I think I’ve finally done it. I haven’t had a diet coke since Sunday. (today is Friday) Anyone who knows me would be pretty surprised. It’s my go to crisp beverage as soon as I wake up and then as needed through the day. I’ve always said that it’s not the caffeine I need, but instead the cold crisp taste that I love. Turns out it’s the caffeine I just can’t have. I’ve always been sensitive to it, but have realized that it’s just too much for me. It can make me jittery and uncomfortable. Sometimes even a little sick to my stomach maybe an added nasty headache. #notworthit I knew giving up my favorite thing would be tough. Not having caffeine has kept away all those negative things I just listed, but also made me so sluggish. Didn’t realize my diet cokes also gave me a bit of energy along with the jitters. It will level out in time. Though, I have to replace that liquid with something. Hopefully, I’ll drink more water, but I’ve always needed a little more taste to go with it. I can have diet sprite. It’s good. I’m also turning to Mom’s favorite, caffeine-free coffee. I always snubbed my nose at it. I love the taste of coffee, but thought drinking caffeine free was a waste of time. I’m here to tell you: it tastes just as good (to me) and has none of the negative side effects. For years I’ve been able to manage the caffeine in diet cokes, but coffee was off limits. It’s been nice having a cup or two again. Inspired to get our coffee/tea corner organized. Using our wedding items: Arte Italica and Gien. Fingers crossed I can keep this up. My head certainly feels clearer with a lot less chemicals in my body.
Minnesota gets an amazing fall.
The color is just breathtaking. We are fortunate that our house is full of big windows, so you feel as if you are in a tree house. Even if you are inside, you still get to feel part of nature. We’ve been so busy enjoying the natural beauty, that we only just this past weekend started decorating our house. I know I have a bunch of fall decorations somewhere in the basement, but you know how that goes. I assume we’ll find them by the time we move again! We have so much more to do. My parents are spending Thanksgiving weekend with us, so I want our house to feel just as warm and cozy has Mom has always made ours feel for holidays, especially fall.
This is our humble mantle as of today.
I’ll add a bunch of flowers as we get closer to turkey day. Don’t want to put them up now because they will die. I just don’t have time for that.
Here’s our new pride and joy sent to us this month by Matt’s mom. How funny is this pumpkin gal? We need to come up with a name for her. She has on a skirt, fancy tights and I tied a little orange bow on her ankle because why not! Silly thing makes me laugh every time I pass her.
The weather is already becoming ever so fall like up here.
It’s not overwhelming, but it is noticeable. Spring takes forever to follow the calendar, but fall moves right in with Labor Day. Truly remarkable for me, a person who dreamed of those movie-like Fall scenes of leaves falling, crisp breezes, fresh paint on school walls and those blue skies during outside cheerleading practice. I remember walking around the downtown of my first market in Mississippi dreaming of mysterious and romantic falls. We get it up here. If I had my choice it wouldn’t really take hold until October, but it’s here. If the already bright maples aren’t proof enough, my music taste is more folksy. Matt accuses me of not liking music anymore. That’s not true. I might not like it as loud as I once did, but there is no better way to usher in change than loved songs.
My choice of the moment on replay.
Andrew Bird – Lusitania. Female is St. Vincent. (she’s not my favorite, but he often is)
Wishing a very Happy Birthday to my sweet husband. He’s known on social media as #MyMatt. Or I should say he’s known by me on social media as #mymatt. It’s catching on, though. Sometimes social media friends greet him by name in chance encounters!
There are so many reasons why he’s special and why I love him, but I must say, we sure have a lot of fun together. This is why I’m posting this less than adorable picture. May we always know how to celebrate big milestones like birthdays, but also those random Saturday nights with just the two of us in a favorite neighborhood joint.
We were all reminded last week that Bastille Day was upon us.
I’d always found celebrating the holiday here in the US to be a sweet thought ever since I studied abroad in France during the Bastille celebrations. We took the train to France and pretended we were a part of it all. We certainly looked the part – wine glasses in hand and the colors of the french flag covering us. Back in 2002, I didn’t know anything about the holiday, but have since learned the history and the significance of the name. A fascinating history.
Last night we found ourselves hungry with no clue what to do. The night was lovely with plenty of sun and a very comfortable breeze. It hit us. Let’s go French. Meritage in downtown St Paul is just outstanding. It’s such a classy spot that is just casual enough to make a sunday dinner feel leisurely. What a perfect patio. We almost had it to ourselves by the time I took the picture.
Can you tell how happy Matt is after his escargot
I’m all business with the fries
We really enjoy Meritage, but also are so sad that its sister restaurant Brasserie Zentral and the next door bar Foreign Legion closed in downtown Minneapolis. Thank goodness for Meritage, though! Hope you all found a way to get outside and enjoy the weekend! Here in the Twin Cities we are about to get a heat wave. Bring it!!!
This video starts around :31 with a song I was designed to love, called “TV Girl”. The entire new Wild Nothing album – Life of Pause – is delightful. The KEXP video is a treat to watch. I’m actually using it to distract myself from a real music issue I have to figure out. My opinions on last night’s Cure concert in St Paul. I’m having a hard time putting my feelings to words – written or verbal. They are intense feelings.
I love the Cure. I always have. I love songs that no one else loves. Though, last night for the bulk/middle of the show Robert played songs I don’t love and have never loved. I mean “Wrong Number”?? Just why? There were so many other options. So, I’ll keep watching this Wild Nothing video as I form my thoughts. I don’t want this to be my last Cure concert, but that was very pricey for a disappointing song selection and pacing slumps.
The Citypages music writer/blog really summed it up for me on the day after.
I was sitting on my porch Sunday and this idea hit me: I love taking pictures of gardens, nature, grassy areas, shady spots and garden rooms. I know many of you do, too, so let’s make the pictures easier to see in one spot!
I enjoy seeing pictures from your walks, strolls and places that inspire you on a daily basis. Our special garden spaces don’t have to be fancy to bring us great joy. So let’s share the inspiration using the hashtag #ShareYourGarden and see how many pretty pics we can get in. I’m not talking professional pics, I’m talking about the ones you and I snap while on walks or while we stand around watering our flowers. Those unexpected moments of beauty.
Here’s how it will work:
FACEBOOK: 1) post your picture to my wall (lindseybrown-news) using the hashtag #shareyourgarden and include any info you’d like me to include with the picture such as where it was taken or even why you admire the pic’s contents. For example, maybe it’s a pic of an orchid you’ve been nursing for years or a plant passed down from family. Don’t we love to hear success stories? 2) Send the pic to me in a private FB message and include all the same information.
TWITTER: Tweet the picture to me at @lbrownKSTP and include the hashtag #shareyourgarden with any other info you can fit in the twitter word limit. I’ll retweet it and also include it in our facebook album.
INSTAGRAM: Post your picture on your account and include my handle @lindseyrbrown along with the #shareyourgarden hashtag and I’ll share it using the repost app and use it on twitter and facebook while giving you credit!
EMAIL: Send all the necessary info to me along with the picture to email@example.com
Easy, right!! Hopefully it will bring us a bunch of pretty nature inspired pictures to make our social media lives a bit brighter and give us ideas for our own yards and houses. If you have friends who would enjoy this, make sure they follow me on facebook at lindseybrown-news
MY GARDEN STORY
Here’s a short look back to how I’ve become obsessed with finding spots that bring comfort, joy, inspiration – whatever you call that sense of peace needed in our hectic lives.
The small apartment I had in my first job was really cool. Old warehouse that went the length of the building. Only problem was there were just a few windows and only in the rear of the building. I dreamed of outdoor space flooded with light. I would ride down our prettiest street in Meridian just to take in the fresh smell of grass and take pictures.
When I moved to Memphis I finally got it!!! I had the most fantastic screened in porch that I filled with plants. I made it an oasis for Bridget and me.
Those Memphis azaleas made the space.
Every day we sat out there and listened to rain, crickets, birds, the breeze and stalked the walkers/bikers/runners going down our street. We also had a huge yard that my landlord gave me freedom to dig up and fill with color.
Mom and I made great use of the rocking chairs and windows.
Leaving Memphis and that porch broke my heart. I promised to find another one.
Next apartment was a brand new contemporary high-end skyscraper type of apartment building in downtown Minneapolis. It was hot, but it didn’t scream zen or nature. We made it work. We had a very narrow porch on the 11th floor and I did my best to make it feel straight out of Cottage Living.
We’d sit out and try to relax, but between the fear of falling off the balcony and the squealing from the light rail train below us, it just wasn’t going to work. Clearly that type of cold contemporary living was just meant as a short experience for Matt and me. We searched far and wide for a new home in the Twin Cities. Ironically, we found our current home while in the neighborhood for their annual garden tour – perfect. We saw our house with a rental sign and we were touring it the next day. My plants seemed to perk up just hearing we were moving to the semi-suburbs.
This house in St Paul has old bones that we love, but also has a huge outdoor patio spot with lots of privacy. I think of it as my secret garden. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect. It’s basically a big porch on top of a garage, so there’s some industrial elements, but I’m so happy I don’t even see the bars and concrete. So, you see what I meant earlier, this isn’t about fancy or perfection, it’s about sharing what makes you happy and inspired!
#mymatt loves it too
It was mom approved in May. Hopefully she’s back later in the summer.
Along with the plants I’ve brought to the patio, the property is just so naturally lush. We are surrounded by lilacs and other greening bushes. Next step this summer is getting a little fire pit and maybe an umbrella for those really sunny days, pray we have many!
So as you can see I’m loving spring and plan to enjoy summer and fall. By the way, full credit of this love of mine goes to my mother, so expect her garden and nature pics to make it into the album all the time! (not sure she will be able to figure out the hashtag deal, though)
I was sold on Helen Mirren within minutes of watching her drink her dark booze and lead a room full of cops like a pro on Prime Suspect.
This floral number is modest yet flows in such a stunning way.
Apparently she was leaving the Cannes airport when this was taken. Ahhh the riviera life.
But really, Prime Suspect. It’s a must binge watch.
During a radio tribute to 60 Minutes Correspondent, Morley Safer, a quote of his was mentioned that struck me this morning. This is coming from a person who had been on CBS for 52 years.
Safer: “I really don’t like being on television…It makes me uneasy. It is not natural to be talking to a piece of machinery. But the money is very good.” (From Fox News)
He went on to call it intimidating. I’ve been doing this now for around ten years and still will go back and forth with my comfort level. I often hear my colleagues refereed to as “a natural” or “born to be on tv”. I’ve always envied that quality. While I rarely feel uneasy and most often enjoy the thrill of live tv, let’s be honest, it can be unnerving. It’s interesting to hear a true “on air” professional make an honest comment about such a personal yet very public part of my life and livelihood.
Our weather has been just brilliant these last few days.
Minnesota in the spring can be back and forth and the last two days have been on the lovely side. We’re talking plush green grass, soft breezes and abundant lilacs from white, purple to pink.
I’ve kept this lovely song on repeat.
The speedy fast trip to Richmond, Virginia was all about baby William and his Christening ceremony.
He is Matt’s Godson and this was our first chance to meet the bald little 6-month-old gentleman. Matt went to college with William’s father and I really enjoy Hatcher and his wife Megan. This is their first child. Through our engagement, Megan was pregnant at all of our events, so it brings a great smile to our faces to see William laughing and smiling!
We are just smitten with this little guy. In fact, once we were on the plane back to Minneapolis we wished he could have come for a quick trip with us! I’ll say this, we’d have to make a rush trip to Target for diapers and formula.
The Christening was just stunning at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. A large cathedral with a soft mix of gold and muted blues and grays. The colors even felt a little French to me. It was a beautiful moment for all of us to reflect on little William and his family. The city was surrounded by azaleas at a point where we were struggling to get blooms in Minnesota. Matt and I couldn’t help but soak up the sunshine and flowers. We needed it!
Later there was an unexpected highlight to the quick weekend. While most of our crew was taking a quick post-church nap, Hatcher’s father, a life long Richmond native, took us on an amazing tour! He pointed out as much as he could on the two plus hour car ride where we’d hop in and out to see the attraction ranging from Early America happenings to locations important to the South’s Civil War capitol city. It was such an amazing day! The White House of the Confederacy, The Tredegar Ammunition Site and Museum and the most impressive Hollywood Cemetery where my fellow Mississippian, lawmaker Jefferson Davis is buried, along with many other CSA generals and soldiers. It’s an intense experience.
The quick trip was so inspiring and exciting that mom and I decided THIS MORNING that we are changing our fall plans and doing an entire Virginia trip. We were going to explore parts of the East Coast, but now it’s all Virginia. I’ve been to Charlottesville several times and now Richmond, but there is so much more to see. Stand by as we plan! Send tips my way if you think of anything!!!!
I don’t want to talk about today. I want to talk about yesterday.
Yesterday it was sunny and in the low 60’s. Though, I hate to even use the word low because it was so high: nice and warm. We walked down the street and had a patio lunch. My first thought was, “I didn’t put on my sunscreen.” My next thought was “damn, this sun has my brain working in ways it hasn’t in a while.” It was sparking all over the place. It manifested into making our own french fries like mamma always did and now doesn’t quite as often for the obvious fried food health reasons. None of that mattered yesterday, though.
We opened all the windows in the house to release the smoke that’s inevitable when I start experimenting in the kitchen and turned up the music.
It was amazing. The breeze went perfectly with the dry white wine and salty spring french fries.
One of my most treasured possessions: a deep cast iron skillet of my granny’s
We all know jealously and envy are soul crushing conditions, but we just can’t help it these days.
My mom has been sending us beautiful snapshots of her yard in Mississippi. Even a month ago it was full of tulips, daffodils, and the front of the house a sea of pink, white and fuchsia azaleas. When I call her during the day, there’s no answer. She’s always in the yard planting.
At our house in St Paul we are left waiting and waiting some more. Matt has taken things into his own hands to make up for the fact that we are still seeing flurries and chilly temps, today the high was around 40 degrees. There is no telling when it will be warm enough for us to create a cute sitting area and enjoy cocktails around lush plants and flowers.
To maintain our sanity flowers just keep appearing in the house. Not even one bunch at a time, but currently we have four arrangements. When these stop bringing the springtime cheer, I’m confident I’ll come home to more. It’s working. Matt has found every single vase in the house.
I have NEVER bought carnations for myself. When I showed up to these I couldn’t help but giggle. Could he have picked a brighter bunch? He put them right by his favorite chair.
While I’m at it, here are a couple of Easter pics. It was just the two of us, but we went all out in the kitchen. We also used our wedding china and silver, but the cooking took me a bit longer than expected, so Matt had to sift through my table setting collection. We ended up with an interesting mix of fine china, linen and dollar store placemats. Why not.
Finally, it was a chance to use another one of our wedding gifts. Everything sounds fancier when you add trifle to the name, right. Here’s the link to the Strawberry Shortcake Trifle we made and are still enjoying days later. It came out beautifully and couldn’t have been easier. Would be great for a brunch or party.
Wow, it’s been a long time. I’ll say this, getting married is overwhelming, amazing and crazy! In fact, we haven’t slowed down in the last month since the wedding! (It was on 9-19-15) It’s been so fun and I have a lot to write about and share of our wedding weekend and the honeymoon, but I need to be removed from all the fun for just a bit longer to really put the amazing experiences into words. It still feels surreal. What I do know is that Matt and I are in need of a serious detox. I use detox in a very broad way. We are just getting off what feels like a month long trip of excess, and it was all good.
“Lindsey, want a piece of cake.” ME: of course, maybe two. “Another bottle of Negra Modelo” ME: keep them coming.” That’s about how it went for a month. Matt would say he’s been healthier but no way.
We’ve eaten, gone and done just about everything we’ve wanted, so beginning tonight we are scaling it back a notch. We started with a very healthy and humble cabbage soup. The plan is to eat it a couple of days and really get our $10 out of it. We’re still using our pretty placemats and linens, though! Makes it feel special.
I know a lot of couples probably live the high life the first year of marriage with Julia Child and all that fancy stuff that we love, but after several years of long distance and courting, we’ve had our share of extravagance. We are taking this first year and getting back to basics, as our favorite lady Ina Garten says.
Here’s the recipe we used. High reviews. So much flavor for so few ingredients. PS we didn’t include meat. I didn’t want it, but Matt thinks it would have made it even better.