We finished the second half of our porch make-over this weekend. Step one was making the inside awesome. Step two was replacing the tree we cut down and putting a flower bed in that reaches from the sidewalk to the front door. Our goal was to plant a bush that provides shade and privacy year round for the porch. While the camellia we planted has a ways to grow, we hope it will grow as big as the camellia on the other side of the front door, which completely blocks the window. We planted another camellia that was on clearance closer to the sidewalk. We also planted two althea bushes that I started from cuttings five years ago and had been growing in pots. I love althea because it blooms in the heat of summer and attracts humming birds. When picking plants and bushes, we try to think about balancing how everything will look year round. Althea will lose its leaves in the winter, but the camellia is evergreen. Camellias bloom from January to March and altheas bloom in the summer. We tried to balance the bloom times for everything else we planted in the bed.

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lake days

Sometimes you just have a week (or more) when you could really use a break, but you are in a situation where you can’t take off on a vacation. With grad school and work, I really needed a little break. In the spring, there is nothing like sitting out in the sun amongst the singing birds and the blooming flowers. So two Saturdays ago, I packed up my school books, the husband, and the beagle, and we headed up to the lake for a few hours. Even though I was reading for school (Fiscal Administration, a real page-turner), just sitting in the sun was a nice change of scenery. So get outside, enjoy spring before the mosquitoes and humidity make it unbearable.

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porch plants

When we cut down the old sickly tree from in front of the porch, the two things we liked about it was the shade and privacy it provided. We knew when we cut it down, that we wanted to plant something quickly so it could start growing to provide some of that shade and privacy. Because we love camellias and the bush on the other side of the house completely blocks out the window, we thought it would be a good, evergreen to provide some privacy. You can tell this guy has a ways to grow, but I am excited for what it will be. When we bought this camellia, there was another pretty one marked way down, so we went ahead and picked it up. I don’t have a picture of it up, but he is a smaller bush, with smaller blooms.

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springtime beagle

Since it is officially spring and we had a porch makeover, we have been spending so much time enjoying the weather, mosquito free and under the ceiling fan on the porch. Darby has also been spending time on the porch, watching neighbors and their dogs and just keeping an eye on the yard. Even Darby knows how to enjoy spring. I snapped a couple pretty cute photos and thought I would share.

Brussels Sprout Hash

It is always awesome when my husband cooks me dinner. But a while ago he made an especially awesome meal I wanted to share. Brussels Sprout Hash with bacon and poached eggs. He pretty much just followed the recipe, but it became apparent that the bacon needs to be doubled or so. It was the first time he had ever poached eggs. The meal turned out pretty and delicious. I recommend trying it out.

This is the final batch of photos from our honeymoon. The final leg of our honeymoon involved heading south, with one final Canadian stop to Niagara Falls, and two other stops in the US on our way back home.

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bruise and burn

We have been super busy recently. Here is a hint. What was I doing this weekend that left me with both a farmer’s tan, a red neck, and a nasty bruise on my arm? I have a big post coming up Friday with a ton of photos. Yay! Until then, here is a photo of my farmer’s tan and bruise.