Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thriller, Filler and Spiller

I adore flowers. Pretty sure I get this adoration from Momala (my mom). From my early years I remember working out in the garden with her, helping weed (probably could be considered slave labor), going to the nurseries and picking out flowers. I should also attribute my "green" thumb to her as well. My appreciation of flowers has absolutely NOTHING to do with their smell, as I do not have a sense of smell - all I can smell is menthol, but it is their organic beauty and how they add and bring life to your home and yard. I love how certain flowers attract wild animals: bees, birds - finches, sparrows, hummingbirds, etc, and butterflies. These addistions just help to make your home more serene and secluded. I prefer live plants and flower to cut ones, but I do not discriminate between the two.

Hydrangea's are one of my favorite flower. This particular plant we recieved as a wedding gift at our "Couples Shower" my parents friends held for us. This gift was from my lifelong best friend Laura and her mom, who I like to call my "Aunt". We got it three years ago and it was blooming when we planted it, but this is the first bloom that we have gotten on it since. Its because I put it in the wrong spot, it gets afternoon sun instead of morning but even the foliage is beautiful to me.

This is my newest arrangement. This pot has had a many different flowers. Initially it had a cyprus with english daisies, then lately its had pansies, but they weren't doing so well so I updated it the other day.

What do you think? Oh and please ignore the hideous color of my trim and front door.

What are your favorite flowers or plants? I would love to learn!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vintage Additions

I love all of my Vintage finds, they add such character to my home and garden. Here are some recent ones that I have picked up.

I have fallen in love with these old water pumps, but it has been hard to commit to one because they are soo over priced. While this one is rusty, I plan on cleaning it up and painting it, I had to get it because it was such a great price. I picked it up in an antique mall in Sumner. This is the first time I have seen one under $150!

These washtubs are great!! My MIL picked this up for me on her trip to visit family in Nebraska. The sun was out when I took this picture, so you can't really tell the color, its that classic car green color. It is beautiful and since it was from the Midwest it was a steal of a deal. I still have to figure out how I am going to use it, I have a couple ideas. I have used it as a drink cooler for parties, just fill it up with some ice add drinks and you are good to go, the best part is that you just turn the plug and all the water drains dumping required. I was also thinking of using it in the "traditional" way as a planter but its just so pretty. The last idea I had was to have a round piece of glass cut and use it as a side table inside. The possibilities are endless.

And then there is this cute little guy I picked up for a SONG in Bremerton.

What are some of your recent Vintage Finds? How are you planning on using them?


Friday, August 19, 2011

They are in...

Ok so the pictures are not great but the subject is!! On our trip to Spokane earlier this summer we fell in love with Huckleberries and have been searching for them since. They grow wild over in Eastern Washington and that variety is Red. The variety that is available on the West side are a blue/black and we finally found a supplier Bryant Blueberry Farm !! It is a great little farm where you can pick their berries as well. If you are in the "Greater" Seattle area (I use that loosely as it is located in Arlington) it is a fantastic place to check out.

Planting on our farm is an ordeal of sorts. We live in a rock laden area. Its hard to dig a hole for a plant much less an inch into the ground without hitting a plethora of rocks. I am convinced that there are more rocks that dirt under our pastures. So planting these babies was a chore...practically an all day chore. (ok maybe not the WHOLE day but the better part of it). We planted two Native Star Huckleberry plants and.....drumroll.....a Chandler Blueberry plant as well. I am not a blueberry fan, at least I never felt that I was since I don't really like them. But on our trip to the farm this week, I had the chance to try a variety of species and found that the Chandler is my favorite. It also produces the largest berry. So I cannot say that I am a huge fan of the blueberry, but I will like the ones that we grow.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Present - Installed

I got new interior doors for my birthday (back in March) the Lowes near our house was moving so they were having a big sale. But since our house is older, standard sized things that you get at big box stores don't fit. We just installed them yesterday.

**We have already replaced two doors in our house (the bathroom doors) thanks to Sakari. Our previous bathroom doors had locks on them with no safety, so once they were locked the only option to get them open was to kick them down - resulting in holes in the middle. What does this have to do with Sakari? Well the bathroom is her room when we are gone. She locked herself in in her bathroom and when I got home I had to kick the door down to get her out to feed her and let her relieve herself in the yard. So we moved her into our master bathroom, and the same thing happened. Keep in mind that she had been living in her room for about 3 months before this happened. Needless to say it was a blessing in diguise because I despised the doors that are original to the house. They are plain and cheep looking with absolutely NO character. So they got replaced with new 6 panel doors and WHITE!! We also got new knobs with a safety so this would not happen again.**

Ok back to the original post. We learned with the two bathroom doors that we had to take of about 1/8 of an inch on the width of the doors for them to fit into our door jams. And they do not do that service for you at the store, so Thomas had to router it off in addition to the hinge space. A lot of work. Since this was so much work we have been putting it off, but as it was on our list of "Summer Projects" we had to get it done as we are already halfway through August (yuck!). While it did not not go smoothly it also did not go smoothly. Luckily it all worked out and we did not have to go and buy another door. I accidentally instructed Thomas to put the hinges facing the WRONG side of the door, but we were able to use that door for the guest room instead of the master bedroom. Two of the hinge bolts were crooked so we had to sand off a thin layer of the door to get it to fit in the door jam. Only one of the doors went in with out a hitch. They are all matching, the only problem now, if you consider it a problem is that now when guests ask where the bathroom is, we cannot say " Ohh, its the white door in the hallway" because they are all white!!



All I have left to do is paint them (they are already primed) white and find new door knobs. I think that I will also look for or make a cute sign to hang on all the doors to "label" whats inside i.e. Master, Bathroom, Office, Guest Room, and Laundry.

Did you have any "Summer Projects"?

The Parsons' Chicken Saga

Ever heard the term "Weeds and Roses"? Well I just heard this term the other day, but I totally got what it meant without any explanation. Some people are Weeds, they are the nice people that seem to just have a hard life, and the other people are Roses, or rather those people who always seem to get what they want, when they want it, and they let you know it. I feel that the same goes for animals. Chickens have a pecking order. And it seems that the chickens on top are just fine, they have a little too good for you attitude, get the best foods, and the pick of the water and laying boxes. Basically what they say goes and those underlings know NOT to mess with them. Bella and Isla are the Top Chicks with our girls.

Anyways into the Parsons Chicken Saga.

The above pictures are of our chicken "Silver" she is a Silver Laced Wyandotte. A very good chicken. Docile in nature and kind to others. In other words she is at the bottom of the pecking order with the girls. Also she is about 90% blind. About a year ago, we traded in our rooster "Rude-y" for Bella and Isla, soon after Silver had the chicken flu. (not sure if it is related but, hey the timing is on). Her eyes were crusted shut, and she had fluid running our of her nose and mouth. She was a sick girl. So we isolated her, put antibiotics in her water and in the water for the girls, just to be safe. We had to force eye-drop feed her a special fluid, and put salve (Neosporin) in her eyes to help with the congestion. I was unsure if she was even going to make it through the night. Make it she did, it took about 2 weeks until she was well enough to join the girls. She is such a trooper, and it always seems that the animals in need or sick are always so willing to be handled and helped. Why does it seem that those at the bottom of the totem pole get the S**ts?

However, Silver is not alone. She has a friend, a confidant, a protector, a "sister" - her name is Tiny. When the girls are out roaming the pasture you can usually find these two together, Tiny helping Silver figure out where she is, or helping her find the "Dust Hole" for a quick dust bath to cool off and keep the bugs out, or showing her a great spot for some sweet grass. These two are inseparable. They are not allowed in the laying boxes, (plus Silver is not able to fly up there) so they sleep in the corner and lay their eggs together. Tiny was very sad for the two weeks that Silver was isolated. I am sure that they had lots to catch up on when Silver joined back up with the girls. You could tell a certain personality change when the two got back together.

Alas, as a Saga has more than one story, Tiny is now the one in isolation. But that is for another day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Buys

A few weekends ago, I "traveled" to a few antique stores and funky stores with my MIL, in Bremerton and Poulsbo. Here is one of my great finds (the clock) and how I have changed a few things around in the house (lamp shade).

This is one of my favorite purchases from Faded Elegance, my hobnail lamps. They came with these pale white too small shades that just blended in. Green is THE accent color in my home, so I switched the shades from our master bedroom with the living room ones (makes our bedroom MUCH brighter). I really love how just this simple switch has made both rooms exponentially better!


We switched up things this year. Usually we eat IN for Valentines and eat OUT for our anniversary. But we did the opposite in 2011.

I made dinner for us last night. A roasted chicken (my first attempt) with pan roasted in the juices vegetables. It was delish. We normally get an already roasted chicken from the store, but I wanted to try something new. I would like to say that it turned out as a success and the chicken tasted so much better than what we get at the store. The seasoning was all throughout the meat. But, my fave part was the vegetable sides. I am not an onion person but this weekend I have found a love for them, at least the carmelized kind!! I got the recipe from a book we received at our engagement party from my aunt and her family "Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook" (unfortunately I am sorry to say that this was the first time that I used this book). It was great and I am interested in trying more of the recipes!! Oh, and by the way, I love cooking SO much more with my new range!

What are you cooking for dinner?

The Chicken
Our Table: first time using our fine china!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy 3rd Anniversary!!

Today my wonderful, loving, caring, hard-working, supportive, self-motivated, generous, selfless, embracing husband and I are celebrating our 3 year anniversary. Yes we were married on 08.08.08

We have started a trend where we trade off each year who will plan our anniversary activities. This year is my turn. (while jokingly we gave each other our new range for our anniversary - we actually do not exchange gifts, instead we create memories). On our first anniversary we celebrated in Vancouver, BC. For our second anniversary we celebrated going to Pike Place Market and having dinner at the restaurant we had our rehearsal at. This year, our third year, we celebrated - gasp - CAMPING!! I am not a camper, I would like to consider myself a GLAMper (by this I mean - in a hotel). I love the outdoors - don't get me wrong - I mean we do live on a mini farm with farm animals and garden plots. But camping has just never been on my radar for something that I would like to do. However, in the interest in having a relationship where we compromise and think of each other, I knew that Thomas would really appreciate the gesture I was going for (or at least trying to be just a tad bit like him - selfless) so I took him camping.

We camped at this cute site in Leavenworth, WA. I love this Bavarian town. I love it even more in the summer time because, well frankly I like the stores better at this time of year. I have been going to this town since my childhood friend moved there in 5th grade. While it hasn't been a yearly trip in our family for a while, it is a place that Thomas and I try to visit as often as we can. Anyways back to the gut wrenching We bought a tent and blowup mattress for our new adventure. The tent was nice (the most fun part was the "bonding" that we had while pitching it) the mattress was decent (we were afraid to "pop" it so it was not very full of air and we just sunk in the middle of it) the campsite was great (we were about 20 yards away from HWY 2 and had Semi-Trucks "driving through" our tent. While it may not have been the most spectacular or ideal first camping excursion of our marriage - we learned and grew a lot in our bonding. I have to say that aside from the mishaps I had a great time (maybe it was just because of all the alone time I got with Thomas) and GASP I would go again. Just next time I would pack better and more, not pitch a tent next to a HWY and pump up the mattress all the way. I decided that I will write a book "The GLAMper's guide to 'real' Camping - the ONLY comprehensive Survival Guide" haha.

Not only did we do the whole camping thing but we also went for a Hike!! I am all sorts of outdoorsy now after this weekend. Itwas a great hike I think in all we went about 7 miles. I wore the worst shoes, actually they are great shoes the Rebok Easy Tones, but not ideal for hiking. I think I rolled my ankle's about 20 times and slide down the trail about 8 times, Thomas was a champ (he even drank water from the stream). Surprisingly only my butt hurts.

Please enjoy the following pictures of our trip.

Monday, August 1, 2011


We were super busy last week preparing for our first Annual Block Party that we were hosting in our front yard. We live on a sleepy street and our properties are large, so I think that the demographic is that who want to keep to themselves. We have lived in our house for 3 years and still only know the neighbors whose property is connected to ours.

The home/neighborhood I grew up in had an annual Neighborhood Pot Luck every Sunday before Labor Day. It was a date that people could count on, however, it was a fair weather ONLY party meaning if it was raining it was cancelled. I think it started a couple years before we moved in, I just remember how fun it was, I am sure it was even better for the adults so they could network and such. I tried to base our party off of what I remembered attending when I was younger. The hosts would hand deliver the invites to the new neighbors but the others just knew the tradition. A couple of flyers were posted around the mailboxes and it was a Pot Luck/BYOB.

We think it was a success with 8 houses attending. It was fun getting to know neighbors we have seen at the mailboxes and even those I have never seen. (Except when I walked the street hand delivering the invites!). We had great food and conversations. I have a greater sense for our community in our neighborhood and I am hoping that we have an even better turnout next year. I am pretty sure that we will as people will talk about it. I am sure there will still be a few of those grumpies but it is so nice to know who your neighbors are and many of them were appreciative of our effort eventhough they were unable to attend.

It was a ton of work but totally worth it. If you just moved into a new place or even have been living at your place for a while and you don't know many of your neighbors, I totally suggest hosting a Block Party. We had ours set up as a Pot Luck so we didn't have to make all the food. We learned a lot and its going to be a lot of fun next year.

I have to apologize that I failed at taking ANY pictures just know that the weather was beautiful!