it’s alive!

folks, i want to proudly brag for a quick moment:  phillip and i have kept our plant alive for over a month!  yes, early in july we were at the home depot picking up some supplies, and i was inspired by our neighbors chris and suzy to adopt and bring home a special little something from mother nature herself.  after finding the shepherd hook and zip ties, we strolled up and down the plant aisles, looking for just the right one to call our own.  some of the selection was pretty with flowers and bright colors, but phillip picked out a great option for us:  a caladium.  needing only four to six hours of direct sunlight a day, the caladium was perfect considering we’ve got lots of leafy tree branches in our building’s courtyard.  we put it in the cart and then kindly asked a nearby employee for the proper fertilizer for a plant such as ours.  after deciding on the all purpose miracle-gro shake’n feed, we loaded up the buggie, checked out, and headed home.

with some help from kyle and milo, phillip secured the heck out of that hook to our landing railing.  i mean, this thing isn’t going anywhere in any storm!  then, they zip-tied the planter to the hook and voila!  the regular afternoon summer showers help keep it hydrated, and i’ll say i’ve been pretty good about watering it every couple of days.  and, per tori’s instruction, i’ve also been sure to prune any dead leaves to make room for fresh ones.  although i’ve never had much of a green thumb, i think my mother would be proud!


himalayan sea salt lamps

say that five times fast!  i recently read from a fellow blogger about all the benefits of this very interesting decor choice known as the himalayan sea salt lamp.  as i learned about cleaner air, higher energy levels, neutralized electromagnetic radiation, better sleep, and improved mood and concentration, i couldn’t help but think, “how neat that a lamp that looks so cool can also do so much good!”

so, i began my search.  if you were to google “himalayan sea salt lamp,” you’d find a whole bunch of different websites and vendors.  i honestly didn’t know where to start and had no clue as to whether what i was finding was genuine or not.  slightly discouraged and still unsure, my online looking ended rather quickly.

however, just a couple weeks ago while i was perusing the home depot shelves for a new ceiling fan, i turned and was face-to-face with a himalayan sea salt lamp – what luck!  there was no hesitation whatsoever as i carefully balanced the ceiling fan box in my arms and scooped the lamp on top of it.

i got home and could hardly contain my excitement as i ripped through the packaging.  i think one of the most interesting things as i diligently read through the instruction manual was that the maker of this lamp had a message like the following:  “if you are dissatisfied with your lamp, please contact us directly.  do not return the lamp to your vendor.”  how nice that they want to personally make sure you have the best experience with this lamp possible!

i got the lamp all set in its place, plugged in, and then stood back in admiration and pure joy as i adjusted the dimmer switch on it to a soft glow.  the orangey-yellow color of the lamp reflects just so nicely off the lavender walls in our living room.  i mean, how does this not make you relaxed simply by looking at it?

if you’re looking for a unique lighting piece and great conversation starter, consider picking up a himalayan sea salt lamp for yourself.  they come in several sizes and forms (you can get it in a big block like i have or in smaller chunks to put in a bowl display) to suit your preference.  another neat thing about these lamps is that no two are alike, so you’re sure to have a one-of-a-kind piece!

dc – day 3

so, i know you all have been dying to find out how i spent my last day in dc, yes?  i thought so!  sunday we lounged about lazily (no surprise there) before we strolled back down to the eastern market area for more eats.  we were meeting up with my college friend ann for brunch and to, of course, sit outside.

we found ourselves dining at matchbox, and it was a wonderful choice.  when you’re tucked in among dozens of other restaurants on 8th street, you’ve got to make sure you are doing something unique and impressive to first get people in the door and then, secondly, to keep them coming back.  matchbox has quite a varietal menu, ranging from their well-known pizzas and crusts to their simple and classic bistro dishes.  the staff was quite friendly and attentive, and i expect it’s a great spot to come after a long day at work.

between bites of cinnamon rolls (evan stole the middle roll, i was so jealous!) and shrimp and grits, we did all the catching up that three wonderful women can do.  again, it is such a treat to get to spend time soaking up the sun and having sparkling conversation with people so near and dear to your heart.  it was the perfect last meal before my trek home, and i only hope it isn’t too long before i find myself back up there.

we exchanged bittersweet goodbyes after paying the bill, and then evan and i somehow ended up back at the market stands to discover more treasures.  i swear, there was some invisible, magnetic pull that dragged us back over there!  evan was on the hunt for vases and flowers, and i had no trouble helping her spend some hard-earned cash.  warning:  i am the best and worst person to shop with, all at the same time.  if you like something and it would make you happy have, i will encourage you to buy it, and in every color.  and if it’s on the expensive side, i’ll easily sway you by reminding you that you make money to spend money.  seriously, ask evan and my brother’s fiancée kari.  they will testify!

our attention was caught by a vendor with a few tables of items that appeared to be quite a mish-mash of different odds and ends.  he politely welcomed us and said to let us know if we have any questions.  i personally have a very eclectic style, so many of the things i suggested to evan were met with a polite “no.”  that’s alright; different strokes for different folks!  her eyes finally found a tall pewter vase.  “it would be perfect for the hallway table on your landing!” i exclaimed.  see how i did that?  you have to be able to picture yourself living with it, exactly where it would go.  we knew that one was coming home with us, but we continued to rummage around in case anything else leapt out at us.

and then there they were!  these strange, hand-carved vases in mustard yellow and cream.  i jumped over to evan in excitement to take a closer look.  “evan, they’re just so cool!  and unusual!”  yes, they were both of those things.  evan looked a little hesitant, but then the vendor made her an offer for the three vases that she just could not refuse.  “wrap them up!” i said “we’ll take them all!”  again, if you do not want to spend money, do not go shopping with me.  that is the first and only warning you will receive.

“well, now we need flowers!”  we made our way to the south hall market to find the perfect flowers for these perfect vases.  the selection at the blue iris flowers stand was just stunning.  evan showed the assistant the pewter vase we were filling.  she asked for the vase, grabbed some beautiful pinky-orange roses, disappeared behind the counter, and returned with them cut and arranged just perfectly.  how fabulous!  we also grabbed a bunch of sprightly dandelions for the hand-carved vases.

“okay, we have to get home before i spend more money!”  we hustled back to the house, dropped our things, and spent a good thirty minutes arranging and rearranging everything.  we leaned the cutting boards against one another, stacked some books, shuffled around the vases, stood back, and ah!  it was perfect!  i know people say money can’t buy you happiness, but i’d say we were pretty overjoyed.

by then it was nearly two o’clock.  well, my flight left at three, just a short hour later.  we raced to get my things packed and then thrown in the car.  why is it that time flies when you are having so much fun?  i guess i’ll just have to be back again soon!  and i can guarantee you’ll find me writing about my next trip here before too long.