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 Rusty, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (three with Rusty) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with your cup of tea and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

Last, Loveliest Smile | Autumn & Our Anniversary in Jamaica

Hello dear friends!

Holey moley, it’s been forever and a day, hasn’t it? The last time I wrote to you, you were reliving Steve and Tracy’s beautiful wedding day way back in September. Since then there has been many wonderful things happening in our home, besides the fabulous weather we’ve been having lately. (November 6th and in the 60’s? Yes, please.) But before I get to all the goodness, how have you all been? Have you been having an abundance of bonfires, pumpkin pie slices, and breezy walks among the falling leaves? Are you in nesting mode? Airing out the house and hanging fall bunting everywhere? Visiting pumpkin patches and apple orchards? Don’t you just love this time of year?

Nikki Tran Art & Design - Autumn Quote


So let’s see, where did we leave off before? I was telling you about the chaos of having a job (I was a bit spoiled working from home for those few years which is why I was telling you having a job was chaos), we were just about to see some friends that we hadn’t seen in 5 or so years, and we were beginning a new addition to our garden.

Well, work has been a delight, I really can’t complain. I’m still stamping due date slips, decorating my library, ordering books, laminating book covers, and now we’re revamping the library to appeal not only to our high readers, but also our lower reluctant readers and so far, it’s been a success. I’m getting to know the school better, I’m making friends, and I’m adding a new adventure to my life…

I’m going back to school!!

I’ve applied for my Masters in Library Information and I’m hoping to start this spring!! I still can’t believe it – am I crazy for adding more stress? Oh well, you never grow if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, right? :) Perhaps someday I’ll work in a library similar to the one in Matilda. :)

So yes friends, I’m going to be a student again! Scary thought…:)

And in the midst of my favorite month, Paul and I left on a plane over the Southern US and over the Caribbean to the enchanting island of Jamaica to celebrate our five absolute blissful years of marriage. We went to the same resort from our honeymoon, and we even had the room right next to our honeymoon room! We had the most beautiful view, ate absolutely delicious food, clinked our wine glasses to the next 80 years of adventure, waded in the sparkling ever-so-blue ocean, danced under the harvest moon, met new friends, swam under the stars, and literally lived a dream for 6 days. And since a photo is worth a thousand words, here are some of my favorites. He really is the bee’s knees – we sure are lucky.

The view from the poolside. It rained almost everyday (Hurricane Matthew was about a week before we came, thank goodness) but only for 10 minutes or so. It’s amazing how fast these clouds move.

Our 5-year anniversary dinner at our favorite restaurant. :)

Our room with a view, the same view from 5 years ago. Nothing has changed. :) Do you see the ship in the background??

Isn’t it divine?

Sunset in Jamaica.

I tried to keep my camera in the safe as much as I could. I wanted to just be. But occasionally I felt we deserved some photos. :)

Paul enjoying the rain.

Our last night in a dream. Two extremely happy people right there.

If you’re ever on the lookout for an absolutely lovely time in Jamaica, we highly recommend Couples Tower Isle (no, I’m not being paid for this :)) – we’ll be back in 5 years and we already can’t wait.

We got to entertain my family this year for our annual fall party and as always, it was perfect. I can’t say enough good things about my family – they’re a supportive, hilarious, loving group and I’d be lost without them. We drank apple cider cocktails, ate pumpkin and apple pie, listened to records, reveled in the crisp autumn air, and talked and laughed and talked and laughed some more.

My aunt (Joan), sister-in-law (Kristy) and dear momma.

My dear sister (Toni) and daddy; and good ole’ Uncle Bill. :)

My little loves had their own fall party in the basement watching The Lion King and eating fall cupcakes and meatballs. :) (Thanks to my Auntie Barb for some of these photos!!)

And sometimes we’re lucky enough to have amazing family members by choice. ;) Tony and Diane. :)

Dear Grandpa and brother-in-law (Andy).

Darling Auntie Barb.

Dearest big brother (Richie) and godfather (Uncle Mark). :)

My dear auntie (Toni) and Joan. :)

Wonderful uncle (Steve). :)

Adorable Nana. :)

In between all these big things these past couple of months, we’ve been enjoying autumn in much smaller ways. Little pumpkins are scattered around the house, autumn-scented candles make the house smell like the inside of a pumpkin pie, the fireplace is running (it’s not real but I’m good at pretending), books are stacked in every corner and nook for cozy reading by lamplight, good old-fashioned cartoons have been keeping me company while I paint (Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Halloween Tree, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Garfield’s Halloween, etc.), and we’ve even been able to harvest some last minute things from the yard. I’ve got lavender hanging downstairs waiting to be made into tea, ripe red apples in the kitchen waiting to be made into Apple Crisp, and the last of the “popcorn” roses in little vases around the house. This season is too good and gentle to leave us so soon, but our reward is December’s magic and I shan’t complain. Soon the lights will be glittering in the house, the tree will be standing proud and tall, and the sounds of caroling will drift inside from the sharp cold. Bliss. :)

And since this is roughly the length of a small book, I’ll leave on one more happy note – my Etsy shop has finally opened (if you click “Shop” at the top menu it will take you there too) and I feel like I did all those years ago when I posted my very first photo to Facebook. I’m out in the open again, vulnerable but excited for what’s to come. :) I have a few watercolor prints in the shop but I’ll be adding more of course. I’ve got loads of ideas that just haven’t hit paper yet – more fun is on the way. I draw inspiration from our home so I’m hoping it makes you happy as it makes me happy too. :) Feel free to take a look and tell me what you think! (Be gentle dear friends, I’m just a beginner. :))

And with that, I shall bid you all a goodnight – until next time, friends (which will hopefully be sooner than later this time. ;)). Have a wonderful week! Xoxox

  1. Nana says:

    You my dear are just so talented like your mom and big sister..Love you more ???