• Gathering the Girl Tribe

    When we were little our mom, like every other mom out there, forced Belinda and I to share. For most our lives we shared a room and no matter how hard we tried to label or hide our things, we learned to live with the fact that our sister was going to steal our stuff. Everything from makeup to clothes and even hobbies we learned to share. Sure, I didn’t love it when Belinda stretched out all my shoes with her big foot feet and I am sure Belinda wasn’t thrilled when I would steal her quirky clothes that I would never buy for myself because my taste was far…

  • Simple Goodness Sisters Presents Simple Goodness Syrups!

    We’re launching online sales of our Simple Goodness Syrups. This moment is about 2 years, or 30 years in the making, depending on your perspective. Appropriately, this new venture of ours is launching the week of International Sisterhood Day. My sister and I have been sisters since my birth in 1988 and business partners since earlier this year. But the seed for the Simple Goodness Syrups was really planted in 2016, at my very first Happy Camper Cocktail Company event when a guest handed me her business card and asked if I would consider selling our drink syrups in her retail store. (Note to self, time to call!) Venise continued…

  • Belinda’s dispatch from the road: Happy Camper Cocktails’ summer 2017

    2017-2018 was, excuse my language, a helluva year. It was a BIG year of growth for me,  personally and professionally, with Happy Camper Cocktail Company. On a professional level, there were weddings that made me laugh, cry, and over-caffeinate. We did our first brand promotion partnership with a major corporation. We crafted celebrations & intimate executive retreats for top Seattle area companies. Happy Camper Cocktails served corporate employee picnics for some major local players. We even moved forward on our new catering kitchen space in Wilkeson and our Simple Goodness Syrups collaboration with Venise, but those are subjects for future blogs! And then right in the middle of it all,…

  • Floats for the Fight: Wilkeson Handcar Races

    Washington state is filled with small towns that were once booming logging, coal mining and railroad towns. One of our favorites, Wilkeson, is just 5 minutes down the road from us in the foothills of Mount Rainier. Along the route to the Northwest entrance of Mount Rainier, Wilkeson has a population of 486 full time residents and relies heavily on the support of tourists who travel through the town on their way to hike along the Carbon River or Mowich Lake. One of the best weekends to visit Wilkeson is during the annual Handcar Races. On the third Saturday in July of every year local teams race railroad handcars on an…

  • The answer to the question: What are you going to do now?

    If I ever write an autobiography, June 16, 2017 will be the end of part one because that is the first time I truly felt like a grown up. Ironically, it is also the day I quit my “grown up” job. Never before have I felt more in charge of my own life, and at risk of sounding cliche, my own destiny, than the day I decided to tell my boss to “take this job and shove it”. Of course I didn’t use those exact words and I tried to be as professional as possible on my way out, which for a no holds barred, notorious truth teller, was very…

  • Birthday dinner for our favorite, Kate!

    Kate hasn’t been around on this blog much lately, despite being one of its founders. Way back when, Simple Goodness blog was created as the Dairy Queens, meant to detail the adventures of our little sister Kate in 4H. She began the adventure by showing and caring for Venise’s first couple of goats, EB and Dozer. She’s been showing in 4H ever since and even rose through the ranks recently to be the president of her club. She’s won plenty of ribbons, shaved and washed plenty of goats and welcomed many new kids to the herd. Through this passing of time, she has also grown into a super pretty, delightfully clever and…

  • Happy Mother’s day: an ode to stepmoms

    Mother’s Day is a busy day for us because we are blessed to have a lot of moms in our lives. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how our grandmother’s inspire us and we have talked about what our awesome mama did so right in raising us, but until now we haven’t given our stepmom, Jill, the spotlight. And let me tell you, she deserves it. Stepmoms have it hard from the start. They come into your life with their Pocahontas drawing skills and as a bratty 7 year old you demand their artistry be put to use immediately as a sort of test to entry into your life. When they kindly demure,…

  • Happy Camper Cocktail Company is Road Ready!

    YOU GUYS ITS FINALLY DONE! I have never been more exited to share a blog post. Building our Happy Camper Cocktail Co. mobile bar been a true labor of love, with blood, sweat and tears fueling us along the way and we are finally road ready and headed to our first event, Enumclaw’s Farm and Frills Antiques and Junkers market. This event is held at the Enumclaw Expo Center which is also the home of the King County Fair, the oldest operating fair west of the Mississippi and an annual summer event for my family. Bringing my new business here, of all places, after all of our hard work is a dream come…

  • Progress for the Happy Camper

    This road we’re on feels like a long one recently. Over the last couple of weeks there have been ups and downs, which to continue the already on the verge of being over done metaphor, can be described as: dodgy rest stops (the fear that grips you when your husband insists on operating a saw in a terrible mood), armed protest road blocks (the ongoing discussion on liquor licensing), finding a dairy queen in the middle of a dessert (a full set of 1960’s gold leaf cocktail glasses for $2 each at Goodwill!) We keep chugging through it all, hills and valleys, and I know we’ll get there. My eye…

  • Weekending with the Kelly’s

    Here is a glimpse of what our weekends have looked like lately. We have been spending them working on the trailer, stomping puddles, and wrapping our hands around the local’s coffee in attempt to keep warm on these grey days which inevitably lead outside, Henry’s current favorite place. He loves to stomp and splash after his Grandpa showed him the joy of puddles. He loves to walk around the yard and try to get Leupold to give up his ball. He especially loves walks with dada, who for some reason he has started to call “mama” lately. I wonder if this is because in his eyes we are becoming more…