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Monday, September 3, 2012

First Day of Preschool

I saw this idea on Pinterest, where you take a picture of your little preschooler the morning he goes into preschool and write on a chalkboard "First Day of Preschool" and the date. When I pulled out the chalkboard the night before and was about to write on it, my husband (oh so genius husband) thought it would be cute to have our son write it. Then year after year he can do the same thing and we can see how his handwriting improves. So cute! It's going to be so fun in 3rd grade when he starts cursive. Here's my little monkey on his first day of preschool! What a perfect little model!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Yard Renovation #1

For the past two months I've put all of my spare time into redesigning part of our front yard. Here's what it looked like two months ago.
That front patio just had to go. My new thing is, that if it's not being used, then just get rid of it. It was ugly, I didn't use it and I was sick of pulling weeds from it to make it look nice for no reason. So one morning after my husband left for work. I just went for it.
We had a lot of things we were working on in the house, so when he got home and saw that I had started a new project his jaw was touching his toes, but I assured him that this was MY project and I would do it all while he was at work.
I never drew out any plans, (very professional, I know!) I just had my ideas in my head.
While I was laying my bricks out where I thought they should go, I decided that the planter in the middle of my yard needed to go, so that it wouldn't block my new creation. So out went that thing!
And we laid grass seed...
 that came in ever so slowly.

For a month we had a nice sand pit for my son to play in. ;o)
 I then started laying it all down with mortar. Before this project I couldn't lift all that much, but now I can lift 80lbs of mortar. Yeah baby!!!

Here was my first attempt. As you can see I didn't stager the bricks. I just didn't know that you had to, but now I do. It makes it stronger. If you have straight lines of just mortar it'll be very weak and could break very easily. I just had to learn this the hard way. This happened to me the day before mother's day and I spent the rest of that night taking apart my wall and scraping off all of the mortar from the bricks. Ugh!!!
 It did give me some time to just relax a bit and take in my beautiful view of the valley.

Under the patio was a few feet of just sand, so I transferred a lot of it to another part of our yard, where we actually would like a patio.

I just have to say that I never thought that I would have to haul a million loads of sand and dirt before. But it's a skill that I do possess now. Not sure if I should be proud of that or not. Oh well!

I then laid grass seed all right here so it would come right up to the first planter, where I would have my flowers.

Over on this end I had to dig out a stone, so my husband could get a sprinkler hooked up in there. I don't do sprinklers. That's my husbands job, but now that I've done all of this, I'm pretty sure I could handle that too. ;o)
 Wouldn't recommend doing this kind of stuff in flip flops, but I just can't bring myself to wear anything else.
 Here you can see the grass coming in.

Then I had to take care of the drain, so it wouldn't just collect right here at the corner of my planter. I got a bindable draining pipe that has little slits in it and drilled that onto the end of the water spout. High enough so no dirt will get in it.

And then I ran it along the side of the house with a subtle down grade, so the water will carry all through the planter.

And capped the end.

Filled it with dirt from my back yard, where we're going to put in a fire pit and patio.

Then added flowers, plants and a cute little window box and I couldn't be more happy with the results. 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grapefruit Cupcakes

What You'll Need...
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
4 tablespoons grapefruit juice
3 egg yolks
3 eggs whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Make It...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix together all wet ingredients, milk, oil, zest, grapefruit juice and egg yolks. Add to dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar separately until barely stiff. Gradually fold egg whites into flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just blended. Do not stir.
Pour into cupcake cups. Fill to the top since this mixture doesn't expand that much.
Bake for about 18 minutes. Let cool on cake rack.

Grapefruit Buttercream Cream Cheese Frosting

What You'll Need...
1 cup shortening
1/2 (6 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla 
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
5 cups powdered sugar
Beat shortening and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, grapefruit juice and zest. Gradually add sugar until well blended. Add milk if it needs thinned or add more powdered sugar if you need it thicker. 
And enjoy on your grapefruit cupcakes! So delicious!!!!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Know What I'm So Excited About?

Before you scroll through all three of these pictures, can you tell by the first picture, what I'm so excited about?
Know yet? If not, how about a closer look. Now can you tell what I'm so excited about?
Did you guess? If not, here is what I'm so freakin' excited about! My grass is finally starting to sprout!!! I can't wait!!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

GREEN Anniversary Dinner

May 7th, my husband and I celebrated our 7th Anniversary! :o) I was sick with strep so it wasn't the greatest, so this past weekend I surprised him with an "anniversary-redo". It was a perfect evening!

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