Summer 2018 Wrap-Up

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I don’t know about you, but I am always excited to see summer coming to an end. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I just can’t stand the humidity, blazing sun, bugs, and heat of summer. Bleh! Bring on the cool, crisp weather, gorgeous scenery, tasty treats, and Halloween festivities! πŸ˜€

Although I’m excited to see it go, this summer wasn’t a total bust, so I figured I’d do a wrap-up post with some of the highlights for this particular season as it comes to an end.

In June I went to my little cousin’s wedding. It was a fantastic celebration. Funnily enough, this was the first wedding I have ever been to where I was simply a guest and didn’t have any responsibility so that was interesting. Everything was amazing and everyone had a wonderful time. I’m so happy for her and her new husband and the life they’re starting. ❀

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Look how cute their dessert table turned out!

In other news, we got some succulents! I’ve been wanting to get some of these little bad boys for a while, so I was beyond elated when my boyfriend took me to pick a bunch out for the house and get all the supplies we needed to take care of them. πŸ™‚

Speaking of plants, we also took a day to visit Grand Rapids this summer and made sure one of our stops was at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This place was MASSIVE. I feel like we could have easily spent the whole day just at this one place, but we had a zoo and brewery to go to that day too, so we had to hustle just a bit. We got to see some wonderful and bizarre sculptures as well as tons of gorgeous and interesting plants. If you ever find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan it is definitely worth a visit!

We didn’t end up going to the movie theater quite as much as we normally would these past few months, mostly due to how busy things have been, but we did manage to squeeze in a few good movies.

I only got to review one of these three films (Deadpool 2) but I did actually enjoy all three of them. πŸ™‚

Haven’t gotten to do very much reading this summer, either. Squeezed in a few things, and slowly chipped away at a few more, but I’m hoping fall will prove to be better for getting cozy and curling up with some good books. πŸ™‚ In other book-related news, I did score some great deals on books I will (hopefully) be enjoying soon.

We got some major yard work done this summer, so it’s been cool seeing how the property has really transformed. You can tell someone who lived in this house previously really enjoyed gardening and had quite the green thumb and eye for landscaping. Years of renters, however, seem to have let things grow a little out of control, so we had some hard work to do, but I love our yard and all the cool plants that came with it. We even started using out fire pit and I’m looking forward to some fun bonfires come fall.

Well, that is my summer wrap-up post for the year. I’m excited going into fall mere days from now and plan on doing a lot of fun stuff throughout that particular season before winter comes creeping in. Expect a fall bucket list post in the near future! πŸ˜‰

How about you guys? What were your own personal summer highlights? Anything you’re particularly excited about for fall? What’s your favorite time of year? Let’s talk about it!

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Home Sweet Home

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I just love when the magnolia trees are in bloom. ❀

So, spring is in the air and I’m officially all settled in at the new house, and although some stuff is still in boxes, I’m mostly unpacked. Moving is nothing new to me, but this move in particular felt like a big one since it involved me officially moving in with my boyfriend. It’s a big step, but we’re both really happy together and I’m glad we finally made this exciting leap. πŸ™‚

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It’s been fun watching and seeing (and guessing) what’s all growing at the new house as the weather keeps improving. We’ve got a wild cherry tree and weeping cherry tree both in bloom right now, a tall row of blackberry bushes, a bunch of hosta plants, some peonies, I think we may have some hydrangea, a lilac tree (that technically is in the neighbor’s yard, but some of the branches hang over in ours, so I’m counting it lol), a few tulips, lily of the valley, and more. I can’t wait to see what else pops up next.

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One thing’s for sure: there is going to be plenty of weeding to do. Meh!

The greenhouse goodies are doing great, too. It’s awesome eating salads with the lettuce you grow at home. I need to do something soon with some of the parsley and basil, and the pea plant is continuing to grow as well (no peas yet, but that’s okay). The strawberry plant has flowers on it, and the cherry bush I got my mom for Mother’s Day is also flowering.

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How’s your spring going so far? It feels good to be blogging again and catching up with you guys. ❀ There’s such an awesome community here and I’m so glad to be a part of it. Are any of you growing your own plants right now? πŸ™‚ I’m just a novice at it, but I’m greatly enjoying it.

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basil, parsley, peas.

 

 

Happy Earth Day + Garden Haul + Garter Snake Pics

Yay! Not only does it finally feel like spring here in Michigan, but it’s also Earth Day! πŸ™‚ It was the perfect day to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and start planning for this year’s gardening.

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After an absolutely fabulous margarita-drag queen-and-true crime-filled start to the weekend withΒ Cupcakes and Machetes, today was a laid back, lazy day mostly spent outside. I went out with my mom to a fantastic garden center and nursery that was having some really good sales. Here’s some pics from my little plant haul:

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Peas, Parsley, and Basil.

and

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There are some yummy salads in my future. πŸ˜›

aaaaaand

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Strawberries in the making!

I didn’t get a pic of the cherry bush I bought my mom as an early Mother’s Day gift, but she was really excited about it. πŸ™‚ The place we went to was wonderful and I wanted to buy all the things. (Especially with all the great deals they had going on.)

I hope everyone is having an amazing Earth Day and that the weather where you’re at allows you to get out and fully enjoy the great outdoors. ❀ Considering it was about a week ago that I had to literally chisel my way into my car because it was completely covered in a thick layer of ice, I was more than ready for some nice weather like this.

Aaaand here’s some cute little garter snake buddies I crossed paths with while out and about today.

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Calvatia Gigantea: The Giant Puffball!

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Behold! The giant puffball (and my shoes).

I’ve stumbled across a few giant puffball mushrooms before, but had never bothered picking one since you often hear the warnings about those poisonous look-alikes and I’ve grown slightly fond of breathing over the years. πŸ˜‰

Well, after reading some helpful info on properly identifying edible giant puffball mushrooms, we decided to chance it by plucking up this bad boy we found on my mom and dad’s property. Here’s my mom plucking it up. Say “Hi” Mama Moth! πŸ˜›

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After my mom picked it out of the ground we brought it inside and prepared to cut it open. The guides we read said you wanted a pure white center in the mushroom, and no gills and whatnot, so we were pretty pleased to cut it up and see that snowy center. πŸ™‚

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We’ve still gotta cook it up, but we’re excited to try it. If I suddenly stop posting after this, well, I guess our mushroom identifying skills were not quite as up to snuff as we’d hoped. Wish us luck!

Do you ever hunt/cook mushrooms? Any experience with puffballs? Lemme know! I’d love to hear about it. πŸ™‚

Sunflowers, Sweet Potatoes, Lemon Trees & Cream Puffs Galore!

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Hey, guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I went to see the new It movie, so expect a review of that to come soon. πŸ˜€ Since my previous post was about scary clowns, I thought I’d mix it up with something a little sweeter before delving back into that. πŸ˜›

Speaking of sweet, check out this growing sweet potato bush from the green house. I feel like with Fall quickly approaching I’m running outta time to share these gardening photos so pardon this random post.

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We’re also growing two different types of lemon trees in the green house. They’ve been doing really well so far this Summer, but we’re going to have to move them inside pretty soon so they survive the coming winter.

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So, plant business aside, I’ve been meaning to share the photos of those cream puffs I mentioned making before for my dad’s birthday. πŸ™‚ Here’s some of the Work In Progress pics, and then the final product, topped with powdered sugar and filled with a light and fluffy cream filling.

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Here they are as little dough balls, ready to go into the oven
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Fresh from the oven and ready to cool on the cooling rack.
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Stuffed to the max and topped with powdered sugar.

A Beautiful June Day

Well, this weekend came and went pretty quickly if you ask me. Heck, this year is going by pretty quickly, too. Can you believe we’re already six months in? Madness, I tell you!

It was such a beautiful day today that I decided to take some photos of all that lovely outdoorsy goodness! πŸ™‚

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Found this cute little bumble buddy bro-ing about on the peonies that just recently bloomed. He didn’t seem to mind me capturing the moment as he pollinated around. Maybe he’s an exhibitionist. Who am I to judge?

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Check out all that leaf lettuce looking all scrumptious. Can’t wait to start eating it all up. Awesome for salads and great on sammiches. ❀

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I was really hoping to get a picture of the baby robins to share with you guys but they’ve gone and left the nest already. I even checked around below the nest to make sure they hadn’t fallen out or anything. It makes sense, they’d gotten pretty big, but last I saw they still had some of those Bernie Sanders tufts of white fuzz on them, so I thought they’d be sticking around a little longer. So, sorry, you guys just get a pic of the empty nest. :/

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Some of the other peonies. It’s kind of hard to tell, but they’re a really light pink and light cream color, but they mostly look white in the photos.

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We’ve got tons and tons and TONS of these pretty white flowers. Seriously, this is only a small sampling of them.

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Again, this is just a bit of them, but it goes to show how many little clusters of them there are in a small area. They’re pretty lovely when you get the whole view of them all.

So, those are my outdoors pics I thought I’d share with you guys. Hope you’re all having a great weekend with just as nice of weather wherever you might be. ❀

Help Bees Help YOU!

Hey, you! Yeah, you! You like food, right? Well, so do bees. And bees (being the bad ass little pollinators they are) help provide us with so much of the food we eat to stay alive. Cheerios and Veseys Seeds recognize the major decline in bee colony numbers and are giving away MILLIONS of wildflower seeds for FREE to people in the U.S. and Canada to encourage people to do their part and get planting!

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Cupcakes and Machetes and I have already signed up for our seeds so give into peer pressure and be sure to do it too! It’s seriously SO easy. Just click this magical link of awesomeness and get those free seeds!! πŸ˜€

Not a bad deal, right? Everyone wins. Free flowers, bees get some much-needed help, you get to enjoy some gardening when spring hits, bee colonies hopefully grow and flourish and the world gets to continue stuffing their faces with all those delicious fruits and veggies and other nutritious noms.

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We’re all on this planet together, and it’s up to us to take care of one another and the earth itself. Even simple little things like this make a big difference if enough of us get off our butts and do something.

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