Apricot Punch

I decided to add a new roommate to our garden. The new office I work at has a sweet little outdoor nursery behind it and I couldn’t help but stop and peruse. I have tried to limit myself to annuals this year, since we’re planning to raise the garden beds in the front and in the back (don’t really know how long that will take us, though). The rose bush was a gift, the tickseed – I couldn’t do without, and there are some bulbs that I planted but will dig up once we get the ground moving.

130611 flowersClockwise from top right: 1) Coleus flowers! I forgot that they had flowers. Sorta redeems them for their large oafish greenishness. 2) Rose #2 didn’t make it, so I pulled it out and replaced it with one of the tickseed plants. As you can see, it’s thriving!  3) Newest addition – Apricot Punch. It’s some sort of petunia, a “proven winner!”, and probably is supposed to hang from a basket, but I hope it will take to being a ground cover and fill in the gaps between my impatiens. 4) Rose #1 and Week 8! It’s gonna have white flowers!! I’m so excited.

I took the remaining sunflower seed packets that we gave out as favors to our reception guests and handed them out at work. I even gave some to the customers and it was a lot of fun. I didn’t really care to have people congratulating me and asking all the questions – I’m not a huge fan of attention – but it was nice. I sure hope they grow! I’m going to plant mine soon and see how it goes. The key will be to keep them out of reach of the bunnies…challenge accepted!

I was able to do a little bit of organizing and get some of our decorations from the reception that I planned to use in our home too. The Huz put together a lamp with shelves below it. Here is one level.

130610 M

I love our unity candle and *those birds!* Sweet little things from Michaels for less than $5. The M is from Michaels and painted with acrylic. I will be putting together a list of the Etsy vendors we used for the wedding soon. If you are desperate to know where the candle or the stand came from, feel free to ask. I’ll have to wrangle the name up.

Also, you should know about this stuff.

130610 tea

I love caramel. I love tea. I love bedtime tea. This stuff is amazing. The smell is glorious. The Huz says that it smells like Christmas, and I’d have to agree. Here are the ingredients.

California poppy plant extract, chamomile flower, rooibos leaf, chicory root, skullcap leaf, nutmeg kernal, cinnamon bark, stevia leaf, cardamom seed, ginger root, clove bud, black pepper.

It puts me right in that happy place before falling asleep. Go. Enjoy. And sleep sweetly.

Getting Married: 26 Weeks – O Christmas Tree

I am fiercely possessive of my holidays. This might be because I was born on Flag Day (June 14th), but I really don’t like my holidays to mix. So when Christmas decorations start coming out before Halloween, my hackles start to go up. I will not abide Christmas music before Thanksgiving. When I lived in Japan, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, naturally, so Christmas season was just about two months long there. That was kind of hard for me to handle. I love Thanksgiving and want it to stand on its own. But that country has its own plethora of holidays that took some getting used to.

The day after Thanksgiving, no bars are held. It’s time for Christmas! Which means, putting up Christmas trees, lights, decorations, making Christmas candy, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies – yes, mayhaps all at once. I had to work on Black Friday, which was a cake-walk at the bank, but Saturday, I drove up to Matt’s and convinced him that we needed to put up his Christmas tree.

I decided not to take my decorations up this year. I want to save that special Christmas for our first year married. But I definitely wanted to help Matt get The House ready for the holiday.

First, mood smell and lighting. Yum!

Matt’s accumulation of decorations…I brought the candy canes.

So many branches…


I enjoy colored lights, but there’s something crisp and pure about white lights on a tree. 🙂


I should probably dress up as a Christmas tree for Halloween one year…but I don’t like my holidays to mix.


Can you find Matt? Warning, it’s kind of disturbing.


His tree turned out lovely, albeit tame. I hope it can handle my decorations next year.

Sunday started off with a headache. The Christmas elves made it down to add some cheer to our sugar bowl, per norm. They always seem to be able to find us, even when we’ve moved houses. So fun.


I felt better in the evening by the time Matt came down to my home and helped us put our decorations up. Mom and I get pretty into it. We put on Scrooge with Albert Finney to love and enjoy. It’s a musical, naturally. We know every line, naturally. So do my sisters and their kids. It’s a family tradition.


I always feel like it’s not really The Christmas Carol without music and dancing…

Matt was gracious enough to help us bring boxes up from the basement, which has been one of my primary tasks. I was more than happy to let him take over that.


We have quite a few boxes…


I got the picture pre-skirt/pre-ornaments…but it’s so packed with stuff. I don’t think Matt knew what to expect when I told him I had a lot of decorations. Indeed, most of them are mine.

A lot of my decorations center around the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys. It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies (along with It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooge, Prancer, The Bishop’s Wife, White Christmas, Elf, and more).


Most things in our house make noise at Christmas. Most things, therefore, have a funny story attached to them about how someone was frightened by it going off. This one is light sensitive and the story takes place in a bathroom, late at night. I’ll let you come up with the rest.


I think this is Mom’s favorite. My nieces gave it to her for Christmas one year and it quacks and dances to the Nutcracker Suite. Talk about Duck Dynasty!

The festivities moved on to work for Monday. Mom and I have put garland and lights up on the little fence out front in the past, but we decided not to mess with it this year. My bank branch opened early this year, so we have no decorations just yet, and Mom let me borrow the garlands and lights to put up at work for this year until we can get some of our own. I had a lot of fun doing it.



I bought this tree at TJ Maxx a few years ago and love it. It’s so fun and bright! I added the ribbon at the bottom.


With a little finagling and some command hooks, we have a sweet holiday complement to our teller windows. We’ve since replaced a broken strand of lights and now it glows as well.

The assistant manager also went out and picked up some little trees and poinsettia to decorate. Our regional manager came in yesterday and told us that she absolutely loved what we’ve done. I was so pleased.

Have you finished your decorating? Do you have a family tradition, like toasting the tree? We’ve not had many resources in the past, so we’ve come up with our own traditions a little off the norm, but just as meaningful.


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com

Getting Married: 42 Weeks – Making “The House” Our Home

Matt and I have been reminding ourselves and learning to use phrases like “the house” or “our house” and the like instead of personal pronouns “my” and “your.” It’s surprising how much the words we say become habit. I knew that he would probably be proposing soon, about a month or so before the fact, so I had been talking with friends and some coworkers that I thought I’d be getting engaged. Even now, I find myself saying that to people when I mean to say, “I’m getting married!” So silly!

This post title will probably be coming up again in this series as Matt and I get things together and move more of my own stuff back in. Here’s what I’d like to show you so far. Enjoy!

This garden bed, we managed to clean completely of weeds about mid-summer. We try to touch it up when we get a chance, but I’m very proud of it. That azalea bush is gorgeous in the Spring!

We bought this shovel when we decided to tackle the garden bed above. I had been pulling out prickly lettuce from the other beds when Matt tried to dig out another set of weeds that had grown taller than the little evergreen bush on the corner. The weed won…

After some more intense work, we defeated the weed, freed the bush to the light and fresh air, and avenged the shovel!

In just the 30 minutes or so we were pulling up those weeds, I got a whole slew of mosquito bites. I’ve always wanted to have a bat house in whatever backyard I have…now is prime time! I think that we’ll put it “up there.” 🙂

I know that Matt’s parents gave this patio glider and tables to him for his birthday, but I’m pretty much claiming it as a gift to us. 🙂 It’s ok. He said I could.

I bought these a few years ago at the antique mall. I can’t wait to restore the design on the front and then fix up the kitchen to match. Can’t you just picture those in front of a gray-blue wall? I sure can.

We’ve been collecting glass bottles for the centerpieces at the reception…and I’ve also brought some of my mugs over. I may have a little bit of a collection. :p

We’re making one of the bedrooms a work room for me, since I love to create stuff and need someplace to do that. I can’t wait. Mom had bought this table for me a few years ago. Lanna and her husband were using it for a while but no longer have a need. Sure looks nice here! (You can see a chair I painted a few years back hanging out behind the table.)


I’m getting married to my, you guessed it, best friend on June 1st, 2013! Matt and I are super-excited and since we have quite a bit of time to plan this thing, I decided it’d be fun to blog about it. Well, maybe not always fun, but at least informative and it might give me a welcome distraction. You can find all the posts by clicking the “Getting Married” tab on the right of this page, or by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by!

My Pinterest Wedding Board

Our Wedding Website on WeddingWire.com