Building Raised Garden Beds

Over the past couple of weekends, Troy and I have been busy tackling some outdoor projects and getting the yard ready for the upcoming summer. One of the biggest projects of the spring has been building raised garden beds. Now that the lawn is doing well on its own, we wanted to move on to growing edible things.

When we were designing the landscape plan just before moving into the house, we intentionally left the area behind the garage untouched. The ground is sloped and mostly unusable for anything besides gardening.

We decided to build some raised beds into the hill. This will help keep things organized and hopefully deter animals from eating our veggies (although I have a few ideas of additional tactics I’ll try to keep the bunnies and squirrels away). Continue reading

Adventures in Landscaping, Part 2

The snow has melted, the temperatures are rising, and it’s finally time to get back out in the garden and do some work!

If you were around last year, we planted some grass and some flowers, and moved an awful lot of rocks. Oh, and killed some spiders, too. Yuck.

So far this year, the grass has come back with a spectacular green flourish! Our lawn is still the best looking on the block, and that’s not an exaggeration — our neighbors that got sod last year are dealing with an incredibly sad, brown lawn this spring.

I may have been skeptical at first, but now I am a true believer in hand-sown grass seed — slow and steady always wins! There are a few spots that need reseeding, but for a lawn that is not even a year old, it looks damn good, if I do say so myself.

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Holiday Decor 2015

Even though it’s a little late, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share the decorations we put up this year to celebrate the holidays. I wasn’t much into the holiday spirit this year, but now that we are packing up all of the decor, I’m sad to see it go!

Have I ever mentioned how excited I was/am to have a mantel that I could actually decorate for the holidays?! We got our stockings from Target. The little deer families were gifted from my mom and they looked so cute keeping watch for Santa. Continue reading

Be Our Guest

I mentioned recently that we had our first house guests earlier this month! My aunt and uncle came in from Florida to see us and the house, and to stay for a couple of nights while they visited family and friends in the area.

For so long I have been keeping a mental list of everything I wanted to do for our guests once we had the space to host. Every time I stayed at someone’s house, I noted the things that were nice or helpful for me as a guest. With some help from Pinterest, I did my best to make our guests feel welcome and at-home during their stay with us.

Here’s how.

A Space of their Own: We’re incredibly lucky to have a home with a designated guest room, guest bathroom, and additional living space on the second floor. This creates a “guest suite” so that our guests can have their own space and not feel like they are intruding on ours.  Continue reading

Our DIY Bed Frame and an Unsponsored Review of the Casper Mattress

I promised another project, and I’m already delivering! Good job, me.

We didn’t purchase a lot of furniture for the new house — besides the couch and the desk, we had a lot of what we needed to fill up the majority of rooms in the house. One thing we both agreed was a must-purchase was a new king-sized bed: the master bedroom was more than large enough to accommodate one and we’ve been dreaming of a larger mattress every time we stayed in a hotel.

There was a lot of debate over which mattress we were going to get. We loved our queen mattress, which was a Laura Ashley, but they’ve discontinued the exact model, so we started searching for something else. I initially was set on getting a Hilton to Home mattress after sleeping on one during an extra-long layover in New York last year. But even with the frequent sales they were running, we couldn’t justify the cost of the Hilton bed when we were also considering something much cheaper: the Casper bed.

Casper is one of those direct-to-consumer mattress companies. You order online, it arrives at your door about 3 days later, and you have 100 days to try it out. If you don’t like it, you can return it, at no cost to you, for a full refund.

I have to admit, I was super skeptical at first, but the risk-free trial period sold me on the Casper — not to mention it was half the price of the Hilton bed.

We’ve been sleeping on our Casper mattress for about two months now, and I am a true believer in the wonders of this mattress — Casper didn’t pay me to say that, either (although those are referral links up there). I just love this bed!

I had plans to purchase a cheap bed frame for our new mattress until we decided what we wanted for the room, but Troy didn’t want to spend the money on something that wasn’t going to be permanent. So we slept on a mattress on the floor for a couple of weeks until Troy decided he was going to build us a bed frame.

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Projects

My goodness, it’s been almost a month since my last post. Awful, just awful.

I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for a while, waiting on myself to take some more/better “after” photos of some of the projects we’ve been working on. Well, it’s been two months with no update on the progress we’ve been making on the house, so I’m throwing in the towel and giving you that update, photos be dammed!

Just because we moved into a new house doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do around here! It finally feels like we’ve got the house in good shape (ie I don’t have a to-do list a mile long every weekend). Here’s what we’ve been working on.

On the top of my priority list was organization. We started in the laundry room by installing this shelving system that we had purchased years ago.

So much room for storage! I can’t even reach the top shelves!

The basement, where we stashed quite a few boxes for storage, also got an organization makeover. Troy used this tutorial to build these beauties, and I’m so glad to have everything off of the floor. I could probably still stand to purge some of the junk down there, but it is looking great for now!  Continue reading

Adventures in Landscaping

If you haven’t noticed from some of our more recent photos, one thing that our house didn’t come with is a lawn! So this past weekend we set about remedying that situation. We originally were going to go all-out and purchase sod (same-day lawn!), but after talking to a couple professionals, we realized that, in addition to being a huge savings, our lawn will be higher quality in the long term if we went with seed.

Troy also got a new toy (a weed whipper) and he worked on taming some of the brush at the treeline while the two landscapers worked on prepping the yard for seed. It took all day, but by the end we had grass seed! Hi, future grass babies!

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