I love a nice yard. I have an obsession with mowing the grass. There is something about making straight lines in a yard that last for days. When you have kids, nothing you do lasts for days like that! I do all of the mowing, the gardening, and the fertilizing. Even my allergy to grass doesn't stop me!
Our new house has lots of garden potential. The yard is a blank slate. It's like planting from scratch. We have lots of empty garden space just dying for some plants. I am no gardening expert though.
Which is why six years ago when we did some major landscaping projects (put in a sprinkler system, leveled the backyard, added retaining walls, and had a new hand stamped concrete patio poured) at our old house we hired someone a friend recommended to give us some advice on planting our garden.
My husband had auto cad drawings of our yard ready (you should have seen the landscape designers eyes light up when she saw that one!), so when Lore Peachy came in to do the design, she took the drawings and set right to work.
Lore called it plant by number. I called it amazing! It was so easy to plant once I had an idea of what to buy and where to put it. It took the guesswork out of it all.
See the numbers in the drawings? They correspond to the numbers on the plant list. Lore even added up how many of each plant I would need. I just had to go to the nursery, pick up the plants and put them exactly where she told me to (see the dots) on the drawings. Like I said, we had this done six years ago, but I think it was the best money we spent on landscaping!
So why after six years am I mentioning it? Because I have been landscaping the yard all week. The design that I had done all those years ago gave me the confidence I needed to tackle my own yard and plant using some of the same concepts. I learned what plants I love (decorative grasses and day lilies) and what plants I don't (roses). I also learned to plant in threes. Seems easy enough and maybe you all know this trick, but I didn't.
Here's a little of what I have been working on this week. I can't claim all of the plantings in the front, most were there when we moved in. I did divide the day lilies and spread bark and edged with the rocks.
The backyard though...just you wait! Pictures are coming soon!
I've been looking for months to find the perfect mirror for our master bedroom. I know it needs to be taller than me and I wanted it to be a leaning mirror. When I stumbled upon this hand antiqued mirror from Salvage Savvy , I knew this was the one!
Isn't it gorgeous?! Head on over to Salvage Savvy and see the full tutorial .
A few months ago my youngest son was diagnosed with several food intolerances. We have eliminated from his diet all dairy, soy, nut and gluten products. I realized I had gotten stuck in a rut in my cooking, so the new diet was good for me to break out of my normal cooking routine, and add some new things to the mix.
One of those things was kale chips. I have a wonderful friend that joined a CSA with me. We both felt a little tied down with the week to week commitment and were ready for a change, so when I saw that bountiful baskets was starting a pick up down the street we joined in on the weeks that work for us.
Kale was in the mix this week and the first thought that came to mind is to try kale chips. I think they turned out surprisingly well. You start off by taking your kale bunch and cutting the leaves off the stalk.
I put the leaves in my lettuce spinner to get them super dry, and then mixed them with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of salt (you can use more if you want, I started with 1 tsp and thought it was too salty).
I spread them flat on my silpat baking sheet and placed it in my oven at 350 degrees.
Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
One of my dearest college friends, welcomed her first baby this past weekend. A sweet baby girl they named Brynn. While I know that Brynn's mommy reads this blog, hopefully she will still be surprised when she receives this little gift that I made for her.
You see, sweet little Brynn and her mommy and daddy live in Hong Kong right now. This gift has a long way to travel before it gets to her. But I wanted to make sure I got a chance to share this with all of you since I am so excited to hear about sweet baby Brynn's arrival into this world.
I found this pattern from Shwin & Shwin and loved the piping detail on the dress. I've never done piping before, so I thought I would give it a shot.
And of course, what is a dress without matching shoes?
It took this spatially challenged girl several hours to figure this pattern out, but once I did, I love the end result.
You can get the pleated mary jane pattern and tutorial here . What do you think? Think I can pull some of these off in my size?
Congratulations Raellen and Kevin and welcome to the world baby Brynn!
We have been proud dog owners for about five months now. I'm pretty sure that makes us official experts on dog ownership. I want to share with you a few things that we have learned and loved over the past few months.
1. With three kids, we were already doing a lot of playing already. But now, with a puppy, we are playing even more. Or maybe just differently than we were before. When I asked the kids what their favorite thing was to do with the dog, all three said to play soccer and throw the ball with her.
2. The kids are learning about responsibility. They are realizing that it takes work to have a dog, but also that there are rewards that come with it.
3. We have had a chance to see the nurturing side of the kids. And what I think quite possibility is a glimpse into what the kids will be like when they are grown with children of their own.
They are all very different with Sophie. Our youngest is very playful, more like a litter mate. Our daughter is willing to roll up her sleeves and pick up poop in the yard without being asked, or wipe off Sophie's paws as she comes in from the rain. And our oldest will come home and the first thing he will do is greet the dog and give her hugs, something he no longer does for me anymore.
4. One of the other things the kids say that they like about having a dog has been watching her grow. When we adopted Sophie she was only 13 pounds and 12 weeks old.
Her favorite spot was the landing on our stairs.
Now she is over 50 pounds and growing in her fur from fuzzy puppy fluff to long haired Golden Retriever. She can no longer fit on the landing on the stairs.
We've had several people comment to us that it's been fun to watch her grow the past few months. And believe me, you could almost just sit there and watch her grow!
5. We've had many new opportunities that we wouldn't have had had we not had Sophie. We've met lots of people through dog obedience school, at the dog park, and on our walks. And being new to the area she's been a great conversation starter while meeting new people.
6. I think if you ask anyone about their dog, loyalty is a word that would come up. Pretty sure Sophie's middle name is Loyalty. She's always waiting by the door when we come home, or ready to join us in the car to run errands and her tail is always wagging happy to see us.
7. Even though the kids have access to a bus, we chose to walk to school and we do that to get exercise. I'm not sure we would be loyal walkers if we didn't have a dog that needed lots of exercise. I've enjoyed our walks to school with the kids, and know that one day, I will cherish the time I had talking with them and walking hand in hand along the way.
8. Many of you know that we live in the Seattle area. This winter has been one of the longest rainy seasons in history. If you know me, you know that I hate the weather here. This years long rainy season is not doing anything to help me enjoy it more.
After nearly 11 years of living in the area, this is the first year I have spent so much time outside as it rains on my head. There have been many days where my coat drips with rain for hours just because I needed to get Sophie out to get some exercise. While I hate the rain, I am realizing that the actual rain part doesn't bother me as much as the lack of sunshine in the skies does.
9. Since we have had Sophie, we have found a lot of new places that we wouldn't have found otherwise. We have spent countless hours at dog parks that in the past I have driven by and never knew existed. We have also found new parks in our area that we wouldn't have found had we not been in search of a place to run Sophie.
10. Our final, and very favorite thing about having Sophie has been the incredibly funny running commentary that we make up as conversation with the dog. My husband and I did this a lot when the kids were babies, and now we all find ourselves narrating Sophie's life for her. I must say, we are a hilarious bunch!
I leave you with our top 10 favorite things. What are some of your favorite things about having a pet?