Friday, March 30, 2012

Live the Life You've Imagined, Part 34

Josh and I spent the last week enjoying sunshine (with lots of sunscreen) and theme parks in Orlando with family.

1. We spent one day in the Magic Kingdom. The park was open until 1:00 AM and we enjoyed every minute of it. It was amusing riding Space Mountain at midnight.

2. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This section of Universal’s Island of Adventure captured the tiniest details of the Harry Potter series. If it wasn’t for the herd of tourists, I would have been convinced that I was walking through Diagon Alley.

3. The weather was fantastic the entire time we were in Florida. Sunny, no rain, warm, but not too hot. We enjoyed one day poolside. Just a book, a cocktail and some palm trees made me a happy girl.

4. The Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a very entertaining ride. The family could count on me to have the lowest score on the shooting rides, luckily if aliens attack, I am married to Josh the sharp shooter.

5. Hollywood Studios.

6. Benihana for dinner.

7. My first trip to Universal Studios! The lines were so short we walked right up to the rides on several occasions. 

8. Last night we returned home. More and more of my flowers are popping up. It makes me sad to think about leaving them all behind. We had six showings while we were gone. Hopefully we get an offer on our house soon.

9. I was the official hair Houdini on the trip. I was responsible for creating fun hairdos. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post by Lovely Light

Hi there, I’m Lovely Light (I like being incognito) and I’m here
to talk about some of the benefits of living in another country. This is my first
guest post, and I’m really excited for Lynette to have me here. 
Let me
introduce myself: I live in Cape Town, South Africa, I’m 30, but I don’t look
it, have a wonderful husband who exasperates me often, and two adorable, well-behaved doggies who’ve
traveled far to be with us. We are living in the “Mother City” for as long as
we can take it, or for how long it will have us. I’ve put together some
thoughts, serious and lighthearted, about the benefits of from living in
another culture.

You don’t know anyone and can
dress and do things without caring!

You can enjoy a new culture and gain
a deeper understanding of life in another place.

You learn about yourself. A lot.

You will learn about your partner.
A lot.

You can get away from a life that you
were getting frustrated with.

And get some perspective.

You can re-invent yourself if you

Where to go?

You could take belly dance


You can develop new skills that
will make you crafty.

You could learn another language.

You could develop your
communication skills. Long-distance relationships with family and friends are

You will value the friends you
make even more- and be less picky!

You can buy new things to decorate
you house and have cool stories about them.

You may live like a “king” or live
paycheck to paycheck.

You will become a better
photographer because you want to share and remember your experience.

Frequent flyer miles will be your
new best friend.

You will let certain things go-
like attachment to objects, or old habits that don’t make sense in your new
country and prioritize what you value most.

You will develop a greater sense
of what a privilege it is to be an American.

How American is this? Me at Disneyland.

The list could go on and on. But it’s not all roses- there
are struggles that you will encounter every day. There are days you’ll want to
use your credit card to buy plane tickets and never look back. But some of the “perks”
listed above are priceless and will change you forever.

I’ll be writing more in the future about how to decide if
you want to move to another country, so check my blog out if you're interested.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Live the Life You've Imagined, Part 32 & 33

These photos provide a quick peek into my life from the past fourteen days. This week I took a ton of photos of the flowers growing in our yard. I love this time of year in Indiana. I am continuing to work on living my imagined life and appreciating all of the small things. If you would like to follow my photos, my username on Instagram is mrsmoon.  

1. Josh and I mulched the whole yard last weekend.

2. Maribeth’s fantastic baby shower d├ęcor for Baby D. 

3. Perks of being a flower shop worker, I get to take home “old flowers.” I like the     roses better when they are really open.

4. Our magnolia tree bloomed early this year.

6. I made thin mint truffles. The recipe is from Six Sisters Stuff

7. My Aunt Lorraine found me some colorful vintage shot glasses.

8. Daffodils are my favorite. These minis are always the first to bloom in our yard.

9. More baby shower swag. Maribeth is so talented and I can’t wait to meet Baby D!

10. Variegated sedum. Another present from Aunt Lorraine from a couple of years ago.

1. Rachael and Baby Huck came over so Grandma Kregel could meet her first great grandbaby!

2. Sunrise yesterday morning.

3. The Floridian welcoming committee just sent us this photo of our room. All my bags are packed I’m ready to go.

4. I have never been good at washing windows until I read Chaotically Creative's blog post. Last night I sprinted through washing every window in our house and they look fantastic.

5. Hyacinths smell so good!

6. I went to Goodwill and splurged on a new summer wardrobe.

7. I planted pansies on the first day of spring.

8. I can never resist taking a photo of the windmills when traveling on I65.

9. And just one more photo of Huck, because he’s a dandy : )

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Dessert Stand

Bailey at Let Birds Fly allowed me to write a guest post for her blog. Head over her way to check out my short tutorial on how to make your own memo cake stand.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

House for Sale

My blog posts have been minimal for the last couple of weeks due to a variety of reasons. At the beginning of the month I was on a trip with my mom. While on vacation I received a text message from my husband suggesting that we sell our house. I jumped right on that bandwagon. I have been panged with anxiety just thinking about being a full time graduate student and having an hour commute.  

Once I was back in Indiana, I became a cleaning/organizing machine. In two short weeks we got our house ready to sell. As of today it is officially on the market! Send us some prayers and positive thoughts that our house sells quickly. Unfortunately, I am going to continue being a blogging slacker. At the end of the week I will be on another trip.

I like our house and yard very much and I am going to be sad to leave it behind. I asked Josh if we could take it with us, but to my dismay, buying a new house is going to be easier.

Back yard, complete with apple and cherry trees.

 Living Room. 

 Family Room.


A small glimpse of the master bedroom.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Huck

I am not a professional photographer, but I love to take photos and I continue to learn more about the bells and whistles on my fancy camera. My cousin Rachael and her husband Eric just started a new generation in our family. (Grandma Kregel had to wait 89 years to become a great grandma! Thank you Rachael and Eric for getting her off of my case) I had the privilege of meeting little Huck last week and taking some photos of him when he was just six days old. 

Which photo is your favorite?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Live the Life You've Imagined, Part 31

These photos provide a quick peek into my life from the past seven days. This week I seemed to have focused on food and flowers. I am continuing to work on living my imagined life and appreciating all of the small things. If you would like to follow my photos, my username on Instagram is mrsmoon. 

1. Pioneer Woman’s beef stew with beer and paprika received high praise in our house.

2. Despite the hungry rabbits, my crocuses started blooming.

3. Community Yoga collects canned good for FoodFinders. Jeannett at Life Rearranged provided me with a friendly reminder to donate.

4. Last night Josh and I went for a walk to enjoy the warm weather and extended sunshine from daylight savings. It was light out until 8pm! I noticed that our magnolia tree is budding.

5. Mom and I visited Ikea. Although I didn’t buy much, this Swedish wonderland still made me curiously happy. I had the small breakfast, which cost a whopping dollar, and still could not finish all of my food.

6. I read Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants for book club. The book is funny and I now have a deeper appreciation for SNL.

7. I have been trying to get more creative with my flower arrangements at work.

8. Cheap, cheap, cheap strawberries at Meijer this week resulted in several smoothies that tasted like summer.

9. My boss bought me an Irish Shamrock for St. Patty’s day! 

linked: liferearranged, agoodlifeblog, letbirdzfly

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Biltmore Estate and Charleston, SC

Last week my mom and I returned from our third mother-daughter vacation. I planned the trip and she had no idea where we were going.

Our first stop was the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. 

The house and surrounding gardens are extraordinary. The estate was our favorite attraction of the week. Each night of the trip we watched an episode of Downton Abbey. The show is fantastic and made estate living come to life. I am pretty sure I could handle being an heiress. 

The attention to detail inside and out of the house impressed us. (We were not able to take photos inside, but I purchased a few postcards to commemorate the experience.) Every stone carving around each window and pillar was uniquely sculpted.  

After touring the house we explored the grounds. The gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of New York's Central Park. We enjoyed the fresh air and catching a glimpse of spring. 

I loved these giant canopied vines almost as much as that view. I can only imagine how beautiful this terrace will look when the wisteria is blooming.

My dream house will have a glass conservatory where I can drink my morning coffee and read a book. (It doesn't have to be quite this big!) I look forward to returning to the Biltmore someday when the gardens are in full bloom. 

Our next leg of the journey brought us to Charleston, South Carolina. This is the first place I have visited in the United States that has such old history and character that I was reminded of my trips to Europe. Every nook and cranny is filled with another charming architectural element or garden. The addition of palmettos and the warm ocean breeze made me appreciate this city even more.

Michael Trouche toured us around Charleston and taught us about Charlestonian’s history and culture. One of the stops on our tour was St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which was built in the 1750’s. The cemetery of the church contains the remains of two signers of the U.S. Constitution.

On Friday we visited Drayton Hall, a plantation house built in 1742.

Unlike many historic homes, Drayton has been preserved “as is.” The fact that the main room has only been painted four times over the course of 270 years intrigued me. Surely they would get sick of the same color over the course of sixty seven years?!?! 

After touring the home, we listened to a talk about the slave trade, life at Drayton as a slave, and emancipation. The discussion was very informative and I found that I need to brush up on my U.S. history.   

After leaving Charleston, we drove to Atlanta to see my good friend Katie. Mom and I had a nice time visiting with Katie, her parents, and boyfriend. They took us downtown and we ate some tasty jambalaya. Unfortunately this lousy iPhone photo is the only picture I snapped to document our visit. 

Up until this point, the vacation fun and weather had exceeded our expectations. Mom says I saved the best for last… On the last night of our trip we stayed in the Wigwam Village in Cave City, Kentucky. It is a piece of roadside Americana that I felt we could not pass up. The wigwams were built in 1937 and are in need of an update. Mom could not stop laughing for a good hour after we arrived. Unfortunately the heat was not working in our small tepee. Yes, I could have complained and asked to switch “rooms,” but I was feeling non-confrontational. In retrospect, with the right mindset and working heat, staying in an old wigwam can be an interesting part of a vacation. On Monday morning we crossed back into Indiana and were greeted by snow! Overall it was a fantastic trip and I hope we can go on more adventures in the future.