“Bayleaf on Whidbey”

 

Does food make you happy? It sure brings a big smile to my face and one of my favorite go-to places here in Whidbey Island is Bayleaf on Whidbey.

Located in Downtown Coupeville, Bayleaf is so much more than a store! It is heaven for the foodies, for the wine lovers and for anyone that is willing to try new foods from other countries as well.

This local business offers a variety of Epicurean delicacies, specialty foods, ready to eat snacks, local goodies and a vast assortment of wine, beer, champagne and cider to accompany your recipes. Gluten Free and Organic options are also available.

Other local businesses are supported within the store and you can purchase delicious eats like smoked Penn Cove mussels, Screamin’ Banshee bread (so good!), local honey and jams, and Whidbey Island Winery wines.

If admiring all this appetizing food makes your tummy rumble, rest assured you are in the right place. With indoor and outdoor seating, you can walk by the cheese case and discover a big selection of cheeses, Pâté and cured meats. Sandwiches, antipasto and cheese platters are just a few of the several options to satisfy your cravings.

Bayleaf on Whidbey offers a catering service among the online shop and personalized gifts, perfect for family, friends and clients.

Make sure to subscribe to their mailing list and don’t miss out on any upcoming events here !

 

 

 

 

Posted on February 8, 2020 at 1:03 am
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , ,

Seabolt’s Smokehouse Restaurant

 

Located in the heart of Oak Harbor, Seabolt’s Smokehouse is a family owned business in operation since 1978.

Seabolt’s Smokehouse products are produced without any added preservatives or artificial flavors. Their salmon is cured to perfection and smoked slowly in their smokers using only locally grown alder wood to guarantee a great flavor and continue the Pacific Northwest style tradition.

Alder wood is not widely known like Cedar or Hickory, but its delicate, subtle and slightly sweet flavor makes it the perfect go-to smoke flavor.

Growing up in an Island myself (Sicily, Italy), I love freshly caught fish so it is definitely a treat having a meal at this specific restaurant.

For lunch I highly recommend their Caesar Salad with freshly grilled salmon, perfectly topped with Parmesan cheese and a side of delicious cheesy ciabatta bread.

For dinner I absolute love the well know Penn Cove mussels or the fresh local Dungeness Crab.

You can’t go wrong with any of their delicious dishes. After all, Seabolt’s has been voted Whidbey Island’s best seafood restaurant with the best Clam Chowder and best Fish & Chips.

To make things even better you can purchase their products online as well. Custom baskets are available as well. I have ordered a few of those for my clients and always received great reviews.

Serving quality food over the years ensured that Seabolt’s Smokehouse has earned a great reputation compelling guest to return continuously.

Go ahead, dig in!

Posted on February 3, 2020 at 6:15 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , ,

Little Town Cottage

 

Located in the heart of Oak Harbor – inside “The Loft on Fidalgo & Dock” building – resides a store full of charm and pleasant scents.

Little Town Cottage is a local business run by owner Maria Rodriguez for the last two years. The care and dedication involved are apparent the moment you step through the door. Inside you will experience a great atmosphere filled with amazing customer service and a variety of bath products, home décor, and refurbished furniture.

What makes this local store a unique place to shop is the abundance of homemade bath products – lotions, soaps, bath bombs, body butter etc. – all handmade in the store itself.

Maria produces about 300 bath bombs every other day and doubles that amount during the busy season. Her favorite products to make are frosting soaps and bath bombs. Make sure to try those!

Natural ingredients are used throughout the store. No usage of preservatives, only natural items like oils and food items such as coffee beans, turmeric, milk, oatmeal and honey.

Maria also uses clay in her products, which has nice properties for the skin and is beneficial in the treatment of acne, psoriasis, and helps draw out impurities.

One of the latest best sellers is the Bee Pollen soap. It has fifteen natural ingredients, including organic raw honey, coconut milk, arrowroot powder, and bee pollen powder.

If you haven’t had the chance to visit this business, I highly recommend you do.

For additional questions and service beyond the sale, call me!

Posted on January 23, 2020 at 12:32 am
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , ,

Hardwood Floor Restoration

Because of their natural appearance, hardwood flooring has always been a popular and preferred choice among homeowners.

Nice hardwood floors can add value to your home, but unfortunately they are often neglected and end up dull and rough looking. Fortunately, through the process of refinishing and restoration, it is possible to bring your hardwood back to life and unlock its hidden beauty.

You’ll need to make a choice: DIY or hiring a professional?

If you are not an expert, the project will take longer but it will end up saving you some money. You may be able to rent the proper equipment from major home improvement retail stores, BUT the machines may end up being inferior compared to the ones the professionals own. Another thing to keep in mind is that often when novices attempt to sand floor, they rarely sand floors properly. As a result, the stain doesn’t penetrate evenly, the results are blotchy and the finish will not last as long.

If you decide to hire a professional make sure you do your research and check any and all reviews the company may have. Unfortunately, among reputable contractors, there are a few who will give a cheap estimate and thus offer a poor result.

The images below are from a home I sold to my client a couple months ago. She did her research and decided that hiring a professional was her best option. As you can see, the results are just breathtaking!

      

For any recommendations and service beyond the sale, call me!

Posted on January 11, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Whidbey Beer Works

Did you know that the town of Oak Harbor has its own specialty beer store?

Well, if you didn’t, you should definitely check out Whidbey Beer Works! 

Here, at this local shop, I met Greg, the owner of the business, and let me tell you… he is one of the nicest person you will meet and so knowledgeable about BEER.

If you decide to go and check this place out, I highly encourage you to take your time and browse through the vast variety of beer on the shelves. You will be able to find a huge selection of beers, ciders, meads and wines. The owners import some of the beer from other countries as well and I was able to find some beer to satisfy my Italian heritage. Yippie! 

You should check out another awesome event: Oktoberfest in Leavenworth. You can buy tickets online and enjoy the fun atmosphere of this great event less than 3 1/2 hours away. 

DID YOU KNOW? Beer soup was a common breakfast in medieval Europe! ( I am sure people had a good start to their day  😉 )

For more information check out Whidbey Beer Works web page here & Leavenworth Oktoberfest here

Posted on June 9, 2018 at 5:58 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , , ,

Selling Vacant Land

Vacant land, real estate, raw land, selling

 

Last month we talked about purchasing vacant land. But what about selling?

Here are some things to consider when selling raw land.

 

BE PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDABLE

 

ALLOW YOURSELF TO UNDERSTAND THE POTENTIAL BUYER’S CONCERNS

 

INCLUDE PHOTOS OF THE PROPERTY

 

PRICING

 

Please, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions.

For information about purchasing vacant land click here.

 

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 5:12 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , ,

Miss Oak Harbor Scholarship Program

If you didn’t know, Oak Harbor has a Miss Oak Harbor Scholarship Program and just a few days ago it was the crowning of Miss Oak Harbor, Teen Miss Oak Harbor and their Royal Courts.

 

I just learned about this great opportunity for our local ladies and took the chance to interview the founder of this amazing program.

Jes Walker-Wyse is the founder of Pageant Wyse Inc. and she, with the help of her friend River Powers, created this program four years ago.

By watching the above video, you will learn that Pageant Wyse Inc. is not a beauty pageant. The essence of the program is based on empowerment and self-development of these young adults. The contestants get graded on different aspects of their lives: academics, athletics, services…. these are just a few of the fields taken into consideration.

These young woman have the opportunity to have fun, gain confidence and also make new friends. They have the opportunity to show off their talents, overcome shyness, learn life skills and become well rounded citizens. And most of all there is the opportunity to win scholarships in the advancement of their education.

If you would like to know more about the program you can check its website here and the Facebook page here.
Posted on March 22, 2018 at 10:13 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , ,

Purchasing Vacant Land

 

Ahhhh, the lovely earthy scent produced by the rain or the morning dew, the buzzing of the bees and the many of shades of green enchanting the view. Who doesn’t like to be immersed into nature and fantasize about living in it?

If you are one of the many Americans that would love to buy raw land and build your dream home, let me help you with this complex but exciting task.

 

Make sure you take into consideration these details:

 

 

If you don’t have a preferred lender let me know and I can help with the perfect match.

 

Understand how the land can be used. Local government usually have established zoning regulations.

Call your local planning and zoning department and they will provide you with the information.

Check the island county webpage here 

We will need to do some research and this will include things that can be forgotten: utilities.

You need to make sure to check if the lot has access to public utilities: electricity, sewer, gas, water etc.

 

Last but not least, make sure you do thorough and expansive research about home builders.

I would be more than happy to give my recommendations.

 

 

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , , , , ,

Becoming an American Citizen

February 14th is traditionally known to be a day filled with flowers, chocolates and shared love stories. This year, instead of celebrating a customary Valentine’s Day, I commemorated a NEW event in my life, I became a US CITIZEN!

After living in the Unites States for nearly 14 years, last May I finally made the decision to apply for citizenship and make this country my official home.

I still remember the first time I landed in the United States. People were so warm and friendly, and I never felt uneasy or unwelcomed in this country. Needless to say, becoming a full fledged US citizen wasn’t a hard decision to make.

I checked in at the Homeland Security Office at 8:15 am. We, all the applicants, were grouped together, just waiting to be called for check in.

After check in, we went downstairs into the auditorium, where families and friends were already there, seated, waiting for us. Applicants seats were assigned and we were directed into our rows, eagerly awaiting for what was going to happen next.

The director of the Seattle Homeland Security office spoke to 76 applicants from 36 different countries who were waiting to be officially naturalized! When they called our country of origin we stood, and they told us that the next time we sat, it would be as Americans. We recited the Oath of Allegiance with our right hands raised in the air, watched and listened to President Trump’s message, and then sat as new American Citizens! Woot Woot!!!!

What a GREAT experience!!!
This day will always be an extremely emotional and important day in my life. I was so impressed by the number of people gathered together and swearing their allegiance to their new country. I am sure this event meant many different things to the many different people that participated in the ceremony. As for myself, I have grown roots here, in Oak Harbor, and have no plan to leave in the foreseeable future. I decided to become an American citizen and to honor this country which had given me a home.
Now, every time the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited or the Star Spangled Banner be sung, I won’t feel left out. I will proudly stand up and put my right hand over my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged , , ,

National Boy Scout Day

Today February 8th 2018 is National Boy Scout Day.
I met with Blake Jones, the Island District Executor, and was able to learn quite a few interesting things about the Boy and Cub Scouts programs we have in wonderful Whidbey Island.
With a town filled with energetic children, and an area rich in history and nature, having kids join these programs is such a great idea. Social skills, life lessons and community work are just a few of the things they will get to experience.
For more information click here & here 
To join, check this webpage 
Posted on February 9, 2018 at 9:30 pm
Simona Groves | Category: Simona's Blog posts | Tagged ,