Sunday, November 9, 2014

{Inspiration} Kitchen Loves



The above two photos are from FrouFrugal. Talk about a great kitchen remodel!!

I still love the idea of a white kitchen but the added interest in the brick wall and wood textures, above, are great. I think that if we were to recreate a similar look in our kitchen, I'd definitely do as much of the above as possible but with the wood look tile and a different countertop. Tile and I don't mix. See our current kitchen tile as evidence. 

I feel that if Doug and I (and we can't forget our secret helper, my dad!), were to tackle our kitchen… we could do this! It would go against our "add insulation everywhere" plan but since we're also on a nonexistent budget, this would fit. We could expose our brick walls, possible seal them(???) and then add bits and pieces as we could. Our floors need fixed, we have great trim already that just needs painted, and we could add a small island like above. I feel that it would be doable with time. 

Bonus?

Doug and I both LOVE this look… and that may be a first. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

{Nate the Great} One Year Old!


Last week, this little guy turned one.

He's a handful in all the good ways. He's all boy, all energy, all the time.

He's in 18-24 month clothes, size 5 shoes, and size 3 diapers.

He's around 26 pounds. His yearly check up has been pushed back until Thanksgiving due to us being off since the beginning. But, he had a "sick child" visit last week due a bad diaper rash so we got him weighed. Not sure on the height but he's tall, at least to me.

He's had his third haircut recently. It's a very blonde strawberry blonde, so it'll be interesting to see where it goes. 

His eyes are still blue. I love my blue eyed babies! 

He's been walking for over a month now and is excellent at it, except when he tripped on the pumpkin vine at the Pumpkin Patch and bit into a pumpkin. 

He's ornery but I love him. He'll be the most stubborn kid I know,  I'm just positive.

He's definitely the best thing to our family since Miss Lily. He completes us and I can't wait to see what the next year (and more!) have in store for us.

Friday, October 24, 2014

{Family Fun} Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we spent some time at our local Pumpkin Patch. I ended up getting some great photos (they're on Facebook for family to see) but after looking through some old photos, I thought I'd put together some highlights over the 6 years we've been going as a family.

2009 - a bright, beautiful day that ended up a little colder than I would have wanted, or that I had planned for. Lily was a good sport until the sunflower group photo.

2010 - a nice, warm day with a very mobile 1 1/2 year old Lily. 

2011 - our little fashionista with hair all over the place. I love the sunglasses and purse combo. The photo on the right continues to be one of my favorites, allowing a glimpse of what older Lily would look like. 

2012 - A fun, sassy Lily with an adorable dress made by her grandmother. 

2013 - our last outing as a family of three as Nate arrived a week or so later. 

2014 - a fun family of four (plus my parents and some friends) event that included some bumps and bruises to our almost 1 year old. Lily may be getting bored with some of it but handles it all like a champ, even though she's not a big animal person. 

See those giant pumpkins in the lower right hand side above? About a minute after that photo was taken, he tripped over a vine and face planted between two of the giant pumpkins, cutting into one with his teeth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

{Life Lately} Dreaming

So it's been over a month since I wrote... there's this thing called work. It's sucked my remaining energy pretty hard lately. That and Lily started kindergarten and Nate started preschool. Doug started back at work too, plus rugby, and well, life is BUSY!

There's another thing that has been keeping us preoccupied... or at least dreaming...

On our way home from "town" about a month ago (the bigger town we live 25 minutes from), we drove off our main path, down a random road, and into this beautiful, newish subdivision. It was love at first sight. And second. And third. And every house we looked at, the streets, the way it was tucked away from through traffic... EVERYTHING about this area screamed to us. We've both driven through it again (and again...). I apologize to the people there, I'm just in love with your little area.

So we searched it online, like any normal stalker would. The neighborhood has its own website with links to almost everything you can think of, including homes and lots for sale. Yep, lots. As in we may purchase one for future building. I'd buy one of the available homes if we could afford it. We probably could, if we sold our house and penny pinched every. single. penny. again.

Perfect schools. Perfect, easily accessible area. Young, business/career oriented families with young kids. Perfect.

I have dreamt about it. The neighborhood, future friend possibilities, friends for Lily (and not the little wannabe thief we currently live near, or at least part time because of an odd family dynamic), the homes, the wooded lots (or some at least).

There's one catch... one that has made us put some stuff on hold. Well, catch one at least. There is a part of the neighborhood that isn't developed. They may not develop it until 2015. We want one of those possible lots. We've seen a sketch of what it could look like. We like it, or so we think, there's one little catch but nothing super major.

The other issue is our current home. We'd have to sell it. Or rent it, if possible. But it needs some work, or so we think (ok, so our kitchen floor definitely needs work and our bathroom needs gutted). There's some other stuff too... random upkeep type stuff.

I still dream about the perfect house and the perfect neighborhood.

Lily doesn't want to move though. She likes her room. I keep telling her that if she moves, she could have a bigger bedroom and possibly her own bathroom. She's not old enough to appreciate either, especially considering she never plays in her own room.

As for our current house, I do like it. I'm not in love with it anymore. It doesn't fit all of our needs and we don't use all of the space like we could.

The upside to building would be to take our current home's garden with us. That I will miss, but it's all just flowers. If we build, it would give me more time to transplant a bunch of flowers. And maybe convince Doug to bring our foundation stones with us. Or a few at least, for memory's sake. That, and I'd be able to pick all my own finishes which would be wonderful!

So... as for this little blog... I don't know how much I'll update it right now. Like I said, we're busy. Nate is walking, Lily is always wanting to do something, and work, work, work. Plus, trying to have a normal life as well with coworkers, friends, and family (not necessarily in that order). 

Monday, August 18, 2014

{Gardening} Raised Bed for Blueberries

Doug and I were always planning on adding more fruits and vegetables to our yard and this summer saw the addition of the raised bed for blueberries. After our sidewalks were ripped out and fixed last summer, we started looking at rocks and what we'd need for a raised bed. This is our front yard and it gets full sun and is a perfect spot for blueberries.


Over a few days time, due to not wanting to overload our SUVs with the 45 pound blocks (each), we brought home these beautiful stones from Menard's. They have a great combination of tan, gray, and red that tie into our house, sidewalks, and foundation stones that we have throughout the yard. As you can see in the photo below, this is right across the sidewalk from Lily's Garden (before the rocks were added). 


Doug bought two varieties of blueberries (they will hopefully ripen at two different times, much like my dad's bushes do). The front one, below, produced a handful of berries this summer. The little guy, that is hard to see in the back, didn't do anything yet but he's tiny and did, luckily, put some growth on. We only put two bushes in the raised bed because they will get large! 


The soil we used in a mixture of dirt, manure, and peat moss. On top is a thick layer of pine needles that act as a mulch. In Missouri, we typically don't mulch with pine needles (I've noticed some southern climates due pine needles for flowers) but they are great for blueberries. 


When I posted some of these photos on Facebook, my friends said they didn't have luck with blueberries. I'm hoping we do. My dad has over 10 bushes and has had a lot of good luck with them. I hope that due to his help getting the soil mixture right and by providing us the pine needles, they will grow well next year and continue to supply blueberries. Lily just loves to go out and pick them. We taught her years ago to pick the ripest berries and she's done a great job since. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

{Lily's Garden} Before and After


Isn't a Before and After always fun to see?! While we haven't worked on our house inside this year, I spent a lot of time outside. Luckily, the weather was great for gardening this year and I only lost a couple of plants (one being a questionable plant to begin with). I made the bed this Spring, edged it with bricks (once, then went back with more), and planted a bunch of new plants. 

The large purple bush in the middle is a miniature butterfly bush. I love the size it is now and hope it doesn't get much bigger. The bright pink flowers are vinca, which I will probably remove at some point but it was a great plant for the summer and grew well. There are two yellow double coneflowers (right next to the vinca and in between the butterfly bush and fence on the right), purple coneflower, white coneflower (or maybe a daisy, not sure), and a few different sedums. The low pink flowers in the front are ice plant and they bloomed all summer. There's a hens and chicks in the mix too but he may be moved elsewhere as the other sedums are trying to cover him. I put the pot in the back to fill in the back corner before the butterfly bush grew in. 

I love how it all looks now the brick edging is complete, the grass is gone, and the rocks are in. We also added a couple mirrored, small gazing globes that found a temporary home in the bed this summer (who knows where they will end up!). The bees and butterflies couldn't be happier with these flower too! 

For more garden photos, check out the tour of Lily's Garden or all of the posts here. I hope to have more before and after garden posts soon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

{Lily's Garden} The Rocks


As you saw in the Garden Tour post (and above), we now have rocks in the garden instead of the grass. It looks a million times better. Doug killed the grass and then covered everything with the black landscaping fabric. It took a lot of piecing together only because of the shape of the beds, but we have plenty left over for the back yard project this fall and next summer (more on that later!). He stapled it into the ground and then we ordered rocks from our local landscaping company. 

Below is a view from our deck in the back yard. You can see everything is covered and ready for rocks!  



Below shows that we didn't order enough rocks the first time! We ended up doing a 50/50 mix of small (pea size) and 1" creek gravel. It works well. I hope to eventually find some great stones for stepping stones but want them to be natural, not the square kind from a box store. Some day! I have three right now from when we bought the foundation stones. 


It took Doug some time in shoveling and moving the gravel around the garden. We did the first half one day and the second half another day as this seemed to happen on some of the hottest days this summer. 

If you notice, I went back after the rocks were down and added additional brick edging to all of the beds. I started adding one additional line of broken bricks to every bed and then still had some left over, so I went and did a third on the big, back bed. It allowed me to get all of our broken bricks out of the driveway. The extra full size bricks are now stepping stones but may be used elsewhere in the future. I was left with maybe 15 random bricks that had too much mortar left on them to use, so they will be put behind the dog house to keep a certain someone from digging to China. 

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