sensory overload: easter celebrations!

orange tulip

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in our little home, we had a quiet and beautiful easter sunday. after dreary, cold rain on friday & saturday… accompanied with a bit of pensive, contemplative moments (read about it here), easter sunday truly lived up to it’s name. just like the symbolism of death and waiting that was saturday’s companion, sunday’s celebration of life, renewal, and  beauty was made even more real by amazing sunshine and warm weather. it was absolutely perfect here in asheville!

saturday night, in an effort to take part in some easter traditions, we decided to dye easter eggs – but, with a twist. i didn’t want to go and buy the typical little packaged dyes, so i decided to make my own natural, organic dyes from fruits, vegetables, and spices (thanks to pinterest). it took a little work, but it was quite easy. and it felt so good to go organic.

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To prepare the dye I used the following:

  • 1 chopped beet
  • 2 C red onion skins
  • 2 C yellow onions skins
  • 2 Tbsp of paprika
  • 2 Tbsp of tumeric
  • 1 C blackberries
  1. Place each of these things into 2 C of water along with 1 tsp salt and boil for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Strain the water and place in a jar or bowl and add 1 Tbsp white vinegar to each dye.
  3. Allow them to cool before using.
  4. Of course I also needed hard boiled eggs.  I used 12, so Lina and I would each have 6 to dye.
  5. I placed all the dyes into plastic cups and we used plastic spoons to place the eggs in and out of the cups.

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It takes a while for the natural dyes to work, so be ready to be patient. I think we left ours in the dyes for about 30 minutes to an hour. It all depends on how dark you want your colors to be. And, when you take them out, they will not be perfectly evenly dyed, but splotchy and uneven – a little tie-dyed looking. But, I loved that. And I especially loved the muted, earthy colors. I left them alone overnight to dry, and was completely in love when I saw them on Easter morning!

easter eggs

easter sunday started off with a misty, mysterious mountain fog , which soon burned off and revealed a glorious day of warmth and abundant sunshine.

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speaking of easter sunday morning, we had so much fun! lina has never received an american easter basket, so, the easter bunny made an extra special stop at our home to surprise her.

i was sleeping hard, when suddenly, i heard, “i see something!” and there, on the dining room table, was an easter basket for lina! she jumped out of bed and ran over to her basket. there was complete and unadulterated joy coming from her squeals and excitement – an amazing and beautiful thing to see. she sat down and went through her basket, loving every minute of it. and i was filled with such joy just watching her. then, it was time for lina to find the eggs, which had been hidden around the apartment by the easter bunny. so. much. fun.

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after all the early morning festivities, it was time for coffee on the balcony… and a little later on, a french toast breakfast in the sun.

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even though my love has a lot to study right now (she only has 2 weeks left and then her summer vacation starts!), we decided to head over to biltmore estate to check out the flowers. there is a huge garden there that is filled with tulips, and it is a favorite spring destination for people from all over. actually, it’s a pretty huge deal, and very magical – biltmore estate in the spring.

so, we drove the 5 minutes over there and discovered that the line to get in was waaaaay long. it’s a 3 mile drive up to the house & gardens, through the biltmore land/grounds, and it was bumper to bumper the whole way. but, it was so beautiful that we just rolled down the windows, turned on bluegrass music, and then enjoyed the ride.

biltmore estate entrance spring

we passed right by the house and headed for the gardens, parked the car, and then soaked up the beauty.

biltmore estate biltmore gardens biltmore gardens mountains biltmore dogwood greenhouse conservatory my love me photography tulips red flower orange field of flowers tulip garden lina tulips liz tulips sit liz me ego flowers feet biltmore swannanoa river biltmore yellow flowers spring lone tree biltmore mountains

after the biltmore visit, we came home for the rest of the day – except i went to see my bro for an hour. and later on, finished off the day with a glass of bubbles and a sunset chat with my love.

i truly hope that your easter, your weekend, was beautiful and filled with lots of moments that took your breath away.

love & peace. 

credit to lina for some of the biltmore photos. 

you said the wait for a table was how long?

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sunday morning i got a text from my brother: “do y’all have plans today? wanna do a late lunch… maybe pisgah. take my camera and try to learn a little about it. well that’s what i’m gonna do.”

it was gorgeous, and i mean gorgeous out. sunny. cool, yet warm. not a cloud in the sky. and the leaves are making their colorful premiere right around now. the perfect day to ride the 20-30 ride up the blue ridge parkway (now open again after the government crapdown) and have lunch at the famous pisgah inn. the only problem was that lina needed to study. poor, poor lina. but, i decided to join my brother anyway for what turned out to be a fantastic brother-sister afternoon.

i picked him up (then made him drive) and we headed up the little road to the parkway. we were a little unsure about the status of the leaves… they were looking a little brown instead of beautifully red, yellow and orange. however, the higher we went, the better it got. still, not as vibrant as some years. were we a few days too early? hard to tell.

soon, though, we rounded a bend on a tiny, windy road, and everything turned golden. the sun filtered through the trees, everything shone with brillant color, and i was left breathless.

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it was not long and we reached the pisgah mountain area. at the same time, it clicked in our brains that this had the makings of a very long afternoon – we realized that today it just might be packed with tourists and sunday lunch eaters and leaf lookers. what a day to choose. still, we drove on, determined to enjoy our lunch on the parkway.

well, the parking lot was indeed packed. like more packed than i’d ever seen it. people were waiting outside all around. we didn’t hesitate to add our name to the list, though, because we figured that with the amazing weather, the amazing views, and a bottle of beer/glass of wine in our hands, we be just fine. an hour and a half wait? no freaking problem.

we got our drinks, parked ourselves on the ground up against a rock, and just basked in the beauty of the day. my brother played with his super cool, new camera. and i snapped plenty of photos as well. shocking, i know.

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soon, our buzzer went off. way sooner than it was supposed to actually, and we went in to get our table. i was crossing my fingers for a table in the dining room with the views, and not the back room, but i didn’t get my hopes up. we followed the hostess to a four person table and sat down on the same side, facing the glorious mountains. i couldn’t believe our luck.

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about an hour and a half later, we had finished our yummy meal, laughed a lot, made up stories about the people sitting around us, and were ready to head back down the mountain. we didn’t head straight home, but took a tiny detour, as my brother showed me some places i’d never been before.

all in all, it was a perfect afternoon with my bro. well, i did miss my love (cause everything’s fun with her), but it was important and amazing to just be with the other most important person in my life (not including my parents, of course). totally worth the hour and a half (45 minute) wait.

thanks, little bro, for a top notch sunday afternoon! i loved every minute!

breathe, love, and spread peace.

sunday wanderlust.

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happy sunday, friends! i am feeling a little wanderlust-y today, but i’m not really going anywhere. and i don’t have any plans for any road trips any time soon, which is perhaps why i am feeling wanderlust-y. still, the desire to travel and my dreamy, contemplative nature, keep life interesting. it keeps me learning. and growing. and hoping. and planning. so, go ahead. dream away. make wishes. write a bucket list. wonder. contemplate, ponder. wander. slow down. go new places & explore new things – even if it’s just around the corner. an even on a regular sunday. because, isn’t that what life is really all about?!

peace & love & adventures.

*image from pinterest