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happenings >> according to instagram


w keeps randomly saying "i love that we're spending so much more time outside this summer". i totally agree - but ask me again after this weekend. how on earth did i agree to camp tonight - it's supposed to be freakin 107! help y'all! 

happy weekending.

*** disclaimer: taylor & i made wade's shirt. he actually was cool with wearing it. hee hee.

thurs-DIY: what's more american than baseball!?!

holy cow, people. how is it almost july already!?! time to make some july 4th plans!

wade and i are fumbling with ideas. i'm all about a hike + picnic. dear friend, - one of my favorite nashville blogs - recently visited burgess falls. looks lovely! wade however is thinking swimming pool. and with the weather forecast to hit triple digits in nashville for the next 7 days straight - he might be on to something! it's hot, people.

one thing for sure -we're going to a baseball game! the nashville sounds are playing the cubbies (okay the iowa cubs - not quite as cool!) and they are ending the game with fireworks! hotdogs, popcorn, $2 beer night, "peanuts, peanuts, get your peanuts",  the 7th inning stretch - can't get more american than that!

or can you?!? here's a little "all-american" DIY just in time for the holiday:


supplies:
- baseballs or softballs (old or new!)
- red, white & blue paint (i chose a navy + barn red for a bit of a vintage look).
- paint brushes


1 // paint your baseballs completely white. i brushed lightly over the stitches so that the red still peaked through.
2 // paint 1 panel blue.
3 // add your stripes in the remaining white panel. i chose thin lines - but you can make them thicker as well like a real flag.
4 // last but not least, add your stars in the blue panel.

add them to a basket or a bowl and you have the perfect little all-american centerpiece.

okay - your turn: how do you plan to spend your holiday?

house + hem: salmon


really really really digging colored skinnies right now.
thinking i need a pair of these in salmon and another pair in a mint. agreed?

this week ...


last week wade and i ran around like crazy people. we had dinner w/ friends on tuesday, weds, friday, saturday & sunday. in between, i started back to pottery class, worked a world vision event & lead children's worship. wade ran a 5k & had several meetings. it was a whirlwind. and ultimately a great week!

of course - after all that, i lacked some serious blog motivation & motivation around the house. inspired by cornflower blue studio's rotating goal list - i've decided to start sharing my goals each week ... some blog related and some purely for myself.

last night i started on the list by baking my very first loaf of gfree bread! when i was home back in april, i borrowed my mom's bread machine. it had been stored away in the basement for a while - and needed some TLC. may & june slipped away from us - ethiopia and all! so finally over the weekend i cleaned her up and gave it a go! 
 
 

i used gluten-free goddess' delicious gluten free bread recipe. sadly - it looks nothing like the pictures and it's a little more dense than i prefer! :) it does taste pretty yummy though - a suitable recipe title. time to make some tweaks and do some research. if at first you don't succeed ... try try again!

what's on your goal list for the week?

i spy!

5 things that caught my eye this week:

1 // set of 3 washi tape stamps via memi the rainbow. i love washi tape - i love stamps - best of both worlds!

2 // mint green mini heart earrings via dariami. aren't these tiny polymer clay & copper earrings the sweetest? love them.

3 // spekuloos spread via wafels & dinges. on our way home from ethiopia, wade tried to squeeze in a quick tour of NYC for me. i haven't been there since i was 11. we treated ourselves at the wafels & dinges' food truck in central park to a vanilla/spekuloos waffle cone. spekuloos is a traditional belgian gingerbread-cinnamon cookie that they've made into a yummy spread. (sadly it's not gfree.) but it alone is worth a trip back to the big apple. ooh yum wouldn't that be fun on an apple.

4 // dremu oil via the derm store. okay okay - vegan friends and faint of stomach beware. this is 100% emu oil! (yes emu - the bird native to australia. although this is big trend right now, the aborigines have been using emu oil for years for healing everything from fevers, coughs, arthritic pain to cuts & rashes!). i got a sample in the mail this week w/ my order from the derm store and before i realized what it actually was had already used it twice. so - do i keep using the sample bc i like the results or barf bc i have bird juice on my face?!?

5 // post-it note goal list via cornflower blue studio. CUTE, right? yup definitely on the "to do list: this weekend! i could use a little motivation now that the heat is rising & a summer nap sounds most tempting every afternoon around 2. :)

happy weekend-ing, folks. xo.

winner, winner chicken dinner!

before i share the winner of the lovely dulce necklace giveaway, i just had to share a few of my favorite items currently in the noonday collection spring/summer catalog:
{clockwise from upper left}
 6 // nomadic cuff

i'll have one of each, please! ;)

i already own a necklace (that i basically wear every single day) and one of their tea towels. and i'm so impressed with the quality! my mom was too. both of us are always being invited to those (awkward) jewelry parties. and end up purchasing something simply so that we can get out of there!  well there's no comparison. experience, cost and quality! i love my noonday products - and i love that by buying w/ noonday you're helping artisans all around the world.

okay okay - getting to the good stuff:

CONGRATULATIONS, charlotte!

i'll be contacting you within the next couple of days so we can coordinate shipping!

thank you everyone that participated! and a big thanks to noonday ambassador mary over at sugar mountain for hosting such an awesome giveaway! love you!!!

adventures in container gardening: critter control!

you want to get on my bad side? dig up my parsley.
want to no longer be friends? nibble on my basil.

... uninvited of course.  today we're talking "critter control".


critter // squirrels

i've read that it's best to either water in the early morning or late evening bc less water is lost through evaporation during the hotter hours. so i water my garden in the mornings. the only problem is that i'm usually running about 10 (who am i kidding ... 30) minutes behind in the morning.

we share our front porch w/ our neighbor, jerry - an elderly gentleman who is quite the character & conversationalist. last week, i found jerry eating hisbreakfast on our shared front porch. of course, i was running late. for a moment, i contemplated skipping the watering. but my tomatoes and cucumbers needed me ... so i wandered out and said hello.

jerry keeps an excellent watch over our garden - and he's taught me a ton! while discussing the discoloring on my tomato plant leaves, a squirrel leapt on to the porch and bee-lined straight for my parsley. jerry - hunched over & bare-chested - and myself - in dress & high heels - took off running towards him. we chased that dang vermin back and forth the length of our porch cursing and flaring at least 5 times until we finally gave up. we're talking one determined squirrel!

why do squirrels dig? did you know that squirrels hide extra nuts all year long? then when they are hungry, they hunt for them. the soft soil & sweet smell of a garden is a natural temptation for them to start digging. so w/o borrowing grandpa's bb gun, how do you deter an animal that depends on smell for a living? give them a smell even they can't stand! a few recommendations: male urine, human hair, smelly moth balls. gross!

we're using miracle-gro organic choice blood meal. blood meal is a dry powder made from animal blood (sorry, vegan friends). okay okay it's still gross. and it's still pretty potent but it has add'l benefits that set it apart from the urine recommendation. this organic nitrogen supplement corrects nitrogen deficiency in soil promoting vigorous growth in flowers & vegetables.  

to use: evenly sprinkle the powder over the soil - not just concentrating around the plants - but the entire surface. mix into the top 1-3" of soil then water after application.


critter // bugs

the second we started to get the squirrels under control, i noticed somebody had been treating my basil like a buffet! and i soon found the culprits - 2 chubby little caterpillars happily napping post lunch. most of the insecticides i found are basically bug poison. i'm not sure about you, but that seems like a big ol' no no for something we plan to consume. (even if i plan to wash it first.)

we're using ortho elementals insecticidal soap. it kills all kinds of bugs: adelgids, aphids, earwigs, grasshoppers, mites, and caterpillars to name a few. and it's organic! which means it may be applied to edible plants up to the day of harvest!

to use: simply spray it on your plants (don't forget the underside of your leaves). you can use weekly or bi-weekly as needed.

alright - your turn: what's your best kept secret for keeping critters out of your garden?

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oh hey - it's the last day! sign up for this awesome noonday giveaway (a $78 value). you can enter up to 4x - how 'bout them odds. you can thank me later ... ;)

house + hem: neon

i love an organized blog. yes - i'm somewhat ocd (by now you've surely caught on to that!) so i'm excited to introduce house + hem - a fun new post category! and a place for me to spotlight favorite decorating & fashion finds in perfect pairs.

of course, what's hotter than neon right now? the perfect summer pair:

a big ol' thank you!

remember the bracelets and soccer balls that we were collecting for our trip?


they were a BIG OL' hit!

it was a bit mass hysteria the moment we brought out the bracelets. the kids we so incredibly excited. they lined up to have us help each tie their bracelet on. some wore them all day while others took them off before we played to keep them safe. in the midst of it all ... i tried to at least snap a few pictures!

and of course - we were schooled in soccer:


again a huge thank you to all the wonderful friends/family that helped ... including wade's brother david, sister-in-law waverly & their 6 awesome kids (the children loved the flower buttons!), mama bear, bloggers bonnie and charlotte, long lost bible study pal sabrina, bestie whitney (there will be so many more warm feet thanks to that massive box o' socks!), my high school bible study girls and the wonderful group of ladies that came over to help during girls' night!

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it's the weekend, hooray! which means more time to wander the world wide web, right? well wander on over and sign up for this fantastic giveaway (a $78 value). you can enter up to 4x - how 'bout them odds.

you can thank me later ... ;)

remember that time we went to ethiopia!?!

i've been so excited to share all about our trip here on the blog. i journaled! over  21 pages to be exact. i'm thinking that's a bit of overkill for the blog. maybe?

in the meantime, an abbreviated version:

we left nashville on may 23rd and flew through new york to cairo! wade planned it so that we had half a day in cairo, and we made the most of it - pyramids √, cruise on the nile river √, tahrir square √. the pyramids were amazing - straight out of a history book, y'all! but the best moment by far was the cruise on the nile. pretty sure we interrupted a hindi family reunion. we were 2 awkwardly tall americans among a room of 200 teeny tiny indians. there was belly dancing and other tricks + a hilarious cover of cher "do you believe in life after love" (yes - i have the video to prove it!).


at 2.30 am (yes 2.30 in the morning) we finally flew to ethiopia! our first couple of days were a wash adjusting to the food and the timezone. thankfully we would return to addis at the end of our trip and actually tour the city. on saturday, after a slight miscommunication w/ our driver, we were finally off to hawassa!

not in a private car - but rather a mini bus! poor wade was pretty sick. (again i have video to prove it! but i wouldn't dare - would i?). 6 very hot hours in the back of a bus later - we both sick! and our late check-in left us with a twin-sized bed & no hot water. suh-weet! without going into gruesome details, i was very thankful this trip wasn't our honeymoon as wade had once planned. i was convinced we had malaria! :-/ we didn't. and we eventually upgraded to a better room.

hawassa! hawassa stole my heart. we stayed at the lewi resort in hawassa for 7 days straight. that was a treat: 1) we were finally able to settle into a routine.  2) the staff treated us incredibly. on the last evening, they planned a special dinner for us down near the lake. they even played don williams each time we sat down to lunch/dinner. crazy ironic since the label i work for actually released his music at one point! 3) monkeys!!!

by monday morning, we were keeping down food (yay cipro!) and we were able to finally meet the kids. the hawassa children's project is home to 74 amazing children (an additional 15 or so over the age of 14 living off campus) & a brilliant, dedicated staff. we were blessed to spend the entire day monday (coincidentally also a political holiday in ethiopia) and each afternoon between school and studies with the children. we colored. we played soccer. we took a loooooong hike. we did hair. we played games. we made bracelets. we laughed a whole lot. we loved a whole lot.

{gosh i miss those sweet faces!}

during the mornings and evenings, we relaxed at the lewi. we fed the monkeys one morning. we shooed another type away during our meals! we tanned (rather burned) by the pool. we ate like king and queen - pizza, pasta and pancakes. (yes - i cheated and ate gluten.) we took 2 boat rides - 1 to see the fish market and another to see hippos! i was incredibly scared having heard that hippos are the most dangerous animal in africa. but our captain assured me ... "ethiopian hippos and ethiopian people - no problem! we keep peace!".

on 2 mornings, we attempted to work in the preschool. 21 little voices (screaming in Amharic of course) and 42 little hands. Lord, help us. oh and the great pee incident - for that one you'll have to direct message me! needless to say, we were a bit overwhelmed. 

instead of traveling further south to arba minch, we decided to spend 1 final day with the children. it was sad saying goodbye but we were thankful for the amazing care & love we had seen through the program. we're so excited to continue to support it - and hopefully return someday. (making that extra trip to arba minch too.)

once back in addis, we were able to spend our final day in ethiopia with an old friend! anteneh and wade met 10 years ago while wade was in ethiopia for a summer semester. it was so fun to see the boys interacting just like (i imagine) old times. and anteneh was an amazing host! he helped us navigate the bus & taxi system and took us to see lions - a promise i made for my nephew dayton who wasn't satisfied w/ hippos and monkeys. ;-) he also took us to the merkato. with his help i purchased a beautiful shawl. another funny random story: while waiting on anteneh and wade to figure out where the linens were in the merkato, i felt a slight tug on my hair. i turned to find a man running his fingers through my hair. it gave us a good laugh. oh and anteneh took us to eat hotdogs! yes - our last meal in ethiopia was pizza and hotdogs. shame shame.

how do i wrap up this post!?! i mean i have so many more amazing stories that i could share.

a lot of people have asked us "why ethiopia". why not a trip to some beach in florida? or a cabin rental in the smokey mountains? or heck a big screen tv purchase! well ... we couldn't think of anything more awesome to do on our vacation than play all day with a group of amazing kids while exploring a new culture. so ethiopia it was! and i'm so thankful for every single memory.

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speaking of AWESOME & AMAZING. don't forget about this gorgeous noonday giveaway! go. enter. win!

hello hello!

hello hello!

when it comes to jet lag, they say "one hour equals one day". playing by the rules, we should feel wholly ourselves again TOMORROW!?!

i've been coming in to the office early to edit my pics. and i am super duper close to posting an overview of our trip. so super duper close that i promise it TOMORROW.

in the meantime, a little fun to hold you over:

CLOSED - A BIG HELLO & a noonday {giveaway}

HI HONEY, I'M HOME! <-- ridiculous 90s TV Sitcom reference that no one would recognize unless they had a cousin staring in it ... (uh hmm) like me!

we're back from 2 weeks in ethiopia and i have so so so much to share. of course, i also have so so so much work to catch up on! :( and even more sleep to catch up on. my internal clock is super off. i see a whole lot of sleep in my near future! hooray.

in the meantime, who's interested in a little welcome home giveaway to get this blog thing going again!?! :)

one of my favorite blogger friends, mary via the sugar mountain is an ambassador for noonday collection. noonday collection is a company that hosts in-home trunk shows to sell handcrafted fair trade accessories from around the world for you and your home. they seek to create sustainable aid by providing the opportunity for artisans to use their skills & creativity and the industry to create value and get compensated for their work.

one lucky reader will win this amazing dulce necklace from noonday - a $78 value!!



amazing, right?!? artisans in ecuador handcraft these gorgeous necklaces out of tagua seeds! over a 3 month process, they carve and polish the seeds to create perfect hexagonal shapes. then, they string them together creating each a geometric bib necklace finished with a leather tie.


"... when you satisfy the needs of the oppressed, your night will become like the noonday." isaiah 58:10


giveaway ends wednesday, june 20th @ 11:59pm central


up to 4 entries per person ( each comment = 1 entry). one winner chosen at random.

ENTRY 1:
visit marybarker.noondaycollection.com. then come back and leave a comment below telling me one of your favorite items!

ENTRY 2:
tweet or fb about the giveaway. be sure to link to the giveaway - http://www.acaseofthemundays.com/2012/01/giveaway-noonday.html. then come back and leave a comment below letting me know that you shared!

ENTRY 3:
like a case of the mundays on facebook (or let me know if you already LIKE us). leave a comment below letting me know you did this!

ENTRY 4:
like the sugar mountain on facebook (or let me know if you already LIKE her). and once again be sure to leave a comment below letting me know you did this!

please leave your email address in at least one of your comments ... otherwise it might be difficult to find you!

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want to sponsor a case of the mundays and/or host a giveaway? click here to find more information. i'd love to have you on the blog!
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