Tag Archives: Guest Bloggers

10 Things to love about Bellingham… From a Texas girl

I’m excited to share another guest post from another one of my favorite local bloggers, Sarah of Texas Girl in Washington. I love hearing about what life in Bellingham is like for another newbie family… and I definitely read her blog with a Texas accent. In my mind. (Thank you, Sarah! xoxo.)

Hey y’all!

My job has me speaking in front of people constantly and I know how to do introductions in person, but I always feel stumped when it comes to introducing myself in bloggy-land. So we’ll just make it short and sweet!

bellingFAM Guest Blogger

I’m Sarah, otherwise known as Texas Girl in Washington. Hubby, Our Darling 2-1/2-year-old Girl (ODG for short), and I moved to Bellingham just a few months ago. This is our first time living outside of Texas and we were unsure of what that would mean to our family. Within weeks we knew we had found our new home and we fall more in love with this new town and the people here every single day.

Being new to Bellingham, I have found BellingFAM quite helpful while settling in and finding various activities to help our family settle in. I was THRILLED when Katie offered an opportunity to share what we love about B’ham and I can’t wait to hear what you love, too! Without further ado…

Out top 10 countdown of  “What’s to Love about Bellingham”

Lake Whatcom

10. Water!

Y’all…Texas is in a drought. No matter where you go — well, everywhere except the coast —Texas land is THIRSTING for water. Lakes have dried up, towns have run out of water, and gardening? Not an option for the beginner. We love that the Bay is a 10-minute drive from our house, natural (as opposed to the 6000 man-made lakes in Texas) lakes everywhere we turn, and rain. Yes, I said the “R” word. We love the rain. Ask me again in a year how I feel about the “R” word, but for now, I love it! One of our favorite spots is Lake Whatcom, but it’s seriously tied with Boulevard Park.

9. Walkability…if that’s a word!

As long as you’re inside “The 5”, as we’ve learned it’s called, you seemingly can walk anywhere! Hubby is cyclist , by hobby, and eventually I’ll be able to get a bicycle and trailer, but for now, walking rocks — especially on the gorgeous, sunny, moderate temperature days. I’ve never lived in a town where it was normal to walk, so this is a special treat!

On that note…

8. Moderate temperatures

Now, aside from the 10-inches of snow we received 3 days after we moved here, I have never seen such moderate temperatures. It seems that as soon as the thermometer hits 60 degrees, Lake Padden is covered in bikini-clad college gals. In Texas, 60 degrees means you better pull out sweaters. I think I can get used to 70-80 degree summers, as compared to 100+ degree summer days.

7. Local restaurants

I own a small business and I have a deep appreciation for others who do the same. And, let’s be honest, I don’t cook EVERY night, so it’s nice to know there are fabulous locally owned restaurants that are not only (somewhat) healthy and delicious, but one that support someone’s family. A few of my faves are Brandywine Kitchen, Leaf & Ladle, and Bayou on Bay, for when I’m missing the south.

What are some of your favorite locally owned restaurants?

6. Lifestyle friendly

Is this a weird description? I just mean that on any given day I can see about 10 different cultures in one block of town and appreciate and love each and every one of them. Different age groups, different clothing styles, different art styles, and so much more. I love the Our Darling Girl will grow up in a diverse city (we moved from the land of “Stepford Wives” and cookie cutter towns). People understand and respect eating choices, too, like gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and such, which was SO not the case back in our part of Texas!

5. Mountains!

Y’all… we don’t have mountains in Texas. Well, we do, but not in the area we moved from and they’re not beautiful, snow-capped mountains with monstrously huge “Christmas trees” (as Our Darling Girl calls them). We have a somewhat decent view of Mt. Baker from the street in front of our house and ODG is always so thrilled to see “her mountain” when the clouds are not present.

4. PLENTY to do with kids

If you’ve been here a while and you’ve “done it all,” you may be thinking I’m crazy. But from where I come from, Bellingham is the Mecca for kid-friendly activities. Parks in every area of town — beautiful ones at that — kid-friendly activities in Fairhaven, like CreativiTEA or the Fairhaven Green where kiddos can run around and go crazy, or activities at the Bellingham Public Library. Rainy? No prob! Several churches, I’ve learned, offer indoor play days for younger kids and there’s Perch & Play, too. Now, once we get into the school-age range, I’ll need more research, but for now, we’re having fun staying busy.

3. Pet friendly town

Have a dog? There’s an awesome dog park at Lake Padden, or it seem that dogs are quite welcome along any trail/park. Also, at any given time downtown, some restaurants welcome dogs in or there are dogs tied up while their humans eat, and those dogs get quite a bit of love from passersby. Several places even have water bowls out for dogs who are passing by!

Don’t have a dog? No prob! Most dog owners are super quick to welcome petting. I’m sure you could find a great dog to love on when you get the desire.

Guest Blogger-Sarah-Ballard

2. Close enough to big cities, but still a small town

I grew up in a town the size of Bellingham, minus the mass of Canadians that travel down on the weekends. Maybe that’s one reason I feel at home in Bellingham is the similarities to the town I grew up in — same number of people, close to a big city, college town — but the past few years we’ve lived in a big metroplex, and I can say that kind of life is not for me. But, I do love that in just a short day trip we have a beautiful zoo, some great parks, and wonderful farmers markets. We traveled to Seattle a couple of weekends ago and enjoyed Ballard Farmer’s Market and ODG loved all the musicians!

What do you love about Seattle (or maybe Vancouver)?


I said it before and I’ll say it again… THE PEOPLE! We LOVE the people of Bellingham! We have met college students, older and wiser men and women, and lots of families in our same stage of life, and each one has been so friendly and welcoming to their town. Many people say Texas is known for their hospitality, but I have got to say, I’ve been BLOWN AWAY by the people of Bellingham!

I feel like maybe 10 things I love about Bellingham wasn’t a long enough list because I keep thinking of more, but I would love to hear some of your favorite things about Bellingham, too. Thanks to all those who have made us feel welcome here. We love y’all!

Guest Blogger-Sarah-Signature


10 Things I love about Ferndale

This is a guest post by one of my favorite local bloggers, Jess of The Average Jess, who was sweet enough to fill in for me while I’m still on the mend. You can also find Jess on Instagram. (Thanks, so much, Jess! Love the inside scoop on life in Ferndale! xo.)

Hovander Park in Ferndale

1. The mega park

Sitting just south of Main Street is one of Whatcom County’s largest gems, Hovander Homestead Park. This 350-acre mega-park has something for everyone. There’s the expansive, flat (read: stroller friendly) Nooksack River Trail, stretching from Main Street all the way to Slater Road, an off-lease dog park, a new playground, farm animals galore (goats! chickens! geese! bunnies! horses!), an interpretive story garden, old barns and vintage farm equipment to explore, a viewing tower, and picnic tables aplenty. The adjacent Tenant Lake provides even more nature exploration with a meandering boardwalk through the wetlands, another viewing tower, and a fragrance garden.

2. Burger joints

Two words: chocolate malt. Longtime Ferndale residents know that this cold, creamy drink is best paired with a Grant’s Burger (2254 Douglas Road, Ferndale). You can get both to-go from the walk-up window. Or, eat in and enjoy the classic jokes that cover the walls of the interior, in memory of the original owner, Russell Grant. Good Burger (5687 Third Ave., Ferndale) is another great option for a satisfyingly huge burger. Try the waffle fries — you won’t be disappointed. And, psst! You can get your tater tot and cherry limeade fix at Sonic Drive-In (1851 Main Street, Ferndale) — Ferndale is home to the only location in Whatcom County.

Hovander Park in Ferndale

3. Friday night lights

I’d be remiss to talk about Ferndale and not mention football. If you are looking for the quintessential small-town high school football game experience, than look no further than Ferndale’s Memorial Stadium on a Friday night in September. The lights glow through the fog, the drums of the fight song echo through the neighborhoods, and residents arrive early to save their seats in the stands. (Trivia question: Four Ferndale High School alumni have played or currently play in the NFL — can you name all of them?)

4. Location, location, location

Located right off of I-5, it’s just a quick commute to Bellingham. Big city fun in Seattle is under two hours by car. And, with just 17-miles between Ferndale and the Canadian border, Vancouver, and the beauty of the lower mainland of British Columbia, are just a quick trip north.

Tenant Lake in Ferndale

5. Get your thrift on

Vintage Pyrex. Mid-century sofas. Retro paint-by-number kits. I do my best treasure hunting at some of Ferndale’s great thrift and antique shops. For rare finds, check out McKay’s Variety (2036 Main St., Ferndale) or Etta’s Attic (2009 Main St., Ferndale). For larger pieces, visit Picker’s Paradise (6213 Portal Way, Ferndale) or the Habitat for Humanity Store (1385 Admiral Place, Ferndale).

6. Rural or urban, you pick

If you want wide, open spaces out your bedroom window, you can get that in Ferndale. If you are more of a cul-de-sac dweller, that’s an option here too. Ferndale has affordable options for living, whether you’d like to be walking distance to downtown or miles from anyone.

Ferndale Parade

7. The festivals

Watch men in kilts at the spring Scottish Highland Games. Go to a parade and an old-fashioned barn dance at Pioneer Park during the Old Settler’s Picnic in July. And, check out street vendors and food trucks at the Ferndale Street Festival in August.

8. The views

Nope, that’s not a fake movie backdrop… it’s a real life mountain. There’s nothing better than the view of Mt. Baker and the Bay from the top of Church Road in Ferndale.

9. Play ball… or practice jumps on your BMX

The ConocoPhillips Sports Complex, near Pioneer Park, features manicured, lighted fields and is home to loads of summer softball tournaments and baseball games. For even more fun, there’s the newly constructed bike park nearby too.

10. The signature scent

If the wind blows a certain direction, you’ll often detect a fragrance wafting across Main Street. Like fresh-cut grass on a spring morning, it’s a distinct fragrance — a combination of animal feed from Cargill/Ferndale Grain, peppered with the aromas of the nearby farmlands. Call me crazy, but I love it. While it may be something that most people would have to learn to love, to me, it smells like… home.

11. A bonus (and a way to get involved!)

The City of Ferndale is looking for support and volunteers for the STAR Park Playground Project. When it’s complete, this kid-designed, community-built playground will be Ferndale’s largest.. and it just might move to the top of the list of things I love about this great town!

Ferndale families, what do you love about living there?

All photos provided by The Average Jess