Sunshine in a vase

Flowers

Remember in the winter, back when I was on the hunt for cheap flowers as a way to maintain my sanity through the interminable winter?

Well, I got addicted.

But I’m trying to behave.

At a time when we’re meticulously budgeting, $10 here and there might not seem like a big deal . . . but sometimes it’s hard for me to justify purchasing things that are just going to perish. Until we get a handle on certain expenses, I’m trying to be really careful with our funds.

It’s interesting. Hard, but a good sort of challenge.

When it comes to flowers, though, I can’t seem to help myself. They’re too lovely to ignore. Fresh blooms in the house just add such light, airiness and joy — simple joy. Beauty.

At the farmers’ market over the weekend, I came upon the most gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers — giant sunflowers, with heads larger than my fist. They’re yellow and orange with colorful blooms intermixed, and the Amish children that sold them to me smiled like sunshine as I carried them out.

For a whole five dollars.

I look at them every morning while making my coffee, and each evening when we’re pulling dinner together. They’re on the table in our new kitchen, the one still lined with boxes and bobbles and so many things I just don’t know what to do with — at least until our pantry is done. (The previous owners ripped out the shelving, leaving only dust and holes for us to patch — but we’ll get there.)

When will I learn?

It really is the little things.


Advertisements

Lilac and spring daydreams

Lilac


It’s spring!

I know, I know . . . another post about winter being over. But seriously: this one was one for the record books, and I’m just so thrilled it’s over. As temperatures reached (and have stayed) above the 60-degree mark since Monday, I’m prepared to declare the cold vanquished and prepare for some sunshine, sandals and ice cream.

(By the way, these photos are totally of my mother-in-law’s stunning lilac from last year . . . but let’s pretend, shall we? The buds of trees are only just starting to open now, and I have absolutely zero photogenic shots to share.)

In less than two weeks, Spence and I will be taking our first non-honeymoon trip as Mr. and Mrs. — up to spend time with his parents in Western New York! And to pop up to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a few days of walking, talking, eating, hanging and photographing. I am so excited to be spending time with them, and so happy to be on the move. As the cold held us all captive in our own homes, I’ve felt caged and listless and suffocated by winter.

Must go.

I also just bought a really cute, barely-used suitcase in an all-over London-themed print from a coworker for $30, so. Bargain and a new bag . . . win/win.

Nothing renews the spirit like travel. Even with the impending home purchase and floating $$$$ signs following us everywhere we go, we’re going to get away twice before summer — and I’m so ready to get out of dodge. Maryland, I love ya, but I need a change of scenery.

In a big way.


Lilac 3


Have you noticed the lack of Wordless Wednesday posts around here? It’s pitiful, I know. I feel guilty every time we reach midweek, desperately wishing I had something — anything! — to share. I like consistency, organization, routines. And WW has absolutely been a routine through the years. But if I’m being honest, I just haven’t been out doing anything worth photographing. I have nothing new. I haven’t been creative enough in our tiny apartment to branch out, and Spence and I have basically just been hibernating and signing paperwork.

Paperwork is kind of our thing.

On the home front, there’s not much to report as yet. Our closing date got pushed back, which is not a bad thing; it gives me more time to emotionally prepare, for one! And . . . well, I’ll need that. I think we’re both alternating between wanting to just move and get it over with and wanting to soak up the vibes in our first shared place together as long as we can. I love being in the center of town, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to go on a few evening walks before we go.

But with the first bursts of sunshine, the first warm breaths of spring, I feel so revitalized and ready for a new challenge. I’m still scared, still worried, but I know this is a good thing. A grown-up thing. A family thing.

And I’ll find plenty to photograph very soon.


Lilac 2


Necessary blooms

Flowers in vase


I’ve needed fresh flowers to get through this interminable winter.

Months ago I stumbled across a bulging bouquet of carnations for $2 at Safeway; they were perkily peeking from my shopping cart before you could count to three. The pink blooms wound up in my mail organizer and in vases around the living room; there were so many — an embarrassment of flowers — that I crafted arrangements for many spots in our apartment.

I loved them. They were so happy, so joyful. But like all blossoms, well . . . they withered, shedding all over the carpet. They died.

Our place has been far less welcoming since then.

The days of my $2 flowers are long gone, especially in the cold. It snowed again yesterday. Every time we stop by the grocery store, I peek at the bundles of colorful stems in pots near the entrance — but they’re $12 or $15 or $20 apiece. As we get closer to closing on our new home, budgeting takes on greater importance. I clip lots of coupons. We’ve cut out (most) frivolous spending, and I couldn’t justify spending $10 on something that was going to wilt in less than a week. Better to buy meat and bread, you know?

But I’m learning that beauty is worth a little investment. Some splurges are simply good for the soul. After checking the flowers at Giant for the fourth straight week to learn the prices had finally dropped to $6, I cracked. Caved. Was all too happy to give in.

Everything is brown and gray and covered in the lingering vestiges of this cold, but I can see it turning around again. We placed bouquets of royal purple in our windowsill and the hallway, and I smile at the blooms every morning.

Winter’s thaw at last.


Flowers


Making paper roses

photo(1)


I’m not very interesting these days.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I’m having a hard time coming up with a post topic that isn’t, you know, wedding-related.

Not because I’m an insufferable bridezilla (I’m not — I don’t think). But because, at a month out, I’m not doing much that doesn’t involve moving, ordering wedding things, planning wedding things or generally gathering information for said wedding. The rest of the time I’m working, and that ain’t all that interesting.

I’m in the zone. The wedding zone.

I also feel like my mind is a sieve; I can barely retain any new information because it’s too full of stuff. I live in a constant state of worry that I’m forgetting something, a sensation I know will only intensify in the weeks to come. Even my devotion to lists isn’t helping me now. I need lists to keep track of the lists . . . and I spend a lot of time on Google Drive.

What I have been doing? Making paper roses! Still wedding-related, but let’s roll with it. Thanks to the creativity of my friend Sandy, we’ve been working on those little babies above as part of our literature/science-themed wedding decor. I was perfectly willing to plunk down cash for paper flowers on Etsy, otherwise known as my personal crack, but Sandy was convinced we could make them ourselves.

My sickly wallet thanks me . . . because we totally did. On Friday, we made a girls’ night of folding, cutting and curling vintage book pages into almost 60 roses to place atop our book centerpieces — and they’re fantastic! We followed this tutorial from Capitol Romance, and I was really shocked at how quickly they came together. And how professional they look.

The guide explains the process better than I could ever hope to, but the rough-and-dirty version involves cutting 4″ by 4″ squares from a book page, folding it three times (into a triangle), cutting them into rounded petals, removing a certain number of petals from each, hot gluing them into floral shapes, gluing those together, then curling the edges to give your bud that signature rose look.

But yeah, just check out the tutorial.

And beware the paper cuts.