Upcoming Project: Landscaping

Warning: Photo overload.

It’s no secret.  We bought this house for the yard.

030Our last house was a cookie cutter, dropped to literally bake in the middle of a concrete jungle.  When we finally sold it, we knew that our next house would be more about the “setting” than the house itself.  We wanted a connection to the outdoors, and a reason to be in it.

We definitely accomplished that with this one. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also a lot of work.  Back breaking, sweaty work.   But it’s so worth it.

084You can ask me how I feel about that after the next few weeks, though.  We are starting on a landscaping update that will save our wallets, but break our backs.

Let’s start with a tour, as it stands in it’s current condition…

We live on a corner lot, and we back to a small creek, leaving us with what is definitely our biggest “pro”: the view and the size (relatively good-sized for our area).  This is our view out the back of the house.  It’s not all in full bloom right now, but just wait a few weeks.

021That cactus.  When you open the front door, your eye goes straight to it.


The wisteria started blooming this week, and it’s all I can stare at.  Last year we had to pull out so much overgrowth that it never bloomed.  Not an issue this year.  It covers an arbor that before we pruned, we couldn’t even see.  Now it’s hard to know if the wisteria is holding up the arbor, or if the arbor is holding up the wisteria.

And then you turn to the left, and you’ll see our biggest challenge:  Privacy.

074Along with a golf course community comes iron fences.  Yay for the view on the outside.  Nay for the view from the inside.  And since we can’t add a privacy fence, we are coming up with alternative options.  A challenge, yes, but I’m just so grateful to have a yard like this to play in that I will gladly accept it.  Here’s what we are going to attempt to build this weekend…

arbor bench…or something like it.  I scored some fence panels from the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store a few weeks ago, and our plan is to basically build something like this, and wrap the back and sides in horizontal fencing to mimic a lattice.  I think it’ll not only tackle one of our biggest problem spots, but it will become a focal point at the bottom of the path, and create a perch for taking in the view.

040Now let’s take a walk…

031This little meandering pathway sold me the first time I walked it.076078041Sure, sure.  There’s other areas we need to improve, and while privacy is somewhat of an issue, the iron fence does connect us with our neighbors.  Almost every time I’m out there working, neighbors stop by and say hello.  I don’t mind them taking a peek.  It’s too pretty not to share.  Or at least it will be.

036Here’s the arbor with that glorius wisteria…

051053058It grows high and low.062Here’s another problem spot: this corner is completely open for all to see.  I plan to add some more artsy privacy screening, like old shutters and hanging pots.  I got this awesome fern at Walmart the other day, and if they had more I’d have gotten them.  I think a few strategically placed hanging plants could do the trick, and it couldn’t be easier or cheaper.

097I’ve been adding hanging plants in random spots all week

090093But now that I’ve done so, I’m completely infatuated.  I want to hang them from every limb.

Well, that’s it for the backyard.  We also plan to tackle some spots in the front yard in the coming weeks, but I’ll save that for another post.  For now, I’ll be resting up and making a materials list.

Wish us luck!


Weekly Randomness

Ready for my random post of the week?

Last week, as you know, was Spring Break.  The hubs had to work, so me and the kiddos headed up to visit my parents at the lake.  We have an old mobile home there, and while it’s not fancy, it still feels more like home to me than any other place in the world.  Nonetheless, it’s been a while since we were there, and it needed some major cleaning.

lakeIt’s just a happy place.  We have no wifi, cable tv, or even very good cell phone service out there.  It’s so peaceful.  We spend our time outside, or around this coffee table playing games and working puzzles.

While I was there, I got caught up on all of the good shelter magazines.  My mom gets all the good ones.  While going through the latest Country Living, I came across this…

stick arborYeah.  So, I’m going to need one of those.  Can you even imagine?  Some people are just so dang talented.

Speaking of talent, I’m still learning macrame.  Last week I showed you the first plant hanger I made.  Since then I’ve added another plant hanger…

macrame planter2…And my latest creation was a wall hanging…

macrame wallY’all.  I could make a million more things.  It’s so fun, and the process is so simple, yet it still takes focus.  It’s one of those things that’s a little meditative, which I love.

I also went to Calloways this past week for some new potting soil.  I can’t seem to keep succulents alive.  It’s seriously sad.  My brother in law told me I wasn’t using the right kind of soil, so I found a cactus blend that I’m hoping will give my little babies a fighting chance.  While I was there I spotted these…

calloways terrariumsI love the air plants, mosses, and tiny ferns they used.  It’s like miniature gardens.  I’ve been inspired by these for a while, and it may be about time I try it.

I started a new volunteer gig this week at the resale store for our community’s homeless shelter.  I lucked out on the position, but I’m thinking I could be in trouble.  When I got off my shift, I ended up shopping and spending $35.  I wonder if that will happen every time?  I scored some cute t-shirts, a maxi dress for summer, and these little trinkets…

findsWhen I got home, I was in the mood to bake.  Something in me has been craving zucchini muffins, and while most zucchini bread recipes are super bad for you, I came across this recipe for Zucchini Bread with Apples and Carrots and let me just say:  Holy moly.  Make them.  Eat them.

zucchini carrot muffinsThey have whole grain goodness and no refined sugar.  Plus, they are loaded with veggies, so throwing them in the kids’ backpacks for school is a good idea.

Well, y’all, that’s pretty much it for my week.  I hope yours has been swell.  It’s almost Friday, so if not, keep on truckin’!



Weekly Menu

Hello Monday!  What are y’all eating this week?  Here’s what we’re having…

weekly menu

Monday:  I have no idea.  Seriously.  We’ve got a busy night, so I’ll probably see what looks quick and easy when I get to the store.

Tuesday:  Pork and veggie fried rice, edamame.  We have some leftover grilled pork and some steamed rice, so why not?

Wednesday: Smoothies and snacks.  It’s everyone’s favorite night.

Thursday:  Grilled chicken fajitas.  Weather is supposed to be nice, so let’s grill!

Friday: Falafel, tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad.  Sounds so fresh, right?

Have a great week peeps.  I’m going to be wrapping up some work with clients, and work on getting some potting and planting done this this week here at home.  If I make any progress I’ll let ya know. ; )



Spring Break Random Post

No menu this week because it’s spring break for us.  We will be flying by the seat of our pants, so to say, but with warmer weather ahead I’m sure the fare will be getting fresher and leaner.  I’m finding myself craving fresh vegetables and grilled fish.

Speaking of healthy foods, my husband and I had an exciting Saturday night:  We made these …

fig barsWhole Wheat Fig Bars.  We had some while we were hiking in the Pacific Northwest last summer from a roadside farm stand.  We’ve craved them ever since.  These were a delicious vegan option, but they weren’t exactly what we are looking for so the search will continue.

I’ve also continued tweaking my foyer.  I added the shutters to the console table to hide the light switches.  They are in a very unfortunate position (almost right in the middle of the wall) so, leaning something is my best option for hiding them, while still being able to reach them.  We still haven’t had the painters out to finish the ceilings, so nothing is permanent. But for now, at least it’s not bare.

entry tableI got crafty…

washclothI made this pitiful little washcloth.  I am still very much learning to knit, so I love this thing a little too much.

Remember my post from last week about wanting to learn to macrame?  Well, I am doing that too!

macrame planterThis was my very first shot at it, but I am going to be doing it a lot more.  It was so simple, and once you get started you can see all the possibilities.  I think the kids could get into it, too.  I watched this and this and then sort of just went with it. (Also note the cute duck print I scored for a buck–I guess I should remove the tag ; ))

We finally wrapped up Avery’s room, including giving it a good cleaning and hanging all of her pretties.  I’ll work on a full tour after our break.

averys roomUntil then, have a great week!



Snow Day Etsy Finds

Mother Nature sent us a farewell to winter gift last night….

snow day 2 Not only did she drop about 4″ of snow all over north Texas, but she wrapped it up in sunlight, making everything shine.

snow dayAnd while I did get out and play in it a bit this morning, my baby boy got sick overnight, so I’ve spent most of the day snuggled in with him.  While he’s been watching movies, I’ve had time to play around on Etsy and come up with my current list of favorite items.

I think you could say I’m still rolling with the modern boho vibe going on lately.  It may not be the look for everyone, but the tribal patterns, earthy textures, and casual elements would blend seamlessly into any decor.

wall hangingFirst up is one of my newest finds on etsy: Sarah Neubert has such an eye for textures and colors, and she makes the most inspiring wall hangings.  I’d love to have one on my walls someday.

cork lamp
I’ve been eyeballing this vintage cork lamp from InMyIgloo for weeks.  No doubt someone will beat me to it now, but I had to share.  I love the shape and the texture.  Mid-Century deliciousness.

overdied rug

Y’all have to know that vintage rugs, particularly Turkish rugs are uber popular now.  Actually, they’ve been popular forever, but I guess you could say that the “general public” is catching up. This overdyed yellow one from Unique Rug Store belongs in my study.  If only it weren’t such a hot mess right now.

peruvian blanket

Do you have a boring chair that needs some fun color?  Drape this vintage Peruvian blanket over the back and that won’t be an issue anymore.  Or use it as a table runner, or as a scarf.  Just get one and you’ll find a spot for it.  I mean, look a those colors.  Don’t you need them in your life?

macrame planter

The inner hippie in me really wants to try making one of these macrame plant hangers.  I’ve got so many places I want to put plants around here, including hanging them from the ceilings and in windows.  This little cutie is only $18 though so it may be worth my time.

boho bag

Finally, I’m loving this little boho bag. The pattern is versatile and the size and style is perfect for any casual outfit.  I think I need it.

Thanks for stopping by!



Weekly Menu, and Foyer Progress

I didn’t post my weekly menu yesterday because it’s pretty lame.  We’ve got a few busy nights, and so I just put the menu together using some leftover meals we didn’t cook from the last couple of weeks.


Over the weekend, I continued painting the foyer.  Unfortunately, with these tall ceilings, I couldn’t finish.  I’ll have to call in the pros for that.  Before, it was dirty builder’s beige.  Now it’s bright, clean Agreeable Gray (Sherwin Williams).  (Sorry for the poor quality pic here).

foyer progress 2As you can see, I still don’t have it fully styled.  Believe it or not, this is one of the last rooms we’ve touched since we moved in a year and a half ago.  It’s got a ways to go, but the new paint is a good start.  Although the console isn’t exactly the right scale for that tall wall, it stays.  It was one of the first pieces of good furniture we bought together when we bought our first house.  But, I’ve got some ideas for making it work.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share that in the coming weeks.

foyer progress 6What I’m going for is an atrium feel.  With the skylight and tall ceilings, it’s got so much natural light that it’s perfect for my plants to thrive…if I could keep the naughty kitty out of them.  Poor Oscar was twice this size.  (Does anyone else name their plants???)

As you can see, we are still dealing with the lovely green marble and white tile floors.  I’m afraid there’s not much I can do about that either.  Until we get to replace them, we just have to live with them.  I think this is the room that will definitely benefit the most from some beautiful new wood floors.  Until then…ignore them!  That’s what I do.

I bought the cool new black and white planter from Homegoods yesterday.  I was going for something graphic and a little modern, since the piano and table of my grandmother’s were starting to make this spot feel like…well…my grandmother’s.  I’ve got plans for the glass terrarium.  The stones were painted by my kids and their grandmother last summer.  I plan to add some smaller rocks and some succulents.  I also want to change out the picture frames, but I’m trying to use what I’ve got.  I can’t replace it all at once.  I’m thinking my next project for this spot, though, will probably to recover that piano bench.  The red is too much for me on top of the rug.  It stays.

foyer progress 4I’ve also seen some peeps painting baskets.  I think this one could use some work.  I scored it on the cheap a while back, and it’s size is perfect for storing our hats, mittens, and scarves.

I also painted the front door, which someday we will replace, but in the meantime the same Urbane Bronze that we used on the kitchen cabinets warms it up in the same way wood would.  That’s fun to say. Wood would.

Anyways, it’s an improvement.  Or, a step forward, at the least.

foyer progress 5

Thanks for stopping by.



What’s Up Wednesday

Happy hump day!  Here’s what I’ve been up to this week…

As of yesterday I finished sanding and painting the doors and trim which means I’m so close to being done, I can taste it.

averys doorThat should mean I could start cleaning up this mess…

kitchen mess…except that when I painted the new trim on the coat closet door, I went ahead and started cutting in for new paint in the foyer.

foyer paintWhat can I say…It was next on our list.  And, it’s the same paint that I’m using outside Avery’s room, so I figured while I had my paintbrush wet I might as well keep going.

I’ve also been prepping for a presentation for a client.


And, since I’m in “busy mode” and can’t sit still, I also painted these thrift store urns so they will be ready for me to plant some succulents.  Surely I can find time for that in the next day or so.

painted urn

One of my picker buddies scored these awesome shutters from an old building in Dallas.  I have plans for them.

shuttersIn addition to the home reno projects we’ve had, the kids have also had a school project that has taken over the garage and dining room.

dirty dining roomI’m not gonna lie, the messes around here have just about gotten to me lately.  But the good news is, by next week most of it should all be wrapped up, and I’ll get to spend some time really cleaning.  I seriously can’t wait.  I’m already thinking about how insane I’m going to get about it.

It’s all downhill from here!



Weekly Menu

I finally got the chalkboard paint on the pantry door, and over the weekend the handy husband updated the trim, as well as on the coat closet.  It’s a simple project that costs about $26 per door and about 30 minutes of his time.  Well worth it.  Just wish I didn’t have to sand and paint.

pantry doorIt’s a snow day here in North Texas, which means icy roads and everyone scrambling like it’s the end of days.  I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon to just grab a few things for last night’s dinner and ended up doing all of my grocery shopping for fear nothing would be left.  The shelves were totally picked over, so I think the menu looks pretty tasty considering I threw it together based on what I could get my hands on.  Stay warm!

Monday:  Hamburger steak with onion gravy, brown rice, steamed broccoli

Tuesday:  Chicken tikka masala (jarred sauce), basmati rice, cauliflower

Wednesday:  Slow cooker spare ribs with saurkraut and potatoes.  So stinky good!

Thursday:  Leftovers/snack night

Friday:  ??

Saturday:  Spaghetti and meatballs

Sunday:  slow cooker roast with veggies

Peace y’all!


House Tweaking

Sorry I didn’t post a weekly menu this week.  Our schedule is busier this week than usual, so we are pretty much having snack night every night except last night.  We had Shepherd’s Pie, and I highly recommend you try it sometime, particularly on a cold night.


The last few days, I’ve been spending time tweaking a lot of things.  We are still underway on Avery’s bedroom, which has taken entirely too long, thanks to a really annoying door fiasco.  Anyways, it was finally installed, and now I’m getting ready to paint it, along with the new modern trim we installed.  We still need to find mirrors for her closet doors, but I’m bound and determined to finish the entire room by next week.  I’m dying to post a tour.


I’ve also been playing around with the mantle in the study.  It’s been a little looking a little “stuffy”.  I recently scored some old shutters that I think I’ll try up there (haven’t picked them up just yet), but I really want to try some slightly more whimsical touches, so I threw up an old bicycle wheel that came from the hubby’s bike.  Spray painted yellow, I think it might be the start of the direction I want to take.  Not everything here will make the cut; this is just where things have landed lately.


My favorite little styling display so far is in the dining room.  I’ve been tweaking this room since we painted it a few weeks ago.  I’ll be excited to post a tour of it as well, but for now it’s been taken over by a school group project.  I’ve given up on keeping it clean and tidy until after that’s over, and the buffet is the only spot that I won’t let them touch.


It’s hump day, which means the rest of the week is downhill from here.  Make it a good ride!