We are finally back home! After 10 days of driving across the country and visiting our family on the east coast, it’s so good to be back home. I was planning on hitting the ground running and getting right back into my normal work routine, but the backlog of mail, laundry, cleaning, and things that needed to be done was overwhelming and it took most of my day and energy. I sat last night in front of a blank screen and just could not make a post happen.
Now, I’m mostly caught up and ready to write again.
First of all, our trip was awesome. We had a great time with Jeff’s family and celebrated the completion of his Masters Degree. The boys played with their cousins and kicked off summer at the pool. I had lots of quiet time to sketch and paint and lazily pass through each day with little agenda.
Our visit in Pennsylvania with my parents and our old church family and friends was amazing as well. I got to hit a few of my favorite antique spots and my mom and I went clothes shopping. I visited with some of my “Mustard Seed Peeps” – Kriste, Katie, and Jenn, and my parents hosted a cookout for some of our church friends. Growing up as an Army BRAT, I’m accustomed to moving and moving on. Sometimes it’s too easy for me. So, it was good for the soul to go back to where our boys were born, where I started my business, and where we spent 11 years of our lives, so we could fellowship with people who were a part of that time. I never thought of Pennsylvania as my home state, but it felt very much like a homecoming.
So, our trip was definitely a part of my May favorites, even though it bridged May and June. One of my favorite days was when my mom, Jenn, and I went antiquing. I found so many pieces of ironstone and great old baskets and all sorts of fun things, but I also got to meet up with Kriste and her baby, Gray.
Can you even handle that smile? He was such a cutie and I enjoyed seeing my former sidekick embracing her role as a mom. It was a fresh reminder how much I miss having her work with me. There have been so many times when I could’ve used her lists or her ability to make things happen behind the scenes when my focus was split. And I have definitely needed her hands on more than one occasion, so I could snap pictures while she did the modeling. I’m back to using my shutter remote in my teeth!
She had to corral a one year old in an antique store, so we didn’t have long, but we gave each other a huge, lingering hug that communicated just about everything that needed to be said.
I’ll share the goodies I found in another post, but here is a peek…
As I shared yesterday, I have found a new love for dip pens and I was even able to find an antique wooden one for $5.00 while antique shopping…
I have enjoyed doing some ink and watercolor sketches and plan to do more in preparation for my fall trip to France and Italy.
In addition to the dip pen, I found some vintage nibs. It was a little random, but I opened a cough drop box on a whim and it was filled with unidentifiable bits and pieces and four nibs!
I haven’t played around with them, yet, but I definitely will!
I painted plein air for the first time while on our trip. (That’s just a fancy way to say “I painted outside”.) The first time was on my in-law’s deck and I painted a bloom from their magnolia tree. The second was on my parent’s porch, painting a bouquet of peonies. I set up my pochade box one last time to paint my parent’s pond. I have to tweak my set-up a little bit, but it worked well overall and I’m looking forward to getting out and painting some of the farm fields and open skies of Minnesota.
Fruit seems to often make my list of favorites! I really do hop from one favorite seasonal fruit to the next. Cherries are my favorite of them all, though, and they are finally in the stores. I have not only enjoyed eating them…
…but also painting them. More cherry paintings are definitely in my future.
My love of period dramas continued with the PBS update of Little Women. I will admit that it’s not my favorite story ever, really just because it is always disappointing when Jo rejects Laurie! (Anyone else?!) But this version was so beautifully done that I didn’t even mind that. You really must see it. (It’s available on Amazon Prime or you can purchase it on iTunes.)
You can find a full list of some of my favorite period miniseries HERE.
DRY BAR BUTTERCUP
I shared on my Instagram stories that I’m having trouble with my hair breaking off. I’ve been trying to grow it out and it’s stayed the same length for over a year. So, I’ve made some changes to the products I use as well as how and how often I use my styling tools. One big change I made was investing in a nicer hair dryer. I decided to splurge and spend my birthday money on the Buttercup hair dryer by Dry Bar (affiliate link). It’s expensive ($195), but it is worth it! My hair is so much smoother, softer, and shinier, and it handles the humidity better. And, I only have to use my straightener on very stubborn strands. Most of my hair is very smooth without it.
My Oma always said, “You wear your hair everyday, so it’s worth investing in.” She would’ve approved of the Buttercup, I think!
It’ll take a few months before I’ll know if the changes are helping my hair grow (or not break), but I’ll share an update.
Of course, the new kitchen counters and backsplash have to make my list of favorites. I’ve already shared why I love them in previous posts, but it was, without a doubt, a highlight of the month.
We are going on one more short trip, to a private island in Canada, but then we’ll be home the remainder of the summer months and I’m looking forward to tackling some home, garden, and organization projects between bike rides and visits to the pool.