The lawn boy

BJ got a new yard toy.

And I must admit, it’s pretty sweet. It really cleans up the yard well. it is a trimmer, blower and weed whip all in one. So in just a matter of a week, our yard went from this:

You can see the grass is coming over the edge of the concrete.

And now the yard looks like this. Notice how nice the edges by the sidewalk look. Not to mention that there isn’t grass all over the place.

I could actually walk outside and grab a few pictures without coming back in with gobs of grass everywhere!! Success!

This will also make edging the garden a lot easier too. I had a heck of a time pulling all the grass out of the garden bed just to get it to look like this.

We’re slowly building our lawn tool box. We have a nice mower and our blower, whip, edger combo to go along with your more common, yard rake, trowel, shovel, etc.

Every now and then I consider hiring landscapers, but I do enjoy working in the yard when I can.

So what’s next for us? Well, it’s been a busy spring so far, but I’m looking into finding some hearty houseplants, getting some organizing projects completed (closets, pantries, the laundry room) and of course, the little decorating projects that spring up here and there. Stay tuned!


Pretty Vases

Lately, I’ve been in love with tall vases and tall flower arrangements. They bring so much drama to a space and they really make a statement.

After we finished the tile in the dining room and moved the table and chair back in, I redecorated the table to look like this:

But it wasn’t exciting. It lacked the drama that the previous tall arrangements brought to the room.

So I made a few changes and now I love the set up.

And aside from the new tall arrangement of dahlias, I also replaced the red candles and coffee beans in the shorter vases from Crate and Barrel. I used the coffee beans for the tall center arrangement (which I bought all the supplies for at Target) and then I found raspberry potpourri vase filler (also from Target) that resembles a birds nest. I divided the potpourri into the two vases and added the eggs that came with it for the nests.

It smells great and looks lovely on our table.

If you are wondering what happened to the vases of orchids that used to be in our dining room, they are now located on our kitchen island.

And here a few of the other tall arrangements located around our house. These two sit on top of our fireplace in the living room:

And we have an arrangement of gerbera daisies in the guest bathroom:

And more gerbera daisies in our bedroom:

Do you have any decor that you love right now or you would consider a “go to item” when adding your personal touch on a room?

Have a great weekend!

Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow…

Do you know the song?

“Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch, row by row, Someone bless the seeds I sow.
Someone warm them from below, ’til the rain comes tumbling down.”

I remember hearing the Garden Song as a kid. There are versions by Peter, Paul and Mary and John Denver so you can take your pick on which you prefer. I’m a little partial to John Denver, mostly because he wrote a song that is very near and dear to my heart.

You know the words…

“Country roads
take me home
to the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
take me home country roads”

Okay, I digress. Back to the garden. The weather was beautiful on Sunday, so I took advantage of it and started working on reviving our flower beds out front.

If you remember my post on Saturday, the flower beds were fighting back. The grass was moving in and the weeds were taking over. It wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but I wasn’t going to let it get any worse.

It took a few hours but after I tamed the grass and got rid of the weeds, the garden looked like this:

And while I was at it, I trimmed the bushes…

Removed some of the bee balm… (This plant unfortunately is a member of the mint family. I wish I would’ve known that when I bought it. It is pretty when it blooms, but it grows like crazy and that was not my intention for this location. Each year I’m going to have to pull a lot of it out in the spring to keep it from taking over the entire right side of the garden. Its root bed is intense. It’s going to be interesting to keep this plant at bay… a good lesson learned.)

Cleaned up the pots on the front porch so that I can plant new plants in them…

And after I cleaned up the mess I made on the porch, I stood back and admired my hard work.

And today, my thighs are still burning! But it was worth it. I can cross a few things off my garden to do list sooner than I planned!

  1. Remove the weeds and grass.
  2. Add a stone wall around the perimeter of the garden to keep the grass out
  3. Mulch
  4. Replant our potted porch plants  (this is halfway complete. I still need to plant new plants)
  5. Add some flowers to the flower bed on the right side of our garage door

I’m making progress!

Taking over

With the projects going on inside this spring, our garden has lacked a little TLC. And now it’s fighting back.

The grass is moving in and the weeds are taking over.

There is good news though, one of the tulips I planted last year survived and it starting blooming last week.

And our lilies are coming back! Hooray!

So what is on the garden to do list? Here are a few items I would like to do this spring/summer:

1. Remove the weeds and grass.
2. Add a stone wall around the perimeter of the garden to keep the grass out
3. Mulch
4. Replant our potted porch plants
5. Add some flowers to the flower bed on the right side of our garage door

It’s been chilly this week and we had a couple of freeze warnings overnight. Due to the unpredictable temperatures and freeze warnings, I’ve held off on any garden projects until we have more consistent days of warm weather and sunshine.

What are you planting in your garden this year? Any plans to spruce up existing gardens and flower beds?

Wrapping up our floor project, coupon clipping and palm leaves

And we’re done! Well, almost. The floor has come along way since November and we are really in the home stretch now. The grouting is complete and now we need to seal the floor again and put in a new baseboard.

One important note to keep in mind when you are grouting a floor is to make sure you do not grout yourself in. Always grout toward a door so that you can get out when you’re finished. We started in the far right corner of our room and worked our way toward the kitchen door. This would’ve put us finishing out into the foyer entrance. But after we started, it made more sense to grout toward the foyer entrance and put ourselves out the kitchen door so that we could still access the sink for water buckets and the garage for clean up.

BJ grouted and I followed behind with the bucket of water and sponge to clean up the excess grout. (Obviously I wasn’t cleaning when I was taking pictures :))

Here are my buckets of water! Ready to clean!

Even though it has taken awhile to finish this project, it has been worth the wait. The floor looks so great with grout and it will look even better once we install the baseboard and finish off the edges. I’m looking forward to the return of our dining room furniture and seeing the complete look.

What else have we been up to lately? I started coupon clipping like crazy, but due to my lack of coupon organization, the first few trips to the grocery store did not go as well as I planned .  So to fix that, I made a trip to the Container Store to buy an inexpensive coupon organizer to help me in my coupon clipping endeavors.

You can see in the photo that my former carrying method was a ratty white envelope. It made it very difficult to find anything and the coupons kept spilling. It was a mess. Now our coupons are organized by date and hopefully this will allow future money-saving trips to the grocery store.

In the background of the coupon madness, you might have noticed our island center piece has a new look for the Easter season. Last Sunday, BJ and I attended Palm Sunday service and we brought home these palm leaves. I thought they would look nice in our center piece for the rest of Lent.

That’s all for tonight! Goodnight everyone!

Hello Spring.

Spring is officially here! And, of course that means I got out our Spring decorations… all four of them. Okay, we might have six or seven if you count the few that I got out weeks ago, but it’s not many.

Two weeks ago I bought the welcome sign above and this Happy Easter sign. They were on sale. Who doesn’t love a good sale?

A few years ago, my mom got me this “Rockin Rabbit” for Easter. He is a lot of fun because he sings a song about Easter goodies to the beat of “Blue Suede Shoes.”

I also got out a flower arrangement I put together years ago as well as our Easter baskets so I could start planning our Easter candy and treats! I gave up candy for Lent, so I’m excited to treat myself to candy when Lent is over. There are two big bags of my favorite fruit and spice jelly beans sitting on our counter waiting for Easter.

The tulip basket is for Zoey. The Easter Bunny brings her toys and treats every year. She might be spoiled. Just a little bit. 🙂

Aside from getting out our decorations, as a I drove around today, I made sure to enjoy how beautiful the trees look in bloom. The tree in our front yard does not flower, but there are several trees around our area that do. Last Spring, I took pictures of the trees that line the road near our neighborhood. The photos now make up this photo collage frame that hangs in our entryway:

And before we went for a walk tonight, I went out to see what else is blooming in our flower beds and I spotted our lilies coming up already!

How did you spend the first day of Spring? We went for a walk this evening and enjoyed dinner outside. I love Spring!

In bloom

The windows are open and our house is full of fresh air! Finally! I’ve waited so long to open the windows and enjoy the fresh air again. And of course, Zoey is on sensory overload. She keeps running from window to window to look at the birds and enjoy the cool breeze.

Its only been a few days since my last post, but our hyacinths are almost in full bloom!

To celebrate the season, I would like to incorporate some fun Spring-inspired decor into our home.  I did a search for “Spring” on Pinterest to see what I might find, and here is just a snippet of what came up:

I also searched for “Spring decor” and found this:

I love this idea of fun brightly colored yarn in a beautiful glass jar:

 Spring Decor Balls

We could do something like this in our guest bedroom. I’m always looking for fun centerpiece to put in there. I also need something to tone down all the red and white in there. Maybe some beautiful orange, yellow and teal yarn would look fun together.

I found so many neat ideas for our decor just with one simple search. I love Pinterest! Here are a few more of my favorite “Spring  decor” finds:

Spring or Easter decorHow cute would this be for the entrance to a bridal shower?!  #centerpiece #decor #shower #umbrella #tulips #springPretty spring/Easter decorSpring Decor: Spring Specimen Wall Art

I also found this from the pinners I follow. Love!

Flower arrangements in birch bark sleeves make simple and rustic centerpieces.

I like the idea of incorporating Easter or Robin eggs into a centerpiece. Maybe I will try my hand at something like this:

spring lunch

Robin Easter eggs

There are so many great ideas out there. I’m looking forward to coming up with something for our Spring decor.

Enjoy the beautiful weather this week!

Spring Forward

Spring is in the air at our house. Despite the snowflake lights still hanging on our banister, I’m in full Spring-mode. Tonight also marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed tonight!

I couldn’t be more excited to lose an hour of sleep. Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m looking forward to more daylight for evening walks and bike rides.

Another sign that Spring is on it way is in our flower garden. Check out what’s coming up already:

The hyacinths I planted last year survived! I worried they wouldn’t come back because I bought the flowers fully grown and then planted them around late April when it was still a little chilly out. I’m excited to see that they made it through the winter and now they are coming up and getting ready to bloom.

The tulips that I planted last year are also coming up. I noticed this little guy today while I was checking out the hyacinths.

Another sign that Spring is in the air is my latest organizing project. The first official day of Spring is still over a week away, but I’ve already got a jump-start on my “spring cleaning.” Remember at the beginning of 2012, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to get organized (closets, bathrooms and kitchen pantry)? I finally started on the pantry. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m happy with how it’s turning out so far. I realize that it still looks a little cluttered, but it’s better than it was. I will spare you the “before” photo. It was messy, so use your imagination. 🙂

I would love for our pantry to look like this:

Maybe some day.

In the meantime, I’ve been collecting Target gift cards like crazy lately so that I can buy more OXO vacuum-sealed containers. I love these containers! And no, I’m not getting any endorsements from OXO.

I hope get all of our pantry items (minus canned foods and individually package foods) into OXO containers.

Did you notice our fun star Post-it notes? Okay, they are a little hard to miss. I ran out of paper in our labeler so I’ve used these Post-its to label the containers. I actually think I like them a little better because I can also add the serving size and Weight Watchers Point Plus values.

I’m still collecting Target gift cards, so I will keep you updated on my progress. It will take a while to get our entire pantry into OXO containers, but I will keep buying a few here and there as I get more gift cards. Unfortunately, it seems like they never go on sale.

Once I get the pantry organized, my next room is the laundry room. It’s kinda drab now. This is one of the only rooms in the house that we didn’t paint. As you can tell, this shelf and wall are not very exciting. And the explanation for why there are so many containers of fabric softener; they were on sale. I also got a $5 Target gift card for purchasing two Downy and Tide items, so I stocked up.

You can also see the top of our very old washing machine in this photo. We will probably keep our washer and dryer until they die, so it might be awhile before I can really get this room looking like much. I would like to add a folding table, but that will have to wait until we buy a front-loading washing machine. As most homeowners know, you never run out of things to buy, or projects to do when you own a house. But that means there is always something new and exciting going on!

So before I wrap up this post, I’ll leave you with this photo. I caught Zoey sun-bathing and looking cute this afternoon.

Also, I’m going to try to post more regularly so check back on Tuesdays and Saturdays of every week for new posts!
Have a great weekend everyone!