our summer

eventhough the weather is still quite warm...there a slight chill in the air that can only mean one thing...autumn is on it's way.  not only that, but i have started back at school for the semester.  my days at home with channing seemed to really fly by this summer.  and we've had a lot going on, so my blog posts have been super spotty.  i thought i'd do a recap of our summer in photos.  channing had a lot of firsts...first oreo, first movie in the theater (dispicable me 2), first s'mores.  we spent a lot of our time outdoors, playing in the yard and gardening and let's not forget the almost 3 weeks of solid rain we had in august...which led to LOTS of puddle jumping.  we made lots of pancakes, ate dinner on the patio and had lots of art sessions.  there were some challenges, mostly due to some health issues on my end (which is for another post) but, overall it was a beautiful summer to spend at home with my sweet bird.   

instagram sale

it's that time again...i am having another dreamcatcher sale over on my instagram account.  if you are on instagram, my shop name is @mavenmercantile.  i have 40 dreamcatchers (twice as many as i've previously had for a sale!) in lots of fun color combinations.  if you aren't on instagram, or aren't able to be part of the sale, you can visit my etsy site and order one anytime, in any size or color combo.   

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puddle jumping

we have been having the most fantastic, crazy weather here in colorado springs this month.  rain almost every day!!  with all this water, my little bird has turned into quite the puddle enthusiast.  she can turn white socks into dirty, sopping wet, grey messes in a matter of minutes and loves every moment of it!  i finally got her some rain boots, which she is most excited about it.  we took advantage of the rain, over the weekend, and both got wet and muddy.  i love this girl's love of getting messy and having fun. 

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first oreo

channing experienced a right passage last night...eating her first oreo cookie.  it would be an understatement to say she enjoyed it.  oreo cookies hold a special place in my heart.  my mom now has a cookie jar, which used to be my great grandmother's and then my grandmother's, which has only ever held oreo cookies.  dunking them in milk after dinner, with these amazing ladies, is such a fond memory i have from being a little girl.  luc showed her how to take the two pieces apart and try the filling.  then they dipped and dunked and munched away. she thought it was pretty fantastic.  she might have had more than i intended but it was so much fun watching her truly enjoy the yummy goodness.  i took a little video too, which is posted over on my instagram, if you happen to be following me there.   

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DISCOVER: sweet pea's garden

channing and i just took a little girl's trip back home to visit with nanna and poppy (my parents).  while we were there, we stopped by my dear friend's home and new business.  calli and i have known each other since middle school and to say that i am thrilled to have such a lovely friend in my life would be a complete understatement.  we love getting to visit with her and her sweet little girl, penelope.  and...i am absolutely so proud of her new business venture - sweet pea's garden.  (she also has a great facebook page located here.) located in palisade, colorado, sweet pea’s garden grows an awesome variety of not only vegetables but herbs and flowers too. customers can visit and learn about how everything is grown and can purchase bundled baskets once a week....filled to the brim with yummy goodness.  i love her idea of being able to choose each week if you want to purchase a basket, versus a typical csa where you have to pay upfront for a longer period of time,  which is a much greater commitment and can sometimes being overwhelming for smaller families.  and, her crops are absolutely gorgeous!  her website also offers up tasty recipes, which i know i need because...well, i am not the best at cooking with veggies.  there are also chickens, which are beginning to lay and will provide eggs for her weekly baskets. 

one of the things i find so wonderful about this story is all the hard work it has taken calli to make this a reality.  this is her first growing season and i am so impressed with how amazing it all looks and how many varieties the garden holds.  i am so inspired by what she has accomplished.  we can't wait to go back!! 

 

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bonlook

i've been wearing glasses since i was about 5 years old.  and...it's next to impossible for me to wear contacts.  i have a strong astigmatism and it's so dry here in colorado, contacts are a miserable thing when placed in my eyes.  so, glasses it is.  i've always purchased my glasses from my obstetrician's office.  but, this month, i decided to try out a new process...new to me anyway.  i tried out bonlook.  i am never going back.  you can "try them on" through the site and also get help through a virtual stylist.  you fill out a short form, about your style and personality, and in 24 hours receive a video with recommendations on styles for you. their customer service is also pretty fantastic.  one of the things i love most are the styles for not only prescription glasses but prescription sunglasses as well.  i have yet to receive my new sunnies but, as soon as i do i will give you an update. 

i was so excited about their product that i am not an ambassador!  simply click on their link on the left side of my blog and go straight to their site.  i truly think that you will love their products as much as i do!! 

fyi...i am terrible at getting my photo taken, it always feels so unnatural.  but, i wanted to share my favorite pair so far.  "too many cupcakes" in rose gold.  who can turn down a name like that? 

 

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succulent love

i have to admit, i've developed a bit of an obsession....i love succulents and cacti.  in a very short time, beginning this springs, i have developed quite a collection already.  i love their shapes and textures and colors.  and, they are pretty darned easy to take care of.  it's also a lot of fun to find fun containers to put them in since you don't necessarily  have to use your standard pot.  

i have a collection indoors, along our kitchen/dining room window sill.  as well as a nice grouping outside. i will have to winter them indoors so...i had better stop collecting those or else our house will be overrun by the time the freezes begin!   

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we've also really worked hard on our cinder block wall this year.  we built it last year, based on a simple idea i found on pinterest.  well, that idea grew into an entire wall and took an awful lot of work.  however, it's my favorite part of our yard now.  

a lot of people have asked how we built this wall.  it was a long process and a lot of work and i will try my best to describe how we did it. first, we dug a trench about the depth of the height of one cinder block, and laid the first row.  to get the blocks to stick together, luc used a heavy duty waterproof apoxy glue.  we continued layering the blocks in an offset or running brick pattern.  along the way, we cantilevered a few of the blocks in order to have "hanging" plant areas.  once we got to the top, we used regular cinder blocks where we wanted plant openings and used solid cinder blocks in the other spaces.  we poured concrete into the holes (otherwise you would have holes that went all the way to the ground. we primed the blocks and painted them with two coats of outdoor paint.  the biggest challenge was the overhanging blocks.  we needed a way to put a bottom on the openings in order to place plants in them.  after much trial and error, luc came up with the idea of using plastic glad containers, cutting them in half and sliding them together to fit inside the holes.  the negative to this is that no plants will survive the winter in those so, they must be replanted each year.  and, i don't love that you can see the plastic lip so i use plants that hang over and trail, which helps cover it up. 

i'm not certain how well that explanation makes sense but hopefully, between that and the photos you can see how it came together! 

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 this little beauty is actually a plumeria tree.  i got her because the plumeria flower was used in the lei i had around my  neck for our wedding ceremony in maui, hawaii.  their smell is intoxicating.  she will definitely be brought inside for the winter. 

this little beauty is actually a plumeria tree.  i got her because the plumeria flower was used in the lei i had around my  neck for our wedding ceremony in maui, hawaii.  their smell is intoxicating.  she will definitely be brought inside for the winter. 

 not a succulent or cacti, obviously, but a fun idea on how to repurpose a container.  this used to be my beloved bicycle basket, until my bike fell over and this was crushed.  after a little hot clue and some pretty florals, it fits right in with our garden! 

not a succulent or cacti, obviously, but a fun idea on how to repurpose a container.  this used to be my beloved bicycle basket, until my bike fell over and this was crushed.  after a little hot clue and some pretty florals, it fits right in with our garden! 

 another unique, easy container idea.  soup or vegetable cans (or bulk hominy cans for the big guy there). 

another unique, easy container idea.  soup or vegetable cans (or bulk hominy cans for the big guy there). 

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blog updates

so....i have been terrible at keeping my blog updated lately.  between all the things going on this summer, keeping up the house, working on orders for my shop, working on a side gig for another blog (more on that later).... i just can't find enough hours in the day to keep mine updated.  i keep saying i will get back to it but, it's been hard.  i am working on some updates to the blog and have a few new affiliates that i am very excited about...also more on that in a little bit!  so, there are lots of things in the works over here.  things i am very excited about but also nervous about and trying my best to juggle it all.  in the meantime, here's a sweet little pic of my dancing, twirling, guitar playing, music loving little bird.  who keeps me on my toes and laughing all day long. 

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hunting for alligators

there's a lovely little pond, just between our house and downtown, which always has lots of ducks.  i've been meaning to take channing for quite some time now and keep forgetting about it.  we finally made our first visit the other morning, in which c told me she planned on "hunting for alligators" at the pond.  she called out for and looked for alligators the entire time...only to find "just ducks".  maybe next time sweet bird.  

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 gators???

gators???

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 nope...just ducks.

nope...just ducks.

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GIVEAWAY: destination nursery

i am honored to be part of the 2nd destination nursery giveaway.  this is a seriously awesome opportunity for any mamas out there, in the us and in canada, to win a dream room makeover for a nursery or kiddo's room!  pretty exciting stuff.  one of my mavenmercantile dreamcatchers will part of this giveaway.  just head on over to www.momsbestnetwork.com to enter!! 

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we love music

i think it is pretty safe to say that one of channing's favorite things right now is music.  she sings, dances, claps and stomps and is extremely fond of her little hello kitty ukelele we got for her birthday. i love how she holds in perfect form, strums along and either sings partial songs she knows or makes up her own.  such sweetness, i can't even tell you how happy it makes me to watch her.  she also loves playing our piano, the same piano i learned to play on.  i hope she continues this love for music throughout her whole life!  i would love to get her lessons of some kind as she gets a bit older.  

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busy busy busy

so...i haven't been blogging much lately.  seems this summer is keeping me on my toes.  i will try to get back at it more during the week!  in the meantime, i was sorting through some of my latest favorite photos of my silly, sweet, smart, funny, negotiating, clever little bird, at 27 months old.  i just thought i would share.  

 best friend to bunny

best friend to bunny

 daily explorer

daily explorer

 lover of corn on the cob

lover of corn on the cob

 big girl who prefers showers to baths

big girl who prefers showers to baths

 maker of silly faces

maker of silly faces

 lover of balloons, being outdoors and dancing

lover of balloons, being outdoors and dancing

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