Friday, April 26, 2013

How does your garden grow with Scott's Florida Select Mulch

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We all know I'm not the world's greatest gardener. It's a skill I'm desperately trying to master. This year, Danger Girl decided she wanted to tackle the garden and like a good mom, I said "If you want to do it, you need to come up with a plan! Research and tell me what you want to do."

True to form, Danger Girl knocked my socks off. She said "Mama, I want to buy roses. I have my own money."

Alrighty then!

It was time to hit the garden supply store to come up with what the  gardening supplies we needed:


Digging implements

Roses, marigolds and other hearty full sun plants

Scotts Nature Scapes mulch

Mulch really is important to add around your garden. I should know. I didn't mulch last year and the weeds went NUTS. They grew around the flowers I had planted and it's taking forever to get rid of them. Scotts® Nature Scapes® is awesome for non Florida folks because it comes in various colors: Classic Black, Sierra Red, and Deep Forest Brown. They are natural forest products, which means they aren't  wasted wood. It helps maintain moisture (super important in the summer), prevent weeds and basically make the landscape look better than just dirt.

If you're in Florida, Scotts Florida Select Natural Eucalyptus Mulch is an amazing new option for your mulching needs.

 photo 6d50af2c-aba7-44e2-b0ed-d3510804d726_zps3aae88a5.jpg

1. sustainable gardening Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.*

2. NATURAL: Made from 100% plantation-grown Eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus Mulch is guaranteed free from any construction, demolition, pallet, or other waste materials.

3. EFFECTIVE: Prevents weeds naturally** while helping to conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature.

4. LOCAL: 100% Florida-grown - helps support your local economy.
*Sustainably-harvested and plantation grown Eucalyptus is considered a renewable resource because it re-grows up to 4-times faster than Cypress.
**A three-inch layer of Eucalyptus Mulch naturally helps prevent weeds by blocking growth and access to sunlight.

I didn't  know you needed that much mulch to be effective! I had tried mulching my side yard and it wasn't working very well. Stingy me was trying to spread too thin.

My dear neighbor Kat was helpful in picking out the plants. We had to remove several boxwoods to make room for the roses. The hydrangeas will move eventually, but that will wait until after the roses grow and fill in more. 

roses in bloom


In addition to the roses at the front of the house. we added marigolds to the brick planters at the end of the front walk.

marigolds and scotts mulch


I didn't just leave the flowers out in the yard. Kat was kind enough to give me an amaryllis. I am planning on planting the bulb later so they can spread in my side yard. The are just so beautiful!

amaryllis scotts florida select mulch


Are you trying to turn your black thumb in to a green thumb this year? Or are you still too afraid?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Picking Paint and other things

This has been an emotional roller coaster of a week.

I've decided to never ever buy another house ever again. Ever. We are going to die in this house. I never want to deal with all the garbage of getting another mortgage. It's not worth it. The stress alone is not worth it.

We are waiting on one last signature before we get our clear to close. I would love to have that done so I don't have to worry about it over the weekend, but it's not my call. I get to stew about it. And fret. Hopefully sleep, but I doubt it.

The highlight of the week was hopping on a chat with HGTV's David Bromstad. Kat gave me two large custom made cubbies she had no use for and I needed help with the paint colors. Plain white just doesn't work for me.

After sharing with him that the wall where one shelf was going was already painted June Day

David suggested painting the shelf either Sassy Green or Frolic. He said it would look "organic."


sassy green

I already had a can of one of those in my stash. I had planned to paint the dining room one of them and when I opened the can and actually looked at my mind, I chickened out changed my mind.

Frolic is a color that looks AWESOME on the little card. But as my friend Ange discovered, it can be a bit hard to take in large doses.

Since I already had the paint and it wasn't a large piece, I figured it would be fine on the shelf.  The first two coats in, I was worried. Like really worried. It wasn't looking at all how I wanted. So I added a third coat.

This is obviously a work in progress. I'm not at all loving the color. It lacks a certain pizzazz. It pretty much blends right in with the wall. I guess that's what David Bromstad meant when he said organic. 

I'm thinking of painting the insides of the cubbies a different color to give a bit more contrast. 

I still have a good half gallon of the paint left. And since the FHA inspector said I couldn't have paint swatches of paint all over the place while I picked colors. I figured it wouldn't hurt to use it in MY laundry room. Even if Ange couldn't stand it in hers. 


Maybe the secret to making the color tolerable is to add pink? The pink was my first color choice, but I ran out of I left it as a pink stripe. Since it was in more than one place, it was an intentional contrast in paint colors and the FHA guy didn't say anything.

Hot pink or pea green. What fabulous color choices are you making?

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All's quiet

Sorry for not much content the last few days. We are in the home stretch (please please oh please) of finalizing an FHA loan.  I know some of you must feel my pain. I'm just waiting for them to ask for my first born. It is an agonizing process. Last time we purchased a home, it was a conventional loan and it was ridiculously easy. Oh how times change!

Some of you may be confused. We're not moving. We're actually trying to officially buy the house we've been working on for the last year and a half! We purchased the home with owner financing because we couldn't sell our old house and now that we have long term renters in our old house are ready to get a traditional mortgage on the house we love.

My stress level is just a little bit high at the moment. I've had a head ache for the last four days, probably due to the pollen count being so ridiculous. My green car looks yellow. I cleaned the porch to give it a fresh coat of paint and within five minutes it was coated in yellow dust.

Instead of giving you pictures of the house in a state of complete chaos, I'm going to post pictures of Josie.

Maybe someone can come up with a cute caption and she can become famous on the internet. The kids call her "MINE cat" because she gives you this look like everything in the world is hers.

She is just so lady like in this pose, isn't she? Josie sits like this frequently and watches TV. It's a hoot!

I don't think she's up for sharing the remote LOL

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Blog Workshop is coming!

I have been wanting to attend a blogging workshop for a very long time. Unfortunately, these workshops have pretty much been too far away or at bad times or...just plain expensive. Blogging workshops are important for bloggers to learn tools to navigate the blogging world.

I was so excited to learn about The Blog Workshop, an online blogging conference May 17-19

That means I don't have to arrange child care, air travel, hotels and all of those other incidentals beyond the cost of the ticket. That is a HUGE money and time saver... and my time and money are valuable.

Even better from a financial perspective, this conference even offers payment plans!

And if you register by April 26, you can take advantage of $25 off the registration. Ticket sales end May 10. Even though this is an online conference, space is limited.

Use promo code: TBW25HURRY


I think I'm most excited to learn how to pitch myself to companies. Even though I studied a bit of this in college, it's totally different when you  are the product. The cool part about learning these tools, is how I can bring fantastic giveaways to my readers. 

Check out the FAQ  for even more information and learn about all the speakers here, including IZEA, Blog-Trends, Attorney Jeneba Ghatt, Blogads, Sverve CEO Rohit Vashisht and more! Many conferences have giveaways for attendees and The Blog Workshop is no exception. One of the prizes is Vlogging equipment! 

Hope to "see" you there!

Friday, April 19, 2013

How I broke my ladder

This post could also be called "I'm one giant klutz."

The outside of our house is very sad. It's an old house and I decided it would be a good idea to give the windowsills a new coat of paint.

Well, that's not the complete truth.

The ugly truth is, I found dry rot on the windowsill and thought I should probably do a tutorial for you all on how to repair dry rot.

After finishing the repair, it was time to repaint the sill.

Now, I need to set the visual stage for this:

We have a crawl space under the house. Instead of having a proper door, we inherited a large piece of wood leaned up against the house.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Aloha Wreath

For the last couple of days, I've been plugging away at several projects around the house. Unfortunately, very few of them are share-worthy. . . and today, one of them even involved peal and stick floor tiles, being used as floor tile. 

This type of floor tile should never really be used in a home unless it's an extreme you think you have hardwood floors in an entire room so you happily rip up all the ugly flooring above with no back up plan at all because...well, what could possibly go wrong??? 

Wrong? Maybe I should start asking myself what could go right. sigh

At some point three layers of floor ago, there was a leak in the pipes and the entire section of flooring under the tub was removed to fix it and replaced with standard subflooring. That means I only have half a bathroom of jacked up original flooring. So until I come up with a realistic plan B, the sticky floor was the 911 solution. 

After this fiasco, I needed to do something to lighten my mood like burning my finger tips  off with a hot glue gun. 

I hit the dollar store for inspiration and was hit with a wave of summer goodies. Its in the mid 80s already here, so you have about 6 weeks left to go until I start to complain about the miserable humidity. 

I started with a pool noodle and tape.  It's a very inexpensive way to get a large foam wreath.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

scrap wood wall hanging

When I finished the vestibule last year, I had every intention of showing off a few of the fun little projects in their own posts.

Naturally, about 50 other things distracted me and I never got to it.

I guess that's part of having ADD. That and staying up far too late watching TV shows because I totally just get sucked in: Walking Dead, Sherlock...Conspiracy Theory, Monsters and Mysteries in America, Finding Bigfoot...I'm sorry, I just can't stop watching shows about Sasquatch and Sheepsquatch. I watch them late at night so I won't have to watch D roll his eyes at me. Some people enjoy Honey Boo Boo and Housewives. Me? I like a good conspiracy, a few zombies and country folk who see things in the mountains.

Wait... I was supposed to be writing about this project ... ha ha I do this all the time!

Every time I look at that yellow wall, I smile. I can't help it. It makes me happy.

When D redid the flooring in the bathroom (yet another project I haven't revealed, probably because it's STILL not done!) we had scraps of subfloor left. This piece was the perfect size for something. I put on a coat of green chalky paint (recipe is here)  and it just looked terrible against the yellow. It didn't really have dimension. it looked much better after I hit with a coat of this blue and roughed it up a bit.

I am not lucky enough to have a silhouette or cameo or cricut (I am very much willing to review one and do a giveaway!)  so I used the sticker phrases found at my local dollar store.  This phrase seemed like the perfect welcome to our home.

The flowers are prima paper flowers and I added little jewels to the middle. The ribbon, also taken from my stash.

The only thing I had to buy for this were the words...everything else was scrap! That puts this project in at just $1 Totally my favorite kind of project!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Help! There's a flue in my dinging room!

Our house is old and we've discovered lots of quirks that were the result of 100 + years of renovations.

A past owner was kind enough to stuff some newspaper into the wall in the kitchen which gives us an idea that the house went through a big renovation/remodel in the late 1960s. While the dates were missing off the papers, the job listings were for males and women (who apparently had to be single to work) and the big controversy was over pope Paul's stance on birth control in the Catholic church. That gave us a pretty good idea about when the papers were stuffed in the wall.

We also have a false wall in the dining room. D demolished the portion in the hallway in order to build some shelving. Behind the wall in the dining room is presumably the lower part of the chimney that goes to the fireplace in Leelee's room.

As I was watching Rehab Addict, and the hostess uncovered a chimney covered in plaster. She made the brickwork a gorgeous feature in the room. This, of course, got me thinking about the chimney in the dining room. How awesome would that feature be if I could make it shine?

I started poking around and up near the top is this:

I had to stick my camera up under part of the wall to get  this view. I also poked it with a stick and all sorts of soot came out!

Uhhh that's not good right?

Time to turn to google and after a quick search determined this was in fact a flue cover. I even found this exact cover for sale on etsy, so it wasn't all that rare.

But, it leaves me wondering (and asking for help!) as to why there would be a flue opening 10 feet up in what was then the kitchen? Why is it still filled with soot and debris? Shouldn't that have gone to a clean-out under the house?

Am I safe to assume the entire thing is bricked and I can expose it by chipping off the plaster?

I have a feeling D will be asked to crawl under the house very soon to examine the chimney clean-out issue and to see if the brick chimney even extends that far down!

Until I can get good answers to these questions, nothings going to be happening on this potential project.


linked up at:

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Chalkboard fireplace

A big congratulations to Jenn Ward, who won a copy of Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It!


More than a year ago, I started to makeover the fireplace in Leelee's room. 

It needed it...badly. It looked like 1983 came to visit and never left. Sponge painted floral design. shudder

 I decided to paint it with my knock off chalky paint

fireplace makeover

But I just wasn't feeling it. It didn't have that WOW that every teenaged girl needs in her fireplace. Because, you know, every teenaged girl has a fireplace in her bedroom. 

fireplace makeover

After giving it too much thought, I decided to take another look at my paint supplies on hand and see if there was something else I could do.  Leelee has been asking for a room makeover and I don't really want to redo the entire room. We only moved in 18 months ago and what the 12 year old liked, the 14 year old now thought was dumb. She relied on my color suggestions instead of what she really liked. She still likes the teal, but wants to base her room off of this poster
So now I was thinking dark colors. Like black. But the only black paint I had in my stash was chalkboard paint. 

This could work. This could be AWESOME.

I dunno. It still wasn't really what I wanted. It was missing something. 

Like chalk.

There we go! Maybe it just needed the cover off for the real beauty to show.

I also hit some of the details at the top with a bit of chalk to make them stand out a bit more. 

chalkboard paint fireplace makeover

I absolutely LOVE the fireplace now!I know this project is one you will either really love or hate. DD is only home for a few more years then I can "restore" the fireplace back to its former glory. For right now, my biggest priority is creating a space my daughter loves. And she sure loves this.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The LAST Pin Inspiration party

Friday is the last day to enter to win Dead Without a Stone to Tell it by Jen J Danna! 

Tonight's post is written by the ever amazing Jane :

I have great news and then some not so great news but mostly great news.

Here goes: This is our last Pin'inspiration party.

No, no. Don't panic: We have something even more exciting for you: How would you like to take classic dishes and turn them into something unique that fits your own lifestyle or sense of fun? Christine from Cook the Story and I, along with the support and participation of the ever-awesome Micki and Marilyn are starting a classic dish makeover adventure that you can be part of too. Our adventure is called The Make It Mine Club and you're invited to join the the club and be a part of it with us.

What's it all about?

Consider Fettuccine Alfredo. Great dish, right? I would eat it all the time BUT I want to be able to fit through a door so I've needed to change it into something lighter. And then there's this friend of mine who's a strict vegan but her Fettuccine Alfredo cannot be beaten. And my pal Christine, well she was just feeling a bit whacky one day and decided to turn Fettucine Alfredo into a canapĂ©. Even whackier? Somebody over at allrecipes made it into a dessert! See? Right there. Those are chocolate noodles! Seriously.   dessertfettuccine   Crazy-fun, right? So that's the idea. Every two weeks we choose another classic dish and all of us (you included) get to go off and come up with our own twists. The twist can be something that fits your lifestyle or just something whacky that you want to try. There's going to be lots of cross-promotion and cross-linking among participants and we'll be getting sponsors on board to tie in giveaways and other fun so make sure you join the club while there's still space!

Want to participate? Here's how it will work:

Click here to subscribe to the Make It Mine Newsletter. This newsletter will inform you about what's coming up but will never inundate you. Inside the newsletter you'll get info about upcoming Make It Mine challenges. In each newsletter you will also be given a new link where you can sign up your recipe for the particular challenge.      

A Make It Mine Preview:

Our first challenge is going to be April 17th and we've got an extraordinary dish picked out: The classic Ploughman's Lunch! Check out our Pinterest board for a bunch of ideas to get those creative juices flowing. And if you don't have a clue what Ploughman's Lunch is (poor you!) check out the always useful Wikipedia for their Ploughman's Lunch entry. After that: May 1st is all about Bangers and Mash and, in case you're worried that we're focusing too much on the Brits, May 15th is Chicken Souvlaki.
This is going to be an amazing adventure! Before it begins, we do have one final Pin'Inspirational Linky Party for you. It's the last one so share EVERYTHING you've got. We'll be visiting you all this week and can't wait to see what you have to share. Looking forward to starting a whole new community with you. Signature Happy Adventuring, Jane

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Leftovers Quiche

The giveaway for an autographed copy of Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It ends April 5! 


This Easter a friend of the family decided to bless us with an ham. . . D told me just as I had gotten home from the store with a large ham, of course!

And now, I'm trying to find creative ways to use up the ham. We have one in the freezer, but still have quite a bit of leftovers from Easter dinner.

Tonight's dinner was a very successful attempt at using up a nice chunk of ham, some veggies and other pantry items. Normally, I would have used asparagus in this, but that was one dish that completely disappeared at the table. These dinners are awesome because they cost so little out of pocket.

Easter Leftovers Quiche (Ham and broccoli)

1 deep dish pie crust
5 eggs
1 C half and half
1/4 C sour cream
1 1/2 C colby jack cheese
1/2  C chopped broccoli
1 C chopped ham
salt and pepper to taste

Bake pie crust in 450 degree oven for 6 minutes. 

Turn down oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, gently whisk eggs. Whisk in half and half and sour cream. Stir in cheese, broccoli, a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

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