May 30, 2014

weekend coffee

Coffee must taste better when brought to your door by a handsome delivery man, don't you think?

One of the perks of living in the city is being able to take (or send your husband on) a quick stroll to the local bakery in the morning when you find yourself completely out of coffee on the weekend.  Riley "has a guy" so you know, we certainly can't just buy any old coffee at the grocery store anymore.

Weekend coffee is one of my favorite times.  I like just one cup, black and strong, and I only drink it on the weekend because then it feels like a real treat.  Lately Riley and I have been spending our weekend mornings drinking coffee and watching something like HGTV or the History Channel and we talk and dream about whatever is coming next.

Is it weird that on Friday I'm already dreaming about Saturday morning?

Not that I'm trying to wish this week away already or anything.  It was a pretty good one actually.  Riley took a few extra days off from his rigorous mountain biking schedule so we got to see more of each other than usual.  I was also excited to see a little bit of traffic in my Etsy shop, and I'm feeling pretty good about a new painting that I'm working on.

On the downside however, we hit a pretty stinky milestone in our lives as pet owners.  Can you guess?

Yep, Gidget met her first skunk.  Several days later and the smell is still lingering.

What were some of the highs and lows of this week for you?

Things have been a little sparse on the blog lately, but here's a letter to the women in my life, a little story about biking in flood zones, and a Bob Marley strawberry jammin' post if you missed any of them.  Also, today I'm linking up with Jenna and Jenna, go check out what they've been up to, too!

May 28, 2014

strawberry jammin' with bob marley

A few weeks ago, on a trip to North Carolina, my mom, sister and I had the chance to pick some of the most beautiful strawberries.  Our intention was to make a large batch of strawberry freezer jam, as has been the tradition this time of year for as long as I can remember.  There are quite a few reasons why making strawberry freezer jam is an excellent tradition to keep.  

1. It tastes amazing.
2. It's easy. (Although, I have to confess that this is in fact the only jam I have ever made, so I don't have anything to compare it to.)
3. It's a good excuse to get together.

And, as we discovered this year:
4. It's the perfect opportunity for a Bob Marley dance party.

"Now, what does Bob Marley have to do with strawberry jam?" you might ask.  Well, during this particular freezer jam making session, one of us (it was me) started singing, "We're jammin', jammin''" over and over again in possibly the worst Bob Marley impersonation ever.  Fortunately my Dad, the infamous DJ, dug out his Bob Marley CD so we could finally hear some more of the lyrics to the song.  You can imagine our excitement when we heard:

We're jammin' -
To think that jammin' was a thing of the past;
We're jammin',
And I hope this jam is gonna last.

Now, if that's not the perfect jam making song, I don't know what is!  Isn't everything just a little more fun when you find the perfect soundtrack?  I can't say it didn't slow down the process a little though, with all that dancing around.

So, if you find yourself with a bunch of fresh strawberries this season, grab some helpers, this freezer jam recipe (it is the recipe, tried and true!), and some Bob Marley tunes, and you'll be jammin' too!

And if you need some more ideas for fresh strawberries, check out this post from last year.

May 22, 2014

will bike for food. will not swim.

One of my favorite things is when Riley comes up with an idea for a date night.  Especially if it's a good idea.  If he thinks he might need to do some convincing, he usually tries the "and you can blog about it" tactic.  Fortunately, I didn't need any convincing. Well, not at first, anyway.

Ever since Jekyll Island, when I got back on a bike for the first time in maybe a decade, I've been looking forward to picking it up as a hobby.  Riley, as usual, is already about a million steps ahead of me.  Even before we were back from our sailing trip he had decided he was going to get into mountain biking at full force.  Sure enough, just a few days into life back on land and he had himself on a mountain biking team and a rigorous training schedule.  That's not quite what I had in mind…

But that's okay, he's still willing to use his "off days" to pedal around the city on a road bike with this amateur.  So, his idea for date night last week was to take a ride on one of the beautiful Roanoke Valley Greenways all the way to the Wasena City Tap Room.  It really was a great idea, in theory.  The weather was perfect, and the greenway, which I had yet to explore, is a nice, easy, and scenic ride around town.  

It was getting to be a little past dinner time and we were almost to the restaurant when we suddenly came upon this:

Just a little bit of flooding, right?

Since neither one of us really felt like swimming our bikes across the flood zone, Riley thought maybe we could just crawl up the bank and take our bikes down the railroad tracks.  Umm… this was not quite what I had pictured when I thought about riding bikes in the city.

After a few minutes of beating back bushes with my face, Riley pointed out that we'd still end up on the wrong side of the river. It was time to admit defeat. So, back we went.

Fortunately, this date night adventure ended well, and with dinner.  We rode back the way we came and then drove to dinner.  Really, it was probably for the best since I was able to remove all of the leaves and bugs from my hair and before sitting down at the table.

Have you had any date night adventures lately?

May 15, 2014

to the women in my life

For loving your children the way they need to be loved… 
For finding your passion and working hard to make success a reality…
For taking leaps of faith to improve your life and the lives of your loved ones…
For respecting and supporting the decisions of other women instead of tearing them down…
For your displays of faith and devotion…
For honoring your husband without losing your own sense of self…
For finding joy in the simple things in life…
For the time spent in tasks that often seemed undervalued and unappreciated…
For standing your ground when your choices were criticized…
For your perseverance when times got tough…
For impacting my life in ways that you may not even realize...

I appreciate you.  I admire you.  I love you.

While celebrating both my sister's birthday and Mother's Day last weekend, it really hit me just how extraordinary it is that I have so many extraordinary women in my family.  Between my own mother and sister, my mother in law and sister in law, grandmothers, aunts, and cousins, my family is full of amazing women.  How did I get so fortunate?

What are some of the things you'd like to say to the women in your life?

May 7, 2014

currently… avocados.

cooking: anything that can be topped with avocado.  It took me awhile to come around to them, believe it or not, but now I'm hooked.

reading: Water for Elephants (I'm a little late to the game on this, too) and five months worth of my magazines that my mother in law graciously received and saved for me while we were away.

wearing: jeans and t-shirts.  Living on a sailboat turned me into the most causal version of myself since, I don't know… the diapers phase? Actually, even then I was probably in dresses.  Now, anything but causal just feels awkward.

loving: short hair! Also, this little dog that is permanently attached to my lap.  Doesn't she kind of look like she's posing for a formal portrait?  

anticipating: a fun girl's weekend in North Carolina spent shopping, visiting family and strawberry picking!

Today I'm linking up with Jenna and Anne.  Go see what they're currently into as well!

May 6, 2014

back in the jewelry business!

After closing up my Etsy jewelry shop during our sailing trip, I'm excited to announce that as of today it is officially re-opened and back in business!  

The timing is perfect because I have made so many of the pieces with gorgeous pastel and brightly colored stones that are perfect for Spring and Summer.

Some of my favorite pieces though, are actually the black and white (and pyrite!) ones, because they are neutral without being boring.  They're the ones that I find myself wanting to wear over and over again.

By the way… to help celebrate this Grand Re-opening, I'm offering free shipping on all US orders for this week only!

As always, thank you so much for all of the kind words and support you have given me regarding this little shop.  Jewelry making is something I absolutely love, and I'm so grateful to have this online venue for it!

You can visit the shop here, or click on any of the photos above to check out the specific piece!

May 5, 2014

who'd ya see, where'd ya go, who'd ya meet, what'd ya know?

You know it's bad when your mom calls to tell you that it's time to update your blog.

Sorry, Mom.

But I promise my room is clean and I've been eating my vegetables.

And let's see… what else?

I finally got my hair chopped off.

I've been doing a bit of decorating around the apartment.  More pictures to come soon!

I've been getting into a great routine with a dance-inspired fitness program that I love.

I've been using some of the massive amounts of pictures I took on our trip for inspiration for a few watercolor paintings.

I even got the opportunity to try out second shooting at a wedding this past Saturday. 

And every single day I've been grateful for this place where I get to live.

It's been good to be away from the computer for a little bit, but now I'm ready to catch back up on some blog reading of my own, and I've also got a few other things that I'm excited about sharing this week including an announcement about my jewelry shop and a mini series all about food!  Let's get back into the swing of this blog thing already!

Okay Mom, I updated it. Now can I go outside and play? ;)

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