Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Unicorn 7th Birthday

My daughter is officially obsessed with horses. And unicorns.  She really wants a pony, not sure what little girl doesn't.  She does have a true love for animals like her momma so the best I could do was throw her a party with Unicorns and give her horseback riding lessons. Her first lesson came the day after her party - she was over the moon! I think it's safe to say this love may last a while. Here are a few pics from her party and lessons.

Her roses and Meri Meri Unicorn pics from her cupcake set adorned our dining room table.

The name banner was made quite a few years back and it's the one thing that makes an appearance year after year.

Our Jonathan Adler Unicorn seemed like the perfect addition for this party.

I lucked out finding this Unicorn wrapping paper at Home Goods one day.

Meri Meri Napkins and Plates.

I'm still refining my flower arranging skills. Lilly's, White Roses, and White Hydrangeas can look beautiful together.

This was a cute little activity for the kids. "What is your Unicorn Name?" The kids thought it was pretty funny.

The goodie bags were from Target and were filled with Unicorn necklaces, Unicorn sticker sheets, Unicorn stampers, and Unicorn Poop Lollipops (they looked like rainbows.) All of the contents were found on Amazon.

Pin the Horn on the Unicorn was a fun game.  Even the older kids enjoyed it.

I found a great recipe online for Vanilla Cupcakes. I always seem to try new ones but this one I'll probably go back to because they turned out really yummy! The buttercream frosting recipe you can find here. I doubled the recipe and I still didn't quite have enough for 24 cupcakes, but I piped the frosting on so there was probably also more than was needed.

I printed out a few coloring pages for the kids to color when they first showed up. I feel like it's always a good idea to get them working on something right away so chaos doesn't ensue. The tablecloth was from Amazon.

The kids played three games (Pin the horn on the Unicorn, a fun Scavenger hunt in which they all worked together to find a treasure of Rainbow lollipops, and the Unicorn shoe toss.) Oh and I can't forget that my oldest son stuck a horn on his head toward the end of the party and had all the kids chase him to "catch a unicorn!"  The games seem to be a hit and the kids loved getting prizes too (who doesn't?)

I forgot to take pictures of all the food, but we had Veggie dogs on Hawaiian buns, Rainbow pasta Salad, Veggie chips, and a Rainbow fruit platter. Oh and Unicorn Raspberry Bubble punch (Raspberry Lemonade.)

This adorable (and HUGE) Unicorn balloon and confetti balloons were also from Amazon. I swear it was so easy to just order everything from one place this year.

My son snapping a quick photo of me and the birthday girl before the party started.

She loved all of her gifts. She of course got a horse barn, a Unicorn (of varying kinds), art sets, Fashion plates, Roller Skates, horse stamps, and of course horse back riding lessons. Lucky Lucky girl.

Happy 7th Birthday to my little horse lover and Unicorn dreamer. She is unique and special in every way and we love her to the moon and back.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Easter 2017

Just a month late, but who's counting? I meant to post these pics of some Easter decor around the house, but am just now getting to it.  We had a great kick off to Spring, with lots of outdoor planting and spring bulbs around the house. Which prompted me to get started thinking about bulb planting outside this Fall. I am really in love with white tulips, so I'm hoping to incorporate them somewhere in the yard.  Pink tulips were a close runner up.

This white Easter bunny with black polka dots looks very modern and sort of like he has the measles. 😷

I picked up this cute modern white and gold glass Easter egg at Home Goods and these wooden bunny LED string light to decorate the fireplace mantel. I love all the white and natural elements that are so popular right now. It's clean and uncluttered but still festive.

This old bunny was a limited ceramic from Anthropologie years ago. I think it's numbered on the bottom so I think I'll keep her.

This bunny won't find any jelly beans this year, even though he looks every year for them.

My favorite Easter/Spring decoration this year were all these white tulips in clear glass hurricane vases. I lucked out and found two identical ones at Home Goods. I purchased around 6 $5 bundles of tulips from Harris Teeter and they ended up filling each vase quite nicely. The blooms lasted well into two weeks.

These gorgeous pink and cream snap dragons looked great by the front door.

I also added some more faux pink and gold eggs to my little collection that I had going. They made a cute centerpiece for our kitchen nook.

Now that spring is in full swing, it's time to start planning for summer and enjoy the cool weather while it lasts. I hope you are enjoying it.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Back yard is coming along

After finishing the front yard landscaping, I was ready to call it quits. Then my poor backyard just needed a few things to get us through the summer. It kicked off when a friend of mine was giving away her old futon.  I knew that it would be pretty cool to be able to sleep on the back porch so I jumped on the idea. It was originally brown and scratched up, but I knew I wanted to wanted to paint it anyway. This futon project got me a little too excited about sprucing up our backyard space just a tiny bit.  DIY'ers at heart, we know these things take time. Our back yard will slowly but surely be a lush garden sanctuary. 

So here's the futon, painted with Valspar's Chalky Paint Finish in "Woolen Stockings." I sanded the futon first and filled the scratch marks with wood filler.  Then I applied two coats of the chalk paint and finished with Annie Sloan's clear Wax.  I purchased a 10" Futon from Overstock in a creamy white color and quickly sprayed it with Scotch Guard fabric protector to keep it from getting stained and to repel water.  The gray throw pillows are Tommy Hilfiger and the white pillow is from Home Goods. The french linen throw is also from Home Goods. So far it was been quite comfortable to sit here and read or lie down and listen to the birds chirping.

We got an outdoor rug from Overstock as well, since we have two defined spaces out here now.

The table is also from It's a gray wooden table which I think goes nicely with the white metal chairs that we got last summer from Target.

We added some tiki torches to the porch and back yard that I think look great in this black metal, which is way more durable than our old bamboo torches. This one attaches right to the deck. Clever right? We also put out new bird houses, because apparently the birds that were house shopping a few weeks ago thought the old houses were taken since nests were left there by birds from last summer.

Our lawn is finally greening up - and oh my so much grass to mow. In time though I see a patio out here with another covered porch with fireplace, and possibly a pool? How cool would that be? A girl can dream right?

I moved the Carolina Aster to the left side of the yard, seen very tiny near that trellis.   Also, a cute bird feeder and a blue jay house.

This view is looking down from our porch. We planted a Zwanzan Cherry Tree that will grow between 20-30 feet high, giving us a ton of pink blooms near our bedroom window. It should be quite the sight.

This is some basil I planted from seed indoors around early March. They are doing quite well now outside. 

I also moved one of my purple Verbena's to the left of the yard as well. The area that I'm redoing on the right side, has another vision.

The yard slopes some on the left, which we thought would be a great spot for a sunken in raised bed.  To utilize more of the slope Joe built the raised bed right into the ground.  It's really the perfect spot since this part of the yard was useless before. I have great visions of lots of flowering plants in here for cutting this summer.  So far there are a bunch of summer flowering bulbs in the back and little seedlings in the front I also started indoors in March. There's a few Marigolds and chives in there for good measure. If this bed proves to be a good idea Joe will make another one just like it on the other side for veggies.

We put in a few more trees on the left. This one is a Yoshino Flowering Cherry Tree. It will get around 30 feet tall.

This is a Maple Tree someone was giving away for free in our neighborhood. I transplanted it to the left side as well. After recently seeing a Crimson King Maple Tree, I may swap this out for one of those. I can always move this maple tree to the forest next to our house. :)

The right side is coming along slowly. The Crystal Obedient plant is spreading profusely that I planted last year. It sholud make a nice border of white flowers in the front of this bed come summer. There are now four pink Dianthus plants near the bird bath. Along the fence are three Italian Cypresses and inbetween those I will plant four white climbing Iceberg rose bushes. I put in trellis' for them, just need to order them online now. The goal is to have an English garden feel in this area.

Vision for this space above:

Planted 4/07:

This doesn't look too spectacular now, but we added five Leyland Cypresses that will grow pretty quickly and high for privacy between the neighbor's house.

My hope is that it looks like this in a few years.

Leyland Cypress or Thuja Green Giant evergreens to create a privacy hedge:

We expanded the rock area for our firepit by removing the existing pea gravel and adding black weed fabric underneath. We purchased 40 bags of pea gravel and added it in.  The old firepit area was too small and done improperly the first time. We think it came out pretty nice.

We replaced the plastic teal blue Adirondack chairs with nice gray wood ones from Safavieh. Before we had three adult size chairs and two small green ones. The kids were out growing those small ones and the cohesiveness of having five chairs of the same size looks a lot nicer.

Did I mention we purchased a paint sprayer and poor Joe spent two full days out there spraying the stain on the fence? It definitely went a lot faster than using a brush and it was definitely cheaper.  The color we chose was an HOA approved color, of "Natural Cedar." However I've been seeing a lot of shades of stain the neighborhood so when this color wears down I think I'll go with something in the darker brown family. This partial stone border was from our front yard. We changed the stone so decided to put this back here. We need to get more obviously if we want to continue around the whole bed.

The Adirondack chairs have a wine holder on one of the arm rests. By far the coolest feature in a chair. :)

In order to tied me over until I can get the David Austin Iceberg roses, I purchased this white rose bush from Lowes. It's beautiful and I can hopefully transplant it somewhere in the yard.

And just wow.  My all time favorite flower I think, the Dahlia. I picked up two of these because I just couldn't wait until the Dahlia's in my raised bed come up this summer. They look great on the wine barrel in the rock area.

I think it's now time to sit back, water my plants, and watch them grow. I'm all planted out for this Spring.  
Cathleen 🌸

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