{ friday favorites } peonies, i’m jelly, beets & carrots

{ florals } The blooms of spring and summer reminds me of everything romantic. I just love the lusciousness of peonies, ranunculus, and whimsical arrangements.

ranunculus via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-aIwhimsical via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-aIteapot via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-aI

{ cute print } The creative geniuses of Wong Fu Productions designed this adorable “I’m Jelly” print. I first saw this print at my friend Sara & Jeff’s home in Virginia. I knew I had to order it for our new home. My lovely friend, Lucy, surprised me with this last week! She spoils me.

wong fu print "i'm jelly" via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-aI{ garden harvest } Over the weekend we harvested the last of the carrots and beets. The beets and carrots are so fresh and so delicious when eaten raw. We also boiled the beets (we recommend roasting, but were on a time crunch) for salad and put the carrots in a Japanese-style curry.

beets & carrots via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-aI

{ jou travels } we run dc…

Last month Wayne and I had the pleasure to travel to our nation’s capital to run in the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC, benefiting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. (We seem to like destination marathons) We ran #BostonStrong, all 15,000 of us. The course was absolutely beautiful–running 13.1 miles with historic views of the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge, Potomac River and the US Capitol Building. What else is wonderful about this race? The gorgeous limited-edition Tiffany finishers necklace! The necklace this year is a tasteful dog tag design of a woman running alongside cherry blossoms. The back is inscribed with NWM Half  ’13 Washington.

Post-marathon certainly deserves a guilt-free feast. After our race we trudged through the city (what felt like a journey) in search for Georgetown Cupcakes and Shake Shack. Georgetown Cupcakes was heavenly and we conquered practically the entire menu at Shake Shack. My favorite is the ‘Shroom Burger (vegetarian), crisp-fried portobello burger filled with melted meunster and chedder cheese, topped with lettuce, tomatoes and ShackSauce.

On our tourist days we visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, searched for cherry blossoms, fine Indian food dining at Rasika, helped Sara garden and ate Mexillant fish tacos. Thanks to our lovely friends Jeff & Sara for hosting us!

NWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNWM DC via itsjoulife - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adGeorgetown Cupcakes via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-ad'Shroom burger via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-adShake Shack DC via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adcherry blossoms via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adcherry blossoms via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adNatural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-adThe Capitol Natural History Museum via it's jou life http://wp.me/p3cljj-ad

{ friday favorites } wongfu productions’ somewhere like this // coachella // chuao chocolatier

{ favorite video } Wong Fu Productions’ Somewhere Like This. “Across clear skies. Among glowing stars. That’s where I’ll find us.”

{ favorite event } An annual pilgrimage of indie music enthusiasts, Coachella was the place to be in April. Wayne and I joined friends for weekend 1 and it was a blast of everything amazing–old band favorites and new tune discoveries, salivating-worthy food trucks, illuminating art installations and the fashion fusion of hippies & hipsters. Photos by Jennifer’s iPhone.

coachella wears via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-9Ovampire weekend @ coachella via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-9Oon sidewalks end, coachella art installation via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-9Omirage art installation, coachella 2013 via it's jou life - http://wp.me/p3cljj-9O

{ favorite snack } I love chocolate. I may even love it more than sleep. My recent discovery are Chuao Chocolatier, gourmet handcrafted chocolates that come in amazing bars like Potato Chip, Maple Bacon, Honeycomb and my ultimate favorite, Firecracker. Firecracker is packed with sultry sea salt, smoky chipotle, and popping candy exploding in dark chocolate. They are free of hydrogenated fats, artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners. Gotta have my mini-stash of secret chocolate…

chuao

Summer Sprouts

We planted pole beans and cucumbers in the garden about 10 days ago and they recently sprouted!

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Pole beans planted around a wire cage and cucumbers planted under a trellis.

beanSprout cucumberSprout
Baby bean and cucumber sprouts.

The cucumber seeds were started under plastic bottles with the bottom removed to create a mini-greenhouse.  After the seeds had sprouted, we removed the bottles and replaced them with plastic rings cut from water bottles to keep the seedlings separated from the mulch.  This helps to keep the seedlings from staying too moist which can cause disease.

We have also been harvesting blueberries as they ripen.  Blueberries don’t ripen all at the same time so you should check every couple days and harvest the ripe ones.  It can be a little tricky to tell if blueberries are ripe, but look for berries that are completely blue/purple without any hint of green.  Blueberries can also be sweeter if left on the bush an extra day or two after they turn colors.  Just remember to pick them before the garden animals do.

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Blueberries.