28 May 2013

A Very Stockton weekend.

We had a very special visitor over the long weekend - no, not the finches that diligently kept rebuilding their nest in my fern even after I kept yanking it out [I've since given up and am now eagerly awaiting babies] - my cousin, Josh. It was his first trip to St. Joe and one of his few visits to Lake Michigan (the first one that counts, as far as I'm concerned). His very pregnant wife wasn't up for 18 holes in a golf cart, so just Josh joined Brad and I, as well as f-i-l, Bob, for a round at the country club - my first game in two years. Do I look the part?

Anyway, it was super awesome to spend some time w/ my little cousin (not so little anymore!) - who doesn't love sharing old stories that outsiders just don't get!? Looking forward to more visits soon, and, of course, planning a trip out east to meet Junior when he arrives in August.

How cute are we?
Ok, how cute is he (front left) and how totally '90s teen angst am I?

The pups love their cousin.

In other around-here news from the holiday weekend, I made a second (and third) trip to a new nursery and planted my old and new plants -


Draws a little attention away from our crazy little yard.... :)

We had some delicious cocktails -

Watched the birds from our front porch (currently obsessed, thanks to my new bird feeder!) -

"I don't want my picture taken with flowers!"

Had our first bbq of the year -

Grilled shrimp and corn salad - yum! Supervised by Creeper Heidi.

And, finally, started comparing and contrasting colors for our *gulp* home renovation aka upcoming paint job -

A pretty fantastic weekend.... the perfect preparation for our upcoming trip to.... NEW ORLEANS! See ya Friday morning, Louisiana! Have a Hurricane waiting for me, please.

22 May 2013

Rockin' Robin.

It seems lots of good things come in threes, as this month was also our third annual Garden + Dinner Girls' Night Out. It was last night, to be specific. After work, Liz, Ceile, Hillary, and I headed south to Sawyer and the Sawyer Garden Center to stock up on some spring plants. And after three years of practice, I actually had a pretty good game plan - I've experimented in the past, and I know what I'm good at: herbs and simple hanging plants. Normally I pick out flowers for our flower boxes out front, but we're getting the house painted in a few weeks, so we're going to take down the hooks and try things out flower box-less.... (not the easiest place to manage flowers anyway - I'd rather just plant some high bushes there and call it a day) Either way, I loved wandering the aisles, admiring all the pretty colors and occasionally stopping to smell the flowers.

Normally, we'd trek over to Stray Dog for fish tacos, but it burned down last summer and they haven't quite finished rebuilding it (next year!). We stuck with New Buffalo, though, and went to Bentwood and were lucky enough snag outside seating, right on the water in the marina. It was warm but not too hot and the sun was setting behind us. It was incredibly romantic.

This was an extra special trip because it could potentially be the last consecutive year we are all together for our annual trip, as our Ceile will be headed back to her home state of Illinois in the fall. We'll definitely be getting our fill of all things Ceile all summer!

We luv you, Ceile!

Back to the garden side of things, I mixed things up a little this year going with simple ferns for the front porch. Of course, inspired by New Orleans (we'll see you next week, Nola!). Mine aren't nearly as impressive, but I'm madly in love with the look.... and already wanting more. And more!

I also picked up my very first bird feeder. After an evening at Hillary's, watching all the beautiful birds outside her window (snacking on her neighbor's bird feeder), I knew I had to have one. And now I do.

I've been stalking it all night and have yet to catch a bird there. I told Hillary it was like hosting a party and waiting for your first guests to arrive. C'mon, birds! Sheesh! Definitely can't wait to see what other awesomeness this spring brings!

19 May 2013

Golf still sux.

All the final details are in place and the Churchy Beach B&B is officially open for business. Just in time because...

This week the Third Annual Golf Sux Weekend was finally upon us! Sans 1/3 of our trio, sadly, but the duo whooped it up extra for a beautiful girls' weekend.

Food, drinks, at-home spa time, beach, and girly movies and TV ensued -

*Note... ensuing here was some deliciousness by way of a Michigan wild ramp and mushroom tart with goat cheese and cream. It was a revelation. And I also got to introduce Kristal to my new favorite, Neapolitan Milk Stout. Yum.

...with some furry little friends in the mix, too.

Oh yeah, and I (accidentally) dumped egg hair treatment right on Kristal's face. Splat.

I dare say it was a pretty perfect weekend and I'm already looking forward to next year! Minus the whole, you know, dumping egg on Kristal's face bit. I'll focus on the pouring not the photo taking next time, I promise. ;) But it was pretty damn funny. Till next year, ladies. xo

Addendum - How could I forget? My favorite part of the weekend was going on a run together. Kristal has been on an inspiring journey these past few years, and this weekend last year she ran her first double-digit run ever (she's since run several 5k and 10k races and is training for her second half marathon right now), around our town and the lake. This year, I was able to run with her - my longest outdoor run yet at almost 2.5 miles. It was great to be doing it together.... and I didn't even pass out!

05 May 2013

Cinco de d-i-y.

We finally had a beautiful, sunny, and warm weekend. And I wasn't sick. BUT Sara was, so she wasn't able to visit us as planned. AND Brad was, so he was operating at about 50% most of the weekend. But we stayed pretty productive and I, at least, enjoyed plenty of outside time. Including TWO morning (morning!!) runs with Hillary, outside, and I'm thrilled to report I'm up to just under 2 miles (purely by fact of route not that I couldn't make it the extra .2 miles we're under). I'm heading into next week sunburned, sore, and pooped, and I feel amazing.

Today was the first Antiques on the Bluff - and yes, I'll say it, it was MUCH anticipated. We're talking months here. After our run, Hillary and I both showered (separately!) then headed back to town, picking up Liz and Zoey then Ceile along the way. I'm surprised to report that I'm the only one that bought anything, but the booths were teeming with Pyrex - incredibly well-priced Pyrex at that. Look at my loot!

Let's discuss left to right.... A little creamer that I will use for syrup; I have two custard cups in this matching print. Two coffee cups because, well, I just wanted two and they match my other creamer-for-syrup cup and butter dish. One for me and one for whichever Pyrex-loving friend next comes for coffee! A perfect-condition small square casserole in a fairly rare print - I have a small bowl with it but these are the only times I've come across it. A giant casserole in a print I don't madly love but it has a lid and is huge and was EIGHT dollars. Front and center, we have Hillary's find, which I will make corn pudding in in her honor. All this for under $30.

I also picked up a small DIY project, now that I'm obsessed with spray painting, and with magazine racks. I even haggled for it, so I am pretty pleased with myself (it also made the perfect Jimmy John's purse for the walk home - thanks for carrying it, Hillary!).

Before - brass and sort-of black. I intended to spray it all black. But Brad had a suggestion...

...and I took it. And I'm glad!

As soon as she was dry, I found my new little friend a home. Can you see her peeking hello?

Why, hello, friend...

Meep meep!

To celebrate a beautiful, however Sara-lacking (boo!) weekend, we channeled our inner Mexican and celebrated Cinco de Mayo with some taco pizza, spicy creamed corn (breaking in new Pyrex!), and margaritas (really half marg mix, half lime fizzy water - the perfect mix to cut the sugar sweet).


Here's hoping everyone had a great weekend, too, and that this is the first of many sun-, fun-, and friend-filled weekends to come this year.

03 May 2013

Playing favorites.

Just a quick funny for Friday... Happy weekend, everyone!