Friday, July 31, 2015

Hooray for Friday

 Can you believe that we are at another Friday already?? Not to mention that its also the last day of July!!! Where did July go? I swear that we haven't even celebrated the 4th yet....or maybe we did.  I think that I just get so spoiled in the summer because, up until this year, Thomas and I are on summer break and our days all mesh together into one since there is no work.  While that didn't really happen this year with me working part time (yay for money to support my family) we still got to spend a ton of quality time together - and get a few house projects done.

So lets get to some highlights of the month!


Let's start off with the 4th of July.  I kind of dropped the ball this year with decorating for the holiday, but I don't think anyone really noticed and I didn't miss having to put everything away.  We actually bought fireworks this year and Ellie had so much fun holding the sparklers.  I also bought a few Morning Glories, but for some reason they didn't light very well and kept catching on I the only one?  Our neighbors drop A TON of cash on fireworks each year and we get to watch a practically professional show every year...which for most people is probably really cool and enjoyable, for me I would be just fine if they were banned from our county.  Part of my distaste for fireworks comes from having a horse (RIP Jazz) who was deathly afraid of them and needed my companionship for 15 years to hold his head and keep him calm, the other part comes from having a Roman Candle explode on my leg and foot.  It was a big step to hold sparklers this year and I actually kind of enjoyed it.  This year was pretty enjoyable since my other horse just likes to stand and watch the fireworks...I would head back to her every once in a while but she seemed totally content so I could actually watch the show this year.  We did have a huge swarm of mosquitoes around us - nothing that a little Horse grade bug repellent won't fix, so other than all the bites we had fun.


Pool Parties are all the rage in the summer when you have a little one...except Ellie's pool parties are mostly Party of One. Poor girl, but she doesn't seem to mind one bit - she sure does love the water.  I just get a kick out of her in a swim suit and her love of splashing around.  We have also gone to the splash pad a few times but with how crazy it is there I have no chance to snap a pic ;)


I mentioned earlier this week that I have gotten back into the kitchen and have created some goodness this month.  Here's a peek into what we have been eating:

Fresh made Strawberry/Blueberry Shortcake (just use the recipe on a Bisquick box) with hand whipped whipped cream by yours truly with a tsp of powdered sugar for a touch of sweetness.

I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago and made it for my bestie (who is getting married this weekend!) a couple weeks ago when she and her mom came over to start altering my dress and begin work on Ellie's dress and let me tell you it did not disappoint.  It makes a lot so be ready to invite over a crowd or have left overs for days.  I cannot wait to make it again.  Instead of the spinach I substituted Kale since we have a shitload in our garden...

Battered and Fried Cod with a lemon mayo dipping sauce, delish.  You can find the recipe here.

And finally some fresh homemade pasta.  It couldn't have been easier to make and I still have about half the dough left in the fridge.  I highly recommend that you go get yourself a pasta maker and start making your own just cannot compare it, recipe here.


Our plan was to have Friday Night Fires this summer, but with the way our life has gone this month we didn't always clock them in on a Friday.  I love them so much and I get a real sense of accomplishment and pride when we make them since the Fire Pit was one of our big summer projects a few years ago.  The best part about the pit that it was practically free aside from 3 bags of sand.  All the rocks we used were found on our property and have proved to be quite useful in my landscaping designs over the last 7 years.  To make our pit we just dug a hole about 2 feet deep and lined the edge with the rocks, added a layer of sand for the bottom and then build your fires in the center.  It always feels so good to use something you worked on and made yourself.  Ellie loves the fires and asks for them (and fireworks) all the time.  I am so glad that we are able to make these memories with her.


Our house has changed so much since we moved in over 7 years ago.  I am not sure if the previous owners would recognize it.  We did a major overhaul of the front yard; removing over 32 junipers and replacing with grass, flower beds and a vegetable patch, we switched out the the lighting fixtures on the garage, I painted the front door, and finally we we painted over the Peaches'n'Cream exterior combo to my color crush of 5 years: Grey and White!

 Here is what our house looked like when it was on the market.  Cream paint with a fleshy peach trim and juniper's galore.

In 2010 we pulled out all the junipers and replaced with flower beds and grass.  It was still sporting the horrid Peaches'n'Cream (take a look at that front door...)

Finally in 2015 I painted the front door white.  Most of our landscaping is set with some maturing trees to create some shade and flowers to beautify and to hopefully distract from the awful paint color.

In July 2015, I found some paint color contenders

and after a few hours we had chosen a color, waited a week and then purchased the paint.  We decided to hand paint the entire house ourselves and it has proven to be quite the project.  Ellie has been fantastic playing in the yard, picking blueberries, and watching Mickey Mouse on the laptop at her table we brought out front while we painted, she also blessed us with two 3 hour naps.  Our paint job might not be perfect and there are some touch-ups we need to complete but my oh my does this color scheme look so much better.  I am falling in love with this house more than I ever thought I would and I am not so embarrassed to drive home to it anymore, now that the color doesn't make me queasy! 

In case you are wondering we went with the far right option.  While it's not complete (we still have to finish the back side) I love it so much. I still have hopes of putting some trim around the windows (and maybe beefing up the trim around the garage?) adding some black shutters and maybe a window box or two...also the light fixtures have taken a beating from the sun and need a fresh coat of black paint ... next weekend I am all over that!

Both colors are by Valspar and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Grey: Valspar Mark Twain House Ombra Gray 4004-2A
White: Valspar Homestead Resort Jefferson White

PS. I am featured on H54F link up! Go check it out!!

♥ Ashley

linking up here


  1. Congrats on being this week's H54F featured blogger!! What a beautiful family you have! Judging from those sweet snapshots, it looks like your daughter has thoroughly enjoyed July! :-) I love your fire pit, and all of your home improvement projects have come out beautifully!! Wishing you a lovely upcoming weekend! xo - Brenda // Chatting Over Chocolate

  2. Visiting from H54f party and congrats on your feature. You have a lovely blog. Will be back to visit again and read some of your posts. Have a great weekend.

  3. LOVE the house color you guys picked! Looks great!! Have a great weekend :)

  4. The fire pit! The paint!! It's lovely!

    Abigail usually swims by herself too. She feels your pain Ellie girl :p

  5. July seriously did fly by. LOVE the color you chose for your house - it looks great! I can't believe you guys did the work yourself - that had to be exhausting! Great work!

  6. Oooh the house looks wonderful with the new paint job! Good job on doing that yourself, definitely a job. And how sweet to have a DIY firepit too.


I love reading your comments! They make my day! Make sure that your email is linked to your profile so I can email you back!

♥ Ashley