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Showing posts from February, 2011

February, Wrapped Up With a Bow

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Happy last day of February!!!Tomorrow is MARCH!  That means the bulbs will start coming up soon!It also means…we’ll probably get a blizzard, because we always seem to get huge blizzards in March. But no matter – March is here, and that’s all I care about!  Despite being cold, gray, and dead, we did manage to get a few things done this month.  My productivity is directly related to the weather and the amount of green on the ground outside, so I’m looking forward to more projects in the next couple months.This month…….First we revealed the master bath renovation results (when I discovered how crazy-hard it is to take a decent picture of a small space):Then I talked a little more in depth about the master bath finishes (you know, the fun stuff!)I recreated a Pottery Barn art idea for the new bathroomI showed our newly spacious closet:I revealed the new name of the site!  We went from “A Chirp in the Forest” to “Burb Tales!” I played around with some supercheap spring-ish d├ęcor, using coo…

Just Call Me Ethel

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So I like to garden.What OF it, yo?Our neighbors don’t garden.  They look at me funny when I’m edging the front lawn….or planting a hundred bulbs…or inspecting my plants every afternoon.My husband looks at me funny too.  But he still helps out I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I have an “uncool” hobby to most people, and that I’m a somewhat unusual case of a non-granny gardener.But the truth is….I’m young.I’m totally hip!I dig plants. (No, really…)And you can just call me Ethel.Now that I’ve justified my geeky hobby….the rest of this post is dedicated to planning, because that’s what gardeners (or gardener-wannabes) do in the crappy months of late winter/early spring.  And boy howdy, crappy they are.  Yuck.The vegetable garden:The veggie garden is a 6x12 foot raised bed smackdab in the middle of our back bed.Here it is looking extra lush a year ago:Last year, I planted two red bell peppers, four cherry tomatoes, a trellis of pole beans, two Anaheim peppers, and two jalapenos.I was…

How Would You Handle It?

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I have a little problem.You may recall that the neighbors’ trampoline is right next to our shared fence.  Their kids are out there all the time.One of their favorite games is to have one person on the ground throw a football “high” to the person on the trampoline, who then has to jump to catch the football.  This game was posing a problem, because the football often ended up in our flower bed.  It was irritating to see a football sitting in the middle of the rhubarb, or to see broken stems that I knew I hadn’t caused…but we didn’t say anything about it.Not too long ago, the game changed.  One of the basketball hoops was dragged from their front driveway to the side of the trampoline, and now the game is to jump around and "dunk” the basketball through the hoop.  It actually looks pretty fun, and I was happy to see the basketball hoop placed in the way of the football-throwing path…but now we’re seeing basketballs in the flower bed.A consequence of these games has been two “broken…

Cool Freebies Etc

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Today I’m feeling a little uninspired.  I was messing around with some of our wall art and I’m just not feeling it.  And I decided our wall art selection is pretty woeful.I think it’s just the late-February blues.So because I like saving money, and I think you do too, here are some cool freebies and/or giveaways I’ve seen lately.  And pictures of flowers from last year.  Nothing’s up yet – not even my crocuses =(FREE Kindle books (reviewed):The Choice, by Suzanne Woods FisherThis is the first book in the “Lancaster County Secrets” series, and it’s an Amish romance.  I’ve only recently started hearing about this “new” genre of Amish romance novels, and I was intrigued.  I was pleasantly surprised - I could hardly put this book down.  It was so fascinating to read about Amish life, the characters were inspiring, and it kept me wondering how things would turn out.  The book is definitely Christian-values based, so there’s no violence or lurid love scenes.  I really, really enjoyed this b…

The non-swiffer Swiffer: A Quick Tip

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Happy President’s Day!  I have a lovely day off from work today, so naturally, I’m going to clean the floor.Yeah, my life is glamorous.Maybe I’ll class it up by putting on some makeup first….Ha! Um, no.But…I do have a little “trick” (if you can call it that) for cleaning our hard floors, though, so I thought I’d share.I used to use the green-handled Swiffer sweeper, until we put down laminate flooring in our house, and then it wasn’t up to the job.  (Plus, there’s nothing more annoying than a product that ropes you into buying more of that product (ie “refills”) on a regular basis.)So I found another option.I picked up a larger swiffer-type-sweeper from Home Depot one day.  It’s about twice the size of the original swiffer, and that means cleaning the floor suddenly takes half the time.  I can’t use the little one anymore – it’s too annoying.The big one also came with a washable cloth, which is great….but I usually dry swiff once (and then the cloth is really filthy) and then I go bac…

Decorating with Dish Towels

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I’m sick of February.The countdown is on for the end of February…and then it will be on again until about March 10th, when I expect to see some bulbs pushing up out of the faded mulch.But until then, I felt like a change, and the buffet was the perfect spot for it.I started with some dish towels.  These aren’t just *any* dish towels, though.  They’re special – handmade in fact, by my aunt, and given to us as a wedding shower gift.  I’ve never decorated with them, but they turned out to be perfect.They’re made out of feed sacks.I have four of them, and since some are more faded, I picked out the three with the least-faded writing and arranged them as a sort of runner across our buffet.  I folded them diagonally to let the buffet’s pretty wood-grain show a bit.  And I added a few glass accessories (the mason jar hurricanes included, which are ridiculously versatile) as well as some folded cloth napkins with pretty spring colors.  I get a lot of questions about that framed prayer on the …