let's get botanical, botanical

during a recent trip to see my parents in florida, cory and i visited kanapaha botanical gardens with my mom.  i can't believe i lived in gainesville for 23 years, and had never once been here.  it is such a lovely place filled with beautiful and exotic plants from all over the world (the giant lily pads were my favorite)!  we actually had the place almost entirely to ourselves since we slept in and then decided to indulge in some deep dish at leonardo's pizza (a childhood favorite of mine) before we hit up the botanical gardens.  we actually arrived an hour before they closed, but still had enough time to circle the gardens.  there were a few moments i felt like it was just the three of us on a lush, tropical deserted island in the south pacific.  here are a few pics from that day...

^^^i love when he agrees to a tacky photo-op

spanish moss = home

what a fun way to spend the day!  i highly recommend a visit if you're ever in town.  now here's a picture of that deep dish pizza in case any of you were wondering.  sorry, the photo quality is not that great... my mind was telling me to fix my camera settings, but my stomach was telling me to stop and eat the pizza.  stomach always wins.  always.



hey, guess what... i can sew: baby playmat

there's just something about handmade gifts!  i love to give them and i love to receive them.  recently, i made this mermaid themed playmat for one of my lovely coworker's new baby girl!  i saw this fabric and knew it would be perfect for this project since she's a summer baby :)  i followed this tutorial from the purl bee.  it was pretty easy and very straightforward... i can't wait to make more!


can we just take a moment to admire this pin cushion?  i don't know whose idea it was to make them look like tomatoes, but i'd like to shake this person's hand.  and the strawberry pin sharpener... perfection!

the embroidery step adds such an adorable touch to this project.  the embroidered image appears on the opposing fabric on the opposite side (the back) of the mat.

and here's the cutest thing you ever did see!  glad you're enjoying your new mermaid playmat, kinley!


savouring summer

summer is by far my favorite season hands down.  here are a just a few reasons why....
cornhole games with friends

sweet delicious watermelon.  the quintessential fruit of summer

neon toenails with red saltwaters

my man's bbq

al fresco day drinking (also, bell's two hearted in 24 oz cans... i've died and gone to beer heaven)

or really finding any excuse to go "al fresco" (cafe lights are so magical, don't ya think?)

baseball games

bowling (which can really be done in any kind of weather.... but it's mostly just a good excuse to take funny pictures.  see below)
what i'm trying to say is that if you are not a fan of summer and all things above, i'm not sure we can be friends.  i'll miss you dearly, summer 2014.  now, i guess i'll go drink a pumpkin latte and wait for the seasonal depression to set in.  kidding! (sort of)


diy: chalkboard coffee table

i've been dying for a new coffee table for a while now, but our budget has been a little tight since the wedding.  i've had my brother's old coffee table from his bachelor days for about the last five years.  while in my possession, it's acquired several scratches, dings, and nail polish remover stains (oops).  i decided i would try to paint it, rather than investing in a new coffee table.  while i was contemplating what color would work the best with everything else we have going on in our living room, a fabulous idea came to mind....a chalkboard-top coffee table!  i instantly searched pinterest (of course it's been done before, i guess i'm not that original) and i found a lot of pictures to help inspire me.  husband and i took a trip to lowes to pick out paint and a few supplies.  i initially wanted to go with a mustard color (best color ever in my opinion, even though cory detests it) or a soft mint (like the handmade shelf in the background given to us by my brother and his family for our wedding, so sweet!).  cory ended up picking out a paint by valspar called woodlawn salsa.  i didn't hate it.  and it coordinated well with our mint shelf too!  i chose a grey chalkboard paint to go in the middle.  this project was relatively easy and took about a day to complete with all of the drying time involved.  i began by priming the entire table, then i slapped on a few coats of woodlawn salsa.  i taped off the edges around the top and applied several coats of the grey chalkboard paint, and voilĂ !

before: this poor table has suffered through multiple moves, and years of wear and tear.

i love our new table!  i still may invest in a new one in the near future, but this will get us by until that time comes.  it really brightens up our living room!  now, who's up for a game of cards against humanity?  best.game.ever.


rise & shine

this summer i was finally able to cross something off of my bucket list... rise in durham.  if you know me at all, you will know i'm not a morning person and the thought of waking up early absolutely makes me nauseous.  there are actually few things in life that i consider a priority over sleeping in (all involving food, of course): homemade breakfast at my mom and dad's house, cory's coffee (that man can make some damn good coffee), and the promise of a cronut.  i've longed to try a cronut ever since they became a nationwide craze several years ago... i've even dreamed about them!  when i caught wind that rise made their own version of the cronut (the "cronie"), i knew it was time to set aside my differences with my alarm clock.  upon my arrival early one saturday morning (okay, it was like 9:00 AM, but that's still pretty early in my book), there was literally a line out the door!  after a 20 minute wait in line, the cashier told me the devastating news that they sold out of cronies earlier that morning (they only make a limited number each day).  i wiped away a few tears, and instead ordered a biscuit with egg and cheese (they are really famous for their biscuits), and a red velvet cake and chocolate glazed donut for dessert.  all of which were incredible (thus justifying the super-long line)!  i'm still pretty bummed i'm currently living a cronut-less lifestyle, but maybe one day i'll have the opportunity to cross that off my bucket list too.  i'll never give up!

^^^my inner 8 year old really wanted me to order the cap'n crunch berry donut

ah, that biscuit!  perfectly flaky and buttery.

the red velvet cake donut.  yes, it was a good as it looks.

somehow a bavarian creme-filled long john found it's way into my bag!  maybe it was the look of defeat and devastation i had on my face when i was informed they were out of cronies, or maybe it was purely accidental, but it almost made up for the fact that i didn't get a cronie.  almost.


labour day

happy labor day!  despite the fact that i had to work today, we had a (much needed) super fun weekend!  our favorite newlyweds invited us to join them and their family in pawley's island, south carolina.  it's kind of hard to believe that this beautiful oasis is just a few miles away from the craziness of myrtle beach.  pawley's is mostly residental, so it's not crowded and very quiet.  not only are there beautiful beaches, but it's surrounded by inlets filled with costal grass that will make you feel like you're starring in an episode of dawson's creek!  the beaches are dog friendly (which i personally love) and the sand is adorned with beautiful shells and tiny shark teeth!

^^^check out this gorgeous beach house we stayed in

a peek inside...

katie and i spent about 3 hours in the sand digging for sharks teeth....

....and we got pretty dirty in the process!

and we all know i love a good sunset!

i hope you all had a wonderful day off!  if you ask me, i don't think one national day off of work makes up for the other 259 days you spend slaving away!  can i get an amen?