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’!



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!



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!



Finds (and lots of them)

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any of my finds.  So, I’ve gone back into my phone and pulled up some of the awesomeness I’ve stumbled across in the last few weeks.

Need a sofa?  This iphone photo doesn’t do this one justice.  I found it at a local consignment shop, and it has a mate.  The color was actually a rich brown, and it was in like-new condition.  Made by Lane, the cushions were downy and soft.  I could have totally sunk right in.  The price was under $1000 which for a good quality sofa ain’t half bad.


The same shop had these two beautiful chairs.  Again, the photos aren’t even close to the actual color.  These babies were a dark teal.  So current, so comfy, and with that nailhead trim the $350 pricetag (per chair) was a deal!IMG_2554

I almost needed this little table for my back porch.  But, alas I left it behind for someone else to score.  $25!!!IMG_2562I don’t have any need for this table, but it was so darn gorgeous I needed to snap a pic.  The finish was so beyond words.  Absolutely stunning, this table was the perfect size for a game table in a large room or a small breakfast table.  It’s so worth the $499 tag. IMG_2552 Oh, this bike painting made me smile.  I wanted to snatch it up for my brother’s girlfriend, but the $300 tag was a little high for me.  Still a good price, nonetheless, for an original piece of art.  Maybe I could try my hand at recreating it???IMG_2557 Another beauty was this console table.  $1,800 isn’t cheap, but neither is the quality of this piece.  It could literally make the room.IMG_2569 This pair of panels also weren’t cheap (at $1,100) but I never said I had cheap taste.  These could be awesome installed as doors to a special room, or hung on the wall in a grand foyer or living room.IMG_2566 These cute little spools may be more in my budget (assorted prices and styles starting at $3 each). I found them at Vintage Market Days antique market and thought they would be cute tucked into a bookshelf for styling.IMG_2589 The same market had these little metal assorted letters and shapes for making your own signs.  $2 each, your limit is your imagination!IMG_2590I love old bread bowls.  I have one and I use it for entertaining and decorating.  This dealer had a several, and at only $25 each everyone should have one. IMG_2596Foo Dogs have long been used in Feng Shui design.  They are thought to protect the home, and are also known for announcing status.  This pair was made from stone (alabaster?) for $115.  Gorgeous. IMG_2597Do you like a little “whimsy” in your world?  Then maybe this folk horse belongs in your home!  He was pretty cool, and I think it would be fun to design a room around him.  $165. IMG_2598 Next up, I came across this old metal cabinet.  Is it just me, or could you see this being used as an island in a little kitchen?  Or maybe for a cutting/storage table in a craft room?  $195.IMG_2602 Did you know that Bed Bath and Beyond now carries designer pillows?  I didn’t either.  But, while on my quest for the perfect bedding for our master bedroom makeover (still haven’t found anything yet), I came across these beauties.  They are a little high (around $60 each), but the quality is there.  Large, down-filled, and heavy duty fabrics in great textures and colors make BBandB one of my new spots to shop for pillows.IMG_2603And, finally, a shot at our backyard.  The recent rain has brought the green into full force, and we are finally seeing our hard work paying off.  I’m going to be putting together a post to share what we’ve done back there so far. IMG_2577Well…find anything you need?  Or, do you just need me to shop for you?  Contact me today to see what I can do for you and your home at cagilbertson@gmail.com.

Have a great hump day!



It’s not so hard being green

Well, again I left y’all hanging. I truly had good intentions of posting more holiday photos and recipes, but then that awful thing happened in Connecticut and I just didn’t feel like it.  Like most everyone else, all I wanted to to was hold my family tighter than ever and create warm and loving memories with my kids during what should be a joyous time of year.  Working and decorating weren’t even on my radar.  We did end up having a special Christmas, and I did take pictures which I will (hopefully) get around to sharing one of these days.

But for now it’s a new year, and I’m looking forward to it.  Having 3 kids at home for 2 weeks meant that I didn’t get out much, so I spent a lot of time organizing, cleaning out, and rethinking some areas in my home.  I’m working on some plans for them that I will  share when I finish.  They are definitely lofty for my budget (which is nill), but I’m going to try to show you how to get the biggest bang for your decorating budget by doing little things at a time.  Stay tuned for that.  One of my resolutions will be to share more with y’all on this here blog.

To begin, I wanted to share a moodboard I did featuring Pantone’s 2013 color of the year: Emerald.

photo(5)Pantone, in case you don’t know, is the color standard for pretty much everything.  They standardize color for a wide range of industries like fashion, architecture/design, and printing.  Each year they announce a color of the year, and when they do, you can be sure you’ll see it popping up everywhere.

Here’s the sources:

Sofa–when your big furniture pieces are neutral, it’s easy to change up the look with art, accessories, and pillows.

Rug–another neutral

End Table

Floral Lumbar Pillow–this pillow is so pretty, and notice all of those shades of green

Grey Polka Dot Pillow

Orange Velvet Pillow–add a complimentary color into the mix to keep it interesting.

Green Chevron Pillow–(this one’s no longer available, but here’s another)

Vintage Egg Print–I use these all the time

Vintage Foo Dogs–these guys would look great nestled in a book shelf

Tray–in our accent color

Butterfly print–aren’t those colors amazing?!  I could see this as part of a vignette with a chest below, and that lamp.

Go out and be inspired.  Have a great day!



ps…linkin’ up here

Christmas: My Home

I finally got through most of my Christmas decorating.  I use the word “finally”, but it’s only Dec. 10th.  That’s not that far behind, right?  We have a “thing” against decorating before Thanksgiving.  But, Thanksgiving was so early this year, that we decided we had to wait until Dec. 1st to start decorating.  I have been piddling around so far, but this weekend we got our tree(s) up and it’s now starting to feel like Christmas.

036This is our first year to have two trees.  It all sort of started when we were standing in our front yard trying to figure out our plans for the outside of the house.  We decided that a tree would look pretty from the outside of the house (it does!)  if we put one in the playroom window.  Once the kids got wind of that, they weren’t going to let us get away without one.  So, out we went to Lowe’s and a day later, it’s my favorite thing in our house.  They used all of our special ornaments, first ornaments and handmade ornaments.  They worked so hard on it together, and they even strung their own lights!

116I remember when I was a kid, my parents put up a “kid tree” in our playroom and we loved it.  I’m thinking we may get an artificial tree for the coming years so we can easily continue this tradition.

Downstairs, I went for simple decorating.  I wanted to use what we had, which includes old family pieces like this skating rink from my grandmother.  Avery and Finn got to work immediately setting it up only to find out it no longer works.  We all agreed it would stay out just as decoration, though.

008090Have you ever considered how much you spend on gift wrap?  I have, and it’s a LOT.  This year, I decided to go with classic brown paper ($1 for 5 yards at Dollar Tree) and just use leftover ribbons, and inexpensive trinkets and bows for decorations.  The end result is so simple that it’s beautiful.


075Ted is sporting a bow, and he and sleeping Santa (another of my kids’ favorite hand-me-down Christmas goodies from Grandmother) are holding fort by the fireplace, where I spotted the first Christmas letter.

074Our fireplace is simple, with the nutcracker that Avery and I got from the show this year, and all of our stockings none of which match.  Who cares?  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect.

098And things as simple as a bowl of red apples on the table.  Though year-round for us, they do take on a special Christmas-y feel with the backdrop of lights.

106086My kitchen doesn’t get overdone at the holidays, because I just don’t have the space due to all of the baking and candy-making that I like to do.  We are starting on our gingerbread house today which means my house is getting ready to smell like Christmas too.  I’m starting to get very jolly.  (I’ll post photos and recipes this week).

020Coming up:  I’m working on our gingerbread house/village, which will sit on the piano, beneath this urn-stick-tree thing (lovely term, huh?) that I’ve been working on.  And, I’ll be working on our place settings for Christmas dinner using these wonderful glasses that I scored for $3 (set of 6) at the ACO a couple of weeks ago.  Don’t they just scream Christmas?

111Until next time, stay merry and bright.  I’ll be back in a few days with some gingerbread baking photos and a (hopefully) completed place setting to share.



Spring is Springing

It’s been so darn beautiful around here for quite some time now.  Mother Nature has been doing a beautiful job.  Things are getting greener, and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere.

This rose is from my neighbor’s garden.  And, no, I didn’t steal it.  My son brought it to me…he said Mr. H gave it to him to give to me.  Come to think of it, I didn’t really follow up on that, but I’m gonna give the kid the benefit of the doubt.  Anyways, isn’t it pretty?  And unlike most roses these days, it smells so good…not that fake rose smell.  It is so nice to look over and see this pretty  flower in the middle of my breakfast room table.  Fresh flowers really are worth having around.  I think Oprah would agree.