DO | Traditional Anniversary Gifts – 6th Anniversary – Iron

Almost two years ago I shared the gifts I had purchased for my husband for our 1-5th anniversaries according to Hallmark’s traditional anniversary gift list.

Last year was our 6th anniversary – candy/iron – and I found a great gift for him. He loves candy, however I totally blanked on that option, so I focused on iron.

Search for “iron anniversary gift” and you’re bound to find anything from keychains to engraved horse shoes to branding rods for the grill to personalized railroad stakes. None of this really spoke to me. I looked and looked, and even had myself convinced a few things would be acceptable until I came across this:

Garden stake.jpg

It’s a “sundial garden stake” made of wrought iron.

I had many late nights with my youngest son which gave me time to look for a gift. One night I went down a rabbit hole when I started looking for iron gardening stakes and found this one from A Rustic Garden (coincidentally based out of my home state of Illinois). I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but my husband is our in-home gardener and I thought this would be a good addition to our blossoming yard.

There were many choices – shapes, sizes, finishes – and it was hard to choose. Finally I decided to go with the globe style, natural finish (that is, no finish whatsoever). It seemed timeless and would continue to patina and rust with the weather.

This year is copper/wool. Considering we already have a set of copper mugs, and I can’t exactly claim a set of copper pots would be for him (Mr. Don’t Ask Me To Cook), I might focus on wool.

Any suggestions?

 

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EAT | Watermelon Corn Mint Salad

The last few summers I’ve made a watermelon salad with corn and mint and a bunch of other things and it is a crowd-pleasing warm-weather salad. However, I never bookmark the recipe and usually waste a good chunk of time trying to find it again. I made this salad less than two weeks ago and I can neither remember the recipe nor find it immediately online.

Since I finally DID find it (here at House & Home), but I don’t follow it to a T, I decided to write it out my way so I can refer to this online blog-ary when I need to make it again.

Here you go. Make it. Enjoy it. You’re welcome.

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DO | Reduce Your Plastic Usage

With the continuing proof that plastic is doing a rather large disservice to our ecosystem, it is important that we, as individuals, do what we can do reduce our reliance on plastic. It seems like an overwhelming task until you realize every single one of us can have a meaningful impact when we reduce the use of single-use plastic in our daily lives.

Once you are aware of the prevalence of plastic it’s hard to escape it. Being a parent gives me a microscope into the world of plastics – children’s toys are a big source. But look around – cleaning bottles, computers and accessories, jewelry, bathroom products, shoes, toys, light switches, smoke detectors… it doesn’t end.

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BE | On Mother’s Day

On my first, technical, Mother’s Day, I was about 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I remember feeling torn between celebrating and not, mostly because I was pretty anxious with my first pregnancy and didn’t want anything to jinx it. My all-knowing husband was aware of my feelings and when I made a passing comment to him as to why he didn’t get me a card he echoed my sentiments to the effect of “I figured you wouldn’t want to celebrate just yet.” To be fair, there was enough celebrating the pending arrival of the first grandchild.

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BE | Time Spent With Loved Ones

When I was born, and until I was 19, I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents and a great grandmother. Now I’m a third through my lifetime and my father’s mother is my only remaining grandparent. She is one of the most incredible women I know – she will be 93 this year, still lives on her own, and still works (because she wants to!). She has a more active social life than me and she is not slowing down any time soon.

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TODDLER | Books We Love 3YO – Q3 (Spanish too!)

Well it’s been a long time since my last regular post (Jan 1, ahem) so let’s get back on track. I’m a month+ late with this one (oops) but, life intervenes sometimes. Guests, a month of sickness, doctor’s appointments, traveling, and holidays… lots to do.

In the meantime, I have continued to read lots and lots of books. Good thing. I recently learned about researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley at the University of Kansas and their research on children’s language development. They followed 42 families of different socio-economic backgrounds and recorded every word they said, for one hour per month, over two and a half years. They determined that the number of words the children heard was the most interesting variable as to their vocabulary development by age 3.

They found that babies need to hear 21,000 words a day, or 2,100 words an hour, to have a bigger vocabulary (and what comes along with it). Turns out that’s only about 15 minutes of talking in an hour. (Thanks to Tracy Cutchlow’s book Zero to Five for that information.)

Not only does reading help bring up your child’s vocabulary, but it also gives you some nice family time together.

Get reading!

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