Category Archives: Family

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

So, as it turns out, I don’t have a new video to unveil to you today…Instead, I’m going to send you right along to Glitter Guide where I’m sharing our third annual printable Oscars 2017 ballot. This is one of those recurring to-dos that I just love when it comes to my role at GG. Each year, I get to pour over the nominations, and make my own predictions as I perfect the printable ballot for all of our readers.

While, admittedly, I haven’t seen that many of this season’s films, I still have a hunch about who’s going to take home a statue (or three). Have you seen all of the movies, documentaries, shorts, and animated films that received nods this Academy Awards season?

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

A lot of times I find that I can’t really handle most of the big name titles (I’m a prude in my “old” age), but there’s almost nothing in this world that I appreciate more than filmmaking—especially the scores. At the risk of sounding hugely pretentious, I just can’t get enough of a beautifully composed score, so this is a category that I don’t mind making an educated guess on.

Although I’m pretty sure La La Land is going to take home the prize based on hype, I’m personally smitten with the music from Moonlight by Nicholas Britell (listen to “Chef’s Special”) and Lion by Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka (listen to “River”). Click any of those links to sample the tracks on Amazon. I, for one, will definitely be adding those composers to my Pandora station this weekend…Oh, and if you like a really eerie sound, check out the music for Jackie by Mica Levi! It’s incredible, and really deserves the win above all in my opinion.

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

Hop over to Glitter Guide to get your free download of the printable Oscars 2017 ballot, and don’t forget to tag @glitterguide and @dreamgreendiy in your posts on social media with the ballot! I’d love to see how you’re using the printable, so let’s all turn the award show into a friendly competition and see who ultimately wins big on Sunday.

Printable Oscars 2017 Ballot | dreamgreendiy.com + @GlitterGuide

(Photos and design by Carrie Waller for Glitter Guide)
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A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

I hope you don’t mind, but I’m just going to pop in quickly this morning to share a small update! As you know, things have been kinda chaotic in our household as of late, and since explaining everything last Friday, I’ve decided that now’s the time to pay extra close attention to my intuition. So far, it’s told me that I need to TAKE IT EASY, so I’m going to cut myself a little slack today.

The good news is that I still have something exciting to share here on the blog this morning: a walking video tour of our home! Since jumping headfirst into video production at the start of the year, I’ve always had a home tour in the back of my mind as something I wanted to document. I never felt like I could truly invite you into our home through photos, so this is my way of really throwing the front door open wide for you.

A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

I didn’t have time to get to all of the rooms because I figured an almost-3-minute video was cutting it pretty close in terms of your attention span, but maybe I’ll share a follow up with the rest of the house later this season. Stay tuned for part two of the home tour in video format soon, and in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this real life peek into our home. Happy Friday and have a great weekend, guys!

A Video Tour Of Our Mid-Progress Mid-Century Home | dreamgreendiy.com

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How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

I think it’s pretty common knowledge that winter is one of the hardest times to sell a home. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that people aren’t venturing outside as often in the cold weather, but for whatever reason, real estate seems to slow way down this time of year. The good news if you’re looking to sell (or buy!) is that things are likely to pick way back up in just a handful of weeks as spring descends.

All this to say, housewarming party season is about to take over. Be prepared to receive invitations to your friends’ or family member’s new homes or, at the very least, plan to spot a custom “Change of Address” notice or two in the mail. Of course, the next tradition to follow is a basket of custom-curated goodies to hand over in celebration! Read on for a few theme ideas to inspire a housewarming gift box that they’ll actually appreciate this upcoming moving season.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

8 Housewarming Gift Box Ideas To Try:

  1. Kitchen accessories: Tea towel, measuring spoons, glass coasters, kitchen timer, bottle opener, dish soap, all packaged in a wire basket
  2. New address celebration: Box of custom-ordered notecards with their monogram, a reusable stamp with their new address imprinted on it, packaged in a pretty antique mailbox
  3. Post-move spa day: soaps, an organic natural sponge, matching robes, all wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a drawstring linen laundry bag
  4. Book nook starter kit: Brochure to the local library, extra large knit blanket, stack of bestselling books, candle and matches
  5. Organization motivation: A set of nesting Tupperware containers with fun colored box tops, a label maker, peel-and-stick chalkboard labels, chalkboard marker, all packaged in one extra large see-through Tupperware tote
  6. Need-to-have necessities: Fresh fabric shower liners, heavy-duty trash bags, box cutter, set of uncut keys and a gift card to Lowe’s for making copies, lightbulbs, all wrapped up in a reusable grocery bag
  7. Newcommers’ to-do list: Manila folder filled with brochures and directions to local attractions and museums, 2-3 small gift cards to local restaurants to encourage trying out new places, tickets to the local movie theater or symphony
  8. First night meal package: Hand-written recipe for a hearty, easy-to-make meal, all of the ingredients to go with it, placemats and napkins, packaged in a pot or pan.

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

What are your go-to housewarming gift box themes or ideas? I’d love to learn from your creative traditions, so please do share them below. And, before I sign off for the day, a big THANK YOU goes out to my friend Bethany for her help with modeling and bringing this story to life in-store!

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

How To Curate A Housewarming Gift Box They Will ACTUALLY Appreciate | dreamgreendiy.com

*My promise to you is that the affiliate links featured in this post spotlight items that I use and love myself.
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A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

I really hate to kick this post off on such a negative note, but wow…It has been a doozy of a week. I’ve tried to downplay things here on the blog, but John and I have been struggling through quite a few household headaches that have left us both absolutely exhausted at the end of each day. Suffice it to say, copious amounts of wine have been (responsibly) consumed this week.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

I don’t ever want to seem like I’m not grateful for all of the wonderful things we enjoy in our lives, because we’ve got a lot to revel in—a happy marriage, a sweet pack of pets to love, a beautiful home that’s more than enough for all of us to enjoy. Cars though? Yeah, that’s the brunt of our concerns right now.

Long story long, we decided to sell my car on a whim, and the deal happened a lot quicker than we anticipated. So, then we were down to one car. Next up, John got his car (our only car at that point) inspected and a crumbling frame landed us with a “Rejected” sticker. Hundreds of dollars later, we’re still only partly through the process of getting his car back to approved order. While his SUV was in the shop, we had to borrow a car from our gracious friends, and all the while we were on the hunt for a new car for me.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

The almost hilarious part of this saga is that we found and purchased a super clean new (ish) Subaru for me, but upon getting it home, found out that it has a mid-drive stalling issue. Yesterday morning, I watched my “brand new” beloved car get towed away to our dealer’s mechanic, and that left us back down to our borrowed friends’ car and John’s illegal SUV. Again, it’s an utter enormous mess, and I probably shouldn’t have relayed all of that to you, but I guess I needed to get it off my chest.

Did I mention that I found out this week that I also probably need to get my tonsils taken out? I’m basically considering a glass of wine with my morning cereal at this point (kidding).

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what the heck all of these idyllic park photos now have to do with our car woes. Well, amidst the chaos and confusion of our delinquent modes of transportation, John and I have had to get serious about stress relief. Of course, these things weren’t really under our control, so we just had to accept each bad break as they came and then work on devising a solution. It was leaving us drained and weary, but the good news is that we’re enjoying some pretty comfortable temperatures here in Virginia this week. So, one mid-week afternoon right smack in the middle of all these crap circumstances, we decided to take a long, long walk through the local Serenity Garden.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

This cancer awareness garden sits alongside the South River at Ridgeview Park, and is just a mile or two from our house. Whenever we find ourselves at our whit’s end, we almost always agree that it’s time to head toward the Serenity Garden. Between the beautiful, lovingly planted landscaping and its proximity to the river, it practically can’t be beat. We soaked up every fresh breath that day, and spent more than a few extra minutes looking into the rippling, rushing water of the river.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.comAlthough we’re dealing with quite a bit right now, we’re not so disheartened to ignore the fact that our lives revolve around some of the best stuff this world has to offer—this outdoor oasis being one of them. In case you’re dealing with some negative stuff right now, or if your week has just been an exceptionally busy or stressful one, I hope you’ll consider taking a few minutes to head out to your favorite spot for some fresh air and sunshine. There might not be any better medicine out there for stress and heartache.

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

Thanks, as always, for listening (and watching—there’s another video for you below if you keep scrolling!) and here’s hoping that you enjoy a wonderful weekend, however you decide to spend it. Your kind comments and words of encouragement never cease to add positivity to my day, and I really needed it this week. You’ll never, ever know just how much I appreciate you. Thank you…

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

A Mid-Week Walk Through The Serenity Garden | dreamgreendiy.com

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Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Earlier this week, I broached the idea of taking a mental health day—a day of rest, and time dedicated to getting a little introspective for the sake of welcoming back a clear-headed, creative mind. Since then, I’ve been thinking about what that kind of day might actually look like. Would it be spent on the couch in my PJs, the fire roaring in the background, or would it be a walk at the park, hubby and hound dog in tow?

I eventually came to the conclusion that it just can’t be planned. “Me” time has to be one of those spur-of-the-moment adventures motivated by getting to that point when you want to throw your hands up in the air in surrender and slam that laptop closed for the rest of the day.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Now, this is the moment when I suggest something just a tiny bit controversial. Why can’t a mental health day consist of something as indulgent as retail therapy? I’m not implying that we all run out at the first sign of a crappy day and max out our credit cards, but I think there’s something really invigorating about the prospect of wandering your favorite shop looking for a little treat just for you. Although it wasn’t exactly planned, a recent work day of mine turned out to be just the dose of inspiration I needed.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Earlier on this year, I decided to set a date to get myself out of the office and drive to the Anthropologie store in nearby Charlottesville. The aim was to, first, spend a day taking photos for the blog outside of our house, and to also partner with the fun team at Anthropologie. To be candid, the brand doesn’t sponsor or pay me to create this type of content (a corporate rule), but it’s still fun to collaborate with local women and to have a chance to play with their beautiful inventory.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Not wanting to do all of this by myself, I invited my creative friend Bethany Mallory along for the ride, and then we spent nearly two hours wondering the store. We styled and photographed a couple of gift guide posts right there on the hardwood floors of the store, and then decided to shoot a quick video while we were there. That spontaneous decision ultimately inspired the theme you’re reading right now—a challenge to invest in yourself for once, and to consider retail therapy as a way to reset your creative perspective.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Whether it was a book I flipped through, a quilted floral comforter, or even the cool cut-out packaging on a bottle of lotion, this trip really piqued my interest in new colors and styles for spring. Of course, that’s the entire aim of a store like Anthropologie, and we gave in (hook, line, and sinker), but the experience was still an eye-opening and exciting one—feelings I never would have enjoyed had I spent the day at my desk like always.

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Despite the fact that it was actually a pretty long work day and I had hours of editing ahead of me to bring it all together, I still managed to walk out of the store feeling sort of refreshed—and I didn’t have to buy anything for myself to feel that way!

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Locally-owned Charlottesville Shops To Discover: Rock Paper ScissorsEloiseRoxy DaisyDuoCircaThe Yellow ButtonBittersweet

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Ultimately, there’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a little retail therapy—in fact, I think it’s one of those types of things that I’m going to start working into my schedule on a monthly basis.

My parting thought for you this Friday morning (other than clicking play on that video above!) is this: consider investing a little time in yourself this season, whether that’s at your favorite shop or boutique, park, art gallery, or coffee shop. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be extravagent—it just has to be hell bent on the purpose of reawakening your instincts and opening your eyes to new colors, processes, and styles. Have a great weekend, guys!

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

Invest In Yourself: Reset Your Perspective With Retail Therapy | dreamgreendiy.com + @anthropologie

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The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

With February already here and Valentine’s Day just two (ish) weeks away, I realized that it’s time to get my butt in gear. I tend to keep things understated around this particular holiday, and this year will be no different, but I still wanted to offer a handful of tips to those of you who are planning to go big this lovey dovey gifting season (or just in case you need a tutorial to email over to your significant other!).

In order to bring this story to life, I asked my pal Bethany Mallory to join me at our local Anthropologie store in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia, for a day of girlie shopping. The two of us wondered the shelves to come up with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift box, and we ended up walking away with a few shopping tricks to share, too. Read on for the scoop, plus a list of all the items you see pictured above in case you wouldn’t mind unwrapping this exact gift box on Valentine’s Day.

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

A Valentine’s Day Gift Box In 3 Steps:

  1. Start with a color palette: Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally all about pink, don’t feel like the gift itself needs to be pink! Try this: decide on your first gift item, and then pull a color or two from that to dictate your box’s color scheme. For example, I picked up the card first, so I went with a blue, blush, and gold theme for my box to ensure that everything matched. Having a palette will limit the options in-store, which will ultimately get you in and out quickly.
  2. Choose a theme: Another way to limit the options and avoid feeling overwhelmed is to decide on a specific theme for your gift box. A “Cozy Kitchen” themed box could include a set of measuring spoons, two mugs, and a box of hot cocoa, while a “Spa Day” box (like you see pictured in this post) could include things like a candle, matches, soap, and a scrubber.
  3. Put thought into the box: I hate to say it because I’m more of a no-fuss gal myself, but generally, a gift can quickly go from “thoughtful” to “tacky” simply by cheaping out on the packaging. Rather than tossing everything into a paper or plastic grocery bag (which my sweet husband has definitely done), place your gifts into a sturdy gift box. These types of containers often cost just a few dollars, and when filled with your items of choice and inexpensive paper filler, your Valentine will be utterly wowed come February 14. Even if you just buy her some nice perfume, a nice gift box could seal the deal.

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

Shop The Box: To The Moon & Back CardBarr-Co. Bar SoapBaudelaire Sisal Body ScrubberCapri Blue Jar CandleLollia Eau De ParfumSkeem Mini Apothecary Matches

Locally-owned Charlottesville Shops To Discover For Great Gifts: Rock Paper ScissorsEloiseRoxy DaisyDuoCircaThe Yellow ButtonBittersweet

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

So tell me: what’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list? Or are you keeping things super simple this year? No matter what, I’d love for you to leave your own gift box ideas in the comments below.

As for us, John and I are actually in the midst of investing in new vehicles, so we’re feeling extra budget-conscious this year. As in, we likely will just buy each other cards and have a picnic on the living room floor surrounded by our pets this holiday. But that doesn’t mean it will be any less special, and hopefully next year we can go all out!

The Only Gift Box Guide You'll Need This Valentines Day | dreamgreendiy.com

Editor’s Note: Although all of the pretty pieces you see above hail from Anthropologie, this post isn’t sponsored in any way, shape, or form. I’m just a big fan of the brand and wanted to virtually share the goods with all of you.
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Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Ready to go on another adventure with us? This time, we’re taking you 30 minutes from our home to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, a place that John often heads to on the weekend with his beloved fly rods and Gheenoe boat. Since purchasing the boat six or so months ago, I had yet to enjoy any time in it. I figured that, like his kayak, it would be a hassle to get the boat packed up, hitched up, and pushed out onto the water.

Come to find out though on this, my maiden voyage, that a motor-type boat is actually a heck of a lot easier to manage than a kayak. In what felt like a matter of seconds, John had the boat slipped into the river, and I was invited to step over the edge and take a seat. With a surprised smile and pair of lifted eyebrows, I did just that.

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

This particular day was one of those freak warm January afternoons when the temperature hovered comfortably around 60 degrees. We both planned well for the uncertainty of conditions on the river, wearing lots of layers, but we had our heavy coats peeled off in no time.

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

It was honestly one of the most relaxing Saturdays I’ve experienced in a really, really long time. Picture water lapping against the side of our boat, and sitting back to watch the ripples from John’s fly line slashing through the current. Although I spent most of the afternoon with a camera glued to my face, I finally put it down long enough to serve as captain, keeping us straight with an oar as John fished right from the boat.

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

We moved from spot to spot over those two or three hours on the hunt for the perfect fish, but sadly we didn’t see a single one (aside from a school of minnows here and there along the shoreline). As John explained, it just wasn’t the best time of year to be fishing that part of the Shenandoah river—he had chosen it mostly for its ease of entry and proximity to our home, seeing as this was my first time on the boat after all. He made the most of it though, and I was excited to finally capture a few of his graceful casts on camera. Fly-fishing is one of the coolest things to watch, in my opinion.

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

After trying several spots without success and seeing as the sun was starting to make its way toward the horizon (taking our pleasant temperatures with it), we decided to make our way back to the car. All in all, although I had been expecting boredom that day, it really was one of the high points of 2017 so far. I can’t wait to go again—but don’t tell John, okay? It’ll ruin my princess persona.

Scroll on to see a little video I put together documenting our day on the river, and let me know in the comments if you’ve ever fly-fished before, or if you love boating, too. Got a favorite watery spot to visit here in Virginia? Do tell!

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

Fly Fishing On The Shenandoah River | dreamgreendiy.com

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A Winter Walk Through @colonialwmsburg | dreamgreendiy.com

Let’s rewind back in time to the weekend of January 6. My dad and I had made the several-hours trek across Virginia to Colonial Williamsburg where my sister lives and works. She had just signed a new lease and needed help moving from one home to the next, so dad and I volunteered our time to the effort. Since CW is one of our family’s absolute favorite places on earth, she really didn’t need to beg hard.

As we neared the weekend’s move, all three of us kept a close eye on the weather, which was calling for a pretty monstrous snow storm. We were a little anxious as each day ticked by with more certainty of a blizzard care of that week’s weather predictions, but we somehow managed to knock the move out and got all settled in Kat’s new home as the first snow flakes started to fall.

A Winter Walk Through @colonialwmsburg | dreamgreendiy.com

A Winter Walk Through @colonialwmsburg | dreamgreendiy.com

A Winter Walk Through @colonialwmsburg | dreamgreendiy.com

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Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

From where I’m typing this, I can see a mountain of crumpled tissues about the size of Everest, a week’s worth of pills that run the entire spectrum of the rainbow, plus the seam of the pajama pants I’ve been wearing for five days straight. Point being that I’ve got what practically everyone else in the world has caught this first month of 2017: that nasty—yet all too common—cold.

I haven’t stepped outside much this week (aside from taking the dog out for a quick pee, and even then I practically had one foot in the door and one out), but thankfully I have today’s lifestyle post to make me feel like I’ve enjoyed some real life fresh air for a change. This one goes alllllllllll the way back to Christmas weekend at home with my family in Lynchburg, Virginia, and includes lots of quality time spent chatting around the Christmas tree and cuddling with our massive collection of family pets—my parents’ three labs, their kitty, and our own hound dog, Rocky.

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

As they say, there really is no place like home, and I just can’t get enough of it when I’m there. Our family is pretty darn close, and we tend to spend hours on end catching up around the fireplace, sharing the latest news from our respective corners of the state.

John and I now live about an hour and a half away from home, and my sister’s house in Colonial Williamsburg is about three hours away. Even still, we try to get together at least every few months in our hometown to enjoy time with our parents and those beloved labs. I’m constantly so thankful for my family—each and every one of them—because I know there are so many others out there who don’t (or aren’t able to) enjoy close ties to home.

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Can you even handle those mugs?! Vinny, the yellow lab, lost his ear as a tiny puppy, but I don’t think anyone’s ever told him. Just look at that smile a few photos up! And Parker, the eldest black lab (above), is the type of dog that can see right down into your soul. Sweet, thoughtful, loyal—those words just don’t even come close to characterizing her priceless personality.

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Josie, the awkward middle lab, is undeniably a beauty but she’s quite a handful, too. Between her (totally for show) bites and ear splitting barks, she wins the award for Most Diva Dog amongst the pack. All together though, these dogs are family, and I can’t imagine a Christmas without them.

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

As is tradition, we took them on several walks around the back yard in between holiday tunes and fireplace musings, and, even though my cold currently has me chained to the couch, I can practically hear the leaves crunching under my boots and see the winter sun peeking through spindly tree branches overhead. Oh, to be back at home again…

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

If you’re hoping to relive the moments alongside me, you’re in luck. I shot another quick montage-type video while being lazy over the holiday, so be sure to scroll on down and click that play button to come along on our walk and watch these playful pets enjoy life in real time.

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Home For The Holidays | dreamgreendiy

Again, please forgive my novice skills here as I continue to learn how to do anything other than “artsy” refocusing. There are already things I wish I had done differently in the editing of this video, but I’m just going to leave “well enough” alone and try to raise the bar with my next one instead. I hope you enjoy it and that you don’t mind being transported back in time to Christmas just one more time before officially embracing the new year. Cheers!

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Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

In honor of my decision to switch things up here on the blog in 2017, I wanted to start by refreshing my Friday feature. Although I certainly can’t guarantee that it will happen every Friday, my plan is to dedicate at least part of our early week to spending (and documenting) a bit of quality time with John and/or my family doing something special in and around our town. I want to refocus my life on the things that really matter, and right now that’s spending quality time with my better halves in this beautiful state of ours. But, of course, since you guys are such big parts of my life, too, my goal with these lifestyle features is to inspire you to get creative with how you enjoy your own cities and towns.

To kick things off, I’m taking you along with us to the duck pond at Gypsy Hill Park. This big outdoor rec area is in nearby Staunton, Virginia, and is just a 20-minute drive from our home here in Waynesboro. Since moving to this part of Virginia in October of 2015, we’ve come to really savor our proximity to Staunton. There’s a gorgeous downtown area that we are constantly stealing away to, and lots of beautiful outdoor areas to explore, too. Case in point, Gypsy Hill. Scroll on for a peek at our afternoon wandering the walking paths and chatting with ducks, and don’t miss the video at the end of the post.

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending A Day With The Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

This particular day was actually right before Christmas. It was mid-week and I had been suffering from a pretty terrible migraine—we’re talking days and days of light-sensative, nausea-enducing pain. Nothing seemed to kick the headache, and, really, the last thing I wanted to do was head out into the cold to see some ducks. I remember John gingerly asking me if I wanted to go out to do a little walking and I was thiiiiiiiiiiis close to saying, “I’m just gonna go lie down.” But, in the end, I knew the fresh air would do me good, so I peeled myself off the couch with a semi-gruff, “Let’s just go,” and we hit the road.

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.comSpending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

I didn’t speak much on the drive over to the park, which is really unusual for me. John and I are big, big chatters on a normal day, but I was just so over feeling sick and didn’t have much energy left in me. Happily, as soon as we parked and made our way over to the pond, I perked up.

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

I’m absolutely, positively obsessed with pretty much any kind of animal, so having the chance to watch the hundreds of Gypsy Hill resident ducks splish and splash their way across the water was like the very best kind of medicine. I couldn’t stop snapping photos (and video, too), and I was excited to find that we had this area of the park mostly to ourselves that day—well, aside from the ducks.

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

By the time we finished our mini tour of the park and climbed back into the car, I was feeling much better. Not cured, per se, but the fresh air did wonders for my mood and ability to stand that terrible migraine pain. A couple of days later, I WAS feeling cured and took some time to reminisce through my photos and video clips from the day.

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Although this post is admittedly a pretty big departure from what you’re used to here on Dream Green DIY, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little look into our real life and everyday experiences. But before you start to panic that the site will become unrecognizable, I assure you that there’s no need to worry. DIY crafting is here to stay, but I’d love to welcome you into our lives in between the tutorials. Are you game?

Spending The Day With Ducks At Gypsy Hill Park | dreamgreendiy.com

Click that play button above to see a few little clips from our day with the ducks! My apologies for the film quality—I’m clearly very new to the idea of video creation, but it was fun to step outside my comfort zone in honor of the new year, and here’s hoping I can figure out how to auto focus and pop myself in front of the camera more often after I get a few more of these under my belt…Thanks for reading and watching, and I hope you have a great weekend!

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