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Thursday, December 1, 2011


I wanted to own a B&B  (well, at least work in one) since I was 13. Someone asked me why that was and I just knew I wanted to meet interesting people and have a small, but important impact on their lives, even if it's just for a little while. I also wanted to be homeschooled (while working in the B&B, of course) so that I would be free to learn what I wanted, especially if a stranger passed through with an awesome career or who was an artist, or who just knew of cool things to check out. I always wanted to work at home and wanted to pick careers with this distinct possibility.

Such is life that I now work full time in an office, but I am so grateful to come home to my house and B&B, and meet new people from all over the world. It's a normal day when stories of places visited and cultural similarities and differences are shared as food is prepared and dishes are washed. Who knew this would be my life after all?

This past year of adventure has changed me. I'm more open, more patient, more forgiving, more compassionate. Sharing quick, intimate moments with people is an amazing gift I am given on a regular basis. To all our guests, thank you! You've taught us more than you know!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Little Changes

We're looking ahead to our next year and remodel season is upon us. How can we change our rooms to better suit our guests?
To get up and running, we did the best with what we had. A few couches that turn into beds, some lamps from former housemates, and a rainbow of sheets, and we opened the doors!
But now, we're looking at what additional details can we add to make the rooms unique? Interesting? Comfortable? Inspiring? Stay tuned for some big and small changes and maybe come back and visit our new rooms in the spring and summer. Or  better yet, tell your friends! We can't wait to show you what we've done!

The Quiet Season

Bed and Breakfast Inns have high seasons and low seasons, generally. That's been true for us too. But they just look and feel different. It's definitely not "quiet" and we seem to get less folks, but longer stays. Interesting. We just host an 18 person Thanksgiving meal and we were able to invite our current guests to join our family fun. It was awesome! Our family is big and inviting and a new person is taken in, (swallowed whole, more like) and turns into a family member in one evening. Our guests made a dish, chatted with different folks, and generally had a great time, just taking it all in. And Thanksgiving in November isn't even a custom of theirs!
Just goes to show, that being in the B&B industry is way more fulfilling than I thought and I could never have imagined these experiences in my wildest dreams!

Friday, October 7, 2011


 We just got back from a wonderful vacation/staycation in Oregon. Here's the route we took: 

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Originally, we were planning a trip abroad, since we love to travel so much, but after our first year as B&B owners, we thought more deeply about what it was we wanted from our "time away." Instead of a 9 hour flight, stressful navigation, and a lack of gluten-free/vegan options, we opted for a more local road trip (we've never been on one together and now seemed like a great time).

We started out with friends and family at Mountain Springs Lodge in Leavenworth, WA. 
Mountain Springs Lodge, Trailhead "cabin"

It had about 20 beds, a hot tub, fireplace, big screen TV, huge kitchen, and an outside table-side firepit (great for chillier nights). There was a master bath with a Jacuzzi tub, too! It's walking distance to Plain, WA (home of the Just Plain Hardware store and mini mart) and 15 minutes to lovely Leavenworth, WA. So much fun! My favorite part was our giant dinner and breakfast together, and our time chatting around the table fire. I was happy to not get very good phone reception, as I was attempting to unplug as much as possible for our vacation. We made forts (my niece was with us), talked about community, and told many funny stories.

Mini Stonehenge

The next morning we drove in to Leavenworth to walk around (there's a wonderful park down by the river) and enjoy gingerbread cookies (I know, wrong season, but so good!). We said goodbye to our friends and on our way out of town we stopped at Sage Mountain Natural Foods for some delicious raw food snacks (and to shamelessly drop our B&B business card!). After that, we headed to Ellensburg and took another pit stop at Better Life Foods to grab some water and snacks. Then it was down through Yakima and Goldendale, swiftly avoiding some forest fires (the weather was about 97 degrees, dry enough for spontaneous forest fires). FYI: Goldendale is home to a (mini) replica of England's Stonehenge (see above).  Not many people know that or have visited it, and it's hidden off the highway, but an interesting site nonetheless. It's right above the gorge as you descend into Oregon.

Then we drove through The Dalles and into Memaloose Park, to camp for the night. 
The park has a lot of RVs, but each spot has its own water spigot, the main bathroom showers are clean and free, there's an amphitheater for the old school Smokey the Bear movies (not sure if they show them anymore, but it seemed like a perfect spot), and it's really close to Portland (1.5 hours away). It was an insanely hot day (and night) at the park and we sleep in our Honda Element with all the windows open. There was also an amazing moonrise! I wanted to stay longer, but now we know where to go for next time! I'd bring earplugs too, since we were close to the train, which does travel all night.

We woke early, packed up, and were off to Portland for our day at Powell's. We purposely set aside funds for a day at Powell's and it was awesome! We had a few breaks, but mainly from 10:30a-4:30p we were knee-deep in books. And for us that was a PERFECT way to spend the day. Plus, we had to get some additional reading material (we always travel with books, but of course we needed about 20 more) for our lazy days ahead.

massage chairOne of the highlights of our trip was visiting a former B&B guest of ours! We went to visit her at her store, Relax the Back, where we got to try several massage chairs, beds, and other various back-supportive contraptions.
(yes, this was heavenly!)
For dinner we ate at  Zeppo, which had gluten-free pasta. Yay! Lake Oswego is poshy-posh and lovely.
Becca even saw a charging station!  Awesome. It was also free, btw.

After a lovely breakfast with our hosts, we were off to Breitenbush Hot Springs!
We spent 4 days and 3 nights delighting in lovely naturally hot (some of them were seriously hot) pools, a geo-thermally heated sauna, and experiencing some of the BEST bodywork we've ever had.

The vegetarian meals (included in the price of admission) were okay, but what made them extra good was that there were gluten-free vegan options AND we didn't have to cook them. Yay for relaxation!
We didn't have a lot of time to read (must. be. in. pools.), but we met a bunch of cool folks, doing cool things and it was great weather, so being outside in nature truly rocked!

After our melancholic goodbye (it's sad to leave a relaxation haven like Breitenbush), we headed west to Newport, OR. It was a lovely drive through the back roads/highways 22, 226, and 20. We loved the scenarios and the small towns. But we couldn't wait to get to Sylvia Beach Hotel, where we booked the Agatha Christie Room. We originally wanted Mark Twain, but it's a challenging room to book because lots of other people seem to like it too.

If you've been to Synergy Bed and Breakfast, you'll know that we're avid readers (or at least we have a lot of books to read, when we do get a chance) so a lot of this vacation was based on reading, books, and relaxing. But until this point in our trip we didn't really have any solid (uninterrupted)  time to read. Sylvia Beach Hotel has author-themed rooms, values reading and quiet time and creates a great atmosphere, so we were overjoyed that they had a reading room, a library, deck chairs, and many literary-themed nooks and crannies. They also serve a lovely breakfast (not for the gluten-free though), and there's the option for a family-style dinner at night (additional cost though).

We spent a WHOLE day in this room (save for a few meals) and it was AWESOME. Who knew that vacation might just need to be some quiet time with a few books? The ocean was also beautiful, and it was just blustery enough to stay inside, but not too bad that you couldn't take a stroll.
We enjoyed a good meal at Cafe Mundo (one block from the hotel).

Cafe Mundo

We also made a stop at the natural foods store Oceana. They had a lovely salad bar and tons of gluten-free foods. Delicious local treats too.
On our last day, we went to Savory Cafe, which features gluten-free crusts and vegan options. Delightful! We also played a game of Scrabble  (we don't know these people, but that's the table). Really nice.

We would have really enjoyed one more FULL day of reading, but we were headed back to Portland to house-sit for the guests (now hosts) we were staying with. The weather took a turn and we drove back in clouds and sprinkling rain, which was okay for us. We were really grateful for the awesome weather we had been having throughout our trip.

Josh went for a nice beard trim (What? On vacation? That's how we roll!) at Gentleman's Edge, in Lake Oswego. While he was doing some male bonding (didn't seem fit for a lady), I walked around and found the Lake Oswego Farmers Market. Tucked in a little plaza area, this farmers market was an awesome satellite market. I saw celery that was ENORMOUS. And bought a cute little skirt!

Several people told us about the Portland State University's Farmers Market (which is not to be confused with the Saturday Market, in a different area, or the Food Cart Market).

We were blown away! So many beautiful farm food stalls, several gluten-free bakeries (even a raw one!), and various food stalls (not as many vegan ones as I would have liked). But overall, well worth a morning, strolling around.
That was juxtaposed with a long wait for Voo-Doo Doughnuts. I didn't have any and Josh bought two but could only stomach one. Too rich! They do have vegan options, but no gluten-free. Fine by me. Too much sugar in any case!

To satisfy my raw cravings we ended up having dinner at Blossoming Lotus, which is primarily raw and mostly vegan. Best meal of the trip! So delicious. Not too cheap, but well worth it.

We packed up on Sunday to head back home. I was sad for our adventure to come to an end. We went to Kornblatts Deli for lunch, walked Hawthorne street, and then got in the car for a rainy ride home.

Overall, the vacation took place within about a 4-5 hour radius and it was just as good, if not better, than anything we could have planned abroad. With the same amount of planning, intention, and a lot less money, we were able to create the exact experience we wanted without the plane trip, foreign currency, and lost luggage. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice, long, easy vacation abroad as much as the next person, but we're going to start taking more trips closer to home. We have such a beautiful bio-region!

So come back and visit us, or if you're local, book a staycation with us. We'll show you a good time and together we'll create awesome memories.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Like old friends

Even when guests only stay one night, when we meet them sometimes it feels like we've been old friends for a's a special moment. I (Becca) hate going to work in the morning when I have those awesome connections! It's why we've turned our house into a bed and breakfast! Thanks to all who have opened their hearts and souls to us...we are eternally grateful.

On other notes, I'm letting my inner (well, it's sort of more an outer) artist out and you'll start to see more cool refinished furniture that is infused with the same love, spirit, and energy that you'll find in our B&B. I'm excited!

Also, our open house will be in October, so get ready for apple cider, folk music, story-telling, laughter, and a house-sized hug that will never let you go!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Are you still busy? Is your house still full?

It's amazing how often we get this question, as B&B owners. While it's a very fluid and malleable process, to have lots of people moving and out of our house, it has also become quite natural. Our personal discussions and celebratory moments revolve around feats in airport pickups, remodeling, baking, and the awesome guests we get to host.

In the beginning we were a bit nervous and even a bit skeptical. Would people really want to stay at OUR house? Would they be okay with the 1942-built, farmhouse-ish style house (it's a new architectural style I made up), complete with quirky windows, doors, non-standard thresholds, weird built-in bookcases, and HVAC system? Will people hate the airplanes, wish they booked closer to downtown, or be confused by our check-in process?

A year later we've gotten our answer. They don't mind! In fact, they love it! It's a regular house. Just like a person, it comes with awesome things and a few not so awesome things. But, as a whole, it's a great house. It is flexible and interesting, and has character. More than enough character to go around.

So when people ask us if we're still busy, I say, "of course!" Because it's not a fluke that we had a good summer, or that people are drawn to the house (in a mystical way, it seems...). It's like we have this awesome friend who loves sleepovers, is both a morning person and a night owl, forgives, celebrates, loves unconditionally, and makes a kick-ass breakfast. Who wouldn't want THAT person as a life-long friend?

If you're wondering where to stay, where beds and pillows are just a small part of the experience, look us up here. Tell your friends. It's better than a place to stay, it's an adventure that could change your life.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A fresh coat of paint

It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. What once felt like a bathroom we couldn't escape, is now a relaxing and warm-feeling place to get ready for the day. New paint, new door pulls, and a color scheme we can live with, we're proud to to share it with you.
Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Slowly, but surely

Synergy B&B's beginnings (say THAT 10x fast!) were slow, to be sure. One room at a time, one breakfast option at a time, one set of sheets at a time. In the past year, it has grown exponentially, but that's only when we look at the year all at once. The steps were incremental. We added another room when a guest wanted to bring a third person. We added a room after that when there was no working bathroom upstairs (where our other two rooms were), and we added still another room for a brief moment when two guests booked in the same hour! We have since gone back to only 3 rooms (the legal limit!), but we've been making slow and steady progress with other upgrades.
This week we are updating the bathroom, after 4 years of various states of chaos and decorative disarray. Today we will repaint with a standard color palette, we'll match the drawer pulls to standard decorative themes throughout our house, and it will be ready for rental again in a matter of days!
As for the larger overhaul, that will come in time. As we grow, our house makes it possible to upgrade. It's a beautiful thing to witness.

Slow and steady not only wins the race, but allows for enjoyment along the way. Our house is growing and changing and we are growing alongside it. It's an awesome experience.

We're looking into ways to create experiences for guests like garden tour weekends, veggie foodie weekends, and other fun themes that create unique experiences. All ideas are welcome!

Friday, July 15, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

It's the middle of July and I am wearing a hoodie. It's 71 degrees now, but it didn't look promising this morning. The clouds burned off a little and it seems as though the sun might stay for the rest of the day. I'm not holding my breath.

Such is the life in Seattle. Not exactly sure what we'll get each day, despite the trend of nature toward "seasons." I've given up on seasons. It's either warm-ish or cold-ish here. My friends and I have started to describe the weather in terms of layers, "It's a 2-3 layer day."

At Synergy though, when it "rains," we're not talking about the weather or layers. At the moment, it's "raining" awesome, interesting, and amazing guests. And guests are good for our Synergy gardens where we sow trust, collaboration, and creativity and reap laughter, connection and memories. Corny? Maybe. True? Definitely. The sunshine comes from within at Synergy. The warmth, the light, and the fun come from how we connect to each other here.

We named our place Synergy B&B because of the combined effect of two or more things (people, components, etc) creating a greater thing than they could on their own. That's how we feel everyday here.

Josh will be transitioning into more of the daily operations of Synergy as he moves into working from home more and focusing on his tea company, B. Fuller's Mortar and Pestle. I'll still get to do what I love at Synergy, but will now get to split the work to fit my schedule better. I can't wait!

We'll be hosting a lot of families coming up in the next few weeks. Very exciting! While we don't have kids yet ourselves, it's really interesting to cater to a whole different clientele. I've already started composing a list of activities and kid-friendly restaurants that we can hand out to our guests. And hopefully we'll get to share more as our guests find new places I've never even heard of before. What I love is that I know a lot of places in and around Seattle, but our adventurous guests always bring back new gems and we get to see our city with new eyes. Who knew?

We've already started planning for our open house for beginning to mid Fall. We can't wait to show people around the place. It seems to change all the time.

This summer has been incredible so far and I look forward to completing our first year as a B&B and seeing what's in store for next year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things are a-changin'

Synergy B&B is moving and shaking...
We've been hosting some really wonderful guests these past several weeks and I'm just so grateful for them. In the beginning we were just trying to save our house, but as we meet more and more folks, I realize that they're saving my/our lives, more than just the house. This is humbling.

When owning a business was about making money, I did pretty poorly. When it was about passion and service, I did much better. This time around being in business has felt like anything but. I really love our guests! They make our lives so much fuller. I had no idea it could be this great! And now when we book a guest, I am so excited to meet them, to share with them, to welcome them into our home.

I have owned several businesses in my lifetime (some of you who have known me for a while will  recall the rock-selling business,  the lilac flower stand, the lemonade stand, the jewelry business, the car-detailing business, the environmental day camp, the fiber arts business, Smink, my Reiki practice, my Feng Shui practice, and Business Reiki). They all focused on different services, products, locations, etc.

Synergy B&B feels different somehow. Perhaps it is because I know myself better, or I'm more spiritually aligned. Perhaps it's because I am more focused on service and authentic interaction and less on money. Maybe it's the synergy of all those things at the right time.

I am grateful for the friends and family who are contributing their support in the many ways they are capable of. I hope that this business gives back to you more than you have given to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Just getting Synergy on the right track with the proper licenses, permissions, and insurance before we open. Very exciting!
The remodel is all finished and we had our first party in the space. Now we're planning an open house for Synergy (after we're officially open, of course). Stay tuned!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Remodel Almost Complete!

We're wrapping up our B&B remodel and getting back online (literally and figuratively). We have a brand new bathroom upstairs for Northern Light and Writer's Retreat, and a beautiful new kitchen. We're also getting ready to open up the main floor suite (2 rooms and private bathroom) for Spring and Summer.

Our new rates have changed to $50/night for the Writer's Retreat and $60/night for Northern Light, and both include breakfast. To reserve and pay online, click here for Writer's Retreat and here for Northern Light.