Making a House a Home: Flower garden

One of the things I wanted to accomplish after purchasing my first home with my husband last fall was renovating the flower beds. We have a long flower bed that goes down the side of the house, but it was looking fairly shabby. It had some fern-type bushes, which weren’t bad, but they were suffocating in about a foot of mulch. If you look in the first photo, you can see the mulch line on the foundation. It was like the previous owners just kept piling on mulch instead of doing actual work to the bed. This spring, I changed that.
Over several weekends thanks to weather and busy schedules, my husband dug out all of the mulch, taking the bed down to the dirt. Then, even though the bed had a liner down, we had to weed the whole thing and pick out plants.
I’ll be honest, I broke the bank on the plants. Using my trust Lowes’ card (5 percent off is 5 percent off) I spent probably a little over $100 picking out plants for both the flower bed/garden and some pots I’ll post about later. In the flower bed, I decided to keep the bushes and a gorgeous Crepe Myrtle at the end, which my mom trimmed, and added two types of perennials that should bush out fairly well over the new few years. Eventually, they should form an almost meadow-like feel. However, because they haven’t bushed out yet, I added a simple annual in the very front.
It all came together very well and everything seems to be growing nicely. Plus, the butterflies seem to really love it. I can’t wait to see what it looks like next spring. We just re-weeded everything and added additional mulch so it should be ready for fall.

Holy moly, eight months till 30…

A few years ago I had this idea to create a bucket list of things to accomplish before I turned 30. Well, here it is 2015 (Happy New Year by the way!) and I’m only about eight months away from turning 30. Eight months! How did that even happen? In looking at this list, created in August 2012, I’ve definitely crossed some things off, and have to get cracking on others. Here’s an update on the epic 30 by 30.

The list, in all its 2012 glory, with status check-ins in red:

(Please note these are in no particular order. Some should probably wait until right before 30 like number two so I don’t bite it before I can check off the other 28…)

  1. Go deep sea fishing
  2. Fly on a plane (Let’s be realistic here. First, I don’t like heights. Second, I have anxiety in the car. Third, these things keep going missing. I’m not trying to be on CNN. I don’t swim well. I’m fairly doomed. I don’t know that I’ll cross this one off before 30…
  3. Visit the Statue of Liberty ( I really think everyone should do this at least once and I want to celebrity stalk in NYC…) (I saw the Statue of Liberty from super far away when driving to Maine, haven’t visited yet though)
  4. Buy a house (Boom! Doneski! Mark it down!10389029_10100179173162601_3907133462420420455_n
  5. Make fabulous things and sell them on Etsy (This could be a great way to great my craftiness out of my system without junking up my apartment…) (I’m currently working on an office/craftroom and should be ready to make and sell items shortly)
  6. Visit Curacao
  7. Get at least two stamps in my passport (Nailed it! In the fall of 2012, my husband and I took our third cruise, this time to Mexico, Belize and Honduras. I made sure to get stamps in all three!) 






  8. Read 50 books from Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list (Being a former English major that lived off SparkNotes this may be more torture than entertainment…I’m guessing Andy Cohen’s book isn’t on this list…) Okay, I edited this one in Aug. ’13 to the list instead, or as I like to refer to it, the “books I may actually stay awake through” list 🙂 This one will need a separate blog post…
  9. Watch 50 movies from IMDB’s 250 best list (I really hope these aren’t all black and white or it could be like number eight…akin to water board torture…) This one will need a separate blog post as well…
  10. Cook or prepare 100 new recipes I’ve been using Pinterest to keep track of these. I have one board where I pin recipes, and then I move them to a second board once I make them. So far, I’ve made 46 new recipes. My new house has a huge kitchen, so I’m excited to finish this one over the next few months.
  11. Get involved/volunteer I try to do this as much as possible, whether it be volunteering for vacation Bible school or other church activities or helping out organizations I’m passionate about. Right now, it’s all about Ellie’s Big Give, honoring a young girl who passed away last year after a battle with cancer. Check it out here: and please contribute if you can!
  12. Speak Spanish to a native speaker (All those years of high school and college Spanish really should have taught me enough to have a conversation…if not, Spanglish should fully apply here…)
  13. Get a six-pack (No, not the Bud kind but rather the “I’ll eat you for breakfast” kind…) Not quite there yet, haha
  14. Design and build a flower garden (Will probably need to come after number four…) Done!
  15. Sing karaoke to strangers in a public place (I secretly practice my Tina Turner routine now and then…) I sang to strangers at a New Year’s party the other night, does that count?
  16. Try out for Wheel of Fortune (I was made for this game…) Hello Wheel Bus, where are you?!?
  17. Start a business Boom. Did it!
  18. Pay off debt (Really, shouldn’t this be on everyone’s twenties list?) Rocking it out, one bill at a time
  19. Try new things within reason (Emphasis on the last part…this can not be used against me…) I definitely have embraced this one. I try to take every opportunity that comes along, providing it isn’t crazy. No, I’m not skydiving. Sorry I’m not sorry. I’d like to make it to 30.

    Making friends with a South American Sea Lion


    Shark anyone?


    Doesn’t everyone dance with their servers?


    The Charleston donkey


    Local goats


    And more goats!


    A giraffe!


    Yeah, these guys spit in my hand while eating…


    He tried to steal the bucket. I won.


    In the aviary


    L.L. Bean!


    Just hanging around in Salem…

  20. Paint pottery
  21. Make Edna Lewis fried chicken (She’s a goddess and it’s a multi-day process…also this will now have to be gluten free…)
  22. Update my camera (I love my XTi, but it’s time to bump it up…) I did this, finally! I love my new camera, but I’m looking at upgrading again. I know, I know. Dang technology!
  23. Eat lobster in Maine YES! I ate Lobster in Maine! 

    Isn’t this the best restaurant pager ever?


    The Portland Lobster Company!


    Lazy Lobster

  24. Try at least one new food a month Lame. I have since edited this out due to its lameness and the fact that I already pretty much do this. Instead, I’d like to see a whale… Okay so this is another one I changed back in Aug. ’13. I have since seen a whale and it was awesome! 


    A whale just off the coast of Massachusetts!

  25. Make (gluten free) bread from scratch (Pie crusts may defy me, but I will make this work…)
  26. Eat less processed foods Doneski! Going gluten free pretty much cuts out most processed foods.
  27. Host a holiday dinner (Again, this will probably need to wait until after I accomplish number four…)
  28. Sew a dress
  29. Learn to like mornings (So important, but not that fun…) I don’t know about this one…good thing I have eight months to make that adjustment…
  30. Complete a race (Any race will do…)