Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gardening.....East coast style

The month of May is upon us and boy, is it a doozy. School is busy, kids are busy, schedules are full and no letup in sight.

We have had a few things that have needed replacing around here letup there, either. You know, the kind of money that is not fun to spend. That would include two sets of tires in a month and now a lawnmower that needs a part replaced. Greeeaat!

We did manage a little family trip last month to visit some friends that live in Maryland. We had a great time! We hit up Baltimore, D.C. and Annapolis. Very cool.

Here are some gardening shots I got throughout our trip.

Pansies....lots of pansies are never a bad thing.

This might be the coolest container I've ever seen. This was outside a bar where we got a drink.

Very pretty with the tulips.

Nice big swath of yellow flowers outside of some gov't building in D.C.

Not a lot of color to this one, but neat textures.

Lots of spring bloom here underneath flowering trees.

Pansies interplanted with perennials in this one.

Beautiful hellebores outside of Air and Space museum. I was surprised these were still in bloom!

Lily-of-the-valley with daffodils and dark burgundy hellebores.

This was a really pretty flowering tree of some kind....I have no idea what it was. Marylanders, help!

Virginia bluebells. not gardening pic....a cool window in downtown Baltimore.

More pics of sightseeing to follow!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

White shoes = dirt!

I am writing to you from the state of West Virginia, as our little family is taking a trip over to the East Coast for a long weekend. Super excited about all of the things we are going to do!

Now that spring has sprung and all that, some of my spring/summer clothes and shoes are getting a little action! It's about time. It is always amazing to me that as soon as it gets into the upper 60s and 70s in Cincinnati, people start dressing like it's July!!! It's nice outside, but it's not HOT. ; )

I wore of my fave warm weather shoes to school last white espadrilles. They are fun and summery. My students seem to like them, too!

However, I saw them with clear eyes as I was putting them on  and they are diiiiirrrty. Ick. Nothing like slightly off-white espies to put a damper on your new spring lovin' attitude.

So, I washed the straps in the washing machine. I then mixed a small solution of OxyClean and warm water.

I stuck small white washcloths underneath the white cloth part.

I used a little fingernail brush to scrub away!!! The soles of the shoes got a little wet, but they dried out nicely and although they are not pristine white, they are a little better.

I think they can make it at least another season! I love white for spring and summer, but hate how quickly it gets dirty. : ) I have a similar problem with my beloved white denim jacket.....

I'll share a photo of them with an outfit here soon. to the car for a few more hours!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Project: budget patio

Whew....another week in the books. Although I'm really happy to see the beautiful blooms on trees and bulbs coming up, I wish the weather would straighten out a bit. The last few weeks have been NICE during the week and cold/chilly during the weekend. Ugh.

Another project is on the horizon. We have had it with our patio. It could be the most pathetic outdoor area ever.

There it is, sad little patio.

There are a lot of issues. First, the patio area is not very big.  Second, we have no shade. The back of our house faces west and so the summer sun is a killer. We have to do something about that! Third, no ambience whatsoever. It's a bit embarrassing to have people over to our sad little patio.

The last problem? No budget! little a budget as possible. : )

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Get out your pom-poms my daughter calls them, "bom-boms."

So, my sewing machine has gotten a bit of action lately. Unfortunately, I've been really lax in taking pics of projects. Even after I've finished them. Oops. I recently made a friend who is soon due with #4 a few bibs. I also made a little sun bucket hat for my niece for her 1st birthday.

The problem I have is that I am usually finishing gifts at the last minute.....and I'm so glad to be done, I neglect to take pictures. Will do better, will do better....

Anyhow, I did make myself a spring-y scarf a few months back. I had found this cool geometric cotton print in a mint/seafoam color last summer. I can't recall if it was in the red tag section or if I just had a really good coupon.

My inspiration was a pic of Blake Lively from a year or so ago wearing a scarf with pom-pom trim. I set out to make my superior (and cheap) version.

I made a long rectangle on the fold and sewed it up, leaving a four-inch hole so I could turn it right-side out. After turning it, I decided to turn it back inside-out and curve the corners. I used the edge of a cup to trace it and cut.

After sewing the new corners, turning it out and sewing up the gap, I added some pom-pom trim. This trim was in a bag of trims my mom gave me after cleaning out her sewing room.

And....voila. Please excuse my sweats.....

The pom-poms are a big size. Go big or go home. I love wearing it with pink....and will wear with white and turquoise. Boom.

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Share Day at Just a Girl
Simply Creations Link Party at Simple Home Life
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop at Homemaker on a Dime
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef n Training
Flaunt Your Flowers  at Tootsie Time
What I Wore/What's Up Wednesday at Rae Gun Ramblings
Share Your Creativity at It's Overflowing

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax know you love it!

Well, well, day is upon us and we can all relieve ourselves of THAT hanging over our heads for a while now.

I do enjoy checking out the businesses that are running tax day specials. 

My favorite had been Chipotle's buy a burrito and get a coupon for a free burrito another day. I guess it was so popular, they no longer do it. ; )

So, if you're looking to easy the bite of Uncle Sam and his day of reckoning, check out this link..... Google it yourself.

Enjoy saving some extra deserve it after paying the man!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Snow, anyone? we all doin'?

Me: Back to school after spring break. Enjoying some warmer weather. Applied for and accepted to online grad school program.

You: Wondering when I might post again? (You know who you are...) 

Yeah, it's been a while. I think any of you with young kids would appreciate the fact that there have been many nights as of late that once the kids are in bed, I just have zero energy for anything, i.e. writing up blog posts!

That's not say I haven't been working on anything or had anything going on in my brain that is worthy to share. : ) So, I'll work on sharing some of those. I have been thinking lately of a new little "feature" you might enjoy.

We are pretty much knee-deep in spring these days. Which I am LOVING. So ready for it. And we certainly had our share of white stuff this last winter. On one of our last snows, we made some snow dessert.

The kids had a great time running out in PJs and boots to gather some snow and then we made some snow pudding. I chose a pretty easy recipe....just snow, milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. There are some more complicated recipes if you are into it!

The kids loved it. We added chocolate syrup to it, too. Here's a link I used: you can Google your own if you like!

Tuck that away until next for the kids! ; )

Major yard work for my mom on tap for tomorrow. Pictures may follow. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

A few jewelry updates

Hey, there....

Only four days away from Opening Day around here! I am more than ready for the boys of summer, let me tell you. I am looking forward to some cold ones, outside in the warm weather, listening to the Reds on the radio. Or taking in a game down at the ballpark.

Opening Day in Cincinnati is kind of like a excited!

I recently redid some necklaces. I've been on a bent lately redoing things I already have. I try to put aside things I don't need anymore for know, to cut down on clutter and all. However, lately, I've been holding on to things that can just be fixed up a bit!

My mom and dad are moving. Next week, actually! So, they have been cleaning out tons of stuff. My mom gave me a big container of old costume jewelry. I found a few things that can be redone!

I found a little silver key (have no idea to what) and a ball chain. I also had a nut that I found at the hardware store. It is called a coupling nut and although I know my way around the hardware store, I am not 100% sure what you would use this for.

You might be surprised at what you find if you look around the HW store a bit!

I added it to a silver chain of a necklace I don't wear anymore....

I like the size of the bolt and the industrial look.

I added the key to the ball chain....

And tried them together. I will be loving these together for spring and summer.

Voila. Now go to the hardware store.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Home and Garden Show

Anyone else out there about to fall over wanting spring to arrive? Besides me?

Not to mention, I'd fall over in a second if it meant spring break was here. I am searching every last nook and cranny of this body for PATIENCE with my students!! Aaack.

I shouldn't complain too loudly....last year, when spring arrived, well, around the beginning of February, I wasn't happy then, either. So, basically, I'm never satisfied. ; ) All I know is that once it's here, it will be game spring clothes are at the ready!

We did get a taste of spring at the Cincinnati Home and Garden Show a few weekends back. I snapped some lovely pics...especially while my awesome husband watched the kids on the trampoline so I could take my time and look around.

Some of the it is.

This chandelier was awesome...but my kids and I LOVED the fish that were in it. : )

I saw this plant twice....once in purple and once in white. I think it might be called pieris? Someone help me if you know!

I really liked this uplighting! I would love to have some landscape lighting on my someday backyard landscaping....

I was digging this combo of azaleas (touchy to grow in our area), hostas and impatiens. Never you mind that the azaleas and impatiens wouldn't be blooming together in this zone in real life. H&G show is like fantasy land!

Very cool uplit row of weeping cherries with a border of hyacinths.

White azaleas and a border of tiny liriopes.

I liked this pot of gerbera daisies and spiky green stuff.

Also loving the checkerboard grass and slate!!!!

Weeping redbud with a few very tiny buds!

I also LOVED this pot of celosia, or cockscomb. If I could find this for my garden, I'd be done for.

That's all for to watch the last episode of Mad Men that's available on Netflix. *sob* Note to Netflix--pls. add season 5 ASAP....?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Treadmill desk

Good morning.....

Here at our house, my husband and I have been trying to make an effort to get moving. Like most, I think, we struggle with trying to stay active and how to fit that in to busy schedules with kids and work.

We have an old treadmill in the basement that used to belong to my parents. It no longer keeps track of your stats, but it works just the same. I don't mind treadmills, but I do get that feeling that I'm a rat on a wheel....

So, I decided to build a little shelf/desk for our treadmill. I bought a piece of wood at the hardware was about $6 for 4'x1.5' I also bought four u-shaped brackets, but ended up using just two. And one small piece of wood that was 1" wide to keep our computers from sliding off the desk.

After cutting the board down to the correct size, I attached it using the u-brackets on the bottom to the handrail of the treadmill. Nailed on the small piece on the front. I also added a piece of rubber shelf stuff so the computers wouldn't slide! (I also stuffed some small pieces of rubber shelf stuff into the brackets to keep them tight)

And the result?

So nice to be walking right next to the furnace!'s nice, though, I have gotten work done for school, surfed the net and even watch favorite!

Hello, old episodes of Grey's Anatomy....

I've got a thing for Denny Duquette all over again.....

Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
Fridays Unfolded at Stuff and Nonsense
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Show and Share Day at Just a Girl
Simply Creations Link Party at Simple Home Life
That DIY Party at The DIY Showoff
Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop at Homemaker on a Dime
Tip-Toe Thru Tuesday at Crayon Freckles
Pinspirational Thursday at The Artsy Girl Connection
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Tuesday Talent Show at Chef n Training
Flaunt Your Flowers  at Tootsie Time
What I Wore/What's Up Wednesday at Rae Gun Ramblings
Sunday Roundup at A Rosie Sweet Home
Overflowing with Creativity at It's Overflowing

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Hello and happy weekend...I hope it's a good one for all!

I've got a ton of pictures taken of various things to share....and just have not had a chance to get them up on the blog! At least keeping busy is making these late winter days go by quickly.

I went to a concert on Tuesday was AMAZING! So much fun. My friend took me to see the Indigo Girls, a band I have loved since I was in high school. It was her birthday, so her husband got her tickets to take a friend.

We got a bite to eat and then headed to the show. The opening band, the Shadowboxers, were pretty good! But....the Indigo Girls were great. I mean great. They are so talented and enjoy being on the stage so much. We had such a nice time....just two moms out on the town!

A few shots of the Girls.

The opening act backed up the main act. And they weren't too bad to look at.

Me, after the show.

A set list a stagehand gave me. So cool!

Then, I drove home in a snowstorm! We had found out at the concert that school was off for the next day. First snow day in two years!! I just love the way the trees look with snow on them.

I didn't get home until 12:30am, so I was whipped the next two nights. Hence, quiet blog.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Seasonal Container....You Can Grow That!

Happy March to all and it's time for another installment of You Can Grow That!

Be sure to check out the Facebook page for You Can Grow That! links to other blogs!

So, here we are, the beginning of March and it is time for me to completely change out my front step containers. In the last few years, I've been starting to use plants in my containers that go from season to season. I tend to change them out completely in spring and sometimes in the summer.

So, to recap last year, here's how it went down. Spring saw pansies installed in my front step pots. This particular variety was so pretty with the blues and yellows.

For the summer, I planted cordyline and sweet potato vine 'Blackie.' Some of my peach-y colored annuals didn't make it through into our dry summer, so I raided the bargain bin and planted a red mandevilla and red/white zinnias. The red snapdragons were transplanted from the backyard. I was pleased with how this turned out!

Now, into fall. I kept the sweet potato vine, but added ornamental cabbage, mums and pansies. I also planted a mustard plant, which I loved! The colors and textures on that plant were great for fall.

Here is a pic of the pots with the mums in full bloom and the cabbage showing color. By this time, the frost had killed off the sweet potato vine. I stuck some seedpods in there (not sure from what tree) and had added some small white pumpkins.

Then, Christmas. I kept the cabbage and added fake greenery, twigs, fake berries, lights and pinecones. A little snow doesn't hurt, either!

And lastly, for winter post-Christmas. I picked up these wreaths for a few bucks apiece after the holiday. I added some dried grasses and twigs with pinecones. Had the cabbage stayed in better shape, I would have kept that as well. Last year, I had a white-ish variety that I kept all the way through to March.

And soon, we'll be starting over again! 

So, how can you do this yourself? Choose plants that can go from one season to another. Consider the color of the plant, too. The maroon of the sweet potato vine works well for summer and fall. I love how the kales and cabbages look for fall, but you can use them for holidays as well.

Seasonal containers? You can grow that!