Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tortoise and the Hare

You would think, by my lack of posting this month, that I had been working even more hours than usual.

Actually, I took a cue from last year, when I discovered how insanely busy May is with the end of the school year. We had circus (6 shows this year!) and dance performances, a piano recital, and her brownie bridging ceremony. We had school field trips and year-end projects, and the long Memorial Day weekend. We got a kitten and began dog training classes. We began a plethora of house projects. And even with that, and consciously ramping down for the month, I still billed at almost 80%, wrapped up a few projects, and caught up in others.

I'm happiest, though, in the various small projects we got done. Thanks to a holiday gift from my dad, we got a picture framed and worked on some other ones. We worked hard to create a beautiful backyard at Ashland, including amazing lights and planters and a wood bin for the firepit. I made some great cocktail syrups. We cleaned through a lot of Beatrix's outgrown clothes. We hung a bar light at Summit, painted some ceilings there, and bought a new hot tub. We planted the vegetable garden and gave away mulch and a compost bin (there's still mulch, if you need it! Let me know!) We cleared out some things we no longer wanted, which made room for some beautiful new items acquired from a friend selling his home. I learned how to make a ramos gin fizz and perfectly crack shellfish. I went to some great parties. I participated in a Crappy Day Gift Bag exchange with online friends, and have not had to crack a single gift in my bag yet.

All in all, I'm calling May a success.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend Done Right

Summer is my favorite season, and so Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff to summer, is always wonderful But this year, it's been especially great.

We kicked it off Friday with a wonderful pool party — so happy to be able to share our home with friends and neighbors!

Saturday was Beatrix's first star class at circus, which she loved ("Mama, I wish I had star again tomorrow!"). Then we headed out to Dave's Brew Farm for a wonderful afternoon of great beer and hanging out, even if it ended up with an epic tantrum for Beatrix. (the farm is for sale, anyone interested?)

Sunday we went to our friends' Kevin and Sarah's for a kid-friendly happy hour, and then a dog training class for Coya where she made huge strides. Beatrix is turning out to be quite the junior dog handler!

Then today some time with the Hair Goddess and one of my BFFs, before heading out to Magen's "Memorial Day Shenaningans." Finally, ended the weekend with Jake's amazing MEAT FEAST, featuring a crawfish boil (and where I also learned hot to make the perfect Ramos Gin Fizz, take that, #summerofgin!). Here's our amazing New Orleans girl showing you how it's done:

(Also, got some painting touch-ups done at Summit, hung a light at the bar there, and planted a whole bunch of planters. Not bad for a weekend's work!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crappy Day Gift Basket

I seem to have an affinity for incredibly awesome online communities. Recently I have become part of a group of neighborhood women that has been a lot of fun, as well as a genuinely caring and supportive community.

One of the members came up with a great idea for a "Crappy Day Gift Basket" exchange. You know those days that have totally sucked, and you just don't have it in you to see the bright side? When everything seems to suck? I was just feeling sorry for myself because, in years past, my mother had possessed a magic way to sense those, and would often drop by on those days and drop off a pair of earrings she had seen at a craft show, or a new book, or the like, and I miss that.

Well, my CDGB exchange partner totally hit it out of the park with my bag:

(each one has a little note about when to use it, plus some great inspirational quotes and such).

Part of me is almost looking forward to having  crappy day, so I can open one of my gifts.

And the other part knows that with friends like this, I may never have a crappy day again!

Thanks to for coming up with the idea, and to the AMAZING for the bag. I am so lucky to have them in my life!