Around The Yard

It has finally started to warm up a bit and flowers are blooming here in West Michigan.  Since this is the first spring in my new home, I was so excited to see what would pop up this year! I actually had a couple of surprise tulips that I forgot to photograph. One of them was red and the other one was yellow. They were so pretty and so I am thinking about planting a few more tulip bulbs this fall! I was so relieved to see all five plants that my dad put in last summer came back. I’ve never had a green thumb so I’m so proud of keeping his plants alive and well! This beauty was especially lovely and full of blooms a couple of weeks ago. I have forgotten what it is called. Does anyone know the name?

image My pear trees also were in full bloom and looking so beautiful! image I can’t wait to see if my hydrangeas flower this year and I have a few other sprouts starting up… I can’t tell if they are weeds or flowers yet, so I’ll have to keep you posted! Have you had any surprise flowers popping up this year?

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Succulent Repotting Project

Last summer I added three adorable succulents to my kitchen window and they are still going strong. My little plant friends have been thriving and lately had grown a little too big for their small bowls. I tried to open the window the other day to let in some spring air and the plants were so top heavy that they tipped right over. So, I decided to stop by Home Depot and pick up some new baby succulents. I wanted to transplant and repot the ones I had and then picked up two more to help fill out the arrangements. Quite the pile of succulents. Maybe I have a problem…

Repotting and transplanting succulents

I used my handy river rocks to line the bottom of my pot and bowls to help with drainage. Then I just arranged my plants in the containers and filled in any holes with potting mix. I really love how they turned out!

Repotting succulents

Adorable succulents in mini latte bowls from Anthropologie

Mini latte bowls from Anthropologie to hold succulents

I love Succulents!!

Repotting succulents

I love keeping succulents in my home. They are so easy to care for!

I love keeping these easy to care for plants in my home. I just give them a little bit of water once a week, just enough to dampen the soil. Easy peasy!

Homeownership. When you can’t just call maintenance.

I recently shared some photos from of my home on my personal Facebook page and I received so many nice comments about how pretty my house looks. This is so funny to me because, like so many of us, the photos I share online are carefully cropped and edited. If I take just one step back, you would get a much more accurate view of my (still) unpacked boxes and dirty floors. This blog is about focusing on the positive, so I try to zoom in on the beautiful things and block out some of the clutter and chaos for just a moment.

Today I want to share some of that chaos, the ugly, and a very real side of homeownership… It’s been a long night. I debated skipping a post today and getting some sleep, but I already felt bad for missing Friday’s scheduled post. I’ve shared a lot of pretty moments here as I settle into my new home, but it isn’t always flowers and new furniture.

I usually eat my breakfast while reading blogs, so I’ll try and be aware of that for this next bit. Last night after I got home from rehearsal I saw that both of my pets had rough/sick days… Allllll over my bedding. Gross. First, I stripped down the bedding to launder it. Then I got a bath ready for Daisy to get her cleaned up. I remembered that it was Sunday and I needed to pull together some kind of blog post, so I went downstairs to my computer and saw water all over my basement floor and continuing to spread. Yaaaay.

Obviously I freaked out. I called my mom and my brother, convinced that I had somehow broken my house. They live nearly three hours away so when all this happens at midnight, I’m kinda on my own. That’s the one cruddy thing about owning a house, there isn’t a maintenance guy on call. So, I made a late night trip to Meijer and now I’m the proud owner of a rag mop/bucket. I spent my entire night mopping up all the water. Every towel I could find is soaked through. My voice is horse from rehearsal/blasting 80’s rock music. But at least my rain boots are cute…

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Now that I’ve gotten things a little more under control, I was able to take a closer look and I’m pretty sure my outgoing sewer line is frozen or blocked. Yup. So that’s gross. I am exhausted, so I plan on taking a nap until businesses start to open up and then trying to figure out how to get this fixed. Any tips?

Framing Sentimental Souvenirs

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. We had family visiting from out of town and it was wonderful to spend time outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather here in West Michigan.  We also found a great new sandwich place that I can’t wait to share with you on Wednesday!!

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It has been a while since I gave you an update about the Gallery Wall/Gallery Hall.  I still have a lot of empty frames and a few DIY canvas projects to work on, but I did fill three more holes this weekend using pages from a calendar. My brother and his wife recently went on a trip to Ireland and brought back some really neat items to put in my hallway.  One of the items they picked up was a calendar from The Trinity College Library Dublin featuring artwork from The Book of Kells. This is a great option for artwork because you basically have a set of 12 prints to create a cohesive look in your home. I grabbed three of my favorites, gave them a little trim and popped them into a 5×7 frame.

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Folio 290v The four symbols of the Evangelists

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Folio 291v Portrait of Saint John

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and Folio 2r Canon 1 The Four Evangelists

They also gave me a beautiful ink drawing of the Cliffs of Moher but I’m thinking about getting a custom frame. I think this is a great option for souvenirs from a vacation, you could even frame favorite postcards (I have a few from Chicago) on my wall already. Have you ever framed pages from a calendar? What about postcards or playbills? Or do you prefer pictures, paintings, or mirrors to decorate your space?

 

 

 

 

Do The Creep: Planting Creeping Mertyl In Our Front Yard

We are getting our creep on!

Creeping Mertyl that is. Let me take a few steps back and catch you up… When we last left the front yard, we had pulled out all of the bushes and weeds that had been taking over our front yard like something straight out of Jumanji.

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After the mass excavation is was looking a little more like this…. there was actually a house back behind all of that! Whew knew?

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As I mentioned before we had gone back and forth about what to do next. We tossed around leveling the ground and planting grass or putting in mulch, but we eventually landed on a low maintenance ground cover to ease our way into the whole landscaping thing. I did a lot of research and landed on Creeping Mertyl, not to be confused with Moaning Mertyl.

(Five points to your house if you saw that reference coming!)

I like that it is a hardy, fast spreading plant but it seemed a little less invasive and easier to control than something like English Ivy. Creeping Mertyl is a low laying ground cover that gets little purple flowers in the spring. I picked up 50 plugs from a seller on Amazon (before finding out that a bunch of people at work have free Mertyl that they could have given me… lesson learned!) It came in two bunches which we had to separate.

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Kurt went through an lightly tilled up the soil to loosen everything up and then it was time to plant.

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We spaced the plugs about 6-10 inches apart based on what I was able to find online.

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Lets step back a little

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I may be able to get some more plants from coworkers to help fill things in a little and then we won’t have to wait as long for nice coverage. We were thinking about using pavers to edge but some of the gals at work have a bunch of hostas that they will be digging up this fall. I think that could be really pretty to frame our the Mertyl and add a little something else to the front yard.