Spring and Early Summer Faves

Whew, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted about things I’ve been loving… and I’ve been loving so many things lately! Also, I want to make it clear that even though summer weather in Florida starts in mid-april, I don’t consider it summer until after Memorial Day. So, I’m technically not THAT late getting this list out. Right? RIGHT?!

Villa Alena Peach Mascato and Peach from Trader Joe’s – This is basically fizzy alcoholic peach juice and I’m obsessed with it.

Tic Tac Freshmints – These have come in and out of my life since middle school- and right now, they’re definitely in!

Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner – Hi, I’ll take one of every rose item you have. I love this stuff! It’s light, refreshing, and less expensive than the rose water I used to buy on amazon.

Lilacism by Essie – I’ve been so obsessed with this bright-but-still-light purple polish. I’ve probably reached for this color 6-7 times in the last few months. It’s the perfect shade for spring and summer.

Broad City – I watched season 1-3 in about 5 days. Broad City is a less serious, more enjoyable version of HBO’s Girls. It’s 2 best friends living in New York City being outrageous. Season 1-4 is currently streaming on Hulu.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine – It’s taken a few years, but we’ve finally started watching this NYC cop sitcom in April! Andy Samberg is hilarious, but so are all the minor characters as well. The best part is that there are sooooo many available episodes, so it’s a great show to binge. This one is also available on Hulu.

Isle of Dogs – I love Wes Anderson’s storytelling and visual aesthetic, so I was already expecting to love this movie, but it really blew me away. Isle of Dogs is charming, funny, and packed with Hollywood’s best (voices).

Criminology Podcast Season 2 – If you’re not into true crime, this podcast may not be for you. Season 2 of criminology is all about the golden state killer, who has also been dubbed the East Area Rapist and the Visalia Ransacker. The golden state killer terrorized northern California throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Amazingly, through the power of DNA technology, he was caught just weeks ago!

 

Flowerbed Progress

About a year and a half ago, Ray and several of his friends rebuilt our front porch. It’s beautiful and I’m still 100% in love with it. During that process we pulled up several large bushes that had been planted along the front of our porch area. I was glad to have those ugly bushes gone, but then the front of our house started to look real bare.

In March we cleared out the area right in front of the porch. We dug weeds, tilled the soil (and oddly enough found lots of seashells mixed in the ground), added compost, added more top soil, added bricks to mark off the bed, and added a plastic covering to avoid weeds.

Now, I do want to create a proper flower bed with a mixture of seasonal foliage and flowers… but for right now I’m fine with more of a shabby cottage style bed. I need big, bright, colorful flowers that will last throughout our sweltering summer. On the same day we cleared out the flower bed, I started my zinnia seeds. It was crazy to watch these tiny seeds germinate within 6 days!
You can see the progress below:It might be too late in the season, but I would like to add some Delphiniums behind the zinnias, along with a few variegated hostas along the sides of the bed. I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Bee Saga

Hey guys! It’s officially spring, and almost summer, here in north Florida. The pear trees have bloomed, our grass is green again, baby ducks having taken over the lakes, and the bees are buzzing… albeit, less bees at Big Brown. 😉

A few months after Ray and I bought our house we noticed some bees flying around a column on the outside of our sunroom. Because we were planning on having our wedding reception in our backyard (PS- it was awesome), we had the yard sprayed for bugs (mainly mosquitos) and we also had pest control spray the bees. Listen, I know we shouldn’t kill the bees… but I also know you can’t have your grandparents or pastor or photographer or tiny babies being stung at your nuptials.

About a year or two later, the bees showed up again. I was pissed because I didn’t know anything about bee pheromones and I thought the pest service we used just did a terrible job when they originally sprayed. After some deciphering, we figured out that the hive was actually inside the concrete column underneath our house. Cool, right? I stressed about it for a while, but ultimately the bees were keeping to themselves and we didn’t have any money to fix the problem anyway.

The bee activity was at a minimum, until the hive split. Twice. At the time we literally had no idea what was going on. When a hive gets too large for the given space, the worker bees will start grooming a new queen. Once the new queen reaches maturity, she leaves and takes a portion of the hive with her, thus a split. The new hive will find a place to hang for a while and send a few bees out to scout a location for a permanent home. The first time this happened we had a bee tornado and it was truly terrifying. The second time we just saw a cluster of calm, docile bees on our palm tree. Still a little terrifying.

Since then we’ve had several people come out and look into our bee situation. One guy (an ex cop, mind you) who said he knew loads about bees, got scared and never came back. Another guy took 3 months to respond to emails. Another guy thought the job looked too hard. I don’t know if we were just having bad luck or weren’t asking the right people or what… but it wasn’t working.

A few weeks ago our good friend, Lacey, said she had a friend who could possibly help us. In comes Phillip. Phillip came out several times, thoroughly assessed the bee situation, examined the column which housed the hive, and ultimately relocated majority of our bees and properly sealed the column so they can’t return. He was awesome! 

While Phillip was awesome, Ray, Lacey, and myself were… well, kind of dumb. Between the three of us, we managed to get 5 bee stings because we couldn’t help but watch the bee removal process. My sting, which was in the middle of my forehead, happened 5 seconds after I walked outside. OF COURSE. My face was swollen for a few days, but thankfully I didn’t stop breathing or anything.

It’s honestly hard to believe that after 7 years of struggling, within a week of meeting Phillip, all our bees were gone! We’re so happy! If you’re local and have a bee situation, or see a hive clustered up like in some of my photos… I’ve got a great bee guy!