Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sneak Peek of Project #2

If you have been following me for any length of time you probably figured out that I try to tackle two to three large outdoor project each Summer.

Last year I had the trees trimmed and a sewer line replaced.

You can read about those HERE and HERE.
This Summer I was gung ho on two major projects but all the rain we had this Spring delayed them and pushed them back into the Summer. I wanted to get them done before my vacations but the rain kept that from happening, so here were are with one project down and the second underway.
I recently revealed completed project #1  new front landscaping, and now I am giving you a sneak peek into project #2.
There are two parts to project #2 and the first part is done.....and now I'm waiting on the second part to get completed before the big reveal, but I will give you a big hint.
It involves this:

Nice huh?

Blogging doesn't always involve the nice pretty pictures.

To get to the nice and pretty we often times have to address the nasty and ugly. You feel me?  

So there is sneak peek to project #2. I'm sure most of you have probably figured out what I'm doing but there is a surprise in store at the end of this project that I can't wait to reveal!

Even Miss Layla is on pins and needles waiting for this project to be completed.

All of the changes around here are keeping her from her beauty sleep! :)

Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Keeping it Clean-Easy Curb Appeal

Sometimes trying to keep your house in tip top shape is so hard to do. Projects cost a lot of money or they require skills you don't have. I have always been a hands on person who likes to save money so I like to try DIYing projects myself first before hiring them out, and sometimes I get lucky and discover new things I didn't know about in the process.

So when I bought house that had siding, I had no idea you actually had to CLEAN the siding. I mean, come on. Don't you just repaint it if its wood? And what about Mother nature? She gives us rain, isn't that good enough for the siding? 

Um, no. Its not. All that rain deposits more dirt and grime onto your house and who wants to constantly paint their home every year to keep it fresh and clean looking? That is expensive and time consuming!

After about two years of owning my home I had completed a couple different projects like having the trees trimmed and knocking down a privacy fence that enclosed my patio, so now the sun was shining in from all different angles and revealing DIRTY SIDING! Gag!

So I HAD to do something about it.

I have a white house too and the dirt was right there in your face. It was all over the siding and gutters and I didn't know what to do.

I didn't have a power washer and at the time I didn't even own a ladder taller than 5 foot high, so how in the world was I supposed to clean my house without renting equipment or hiring someone to do it?

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Luckily I was at Home Depot one day and stumbled upon the best house cleaner EVER by Mold Armor.

I am NOT being paid or compensated in any way to tell you about this stuff. I am just doing my job as home blogger to inform you on what works for me, and this stuff definitely works!


 All you need to do is just hook it up to your hose.
I have one of those Pocket Hoses and it worked just fine.
Turn the dial to the "clean" position and cleaner will start spraying out.
Tip:Make sure to clear your space so you can get every nook and cranny. I remove everything off my front porch before getting started.

Just spray the  house all over making sure to generously cover your problem areas, then let the solution sit for a couple of minutes.  I know you are exciting to get your house clean but you must let the solution do its thing first!
Tip:The solution has bleach in it so be sure to wear white clothes or something that you don't mind getting bleach splattered on. And ALWAYS wear protective eye wear too as the solution will be bouncing off the house and back down on don't want to get this stuff in your eyes.
I even spray my windows.

And I use this handy window cleaner with expandable arm that I also got from HD.

One side is a soft cleaning cloth and one side is the rubber squeegee side.


I use the cleaning wand to scrub everything including my siding and gutters but you don't technically have to.
The solution will loosen up the crud and it will fall off when you rinse.
So now its time to rinse and let everything dry for a few minutes.

 Tip:My first board of siding under my gutters is always the dirtiest so I do the top part of the house twice.

The bottom part comes clean  the first time with just rinsing so I just let the second round of suds clean as they run down the house so I don't waste more solution on the bottom part of the house.

Now look at that clean gutter. Spotless!

The gutters and siding look SSSSOOOO MUCH BETTER!!!!!

In fact, I can now see the spots that need some paint touch up and caulking. Yay me!  LOL

I do one final rinse and spray off the porch too so I get it clean as well.

Once everything is dry you can bring back your flower pots and door mat and you're done.

Tip:Don't do this when it is scorching hot outside with the sun beating down on your surface. The sun will dry the solution too fast and it will be splotchy on your windows. I recommend doing this when its in the 80s and when the sun is NOT shining directly on your surface.


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All done and now I have a clean back drop for all my new landscaping! Yay!

Did you see my new landscaping?

You can read about it HERE?

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking Up to These Great Parties:

Sundays Down UnderMy PinterventuresTreasure Box Tuesday 85What did you makefridayfavsbasic200xDwellings-the Heart of You Home

The Bajan Texan

Monday, August 10, 2015

New Front Landscape Reveal

So here it is. Finally! After a month off vacationing and enjoying the Summer I am picking back up on my projects and can finally share my front yard landscaping with you.
Do you remember my front yard landscaping makeover that I started in June?
You can go HERE to read all about it if you missed it.
So here we are now with this empty space and one barberry bush that I salvaged.
The Holly bush was dug up shortly after this picture was taken. I really liked it but it was way too over grown and needed to go.

 One of my favorite new plants was this dwarf Limelight Hydrangea called "Little Lime".

She will produce lots of white-ish to pale green flowers in July and they will dry out over the Fall and make for beautiful dried hydrangeas.
 Over the month since the landscaping was planted, everything has bloomed.
So here is the Little Lime now:

This will eventually grow to be about 3-5 feed tall and wide so I made sure to plant it away from the foundation to allow room for it to grow.
See the space between the house and the plants?


I added a small Sheppard's hook with a little yellow bird house that I found at a thrift store for a some whimsy.

The clumps of grassy looking plants are purple Lirope that I already had on hand. I just dug up one and divided in into three chunks. This is an excellent way to save some money!

I knew I wanted these on the end of my landscaping where my pavers curve. They help round off the edge, and they will eventually bloom little stalks of purple flowers.

This hydrangea is a Fire and Ice Hydrangea.

It grows tall white flowers that over time turn a pale blush color and then in the Fall turn a dark pink color. Hydrangeas are wonderful plants that we can enjoy in the Summer but also in the Fall when their flowers dry up. They make for beautiful fall arrangements!

So here is this section of my landscaping with everything planted.

And remember Annabelle?
She did great last year in the back  yard but this year we got too much rain that was pooling water where she was planted, so I had to transplant her to this shady side of the house. I like how she kind of frames off the edge of the landscaping and serves as a  nice backdrop.

Once she is better established here she should fill in very nicely. See her behind the downspout?


I added a Knock out Rose bush at the corner of the front porch and at the beginning of the walkway so it is the first thing you see when you pull up the driveway. 

They will fill out and add a lot of color and texture to this section and this one on the corner of the porch will balance out the space with the Barberry too.


So far it is taking quite well and has doubled in size already and is full of blooms.

And I will tuck one more Boxwood back in this corner behind the Knock Out rose bush-where the Holly bush used to be.

I chose to put a Boxwood here because it is not a flowering bush and will not draw bees and wasps. It is right by the front door so I did not want anything flowering that close to the door.

Now, for my mulch. Because I have a white house, I decided to use black mulch for contrast. I really like how it looks against the house and the color of all the plants.

Removing all the bushes and planting new stuff was a change, but putting in black mulch was stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit but I am glad I went with it as it really adds depth  and richness to the space.

Mulch is something that can be easily removed if you don't like is not permanent. So if you want to jazz up your landscaping but aren't up for digging and replanting, then I suggest trying a different color of mulch. You will be amazed at the difference it makes!

The Barberry that I salvaged has an odd shape because it was trimmed when the old bushes were there on either side of it.

Next year I plan on trimming it down to about two feet and letting it grow new sprouts so that I can reshape it around the new plants.

For now I am taking advantage of its height since it shades the new landscaping.

If we make our way back towards the front walkway, you will see that I lined the walkway with Boxwoods.
I chose the baby Boxwoods for $7 at Lowe's so that they can grow into their space and fill out over time versus buying larger ones from the nursery that were $35 each. I saved a ton of money this way AND got the same plant and the same look I was going for. Score!
And I am happy to report that they are already getting bigger since these pictures were taken! 
I can't wait until next Spring after they have had more time to grow. Maybe by then you will actually be able to see them down by the street. 

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I still need to touch up the paint on the front porch where the old bushes used to be but other than that most of the hard work is done. 

Now I just make sure to water everything daily and wait anxiously for it to grow and fill in!

The front is now so open and airy and so much cleaner than before. I could NEVER get all the leaves and debris cleaned out from under those bushes, but now that everything is open I can blow off leaves with the blower this Fall and keep everything clean so that I have less clean up in the Spring. 

So there it is. My new landscaping. I planted every plant myself and purchased and hauled every bag of dirt and mulch myself, and have an aching back to prove it! Ha! But it was worth every sore muscle!

Now, if you are wondering what it takes to put in new landscaping, you're in luck. I will be publishing a post soon with a step by step tutorial on what it took to plan, design, and put in all of my new plants to help all of you out there who might be wondering where to start your project.

Have a wonderful day!


Linking up to These Great Parties:

Chic on a Shoestring Flaunt it Friday 
The Bajan TexanTreasure Box Tuesday 84http://www.thethriftyhome.comTreasure Hunt Thursday- From My Front Porch To YoursPhotobucketSundays Down Under

Less-Than-Perfect Life of BlissMy Pinterventures Treasure Box Tuesday 85What did you makeDwellings-the Heart of You Homefridayfavsbasic200x

The Bajan Texan