Weekend in Instagram

It's beginning to look a lot like summer!  The weather was gorgeous this weekend and we had a very summery weekend, with a lot of time spent outside.

Lately we've been trying to eat healthier/diet.  It's usually pretty easy going during the week, but weekends can be a bit of a struggle, but then we just try to compensate with some outdoor activities like long walks with Cheese or yard work.  Friday night started out right with a little grilling out...
We made homemade "burrito bowls" though they were more like fajita bowls.  Cilantro-lime quinoa with sauteed and seasoned onions and peppers, and seasoned and grilled chicken breast.  It was pretty easy and very tasty, I mean, I didn't even really miss the cheese, black beans, or salsa I usually get on my Chipotle burrito bowls.  I marinaded the onions and peppers overnight in lime juice and fajita seasoning and they turned out really well, even though I overcooked them a bit.

Cheese thought Antoine's burrito bowl looked/smelled so delicious that he need to try it.  He failed! 

Saturday morning started with me trapped under this guy on the couch while Antoine whipped us up a killer breakfast!  He really is the king of breakfast!

Voila, a delicious hash; home fried potatoes and onions with garlic, thick cut bacon, eggs overhard (because that's how I like 'em), a little Parmesan cheese and some ketchup.  Yum!  So good and so filling!  It held us over until about 4pm!  Afterwards we took Cheese for a 5-mile walk and the weather was so beautiful!  Then we ran to Crafty Supermarket (where we picked up this kick-ass pillow) and ran some errands!

Ahh, and here's where the weekends turn cream!  I love ice cream so much and it really is just the epitome of summer to me!  This happened to be our first trip to Hold the Nuts, our favorite soft serve spot, of the season.  I got a twist cone dipped in peanut butter and Antoine got vanilla with krunch kote!  

Sunday was an equally beautiful day, I couldn't resist taking another photo of the insanely pretty dogwood across the street.  We started the day off by sleeping in and then ran some errands and did a bunch of yard work, although it feels like we didn't even make a dent since we've got so much to do.

Cheese was our yard work supervisor.  The job duties include eating cat poop, whining, chewing on sticks, rolling around like a crazy dog, and playing with a tennis ball.  It's a pretty exhausting job though.

That was our weekend!  Today I'm extremely sore and very tired, I'm so ready for a vacation.  The end of May can't come soon enough!


Tree Envy

So there's this house across the street from us that foreclosed a little while back.  It's actually really sad, they were great people and the husband, James, was probably Cheese's favorite person in the universe.  And the really awesome thing was it was a totally reciprocal infatuation.  They were great people and it is sad that they are no longer on our little street.  After their house foreclosed it was put on the market and purchased by a company that flips houses.  The buyers (or rather their crew) have completely overhauled the house; gutted the inside, re-shingled the roof, re-sided the entire exterior and re-framed the front porch.  I'd say their probably about 70 to 75% done with the re-hab.  It's pretty impressive and I've been taking every chance I can get to tell my hlp how awesome it would be if she and her boyfriend left that crummy Cleveland and moved to Cincinnati and lived right across from us!  Like, I could walk over to their house in my pajamas!  No big deal.  Amanda, if you are reading this stop rolling your eyes!!

Part of the reason it'd be so cool if they bought the house across the street, besides having my best friend within walking distance, free pet-sitting for both parties, endless opportunities to grill out together, watch Dr. Quinn (imagine, Amanda, we could finally finish it!) and hang all the time, etc., is that this house happens to have three gorgeous, flowering trees that I am totally smitten over...
 It's no surprise that the tree I'm probably most in love with is this ENORMOUS and beautiful magnolia tree in the back yard.  It is seriously the biggest one I've seen of this kind in Cincinnati!  So naturally I've been sneaking over into the yard when the construction guys pack up for the night to snap some photos.  My neighbors probably think I'm nuts, but oh well.

In the front yard there are two other amazing trees, this cherry blossom (that promptly budded a couple blossoms and then receded after the frost/freeze we had)...

And then more recently this pink dogwood (also in the front) has come to life.  I am so obsessed with how the sunlight hits dogwoods and their petals just seem to glow...

Now I totally want to get a pink dogwood for our backyard! 

But in other news, our kwanzan cherry tree that we got for free through the ReLeaf program last year and planted in our front yard is starting to bloom!

It's still just a little guy right now, but I can't wait to watch it grow and get bigger and more beautiful every year.

Alright, so that's the last of my obsessive tree lust for now.  Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have a great weekend!  I think we're going to hit up Crafty Supermarket this weekend, which I highly recommend you check out.  It's always a good time and the vendors are always so wonderful. 


Spring Grove & the First of the Magnolias

It's finally starting to feel like Spring in Cincinnati.  We've had more warm, sunny days lately than rainy/cold days so that's always a plus.  These photos are about 2 weeks old, right when the magnolias were starting to bloom everywhere in Cincinnati and right before we had that blanket of snow/freeze that promptly killed them all.  When we got that freeze and I saw that the magnolias weren't bouncing back from it, I was even more grateful that I had this opportunity to go to Spring Grove and snap some photos before they were gone.  It was a beautiful, only slightly chilly day at Spring Grove, but surprisingly there weren't that many people there which is rare on the weekends in the Spring and Summer months when everyone flocks there to walk/run/take photos.  I had a great quiet walk around the front of the cemetery, gravitating toward any magnolias that I could find.  I was a little bummed that the bitterly cold months had taken their toll on the trees though, many were burnt and rotting...I'm guessing from the fluctuation in temperature, from warm to freezing (all in one day), over and over again.  Still, I got some decent photos of what is one of my favorite trees during my second favorite season at one of my most favorite Cincinnati spots (it's definitely in the top 5)!
The thing I love most about Spring Grove (besides their magnolia and floral selection, of course) is that you can pass things on a regular basis and never really notice them and then one day you're like, "wow, look at this!"  I'm always discovering something new about the place that I find beautiful, even if it has been right under my nose the whole time.  In a way, Spring Grove really pushes me to open my eyes, look around and notice more.

Something that I really want to work on is learning the proper names of the variety of trees and flowers I love so much, especially with magnolias and orchids.  They are arguably my favorite tree/flower, respectively, yet I couldn't name them for the life of me.  I plan to really work on that though.  I think the white ones in these photos are Star magnolias and the pink, which are my personal favorite, are either Saucer or Anise magnolias.  I didn't spot any Betty magnolias (they're the deep fushia ones) on this visit, but I'm hoping to soon.  And then in the summer later, maybe mid-June to early July, the Southern magnolias should start to bloom.  I've seen these all over Cincinnati, they're pretty easy to spot even when they're not in bloom because of their big, waxy, dark green leaves and the trees tend to be relatively tall and somewhat slender.

Sorry if I've bored you with magnolia talk.  Anyway, my posts may be a little spotty for a while.  I've got another post or two worth off pictures to share, but we also have a ton of yard work and garden prep to do this year and we're still trying to get everything in order for our anniversary trip to Hawaii (woohoo!) which is coming up soon.  So, until next time I guess...


Krohn Conservatory's Annual Orchid Show

Remember back in March when I went to the Cleveland Orchid Show (and my brain exploded) and I took a million photos of orchids?  Well, a week later I went to the Cincinnati Orchid Show at Krohn.  I know, I'm a little wacky in the head.  Guess what happened?  I took a ridiculous number of photos and, yeah, my brain overloaded from sensory awesomeness!  The quantity of orchids at Cincinnati show wasn't as great as Cleveland's but the selection and condition of the flowers was outstanding!
I like these ones because they look so unreal and almost psychedelic!
Most of the orchids were displayed in front of large black cloth screens.  I had mixed feelings about these, they were nice when you managed to get a shot just right, but usually I was fighting to try to get either all-black or no-black in the background.  Also, I didn't love how the black screens weren't completely opaque.  Apparently I take my orchid photography ridiculously much so that I sound like a nut!
I love these, they look so alien and strange, yet delicate.
This one was my absolute favorite!  I love the purple and green combination and the ittybitty prickly bits.

Whew!  Too much pretty, my brain still hurts looking at it!  Hopefully I haven't completely bored you.  Don't worry, that's the last of the orchid least for a little while.