Twenty One

Yesterday was my birthday. I so wanted to be writing about how my twenty first birthday was the best yet. There were so many reasons for it to be. But, of the birthdays I can remember, it ranks near the bottom. I’m not a big fan of alcohol, so going out to a bar was never even a consideration for me. All I wanted was a day with my niece followed by a family dinner and some champagne. And that is what I got. But nothing went above and beyond that in any way. I went to bed feeling disappointed and hoping that this wasn’t foreshadowing the year ahead.

So, I’ve decided to write a shortened version of the post I wanted to write anyways. But now it isn’t about looking good; it’s about reminding myself of my many blessings. In the grand scheme of things, an off birthday doesn’t matter that much. But being grateful for all of my blessings is one of the most, if not the most, important things I can do in my life.

So, here goes. Instead of writing about twenty one of the things I am most grateful for, here are a few of the things that had me counting my blessings this week.

Since J learned how to play the rope game, one of Cocoa’s ropes has been rapidly unraveling. I got him a new rope for MY birthday. That’s how much I love him! He was so excited and it has become his new favorite!

This weirdo was on a roll the other night. My dad told him he was wonderful and all of a sudden he was begging for corn (and eating some) and following us out to the pool. He kept a safe distance, but he even walked back in with us after the swim. When I settled in on the couch, he snuggled up next to me and started purring. He is by far my favorite cat.

That same night, we had a spectacular sunset! I’m a sucker for a good sunset!

She was feeling a little under the weather yesterday, but her puppy made her smile within the first three minutes of her arrival at grandma’s house! Nothing can melt me faster than that smile.

This guy is so good at conversing with animals and babies. It takes me back to the days when I called him “daddy” and makes me so excited for the days when J can finally understand and laugh at her grandpa. (Although she already laughs at him several times a day)

This. Cake. It may be the best decision I made yesterday. Mmmmm. Extra moist vanilla cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream. We also made some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it. It was simply divine.

One week old. Hard to believe that we’ll be celebrating her first birthday in less than two months!

I think the best few minutes of my week happened yesterday morning when J fell asleep on me. There’s something so special about a baby falling asleep in your arms. As I looked down at her, I couldn’t believe how big she’s gotten! Most of our interaction during her first few months consisted of her sleeping on me. But, she’s almost one. Time flies.

Even though the first day of my twenty first year wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be, I am encouraged by the fact that there were still moments of complete joy sprinkled in. No matter what this next year holds, I’m looking forward to more of those moments.


My New Hobby!

I’m becoming so domestic! I started a little herb garden a few weeks ago. Since I’ve started cooking more “complex” recipes (aka actually using herbs) I’ve realized how essential herbs really are and how handy it would be to always have access to fresh herbs.

My collection has been steadily growing since I first bought the first four herbs a few weeks ago.

Among the chosen few:


Parsley: perfect for making a dish look super fancy.


Lavender: smells divine and when used sparingly, can make heavenly baked goods.


Thyme: I love to add this to beef roasts, which I will making much more of this fall and winter!


Sage: I honestly don’t have much experience cooking with sage, but based on the smell, I think it would be amazing with meat of any kind!

I wanted people who didn’t know what herbs looked like to be able to come down and pick some without having to ask what they look like. That’s where the painted pots came from. I originally wanted clay pots so I could paint them completely and add a little chalk paint area to write the name of each herb. But, I eventually concluded that these pots would most likely outlive the plants inside. So, I found a design that would be suitable now, with the herbs, and in the future, without the herbs.

Then I remembered that we have a big ‘ole chalkboard standing up right next to the plant window, so I wrote the names of the herbs in the corresponding colors.

You may notice cinnamon on the board. While I was doing my initial research, I came across how to grow cinnamon trees inside. Saying I love cinnamon would be an understatement. So, I ordered two cinnamon trees and added those to my little herb garden.

Cinnamon Trees!

I also read that basically anything (natural) can be grown from remnants of an existing plant/harvest. Another thing that I’m completely in love with: peppers. So I scraped out some of the seeds from some sweet peppers we had in the fridge and planted those to see what would happen.

Pepper seeds!

Less than two weeks later, this is what they now look like! I decided to move them to a bigger pot so they could grow more naturally into proper pepper plants. That’s a fun phrase: proper pepper plants!

Peppers in a pot!

I also wanted to see how many herbs would grow simply by cutting a few inches off of an existing plant and letting them grow roots in water.

The water experiment

Unfortunately, only the basil developed roots. I still haven’t given up on parsley and spearmint, but did have to give up on rosemary, chives and dill.


I just planted the basil in soil a few days ago and it’s starting to perk up!

Basil in a pot!

I love basil! I could use it everyday if I had enough! I could live on Caprese Salad and Margherita Pizza for a long time!

My next experiment is going to be lemon seeds. The next time I use a lemon for anything, I’m keeping some of the seeds, letting them dry out for a day or two and then planting them!

It’s a fun little hobby! I can completely understand how people can get carried away with it and fill entire greenhouses or, in my mom’s case, fill up almost an acre of land!

I’ll keep you all updated with any new additions!