• A drink recipe with YOUR name on it!

    A drink, like anything else you can create in this life, is an opportunity to make something from nothing, and to make that something entirely unique, intentional, and nuanced. From a playful tiki drink with a nod to Scandinavian heritage, to an effervescent, welcoming champagne cocktail in a lady’s signature color of peach, I love to design drinks around themes, colors and flavor memories to capture a moment or a feeling. When I do this for event clients, it often leads to some of my favorite new creations and menu fixtures.  I first had a drink made for me when I was at my corporate job at Microsoft HR, working…

  • Mary’s Simple Goodness Sisters’ Sidecar

    We, and about 200,000 other people have been inspired by Mary Heffernan as an entrepreneur, woman and mother for a long time. Venise began following her on Instagram and like so many others, was captivated immediately by the story of serial-entrepreneur Mary, her husband, and their 4 daughters (all named Mary) who moved from Silicon Valley after owning and selling her first few businesses there, to fulfil their dreams of ranching in rural Northern California. Since that beginning, they’ve grown their ranch into one of the most successful, direct to consumer food businesses that Instagram & North America has ever seen. As folks trying in our own way to do…

  • Sunset Magazine Wants You to Put Simple Goodness Sisters’ Marionberry Mint Syrup on Ice Cream

    Simple Goodness Sisters is featured in the July/August issue of one of our favorite magazines, Sunset Magazine. Sunset Magazine is THE magazine of the West, a stunning pictorial and literary trip up and down our coast and across our Mountain passes, and color me purple, we’re IN IT! It is a highlight of my month when the magazine arrives at my door, and the hours I spend perusing its pages are a trip to a life I imagine myself having: adventurous escapes through PNW wonderland, small garden transformations to beautiful backyard oases (this has been an ongoing quest of mine for two years, just ask my friends who have grown…

  • The Gin and Tonic That Will Convert You: Simple Goodness Lemon Herb G&T

    At the end of this blog I will share with you the cocktail recipe for a Gin and Tonic that will actually convince you that you like Gin and Tonics. But first, I’ll tell you a funny story about the pre-cocktail days of Venise and Belinda, aka the Simple Goodness Sisters. And also, I’ll stop referring to us in the third person. You’ve heard a lot of Grandma Nancy, aka “the Nanc” if you’ve been following along with us for a while. you haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing about her sister, Aunt Patty, but today is your lucky day. Aunt Patty and Grandma Nanc are one of many…

  • 5 Tips for Building Raised Garden Beds

    It’s been a while since I (Venise) blogged. When it comes to our strengths Belinda is the stronger writer so I generally let her shine on the blog while I dig in the dirt. But, I am excited to share some gardening tips with you so I taking a break from the dirt to try to put some words on a “page”. Since Ross and I have been feverishly working to rebuild our raised garden beds and get everything installed in time for the busy growing season it is a great time to share 5 tips for building raised garden beds. Leave enough room for your equipment I am making…

  • Flowers Crowns and Pregnant Cows: an Ode to Motherhood

    Motherhood- holy cow. I could write 120,000 words on the subject, and I can also sum it up in a sentence: it’s the most beautiful, impossible, challenging and rewarding job/privilege I’ve ever had. It’s a job I’ve always wanted, but I never could have imagined how it would play out. I was an odd adolescent (are you surprised?) and I used to have this fantasy of being a fiercely independent, single mother to a precocious, female toddler and traveling the European continent as a duo, selling my handcrafted chocolates. Yes, it was a fantasy stolen directly from the movie Chocolat, and it is a great example of my younger self’s…

  • 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,…

  • How Henry eats his veggies: one picky 1 year old’s menu

    It drives me crazy that my child won’t eat a balanced diet. Let’s just start there. In theory I know that kids are often picky, heck I was, though that was mostly my sister’s fault. I copied everything Venise did and she remains to this day a particular eater. In practice, Henry’s picky eating aggravates me to no end. I take food really seriously, always have. I love eating it (as an adult I am a pretty adventurous eater), growing it and cooking it. I also hate waste. So watching my child refuse to eat the veggies I have lovingly prepared for him is incredibly frustrating for me. When I first became a parent, feeding…

  • The signs of labor in cows

    Two years ago we welcomed our very first calf on the farm when Mama struggled through labor and delivered a healthy heifer (girl) calf we named Mae. Fast forward two years and our baby is all grown up and having babies of her own. Mae is scheduled to calve sometime soon. If we were full time farmers who had the opportunity to spend more time in the barn and less time in our corporate offices we would have been regularly observing and recording Mae’s heat cycles and would know when she was bred. But, alas, we are busy modern day farmers who work day jobs and try to do our best when…