Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In the garden

We've been enjoying spring (and even summer) temperatures for a couple of weeks now, and the garden is bursting into bloom! Daffodils are well into their season, and iris are opening up everywhere. Azaleas are budding out in the backyard, and my Japanese magnolia is gearing up to flower.

Plans for this year include finally installing the long, wide flower bed alongside the patio that I've been dreaming of, as well as replacing one of the arbors that supports my Confederate jasmine. (With all the wind we get in that location, the old arbor is having a hard time. I'm hoping to replace it with a metal structure, one that we can concrete securely into the ground.)

I've already pulled the hammock out of storage, and Clay and I have spent a couple of lazy afternoons in it!

I did a little light weeding and cleaning up last weekend. This weekend, maybe we'll find time to buy new bedding plants for the patio pots and put them out. I'm also really hoping to do just a little vegetable gardening this season. I think Clay would love planting vegetables, watching them grow, and (hopefully) eating them once they are ripe!

I love spring!!!

Fun with Clay and Hubs

I get so tired of people who say there's nothing to do in Jackson. Truth is, there's almost TOO MUCH to do in Jackson. For the past two weekends, we've been making the most of it.

A couple of weeks ago, the Jackson Zoo held their annual Zoo Day, with fun booths and activities for the kids, trainers and guides stationed all throughout the park to teach you more about the animals, clowns, carnival games, and more. Clay absolutely loved it. We started with the giraffes, and after watching the orangutans (particularly active that morning) for a bit, we made tiger masks and took a minute to visit with the caricature artist. After playing on one of the zoo playgrounds, we saw the tigers and alligators before winning a few carnival games (free candy for prizes) and spending some time watching the otters play. Then, it was off to see the monkeys, chimps, and rhinos before a few turns on the carousel, a clown performance, and a trip to the gift shop. All of this made little people very happy! We hit up a Mexican restaurant for lunch and then headed home for a rest.

Last weekend, Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade was in town! We enjoyed the children's festival at last year's parade so much that we went again this year! I thought the festival was even better this year, with two spacejumps, a few fun carnival rides, another clown performance (that's two weekends in a row!), a pet parade (with ADORABLE pets all tricked out in green), and a children's parade. Little man loved it, especially the rides and all of the dogs!

Plus, with the warmer temperatures, we've been enjoying grilling out and eating dinner on the back patio. On Sunday night, we invited my parents over for a lovely dinner of steak kabobs, grilled veggies, couscous, and strawberry cake. The temps were heavenly, and the company was, too! So fun!

Now, THIS weekend, there's not only another parade on Saturday, but we also have tickets to a Disney LIVE! show on Sunday! Woo hoo! I'm beginning to think it doesn't get any better than this!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Keep looking UP!

We took little man on his first visit to the Russell C. Davis Planetarium today! They are learning about the solar system at daycare, and he's really into it. Brian and I both downloaded free planet apps for our phones, and now booger can tell you which planet is the biggest, which one has rings, which ones are hot, which one we live on, etc. I thought a visit to the planetarium would be the perfect complement to what we've been learning.

I hadn't been to the planetarium in ages. Their website is not usually up to date, so it's best to call them (601-960-1552) and either ask or listen to the voicemail message to find out what's playing. On the weekends, the planetarium opens 30 minutes before the first show. We went to the 1 p.m. skyshow, called Two Pieces of Glass. It was all about telescopes and what they help us see in the sky. The show was short (30 minutes), and Clay really seemed to love it! The 1 p.m. start time makes it the perfect activity to enjoy just after lunch and just before nap.

While we were there, I bought a couple of educational books and a toy space shuttle in the gift shop. So fun! He's already been zooming the shuttle all over the house!

Anyway, if you've not been to the planetarium in a while, I highly recommend it. A fun, quick, educational activity, perfect for a rainy Saturday!

The lights of Birmingham

Went on a fun Birmingham shopping trip with one of my dearest friends last weekend! Quick recap:

We left town just after lunch, arriving at the Birmingham Marriott (which is in close proximity to The Summit) well before dinner. After checking in and freshening up a bit (Now just WHY don't they open the lounge on the concierge floor on weekends? Leisure travelers like free desserts, too!), we headed out for some food and retail therapy.

A quick stop at California Pizza Kitchen turned out to be a great idea, with yummy mushroom ravioli (You know I got the cream sauce, right?) and a nice glass of red to wash it down. We began our assault on the Summit with trips to Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids (OMG have you seen their cute Easter stuff?), and Urban Outfitters. Our feet sore and our wallets considerably lighter, we headed back to the hotel for some gossip, bad TV, and shut eye.

The next morning, we took advantage of the free buffet (Hello, eggs, bacon, grits, and fruit!), then decided to check out World Market. I'd never been there before, and I think I could have spent every last cent I have in there. They had the prettiest window coverings, plus great furniture, jewelry, and kitchen accessories. I really loved their kitchen textiles, glassware, and dishes. It got me thinking about re-doing the whole kitchen. Whoops. I went wild, of course, in the Easter basket section. (Clay is going to have one rockin' Easter basket this year.) I went ahead and signed up for their rewards program, and I've been browsing their website since returning home. (This could be a real problem.)

After that, it was back to The Summit to hit up Swoozie's (I love some of their partyware!), A Pea in a Pod (My friend is five months pregnant.), and more. We stopped to re-fuel at The Cheesecake Factory, where I sampled the hummus and edamame, and my friend had the crispy crab bites (which taste just as good as they sound) and the sliders. We split a piece of key lime cheesecake.

After that big lunch, we decided to go back to the hotel to unload some of our purchases and cool our heels. It seemed like I'd barely laid down on the bed, and I was asleep! We did wake up in time to doll up and head out to Satterfield's for dinner. I had the bouillabaisse (with a big piece of crusty bread) and a nice flight of three red wines. Delish!

On day three, after another filling breakfast, we strolled through Whole Foods to grab a few snacks for the road and specialty items to take back home. (Truffle butter. Yuuummmmm.) Then, we were off!

I really didn't do as much damage to my rusty old credit card on this trip as I thought I would, but I did manage to come back home with some finds! Plus, I got to catch up with my sweet friend and relax s bit. (Sleeping IN? A NAP? WHO is this marvelous woman?!)