Last year, we bought our home and did a massive overhaul on the interior. It had been a rental for several years and was in pretty rough shape. After we each sold a kidney to pay for the renovation, we then turned to the landscaping. With the exception of one azalea bush and 50 million varieties of weeds, there was no landscaping to speak of. I designed the landscape layout myself (I like to say that because it makes me sound like a real go-getter, when in reality we just had no budget left for a professional) which is something I loved doing but will probably prove to have been a terrible idea.
The way I make landscaping decisions is to wander through the local nursery calling out to the owner, “what’s the likelihood of me killing this?”. To which he usually replies, “high.” In addition to my horticultural ignorance, I also have a debilitating fear of snakes, so the second I hear a rustle of any sort I run screaming like a 3 year old. Needless to say, it took me a whole summer to plant four rose bushes. In the end, my husband and I decided that we were just going to plant a whole bunch of stuff with no rhyme or reason and create a wild English garden in the middle of Tennessee.
Seeing as how it will take ten years for said English Garden to actually mature, in the meantime I thought I would share some of the gardens that I aspire to have one day. By that, I mean the garden I aspire to have a gardener tend to while I sip cocktails on the veranda behind some sort of magical snake barrier.
I really don’t care what anyone says, October, November and December are the jolliest, happiest, most festive months and nothing can get me down (it doesn’t hurt that my birthday is right in the mix there). Of course then the January blues set in and all is lost and my husband has to give me gentle shoulder pats and remind me that Easter isn’t too far away (it doesn’t help). But now that we are right in the thick of these magical months, let’s celebrate by buying presents for our near and dear (and those we are obligated to buy gifts for because of social norms)!
Hannah and I take shopping pretty seriously and we find this years’ list to be a no-nonsense, perfect gift-giving-guide – be it for yourself or others. As consumer-conscious shoppers, most items are locally made or found at our favorite mom and pop shops. Also, as a Gender Studies major I would like to apologize for categorizing these gifts into the confines of gender norms but sometimes The Man wins a round; we just have to keep fighting the good fight.
GIFTS FOR HER
GIFTS FOR CHILDREN
Our dear friend, Day, is having a baby in February and Hannah and I have been given the task (albeit the best task ever) of designing her nursery! This mobile (also a Joinery find) would be so cute over little baby Lehning’s Oeuf crib, even though it might induce carcosa dreams.
Little House Books
Maybe I should have put this in the “gifts for her” section because I need one of these little fellas for myself!
It’s a big sister mouse who wears a little outfit and sleeps in a matchbox with her very own pillow – what more could you ask for? The company has many mice to choose from – including a mouse in a tower which seems exciting.
From me and Hannah to you (with our confused sister, Chelsea, in the middle) Happy Holidays!
Flipping through Garden and Gun sometime last summer, I came across an article on an idyllic little community just southwest of Atlanta, GA called Serenbe located in Chattahoochee Hills. It looked like a perfect little family vacay paradise and just this past spring break, we made the trip. The first of many I am sure.
After a two day stop in Atlanta with visits to the aquarium, LegoLand (lord help me!) and the High museum and to some of our favorite restaurants both old and new, and determined to impart some sense of the awe inspiring power of nature upon the children after the cultural overload of Atlanta’s urban sprawl, we arrived at Serenbe ready to be out of the car and to all breathe in the fresh air of the country right on the cusp of a very long, strange winter turning to a very welcomed spring. A 1,000 acre sustainable community with great, locally sourced restaurants, lovely little shops, a spa and a wonderful old Inn, needless to say, we loved it!
We’d decided on renting a loft in the community; white, modern and stark and perfect for our little family with a lofted bed above the master suited perfectly for a pair of little girls. A short ways away, the kids could run free on the farm and got to pet and feed all manner of furry creatures. A pair of baby goats named Salt and Pepper (think we made those names up) were almost assuredly to come home with us if it were up to the kids. We hunted four leaf clovers. We found thirteen. We all ate one in some odd family ritual we concocted on the spot. We took walks on which we played a strange “hobo game”, a crude kin to rugby, with sticks we’d found in the woods and an old, rusty tin can. We took a beautiful, mozying trail ride through the woods, what was certainly the highlight of my children’s young lives.
The morning of our departure, we ate amazing sausage, egg and cheese biscuits at the Blue Eyed Daisy which might be the highlight of my not-so young life. In the end – and true to whatever fantasy I’d dreamt up over Garden and Gun a year ago – it truly was the idyllic get away I hoped it would be. Below, a taste of our (too) few days in the country, care of Serenbe. Next visit, we stay on the farm.
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