October 26, 2011

Mums the Word

I love fall. I love fall colors. I love fall beauty. I love to infuse it throughout the inside and outside of the house. It makes me smile.

I was at Stein’s the other day and saw they had mums and pumpkins for sale and I just couldn’t resist the temptation to buy a few. I wanted to add some festiveness to the front stoop of the house. So, I thought that might be the perfect place to set them.


The pumpkins were on sale: 3 for $9.99.  There were mums in all kinds of colors, but I wanted the pumpkin colored ones. I bought the 2 gallon size, which were on sale: 3 for $19.99. We’ll be able to plant them around the house and enjoy them for seasons to come.


I love the variety of orange colors in the flowers. The center is almost red and then the oranges lighten as they go out to the petals. Perfect.

Adds a great pop of color to the front of the house, no?


And speaking of mums, the little ones we planted a few weeks back have grown and bloomed. They appear to be daisy mums – with yellow centers and white petals. Me likey.


The boxwoods in between the mums are still pretty puny, but they’ll grow eventually. Hopefully, by this time next year, the east side of the house will be filled in with the growth of the plants. Then we can do even more planting around them. Yippee!


Anyone else decorating for fall? Carving pumpkins? Loving mums like us? Surely we aren’t the only ones…

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October 20, 2011

Stone Edging

Thought I'd give you a little update today regarding the stone edging we recently put down around the house.

Well, I'm using the term "recently" lightly. Guess when I actually started writing this post?




September 4th. Oh yeah. September was when this project happened, and I'm just now loopin' ya in. I'm on top things around here!

But it was back in August when I left off showing you some newly planted grass in our side yard and front yard and so, here's where I'm picking up with the next stage of lawn-development.

The grass we planted actually grew in (surprise, surprise). And it was then that we realized the area around the house where flower beds would one day be was in need of an immediate face-lift. We feared our neighbors would move away if they had to look at the awful sight going on around the perimeter of the house. And while we weren't really in a state of mind (nor the right time of the season) to do a bunch of gardening, we decided it would be good to get an outline set up for where wanted the plants/flowers to go.

Enter new stones + new mulch + landscape fabric that we already owned.

Joey picked up the stones from a local place called Breezy Hills Nursery and got the mulch from Menard's and brought the heavy load to the house. The rectangle edging stones are used to outline the perimeter of the flower beds. They are a grayish color to coordinate with the gray cement window sills and corbels around the house. The mulch is brown, which fits in with the brown brick. Yes, we're matchy-matchy.

After getting my opinion on the overall layout, Joey got to work (I was doing something else - I forget what it was) laying out the landscaping fabric in the shape we wanted. We went with simple rectangles along with west side of the house (similar to the east side seen here).

But as you work your way from the side to the front of the house, we went with a curve. We're brave. I know.

Joey claims it's a perfect 90-degree angle type of curve - where every part of the curve is perfectly measured out from the center. (He's big on perfect angles.) Then as the curve wraps around to the front of the house, it gets pretty rectangle-y again.

Once the landscaping fabric was staked down, Joey laid out the stones where he wanted them placed and began to dump mulch everywhere. I forgot to mention this, but he did dig out a few inches of grass/dirt where the flowerbeds would be so that the stones and mulch wouldn't sit high above the grass. We wanted everything pretty level.

This process took a lot of stones and a lot of mulch and lot of heavy lifting. This kind of work builds muscle, or so they say.

Joey worked like a dog to get it all done in one long day.

In the end, it looked neat and tidy and ready for planting - which will come next spring.

We're planning for a rather large item (like a burning bush) to go in front of the air conditioning unit to hide it. The rest of the space will mostly be layered with perennials.

We've still got to do something about that shabby window box in front too. *Sigh*

Altogether the cost was about $400 for the stones and $150 for the mulch. Anyone ever tell you landscaping is expensive? It is!

But what do you think? Big improvement?

Yes-sir-ee-bob! I'd say so. Pin It

October 11, 2011

I Heart ...

Today, I need to focus on a few positive things. So, here’s what I’m falling in love with today…

1. Fall Football: Love my boys in the green and gold. They’re 5-0! It makes me grin with pride. I feel like I contribute to the wins by cheering from home. I’m delusional, like most die-hard fans.

2. Fall on
Pinterest: Including hurricane vases with corn, beans, and peas, pretty fall mantels, and mums.

3. This
blog post by Katie Bower: It made my day, I tell ya. Highly recommended if you are trying to get pregnant. Or just want a smile. Or in need of a reminder of God’s perfect timing.

So, tell me, what are you diggin’ today?

Images: one, two, three, four, five, six

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October 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Fall…

Now that we in October (where did September go?), I finally got started on my fall decorating. It’s only a small start, but you gotta begin somewhere, right? I did a little bit in the kitchen, dining room, and living room.

We’ll start with the Dining Room. I decorated the shelf using a few new dishes I’ve purchased over the past weeks/months. I know, I know … new dishes? Me? Right… Winking smile

I already owned the yellow and aqua blue dishes. I had them out through most of spring and summer, but the little paisley plates that were added? I found them at Marshalls. They came in a set of 4 for about $5. Seriously? Great deal in my book. I actually got 2 sets (8 plates) but my mom is giving me one of the sets for Christmas. I love paisley! But you already knew that. And this pattern adds cream, burnt orange, green, and browns to the mix (perfect fall colors) in addition to already having a little aqua and yellow in it to match the larger plates I already owned. I’m telling you, these plates were calling my name. Holla!

In front of my paisley plates, I placed polished nickel votive candle holders. They add a little bling. I also added a white plate above the white pitcher. It has little brown, distressed flowers traced along the outside. I got the plate on clearance at Pottery Barn. Oh, and those are dried pussy willows inside the pitcher. They’re from Hobby Lobby. It’s all very simple, but still a start!

Moving along to the kitchen… I added just a few items to the DIY built-in shelves we put above the microwave. There isn’t a lot of height in the shelves, but more room for layering items, which I still intend to do.

The top shelf has a glass pumpkin filled with a pinecone filler I got on sale from Target. This vase filler will be great for Christmas and winter too. I’ve had the glass pumpkin for a few years and don’t remember where I got it (maybe my mom? she gets me lots of stuff).

My favorite new item is this creamy white bowl I purchased a few weeks ago for $20 at …. Marshalls! Of course. My mom got one too. They were the last 2 in the store. It may be hard to tell in the photo (sorry the lighting was bad), but it has leaves, berries, twigs, and acorns on it. It’s perfect for fall and winter. The bowl is a pretty big size too, which will work well as a serving dish for salads or what-have-you. I love dishes. Sorry, I’m redundant.

The living room / den area are also very-much a work in progress. I used items I already had on hand for in these 2 adjoining rooms. This hurricane was filled with a fall-style vase filler and some colorful (but fake) maple leaves. It smells great.

The top shelf of our bookcase has a pretty, medium-sized glass hurricane,which has more vase-filler in the bottom portion and a brown basket-weave candle (which I will never burn) on top. The little orange bowl is from Crate & Barrel. The white plate has a distressed brown wheat-pattern going around the rim. I bought it a Pottery Barn with the flower plate mentioned above.

On the coffee table is a leaf-shaped dish (from my MIL) with 2 fall circular shaped candles and a little bundle of cinnamon sticks. It’s all stacked on my Pottery Barn fall magazines. (I store my magazines by season. Anyone else do that?)

The only thing I really added to the den is the bronze vase with orange-berry twigs and faux pumpkin stems.

We don’t go in the room very often, but you can see it from the living room. I like the orange berries. They added a festive touch.

So, that’s my start to fall. I fill you in as I add more and more. It tends to be a progressive thing rather than a get-it-all-done-at-once thing.

So, tell me, what have you done for fall decorating so far? Probably more imaginative d├ęcor ideas than mine so far. You should give me your ideas!

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