Tag Archives: summer

Love Weekends: Slow Down Summer

Paddlin'This weekend flew by a little too fast for my liking. Come to think of it, this summer is flying by a little too fast. I’m starting to feel the crunch of the Fall Semester closing in, just as I was beginning to enjoy summer. These warm months fly by so much faster than their colder counterparts.

Ridin'This weekend I soaked in some of that summertime goodness. On Saturday, George and I, along with some friends went on a short motorcycle ride, then we paddled around in a pond and fished a bit. Sunday was spent doing my regular thing. Food prep, gardening, cleaning and dreading the week ahead. Haha.

Gone fishin'!

Gone fishin’!

Zucchini bigger than my forearm!

Check it out: zucchini bigger than my forearm!

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

Love Weekends: A Little Alone Time

lake duskGeorge has been away for work since Wednesday, so I’ve been spending a lot of quality alone time with myself. Not in a depressing way, I quite enjoy being alone. I’ve listened to music that George hates (electronic, dance) and watched TV shows and musicals that George hates (Downtown Abbey and Fiddler on the Roof.) I’ve had quite a good time, actually.

I actually had time to take a walk around a gorgeous, local lake. I saw a heron in flight! And I dog-watched. I’ve been a bit of a crazy pet lady lately.heron over lake lakeI wasn’t totally alone all weekend. I celebrated a friend’s birthday on Saturday and I, of course, talked to my plants. I’m becoming a crazy garden lady too.

sunflowers

My ladies!banana peppers and zucchini

I cannot even express how proud I am to actually have grown something. It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I seriously consider having a producing garden to be one of my biggest achievements in life. reading on kindle

I also had time to finish the Divergent series. I’m a little disappointed in how it ended, but I’m a little disappointed in the end of most YA novels.

Although I accomplished so much this weekend, I now can’t wait until George gets back. I’m actually starting to really miss him. And even though I get much less accomplished when he’s around, he’s a welcome distraction.

What did you do this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

 

 

Love Weekends: It’s Strawberry Season!

strawberry fields 1I went a touch overboard on the strawberry picking. In fact, I stayed up until 1:30 am last night cutting up strawberries. I just had to. It was a huge money saver. The strawberries were something like $1.60 per pound. And farm-fresh strawberries are so much better than store-bought. I froze a bunch for smoothies, gave some away and dehydrated a metric ton for our road trip. Ok, maybe not a ton, but a lot.

Strawberry fields 2This weekend I also gave the commencement speech at my alma mater. It was only the departmental graduation, but still, it was kind of an insane honor. I was super nervous and I spent the majority of last week perfecting the speech. I’ll post it here tomorrow. It was actually a really good exercise and I feel like I really summed up the past 6 years of my life. I also think I gave some killer advice. We’ll see what you all think. :)

strawberries!On Sunday I also visited my mom. We shopped using coupons and I got several shirts and a couple of bowls for a little bit of nothing. Hey, it’s what she wanted to do for Mother’s Day, I swear. She’s a shopping Sherpa. I always leave the store feeling like I just ran a marathon.

How was your weekend? Do anything exciting? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

love,
melanie

Summer Goals 2014

This summer will definitely include beach time!

This summer will definitely include beach time!

For the past couple of years, I’ve set birthday goals. I usually set goals according to my age, 27 goals before 28, etc. but this year setting that many goals just seemed overwhelming. And goals should never be overwhelming, they should always be inspiring. Am I right? This year I decided to set just 7 goals for this summer. My goals are mostly fun, but also things that I’ve just been meaning to do for a while. Somethings, like getting my passport, I’ve been meaning to do for years!

Here’s my summer goals:

  1. Apply for passports
  2. Plan our summer vacation
  3. Help George open an IRA
  4. Make a dentist appointment (eww!)
  5. Fix the rust hole in the back of the Airstream
  6. Take pictures of the inside of our home!
  7. Learn a new skill

The summer also brings in a new schedule for me. I work 4 10 hour days during the summer and I have off on Fridays. It’s wonderful to be off on Fridays, but those 10 hour days are crucial! With my commute, it’s almost a 12 hour day, so I practically have to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at work! In the past I’ve spent my Fridays recuperating from the grueling week, but this time I have high hopes to use my Fridays to learn a new skill. We’ll see how it goes. You know I’ll write about it here!

Do you have any hopes, dreams or goals for this summer? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

love,
melanie

Airstream Inspiration

I feel guilty about not being “productive” this weekend. Do you ever feel that way? Learning to relax is definitely something I need to work on.

Tropical Storm Andrea put a damper on our Airstream progress. This past weekend, we had planned to install the floor, but it rained crazy-hard. And when it wasn’t raining, it was a humid, unbearable 95 degrees. Gotta love living in the south!

But instead of staring longingly out of the window at the airstream, I decided to make myself at least feel productive by looking for inspiration for the Airstream’s interior.

A few of my favorites are below.

For the source, just click on the picture!

Airstream Kitchen

This is my ultimate inspiration. I love the clean lines and the bright white in this airstream.

Kristiana Spaulding.DCR010

I adore this desk! It folds down for more space.  Gorgeous and genius. It’s the Natalie Portman of desks.

babmi ii bed silvertrailerThe storage under the bed in this Bambi airstream is so clever. And I just want to climb in that bed!

maine-home-linekin-bay-3

Although it isn’t an airstream, I really admire the woodwork that went into this bus. I also love the pattern mixing in the textiles. Custom woodwork and pattern mixing are two aspects I want to incorporate into our own design.

For more of my airstream inspiration, follow my board on Pinterest!

love,
melanie

How to Make Money at Flea Markets

flea marketOne of the best ways to unload a large amount of junk and make a few extra bucks is to sell your wares at a local flea market (or as some call it, a swap meet). In my experience, we’ve had much more success at a flea markets than at yard sales. Yard sales require the customers to drive to your house. Yard sales don’t have as many vendors, so they don’t attract as many customers. And people also seem to want you to offer you .10 cents for everything at a yard sale.

Over the past couple of years, George and I have sold a large chunk of our earthly wares at the Raleigh Flea Market. During this time, we’ve also acquired an array of tips and tricks to the flea market game. Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. If your flea market is outside, check the weather report! People will not shop if it is raining, super cold or very windy. It is also a total bummer to sit outside in harsh elements all morning. Bad weather can also ruin your stuff. For example, if you sell books, even a little bit of rain will completely ruin your stuff.  Bring tarps or a large tent even if the weather report is in your favor.

2. If your flea market takes reservations, call early in the week to book a good spot. Scope out the best spots the week before and ask for those specific spots. Look for spots near a bathroom or an entrance. These areas are higher traffic, therefore, your items are more likely to be seen.

3. Know your competition. Visit the flea market a couple of times before selling to scope out the competition. What is everyone else selling? Are their prices high or low? What can you offer that other booths may not?

4. Know your market. In the beginning, it is hard to figure out what sells, but by bringing a variety of items, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down your scope. For example, we’ve found out that vintage clothing does not sell at our flea market, but I’ve been to huge flea markets, such as the Rose Bowl, where vintage clothing sells like hotcakes.

5. You’ll want to narrow down your scope a bit, so you don’t have to haul your entire house to the flea market, but keep things diverse. We’ve had weekends where only our furniture had sold and we’ve had weekends where only small knick-nacks sold.

6. Create an appealing booth. Put your best items at the front of the booth to draw in customers. Spread items out and display them in a shop-like way. Go to the mall to get inspiration! No one likes to get on the ground to sort through junk. Put your items on tables, display clothing on racks and play music that reflects your style. Check out the picture below of our last set-up. We put our most eye-catching items towards the front of the booth. The painting of the pig drew in so many customers!

flea market set up

7. Price your items slightly higher than you the amount you would take. Some people at the flea market like to negotiate. Some don’t. If you see someone is hovering over an item or you can tell they may be a bit shy, let them know your low price.

8. With that being said, don’t take a price that is less than you feel comfortable with. People will always try to get something for nothing. Someone else will come along and you’ll sell that item eventually. Don’t worry too much.

9. Don’t take it personally when someone balks about the price. You know what the item is worth to you. Some people don’t see the value in it and never will. Ignore those people. When we bring George’s art out to the flea market people balk about the price and try to offer us less. The pieces are original and often take hours, if not days, to complete. We price it fairly. The end.

10. Have fun, talk to people, put on sunblock, dress in layers, bring a chair, lots of snacks and relax! Selling your old junk is easy money.

Have you ever sold at a flea market? Got any tips? Leave ‘em in the comments!

love,
melanie

Maple and Rum Horchatas

horchata1I like my milk heavy on the coffee. Is that how that saying goes? No? What I’m trying to say is a big glass of plain, dairy milk makes me cringe.

The first time I encountered horchatas was when I lived in L.A. I was scared to try them because I thought they were a big ol’ glass of watery milk. But we ordered one anyway and boy was I was wrong! Horchatas are refreshing, delicious and made from rice water and almond milk– which I actually enjoy. I also enjoy a little refreshing nip of rum–if you know what I’m saying.

Here’s my recipe for the perfect adult horchata.

Ingredients

  • 1  cup of uncooked long grain rice
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 4 shots of your favorite rum (We used Sailor Jerry’s for the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.)

horchata2

Pour the rice and water into a  blender.  Blend the rice until it breaks up, but isn’t total mush– about 1 minute. Let rice and water stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, strain the rice water into a pitcher. Discard the leftover rice. Whisk the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup and rum into the rice water. Serve over ice.

So much more refreshing and relaxing than a glass of milk!

What is your favorite summer drink?

love,
melanie