Saturday, June 23, 2012

1 1/2 Years

 As of today, June 23, 2012, we have been in our new home for 18 months.  Wow, that seems so hard to believe!  What seems even harder to believe is how much we've done to this house since we bought it a year & a half ago & how different it looks now.  Not only on the inside since we've painted almost every room, put in new countertops, new appliances, etc., but look at the outside differences. The above picture was taken the day we put our offer in on the house....would you have purchased this house with the grass looking like that???  Granted, it was in November, but still....we thought for sure we were going to have to completely re-sod the entire yard....seriously, it was that bad!  But look at it now, a mere 18 months later (yeah, I should have closed the garage door before taking this picture, huh?):
We have grass! And it's green :)  And it's growing like crazy!  Our secret....fertilizer :)  But not just any fertilizer....Triple 19 fertilizer.  This stuff is AWESOME!  Our grass is so thick & soft now & to think, we thought it was hopeless.  We also just got our sprinkler system working this year....the previous owners actually took the controller box when they moved out....seriously!?!  So after installing a new box & a new back flow (the old one was rusted out), we have 11 wonderful zones of sprinklers....yep....11!  The sprinkler guy said they kinda went overboard with all the sprinkler heads we have, but then he also said it's better to have too many than not to have enough.  Now I'm just scared to see my water bill!  YIKES!  But it'll be worth it cause my grass loves it & so do all of my new gardens :)

We're in the process of getting quotes for our next project(s)....a stamped concrete walkway going from the driveway along the side of the garage to the step area.  And eventually, a deck, although that project may be waiting another year.....or two.....or three.  But all in all, we absolutely love our home & our feels so good to be 'home' :)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Month Later...

...and my gardens are blooming like crazy! If you go back & compare the pictures I posted a month ago to what they look like now, you can really see the difference, especially with these huge Hostas along the side of our house....they have literally doubled, maybe even tripled, in size since last month. But they probably won't be here much longer....either in the fall or next spring, I plan on removing them, separating them & either giving most, if not all, of them away or moving them to the other side of the house & completely redo these beds....that is, if I have any energy left when that time comes around! Gardening is tiring!
 Along the side of the garage, I took out the bird bath & added a beautiful lavender rose bush where the bird bath was plus I added 2 pink Double Knock Out rose bushes.  The Rose of Sharons are finally turning green.
I placed the bird bath in the front flower bed that's along the side of the driveway & sidewalk.  I also moved the Lilac Bush from here because I was afraid it would get too big & added another Knock Out rose bush in it's place.  The Detroit Tigers flag was a Christmas gift to Jim, but with the way they've been playing lately, I'm almost ashamed to display it! 
On the other side of the garage near the sidewalk, I added 2 more red Double Knock Out rose bushes & moved my Bell flowers here, but it looks like one of them isn't going to make it :(  My Daylillies are blooming now, too :)
In this flower bed in front of the porch, I just recently removed the 3 Hostas & gave them to my next-door neighbor & in place of them, I added 2 Hydragneas & a fuschia colored rose bush in the center.  I also moved 2 pink Garden Phlox to this area.
My 2 Hydragneas along the side of the porch are getting ready to bloom....that is, if the dang 'cute' deer stops eating them!  If you enlarge the picture, you can see where he/she chopped off some of the flowers.  Luckily, my husband has since sprayed them with deer repellant & it seems to be far.
And here is one of my newest flower beds....last year, it started out about 1/3rd of this size & just last week, I decided I wanted to not only enlarge it, but plant only pink things in it to honor my sister & her battle with Breast Cancer.  We bought a Kwanzan Cherry Tree that already bloomed this year, but I'm hoping it will be beautiful next Spring.  I also added the Lilac bush that I removed from the other flower bed along with 2 Pink Hydragneas, 2 Pink Bellflowers, some Garden Phlox, Dianthus, 2 more Pink Double Knock Out Roses, 2 Balloon Flowers & more Lamium. 
The other day, my next-door neighbor told me that as she was taking her kids to the bus stop, she saw a deer in this flowerbed eating my Kwanzan Cherry Tree!  She went to grab her phone to take a picture of it, but just as she did, she said it took off.  No longer will I call those deer CUTE!  LOL  So Jim sprayed the tree & the Hydragneas with the deer repellant & I added one of my bigger angels in front of the tree because I had heard that they are supposed to be afraid of statues....I hope it's true!  This flower bed wasn't cheap, between the tree, all the plants,the rocks & the mulch, but I absolutely love the way it turned out :)
A close-up of the Double Knock Out rose, the Bellflower, Hydragneas & one of the VERY heavy rocks!  

Next up, my newest, newest flower bed that I'm still working on in the's not as big as I would have liked, but that's because I had to work around the sprinkler heads (which, btw, we finally got our sprinklers working....yay!  We had to replace the box (the previous owners took it with them) & the back flo, but our grass is finally green :) ).  Stay tuned.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Growing In My Gardens

 I am extremely happy with the progress that my gardens are making this year!  I'm not much of a gardener, but luckily, I have a friend that is & she has helped me out A LOT with picking plants, choosing where to place them & she has even given me a couple of her extras from her garden.  I can't take credit for this first picture, though as 99% of what is shown here was already here when we bought the house.  These are on the side of our house along where our stone steps are going down to the back of the house (we have a walk-out basement).  I was planning on separating the Hostas this Spring, but then never got around to it & well, with all the rain we've had, it's almost like you can stand out there & watch them grow!  I expect that they will be HUGE again this year, so they will definitely need to be separated either in the Fall or next Spring before they sprout!
 Everything planted in this photo above was all done by myself....this is right next to the garage & when we moved here, there was nothing but a bunch of small rocks & mulch in this space, so I wasn't even sure if anything would survive here.  But luckily, everything is thriving really good.  I have Iris (that haven't bloomed yet & I'm not sure if they're going to this year :( ), 2 Rose Of Sharons (the ones that look dead, but they aren't....they are just later bloomers & just starting to show some signs of green), some different types of Lillies, 2 Knock Out Rose Bushes that I just planted a few weeks ago, a Clematis behind the bird bath & some other miscellaneous plants (meaning, I can't think of the names of them right now, lol).
 The garden area shown above was all planted last year....there used to be grass here & I knew I wanted a flower bed, so my friend helped me with this one.  I love the way it turned out!  I have since added a Lilac Bush this year, but I'm having second thoughts about where I put it, so I may end up having to move it.
 Close-up of this flower bed showing some of my Lillies,Violas & Lamium, one of my favorites.
 Another close-up with more Lamium & my Peony that my friend gave me from her garden....can't wait till it blooms!
 Here is my garden along the side of the garage by the sidewalk.  The Lillies were already here when we bought the house, but I added the Lamium (told ya I loved that stuff!  LOL), some Phlox, a Lavender plant & a Clematis, that I just planted recently.  What you can't see in this picture is off to the left there is a Hydrangea & off to the right by the downspout there is a Rose Bush & 2 Hibiscus (but I'm not sure if they survived). 
 This is the flowerbed in front of the front porch....this bed was shaped this way when we purchased the house, but I've changed out almost everything as far as the flowers go....the only things I didn't change were the Hostas & the Hyacinths (they're already done blooming).  I added the 2 Bloomerang Lilacs that are supposed to rebloom later in the summer (keeping fingers crossed that they do!), the Silver Mound, Violas, more Lamium (hehe), Tulips (also already bloomed) & some more Phlox.  I should also have some Balloon Flowers in here (somewhere, lol), but they haven't started coming up yet.
 Close-up of same bed.
 Close-up of the Bloomerang Lilacs....they smell SOOOO GOOD!!!  I'm still trying to remember what those tall, skinny leaf things are on either side of my angel....guess I'll find out once they bloom.
Along the side of the front porch, I planted 2 Hydrangeas.  Looks like they are lovin' this area.  I just hope the deer don't get to them when they bloom!

Now I just need to get busy on the backyard someday....after all the gardening I did last year, though....I'm still pooped!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project Life

As promised, here is my version of my Project Life. I'm not really doing it in the fashion that it's meant to be done (week by week)....heck, when I first started it, I wasn't even sure if I would take a picture everyday, but now that I'm doing it, I find myself sometimes taking a bunch of pictures a day! Other days, I may forget to take a picture, but then I find something around the house to photograph & will end up backdating it.....IMO, there are NO rules to Project Life. And for me, I'm glad there aren't any rules because this is the first time I've scrapbooked in over 2 years, and it's made me realize just how much I've missed this hobby! As you look at these pages, you may notice a few spots where it's not completely done yet.....oops! Just try to ignore those if you can :) You'll also noticed that I'm using all different sizes of the PL page protectors.....I like variety.

Now, onto my layouts....
Layout 1: picture of the pudding shots I made for NYE, our neighbors dog that was sick & later, passed away :( , my gallery wall & a shot of my sisters picture on my cellphone. As you can tell, I got a slow start to doing this & it's kinda plain:
Layout 2: Warm temps in January, my baby is covered, the Lions made it to the play-offs & pictures of a hot air balloon going over our JANUARY:
Layout 3: Cleaning off my desk (a never ending task, it seems), my purple half bath, pictures in my home, my favorite morning drink, happy mail day, stamp organization, books I'm reading on my Kindle Fire & more organization:
Layout 4: Our new central vacuum system, cool looking clouds, a Peterboro basket that I found at a thrift store & one of our few snow storms where the snow plow tore up our yard again:
Layout 5: Jim's 47th Birthday:
Layout 6: Jim's birthday present....seeing Bill Engvall, Larry The Cable Guy & Jeff Foxworthy at the Palace, a gorgeous sunset:
Layout 7: Our new ride, getting a replacement cellphone, going for a walk, Super Bowl Sunday, new recipe & my newest love....Zone Perfect Protein Bars:
Layout 8: A view of our neighborhood street, my Slanket, self-portrait, another new recipe, snow, trying a new restaurant (this is one of the ones that's not finished), another new recipe & then the start to Valentine's Day:
Layout 9: Valentine's Day :) This one is actually 2 full pages plus a 6X12 insert page:
Valentine's Day continued:
Layout 10: Lots more organization as I'm determined to get organized this year, bowling in a tournament & collecting coupon flyers:
Layout 11: Going shopping, finally taking down the Christmas Village, another happy mail day, Fat Tuesday & today, gone tomorrow:
Layout 12: Calm before the storm, the storm that wasn't as bad as they said it would be, Chicken & Dumplings recipe, a grape jar that I found at a thrift store, Girl Scout cookie time, going to Scrappy Chic, pretty clouds & the Daytona 500:
Layout 13: Flowers from Jim, ice storm on Leap Day, bowling, awesome dessert, shopping & a wind storm that knocked over our mailbox:
Layout 14: My new cabinets in my scraproom, organization of the drawers, a sunset, another beautiful day, a fire in Auburn Hills, installing the rest of my shelves in my scraproom & a visit to Archivers:
Layout 15: Forecast for the next week, Jim grilling out for the first time this season, putting out our Tiger flag, flowers starting to come up, finally finding a typewriter at a thrift store for $6.00, taking a walk with the mutts, jello shots made for West Branch weekend, corned beef & cabbage for Jim a day early:
Layout 16: Bowling in the Best Frame tournament in West Branch with great friends, my FitBit arrived, Jim's new grill, a foggy morning, the sunroof is open & the flowers are blooming:
Layout 17: going for a walk when the temps reached 85 today, my Magnolia is blooming, our new ceiling fan in our bedroom, Martha Stewart books I bought at Dixieland Flea Market, my Magnolia flowers didn't survive the cold temps we had :( , my addiction to Washi Tapes, new stamps & playing the lottery:
That's all I have photographed right now, but I'm still pretty much up to date on my Project Life. I have been having so much fun doing it & my only regret is that I didn't start doing it YEARS ago!

Hope you've enjoyed my sure to check back for more in the upcoming weeks & throughout the year.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Storage & Organization

Here are the pictures I promised of my storage & organization of my new cabinets (note: I took these pictures before I installed the knobs & drawer pulls).

This is the very bottom drawer in the corner filled with tools (embossing gun, Crop-A-Dile, etc.):
Above that drawer is my extra Xyron adhesives....I stocked up when they were on sale once:
In the top drawer, I store my label makers & tapes:
In the next cabinet, I store all of my Project Life page protectors along with chipboard & felt pieces & my Martha Stewart scoreboard:
In the drawer above is where I store some of my punches & my long reach stapler:
Next 3 drawer the bottom drawer is my Thickers obsession/hoarding :) These used to be on my homemade Clip-It-Up, but I ended up having to take that down as it was too close to the top of the countertop:
The second drawer stores all of my bling embellishments.....another obsession I have:
Top drawer in this cabinet stores my loose glitter, flocking & beads:
Onto the next cabinet.....bottom drawer is Heidi Swapp & miscellaneous chipboard:
Middle drawer is my Tim Holtz Grungeboard, Deluxe Designs Plain Jane chipboard (I wish that company was still in business!) & my large jars of embossing powder:
Top drawer holds all of my sanding/distressing supplies:
In the next 12" cabinet, I store all of my Cricut cartridges, mats, tools & the plastic Cropper Hopper embellishment boxes hold all of my tiny brads, eyelets & American Crafts & Bobbin ribbons:
The drawer above holds my embossing powders, distress paints & Perfect Pearls:
Last cabinet, bottom drawer is where I keep all of my packaged embellishments (except for some from specific lines that I store in the Target cubes)....see the Paperkins? Yep, I still have a few of those ;)
This is another miscellaneous drawer....I have my epoxy stickers in here along with mesh pieces, etc.....I need to organize this drawer better someday:
Last drawer holds my stamping supplies, foil, bead trays, etc.:
And there you have it.....I may change some things around once I find out what works best for me. seems to be a never-ending job! But I am absolutely lovin' my new cabinets....there were just what I needed!

Now, to catch up on my Project Life & start posting my pages....stay tuned :)