a week

DSC_2385This little space on the internet has been lonely lately. I know. The thing is, it’s hotter then hades outside which means it’s even hotter inside. Every year I scold myself for being a typical Seattleite and declining the AC option when we built our house. Around here you generally deal with about five unbearable days a year then it’s over, you lived and your house returns to it’s standard perfectly perfect 68ish degrees. So far this year, it’s been over 90 more days then I can remember most summers having total and although I adore the heat, I have also been declining the option of sitting in front of a computer roasting. (excuses, I know…just bear with me)

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So, to catch up…..last weekend we spent four days on a little cross-Washington road trip. We took off for Walla Walla for a friends wedding, made an overnight stop in Yakima  and drove for what seemed like days even though it was only about four and a half hours each way. We survived the car ride in one piece and Ky was such a good sport letting me play tourist at some fun stops like the run down convenience store above. The only rough patch was on the way home where I was sick combined with the effects of maybe a little too much wedding fun (oops). We had to make a few stops for mama to pull it together but home we came to enjoy the last week bouncing from park to park and beach to beach trying to stay cool. Summa’….I love you!

DSC_2378And another thing, you know the whole not having AC in the house thing…I’m totally not complaining. We decided a few months ago that it’s time for us to sell our home and move on to a community with an easier commute for Ky. This is the summer we move and make our way to our perfect preschool land, the place where we can walk to dinners out and a lifestyle that involves less car and more time together. So, I called up my BFF, an exceptional realtor, and forward motion started. They came and photographed our house, we decided on an asking price and all was well. Then, I left to the store on Wednesday and the sale sign appeared in my front lawn while I was gone. You know, the ominous white post, flyers showing every nook and cranny of the house you made a home and a stupid little banner teasing you with each sway it takes in the wind.

I immediately freaked.

insert photo of sign here. i have one all ready but I can’t actually post it because I just don’t want to look at it. you know what it looks like. 

You guys, I just could not stop crying. I came inside, tried reading M a book and gulped and gasped so much I had to put it down. I sat on the sofa in sorrow for M’s entire nap. I have no idea what is wrong is with me but I was paralyzed by the thought of selling this house. Anyway, I was such a crazy that we postponed putting the house on the market until next week when hopefully I can suck it up and not act like such a weeping fool.

It’s time to move forward towards a smaller home with a better lifestlye for the Lipe family.

 

Enjoy! Melissa

clean produce

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A few weeks ago, I went to visit my aunt in Arizona. I had no idea that she was in fact the Martha Stewart of summer entertaining. Over the course of a weekend, I learned so much from her about sharing your home with a group of people. First was that she had classy plastic utensils for everything. Wine glasses, plates, beer glasses….all plastic. No broken glass and easy clean up. Smart move. The second has changed the way I prep for my own family to eat over the course of the summer.

After a trip to the store, she took all the produce out, threw it into a bowl, washed it with produce wash then did the prep for eating (cut the strawberries, watermelon, etc) and put the produce in tupperware to grab at will from the fridge. Why have I never thought of this? Since then, I’ve been prepping all of our produce as soon as I get home from the store and we have been wasting less. The ease of grabbing it ready to eat means we reach for it more often.

The other thing I took in from all this was the way she washed her fruits and vegetables. I’ve always rinsed my produce in water before I ate anything but produce wash was new to  me. I was skeptable until she rinsed her strawberries then threw them in produce wash. Even after they had been rinsed off, the bowl had a layer of dirt on the bottom at the end of the soak session. I was so sick that I had been eating this and feeding it to my family. Makes total sense. It’s been in the ground, handled by who knows how many hands then placed in the store for you to go after. Anyway, I was totally convinced and have been using produce wash since. I also bought several bottles for friends and handed them out like candy.

It’s the easiest thing. Rinse your produce, add a squirt (or one tbs) of  wash to a bowl, drop in your produce, fill with water. Let it soak for about 2 minutes then give it another good rinse.

Try it!

 

Enjoy! Melissa

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26/52 || lessons from the garden

DSC_2319“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Finally! We are seeing some fruits of our labor (hehe!) in our backyard. The vegetable garden  is growing nicely but our potted strawberry plant is the real champ so far. Every year the garden is real labor of love. We don’t expect much out of it but we faithfully weed and water daily hoping that the five little plants we placed in the ground produce something. That’s why it’s SO EXCITING to walk out each morning and find there is a small tidbit you can dig your teeth into. M has been very good about waiting until each berry is ‘wed’ before plucking it off the branches and eating it. It’s a slow process, one little berry at a time but it’s been so gratifying for both her and I to be able to check our plant each day and see the tiny red fruit ready to become our afternoon treat. This one little pot has become such a good teacher in patience and tenderness.

I’m just thrilled!

Enjoy! Melissa

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eating portland

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Last weekend, we set out on a 24 hour journey to Portland. Our friends Bryan and Natalie moved to SouthWest Portland about a month ago and we were anxious to be their first visitors. We took off on Saturday at M’s nap time hoping for a quiet trip down I5 and walked in their front door almost exactly 3 hours later.

Let’s talk about Portland for a minute. EVERY stereotype you have heard about it is true. When I traveled for work, people used to snarl at what a liberal city Seattle was. It never failed that they would mention our tendency to be green. We recycle (like that’s bad? working on the environment here people) and they always ALWAYS commented on the rain. The thing is, if you think Seattle is too liberal, maybe NEVER go to Portland. It’s a city after my heart in some ways. It’s fairly small for a major city so a car is almost unnecessary (we got in ours once all weekend), the Willamette River runs right through the city making it easy to watch boats, wet suit sporting swimmers and we even saw a submarine , plus, it’s almost crazy relaxed. Oh, and they have good donuts.

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DSC_2312 DSC_2303DSC_2300We walked and ate our way through this town. In one short trip, we had Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt and Straw Ice Cream  and one of my favorite coffee’s ever, Stumptown. I got a small feeling for what I would be like as a New Yorker…fat. Each step I took was almost an excuse to eat more junk food. Plus, once you were already standing in front of the hour long line for donuts, it seemed like no big deal to jump right in. Never can I live in a walkable city. Apparently, I would eat my way through it.

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Enjoy!

wine weekend

10452693_10101346207725993_1887839498_oLast Saturday, 5 girlfriends and I headed to Yakima to visit one of my very best friends who calls Washington wine country home. Lets just say that when you put sunshine, girlfriends and wine tasting together, your cheeks will hurt from laughter for about the next week. The wine is a good plus for me on these trips but the best part is getting to catch up with my friends. As the years roll on (helloooo 30, you are staring me right in the face), marriages, kids and jobs have lessened the time we get to spend with each other. As they should really. It would be strange if I still lived on Greek Row rooming with my friends, and drinking from fish bowl sized containers we shamefully called cups. But, no matter how normal, it’s still so surreal to watch our lives branch out and take on new meaning. In the midst of all that, it’s refreshing to take a break and listen to each other, talk about silly things and maybe a few important topics and just laugh. We don’t take these trips nearly often enough but when we do I feel just a tad younger, energized  and, well, ill from the wine.

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I think that’s all I’ll share about girls weekend here. They call Yakima, ‘Yaka-Vegas’. It’s a joke really but we’ll just stick to the good ol’ Vegas montra. What happens in (Yaka-) Vegas, stays in (Yaka-) Vegas!

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Happy Friday and Enjoy!

small gift packaging

DSC_2255It seems like the season of summer, dinners and fabulously long days has hit. (Not to talk about the weather again but really, the weather…..) The truth is, it hasn’t been that nice here the past week or so. It’s rained a little, poured a little and we’ve had ‘sun breaks’ here and there. Doesn’t seem to have stopped us pacific north-westerners from wearing skirts with rain boots and celebrating that bbq season has arrived (everywhere else) though. I always like to bring a hostess gift when someone is gracious enough to have us but it can start to add up quickly so my trusty go-to gift this summer is stationary. It’s been a hit so far and I’ve enjoyed dressing up some small packaging to bring to the hostess. I love a small but easy present. Thought you might too!

DSC_2243All you need is a scrap piece of fabric, a gift tag, scissors and twine.

DSC_2260 DSC_2263 DSC_2266 DSC_2267Start by laying your gift tag on top of your scrap fabric. Then cut around it making your fabric piece as wide or as thin as you would like. After, I cut the bottom of my fabric into a flag shape and rounded the top but you can shape your fabric however you please. Then, make sure to cut a small slit in the top center of the fabric.

DSC_2273 DSC_2277Next, I wound my twine around the gift bag three times and put the strings through the hole I cut in the fabric. Next put both strings over the top of the gift tag and back through the fabric. Tie it off under the fabric piece.

DSC_2280 DSC_2291I like this idea for small gifts, favor bags or even to fancy up a snack bag. It’s so easy!

 

Enjoy! Melissa

Gift Tags, hi Cards and Bakers Twine can be found in the Pretty Wednesday Etsy Shop.

 

keeping busy with a summer bucket list

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I’ve been seeing summer bucket lists float around pinterest lately and was actively avoiding making one. M is now at the age where if you tell her you are going to do something, she tucks it away in her little memory bank and holds you to it. I mean, what if I don’t feel like feeding ducks on a particular Tuesday, right? Then I realized that’s crazy. June has just barely announced itself and we are already taking summer head on. We’ve been eating meals outside, spending most of our days with bubbles or surrounded by water and taking full advantage of the longer, brighter days. So, why not have a list to focus that attention on the days where I wake up reaching for activities to entertain my crazy girl?

I am already excited for M to check each activity off one by one and for a bucket list tradition to grow in our home. Bring it on SUMMER!

 

Enjoy! Melissa

in my suitcase

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We are home from just over a week in Hawaii and although I miss my family, the palm trees and the whole toes in the sand thing, there is just something about your own bed that is so inviting. Am I right or am I right?

Anyway, while we were there, we moved between my parents house, an ocean front rental cottage and a hotel. I must have packed and unpacked my suitcase 20 times. I’m guessing that I left a piece of us at each location because man, M has lot of a stuff to keep track of. But, before I left anywhere, I checked and double checked that I had these five things with me. I couldn’t have made it a single day without them.

Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent : The bugs just eat M and I up on vacations. Last trip, I was unprepared and spraying her with any bug spray I could get my hands on. I felt so guilty about the chemicals while I was doing it but in the heat of the moment it was bug bites or bug spray. Spray won. This trip, I was ready for those blood suckers with this and it totally helped. We each ended up a with a few bites but nothing like last trip.

Neutrogena Sunblock Stick : Not only does this make sun blocking M’s face quick, it distracts her while I lotion up the rest of her body. She likes to apply this to her face herself. Wait until you see how white her face is in all of our pictures!

Rash Guard : Like I said, applying sun block to a toddler can be tricky. This helps so I can shield her from the sun and avoid a fight. Win!

Puddle Jumper Floatation Device : It is so funny to watch M walk around in these. She can’t put her arms down to her side so she’s like a little robot waddling around. But, when she’s in the water, these are a awesome. She swam like a fish with very little help from me.

Elastic Hair Ties : Vacation hair is sometimes not the best hair. Humidity is not my or M’s friend. So, both of us had our hair up using these ties almost the entire trip. Lifesaver.

Enjoy! Melissa

 

thinking sun || giveaway

DSC_1644Yesterday was Earth Day, my 200th post will publish this week, the shop is starting to take shape and make moves and, well, I like you guys. So, I guess I didn’t need a reason but there seem to be about four this week that screamed GIVEAWAY to me.

Every year, we plant a little garden in our back yard. Some years, we have included crazy things like corn (never again will I allow huge stalks of corn to take over my suburban fence line), pumpkins (that was a fun one!) and artichokes (complete fail). And other years, we keep it simple with a few flowers and easy veggies like zucchini or squash. We tend to wait until May to plant so our garden is just a big pile of dirt right now but soon enough, we’ll get to planting and I’m already thinking about what we’ll attempt to grow this time around.

To put you in the same spirit, I included some fun summer garden goodies in a little giveaway. To enter, please comment below letting me know what the first thing you are dreaming about doing when summer weather makes an appearance is. Let’s be honest, I expect many many happy hour comments. (or if not, I will be sorely disappointed in you all) The winner will be drawn at random on Monday, April 28th and will receive a set of garden gloves, three packets of pretty flower seeds and an 8×10 of my green grass print (frame not included).

For an extra entry, please share our photo and tag @prettywednesday on Instagram or pin this photo on Pinterest.

Enjoy! Melissa

UPDATE: Congratulations Kari! You won! Thanks to everyone who entered. More giveaways coming soon! 

*Sorry, limited to US readers only. Please only leave your contact information in the allotted boxes, not in the body of your comment. Winner will be emailed after selection is made. 

a pretty wedding feature

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I’ve talked about my sister and brother-in-law’s stunning wedding before but now you have the chance to really see it. Thanks to her hard work, DIY efforts and flawless eye for detail, they were featured on Style Me Pretty yesterday. As someone who loves a pretty celebration, this was one of my favorite days of last year. Not only did I get to see Ky’s baby sister marry the man of her dreams, but I also got to see my little girl take the most perfect toddler trot down the aisle.

Enjoy! Melissa

Photographs by Alante Photography

Other details can be found on the SMP post