Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hippo Suave

 Looking suave in his mint green bow tie, Hippo knows he's the life of every party and the center of everyone's attention.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thin Blue Line Bow Tie

Because I'm Me Thin Blue Line law enforcement support cotton bow tie

We at Because I'm Me thank and support our men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.

Purchase this wonderful bow tie from our shop and $5 from each tie sold will be donated to C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization dedicated to supporting families and friends of officers killed in the line of duty.

And, please, let's all be kind to each other.

Because I'm Me law enforcement support bow tie

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jude Harbor

 A few months ago Because I'm Me branched out and created a second shop named Jude Harbor.

Jude Harbor is your small town gift shop brought to the internet. Currently, the shop is carries camera straps, camera strap covers, crayon and pencil holders, small quilts, coasters, handbags, and fabric pieces.

The reversible cotton camera straps are the newest addition to the shop and are decadent and well worth checking out, whether for yourself or to give as a gift. They're reinforced with nylon strapping on the inside to prevent any stretching and the ends are all stitched multiple times so there won't be any risk of breakage.

Opening this second shop allows Because I'm Me to focus solely on ties and accessories and to add in our new pet line. Over the next few months look at Because I'm Me to expand both the traditional ties lines and the pet tie lines.

To introduce our new shop and welcome you to it we're offering a 20% discount on all purchases made through the month of July. Simply use coupon code JUDEHARBOR20 when you make your purchase.

Jude Harbor can be found on Etsy, and be sure to follow us on Instagram (JudeHarbor) and Facebook to be the first to know about new items, sales, and contests.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

When Your Cat is the Cat's Meow

Hippo meowed me this joke the other day:

How do you catch a unique bird? Unique up on him.
How do you catch a tame bird? The tame way.
ba dump bump 

(yes, if you follow us on instagram and facebook you've already heard that one, but doesn't it get better and better with age?)

Super exciting news for cat and dog lovers everywhere:

Because I'm Me now carries cat and small dog bow ties and collars.

And stuffed lion bow ties and collars? Sure, why not?

The collars can be sized for 8 week old kittens on up to full grown Hippo sized cats. These collars can be made to fit small dogs too, just add measurements when you make your purchase.

This is Willie:

He came to my house with a group of four foster kittens from our local animal shelter. I went in to the shelter to drop off an application, before I handed the application to anyone I was handed a carrier with four five-week old crazy adorable kittens. My father saw pictures of the kittens on the internet and fell in love. Now he and my mother will be the proud servants to Willie, their little prince, who is also madly in love with them.

And the other three sweethearts:

And the public service announcement: Get your pets spayed/neutered. Adopt from a shelter. Foster from a shelter if you can. Our shelter currently has 131 kittens/cats available for adoption and about 300 out in foster care. I have no idea how many dogs they have, but it's more than a few.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Florida Keys and Bahia Honda State Park

Before I go further I have to mention this ...

Do you have Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing Scouts, or Sea Scouts? In Florida? Or out of Florida? Just north of Big Pine Key, in the Florida Keys, is a key called Scout Key. On Scout Key is a boy scout camp called Camp Sawyer. Troops, packs, crews, ships can camp there. On the water. Seriously. For $15 per person per weekend. Amazing! So go talk to your unit and get down there. Oh, here's there website.

The camp itself was terrific, small with 5-6 large group sites. The restroom/shower building was nicer than any I've seen at a Boy Scout camp and the host was very helpful. The camp is on the water with it's own dock and swimming area as well as canoes/kayaks to rent for far less than any of the other rental places. Big Pine Key is around the corner and Key West is less than an hour's drive. Sadly, I have no pictures of the camp, we were too busy in the water all weekend.

So, yeah, we went to Camp Sawyer - and will be going back.

Our troop decided to travel down to Camp Sawyer and decided to do it over a three day weekend to ease the challenge of the 5-6 hour drive. My family, being extra Keys-loving headed down Thursday with the camper to avoid some of the holiday traffic - which we did, we had no traffic at all and really felt like we had the roads to ourselves. With me were Adam, Kaden, and River. Our first stop was Long Key State Park, a new to us campground. This was our "check it out" visit to this campground to see if we'd like to stay there again.

All the sites are on the water and all looked nice and spacious. The water is super shallow, allowing the kids to go out almost further than I could see them clearly while still touching the ground. We brought a blow up raft so they could raft to wherever they wanted to go, and that worked perfectly at this park. As did water shoes. Gotta have water shoes in the Keys - I wore mine out the week we were down there, but saved my feet from cuts and other "weird stuff in the water (plants)". Our one night at this park was terrific, the restrooms were very nice and clean, and I won't hesitate to go back.

After our night at Long Key we headed down to Scout Key to meet up with the troop. We spent three nights there and, I won't lie, it was hot. Being on the water helped, but it was hot. The saving grace was the ocean, for sure. And we appreciated it very much. River and I stayed in the camper while we were there but had no hook-ups so no AC (note to self: figure out how to use the battery). To cool off we drove places - to get ice, to the grocery store, etc - and the AC in the car provided the perfect respite. We met up with my oldest daughter a few times, to go snorkeling and to go to dinner, spending time with her really made the trip extra special.

On Monday the troop headed home and we headed to Bahia Honda State Park, our FAVORITE place to camp in the Keys. We spent two nights there, mostly snorkeling and exploring the water right off our campsite. When we stay at Bahia Honda we always stay on the water. There are two areas with waterfront sites - one is tent only (some truck camper and pop-ups) and on the ocean, the other is the trailer/rv area on the gulf side. We favor the trailer/rv area because there was dredging done there, so a few feet into the water there's a nice drop off that provides some great snorkeling. Personally, I float with my pool noodle and let the tide carry me wherever it wants to go, like a huge "lazy river".

One morning we headed up to Home Depot in Marathon. On the way back to the campsite we stopped at the old Seven Mile Bridge walkway, which is a 2 mile walkway to Pigeon Key. As we were walking the sky clouded over with imminent rain but we keep going. Over the side of the bridge we saw so much - sharks, star fish, dolphins, sting rays, big fish, sea turtles (seriously, real sea turtles!), and so much more. After our two mile walk we discovered that the bridge to Pigeon Key was closed and we had to walk right back. Had it been sunny (and hot) that would have stunk. but we were loving the overcast sky and the breeze so we walked our way back. Despite the island being closed that walk was a major highlight of our drip and I highly recommend it.

Another successful Keys trip in the books. Yes, the next trip is being planned already.