Tulip Trick

My sister gave me a gift card to Fresh Market for my birthday (great gift, btw). While I was picking up a luxurious lunch last week, I was stunned by the beauty of the tulips. I couldn't resist! 

I bought a bouquet to try Cup of Jo's tulip trick. I had just seen it on her Instagram and blog, and I was up for an experiment. 

Here's the trick: Poke a hole with a pin through the base of the stems before putting in water. It will keep the flowers from drooping. 

tulips day one
Caroline attempting a natural smile - lol

24 hours after 

3 days later with fresh water, cut stems, and new tiny holes in the base. 
Oh, and I put a penny in the bottom. That's another trick. 

Don't you love it?


Skilling up - Laundry and Dishes

I've recently had 2 discoveries in the homemaking department. 

1. Laundry is much easier when I wash each person's clothing in their own personal and exclusive load. 

Because the children shower in our bathroom, naturally that's where the dirty laundry lands. Prior to implementing the new system, we had a family hamper. As a result, each load was one big soup of everybody's laundry. 

With that system, folding and putting away was irritating. I had to go to each room every time.

I don't know what inspired the new way -- to give each person their own load. I'm pretty sure y'all do this and have been holding out on me. Regardless, it is now our standard practice. 

This new way takes discipline, getting everyone to carry their dirty laundry to their hamper. BUT...it is so much simpler in the end. I dare say it's a serene experience to pull a load from the dryer, knowing all the items belong to one individual. Usually, I fold and let children put away. 

2. My dishwasher has a 60 minute cycle. 

Our old dishwasher would not properly clean dishes unless you ran it on the longest cycle. When we replaced it, it was deep in my psyche that clean dishes = longest cycle. By default I ran the new one on the marathon wash, 180+ minutes.

The long cycle routinely backed up the kitchen. But I didn't know any different! So one day on a whim, I tried the shortest cycle. And boom. I converted to a short cycle gal. My kitchen is much more efficient now!

My point in my sharing this newfound knowledge is .... sometimes, you can reinvent the wheel. You can hack it. These revelations have me looking at other pain points in our home and routines.

What about you? Can you relate to any of this?


I discovered the term skilling up from one of my favorite podcast Homemaker Chic


2 Front Pots

Caroline and I planted some violas a few weeks ago, and I have officially made the switch from pansies to violas as my winter flower of choice. They are perkier. 

When they start looking sad, I will transition to impatiens or begonias for late spring/early summer. I try to keep my two pots by our front door looking fresh. It's the first thing you see when you walk up, and it communicates that I somewhat have it together even though I don't. 

We are years into a construction project, and the last bit is to replace some front siding and paint the house. It doesn't help that the guy we hired is mostly a no show. We are weary of it looking so bad for so long. The planters are getting me though. 

If you're feeling down about your space, I highly recommend getting a couple of big planters and going for it. 


Two Soups

I'm relishing January things, which for me means cleaning up and cleaning out, sitting by the fire, and making soups.  

I'm sharing two good ones today.

First, Budget Bytes' Zuppa Toscana. This was a big hit with the kids. My oldest even took the leftovers for school lunch. Look at all that gorgeous kale!

I also recommend the Pioneer Woman's veggie chili. My sister put me onto this one. I skip the corn flour - tried it, prefer without. A lot of chopping is required, so get ya a good podcast. 

Favorite toppings: goat cheese or sour cream, avocado, and cilantro. 

My kids didn't love this one as much. More for me! 


Another favorite January indulgence -- I LOVE a cold walk. Is there anything more invigorating?! We've all heard the expression, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothing." 

I have to give myself a pep talk every. single. time. But once I'm bundled up and out there...it's great. 

How do you spend your winters?



Before Christmas my mom and dad took us to Memphis to see **HAMILTION**!! 

The enthusiasm for this trip was not equally distributed among family members. 
A certain 9 y.o. boy, who shall remain nameless, would have rather stayed home and grilled squirrel. I told him we were building his character, dragging him to a nice hotel, making him eat in restaurants, etc.

"There's no such thing as fun for the whole family," a concept my mother in law once shared years ago. I think she got it from a comic strip. Truer words were never spoken.

city slickers

This was a walking trip. We parked our car on Friday night and didn't see it till departure. I loved frolicking around downtown. I feel a connection with Memphis. One of my best friends from college is from there, and I have loads of good memories going to visit her and her fam.

Stephen tried to convince me to rent a scooter. I said no I needed to practice on open land first.

I adore a glass champagne and it was double good in the lobby of the Peabody.

feeling so French

We saw the ducks and bought some surprisingly affordable souvenirs in the gift shop.

 historic motel where MLK Jr. was killed

drinks on the rooftop bar

professional photo bomber 

The show was fantastic. We've listened to the music and watched the original cast on Disney numerous times. I was worried I might be a little disappointed, but quite the opposite. I appreciated how the cast added there on whimsy and personality to the show. 

in route to the Orpheum 

The theater was gorgeous and a good time was had by all but one. 👎

It was bonus that my aunt and uncle, Lynn and Steve, could join us! We always love being with them. We're spoiled.

Thanks, Lovie and Doc for an extra large time.


Hey 2022

Where to begin? 

Happy New Year! We took down the tree and welcomed 2022 with a quiet night at home. I love this time of year. It is the perfect palete cleanser to follow the hustle of Christmas. I clean out, freshen up, and brighten all the spaces like my hair is on fire. Room by room I go. I'm reading Minimalista to get inspired. 

This is also a time for no drinking. With holiday merriment and travel behind us, it's time to rein in the booze. I trick myself by pouring fancy water into a champagne flute. A friend and I are doing a dry January together. The exception is if I go out to eat (which is rare), I can get a drink. I don't believe in extreme deprivation.

This is my favorite article about cutting back on drinking. I so relate.

My children return to school tomorrow. It's bittersweet. They can't stay here, but I will miss the days of togetherness. 

George and Laurie have had a lot of fun making comedy videos together. Some of them are actually funny.

What are you excited about this year? Tell me your dreams. 



One lovely evening in May, our neighbor's Vizsla frolicked over and impregnated our British lab. What's done is done. 

Therefore, on July 7th, 2021 we welcomed 11 puppies into our already chaotic family life. Puppy birth is an education unto itself -- and I'm counting on the experience to make up for any holes or gaps left in the wake of homeschool science.

Sally, the mama dog, successfully birthed 6 blonde/strawberry blonde pups and 5 black pups. 

It's therapy. Puppies are therapy. And if you don't love them at least a little bit, then you probably have no soul. 

As it currently stands, we have 5 promised to owners, 4 lighter pups and 1 darker. This means we have 2 light and 4 dark that need a person or persons.

These pics are from the BIRTHnight. We had so many puppies we actually got bored and went to bed on puppy number 9. We awoke to 2 more, totaling ELEVEN. #hastag #fertilemertle

We are selling them for $55/pup to cover the cost of shots + food. You know you want one or TWO.

Seriously, the cycle of life is amazing. We made some memories on this night. Some families go to Disney. Some have puppies. 

For real, email or DM me if you want one.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...