Tuesday, May 31, 2011

welcome to weaverville

Little known fact: I once spent a month in Weaverville, North Carolina working as a night cook at a camp.  Unfortunately, preparing meals for 500 people from 11am to 11pm did not leave a lot of time for seeing the town.  On the upside, I did learn how to crack two eggs simultaneously. 

But this weekend, we stayed with our friends who live near Weaverville (just north of Asheville) and had plenty of time to check it out.  I love small towns. 

On Saturday, after checking out the kittens at the Humane Society booth at the farmer's market and buying tons of strawberries, we put the kiddo down for a nap and hit the town. 

Possibly my favorite part of the weekend: parking in one spot and then walking to the pharmacy, pizza parlor, library, and cafe.  And when I say "pharmacy", I mean one of the great ones that you almost never see anymore, with fresh squeezed lemonade and homemade ice cream.  We shared a scoop of the lemon berry swirl, even though it was right before lunch.  We're wild like that. 

In the afternoon, we went to the park and played and watched the ducks. 

Yes, we are wearing the exact same color shirt. 

We've been married six years, remember?  It just happens. 

The grown-ups had a fancy evening in downtown Asheville, complete with live music and lots of seafood.  Lobster mac and cheese = amazing. 

Much to my delight, Stephanie and Jason have chosen to attend a beautiful church that is on the national register of historic places.  The stained glass was lovely and each pew was intricately carved. 

We walked to the cafe after church and ate brunch and I noticed that the cafe is currently hiring and contemplated how fun it would be to work there. 

After saying our goodbyes, Steve and I snuck away for some shopping and an early dinner at our favorite place before heading home. 

The weekend felt very celebratory and I'm still in a celebratory mood this morning, as I fold fabric and do laundry.  My to-do list for the day was divided into two categories: before it gets hot and after it gets hot.  Welcome, summer.  You always show up earlier than I expect and stay longer than I'd like. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

it's been six years

I remember waking up to rainy skies and a mom and a best friend who lied and told me the weather was beautiful and sent me straight to the shower, hoping against hope that it would clear up quickly.  I remember noticing the rain, but also noticing that it cleared up before we even left the house and the day turned beautiful and perfect. 

I remember all the ladies at the hair salon fussing over me and marveling that I didn't seem a bit nervous and I remember thinking, "how could I be nervous when I'm going to marry the kindest man I've ever met?" 

I remember pacing around the Sunday school room that we used for dressing, eating bagels and cantaloupe and thinking that we should have had a morning wedding.  Once I was dressed and ready, I didn't want to spend one more minute not married to Steve.

I remember walking down the aisle and only vaguely registering the faces staring at me from both sides of the church.  I remember looking straight at Steve, keeping my eye on the prize, and smiling so big my cheeks hurt. 

I remember hearing the vows come out of my mouth and thinking that it didn't even sound like my voice and that I had never before pledged anything so serious. 

I remember the music and walking fast out of the sanctuary and arriving in the back before anyone else.  I remember kissing and kissing and looking at our rings and sitting down because we were just so overwhelmed with it all that we couldn't stand up anymore. 

And here we are, six years later, and sometimes we are still so overwhelmed with it all that we can't stand up anymore.  I am completely and utterly bowled over by the gift of our marriage.  With each passing year, it just gets better. 

This weekend, we are headed to Asheville to celebrate and to spend time with some old friends.  I am putting the finishing touches on the party kits today, so between our trip and some new products, I should have plenty to share next week.  Here's hoping that your holiday weekend is lovely!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May mantle

If you stopped to think about it, which you probably didn't, you may have wondered what the heck was going on with my mantle.  I mean, I promised to show pictures of each and every one, and the last thing you've seen is this.  Have I really been rocking the green mantle since March? 

No, pumpkin, no. 

I'll admit it- I did an Easter mantle with eggs and a bunny and Spanish moss and I barely even showed you.  It was only up for a few weeks and I wasn't that thrilled with it, if that makes you feel any better. 

But now I'm ready to be social again and show off my late spring/early summer mantle.  I'm a little biased, but I think it's a beauty. 

Theme: clear blue skies and bright pink flowers, new life, garden parties. 

Here's what's up there, from left to right:

blue glazed flower pot from TJ Maxx

pink flower bouquet from Black Lion

various pink candles, either from Pier One or ones that we made ourselves

glass canister with fake moss and bird's nest from The Beehive (a birthday gift from Steve)

blue glass bottles from who knows where with fern fronds from the front porch

tiny blue butterfly bud vase from Steger Creek (a birthday gift from Mom)

pink fabric corsage from Plumfield Shop (part of the new party kits!)

shell frame from World Market with blue paper and pressed hydrangea leaf

grapevine with leaves from Michaels

fabric bunting from Plumfield Shop (just a mini version of this)

I am super pleased with the bright colors and how clear and crisp and cheerful they look.  This mantle should last us into June, when I'll start wanting to decorate with seashells.  It's just not quite seashell time yet. 

I'm still working hard on the party kits and hoping to have a big unveiling soon.  Like next week.  You'd be surprised at how long it takes to make these things.  Or at least I'm surprised. 

In between sewing, I'm packing our bags for a celebratory weekend at one of our favorite places!  More on that tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

we all scream for ice cream

Last night was our second annual end-of-the-year bible study ice cream party.  Of course there were yard games involved.  We set up the badminton net for the occasion. 

We filled a big metal tub with ice and frozen treats and set up bowls of toppings on the counter. 

The flavors of the evening were: vanilla, key lime pie, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, and mango sorbet.  Everything was homemade, except for the mint chocolate chip that looked suspiciously like it was from Food Lion.  However, the carton was still empty by the end of the night.  It's hard to be picky about ice cream. 

Post ice cream, the badminton competition got fierce.  And by fierce I mean a little bit terrifying.

We sat on the patio and enjoyed the evening together.  Some of these friends I have known for years.  We've shared meals and holidays and all the little details of life together.  Others, I just met this year and am still learning who they are and what they love.  And a couple of them I just met last night. 

One thing is certain though- as we watched the sky get dark and pulled our chairs closer to the glow of the porch light, telling stories and laughing until our sides hurt, I was glad for each and every one of them. 

Today we took advantage of the badminton net, still up in the yard, and played a little bit before Steve had to leave for work.  It's another beautiful day and I'm already thinking through the logistics of moving the sewing machine outside.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

glorious may

There's only one week left and I don't even know if I've told you that May is my favorite month.  Hands down.  No contest. 

It's my birth month.  It's my anniversary month.  There are so many things to celebrate and, even on the days there is no "official" celebration, the weather is so great and the flowers are so blue that it feels like a party anyway. 

We ate every meal outside this weekend.  Even breakfast.  Don't you think food just tastes better outside? 

We sampled grilled pineapple (and a million other delicious things) at Fresh Market and brought some home to grill for dinner. 

We went to a tiny street fair and farmer's market and then made other excuses to stroll around outside. 

Neither the blender nor the ice cream maker got put away all weekend.  They were both in constant use. 

The weekend was, in short, a full-throttle celebration of May and life in general. 

And now, as I type this, I can hear the birds outside and see the sun on the trees and I am calculating in my head just how many minutes I will have to spend inside today to get all the most necessary house chores done.  Because I will weed and water and make up outdoor chores all day long, just to get as much May as I can before it's gone. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

plus one

I promise that I did not make a special fabric birthday banner for myself.  But I realize that's probably how it looks. 

It's for the party kits.  You know- the party kits?  Well, I'll tell you more about those next week.  I'm sure you're way more curious about how my birthday was.  

It was great, thanks for asking.  We ate breakfast at a cute little bakery that just opened up.  I've been eyeballing it ever since they put a sign in the window and coudn't wait to go inside.

My hopes were not disappointed.  Great atmosphere, lots of huge windows, and beautiful pastries.  The perfect place to start a birthday. 

Then we picked up lunch supplies and headed home.  It was sunny and not too hot- perfect for enjoying the yard.  I don't take it lightly that I was born in the most beautiful month of the year.  Thanks, Mom. 

We lunched on the patio and watched birds and talked about whatever we wanted.  Probably my favorite thing about birthdays is not having a schedule. 

The mail came and I got FIVE cards to open.  I also recieved numerous phone calls, text messages, emails, facebook messages, and a Skype call that included a rousing rendition of "the foot bone's connected to the.... ankle bone..."  Because "Happy Birthday" is so 2010. 

I felt super loved. 

In the afternoon, I did two of my favorite things: nap and library trip.  I think I must have really enjoyed being three. 

After a bit of shopping, we had an amazing dinner at Bricktop's.  We ordered fish tacos and chicken with mango salsa, to share.  The waitress, sensing that we were going to share these meals, asked if we would like the kitchen to just split the food for us before bringing it out. 

Of course!  What service!

Please notice how many plates are on the table in the picture above.  Keep in mind that there were only two of us at this meal.  I think I heard the people behind us snickering. 

Apparently, they felt like the fish and chicken wouldn't get along, so they split each meal onto two separate plates.  Once we did some consolidating, it was the best meal I've eaten in quite a while.  Everything was just right. 

After dinner, we took a lovely digestive stroll around the surrounding courtyards and admired the landscaping. 

I also admired my dinner partner, who is really the best kind of person to spend a birthday with. 

We popped in the restaurant again to pick up our dessert, to go.  And then we quickly made our way back to my favorite favorite place and settled in for a cozy evening at home. 

The best thing about birthdays, aside from all the love and food, is thinking about how thankful I am to have lived another year of this life.  No matter what is going on, there are always more things that I can count to be thankful for. 

As much as I'd like to spend the day basking in post-birthday bliss, there are chores to be done and I am off to the grocery store.  One year closer to the senior discount.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We arrived home on Sunday to find a large box on the front porch marked "Live" and "Perishable". 

Frankly, I was a little nervous. 

Steve has been asking for a kitten.  A real one too, not this cutout we keep on the fridge to hold him over.

However, much to my delight, the box contained a pink lemonade blueberry bush from some dear friends.  The plant's description said that the lovely pink blueberries make this bush a beautiful contribution to your "snackscape". 


Why have I not been snackscaping all along? 

We have honeysuckle along the back fence and herbs, peas, and strawberries in the garden, but those are the only two spots in the yard that you can eat from and my eyes have now been opened to what a silly idea that is.  Why not eat from every bed, bush, and tree?  It has long been my philosophy that the only plants worth having produce either flowers or food, but now I'm willing to give up on the flowers a bit.  Aren't clusters of pink berries as pretty as a flower?  I think they probably are. 

So now I'm on a hunt for more beautiful edible plants.  I won't rest until I can nibble my way through the yard.   

Note to self: add "snackscaping architect" to list of future business ideas. 

*the images with berries were found online here and here.  My bush will not get berries this spring, but maybe next year.  But aren't they pretty?!*


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