What’s growing around here

As you might have guessed, we came back from vacation to lawn that desperately needed mowing and flower/vegetable beds that desperately needed weeding. It’s amazing how out of control it can get in just one week!
I have a whole list of ‘catch up’ chores that need to be done, so I’m slowly trying to find time to get back on top of everything-including blogging. In the meantime, I wanted to show you some pictures I recently took around our yard. I love how it’s constantly changing and even as I type this, there are new things popping up to photograph.
First I wanted to show you the vibrant red lilies we enjoyed for awhile. Sadly, they are gone now but more are waiting to take their place.

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Aren’t they beautiful? I’ll have some white ones soon too!

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Remember the before I took of this flower bed awhile back?

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Well, look at it now!

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I also took some photos of the garden so you could see how it’s progressed.

In April:

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Now:

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A couple things about the garden:

*We waited too long to harvest the spinach and it’s already started to go to seed. Every year I forget how quickly it grows.

*The kale has grown very nicely and I’m going to harvest some this weekend. But it’s also been chewed on quite a bit which is frustrating.

*We have several zucchini that will be ready this weekend. I’m gearing up for it!

*Our broccoli has gotten a little spindly. I suspect it hasn’t gotten enough water.

*The peas and beans are doing fantastic! Can’t wait for those guys.

*Several green tomatoes are on the vine.

*Still no poblanos but the plants look great. We have green peppers but the peppers and the plants are still small. I’m not sure what to do to remedy this in the future.

Overall I’m really proud of the garden this year. We are learning and every year the growing season is better for us. I’m so grateful for our little garden and I’m grateful that Andy is supportive of my interest in gardening. It’s been fun to see our progression as we figure out how to make it better each year.

Are you growing anything this year? Flower…veggies? What is your favorite fresh veggie from the garden?

ps- I want to again say thanks to the ladies that guest posted while I was away and remind you to stop over and see them at their blogs.

Kyria from Travel Spot
Heather from Mac Moto’s World
Jessie from My Mod Style
Rebecca from Rebecca (hearts)…

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11 Things & 11 Questions

This is a scheduled guest post from my good friend, Heather, while I’m away on vacation. Heather is one of my closest friends and a person I greatly admire. She has an adorable little boy named Russell and I’m excited that they just moved closer to me from Vegas and now we can spend more time together!

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I am so excited to be sharing a guest post on Her Sunday! I wasn’t really sure what to write about so I thought I’d share eleven things instead. Check it out!

Here are the rules…
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them.

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11 random things about me~
~ I don’t have a college degree but I want to go back and get one.
~ I am a mom to the most amazing and funny boy ever.
~ It boggles my mind how much my husband loves me.
~ I love coffee in pretty much any form.
~ I love to dance and when a really great song comes on the radio it makes me want to totally get down club style. Not that that would even be remotely appropriate but still…
~ I hate being so out of shape but I can’t seem to muster the will power to stop eating sweets or to exercise.
~ I have played the piano since the third grade and have even played the organ at church before.
~ I have always known I would do something to help people and for the last 3 years I’ve been working in the non-profit sector.
~ I have always had this feeling like I was meant to do something big and I know I haven’t accomplished it just yet.
~ I love to cook and bake especially for others.
~ I love to travel and wish I could go on a big vacation every year. Maybe someday I will…

Tiffany’s questions that I answered. (Yep I totally stole this off a blog post of a wonderful friend.)

1~ What is your favorite childhood memory?

2~ What song is playing in your car right now?
I have just been listening to the radio lately so nothing specific.

3~ Do you sing out loud when you drive?
Yes! People probably think I’m nuts.

4~ What is the one place on earth you would travel if money was no object?
Japan if I could only pick one pace because I’d love to visit the land of my ancestors. If I could go more than one place I’d totally take a year off and go cruise all over the world.

5~ What is your favorite book?
I don’t really have a favorite. I used to read a ton when I was younger but now I mostly read self help or management/work related type books.

6~ What is your favorite movie?
HMM… I don’t know if I have one. I used to like movies until they all became so predictable or remakes of older movies. I guess I just don’t have the attention span any more.

7~ What seems more scary to do ~ Scuba Dive or Sky Dive?
Both sound terrifying to me but I guess I’d be more likely to try Scuba before Sky Diving.

8~ What is your favorite thing to do with your spare time?
I love to craft. Cross stitch, crochet, scrapbooking, whatever. I love all things crafty!

9~ What are you passionate about?
Helping others. There is no greater joy than to help someone and do it from a place of complete selflessness expecting nothing in return. I always hope that somehow in my life I can help someone else and make their life better.

10~What are you afraid of?
Well I used to think it was failure or being alone but really it’s bugs. I hate bugs. They’re so gross and creepy. EWWW!!! I know I can get over the fear of failing and I know I won’t be alone. I have great friends and family so I guess I just have bugs to fear. *Shivers*

11~Are you Happy?
Overall yes. I have my ups and downs but for the most part life is good.

My 11 questions for you to answer are…

1. If you could make a living doing anything in this world, what would you choose?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What makes you truly happy?
4. What is your favorite guilty pleasure (you know the song you love but would be embarrassed to admit… yes admit it now!) song or band?
5. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
6. What scares you the most?
7. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
8. If you could have any talent in the world, what would you pick?
9. What is your favorite book or who is your favorite author?
10. Could you live without a smart phone and internet access?
11. Would you rather have money or fame?

Since I’m not tagging anyone, if you play please leave a comment here with a link back to your post so we can check out the answers to your questions.

I hope everyone who’s reading this has a happy and fabulous day! Cheers!

Five Fashion Themed Books from a Salt Lake City Fashionista

Hey, guys! My name’s Rebecca and I write the fashion blog Rebecca (hearts). Kim asked me to be a guest blogger while she was away and I jumped at the chance.

Anyone who’s been reading Kim’s blog for very long has probably noticed that she’s a total book lover. This girl can read! Now, I’m not as much of a reader. I’m ashamed to admit I’m lucky to finish a book every few months. But, there are a few books that I reference over and over again and make sure to keep in arm’s reach.

Sure, they may not be literary classics (one day I plan on reading a bunch of the books that Kim has already devoured), but the books I keep close by tend to be style or fashion-centric.

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The first book is 9 Heads. I’ve been trying to improve my fashion illustration. I certainly have a long way to go, which is why I keep this amazing reference book close by.

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Some days I just need a little visual stimulation. That’s when I grab Artwear. This collection of beautiful images of wearable art is just the thing to bust out of an inspiration rut.

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Coco Chanel is arguably the most influential woman ever in the fashion world. Her book, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is perfect to grab and skim through any time I wonder, “What would Coco do?”

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And because style is about much more than what you have on, I love the book, Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm. Girls nowadays aren’t sent to charm school, but that doesn’t mean charm is useless. This book was first published in 1938, but the hints, tips and tricks are just as useful today.

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I read The End of Fashion in college and it was one of the only books I opted to keep at the end of the semester. This book describes how the relationship between marketing and fashion changed couture as we know it. I won’t bore you with all the details, but if you are remotely interested in the history of the fashion industry over the last 30 years, I highly suggest this book.

So those are my favorite fashion-themed books. And I promise, next time I’m in a bookstore I’ll pick up a classic. A girl’s gotta be well-rounded, right?  

What are the books you keep nearby? What books inspire you?
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This is a scheduled guest post while I’m away sunning it up in California. This post was written by my good blogger friend, Rebecca who writes the fashion blog, Rebecca (hearts). Wasn’t this a fun post? It combines a couple of my favorite things, fashion & books! And since I will read just about anything that’s put in my hands, I think I’ll be adding these to my to-reads list!

It’s awesome because Rebecca lives in Salt Lake, so I get to read all her recommendations on where to shop locally and go try them out! Plus we have similar taste so when I want to look good I just copy one of her outfits. Ha! Rebecca just recently did some fashion segments on Fox 13 which you should check out and you can also follow her Facebook page. She’s also an amazing artist and I love to check out her fashion sketches and her sewing projects. Thanks Rebecca!   

Reading Challenges you should try

This is a scheduled guest post while I’m sunning it up in California written by my blogger friend, Kyria. Kyria writes an awesome blog called Travel Spot. We have a lot in common, including our tendency to buy way more books than we actually need! Stop over to Travel Spot where you can see all the cool places she’s been. She’s also a runner so you can follow her 12 in 2012 running challenge and her other running adventures! Thanks Kyria!

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Kim and I have a lot in common. That is why when she asked if I could do a guest post, I jumped on board! I love reading her blog and feel like she and I would get along great in real life. One of the main things I think we share is our love of books. We are also both doing a couple of reading challenges this year. Actually, I am only doing two.

(1) The bookmark break challenge. This is a challenge by AudrieAnne to get those books off the shelves and read them. If you can read more books than she can this year, you get a prize! Last year I beat her by only a few books, so this year, it’s a challenge to try and do it again! So far, I have read 31 books this year.

(2) No book buying. This challenge is to myself, since I cleaned out my storage space late last year and found many (MANY!) books that I haven’t read yet. I also gave away 4 boxes of books. Since the last thing I need is to have to sort through and give away more books, OR to spend money on more books since I have so many waiting to be read, I told myself that I would only read (a) library books, (b) books I already own, (c) borrowed books, (d) books that are given to me as a gift, or (e) as a treat, I could buy books with B&N or Amazon gift cards that I already had. I have not used the gift cards yet. In fact, I have not even bought a book at a thrift store, although that is my downfall, if you will. I did trade about a dozen books with a fellow blogger. I have also received books for free in return for a review. These are all still “legal”.

Now, Kim has a few fun book challenges as well. You probably already know all about them, but if not, they are here. My favorite is the What’s in a Name Challenge, which challenges readers to read a book with these items in the title: (a) a topographical feature, (b) something you would see in the sky, (c) creepy crawly, (d) type of house, (e) something you would carry in a pocket, purse or backpack, and (f) something you would find on a calendar. Kim’s doing great; she’s got 5 out of 6. So I thought I would see how I measured up.

(a) The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton****

(b) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern****

(c) —

(d) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetJamie Ford****

(e) Sarah’s KeyTatiana De Rosney****

(f) Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin***

So I guess I need to read something with a creepy, crawly name! By the way, the stars are my rating system (out of 5) so all of these books are good ones! Thanks again Kim for having me. I can’t wait to see how we both (and all of you!) do on our reading challenges this year! For other reading recommendations, you can visit my Bookshelf page.

What challenges have you taken on this year? Are there any good books you can recommend? 

Beautiful Turquoise & Gray Rooms

Hello, Her Sunday readers! My name is Jessie and my blog is My Mod Style. While Kim is off vacationing she asked me to do a guest post for her. I wanted to feature some rooms that I found inspiring. I think they are rooms that Kim would like and I also made sure to include some chevron for her!

Decor Pad

Beautiful Room

Look at the beautiful living room by June & Bear.

Gray Living Room by June & Bear

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I am in love with this chevron painted bedroom by Living With Lindsay.

Chevron Bedroom by Living With Lindsay

I love how she hung all the picture frames on the wall!
Chevron Bedroom by Living With Lindsay

Love this bright table setting!

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Table Setting

I love this bright turquoise room!
House Of Turquoise
Turquoise Room

I hope you find these rooms inspiring!

Thanks Kim for inviting me to post on your blog!

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This is a scheduled guest post while I’m sunning it up in California! Big thanks to my bloggie friend, Jessie, for putting this post together for today. She’s awesome and she knows my style so well! I absolutely love those built in shelves painted turquoise and the cute seating option from House of Turquoise. Be sure to stop on over and say hi to her on her personal and design blog, My Mod Style.

June Salad Challenge 10~13

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Recipe~ Seven Layer Veggie Salad
Changes~ My layers were bacon, cheese, mushroom, celery, tomato, peas, and red onion. I did not use eggs but I have before and it’s good.
The Stars~ Romaine lettuce, Peas, Dill
Recommend~ The dressing is not healthy but this a really yummy salad so I make it sometimes. You could make your layered salad and find a healthier version of the dressing if you like. You should chill this salad for a couple of hours before serving. I added dill to my dressing.

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Recipe~ Spinach, Mushroom, Orange, & Bacon Salad
Changes~ I used regular oranges instead of mandarin because that’s what I had.
The Stars~ Oranges, Bacon, Spinach, Mushrooms, & Ketchup!
Recommend~ Don’t be alarmed by the dressing ingredients. I promise they’re really good! It turns out being a kind of like a tangy Russian dressing. This was a delicious salad.

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Recipe~ Cabbage, Ramen, & Cashew Salad
Changes~ Sometimes I put chicken in this salad and sometimes I don’t. This time I didn’t. I also used cashews instead of almonds, olive oil instead of vegetable oil and napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage.
The Stars~ Ramen & Cashews
Recommend~ The napa cabbage turned out to be a mistake. It wasn’t as crunchy as regular cabbage is so I didn’t like it as much. It was still good but it’s been much better when I’ve made it in the past. I have used both chicken & beef flavored ramen and like both.

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Recipe~ Quinoa, Snap Pea, & Carrot Salad
Changes~ The recipe allows for a couple of variations. I used snap peas, carrots, red pepper, tomato, (no cucumber) fresh basil, and sunflower seeds. In the dressing I used a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The Stars~ Quinoa, Snap Peas, Sunflower Seeds
Recommend~ The recipe says you can eat this right after preparing or chill it. We ate it right after I made it and it was great. I haven’t tried it chilled yet. I loved the sunflower seeds in it. The cayenne pepper was a nice kick but don’t use too much.

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Still loving the salad challenge and have a lot more ideas that I can use.  In fact, I have a couple that didn’t make it in to this post because I ran out of time to edit the photos. We’ll be going out of town for a bit, so the salad challenge will be on hold. 
We’re going to California to celebrate our 1 year anniversary! I’m thinking that we could just continue the salad challenge in July. I’m still having fun with it so I’d be happy to keep it going. I’d kind of like to get 30 salads posted before I quit. What do you think?

Do you want me to continue the salad challenge in July, or are you sick of seeing salad posts? Let me know what you think in the comments!

PS- I’ve got some great guest posts lined up for you while we’re gone to California, so keep reading because the blog won’t be quiet!

Her Weekend

This weekend we spent some time in Logan for a friend’s wedding and then to visit Andy’s dad for Father’s Day. While we were up there we had dinner at Elements. So much food but it was all amazing! On Saturday we drove to Wyoming for Nellie’s 2nd Birthday party. Our family went in on a gift together and got her a slide since she’s been loving the slide at the park lately. Sunday I went to visit my friend Heather and see her new townhouse. We ate on the deck a couple of times this week and it’s been really nice weather. We’re trying to finish up a few things before we take off for California on Wednesday. I feel so tired today!

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{Dinner at Elements- Asian Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Gorgonzola Steak Pasta}

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{Dessert-Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake with Sorbet and Chocolate with Coconut Frozen Mousse}

Nellie 2nd Birthday
{Nellie is 2!! No ‘other’ surprises this year. Wow, she’s grown up a lot since that day.}

Nellie and mom
{Nellie and her mama with her butterfly birthday cake}

Nellie combs my hair with pony comb
{Nellie combing my hair with her ‘pony comb,’ a My Little Pony comb}

Nellie combs my hair
{She’s been watching her mom do hair. She knows what to do.}

Nellie slide
{In her words: “1, 2, 3, SLIIIIIIIDE!!….. ONE MORE TIME!!}

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{A little crafty time making a gift for a friend- Andy helped me!}

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{Dinner on the deck with Henry just chillin in the flower box}

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{A ‘Henry Flower’}
How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Saturday Bountiful Basket

I ordered a Bountiful Basket for this week before remembering that we would be out of town and wouldn’t be around to eat any of it. Wop! Wop! But it worked out. My sister didn’t get a basket this week so most of our loot went to her. We are still doing our June Salad Challenge and it’s going great. I’m getting another salad round up post ready for you. We’ll be out of town for a little bit so we’ll be finishing our salad challenge in July!

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Here’s what we got:

Bananas
Watermelon
Pineapple
Red Grapes
Bag of Potatoes
9 Plums
6 Nectarines
Spaghetti Squash

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Romaine Lettuce
2 Cucumbers
Bok Choy
White Onion
Garlic
Napa Cabbage
Ginger Root
Mushrooms
Bag of Basil
Long Beans
Celery

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Conventional basket was $15. This basket included an Asian themed add on pack (which was $9) as well as the conventional basket.

Can you believe those long beans!?