about the artisan

Dan'Yelle McNeely Photography.0040

mom, creative, scuba diver, equestrian, tattooed, lover of country music, traveler, explorer and passionately organic

kaiden and kaia

young einstein, plane and train enthusiast, cow lover, little engineer, sensory specialist, momma’s boy

|| a little bit about me || 

There once was a girl who packed up her life, her belongings, her dog, her horse, and headed for the mountains, towards the coast, away from her small Midwest town. Towards a life she was just beginning, yearning to learn more about the world upon which she walked. Towards a life full of adventure and self-discovery, of growth. Little did she know just how much she would learn and love the Pacific Northwest. That girl was me.

 

When I first moved to the greater Seattle area, I was only twenty years old. I originally moved out here to pursue my dressage riding career, but found myself wondering Pike Place Market or driving into the mountains on every day off I was given. I found myself touching fruits, vegetables, herbs, pastas that I had never seen. I found myself sorting through flowers, grown without harmful pesticides, safe for the region’s salmon, thumbing through and deciphering their use and their variations. I found myself laughing with and calling farmers by first name. I found myself sitting down in my favorite local farm to table restaurants and without even a word from my mouth, my order being placed in front of me. I found myself scouring the small local grocery stores, taking two and three times as long to go grocery shopping, simply because I was loving the ingredients I was stumbling across. I found myself driving out to the local dairies and farms to see for myself the amazing small businesses that place sustainability and animal welfare at the forefront of their responsibilities.

 

As I raise my son, the importance of using whole foods and locally produced and made ingredients is more important than ever. Using organically produced products, free of pesticides and genetic modifications, has become my norm. Avoiding food dyes and processed sugars not only is healthier for our bodies, but helps reduce the anxiety in my son. Sourcing out local farms and growers allows me to put the money right back into my local economy, supporting other small businesses, real people with real families, using their interests and strengths and specialties to bring a high quality addition to their community.

 

Being able to bring these local, organic, all-natural ingredients into my baked goods allows me to craft the most flavorful, wholesome confections around, providing a peace of mind to my clients, knowing that every little detail of their desert from the local whole milk buttermilk to the fair-trade, non-GMO organic chocolate based out of Seattle, has been so carefully chosen, and the businesses personally met with. This is my passion. These are my creations.

 

When I am not creating confections in the kitchen, you will most likely find me with my son, or my significant other, or our dogs, winding through local markets, hiking in the mountains, playing in the streams. We love to travel, and see what other parts of this vast world have to offer, submerging ourselves in foreign cultures, diving and exploring the diverse ocean life, learning the ingredients that go into their food, enjoying their take on this journey we call life. You may find me at the dressage barn down in the valley, grooming or riding my horse, providing myself a meditational escape and trust-filled partnership with an animal that is ten times my weight. We cook most of our meals at home, from scratch, whether it be the broth for our soup or the noodles for our pasta.

 

As much as we love to get out in the serenity of nature and all it has to teach and offer us, we are foodies by every nature of the term; whether it be touring local wineries, meeting and tasting at every brewery in the area, or finding the best most authentic little restaurants. Although I always take a sip of new drinks, it is a standing joke, especially with my boyfriend, a master brewer, that there is no way I belong in the Pacific Northwest scene, as I dislike coffee, wine and beer. I enjoy tagging along, however, because I love to hear the stories behind the establishments, and the ingredients and passion behind the brews. Plus, who knows, one day I may find one I enjoy! At the end of the day, I am grateful for the life that is paving its way for me. I come home to or with an exceptionally bright son and love-filled spouse every day. We can curl up on the couch in front of the fireplace and watch a movie, or end the day in a giant tickle session until we can laugh nor breathe any longer.

 

Sharing this passion for life and the all that this region has to offer is what makes every day worth it for me. What adventures do you enjoy embarking upon? What unique things have you come to cherish about our Pacific Northwest? What are you passionate about sharing or creating?

 

cheers, Lauren