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:

Christmas Came Early | 2020 Calendar

Let’s start this post with a bit of excitement, shall we??

They’re here, friends! They’re finally here!!

Rusty and I had been waiting anxiously by the front porch all morning yesterday for the delicious sound of a FedEx delivery truck to roll down our street, full of boxes containing the newest 2020 calendars. By 3pm, I had to leave for work and Paul took over for watch duty. They came 20 minutes after I left, of course. But no worries! They’re finally here!! And oh my goodness, they’re better than I expected. I made sure these calendars would have thicker paper and I was not disappointed. It feels amazing and the colors look beautiful. I really couldn’t be happier with how they turned out. I carry one around with me now, and every so often I’ll peruse it for fun. It felt like Christmas morning when I rushed in the house after work to hold one – Paul had sent me photos when they arrived but they just couldn’t do it justice.

I used a lot of my own life as inspiration for many of the months, particularly February. Italian food is one of the loves in my life, as is my family, so I made it a bit more personal. You’ll see some of my family members from old photographs in February, a recipe of my own, the pasta bowl my mom bought me for Christmas filled with spaghetti and meatballs, and beautiful food-filled quotes.

Paul and I just got back from a work conference last month where we stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge in Walt Disney World, hence the theme for March. My nephews have always loved The Lion King, so I was also thinking of them when painting.

May was inspired by the time I was Paul’s stowaway during a work trip to Seattle. Last-minute plans were made for myself to meet in person my kindred spirit friends whom I had known for years through Instagram. We picnicked and had tea and it was the most enchanting day. Paul and I also had a wonderful time jumping in rain puddles during the many walks around downtown and through the market. :)

July’s painting of NYC is based off of a photo I took while strolling through Central Park with Paul, my nephews, my brother, and sister-in-law. The hand-writing you see with the quote from Emma Lazarus is inspired by the actual hand-writing from the colonial period. I did my best. :)

August = MN State Fair!!! And it came just in time for this magical time in Minnesota! :)

September was inspired by a drive we took in Costa Rica, full of wild chickens, draping vines, and women hanging laundry outside their colorful homes. We learned how to make chocolate and coffee while touring a botanical garden, also.

October is based on my love for New England. I’ve never been (except NYC), but I’m quite sure I’m supposed to live there.

England in November is most definitely based on my trip there when I was my brother’s stowaway on his work trip last April. The painting of the park is from a photo I took while we walked through Kensington Gardens – I just had to change the spring colors for fall colors. We took photos with Peter Pan, and I sat on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral with birds surrounding me.

And December is in honor of my Scandinavian roots, particularly my Swedish roots and the Swedish horses I received from my late Grandma MeeMee (Dad’s mother) and the feeling of home around Christmas due to an immensely happy childhood.

I’ve already gotten the pre-ordered calendars shipped, I’ve set aside some for when I go to stores asking if they’d like to sell it, and the rest are waiting for a good home with one of you! Huzzah!! If you’re interested in purchasing, click the link below and it will take you to my shop. :)

Shop the NEW 2020 Calendar!

I’ve already begun to feel autumn in the air. Have you? Each morning this week and parts of last week I’ve been able to have the front porch open, breathing life into the house. It’s been wonderful. Rusty and I have been going for our morning walks again and Paul and I have even started having bonfires. (Even as I’m writing this I can hear the cicadas outside our windows…)

Part of our walking path…

The backyard nook is finished for the year. Next year I’ll be adding plants back there – I’ll use the winter to research shade gardens because as of right now I have no clue what to do. I can picture it, but I don’t know if it would work. We shall see. So, instead of adding a garden this year, we bought a genie bottle-esque fireplace/bonfire pit and we love it. Although we loved our old pit at the old house with the lake in view, we are enjoying not having to shift around the fire to avoid the smoke – it goes right up the top! Brilliant! I switched out the metal bistro set that was back there for the comfy wicker chairs we kept on the porch, and I also brought out a couple of wicker tables to lay our feet on – it makes reading and writing much more cozy under the shade of the tree. One of my girlfriends is going to come over one of these mornings and we’re just going to sit in peace with a pot of tea in those wicker chairs and write the morning away. I can hardly wait.

And because who doesn’t love a random photo of Rusty?

Anyways, dear friends, I’ve talked your ear off and I should probably get going. I’ve got other personal projects I’m working on, one in which I’m very excited about and soon shall share it with you. :)

Hope you’re all doing well, and if you’re from Minnesota I hope you enjoy the great MN get-together! Paul and I have our tickets already and absolutely cannot wait. We drink, we eat, we roam the streets and peruse the vendor booths, and when he’s had a couple of beers he tries to win me something from the Midway. It’s a fantastic night. :) Cheers, friends!

  1. Pamela Welter says:

    Hi Nikki,

    I picked up my 2 calendars at the Waconia floral shop last week! I was so excited to see them!!
    I know my friend Jeanne is going to love that giraffe page with the stars over them.

    Awesome and beautiful job. . . Thank you for all the heart and spirit you poured into them. I am trying not to peek anymore at them because I want to be surprised each month in 2020!

    I love the personal touches you added in quotes, dates, photos, paintings. … it makes them unique from other calendars. I can never have too many stars*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Happy Fall! One Christmas gift done for me! One New Year’s gift waiting. .. . Yay!!

    • Nikki says:

      Oh Pam, you made my day. What a wonderful surprise to see you pop up in my comments! I am SO honored you already purchased them at the store!! And I’m so thrilled to hear how much you like them (I hope you continue to enjoy them as you go through each month. :) My favorite is October and December. :)) Your words are music to my ears and I’m just so flattered you took the time to write to me. I appreciate it more than you know. (And you’re right, one can never have too many stars.) Happy October to you! xoxoxo