Planted Windowbox


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We made it to the greenhouse this past weekend and finally chose the flowers for the front windowbox. I always seem to follow the same routine when I'm there:

1. I walk around admiring the pretty flowers.
2. I choose the perfect flower and decide that it will go in my windowbox this year.
3. I pull out the tag to read the planting instructions.
4. I read the tag which says: FULL SUN.
5. I cry.
6. Repeat steps 1-5.

Here is what I ended up purchasing to fill the 12-foot windowbox that gets late afternoon partial sun.

Four of these.

Twelve of these.

Four of these.

Five of these.

Fifteen of these.

Before planting any of the flowers, I positioned them all on the deck first to determine the spacing and arrangement. 

Just like my front yard planters, I mixed equal parts potting mix and black earth together so the soil would be heavier than just plain potting mix alone. This helps to keep the soil moist when we're at the cottage in the summer and aren't able to water the flowers regularly.

Once I filled up the windowbox with fresh soil, I planted the flowers. I had to work in 20 minute speed intervals whenever the babe was asleep. Note: I just may have fended off ten thousand mosquitos during this project.

Here's how the windowbox is looking after just being planted. I can't wait to do an update in the summer when everything fills out and is in full bloom.

Well, that's one garden/yard project done. Only ninety-nine left! Woohoo!

The Coopster - One Month


Friday, May 25, 2012

Technically I'm allowed to do a whole post on The Coopster. You see, the title of this blog is Cozy.Cottage.Cute. and he definitely falls under the "cute" category. If-you-know-what-I'm-sayin'.

I just can't believe that he is one month old already. In one month he has totally mastered the arts of:

a) snuggling
b) guzzling milk
c) mesmerizing everyone (especially his mama) with his cuteness

My last post mentioned that we were in no way settling into a routine. It's amazing what a week can do! The little hungry hippo can now make it a few hours between milkshakes. He's sleeping for longer stretches at night, and everything just seems to be getting a bit easier. You'd be so proud of me - I actually got some ribs in the slowcooker yesterday morning. This is an incredible feat since I've been living on Corn Pops for the last month. (What can I say? I had a craving for sugary cereal.)

Right now Cooper's list of favourite things to do include:

- taking snoozes on mom's belly (it's very cushy still) in the early mornings and late afternoons
- gazing out the living room window at the crabapple tree / sky / sun / birds
- dancing around the house to Bob Marley, John Mayer, and Joshua Radin
- watching late-night basketball with his dad
- zooming around the neighbourhood in his stroller
- hanging with mom in the moby wrap and hanging with dad in the baby bjorn
- drinking milk, drinking milk, drinking milk, drinking more milk (man, that stuff must taste good or something)

His current dislikes include:

- any form of getting clean which includes getting baby wiped during diaper changes, getting his face washed with a washcloth, and bathtime (such a boy!)
- mad kisses from Lexie on his face (we try to avoid those, but that dog is sneaky)

His current talents include:

- charming everyone he meets
- making ten thousand different facial expressions (our favourites are the stink eye, the one-eyed pirate, curious joe, and the goofy grin)
- lifting his head up during tummy time


Well, that's about it from my end. Our goal for today is to take a little road trip to the greenhouse to choose some flowers for the windowbox. Hopefully I can get it all planted up by the end of the weekend.

P.S. I love being a stay-at-home mom. It's the greatest. :)

P.S.S. I got the idea to write this post from Kelly over at Tearing Up Houses who also has an adorable  newborn baby boy. Maybe they can be blog friends one day. ;)                                       

Front Yard Planters


Thursday, May 24, 2012

We have a pair of large planters in our front yard that sit at the bottom of the stairs leading up to our front door. It's tricky to find flowers to plant in them since our humongous silver maple creates tonnes of shade at the front of the house.

Alex took me to the greenhouse last weekend (on my very first Mother's Day.... ♥♥♥) to choose some flowers to plant in them. While I browsed, he stood at the end of each tent-thing holding the baby / car seat looking bored out of his mind. He suffered through it just for me. What a guy. ;)

I filled the planters with a mixture of potting soil and black earth. I try not to use solely potting mix as I find it dries out too quickly.

I planted some ornamental grass in the middle of each to create some height.

To add some volume, I planted two Rio Pink Dipladenias at the back of each planter. They are really pretty and bloom all summer long.

Toward the front of each planter I planted two Light Yellow Begonias. They do really well in the shade so I tend to buy them every year. 

And at the very front of each planter I planted a German Ivy. Last year I planted three in each planter and they kind of overtook everything else.

Here's how the two matching planters are looking right now. They look kind of small and pitiful but hopefully in a few weeks, with a little sun/water/miracle grow, everything will fill out.

So now that the planters are done, I can start planning what will go in my giant, twelve-foot windowbox. I'm so looking forward to choosing all of the flowers, not looking forward to the hefty price tag. Is it just me or are flowers ridiculously expensive?!?

Better Homes and Gardens has a slideshow with 25 different container gardens that are all gorgeous. You can check it out here if you want some inspiration.

How are your gardens coming along? Are you as behind as me? ;)

The Five Ugliest Spots In Our Backyard


Monday, May 21, 2012

I recently stumbled upon a picture of our backyard from a few years ago. I almost cried when I saw it.

The grass was so long and green and luscious. So, so, so very long and green and luscious.

I'm sure you can guess from my tears that it doesn't look like that anymore.

Here is the old photo:

I have no idea how our backyard went on such a downward spiral to ugly. I think I'll blame the two dogs. They pee on the grass, trample the grass, and one of 'em likes to dig holes. Sigh.

I figured that if I show you the five ugliest spots in our yard, it will motivate me to fix 'em up and create some good before and after photos. 

Don't forget that up North where we're at, we only really have three months to work on the lawn and garden. I had to wait until this weekend to plant flowers because until now, there was still a chance of frost at night.

So anyway, here are the five ugliest spots in our backyard at the moment. Ick, yuck, boooooooo.

This is a spot along the edge of the yard next to our neighbour's fence. This is the one spot in the yard where the dogs LOVE to stand, lie, and playfight. It's full of dirt and dandelions because grass refuses to grow there. My plan of attack is to remove the dandelions, add some topsoil, add some of the new Scott's Coated Grass Seed for Dense Shade, as well as some starter fertilizer. Any tips on how I can get the dogs off of this area while those tiny blades of grass are popping up???

We have quite a few areas with burnt grass from the dogs, you know, peeing. When we just had Roary I was able to keep up with digging out the grass and planting new grass seed. With two dogs though, the burnt spots have taken over! My first step will be to dig out the dead grass. Then, I'll add some of that insta-grass stuff that I bought last year. It has seed and mulch and fertilizer all in one that you just plop on and water. It works great for little tiny areas.

We had brilliant plans to skirt the deck with vertical planks to make the deck look all finished off and pretty. We haven't gotten around to it yet. That means we have this ugly view. Under the tarp is the wood for the deck stairs that we also haven't gotten around to building yet. Add it to the list. ;) My job will be to do up a little sketch for Alex. Then he'll have to take over this project with his mad wood-working skillz.

Before we fenced in the backyard for the pups there was a row of bricks in the grass separating the lawn from the gravel driveway. The bricks are still there along this section of fence. It looks so ugly. We are leaving it for now because if we take them all out the grass will just spread into the driveway. We need a prettier solution that's for sure. Ideas anyone?

This little section along the house is in between the lower deck and the front fence. There was hardly any grass so I decided that I would dig up what grass was there and plant a little perennial garden. I started off by planting a climbing hydrangea last summer. I'll need to add a trellis for it to climb, rich soil, more flowers, some type of edging, and Alex will eventually replace that crusty basement window.

I used to be all competitive and pretend I was in a contest to have the nicest lawn on the street. I am currently losing that contest. Please tell me I'm not the only one with super ugly spots in their yard. It will make me feel better, mmmkay?

Giveaway Winner + A Few Pics + House Stuff


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh, hello there. :)

First, I'd like to announce the winner of my Cooper-Likes-You-Giveaway for a paper decoration from Maisy and Alice on Etsy. I just knew that some of you would love their decorations as much as I do. Don't forget that you still have a few days to receive a 15% discount if you didn't win the giveaway and would like to order something from their shop. Just enter the code cozycottage15 at checkout.

Without further ado, the winner was entry #38, Louise from NE, Oklahoma.

Congratulations, Louise! I'll email you soon with the details. :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

To switch topics completely, things around here are getting into somewhat of a routine. Okay, that was a big fat lie. No routine over here. Just snuggles and feedings and more snuggles and more and more and more and more and more and more feedings. I had NO IDEA what breastfeeding was going to be like. At first I felt utterly useless because I couldn't get a single thing done around the house in an entire day. But then I read alot of info on the internet (most likely at 4:00 in the morning, heh heh) and I have come to realize that that's completely normal for newborns and newborn mamas. I just have to embrace my new job (best job in the world, right?) and enjoy our little snugglefests while I can. I've got myself all set up with a cozy spot in the living room, a good book, tonnes of chick flicks, awesome blogs to read on my blogroll (I'm still reading, I swear!), my two furry friends nearby, and of course a pile of snacks and drinks. Who ever knew a person could be so hungry and thirsty?

Sorry if that last bit was too-much-information. You have my permission to forget that you ever read a paragraph on my blog that had the word breast in it.

{Squirming in my chair all awkward-like.}

I thought I'd share a few more pictures because apparently I am an over-sharer now when it comes to my personal life. Hope y'all don't mind.

This was us on our first big walk a few weeks ago. Cooper loved it so much that he slept through the entire thing. How about we pretend that I'm not wearing XL forest green jogging pants from Wal-Mart with a hot pink hoodie and that I gained 40-some pounds during this pregnancy.

Here is a more recent photo of Mini-Coop watching basketball and snuggling with his dad. We love those monkey pajamas. Soooooo cute!

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In house-related news we finally, after over six years in this house, chose and purchased a patio table set for outside. I feel like doing the Carlton dance just thinking about it. It was SUCH a good purchase. The price was pretty darn cheap as far as patio sets go, it fits perfectly on our top deck, and it goes nicely with the conversation set that we bought recently for our lower deck. I feel like such a grown-up now with real outdoor furniture. (Hmmmm, the new baby kinda makes me a grown-up too, I suppose.) I'll make sure to share details about and pictures of the new set as soon as I can.

Hope you all are doing great and I am so sorry if I haven't responded to your questions, comments, or emails yet. Thank you so much for sending them my way and I'll try to do better at responding right away.

P.S. The temperature is finally in the twenties today up here in Northern Ontario and it really truly feels like heaven. Now if only I could fit into my shorts............ ;)

Nursery Source List - Part Two


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A week or so ago I was able to share some of the sources for items in the nursery. I'm going to try and do another section of the room while I have two hands to type. Code for baby is finally sleeping.

I purchased the dresser for about $90 at the Christie Lake Antique Show two years ago. It's old. It sat in our basement for the longest time. I refinished it using two different paint colours (grey and white), distressed it, and added some brushed nickel drawer pulls from Home Depot and some brushed nickel house numbers from Canadian Tire. I wrote a whole post about the process which you can read here. Oh yeah, here is the before and after picture:

The numbers on the front have actually been really handy. Occasionally I'll ask Alex to get an outfit for me and he'll ask where. All I have to say is, "Drawer #2"!!!!!

Since I made so many 3-D butterfly art pictures for friends' baby showers, I thought it was only fitting that I had my own version for my little baby's room. I really loved the blues and greens that were in the star map garlands that I mentioned in my last source list post. I went to a local used book store and found an atlas for $4. Most of the stars were punched from random places but I made sure to include one star with our hometown and one star with Ethiopia. I already had the large white picture frame from Homesense but I picked up the double matte from Michaels (with a 40% off coupon of course).

Of course I had to have a few decorative items on top of the dresser. I bought a tiny plant from Lowes and planted it in a tiny square, ceramic flower pot from Chapters. It's hard to tell in the photo but the pot is white with tiny greyish blue crackle lines all the way through it. It's really neat. I bought about 6 packages of marbles from our local dollar store and dropped all of the soft, pretty coloured ones into an old milk bottle that I already had. The little wooden turtle is a toy that I found at Homesense.

On the other side of the dresser is an adorable set of books from Chapters: Little Hoot, Little Oink, and Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. The whale is a piggy bank (or would I call it a whale-y bank?) also from Chapters.

Sitting beside the dresser is a tiny antique child's chair that I found at the Christie Lake Antique Show the same year that I found the above dresser.

I refinished the chair quite a while ago and you can read that post here. The little stuffed zebra sitting on the chair is one of my favourite things in the room. It's called a Kenana Knitter Critter and I found it at a local home decor shop.

Hanging from the closet doorknob is a tiny woven basket which I purchased on a road trip to Muskoka a few years ago. I bought three of them and use them all the over the house for little odds and ends. In this case it's holding a little owl rattle from Chapters.

There is a tiny wall beside the closet so I hung a simple little white frame from Wal-Mart over top of the lightswitch. Inside the frame is one of my favourite pictures from Charlotte's Web. I used the copy of the book that I had already cut up for this project.

I'll be back later this week to share the info about the rest of the room. Sorry I have to break this up into so many posts. I've been finding it hard to find time to brush my teeth before noon these days. Gross, yes I know. ;)

Here are links to the other related posts:

This 'N That + A Giveaway Reminder


Friday, May 11, 2012

I wish you could see my living room / dining room / sunroom situation right now. Every corner, every surface, every square inch is filled up with baby gear. I'm working on trying to find "places" for everything but it's a slooooow process.

Even though the pops of neon kind of drive my white-neutral-loving brain a little crazy, I don't really mind. After all, what's more important is this little chunk of love.

Can you believe that he is two weeks old already?!? I'm trying to memorize every little adorable detail since he's changing so fast already. See, his eyes are open!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So remember yesterday (or was it the day before?) I was talking about choosing a runner for our staircase? Well, I came across my inspiration picture from Pottery Barn on Pinterest this morning.

That's why I chose the following wool rug samples. They were the closest I could find to the above picture.

Still not sure if this is what we're going to go with. Did I mention the insane cost? The rug plus install will be almost $2000. Ca-razy town. Yes, I know. But that's just an estimate and it's including the stair landing, and the tiny hallway upstairs. Still, I think we might need to shop around a bit.

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Don't forget that today is the last day to enter my thanks-for-loving-on-Cooper-giveaway. Just leave a comment to win a super-cute paper decoration from Maisy and Alice on Etsy. Here is the link to the giveaway post.

Good luck and I like your hair today. Mine is wrapped up in a towel turban-style and has been for the last two hours. Bet you five bucks my hair has dried all wonky and ridiculous-like. Awesome. ;)

We Need a Stair Runner


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hey there stranger.

Today I'd like to talk about how much we need a stair runner. We need one bad. We needed one, like, yesterday.

When we got the floors refinished on the 2nd floor of our home back in December, a huge chunk of the cost was getting the stair treads refinished as well. They sent two workers out to our house and one of them worked on the stairs alone for the whole week as they had to be done by hand.

I don't think I showed any pictures of the stairs so I'll show you a quick photo right now. The treads look awesome when you're looking at the stairs from the top.

However, the worker-dude kinda made a mess of the risers. I was actually pretty fuming mad but I've since come to terms with it. He chipped the heck out of the paint on the risers and slopped polyurethane all over them too.

So not impressed. I wish they would have told us so that we could have taped them. Alas they did not and now I have to go back and prime and paint all the stair treads. Booooo.

So, the reason we need a stair runner is because of this bad dog. Lexie.

Whenever she's upstairs and hears the littlest noise downstairs, she scrambles down the stairs as fast as she can (to investigate) and leaves a million and one scratches in her wake. 

{Insert tears here.}

A stair runner will help protect the wood from scratches. It will also help with the noise factor. See, when Lexie hears a noise and scrambles down the stairs, Roary always follows. It creates quite a bit of chaos.

Note: Yes, our dogs are very well-trained and well-behaved. :S

So, we went to a local carpet store a few weeks ago to check out some rug samples. I had this picture of a Pottery Barn rug that I was using for inspiration. I would show you but they've since discontinued that rug and I can't find a picture anywhere! It had kind of a two-tone look to it.

These are the samples that I'm currently looking at that remind me of the dreamy Pottery Barn picture. You'll just have to trust me that it was dreamy.

The one I like the best is in the second row, far left. However, I'm afraid that it's too light in colour and will get dirty too fast with the dogs and their muddy paw prints.

Question: WHY do the dogs insist on playing in the one spot of the yard where grass won't grow and it's just a pile of dirt?!? WHY!?!?!?!

So, we need to make a decision asap and we also need to paint those risers asap. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do.

Let's look at some inspiration pictures instead of making a decision. That sounds fun. I really love the stripes but we don't have anything like that locally. So, something natural fibre and neutral is what we're looking for.

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: Iroka

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: Houzz

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: Little House Blog

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: Country Living

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: Unknown

Source: Pinterest
Original Source: An Inspired Life

We've had that carpet sample for a few weeks now and the man from the carpet store has left two messages on our answering machine asking us to return it. He sounds kinda mad. Whoopsie!
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