Shell’in Life

One of the most common things that I hear from customers revolves around my packaging, more specifically, the shell that is tied to each bottle and bag.  If you have yet to buy a Sea Love product (shame on you), there is a shell tied to each product, like so…

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I must say, it does look adorable and you know that when you receive a Sea Love product it is truly hand-made vs. coming from a factory.

These ‘lil shells are handpicked by me usually during beach walks with my very patient dogs.  And believe it or not, there is a science behind it.  The shells cannot be too big, too small, too heavy, too fragile, too curvy and they MUST have holes.  Yes, I could drill a hole (like too many people have suggested), but I would prefer it to be natural.

Someone once worriedly asked me if I thought I would eventually “take” all the shells away from Wrightsville Beach (seriously).  Don’t worry peeps, I usually throw the good ones (aka without holes) back and everyday, thousands more shells magically appear!

Here are some pics of the ones I get excited to find (note the delish salt background)…

These can be fragile, but when they are not, they are my fave!

These can be fragile, but when they are not, they are my fave!

Small oyster shells are great for the salt jars, while the large are perfect for the scrub bags.

Small oyster shells are great for the salt jars, while the large are perfect for the scrub bags.

No idea what these are, but when they have holes, they rock!

No idea what these are, but when they have holes, they rock!

Most commonly found shell, I'm thinking.

Most commonly found shell, I’m thinking.

These pinky fingernail-sized shells don't have holes, but I can' help to collect them too.

These pinky fingernail-sized shells don’t have holes, but I can’ help to collect them too.

And it's always good day when you find of piece of this...

And it’s always good day when you find of piece of this…

…but I'm always searching for one of these… with no luck!

…but I’m always searching for one of these… with no luck!

I suppose if all the shells on Wrightsville run out,  I’ll have to just travel to get more shells.  I’m thinking Bali, Tahiti or head back here…

Tavarua, Fiji

Tavarua, Fiji

But in the meantime, WB will suffice :)

xo

Weather Woman Wisdom

I find inspiration all over.  Today, it came from the weather woman on my local news, yep odd (not her, just the place of inspiration).  Not only did she say abundant sunshine was in our forecast (yay), but she ended by saying “make it a good one”.  It got me thinking that we really so choose the day that lies ahead of us.  Yes, wrenches can be thrown into our day, but we still choose our reaction to those circumstances.

Well, I choose to be positive and smiley.  Make a good choice.  Happy Monday!

xo

Two Strangers

Norman came along to todays farmer market at Poplar Grove Plantation…

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There is a mutual love between Norman and the customers.  But today, one customer is still hanging in my mind.  An older gentleman approached me and asked if he could pet Norm.  His wife continued walking past my stand and headed to the next.  I got distracted with other customers and realized that the man was not only still petting Norman, but was now kneeling on Norms towel and had tears streaming down his face.  Worried and surprised, I asked him if he was ok.  Barely being able to speak, he told me that his lab just passed away on Monday.  This of course made me an instant, blubbering mess.  So there we were, in the middle of a bustling farmers market on our knees in front of Norm, crying.  Norm looking very sincere, seemed to sense that something serious was happening, so he didn’t move an inch.  The mans wife soon joined us and saw that were both crying and suggested that perhaps her husband and she should not have ventured out of the house just yet.

While I have lost childhood pets, I have yet to lose one who has lived with me consistently for many, many years.  It will inevitably be an awful time, which I get teary just thinking about.  But in the end, I would much rather have had the time and memories with a four-legged pal, than not.

And in case you’re wondering if Norman has always been sincere, here is some cute proof…

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Hug your furry friend tight tonight.

xo

Truffle Salt is Here!

I am pretty much obsessed with truffle anything: truffle eggs, truffle pasta, truffle pizza, truffle popcorn… you get the picture.  If I see truffle oil or truffle salt, I will buy it.  No doubt.

For those who are not quite as obsessed as myself, allow me to put on my teacher hat.  Truffles are underground versions of mushrooms that grow at the base of trees and were first hunted by pigs.  Dogs have now primarily taken over the job because they can be trained not to eat the rare and expensive find.

When I began to harvest sea salt, I looked forward to the day when I had the process “down” and would be able to make my own truffle salt.  Well, lucky for me (and you), that day has arrived.

In addition, I have found a local North Carolinian truffle farmerJane Morgan Smith who lives in King, NC.  Jane grows Black Winter Périgord Truffle (a gourmet truffle native to the Périgord region of France).  These beauties grow 3-12 inches underground on her tree’s (Oak or Filbert) root system and are found by her truffle-hunting border collie, Friday…

Jane and Friday

Jane and Friday

Here are some mouth-watering pics and our Etsy link because you are crazy not to scoop this up while you have the limited chance.

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I cannot think of a better collaboration besides that of local sea salt and local truffle!!

xo

Customer Quotes

Quiet Customers Who Visit Most Weeks

Quiet Customers Who Visit Most Weeks

The farmers market is closed today due to the rain/winds we are having.  Which is sad because not only am I missing sales, I’m missing interacting with my customers.  I have awesome customers.  I have people who come back every week and I have newbies that I get to share my process with.  Working the markets is similar to teaching kindergarten… I always come home with some funny story or quote from someone.  Here are a few from this past week (along with some market photos)…

My Staff

My Staff

  • You’re the girl whose article is on my moms fridge.  It’s been there all summer, she thinks what you’re doing is really neat.  I mean, so I do I but your picture is right next to my kids pictures, so it’s a little weird, it’s like you’re apart of our family.
  • This woman was super interested in the salt-making process, asking all sorts of questions.  as I walked her through the photo album that I bring to the farmers markets.  At the end of our lengthy convo (and no purchase), she states, “You know, I think I’ll start doing this in Topsail.”  (a neighboring beach community)  (WTF?!)
  • “How on earth do you get the water from the ocean?”  I explain that I carry 5 gallon buckets of water from the ocean to my house, making a few trips each time as I can only carry two buckets at once.  Looking astonished, she says, “Well, you should have a man do that.”  To which I say, “Well my husband does help me.”  With wide eyes, she tells me, “No dear, I mean a man for hire.  Bless your heart.”
Norm On His 15 Minute Break

Norm On His 15 Minute Break

Happy Rainy Humpday!

xo

Oh, Those New Fab Labels!

Oh, Those New Fab Labels!

Good Days

Sunrise from our porch

Sunrise from our porch

Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to serve as a reminder that life is good more often than not.  Sadly, my recent wake-up calls include friends and family dealing with death and cancer.  It is situations like this, that remind me that my day-to-day life is pretty darn good.  In the past few days, I have been able to:

  • log long miles with friends
  • see two great concerts in awesome outdoor venues (even if JJ Grey didn’t sweep me away)
  • SUP in the ocean with my lab
  • watch a beautiful sunrise over the ocean
  • deliver Sea Love to two new stores this week
  • watch the longest and closest shooting star of my life while running a group track workout
  • taste a new recipe that exceeded expectations (carrot tart recipe soon to come!)
  • finally put a new 5 gallon water jug on our crock (without it tipping over), thanks to my new-found muscles (you may not see them, but they’re there)

Now get out there and enjoy what’s left of the weekend!

xo

Girlfriends

Joyce, myself and Mare

Joyce, myself and Mare

Have a you ever heard a girl say that she only has male friends?  I personally think that’s bizarre, scary and insecure.  Judgey, I know, but how can you not have girlfriends?  What about girl power after all ?   Who do you chat about hair, clothes, celeb gossip and other girlie things with?  I mean, if you think your man is hanging onto your every word when you talk about all of those things, you are sadly mistaken.

Well I am lucky to have a some amazing girlfriends in my life, two of whom recently came to visit.  These two have been there through good, bad and crazy times for a really long time… as in 25 and 15 years!

Just this past weekend alone, we…

  • Giggled
  • Shopped
  • Line danced and rode a mechanical bull (seriously)
  • Swapped clothes
  • Drank champs on beach
  • Ran 13.1 miles (while giggling)
  • Cried at some point
  • Talked about everything from cancer to cute boys
  • Introduced old friends to new
  • Ate awesome multi-hour meals
  • Stayed up way too late

Pretty sure my male friends wouldn’t have gone for some of that!

13.1 miles in the book!

13.1 miles in the book!

I am lucky.  Love you girls.

xo