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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yard Work Has Begun

It's not quite summer yet, but it's been feeling and looking more and more like spring lately. So I'll take it. Sunday was still a little chilly, in the 50's and windy, but it was sunny for a majority of the day, which allowed for us to start on our first outdoor project this year: The walkway! I'm super excited to start on this and have been wanting to get it done for a while now. It will be a nice paver and rock path from the front door to the driveway. And will definitely beat walking in the dirt (sometimes mud), and through the lawn.

Trent spent a few hours getting started on it Sunday afternoon. First he outlined where the edge of the walkway would be with some stakes and string.


It starts from the front porch and wraps around, along the edge of the landscaping, to the driveway.


The grass has been patchy here for a few years now, since we walk this path everyday on the way to our cars and back. Things aren't looking that green yet either, being March still and all!


The path is about 2 1/2 feet wide in the front, and after it curves around, it's about 3 foot wide. It goes slightly down a slope, so we're planning on carving out some stair steps into the path, too.

 


After he laid out where the path would be, he tilled the ground, which really made it start to take shape. We could definitely start to envision what the new walkway would look like.


Since there's a slope on the side of the house, Trent had to level out the ground at the bottom but leave it tilted just a tad, and leave a slight hill for drainage to run down. We'll probably build some kind of additional retaining wall between the landscaping and the walk path.


Here's where the steps will be:


Trent kind of carved them out with the dirt, but our plan is to build them with rock and concrete forms. The concrete will help to hold them together and keep them sturdy.



It's really hard to capture on camera, but there would be 2 or 3 steps there, depending on how you look at it!



So we've got a start on our first outdoor project of the year. I'm pretty excited for the nice weather and to get lots of things done outside this summer.



And, while Trent was laying out the future walk path, I planted our first flowers for the garden. Since it's best to wait until April or early May (after the final frost) to plant them outside, I thought I would get a start early and plant some in containers inside. Then on nice days like we've been having this week, I'll set them out on the porch to soak up the sunlight.


I used what I already had on hand for containers. So classy, right? Styrofoam cups, filled with soil in cardboard containers. Whatever works!


I just filled all the cups, poked a hole in the bottom of each for drainage, then planted a few seeds in each cup. Then I put a teaspoon of my organic fertilizer in each one.


I didn't have very many containers, or I would have planted as many flowers as I could. But I only had 16, so all I got through was one packet of Mini Zinnias. I don't know really how "mini" these are, so it will be cool to see what they look like when they bloom!


I wish I could have planted the large ones too, but this little packet went quite a ways. The back of the packet says it only takes 5-10 days to germinate, so we could see some seedlings coming up pretty soon! Though they don't bloom for 36-60 days. So technically, we won't see any flowers probably until May or June.


In a month or so we'll transplant them into the garden out back. And plant our other seeds and bulbs. I'd like to get some more containers to start my other flowers inside, too. I'll either have to pick some up or get creative again! We'll see what happens...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Target..For All of Your Animal Decor Needs

I'm seriously obsessed with all the new spring decor at Target right now! We shopped for a little bit on Saturday, and it had been a while since I've checked out all the decor at my favorite all-stop shop. I was pleasantly surprised to see some amazing and stylish items, and lots of animal decor goodness! Let's take a brief little tour, shall we?

I was especially smitten with this gold turtle box. That's right, the top (shell) opens up and inside is a little catch-all. So adorable! If I knew what I would do with it, I'd have no problem "shelling" out $15 for it. I guess I'll have to think about it a little longer....


Maybe I was just attracted to all the hot pink items. With pink being my favorite color, there was definitely plenty of it to go around.


I was also obsessed with all the GOLD! The gold trays were especially awesome, though I do already have a similar one from World Market.


I don't know what I'd do with these bright yellow ceramic lemons, but they sure are cute.


 And then there were these...ceramic octopus tentacles. Enough said.


And - my favorite - peonies! Bright, beautiful orange ones. I need a place for these, now.


There were also so many cute jewelry holders. Like these animal-themed ring trays..how cute is that mouse? Too bad I already have a giraffe one! (Also from World Market...sensing a theme here!)


This jewelry rack was so unique though! I don't think I've seen anything like it.


One thing I'm loving about all of the Target decor this season is just how bright and colorful everything is. I always like to decorate with neutral staples, then bring in pops of color in the accessories, and Target has the prettiest colorful accessories right now! Even the candle holders are adorable. And, look, more animal themes!


If I needed a cheeky but glamorous tape dispenser, this would totally be perfection...


I was literally dying with all of the gold eye candy going on... And that gold trinket box. Swoon.


I'll leave you with some glorious Easter bunny goodness. I Instagrammed this pic over the weekend. It made me die and go to bunny decor heaven. Seriously - look at those little bunny Place card holders!


Underneath those were these candy dishes...wish I had a place for all these lovely items!


I didn't go home with anything, but there's a chance I may come back for something...something gold.. in other words, I think a gold trinket box is definitely in order for the coffee table! Don't you think?

Monday, March 23, 2015

...And More Flower Seeds!

OK, I think I have all of the flower seeds we'll need for the garden now. At least I hope. I shared the other day the flower seeds and bulbs I got to start out. Then I got to thinking, 'I don't know if this will be enough for all of our wedding centerpieces.' Granted, we'll only probably have around 25, but if I need to make similar arrangements for each table (and use the same kinds of flowers throughout), I'm a little worried I might not have enough to work with. So when we were in town yesterday, we stopped at Lowe's and I picked up some more seeds so I had a little bit more variety.


Again, each packet averaged around $1.50-$2, and the bulbs were just a little more. I picked up several more Zinnia packets, because I want at least one or two flowers that will be displayed throughout the reception. And Zinnias come in lots of pink colors, and they look large enough to fill enough of the vases. I got some of the "State Fair - Giant" variety, and then some mini ones. I also got some poppy seeds, some Sweet Williams, Carnations, and some pink pastel Achillea.


I thought I would also try some Ranunculus, because I love this flower - it says that it blooms from spring to summer, so I don't know how long that will be, or if they last until August, but I'm hoping they will! And I have no idea how many flowers will be produced from the bulbs and tubers I have. We'll see I guess. Crazy to be doing this having never planted flower seeds or bulbs before, but hey, there's a first time for everything! My latest flowers cost $20 altogether, so that brings my total flower spending to $50. If we can do everything for that, I think we're good.


In addition to the new flowers I picked up, I forgot that I also have a bag of organic garden fertilizer that I got for free at the organic farming conference I attended for work. Another thing I know nothing about, but the directions are all here, and they're supposed to make the colors of your flowers more vibrant, so I'm excited to try it out.


I got a free packet of organic Ox Eye Sunflowers, too. I don't know if those will go with the rest of our flowers, but we'll see! Looks like we'll definitely have a variety of flowers at the reception. I'm going to try to make the centerpieces look as consistent as I can, though! The decor is really important to me, and so is getting every detail just right.


Getting anxious to start getting the garden ready and planting! So when is the last frost?? That is the question! Clueless first time flower gardener right here...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Antiquing and New Wedding Finds

Another Sunday, another beautiful day for antiquing! Today we did some more antique shopping in Galesburg. We hit two new shops we'd never been to before. And we came out with a few goodies. (I did anyway!)

First we went to the Antique and Craft Depot in the Galesburg mall. You would never think the tiny mall there would have a cool store like this one. There was so much stuff! Especially the smaller, knick-knack type of stuff. I saw lots of bronze statues that I thought were pretty awesome (I have a thing for bronze and ceramic animals I guess). Like this Pegasus...$40 was a little much for me, though.


Then there were these. I really wanted these giraffes - and only $18..not too bad. But it was really tarnished - lots of green in all those cracks. I thought maybe I could clean it up, but I don't want to ruin it. So...I passed. But I still think these guys are pretty awesome.


What I did end up getting from this store was a cake stand to add to the wedding collection...it's pretty unique - square, and the glass is heavy! This guy was only $15. One of the cheapest antique stands I've seen lately. So I had to pick it up.


I also got this small plate, which was only $3. It can be used for the wedding to put a smaller bud vase on.


Then I got these earrings which I thought were pretty, and I like the style of...only 2 bucks! Can't go wrong. For the most part, that store was pretty cheap and had a really large variety of items. I think I'll be going back in the future!


The second store we checked out was called Second Time Around. We'd never been here either, but discovered it the other day..it was closed then so we came back today during business hours. They have mostly used and antique furniture - a lot of really nice oak pieces. Most weren't really our style. But they had some smaller antiques too.


And I ended up finding the final cake stand to complete the collection! The second I saw it was $25, I was sold. We've seen so many antique cake stands but a lot of them were upwards of $50, which is more than I want to spend for using it really one time, on our wedding day.


We now have a total of 5 large cake stands, which I think should fit both our cake and all of our cupcakes. I really have no idea, but it seems like they all would, right? Maybe we'll get some cupcakes and test them out! :)


Along with the cake stands above, we also have this one below, which is hanging out in the kitchen at the moment....


I set most of them up on the bed upstairs just to see what they look like together, and it seems like we have a nice eclectic mix of both antique and modern looking stands...I'm really excited about how the dessert display will turn out!


So today was a good day to find the last of the cake stands we needed!


And I think we have plenty of milk glass vases and vintage decor for the reception...





My ever-growing collection of mismatched antique dessert plates will also help to create that vintage, eclectic look for our centerpieces.


I mean, my China hutch is pretty much overflowing these days due to my plate obsession...


But I think with all of our DIY flowers too, the reception is really going to have that feel of "Vintage garden elegance" that we're going for! It's definitely been fun to start to see everything coming together. And I have another wedding flower-related post for you tomorrow. Stay tuned!
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