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Our own little island…

27 Sep
After many months of debating and changing our minds and spending money on other things, we finally got a kitchen island! Here is what our kitchen looked like before our living room was styled by Emily:

And here is our new tropical getaway! Err… I mean island.

We removed the little bar from the open wall and put this sturdy black island in the middle of the kitchen.

We used to have our silverware in this cabinet because we didn’t have an appropriately sized silverware drawer.

I still have trouble remembering that the forks and knives aren’t in the cabinet anymore!

A little story about this island: I originally wanted this one from Crate and Barrel (in black), but it was a bit expensive and my husband wasn’t sold on it. He didn’t like that it was on wheels and thought the kitchen would look better with something built-in (or at least something that looked built-in). So, we just put the idea on the back burner.

Then, on one of my husband’s weekly trips to Home Depot, he saw this one and noticed it’s incredible price, $399. He also noticed that the one next to it was the same model, but smaller, and it was $100 more! He sent me a picture and got the ok to pull the trigger. I was so excited!!

He called a bit later to let me know that they didn’t have it in stock, but that he could pay for it then and they would transfer it from another store. We asked my mom to borrow her SUV the following day and were all set to bring it home and put it together. Well, the one from the other store was damaged. They offered us an “upgrade” to the smaller, yet more expensive version to which we replied, “Hell no!” This happened a couple more times before the angry pregnant lady in me came out and my husband had to get pushy. Finally, they were able to find one in yet another store that wasn’t damaged and now it’s here! It was worth the wait.

We love having the extra storage and counter space. It’s nice to be able to both prepare food at the same time! Right now, we have these beauties sitting on top of the new island:

Carrots, tomatoes, and peppers from the garden! The other veggies are from the store.

Now that we have our new fridge and island, our kitchen face lift is almost complete! Next step: re-grout the tile floor and paint the walls a light gray. I also plan on adding new window coverings and wall art.

What do you think?

Garden Progress #2

14 Jun
Before planting:
Day of planting:
6 weeks after planting:
9 weeks after planting:

WOW!! Can you believe the difference in just three short weeks??? I can’t.

Some close-ups of the fruit (pun intended) of our my husband’s labor.

Strawberries 

 Blueberries
Zucchini – we could feed an army with the amount of zucchini we have on our two plants !
Pumpkin – though my husband seems to think it is cantaloupe (we didn’t plant any cantaloupe).
Green beans 

Cucumber – they have spikes!

Corn – I have to admit I really doubted this would produce anything, but happy I was wrong!

Tomatoes!!!!! 

Jalapeno 

Carrots – can you see them trying to peek out? Almost ready… 

 Artichokes
 Rainbow chard – if anyone has a good recipe for this, please let me know! I am at a loss for how to cook it…
 More tomato plants from my husband’s boss – now we have 8 total!
New bird feeder! Ok, not garden related, but I like it.

We’ve already tasted our spinach,  zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumber and they are all delicious. My favorite thing ever is to go out to the garden and pick vegetables and cook them for dinner. It makes me SO happy!

Anyone want to pre-order some tomatoes? Care to buy some zucchini? I don’t think we’re going to be able to eat it all!!

Garden Progress

24 May

Here’s what our garden looked like about six weeks ago:

And here’s what it looks like now:

Look what a little soil, water, sun, and seeds can do! What’s just about ready to be picked?

Yellow squash!

Zucchini!

Bell pepper!

Carrots are sprouting, not quite ready to be dug up.

Blueberries are ripening and I can’t wait to pick some!

This summer is going to be a delicious one! What are you growing in your garden?

Flowers from our garden

12 Apr

I forgot to include the “before” photo in my last post, but I fixed it, so make sure you check out what a DISASTER that little plot of land was before we my husband cleared it.

Our home had pretty good landscaping already started when we moved it, but we wanted more roses, so we have taken out some boring bushes and put in some new rose bushes over the last few years. It seems as though this year will be the year of the rose at our house, because they’ve exploded and it is still really early in the season.

Sunday morning while I was sleeping in, my husband cut a ton of them and put them in a big vase next to the bed for me to wake up to (cue the “awwwwww!” yeah, he’s pretty adorable). The house was a total disaster and I decided that I needed to clean it to bring it up to the roses’ beautiful level. Also, I divided up the big bunch into some smaller vases so they’d be more evenly distributed around the room.

These are my favorite. Note to self: need more two tone roses.

Doesn’t this look like a centerpiece at a wedding or something?

It smells amazing in our living room.

These aren’t roses, but they’re from our garden, as well! They remind me of Easter.

It’s so easy (and cheap!) to keep fresh flowers in the house in the spring. How often do you bring fresh flowers inside?

Gardening Fun!

12 Apr

While I was at work on Saturday – yes, I had to work a full day on Saturday, we need the money – my husband prepped the area behind our garage for our garden. Our garage is in our backyard, so there is this patch of dirt and weeds behind it that we can easily block off with a little fence to keep the dogs out of it.

Here’s what that space looked like before:

Oops! Forgot to include this in the original post. Sorry about that!!

We didn’t get an “in progress” picture, but after he cleared all the weeds (and broke his weed whacker in the process), my husband broke up the soil so it would be easier to plant. We planned on waiting until the following weekend to buy the plants and get them in the ground, but we got excited and decided to do it on Sunday. We drew up a rough plan and decided what plants we wanted to get, then headed to the nursery.

Once we were there, the plan sort of went out the window. We got too excited by all the amazing options and went a little crazy.

We already had some compost that was ready to go at home, but we got one big bag of soil amender to mix in with it. I usually leave the yard work to my husband, but planting is sometimes fun, especially when it’s not too hot outside. I had lots of fun and only got sick of it at the very end. We even made a scarecrow!! Here is the final result:

Yay!!! The grassy/weedy patch in the front right hand corner is the one little spot we didn’t get to clearing. We also forgot to plant carrots, so those will go there this weekend when we get it prepped. The wood thing in the back right hand corner with the weeds in it is one of my husband’s horseshoe pits that he put in the summer we moved in. I don’t think he’s played horseshoes there since that summer, but he’s still too attached to it to rip it out. Maybe one day…

A close-up of one of the yellow squash plants. I can’t wait until we can pick the veggies and eat them!

In front of our little fence and to block the gap, we have our strawberry planter and a mini fruit tree we’ve had for a few years. We still haven’t gotten fruit from it, but we’re hoping this is the year. When I was taking this photo, I realized that Ruby can fit through the little fence we put up. I thought she’s be too fat, for sure!

Look at our awesome scare crow!! She’s wearing some of my old PJs (I wore those bottoms to our prom after-party; I call them my prom PJs), one of my favorite old sweatshirts (it says, “live happily ever now” – I’ve always loved that line as a twist on the classic), one of my husband’s freebie baseball caps, and some old gardening gloves. I think it is doing it’s job because Ruby is terrified of it and was barking at it nonstop until I showed her it was fake.

I woke up pretty sore this morning from all the digging and planting, but it feels good! I know it’s cliche, but having our own home with a yard and growing our own food is so fulfilling. It makes me so happy to know that our future children will have this in their lives as they grow up.