October 28, 2014

They’re baaaaaaaaack!!!! Our two friends were such a hit in front of our house last year (and on the Internet as well), that Justin and I certainly could not resist setting them up again. So today I am sharing with you our 2014 DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween!

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

Of course, we already had our two skeletons on hand from last year (CLICK HERE to see our previous setup), but as a refresher, we found them at two locations – a lucky score at Ross, and one from Target!

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

We figured since we live in Florida, it would only make sense to take that into consideration with this year’s pose. Justin and I replaced our beach chairs with a new set this summer, and we still had the old ones in the garage. They served as a perfect seat for each of our skeletons. Posing them was a bit easier than last year, as they didn’t need to be standing up like before. We did use some wire (from coat hangers) and fishing line to shape and pose the arms a bit.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

A bit of rummaging in our house yielded a few extra pairs of sunglasses we don’t wear anymore…and were destined for the garage sale bin. Perfect! We wouldn’t want our skeletons to be blinded by the Florida sun…

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

Our new addition to the lawn skeleton family came in the form of a flock of friends. As soon as we stumbled upon these skeleton flamingos (which I lovingly refer to as “skelemingos”), we had to have them. I love them! Posed next to our large skeleton friends, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

I can’t help but chuckle every time that I walk outside and catch a glimpse of this duo. To me, they look like they’re two best pals having quite the chat! Perhaps I should name them? Hmmm.

DIY Skeleton Lawn Decorations for Halloween

And my skeleton crew is not alone this year. We had some leftover bones from last year’s setup and we decided to add them to our dying flowerbed (which needs to be replaced/spruced up…but looks great for Halloween purposes, haha!). A skeleton coming out of the ground? Spooky, and easy to set up as well.

DIY striped skull wreath

Of course, my DIY skull wreath from last year had to grace the front door as well! I still love that darn thing! If you’re looking for the instructions, CLICK HERE.

So – how have you decorated your domicile for Halloween this year?

August 29, 2014

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you are all gearing up for some fun for this long Labor Day weekend. Although I have to admit: our household isn’t getting a long weekend. Justin has to work on Labor Day – bummer! However, we’re still going to attempt to relax and enjoy the weekend anyway! But first, one of the tasks will probably be tending to our garden – I’ve let the weeds grow in a bit in my attempt to stay inside and out of the really hot weather. Now I’m going to pay for it. On a good note: our garden has been doing very well despite the heat of summer. We’ve been protecting the garden with a shade/screen that Justin constructed! What a crafty guy I’ve got…

Protecting the garden with a shade screen

Last year, we noticed that our plants could not handle the combination of heat, direct sunlight, and rain that we get here in Florida during the summer months. The spot our garden is in is GREAT during the fall, winter, and spring, but summer is a bit of a problem. Justin pondered it for a while; I could tell he was kind of sad that our garden was sitting there, vacant, for a month or so after our spring vegetables were pulled up in the early summer. I can tell when he gets an idea: he begins doing research online, he draws out diagrams, he is ON it. It’s best to let him just go with the idea when he has it, because once he sets his mind on a project, he intends to complete it.

Protecting the garden with a shade screen

Justin decided we should construct a shade/screen to protect the garden – it would diffuse the direct sunlight so the plants wouldn’t burn and would also prevent the rain from soaking the plants constantly so we can control the amount they are getting. Seemed pretty brilliant to me. So, he ventured to the store and came back with PVC pipe, a roll of plastic sheeting, and some rope. He measured our garden area and got cutting – he created a frame with the PVC pipe, along with support legs to prop it up.

Protecting the garden with a shade screen

The trickiest part was creating the screen. I was actually quite impressed when he figured out on his own that he could use our iron for this project. To attach the plastic sheeting to the frame, he wanted to create pockets/loops to slide the pipes through. We set our iron on medium heat, then looped the plastic sheeting around the PVC pipe to create the perfect sized “loop.” We placed parchment paper down on top of the plastic sheeting (so it wouldn’t melt onto the iron itself), and carefully ran the iron up and down the length of the sheeting/pipe. Justin also made a few extra small loops to make sure the plastic sheeting was secure in the middle of the structure as well as on the ends (so it wouldn’t flap up/balloon when wind hits it).

Protecting the garden with a shade screen

After the legs were attached, we stuck our structure over the garden and added a bit of extra security by tying rope around some points and securing them to our garden fence. We set the shade on an angle (angled down at the front edge of our garden) so rain water would run down and off onto the ground in front of the garden instead of pooling inside of our screen and weighing it down. Overall, I think it turned out pretty great!

Protecting the garden with a shade screen

The proof of our screen/shade’s success is now showing in the garden: the tomatoes and zucchini that would now be either drowned by the rain or burned by excessive sun are now thriving. Hooray for handy husbands, right?

Do you have plans to be productive around the house during Labor Day, or will you be taking advantage of extra relaxation time?

July 23, 2014
Do you have a favorite type of jewelry to wear? Earrings? Necklaces? Bracelets? Rings? If I could only choose one style of jewelry to wear for the rest of my life, a statement necklace would be it…hands down. I generally wear only stud earrings…very rarely wear bracelets…and the only rings I wear are my engagement ring and wedding band. The thing is: I’ve accumulated quite a few statement necklaces over the years, and I need a statement necklace display for them.
statement necklace display
Years ago, my parents bought me a wonderful, tall jewelry box for all of my baubles. However, it matched the decor from my previous set of furniture, and with our bedroom makeover in progress, it isn’t going to stick around. Besides, the big statement necklace pieces I have very rarely are able to fit inside properly…go figure.
statement necklace display
The thing I love about statement necklaces is that they look very pretty when they are on display. Therefore, I’m hoping to eventually solve the conundrum I currently have by adding some trays to the top of the dresser to keep them looking organized and pretty. I’ve been searching high and low for clear lucite trays, as I think they would add the organization factor without distracting from the jewelry. Of course, because that is what I’m looking for I am having the hardest time finding them.
statement necklace display
In the meantime, I’m simply attempting to lay my statement necklace display out as if I DID have the trays already. The power of positive thinking…right? Perhaps I can will the lucite trays into my life somehow.
statement necklace display
On a side note: the majority of these necklaces are from T.J. Maxx – it probably doesn’t come as any surprise if you know me! If you haven’t perused their jewelry department, I definitely recommend you do so the next time you stop in. I have been able to score some darn awesome baubles for seriously affordable prices. These large statement necklaces normally run at prices over $100 (some have had original price tags at over $200), and I’ve never spent more than $50 on a piece. Score.

So – how do you store your statement jewelry pieces?

July 11, 2014

So, there have been some pretty big changes going on around our house lately. One big alteration? The paint color. Yay! At the end of May our house was repainted from the brownish color I was not so fond of to a beautiful blue-ish green. LOVE it. But now that the outside of our house had a makeover, it was time to talk landscaping. Because let’s be honest: it was a bit of a mess.

Let's Talk Landscaping

The previous owners of our home did a great job of keeping up the lawn and some of the other plants in the front of the house, but there was a LOT to be desired when it came to two spots in particular. There was a HUGE vine plant/bush thing on the side of the house, and a half moon shaped area near the walkway to the front door was looking a mess. Thankfully, we managed to spruce it up a bit.

bougainvillea

I don’t know about you, but I am such a fan of color. The front of our house had zero flowers on it and I thought it was such a shame. I knew right from the start there was a particular bush/plant/whatever you want to call it that I absolutely HAD to have: bougainvillea.

bougainvillea

Our next door neighbor has a coral colored one that has grown to crazy proportions/grown over the fence. The beautiful clusters of flowers are so bright and happy. The farmer’s market we visit on the weekends just so happens to have a nursery vendor who always has beautiful baby bougainvilleas…so we bought three of them to replace the horrible vine/bush abomination on the side of our house.

bougainvillea

bougainvillea

I absolutely could not resist the hot pink and fuchsia varieties. We purchased a few new fan trellises (in white, so they blend in against our white fence) and guided the vines through them. It makes me smile to see those pretty flowers every day!

aloha lilies

As for the front walkway? That was a bit more work to figure out. That particular area doesn’t get enough sun for bougainvillea (single tear…), so we had to rethink our options. In a perfect world, I’d have bougainvillea growing everywhere. So, Justin and I scoured our local home stores and nurseries to find some plants that spoke to us. As soon as I laid eyes on these Aloha Lillies, I was in love. They have such a unique shape, and their eggplant purple color looks awesome as a pop against our new blue exterior.

landscaping flowers

We knew we needed a few more plants aside from the Aloha Lillies, so we searched for another option to arrange around the outside of the flower bed. We settled on these plants with light lavender and orange flowers. Apparently they are butterfly attractors…and they smell like mint! Bringing them home with us in the car was a nice treat – the entire interior smelled heavenly!

landscaping before

landscaping before

I wish I had a photo of what the flower bed looked like before Justin got his hands on it. He was so eager to remove what was existing that he forgot to let me take the full “before” photo. Not only were these strange grass plants hanging around in the flower bed, but there was also some sort of small tree with red berries that was taking up residence. Sorry tree – you had to go. After pulling up all of the extra plants from the bed, it was time to arrange our new finds!

landscaping setup

landscaping setup

We placed the Aloha Lillies in the back, and lined the outside edge of the bed with the minty plants (we read that they spread out over time, so we’re hoping to see them grow together and form a small hedge-like area eventually. We’ll see.

…and after digging holes, planting the flowers, and adding some mulch to finish it off, that was about it for now! We were happy to tackle a project that added a bit of beauty to the front of our house. Now…let’s hope we manage to keep the flowers alive and thriving! Gulp…

Do you have a favorite flower you use for your landscaping process?