wonderfully made: May 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday, 2014 volume 9

Phew! What a week it has been! 

It's Friday now, so that means five on Friday!!! 


I finally finished watching the third season of Scandal. This season was kind of slow, but I feel like they could go a million ways after the season finale! If you haven't watched Scandal I suggest you do!


I'm obsessed with these treats. They are one of my two favorite desserts EVER. Seriously. I eat the whole pan within about 2 days! #fatgirlproblems

I'll post the recipe another day!


I had such a fun weekend with these two last weekend and we are going to make this one another one for the books! We are off to explore Fort Worth to celebrate Jayde's birthday and Jody's graduation from Aveda!


We have finally, FINALLY decided on a vacation. Mark married an adventurous girl (when it comes to going places) and we have been waffling over vacation spots for about 6 months. We are trying to do it on a budget and we finally found a good deal!

We are going to California in September for 4 days. We are staying at a resort on the beach in Oxnard, which is halfway between Malibu and Santa Barbara. The flexible plans include driving up and down the PCH, visiting Malibu, Santa Barbara, and the island of Santa Cruz for hiking, kayaking, and hopefully some whale watching, plus possibly a trip to wine country! In our spare time, we will be soaking up the California sun at the beach and in the pool. I can't WAIT! Please give me any tips or must-sees in the area!


Most importantly,

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sucker for succulents

I hope everyone had a wonderful three-day weekend honoring and remembering those who have served our country! 

I had a well-balanced weekend and I feel refreshed to start this four-day week!

Today, since I've given you lots of updates on our outdoor plants, I thought I should share some updates on indoor plants. Spring and summer make me want to embrace living plants and the green and color that accompany the seasons, so I've gotten plant-happy both inside and outside my home. 

Mark's sister and her family gave us two little succulents planted in mason jars for housewarming gifts back in July. Unfortunately the smaller one succumbed to my black thumb but this one has been THRIVING! It has almost outgrown the jar but it's a constant reminder of my ability to keep it alive. I love the little "home sweet home" flag Andrea added and it's currently sitting on our coffee bar next to this cute Van Gogh quote print. 

Recently, I saw an image on Pinterest using more mason jars and teacups for succulents and I had a light bulb moment. I have a ton of mason jars (don't all bloggers?) and figured I could spare a few to feed my succulent habit.

I picked up these little guys at home depot for about $3 each and they live on my kitchen window sill. They make me happy every day!

Pink cacti are the best cacti.

They add even more happiness to my backyard view.

I chose to plant another little guy (my mom called it hen and chicks or something like that?) in this teacup that my aunt gave me when I was little. The china pattern is "Diana" and I've held onto it forever. It's super dainty and sweet but I felt so bad for not using it since I don't drink tea or coffee.

I found the perfect solution!

This little lady brings lots of life and joy to the shelf in our living room.

Do you have any living plants around your house? I'm convinced they have secret powers and just make the house feel better. 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The one where we plant a tree

I got the sweetest gift from Mark - he promised to buy and plant a tree in our backyard! That was on our anniversary...6 months ago. SO the time finally came that I dragged him out of the house and down the street to Home Depot to "get me my tree, dangit!"

Yep, I forced him to pose at Home Depot. I then made him turn in his man card.

I'm not sure why he was so worried about how we would get it home...

I swear, I'm going to have like 2 total pictures of my kids...but I'll have a million of that time we planted a tree!

After a small amount of research, we decided to go with an "autumn blaze" maple tree. I crack up every time I say the name, but it's supposed to have 'exceptional' fall color which was basically my #1 requirement for my tree.

Breaking ground!

I touched the top of the tree and said "goodbye! grow tall and strong!" 

I'm so weird.

I was very helpful.

Motley LOVES her new tree! It's like a sister to her.

SO I REALLY wanted to get a picture in front of our tree and continue documenting it on our anniversary to see how it grows. Easier said than done, my friends. Check out our little photobomber...

She is insane. Anyway, here we are on day 1 of our tree journey! I'm so excited to watch it grow!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Phase 1A yard overhaul

Right before my blogging 'hiatus' in late March, I posted the progress of our first real landscaping job. In the time that I wasn't blogging, I had a lot of people ask me about 'phase 2' of the landscape work. Well, as I said to my sister in law, it's more like phase 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, etc. because we have SO much we want/need to do to bring our yard up to it's full functioning value. 

Anyway, I don't want to keep you guys wondering so here is another update on what our yard looks like now. Remember: LOTS more work to be done here! 

(disclaimer: WAY too many pictures. You guys don't read this anyway, so enjoy!)

Our grass is finally growing! Right now it's about 40% grass and 60% weeds. If it's green, I'll take it!

I got that stump from a tree at work that fell down in a storm a few weeks ago. Right now it's drying out and I'm going to use it as a table/stool somewhere. I'm still undecided on what to do with it but it's going to be fab!

This girl spends the most time outside out of any of us! 

We aren't thrilled with our chain link fences, but when they have heaps of wild honeysuckle growing on them, they aren't too bad!

Our yard feels so big when you stand at the back of it and look towards the house!

This is where we have done the most work. As you can see, we have removed a lattice and some ivy to the right of the doors and added some new lattice. We've also filled in the beds with more planting. 

Here are some "before" photos from February:

...and back to present day:

We moved Motley's 'pool' here and we are really liking it! I'm not sure if it will stay in this exact place in the future, but i definitely like it as part of the beds.

I originally wanted to do wisteria up those trellis but I researched it and learned it can be poisonous to dogs. 

Anyone know of any non-lame looking climbing ivy that isn't poisonous, looks awesome, and can tolerate full sun and Texas weather? I'm open to suggestions...

Right now we have some shrubs (which will grow to about waist height and help fill out the beds), some liriope, flowering bushes, more perennials (no idea what the names are, sorry!) and a couple of annuals like the marigolds and petunias. I am NOT a master gardener. 

This ivy used to be the ground cover throughout this entire bed. The winter, combined with Motley running through it and making it her bed, caused it to look horrible, which is what prompted us to start the landscaping earlier this year. When we tore it out, we didn't put down any plastic OR spray it with Roundup so it's coming back...We could still spray it, but I haven't done it yet. It doesn't really bother me, and I'm almost hoping it climbs up the lattices, just temporarily.

Another recent update was the planting of my FAVORITES: hydrangea. LOVE them. I bought two plants back in March and they've been in the ground, but I'm not so sure they will bloom this year. 

Much to my surprise, I found these flowering plants at Lowe's for $14 on Saturday so I scooped them up without thinking and had Mark plant them in the front.

Our house faces north so I think this is the perfect spot for them. 

If my entire front flowerbed could be filled with hydrangea, I would be a happy girl. :)

So there's your update, people! We are now taking volunteers to help knock out some concrete....any takers?

Happy Monday!