Having a yard is a million times better than a balcony. Having a real garden is a trillion times better than having a container garden! Just about every night, once I get home from work, I walk around our yard looking at what’s growing or blooming now – there are always new surprises each day! Here are a few shots from our recent blooms… so thankful for a job at a flower bulb company that makes it easy for my yard to look like this!
I don’t know if I can explain how much I love spring! There is something about watching everything that was “dead” all winter come back to life and green up again. It’s like I drive around and I have to look at how everyone’s yard is shaping up… their super green grass, the blooming daffodils and forsythia and how the trees are budding up and showing off their leaves. I just love it!
This week we’ve had a roller coaster of weather – started off in the 70s and went all the way up to the 80s, but today was a completely different season with our 40s and rainy cold. Ugh, can we go back to the 80s already and just skip spring and move straight to summer.
Luckily I spent as much time as I could while it was warm and went around our yard to spy on what is blooming. It’s been a lot of fun to see what surprises are hiding in our yard – since when we moved in, most things were dead from the crazy dry summer we had last year. So enjoy the tour of our yard, and there will be more to come as things grow and bloom! I’ve also been dreaming out how to transform our outdoor space and I’ll give you a little hint below.
We’ll start in the front – we’ve got some lovely daffodils and iris in bloom, and the tulips are working their way up. For the area by the front door, I purchased two lanterns from TJMaxx, but plan to add some more planters and other decor. We also got these little solar powered lights for the pathway, and I love how they look at night!
Moving on to the side of our house, you’ll see the lovely damage by our woodpecker! In the fall we repaired/filled some of the holes, however they’ve been at it again this spring. We even had a tree on the side of the house that they used to hang from and tap their beaks against our house – but my dad cut it down this past weekend (while Drew was in China) -we hope it discourages them. We also had to cut it down because the tree was too close to our house and we were a little worried that as it grew the roots might harm our basement wall.
In the backyard, we’ve got some exciting things growing and some not so exciting things. I’m super excited for the four peony bushes we have (if you ever have planted them from bare root, you’d know they take FOREVER to get to a big bushy plant like these). Also, there are some hydrangeas, sedum and more to come as it gets warmer. We also bought two small/young forsythia bushes from Home Depot and planted them a few weeks ago, they also were in bloom this week.
The not so exciting things involves a weed that is spreading over our lawn like, well a weed. After doing some research I discovered it’s called Creeping Charlie. Some people use it as a groundcover, but from what I’ve read, it’s incredibly hard to kill and spreads really easy…. we’ll let you know how it goes.
The other side of the house is a narrow, very shaded pathway with a stack of wood and brush filled with leaves. I was surprised to see a few random things in bloom mixed in there. What a lovely surprise!
And finally in the backyard, we have a two story deck – a small deck on top that walks out from the kitchen and another larger deck on the ground level that walks out from the family room. It’s a lot of space, so we’re working on making it look a bit nicer and less bare. Here is what we’ve got so far – but I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from pinterest for underneath the top deck, but I’ll share that another time
So lately I’ve been spending less time on blogging, more time designing… my apologizes. Entering the minted.com challenges is a great “creative workout” for me – it breaks me of what I do daily at work to get my mind going in other directions creatively. It’s not uncommon for me to be brainstorming the whole way home each day for my next submission for minted. I am determined to finally win something (ps voting helps me win!).
While Drew was gone in China it gave me a LOT of extra free time, so that gave me time to submit a few design pieces and a few photography pieces to the Minted + West Elm art print challenge. I’ve been a fan of West Elm for awhile, I love their decor and I actually get their emails at work… mainly because I’m always looking for new email ideas for the marketing emails I create at work.
The pieces I submitted went in a few different directions because I’m still trying to see how my style fits in with minted’s style… so please check out my submissions along with style boards for how they could go with West Elm’s products.
Cornhusk Green – the hardest paint color to photograph in the world! We officially painted the final room in our home – the spare bathroom that’s located downstairs. This bathroom was super nice when we first moved in, since the sellers had recently updated it with a new floor, shower, toilet, vanity, mirror and lights. What they didn’t do was paint – well actually they did, but they did a horrible job!
The must have patched some walls up, but failed to smooth it out and add sand texture, plus another mistake was them painting it all in a high gloss. High gloss + imperfections = not so pretty. And on top of it, it was a peachy cream color that really looked terrible once we painted the trim white.
Our main inspiration was this photo here… that I’m sure most people have seen on Pinterest. We loved the green with the dark woods and white. It was very spa to us.
So we headed to Home Depot, got a few paint samples and decided on Cornhusk Green by Behr. I first realized it would be impossible to photograph when I tried taking a photo of the swatch to show my family – looked like a yellow/tan/puke color, yuck. You can also see the color varies below in the photos, so if you really want to see the exact color, I guess you’ll just have to come over!
But before we could paint, we wanted to help camouflage the imperfections in the wall. So we applied a sand texture – and wow, looked a million times better. Then, went on the paint (in an eggshell finish) and wow, now a billion times better!
I’m still finishing up accessorizing, but then this baby is done! Here is the nice checklist of our progress…
Paint walls a light green/sage color + add sand texture Paint trim white
- Hang some shelves above toilet & add a few more accessories
- Re-seal grout to keep it looking nice
Check out the other progress on our home here + let me know when you want to come visit and see our house, specifically this crazy wall color!
It’s been a while since I’ve shared some progress on our house! Mainly it’s because we haven’t been doing that much, up until the past few weeks. I finally had our house all clean again for our lifegroup (that actually got cancelled last minute, but still forced me to clean) so I figured it would be a great opportunity to share an update on the progress!
The guest bedroom has gone from flesh colored walls to gray and wood trim to white painted trim white, besides the inside of the window (to be finished this summer). Next, I purchased a bunch of coral decor: curtains, pillows, bedding and accessories (all mainly from Target). I also made the two floral pillows out of napkins. Assembled the room and presto!
The last step was actually hanging the curtains – which involved ripping out the hems in both panels to get every single centimeter of length I could since since the window was very high for the space and the only option was to hang it above the window. Success – They started at 84″ and I got them to about 92″ once I re-hemmed them.
So now, here is what we have left to do before we officially call it “done”…
Paint the walls grey Set up bed and dressers Hang curtains Add a fewaccessories (half done) Paint trim white
- Decorate the walls
- Add white bookshelves into cut-out areas
- Refinish dressers
- Add a headboard
PS check out the progress on our entire house here…Our Home To-Dos
Christmas in April? Why not?! It pretty much feels like it outside and especially nowthere is a chance of snow this week (boo)!
Minted.com is currently doing a Holiday/Christmas Card challenge for personal use and corporate use. Voting ends on Monday, April 15th, but I thought I’d share my designs with you and encourage to vote for me – click on the photo to go vote for it! Pretty please? Thanks!
So catching up on blogging here… my bad!
Last week (April 1) I celebrated my 24th birthday and for some reason 24 seems crazy old! I know it’s not, but it just seems like wow, just the other day I was still a kid, still eating Chef Boyardee and Lunchables… nevermind, that still occurs on a regular basis in my life.
To celebrate, both Drew and I took the day off, so it started with sleeping in. We didn’t really have plans for the day, and that is usually what I like best. Since my sister, niece and brother-in-law were in town, I decided to take the opportunity to spend most of the day with my sister, niece and mom. Drew wasn’t opposed to playing video games with Josh either – win win. We just hung out, went for a Target shopping trip and visited Yo Mama for a birthday treat. It was also Reese’s first time!
When asked what I wanted for my birthday this year… from Drew, my parents and his parents, It was a challenge to think of things I really needed. There was definitely things I wanted, but it just sometimes seems so silly to just get things just because you want them when there is so much that other people in the word need. So this year I made it a goal to make my birthday gifts about giving back. From Drew I asked for these floral TOMS – I knew that TOMS gives a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair you buy, so I figured this was a good start – and these are super cute for spring!
Next, I asked Drew for this 31bits necklace. 31bits is a company that sells jewelry made by women in Africa. It provides them a way to make an income without selling their bodies in order to support their families. Plus, all their jewelry is made from paper (how cool!?) and they have awesome designs.
Last but not least, with the money I got from my parents and Drew’s family I was originally going to purchase stools for our kitchen when we remodel this summer. However, I just kept thinking about how I really didn’t need those now and decided that part of the money I was going to give towards an IheartLC need – which would use the money to really help someone in need around our city or world and meet a need now, instead of a want I wanted later. The other part of the money I got from family will be going towards a new roof for our house this summer. Obviously, it is also important to take care of our own things God has blessed us with.
So there is my birthday of giving back – instead of making it about myself, I really wanted to think of others and bless them. Hopefully it inspires you to give back in someway whether in our city or somewhere in the world.
It’s time.. time to all bore you to death while I rave about how cute my little niece is. But seriously, she is.
So this past weekend my sister, brother-in-law and my niece came to visit for the weekend and I basically made it a point to spend every possible second with them – I even spent the night at my parents house (where they were staying). I just love her and after seeing her little personality shine more and more each day makes me more sad each day that we miss out on it.
Anyways, we took the opportunity to take her 10 month photos, as well as some easter themed photos and then a few shots with family… Josh was at his class and missed the opportunity, that is why he isn’t in any. So… enjoy this Reese Fest for a few moments! PS she is totally in the uncontrollable drooling stage as her teeth come thru – so don’t mind all the drool everywhere… even in one of the photos I took with her it’s all over my hand. Craziness I tell you!
She is just my absolute favorite – love her and her all her cuteness.
Ever since I made it my goal to submit some design pieces to a minted.com challenge, I’ve been hard at work submitting things to multiple challenges. Currently I’m in the submission process for a few Holiday Cards, but right now is the time for voting for the Greeting Card Challenge. That challenge included birthday, mother’s day, father’s day and graduation greeting cards.
I submitted a few designs recently and now is the time to vote. I’d appreciate it if you could vote for my design (pretty please!) – but do it soon as voting ends on March 11 at 9am PST. Here are the designs I submitted, to vote for them, just click on the photo to take you to the link… I do believe you’d have to make a minted.com account, just so they can keep voting legit.
I have a few obsessions. Target, pillows, pinterest, and the blog Young House Love. Put them all together in a nice sandwich and you get a YHL Winter Pinterest Challenge where I take four napkins from Target and make two pillows.
It all started when I was working on transforming our lower level guest room and figuring out a color palette. I went to Target and since they had a million decor pieces in one of the hottest colors right now, coral, I decided coral and gray was my palette. I found lots of pillows with coral, but so much of it was geometric and so harsh. I was really wanting to add some floral when I found this Target floral print (below). However they didn’t have this print in pillows which I wanted, so what did I do… bought a pack of four napkins (20″x20″ each) for $9.99 and said I’d make pillows out of them… real funny since I haven’t touched my sewing machine in over 2 years.
So then I hopped on Pinterest and began searching for tutorials on how to make pillows from napkins… and I found many different methods. You can sew the pillow mostly with a machine and then the methods to close the pillow after the stuffing include hand sewing, velcro or putting in a zipper.
I was ambitious and thought a zipper would be the best way to close it, while making it still look nice. Here is the pillow tutorial I followed to a T… besides the fact that she didn’t use napkins, but napkins in my case just equaled a piece of fabric. PS I also learned that for zippers you use a “zipper footer” which so nicely came with my sewing machine.
I was crazy surprised how easy it was… even my mom (who is like a pro sewer) was impressed! So once that part was done, the rest was easy, just sew it shut. And I just used the existing hem as my guide which helped keep things pretty straight.
Then I just stuffed them full of soft stuffing that I picked up for about $3 and zippered them shut. Presto. I magically turned 4 napkins into 2 pillows.