Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mexican Grass Addiction?

Mexican Feather Grass is definitely my favorite perennial purchase this season.

I'm obsessed with everything about it…

the way it dances in the breeze
the way it feels in my hands
the way it captivates me with its gorgeous airiness. 
I really just can't get enough.

My Mexican Feather Grass admiration has gone so overboard, in fact, that instead of planting it in the ground, I transferred it into a planter so I can caress it while lounging on the deck.

And I do.

If it's in my sight line, I'm over there running my fingers through it…
braiding it
making ponytails with it
curling it around my fingers.

I might get more so I can wrap myself in it.
NOT Mexican Feather Grass, but a funny image of me "trying on" some other lovely plant (not nearly as snuggly as it looks) at a family gathering. Photo Credit: Cate Dougherty
If you come over and find me crouched in the dirt with a makeshift grass shawl, don't be too alarmed.
This stuff would make a great plant suit.
Sensory therapy, anyone?
Get some soothing Mexican Feather Grass and see what I mean.

Most tactilely stimulating plant ever!

Sidenote: Be prepared for really strange reactions when you, too, run around telling people that you're addicted to Mexican grass. 

Here's to sunny days and gorgeous greenery!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

26/52- A Photo Challenge

Better late than never...

Responsibility aside, we were rockin' and rompin' during our favorite week of summer, thus far.
Is there anything better than beachin' it with your crew?

Kaira's bumper-car-driving-skills are vastly improved this season. Watch out newbies! 
Shoulder-riding-Boopsie stole her dad's hat while waiting for her roller-coaster-riding-buddies. Top dog on the boardwalk— REPRESENT.

Pets for this week? Pfffft. 
Squawkin' suckas almost stole my breakfast. 
This shot, however, was well worth the bait. 

Didn't want this week to end…
but the sun is still shining, and there are always more good things to come.

Hope your holiday weekend has been beautiful and beyond!
Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Hearth's 10 Most Popular Posts

To set sail into our most exciting week of Summer 2014, I'm bringin' back some reader favorites.

If you missed any of these goodies, check out the top ten posts of all-time from the From My Hearth to Yours archive.

#10 The Genie in the Lamp and the Meaning of Life
SO pleased this story made the cut. A profound surprise...
#9 Our House- The All-Inclusive Stink Bug Resort
Sorry this did make the cut. Guess that means many of you feel my pain. Death to spawn!
#8 Ride Safer Travel Vest
Oooooh, friends! If you were interested in this awesome invention, stick around! We've got another giveaway coming up soon.
#7 Made in the Shade
We're about to rock this umbrella/tent for the third summer. Even loaned 'er out to our buds for their beach extravaganza. Still kicking it!
#6 Reachin' for the Moon!
Our moons are an integral part of the bedtime experience for both our girlies. Wish I'd had one when I was a kiddo. Makes you dream big.
#5 Stink Bugs: They're Baaaaaack!
More spawn. Damn.
#4 Choosing Favorites: My Top 5 Book Collections for Kiddos
I totally stand by these choices. For birthdays and baby showers, book collections are my gifts of choice. If you use 'em well, these books can really make magic happen.
#3 How To EFFECTIVELY Ditch a Spider
I don't think there IS a better way.
#2 Three Steps to the Toilet- Living in a Tiny House
Still wanna have a beer with this gal.
#1 The Best Gifts We Gave This Year
My heart is happy knowing that this post has reached the most readers.
Give when you can.
It will make you, and someone else, feel good.

High-fives and beaming smiles to all you readers. 
Thanks for hanging at the Hearth.
Here's to a week of so-much-smiling-your-face-hurts…

P.S. "Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here for news, updates and reader tips.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

25/52- A Photo Challenge

A morning romp, 
at my favorite place on the planet, 
with a crew of the peeps and peanuts that make our hearts the happiest
was a highlight of this incredibly uplifting week.

Kaira loves Sara.
Even tagged the deck to lay the sentiment down.
A sweet weekday reminder.

Layna loves leaves. 
Her spirit makes me smile.

I am, most definitely, a dog person. The bigger the beast, the more I swoon.
Cats are harder for me to read.

Of late, FOUR new cats have been introduced into the homes of our inner circle crew. 
I'm learning.

Meet Mimsy, with her magnificent markings. 

How does a die-hard dog person begin to get down with cats? They're such different creatures.
Send me some advice.

Have hugs this weekend!
Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why You Should Drive Across the Country

In 2003, Lee and I drove across the country and back. 
It was, definitely, one of the most fulfilling adventures of our lives. 

With our Jeep packed full of camping equipment, clothing-stuffed duffle bags, food, water, one basic cell phone (with no Internet) and a big ol' road map (no GPS)...

we hopped in the car, 
turned on the radio 
and started driving west. 
Our single map and travel journals
The goal was simple— hit as many national parks as possible, swim in the Pacific and venture home.

That was our only real plan.
Everything else was left to chance.
Tagging the Pacific for the first time!
And THAT, my friends, is exactly why you need to make this journey.

Our society spends so much time planning, especially with the immediate-gratification of today's technology.

Where's the nearest gas station? Google it.
Which campground has the best reviews? Ask Siri.
How many waterfalls are in Yellowstone? Boom.

As we charged forward on our cross-country journey, we couldn't rely on technology (no email, texting, social media or web searching for over one month) so we relied on each other instead.

And it was one of the most liberating, inspiring times of our lives.  
We kept track of the most frequently played and weirdest songs we heard and movies to watch again (after being inspired by stops on our adventure)
People, if you know me…
I'm a planner.

It's an issue of mine.

At first, the idea of driving across the country…freestyle, scared the hey-ell outta me.
But I trusted my fella and knew the voyage was bound to be the exploration adventure of a lifetime.

And, whooo-doggy was it!
Our only source of direction. No GPS.
Over a month of driving, camping, adventuring, gabbing, and discovering the phenomenal wonders of our country assured us that we were on the right path in the changing chapter of our lives and as a unified team together.

Find the perfect partner and go.
Say you will.
Because those spacious skies couldn't be more beautiful…
Send me a postcard from as far as you can get.

See it all!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

24/52- A Photo Challenge

We've been AT it this week with the landscaping.
Digging. Planting. Trimming. Watering. Saw-whet-ting!
After a local nursery center visit, the back of our car looked like this.

While on the perennial hunt, ever-resourceful-Kaira found shelter and shade underneath the top tier of our rolling cart. As we filled the space around her, wiggly hands and feet waved out from the greenery. 

A family that drums together...

Wise warriors seek the advantage of higher ground. Better pounce-ability.
Here's to the official start of summer! Cheers-in' it in this weekend!
Catching up? Check out last week's Photo Challenge post here.

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LASIK Follow-Up Report: The Dry, Hazy Truth

I posted LASIK- 7 Notes for a Clearer Future two weeks after my procedure was completed. 

Now, over 3 months later, an honest update is due.
For me, things are a little dry and hazy.
Gotta keep it real.

I was told that it's common for LASIK patients to need time for newly corrected eyes to adjust, so I haven't been too worried about my less-than-perfect distance clarity.

But at my 3-month follow-up appointment, my doctor determined what I already suspected—my eyes have become so dry from the procedure that my distance vision is slightly compromised (I'm at 20/20 and 20/40).

Naturally, I prefer greater visual precision. Gotta make some moves to improve clarity.

I've been feeling pretty bummed out that I could see more clearly with my contacts, and this squinting biz is the pits, so I'm all in for following orders to improve distance clarity. 
LASIK dry eye
The plan is as follows:
1. Use artificial tears as often as possible, every hour if I can remember.
2. Take odorless fish oil supplements daily.
3. Begin using prescription Restasis drops both morning and night for several months.

All relatively simple steps but worth a warning to those of you who are considering LASIK. If you're on a budget, you know that LASIK ain't cheap. Insurance doesn't cover much and you'll likely pay a hefty out-of-pocket sum. 

If you, too, end up with dry eyes after the procedure, the cost of drops, supplements and prescriptions starts adding up quickly. 

LASIK was expensive on its own, and now with dry eyes, my current treatments are getting pricey.
Food for thought if you know you'll break the bank on the procedure. Remember that follow up care might get costly as well.

If my current situation doesn't improve after several months, the next step will be to insert punctal plugs in both tear ducts to block drainage. It sounds worse than it is—a simple, in-office procedure.

You KNOW I'll be reporting as time passes.
Just wanted to keep you in the loop if you're weighing LASIK pros and cons. 
Do your homework. 

The ultimate question- Do I regret getting LASIK?
Nope. I packed an overnight bag last weekend with no glasses, contact cases or solutions and felt so liberated. And today, I'll be swimming without the worry of losing a lens! No regrets at all.

The process worked. It's just not perfect. Yet.
Will update soon.

Open for questions and advice if you're into this.
Here's to clarity!

"Like" From My Hearth to Yours on Facebook here to stick around for updates, reader tips/comments and news.