Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: Earth Day Edition

As mentioned in last Monday’s post, I’ve been looking for new lists of things to take each month.  I have several things I want to capture before the end of April, but since today happens to be Earth Day, I want to feature some shots of nature I took during the month of April.  Enjoy!  🙂


An eclectic and beautiful mix of trees in my town.


Tulips outside a coffee shop.


Lovely golden daffodils at a local park.


Cherry (??? not sure; cherry trees look very similar to another kind of tree) tree outside a library.


View of a park through a rainy car window.  Looks almost impressionistic to me.


Spring flowers that popped up around a tree in our front yard!  We didn’t know they were there, so it was a nice surprise to see them!

To Appreciating the Wonderful Gifts of Nature (and working hard to keep them here for years to come)!  🙂


Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Mondays: Ah, Nature. (And food.)

**Reminder to self (and short complaint about WordPress):  edit this post when you can in order to recover the paragraph and pictures that failed to show up durig the publishing process, most notably the pictures of purple crocuses.  Sigh.  And grrr.


In February, I remember saying that I was so looking forward to March’s pictures to take.  The amazing memories I had during this weekend (and the subsequent photos) just reinforced that sentiment.  I had a lot of time to enjoy nature, and the impending spring made itself well-known.  Here are the highlights:

DSCN5167Baby animals playing

105_2007 105_2013
Ran across these guys during a weekend bike ride.  So cute!

DSCN5167Loved ones playing in puddles after DURING!! a rainstorm

105_2017 105_2021 The Puddle
I feel that before I show you the pictures of us playing in the puddles, I should first show you the magnitude of the rainstorm and depth of the puddles.  It was seriously like an out-of-nowhere, full-on gully wash.  So amazing to watch.  And even more amazing to play in!  😀

Me Puddle

Dog and Hubs Puddle

Seriously.  One of most fun memories of my life.  I loved it.  Neighbors pulled in as we were delighting in puddle-jumping, and they must’ve thought we were crazy, splashing and giggling like little kids, but I don’t care.  This is one of the things I’ll remember and cherish forever.

And now, a snack break!  😉


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Food Questions

1. What did you eat for dinner last night? French dip sandwich and a salad at a dive.  So good and way better than I was expecting!  Actually one of the best French dip sandwiches I’ve had.
2. If you could make one food calorie-free for the next year, What would you choose? Full-fat cream.  It tastes SO GOOD in coffee, but it would make so many of my other favorite foods more accessible:  ice cream, real whipped cream, quiche, mashed potatoes, gravy for Swedish meatballs, etc.
3. How often do you go to the grocery store? Twice a month; once every other week to coincide with pay days.
4. Do you make a list before buying groceries? Absolutely.  It keeps me on budget and I can make sure I didn’t forget anything crucial.
5. List three things that can always be found in your kitchen. Ingredients for bread machine bread, my doggie begging for food, and mushrooms.
6. How often do you clean out your fridge? We’re really good at eating leftovers and not letting anything go to waste, so I really only need to clean out the fridge about once a month.
7. Do you ever use a slow cooker? If so, will you share a recipe? I don’t, mostly because I don’t have one.  But I’ve never really had the desire to use one.  I’ve been told, though, that once I do use one, it’s hard to imagine a life without one.
8. How often do you try new recipes? Fairly frequently.  I get bored eating the same meals, so I feel the need to shake things up and invent new things a lot.  It’s fun!  I would say about twice a month or so I try out something new.
9. What is the most delicious meal(s) you make? Oh man.  There are so many!  I’d have to say my most popular is my cornbread, because everyone always asks me to bring that to potlucks and gatherings (for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I always get a friendly reminder phone call from one of my family members saying, “You’re bringing your cornbread, right? Don’t forget!”).  I also make really good fajitas and Spanish rice, all from scratch—that includes homemade tortillas.  My hubby’s favorite meals by me are shepherd’s pie, Swedish meatballs, and stroganoff.
10. Share at least one thing that is currently in your kitchen even though you don’t like it.  All the treats my family has given my dog, treats meaning chunks of steak fat, bits of meat, turkey legs, etc.  It takes up so much room in my freezer and I don’t want to give it all to him at once because he’ll get sick.  I like to spoil him as much as the next person, but more with love and attention and playtime than food.

To Your Own Nice, Memorable Introduction to Spring!!!


Posted in Making Memories Mondays

Making Memories Monday: Welcome to May, and Welcome to Me! (The Big Reveal)

Pictures to Take Throughout theYear
May (weeks 1 & 2)

      Welcome to a new month, and a new list of pictures!  I love new challenges, as long as they’re fun, and this is no exception.  Capturing these pictures have already proven to be difficult.  My living grandmas are too far away to be able to capture a picture of their hands, and I lacked the funds to have either a Cinco de Mayo or Kentucky Derby outing.  The latter was especially difficult, as plans were already made to go to a local racing track to watch the Derby, but at the last minute it had to be cancelled because we couldn’t afford it.  I was wholly looking forward to having my first mint julep and had a fabulous hat and dress to wear.  Rarely do I throw temper tantrums due to financial problems, but boy, did I throw one this time around!  I’m talking full-on pouting, tears, and pulling a blanket over my head so I could sulk.  Part of me is ashamed that I acted like a two-year-old, but part of me has come to terms with the fact that maybe the tantrum was a necessary release of built-up stress.
But the tantrum and grumpy mood lifted, and I sought out to still have a great May 5th.  I think I was successful!  Hubby and I went yard-saling and scored some great finds.  I got two necklaces, a board game I’ve been looking for for years (Whoonu), and a kaleidoscope (something I’ve been asking for as a gift for a very long time, but no one ever believed I was serious) all for $2.50!  As a bonus, I also got some lavender paint (purple is my favorite color) for free, so I need to use it for a future project.  We then had a “budget” combo Cinco de Mayo/Kentucky Derby celebration, wherein we watched the Derby on TV while I sported a hat, ate a Doritos locos taco from Taco Bell (our poor excuse for “Spanish” food), and went out for a date where we shared a pie shake (infinitely better than either a margarita or a mint julep!).  I also got to acquire other pictures from the list, and now I’ll share these memories with you.  Also, at the bottom of this post is a “big reveal”.  Enjoy!  🙂

Grandma’s hands

A stranger grandma’s hands, from this year’s early Mother’s Day celebration with my mom:  a charity event at a nursery.

My husband’s grandma’s hands, from our most recent visit with her in June 2010 (this picture was taken on her 80th birthday!).

My grandma’s hands, from our most recent visit with her in April 2011. (She’s holding

a picture of me and my family.)

**Our other two grandmothers have passed away.  May they rest in peace.

Flowers in the garden

Hey, it didn’t specify that it had to be from MY garden!  For an early Mother’s Day celebration, I took

my mom to a charity event at the local nursery.  I loved the orchids and gazing ball display’s colors,

then we went outside and I picked out my favorite rose name (Moondance) and random flower (purple, of course!)

I like to think that if I DID have a garden, it would have those flowers in it.  Mom and I had a fabulous time.

*This Dandelion in Plant, however, is actually in our apartment complex!  🙂  I love how a pretty weed grew in a plant. 

I very hurriedly edited this in Photoshop Elements.  All I did was enhance the dandelion’s color (more saturation) and

downplayed the plant’s color (less saturation).  I actually have more skills than what is shown, but I’ll have to leave that showing

off for another day.  😀

Mother’s Day presents

I picked out specific colors and flowers to create bouquets for both of the moms in my life.  The first pink and white one is for my

mother.  Her favorite color is pink, and the cute, feminine, classic look reminded me of her  The red and yellow bouquet is for my

mother-in-law.  Her favorite color is red and I wanted to pair it with some yellow for a bright and vibrant effect, just like her personality!

You saw the Mother’s Day celebration I had with my mom at the nursery.  For my mother-in-law, we went on a bike ride

on actual Mother’s Day since it was such a beautiful day (and she loves riding bikes!).  This is the view of one of the rivers

we passed on the biking trail.  I also treated my own mom to different things throughout the week, including a couple of

skinny belts (she’s very much into fashion) and a book full of New York Times Sunday crosswords (it’s her new hobby).

 Cinco de Mayo celebrations

**This space reserved for picture of Doritos locos taco by the lake.  I thought I had gotten the picture off my husband’s phone, but I guess I haven’t yet.  Same with our stand-in for margaritas & mint juleps:  the epic pie shake!

People wearing hats for Derby Day

This is the one I wore when I watched the Derby on TV.  I have more pictures, but I have to find them.  Hmmm…methinks some pictures are missing!  😦

****AND!!!  The.  Big.  Reveal!****

“Violet, your blog is nice and everything, but why don’t we ever see pictures of you?  Why are all of your photos of clothes NOT on you?  We want to see what kind of outfits you put together.  We want to know the face behind the words.  We want to know that you really exist!”

Okay, perhaps you haven’t actually thought this.  But here’s the thing:  I purposefully never included pictures of me because I’m a bit really hyper-paranoid about showing my face to strangers on the Internet.  I’ve had an experience with a stalker before, so I’m not a huge fan of disclosing pictures of myself.  But I had an interesting conversation with a few friends of mine who are fellow bloggers, and they all brought up the points that 1) if someone really wanted to stalk me, they’d find me whether or not I posted pictures of myself on my blog, and 2) having a picture of myself up on my blog would make me more relatable because then they could put a face to the thoughts and experiences I share.

So, I reveal to you, ME–with my beautiful mother!  (Author’s note:  While I’m providing a picture of myself, I’m still not providing my real name.  Violet’s a pen name.  Baby steps, I guess.  Ha.)

Photos with Mom

Eating cupcakes at the nursery charity event; Girls Night Out on my 30th birthday; also on my 30th birthday picking out cute dresses and taking pictures of ourselves in the dressing room because we could.  🙂

So…hello!  It’s nice to meet you all, and I shall be posting more pictures of myself soon.  🙂

Hoping I live up to your expectations,