Funky Tut

It's King Tut exhibit day! So, of course..... (and just ignore the weird pop-up thing, just a YouTube anomaly):


Clearing Out

It happened.

We actually got a SUNNY DAY. And what did we do with it? Not lounge on the deck, not frolic in a sprinkler, not even head for the nearby beach... Nope, like the holy-crap-there's-so-much-that-needs-to-be-done-first-time-homeowners we are, we (drumroll) cleaned gutters and weeded!!

I know. Don't be jealous.

But seriously, because it seems that our house was a rental for years before we made the big purchase, the gutters have gone untouched for about the same length of time. And now that the weather is ever-so-slowly turning nicer, there are actual shrubs poking up from every roof-line. Not cute.

So Nate did this:
And since I had to be outside to be ready to catch him or something "just in case", I decided to tackle the crazy Lamb's Ear that's slowly taking over our garden.

The derivative we have is a somewhat pretty plant, with fat, soft, dusty leaves, and it even has a moderately attractive bloom to it when it's not busy choking the life out of anything in it's path. According to my mom, you can whack it back with clippers if you want it shorter and it'll just keep on tickin', but at this point I'm just done with it.

So! Two big patches up and into the yard waste bin:
The smaller of the two patches.
Playing Caesar. Die, plant!
And while I know this gutter and weed talk has made for a scintillating read so far, the best is yet to come.

Under the larger patch of Lamb's Ear, I found.........
Why, frogs on a park bench, of course! They're so ugly, but it was too funny to give 'em the heave ho immediately, so in their little glen they remain for now.
See 'em tucked away in there?
I think I rather would have unearthed another patio as before, but the park frogs were just as surprising. And I guess the upside of the rain returning tonight is that the froggies will get a good bath before they head out for the thrift store.


Random Round-Up: Birthday Week Kickoff

Still feel like I'm finding my way out of the never-want-the-weekend-to-end haze, but take a peek at my pre-Birthday kick-off celebration (of which I totally failed to get any pictures of the actual party and instead took snaps before and after... doh! Ah well.):
Prep for lemon-strawberry-basil infused water
A lil' festive decor
S'mores bites - Thank you Pinterest. My new go-to.
2003 Dom Perignon - I'm so spoiled (thank you Adam!!)
Mom's creativity: 30 Golden Gifts (for my golden birthday)
Sunday Morning Recovery
This week is going to be a shorty as Nate and I are taking Friday off to go see the King Tut exhibit (a bucket list tick for me - SO EXCITED I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU), and then an uber-fancy dress-up dinner together on Saturday, which is both my actual birthday and the anniversary of our engagement.

Let the festivities continue!

P.S. If you happen to check out the S'mores Bites recipe I linked to, full disclosure: I totally cheated and made it as easy as possible, meaning I melted milk chocolate chips, dunked a marshmallow on a toothpick into it while still in the pot, and set it on a cookie sheet I covered with crushed graham crackers. Done and delicious.


Clean Up Crew: Tissue Flowers

Happy Sunday! In reality, I'm recovering from what I'm sure was a super fun pre-birthday fiesta planned by my best buds (and bridesmaids) Emily and Paula, along with the hubs. But thought I would do a little show-and-tell of another wedding leftover being put to use for today. Surely pics will be posted of the fun had this weekend in a Random Round-Up later on in the week.

Remember that sea of tissue, tulle, and lace flowers I created for the table decoration? I just couldn't bear to throw all that work away immediately, so I've been holding on to 'em in a big storage tub in my someday soon-to-be sewing room.

And well, now that I want to use that space as an actual room, those flowers have got to go.

I've seen a million-and-one different variations of wreaths on Pinterest of late, so thought I'd see what I could come up with. One $4.99 Michael's grape vine wreath form later... Ta da!
Because the 'stems' of the flowers were a thin wire, all I had to do to complete this project was stick the wire through the wreath and bend/wrap it around the vines until it felt secure. The whole project took about 10 minutes.

The plan is that it'll go on the inside of our front door since tissue can't really withstand the outside elements. I still have a ton of the flowers left, so speak now if you want a wreath made for your own interior... Otherwise - and I hate to say it - in the trash they go. Glad I have some to remember the project by!

Update: It's found it's official home!


Quick Craft: Mason Jar Candles

Moving and sorting has brought several small collections to the surface that are in need of either being put to use or donated... whether that's to the thrift store or the recycling bin.

The other day I figured out how to combine two of these mini collections: Mason jars and old small candles. A leftover bag of copper-colored stone chips poured into each jar, a candle plopped in, and boom, table centerpiece.
Less than 10 minutes start to finish, and now I have something that's taking up less space then when all the ingredients were apart collecting dust, and pretty to boot. Most of the jars are from Classico pasta sauces who package in real Atlas mason jars and whose labels are blessedly easy to remove. I was thinking it would also be cute to use sand in place of the rock chips I used, either bought at a craft store or saved from a happy beach vacation. Pretty!

P.S. How sad is it that the weather is still so un-summery here that I took the last photo at around 4:30pm and just turned the lights off in the kitchen to get it so dark?! BOO. Ready for some nice weather.



While scrubbing my computer desktop of unnecessary files, I ran across a  harried to-do list I made for the week prior to moving into our house. The frenzy of it simultaneously cracked me up (you can practically picture me tearing my hair out and mainlining caffeine) and made my jaw drop in awe of all the hard work we accomplished before we set up permanent camp in our new digs. Take a peek:

This week:
-Pick up carpet board @house
-Remove walk-in closet doors/base
-Tear out carpet/pad from walk-in closet
-Sweep/vaccuum closet
-Go to Home Depot
      *foam rollers/laminate glue/buckets(?)

-Seal upstairs floors and staircase
-Ashley: Pack & Load

-Pick up countertop from Lowe's
-Unload bins
-Remove kitchen sink
-Finish sanding kitchen counters

-Install countertops

-Look into renting U-Haul

-Pick up U-Haul

-Try not to die of exhaustion.   
...I think we checked every one of those guys off the list on time, and I'm happy to say we definitely accomplished what was on the list for Sunday, although just barely, as I recall. Fun to look back on that crazy time in our lives!


Random Round-Up: Father's Day Weekend

 A few snaps from the end-of-week and weekend of Father's Day...  
Flowers collected from our yard.
Black Forest Cake from scratch, courtesy of Mom
Black light putt-putt for Father's Day
Hubs & Dad gettin' serious in the arcade
A 'Marie Curie' rose from the garden
Heading northward/home with my fave hometown coffee stand drink.
Hope you enjoyed this lil' visual journal entry!


Photo Finish[ed]... For Now.

Ever a work in progress, our family room wall-o-photos has been getting some additions lately. Back in February, it looked like this:
And now, with the additions of a few bits and bobs (and new furniture), it looks like this:
With the high ceilings, our fluffy chair looks dwarfed, but it gives you an idea of how big a space this vast span of once-blank wall really is.

I still hope to get some of the smaller goods (the J and wood block signs) sitting on top of a couple of frames fitted with picture hangers and up onto the wall, but for now they're alright where they've landed. And although the Instagram photo above doesn't show it clearly, the ribbon holding the horseshoe and the curvy J are both a saturated teal, which, come mid July, will match a new area rug from Urban Outfitters (currently backordered, boo!) . Very exciting since we loathe our "white" carpet and have to save a bit to put in our dream floor.
P.S. That leaning 'J' in the upper left corner look familiar? It's our cake topper I made, minus the stakes to hold it into the cake. Another wedding leftover woven into the fabric of our home decor!


Eureka, Spirea!

As I was doing some blog reading this morning, I came across an entry of some photos taken in one author's garden. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but one of the yet-to-be-identified flowering plants in our home garden!

Remember this photo I posted last week?
Well, the blogger referenced it as "Bridal Veil". A little Google action, and I found that while the term Bridal Veil goes for several variations of white flowering bushes, what's in our yard is Spirea. Armed with name and variety I was easily able to find care and pruning (that's the part I really needed since this guy is out of control in our garden) info. One garden mystery solved!
Pro Spirea pics from here


Tornado Alley

There's a method out there that if you make something negative public, you'll be more motivated to make a change.

Well... Here's hoping.

I cringe to post about this, but it's a project that's going to be taking up some precious other-house-activity time, so I may as well let you in on our dirty little secret: My Someday-Sewing-Room.

As soon as we saw the house we knew the sunny room was destined to be my crafty corner, and since it wouldn't be put to use right away, we went about filling it up with anything and everything we moved in but didn't have an immediate place for.


Between wedding prep and moving, the place has ended up looking like (.....deep breath.....) this:
Tornado alley 2.0, right? Now honestly, I probably wouldn't have had the guts to post these if I hadn't already made some headway. A solid 4+ hours put in on Saturday morning created a lot of floor space, along with a LOT of recycling and a fair amount in the to-toss and give-away piles too.

I purposely titled the file names of these pictures "sewing room BEFORE" in my computer, so that means there just has to be an after... Right? Right. Let the sorting commence... er, continue.


Oh Snap - Weekend in Pics

Is there a way to have a fun-yet-productive, busy-yet-relaxing weekend? Well, whatever the recipe is for that, I found it over the last 2.5 days (yes, I count Friday evening as the weekend since I don't have to go to bed at 9pm).
Happy 30th to Me! On-sale shoes arrived!
A little dress shopping for birthday festivites...
Yummy homemade pizza
New (free!) suit, courtesy of Old Navy & Crowdtap
Tired pups - We're pug-sitting again this week
I also set in on tackling a MAJOR house project, which I'll spill more about this week. It's a dirty one, but the pay off is pretty huge. Hope you had a great weekend!



Despite overcast skies and diving right into what we locals refer to as June-uary, I slogged around our yard this weekend to capture all the bits of late spring/early summer that are brave enough to show themselves.

A few pretty bits, Instagram style:
I know the top is an azalea, and the third from the top a rose (a Marie Curie rose, to be specific, thanks to the planter who left the metal tag on the bush), but who knows what the rest are? Anyone? We're sort of discovering things as they blossom, so I'd love to get some clues so I can better take care of it all.


Tasty Tidbits

In what's getting to be a frequent feature on this blog, how about a few random tidbits from around the house?

Right before Memorial Day weekend Nate and his dad went to Costco unsupervised... which always yields a fun-yet-expensive result. This time: Our very own Traeger.
Part grill, part smoker, Nate's parents have been using the large size for nearly a year with mouth watering results. We even had smoked turkey for Thanksgiving at their house this year thanks to a cleverly engineered wind screen to keep the temp up inside the grill.

So, now here we are with our "medium" size, and have already joined up in the crazy "what-can-we-smoke-next" mentality of seemingly everyone who owns one of these things.
Nate unpacking the Traeger/Taking over our kitchen
Next up in the random-ness: Home decor. My all-time favorite home/lifestyle blog, Young House Love, has taught me over the years to not be afraid of allowing things to migrate from room to room around the house. Changing things up like that offers a totally fresh take on both the item and the room, and if it's already something you own: The price is right.

Case in point, the shelf above our creamy jacquard couch in the formal living room. Remember when it looked like this?
Well it's gone through several changes since, but I think this one will stick for a while:
One of my best friends Rebecca took that picture of tree tops in our home town, and for a girl who spent a lot of childhood time lying in fields and forests daydreaming up at the sky, I just love it.

P.S. For those who've asked, the 7 is a Michael's discount shelf find (roughly $4) and stands for the date we were married. the bud vase is an antique from my grandmother who grew up in China, and those brown squares are just thrifted frames with no glass or photo inside. Easy!