Thursday, July 24, 2014

All in the Details

I have been working almost non-stop on my daughter's baby shower. That is why the lawn got the new seating area, why the new fountains and why now my shoulder and neck aren't so happy. But, it is the details that make a party happen. The stuff that most people won't even see....so in the future (about a week away) I will show you the actual set-up.
But today, I decided I needed to have candy for the party (small candy bar idea). I have been going back and forth on it....knew I didn't want a ton...not the focus, but a little surprise and extra decor.
I went to Surfas ( a great shop for professional cooks and homemakers)...just to glean ideas. Sure enough they had small traditional canisters, but too expensive....they had candy, but not what I was looking for.
Then I went to TJMaxx...they have the trendy candy containers...at decent prices, but really, their openings are small and the whole container is so fragile, then I saw canisters, cute but expensive. That is when the lightbulb went off. I have two traditional canisters, good sturdy and ready to go! So, I will use those and I went to Cost Plus to get two more...so I can have three or four! Perfect....now to find candy.....
I also found a sale item that I couldn't pass up in Cost Plus's sale section.....this darling little metal crown...


You see, this is the "bar" area....the coffee bar and the wine bar....don't worry....it will be cleaned up more before the party....
Speaking of which, see the inside of the hanging shelf? Well, it used to be a yellowy color...I washed it with French Linen (literally, almost 50/50) it gives it a driftwood kind of color....

After I had "washed" that I looked over at a little mirror that I bought. That was a bold black and gold which really didn't suit me...so it got a makeover too....in French Linen with heavy wax....
Here it is in the process.....
It is all those details that one sees that no one else will....but certainly make a difference....
Ahhhh, but I have windows to wash and screens....and more planning taking place. Surprises up my sleeves that she doesn't even know about....
What do you do before a big party??
Nancy

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A sweet shady spot to sit

Well, today, I got someone at Home Depot to load my pavers into the cart and then into the car, making my life that much easier. So, I was able to put down 18 more pavers....it is mostly done.
A few pavers will need a bit of leveling and such....
I think it looks pretty good, and it is a unique spot and view in our yard. It has been completely unused in the past. It was always either too dry or too wet....
We will see how it goes. I did try to plant a couple of English lavenders, an oregano (hope it goes wild!) and some bacopa, just for a spark of fun around the trunk of the tree.
What do you think??



Hope you are getting some projects done....
Nancy

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Work In Progress

Most gardeners have different projects plan or unplanned, creating a list of "to dos"....
I am one of those gardeners....projects occasionally pop into mind without warning....much to Hubby's chagrin.
I have been telling you about trying to reseed grass in an area around the tree in the backyard, which has been working, but unfortunately not fast enough for a party I am having that needs every square foot of the yard....so, I got to thinking (at about 2 AM I might add).
Why not use flagstone type pavers to create a sitting area that chairs would comfortably sit on? Hummm
So, I talked with Hubby, who had doubts, but said ok....
So, today, at 7:42AM I was at Home Depot, and got 10 to start...I figure I need another 15 to do it right....

This is the before....


Yeah, that is just 10....but it really looks more inviting to me. What do you think??
Nancy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dinner simplicity

After a busy day, the last thing we wanted to do was add Costco to the list...but there were things that needed to be purchased and ordered, so off we went. We didn't realize that it was getting so late, but alas.....
So, we always check the fish and meat areas...for the bargains...
And, today we found one. Two lobsters, for an almost Maine price of $16.36 for two.....
Yeah, they were already cooked and ready to eat...though we had to heat them up a bit, not a bad price. Then we finished dinner off with a glass of wine and added fresh figs to the menu for dessert. What could be better??
They were delicious and since they were the 1 lb variety, at that price it was a two for one type deal at least around here....
What did you have for dinner???
Nancy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Perfect on the Porch

There is nothing like the soothing sounds of a fountain.
We have the big one on the patio.
We have the little one we just made in the veggie garden.
We have one in the side yard.
And now, one on the front porch, enticing us or friends to come sit a spell.
Hubby made it for me, as I was bemoaning the fact the fountain I had recently purchased didn't work.
The company did indeed reimburse me, but told to me to dispose of it. Well, I did, sort of. The pump and the design of that fountain didn't work, so, I took out the pump and with pieces from it and the old fountain from the veggie garden and a mini watering can, Hubby created a soothing little fountain. It is so darn cute!



Isn't it adorable?? Originally he was going to have it come out the spout, but it actually shot too far...so this works. I love it. Cost? $21 for the pump (same that I used in the veggie garden fountain), and time. He made it so we have a switch in the bedroom. He used the old cable hole and has the wire going through that way. Pretty sweet.
Now I have the fountain I wanted on the porch.
Perfect on the porch!!
Hope you had a great day....
Nancy
PS...Afterwards, I went to TJMaxx to get a small rug for the entry, and found the perfect pillow for the bench in the sale section (one has to look there, right??)....

So, what do you think?? It is outdoor fabric too, so that is even more perfect!
Take care....
Nancy

Saturday, July 12, 2014

All is Quiet....

Day before yesterday, the baby bluebirds left the nest box. I saw all four of them in the Jacaranda tree. They remained there for a day. I continued putting out the mealworms that I have been feeding for the last 4 1/2 months.
Today, they are definitely gone. All of them, not a peep. No calls, no chirps, just gone.
It's very sad. I feel I have lost some good friends....
Ladybird and her mate and all the children. They raised two broods here this year. Three babies in the first hatch and four in the second. I hope they return next year.
 (Pictures taken from Google)
(picture taken from google)
I knew of course they wouldn't be here forever, but I will miss them.....How they greeted me in the morning when I came out to feed them. How Ladybird sang to her babies, before they hatched and how she would talk to them in the house. Even how when it was getting close to time for the babies to leave she would swoop at the dogs, whom she trusted up until that time. Her different calls and their dedication to the task at hand. Their sweet romance before the nesting.....
I hope they return next year......
The mealworms in the feeder remain untouched today....
Nancy

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Out in the garden

Day before yesterday and yesterday, I was gardening....heavy gardening.
What we call the "veggie" garden behind the picket fence had fallen prey to weeds and overgrowth.
I had the gardener clear out some potted plants that I couldn't tackle myself and then, I moved stepping stones and weeded and put down weed barrier cloth and reset the stepping stones and then I put down bark. All of which was probably more than I should have done, but, I need that area for this huge party we are having in August. It will be the largest party we have ever had, and we will need every square inch.
I also have reseeded much of the lawn so people feel like they can walk there too.
It looks much better, though it isn't done. I need more bark. Good thing the party is still only a few weeks away instead of a few days!






Now granted, it still needs some work. And, I wish the neighbors would cut back their trees that weren't here when we did the garden some 23 years ago. This was where all the sun was and the only spot to grow veggies....now it is super shady much of the year, but it still manages to grow mulberries raspberries, lettuces, beans and arugula. But their trees are also messy.....Ah, but it is a nice little place to go and rest a spell, and will be lovely for those who want to step away from the crowd we are expecting......
In any case, the best part is digging in the dirt and being able to do gardening, although I do think I may have over done it just a bit. So, I am taking the next few days off....let the old muscles rest. 
Do you ever over do it??
Nancy