Garden

It’s good to be outside again

I’ve been spending so much time outside lately and it is just lovely. The hubby and I have been working hard to get our yard in shape for spring. It’s been a challenge for a lot of reasons. First, BGE destroyed a part of our yard fixing a leak in our gas pipe. And then there’s the added challenge of the 8-foot-wide circle in the yard where a well used to be. Oh, and out of pure laziness, we didn’t rake the leaves well this past fall. So we’ve had lots to take care of.

We spent last weekend tackling the front yard and my garden area.

First, I cleared out backs and bags of leaves, weeds and general crap that had accumulated in my garden area from last year. When I had filled several yard waste bags and was ready to call it quits, I was instead inspired to attempt to remove the stump from my garden. We’d cut down the small tree in my garden last year and gotten the stump as small as we could, but it has always driven me nuts that I was losing that space where I could be growing more tomatoes!

After an hour and a half of hard work (digging, pick-axing, kicking, prodding, etc.), Brian and I actually got the stump out! I joked that we should start our own stump removal company. Yeah, right.

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See? No more stump! I just gained an extra 4 feet in my garden!

Once we were done with this, we filled in the hole with dirt and I promptly fenced off the garden from my evil dog. Remmy isn’t a huge digger, but he can’t resist large spans of dirt.

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There are still a few sections in my smaller gardens that I need to work on, but I am so happy to have this part complete!

The next day we started on our front yard. We decided it was a great idea to hand till up the circle where the well used to be. Two hours, eight yard waste bags and two sore backs later, we finished. Then Brian bought top soil and planted grass seed in the circle and in the patches of soil where BGE left its mark. They said they’d come out and fix the lawn, but at this rate it will be winter again before they come back out.

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I must just have that itch to be outside and do yard work, so I figured I’d take advantage of myself and this sudden inspiration to improve our yard. Last night I spent two hours raking our old leaves and clearing out large branches from the back of our yard.

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I raked everything behind our shed so it can compost down over time. Our yard looks infinitely better and my wrists are infinitely more sore. Ugh.

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It was worth it though. The yard still has a way to go and we still need to figure out what we are doing with some parts, but it has sure come a long way in just a week.

What lawn projects have you guys tackled this spring? Each year I get more and more into gardening. Who knows what else we’ll tackle this weekend!

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Garden, Graphic Design, Life

Farmers Markets — Eat local!

This post is going to ramble a bit. Consider yourself warned.

I am not a huge fan of summer weather. Maryland summers are humid, hot, sticky, stormy… I am more of a spring and fall weather kinda girl. That being said, summer really is the best season ever. The days are longer, schedules free up, activities are more active… and my favorite… the food! My garden has been doing really well this year. And just like last year, I want to really expand my planting area in the future. I only did a little expansion this year, mainly because I didn’t want to fork over too much cash money.

I’ve got 10 tomato plants, peas, strawberries, green beans, lettuce, peppers… all sorts of goodies. And what I don’t grow in my garden, I have been really enjoying shopping for at local farmers markets! It’s great to eat local foods and to support small businesses and farmers.

I am so lucky that we have a farmers market ON CAMPUS at the University of Maryland. Every Wednesday I walk over and buy delicious, fresh goodies. This week I bought blueberries, raspberries and tomatoes. Did I mention we also have a sustainable food truck!?! I bought a lamb sandwich and fresh lemonade. It was AMAZING. The vendors sell so much yummy stuff (hormone-free meats, fresh-baked pastries, dipping sauces, fresh eggs…). You name it, you can probably find it there — well, as long as it is in season.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, Howard County offers a traveling farmers market. I’ve only gone once at the beginning of the season, but it too was a great experience. I bought fresh eggs and some yummy greens. Fresh eggs are amazing. I want my own chickens… too bad my dog would probably play with them to death.

I’ve really gotten into eating fresh, organic produce lately so I am going to interrupt my own post to share some awesome blogs I’ve stumbled upon recently and I love. If you are interested at all in eating organic or less processed foods, check out these three awesome blogs: Food Babe, 100 Days of Real Food & Deliciously Organic. I’ve got a whole organic chicken in our crockpot cooking for dinner tonight using a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. My step sister also has an impressive blog about eating healthy: Fuel My Family. They are all awesome — check ’em out.

Also, don’t worry. I’m not about to turn this into a health food blog. Just figured I’d share since I started rambling about vegetables today 🙂

OK, back to farmers markets.

The real reason I wanted to write this post was to talk about how Dana, my bff, has started selling her baked goods at a farmers market in Laurel! That’s right, Little King’s Confections will be at the Main Street Farmers Market EVERY THURSDAY! I am so proud of her 🙂

Little Kings

Little Kings Farmers Market

Little Kings Confections

Little Kings Confections Market

OK, ramble almost over. See that logo on Dana’s booth? Yup, I designed it. It was really simple to do in Adobe Illustrator. I used the fonts Lavenderia for “Little King’s” and Code Light for “Confections.” The crown was a free clip art that I swapped from black to white. It is adorable 🙂

 

Little Kings Confections logoo

Happy ramblings & happy Friday!

Home Improvement

Spring, is that you?

As it continues to get warmer and stay warmer, I get more and more excited for spring. We started seriously house hunting in October/November, so it was the dead of fall. We looked at more than 30 houses, all without leaves on the trees or flowers in the gardens. I just know our house and our neighborhood are going to look completely different once there are leaves on the trees in our front and back yard. The flowers are beginning to pop up and our trees are getting mini leaves, and I just can’t wait. Plus, with spring almost here it means I can plant a garden soon! Mmmm… fresh vegetables!

Here are a few photos of our pretty flowers:

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Pink Hyacinth
Purple Hyacinth (before they bloom)

As you can see, we have a lot of hyacinth! They are beautiful and I love them. I get super excited each time a new one pops up. It’s totally nerdy, but whatevs.

Any recommendations on pretty flowers to plant? I kind of want a hydrangea bush and maybe a fruit tree. That would be awesome.

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On the home improvement front, we did a few things here and there. The hubby cleaned the house today. He is awesome. Glen sanded the family room, so it’s pretty much ready to be painted. He leaves for a vacation on Saturday, so we have 10 days to paint the entire room before he gets back to install the floors, granite hearth (which we pick up tomorrow!), TV cabinet, molding…. and anything else we think of. Luckily, I have Monday through Wednesday of next week off work — gotta love working at a university and getting a few days off for spring break — so I’ll be painting a lot then.

We also went to Home Depot tonight to buy a new shower head for our master bathroom and frosted window film for our guest bathroom window.

We unfortunately don’t have the best water pressure in the house, so the previous shower head didn’t quite cut it. It had a mediocre stream of water. This one has a much better distribution of H2O. And, it’s prettied.

We looked for new shower knobs, but Home Depot didn’t sell any individual knobs that we could find. Right now we have the icky plastic ones. If we are stuck with those, I want to revamp them like one of my favorite bloggers (Becky @ Infarrantly Creative) did to her faucet knobs:

I’d label mine “hot” and “cold,” instead of using the knobs as a reminder to be clean (if we’re int he shower, obviously were remembering to be clean!). It’s such a great idea! Much classier than the typical plastic knob.

What else, what else… I ordered shower curtains today for our various showers. Here’s a helpful tip: If you install a curved shower rod, you very well might need a longer curtain — and those are a little limited in selection and you seem to have to buy them online only. I bought a white, waffle-weave curtain for our guest bath (extra long) and an ivory, waffle-weave curtain for our master bath (stall size). The neutral curtains will be great. Now I can paint the bathrooms whatever colors I want!

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This weekend I head down to Virginia Beach to see my cousin. she and I are going to experiment with taking photos of jewelry! I’m very excited for my visit. Hopefully I’ll have some fun photos to show when I get back.

I’ll try to do a blog post while I’m there, but who knows! Pictures of some of our moderately assembled rooms to come tomorrow. AND, as soon as I get my craft room assembled (it’s unfortunately rather low on house priorities right now), I’ve got some great craft ideas I will share!