by christine victoria alexander

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

WHERE WE BOUGHT OUR DECK FURNITURE


Our deck furniture arrived and yowza is it good! I always feel a little nervous ordering big furniture items online, but lucky for us everything showed up exactly as we were expecting, if not better! Our backyard faces south so we get to watch the sun come up in the mornings while we sit on the sofa, and then the sun sets behind the couch bathing the whole deck in this heavenly golden light. It's been overcast and cloudy the last few days but tonight the sun peeked out just in time for golden hour and I couldn't help but run out there and snap these pictures with everything all lit up so pretty.

A bunch of you reached out to me on Instagram asking where we bought our sofa and chairs so I've linked everything here for you! I originally looked at the Madison sofa from Ballard's but wasn't ready to shell out $1500 for our outdoor sofa so I found a dupe at Ashley's for half the price and I love it! It's super solid, the cushions are firm, and the covers are removable for washing. Just absolutely giddy about it!
The chairs are from Target and made from a plastic wicker material that makes them really easy to spray off whenever they get covered in sticky strawberry fingerprints. 😉 The cushions and pillow covers aren't removable, so I'm just planning on swapping them out in a year or two with washable ones.

The blue and white rug is an indoor outdoor rug I found on Rugs.com and so far it's holding up great. Mine is 9x12. Great price for such a big rug!

The coffee table is our indoor coffee table and it's actually broken, but we have it out here because we spend more time out here than we do in our living room. I'm trying to decide if it would be fun to build a round concrete coffee table or if I should go with something easier to move around. There's already a lot of wood going on out here... maybe glass? What do you think?










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Friday, May 22, 2020

SPRING SHOWERS


It's been raining non stop for 3 days in Charlotte, so what better time to share my new rain boots with you? I wear boots for gardening and watering the plants every day. They're easy to slip on and off and keep me dry better than clogs. My old ones were hand me downs from my mom that lasted me 7 years, but they bit the dust this spring when they cracked and started letting in water.

I came across these short Hunter "play boots" and loved them right away! The colors are fun and the speckled sole adds interest. Isaac laughs when he comes downstairs and I'm wearing them with my pajama pants. They're just so fun! I'm thinking about getting a second color so I can wear a pair out and still have one for getting muddy.


Olive just outgrew her boots from 2 years ago (she really squeezed them on the last 6 months because she didn't want to part with them) so I ordered her this pair from Amazon that's under $20. She requested yellow but I was secretly hoping she'd go for the lilac or green! I used to nanny for a girl that always had her kids in rain boots and I couldn't understand why they were always wearing them even when it wasn't raining. Now I get it: 1) kids love boots, 2) kids can pull boots on with no help. 🙌 So now my kiddies are the ones in rain boots all the time and I love it.

I made these cute little shop graphics to make it easier to shop my links. Shopping my links is at no cost to you except for your time, which means a lot! Purchasing through a shop link on my site does not cost you any more thank you would visiting the site yourself, but I may make a small commission for the sale. Thank you for supporting my blog!





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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN



We celebrated my birthday this weekend with a low key visit to a beautiful South Carolina garden. Glencairn Garden is an 11-acre slice of paradise that used to be the backyard of David & Hazel Bigger. It has a similar feel to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, but on a much smaller scale. The girls loved the fountains and I loved the big blue hydrangeas. It got me so excited for my plants at home to start blooming. 
On the way there we made a quick stop at Clean Juice and picked up my favorite smoothie and almond butter toast to-go. We ate our breakfast on one of the big swings in the shade before starting to explore the gardens. Madeline did surprisingly well for missing her morning nap and giggled when we let her walk in the grass. Isaac helped Olive and Rosie make the sweetest birthday cards for me as a surprise. Those sorts of things do not come easily to Isaac so of course it meant so much more that he thought to do that for me. 
We finished the day grilling fish tacos and taking a swim in my parent's beautiful pool. I absolutely love a big family grill out and couldn't imagine a better finish to my birthday. Thank you to everyone who texted, called and messaged me this weekend - you sure know how to make me feel loved! Wish I could give you all the biggest hugs back! xx


^ don't worry, they perked up a bit after we fed them 😉



^ Olive took this one. 🤍



^ a very good ending to a very good day!

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Friday, May 15, 2020

THE ONLY TURKEY BURGER RECIPE YOU NEED


Fire up the grill because we're making turkey burgers this weekend! Sun-dried tomato and feta turkey burgers to be exact! I have been making these for 7 years now (I know that because I made them for the first time in our little townhouse in Sedgefield right after we got married) and they never disappoint! I like mine bunless, slathered with guacamole, topped with sprouts, tomato and pickled onions. The ingredients are all pretty straightforward, but I've made just a few quick recipe notes below if you're the kind of person that needs all the details. 😉

SUN-DRIED TOMATO & FETA TURKEY BURGERS
serves 6

A few quick notes: My original recipe uses 1/2 cup breadcrumbs but since I almost never have gluten free breadcrumbs on hand I've stopped adding them. If you have them, toss in a handful and carry on! 
If you are making these dairy free, substitute the feta with 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast. It doesn't melt like feta but it adds another layer of flavor and also helps stand in for the breadcrumbs that I mentioned above! 
You can absolutely use fresh spinach instead of frozen - just chop it up and toss it in. 
I almost always double this recipe - they are delicious for lunch the next day!  

1 lb. organic ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 lb. frozen organic chopped spinach, defrosted, with the liquid squeezed out
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

To serve, any or all of the following: buns, bibb lettuce, guacamole, pickled red onions, sprouts, ketchup, tomato slices, cucumber slices

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Gently smoosh everything together with a fork. Form into 6 burgers and refrigerate until ready to grill. Preheat grill to medium high. Place burgers on the grill and cook 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Enjoy!

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

DOLLHOUSE & DIY


Meet our newest addition. We decided it was about time these girls had a dollhouse! I picked one out online to order as a gift for all three of them with birthday money from their great grandfather. Unfortunately, it was backordered until June. While I was doing my weekly browse through Next-door's for sale section I stumbled upon the exact same dollhouse we were planning to order, for a fraction of the price, only this one came filled with Calico Critters and furniture! I couldn't believe it. We picked it up on Mother's Day and I joked with Isaac that it was one of the best Mother's Day gifts I've received because I'm just as excited to play with it as the girls!
Thank you, Poppop, for sending birthday money to the girls so we could buy this beautiful gift. I hope it is something that we will enjoy forever. 

The little chairs are also new (to us)! Our handyman surprised the girls with them while he was building our deck! I gave them a couple coats of paint and I could not love them more! You know what they say about DIY - one project quickly leads to another. Well it's true. I can't stop. Let the transformations begin!



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Monday, May 11, 2020

CURRENTLY CRAVING: BLUE & WHITE

Southern Living Idea House


Another month, another edition of Currently Craving. This month I am head over heels for blue and white. It started with a delicate piece of blue and white striped fabric I bought to make curtains for the nursery. I loved how the curtains looked so much that I bought a blue and white striped dress so that I could match my curtains. I laughed it off feeling very Gone With The Wind. It would have stopped there, but I noticed that every time I walked into my closet my eye immediately went to the blue and white striped dress, so I bought a light blue skirt since, well, I must like light blue. I have bought 2 more blue and white striped dresses since then and have decided to turn my attention to filling our home with blue and white now too. So far I have filled our flower beds with blue hydrangeas and our pots with blue annuals and herbs. I am currently on the hunt for blue and white wallpaper for the powder room and thinking about painting my kitchen cabinets light blue! Somebody stop me! Or don't. I really love it!

Blue and white is timeless. It's a combination that looks just as much at home in the Hamptons as it does in Charleston. It can be coastal, but I think it's a classic coastal, not a tacky coastal. It has a way of feeling styled and posh and at the same time airy and fresh. I never used to be a blue person but something in me just switched and now I can't seem to get enough of it.

Pinterest

Pinterest / @thepottedboxwood


Atlanta Homes / @arielokin

@agk_designstudio / Clary Bosbyshell

Serena & Lily / Gal Meets Glam

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Friday, May 8, 2020

HAPPY FRIDAY!


Happy Friday, friends!

1. My sister sent me a recipe for sourdough brownies the other day and I've added them to the long list of reasons why I need to start making sourdough bread. Sourdough is having a major moment right now and for good reason! Fresh yeast or commercial bread can contribute to bloating and poor digestion, but sourdough bread is actually good for your intestinal health and much easier to digest. I'm very excited to try the gluten free sourdough starter from Aran Goyoaga's new book Cannelle et Vanille. Her recipe calls for brown rice flour but she notes that you can also try it with teff, buckwheat, millet or quinoa flours. Once I get that going, I'll be revisiting the sourdough brownies!

Sourdough Brownies from Top With Cinnamon
Vegan Sourdough Brownies from Top With Cinnamon 

2. The NutriBullet I use for grinding oat flour, flaxseed and making smaller smoothies is 15% off this weekend with code MOM15! If you're looking for a small but powerful blender I cannot recommend it enough. Super handy for road trips too!

NutriBullet Blender
Nutribullet 6-piece Set on Amazon

3. I made my very first salt scrub this week! Why did I not do this sooner?! I've made my share of coffee & sugar scrubs but have been hearing so much about the benefits of salt scrubs lately I wanted to give them a try. I made my scrub with a 50/50 mix of epsom salt and sea salt (Celtic salt would have been a better choice for the minerals but I didn't have any on hand), added some dried lavender and essential oils of lavender and peppermint. I could have added ground coffee, clay, seaweed, cinnamon or turmeric, but didn't want to make my shower too messy the first go around! I scrubbed it on head to toe in a hot shower and then moisturized all over with coconut oil after I toweled off. Salt scrubs are wonderful for stimulating circulation, lymphatic movement, sloughing off dead skin cells and activating your largest organ = your skin! My skin has been so soft and glowy all week I feel like I've been to the spa (but without the $200 price tag)!

365 Everyday Value Epsom Salts
Celtic Sea Salt  
Pure Ocean Sea Salt 

4. I have 3 books in my Amazon cart right now and they pretty much sum up 3 of my current interests: cooking, home decor, and wellness. I love the idea behind A Basket by the Door, it seems perfect for the time we are in right now.

A Basket by the Door, by Sophie Hansen
Live Beautiful, by Athena Calderone (selling out fast!)
Practical Herbal Medicine Handbook, by Althea Press

Hope you all have the most wonderful weekend! Isaac if you're reading this I'm hoping for lots of flowers, extra hugs and an acai bowl on Sunday 😉 xx

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

FRESH MINT & MANGO SMOOTHIE


I love mornings. The girls and I all get up around the same time. We make a big smoothie together and sit around the table coloring and making a plan for the day. If it's warm enough, we walk outside and water the plants. The girls love to see if anything got bigger overnight. I have a mint plant growing in a pot on the deck steps and it's grown so much with all the spring rain we've had this week. It reminded me of a mint smoothie I used to make quite a bit last year. I whipped it up again a couple of weeks ago and the girls and I have been hooked ever since. I hope the mint plant can keep up with our appetite! Mint is great for mental clarity and a super refreshing way to start your day!

I don't know many children that would ask for mint in their smoothie, but something changes when a child harvests food for themself or helps prepare their own meal. I'm so excited to see more families gardening during this time at home. It is a wonderful thing, for children especially, to be able to see where their food comes from and help pick and eat, literally, the fruit of their labor!

You hardly need a recipe for a smoothie (they are pretty forgiving!) but here is a rough guide! I love it with frozen mango but it's just as delicious with frozen strawberries!

Tag me on Instagram if you make it - I would love to see!


FRESH MINT & MANGO SMOOTHIE
serves 2-3

I've been using Pure Synergy Superfood Powder & Pure Radiance C Powder everyday in my smoothies and highly recommend them, but ff powders aren't your thing you can substitute with a couple handfuls of spinach.  

3 ripe bananas
2 cups frozen mango chunks
a small handful of fresh mint leaves (our leaves are small and we pick about 10-15)
2 cups coconut water or almond milk
2 tablespoons Pure Synergy Organic Superfood Powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Pure Radiance C Powder 

Add everything to a high speed blender and blend!



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Monday, May 4, 2020

THE WEEKEND, OUR ANNIVERSARY & MY NEW FAVORITE DRESS


Last weekend marked seven years since Isaac and I married under the chuppah on a cloudy spring morning. We planned to celebrate this milestone paddle-boarding into the sunset at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, but we'll have to postpone that for another time. We celebrated with a simple (and delicious) dinner at home, surrounded by our three wonderful girls. It is so good to love and to be loved!

We spent the weekend in our favorite place - the outdoors. Isaac even commented how funny it was that the living room stayed clean all day because we were never in it. 😂 I bought these cool frisbees to try and they have been so much fun! We play almost every evening with the girls. They are so easy to throw even Rosie can do it!
Drawing giant chalk towns on the driveway is becoming a weekly activity. The girls decide what will go in the town, I draw it, and then they scooter through the streets stopping in at all the shops. This week there was a park with swings and a very big slide, a garden supply store, a "store with beach toys and stuff", a smoothie shop, a library, and houses for each of the girls. We later added a private lane between the girls' houses so they could visit each other anytime without going on the main road. Can you tell we are serious about our chalk towns?

On a different note, I have been living in the same two t shirts and shorts for the last month and decided it was time for a change. I bought this cute striped dress (on sale for $45) along with this $19 straw boater that I will wear all summer. They arrived on my anniversary and I couldn't wait to put them on. It made me so happy to spend the day twirling and dancing around in a dress. I think it will be a summer of dresses for me!

Isaac had a pile of mulch the size of our house delivered a few weeks ago and we are so close to having it all spread! It might sound like an awful chore but I really enjoy having a project, especially an outdoor one, so I've actually looked forward to chipping away at it every day. The big girls scooter along side me as I work and love to bring the empty wheelbarrow back up the hill to the mulch pile. Madeline is either napping or riding in the wheelbarrow as I cart back and forth. We make it fun!

Can't wait to give you all a little tour of the backyard soon! Have a wonderful week! xx









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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A MOTHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE


My anniversary, birthday and Mother's Day all happen to fall in the same month - MAY! It's like a month long celebration. There will be fish tacos and picnics and walks in the sunshine and pictures and handwritten cards and big hugs from all my girls! I pulled together a Mother's Day gift guide of items I have and love along with a handful of things currently on my wishlist! If you can't get something shipped in time just remember "better late than never"! 😉

Jewelry, from GLDN
Love this jewelry company. Every piece is handmade to order in their Washington studio.

A diffuser, from Vitruvi
Stone diffusers so beautiful they pass as room decor.

Soft, pretty pajamas, from Lake
Made from the softest pima cotton and perfect for weekend brunching or watching the sunset with your toes in the sand.

Flower garden inspiration, from Floret Farm
A dreamy garden guide for every flower lover. (P.S. Floret Farm just released their second book, A Year in Flowers, that looks just as amazing!)

A sisal bath brush, from Anthropologie
Who doesn't love radiant skin? Pair this with your favorite body scrub and you've got a glowing gift.

French wine glasses, from Crate & Barrel
Did I mention they are just like the ones Ina Garten uses. How easy is that?

A facial in a jar, from True Botanicals
The best things come in small packages... (my favorite mask!)

Something to nurture, from Fast Growing Trees
I'm partial to the Meyer lemon trees (I have 2!) but olive trees are trending right now! Shipped straight to your door from their nursery in South Carolina.

Something pretty for her table, from Anthropologie
Love this old-world cake stand. Made in Italy, and perfect for anyone who entertains.

A gorgeous bouquet, from Grace Rose Farm
Organically grown with love in California. A beautiful gift that supports a small business.

Thanks for reading! Now go spoil your mama and buy her something nice! xx

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A PLANTING PARTY FOR MADELINE & ROSIE


We celebrated our April birthday babies with a spring planting party last weekend! The girls and I have been reading lots of books about bees, butterflies and flowers and it sparked some interest when I suggested we throw a planting party for Madeline's 1st and Rosie's 3rd birthdays this month. We've planted quite a few shrubs since buying our home, but no flowers. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to fill our beds with blooms and let some eager little hands help us in the process.

Our backyard is partly shaded so I chose flowers that (I am hoping!) will do well in dappled sunlight: Endless Summer hydrangeas, Blue Moon phlox, Jacob's ladder, Bernadine clematis, foxgloves, comfrey (a gift from my mom!), and Birch Hybrid bellflower. I also found a couple of Madison Star Jasmine plants which can grow in full shade or full sun! Rosie received a hummingbird feeder and a butterfly bush for her birthday so we can add hummingbirds and butterflies to our list of backyard visitors now, too! 

I thought my nieces and nephews would enjoy filling the clay pots on my deck steps with herbs and flowers, but they were really only interested in helping Uncle Isaac plant the big stuff in the ground 😂 can't blame them, Uncle Isaac is pretty cool.

I would usually write up an emotional post about my sweet squishy Madeline baby turning one and how bittersweet it is to move from the baby stage to the toddler stage, but I'm really not ready to process all of that right now. Madeline isn't walking yet, in fact she just started standing for a few seconds here and there - so she is still my sweet squishy Madeline baby. She just learned how to clap and it's so cute! She claps and she smiles and she dances!

Rosie told everyone last year she was turning 9 and this year she's been telling everyone she's turning 5. Moving in the right direction! We are starting to see quite a lot of personality from our little Ro-boat. She likes clothes to fit a certain way and if they don't meet her requirements they might as well be packed away for Madeline. Rosie does not like to get dirty but she loves playing outside! We bought her a scooter for her birthday and she was so excited about it she kept sneaking people off to the garage during the party to see it. 😂

A big, big thank you to all the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents that came out to help us dig and plant Sunday morning! We had so much fun and our little girls felt so special!  I wish I had gotten more pictures during the party, but I just never remember!

Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful spring weather! xx 












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