July 15, 2015

Closing the Doors

Do any of you read the blog Un-Fancy?

I followed her for a bit, and this girl shook up the blog world when she quit - after just a year! - back in April. I listened to a podcast interview with her a little while after all of this happened, and she said something that stuck with me. When she talked about why she ended things so early, she simply said that not everything is meant to last forever. Some projects are better for a set period of time.

When she said that, I think it hit me somewhere - it's been feeling like about the right time to end this season for the Blue Dishes.

I've been blogging here for three years now - since the summer of 2012, right before I graduated college. I've documented our dating, engagement, and wedding, our move to Charlotte, job changes, and everything in between in this space. And it's not like this has been the biggest blog ever, but it has been so much more fun because of you! I've been grateful for new and old friends that have followed along here, and for how that's let me keep in touch with people that would have been hard to keep in touch with otherwise. This space has let me be reflective, funny, silly, and serious. It's let me track exciting milestones, be creative, and try new things.

Keeping up with a blog has been so much fun, and I have loved it. But for now, it feels like the perfect time to be closing the doors and ending this project. Thank you for following along for the past few years, friends - for your comments, emails, and encouragement. Blogging is truly better because of the community, and I'm grateful for you!

So...that's about it. Closing the doors for now. Don't be a stranger :)


PS! If you want to stay in touch, follow me on twitter or instagram - I'll still be doing fun things over there!

July 14, 2015

Recent Reads

Summer reading is at it's finest this year for me. Anyone else hear me there?

I thought it would be fun do do a little run-down of what my favorite books have been recently. My list is a mile long right now, but I've read some really good ones lately. Here are a few of them:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Y'all, if I had to tell you to read one book this summer...read this one. The title sounds a little crazy and, to be honest, some parts of the book are a little crazy. By the end of it, though, Marie Kondo (author) will have you cleaning out closets and taking loads of stuff you don't need to Goodwill. The main thing I took away is that the first step to having a cleaner home is decluttering - only keep those things in your home that bring you joy. She can get a little extreme, but the root of the book is fantastic.

Who doens't love Tina Fey? She's been one of my favorites for a while, and this book has been on my list for a while as well. It was just about what I expected - she's a great story teller, and she makes you laugh on almost every page. There were some sections that I liked more than others (the part where she talks about her Sarah Palin impression days was one of my favorites), but overall? Good read.

Another summer favorite, and this one was just  good for my soul. Essentialism is all about focusing your life on the things that matter most, rather than trying to do a thousand little things every day. It challenged me to the point that I would stop whoever was around me when I was reading and say "Listen to this!" - or, if no one was around me, I would furiously take notes. Great book. Especially in our age of multitasking and trying to do it all, I highly recommend this one.

The Girl on the Train
Between you and me, I liked Gone Girl more than Girl on the Train - I hear them compared all the time. I was completely captivated by Girl on the Train and definitely couldn't put it down, but I didn't think that the story line was quite as mysterious and insane as the story line in Gone Girl. That being said? Great summer beach read.

I also thought that this would be a good time to do a mini-review of a book I received recently to review from Blogging for Books. I've gotten some really good ones from them in the past, but I've been slow to write about this book because I just didn't love it! It's called Sketch, and it's all about drawing and sketching techniques.

I was honestly hoping for something a little more interactive (like this one - makes a fun & great gift for your artist friends), but this book definitely is more of a sit-down-and-read-it book.  That's not a bad thing and there's certainly a lot of good information in it! However, it just wasn't what I was looking for.

What have you been reading this summer?


July 6, 2015

Gardening 101

Well friends, somehow that one-month-long blog break turned into two. What can I say...I've been enjoying the summer off!

Today, though, I'm back to tell you about one of my favorite house projects so far - gardening!

When we moved into our new place, the last owner had graciously left behind seven raised garden boxes. They were full of weeds, compost (think egg shells & banana peels), and who knows what - but they weren't in too bad of condition! It seemed like a great chance to try my hand at gardening. Red flag, though: this is how I am with house plants.

I had a teach-me-everything-you-know session with my gardening pro friend Kalle, spent a serious Saturday doing heavy-duty weeding, tilling, & clean out, and then planted my little garden babies. Want a tour of what this summer has looked like?

We started here: all the weeds.

There were lots of little "treasures" left behind with the boxes - including about 50 pumpkin seeds, haha. I tried to get out as many as I could, but a few of them definitely sprouted and I've let one grow into a full-blown pumpkin vine.

Once we had nice and clean soil (I used what was already in the bins, plus some added compost), it was planting time! We ordered most everything from Burpee, except for a few herbs & marigolds that Steve & I ran to Lowes for. 

Hello, baby tomatoes & basil (this was probably early-mid May?)

 Hello, little growing plants...

HELLOOOO, big big garden!

So far we've harvested probably 10 cherry tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, a handful of green beans, and plenty of herbs. The tomatoes have struggled some (this heat is killer!!) and the peppers are growing slowly, but we're getting close.

Anyway, this is fun. I like it. Here's to new hobbies and sweet sweet summertime!

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