Friday, January 23, 2015

Jones Point Park

Pier at Jones Point Park, Alexandria, VA
We went down to Jones Point Park the other day. You can't tell from these photos, but it was so cold! Sometimes, I forget how much colder it can feel down by the water, especially when walking under the bridge; the icy wind just cuts right through you, as they say. But sometimes I need to see the water anyway. When you spend all of your time in small spaces and crowded streets, where there are no vistas or open spaces to speak of, you need to be able to gaze out at something every once in a while. At least I do. And so we braved the cold for half an hour or so and walked around the pier and up the muddy trail to the lighthouse. (You can see the National Harbor with the Capital Wheel in the photo above. We've actually never ridden it, but we did ride the London Eye years ago, and I think it's basically the same kind of deal.)

Lighthouse at Jones Point Park
The lighthouse has been here since 1855, when Alexandria was still a busy port. Kind of hard to imagine that now.

Basketball courts at Jones Point Park in Alexandria VA

Hope everyone has a good weekend! Stay cozy, friends. xo, Mary

Friday, January 16, 2015


Here are a few highlights from last year...things that appeared on the blog anyway. I wasn't sure if I would do a wrap-up post at first, but I realized there are things I want to remember, and it's nice to have everything sort of compiled into one post. :)

We took a lot of mini road trips last summer, like this day trip to Fredericksburg. We couldn't really afford to fly anywhere and take a "proper" vacation, so we decided to explore our own backyard, so to speak, and found there's a lot to see and do close to home. I still have a list of places we didn't get to last year that I'm hoping to see this year. (We also checked out Shepherdstown and Annapolis.)

All those road trips meant passing by some pretty gorgeous scenery on occasion. Usually, I tend to be the type of person who loves being in new places and exploring but hates actually traveling to get there. On one day, I decided to pull over and take some photos to remind myself that "getting there" isn't all bad.

Who could forget the epic winter that started off 2014? It was the coldest winter I'd ever experienced in my life, and honestly, it changed the way I think about where I want to live in the future should we ever leave the DC area. I used to be really open-minded about moving to new places, and I guess I'm still more flexible about moving than most. But I definitely don't think I'll be moving to any place that typically has harsh winters. I'm just not cut out for it, and that's ok.

Not surprisingly, that epic winter kept me cooped up inside a lot those first few months. But it wasn't all bad as I used that time to make some just-for-fun diys and crafts, like these vintage luggage-style storage boxes.

Midway through March, when I really thought I couldn't stand anymore snow, we took a little field trip to the botanical gardens so we could spend a few hours in a tropical climate, and it was maybe the best decision I made all year. (We're actually planning to go back again soon because it's seriously the best medicine for winter blues.)

When the first signs of spring started to appear, I was pretty much ecstatic and couldn't wait to get outside with my camera. We took lots of walks all year, of course, but this one in particular sticks out in my mind.

We went to the Cherry Blossom Festival along with seemingly everyone else in DC. It was majorly crowded but worth it to see all those dreamy pink trees up close.

I finally got around to sharing a couple of room tours, the dining room and kitchen. I know I'm notoriously slow when it comes to house posts, but I promise to share more room tours soon.

Summer was amazing...honestly the best summer of my life, weather-wise. We took full advantage and put off a lot of things in favor of getting outside as much as possible. It might sound silly to some, but whenever we had low-humidity, mild temperature days, which are such a rarity in this area, Peter and I could not stop smiling and saying "it's so nice!" And we had a lot of them, the kind of mild days that absolutely affect your mood in the best possible way. We spent one beautiful day exploring a new-to-us garden about 30 minutes away called Meadowlark.

I finally finished a roll of film that had been sitting in my Yashica TL Electro X for over a year, and I posted a few pics from that first roll. It felt like an accomplishment to finally finish the roll after so long and get the film developed and scanned. I've since shot a couple more rolls and have acquired another vintage 35mm camera that I tested not too long ago, and the film from that camera is being processed right now. So hopefully, I'll have more film scans to share soon!

In October, we drove out to the Blue Ridge Mountains to see some amazing views and soak up the fall color. It was my first time in that part of Virginia, and I hope we can go back again and see more of it this summer.

The last couple months of the year were really a blur. I was getting ready for a craft show on top of the usual holiday craziness, but we definitely took some time out toward the end of December to relax and just enjoy the season. All those twinkly lights make even a simple night out a lot more charming.

I'm still making plans and goals for 2015. For the most part, I'm excited about what's ahead, and I hope to share it with you guys. xo, Mary

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Color Therapy

I was going through some photos from last summer and found a bunch from a visit to a rose garden that I never posted. It was just the thing I needed on this grey, freezing day to lift my spirits a little. I have a ton of photos from that day--of course I do--but I'll just post a few close-ups today and save the rest for another post. Actually, looking at these roses made me want to make flower brooches again, which I haven't made in ages. I'm strongly resisting that urge, though, as I'm moving on to other projects. But still, dreamy colors and layers upon layers of soft really never gets old. :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Winter Walk of Lights

We went to a "Winter Walk of Lights" at a nearby garden one day last week, and it was beautiful! My photos don't do it justice at all. Unfortunately, it was bitterly cold the night we decided to go, and I could barely hold my camera steady, much less get perfect shots. I was just trying to see as much as I could before the cold forced me to walk back up to the visitor center.

Anyway, the lights! It was truly spectacular to see all the trees along the garden path aglow. It might be hard to tell from these photos, but the lights were wound up the trees really high (one person guessed 40 feet, and I'd say they probably weren't far off). It takes the staff and volunteers three months to set it all up! I didn't even get a chance to see it all because my fingers and toes turned into stinging icicles, and I had to skip some portions.

I hope we can go back next year, possibly armed with better gloves and an extra pair of socks, and I can take more of the photos I wanted to take this time. A couple of the displays changed colors and shapes, and I would've loved to have taken more photos to make gifs or even made a short video, but that just wasn't happening on this visit. Maybe the universe will be kind and grant us a warm night in December next year. :)

Looking back through these photos, I'm really glad we went despite it all. Maybe it's because I was obsessed with my Lite-Brite as a little kid, but something about colorful lights against the night sky fills me with so much happy. xo, Mary