Pampers and Pakhlava: 6th Anniversary!

by Beth Shepherd
( April 17th, 2015 )

How did I manage to miss my blog anniversary?! Six years ago, I decided to BE BOLD and launched myself into the blogosphere with Pampers and Pakhlava. On April 13, 2009, in my first post, From here to there, I talked about the decision process my husband and I went through when we chose to pursue international adoption, from Armenia.

6 year blog anniversary

My second post, Where the heck is Armenia, tells the story of finding myself in Elliott Bay Book Company, trying to get my hands on a book about Armenia. I wanted to learn more about the country, its people and culture, but the salesperson had no clue where Armenia was.

Here I am six years later, still blogging and—lucky me—people are still reading. Lots of people, in fact, because my blog has consistently been one of the top five for traffic on Wanderlust and Lipstick, a hugely successful travel website. So a big shout out to my readers: Thank you!

Since those initial posts, I have traveled. Oh have I traveled, in the literal and metaphorical sense. I’ve now visited Armenia five times, along with trips to France, England, Netherlands, China, Tibet, Kauai, Colorado, Baja California. I love to travel and only wish I could do more.

And I’m a mom! When I started Pampers and Pakhlava, not only did I have a lot to learn about Armenia, I had a lot to learn about ‘pampers.’ Changing that first diaper, in a Yerevan apartment is an experience Big Papa and I will never forget.

Aside from travel and parenthood, two reasons I started my blog were to have the opportunity—and inspiration—to write more and take more photographs. This post is number 590! So a second shout out to Beth Whitman who believed in the power of my story and took a chance on me.

Happy Sixth Anniversary Pampers and Pakhlava!


May there be more stories and more photos to share. And may there be more travel!

If you want to read more about all things Pampers, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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The little house that could

by Beth Shepherd
( April 13th, 2015 )

As many of my reader’s know, I live in a very small, very old house, which is why I have a soft spot for one tiny 600-square-foot Ballard home. If any house could tell a story, it’s Edith Macefield’s house. In 2006, Edith made headlines around the world when she refused to sell her childhood home to developers, even as it was literally enveloped by commercial buildings on three sides. Rumor has it that she even refused a $1,000,000 offer on her humble abode and, as a result, one 84-year-old-woman and one 106-year-old bungalow became cult heroes.

As the construction swirled around her, Edith opera blared from inside Edith’s home and she regaled visitors with stories of edgier days in her life as European undercover agent during World War II. Edith had a lot of spunk and I admire that!

Edith Macefield memorial balloon

When Edith died two years later, a friend inherited her house, and then sold it to a real estate coaching firm called Reach Returns. Reach Returns announced a scheme to raise the house thirty feet in the air, inspired by the movie ‘Up,’ where a retired balloon salesman, and recent widower attaches balloons to his house to avoid moving to a retirement home and, instead tries to fly his home to Paradise Falls, South America. But in this real life story, Reach Returns investment scheme collapsed, investors lost a lot of money and the lender took Edith’s house back via foreclosure.

Edith Macefield's Ballard little house

Enter Paul Thomas from Realty Brokers, Inc. in Seattle. He’s the listing agent for Macefield’s former home. Yes, that’s right, the tiny house is For Sale! My brain has been churning with ideas, even though my bank account couldn’t afford to by Edith’s former home, like turn the house into Edith’s Diner with a portion of meal proceeds to benefit low income senior housing.

But this sale isn’t typical. Thomas said there is no asking price. Buyers need to make an offer and the highest price offer may not be the winner. Thomas said the buyer needs to guarantee that the home or something will remain to honor Macefield’s memory.

In the meantime a ‘Memorial Balloon Wall’ has arisen out in front of Macefield’s house and when I went with Little Bird to get her hair cut (Sharkey’s is literally around the corner), I wanted to stop by and show her the house. I tried to explain how Edith loved this tiny old house, just like mama loves our tiny old house, but all Little Bird wanted to do was blow up a balloon.

Ballard memorial balloon wall

So we did. She picked a balloon and we used the marker provided to draw a picture. Then we attached our balloon to Edith’s Memorial Balloon Wall.

Edith Macefield's ballon wall

And took a picture.

My daughter at Edith's 'Up' home

Interested in buying a slice of Seattle history? You have until April 20 to come up with an idea and make an offer.  Personally—I’d like to see that happen.

Edith Macefield's ballon

If you want to read more about all things Pampers, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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Kim Kardashian visits Armenia: Five posts she should read

by Beth Shepherd
( April 10th, 2015 )

Word on the street is that Kim Kardashian, her sister Kloe and two cousins are visiting their motherland. Bari Galust, Kim. Welcome to Armenia!

Airport Welcome to Armenia

1. Since you have your daughter North along for the trip, you’ll definitely want to read my post about sightseeing in Yerevan with an infant.

Children's Museum Yerevan

2. I’m not sure how long your family plans to stay in Armenia, but if you are there on April 24th you can participate in the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Here’s a great article from the New York Times that describes what happened in 1915. Definitely go see Tsitsernakaberd and visit the Armenian Genocide Museum. I wrote about my visit in this post.

Genocide Memorial in Yerevan

3. Of course, you must try Lahmajun. I wrote about Mer Taghe, my favorite spot in Yerevan to enjoy Armenian pizza. And if you want some privacy from the paparazzi, they even have take-out.

Armenian pizza

4. And, to work off the many calories consumed on your trip (oh-how-I-know), a few treks up and down the Cascades will help keep you fit and in fine curvy form. I wrote about all 572 steps in this post.

The Cascade and Cafesjian Center for the Arts

5. Finally, because I know you LOVE to shop, especially for your daughter, check out my post this week about the Sharan Crafts Center. Just leave a few things for the rest of us.

Little Bird Sharan dress

Have a great trip, Kim!

If you want to read more about Armenia, follow—Pampers and Pakhlava. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter or RSS/email.

Take the road less traveled, Beth

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