Front Yard Planters


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I think this is the first year in a long time that I actually feel mostly on top of my outdoor stuff. Our grass has been aerated, over-seeded, watered like crazy, and fertilized. I've got eight containers of flowers planted on our back deck (so far), and my two little backyard perennial gardens have been cleaned up and weeded. Our deck has been washed, repaired, and stained. And in the front yard, I've got my front planters and windowbox planted and well watered. Of course the only reason that we've accomplished so much so early in the season this year is that we've had tonnes of help from both sets of grandparents. They have been so generous to entertain the kiddos for little intervals so that we can duck outside to get some work done. It's also amazing how fast you work when you all of a sudden have two kids!!!

Every year I like to try a different combination of flowers in my front planters. I'm still working on trying to find the perfect mixture that will flourish in late afternoon, dappled sun. 

Way back in 2012 I did a combination of pink, yellow, and green flowers:

In 2013 I tried to stick to a neutral colour scheme of white and green:

{I have no idea what happened in 2014. I guess I forgot to take and post pictures!?!}

This year I decided to try a colour scheme of white, purple, and green. I LOVE how this combination looks!

I just love the contrast of the soft green licorice plant against the black container. So, so, so pretty! Now, if only someone would come and cut the grass.......

I can't wait to see how everything fills out in a couple of weeks. While we spend a lot of time in our backyard, we also love to sit out on the front steps in the evening eating ice-cream or popsicles. 


P.S. If you were kind enough to leave a comment on a previous post, I try my best to respond but it's usually about two weeks later. :S

P.P.S. I just ate a whole row of Chips Ahoy cookies for lunch. I thought about making a healthy sandwich but blogging took priority today, hee hee.

P.P.P.S. What are your favourite flowers to plant in containers?

Winnie a.k.a. Gummy Bear - One Month


Thursday, June 18, 2015

I have to apologize for being two weeks late publishing this post. I keep going back and forth between wanting to be an over sharer and being weirded out by posting pictures of my kids on the internet. 

However, after rereading the post about Cooper at a month old, I just had to go ahead with this one. I wouldn't want Winnie to feel left out that I didn't give her as much attention on the 'ol blog. :)

So, where do I start?

1. She is a total Sweetie McSweetie. 

2. She gave me real smiles when she was only three weeks old! Her biggest smiles are when she sees me after waking up (awwwww) and when I talk in a really high-pitched, squeaky voice.

3. She is an expert at tummy time and loves looking around at everyone and everything.

4. She often looks like a little old man (in a cute way!!!).

5. She loves being all squished up in her baby sling thing. This time around I tried out a Baby K'Tan wrap. I'm loving it so far!

6. She eats like a champ. That's every two hours day and night. (I cannot for the life of me remember what uninterrupted sleep is like.)(At least I get to surf Pinterest at 4 a.m.???)

7. She loves bath time. Well, except for the very first one we gave her. She screamed bloody murder for that one. 

8. She is super easy-going and has adapted really well to being carted here, there, and everywhere after her big brother (upstairs / downstairs / parks / birthday parties / gymnastics lessons / etc.)

9. She makes this adorable purring sound when she is snuggled up in her sling or on your chest. And no, it's not just snoring.

10. She was named after my great-grandmother. (Nope, she was not named after the character from The Wonder Years.)(Although apparently every boy growing up watching that show had a crush on the Winnie character.)

And here's more of my little munchkin:

 I know I haven't had a chance to post much lately. So here's a little peek at what we've been up to:

I'm hoping to be back soon to share some pictures of our newly stained deck and progress in my little perennial garden. 

P.S. Cooper has been playing in his little workbooks the whole time I've been writing this post. However, he just said that he was off to build a road with his markers. Uhhh, I think I'd better go!!!!!

P.P.S. At Winnie's request, I gave her a Photoshop Facial in the above photos. She is a wee bit sensitive about her baby acne. Hee, hee.

P.P.P.S. Thanks for reading, you da best.

A Trellis / Privacy Screen for the Deck


Thursday, June 4, 2015

You might not believe this but we actually, for realz, got a project done.... from start to finish.... with a newborn and a toddler and two crazy dogs. Let me add that we were only able to do this because of our awesome family that has been here, there, and everywhere helping us out almost every day since little Winnie was born four weeks ago. Grandparents are really and truly the best.  

I mentioned a few times that I really wanted a privacy screen / trellis to make our bottom deck a bit cozier and to create a little bit of privacy. Remember how I often have to run outside in my skivvies to stop the dogs from attacking greeting people that walk behind our back fence? Yeah. Super awkward. 

The great thing about having a birthday in the spring is that I can ask for little outdoor projects to be completed as birthday gifts. It's pretty genius actually. Especially when your hubby thinks that a trellis on the deck is a waste of money and will only be a "bug factory".

I showed Alex a few inspiration pictures and gave him a few requirements. I was hoping that the screen would be as wide as our stair opening and as tall as the upper deck railing, I was also hoping that the trellis would have three panels and that the slats would be spaced equally to create square openings. At first I wanted a plain, straight top but then opted for raised posts so that we could use the same post caps that we used on the deck railing. 

Alex and his dad went to work on a Saturday morning and were done by mid-afternoon. It was really hot that day so they definitely deserve some sort of medal for finishing the whole thing in one day. 

They did a FAB job and I am absolutely in love with it. 

Of course I couldn't wait to plant some white clematis in behind so that maybe, just maybe, they will grow up the trellis by the end of the summer. First, I dug out all of the grass all along the side of the bottom deck. Since there were so many tree roots (there is a giant willow tree on the other side of the fence), Alex helped me dig down about a foot and a half. I replaced all of the old soil and clay with triple mix. Then I topped the whole thing off with a few bags of garden mix that I had lying around. My mom split a few of her hostas so that I could plant them in between the clematis. She is a gardening wizard so of course I wrangled her into helping me with this project.  Fingers crossed that my crazy dog Lexie doesn't trample everything on one of her puppy-run sprees.

P.S. The boys used pressure treated wood from Home Depot for the privacy screen.

P.P.S. My yard is in serious need of some landscaping. This is a start, right?

P.P.P.S. Here are a few pictures of my adorable kidlets. 

Winnie - 20 Days Old

Cooper - 3 Years Old

The cutest ever, right?

Meet Winnie


Thursday, May 21, 2015


It's been a busy few weeks. First it was Cooper's birthday (he got a scooter)(it's pretty awesome). Then it was my birthday (I got a custom made trellis for the deck)(I looooove it). Then it was Mother's Day (breakfast in bed is the bomb diggity). And somewhere in between all of those adventures....... I sort of had a baby (like, w-o-a-h).

Meet my newest BFF....... her name is Winnie. 

The best words to describe her would be 'smooshy' and 'delicious'. She is just shy of two weeks old and has already outgrown her newborn clothes. I am so happy and grateful that she is healthy.... however I did sniffle a little when I had to put aside her teeny, tiny, adorable outfits.

Her current favourite pastimes include:

1. Snuggling with Mom (yay! I was #1!)
2. Flying around, Super-Baby style, with Dad (Coops gets a huge kick out of this)
3. Receiving ten thousand slobbery kisses from her big brother (and biggest fan)
4. Eating, eating, and more eating (apparently milk tastes better between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am)

Overall, she is such a happy (and hungry) baby. We are so lucky. ♥

I'll be back soon with more photos I'm sure. Although I'll try not to be too much of an over-sharer. ;)

Three Deck Projects That Are Totally Getting Done This Year


Friday, April 24, 2015

Now that the weather is warming up a teensy, weensy bit (Oh how I love sunshiiiiiiiiiine) I've started dreaming about our back deck and how I'm going to spend the entire summer out there drinking homemade lemonade and suntanning while the two kiddos happily entertain themselves and the dogs lay calmly at our feet.

{Oh who am I kidding, I'll be out there with bedhead and shorts from 1999 trying to enjoy the weather while the dogs dig holes and bark at the fence and the two kiddos constantly demand silly things like food and diaper changes. Hee hee!}

Sorry, let's get back to the dreaming part. Last summer the boys did some work on the deck by adding some finishing touches like building the wide stairs, adding stair railings, replacing the warped post caps, and enclosing the upper deck with skirting.

I also decided to splurge on some outdoor cushions to make our inexpensive outdoor furniture (from Canadian Tire and Lowe's) look a little bit more Pottery Barn-ish. Oh Pottery Barn, why do your outdoor spaces have to be so darn magnificent?

This year, I'm trying to keep things real (oh hello, newborn) and limit my to-do list to three manageable projects for the spring / early summer. 

Here they are!

Project #1: Stain the deck.

Oy. We put this project off for a loooooooong time. Originally we said we were letting the pressure treated wood sit (is that even a thing?) but then it just became pure avoidance because staining a two-level deck with a thousand spindles sounds absolutely terrible. But the wood on our deck is starting to split and dry out. It really needs some protection from the elements ASAP. 

We've got deck wash, deck brushes, and large / small stain brushes purchased and hanging out in our shed. All we have to do now is settle on a stain brand and colour. I can't decide whether to go with Behr deck stain or with Benjamin Moore. Any advice or recommendations? I'm hoping to find a nice, medium brown shade with some grayish undertones. 

And pretty much the only reason that Alex and I are going to take this project on is because our super awesome family offered to do it all help. Sa-weet!

Project #2: Build a privacy screen.

Our lower deck is open on all sides (no railing) and is kind of close to our neighbour's yard. My plan is to build a three-panel privacy screen along the back of our lower deck so that I can sit down there in a tube top (pretending that I'm 21 and don't have wiggly jiggly cellulite) whilst not scaring our neighbours. Also, I think that the privacy screen will help that sitting area feel a bit cozier since, again, it doesn't have a railing around it. 

The plan for the screen is to have it centered behind the lounge furniture and be about as wide as the stairs. I would love to plant some fast growing vines as well as some flowering perennials to climb up them this summer. 

I'm thinking of a simple design like the following picture, except with three panels instead of two and without the top arbour thingie. I have a fear of bugs falling / jumping on my head. I would like to avoid that at all costs.

Project #3: Plant a container garden.

Last summer I found some pretty galvanized planters and scattered them around the deck with some easy to care for flowers. It was a start, but the deck still looked pretty sparse. 

I'm hoping to step it up a notch and add some more plants and flowers. You know, like those Better Homes and Gardens pictures. 

Herb Garden - Better Homes and Gardens

I might also be on the hunt for outdoor dining cushions, cute place mats, white lanterns and outdoor string lights. But those purchases will only happen by accident when I'm out shopping for bathroom cleaner and diapers. I will stick to our three-project deck plan this year. (Pep talks are good.)

How 'bout you..... what are your project plans for the spring / summer?
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