Posted by: diywannabe | April 13, 2011

The Jungle Has Been Tamed


Seriously, this yard project has taken every single minute of almost every single weekend for the past month and a half.  Not to mention cost us a pretty penny as well.  But something needed to be done and we are very happy with the results. 

This is what we were working with before:

Out of control!  The bushes were horribly overgrown and the leaves had been piling up for what I suspect was years.  Here is what it looked like after we ripped almost everything out:

See that bushy little green palm on the left?  That guy was right there in front the whole time but unnoticeable with that backdrop of chaos behind him!  Those flower pots in the photo are just there to help us visualize our future plant placement.

And here is the result of hours upon hours of back-breaking work:

Okay, the changes may not be as shocking in photographs but I assure you that in person it looks soooooooo much better.  Much simpler.

More before, during, and afters:







Different angle:








Another angle once again:






























We had this amount of waste probably 3 times:

Yikes.  We did transplant a couple of the azalea bushes to the back perimeter and the side of the house. 

New plants included 4 large Everblooming Gardenia, 3 Pink Frost Helleborus, 2 African Iris, 2 Red Anemone, & 4 Creeping Phlox.  We also added over half a pallet of sod in the front, a stone border, and black mulch.  In a few areas where the new sod was going to be laid, some Hostas started to sprout up.  So I transplanted 8 of them (4 inside the bordered bed & 4 up near the circle around the tree).  Most of the plants will stay evergreen throughout the year, which was a conscious decision we made so that the front didn’t look like the “in progress” pictures during the winter. 

Whew!  We are worn out after this one!  Hopefully it will just be minor maintainance from here on out!  One last side by side:

Posted by: diywannabe | March 28, 2011

Spring Training 2011

A few weeks ago Bob and I traveled down to Fort Myers, Florida for a little Spring Training baseball and family time.  It’s about a 9 hour drive, which we broke up by staying the night with our friends (Pam, Richie, & baby Lucy) in Jacksonville.  It was the week before Lucy’s first birthday so we made sure to bring her the loudest and most annoying toy possible in order to torture her parents.  Turns out she LOVED the toy and plays all the sounds over and over and over.  Hehehe.  I’m sure they’ll get their revenge on us some day.  Since we took Bob’s car he had to do all of this:

Unfortunately (for him) I don’t know how to drive a manual transmission so he got to do all of the driving while I annoyingly navigated (and told him where to park)…bad habit of mine.  While in Fort Myers we visited Sanibel Island and got stuck in traffic everywhere we went.  oops, it was Spring Break too.

Got in a lot of quality time with the grandparents.  Both my mom’s parents and my father’s parents live in Fort Myers.  I know I’m lucky to have all of my grandparents around still (Bob’s are all deceased) and they even get together for dinner sometimes when none of us are there!

Osprey in its nest:

On our last night there we headed to the baseball game to see Bob’s team (the Red Sox) play the Yankees. 

We had Standing Room Only tickets but found a prime spot on the wall right behind home plate.  The game sold out right away since it was Red Sox-Yankees.  Bob’s shirt says “Jeter drinks wine coolers”, by the way.  Always a hit with the crowd.


A great trip that felt like a nice mini vacation.  Sonny got to stay at his regular daycare, which he LOVES, and it took him a good 2 or 3 days to fully recover from all the play time.  Zombie Dog.  haha.

Posted by: diywannabe | March 24, 2011

Our Backyard

Also known as the place where nature comes to die. 

This is what I was doing when I got home from work yesterday:

And as angry as that bird looks, I assure you that he was dead.  Poor guy.  Apparently the dog discovered him in the morning.  And by ‘discovered’, I mean stared really hard in its general direction until Bob went to investigate.  Yeah, my dog is such a wimp.  According to Bob the bird was still alive but not looking good at that point.  Obviously that was not the case when I got home.  RIP little buddy.

This is the second time in recent months where a sick animal has chosen our yard.  Not too far back, a small squirrel with a jacked up hip and leg was cowering under our bushes.  I kept him in a box in the garage (he couldn’t hop out) all cozy before dropping him off at the emergency vet the next day.  Don’t know if he ever recovered but I’d like to think so. 

I’m scared to think of who or what is going to show up next….

Posted by: diywannabe | March 18, 2011

Dig It

The post title refers to the things that I am liking right now but also that most of these things seem to be associated with the outdoors and gardening.  I officially have Spring Fever.  The weather has been beautiful the past couple of weeks and tomorrow (Saturday) is supposed to be 82 and sunny.  Pretty darn perfect, if you ask me.  While the spring yard clean up has already been underway in our house for a few weeks now, we are not nearly done.  The front yard project was put on hold while we traveled to Florida last weekend but will be in full swing tomorrow.  We need to get on that before our neighbors start to give us the stink eye.  So without further ado, here are things that I’m coveting and most likely can’t afford any time soon…yes, it’s a shallow (but fun) post:

Outdoor garden stool

Oh how I’ve wanted one of these for ages.  I’m a sucker for some purdy glaze.  But I’d probably end up using this inside as a small side table.  Or maybe the front porch for a punch of color.  Or maybe the back deck.  Oh dear, maybe I’ll have to get one in every color.

Patio Dining Chairs

But just the chairs.  Bob already built a nice solid wood dining table and right now it’s just sitting out on the deck…naked.  The style of these chairs would match the table pretty well and they also look comfortable.  While we’re on the subject of chairs…

Chaise Lounge

So ridiculously expensive and I have no idea where I’d put it in the yard but a girl can dream, right?

New Patio Door

The doors themselves are from Lowe’s and are sliding.  Right now we have french doors in the spot leading out to the deck and they are old.  In order to fully close the one with the handle it needs to be slammed.  Quite annoying.  Plus we’d love to be able to slide open the door and have a screen in order to allow some fresh air in.  Right now we tend to just prop the door open and hope no nasty bugs decide to venture inside.  We’ve been lucky so far besides one game of Operation Wasp Removal (which was a success).

Water Feature

Wishful thinking once again.  Can you tell that I want to make the backyard an outdoor oasis?  Sonny would probably think this was his personal giant water dish.

Vintage Style Fan

I want to rip out the ceiling fan in the guest room sooooo bad.  It’s ugly and hangs down above the bed, making it feel like the ceiling is closing in on you.  But for the comfort of our guests, a fan is really nice.  The addition of one of these vintage style fans on the dresser top would be oh so classy.  I’m torn between something classic like the bronze finish or something more modern and fun like the bright colored finish of the right one.
Upholstered Ottoman
Eventually we want something like this to replace our current glass and wood coffee table in the living room.  And when I say ‘eventually’, I really mean far far far in the future.  Our current espresso stained coffee table is really nice looking and a great size but there are two things wrong with it:  it is uncomfortable to rest your feet on and it has sharp corners (I hear that’s bad for any future toddler heads).   Also, maybe something upholstered would discourage us from eating dinner in front of the TV every night.  Maybe.
Geo Tile - Turquoise & White  wild blueberry ikathoneysuckle ikat circles  ginkgo love from Japan
These fabrics are from a site I just discovered called .  The choices of textiles is AMAZING.  It has my head spinning.  How can you choose just one?!?  They aren’t the cheapest of fabrics but I’ve wasted spent many an hour browsing through all the beauty.  I’m particularly partial to their abstract, large-scale prints.  Hmm the dining room chairs are in need of some fabric….
So that’s the short list of what I’m wanting right now.  Jeez that sounds so bratty.  But it’s just window shopping, I swear.  (that last little bit was for the husband, in case he reads this and has a fit).
P.S.  I’m pretty horrible at window shopping….
Posted by: diywannabe | March 9, 2011

The Home as a Canvas

Balance seems to be something that every person struggles with at some point in their life.  Whether it be between work and family, spending and saving, etc.  Part of a recent post from another blog really hit home for me:

I think a lot of times crafting your home and decorating your space can be seen as materialistic or silly when there is so much more serious stuff going on in the world.  And maybe sometimes it is.  But on the other hand, if a balance is struck, it can be a creative outlet that often goes unrecognized.  I admit that sometimes I have to pull in the reins a bit and stop myself from buying a bunch of knick knacks (or Bob does it for me).  Other times I feel a little stifled when the words “we don’t need that” are uttered constantly or a project idea is scoffed at.  Of course when it comes to survival, we really don’t “need” anything that is in our house.  We could live in a cardboard box and survive.  But you better believe that I’d be painting the walls of that box to coordinate with my sleeping bag.  That’s where I get my kicks.  I can’t explain it.  Why do most men like sports?  Or video games?  Why does my husband enjoy budget spreadsheets so much?  I don’t try to deconstruct it.  As long as there is some attempt at balance.  I guess that’s what life is all about.  It boils down to priorities and letting the crafting stay a hobby, not an obsession.

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