A Cup of Morning Coffee

Maggie likes to sit right next to me when I am working. She matches my “Strega Nona” mug perfectly. Lol.

My office is one of my happy places these days. It is so full of life in here, my lizards, my butterflies, the plants. The scent of dill and fennel from the caterpillar tanks remind me of being in my garden, and combined with the green wallpaper, the desk, the carpet, it just feels so peaceful in here.

I’ve thought a lot about my “happy places” this week. It’s been a rough week honestly, with lots of ups and downs, emotional moments, and frankly just all topsy-turvy. I’ve had to actively seek out those places and things that can ease my soul this week, fitting them in where I could. Time spent in here definitely is one of those places.

Another is outside in the butterfly garden. I love just being near all that beauty, observing the insects that are buzzing around, going about their own little lives in this place that I have created for them. And if I have a glass of wine with me in the evening, even better. I can’t wait to expand the garden next year honestly. We start small with our projects, and add on every year, and the garden is no different, a work in progress.

But I guess I am not all nature all the time. And especially this week, when our house has been so hot and humid. Our air conditioner is being fixed tomorrow thank goodness, but we have been either huddled in our bedroom with the portable unit, or sweating in the rest of the house. I needed an escape this week, and for me that is either the library (more on the library Wednesday..) or… Target.

I needed to be away. Out. Alone. Anonymous even. Not mom, not Erin. Just some lady walking around Target throwing various items into her cart, wandering the aisles looking at stuff. Plus, it is air conditioned. I also needed to be not hot.

Later this morning, we are visiting another of my happy places, one we haven’t been to for over a year. In fact, it was the last place we had been before lockdown March 2020. The nature center at our favorite metropark. We had celebrated Wyatt’s birthday, then boom, lockdown. During that time they were closed, they did a whole renovation to the interior, so today when we go, it is going to different looking, but still the same place. With the same people who work there who have become friends over the last twenty years, which is how long we have been going there. I am excited to visit and see the changes, and catch up with our friends, to watch the birds out the big windows, to explore the new displays. We are heading there soon, as soon as I finish up this coffee and we all get dressed. I can’t wait!

How about you? Where do you escape to? What are your happy places?

Simple Joys

Last weekend we didn’t do anything in particular at all. We had a list of things to do, and for the most part, we did them all. (including picking up an Iced Green Tea from Starbucks for me, I am addicted maybe) I always think of even our smallest outings as adventures though, because you never know when something will happen to make you smile.

Like a chance meeting at the garden center. I mentioned the other day that we ran into my SIL, her mom, and my niece at our favorite garden center randomly on Saturday, and it turned into a fun time for the kids. I had the kids piled in my cart, and I let them pick stuff out, whatever they thought was pretty, I added. I usually don’t have much of a plan for the garden anyway, I just choose what I think is pretty and find a place. This time I just let them do the picking.

Everything is still so little! I can’t wait for it all to grow and fill in and get wild. We have black-eyed susans, brown-eyed susans, forget-me-nots, bronze fennel, nettle, verbena, a butterfly bush, some strawberries and lambs ear, milkweed, rue, lovage, bee balm, and dill. Also some lantana, butterfly weed, sage, oregano, lemon balm, and dianthus. And some weeds. Phew. And that is just the wild and free pollinator garden. In front we have lavender (which looks so so pretty!) brunnera, raspberry bushes, butterfly weed, and yarrow. I love watching it all grow and take shape, and all the little creatures that come to visit.

Later that day, we had a friend offer up as many bricks as we wanted to take. He had removed a brick patio and had them free for the taking. So Billy took a ride out and loaded up the back up his Subaru, which was riding pretty low on the way home, he said. He is using them to build a firepit – I want him to make it so we can use it to grill too if we want. Half of the bricks were used here – the rest are going to be made into paths through some of our little gardens. (you can see our eggplant, kale, and tomatoes in the back)

The next morning my SIL called- an antique store near us is sadly going out of business so they were having a sale, and she asked if I wanted to meet her up there. Well, of course I did! And I found some small treasures too. A set of 4 nesting containers with snails on them I am going to use for art supplies, a wind up musical gnome thing, and these gazelle glasses. I love all of them, but the gnomes are my favorite. I actually went back later to grab the rest of the glasses too, I had left three behind but I didn’t have enough cash for all of it earlier.

Then we just kind of played about. Billy made some shelves and hung them in the office ( LOVE them!), I took some notecards I had bought from Alex Boon Art (I posted about them before, in my For the Love of Rabbits post) and framed them in an old frame I had, and then we had kitchen pantry nicoise salad for dinner. Hanging the art is the very last thing we need to do to finish the office – besides filling those shelves! I will do an office update when it is all finished.

So the weekend wasn’t full of big adventures, but we had a lot of very simple joys.

Etsy Artists – For the Love of Rabbits

Spring is here! That might be a bit optimistic of me to say, as we had snow all day yesterday, just flurries, but it is bone cold. However, it is spring. I am going to keep saying it until it is real. And if you have hung around here long enough, you might remember that I reread Watership Down every spring. And that I love rabbits. And that I would love to add a rabbit to our family but I don’t because cats. So I enjoy the rabbits I see outside (I still get so excited every time I spot one!), and also, add them into our house in different ways…mainly through art and books and jewelry.. and I love the work that these Etsy artists have created!

(Contains Etsy Affiliate Links)

Rabbit Art Print by artist FainaLorah – I am having a having a hard time deciding on which print to get for the office! I have found so many I love, including this one. I just recently purchased a fox print from this same artist, and it is absolutely gorgeous. I am in love with this one as well – her work is just so rich in color and whimsical, that it makes me happy to just look at her pieces.

Watership Down by RivuletPaperCompany – But then, this one is pretty amazing too. And Watership Down is my favorite book of all time. I am thinking maybe both? This one is smaller and would work on my bookshelves..and I am pretty sure I just solved my problem!

Rabbit Lover Watercolor by Alanna Cahill – I love the simplicity of this painting, and the story behind it is beautiful as well, about how animals help people to heal. This one shows life returning to the woman as she holds the rabbit, and is intended to convey comfort and healing and love.

Six Rabbit Notecards from Alex Boon Art: From his Lapine Botanica series. These are gorgeous! They are notecards but would look beautiful all framed together, either as three or five. And then save a few to use, if you can part with them. (also available from this store are downloadable coloring pages from the same series, which I thought was cool)

Bunny Earrings from SeedandSky– I don’t normally wear a lot of jewelry but these earrings are just so pretty! I love how springtime and little and delicate they are.

Fern and Rabbit Terrarium Necklace by Ragana Handcraft – I love this unique piece that combines both rabbits and plants – two things I adore! Wyatt actually really likes this one too- he is sitting next to me today as I type and he commented oo mama when this was up on the screen. I have to agree Wyatt. It is very ooo!

Listen to the Moon pendant from Silver Wishes – I actually have this piece, Wyatt and Billy gave it to me last Mother’s Day and I am completely in love with it. I haven’t taken it off since I opened it up. Billy had it engraved to say “My son needs me” on the back – he said the rabbit’s alert posture made him think of me. I wanted to include it since I love it so much.

Teeny Tiny Bunny Knitting Pattern from Dot Pebbles Knits- What is this cuteness! It makes me wish I could knit but I lack the concentration, patience, and coordination. This is just so adorable!

Geometric Rabbit Etched Glass by Ausome Printing – Maybe I should start a collection of animal etched glasses, since we bought otter glasses for Valentine’s Day. If so, these are next on the list!

Hare Notepad by JoJo Stockdale – This is a definite for sure on my wish list. I think I need it to take on our spring and summer picnics!

Hare Cup by JadeFlower – I think these are so adorable! I might have to get one for the kiddo. He would love it; he says he loves rabbits too. But then the fox and owl are so cute too…

And wow that list got long fast! I didn’t include everything on my rabbits and foxes Etsy Favorites list, but if you are interested you can check that out here.

Do any of you have favorite animals? Or something you collect? I would love to hear!