Hello from all of us here at Sweet Valley Acres! I would like to say a special welcome to all of my new subscribers who have come from Hometalk, Redesign and Google Web Stories! I appreciate that you subscribed to my blog and I promise I will not inundate you with emails. At the maximum, I send out one email a week to let you know what’s new and interesting. So let’s jump right in…

The peonies put on a big show

Every year my peonies get bigger and more beautiful. This was one of my favorites.

Pink peonies in amongst green leaves.

Love was in the air

Jenna and Scott’s engagement party was a hit! It was a gruelling two months preparing for it but it turned out beautifully. Wondering what took two months to get done? Well a whole hillside of rock retaining walls and planters, six raised garden beds with arbors, a large pergola and various planters filled with flowers.

Hillside of rock retaining walls with lavender and hydrangea

Guests began arriving at 3 pm and enjoyed a wonderful charcuterie grazing table provided by Scott. I have never seen such a spread outside of a resort!

We got to meet Scott’s extended family and friends and were so appreciative of Bentley’s siblings and their spouses attending as well. We had a sit down dinner and then enjoyed a beautiful cake and many sweet treats made by Scott’s mom, Michelle.

Jenna did many diy’s for the party and to say it looked breathtaking is an understatement. Here is one picture of the table to give you an idea. I will be sharing a whole blog on it coming up, but for now let this satisfy your curiosity!

Engagement party with tables covered in white table cloths, gold candlesticks and white flowers with pool and lake in back ground.

Our very first Bollywood Bang

Scott was a main sponsor for the Bollywood Bang event this year and as such he invited us to come along. First, we all had to get outfitted properly for the event. The event organizers gathered together many outfits that were donated. We all could purchase them and the proceeds from the sale, plus the event all went to the cancer clinic at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

The Sweet Valley Acres family at Bollywood Bang

The event consisted of hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, a silent auction, a fabulous dinner, and a tribute to Dalvir Nahal who was the original event organizer who sadly had passed from breast cancer in 2021. What a woman she was. I had never met her, but after watching a video of her speaking and hearing from everyone who knew her, I was deeply impressed with what a beautiful soul she was.

There was also a live auction and then a dance. The one aspect of this event that stands out in my mind was how truly wonderful and lovely the event organizers are. I don’t think I have ever met such a friendly and helpful group of women.

Here is some of the beautiful decor.

Bollywood installation with dresses
Bollywood yellow umbrella

Bonsai fun

Did you know that our son Noah has always had a deep interest in bonsai trees? He wants to grow one and we have looked everywhere to find seeds so he could grow one with no luck.

Then I read that the local Bonsai club was having a presentation at our gorgeous Kasugai Gardens so I marked it on our calendar and we attended.

Look at some of the beautiful trees.

Two bonsai trees on a table with a pond in the back

Guess what we learned? Don’t try to grow the tree from seed but rather go to your local nursery and pick a small tree. They also encourage you to go into the woods and look for the tree. Noah specifically wants to grow a Japanese maple so we are going to be on the look out for a small one at a nursery because Japanese maples do not grow in our woods.

Bentley took a big fall

For those who are just joining, Bentley is my husband and the builder of our home, the vintage window greenhouse, our pool, the gorgeous swing bed, etc. Our property is very steep and rocky. He was out on one of the slopes and stepped on a wobbly rock and fell backward. In the fall, he arched his back and twisted to try to save himself and ended up pulling or tearing many muscles in his abdomen and thigh. He never bruises but this time he sure did. He turned black in many areas which signifies bleeding.

Try as I might he would not go to the hospital but he did have his chiropractor check him out. She believes he is healing and nothing was torn completely so that is good news!

Mia’s sleek new design

A lot is new in Mia’s life. For the newbies, Mia is a pup we rehomed several years ago. She is a Yorkie, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian cross and what a character she is! Every morning she joins me as we try to scare the marmots from our yard. She used to tear out there and give them a run for their money but then she had a close encounter with one and now she doesn’t want to get too close. So her guard dog days are over.

Speaking of her sleek new design – her groomer got extremely popular and we had to wait 2.5 months to get her groomed. Here is the before and after. What a bear she was hahaha!

Mia our dog with long hair siting on the pool deck
Small dog wearing a fancy collar and leash with a bronze rose on it

For the engagement party I got her a fancy collar and leash which you can see in the after photo above. We got so many compliments on them both. Here is a link if you want to check them out. If you do decide to purchase, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Recently on the blog…

Below are descriptions of some of my latest posts. If you would like to read them, just click on the bolded title and you will be redirected to the post.

“The Designing Women Tell All” shared all our knowledge on outdoor living spaces.

Sunken fire pit with pool and lake in back ground

“The Virtual Book Club” read “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty and I shared about the various coastal decor styles of each of the characters…

Sleek white home interior with curved modern staircase with iron handrails

And I created a cocktail for each of them too!

Cocktail with light orange to deep red from top to bottom with slice of orange inserted on rim of cup

I shared how to build a wall planter and…

Wall planter mid season with plants filling in. Hung on solid rock wall.

…the best raised garden beds and…

Sunset behind raised garden beds

19 of the best garden decor ideas for a small space.

Greenhouse with blue door with arbour in background and lake and lots of flowers

Interesting things I found on the web

Wendy from WM Design House shared her favorite perennials and boy are they gorgeous!

WM Design House photo of garden with lots of flowers

Susan from Hen & Horse Design has a refreshing recipe for a cucumber basil vodka smash cocktail.

Cocktail in a low glass made with vodka, cucumber and basil

Missy of Sonata Home Design has such creative and unique tips for decorating round tables.

A green moss table runner with a rattan basket as a charger plate and simple dishware

What is coming up?

So many fun posts are coming up:

  • the most beautiful wallpaper mural for our powder room and the refresh of the room;
  • the construction of the large pergola;
  • my garden design for 2023 and all the pretty flowers I have incorporated;
  • the engagement party;
  • some pressed flower diy’s;
  • harvesting lavender; and
  • the construction of the sunken fire pit.

Thank you!

As always, thank you so very much for opening my emails and reading my posts. I appreciate this very much and hope that you are having a wonderful day!

What do you think?

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  • Leslie Watkins
    June 18, 2023

    Love all of your inspiration! I can’t imagine how that wedding could possibly be more beautiful than that engagement party. Stunning! And I’m in love with those raised beds.

    • Crystal
      June 18, 2023

      Thanks Leslie – you are so sweet! My daughter has lots planned so I am pretty excited and anxious to see if we can pull it all off. Those raised beds have not only saved my back they have saved my sanity with those darn marmots eating everything else!

  • Wendy McMonigle
    June 18, 2023

    What a beautiful post Crystal. The engagement party sure looked beautiful and all of your hard work shows.
    I love that Noah likes Bonsai trees, I think it is such a cool hobby.
    You sure have a lot of great posts planned ahead, I look forward to reading them soon.
    WIsh Bentley a Happy Father’s Day for me.

    • Crystal
      June 19, 2023

      Thanks so much Wendy! After going to that bonsai show, I now want to grow and sculpt one! Yes, I have a lot of my plate, now I just have to figure out how to get it all done hahahaha

  • Juliet
    June 18, 2023

    Wow, Crystal … you have a lot going on. So fun getting caught up! xo

    • Crystal
      June 19, 2023

      Thanks so much Juliet! So happy that you stopped by.