Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Backyard Changes - Part Two

The moment you have all been waiting for.... part two of our backyard changes!! This portion of our backyard update all started with us feeling bad for Crosby, the cutest and most awesome pooch in the entire world. Crosby is a MAN dog and MAN dogs should have things to pee on! Poor sweet Crosby only had grass, an entire backyard of grass. He literally raised his leg on nothing. So we decided we needed to make our yard look pretty plant some stuff for our dog to pee on.

Here is the final result:
















Here's how it happened:

We started by making a digital plan. Normally, I'm not this organized, but in our neighborhood you have to get new plant beds approved by the Home Owners Association. Having an HOA is very bittersweet. Our neighbors can't get away with letting their houses "go", but getting every little home improvement approvement is really just a pain in the arse.

This is what we sent to the HOA. Doesn't my husband have some major Paint skillz......

















We felt our plan was more likely to get approved if we left the (cutey cute cute) dog in the picture. It obviously worked. When we actually got outside and started laying out the "frame" for the plant bed, we realized we estimated each little scallop to be too small. Our Leyland Cypresses and Red October Glory Maple trees would need more room, which is why we ended up going with only three scallops instead of four.

How did we make the "frame?" Well, we started with a string tied around a can of  cheapo spray paint.....
















Be sure to choose a spray paint that will show up on your grass. We then cut our string to the length we needed from the fence to the farthest point on our first scallop. Remember those compasses you used to use in middle and high school math? That's what we made. Gregg stood at the fence, holding the string, while I followed the arc lightly spraying our grass. This was the result.....
















We did the same thing with a slightly longer string in the very corner of the fence, where the October Glory would go. The Mister then used a shovel to dig out the plant bed, making sure to cut outside of the spray paint......
















Now, this is when a power tiller comes in handy. We borrowed one from a friend.... and it ended up not working. Find a tiller. Use a tiller. Please, for the love of God, use a tiller. We did not. We used a shovel. And that's a very royal "we".....
















We then took a trip (with our sweet little goddaughter) to our local garden centers, to pick up our plants. We got our Leylands and Maple from Pikes for a steal. Our Gardenias, Nandinas, and Rhododendrons all came from Lowes.....




After planting our trees and shrubs, we laid down yard fabric. Yes, it's really called yard fabric and you used "yard pins" to hold it down! This acts as a weed preventative (without having to spray a bunch of chemicals- yay!) and also helps to hold in moisture....

















I don't know why it looks so wrinkly in that picture. It was really windy that day, but it actually did lay pretty flat after I pulled everything fairly tight. The last step was laying down the mulch. We go with the nicest (and most expensive) brand that Lowes sells, but it is totally worth it. We used it in the front plant beds and it has kept its color for over a year now. It also comes with Preen Plus weed control. The color we use is called Chestnut Brown......
















That picture only shows 20 bags of mulch. We used 36. Did you hear me? 36 bags of mulch, people!! At $4.70 a bag, it's fairly expensive. But isn't it so pretty? Sigh....
















Aren't those Nandinas just adorable? They will be red throughout the fall and winter (along with the October Glory, until it sheds its leaves), and then green during the late spring and summer. The Gardenias will bloom white frangrant flowers in the next couple of weeks and the Rhododendrons will bloom bright red flowers. Can't wait. The Mister and I are notorious for killing plants, so we made sure to go with very resilient evergreens. I'm pretty sure one of our Nandinas already needs to be replaced, but it started off looking pretty sad. Thank goodness for plant warranties! Here are some more "After" pictures! Enjoy....





















And then we had a photoshoot in front of our hard work.... hehe...

















By the way, Crosby is totally happy about having things to pee on ;)
















***So what do you think? Have you tackled any yard projects yet this spring??***

I linked up over at Thrifty Decor Chick!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

iBlog

I was playing with an iPad2 at Best Buy today. I'm gonna get me one of them gosh darn things one day... you jus' wait and see! What if the world was controlled by Apple (I mean, more than it already is) and we "i"ed everything. And now on to the point of this iBlog....

I was awarded the Most Versatile Blogger award by two lovely ladies! A big thank you to Maloree and Val! I enjoy your blogs so very much and to know someone is out there enjoying mine makes me one happy girl :) Head on over and check out each of their blogs. Maloree has a stinkin' cute daughter named Saige. I "met" Val a couple of years ago on a message board for Army Wives (real life Army Wives, people, not like crazy viewers who are obsessed with that show or something... that's why I'm a member of The Bachelor message board). We bonded immediately and I like to think it is because we are kind of living parallel lives.... or maybe I just say that because we both have ridiculously adorable dogs. Grace, Tanner, and Crosby would most definitely be best friends.



With this award I am supposed to mention seven things about myself that my readers may or may not already know about me. Here we go!

1. I'm awesome humble awesome. Also, I was awarded "Most Versatile Female" as a senior in high school.

2. I am currently going back to school to get my Masters of Arts in Teaching.

3. Charleston, SC is one of my most favorite places in the world. Gregg was born and went to college in Charleston, so we usually end up in the city at least once or twice a year.

4. My favorite season is winter. I sweat like a man, so winter is much less embarrassing for me.

5. I was in marching band all throughout high school. I played the trumpet and I loved it!

6. I really love sports. Not playing them, silly! Watching them. I'm a die-hard Georgia Bulldog, but I also enjoy attending Braves, Falcons, and Thrashers games.

7. One time I went to Virginia to visit my friend Sarah and I bought this candle. It was the most amazing candle I have ever owned.

Thanks again to Mal and Val! You guys are awesome. I am passing this award along to three wonderful ladies. Check out their blogs, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Danielle at The Holt's Hoopla

Courtney at And Then There Was Home

Bethany at Do.Think.Wear.See.Love.Dream

***I know it's rainy, but I hope you are having a nice weekend! I'm headed to prom tonight so I'm off to get my hair done, have a billion pictures taken of me, dance with a boy in a way that would make my mother cringe, and then go to an afterparty that is so totally beast. 
That's the word kids are using these days, did you know that?***

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why do we call it a baby shower?

I know you have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for part two to our backyard changes. Next post, I promise! I live to torture my readers. Kiss kiss!


Why do we call it a "baby shower?" Is it because we are showering the baby with gifts? This is not a rhetorical question. If you know the answer, please feel free to share. I'm too lazy to google right now ;)



I was able to attend the baby shower of a good friend and fellow Army Wife back in late February. I offered to take pictures during the event and I just wanted to share a few of them with you. I am at that age where a lot of my friends are having babies, and it is a lot of fun to be part of their special celebrations. My congrats again to Jennifer and Clay... I can't wait to meet sweet baby Julianna!

We ate a lot of delicious food.....

















Mama-to-be opened lots of adorable prezzies.....


















(This was my gift to baby Julianna! I couldn't fit the cute little shoes in the box, so I just made them part of the wrapping!)


















More presents were opened....


















We played some fun games.....



















And then the hostess had us each write a message on the bum of a diaper, so that new momma Jennifer would have cute little notes to read during 3am changings....



Three generations: Jen's mom, Jen, and baby Julianna.......



The shower was a blast! Thank you for sharing your special day with me, Jen. You are going to be such a wonderful mother.

**** This was my first opportunity to take pictures with a purpose of taking them FOR someone else. I still have a ton to learn about photography, but it sure was a lot of fun! 
Any tips of advice for future picture taking? ****