Peonies are my absolute, most favorit-est flower in the world–I love how they start out as tight little pom-poms and open up into these huge, gorgeous feathery blooms from white to the deepest magenta. They remind me of cotton candy. And the fact that they reach the peak of their season in early June–right around my birthday–makes them all the more special to me.

Today is my actual birthday, and I’m a very lucky gal. My dreamboat of a boyfriend showed up at my door with a bouquet of my favorite blooms. He was worried the flowers he got me were of the “injured baby” variety (his words), but I assured him that they will bloom over the next couple of days…much to my delight.

And as another birthday treat, I stumbled upon some gorgeous peony photos over on SFGirlByBay (a delightful blog I highly suggest perusing) taken by Mrs. French, another crafty blogger whose site I plan on scouring for more awesomeness.

Have a lovely weekend and if peonies are available where you are, I recommend you do yourself a favor and pick up a bunch.

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

photo by Mrs. French via SFGirlByBay

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Seeing as my birthday’s rapidly approaching, and this is usually the time of year when I reflect back on the past 365 days (January 1st ain’t got nothin’ on my birfday), I thought I would share a Sarah-specific playlist to honor the occasion. I’m always making birthday playlists for my loved ones, so why not make one for myself, eh?

Because I have a fairly extensive music library and my “favorites” are always changing, I’ll use my star system (yes, I’m one of the dorks that uses that iTunes feature) to pick a list of my faves–current and from the past year. Enjoy, and happy birthday to me!

1.  Heartbeats — Jose Gonzalez

2.  Could’ve Had Me — Lex Land

3.  Fistful of Love — Antony & The Johnsons

4.  Dead & Lovely — Tom Waits

5.  Sea Song — Lisa Hannigan (her whole album is freaking awesome…I had a hard time choosing just one)

6.  If It Be Your Will — written by Leonard Cohen, performed by the Webb Sisters on his album, “Live in London” (holy god, can these gals sing…also, I’ve just always loved this song, sung by pretty much anyone)

7.  Almost Lover — A Fine Frenzy

8.  Use Somebody — Kings of Leon

9.  Please Do Not Let Me Go — Ryan Adams

10.  The Mariner’s Revenge Song — The Decemberists

11.  The Fear You Won’t Fall — Joshua Radin

12.  Grapevine Fires — Death Cab For Cutie