Monday, November 23, 2020

Our Fence is Complete!!!

 Yesterday was a very special day around here.... our backyard fence is complete!!!


If you've been following along you know that the privacy fence has been up for a few weeks (read more here) but we hadn't fenced up the back part yet. Saturday was a beautiful day so Tim and I headed outside to start attaching the wire fencing to the posts. We ended up getting about half of it done on Saturday and then finished up on Sunday. Guys, it was so overdue. I felt so much relief when it was finally done. We can finally let her run around with just her collar on and no leash trailing behind her. We can finally leave her in the backyard and run back inside to use the bathroom if she's not ready to come in yet. It is a huge relief and I wish we had done it a year ago!!


I have plans to plant some shrubs on the sides of the privacy fence so you will be unable to see the wire fencing from the street. I plan on allowing the woods to grow as close to the fence as it can. I really want it to fill in so I will be encouraging any natural growth that happens.


Wow, my husband is really the best husband around! He pushed through to get this project done for me! (Well for Sophie....)



Once Tim got the hang of hooking the fence up it seemed to go pretty quickly. 


On day two we started on the opposite side of the yard and then used a third roll of fencing to connect the two.


Now, you may be curious how Sophie is reacting. She doesn't seem to notice there is a fence....

Or maybe she has noticed but she just doesn't care. She's a happy girl running around the fenced in yard and she  doesn't seem to care that she's trapped. 


Our yard is pretty big but pretty much full of dirt. Hopefully next year we will get grass but honestly it bothers Tim more than it bothers me. In the above picture you can see our fire pit which next year will be surrounded by rocks and Adirondack chairs. (Side note- if you want Adirondack chairs apparently you have to buy them early in the season- there were none left come July this past summer!!!)

You'll also notice that the posts are taller than the fence which was not intended. However, I think it will work out because I want to put solar lights on all the posts. We have lights on the back of our house but they don't reach all the way to the back of the yard which I would like to have lit up so Sophie isn't afraid to venture all the way back there. If you have any suggestions for solar lights please let me know!!


Isn't this picture adorable?! The only time she seems to care about the fence is when someone is on the other side and we don't intend on hanging out in the woods much, so it should be just fine :)

Phew. Another BIG project done!!!

Have a great day everybody!!!



















Monday, November 16, 2020

Christmas Decor 2020

I totally meant to have this post up last week, but my computer has been so weird and I've been having a hard time loading pictures from my phone to my computer, so I think I've finally managed to get everything in the post and can now officially share my Christmas decor for this year!


I found this pretty wreath at Christmas Tree Shop a few weeks ago when I went shopping with my mom. I didn't know it when I bought it, but this totally set off my decorating style for this year. My living room is completely a woodland theme and I LOVE IT. I never really thought about it as I collected my decor but it is a woodland theme and I think it looks so pretty. I am pretty obsessed with it and think I will continue collecting items for this theme as the years go on. 


Last year I placed Christmas ornaments inside this vase but so far I have left it empty. I may find something to put inside but for now I'm enjoying the simplicity here on the kitchen counter. 


I still love this little bear I've had for years and here is one of my mini flocked trees.


My mom bought us this snowman set of salt and pepper shakers last year at Christmas and they are very cute. I'm not sure we will actually use them for salt and pepper but they look cute sitting on my counter!


Just like last year I put my garland on the top of my kitchen cabinets and decorated it with picks and flowers from Walmart. I didn't put the lit garland up there this year it's just very plain and it really brings some more Christmas cheer to the kitchen. 


I have a few sets of Christmas dish towels but here is one set hung up on the stove. I have a slight problem with collecting dish towels so I am not allowed to shop for them anymore. We have a whole drawer full and that's only because I donated a ton when they didn't all fit in one drawer. 


I love this little reindeer! I bought him last year and I think he's just the cutest. 


This is the only area where my living room is not woodland theme. This little elf was in my grandparents house growing up and my grandma let me take him home with me. I always smile when I pull him out. 


Same Christmas pillows as last year, I might need some more Christmas pillows....


I love my little houses that I picked up in the Target dollar spot! They were $5 for the set and I just love how they look with my little flocked trees. 


This reindeer is new this year too. He came from Christmas Tree Shop and was a total impulse buy. I cannot say no to cute animals. 


More garland on these kitchen cabinets.


Here is the snowman cookie jar that my mom bought us last year, he matches the salt and pepper shakers and doesn't hold anything but looks super cute on the counter!



I initially brought up the Christmas tree I bought last year (and had in our office last year) but it looked so huge and ridiculous in our small living room I decided to get a small pencil tree. This one was $79 from Walmart and I of course went with a flocked tree. I absolutely love it and it allows us to have Christmas spirit but still have our living room be mostly useable. 


Someday we will be able to fit a huge tree in our living room, but right now it's really not a possibility. The tree skirt is new as well and is also from Walmart. 


It is a very small tree but right now while it's just the two three of us we really don't need anything huge. 


Sophie doesn't really care about the tree...or any of the decorations. That was a little shocking to me, but I am thrilled that she is living everything alone.


Are you all decorated for Christmas? I need to do my outside decorating, but I am pleased with the inside so far!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Outdoor Christmas Decor Inspiration

 I know, I know. Halloween was less than a week ago and not everyone is ready to jump into Christmas. I am totally ready however and am starting to gather inspiration for decor. I want to get everything ordered that I need and make sure I am ready to go.

Last year I decorated pretty minimally outside and used some cheap pre-lit garlands on our handrails and the same on our mailbox. This year I want it to look a little nicer since I have had time to think about what I want. I know I didn't do much for Halloween and truly want to make up for it with my Christmas decor.

Here's what I'm thinking...

                                                                            Source

I would like to get some nicer pre-lit garland to put on our new fence. I think it will look so nice against the white! I just need to find garland that looks nice, is pre-lit with a battery pack, and doesn't cost a million dollars. Let me know if you find anything!


                    


 

We have a very small area to work with at our front door. It's very narrow and we can't place too much on the steps or we won't be able to use the front door. I bought a wreath a few weeks back that I will be putting up. I am also trying to think of decor I can place along our walkway since that is a new feature this year.  Someday our boxwoods will be large enough to wrap lights around, but right now they are still tiny and would look silly. 

I'm also thinking about doing either just lights or a lit garland to frame the doorway, that is something we could definitely incorporate.



I am planning on decorating our mailbox again this year but I'm hopeful I can make it look a little nicer this year! I have something similar to what is in the picture above that my mom bought for us. Last year I wrapped a garland around the base on my mailbox but it didn't match at all. I still want to use the top part but will be on the lookout for other ideas for the base. 

What do you do to decorate for Christmas outside? I am wishing I put in window boxes this summer because they would look so nice! I will definitely continue to scour pinterest for decor ideas but it's hard when most of the pictures are huge houses with big front porches! I keep dreaming up my big house that we will build someday! I will keep on wishing for it, and my big front porch!!



Monday, November 2, 2020

Halloween Weekend 2020

Hey friends! Did everyone have a great Hall-o-weekend? It was very low-key around here (like most weekends around here) but I thought it was great to have Halloween on a Saturday. I think we should observe Halloween on the last Saturday of October every year, anyone else with me on that?


Sophie loves her toys from her Barkbox and I love that each month the theme changes. We were of course thrilled to see Halloween themed toys and Sophie has been enjoying her Vampy-corn, Barry Bones, and Ghouly Worm. If you haven't signed up for Barkbox and you have a pup it's a great idea to get a year-long subscription as a Christmas present for them! We truly enjoy having this box come each month and I think the price is 100% worth it!


Guys, it snowed here on Friday!! My poor pumpkin and mums enduring the storm, they look so sad!


We spent a lot of the weekend cuddled up on the couch and Sophie was thrilled with all of it! I love how sweet her face is in this picture. 


I feel so lame. This is what I did for Halloween trick-or-treating. I made 30 treat bags and left them out for our neighborhood kids. We ended up with 5 leftover so it ended up being just about the perfect amount. Even though I put out a pumpkin and some little Halloween decals on the door, I didn't really do much outside decorating for Halloween. I always intended on going back out to pick up more pumpkins/gourds and make the front steps look nicer but I just never did. I felt especially bad about my decorating skills when I saw what The Blonde Abroad had done....


(This picture is a screenshot of @theblondeabroad Halloween post on Instagram)

How cute is her setup?! Her dog Bailey looked so cute as Harry Potter and I couldn't believe all the awesome decor she had. If you aren't already following her on Instagram she is one of my favorites. Normally she is traveling non-stop but has recently purchased a house in San Diego and is doing some home decor content which I love! I felt very inferior when I saw her decor versus what I had going on outside!! I always say next year....



Last week at BJs I picked up a huge box of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate mix and I kicked off hot chocolate season on Halloween! I love fall and have enjoyed having my fall decor up inside our house but I am ready to decorate for Christmas. 

It seems like more than half the people I follow on Instagram started decorating yesterday for Christmas. I didn't start yesterday but I am planning on starting very soon. Tomorrow I have the day off from work so I will be taking down all of my fall decor and giving the house a good deep clean and I plan on decorating for Christmas maybe next weekend. Let me know when you are planning on decorating for Christmas, I would love to hear how long you are waiting this year.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's my husbands birthday!!!


Happy Birthday Tim! You are the most patient, kind, wonderful person in the world and I cannot imagine my life without you. You are my match in every way and I am so lucky to be married to you!!





Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Garden Inspiration!

Last week I shared all the areas I can't wait to create gardens in next year and I promised a post full of inspiration. So, I'm here today with some pictures that I found through Pinterest (sources included) to get an idea of what I want the gardens to look like along the fence and along the side of our house. Let me know your thoughts, I love hearing gardening tips because I am very new at this!

First up, here's an idea of greenery along a white vinyl fence. I really like the way the green pops along the white fence. I definitely want to incorporate a lot of green, leafy plants in our landscaping.



I definitely want to incorporate evergreens like this because they will stay green year round. Even if the garden looks fairly bare in the winter, I need to make sure there are elements that stay year round so it doesn't look completely empty. 


I know this doesn't show a fence, but I do love the idea of having thriving hydrangeas along the fence. The only problem with hydrangeas is that you have only a few weeks a year where they look incredible. The rest of the year they don't look as beautiful so I definitely don't want to fill the garden with them. 


I absolutely love hostas and think I want to plant something similar to this along the side of the house. I like the way the garden looks full and lush. I think this could look amazing near our Siberian elm tree.


How gorgeous is this? Definitely too much to start off with, but this is definitely something to aspire to have one day!

Oh, I can't wait for spring!


Monday, October 26, 2020

S'mores Pie

 Hey friends!

How was your weekend? We kept things very low key around here, mostly just running errands and doing chores around the house. We watched a couple of scary movies on Saturday night (Ready or Not and The Invisible Man) and I liked both of them even though I'm a big scaredy cat. Have you seen Emily in Paris? I'm watching it right now and it's really cute. It reminds me a lot of Sex and the City but on a millennial scale. (Which makes sense because Darren Star...) I've been enjoying watching it when I'm getting cleaning and cooking done. It's very lighthearted and easy to follow, I recommend it if you are looking for that type of show! If you want something a little more intense definitely check out Bly Manor on Netflix. If you haven't watched it already, it's definitely creepy but I love the storyline and that you really need to be paying attention to the story. 

Anyways, on to todays recipe! This weekend I made a S'mores Pie and it was delicious. I have been looking at the recipes for this on Pinterest recently and was thinking about making it for Thanksgiving so I wanted to test it out and last night was the perfect night to do that. 

I followed this recipe so definitely go check it out but I wanted to share how the process went for me here as well. 

We only needed four ingredients: 12oz semi sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 4 cups of mini marshmallows, and 1 graham cracker crust.

I purchased the pre-made graham cracker crust from the grocery store but you can definitely make your own if you are looking for more of a challenge.


The first step is to make the chocolate ganache which sounded intimidating to me but it was super simple. All you do is mix the chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream in microwavable bowl. I heated mine in 30 second increments and then whipped it until it was smooth.

Then I poured the ganache into the pie crust and put it in the fridge. The recipe recommends putting it in for at least 2 hours. Mine was in for 6 hours uncovered and did just fine. 

Now right before serving you need to add the marshmallows and toast them. I used the broiler in our oven for this. (I had no idea we had a broiler) I put the broiler on high, making sure the oven rack was as far up as possible and I only let the pie sit inside for 30 seconds or so. Make sure you are watching it because those marshmallows heat up fast


Here is the completed pie. I think it looks amazing!! It definitely is something that looks super enticing and I am seriously considering making it on Thanksgiving. 


I think it tastes amazing as well. It definitely is super rich chocolate, so if you aren't a chocolate fan you might not like this one. But if you like chocolate and s'mores you will love it!


My toughest critic (Tim) said it was good but agreed with me that the chocolate was very rich. He had a piece and I had two (whoops). I think this is such a fun (and easy) dessert and I can picture myself making this for my kids someday!

Have you made any new desserts lately? I would love to know what they are!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Privacy Fence is Up and Future Garden Ideas!

Friends, the privacy fence is fully installed! No thanks to me, but lots of thanks to my wonderful hubby! Now we just need to figure out how to continue the fence around the backyard with the wire fencing we purchased. Hopefully it's fairly easy and the rest of the process can be completed pretty quickly (fingers crossed).

On Saturday Tim got to work finishing the final two panels for our privacy fence.


Sophie and I watched. We are the best helpers around! 


Sophie has no clue that her freedom is slowly being stripped away from her. She continues to run around the fence and thinks it's a fun game to disappear behind it. Soon she will be trapped in the backyard....poor Sophie! 

Now, you might be looking at this picture thinking the fence looks slanted. Well, it is.

Our lot is sloped on both sides. There is a hill on the side of our house that isn't technically our property and belongs to the people who live behind us (the former owners of this home too) and while that piece of property used to belong to our house, before they sold it to us they split the property in order to allow for a driveway to be put in there someday. It's only 50 feet, which isn't much and they say they have no "master plan" which we are choosing to believe but that explains the slope that we can't really do much about. 

Also, while we are on the subject I am cautiously planning out what we will do if we ever hear that they want to put in a driveway...or if/when we go to sell the house. I am thinking of planting trees/shrubs along our property line to make sure we would still have privacy if they did decide to clear the wooded area.

Nevertheless. I love our new privacy fence. I am so happy we went with the final fencing and love that we now have some privacy in our backyard. It makes it much nicer when I head out there in my pajamas with Sophie in the morning!

Now, let's talk about gardening...because that has been the topic on mind recently!



I picked up these tulip bulbs from the Christmas Tree Shop and decided to plant them in our front garden by the street.



You can see the disturbed mulch area where I've planted them and I hope that it will be a nice beginning to spring. Keep your fingers crossed for me that they take and we see them in March! You can see my tree that the previous owners planted is changing colors, and the evergreens I planted are still doing well. The lavender I planted has gone past, and the annuals are long gone. I'm anxious to see how all of this will do through the winter and am keeping my fingers crossed that the evergreens make it through!

Other than the tulips I don't have any plans for this small garden. I may purchase annuals again next Spring or maybe some new perennials, but I haven't decided yet!


Now, by having the new fence it means I am given the opportunity for new gardens! I am thinking of getting evergreens for this area so there is always something colorful in front of the fence. I might do an arborvitae on the corner where the vinyl fence meets the wire fencing, but I don't want to completely cover the rest of the fence by planting tall evergreens along it. 

I am thinking about mixing some conifers with possibly rose bushes. I can't wait to play around with this area. It is tucked behind a Siberian elm tree the old owners planted so it's a little secret garden area. We aren't having a gate or anything over here so I could really bring the garden out as far as I want it which is dangerous. I need to not go crazy or I will spend all my money on plants.


The picture I just showed you meets up with this one. Along the side of our house in front of fence is a skinny area we dug out and mulched in the summer. I planned originally to just fill this with hostas but Now I'm not sure, I definitely want to include hostas since they do well in our area but I am thinking I might bring in some other plants to enjoy. 
Also, don't judge us for still having our AC in....my husband runs it almost every night and it will certainly be in until November... I just pile on the blankets over here!


Now on the other side of our house we have the vinyl fence with our gate. There is only a tiny sliver of area between the driveway and the fence so I'm not quite sure what we will do here.


It definitely needs something, but it will have to be something that doesn't need a lot of space to spread out. 


However on the back side of the fence I have lots of room to play! You can see my bird bath here as well and my plan is to fill this area with a mix of evergreens and perennials to keep it looking amazing and colorful in the spring and summer but still have enough winter interest in the fall and winter. I also would love to add a bird feeder here and want to add bird feeders and house around the yard. I might be turning into my mom....


On the back side of this fence I am thinking along the same lines as the other side. Evergreens and perennials, maybe some grasses? I need to figure out how to get all these areas filled without spending a million dollars...


I'm not even going to show you the back of the house because although eventually I would also like that to be a garden, right now it's storing extra bricks, fencing, etc... and is a disaster. I couldn't resist sharing this little face though! She was watching me out the window and just looked so sweet!

Any ideas for my new gardens? I might do a post with some inspiration pictures I've found on pinterest...so keep an eye out for that!

 Also, can you believe that two years ago tomorrow was our wedding day?! It's flown by and I am still so in love with my sweet husband! Although two years ago I never imagined being in a global pandemic on our second wedding anniversary, I am happy that through it all I have someone reliable, kind, and amazing to wake up next to every morning! Happy anniversary Tim, I love you!!!