Thursday, May 29, 2014

Landscaping The Backyard

When we first moved into our home, we were so excited about the size of our backyard! It needed a little bit of work, but we saw (and still see) endless possibilities. The yard was wide open on three sides, the pine trees went all the way to the ground, and aside from the grass, there was not much life back there.

The fall after we moved in, we enlisted some family to partake in "Tree Fest." Although it sounded enjoyable, it was a lot of work. We cut down a beautiful large pine tree on the side of our house. I was sad to see it go, but it was planted wayyy too close to the house and was resting on the roof. During this time, we elevated the pine trees in the backyard to give them a cleaner and healthier look.

After "Tree Fest" came "Fence Fest" and let's just say our parents now know to stay far away from any "fest" we come up with. When we decided to get our Lucy Lou, we knew a fenced in yard would come shortly after. After spending the entire winter keeping her tied up whenever she was outside, we knew that as soon as the ground thawed, we would be putting up a fence so she would have room to run. Last April, we finally got our fence (see picture above). We also made other small improvements last year, such as pulling up all the brick for the patio and attempting to flatten it ("Patio Palooza"). Adam also built us some beautiful steps to get to the patio. When we moved in, there were concrete steps on the opposite side from where the sliding door opened. The previous owners made some funky steps just to be able to get into the backyard, but lets just say it looked awful. 

THIS YEAR: We decided to edge and mulch around the two big pine trees. We were hesitant, simply because we were afraid Lucy would spend too much time in there, either digging, pooping, or chasing squirrels. We didn't want to spend the money if it was just going to make a mess. 
Well, we decided there was only one way to find out. After two afternoons and 5 trips to Menards later, we finally finished. And my goodness WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

We were able to splint some of the plants from our front yard, and got a few more from my parent's and our wonderful neighbors. The bench Adam built for our balcony when we lived in an apartment finally found it's home too! (I have since added some flowers to those pots as well)

We planted a whole lot of hostas and day lillies. We also have a few fern and I planted some tulip bulbs from some blooms I had inside this year. I love all the green out there now, especially against the mulch instead of dirt. I just can't wait to see some yellow, too!

And guess what?! Aside from the occasion ball landing in the mulch, Lucy learned to stay out of it very quickly. Success!

Has anyone else tackled some big landscaping projects while the weather has been nice? 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Five- My Love For TJ Maxx

I haven't done a Friday Five in as long as I can remember, but decided to give it a go this week. 
I am sure this is a crazy question, but have you been into TJ Maxx, lately?! So many things to buy in that store, I have to tell myself "NO" to at least half of the things I want to buy. Although I usually bypass the clothing section (for my husband's sanity) when I go in, I like to take my time and see everything I possibly can. Everything from purses to shoes, home decor to dog accessories/toys. 
Check out my purchases from just last week!

1. Picture Frames
I can always count on good ole TJ Maxx to pull through when I am looking for some fun new friends, and last week was no disappointment. I bought these frames to put in my office for $6 and $7. What a steal! 

2. Colorful Drinking Glasses
These glasses just scream "SUMMER!" I can't wait for some wonderful weather to have a relaxing day sitting on the patio and sipping out of these bad boys. Not that I needed anymore drinking glasses, but for only $10 I just couldn't pass them up. This purchase definitely elicited the eye roll from my husband, but I don't even care.

3. Dog Bowl
This fun little dog bowl was mine the second I saw it! Forget that it might be slightly too small for daily use, it's perfect for post-run ice cubes and when I spoil Lucy with wet dog food occasionally. The best part: it has a rubber bottom to minimize slippy across the kitchen floor, and it was only $4.

4. Pig Potpourri Holder
How cute is this pig, seriously? I'm not usually one to purchase animal figurines, but the hearts did it for me this time. The potpourri smells pretty good, but I have a feeling this little guy will be sticking around much longer than the potpourri lasts.

5. Sports Bras
Oh my gosh, TJ has a huuugee selection of sports bras right now! I snagged one of these off the rack because of its $10 price tag, but quickly realized that wasn't all I liked about it. These are so soft and so comfortable! I ended up going back for one in every color I could find. Lucky for my wallet, they only had three colors. 

I also was able to find some great yoga pants while I was there, but those didn't seem exciting enough to share. Their workout section right now is to die for, I had to get out of there while I still had some money.

Have you been scoring any great finds at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or Home Goods lately?
What are your favorite things to shop for while you're there?

In other news, I am hoping to have some fun posts ready for you guys next week!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Framed Monogram Wall Decor

I suppose you could say this blog is long overdue for a simple craft project! I have been out of school for about a weel now and have been loving the vast amounts of free time I have. But for some reason, I've been having a hard time getting back into the routine of blogging. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging, I just feel like its taking me a while to get my creative juices flowing again after being gone for so long. 

So here's a simple project to get things going again. 

I think I may have already touched on how much I love "M"s, but here is more proof that when it comes to initials, I just can't stay away. I made this Framed Monogram using pretty much all supplies I had on hand (don't you love when that happens?) except the M, which I purchased from Hobby Lobby for less than $2.

I found an old frame from my collection of garage sale finds and spray painter both the frame and the M. Once it dried, I used some scrap fabric hot glued it into the frame. Once the fabric was secure, I hot glued the M to the center and hung it up,

So, for less than $2, I made a fun new M for our house. Success!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 5, 2014

32 Things That Make Me Happy

1. Lazy days at home with my husband and puppy.

2. Lucy kisses... and snuggles, and her soft furry ears.

3. Wine

4. Candles- I just bought 5 new ones from B&BW, on top of the collection I have in the closet.

5. Mexican food- any and all of it. Give me some guacamole, chips and salsa, enchiladas, tacos, beans, mexican rice, and best of all... MARGARITAS!

6. Netflix marathons, my current addictions are Gossip Girl and Revolution

7. Getting lost in a good book

8. Boat rides

9. Walking the beach

10. Fabric- all different colors and patterns.

11. Nail polish- specifically bright colors

12. Hobby Lobby- I could spend hours in that store

13. Freshly washed sheets

14. $1 new releases- Family Video has a special going, $1 for five nights.

15. Thunderstorms

16. Sunshine

17. Running- I'm no good at it, but that feeling you get when you are finished... totally worth it.

18. Flowers blooming

19. Organization- I have been cleaning out closets and it feels so good.

20. Weddings

21. The first snowfall of the year

22. Evening walks with my husband and dog

23. Spray paint- it is amazing how quickly it can transform just about anything.

24. Holidays, specifically Christmas and Fourth of July

25. Yoga pants

26. Taco Bell

27. Getting mail

28. Phone calls from far away friends

29. Popcorn on the stove

30. Taking pictures

31. The thought of having a baby- someday, as in a few years from now

32. Blogging- writing posts, making new friends, and gaining new followers