Garden Adventures & Edible Landscaping

Posted on Aug 24, 2016
Garden Adventures & Edible Landscaping

Our garden is out of control this year!
Each year I try new things in our garden, seeing what we like, what we could do without  and so on. It’s a gamble every year and every year there there are a couple items I think “I will not do that again!” … And then I do it again or something like it. Whatever. You live and you learn …and learn some more.

Lots of compost went into the garden and the results are tomato plants taller than me. We are also growing corn, luffa, butternut squash, roma tomatoes, cucs, kale, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans and a few other things. At last count there were 19 butternut squash growing on ONE VINE! It’s crazy.

I have been fascinated with the idea of edible landscaping and making our yard work for us more and produce more. Our main vegetable garden is in our neighbor’s back yard and over the winter I started thinking about ways that I could better utilize our yard. Enter edible landscaping. Edible landscaping is essentially using spaces that many would commonly use for ornamental plants and flowers for things like edible plants and herbs or mix it into existing flowerscapes. So I had Dylan dig up a bit of our front yard and some of our back yard. We planted things like beans, sunflowers, cabbage, nasturtiums, corn, collards, lettuces, broccoli, chamomile, luffa and a bunch of herbs.

Edible landscape things I learned this year:
Black Beans take over EV ERY THING!
Collards grow significantly larger than you expect
You need mulch, oh man do you need mulch.

So here’s a few photos of the garden.



















Our Candle Making Adventures

Posted on Jan 15, 2016
Our Candle Making Adventures


Well folks, we have been wanting to try our hand at candle making for a while now and it finally happened! We did it!  They are far from perfect but they happened and we are looking forward to doing it again. We love beeswax and have been discovering new uses for it in our life as of late. I have been really wanting beeswax tapered candles for our dining room table but each time we came across some they were on the pricey side so Dylan suggested we just make them. I was mega giddy about this new project.

Now let me start this off by saying this is not an in-depth tutorial but merely a photo journal of how we did it and what did/did not work for us. I found this video by Way Out West very helpful and highly suggest it.

We started off with a basic kit from Micheals. This seemed the best route for us since everything we needed to start was included in this kit. Use one of those 40% coupons in your email or download the app or just go here. The kit came with pretty much everything we needed  and then we also bought a roll of cotton wick and a block of beeswax.

We started off with the paraffin wax to get our feet wet, then later did the beeswax but for the sake of this post you’ll be seeing both intermittently.




We chopped up all the wax. This was a tough job, Dylan took over this task while I heated up the water for the double boiler and prepared the wicks for the tapers.  I set up our clothes drying rack for the taper candles to dry on.  I tied nuts on the end of the wicks for weights.



We made our double boiler with a tall wide mouth mason jar and a pan on the stove. I feel like the beeswax took a little longer to melt than the paraffin wax.

I have learned from decrystallizing my honey to place a washcloth between the jar and the bottom of the pan. Works like a charm and the washcloth comes out just fine.

I used some bamboo chopsticks for stirring and to help move the wax around to melt it down.

As seen in the video link I shared earlier, they used a bucket of water to cool the wax. We also did this.




I ended up with very lumpy candles towards the end. I am uncertain what the cause for this was. It could’ve have been water drops on the wax after cooling it in the water or it could be just air pockets from hurried dippings towards the end.

We poured the rest of the wax after the tapers into found containers  and jars throughout the house and the votive molds that came with the candle kit.

Bobby pins, clothes pins and chopsticks were excellent tools to hold the wicks center.



It was fun watching the candles cool and harden. To speed up some of the process I placed the containers in the fridge. This was quite efficient.


So overall it was fun. I still can’t decide if I like the imperfectness of our lumpy tapered candles but they happened and I will burn them either way. Dylan says they look ‘fun.’  I think he was just trying to be a supportive husband.  All of our container candles turned out great! We have a nice little stock pile of candles set aside now.

The beeswax burns nice and clean and we are looking to see if we can possibly buy it locally next time.  We know we can buy it from our co-op and I believe it is local since the honey we have bought there is local. However, if you’re in the Pittsburgh area and have a great connection to some beeswax, we’re interested.

We have slowly picked up candlesticks holders here and there but one of my more proud holders is a simple pipe fitting adapter that we picked up at Lowe’s randomly. It’s a great size and super cheap.




For a fun match container DIY go here.


Little things | November

Posted on Nov 23, 2015
Little things | November

2015-11-09 16.33.28

We recently got our camera fixed. (Thanks Andy!)  It’s been so nice to have a camera to use again other than my iphone.

Here’s a few little things lately.

2015-11-22 15.40.17

2015-11-22 15.03.42

Morning Dylan

Mornings… am I right?



Match Container DIY

Posted on Feb 17, 2015
Match Container DIY

Matches are great!  We use candles a lot throughout the house and rather than using lighters we use matches.
It was time to buy more matches for our house and I remembered a little idea I read about in a Martha Stewart Living magazine back in October. The idea was to give a small hostess gift of some matches in a pretty container. I really liked the idea so I decided to do a slightly cheaper spin on it.


You will need some neat containers.  Thrift stores and antique malls are great places to grab a few pretty and unique jars.  You could also use a cracked tea cup, a discarded spice jar or a burned out candle container, or you could even make a container Get clever!


Strike on box matches
Wood die cut
Wood glue stick (important to purchase non-flammable)
Paint and brush (optional)
Bakers twine (optional)


1. Remove stickers from thrifted jars and wash thoroughly.  Make sure container is clean and dry before placing matches inside.

2.  Paint wood die cuts. This is an optional step and is not a necessary part of the process but I liked the idea of adding a little color. Die cuts were chosen by shape according to the containers they were to be matched up to, I even tried a little bow tie die cut. I used a teal wood stain and a acrylic pale gray.  Die cuts and paints can be purchased at any craft store.


3. Cut the strike pads off the match boxes. Make sure the strike pads are cut to size for the die cuts.

4. Fill dry containers with matches. I filled a couple haphazard and others I lined up for an organized look.

strike pads

5.  Once the paint is completely dry, paste the strike pads to the die cuts and place under a weighted object for about five minutes. This allows for the strike pad to dry flat and not curl.


6. Place strike boards with their corresponding containers.  Keep container in a cool, dry place where it is easily accessible and ready to use for your candles and other pyro activities.


Attach a tag shaped die cut with bakers twine, write a note on the opposing side and give as a gift. Everybody can use matches, right!


My husband made a sweet little clay vase for me and I really thought it was perfect for the matches and this way we could use it more. We placed it on the kitchen table to be used for candlelight meals. It is by far my favorite match container.

matchboxes 2

You can also use strike anywhere matches and fine grit sandpaper, however that route tends to be a little more expensive and the box matches are only $.97 cents.

If you have a really fun container that you do this project with or even an alternative container, I would love to see it! Just leave a comment or @ me on instragram.

Have Fun!


DIY Wedding Flower Crowns – Bride and Flower Girl.

Posted on Jan 16, 2014
DIY Wedding Flower Crowns – Bride and Flower Girl.
I took a little break from sharing wedding photos and I figured I would keep sharing them.
I really like the look of floral crowns and had wanted to try my hand at one for awhile. I made a practice one here. It wasn’t perfect but I was happy I made it and it was a fun learning experience.
if I had to change one tip to give about my crown on the wedding day it was that I used too big of roses and should’ve just kept to smaller ranunculus because I have a smaller head. There are loads of tutorials out there for how to make a crown but when it came do to it I just had to make it up as I went trouble shoot problems later. The moms actually saved the day at the last minute and helped put the finishing touches on the crowns. We used wild long stems of vining plants to finish out he crown.

To read about my handmade wedding dress go here.
I made one for our sweet flower girl. I actually liked hers more. Simple with three ranunculus. 

If you have any questions fire away, I would be more than happy to help in any way I can!
All photos by the talented Sugar and Spice Wedding photography.


Posted on Jan 8, 2014

I am blessed with an amazing, hilarious and irreverent group of friends. We eat and play games together at least once a week. Last year we went to this cabin down on the Yough river for New Years weekend and we returned for a second year. Friendcation! It has snowed a decent amount both years making everything look like a freakin Currier and Ives post card. Our 4 days together are spent mostly in pajama pants, reading books, playing games, telling stories and eating amazing food. Love this bunch!

A Little Holiday Travels

Posted on Jan 7, 2014
A Little Holiday Travels
We went back to Missouri for Christmas. It was our first married Christmas and actually our first actual Christmas together. Dylan got to observe and be a part of all the little traditions and my funny family times. It was a fun and happy trip!

So proud to be from such an awesome community. I am Joplin. Check out the time lapse video here, and check out and be inspired by the awesome Art Feeds movement. Love those friends!

Hit up a few of my old favorite thrift stores. Snagged a couple treasures and passed on some crazy awesome denim overalls. I think all denim should be that wash or maybe just more.

Its official, Scout likes being with Emma and snugging with her more than me.  Not gonna lie, my feelings are a little hurt but this is also what I wanted, for them to be best buds, so I guess I can’t be too upset. She did sneak up and sleep on my chest a time or two so that was kind of redeeming.
Traveling with a a dog and a cat actually wasn’t that bad. Emma is a champ at road trips and loves them. This will most likely be Scout’s only road trip, but she did great.
A handsome husband, a beautiful pup, a rascal kitten, good health, a roof over our heads and food to eat. I would say I am pretty blessed. 2013 was good to me. So happy for 2014 adventures and challenges. 

Our DIY Boutonnieres

Posted on Dec 10, 2013
Our DIY Boutonnieres
Flowers are expensive and to have boutonnieres made on top of all the other flowers seemed a little excessive. I wanted the parents bouts and corsages to be extra special. This little idea was one of my first ideas for the wedding that I wanted to DIY.  Unfortunately it was overshadowed by everything else that needed to be done. 
I had the frame, with a padding in it for display, and the mothers bouts done and that was about it before I left for the weekend of the wedding. Our sweet bridesmaids/groomswomen all chipped in and helped me whip the rest up last minute. It was a fun little bonding time and really relieved a lot of stress off of me. They are so sweet!

These were very easy to to make. 
1. Buy large safety pins and felt of your color choices.
2. Cut a rectangular piece of felt to width to slip through the pin lengthwise. Then cut a triangle out of the bottom to make the banner like shape.
3. Cut a smaller rectangular shape of contrasting color to be framed in the front of the bout. 
4. Stitch together both pieces. front and back.
5. Stitch a symbol or feather on and pin it on a handsome fella or a beautiful momma!

All photos are by Sugar and Spice Photography.
– Zon

Why We Chose to Keep Our Wedding Simple and Handmade

Posted on Dec 4, 2013
Why We Chose to Keep Our Wedding Simple and Handmade
Let me preface this by saying that this is our personal opinion and we in no way look down upon those who view this matter differently than we do, be it in simpler ways or more extravagant. This is just us, what makes sense to us and our lifestyle.
After we were engaged we prefaced all our decisions with questions like “how much is that going to cost” or “do we really need that?” Something about being a young, engaged American, that society still attempts to dictate how we do our weddings today and while I believe there is some validity to some traditions I believe that some of those are just there for the sake of tradition and when challenged it is met with “because that’s what you do” or “that’s just how it goes.” I personally responded to Dylan on more than one occasion with those exact responses, mainly due to the fact that I didn’t know why that happened and/or It was a simple tradition that I didn’t feel the need to be neglected or challenged at this point. There was etiquette and traditions that I also thought were silly and we would discuss them together or he would just leave me to make the decision on whether or not I felt like it was necessary. 
In the end it came down to our lifestyle and what we were comfortable doing. Our parents were a huge help with the financial end of things as well as emotional support, ideas, crafts and legwork. So one of the most important things to us was to be financially responsible with the gifts given to us without sacrificing our own personal lifestyles.  
A large majority of our personal belongings were given to us, thrifted or picked up curbside on trash day, so we tend to lean on the frugal/sustainable side of things. We were warned by several friends to not get swept up in all the things that everyone else wanted us to do and to “just do us”. We took that advice to heart. It meant more work and not hiring a planner. It meant spending just a little bit more to have compostable plates and cutlery. It meant that we had a couple work days and craft parties to get things done for the amount of people we wanted to accommodate. To keep it sentimental and meaningful it meant that we wanted family to be involved, in location, wedding party, and all the extra bits. And it meant having TWO receptions because we are so blessed by so many important people in our lives and wanted them to know their importance to us and having an open invite. A little extra work but so worth it.
The highest compliments that people expressed is that it all seemed very much like us and that we placed such a high importance on family and friends.
I kept thinking something needed to go wrong because everything was going so well. Everything was perfect and we couldn’t have been more happy!

Wedding Couple Photos Part 1

Posted on Nov 27, 2013
Wedding Couple Photos Part 1
Sarah and Rachel did such a good job taking our wedding photos, I love them!
I also love the smirk on this guy. 


^^ and this look… That guy.^^