Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For the Love of Dirt

Finally spring is here!  Which means its time to work outside, & play in the dirt.  In my opinion gardening is one of the best ways to spend a day.

Mr. G was home on R&R the last two weeks (he left yesterday, but will be home again for good sometime this summer), while he was home he pulled out four ugly old boxwood hedges from along the side of our home. I don't know if anyone else dislikes boxwood as much as I do, but I feel they are very dated & just boring. They are my least favourite landscaping & their days have been numbered since we moved in!

This is also where our new sump drains out into the yard, we had a massive basement project happen last week too. I really like that the ground water will stay out of the basement & help to water our grass.

Adios ugly boxwood hedge

So much bare dirt to work with I love it

My friends very generously gifted me a little lilac bush

All of those rocks & the granite blocks were found in my yard. When ever I dig a new hole or till up an old bed I find tons of rocks, these are some of the smaller ones I have harvested.

Pansies in a rain boot, I hung up both boots, & now I want more LOL. These were MY old rain boots, I love finding ways to recycle in my garden.

 I didn't notice she was missing an arm until I was paying BUT she was a thrift store bargain & I decided it didn't matter.

Another thrift store purchase, an old wire whisk. I filled it with yarn, cotton twine, & felting wool for the birds to snag.

One of my pretty chocolate terracotta pots, I have more waiting to be replanted. I just love the way the porch steps look with lots of planted pots. The rest of the pots are where I will plant my herb garden, & tomatoes.

I used to despise succulents, for some reason they bothered me on a tactile level. Now I love them, which is a good thing because my garden had a crazy amount of them when we bought the house. They are a super easy plant, & they relocate easily so I can use them as a quick filler.

I need mulch in the worst way but the local place I get it from is not open for the season yet & I am worried my seedlings won't come up if I mulch over them

My garden is still a work in progress, I don't think I will ever truly be done LOL. I have sunflower seeds planted along the house (I alternated mammoth & evening bliss), I am going to spray paint that tower trellis,  a few more flowers along the rock border, find more rocks in my yard to finish the border, & mulch, mulch mulch.

I love it though, gardening makes me very happy. One of my favourite things, is to sit in my yard, or on my porch, & just stare at my flowers or the birds. There is nothing better than soaking up the sun & warmth after a long winter. I am gleefully counting down the days until we can have our first beach day!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

House Work

This week I decided to re-do our downstairs bathroom. (a work in progress the walls and cabinets need to be re-painted) its past life was as a ho-hum children's bathroom. However this is the bathroom all of our guests use & I wanted it to be more grown-up space. (no little boys allowed)

The bathroom before:

This is how the bathroom looks now:

View from the back hall: blue ombre curtains & blue birds shower curtain both by Threshold

The garbage can doesn't normally live in the middle of the bathroom I just wanted to show it off

Shelf on the door wall (the door is off center it drives me batty) I need a small basket up there I think

I painted the vanity mirror Sweet Mint by Valspar

More storage yay

Motivating art

New handles

Closet organization

We have a very weird bathroom closet because it is ALSO the back hall closet

I have all of these Birchbox boxes, & they were the perfect size to help organize my drawers

No more room for new polish

Finding a narrow basket for this space was not easy, the tea cup is the perfect place for my rings

A magnetic board for hair clips & bobby pins

Eventually the walls are going to go from bland beige to Valspar Apricot Ice, the ceiling & doors/trim will be Polar White

This is our new front porch light, I LOVE it the spiral filament Edison bulbs just look amazing

Thanks for looking, I hope you liked it!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Playing with Fashion

Lately, I have been scouring fashion blogs (especially Girl with Curves) trying to learn how to dress. It is amazing, how much of a difference it makes on my mood when I feel both confidant & well put together. I have also been taking risks, wearing tighter fitting clothing, pops of colour, & bold prints. In general, my new way of thinking about clothing is if I used to say "no I can't wear that" now it is "sure why not".

I love these shoes the stud detailing is just way too cute.

Girl With Curves

Friday, April 12, 2013

D.E.A.R. Bibliophilia

This week the boys school has been all about books, books, books, because it is Reading Week here in RI! I love reading & sharing that with my children is just one of the most cherished parts of our day. Which makes this week, one of the best weeks ever in my book!

The theme this year is Digging Deep: Unearth a Good Book, there were daily contests, activities like share your favourite book, wear your craziest hat, bring a favourite stuffie, & let's read at the beach. We also had a wonderful family literacy night at the school! We went on a New England trivia hunt, heard an amazing oral story teller, prizes were raffled (no, we didn't win we have zero raffle luck), ice cream was enjoyed, & every child went home with a new book.

The classrooms have had lots of guest readers & parents come in to visit. I was able to share one of my favourite stories with J-Bird's class: Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf. Nothing beats reading to a room full of young children. They are the best, & the questions they ask when you are done are just way too much fun.

The school is also doing D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) this week! Every day at 1:45 an announcement is made & all the students get to stop what they are doing to read from a book of their choice. National D.E.A.R. day is today (Happy Birthday to Beverly Cleary!). Make sure you remember to join in with your family, trust me you won't regret it.

Friday's theme was dress like a famous (or infamous) New Englander, it was SO specific & I was completely stumped. We checked out what our dress up trunk contained & discovered it was woefully lacking when it came to famous New Englander. We had lots of cowboy, super hero, Star Wars, fantasy, construction worker things, but NO famous historical New Englander things.  This did not go over well, & I refused to go buy anything new. We have our imaginations, a home full of things, & so the answer was no, I will not run out to buy something. That earned me the mean Ima award from both boys, oh well what can you do.

The boys really, really wanted to dress up though, so I thought about it, however by Thursday evening I was still completely ferhoodled. After I put the boys to bed last night, I realized that I was seriously over thinking it. My ideas were too big, I needed to think much smaller. The solution was name labels & button down shirts, so simple but very effective!

Johnny & Bobby

It was perfect, & even better after I dropped them off this morning I saw a tiny little Jackie walk in the front doors.

The Drop Everything and Read Program

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Playing Dress Up with Gwynnie Bee

My friend Kyrstel (owner of Army Wife 101) recently blogged about a clothing rental that caters to sizes 10 & up, called Gywnnie Bee. The best way to explain how Gywnnie Bee works is to compare it to Netflix, you pay a flat fee and you get to have a certain amount of wardrobe pieces sent to you. You can keep them for a while or send them back right away. You don't have to launder the clothing but they do include care instructions for each piece just in case you want too.  The really cool bit is right now they are offering a free 30 day trial! Since I am all about free I decided to give it a try, I figure if I don't like it well I am out nothing so it is a win/win.

My three wardrobe items came less than 48 hours after I signed up in a white box, that had been winterized just in case there was weather. Each item was wrapped carefully in pretty tissue paper, & pinned to the clothing label was an instruction for care tag. They also sent in a black envelope: a handwritten welcome note, a couple business cards to share with friends, & a card explaining how the return kit works.

What I enjoy the most about Gwynnie Bee, is that it encouraged me to try clothing pieces I would never have even taken off the rack in a shop. Something about not being out money if I didn't like it, really made me branch out of my clothing comfort zone! My first shipment contained an exotic print tunic from INC, a lace skater dress from Asos Curve, & a blue polka-dot dress by Style&Co.

Yesterday, I wore the INC tunic with grey tights, & brown boots to a birthday party. Surprisingly the fabric didn't cling in all the wrong places (I normally shy away from polyester & spandex), the dress was extremely comfortable, looked both simple & trendy. Which brings me to my current problem I lack a good mirror! Any time I want to take a picture of an outfit I have to climb up onto my step ladder & try to angle my camera just right in the vanity mirror.

So far I am in love with Gwynnie Bee, & can't wait to get my next shipment! This was just what I needed as I continue to lose weight. Now I can still have clothing that fits, without buying a whole new wardrobe of in between sizes.

Gwynnie Bee
*The plans range between one wardrobe item up to ten, with the price going from $35.00 a month up to $159.00. Your first 30 days are free, billing starts on the 31st day, & you may cancel at anytime.

*Once you get your clothing you can keep it as long as you want there are no return by dates. When you are ready to send it back just pop one item or all of your items into the pre-paid return mailers.

*Let Gwynnie Bee know you have returned an item & they will get your new items out to you even before they get your mailer!