I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

Catching Up in the Fall

Hello, sweet friends. Where do I find you on this blustery October evening?

Me? I’m feeling extra toasty after spending much too long in a hot bubble bath. Am now snuggled under the electric blanket, pillows propped up behind me and hot tea on the table. I’ve been debating on what I should have playing on the TV. I’ve always been one that enjoys the company of background noise no matter what I’m doing; cleaning, writing, bubble-bathing, laundry, cooking, painting, even gardening. But, for now I’m alone with nothing but the distant sound of traffic to interrupt my thoughts.

You know, I never really have an idea of where I’m going when I start typing to you (clearly, as I just finished talking about background noise). I just get the urge to write and we just see where it goes from there. Got your cuppa hot-something ready? Let’s catch-up. (Music while you read? Here’s a goodie.)

The last time I wrote Christmas came early. My calendars arrived, something I looked forward to all year, and the orders were steadily coming in. Since that beautiful day, I am so proud to say that my calendars are not only being sent to you from my own home, but they’re also available for you to purchase at several stores!! I am beyond honored. Last year, one wonderful store was willing to take a chance on my calendar, and now three (almost four) are officially selling it. Right now you can find them at:

Main St. Floral in Waconia, MN
Winding Trail Books in St. Paul, MN
Thistle in St. Paul, MN
(Soon: Hummingbird Floral & Gifts in Shoreview, MN)

There are a few shops I still need to visit here in the Cities, and then for our anniversary Paul and I are hitting the road and going towards Lutsen/Grand Marais where the gift shops are endless. I’m hoping to leave a few calendars on the shores of Lake Superior. :) If you know of any particular stores that would be a good home for my calendar, please let me know or ask the store to sell them! :)

(You can still purchase them on my website by clicking here. (I hear they make great gifts, especially for Christmas. ;))

One of the best things that’s happened with this whole calendar adventure is I received my first email from a store’s customer. I couldn’t believe it. Not only did she take the time to visit my website/blog, but she wrote the nicest, most wonderful things. The words “inspiring” and “enchanting” were used and I just about melted. Eyes leaked with tears and I was absolutely giddy showing a proud Paul the sweet words. That is what makes me keep going when I have all the doubts in the world; you, dear friends, and your unwavering support.

One more thing about painting and then I’ll move on! I’ve been working on a personal project of mine lately. For years I’ve been “waiting” for the inspiration to come. I’ve started, stopped, thrown out ideas, created entire outlines, thrown outlines away, pouted, meditated, given up, jumped back on. Progress was never made, just a lot of things left untried and put on the back burner. And then one day last month, it just started coming out of me. My pencil and brush were magnets and my hand was drawn to them with a force that was outside of me. My left hand, which has been in pain for nearly three months, is no longer bothering me. I wake up and think about my project, and I go to bed dreaming about it. Ideas come naturally and the designs flow effortlessly. There’s magic afoot, dear friends. I refuse to question it, to see where the trick card is hiding. I’m just going with it, gliding down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. (We’ll see if that’s where I end up. Here’s hoping.)

Did anyone else go see the Downton Abbey movie?! I won’t give away any spoilers, but oh my, it was a delight. My sister and I vowed to see it as soon as the news came out that it was coming to the big screen. During most of our phone calls one of us is usually watching an episode, and it usually consists of something upsetting happening. (Dear Sybil passing is the worst for me.) So, because this was a big deal for us, we decided to make a day of it and have tea beforehand. I made curried chicken salad sandwiches and crab crostinis, had coffee cake from Cub, and instead of tea we had coffee in a teapot (blasphemy I know, but we were super tired that morning – probably too excited). It was a cozy day with dark storm clouds, the front porch door was open for a nice breeze, and the food and tea (coffee) were delicious. And of course, the popcorn and pop at the movie were also delicious. We oohed and ahhed and squealed and cried out “No!” throughout the movie, just like every other person in the theater. It felt more like a day out with a group of gal pals than a movie theater of strangers. I felt so close to the women sitting next to us because of everyone’s chatter that I almost asked her “What did we miss?” when Toni and I accidentally looked away from the screen. Then I remembered I didn’t really know her at all and continued to watch, hoping the next scene would bridge what we missed. :)

The busiest month of our year is finally upon us, too. October comes with a pile of birthdays and birthday parties, our own anniversary (which usually includes a trip somewhere), and this particular October includes my darling brother coming home from overseas! Four of my nephews celebrate birthdays within the next couple of weeks (the oldest are 10 and 11!! How?!?), Paul and I are celebrating 8 years of marriage on the 15th, my dear Nana and her twin have birthdays on Halloween, my brother’s turning 37 (again, how?!?), and on top of all this happiness, my darling brother-in-law just welcomed a little baby boy on the 30th! (This is why I love this season – it feels like Christmas from October through December with everything going on. :))

In the last few weeks I’ve been able to carve out some time for tiny snippets of bliss. Rusty and I had a wonderful walk the other day when the temperature began to dip and the sky became vivid blue. The leaves were everywhere as we crunched along and I managed to come home with a pile to save for garland on the windows. Paul and I finally had a cozy home-cooked meal complete with candles flickering and records playing. (He surprised me with a record of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”, our wedding song. Bee’s knees.) I’ve even been able to harvest some things from our garden this fall! For the last week or so I’ve been coming home and finding handfuls of raspberries hanging off the branches. They’re so sweet and good. So thankful they’re giving us food this year. The basil had its last leg so I just picked up a new plant to keep inside this year. Already have a full bunches hanging in the kitchen, smells like summer at the old house. :) (Can you believe it’s already been two years since we said good-bye?!)

(I just realized I’ve written a total of 10 times in the past year. Blasphemy. I’ll try to be better.)

Okay friends, I’ll be sending this out in the morning so I suppose you deserve a Happy Wednesday instead of a Sweet Dreams, so Happy Wednesday!! I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of nesting season and are surrounded with all the goodness that autumn has to offer. I’ll try to write again before Thanksgiving – here’s hoping!! :) Cheers to you! xoxox

  1. Melanie says:

    Dear Nikki,
    How wonderful to hear all your news! Your October sounds pretty busy! October is a busy birthday month for us too and we celebrate Octoberfest with my husbands extended family. The German food is to die for!

    You and your sister getting super excited about Downton Abby and having a tea party is such a fun idea! I could just imagine the fun of it!

    So glad your hand is doing better and so glad you got THE inspiration for THE BOOK! It already looks incredibly magical!!!

    and Congrats on all those gift stores carrying your calendar; what a thrill. I am jealous!

  2. Nana says:

    I just love reading your little blog. You are a amazing young woman and I am so happy to be your nana. Love you more my dear.???