Tag Archives: simple pleasures

In the Garden

welcome to my garden

Well, this year my garden is overgrown and underwhelming. The one-two punch of some heavy rains and two weeks of crazy hot weather made the weeds go crazy and sadly I’m just not motivated to keep up with it. (Happens every year — I’m a gardener in my head, but not in reality, LOL!) But I figured I’d share a few snapshots of the plants that haven’t died!

First, there’s my knockout rose bush. This is one of the hardiest plants we have in the front! And what’s amazing is that a few years ago, I bought the plant half-head on clearance for $1, just to see if it would take. I love how bright the pink is.


Then there are these Black-Eyed Susans that came from my mother-in-law’s garden.


And the Tiger Lily from my mom’s garden.

tiger lilies

Even though Queen Anne’s Lace might be considered a weed, I love having it around the house. It’s so pretty and delicate and when I feel motivated to cut some flowers to bring in the house, the Queen Anne’s Lace makes such lovely filler.

queen anne's lace

This one is called a Balloon Flower and I think we might have gotten it as a bare-root plant from Spring Hill. We placed an order when we first moved here and while a lot of the plants didn’t take, a few did! The flowers close up in the evening and look like little balloons.

balloon flower

And here’s the Spoon Flower my dad made. This one is pretty rare 😉

spoon flower

I found this spiderweb this morning and I never tire of how magical they look. I left it alone — I feel bad anytime I have to wipe one away. I know it’s silly, but they just seem like so much work and this web wasn’t in a place where it was bothering anyone.

spider web



And finally, my hydrangea. I had only one pathetic bloom last year and it doesn’t look like I’ll have any flowers this year (no idea why!). I did, however, find this adorable little toad hanging out on a leaf! 

tiny frog

Maybe in September I’ll put out some mums and marigolds and kale… I’ll try to take advantage of fall flowers and pretty things up for autumn. So, how are your gardens doing this year?

coffee-mate creamer giveaway


The dog days of summer are coming to an end — our schools starting in just about two weeks (and many already back in session). But that doesn’t mean the warm weather is going to stop anytime soon. I plan on enjoying iced coffee drinks well into the fall, and I’ll probably need the extra jolt of caffeine to get everyone ready and out the door on time!

One of my favorite ways to jazz up iced coffee is to use a flavored creamer. The folks over at Coffee-Mate sent me a to-go cup (perfect to take to the bus stop!), a coupon for a free bottle of Coffee-Mate creamer, and recipe cards with tasty ideas for fun beverages.

I’ve really been enjoying my own versions of expensive coffee shop-style iced coffees, thanks to their yummy Café Collection creamers. The flavors include Hazelnut Latte, Vanilla Latte, Café Mocha, Café Latte, White Chocolate Caramel Latte, and my favorite — Caramel Macchiato. I think that the next one I’m going to try is the White Chocolate Caramel Latte, which also sounds yummy.

I have the opportunity to give away a Coffee-Mate prize pack to one lucky reader so you can whip up some tasty treats of your own! You can enter up to four times — there is one mandatory entry and three optional entries. Just follow the prompts below! Good luck!


Disclosure: I received a coupon for a free bottle of Coffee-Mate creamer and a promotional item in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are my own and I received no further compensation from Wasa or their representatives.

counting down to spring break


Happy Friday! I can’t believe that it’s finally spring vacation! The boys have not had a break since Christmas (unless you count snow days), so they’re looking forward to their break, which starts as soon as school ends today. I have some fun activities planned, but they have to remain top-secret. Sometimes I leave my blog up on my laptop and since they both can read… well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Yesterday my parents came down for the day. The boys didn’t expect to see them so that was another surprise. I got so much done while my mom played with Laura! Of course, as you look upon my dirty countertops in the above photo you wouldn’t think so 😉 I picked a few daffodils yesterday to brighten up the kitchen. I figure that if I don’t pick them, the deer will eat them so I might as well enjoy them! And I snipped a few forsythia stems, as well. I love yellow!

Speaking of yellow, here’s the Clapochet I’m working on right now. I don’t know… I think it just seems a little boring. Some of the other projects on Ravelry seem to mimic the original Clapotis a lot closer. What do you think?



Also, as I was cleaning up my work last night I found one huge, glaring mistake. I don’t think I can just come to peace with it and move on (because it looks incredibly sloppy). So, if I’m going to rip it out anyway, maybe I should just try another pattern. I think that the One Skein Summer Wrap might work (and it should hook up quickly). I think I might have to try the Clapochet in a different yarn. I like the pattern, but… the weight just doesn’t seem right.

Well, there are certainly worse problems to have. Maybe this afternoon I can give the Summer Wrap a go and get back with my decision.

sure, now the sun comes out

after a rainy day

It was a long, gray, rainy day. It poured. It got humid. It poured some more. And then it cooled off. And then it rained a little bit more. And then, after dinner, after the long, gray, rainy day, the sun finally came out.

Too bad it came out too late to do anything, LOL!

So yes, it was one of those days where we were cooped up inside. I didn’t go to the consignment shop as planned, nor did I go to the grocery store. But I managed to get some cleaning done so all was not lost 🙂 I also looked at some ideas for birthday presents for fathers since Drew’s birthday is later this month. I always like to have the kids give their daddy a little something.

Well, now that the munchkins are all in bed, I think I’m going to treat myself to a scoop (well… maybe two) of some mint chocolate chip ice cream, pour myself a cup of tea, and crochet some roses. I spent all last night trying to figure out this pattern and finally gave up in frustration. I must be missing something, because after four attempts, my flower did not look anything that even vaguely resembled a rose. Luckily, I have another pattern that isn’t as confusing for me! With any luck, there will be photos tomorrow.

delicious surprise

Tonight I was switching purses back to one I’d used last week and found a very welcome surprise inside: a bottle of diet peach tea Snapple! I bought it when I was having a bad day and somehow I’d forgotten about it.

This is my all-time favorite Snapple flavor. Granted, it’s not like sitting in a rocking chair on a warm day next to a window with interior plantation shutters, feeling the breeze and sipping on iced tea. But you know what? It’s close enough for me tonight! I think my big Friday night plans include soaking in the tub once the kids are all in bed, watching some brainless television, and savoring every last sip of my diet peach tea 🙂

bath goodies for 50% off

I know you all love nice bath stuff (who doesn’t?) and saw that today Groupon has a great deal for the Bath & Body Works online store: you can get $20 worth of products for $10 or $30 worth of products for $15*. This is only good for online shopping and does not include tax or shipping. You also have to spend the entire amount in one order or you lose the balance.

Not a bad way to treat yourself to a little something to get rid of the mid-winter blahs!

* This is an affiliate link.