Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Does the tooth fairy visit puppies?

If so, our little pup will be a very happy girl. Over the past few days, I have seen some pearly whites get very wiggly and then disappear to make room for some new chompers. I am quite amazed at how fast they grow back, too. Poor little thing is definitely teething something fierce (our fingers are a testament to that!). The good news is that she still sticks to her toys (and an occasional appendage). Thank goodness!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Green thumb after all?

I've been very proud of my latest gardening projects over the past couple of weekends. I've always known some plants would make a huge different in our yard. This is the proof. You may recall the back of our house looking like this from the frost damage...
Well, now it looks like this!New croatins and mulch to make up for the dead ones I removed, along with some touch-up paint on the house and cutting back (way back) the ugly "banana tree" that grows along side it.
I also wanted to improve our curb appeal, so the front porch now looks like this...
The planters stem from a lack of finding exactly what I wanted in any store (at least without spending a fortune). I specifically wanted black containers, since our plan is to replace the front door and paint the new one black. I couldn't find any I liked, but I did find some fairly inexpensive plastic terra cotta pots.
After a little bit of spray paint (okay, more than just a bit) and some elbow grease, what started as this... is now this...
And what started as these... Are now these...
I am pretty excited, since the flowers in the pot on the back patio have sprouted new buds that are already blooming. Of course, I threw away the tags so I have no idea the names of most of them. The red ones above are Zinnias. That's about all I know. I'll take closer photos to see if you can tell.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jax Update

I did a side-by-side comparison at one month but I couldn't resist posting another one now that we have had Jax for 5 weeks+. When I see her every day, I don't think she's changed that much but looking at her "baby" pictures, I can't believe she's even the same dog!

The best towels!

We have company coming in three weeks and since we didn't get all of our guest towels from our registry, I decided to splurge and get a few of them myself in order to stock the linen closet. Much to my delight, Macy's is/was having a bed and bath sale so I got a great deal. Sadly, however, I think I got such a good deal because they are discontinuing the whole line.
When I registered, I did a test on three different wash clothes that were all the same color to be sure I picked the best ones. Between Pottery Barn, Hotel Collection "Microcotton" Luxury, and Haven by Hotel Collection, the Haven towels won. While the other Hotel Collection towels are super soft when dry, and the Pottery Barn ones were okay, neither had the perfect balance of softness and absorbency like the Haven ones did. Plus, they're organic! Now that I have them in my master bath and guest bath, I love them and was so happy when my package of new white towels arrived today.
If you are ready to go out and buy some for yourself, you better act quickly because they are all on Closeout sale at Macy's. And I'll warn you - the white ones (or "snow" as they call it) are not available online. It took calling a ton of stores in Florida to finally find one that had enough I could order. But they qualify for free shipping and are a great deal, so I highly recommend them!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weekend Landscape Challenge

The challenge: a barren side yard that made each arrival home less than welcoming.
The solution: a day's worth of landscaping that tackled painting over bare spots on the side of the house, ripping out the last of the dead bushes, and replanting seven (count 'em, seven) new shrubs along with bags and bags of mulch.
I spent Saturday running from the Farmer's Market (no luck) to Home Depot and back home again, not being able to find any white azaleas around. Instead, I settled on some nice Indian Hawthorne bushes, which I am told are very drought tolerant. I was so proud of my work once I was finally done. It looks so much better!

(I'll update with real photos later...this one is just from a Google search)

Now, onto the next landscape project. More details to come...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Fever

The weather this past week has been so lovely, making it especially hard to go back to the office on my days to come home at lunch to let the pup out. It's also making me want to get out in the yard and start planting to fill our bare mulch beds. With major clean-up this "winter" in the side yard leaving all but the bare sides of the house and a "cold-snap" leaving half of our backyard dead from frost damage, the yard is looking pretty pathetic.
I am determined to hit Home Depot and maybe even a couple of local nurseries or the Winter Park Farmer's Market this weekend to check out the plants. After scoping the neighborhood for what seems to work in this climate, I definitely want some white azalea bushes for the side yard along the house. Some color in the back would be nice, too.
I also want to make my first trip to Old Time Pottery for a sale they have starting on Sunday to get some nice planters for our front porch and back patio.
Now, I do not have a green thumb, so I am just hoping that any investment I make to get the yard in better shape will not be a waste. If you know of any tips and tricks, I'd love the advice!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover, Part 1

I left the house this morning to what sounded like hail stones dropping on our garage floor and loud thundering from above. No, it wasn't some fluke spring storm passing through...we are getting a new roof!
You may recall a small incident last summer, which left us less than a little confident in the condition of the "5-8 year-old" roof over our heads. We had several contractors and estimators come out to give their recommendations on how best to fix the problem, and the general consensus was that the roof was, indeed, much older than we thought and basically needed complete replacement. You can imagine how happy I was to hear that!
Well, to keep from stressing over it all through the hurricane season coming upon us faster than we'd like to acknowledge, we went ahead and booked a crew to come out and replace it. What seemed like 20 men arrived bright and early before 7 this morning and by the time I left around 8, they were trucking along. Poor Jax didn't know what to make of the noise, but luckily my wonderful husband is staying home to keep her company and monitor the progress...at least until lunchtime.
I am excited to see how it looks when I get home from the gym tonight! Oh, and as for the Part 2 of this story...you'll just have to stay tuned!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cost per wear

I am a big believer that it is worth spending a little extra on clothes that you are going to wear a lot because the cost-per-wear makes it totally worth it. I bought a dress a few years ago that was pretty pricey and I rationalized the purchase with the fact that I had a some important events that spring to attend, including an out-of-town wedding where I met a lot of Ryan's college friends for the first time (we had only been dating five months) and my sister's rehearsal dinner. I thought those events alone made it worth it since I wanted to dress to impress.
Well, almost three years later exactly, I am still wearing the dress for various events and it made another appearance at a wedding we attended last night. An old work buddy of Ryan's tied the knot at a beautiful historic home downtown in the garden courtyard. It was a lovely spring evening and a perfect chance to bring the dress out again. I reminisced the whole night about our own wedding, trying my best to hold onto the memories from that day that seems so long ago. Since it's wedding season and we have at least two more to attend, it will be nice to think back to our own special day. (And maybe I'll wear the dress again.)

(You may also notice a change in the photo above...it was time for a new Spring look, so I had a few inches of hair chopped off yesterday morning. I love it and it feels so much better! That's the last time I go four months without a haircut.)

Spring forward

Sorry it's been a week since my last post. The pup just seems to consume all free time! The latest in the world of Jax revolves around her health. We took her for her final round of boosters and rabbies shots on Wednesday and while the vet was checking her out, we talked to him about our concern for her itchy skin. Since we brought her home, she has been pretty itchy and at first we thought it was a result of the flea bites she had from being at the rescue. Then she picked some up in our own yard, so we thought that might have been the cause. After speaking with the vet, he thought it may be one of two things. Either she has a food allergy, which isn't too common in young dogs, or she may have mites. (Gasp!) While we give her Benadryl twice a day, we are in the process of switching out her food to a hypoallegenic (read: expensive) vet prescribed formula to see if that helps. Hopefully it does- otherwise, it's back to the vet for a skin test. Poor thing!
The vet appointment happened to be almost one month exactly from when we first brought her there. Amazing how quickly the weeks passed, and how much the little one has already grown! She started at 9 lbs and is now up to 14. We're still not sure how she'll end up, but I'm crossing my fingers that the growth spurt calms down and she stays a petite medium size. We'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Recap

Brr! Okay, I know it's a little silly for someone in Florida to be commenting on it being chilly, but after the gorgeous 80* day we had yesterday, being 52* right now is quite a drop! A cold front blew in this morning with pretty heavy rain and it's been really windy all day.
I must admit, I love the cold and am super jealous that some of my family and friends may have experienced a pretty snowy day up in Atlanta (crazy!) but it was also pretty nice to "sunbathe" outside in the backyard yesterday while watching Jax play.
I guess it just goes to show you that March really does come in like a lion!
In other news, I spent a lovely day yesterday with some girlfriends, getting our nails done and then later grabbing drinks and dinner. All the while, our spouses were off competing in the Man Olympics (they had some other official name for it - with a trophy and all - but I can't remember it). Earlier in the week, I had helped Ryan finish his very own Tailgate Toss boards, which he had built last weekend. Unfortunately, the bean bags I was also supposed to make for him did not turn out because I could not figure out the flipping sewing machine that I borrowed from a friend. Oh, well. They seemed to get by without them.
We also took Jax to her first puppy training course today at Petsmart. She is in a class with 3 other pups, and the funniest part is that she is the biggest one there! This was her first experience with smaller dogs and she handled it pretty well. A teeny-tiny Yorkie wanted to play during class so I let Jax down a couple times to check him out and she let him bat at her face and jump at her. She would have loved to play more but I felt a little rude letting them nip at each other while our instructor was trying to talk, so I had to end things before they got too into it. We didn't learn too much today, but I think the 8-week course will turn out to be pretty useful.
I finally got some other stuff done this weekend, as well, like painting a couple of baby gifts for a new mom and mom-to-be. I need to go buy more supplies so I can keep creating these onesies. I am thinking of setting up a shop on Etsy, because it gives me a creative outlet and I really enjoy doing it (plus, a little cash from my creations wouldn't be bad, either!).

(this one is for a close family friend, whose nursery will be using this PB Kids pattern below.)