Fresh Friday – Last 10 on Pinterest

Some recent Pins that have made me happy, inspired me, or just piqued my interest

from OneGoodThingByJillee.com – Always looking for practical ways to reduce my keratosis pilaris. It does seem to be getting better as I get older, but the bumps are still noticeable sometimes

from ShugarySweets.com – mmmm, pumpkin, spice, biscotti, coffee…all so yumm

from MyBakingAddiction.com – chocolate and pumpkin in brownie form?! Yummm…I’m sensing a theme here

from HomemadeGinger.com – always looking for new crafty ideas. This sounds like a great cheat!

love embroidery. I have been wanting to try embroidery with ribbon too. Oh, maybe I can use it on this quilt I’m working on!

from SomethingSwanky.com – are you saying I have a problem here? Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip is totally normal in the fall 🙂

from LandscapeDesignAdvice.com – I have some fresh dirt patches that will need to be filled next Spring. Great ideas!

from TwoPeasandTheirPod.com – pumpkin again, yes. But they’re PUMPKIN DONUT HOLES!!! 🙂

I just love elephants. They are gorgeous and lovely and special.

by MeadowTea on Etsy.com – Pun intended!

You are welcome to find me on Pinterest. There is a quick button to the right of this post, just under the Instagram feed.

See you there!

Fresh Friday – Wander Edition (Traverse City Iris Farm)

I promised that I was going to post the highlights of the trip to Michigan back in June, buuuuuuut I’ve been a bit of a slacker. I mean, I’ve had stuff on my plate this summer, but not enough to really excuse it. This week, we got a package which reminded me of that promise, so here is a post about one of my favorite finds near Traverse City, MI.

It was not on my list of things to see, but we drove passed it a couple times and I KNEW I had to make a stop at some point during our visit. The irises were in full bloom and absolutely gorgeous!

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It was very cloudy the morning we decided to stop. I was sad, because the colors were so vibrant in the sunlight. We were not the only ones with the idea to stop, though. A group of ladies were setting up chairs and easels to paint the beautiful colors of the flowers. The sun was trying its best to make an appearance, and did in spots.

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There are so many kinds of irises with so many creative names. We put in an order for rhizomes to be mailed out to us once they were ready. We ordered 5 different types: Seakist, Immortality, Forty Pinochle, Wabash, and Neutron Dance. They finally came in the mail after I had almost forgotten about them!

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If you are ever in the area, you should definitely stop by! Peak season would be late May-early June. You can pick out which rhizomes you like and they will be delivered to you the end of October/early September. They come bare root (as you can see), so there’s no worry about invasive species making their way into your community. It even includes a Certificate of Quarantine Compliance! If you’re a “native” junky like me, you will love that they take this extra precaution. Irises are beautiful but not worth the spread of Japanese beetle or plant disease. I am very excited to see what they look like next Spring. The goal is to plant them in the garden bed on the side of the house, using old tire halves to make raised beds for other annuals. I’m so pumped!

Iris Farm in Traverse City

 

5385 E Traverse Hwy
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
(231) 947-9040

on Pure Michigan Website

 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I decided to finally plant my sunflower seeds!

For the reception, we gave out favors for the adults and the kids. Adults could pick out seed packets of either tall or short sunflower varieties. I had several packs leftover, but I couldn’t decide where to put them. I picked a spot right behind my tickseed to plant some of the short varieties. I only planted them on Saturday and look!

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Only 4 days old! Already at least half an inch tall. And I know these aren’t weeds. They’re looking good.

IMG_20130717_204838_808_1For the tall ones, I’m going to become a living parable of the sower. If you don’t know the parable, it’s found in Mark 4:3-20 in the Bible. It could also be called The Parable of the Seed or The Parable of the Soils, since it’s really about the same sower, same seed, but different types of soils. Anyway, with the tall sunflower seeds, I opted to let them run wild along the fencing between ours and our neighbor’s home. There are lots of weeds there, it can be very dry, but sunflowers were “wild” once and I’m sure can hold their own. Here’s hoping that we can get at least some flowers coming up and be braced along the fence…and that Matt doesn’t weed-whack them to oblivion.

And here are some other grand residents of our garden.

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I love the resilience of plants. Rose #1 has clearly been attacked by some sort of creature (and its several brothers, sisters and third cousins twice removed) but there is new growth! She is still kickin! I hammered a fertilizer spike near the plant We’ll see how that goes.

We’ve had a couple new visitors at our seed bag at the kitchen window. We’ve had a family of goldfinches that loooooove hanging around. They have got desensitized to Matt and I standing at the window and watching them. The new guests have not, but I was finally able to snap a photo of the pretty male house finch.

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Sorry they’re not more clear. My camera would not focus properly for me. But those guys are so handsome!

We also pulled in the one bookcase that’s all painted. Took a while, and there’s another matching one, but I’ve unloaded some books on to it. Ok, a lot of books. We’re talking about stringing up some Christmas lights around the inside of the sides/tops to add some light. I am very pleased with how it’s all looking. Love it!

I’m in a Bible Study/accountability group with some pretty great ladies. I have known each of them for a range of time and in a range of ways, but we all are newly married (within the last 6 years…I believe) with me being the newest married. We decided at our last meeting that we would take part in a 30 Day Challenge to read Scripture each day. The idea is that you can start a habit in 30 days and so we’ll each be challenged to set a specific time aside each day to read our Bibles. I have been across the globe working as a missionary and yet I feel like I am one of the most undisciplined people out there when it comes to Scripture reading. I tend to gravitate towards making something, playing Farmville (yes, I’m one of those), or reading a classic novel. Those aren’t bad in themselves, but they do take my attention from learning more.

I looked up 30 day reading plans and found a few that looked pretty good. I decided to make up a flash card for each day of the 30 and write the different reading plans on them. Here is what I have for Day 7. I’m only reading the top two plans of each day, but I am really enjoying it.

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If you would like to find a good reading plan, here are two great websites to check out.

23 Bible Reading Plans that will Satisfy Anyone

30 Days Through the New Testament

Toodles!

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.

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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.

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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: 2 Weeks – I Don’t Even Know

I don’t know what to call this thing anymore. I’m out of cute, funny or even informative titles for these blog entries. It’s a good thing we’re finally to 2 Weeks!

By the way, in preparation for the next phase of my life (our life…I have to use plural personal pronouns now, right? I’m no longer one person, yeah?), I have come up with a couple new categories for the blog. First, I have the “Making Home” category. I know the description says that I’m already married, but I just want to be ahead of the game. I’ve already added some posts to it since Matt and I really have already started making our home. I’m pumped.

Along with that one, I want to share the metamorphosis of the gardens and plants around The House. So, here’s Rose #1 (and Other Growing Things) because, who are we kidding, everything starts with roses, as much as I hate to admit it. There are already some posts in that category as well. We’ll see how it all goes. Hopefully, I’ll be more diligent about blogging after the wedding than I was before getting engaged. I am certain there won’t be a post every week like clockwork, just as often as I have something to share and can get it down for you.

Before we get going with too much other random stuff, I want to share another blog’s post with you. This blog is by a professional photographer and the post is about wedding guests jumping in front of the hired photographers, using their flashes and ruining special photos, and dictating the bride, groom, and party’s attention. I think it’s great! Having friends who are photographers, I have heard their angst about these situations, but I’ve never seen the failed photos before. There are some truly heartbreaking photos on this blog. Go check it out here. Ok, here’s one example from the site:

Oh, isn’t that awful?! I think this might even be just one camera flash.

Tuesday night, I finished up one part of the reception favors. So glad those are done! I’m thinking we will have quite a few left over, but that’s alright. I can just use the rest myself…while I eat our leftover cake. Yum! I won’t have to worry about fitting into my wedding dress anymore.

Which, by the way, we brought home on Wednesday. Everything looks great! We had a slight issue with the bustle. The hooks were a little too low so the train was still dragging, but they fixed it while we were there. We were out in no time and God even held back the monster storm that was warned to come in at the same time. YAY!!! We’re getting sooooooooo close!

I don’t know what else to put up here this week. My brain is a little frazzled and there’s a lot going on today. So, I will leave you with pictures of *ta da!* our garden!

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Enter impatiens and begonias

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Even the Right Garden bed got some pretties. We’ll see if it looks any better through the season this year.

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Whilst digging, I found a baseball. These gardens are teeming with strange things.

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Rose 1 Week 5. I wish it weren’t so blurry, but you get the idea. We cut out the big towering annoying bush behind it. Yay!

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I decided to take a picture of Rose 2 as incentive or encouragement for her to start growing now. We’ll see how it goes. She was covered previously by that big hosta in the back. I pruned it back a little. The begonia should enjoy its extra space.

Have a great week everyone!

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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: 3 Weeks – Shower #2

Are you nervous?

This is the question I’ve been fielding since the final month started. I can honestly say, I’m not nervous…about getting married. That part is not an issue at all. I am so ready! It gets harder and harder to drive up to The House that will be our home and then have to leave at night. And usually that 40 minutes drive is after Matt and I have been cuddled up on the couch watching a movie – the perfect activity to get you all ready to go to sleep…and then I have to get in a car and be alert and responsive. It’s much the same when Matt comes down to see me some evenings.

But, there’s light at the end of the tunnel! We took one more big piece of furniture from my room – my electric piano. Hey, it’s looking for a good home, if you know of anyone who might be wanting one. We haven’t thought out a price yet, but if you let me know, we can start negotiating. Good piano. Privia. I love it, except that we already have a piano at The House. And when only one person can play it, that’s all you really need, right?

Back to the question. No, I’m not nervous. I’m anxious. There’s a difference. But again, I’m not anxious about getting married. I’m anxious about everything getting done. Of people having a good time. Of things and people being where they’re supposed to be. I’m anxious about money.

I could try and soften it and say, “Oh, the Bible says not to be anxious, so I’m not. I’m actually ‘concerned.'” But for transparency, yes, I am anxious. It’s not an overwhelming anxiety, but it’s there. I’m not asking for comfort or whatever, just being honest. The extra attention embarrasses me. I know, I know. I’m putting it out there on a public blog, so I must be fishing for something. Nope, just being real.

Anyway, just wanted to answer the question for any of you who might be wanting to ask that question up there. Hopefully, we’re all straight on that.

Back to the post title.

SHOWER #2!!!!!

Yay! I was so touched by how many people came to the shower at my church. I know how crazy the end of the school year can get, and there were a good few who weren’t able to stay because of that wild schedule. You know, the local high school planned their graduation on my wedding day?! Can you believe it?! And then they had the nerve to plan the arts fair on my shower day.

I’ve been there too. I graduated from the school myself, and was frequently required to be at the arts fair, what with art classes and being in the orchestra. I miss playing in a large group setting, but I don’t miss the time commitment. Especially now that I have this huge time commitment of a wedding.

Everyone did a great job of the shower. It was put on by our ladies group and my two bridesmaids, er, matrons, er…that term is awkward.

This is the only picture I got of the shower and it’s not very good at all. I don’t know if anyone else took any. It was beautiful, delicious, and fun. 🙂

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My dear friend Amy, made all those yummy desserts. Which reminds me…

Week 3 06

For real

We got a bunch of stuff for the kitchen. I’ve been so jazzed about this kitchen. I can’t wait to live there. Can I please just be barefoot and…in the kitchen all the time? Baking…I could move my project room to the kitchen and then I could do all that stuff in the kitchen too. Ok, ok…I’m just kidding. But check out these colors.

week 3 kitchen

We also got these.

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Those elephants are from my dad and step-mom and they’re two pieces with trunks that wrap around each other. Cute, huh? Matt was excited to have something to put together and right now, it’s housing the bedding we’ve received so far until I get up there with some clothes to put in it.

And then we will move outside, to my next favorite thing…probably my favorite right now because it’s so green and alive and I have so much hope for it.

week 3 garden

That’s an azalea flower on the left. Yes, we have a beautiful little azalea bush and I love it dearly. I talk to it and I think that’s why it decided to have just one bloom early this year because it knew I’d be happy.  Top right are the pink flamingos my nieces and nephew got us for the garden. We think they’re a hoot and are probably going to keep them out indefinitely…and put funny outfits on them when the kids are coming up to visit. Bottom right is Rose #1 at 3 weeks. She is so happy where she is, it’ll be a shame to move her after we put together the raised bed in the back, but it’ll be for the best. Rose #2 isn’t doing so great. I had to relocate her to more sunlight. We had a hostas that decided to throw its leaves all over the back of the garden and shade her from the sun. She wasn’t happy. Hopefully, we can get her back in gear.

Here is Rose #1 Week 4.

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Such a happy rosebush.

Oh, and I told you about how I planted some tickseed, right?

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We’ve got buds! So excited to see them pop out all yellow and red and bright.

I debated showing you some of the things I had worked on this weekend, but I think I will keep it all a surprise for you. Unless you follow me on Instagram and then you will probably already have seen it. So, I’ve got a bunch to get done. I will see you again next week!

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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: 7 Weeks – Postcards, Painting, and Spring

One of the things we are excited about (well, me way more so) is our idea of a guest book for the wedding. I might have mentioned it before in this blog series, but I absolutely love postcards. When I was out of the country, I would try to send postcards to friends and family and even some to myself. It was a fun time. I remember taking about an hour to sit in a cafe in Hiroshima, filling out postcards to send home before I hopped on the train back to Shimonoseki. That was a special time for me. A time to reflect on the crazy day I had, the things I had seen, and enjoy the scenery. There were even couple people with dogs who walked by and the dogs let me pet them! That was a rare occurrence in Japan. It was the saddest point of my time there.

So, I have a bunch of postcards from all over that I’ve collected. But also, I have a bunch of friends and family from all over who may or may not be able to attend. Our guestbook will be all postcards that people have either mailed to us, or brought themselves, or just picked out at the ceremony/reception and filled out. We were so excited to get our first one in the mail from my Aunt Brenda a couple weeks ago!

week 7 postcard

Isn’t that fun?! It’s just the kind of thing we want. If YOU are picking out a postcard to send or bring with you, it can be whatever you like, but I would love it if it’s from something local to your area. Who knows, maybe we’ll take our postcards and visit each site in order throughout our marriage. That sure would be fun. If you want more instructions, check out our wedding website here.

I absolutely love to paint. I’m a crafty person (if you can’t tell). Sometimes when I’m stressing, or overwhelmed with stuff, I just need to sit down with a paintbrush and go. I did that this week. It’s purposeful painting, not just for pleasure. I’ll be able to do more of that after the wedding, but right now, everything I do just about needs to be purposeful. I’ve had this bunny shelf for years! I mean, years!

week 7 bunny shelf

The project room is one glorious hot mess. Don’t look at it.

I can’t remember when I got it, but I know I had it through elementary school. That was when I was most into bunnies. Then I loved wolves. Then I loved elephants, and that’s been a regular thing since. But I wanted to incorporate this into the wedding and then into the house afterwards. That will take some tweaking post-wedding day, but in the meantime, I needed to prime this baby and get some paint on her. I like to use flat house paint as a primer. It’s what we used in art class in high school and the habit just stuck with me. When I pried open the lid of my small paint can, this is what I found.

week 7 old paint

This used to be white…

Gross, huh? Tell me about it. I thought it was weird that nothing was moving inside when I was shaking it up. Yep, spoiled to the core. I’ve never seen anything like it. Thankfully, there is a lumber/quasi-hardware shop right down the street from The House, so Matt and I drove there and picked out a fresh can.

week 7 new paintIt’s better if the paint is not completely white. For some reason it’s harder to cover with darker colors. So, I got a tint called “Violet Puff.” Bahaha, so funny. But it did the job! And the bunny shelf is well on her way to lovely readiness. I’m pretty pleased with her. There are some other things I’m painting too, but I don’t like to give all my secrets away.

Last Fall, I planted a bunch of bulbs outside the front of The House. I have so many wonderful ideas for those garden beds. The biggest issue is that they don’t get much sun, and there isn’t much drainage. Oh, and about 12 ugly bush stumps spread fairly evenly throughout them. Those are going to HAVE to go. Matt and I dug up some weeds and were working on one of the shrubs the other day. After we finished, I asked if he felt any great satisfaction from it. He shrugged. Me, being the prophet that I am, balked and said, “You are fulfilling a command of God here! You were made and commanded to rule and subdue the earth and that’s just what you’re doing…doesn’t that bring you satisfaction? You are living to the full potential of who God made you to be!” He didn’t seem quite as impressed as I was. Go figure.

week 7 flowers

I’m starting to think that those daffodils are supposed to be that short and NOT because they get hardly any sun, but those crocuses are HUGE!

week 7 crocusesCrocuses are such a happy flower to me and remind me that winter is ending and spring is on its way. That makes you happy too, right?

While we were weeding (significantly less weeds than were rampant through the bed last year…ahem), I found a whole walnut and decided to crack it open. I had a chopper looking tool (Mom just informed me that it’s a spade) and went at it. This was the result and how fun is that?!week 7 walnut

We set it down and weren’t thinking about keeping it. Seems another creature thought it was just as yummy, er, lovely, and took off with it before we could try and keep it.

In a few minutes, I will be heading out to my first wedding shower. I’ve been to several, but this will be MY first one. It’s up at Matt’s church and I’m really excited to go and see his family and church family – get to know them a bit better. It’s hard living further away from where I will be living and not be able to spend quality time with everyone. I’m sure I will have pictures for you next entry!

—————————–

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