House + Home: Newbie Plant Lady


For the first four years of my adult life, post college, the extent of my house plants were a few sad looking succulents. I had other things on my mind and plants just weren't a priority. 

However, once we moved into, renovated, and decorated our new home, I realized how much I love having green around me. So when fall came and I was making my to do lists, "get more plants" was written down amongst other things such as "organize the basement" and "hang art."


I had put my 3 dying succulents outside for the summer. When I found them at the end of the summer, one had bit the dust and the other two were thriving. I brought those two in and they seem to have a new lease on life. I keep those on my kitchen window sill because I know they need lots of sun, they are dessert plants after all. (what's a dessert plant? lol-ing over here about misspelling "desert" as "dessert," so I'm just going to leave it and hope it gives you a good chuckle too.)


Anyway, since that's about how systematic my plant regime was and I had added close to ten plants to my home, I realized I was going to need to clean up my act. So far this is what I've started doing and it's been working:

  • Set a day once a week to take care of your plant babies. Set an alarm on your phone. Make sure it's a time that you're usually home and free to do 15 minutes of plant care.
  • When you alarm goes off, water everything the way it needs. Even if a plant doesn't need water that often, at least you know you watered it "2 Tuesday ago" rather than "sometime during the fall."
  • Something that really helped me understand how to treat each plant was learning what their native climate would have been like. A succulent belongs in the desert, a fiddle leaf fig in the jungle, and so on. Obviously my house is neither of those things, but I can try and treat them as closely to that as possible.
  • Know when to buy fake. I have little wall shelves I wanted succulents in, but I knew there just wasn't enough light for them to survive. Faux plants are so lifelike these days, I bet no one can tell. 
  • Make sure someone waters your plants when you leave on vacation. I forgot this one while in Austria and came back to a few sad plant buddies.
  • Finally, remember that a potted plant you bought for $13 has already lasted longer than a cut flower bouquet that costs the same amount of money. Don't feel too guilty if it takes you a while to learn how to keep them alive. It's ok!

I would give you a list of my plants, but I honestly don't know what most of them are. That's what happens when you buy plants based on how cute they are and don't pay attention to what they're called. 

Happy Growing!

House + Home: Sandhill Session

To celebrate finally finishing (!) up our year of renovating, furnishing, and decorating the new house we decided a little photo shoot was in order. 

I had some friends recommend Rachael a couple months ago. Finally with the need for Christmas card pictures looming, I sent her a quick message and she got back within hours. Her style and mine mesh beautifully, so it was an easy decision to work with her.

I'm extremely tempted to be insufferable and post all 50 plus pictures, but I'm going to try really hard to keep it to my favorites. I just can't get over how much I love love love them.

My vision was for a cozy, cuddly, coffee-filled shoot that reflected how much we love our new home and the land around it.

The day was drizzly and a little chilly, in other words, perfectly November and the right day for cuddles.


We would have been remiss if we left the Christmas tree farm out of the pictures. It lies directly across the street from us and we view it as an extension of our front yard. We've made friends with the farmer and adore going for walks through the trees.


We left the drizzle behind and cozied up inside with some coffee and kittens.


November Fog


November it the pearl-gray month

the changeling between

warm crimson October


cold white December

the month when the leaves fall, in slow drifting whirls,

and the shapes of the trees are revealed

when the earth imperceptibly wakes

and stretches her bare limbs


displays her stubborn

unconquerable strength

before she settles uneasily into winter

November is secret and silent

Alison Uttley –


Fall Apple Picking (like you do.)

Couple of weeks ago, back in October, we needed an outdoor activity so it seemed only fitting that we head to an orchard.

It was the last perfect weekend, with weather warm enough for tees and jeans. The apples were Jonagolds and delicious. 


I think we each ate four apples each and left with slight stomach aches. 


Those apples are all peeled and cut in the freezer waiting to be turned into apple crisp for this winter. They're like little treasures from a beautiful day stored up for a cold day.

Austria (at last)


Back in August I left behind good ol' 'Merica and took off across the pond to the country of my birth β€” Austria. 

Anyway, I have a hard time whenever I get home from Austria because to me it's not just a vacation. I go there to visit and soak up as much time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as possible. I'd be silly to ignore the fact that I get a lovely vacation and intimate view of life in another country while there. However, when I get back it's hard for me to want to edit the pictures or write a blog post, because the pain of leaving and not knowing when I'll go back is still raw.

Lucky for you, I have to make my annual photobook around this time of the year and that meant I had to edit my pictures and since they're done I figured I should share some of the beauty. As the first snowflakes fall here in Michigan, let's take a little trip back to the summer when the days were long and warm.

While I was there this time my plan was just to tag along with whatever my family was up to and not worry about doing specifically tourist things. I hadn't been over there in the summer in 7 years and somehow I had forgotten how beautiful the entire country is in summertime. I highly recommend just going over there and striking out into the countryside to experience the charm of the land.


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Family and the MΓΌhlviertel region:


Innsbruck, Austria:


Freistadt, Austria: