Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer is perfect♥

Just a few quick photos to give you a taste of what we've been up to lately. Our weeks have been extremely busy with grand things happening nearly everyday but it's been lovely. Although I do enjoy those leisurely days at home reading and painting outside, which thankfully happen a few times a week, just to my liking. 
Fourth of July weekend is mere days away and what an exciting thought it is. Every year for as long as we can remember we spend the whole blissful weekend at our grandma's lake house with family and friends. It's always a lovely thing to look forward to and becomes a highlight of the year. Last year's was absolutely perfect with fantastic memories cherished from it, so we have high trust that this year's will be just as grand. ♥
What are you all doing over this grand holiday weekend?
Happy 4th of July to you all! We hope it is lovely for each of you with sunny days of swimming, sun bathing, dipping ones toes into the water, and late night bon-fires with s'mores.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer tastes heavenly

Erika had her first official day of Summer holiday last week on Wednesday. So, my mum and I (Rachel) went and picked her up and drove home with the windows down, listening to Vampire Weekend...perfect for Summer♥
We got home and were fairly giddy with Summer excitement and skipped around my beautiful green property and peaceful woods with the wind blowing our hair all about. 

We had three whole glorious days together and each one was relished. Late Wednesday evening we schemed the plan of preparing supper on Thursday. So, as the sun was setting orange on the horizon, we sat chatting happily and flipping through Barefoot Contessa and Martha Stewart cookbooks.
On Thursday my mum took us grocery shopping, which is a task Erika and I adore. There is something so pleasurable going from section to section picking the best produce and poultry.
The grand and exciting supper was quite a success on Thursday night-and very delicious, if if I do say so myself. With some help from my mum we prepared grilled asparagus with lemon butter, grilled chicken with white wine+fresh lemon juice+fresh parsley, and a heavenly salad with romaine lettuce+sliced pears+lemon and olive oil dressing+fresh Parmesan. We set the table with my great grandma's old blue and white transferware and lit candles among troves of shells from seaside holiday's past. That night at home was just my sister, mum and dad so we gathered round the table on the screened porch and enjoyed a lovely time. The birds sang beautifully and strains of The Rat Pack filled the air.
After doing up the dishes with Frank Sinatra serenading us from the living room, Erika, my sister, and I set off to the local outdoor ice cream shop that offers the most heavenly ice cream I've ever had and a strong sense of nostalgia. We had such a grand time talking and laughing and enjoying our ice cream-
I got Chocomania (a glorious chocolatey wonder as dark as cocoa beans), Mackinac Island Fudge, and Cake Batter (so delicious and sweet and creamy). And Erika got blackberry, Chocomania, and butter pecan.
Later that night we watched Marie Antoinette for the first ever time, and may I just say
it was utterly beautiful♥ 
The nights were spent up until 1 or 2 in the morning, or even later, enjoying the leisure of Summer and sitting on the breezy screened porch with the warm glow of the night lights and the stars shining beautifully.
Summer truly is wonderful! To Erika and I Summer is about as close as you can get to tasting heaven. The sunshine, the late nights, the days of freedom waiting for you, our grandma's beautiful lake to visit on spur-of-the-moment notions, random middle-of-the-week sleepovers, the ability to be able to enjoy the day outdoors until sundown, which, quite pleasantly isn't until 9:30, and how everything and all the times spent with everyone are somehow so much more happier and carefree♥
And, to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, 
"I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the Summer."
And also, on Wednesday night, to perfectly welcome Summer's arrival we watched Pride&Prejudice. Oh, how perfect this movie is. The sunshine, the shining happiness, the scenery, the beautiful characters (the whole time while we were watching it Erika and I kept commenting on how much we love Keira Knightley in this role...and everyone else, for that matter!), the breathtaking score, and just the general splendor. 
Everything about it is perfect. 
Cheers to Summer, my darlings! How have your days been? Beautiful, I sincerely hope♥

{written by Rachel}

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

29 days. 29 days. 29 days. 29 days.

29 days. 29 days. 29 days. 29 DAYS! AH! That's not even right! Our excitement is unsurpassable and we get chills just thinking about sitting in that theater at midnight when the WB comes on the screen...and it starts. It is, of course a very sad time too because after this it's all over and we're not even sure what to think about that. But, of course, it never will be over because we will continue to adore this series forever and ever♥
And, although we are very sad to see it end we know the film will be perfect...and riveting...and extremely emotional, and, beyond all else, utterly beautiful. It will be a wonderful ending.
"But, you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light."
"Well, how was it?"
"Wet. I mean, she was sort of crying."
"That bad at it are you?"
"I'm sure Harry's kissing is more than satisfactory. Cho spends half her time crying these days."
"You'd think a bit of snogging would cheer her up."
"Don't you understand how she must be feeling? Well, obviously she's feeling sad about Cedric, and therefore confused about liking Harry, and guilty about kissing him. Conflicted because Umbridge is threatening to sack her mum from her job at the Ministry, and frightened because about failing her O.W.L.'s because she's so busy worrying about everything else."
"One person couldn't feel all that...they'd explode."
"Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon."
"Before my eyes it started to sink, and just before it hit the bottom it turned into a wee fish. It was beautiful magic, wondrous to behold. The flower petal was from a lily. The day Francis disappeared was the day your mother..."
"Ron, out of the kitchen! We're all hungry!"
"Yeah, out of the kitchen, Ron!"
"Fred, George, feet of the table!"
"Feet off the table!"
"This is mental."
"Completely mental."
"The world's mental. Come on, we've got a horcrux to find."
"Merlin's beard, Harry!"
"Oh, sorry, sir, I should've announced myself. Cleared my throat. Coughed. You probably feared I was Professor Sprout!"
"Well, yes. What made you think that?"
"Oh, well, the general behavior, sir. The sneaking around, the jumping when you saw me. Are those tentacular leaves, sir? They're very valuable aren't they?"
"Ten galleons a leaf, to the right buyer! Not that I'm familiar with any such back alley transactions but one does hear rumors. My own interests are purely academic, of course..."
"Personally these plants used to always kind of freak me"
"Least I warned you about the dragons."
"Hagrid warned me about the dragons."
"No, no, no! Don't you remember I told Hermione that Seamus told him that Dean was told by Parvati that Hagrid was looking for you. But...Seamus never really told me anything so it was really me all along. Thought you' alright...once you figured that out."
"Who could possibly figure that out? It's completely mental."
" is isn't it? I suppose I was a bit distraught."
"I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr. Potter. It so happens that the phoenix whose tailfeather resides in your wand another feather...just one other. It is curious that you should be destined for this wand when its brother....gave you that scar." 
"What's that he's drinking, do you suppose?"
"I dunno, but I don't think it's Pumpkin Juice."
"And here we all are, four years later!"
"We're all still a bunch of misfits." 
"Yeah, I suppose. But least we have each other. And Harry of course. Soon to be the youngest Triwizard Champion that's ever been! Hooray!"
"My wand! Look at my wand!"
"Be thankful it's not your neck."
"This is mad! At this rate we'll be the only ones in our year without dates. and Neville."
"Yeah, but then again he could take himself."

"I've been thinking about something Dumbledore said to me. That even though we've got a fight ahead of us, we've got something that Voldemort doesn't have. Something worth fighting for."
 It all ends in 29 days. It will be incredible.
Harry Potter, and all those wonderful people affiliated with it, never ceases to make us fairly beam and be a topic that never gets old. The quotes never cease to be hilarious and brilliant. It never ceases to give us chills at certain points and make the tears sting our eyes. Never ceases to be fresh and new, when reading or watching them, and completely perfect and what we love best of all♥
There's just something about Harry Potter. Something indescribable that just pulls our heartstrings and makes us all warm and happy at any time. Watching the films or reading the books cheers us up when we are down, makes us feel better when we're ill, or enhances a regular blissful day. 

It all ends in 29 DAYS! 
Cheers, darlings!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A tiny little peek♥

Together we had a delightfully magically wonderful few days together filled with painting in the sunshine, walks and swinging outdoors, visiting a nearby shining lake, preparing a delicious meal for the family with help from Martha Stewart's books, and staying up till all hours of the night chatting on the screened porch in the moonlight with Rachel's mum or watching Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley-the most perfect and beautiful film ever.

More to share with you later but for now, here are just a few little pictures for a sneak peek. The rest will be coming later this week! 

Happy Monday, loves! Tell us how your weekend was and how Summer has been treating you?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Utter bliss♥

The first of June has come and gone. What a completely magical little thought that June has arrived. June officially, in my eyes, starts Summer. 
The landscapes are lush and full of beautiful green, the sunshine drenches warmth, the skies are as blue as a robin's egg, and the wind tousles my windblown hair.
Summer is utter bliss♥

Next Wednesday is Erika's first official day of Summer holiday and mine was last week. It has been simply heavenly. The freedom that Summer brings is perfect.
We are planning a grand two night sleepover from Wednesday to Friday filled with lots of wonderful picture taking, merry picnics in the bright sunshine, perhaps a little watercolouring, evenings on the porches chatting, stargazing late at night, and watching Pride and Prejudice which just happens to be one of our favourite movies-how perfect it is!
And a grand surprise for all of you:
Come July we may be having a grand holiday in
San Diego to be precise. We get chills just thinking about it. The thought of  landing in L.A., riding with the windows down through the grand boulevards in Hollywood, whole days spent on the magnificent beach, and the tall palm trees everywhere just makes us fairly giddy. But, it might not happen, but one can hope! 
The days are long and I enjoy my freedom in blissful joy. In the morning I leisurely water the vegetable garden and flowers my mum so beautifully planted, I watercolour in the bright afternoon sunshine attempting to capture my beautiful surroundings, I take lovely walks in my breathtakingly beautiful woods, I read of Hogwarts, Mitford, Paris, and Martha Stewart and Ina Garten's elegant entertaining until the sun sinks low over the horizon.
My mum has transformed our screened porch into a beautiful haven, as always, tucked between the green yard and lush woods. Last night we talked out there until half past ten in the evening of all things lovely, and it was perfectly wonderful! Summer has definitely arrived and I am ecstatic♥
Memorial Day was divine. We spent it at our Grandma's wonderfully beautiful, bright and airy, cosy and warm lake house with siding the colour of the water on a sunny day and bright white gingerbread trimming the many porches. Sunday night we sat in Grandma's cosy bedroom perusing the pages of a California atlas and reading the Hollywood issue of J. Crew. We later made popcorn and put it in the old bowls we used when we made popcorn even as kids before we watched old Disney movies. With the smell of it in the air, Erika and I watched the Devil Wears Prada in her warm, welcoming, and comfy living room and stayed up talking, like we always do, with the twinkling night lights on until half past two in the morning. 
Monday we lingered in our pyjamas and talked of the past and things to come with our Grandma on the gazebo. Late in the afternoon all of the family came and we grilled a delicious feast, swam for the first time this year (which was delightful!) floating along with the rafts, and sat in the grass as our hair dried in the breeze chatting and munching on red, white, and blue Whale crackers.
And, of course, Chicago was absolutely thrilling! I just adore the city. This collage is a tiny little sneak peek but I have more pictures to come and little stories of my time there to share with you. It was lovely to be among the bustle of the city, the tall skyscrapers, the classy people, shopping in fantastic shops, and seeing Monet and Renoir's work in front of your eyes is spine-tingling. 

And now, with just 41 days until it all ends, we want to share with you this perfect video that we keep watching over and over again. It is just so lovely and gives us chills♥ We love this cast so very much! They, and the films, and the books, and Jo Rowling, hold such a special place in our hearts. 
It feels surreal that the final installment will be coming in just 41 little days...but it will be a wonderful ending and we look forward to enjoying Harry Potter all the more so with its coming and going. 

Happy weekend to you, my lovelies! We may be off to the lake at some point which will be lovely. How have you been enjoying your Summer thus far?
{written by Rachel}