Wake Up and Smell the Roses

Good morning, happy people. 🙂 How beautiful are these roses Leo brought to the airport when he picked me up from my Dallas work-trip last Friday?!

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I’ve been loving them. One of my favorite things to do with my plants and bouquets is move them around the house to keep my home decor fresh and bright. I work from home often, so I like to switch things up in our condo.

Yesterday morning I had a nice little breakfast with coffee on my balcony and just enjoyed this pure Michigan sunshine with which we’ve been recently blessed.

Try to take a morning moment daily to just appreciate your life – and I use “life” in terms of simply being alive 🙂

There is beauty in every day and it’s up to us to uncover it, appreciate it, and pass it along. (PS, those are my vitamin pills on the plate, in case you were wondering — I typically go with something healthier than scones for breakfast 😉 but I decided to spoil myself a little. Nonetheless, always keep up with your vitamins and stop that thought right there – I do NOT sound like your mom). 😉

Happy Friday Junior, folks. 🙂

 

 

 

Sunsets

Hello 🙂 I hope you’ve all had a lovely day so far.

Yesterday evening, Leo and I strolled through our neighborhood and of course I had to stop every two feet in the beginning of our walk as the sun set —

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But do you blame me?? This sky was fantastic. Look how gloriously the sun painted these clouds! These are photos right off my iPhone with no filter:

I was enthralled. It made me think though…of endings…to sunshine. Dreams. Sometimes you grow up with certain expectations of how your adulthood will play out, with aspirations and with hope and with so much belief that your dreams will pan out – as long as you work at them with all your strength.

But you know what, sometimes, some dreams don’t. Sometimes, the sunshine in those dreams will slowly set. The last embers will paint your personal sky strikingly and you’ll take the time to snap some pictures in your mind’s eye. Because you’ll want to remind yourself of how colorful and perfect your heart felt with that particular dream alive.

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In that moment, you’ll be thinking only of the sunset. And rightly so – because a sunset like this one deserves a captivated audience.

But once it sets, and the sky has darkened, you’ll just follow the cycle you were born to follow — looking ahead for tomorrow’s sunrise. The birth of new dreams. The continuance of still-existing ones. The celebration of accomplished dreams. The hope that is a life filled with purpose.

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So take a last look, and enjoy the sunset. Yesterday’s was certainly a beautiful sun.

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“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Peony Babies

Hi friends!

So here you have those last tips on peony care I promised you on my Instagram this morning! I promise it’s the last peony post for awhile (for those of you who aren’t as obsessed with the lovely flowers as I am) 😉

Look at these beauties, alive and healthy, even though it’s just shy of two weeks since I brought them home from the Farmer’s Market!

So, here’s my tip: Buy bunches that are full of both blossoms as well as buds — when the blossoms begin to wither, prune them away. Leave the buds on their stems and shorten them to fit into a smaller vase. In my case I used this cute little mason jar.

Be sure to change out the water daily, and you’ll find each bud opening for you – and watch it blossom ’til it’s lived the length of its sweet little life!

Happy peony lovin, friends!

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Garden Fashion

Happy Friday, friends! Ah, so glad it’s the weekend tomorrow – I can’t wait for the fun plans my family and I have coming up for Father’s Day!

Anyone looking for some weekend fashion inspo? In this gorgeous summery weather, the ideas are plenty! But today, it’s all about rompers if you ask me 😉

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I found this pretty one at Pitaya – one of my favorite boutiques! It’s affordable and always provides a unique take on trendy fashion.

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It was perfectly pretty and comfortable enough for my visit to The Arb to see their incredible peony garden!

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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll see I’ve been drinking in every breath of these sweet peonies during their too-short season! They’re so lovely…

 

For tips on their care, be sure to reference my previous blog post here!

 

And if you’re ever in the Ann Arbor area, be sure to visit The Arb – its beauty is certainly not limited to the peony garden…you’ll find that the lovely trails rival your favorite landscape paintings!

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I hope you all enjoy your weekend! I’d love to hear about your plans and the fashion ideas with which you’ve paired them! 🙂

Let’s chat soon!

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Jiji’s Lemon Strawberry Bundt

Happy Hump Day, folks! 🙂

I’d say it’s the perfect time of week to mix up an easy bundt and spoil yourself with some warm and yummy sweetness!

I whipped up this yummy bundt and brought it for that pretty peony picnic shared with Tiffy! If you missed my post on that pretty picnic — click here!

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I love making up new baking recipes and this one was one of my favorite attempts — I hope you like it!

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See below for the recipe and list of ingredients needed!

Recipe:

3 large eggs

1.5 cup shortening

1.5 cups granulated sugar

2.5 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup water with a tablespoon of vanilla coffee creamer

3 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 cup strawberry jam

2 tbs powdered sugar

Beat the eggs, sugar and shortening together until blended. Fold in flour, soda, and salt and mix until blended. Pour in liquids and half cup of strawberry jam. Mix all together only long enough to smooth the batter.

Bake in sprayed bundt pan at 350 for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Leave cake in pan for seven minutes before removing cake from pan to let it cool on cake stand. Spread remaining half cup of jam onto the top of your cake and sprinkle the 2 tbs of powdered sugar on top.

If you you like, decorate your completed cake with lemon slices and strawberries as shown in photo.

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Finally: Ration into one piece at a time and resist the urge to gulp down half the cake in one sitting. 😉

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I hope you enjoy my recipe, friends! I loved eating the cake for breakfast, paired with my mug of coffee on my balcony in the early mornings! …and also, of course, snacking on it during a picnic 😉

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“Sahtein” as they say in my language — enjoy! 🙂

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Pretty Peony Picnic

Happy Monday loves! Does anyone have the Monday blues? Let’s just go ahead and do away with those right now — and dream about picnicking this coming weekend, yeah?

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Just a couple of weekends ago my sweet friend Tiffy and I packed a picnic and made our way to Ann Arbor’s famed peony garden. It’s located in the Arb and draws flower lovers from far and wide…and just down the street if you count me 😉

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Tiffy brought the drinks and snacks and that pretty white blanket and I made and brought that pretty lemon/strawberry cake and the accessories!

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Tune back in later this week to get the recipe for this yummy cake!

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Do you have plans yet for this weekend? If not, a picnic won’t be a bad idea — bring some favorite snacks, a pretty blanket or even a table cloth cover, and bake something special to bring along.

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It’s fun to go in the late morning before it gets too warm, and bring delicacies to enhance your time. A picnic doesn’t have to always include a full-fledged meal and is sometimes more relaxing without one!

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So, cheers, friends. I hope our happy photos decorate your Monday with some sunshine 🙂

 

 

 

All About Peonies

Good Morning!

This week I’ll be all about peonies, peonies, peonies 🙂 …starting with those I picked at the Farmer’s Market last week! Tips below on how to care for these lovely plants — but for now, let’s all just admire!

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They’re magnificent!

Care tips right from the farmer’s mouth! 🙂

“Keep them in fresh water. They like to be cold so refrigerate them overnight! That’s really it.”

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Happy Sunday, friends! 🙂

Flower Friday

Hi guys!

Leo and I had plans to have a picnic tonight in a garden – it was going to be magical. But no such luck: poor guy came down with something. Not to worry — we’re stocked up on flowers, flowers, flowers! Which of course begot a slew of photos. (And who says you can’t have an at-home picnic, complete with soothing soup!)

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How gorgeous is that natural light decorating those lovely pinkish hues?!

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I love these flowers…they’re my indoor sunshine.

And… what is a home in June without PEONIES?! I enjoy end of May and beginning of June for so many reasons – one of them being they are the season when these lovely flowers come out to play!

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More on these gorgeous blooms tomorrow — I’ll be sharing tips for how to care for peonies and encourage their lifespan for as long as possible 🙂

Cheers, friends! Hope your Friday night is awesome!

 

Date Night Fashion!

Good evening! Happy Friday Junior! 🙂

It’s been a heck of a work week for me but it’s been a good one!

I picked up some gorgeous peonies from the Farmer’s Market yesterday which I can’t wait to show you! But for now, I thought I’d share some date night fashion and tips on where to find similar styles.

(Outfit details at the bottom)

For a recent Royal Oak date night at a dueling piano bar, I went with a fun and flirty look that felt like Summertime:

Pair dressy shorts with neutral heels and a flirty top for a nighttime feel. I kept my hair down and sleek to add to the nighttime vibe.

Also, can we talk about how perfectly fresh and pretty this summertime cocktail is?!

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And for a dressed up Ann Arbor date night, I went with this simple treasure I found on Anthropologie’s clearance rack – one of the best places you may visit 😉

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I thought the blue was bold and bright while the cut and the delicate gold straps gave the dress a romantic flow… Also, how pretty are these lights ^^.

Happy shopping, friends:

The blue dress is an Anthro find which is currently sold out but you may be able to find one at your local store!

The white shorts are from Francescas: click here

The lace up shoes are from Lulu’s: similar style here

The one shoulder top paired with the white shorts is years old but click here for another fun style

 

 

 

Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens

Hi there!

So if you’ve read my previous posts (here and here), you’ll know that Leo and I were celebrating our anniversary last week — we enjoyed a series of activities in celebration, one of which being Memorial Day weekend spent in Grand Rapids. My favorite spot visited was the Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens.

Oh, my, my, my, these botanical gardens were on a whole other level. Magical! Be prepared to scroll through a ton of photos – I went crazy!

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We felt as though we were strolling through a fantastical land…

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The gardens sprawled far and wide and even after two-plus hours spent there, we still hadn’t made our way through all of it!

We loved every moment there. It truly was my favorite place visited while in Grand Rapids. See — I can’t stop repeating that, can I?!

If you’re ever visiting the city, be sure to make it to the gardens – if you’re obsessed with flowers as I am–or even with nature in general–I promise you won’t regret it!

So, cheers, friends…I’m going to go to sleep dreaming I was still there ❤ ❤

Love,

~Your resident flower child

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