May Flowers

After a particularly long winter, it’s finally May 1. But the weather seems to have forgotten the old adage, “April Showers Bring May Flowers”…. It’s stormed here all day!
  So, I brought the flowers myself… 

Happy May and Happy Friday!! 

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Catching Up

Three day weekends always mess with my internal clock. It feels like Monday and although my brain knows its Tuesday, the rest of my habits are all thrown off. I’ll get back on the wagon sooner or later. I hope everyone’s Memorial Day weekend was as good as mine and had great weather to accompany it! It was so good spending time with my family and honoring those who have fought to defend our freedom, while making the ultimate sacrifice. I’m so blessed to live in this nation and so grateful to those in the service from my own family, among my friends, and those that I’ve never met.  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

The three days went by pretty quick. Friday night I drove til the map turned blue and made it home after work. Traffic to the beach was bumper to bumper, of course.  The moon was starting to come up and it was enormous, so I had to take a picture. (Sorry Mom. Hey, I didn’t text and drive! I’ve never gotten a “dont snap pictures and drive” lecture, so…)DSCF5502

Saturday my Dad and I did some shopping and tried to avoid the crazy crowds. I sat on the porch, soaked in some gorgeous weather and read a few magazines.

House sized sweet tea. It's not a bad thought.
House sized sweet tea. It’s not a bad thought.
Sweet Magnolia blooms of Carolina :)
Sweet Magnolia blooms of Carolina :)

Sunday, we went to church and listened to a great service. We stopped at Costco on the way home. Have I told you how much I love Costco? There’s something ridiculously (and shamefully) American about buying 300 packs of snack pretzels, gym equipment, and a new laptop all in one stop. Plus, let’s not forget the samples. So, after I had properly lunched on samples we headed to the beach! First trip of the year [really, that’s shameful compared to when I was growing up. Beach day in February? I miss them.]

I had my Senior Pictures done at that gazebo in high school! Time flies. I'm old. On that note, hand me my collagen anti-oxidant anti-aging eye cream.. Sigh.
I had my Senior Pictures done at that gazebo in high school! Time flies. I’m old. On that note, hand me my collagen anti-oxidant anti-aging eye cream.. Sigh.

Fishing

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Beach Collage

For Memorial Day, my parents had work so I headed up the road a bit to visit my Pop Pop. He’s a retired pilot and he lives on a small airport with a grass runway across from a horse farm… It’s a pretty sweet setup! (Yep. This girl has piloted an aircraft thanks to him… Frightening, I know). I made us burgers, we had watermelon, and I spent a great afternoon hearing so many incredible stories. I told him one day we’re gonna have to write his biography. More or less, it’d be an inspirational best seller.

 

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I headed back home Monday night and am just trying to get back into the work week. I hope to share a few recipes this week: Pecan Crusted Chicken, a Tomato Pie and even a [healthy!] chocolate lava cake for one…. You heard me! Lava cake. Healthy. All yours. :)

 

Southern Sweet Tea

Thanks to the beautiful weather, Nick decided he wanted to get some outdoor seating for his new apartment. Naturally, I had to put my two cents in. We went to Target and I helped pick out two red Adirondack chairs, but Nick doubted they’d fit in the car. I had plans to prove him wrong.
Forty five minutes later, after wrestling with these chairs and one uncooperative car door, Nick & the chairs won.
Round two consisted of the manager at another store putting a different set of chairs in the car before we even bought them. I think he pitied me and my story of struggle at Target.
Either way, the second set successfully fit and after three hours of chair shopping, we finally got to drink some sweet tea on the porch. The weathers too beautiful for you not to sit outside and enjoy some, too!
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Now What?

Today’s post is just a mash up of my thoughts. Apologies in advance.

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I finished my very last day of college today! I’m thrilled to be done, but kind of overwhelmed by the unknown. My Pop-Pop always reminds me, “All things work towards the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”, and in times of great transition or change, that’s always comforting.

I guess I don’t have a plan, persay. But if I did [because I’m an obsessive list maker], it’d look something like this:

– Get a big girl job [although, I absolutely love my internship!]

– Post more recipes and finally take some pictures of my container garden [although, its a little rough given this never ending winter and never ending rain]

– Volunteer! [If I can possibly push it into a work schedule, I’d really like to help out with Meals On Wheels. I read an article  about how many elderly are left as shut-ins with no one to visit them, and in our area the percentage is astronomical. It pretty much broke my heart.]

– Move into a new apartment and finally bring my piano from home :)

– Save up and buy a new car! [I hate to be a traitor to Black Betty, but she’s runnin’ a little rough]

. . . Yep, that’s all I got.

Goose

Oh, and go see Great Gatsby Friday night. [Yes, that’s currently on my life goal list. Next to Wuthering Heights, that was my absolute favorite read in high school.. Don’t judge… It’s also the most obtainable goal on my list… Hey, an accomplished goal is an accomplished goal.]

**Update 5/21/2013 – The Great Gatsby was incredible. Pretty accurate to the novel and visually captivating. Go see it!**

PS – Sorry this post was a tad bit sappy – graduating college is weird. I’ll get it together eventually.

PSS – Sorry for the random pictures that had no introduction whatsoever.. I sat down by the lake today after my last class and took some pictures before the storm rolled in :)

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Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy Mother Nature some time today. Also, I’m sure there are plenty of local events and festivals near you even up until this weekend so go check them out!

Saturday we went to an Earth Day Celebration where I got a free organic green bean plant, and onion seeds, as well as a few other goodies.

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Some Wisteria I picked on Friday, it’s my favorite!

On Sunday, Nick and I got to make a day trip up to Asheville, NC to go to Biltmore Estate [one of my favorite places in NC – if you haven’t been, GO!] This time of year their gardens are filled with beautiful blooms :-)

We took one of their specialty tours “Legacy of the Land” and got to go to different places on the grounds that are usually restricted. I love touring historical homes and museums, and get pretty excited to see behind the scenes. I know it’s a no-no but I always try to wiggle the door handle of one or two of the [250!] rooms in the house that aren’t open to the public, you know, just in case they might have forgotten to lock it.. [just kidding. but really.]

Here are just a few pictures we took on our adventure:

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Continue for more pretty pictures! Continue reading

Urban Container Gardening – Here We Go!

When I was little, we’d  travel from the beach to visit my family in the mountains, a lot. I especially remember the anticipation of going to stay with my Grandma in the summer because her food was so good! I didn’t realize it then, but all that good cookin’ starts from good fresh fruits & veggies. She had an amazing, huge garden.

Today, she still talks about me when I was ‘knee high’. She says that as soon as I got to her house, I’d come in and say, “Can we go down to the garden, granny?!” I’d count the rows of corn and beans. I still remember sitting on the porch shelling peas ’til dusk, then we’d chase lightning bugs. . . I was a happy, happy camper. [So much nostalgia!]

The green thumb clearly made an imprint on my heart. Last summer I was blessed to have enough space and good lighting for a garden. Granted, it was a 4×4 square foot garden – but I definitely made the most out of it! It had an awesome tomato plant, carrots, onions, peppers, [I gave corn a shot – but that was a tough one], strawberries, arugala, basil, dill, cilantro.. I can’t even remember what else – but I loved it. From construction, to planting, to growing, to harvesting, it was honestly perfect.

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My garden in it”s earlier stages… Later on down the road it was much bigger and more fruitful!

Unfortunately, due to a relocation I won’t be able to replant that garden this summer. That’s OK, though. The Silver Lining to it: I get to try container gardening this year!

I’ve read a ton of posts, blogs, books and done a lot of research about a proper container garden. I’m fortunate to be able to use Nick’s back patio as my testing ground because the best my apartment has to offer is  a gravel parking lot full of cars! :-)

I hope to post pictures soon of the beginnings of this container garden and chronicle its growth. The area I’ll be growing in has partial shade though during the day, so I’m not so sure how well it’ll go this time. I actually plan on moving after graduation, so I’m making “good growing space” a criteria for my next place!

Either way, I’m so grateful for the warm weather and the ability to have plants at all. I’m blessed to have had such a great family who puts such an emphasis on growing food, eating well and loving one another!

If you have any ideas, tips or insight to container gardening (especially when shade is involved), let me know – I’d love to connect!