0 Summer

Words are failing me right now, and the title of this post is "summer" because--in all honesty--I can think of nothing else. But that's just like summer, isn't it? It shows up right when you need it most, and it settles comfortably into your bones--into your soul perhaps--and you can think of nothing else. Just summer. But I'm pretty sure that's the way it's supposed to be. 

So although there are plenty of crafty, thoughtful, interesting blog posts floating through my brain--mostly when I'm trying to fall asleep--all you're getting from this one is summer. 

A blue hydrangea blossom and red strawberries kind of summer.

A summer of lazy Saturday morning breakfasts cooked by my sweet husband. 

With a breakfast this great, there's no need for lunch.

A summer of watching baseball . . .  (We're mighty proud of those Gamecocks!)

and flying kites.

A summer of walking dogs . . .  

and enjoying sunsets.

A summer of pink things . . . 

like crepe myrtle blossoms . . . 

and green things . . . 

like salads . . . 

and big bottles of Perrier . . . 

enjoyed with a twist of lemon.

A summer of potted plants . . . 

My mom and I potted this guy (and 13 others) for the wedding. More on that later.
He seems to be enjoying life in Charleston.

and of repotting plants (that have grown too big for their britches).

Two new pots from Tuesday morning (on sale!) . . . 
and this guy (our money tree) went from this . . . 

 to this.

And this guy (my Florida orange) went from this . . . 

to this. Because everything needs room to grow.

In all, we're having a simple summer. A sweet summer. A newlywed summer. And we're trying to enjoy every minute of it.

How about y'all? What does summer mean to you?


0 Taco night!

When my little green pepper plant did her thing again this year, first, I was totally surprised because I've done nothing to tend to her and all the weeds that now adorn her, and second, I was thrilled because a homegrown pepper is a very good excuse for taco night! (You may remember my little green pepper plant from this post.)

I'm very proud of those peppers, even though I waited so long to pick one of them that it started turning into a red/yellow pepper.

And Tod, well, he was just excited to open up one of our wedding gifts -- this Lodge cast iron fry pan -- and put it to use.

When you cut up a green pepper that is turning red and yellow, it just makes you feel like you're cutting up more than one pepper at a time. It's like multi-tasking.

By the way, Tod and I are absolutely loving our wedding china. When it came time to register, we decided to pass on the ultra fancy shmancy stuff, partially because we each have sets of our grandparents' fine china just hanging out in storage, and partially because we're just not very fancy shmancy. Instead, we went with Apilco's traditional blue-banded porcelain (as you can see in the above and below pictures). It reminds us of our honeymoon. We like blue. And it's plain enough to go with pretty much anything. Oh, and since this stuff has been used for generations in cafes and brasseries, we're thinking it won't go out of style and look "so 2012" when we're hopefully still using it many, many years from now. (Note: In addition to the blue-banded dishes, we also received some beautiful fish-covered pasta bowls and salad plates as well as four Lion's head soup bowls. We love them all, and that's what you see on the top shelf in the picture below.)

Anyway, back to the tacos. Tod browned the ground beef and strained the fat. After sauteing the diced pepper and onion, we mixed it with the ground beef and spices. Then we set the table with cheese, salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado, and blue corn taco shells.

And this is how taco night is done in our house.


1 The Boys of Summer

Earlier this season, a sweet friend of ours gave us tickets to see the Gamecocks play at Joe Riley Stadium ("the Joe") here in Charleston. 

It was a beautiful evening.

And we were excited.

Because as great as free tickets are, free tickets to watch the Gamecocks play are even better. And yes, you guessed it, free tickets to watch the Gamecocks win are the best. Thanks, Scott.

Although we don't have free tickets to tonight's game in Omaha, we'll be watching. 

So what do you say we win again, boys? 


2 It's Friday!

Let's toast to that!

At a cafe by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
At a piano bar in Paris.
At a pub in Paris.
At a cafe in Interlaken.
At Braunen Mutz in Basel.
Before the FC Basel football (soccer) celebration.
During the FC Basel football celebration. (I fit in more once I put on the t-shirt we bought for Tod's cousin.)
It was quite the celebration.

On the night train from Basel to Amsterdam.
At the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam. Check out those manly arms I've got there.
Learning to inspect a beer's gold bubbles at the Heineken Experience.
At a cafe in Amsterdam.
At a pub in Bruges.

At a cafe in Paris on the last night of our honeymoon.

As you can see, we drank some amazing beer on our honeymoon. Of course, we indulged in at least twice as much food as we did beer; don't worry, I've got the pictures to prove it. (No surprise there!) But I'll leave those pictures for another day and end this post with a toast to a happy weekend! 

And of course, remember to drink responsibly. 


1 Bikes

It's no secret that Tod and I enjoy riding our beach cruisers around town. And although I may not be the most coordinated person in the world (I blame it on my high center of gravity), riding bikes is the perfect way to get around Charleston. 

But you know what? On our honeymoon, we discovered that there are a whole lot of people on this planet who like bikes (and rely on them) a whole lot more than we do. 

They're called Europeans.

Bikes in Basel.
More bikes in Basel.
Tod enjoyed pretending that some of the bikes were his.
Amsterdammers are quite creative with their bikes.
See what I mean?
Bikes and tulips, two of the most common sights in Amsterdam. 
A line of bikes, and then a line to get into the Anne Frank House.
Bikes line most of the canals in Amsterdam. 

Well hello, it looks like Belgians like their bikes too!

On our last afternoon in Amsterdam, Tod and I--or, I guess I should just say I because Tod was ready to ride the whole time--finally mustered up enough courage to rent bikes and take them for a spin. 

Before hitting the main roads, we rode through Amsterdam's largest park, Vondelpark. 

I, as usual, acted like a total ham. It seems I think I'm quite hilarious at times. 

Although it looks like I'm racing the girl beside me in the next picture, look closely and you'll notice that she's actually stopped on the side of the road. I may have been riding fast--frog legs and all--but I was not racing her. No, I was doing that whole Wizard of Oz bike ride scene. (Can't you just hear that "dun-da-nun-da-nuh-nuh" song?)

Tod rode his bike like a normal person.
A total natural! That's my husband!

Once we were sufficiently warmed up, we headed out to the main roads.
It was exhilarating. 
Check out all those bikes in the background.
So exhilarating, in fact, that we decided to take a break at a cafe in our favorite area of Amsterdam, the Nine Streets area, to toast our bravery.

Fully refreshed, we left the cafe and continued riding around the city until our rental time expired.

I'm so, so glad we rented bikes. Thanks, Tod, for talking me into it!

Okay, so if you've got time for one more honeymoon/bike-related story, then I've got one for you. (If you've read this far, then I'm guessing that you've got time, right?)

One day in Basel, Tod and I ate lunch at an outdoor cafe by the Rhine. The view from our table was incredible, as you can see below.(And we ate schnitzel and bratwurst, if you're curious. Basel is mainly German-speaking, after all.)

Anyway, I looked over and saw this bike and fell in love with the adorable polka-dotted seat cover.
I'd never seen such a cute bike seat cover before, and I joked with Tod that if the whole law thing doesn't work out for me, then I'll just start making these things and selling them at the farmers' market. I think they'd be a huge hit. (Okay, maybe not a quit-your-day-job kind of hit, but a hit nonetheless. Can't you see them in college themes?)

Luckily for me, when we were strolling through Amsterdam a few days later, we spotted a bike shop that sold the cute covers. For about ten dollars, I couldn't resist bringing one home. Imagine that.

It's appropriately Dutch-themed, wouldn't you say?
We put her on my bike a few nights ago, and it's definitely one of my new favorite things.

Right on up there with my hula girl bell. 
We discovered a few nights later that the seat is merely water-resistant (it feels like those old-school picnic tablecloths) and not waterproof, but it's still one of my new favorite things.
The craziest thing about this picture is the outfit I'm wearing in June in Charleston. It was chilly!
So there you have it, a blog post all about bikes. Hope you enjoyed it!
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