Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weekend Recap

We had a fun weekend celebrating lots of birthdays!
The Dining Room at Bida Manda
Friday night, we went out with my friends to Bida Manda in Downtown Raleigh. I had the green papaya salad with filet. I know it sounds weird, but it was so good! We went out afterwards for more fun and drinks. It was a great night :)
Green Papaya Salad with grilled flatiron steak
Green papaya salad, here with flat iron steak
Yummy cake from Sweet Memories

On Saturday, we went to Kelsey and Brandon's for a birthday cookout. The weather ended up being nice and it was great to hang out with friends.  I made a couple of appetizers that I can't wait to share here, hopefully later this week. Here are some pictures from that night.

It was a great weekend!

P.S. Happy Birthday Kelsey!!! (This was supposed to post yesterday!!)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another year older.

Today's my birthday and even thought it's early in the day, I've already gotten tons of love from family and friends.

We are celebrating tonight with my family at Sitti in downtown Raleigh. This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants, I can't wait to take them.  Then on Friday, we're going to Bida Manda with my friends. Exciting week ahead!
Kelsey posted an amazing blog post with a photo collage over on her blog that I wanted to share here. So sweet!!
My sister posted this on Instagram and it made me crack up!!
And Kevin got me these gorgeous peonies last night. Love them, it's so awesome to wake up to beautiful flowers on your birthday!!

Hope everyone else has a great day, I know I will!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Darcy!

Four years ago, our dog Darcy was born. He has been such a big part of our lives and I can't imagine what it  would be without him. He is constantly bringing a smile to our faces and loves unconditionally.  Here are some pictures all the way back from when we got him!
The weekend we brought him home, Oct. 2009
Halloween 2009, that pumpkin was a little too big ;)
Christmas 2009
His first snow, Jan 2010
On his first birthday
Christmas 2010
Getting his stocking on Christmas
At the beach

4th of July!
Fall at our new house
Christmas 2011
On the deck, Spring 2012
At the beach
Fall 2012

Christmas with his new brother, Rory
This weekend at the beach
 Happy Birthday Darcy!!

p.s. Way to go if you made it through all of those pictures, lol.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Not how I wanted to spend my Thursday night...

We got some strong storms last night, even though they only lasted for a few minutes.  I was on my way home from work and stopped at the grocery store to get out of the weather and pick up something we could eat without cooking, since we had already lost power at home.
Well, I arrived home after the storm cleared to find a tree (well part of a tree) down in our front yard! :(
So, quickly our plans for the night went from not much at all, to yard clean up and tree removal.  My dad came over with his chainsaw and we cut away branches slowly in order to get things out of the yard.  The back half of the tree was still hanging on, so we didn't want to leave a hazard in our yard. After a while, we had a huge pile of branches on our driveway and a log hanging from the tree. My husband and dad managed to get it out and cut it into logs. We were pretty impressed with what we were able to accomplish before dark! 
Now, we have to decide what to do with the remaining part of the tree. There is still a decent amount of tree growing, but it may not survive the split. If not, we'll have to get the whole thing removed... so we'll see what happens! Keep your fingers crossed that it can pull through and leaf back out to fill in the hole.  
So, now we have a huge pile of debris that we need to get removed, but luckily our town is doing special pickups of storm damage. So I think they'll come get it this weekend... whew! But, we are so thankful that even though part of the tree came down and it left an ugly hole, at least it didn't fall on the house or hurt anyone!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Around my garden

It has rained so much in the last few days! We got more than 5" on Friday alone... I'm ready for us to get back to a normal weather pattern. So, since we've had a ton of rain and all of our plants are growing a lot right now, I thought I'd post some pictures of the yard. These were all taken with my iPhone, so they're not the best, but I think some are actually pretty good.
Cumulative Rainfall at RDU (30 days)
Rainfall in our area this month... way above normal! source
My roses are doing well, they have all already bloomed at least once, most are on to their second round of buds. I don't know why roses get such a bad rap for being difficult to grow. If you spend just a little time tending to them/dead-heading throughout the season and keep them disease free, they will bloom all summer long! Last year, my roses produced beautiful buds way into October.
Our new rose garden that we added earlier this spring
Although, many of my long stemmed roses and David Austin's don't like getting strong pouring rain, the blooms get heavy and they tend to face downwards after a storm. They'll perk up in a day or so with some good sunshine.
David Austin Heritage
Here are some pictures of roses I've cut and brought inside. They are so fragrant and really brighten up my kitchen!
David Austin Abraham Darby and Gertrude Jekyll 
About a year ago, we planted lamb's ear on the side garden area of our deck. It's doing awesome in that spot. I love the silver green color of the leaves and the contrast that it makes with the other plants in the garden.
We moved a hydrangea in our back yard earlier this spring, planting it next to the other that we have, and it is doing really well. When we replanted it, we gave it lots of compost and good soil, which has actually turned the color of the blooms slightly more purple/pink because the soil is more alkaline than the red clay that the other one is planted in. I'm actually really excited about this, because now we will have more variation of hydrangea colors this summer! I can't wait to cut a bunch of these and bring them inside! Read more about changing the color of your hydrangea here, if you're interested.
Our vegetable garden is doing awesome! We planted things a little too close together at the beginning (but we knew that when we did it- in case things didn't make it and because the seedlings were so cheap).  I've taken a couple of plants out to make room and it's still overflowing; but everything is thriving at this point, so we're happy. We have already gotten tons of cucumbers and the squash and zucchini are starting to produce as well.  There are lots of roma tomatoes on the vines which just need to ripen and turn red.  When they do, I'm excited to make lots of tomato sauce and maybe some fresh salsa! We've already made some marinated cucumbers/pickles with our crop of cucumbers, yum!
On our back deck, we have marigolds, zinnias, and herbs planted in our bay window planter. On the other side of the railing in this picture, you can see that the butterfly bush is growing like crazy. I think it's grown at least a couple feet since last week and still will at least double or triple in size by the summer. I love that is provides some extra privacy when we're hanging out on our back deck, in addition to the beautiful butterflies that it brings.
If anyone is curious how the grass in our front yard is doing after sodding last summer... well, it's doing great! That project, posted here, was so much work to do ourselves, but it really has paid off. It is so green and really feels like a carpet when you walk on it.
Well, that's it for most of the things we have growing around the house. Hope you enjoyed the garden tour ;)
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