Garden Update


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I thought I would give an update on our garden. All of the plants are certainly growing, but I’m not getting very many veggies from them yet. We get two or three cherry tomatoes everyday, but we eat those before we get back to the house. The cilantro came and went quickly. In fact, the plant actually went to seed within a few weeks. Our other herbs  (basil, oregano, and sage) are still coming in strong. I think something is eating the squash, eggplant, and pepper blooms. I’ll see a bloom on them one day, and the next day it is gone. I’m not sure what to do about that. I think it may be my bunny rabbit friends. Next year, my garden needs a redo. It definitely needs fresh soil and maybe even a small fence to keep the bunnies out. I have some pinterest research to do!


Violin Lessons

I’m excited and nervous about Ruby Kate starting violin lessons. I’m excited because it’s such a fun instrument, and it’s a great hobby for her. I’m nervous because she is so young. I fear that starting her out so young will burn her out on it. I hope this isn’t the case, and instead her young mind enjoys and easily grasps reading music and playing the instrument. Fingers crossed!

We found a great violin teacher who is a graduate student at the University of Tennessee. Not only is she an experienced violinist, but she’s also a member of a blues rock band. Pretty cool. She is patient, kind, and fun. Everything is working well right now. Hopefully this will continue. Ruby Kate has lessons twice a week for 20 minutes at a time. Her teacher recommended these shorter lessons due to her age and attention span. One of our first assignments was to assemble a box violin from a macaroni box and some general craft supplies. After searching the internet, I found this tutorial to be the most helpful in completing this task.

Now isn’t this the cutest violinist you have ever seen?



French Press


While Ruby Kate & I were in Hilton Head with my family, we ate at Red Fish one night. We decided to order the fresh, french pressed coffee with our desserts. Oh my. I see french presses everywhere, but I never realized I was missing out on such a great thing. First of all, these little coffee miracles are so cute and come in a variety of bright, spunky colors. Secondly, you can buy them anywhere. I mean anywhere. I even saw them in the airport the other day. Thirdly, they don’t take up much counter space and are very easy to clean. Fourthly, they are cheap, $20 in fact. And finally, the coffee is incredible. I have been making coffee in my percolator for years. And I still use it from time to time. Mostly though, I am using the Bodum french press in lime green. If you are new to french press, it’s definitely worth your time to watch this video from Alton Brown teaching you how to achieve the perfect brew. I think I’ll go brew a cup now!

Best 4th of July Sales

Another bonus to being home for a few days is that I was able to take full advantage of the great 4th of July weekend sales. Here are some of my favorites.

Persnickety is one of my favorite children’s clothing brands. They are having a great 50% off sale right now on the spring collections. The designs are so fresh, unique, and the quality is great. I love that many of their items are not really seasonal, and Ruby is able to wear them all year-long.


Ruum is a children’s clothing store that was previously owned by American Eagle Outfitters. They were acquired by another company earlier this year. They sell casual, play clothes that are very hip. I ordered Ruby Kate several items for this year and in bigger sizes for next year at unbelievably low prices. They have an additional 50% off sale, and if it’s your first time ordering, you get an additional 10% off.


Hanna Andersson makes great summer dresses for little girls. The quality is great, and they always have bright, summer colors. I ordered Ruby Kate a couple of dresses for this summer and for next during their 4th of July sale event.


Tea Collection is another great company for quality, hip play clothes for kids. They are having an additional 40% off sale right now.


J. McLaughlin has a preppy, casual look for women. I am a big fan of their dresses. They are having a great summer sale right now.


Tory Burch is having a 50% off sale. It also doesn’t hurt that they sent me a $50 gift card for my birthday!! Because of her birthday kindness, I like to refer to her as Aunt Tory :).


Fourth of July

Summer is flying by as I suspected it would. We have had quite the travel agenda this summer. It started with a quick trip to Mexico for my friend, Marci’s wedding. Then Ruby & I went to HIlton Head for a few days with my family. After that, we headed to San Diego for vacation with David’s parents. Needless to say, it was nice to be home for a few days to celebrate the 4th of July.

We started out the day at our favorite breakfast spot, Gourmet’s market. I had the red, white and blue pancakes – strawberry, white chocolate, and blueberries!

After breakfast we spent some time outside watching Ruby ride her tricycle. She’s getting a lot better at that. She also did a little tree climbing.


While outside, David decided to give his new toy a try. He worked so hard. I can’t believe how much better the wall next to our house looks.


We headed back inside and managed a few projects before nap time. Ruby created some 4th of July art . Our new craft medium of choice is pom-poms. We love gluing those to paper. Our glue of choice is glitter glue :).

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We found some gluten free cupcake mixes at Williams Sonoma earlier in the week, so Ruby and I tried one. We made the vanilla and topped them with chocolate and cotton candy frosting. They weren’t bad for being gluten free. 



 After Ruby’s nap, we went to see Monster’s University. She is a movie lover, but she got a little scared this time. We stayed for a little over half of the film and then had to leave. I’m hoping she does better with Despicable Me.


We rounded out the night at Bonefish for dinner and then home for Ruby’s bedtime. It was a nice, fun holiday. Happy 4th of July!!