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!

Ikea Faves 2018

I was in Ikea a few weeks ago with my friend, Kristi. She was looking to purchase a dresser which ended up being out of stock. We didn’t spend a ton of time in Ikea, but long enough for me to remember how diverse their products are. When I say “diverse”, I mean varying in style, price, and usefulness.
There are basically two opinions on Ikea. One being that it’s a great and inexpensive place to buy trendy furniture and home goods. The other being that Ikea has cheaply made, generic,  and poor quality products. My opinion falls somewhere in the middle. I LOVE going to Ikea and I’m very into the scandy design elements… However, I do think you need a good eye. Some products (mainly furniture) can come off a little college dorm-y. 

Below are some of my favorite products available at Ikea currently.

Dvala Pink Sheets – These are the perfect shade of millennial pink and I can’t wait to get them on my bed. They’re soft and inexpensive and exactly what I need.

Korken Glass Carafes – We own several of these. They’re perfect or mixing party drinks or just keeping water cold in the fridae.

Kallax – We currently own 2 2X4 kallax shelving units for our record collection. This shelving unit, along with its various accessories, provide a multitude of shelving solutions.

Svalnas Wall Mount System – The combination desk and storage system is both beautiful and functional. Perfect for a home office.

Sommar hanging planter – I love the white and pink combo and want to purchase several for our sunroom.

Snofsa Clock – This clock has a 60’s glam vibe and I love it.

What are you loving at Ikea these days?

Florida Ice Storm 2018

Living in Florida my entire life, I’ve had only a handful of very cold weather experiences. It’s snowed here a few times, but nothing of consequence. We DO tend to have a few weeks of low temps (lows getting into the mid-low twenties), but it tends to warm up rather quickly.
This past week has been particularly cold, and last wednesday North Florida was transformed into a winter wonderland. We ended up only getting “frozen mix” rather than full blown snow, but I still loved the results.First off, I’ll let you know that I slipped on our porch steps as I was walking to the car to go to work. I still have a gigantic bruise on my back. Second, my car was completely frozen and one of my spiritual gifts is NOT de-icing a car. Third, I was terrified of driving on icy roads, but the roads ending up being fine and I only work 3 miles from our house anyway. So, my morning started off rocky and I didn’t have a chance to take in the ice-covered surroundings.
When I came home for lunch, I took the opportunity to walk around our yard and snap a few photos. Everything was so beautiful! And again, I know this may not be too impressive to someone in, say, Michigan… but to Floridians THIS IS AMAZING! Look how magical our yard was!Here’s hoping for another bout of really cold weather before it’s 95 degrees on the daily!