that can be really anxiety ridden. While a late payment or a bad mark from a creditor might not seem important, it can have long-term effects on your credit, and can stay on your report for years! What’s nice is that, since fixing your credit is such an important goal for many people, a whole industry has sprung up to help those of us navigate the murky waters of credit repair. Tons of fact vs. fiction information is now available to help educate those of us about the credit errors that can be fixed!

Lexington Law Firm is one of those companies, using the power of the legal experience and technology to help folks like you and me fix our credit. I don’t know about you, but having a team of lawyers helping me fight bad credit with legal experience sounds pretty dang awesome. Or at least waaaay better than me stumbling around trying to google my way to fixing my credit.

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Since Lexington Law Firm has long-standing relationships with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, they’ve got the relationships, and experience in knowing exactly how getting credit errors removed works. So what seems a little like a murky mystery to me is plain as day to them. Look, I’m as hardcore DIY as you can get, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to realize that it’s just going to be worth the money to outsource the stuff that I’m not great at (even if I know I can figure it out eventually). Knowing that there are options out there like Lexington Law Firm to outsource the confusing part of repairing bad credit is super helpful. So if you’re like me and making 2019 the year to tackle credit and finances ( *wince *) check ‘em out and see if you could use some outsourcing to help you get on track to great credit so you can buy that house you’ve been stalking on Zillow. Oh wait, is that just me? whoops.

That Airbnb Swiffer Life

Swiffer WetJet Wood

Now that the #thebravehouse is an Airbnb, I’m cleaning it a LOT more frequently.  Like, I wish I had cleaned it this often when we actually lived there! For the time being I’m the “cleaning lady” getting things all prettied up between guests, and with a very limited amount of time between reservations (usually just a few hours!), having a quick and easy process is absolutely essential.

Since I partnered up with Swiffer to try out their WetJet Wood, keeping my hardwood floors clean takes just a couple minutes, which is perfect for those whirlwind days when a guest checks out in the morning and another checks in later that afternoon. While my sheets are getting clean in the laundry, I can easily give my floors a swipe with the Swiffer so they look clean and new for the next guest.

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I’m pretty excited with how well our Airbnb bookings are going! I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me, acting as the cleaning service on top of managing bookings and such, so I might eventually hire out my cleaning to a professional. We initially just wanted to see if the house would even do well as a vacation rental and I figured I’d costs low by doing the cleaning myself.  I’m going to reevaluate at the end of the month (June is booked up at like 80%, so imma be buuusy cleanin!), and decide if I want to keep grinding at the cleaning myself, or get some help!

In the meantime, it’s me and my trusty Swiffer gettin’ her done! Check out the Swiffer WetJet Wood on Amazon here!

Swiffer WetJet Wood

Luxe Sleep Vibes

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It’s been a long time since I had a new mattress. Like… before we were married. And then we sold that mattress and moved to Alaska to live with my parents where we slept on an even older mattress. Then we moved back down to Tacoma and I’m pretty sure the mattress we’ve had for the past 18 months was my brother’s old mattress. So, needless to say, when Allswell inquired to see if I’d be interested in trying out their new Luxe Hybrid mattress I was all over it.

One of the huge pains when it comes to buying a mattress is that they are so dang big, so you basically have to have them delivered in a big box truck, so having a mattress delivered to my door in a box that was (suspiciously) small, was pretty dang nice. Y’all I do not know what kind of witchcraft these new shipped-straight-to-you mattress companies use to squish and roll and vacuum pack these mattresses into a tiny box, but it’s cool.

We’ve been sleeping on our Allswell Luxe Hybrid Mattress for about a month now and it still throws me off how comfortable it is. Our old mattress is moved upstairs into Jack’s room for now and we lay on it to read bedtime stories so I get a pretty good comparison on the daily. It feels a little, I don’t know, indulgent when I lay on the new mattress. I am definitely a fan. So much so that I might be thinking of buying another one… and I’ll tell you why in my next blog post!

Allswell Luxe Hybrid Mattress | Percale Duvet Cover | Indigo Lumbar Throw Pillow all c/o Allswell
Bedframe : Ikea | Nightstands : c/o Urban Outfitters |