Monday, May 30, 2011

Weed garden!

With rain, rain, and more rain, the weeds have all but taken over our garden. The other flowers and plants have loved all the rain too of course, but my how the weeds have grown! Maybe this year we will just grow a weed garden! It's not all bad though, did you know that a lot of common weeds are edible? I'm almost tempted to keep some of them around!

With such a wide variety of free food in my yard, why should I bother weeding at all? Oh yes, because it looks much nicer. Also, in our yard, the "weed" that has taken over the majority of our flower beds is grass. Time to buy a goat!

 I wonder if these little guys are edible. They are all over the place in our lawn. What is the weather like in your part of the world? Have you been able to get out and start gardening?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Right Size Your Home for Summer

With summer fast approaching, spring cleaning is underway at our house. I really love this time of year when we can spruce up and clear out. So, of course I was thrilled to be able to share this article with you to help you in your spring cleaning adventures.

Home Industries Expert, Gale Steves Offers Simple Pre-Summer Changes

“Before you head outdoors this summer,” Steves says, “take a good, long look at your house. You may be surprised to discover that things have been accumulating since you last cleared out or cleaned up.” She has all kinds of tips and helpful advice to help get our homes and ourselves ready for summer in plenty of time for our July 4th barbecues. Here are a few easy steps to take that are guaranteed to make a “right-sizing” difference:

  • Make room in your coat closet – Review the contents of your coat closet for out of season jackets, coats, scarves, or even boots that were never put away for seasonal storage. This is a good opportunity to discard the worn-out or too small or repair those missing buttons.
  • Get control of your picnic gear - Gather all those paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils onto one central shelf so that you can create an instant eating outdoors center. Include some trays or baskets if you will carry ingredients or meals out to the patio or deck.
  • Evaluate your beach towels – Pull out large bath sheets that no longer work and recycle into backyard or beach towels. At the end of the summer, send them onto further use at the local Humane Society or animal shelter.
  • Take a good look at your pantry – Rearrange cans or boxes of food supplies together that make quick warm-weather meals section. Canned soups that can be served cold or boxed mixes that make instant desserts. You want to be outside, not inside cooking over a hot stove.
  • Look at your casual shoes - Assess your sneakers, sandals, and flip-flops held over from last year and throw away those that are showing wear and tear. This is a good chance to make room for new footwear and not still hold onto the old.
  • Give your bedroom a summer makeover – Refresh your bedding with some new sheets and pillowcases. Get rid of those bed linens that have seen better days. Do not recycle them to your guest room, however.

For ten years Gale Steves served as editor-in-chief of Home magazine. Under her management, the publication attracted over four million readers nationwide, and established her as an authority on everything to do with the home. Steves’ approach to decorating and remodeling has inspired millions with ideas and real solutions for the home, earning her a reader-friendly reputation along the way.

In 2001, Steves formed Open House Productions, a home industries consulting company, to create an ongoing dialogue between consumers and retailers and manufacturers. It was in response to consumer queries about making their homes more livable that she developed the concept of Right-Sizing.

Get to know more about Gale Steves through her website, and her SpaceSmarts blog. Also, be sure to check out her wonderful book Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle for great tips on how to make the best use of your home.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Of weeds and rain.

We have been having non-stop rain for the past week. Yesterday we had a brief moment of sunshine, which of course sent us out into the garden to tackle the weeds. Weeds love rain. Here is a "before and after" photo:

Even with the ground being nice and wet, the weeds put up a mighty good fight. Oh, and check out all the other flowerbeds that are being over taken by weeds in the background. Yes friends, there is a lot to be done. The bad news is there is nothing but rain in the forecast once again. At least until Wednesday.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A beautiful attic!

I have often wished that we had an attic that could be turned into a magical space. After seeing this gorgeous photo, I really wish we had one! Do you have an attic?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Summer Project

We haven't been doing much to our home, but that doesn't mean there aren't things on our wish list! One thing that we really want to do is build a built-in style entertainment center for our family room. Ideally this space would become like a home theater room, with plenty of space for playing Kinect and Wii games too of course. We love our video games in this house!

Our family room is an odd duck, with windows and doors on the best walls for putting a television. It's also a room that is longer than it is wide, and on the VERY best wall for a TV there is a fireplace that was placed off center. A truly odd room.

First things first of course, pricing out materials and tools that we will need. Once we get that figured out, we will know if we can move forward or not. I hope we can because I see all kinds of fun possibilities for the shelves that will flank the side of the fireplace.

I can't believe this photo (found online) of a built in around a fireplace because it is very close to what we are thinking of doing. Minor differences, but this really will give you an idea of what we plan to do (our TV is larger, and deeper so it will sit lower and come out into the room further). We would also put shelving all the way around the fireplace, not leave space like in this photo, but it's still a very close idea.

Do you have any big projects in your summer plans?

Thursday, May 5, 2011


HELP! Weeds have taken over the garden!

Spring is my favorite time of year, but this spring has been unusually cold and wet. We have had snow as recently as Saturday, and we still have freezing temperatures at night. This means that for all our hard work in the fall, the weeds are taking over the garden this spring. As you can see, without that curbing you wouldn't even know when the lawn stopped and the flower bed began!

This weekend holds the promise for warmer weather, fingers crossed, because I really need to get out there and do something about all these weeds.

Otherwise, we haven't been doing much around the house project wise. Actually, we have been spending almost all of our time visiting my SIL at the hospital as she recovers from surgery to remove a brain tumor. She is doing very well in her recovery, and actually gets to come home today.

What is it like in your part of the world? Do you have spring time weather yet?
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