Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finally Adding Some Curb Appeal

My yard is in the midst of a makeover! I'm a little embarrassed to post a before picture, because we've done NOTHING since moving in. The builder put in the front lawn, and did a pretty sloppy job of it too.

I know. Boooring. This weekend we are getting curbing, and lots of it. The curbing is the easy part, since someone else comes and does all the work, hehe. But we have a long list of DIY projects to get done this summer, including:

1. Planting at least three trees and dozens of shrubs and annuals
2. Putting down mulch and garden fabric to go along with the new foliage
3. Revamping the garage door with new faux windows and hardware(really excited for this one)
4. Building a paver patio in the empty space to the left of the front door
5. Convincing my husband to help me build a mini pergola over the garage(for less than $100, I might add)
6. Painting and adding moulding to the front door
7. Finishing off the backyard play area, including building a short wall and putting down rubber mulch
8. Finishing the beast of a back patio that has been sitting unfinished for a year.

If you've looked at my Pinterest at all in the last couple weeks, you might begin to understand my obsession with my yard at the moment.

After the curbing is put in, the next step is figuring out what plants to put in all of the new flower beds--I know nothing about gardening. It should be fun though. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stop Motion!

I came across this video on Pinterest and thought it was so cool! I love the story being told without words, and the fact that I kept forgetting this was all taking place in bed. Seriously, awesome.

What do you think??? So amazing, right?!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Working. Too. Hard.

I'm behind on the current season of Downton Abbey. THAT's how hard I've been working. My blog is sooo neglected--I'm sure my ONE regular reader is quite upset with me. Very sorry, loyal reader.

Buuuuut, it's all good. And I have some news about my book, Paradise Hollow.


We've got a tentative release date of August 1, 2013! It seems like the universe has conspired to delay this project over and over, but I'm pushing through, doing some editing and outlining book two of the series. You can read the hastily written blurb by clicking the writing projects tab above.

The book will be released in e-book format first, followed by the paperback version. I'm so excited that I frequently have to force myself to keep working instead of daydreaming about all the awesomeness that is happening to me right now. The four little monsters running around my house right now do a pretty good job of distracting as well. It's a miracle I get anything done at all, to be honest!

I'd love some honest feedback on the cover. It's not the final version, but it is definitely my favorite. The girl looks like Cora, the main character, and the encroaching pixelation conveys a lot about the plot. And really, I love the bright colors and overall feel  I worry that it's too generic though. What do you think? Does the cover catch your eye? Does it stand out from other books you've seen? Would you take another look based on the cover? I'd love to hear from you.

See you next time!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Candyland Christmas

Or Candaceland, as I like to call it ;) 

I was THRILLED this year when my husband agreed with me that it was time to spring for a new tree! Our old one was a 6 footer, and with our vaulted ceilings looked kind of ridiculous. After two years filled with utter Christmastime embarrassment, I finally got my beautiful 9 food slim tree.

I debated for a long time whether I wanted to go with a more elegant, mostly white setup with delicate ornaments and wispy garlands, and then I remembered--I have FOUR wild and reckless children. My dreams of classy Christmas were shattered almost as quickly as my delicate ornaments would have been. And I wanted to do something kind of whimsical that my kids would love, they'll grow up way too soon, and I'll be free to do whatever I want with my Christmas decor.

I hate Walmart. No, I loathe Walmart. Unfortunately, Walmart is also the only store within 30 minutes of me that has anything even resembling Christmas decor. And what do you know, amid the filth and rednecks, they actually had some decent Christmas ornaments.

I also scoured the dollar store and made some great finds, including some giant snowflakes for $1 each(luckily, because my two year old quickly broke several of them), trekked my way to JoAnn fabric, where I got some awesome deals on the floral accents sticking out at the top of the tree and in other random places, and made my own string of Christmas Candy lights(basic instructions can be found here, although I substituted cellophane for glittery tulle, which was a better option for me since tulle comes in a much wider array of colors than cellophane does).

 I'll try to add a close-up of the candy light garland, I love how it turned out!

For the skirt, I used a piece of blue fabric I found at a thrift store for $2, but I'm hoping to find a great deal after Christmas on a real one.

All in all, it cost me around $50 to decorate the entire tree! I have plans to hit the after Christmas clearance sales to buy a few more things to fill in some gaps next year.
Christmastime can now officially begin!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Once Upon a Time--The Evil Queen Must be an Interior Designer on the Side.

Now I KNOW I'm not the only one who loves this show! As the second season opened a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but be reminded how much I adore the eye candy that is the Evil Queen's lair. I've realized that the shows with amazing set design become my favorite much quicker than the others.
I mean, really:

 I don't know if that birch tree wallpaper could be any more amazing(or perfect for the character)

 The black and white is seriously incredible.

 Love the occasional pops of red

A silver sofa? Oh yes.

Are you as obsessed as I am? What is your favorite feature? I think mine is the wallpaper. I wouldn't do it throughout the whole house, but it would look amazing in my tiny guest powder room!

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's never too early...

To start thinking about CHRISTMAS DECOR! Oh yes, I'm excited! I just spent the last hour on pinterest, browsing all the spec-tac-ular uh-mazingness that is Christmas pins. Every year, I get stuck on how I want to decorate. Do I want a more adult feel, with sparkly white breakables everywhere, or crazy felt and homemade decor for the kiddos? This year I am going to do my best to strike a good balance(although it will lean toward a whimsical/childlike feel. Christmas is for kids after all.) with a Sparkly and Slightly Sophisticated Candy Wonderland theme! Exactly how I will pull this off, I'm not sure yet, but here is some of my inspiration:

Source: via Candace on Pinterest

Now I just need to figure out a way to melt this all together into a delicious Christmas cookie platter of awesomeness...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Because the Great Outdoors Need Some Love Too!

This summer has been dubbed "Summer of the Yard" at our house. Despite having lived here for two years now, we are finally getting around to some long-planned projects, including basics like getting the sod put in. Four kids+no backyard for two years=lots of frustration. And most of that frustration is aimed at a lowlife scum landscaper to whom we naively handed $2000, and still(shockingly) has done nothing with that money two years later. Actually, that's a lie. I'm sure he's put it to good use, perhaps some expensive dinners, jewelry for his wife(or mistresses--yeah, he was that kind of guy. Oh the red flags!), maybe even a vacation--all on us. Aren't we sweet?

So having finally given up on said jerkwad landscaper, our next project is a flagstone patio. In one of the best scores of my life, I stumbled across 150 square feet of this  mesh-backed stone on my local classifieds for an incredible $300($961.50 retail)! The guy was a tile layer, and he had a bunch extra left over from a job that he just wanted to get rid of.
Originally, I had something lighter in mind, maybe something like this, but I couldn't pass up such a deal! I'll make up for the dark color of the stones by putting out some light colored patio furniture and accessories.

It's supposed to be fine to use outdoors, and after some looking around on Pinterest, and stumbling across this post by Centsational Girl, we were convinced.

Before we started:

aaand about 25% finished:

We realized partway through that there wasn't quite as much tile as the guy said there was(he originally said there was about 200 sq. feet), so we will have to buy a little more, but still an awesome deal!

We still have a lot to do, including building some stairs(gulp), but I'm just way too excited not to put our progress up. So far we've laid out what we have and cut all the tile we can(I found a nearly new tile saw at a garage sale for $15. Crazy!). Since we are waiting for the rest of the tile to come in, we are planning on getting started on the stairs today. Wish us luck!