tractors and taters

We made it! The truck has been returned and a mountain of our stuff now occupies half our parents' garage. We spent all week sorting out employment and housing stuff, but we're almost finished with those things as well. We found an amazing apartment and after some great recommendations on our behalf (thank you friends!), we got it! The landlord is repainting so we can't actually move in for another two weeks, but at least there is a timeline there with an incredible new home for us at the end. Incredible as in furnished washer/dryer and central AC kind of incredible...pinch me! 
In the meantime, we've been trying to be helpful squatters. This morning, Strider's mom let me help make and can homemade salsa. My first actually canning experience - totally awesome and definitely taking pictures next time. Then, we headed over to help our grandparents dig up their potatoes. New to me, it was surprisingly fun and quick.
Pappy on the tractor
Strider's Uncle manned the plow...see those yellow "rocks"...potatoes just rolling right out of the dirt!
Once the rows are plowed, hands get dirty very quickly.
The buckets were filling up fast!
No middle man needed. Plus, Strider got to wear his snazzy work boots!
Apparently pretty good haul for just five rows...looks like tons to this first-timer!
Grammy and Strider's mom handled the last of the lima beans while we finished up the 'taters.
Load them onto the truck...
...and drive 'em around to "the cave" where they can be stored in the cool and dark.
After we were done, we sat on the porch and shelled the peas. The hard work was rewarded with ice cream sandwiches and lemonade. Plus a sneak peek at Grammy's freshly canned peaches. Yum! Plus, check out this view -- imagine a blanket and a good book under that tree, huh!
Work starts Monday but it's been a very fun week of adventures, exploring, getting lost, and realizing just how small you feel in a new place. But also how exciting the unknown can be! Looking forward to so much more to come.


goodbye, NC!

For 9,581 days (aka my whole life), I have called North Carolina home.
And although in some ways, it always will be...in less than 24 hours...

40 boxes + 1 truck + 344 miles = a whole new adventure!

In the meantime, I'll indulge in a little NC nostalgia and listen to James:


foodie books galore

Somewhat by happy accident, all the latest books on my nightstand have been food-related. And of course, nothing makes you want to rush into the kitchen and starting cooking up a frenzy more than an inspiring foodie novel. Sadly though, nothing staunches that inspiration like your entire kitchen being packed up in boxes. (Our big Moving Day is T-minus 1 week!!) Instead, my big kitchen challenge last week and this week is to create menus that systematically use up all our current pantry stock while limiting additional purchases. It's going well so far but definitely making things a little more interesting on the planning end. It feels a bit like a depressing reality show...now time for "Eat Your Way Out of Your Home"!! (Terrifying but no doubt soon-to-air on A&E.)

Tangents aside, I've been devouring foodie books left and right and can't wait to organize our new kitchen (wherever that may be) and get back to cooking. In the meantime, I highly recommend these fabulous finds:

Thoughtful and self-reflective, she shares her life journey of loving food and the signature dishes and cooks that shaped her foodie passion. Wonderfully written, a bit sad at times, but enjoyable and inspiring for sure with great recipes to keep and try.

I am ashamed to admit that I'm just now getting around to reading this, but finished it this morning in a state of utter sadness to turn the last page. Julia Child's My Life in France is absolutely stunning, lovely, brilliant, quirky, human, and fun all in good measure...very much like the author herself. I read Julie & Julia a few years ago and wasn't terribly impressed, though I do adore the movie adaption of the two books together. Now that I've finally gotten around to My Life in France, it will be a welcome addition to my permanent collection for future re-reads. All around, just tremendously enjoyable!

Next up on the foodie to-read list is Life is Meals by James & Kay Salter. A random treasure picked up at our local book consignment shop, I am intrigued by their 365-day layout and was hooked from the first few lines. Hopefully, it will prove to be number three in my accidental but wonderful foodie reading saga.

Last proper kitchen adventure pre-living-room-full-of-boxes was Buttermilk Cake with Marscapone Cream and Fresh Berry Compote...not at all a bad way to wrap up our last few days in this kitchen!


hand lettering 101

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of type design. And although I don't have access to software to do so at the moment, I also enjoy dabbling in graphic design. It's easy to see that Photoshop and other advanced software have made creating stunning, unique designs endlessly possible. However, if you want to see some serious skills, look no further than old-school Disney credits. Peter Pan debuted in 1953...definitely no Photoshop back then. Can you believe the talent of those type designers and background artists?!
Though I have almost zero experience doing so, the idea of creating beautiful "type" without any actual typing is quite intriguing. So...I decided to test the waters with a simple journal cover makeover. 

To start, I found the journal I wanted and measured the available design space. Using a pad of graph paper, I blocked off the square where my design needed to fit and roughly sketched the proverb out. I came across this verse a few months back and for a perfectionist like me, it is a great perspective to remind myself of. (Also, pretty appropriate for my first attempt at something new!) On the right, you can see the grid lines I drew on the journal cover to transfer the design over and (hopefully) keep the proportions correct.

Next, I re-drew the verse onto the journal, cleaned it up a bit, and traced over it with Sharpie.

The final step was to embellish the letters a little and add a simple free-hand design on the folding cover flap. It certainly isn't perfect but given the subject matter, I'm very pleased! 

Definitely more time-consuming than some Photoshop projects, but hand-lettered design is going in the "fun crafts to practice" column! Any experience with hand-lettering your own projects? Tips for a noob?


big news!

Today's post was going to feature a tutorial for a typography project I've been working on...but you'll have to wait for that because instead I have something better: REALLY REALLY BIG NEWS!

Life the last two weeks has been absolute madness, but we can finally share our upcoming adventure with you all...

Strider's family is from the great state of Pennsylvania and we are overjoyed to be relocating back to his hometown. Though North Carolina will always be home in my heart, we could not be more thrilled! God has fulfilled a lot of prayer in making this transition possible so we are incredibly thankful to Him and eager to see what He has in store for us in our new home.

It may be a little more difficult for me to post during the next couple weeks, but I promise, I'm not going anywhere and will have tons of fun stuff to share coming up. In the meantime, any pro moving tips to share?

*Prints of the artwork I borrowed can be found here and here.*