Bye bye, Elantra.

This past week has been a bit crazy. I woke up Tuesday morning. It seemed like a normal day. Since I didn’t start work until later in the day, I was looking forward to a relaxing morning…until the neighbor knocked at our door around 8:30 a.m. When I answered, he said, “I’m sorry, but your car isn’t outside. It was hit last night, and it’s at the impound lot.” My neighbor also handed me the police officer’s card who came to the scene Monday night.

What a way to start your day. I had a mild freak out. I called the police department and found out the police report hadn’t been filed yet. So, I really had no clue as to what happened other than I knew someone hit my car the night before. When I called my insurance, they had a bunch of questions, to which I answered “I have no clue. All I have is my police officer’s business card and a case number.”

As I was on the phone with insurance, Matt talked with my neighbor. Apparently some girl hit my legally parked car around 1 a.m. The cops tried to get a hold of us, but we didn’t answer our door. (It was 1 a.m. on a Monday night. We were sleeping.) Our neighbor was still up, so he checked out the crash scene and kindly took information from the cop to give us in the morning. (We have a swell neighbor.)

Matt and I took a look at the crash scene. Tire marks in the grass. My car – gone. It also appears that my car hit the car that was parked behind mine, however that car didn’t get taken to the impound lot.

street

After two hours back and forth on the phone with insurance to try and find a rental car, we still hadn’t located an available vehicle. Apparently rental car companies are not supposed to say no to insurance companies when they ask if there is a car available, however when you call that car rental company they will tell you that a car won’t be available until later.

I think we went through four rental car locations. Matt had to drive me to work, and then the rental car company picked me up in the afternoon to get the car. While annoying, it worked out quite well. They called to let me know they’d be picking me up in a black Mercedes. Awesome.

Then when I was signing the paperwork, they tell me, “Oh, by the way…that Mercedes is the rental we have for you.” Super awesome. I have never driven or even ridden in a Mercedes until this week. Let me tell you, I can understand why people spend money on these cars. They are pretty freaking sweet.

mercedes

While I had a sweet rental, I still did not know the state of my own car. It was at the impound lot. All I knew was that it no longer had a rear bumper. So after work, I picked Matt up in my Mercedes and went to the impound lot. Yeah…there was a lot more damage than a missing bumper.

car4

After seeing my car, I had a feeling that it was officially totaled. I got my belongings from my car and said my goodbyes. That was the last time I saw my Elantra. 

The next day I was able to finally get the police report. It turns out that this girl had a cast on her foot. Her foot with the cast apparently slipped on the gas and made the car accelerate out of control and into my car.  My question is, if your foot slipped on the gas pedal, wouldn’t you just accelerate, not cross over a whole lane of traffic?? While the story seems fishy to me, I wasn’t there so I will never know. I am just happy it wasn’t a hit and run.

Later that day, I found out my car was a total loss. It was a good car for the year I had it. I’ll miss my Elantra. 

car goodbye

While finding out my car was officially totaled was a bummer, at this point I was pretty much anticipating that. The huge downside is that I have only had my car for a year, so I haven’t paid my loan down enough to get anything back from insurance. Luckily, I have gap insurance, but that just means I don’t have to pay my bank any money. This leaves me with no car…and unfortunately not much money to put toward a new car. Let me tell you…fun times.

Timing surprisingly played out better than I thought it would though, because my parents were planning on buying a new car. Which means they have a shiny but slightly rusty, new to me 2004 Hyundai Elantra for sale at a good price. An Accent is not my #1 choice in a car (or even #2 or #3). However, it is a car…that is not totaled…and in good condition for being 10 years old. It is not my 2010 Elantra…it will get me to where I need to be.

I do still have my rental car for the week, as I can’t get the Accent until this weekend…which means Road Trip to Milwaukee!! (Actually we have two weddings that weekend in Milwaukee, so Matt and I were already planning to be in Milwaukee next weekend.)

However, now it is a Road Trip to Milwaukee in a Mercedes Benz! Sometimes you just got to look at the upside of things!

Succulent Propagation Update

Almost 5 weeks since I began my first major succulent propagation effort. We are making a lot of progress. Lots of pink roots and li’l baby plants sprouting. I’ve added some more leaves to the big ceramic container and hope to see some growth from them soon.

propagate succulents

My second propagation experiment started two weeks ago. We’re making good progress here, too! This pot is mostly sedum rubrotinctum and graptosedum. 

propagatev2

Some of my leaves are showing signs of over-watering so I’m hoping if I wait an extra day or two between waterings, the wrinkly leaves will get better.

wrinkly

On a sad note, one of the leaves from my big, fat pachyphytum bracteosum was coming loose so I popped it off today. I’m hoping it will propagate. I has a sad. I love these big leaves!

pachyphytum bracteosum leaf

Finally, I am so excited that my pleiospilos nelii rubra (split rock succulent) is splitting! New growth is starting to appear!

pleiospilos nelii rubra

Succulent Rescue

I visited my local nursery this weekend and saw this in the succulent section.

asis4

AS IS?!? Also, markdown to $6 from $14.99? Of course I accepted the challenge. But I had my work cut out for me.

asis1

asis2

asis3

Here are a couple of arrangements I made with the “as is” succulents along with some others in my collection.

newarrangement2

babiesarrangement

Tuesday marks four weeks since I started my succulent propagation project. Let’s just say things are going pretty well now.

propagate4

Look at all the pink roots growing! There’s also a number of small plants emerging. Every day I see new growth. Can’t wait for them to get big and strong!

propagate5

TBT: Minnehaha Falls

A few years back, Amy was visiting me in the Twin Cities, as I had recently moved there. I decided to take her to Minnehaha Falls, which is a great park in Minneapolis that happens to also have a waterfall. 

During the summer it can be quite the busy park, but it is always worth the trip. Not only does it have a waterfall, but also scenic trails, overlooks, and river views. It is one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities.

We took our dogs too, as it is a super pet friendly park. Dogs can go on the trials, as well as run around in the large dog park.

minnehaha park

 

Happy Summer!

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Twenty-eight years ago, we welcomed Emily into the world.

Baby Em

I remember being soooo excited to have a little sister! (Of course, I love my brother, Andy, but I’ve been told when I found out my parents were having another baby, I asked if we could take Andy back.)

Here’s a photo of the first time we met.

Happy birthday emily

Sconnie Sisters for life. xoxoxo

I have a problem

One of my favorite things to do each year is attend the Bay View Garden and Yard Society (BVGAYS) Annual Plant Sale. They always have a great selection of local vendors and the plants – oh they are so much healthier and happier than plants you’ll find at Home Depot or Menards.

I was excited that one of my favorites, Tiger Lily Garden Market, was there again! They are one of my favorite places to find healthy, well cared for succulents in the Milwaukee area. Of course, I am always “rescuing” succulents from other places. But, Tiger Lilly just has a great selection. I mean, look at these beauties!

allthesucculents

I got a bunch of new succulents, because, obviously, I have a problem.

tigerlilysucculents

I got a pot of sedum rubrotinctum aka “Aurora,” crassula radicans aka “large red stonecrop,” pachyphytum bracteosum, Aloe variegata aka “Gator” and crassula perforata. Oh and I finally have a living stone!

Lithops aka "Living Stones"
Lithops aka “Living Stones”

Isn’t it funny looking? I’ve been wanting one of these for awhile, and I’m glad I finally have one! I’m excited to watch it bloom and then grow new leaves this fall/winter when it goes dormant.

After seeing all my succulent posts on Instagram, my mom asked me if I would arrange a succulent planter for her.

momsucculents

I combined sempervivum, aeonium aka “kiwi,” kalanchoe thyrsiflora aka “flap jacks,” senecio talinoids mandralis aka “blue” and echeveria aka “perle von numberg.” I used a large, shallow terra cotta pot and finished it off with river stones.

Because of my succulent addiction, I of course had to make one of my own with my new succulents. 

terracottaplanter

As I was planting my new friends, I found that the aloe plant had started a li’l pup!

babyaloe

At first, I also included some sempervivum, but then today I moved them and added crassula capitella aka “campfire plant” and kalanchoe luciae aka “flapjacks.”

update

I planted the large red stonecrop in an antique teapot.

Crassula Radicans aka "Large Red Stonecrop"
Crassula Radicans aka “Large Red Stonecrop”

Yes, I have a problem. You see, today, I put together this pot with three varieties of sempervivum aka “hen and chicks.”

terracottahenchicks

Before I leave you and put the kabosh on purchasing any new succulents for awhile, I’ll share an update on my propagation efforts. Finally, after 2+ weeks, we have itty bitty pink roots beginning to emerge!

propagation2week

Ramp Beef Stir Fry

Last week, I discussed the awesomeness of ramps. So, here is a recipe to utilize those delicious ramps!

Make this recipe soon. The ramp season doesn’t last long.

If you want to make this outside ramp season, you can always substitute in regular leeks (or even green onions or shallots-or a combo of them). You will just add other leafy greens (spinach, chard, collards or kale) instead of ramp leaves during that part of the recipe.

rampbeefstirfry

You will need beef, ramps, garlic, tamari, a bell pepper and some mushrooms.

ingredients stir fry

First, chop of the ramps. To do this, you cut the leaf part away from the bulbs. Set the leaves aside for later. Cut the roots off of the ramps, then dice up the ramp bulbs and stems into small pieces.

ramps1

Saute the ramps and garlic in coconut oil for a minute or two. I personally love garlic, so I put more garlic in recipes than maybe the normal person will like. So, if you don’t like garlic, you can either cut down the garlic or omit it completely. 

sauteed ramps

Once you smell the aroma of the ramps, add the bell pepper. Saute about 3-4 minutes.

yellow bell peppers

Add the butter and tamari. Once butter melts, add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Push ingredients to the side of the pan.

butter tamari

Season the beef strips with salt and pepper. Add the strips of beef to the middle of the pan. Brown both sides of the beef.

beef in stir fry

Ones the beef is brown on both sides, add the water. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer.

water in stir fry

Cut of the leaves of the ramps and stir the pan.

ramp leaves

Once the leaves are slightly wilted, your stir fry is ready! Enjoy over rice.

finished ramps 2

[yumprint-recipe id=’8′]

TBT: Color Run

A couple years back, Amy and I (and Matt) did the Color Run in the Twin Cities. It is a super fun 5K. If you are going to run 3 miles, you might as well have fun. The only hard part of the Color Run is getting the color off of you after the race. Let’s just say we all took some very long showers to get all that color off.

color run group

P.S. Protip for anyone color running this year: Keep your mouth closed when you run through the color stations. Trust me on this.

 

Twins

This weekend, our cousin Maggie graduated from high school. Since the festivities were in Minnesota, I made the trek up to spend some time with Emily!

Imagine my surprise when we got to the hotel after Maggie’s party and I saw the dress Emily had brought for the graduation ceremony.

We started laughing hysterically. Of course, we’d be all matchy-matchy.

twins2

I am wearing this colorblocked piped trim a-line dress from eShakti. Emily is wearing the Banana Republic Milly Collection Blue/White Colorblock Pleated Maxi Dress.

twinsies

matching twins

BTW, have you tried eShakti? I have purchased soooo many dresses from them! Look for a blog post soon!  If you haven’t tried eShakti, shoot me an email (amykant-at-gmail.com) and I’ll send you an invite where you can save $35 off your first purchase!

Succulent Sunday: Checking in

Graptosedum

It’s been 12 days since I started the succulent propagation project.

So far, the Graptosedum (Vera Higgins) succulents are doing great! 

These are the baby succulents I inherited when I purchased a larger graptosedum earlier this month.

Unfortunately, the bulk of my leaves I started propagating haven’t sprouted roots or babies yet.

graptosedum

That is… except for the gratosedum!

graptosedum propagation

Succulent Propagating with leaves

 This past week I rescued a pot of succulents from a local greenhouse.

troubled succulents

When I came across this pot of mixed succulents, I knew it needed rescuing. In fact, when I took it to the checkout, I told the cashier to be careful with them. I told her, “They’re struggling. But don’t worry, I’m going to bring them back to life.”

rescued

rescued2

I’ll show you some more results of my rescued succulents project next week!