September 14th, 2014 | Author:

My company has a family day every year and this year it was at the Indianapolis Zoo. When I tried to remember the last time I went to a zoo, I realized it’s probably been a good 15 years or so!

The Indianapolis Zoo is on 64 acres and had a good variety of animals. While I wish they all had bigger enclosures, I know that in order to fund these animals, they have to be somewhere where people can readily see them. I did get some good pictures though!

This bear seemed to be enjoying himself with his back up against the tree!



Caught an elephant eating!

We got really lucky when we saw the tiger- she was right up against the glass wall!

They have a bird exhibit where you can get a cup of food and the birds will eat out of your hand! I’ve never seen so many parakeet-type birds in one place!

This cheetah was funny. S/he popped their head up for a couple of seconds before laying back down. (Also, I was thinking of a ‘cheat-er’ joke in my head and named this file “cheatah”) They have a “sprint track” where you can race your friend and it’ll tell you your speed along with show how you would compare to a cheetah. Fortunately for Jimmy, the track was closed because I would’ve smoked him. :)

They had several rhinos who were relaxing while we were there. One of them let out a nice long fart and the kids (and most of the dads) laughed pretty hard.

Have you been to a zoo recently? Going to this one made me want to go to the other 2 that are around us- the Louisville Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo!

July 12th, 2014 | Author:

We spent July 4th at the lake… and the weather was perfect. During the day, it was 80’s and sunny while at night it was down in the 60’s. Since last July it rained the entire week (and that was pretty much all the rain we got for the entire summer) and the year before that was uncharacteristically hot, it made us even more thankful for the great weather!

I did a blog search for “lake living” and was surprised how few blogs came up. I’m guessing that’s because most people who live on a lake are older and the “blog generation” hasn’t hit yet. But it was still kind of sad.

When Jimmy and I bought the lake house, we were still renting our house-house. We drained our savings for the (minimal) down payment, excitedly got our keys, and made big plans. We’ve had the lake house for 6 years now and can’t say we’ve ever regretted it. Sometimes taking care of 2 houses sucks (you work hard to super-clean one, only to go to the other one where it feels like you haven’t done anything) and needing 2 of everything is a pain. (Lucky for us, we have friends & family who have given us extra furniture and whatnot) But the mental benefits it gives us after having a long, stressful week at work and being able to go down there where there’s little contact and no thoughts of work? Priceless.

So what do we do while we’re at the lake?

One of my favorite things to do is get up and drink coffee on the back deck.

Coffee mug on deck

It’s usually quiet at that time and a perfect time to prop your feet up and read a book before making breakfast for the guests who are down. (That’s a lake tradition- Jimmy and I make a huge breakfast when anyone is staying with us- eggs, bacon, biscuits & gravy)

I love watching the birds at the bird feeders. We have hummingbirds, finches, woodpeckers, cardinals, and doves to name a few. We also see squirrels and groundhogs.

Bird at bird feeder Hummingbird on feeder

Squirrel at feeder

After breakfast, we head out on the water. Our neighbors (which is how we found the lake house lifestyle) are almost always down there at the same times we are. Sometimes we each take our boats out, sometimes we ride on theirs and sometimes they ride on ours.

Driving a pontoon with a tuber

 After a long day of sun, drinking, and swimming, we head back and start dinner. Dinner can be anything- sometimes we go traditional & easy with hotdogs and hamburgers. Other times we do grilled chickens (like below), ribs, lasagna, tacos, pork tenderloins, or we throw something in the smoker.

Grilled whole chickens

After that, it’s more drinking, some cornhole, some hot tub time (we have a hot tub in our garage…. the goal is to eventually get it built into the back deck, but everything at the lake takes longer to do than it should!), movie watching, or just sitting around a fire.

I think one of the misconceptions about having a lake house is how much you have to spend to get one. Yes, there are lots for sale for $75,000 down the road from us. But there is also gems like this one:

 Nolin Park Rd House for Sale

Zillow link here: 912 Nolin Park Rd.

Yes, it’s small at 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and 576 square feet. But it’s $50,000 with a lake view. And any improvements you put in, you would almost definitely get back if you were to sell it later.

The other thing I love about the lake house is that it gives my nieces and nephews something to do during the summer. I remember when they first starting coming down and they were scared to jump in the water. Now they jump in all the time and are always looking for fish to catch.

Jumping off the pontoonSmiling on the pontoon

So that’s a little blurb of lake living for us. Do you guys have a weekend escape you like to go away to every once in a while?

May 21st, 2014 | Author:

As I mentioned before, I’m going to try and get some Wedding reviews done with some of the vendors and choices we made. I’m not getting paid for these, I just know that sometimes buying wedding items is like grabbing blind at items that are expensive and hoping they work/look nice/arrive in time.

One of the things I wanted to make sure we got that was interesting was our Unity Candle. My parents’ still sits in the china cabinet and I knew I’d want to display ours somewhere too. I just didn’t want it to be a plain boring one. (I think that was a benefit of being older when we got married… I had a good idea of what I wanted to be able to display and what I had no interest in!)

Again, I turned to Etsy and came across Ribbon Candles. He offered several different sizes and colors and his reviews were extremely high. His candles are hand carved and made when you ordered them. I believe I asked for a gray and white which wasn’t specifically listed on his site but he was easy to work with and accommodated my request!

Unity Candle - Ribbon Candles

Images is copyright Angel Canary.

 He was very easy to work with and the candles arrived in the time he said they would.

Unity Candle - Ribbon Candles

Images copyright Angel Canary.

When I got them, they were very well packaged.

Unity Candle Ribbon Candles etsy Unity Candle Ribbon Candles

Images copyright Angel Canary.

 A funny story- right before the ceremony, our minister noticed that we didn’t have candle stick holders for our mothers to light the candles. Oops! I had thought of that a couple days prior and then it had slipped from my mind. One of my friends ran around trying to find candle stick holders but to no avail. The minister came up with a back-up plan though and everything went smoothly!

Now our unity candle sits on a shelf between a couple other treasures (a vase from a cruise & a boat that my mom got me for Christmas that I love!)

Do you guys still have your Unity Candle?

May 18th, 2014 | Author:

Remember when I was all gung-ho about Lakehouse remodel stuff? And then life started happening (new job, wedding, etc) and things started getting pushed to the back burner. With the wedding stuff done, we started picking up on things again this past winter.

Most of MY activity has been fueled by Pinterest. All our cabinets at the lake are the laminate stuff. I found a pin on Pinterest which led me to an easy method of painting laminate cabinets without having to sand. I was a little skeptical so I decided to try it on an old bathroom cabinet that I was either going to a.) throw away or b.) find a magical way of making it look the way I wanted it to.

The pin I found led me to this blog (The Pear Tree Cottage) which detailed what she did in order to paint laminate cabinets.  I won’t detail what I did because I followed her technique exactly. (I haven’t added the floor finish coating yet though!) And I’m pretty sure the oil-based paint fumes had me seeing funny things so if you do do this, make sure you have plenty of ventilation! Here are the results:

Laminate Cabinets

Laminate Cabinet After

Lake House cabinet

I loved it! I found the basket that the toilet paper is in at Hobby Lobby for $5.00 on sale. I also got the glass cannisters with q-tips & cotton balls at Hobby Lobby. The one thing I had to figure out myself was the “LAKE” letters. I looked everywhere for them and couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I made them using mod podge, chipboard letters, scrapbook paper, and paint.

Painting Chipboard Letters

I found several techniques for painting chipboard but have you ever gotten tired of knowing exactly how to do something? For some reason, I did and I decided to try my own technique. (aka wing it!)

Step 1- I bought the chipboard letters at Hobby Lobby. They were on sale for ~$1 or $2 each.

Step 2- I painted them white using Valspar paint. I did this to help the scrapbook paper stick (not sure if it was necessary or not) but also because I didn’t plan on wrapping the scrapbook paper around the letters so the letter sides & back would be uncovered.

Step 3- I applied mod podge to the letters then placed scrapbook paper over them. The easiest way to have coordinating but different letters is to buy a pad of differing scrapbook paper. The one I bought was called “Stonewashed” and gave me all sorts of options for matching-but-not-too-matchy! When you put the paper on, you have to be careful that it’s straight but also that you apply it from the top down, or bottom up, or left side to right side, etc. By doing that, you can make sure you eliminate any wrinkling or bubbles.

Step 4- Let dry completely. (See mod podge for specific requirements)

Step 5- Use an exacto knife to cut the paper. I wasn’t too worried about it being perfect so there are some jagged edges, but it’s not something anyone will ever notice.

Step 6- Display as you want!

I was really happy with the result and I think even Jimmy was impressed. I may end up doing this same sort of thing for a “Welcome to the Lake House” type of entry or something but that reno portion is a ways down the road!

As for painting the cabinets, I actually started painting the vanity cabinet in our master bathroom after seeing the success of the cabinet. (see below) After seeing the cabinet, even Jimmy was on board with letting me go to town painting! It’s not done yet so it’s still in this state with a holiday weekend coming up. Oops!

Lake House vanity painting

Want to see more Lake House remodel stuff? See HERE. And why yes, our master bathroom DID have carpet in the bathroom. In front of the shower. Which had molded the plywood below it.

May 17th, 2014 | Author:

A couple weeks ago, Jimmy & I, along with our friends Alex & Jenna, decided to take a trip to New Orleans. We were only there for 4 days but loved it. Jimmy’s Grandpa had asked us to pick up a gift for Jimmy’s cousin from one of the plantations and I’m sure glad he did. Oak Alley Plantation was one of my favorite parts of the trip!

The drive was about an hour outside of New Orleans, but well worth it. We had looked it up on the internet so I knew about the giant Oak trees… but seeing them in person it was still breathtakingly beautiful!

The first thing we noticed was how some of the branches swooped down to the ground & then went back up. We had never seen a tree do that and the size of the Oaks made it seem majestic.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation

The view from the garden areas to the back of the house was beautiful too. We got there pretty much as soon as they had opened and there was no people. If you go and plan to take pictures, I recommend going first thing in the morning. With no people walking around, you can take pictures and not worry about having to photoshop people out!

Oak Alley Plantation

The plantation is set up nicely for visitors. They have a restaurant & a bar area. They have the best mint juleps I’ve ever tasted. (And I’ve been to Churchill Downs where the Mint Julep is supposed to be the best!)

Jimmy & Alex took a break while Jimmy called his grandpa to tell him we were enjoying a Mint Julep!

Oak Alley Plantation

Using old pictures, the owners of Oak Alley were able to recreate the slave quarters. They have lots of history info that you can read and each house shows a different aspect of the life back then.

Oak Alley Plantation

Inside on of the replica houses, there’s a wall of all the slave’s names. They note that without then, Oak Alley wouldn’t have been the place it became.

Oak Alley Plantation

One thing we saw when we came in was this little cart selling Oak Alley saplings. Jenna & I decided to buy one and take it back with us. Jimmy & Gooch weren’t as impressed but we made big plans to add a plaque to them. Heck, in 300 years, they’ll be as big as the ones at Oak Alley Plantation!

Oak Alley Plantation

After we ate lunch (which was awesome. If you go, I definitely recommend eating at the restaurant. The service was great and the drinks were awesome!) We did the house tour. They have people dressed in the old-time garb to lead you around and point out different aspects of the house. It was interesting to hear the history of the house. Most of it wasn’t original due to the original owner’s wife bankrupting the family and later cows breaking into the house during a storm (in which they ruined the floors as well as tried to climb the spiral staircase that used to be there!)

Oak Alley Plantation

This was the view during the tour from the upper balcony area. Beautiful!

Oak Alley Plantation

This was the front of the Oak Alley Plantation. As you can see, by this time there was a ton of people there (lots of tour buses!) so most of my pictures have people in them. I love plantation-style houses and can’t imagine how grand this one must’ve seemed back then when it portrays such grandness today!

Oak Alley Plantation

Here’s the view from the front. I used the color-selection setting on my D5300 to get this shot. These Oaks are all evenly spaced and are 300+ years old. That’s just amazing to me every time I see these pictures!

Oak Alley PLantation

This last picture is of one of the many blooming flowers there at this time of year with one of the huge Live Virginia Oak trees in the background.

Oak Alley Plantation

They have a really nice gift shop there with posters of the plantation. I had hoped they would have their items online so I could figure out what size, etc I wanted but they don’t! I did have a good picture that I was able to use photoshop with and remove the people walking in front of the plantation so I’m going to put that on canvas.

Have you guys been anywhere like this that just took your breath away?

March 26th, 2014 | Author:

In the sake of not over-doing it on wedding posts (our wedding was June 1, 2013 so it’s not like I’m in a hurry to do them anyway!), I’m going to try and do some small reviews or other tidbits about our wedding on Wednesdays.

The first Wedding Wednesday will be dedicated to our guestbook. When Jimmy and I were planning our wedding, I knew I didn’t want a normal guestbook. The thought of having our friends and family sign something that ends up dusty on a shelf didn’t really appeal to me. Since our engagement pictures kept getting pushed back due to weather (so. much. rain. last spring!), we had to come up with something else.

I browsed Etsy trying to come up with a creative guestbook. There are several neat ideas out there like these: (I have no experience with the below shops, just think they offer a neat product!)

This one where guests sign the leaves of a tree – WeddingTreeGuestbook

This one where guests would sign around the last name – Alphabet Canvas

This one where guests sign hears & put them in a jar – Bateman Design

The one we ended up going with was Elegance Letters. We got to pick from a couple of fonts for our monogram (“J’s” are sometimes ugly!) and the item was shipped when they said it would. We went with the 30″ letters based on the # of people we invited. It comes as wood, ready to paint. We chose white based on where we were going to hang it in our house. (We used Valspar Latex Enamel Indoor/Outdoor paint in Satin White from Lowes)

We LOVED it. Our original plan was to just put it on a table and have people sign it, but our venue had an easel they let us use.

Wooden letter guestbook displayed


Guest signing wooden guestbook

Wooden guestbook close up

All images copyright Angel Canary Photography.

We also used it in our wedding pictures

Elegance Letters Etsy Guestbook

All images copyright Angel Canary Photography.

We have it hanging on our living room wall but right now it’s the ONLY thing on our wall. Once I get it prettied up a bit (I’m thinking wedding picture canvases!) then I’ll post a picture of how it looks in our home.

I will say that when I walk by it, I catch a different signature or message on it and it reminds me of our wedding day and makes me smile… which is exactly what I wanted from our wedding guestbook!

Have you guys seen a guestbook that caught your eye at a wedding for it’s uniqueness?

March 21st, 2014 | Author:

One thing we got for our wedding that is one of my favorite things is personalized bags. One of our friends, Paula, sells 31 products. And while I’m sure we all have a friend who sells 31, Paula has a knack for coming up with creative gifts. She got us this bag which I LOVE. In fact, we used it for our engagement pictures (which happened after we got married because of the crazy weather and SO. MUCH. RAIN.)

Wedding gift idea 31 gifts

Picture copyright Angel Canary Photography.

And a close-up:

Wedding gift idea 31

Picture copyright Angel Canary Photography.

If you know someone getting married and you’re looking for a creative gift idea, here is Paula’s 31 Gifts page. She has great ideas for bridesmaids gifts too but from a newly-married standpoint, I loved having a personalized bag with my new last name! I encourage you to get ahold of her (email is on the site) and see what ideas she can come up with!

She didn’t pay me for this, I just think it’s a great idea to get for brides-to-be and one I hadn’t thought of!

March 20th, 2014 | Author:

We went down to the lake this weekend to get some work done on our projects. (Which at this point are starting to feel NEVER. ENDING.) We ended up going fishing with our neighbors, Bubby & Rachel. At the lake where our house is, they drain the water during the winter. So it’s reduce to less than 1/3 of it’s normal size. (It’s pretty crazy to see how low the water is!) There was all sorts of rock formations and things visible that you don’t normally get to see. For some reason that day, driftwood kept catching my eye. I convinced Jimmy to pull our boat over and let me pick up a piece. I want to use it in my landscaping, but surprisingly, there’s not a lot of inspiration out there. (by “there”, I mean Pinterest and google images!)

Right now, I just have them sitting in my flower beds. I think they look kind of creepy but I’m hoping I can make them artistic by planting climbing flowers around them and seeing if it turns into a work of art.



If you have any creative notions for driftwood, please let me know!

The other thing we got to see was that our spring flowers are starting to come up! Yay!

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

I’m sure most of you guys have had it up to HERE (Insert hand motion way above the head) with the snow so you’re probably as ready as we are to see flowers blooming and fishing weather come back!

March 07th, 2014 | Author:

There’s a big Family Farm/Winery/Restaurant near us called Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Vineyards. It’s 600 acres in Starlight, Indiana and it’s a pretty neat place to see. During the fall months, there’s 10,000-15,000 people there daily on the weekends. They sell pumpkins and other fall-themed décor. Jimmy’s cousin, Jonathan, purchased a Groupon for a Winery Tour and asked us to go. Being big wine fans (and curious to see what Huber’s looks like in the “off” months) we thought it’d be a neat chance to see how the winery works.

We got there a little early and browsed around their shop. They had lots of wine-themed decor, including this cork holder:

Huber Winery Gift Shop

They also had this fancy wine-tumbler glass. I liked it, but am I the only one that thinks it’s TOO SMALL? I like a glass that holds a good amount. But then again, I guess it depends on how good the wine is!

Huber's Winery Decor

This is one of the wine-holder racks they had. It’s cute but it actually reminded me of paddles and if you put paddles on it, it’d be a perfect lake-house wine rack! 

Huber's WInery

Then it was time to start the tour. Due to the popularity of the Groupon, they put us in groups of 30 and led us on the tour. First stop was the wine storage area. I love the look of barrels stacked.

Huber's Winery

Our tour guide was Joel (I think that was his name, if someone else wants to correct me, please do!) He was great! He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Huber Winery production. He spoke loudly and clearly so everyone in the group could hear and I was glad to get someone who seemed to care about where they worked. He explained that cork actually lets air get to the wine, but a screw-cap (which most wine drinkers look down on) actually preserves the wine forever. Cork is good for wines which improve with age, but a screw-cap is good for the wines which you want to maintain their taste. (This is good to know in the event of a Zombie Apocolypse)

Hubers Winery

When we went through, they had fruit in boxes (that’s handpicked from Huber Winery’s own property!) waiting to get turned into wine.

Huber's Winery

 This was in a small work area they had set up. I had to take a picture because I want to do something similiar at the lake. I want to put a Cracker Barrel checkers set on it so people can sit on the back deck and play checkers. Joel mentioned that there’s a huge waiting list for their wine barrels. He said even distilleries request their barrels because it adds flavor to their products.

Huber's Winery

For those who don’t live in Indiana, the Indiana Government recently passed House Bill #1293 which is related to an artisan’s distiller permit. Because of the new law, Huber’s can now produce, sell, and allow samplings of spirits. This is the only still they have as of now for bourbon but they are adding on and installing more stills with the new law being passed.

Huber's Winery

They had boxes of wine that was ready to sell.

Huber's Winery

This was their packaging area where they filled the wine bottles and added labels. For someone who’s used to seeing LARGE manufacturing facilities, this was tiny and hard to believe they can produce the amount of wine they do with such a small manufacturing area!

Huber's Winery

Then came my favorite part- the wine tasting! We tasted 8 different wines and Jimmy and I chose 3 from the “back page” which were the premium wines & spirits for an extra $2.00 each. My favorites were the Huber’s Ruby Port, Huber’s Strawberry Infusion, Huber’s Lakeside, and Huber’s Marcella. (And we went home with a bottle of each!)  

Huber's Winery

Here’s Jimmy and I at the end of our tasting. We both chose to taste the Huber’s bourbon and it’s probably some of the smoothest bourbon I’ve had. But for $60/bottle, it should be! Jonathan (Jimmy’s cousin- who invited us to go with them on the tour) got a good photobomb in too! 

Huber's Winery

Have you guys been to Huber’s or do you have a favorite winery around you?

August 15th, 2013 | Author:

With all the wedding activity, we’ve let quite a few of our normal chores go longer than they should.

The chicken coop? I’ve taken “deep litter method” to a whole new level. Instead of cleaning it out, I just put more and more fresh shavings in… which means the chickens are about to hit their heads on the ceiling. (okay okay… it’s not THAT bad) Not too mention the gobs of cobwebs that have taken over the coop.

Our garage was starting to look like a Picasso painting where everything looked out of place.

So last weekend, Jimmy worked on the garage while I pressure washed the deck and sidewalk. For those who don’t know, I think the pressure washer was the greatest invention EVER.

Our deck (this was the worst of it- which was under the picnic table) was turning a beautiful shade of green. But since it’s not Christmas, I had to get rid of that.

Pressure washed deck

The sidewalk didn’t look bad… until I started pressure washing it. (See the strip I did across? Wowza)

Pressure washing a sidewalk

We ran out of gas so we still have more to do but at least we’re starting to get caught back up on our normal upkeep activity. Now if I can just get the chicken coop cleaned back up.

Category: Around the farm  | Tags:  | One Comment