Wednesday, April 24, 2024

What's Up Wednesday, April 2024 Edition


Time can slow down anytime now. Really. It's the end of April, which means that we are just over three months away from the Man-Cub's wedding and I am not prepared! I haven't lost the thirty pounds that I wanted to lose before dress shopping! I still have a shower to plan! I'm only 90% done with the plans for the rehearsal dinner, and, I still have a day job to juggle.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, is my point.

Not too overwhelmed to skip this month's edition of What's Up Wednesday, however, so let's get to it. 

What I've Been Eating

I made an effort to eat healthier this month (see above: thirty pounds to lose), which resulted in making turkey lettuce wraps. They were yummy.

I made good choices at Olive Garden when Mom and I were in Neighboring City for an appointment; I had grilled chicken with broccoli.

I only ate half of the turkey pesto sandwich that I ordered from the restaurant in the garden center in Pixler, and, I left some sweet potato fries on my plate.

None of which resulted in a single lost pound. Boo.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Nothing at the moment.

What I'm Loving

I'm having a moment with all things botanical, including these new Portmeiron dishes. Each plate has a different flower, and its Latin name. I used them on my Easter table last month and plan to use them frequently throughout the summer.

Hugh and I finally broke down and replaced our eighteen year old living room furniture. I did not realize just how broken-down the old stuff was until I sat on the new pieces; my hips are eternally grateful for this new support.

Boomer Dog is still living his best life. There have been no signs of the cancer spreading, and he is still pain-free.

Spring is definitely in the air (my allergies will attest), and the flowers around Not So New Job are in full bloom. They bring joy to my day.

What I've Been Up To

I took the fam to Pickin' at the Pea for some antique hunting; the kids were first-timers to the show and they loved it.

Well, mostly they loved the donuts. They're in good company in that regard.

Our Katie Girl is having a baby! We attended her shower, making sure to give her an extra hug for Queen B, who couldn't make the trip as she is still taking care of Nemo following her surgery.

What I've Been Working On

With the wedding just months away, Shanti and I have been working on the flower arch that will serve as the altar for the ceremony. It doesn't look like much right now, but it is coming along. I swear.

I've also been perfecting my candle-decorating skills.

What I'm Dreading

I'm dreading dress shopping. Not the shopping, itself (I'm planning to fly to Texas to hit the stores with Queen B), but the very good chance that I won't find something I love. Say a prayer for me, please.

What I'm Excited About

I really am excited about the upcoming summer! In addition to all of the festivities surrounding the wedding, I am also hoping that we will get to spend some time on the boat as well as hosting more Porch Nights for friends and family.

What I'm Reading

I finally finished reading The Nightingale this month and I haven't picked up a book since. My spare time is currently filled with other tasks that need to be accomplished, sadly.

What I'm Watching

My attention span has gotten pretty short lately, so this month, I mostly watched fluffy comedies and romances. In fact, the only new series that I felt capable of watching was We Were the Lucky Ones, which I knew would be neither fluffy nor romantic, but definitely worth watching.

What I'm Listening To

Currently, I am listening to the birds chirping outside my kitchen window; it's a welcome sound.

What I'm Wearing

At the moment, I am wearing my most comfy pajamas, which is my usual uniform when I get home from work. I should be wearing leggings and a sports bra and walking on a treadmill (those thirty pounds aren't going to lose themselves), but the pajamas call my name, which explains why I dread shopping for a dress for the wedding. It's a vicious cycle. Thanks for asking.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Hugh says that we are going to power wash my porch and open it for the season. I love his optimism.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

Despite my whining, I really am looking forward to shopping with Queen B, and next month is when I am hoping to make the trip to Texas to do so. Any time that I get to spend with my girl is time worth looking forward to.

Favorite Amazon Purchase This Month

I purchased these dried pressed flowers for the candle project that I wanted to try. They are great quality and worked well for what I had in mind.

Monday, April 22, 2024

It's a Weekend Wrap-Up, Bless Our Little Pea Pickin' Hearts

The weekend at Casa de Chelle was busy and productive, and, started off a little bit early.

Because we were expecting delivery of our new living room furniture sometime between 10 and 2 on Friday; Hugh busted out the carpet cleaner on Thursday afternoon. Our old furniture was relocated to the garage, where it awaited pickup by a couple of Hugh's friends from the fire department (and, God bless them, because I wouldn't wish that broken-down mess on anyone), so he had an almost-blank canvas on which to work, and we were guaranteed a dry floor by Friday.

I really don't want to talk about what came out of that carpet, but you can bet your boots that new carpet is the priority sometime in the very near future (once we recover financially from the new furniture, kitchen appliances, phones, taxes, wedding, etc., etc.).

The new furniture arrived earlier than the anticipated window, which was a nice surprise. I had the living room back in order by 10:00, and I am already in love with the new stuff. Who knew that a couch with actual support would be easier on the back and hips? My mind, it is blown.

And my hips are grateful.

I spent the rest of Friday doing household chores, as well as practicing my candle-decorating skills by making more pillar candles with pressed flowers. I'm feeling pretty confident in my ability at this point.

Saturday morning, Mom and the kids met us at the house for the drive to Pickin' at the Pea. This year's spring show was the best that I have ever been to! Usually, there are fewer vendors at the spring show, in comparison to the fall show. This year, however, I would say that there were just as many vendors, if not a few more.

Shanti and the Man-Cub had never been to the show before, so, naturally; we introduced them to the Mennonite coffee and donuts. They were every bit as impressed as we always are.

They were also impressed with the variety of items available at the sale. The Man-Cub left with several rocks, one of which was an amethyst crystal that weighed as much as a small paperweight.

I purchased another silver tray for the wedding, and Mom picked up a silver gravy boat that we are going to use in the decor at Shanti's bridal shower. We basically got off cheap this time around. 

One item that I would have gladly coughed up a lung in exchange for was, sadly, not for sale; it was a pristine Gotham Industries metal and melamine picnic set from the 1950's or 1960's. I doubt I will ever see such a complete set again, but I am so happy that I got to see one in the wild once in my life.

A core childhood memory was unlocked when I saw this vintage horse display; I had a collection of horses when I was a kid. I wanted a real horse, but, alas, I was denied.

I'm still a little sad about it.

I took this picture so that I could send it to Erin and Kristi. See, bitches? You didn't have to move to the UK to see royalty! You could have done that from home!

And, speaking of Erin and Kristi; I also sent them this picture of Tom and Sean, who we ran into at the Pea. I knew they would be jealous of us all enjoying Mennonite donuts and Queen Elizabeth memorabilia without them. That's what they get!

After picking our way around the Pea, we went back home to grab the gift basket that I put together for Katie Girl's baby shower.

What's that, you say? You didn't know that our Katie Girl was expecting? Yes, indeed! She and her hubby will welcome a baby girl of their own in June.

The shower was nice, and, by the time we got back home, I was exhausted, so, Hugh and I chilled on the new furniture until bedtime.

On Sunday, we putzed around the house and hardware store until dinnertime, when we went to Oscar and Emily's for a turkey feast (Emily had a turkey in the freezer and Oscar wanted to get it used up, so they invited us for second Thanksgiving, ha!).

While we were there, Boomer Dog was living his best life with Oscar and Emily's dog, Luke.

He also enjoyed a beer. Why? Well, why the hell not? It's not like it will be the thing that kills him. Besides, see above: Living His Best Life.

Today, I am back at it; I have a golf tournament to get planned as well as an advocacy center to run and, if I get some free time, a bridal shower to plan and a car that is in desperate need of an oil change.

It's going to be a busy week, y'all!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

DIY Wildflower Candles

As I've been working on my plan for the rehearsal dinner that Hugh and I will be hosting the night before the wedding, I've been looking into purchasing candles decorated with flowers. Shanti's entire wedding vibe is heavy on wildflowers and; I thought that carrying the theme through on the rehearsal dinner table would be a nice touch.

I looked online for candles that I could purchase and, holy hell, Batman, were they expensive! So, I decided to make my own. While I plan to use mainly taper candles for the dinner, I chose to first attempt the process on larger pillar candles, which, was a wise decision, since it provided more surface area on which to practice.

I gathered my supplies, which included dried, pressed flowers (Amazon), a set of three candles (40% off at Hobby Lobby), tealights (which I already have a plethora of), and a small nylon paintbrush.  

I started by melting a tealight, completely. While the wax was melting, I separated the flowers (they came with a set of angled tweezers, which made handling the delicate flowers a lot easier) and laid them out in a design that I liked.

Then I gently laid them on the candle, dipped the paintbrush in the wax, and carefully brushed the wax over the flowers, making sure to coat them well enough to adhere them to the candle.

I was pleased with the end result, although, there were areas on each candle where I could have been more careful not to leave globs of wax from drips that fell from the paintbrush. I'll be sure to be aware of that when I try the process on the tapers for the rehearsal dinner.

All in all, it was a pretty simple DIY that saved a lot of money and that will have a big impact on the table decor.

10 out of 10, highly recommend.