What I’m lovin’ in June

Whatever happened to things slowing down when the weather gets warm? The only thing slowing down is my energy being zapped by this blanket of humidity that’s taken over Columbia!

June went by in such a flash my list of June-lovin’ wasn’t ready until July – I do hope you’ll forgive me!



1. Planning my imaginary vacation through airbnb’s Instagram feed.

There’s a such thing as #TreeHouseTuesday which led to me starting a “wish list” of all the treehouses I want to visit.

Like this one in Vermont:


this one also makes me long for snow… 🙂

2. Vintage clothes.

This one should be pretty obvious by now, but as a short gal stuck between junior & adult styles who dislikes both, vintage clothing has saved my work wardrobe from looking very confused.

In addition, I love the way vintage clothes are constructed – sturdy, comfortable (and oh-so-soft!) and timeless.

I just got this fabulous shirt from Saint & Rambler Vintage a few weeks ago at the market:

S&R shirt

A few months ago after I made my first dress ever (the #OutAndAboutDress by Sew Caroline – you can see my picture here on Instagram), I found a tutorial for adding tulip sleeves which I added to my “make this!” list. Unfortunately, I haven’t made an Out & About Dress with Tulip Sleeves (yet!), but when I saw this shirt I knew I had to have it!

Aren’t the tulip sleeves just the best thing ever?!


3. Succulents.

They’re everywhere right now! I see them all over Etsy in listing photos and on all the hip design people’s Instagrams.

Well I’m neither hip nor much of a plant enthusiast (after the time my cat knocked over my only indoor plant I vowed to never have an indoor plant so long as Mr. Norton is still alive & kickin’…literally). However, I saw this baby hens & chicks succulent at IKEA for $3 and fell in love:


I named him Theodore and took him to my office before Mr. Norton realized he had been in the house.

I’m happy to report that a month later, Theodore is still very much alive which is a significant improvement from the fate of Dutchess Jamie Lynn the orchid. Apparently hens & chicks are hard to kill (thank goodness!).

4. Garden fresh tomatoes!

The garden we planted at my grandparents is flourishing so of course, my appreciation for fresh produce goes beyond May. 🙂

There’s really nothing more tasty than a sun-ripened tomato sandwich on fresh baked bread (try Heather’s Artisan Bakery at the Soda City market!) slathered in Duke’s mayonnaise and sprinkled with a little sea salt & fresh ground pepper. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!


Also lovin’ the fact that my sister is successfully growing lots of cherry tomatoes – and she doesn’t even like tomatoes! Thus, I have been getting little deliveries of tomatoes for the past few weeks 🙂


5. Light & fresh summer recipes from Cooking With A Wallflower.

Recently, she posted a recipe for a Cheesy Tomato Basil Quesadilla that I tried with a spin (I’ll post my spin on the recipe soon!) using the tomatoes from my sister’s backyard garden. It was heavenly!!

I hope you loved June as much as I did and Happy Independence Day!!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here}


The story of my orchid lovechild

In March, I landed a new job and upon departing my old position, my work husband gifted me a beautiful orchid. This is the story of our lovechild.

Here’s me & the #WorkHubs (Markessce) at the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy‘s 20th anniversary gala last week.


We were the [self-proclaimed] “Vintage Couple of the Night” – he wore his grandfather’s jacket and I wore a dress from Butterfly Vintage with a resliced clutch of course! It’s possible we were slightly under-dressed, but neither of us gave a flip because we were REUNITED!

Anyhow, back to my story: so I broke the news that I’d be leaving my job to him gently and we began to plan for our fork in the road. On my last day, I was packing up my office and asked him to help me wheel out the office chair I’d filled with the last 3 years of my professional life to my car. He raced down to my office carrying a beautiful orchid. We’re both incredibly horrible plant caregivers so I don’t know what he was thinking. Obviously he was struck by her beauty leading him to an impulse buy.

We named our lovechild Dutchess Jamie Lynn (“The Dutchess” for short) on the spot.


The Dutchess during the first week at my new job.

On my first day of work, I proudly placed our child in my window (maybe that was the first mistake since the card you see to her left contained instructions that say “do not place in direct sunlight”).

Two months into my new job and I’ve watched every bloom shrivel up with dead petals on the floor for me to pick up each morning. I knew orchids were finicky and this one was destined for doom as soon as it landed in my arms. Poor Dutchess. She never had a fighting chance.

I sent Markessce a desperate text last week letting him know I’m pretty sure I’ve killed our love child and to prepare for our loss.


Emaciated Dutchess.

Without hesitation, he texts back: “You’ve fully bloomed into your new life.”

Welp. My eyes filled with tears. I sure do miss that boy being down the hall! He always knows just what to say when I’m feeling down.

Aside from “never gift Jordan something that requires care”, the moral of my story is that I’m so lucky to be surrounded with friends and mentors who have helped me along my professional path and never left me emaciated and begging for water like The Dutchess.

Cheers to all of you! I owe you an orchid or two. 😉

My Perfect Weekend: One that requires no makeup

Lately my Sunday mornings have been the same. And I don’t hate it one bit.

The Hubs sleeps in, I make myself a cup of drip coffee, Twitch (my rambunctious little mutt) and I fight for elbow room on the couch while I work on writing blogs for the week (by work on, I mean: spend way too much time trying to think up clever things to say about something you might find remotely interesting..by you, I mean: I don’t really know who YOU is).

twitch couch

Me, the lappy & Twitch sharing the couch. {PS: His collar is handmade by Sup Dog – click the picture to go to her site!}

Moving on…and back to my title! Any weekend that requires no make up is the kind I just can’t get enough of. Go on, start your judging! After a week of wearing heels (ok, fine – they’re platforms), dresses and powdering my nose, nothing sounds more luxurious than my softest t-shirt and some leggings (I know, I know. I’m WAY too old to pull these off – realistically anyone above age 5 should probably stop, but I just can’t! I’m justifying them as workout pants so whatever. Judge on).

Yesterday I spent the morning riding my grandparent’s mower around their yard while the rest of my family tilled the garden (on another note – I’m so excited for garden fresh produce this year!). My zig-zag landscaping adventures caused the Hubs to spend the afternoon making fun of me because I won’t go near our push mower. To be fair: last year my Dad attacked a snake with the weed wacker after the Hubs ran over it with the lawn mower (which did not kill it). {Have I mentioned my fear of snakes is crippling?!} In addition, I’m convinced that I’ll kick up a rock that ends my running career by taking out a shin. No thank you.

Yesterday was also car maintenance day so after the Hubs & my Dad changed the oil and checked all the “levels” (whatever those are), I vacuumed & washed.

Exhaustion + the fact that I was still on a landscaping high, led me to do some plant shopping. I would’ve preferred to spend my money locally, but Walmart was convenient and I figured I should take full advantage of my brown thumb feeling green for a brief moment.

Initially I had planned to buy Basil & Cilantro, but [go figure] they had neither pre-grown. Next thing I know I’ve been in the garden section for an hour and my buggy is full of flowers I can’t pronounce.

Alas! I’ve made my final selection, paid the nice fella for my buggy-full-of-color-and-cheer and I meander to the car.

BUT THEN: my buggy took a left turn and pulled me to the roses outside. As I approached the collection of peachy-pink roses, I gasped. When you lose someone you love, the memories can hit you like a tidal wave in the ocean. And there she was..my Gammy. My mother’s mother was a frail little lady who chain smoked, drank black coffee and gave the tightest hugs you could imagine. She was creative, thoughtful and everything I strive to be. I could go on about her for days, but I’ll save those memories for another post 🙂

I frantically started plowing through the rose bushes trying to find the perfect one. Found it! Loaded it into my buggy, spun around so fast my buggy went up on two wheels and raced back inside. The poor cashier gave me a puzzled look, worried he’d run something up wrong. “No sir” as I try to pretend my arms aren’t covered in fresh scratches from the briars and my eyes aren’t filled with tears “I just saw these roses and had to get some!”

And so: after the Hubs awakes and I bribe him with brunch at Drip, we’ll be planting our very first rose bush! I’m optimistic about this adventure (aka: I hope I don’t kill these!) and I can’t wait to fill my house year after year with the sweet smell of fresh roses and memories of my sweet Gammy.

My Coretta Scott King rose bush!

My Coretta Scott King rose bush!