Come October, the weather has been nice enough for boots and more time spent outside before evening. Jude, as always, loves helping with chores and going on long walks down by the river. I am always snapping pictures on my phone of our everyday moments, so this is a iphone pic post. I am trying to get better at doing things with all the photos I take.
Nights have been crisp, which is perfect for campfires. Perhaps we can fit in an evening camping before it gets too cold.
I always try new pumpkin recipes every year – and usually am disappointed. Maybe I can blame it on my oven, but whenever I try baking breads, they are dry or underdone in the middle. With pumpkin cookies – they are too cakey or doughy or with hardly enough flavor/sweetness for my liking. This time around, I realized that I prefer the cookies after they are fully cooled or even chilled in the fridge as opposed to hot out of the oven. And I would say the recipe was a winner; however, I have a couple more from friends that I want to try out.
Having a successful vegetable garden is always my summer goal. Growing up, my parent’s garden thrived each summer and I anticipated those ripe summer tomatoes. Nothing beats fresh homegrown tomatoes! They are like gold to me. Though, since being married, we have either been living in an apartment without a yard or been in the middle of a move where my “container garden” suffered and would get neglected. Last year, in our inexperience, we got started a little late and learned from mistakes with diseases, pests, over/under watering, and soil amending. Live and learn, right? So this was our year. Our summer of the tomato! (James thinks I overdid it with my 24 tomato plants of many varieties…but it was a must for me! Next year, I know which kinds I like best.)
Last year we did amend our soil and put in compost. We got a soaker hose with a timer on it. And we had some success, just nothing like I had hoped. We learned a lot about working with our yard full of Stone Mountain granite and Georgia red clay. About different plants and their pH needs and different watering needs. And that our “compost” was perhaps a tad too fresh which caused some issues. Georgia sun and heat can be brutal. The bugs…mainly stink bugs and caterpillars are intense! So I was sure to do my research and plan properly for this year. Of course, James was on board and ever so helpful. I also made it a goal to start from seed in the winter so that I could have heirloom varieties. Thank you, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds! Starting from seed is just that much more satisfying and I am finding out that, like my mother, gardening is a happy place for me.
Before spring hit, we – and I say WE lightly – doubled our bed from last year from 10×10 to 10×20 feet. Handy husbands are the best! We also bit the bullet and bought and had two square yards of compost delivered to amend in (not pictured) – We bought ours from Soil3 online. Being early in my pregnancy, amending soil was even more back-breaking work. Ugh! Worth it though.
Jude loves being helpful! ^^^
I like taking pictures to see the progress. We did lose some young plants from an unexpected freeze…mainly all but one tomatillo plant and a few tomatoes. Luckily, I had plenty tomato plants I started still in my milk jug greenhouses! I was able to replace most. Though then I learned about the need to adjust my young plants to the sun slowly after having lived in milk jugs. I made the mistake of planting them in full sun right away and a few suffered from sun-scorch. Nothing too drastic though! We bounced back. It is crazy to me how quickly everything grew in just a couple weeks! ^^^ . . . And now, pictured below, we are thriving and I can hardly stay on top of picking. I fill up a couple buckets a day with tomatoes, peppers, & squash. There is endless basil for my pestos. Jalapenos for pico de gallo & tomatillos for salsas. And sweet potatoes for later in fall. We had sugar snap peas growing up the trellis in the back, but come mid-june they were drying up.
I do not mind having more tomatoes than I know what to do with. I live off of tomato sandwiches, caprese salads, and have cooked up batches of delicious pasta sauce. Not to mention, I enjoy gifting tomatoes to others that appreciate them as much as I do.
We had one of those huge blue plastic barrels (I have no idea what from), so James cut it in half and drilled holes in the bottom so we could plant our sweet potatoes in containers. Being able to dump out our potatoes seems easier than digging them up like last year. Carrots are in the middle white tub.
James also planted cantaloupe in some compost bags ^^^ – He was meaning to get lawn fabric and plant them behind the stables. That may or may not still happen.
Last year, we planted seven blueberrie bushes and a couple raspberries, so we enjoyed more fruit from them this summer as well!
. . .And some random pictures I have of some of my flowers and nooks. Perhaps I am a nerd because I like to document my plants?
Some relevant iphone shots from the last couple of months:
Jude always in the middle of building and helping
These green zebra and solar flair heirlooms are my favorite!
Even though it never appeared on my “official” bucket list, going to pick our own strawberries is something I had never done and always wanted to do. Every summer I say I want to and it never happens. This year, I made it my birthday request (no need to talk about turning 29 and seeing the end to my twenties). So obviously, it had to happen! And it did. A simple family outing, but the kind that I love.
Yes, it was sunny and sweaty – but we enjoyed their fresh homemade strawberry ice cream and then came home and now have a freezer full of strawberry jam that I made! And some yummy strawberry syrup. A complete WIN in every way. Especially spending the morning with my two favorite boys. . .
And that morning before picking we all got to go to my dr appointment and see our little Ruby kicking around at 13 weeks! We are very excited! . . .
It can’t be a winter in Georgia without some freezing rain. Our power was going in and out all night, and we woke up to heavy trees loaded with popsicled-pineneedles. The quiet of the morning was frequently interrupted by the crackle and thud of branches snapping under the weight.
The poor donkeys’ manes were icy and crispy this morning, but the goats were chowing down on fresh pine that had fallen in the night. Our horse spent the night in the stalls and was anxious to be let out. Since we got her this last weekend, all she wants to do is eat grass. Her name is Bazinga, and we are smitten by her.
She is older – about 20 years – and fully broken in and trained. We got her from a friend of a friend who needed a home that could help her gain weight. With all of the grass here, I don’t think it will be a problem. We like to take her on walks and she is so obedient. She really is the sweetest horse & is absolutely great with kids! I’m looking forward to riding her once the weather warms up.
Luckily she gets along wonderfully with the other animals here as well.
And in other news – this fat kid is six months old already! He is probably in my favorite stage yet. So happy. Sitting up. And just a sweetie all together. He’s so chill and pretty much only cries if he’s hungry or tired. We are blessed.
This post is also found on my photography business’ website, but I am just obsessed with #1- this Boho photoshoot and #2 – Moving somewhere so beautiful that I couldn’t help but share it here too…
I am thrilled to announce that Whitney Gossling Photography is moving to Monroe, GA this summer! Living out in the country is, in my opinion, a perfectly inspiring location for a Georgia photographer. The scenery and lifestyle is absolutely beautiful and something I am looking forward to SO MUCH. I’m nothing but smiles when I think about it! To me, the surrounding open fields, adorable downtowns, cozy pastures, and hospitality – Those are nothing but southern! If I have a say (which I do), I will probably never leave Georgia.
Being in Monroe, I love that not only am I still shooting Atlanta Senior Portraits, but I am so very very close to Athens, Georgia. Unlike other Georgians, I have not spent much time in Athens. Some may say that’s a sin. I have at least been to one UGA football game though, so calm down! With Athens being much closer now, I am starting to unveil and discover its incredible southern flair and personality. Recently, I was able to explore the beauty of Athens, GA when shooting a Boho themed portrait session with University of Georgia student, Gabriella. Athens had so much to offer – I will definitely be going back soon!
In honor of her leaving today to spend her summer in Peru – here are a couple teasers from our session! …
I don’t need to say it, but Gabriella is gorgeous – and beautifully Boho! More from this session coming up soon…
In the meantime, if you live in Athens, Georgia and want to give me another great excuse to come that way, I would not complain!
Athens Georgia Photographer | Now booking Custom Portrait Sessions at $250 | Engagement Sessions $300
We may have had an ice storm and snowy winter weather in Atlanta just two days before, but the skies cleared and this day was nothing short of perfect for Lindsay & Todd – The new Mr. and Mrs. Greener!
Todd and Lindsay have a love that is so real and infectious. The way they looked and smiled into each other’s eyes all day long warmed my heart! I love being able to document true love and the beginning of such a wonderful journey for two people. It was apparent how perfect Lindsay and Todd are for each other and I wish them all the best in their adventures ahead.
That’s right, it snowed in Georgia! We usually average one snow per winter. This year’s came quick and did a lot of damage – as you may have heard in the news. We are lucky enough to live northeast of Atlanta, so when all the schools and businesses starting closing, we did not get stuck in the endless traffic jam on our way home.
So, outside of the city full of miles of abandoned vehicles that ran out of gas and are now stuck in the icy roads – and people stuck sleeping at the closest gas station or Target…. we were here, enjoying the “day-off”…
The kids loved the snow. The boys loved doing donuts on the 4-wheelers. We had to get creative in what was used to go “sledding”. Maybe it was a tad redneck… what would you expect? Though I’d say our snow day was a success. : ) Thank you, Gossling Farms!
James and I scored some tix to the GA game this last Saturday. Thanks to an awesome brother-in-law and UGA game regular.
Funny though…. I, for one, have never been a football fan. In fact, I used to wonder what all the hype was about when it came to UGA and football. Though, here in the south, it’s something I’ve gotten used to. And, having married a UGA football lover – I accepted that this day would soon come.
Since James and I have been married, I have acquired some UGA paraphernalia and items in my wardrobe – so I fit in nicely at the tailgating and with every other fan there. I noticed that literally not a soul showed up to the game in a color other than red and black. I guess as a UGA fan you’re thinking, “DUH”… but I have been to other football games where the spirit was not as thoroughly represented. Football in the south is practically a religion though, and the added passion makes it much better.
I do have to admit though, that driving through Athens and passing every frat house and sorority with a front yard packed with preppy-dressed college students all drunk – solo cup/beer in hand… and the streets crowded with the same… I was reminded that I would not have liked going to school there or even living in Athens.
Anyway… as for the game…
Sanford Stadium is HUGE! The fans are all PUMPED! And a 4:30 kick-off was perfect…. because we were not in the blazing sun : )
It was a close game – which I think made for a better game. James was great at explaining aspects of football to me. Maybe it’s just that I never cared to ask before – assuming that it was all pretty easy to understand – or that I just never cared enough to even pay attention to a game to like it or even know what questions to ask – – – But I understand and follow football much better now! Even liked it! haha… I’m rather proud of myself. James always told me that attending a UGA game is an experience that you can’t help but enjoy and he was right. The spirit is contagious!
I still love how RED the whole place was!
And…. the DAWGS WIN! It was close and exciting! A solid win to set GA little higher in this season’s rankings.
As for my first REAL Georgia football experience….