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Monday, September 30, 2013

Landscaping Project - Almost done!

It's been a while since I've done a post about the side-yard landscaping project. Back at the beginning of August was the last update that I posted. Click here and scroll down to see more of the landscaping project.

Well, we've been working on it a little here and there since then, but Saturday we almost got finished! We just need a few more bricks to finish it off, along with a few more bags of mulch, and a little more fill dirt.

We've been stacking retaining wall bricks along the entire west side of the house. Within that area is going to be a huge plant bed. Saturday we finished the whole length of the bricks (Stacked 3-4 bricks high).

Because the ground isn't level, Trent has had to level out a spot on the slope and set each brick down, one-by-one, making sure it's level (and sturdy) as he goes.

He's been pretty much dead-on with keeping them all level, which is good!

We actually started out on Saturday by transferring heavy stone pavers from our work area to a different location so Trent could finish off the end. These are the pavers that will make up the walkway that we plan on creating along the whole length from the driveway to the front door. This is another project to start after we have the landscaping part done! I am hoping it gets done before winter!

Here's the pavers stacked up in our work area:

And here's the area where we moved them to. Not too far away - right next to the driveway. But Trent and I had to move them each, one by one. 

Needless to say, I sustained some injuries. Exhibits A and B:

Moral of the story - I recommend wearing gloves during this process, just to be safe. Those stone pavers can be a bit rough!

Trent used some leveling sand for the end of the plant bed, 1) because this part curves, and 2) we needed some filler since there is so much of a slope. We will be adding more dirt over the sand later.

The hardest part are the curves, and guess what - the last curve is now complete!

Here are some closer pictures of the curve taking shape:

And Trent with has handiwork:

Here are a few more pictures of the rounded corner on this side:

I actually took a short video of Trent working, which you can watch below. It was really windy on Saturday but we were trying to get as much as we could done.

And here's where we ended up:

Now all that's left (before we take on the big walkway that will run the length of this thing) is:
1) We need a few more landscaping bricks to finish off the very end - maybe about 10 or 12 more.
2) We need to put down some fill dirt for the end of the bed where it slopes down a lot.
3) Landscaping fabric left of the basement door
4) Mulch and rocks on left side of the basement door
5) Pressure-wash this side of the house (to remove that nastiness and grime on the siding).

We're SO close! It's pretty exciting. I can't wait to get a walkway down after this project is complete.

Can you believe this is what we started with? Yes, the grass was a lot greener back then thanks to the ZERO rain we've gotten this summer, but it was virtually untouched.

Now we actually have some interest out here, and hopefully in the years to come we'll have a walking path, and be able to grow lots of plants and flowers in the plant bed.

Hoping it gets finished this week! I'll have a full reveal post when it's done, along with the entire budget breakdown for this project. So as always...stay tuned!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our Saturday - Breakfast, Landscaping, and Date Night

Yesterday was a great day. It was Saturday, and Trent and I both had the day off. We stayed home most of the day, then went out last night. It was nice to spend the whole day together since we both work a lot during the week.

The day started by Trent making breakfast. He picked some bell peppers from the garden, cut them up and cooked eggs inside of them. Then stuck some fresh tomatoes inside. They were actually really yummy!

Check out these cute fall dish towels I picked up at Wal-Mart the other day:

There were a bunch of coordinating ones..they were only like $2 each. Once I saw the owl one I was sold. I didn't have ANY fall dish towels. I picked up three of them.

Yesterday morning was sunny, and we opened the windows and curtains. I love when the house is bright and sunny. I snapped some new living room pics.

Just some updated pictures, with a touch of fall decor. I am wanting to switch out my bright paintings this fall/winter with some more subdued pictures, but haven't decided what I want to use yet.

Yesterday afternoon we worked on the landscaping. We are THISCLOSE to being finished! We just have to pick up a few more supplies and we're DONE! I will post about it tomorrow, so stay tuned for landscaping pictures!

Last night, we had scheduled a "Date Night" to go out to eat, since it's been a long time since we've actually gone out to a nice restaurant. We were also going to go to a bar later or see a movie, but we were both pretty tired and the movie didn't start until after 10:00 pm. Trent had to work today, so we just ended up eating out at Biaggi's then going home. But it was fun!

I even got dressed up! And wore red lipstick and false eyelashes for the first time ever. It was kind of an experimentation process for my Halloween costume, since I'll be wearing red lipstick for that. So I thought I'd try it out. Plus I wanted to get dressed up all fancy. :) It was definitely different at first and felt really weird before I had done my hair and put my dress on. I felt like a drag queen. Haha! But with everything pulled together, it actually turned out pretty well!

I got some new sparkly heels, too. I rarely wear heels because I hate walking in them, but these were really cute so I had to get them.

Here's me and my hot date for the night! I felt like we were going to homecoming, because I was all dressed up and he picked me up at the door and everything. He didn't get dressed up though. He's not the dressing up type. SO... I let him wear a t-shirt. Ha.

Biaggi's was DELICIOUS. I got so full. I got the four cheese tortellini, and also wanted to get some Tiramisu for dessert, but by the time I finished this baby, there was no room for dessert whatsoever. Ha.

Trent also enjoyed his meal. I can't remember what he got. Some kind of pasta with shrimp!

All in all, it was pretty much the perfect day! We got to hang out all day at home and also get dressed up and go out. I'll end this post with a couple more selfies I took, because I had to document wearing red lipstick for the first time! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Latest Garden Goodies

So FYI - I have officially not dropped off of the face of the earth! I've been busy - work, grocery runs, season premiers of TV shows...etc! I've been terrible about posting lately. But I thought I'd do a quick update that's maybe a week or two late but oh well! Here are some pictures of some of our latest picks from the garden. Things are drying up now, but we're still eating watermelon and tomatoes. And still have plenty of lettuce to chow on.

Here's one of our biggest tomatoes we've found - almost the size of Trent's head.

We also had some really juicy watermelon, albeit a bit seedy. We're still working on finishing the only two we had.

And here are our carrots. We haven't eaten them yet. They need peeled and cut. Because right now....they don't look so a-peel-ing. (Carrot pun for the win)

I'm not sure if we had any edible sweet corn. It didn't get very tall. Our backyard is being taken over by weeds right now, since we've had such a drought this summer...pretty much the only thing that's growing in the yard is weeds. 

Good news is fall has been showing up lately. The mornings and nights are cooler, and the leaves are starting to turn. I was starting to wonder since we reached the 90's just a week or two ago. I think they said on the news that our highest temp this summer was September 9th - the first time we reached 100 degrees this year. Needless to say, we had to turn the air back on. But typical of Midwest weather, we're back having the space heater on now.

Anywho, those are the latest photos I have from the garden veggies (and fruit). A little landscaping update: There's been very little of it going on. Trent likes to blame it on the heat and being too tired after work. And I need to be there for moral support. :) I'm hoping to have it done by the end of this month since the weather's nicer now. Crossing my fingers!

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