Live Well: Succulent Centerpiece

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Over the weekend I wholeheartedly jumped on the succulents bandwagon. Which means I'm unoriginal in one of two ways - I'm either blindly following the most recent botanical trends, or I'm caving to my DNA and turning into my dad, who has used his weekends to plant things for as long as I can remember. Judge me either way. I'm still happy with the results.

Almost three years of floral centerpieces on our dining room table have resulted in the table's finish chipping away in a very noticeable way. As a result, I wanted a more permanent centerpiece to place over the chips. And who doesn't want to eat in the presence of potting soil every night?

Yesterday morning we walked down to Sloat Garden Center and picked up a few succulents, as well as bowl to put them in. We then brought then home, spread out some towels on our apartment floor, and got our hands (and our floor) dirty. Here were the results:

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DSC_2313I'm awfully proud of how this turned out. Now here's hoping they can survive the care of my decidedly black thumb!

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While we enjoyed putting together our sweet succulent centerpiece, we derived far more enjoyment from the company of my sister and her fiancé over the long weekend. Big dinners, neighborhood walks, and a wine country tour all resulted in a very good time. We miss them like crazy and hope they come back very soon!

Like I did last week with my youngest siblings' visit, here was our itinerary during the trip:

Friday night: Dinner at Pizzeria Delfina on California/Fillmore

Saturday day: Wine country tour with stops at Ram's Gate, Arista, and Gracianna

Saturday dinner: Chotto

Sunday brunch: Zazie (if you get there around 8:45, you get seated right away!)

Sunday day: a SUPER long and beautiful walk around Crissy Field and the Presidio. We even ended up stumbling upon the San Francisco National Cemetery, which couldn't have been more appropriate for Memorial Day Weekend.

Sunday dinner: Flour + Water (with the pre-open wait made FAR more interesting by the Carnaval parade/street festival that was going on - there were certainly some interesting characters to observe!)

Monday breakfast: Kitchen Story

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Have a wonderful Tuesday. There's a lot to love about having a four-day week!

Live Well: Our Gallery Wall

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Introducing our recently-completed gallery wall!

From start to finish, this project took almost three months. If you include the "idea" phase, it took even longer. Ever since we first moved into our apartment over two and a half years ago, we knew we wanted to do something more with this wall. But it was never a priority, and we didn't have any art or photos in print that we felt particularly attached to.

After having a few conversations with friends back in November/December, I realized that the only way to make something cool happen with this wall was to, you know, actually resolve to do something. So, over the course of one weekend, I ordered a batch of five prints. When they came in, we decided how we wanted them framed, and then brought them to our neighborhood framing shop. And then we picked them up and let them sit on our floor for over a month.

When I finally decided that we should hang these prints, I quickly realized that we didn't have enough art to cover the space. So then we repeated the entire process, this time with three photos and one additional print. And then, finally, we launched the artistic and mathematical endeavor that is putting together a gallery wall.

I'm so, so pleased with the results. For weeks my husband and I would come home, walk into our living room and exclaim "awesome gallery wall!" (true story). This project also made me SO thankful that we only have 700 sq. ft. to work with - any more, and it would take me decades to decorate.

Individual print information below:

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The before picture of the wall. Massive improvement, right?

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Tree print by Carolyn Cochrane on Etsy.

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Birch Forest No. 7 by Lisa Congdon on youshouldbuyart.com.

I really love this print. It reminds me of the Aspen trees we saw every summer vacationing in Greer, Arizona growing up. We have another aspen tree print hanging in our apartment, and I like how the two correspond with one another.

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Owl print by Sharon Montrose on theaniamlprintshop.com.

I hope that one day I can decorate an entire wall of a nursery with Sharon Montrose's beautiful animal prints. For now, I will content myself with this gorgeous owl - a daily reminder of my Rice roots.

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County Line print by Max Wanger.

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Photos of birdhouses on a ledge taken by my oh-so-talented husband at my family's ranch. The lighting here doesn't do the photo justice.

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Wedding photo of us taken by David Jones.

I selfishly hope that this is the type of photo my granddaughters have in their house someday, that they point to and say, "Look at how beautiful my grandmother was. She married the love of her life at 22 and lived happily ever after."

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MP print by Ideal Bookshelf. The three books on the left are three of my all-time favorites. The four on the right I still need to read.

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Another photo taken by my talented husband, this time of a sunset in the Virgin Islands.

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State Love Texas Print by StayGoldMedia on Etsy.

This is currently the weak link on our gallery wall - I'm not sure how I feel about this print. It's a little cutesy, and the background color is not the gray I ordered. I guess I got what I paid for - after all, it was only $9.99. For now, it stays - I do love seeing a reminder of Texas every time I walk into our apartment.

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All I have to report on this side is another fantastic weekend - a bunch of time spent with friends + a really enjoyable Oscars telecast made me a happy girl. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I shed a tear of happiness hearing Matthew McConaughey's name get called - here's hoping that reward reaps many more fantastic movies about the great state of Texas.

Have a wonderful week, y'all.