I love flowers. One of the best parts about moving to Florida is that they bloom sooner and longer. I can still find morning glories and roses when I walk my dog around the block, and it’s January. In New England, January means a foot of snow. This is way nicer.
Here are some of my favorite flower photos I took over the last year or so, just because I am in that kind of a mood.
These guys ^ are from Trader Joes. I used to live within walking distance, and they always had a great assortment of flowers.
These ones are pictures I took while hanging out at a nursery. The greenhouse was amazingly colorful. Sometimes, I go to plant stores just to hang out for a little bit.
I was really lucky at my last apartment to have a wildflower patch tucked away in a field about a mile away. I had daisies, blacked eyed susans, lupine, and once I even found a wild peony blooming. I made sure to always leave at least a few blooms to go to seed so the patch would keep growing. Sustainable flower harvesting.
It doesn’t matter that I have seen every episode of the Great British Bake Off twice. It’s still on in the background while I am writing that post. And I still keep taking breaks from typing, so I can watch the contestants present their baked goods that I have already seen. It’s that good. Weirdly.
In the show, 12 contestants compete in a tent in the English countryside to win an engraved cake stand and recognition. They don’t even get money.
It’s tame compared to American cooking competitions. While the recipes get fancy, there are no weird ingredients thrown at them. They have a reasonable amount of time to finish. Heck, sometimes a contestant finished early. There is no trash talking. In fact, sometimes they help each other.
Kate helps Martha out
It’s positively socialist. Everyone knows how to be polite and how to help each other out; however, they don’t sacrifice their own quality of work. Kate, as seen above, wasn’t throwing the competition when she helped Martha out. She was being kind and giving Martha that extra hand she needed to pull it off, while trusting her work to stand on its own. She didn’t lose anything from the exchange. It’s just super refreshing to watch.
Also, Martha is only 17 and is a doll. Baking like her is a #lifegoal Totally love her. Absolutely team Martha. It’s more fun when you have someone to root for after all.
Most of the episodes are fairly mellow. There are shots of flowers blooming, baby animals, friendly banter in the kitchen, lots of dialogue from the amazing hosts. However, ever now and again, something goes wrong.
The prime example is #bingate. I won’t spoil it for you but the British tabloids wrote about it for weeks. And I kind of don’t blame them.
I could try to explain how great this show is, but it’s not going to work. On paper, it makes no sense. On paper, it should not be this popular. But it’s fantastic. The best, and you should watch it on Netflix. And bake something to eat while you watch. It’s more festive that way.
So I’m going to leave you with this, and a gentle push to watch it.
This past year, I’ve been really into watercolor paintings. I find the act of creating something nice (well, hopefully nice) soothing when I am stressed out. I was looking back, and I think there has been significant improvement over the past year.
Here are some of the sort of early ones. The really early ones I am not going to share. They have some issues/don’t really look like much.
These ones I turned into labels for some candles I did as a diy.
These these little prints I use as scrapbook fillers. It’s way cheaper than Project Life.
This is one I did a couple months in that I ended up giving to my dad for Father’s Day. I like it because I have step by step photos. It’s a little sloppy, but I was starting to tackle slightly harder designs.
I even started to bring my watercolors down to the beach. I was using these really cheap paints you can get at Michaels, because they are easy to carry around with you. I think they work okay, as long as you do not use the paint brush in the kit.
It’s hard to put my feelings about 2015 into words. It was both wonderful and heartbreaking.
I ended a 7-year relationship, losing one of my favorite people in the world. I quit a job that I enjoyed very much, despite some of its quirks. I moved away from my home state. I attended a lot of therapy.
But, I also learned a lot about myself. I found Addie, my delightful, wild and ever-hungry cocker spaniel. I made two new spaces for myself, one in Gardner one in Florida (the Florida one involved a lot of mint paint). I got to travel to Yellowstone with the beautiful Lyndsay Dean, where we saw the whole park in one day and had so much luck. Then, I got to go on a two week road trip with the wonderful Eryn Dion, where we both landed new jobs together and has do much fun (read about it here).
Just about everything changed. Some days it was not even a little bit okay. Other days, I could not have been more happy or more inspired or felt more fortunate. It was hard. Growing up, moving on, these are hard things. Some days it’s still hard.
But it’s rewarding. Addie is rewarding. Travel is rewarding. Moving was rewarding. Heck, even therapy was rewarding. And it creates a more interesting life, filled with greater opportunity, more chances for beauty, than a the alternative. Growing up it hard, but not growing up means missing out.
I can’t imagine 2016 will be as eventful a year as 2015 was. To be honest, I’m sort of hoping it isn’t.
I would like to spend the year exploring Florida, and hanging out on the beaches. Maybe, I’ll make a trip down to the keys and everglades, or pop back over to New Orleans since it isn’t very far. I want to swim with dolphins. I want family to come visit me. I want to grow a big garden, with flowers and vegetables. I want to paint pretty things (Eryn and I have a plan for a series of pun filled beach watercolors), maybe sell one. I want to run a whole 5K without walking once. I should probably set up dentists and doctors appointments. I want to continue to become more comfortable on my own.
I’m not going to call these resolutions, because I find new years resolutions normally don’t happen. Instead, I’m just going to think of them as achievable goals, and go from there.
This morning, I bid goodbye to my sunny apartment in Gardner, and in a weird and slightly unexpected turn of events, I’m going to miss it.
To be clear, it was not a nice apartment. It was barely insulated, the walls and floors were in bad condition, most of the rooms were a hideous brown. The neighbors came with their own batch of concerns. However, the neighbors had good days, like when Don gave me his sunflower and the fat cat Addie became friends with. I loved, loved, loved my bright white living room. My walking loop had a lovely pond full of wildlife (like an otter). Best of all, I could have little Adeline there.
This was my reading area. Sometimes I would move the chairs out of the way so I could do yoga in the morning light. The chairs were both Craig’s List finds. I redid the stool myself after my grandfather gave it to me. The bookshelf, dog bed and such are all things I made.
My desk with it’s tangled mess of cords is where I created everything. I built the top with my brother, and triangle shelves next to it are something I designed and my dad helped me build. It was, by far, the most difficult project we’ve ever undertaken but I love my mountain shelves.
Side note: Martha Stewart paint is definitely the best coverage. I swear by it.
My favorite thing about the room is that just about everything is thrifted, a hand me down or handmade. The rug was a $4 find at a flea market, the couch was from Craig’s List, I made the pillows, the trunk was my grandfather’s when he was in the Navy, I made the light fixture, painted the deer skull and so on. Heck, even Addie is a little rescue creature.
This apartment came at a time when I really needed just a little bit of space to figure stuff out. I got that, but I also got Cinco de Mayo parties, nights of making flowers crowns on the floor with good people and lots and lots of memories that prove I will be okay. It showed me I can craft the life I want to live and that I have choices.
So yeah, I’ll miss my little space. But not enough to pay the electric bill this winter.
I have dreams of long, wavy hair. The type of hair you see in hipster feed on Instagram with the #authentic.
Unfortunately, the hairdresser who does $15 haircuts does not share that vision. She believes in cutting off the hair I did grow, putting me back an estimated year and a half in growth. I was not pleased with Great Clips, not even a little. It was not a great clip.
So I did what anyone with a bad haircut would do: I turned to Pinterest. Here’s five styles I found.
Found here. Note this link goes back to Pinterest and the pin doesn’t direct to a working blog, but the hair is still cool.
Do you ever do something and then instantly know that was a bad idea?
Yeah. That was me earlier today.
The credenza in question
I have been desperately trying to sell a credenza on Craig’s List as part of my break up move out (you just don’t throw away vintage. It’s a crime). A few days ago, I had a buyer all lined up and then the ex just screwed it up royally. It was unfortunate.
So after sending a profuse apology to buyer 1 and not hearing back from her I reposted it. Then buyer 1 said she still “wanted to look at it” and I said okay. However, we never arranged a time.
In the meantime, another person sent me her phone number and said she definitely would want to buy it and could pick it up that day. I knew it was wrong to screw buyer 1 over a second time, but buyer 2 was a sure thing so I went for it and then broke the bad news to buyer 1.
Buyer 1 — who then said she definitely would have bought it — was not pleased with me, and I feel bad.
Right after it happened, it quickly dawned on me what I should have done. I should have told buyer 1 about buyer 2, and asked her if she was serious about buying it or if I should go with buyer 2. That would have been the best way to clarify the situation and not screw anyone over.
Lately, though the watermelon is getting its turn in the limelight.
Here’s why the watermelon is great. One, it is easy to do (see above painting). A rounded out triangle, a swish of paint and some black dots and there it is. You have a watermelon slice. There is nothing more satisfying than a DIY you can’t screw up.
Here are some of my favorite projects from around the web.
All about this stamped doormat made from a sponge. Get the project here
Or how about this super cute umbrella from Studio DIY.
If you like to wear your DIYs and aren’t afraid of color try these.
So if you are looking at this page, right now, on day one, you will notice that it is a mess. There’s just nothing pretty about it.
But don’t worry. I am basically giving myself a crash course in how to make things look pretty. We are talking a little bit of CSS coding, a refresher on copy right law and a heck of a lot of Pintrest.
In the meantime, isn’t this candle pretty? I finally got around to using a Williams & Sonoma gift card. It smells nice and clean too.