September

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“May I a small house and large garden have;

And a few friends,

And many books, both true.”

- Abraham Cowley

September is here, and any other year I would have already had my Halloween decor strewn throughout the house. But, I’ll be holding off for a couple more weeks this year. We go to Paris at the end of the month, and I plan to do all of my decorating right before we leave - since we won’t be back until October.

On another note, I love my new job. I love the people that I work with, the culture, and the company as a whole. I am grateful beyond measure. Everything is different now, and different is so, unbelievably good.

In between life and work and gardening and everything else - I’ve been reading again. In the last three or four months, I’ve read eleven books. And, since I’m off work today - I’m about to begin the Little House series. First up: Little House in the Big Woods. I can’t think of many things better than welcoming the autumn months with books that paint the prettiest, coziest mental pictures.

Mood Board

It’s strange how much has changed over the last six months. Most of the changes aren’t visible, aside from a few home improvement jobs here and there. But when I think about where I was mentally in February compared to where I am now…it’s shocking and delightful.

After five years at the same company, I’m leaving! I’ve learned everything that I could from the opportunities that I’ve been given, and I’ve met so many incredible women, and have loved teaching them and watching them grow as people. I’ve made some of my most special friendships through this job, and i’m proud of the last five years. But, bring on the 8-5, normal American work week. Bring it on. I’m hungry for it and ready for it and ecstatic for what’s to come.

Jars

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This is a picture that my grandmother took ages and ages ago of their canning closet. My Papa was an expert gardener and could grow anything. If he ever struggled, it was only because the deer and rabbits liked his garden as much as he did. I remember sitting in their gazebo, shucking corn, snapping green beans in half and shelling peas with my brother. Once the peas were shelled, we had to spread them out onto a dish towel and comb through them looking for bad ones. We’d rake our hands through them, letting them fall from our hands like tiny pebbles.

I never got to see the canning process, but this photo is a treasure.

Our garden is literally overflowing. We have watermelons, banana peppers, pepperoncini peppers, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, Serrano peppers, Roma tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, Black Krim tomatoes, okra, pickle cucumbers, regular cucumbers, broccoli, basil, sage, and rosemary. I hope to plant some pumpkins before it gets much later in the summer, but it may not happen and that’s okay. We spend every morning in our garden, crawling over watermelon vines and hunting for hidden goodies. We lost all but one of our cabbages to caterpillars, and we may lose our broccoli, too. But, gosh I love this garden. I love listening to it and learning from it, and I can’t wait to see how we do next year.

Show and Tell

  1. Yesterday, T and I celebrated the six year anniversary of us dating. We transplanted all of the seedlings that have been taking over our kitchen for the last couple of months and spent the whole day working in the yard. He is still fascinating to me and I think that he is the most fun.

  2. I’ve been researching recipes of all sorts because if all of the fruits and veggies that we’re planting actually take off…we’re going to be swimming in fresh produce. A few that I’m particularly excited for: this fig and prosciutto pizza (since we have a fig tree!), this Mediterranean recipe, and this recipe for chicken thighs in a creamy tomato sauce.

  3. I’m also reading a lot about canning and how to do it properly and safely. I’m excited to be able to give away tomato sauces, jams, pickles, beans, salsas, etc. When I was growing up, my grandparents had a closet in the garage where they stored all of their canned foods. Everything looked so pretty in the jars, it seemed like every shelf was always full of corn, okra, tomatoes, beans, peas, green beans, squash, and so much more. Because Martha Stewart is just…a dream, I’ll use this article as a guide when I start canning.

  4. Gardening dream purchases: this watering can, this hose, this iron sign, this mustard planter, and this wall planter.

  5. I’ve been reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and it just solidifies my love for her. Click the photo at the very top or below for one of the many articles displaying photos that Julia’s husband took of her.

27

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27 was always my favorite number when I was growing up. When I exaggerated…there were 27 dogs in the car, 27 bug bites, 27 loads of laundry, etc. When I got to pick a number, it was 27. It’s not like I ever noticed that anything great ever really happened on the 27th… but I just liked it. And… if I want to read really, really far into it, Trey’s favorite number is 9. Born on the 9th of July, always picked that number in sports, etc. 2+7=9.

Yesterday was my 27th birthday and it felt like a big one for me. I celebrated it with yacht rock, crepes for breakfast, a trip to the botanical gardens, purchasing a whole lotta plants, and then working in the yard until our dinner reservations. By the end of dinner, my cheeks were rosy from the whisky and I was tired from a day spent in the sun. It was a really, really great birthday.

I have a few goals for this next year, and I feel confident in each of them. I want to start habits this year that will carry over into every facet of my life. Each of them are backed by my need for self care and self preservation, and the realizations that I have had about myself over the last year. Here they are:

  1. I want to build a garden and an outdoor space that I’ll never want to leave. I felt starved creatively and starved for sunshine over the last year. For a long time, I didn’t have the physical space for making art, which was really hard - and I didn’t have enough hours in the day left for it even if there had been enough space. So, we have over an acre of land now - and a garden is in the works. I’m excited to wake up with the sun and spend the first hours of the day in it. And, since this is our very first garden, if everything ends up dying… I’ll still have an outdoor space for my soul to soak up the sun.

  2. I want to learn to cook. Cooking has always been very intimidating to me. Everyone in my family can cook, but it has almost always seemed like every attempt of mine has failed miserably. That kind of thinking just doesn’t come naturally for me. But, I’ve got a pretty perfect cook that can teach me and I’m going to open myself up to it. I’ll start by picking several recipes that excite me, and I’ll go from there. I also know that it can be therapeutic, and I want in on that kind of tasty therapy.

  3. I want to care for my body inside and out. My mom has always stressed the importance of caring for your skin, and I’m sad to admit that I’m getting a late start to the game. But, I want to create a skincare regimen that works for my lifestyle, and a fitness routine that works for my schedule. I’ve noticed just over the last couple of weeks that the mornings spent in the sun seem to give me the boost needed to get some physical activity in. And, if i can work some meditation in there… that would be great. But I’m not going to kick myself if it doesn’t happen.

  4. I want to visit home more. I hear myself say this from time to time, but then life gets in the way and it doesn’t happen. I love going home. I love my family. I love being back in my little town. I’m grateful to have the family that I have, and I’m going to go home more even if just for the day.

  5. I want to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on what really matters. I’m a carer. I care about everything…a lot. Even the things that I shouldn’t care about. I consciously make mountains out of molehills and then I crawl under those self-made mountains and get lost under their weight. It’s a bad, bad habit. In doing this, I lose the energy that should be being devoted to the people and things that really do matter. In all of this caring, I do a lot of worrying. I worry about big things and small things and everything in between. My hope is that I can retrain my mind to focus on the positive so that the worries won’t have as much space to make themselves at home. In all of the “stop sweating the small stuff” biz, I’m also going to stop caring as much about what people think. Instagram is the worst, and it’s easy to get sucked into some negative self talk because of it. So, I’m releasing myself from that self talk and going to focus on living my actual life with the people around me and not the people in my Instagram feed.

I’m extremely excited for my 27th year. These goals won’t be easy but they’ll be worth it, and I know that I’m worth it.

SW x Blackbolt

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It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! Eden and Ben of Blackbolt brought my dream to life and I just want to squeeze them both. I’ve always wanted this space of mine to have a handmade element and more personal touches added here and there. These two listened to my vision, and put something together that feels so uniquely me.

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One of the core elements of my brand is the image of a maternal figure holding a flower, and the other is a seasonal image that I can change throughout the year. It’s no news to anyone that I celebrate the seasons and what each of them bring - and these two created beautiful imagery that shows just that. And, as the cherry on top, they created my dream stationary that I absolutely cannot wait to use. They’re a dream team and I couldn’t sing their praises more.

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