Fess Up Friday - Flower Pot Failure

Hi Friends :-)

I have a little fess up.   This year has NOT been my pretty plant year.
When at the END of the season, when your pots should be overflowing with beauty and your flower pot looks like this......

you know somewhere along the line you messed up, especially when your husband asks you, "Why is it this year we have a bucket of weeds for our hanging flower baskets?"  

 Seriously, I looked at him all hurt and then burst out laughing!  He was so right!!  I still don't know why the one of the left looks like it has GRASS growing out of it!


I will admit, I know the problem :-)  I was too cheap.....I just have to find a happy medium between HUGELY expensive and DIRT cheap!  Although last year's flowers were a gift to us I happen to know they paid 70.00 a PIECE for them.  My flowers were only $5.99 (and they showed every lovely 599 pennies worth.)

This was LAST years flower pots!

Just a tiny bit different :-)

And here's a look at THIS year's window boxes:

UGHHH - what happened!!!  I think I chose a shade plant and realized later that that space does NOT get a lot of shade.  The pink geraniums just didn't perform like they had in the past - but I am not going to blame that on me, I'm going to blame it on the fairies that were supposed to encourage them to grow. (-:

This was LAST YEARS window pots:

Such beauty :-)

OH well :-) I have a lifetime of summers to try again :-)  My husband is probably hoping I contact a garden hire to help me out but I'm determined to get on Pinterest and learn in FIVE FREAKIN EASY STEPS how to create the most beautiful flowers ever :-)   SMILES my friends!


ENJOY the rest of the week!

Stop to smell the ROSES and pay the flower fairies to sing - it's worth it :-)

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Fun Tile Trends - Tile That Looks Like Wood!

Alright my friends :-)

 Would you believe me if I told you the picture below was TILE and not hardwood?

Isn't it beautiful!!!  Yes, it's TILE.  Tile "wood" floors have been gaining a lot of momentum in the design world.  Just yesterday, my friend was telling me about his favorite house in the Parade of Homes (home showcase) and the home with the "wood tile" floor was his favorite.  As much as I ADORE my hardwood floor I have to tell you, there are a few things I have run into that make me wonder if I should have chosen something else.

ABL Tile 

So for those of you contemplating this newer design trend I thought it would be fun to discuss some of the pros of choosing "wooden" TILE over hardwood.

ABL Tile
With timber tiles you would not have to worry about:

Nicks and scratches

Bugs can't eat tile :-)

Water won't ruin it 
(tile doesn't expand or crack in wet environments)

Although I picked a VERY distressed wood product, I have a ton of obvious scratches - it doesn't help that we have a dog with long nails either.

I also have had so many WATER issues - one time our refrigerator kept leaking water and it sat overnight and nearly ruined our wood floors - the repair man was sure to tell me that he would NEVER put wood in his kitchen.  (Thanks Mr. Repair Man) :-)

This would be my Repair Man's dream kitchen - this is an all TILE "wood" floor :-)

For those of you worried about how COLD tile can be - don't worry, just install radiant heating!  It's not all that much extra when you are doing new home construction.

Look at these faux AGED tiles! These are simply ceramic tiles made to look like aged weathered wood.  You wont have to worry about any old lead paint on these boards :-)

What do you guys think of having the tile continuing up the wall?

Yep, these are still tiles!  Taking it outdoors would be interesting :-)

Really, my goal with this post is just to introduce you guys to another product that you could choose as flooring.  If you have pets, kids, live in high humidity (or NO humidity!) and thought that you could never have that nice hardwood look - YEA! Think again!

Have you guys seen "timber tiles" before?  After reading this would you consider putting them in your home instead of real hardwood?  I'd love to know some of your thoughts!
Please see my full disclosure policy regarding this sponsored post

Before and After Kitchen Remodel - Tips on Making a Small Kitchen Appear Larger


One of my friends just finished an amazing kitchen remodel.  I know all of you guys enjoy seeing before and after pictures so I sent a text saying, "Send me your before and after pics" and immediate I got a response "You mean I'll have to clean my kitchen?"  hee,hee.....my type of friend!  

So here is what my pickleball friend had to deal with when she moved into her new home.  What's wrong? Haven't you always dreamed of having a pink and baby blue kitchen?  HA!

before yucky pink blue kitchen remodel

Her husband is one of those men that can do ANYTHING - The Mr. Fix It Man 
Extreme.  I'd LOVE to go into flipping homes with him.  I would tell him my vision and he would whip it out (ya, if only life was that simple!)

And a few months later - this beautiful kitchen evolved :-)  Her husband did ALL of it :-)

Is that a flashlight and a bag of chips on the counter?? hee,hee.....I guess she's a real person - LOL!

Aren't you impressed!?  I just LOVE looking at photos of complete disasters and then the gorgeous outcome.  

I thought this before and after kitchen remodel by Mike Taylor Kitchens was "post worthy" too!  I love how they made the space feel larger with the all light colors and the mirrored pantry door - just little tricks of the trade :-)

Talking about tricks of the trade - let me give you 4 simple optical illusion tricks to make your small kitchen appear larger :-)

  • Banish those bags of chips and flashlights - hahahahah!! (she'll never share another picture with me!)   No seriously, in a small space the less clutter you have on  your counters the larger the space will appear.  Try to put your tea kettle away instead of on the stove and skip the fun accessories like wicker baskets or iron fruit bowls that seem to fit well in the big kitchen spaces.

  • Skip using small tiles on your floor.  You might think that's the right move in a small kitchen but the opposite is true.  Small tiles just makes the space appear busier than normal.  If you use larger tiles it gives you more of a continuous visual line.  It creates an illusion of MORE floor area. Another trick would be to lay the tiles or wood in a diagonal pattern to create the illusion of extra width.

  • In general, going LIGHTER instead of DARKER in your color scheme will help make the space feel larger. Try making the "big ticket items" like cabinets, walls and flooring light in color.

  • Use recessed lighting instead of hanging pendant lighting.  Pendant lighting although pretty, will cut into your visual space making it appear more cluttered and in return, smaller.  You can also use under cabinet lighting to bring uncluttered brightness into your space and create a larger feel.

There you have it my friends!  If you have a fun before and after picture I'd love to see it :-)  Maybe I'll use it for my next post!


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Fishing and Camping Trips This Summer

I can't believe summer is winding down!  (uggh - that makes me sad!)

Sometimes we plan "big" summer trips but most of the time we just pick fun spots to go camping.  

So, here is a re-cap of some of the fun things we did!

HAHAHA!  Yes, I do like sushi but no, I wasn't trying to eat that fish raw.

This summer we fished a LOT! Although my husband doesn't fish much, my brother is a fish biologist and joined us on one of the trips. He taught me and my son how to tie a true fisherman's knot and get our poles all set up.  

And then my awesome brother went on to teach my daughter how to clean the fish!  

And I just sat in the hammock and relaxed - hee,hee.  OK until it was time to cook them. :-)

This was the boating/beach area of one of the places we stayed - it was so beautiful!

We had a blast renting paddle boards one day.  Just to let you know, you do NOT stand on it like a wakeboard, snowboard or skateboard - hahaha - you will fall head first.  Yes, I learned the hard way, just stand on it straight on, foot on each side.  ;-)

On any GREAT camping trip you have to have a good fish story - right?  

So here is mine :-)

I thought I was super cool because I caught this huge fish right in front of these guys that had been fishing all day and caught nothing.  

My fish biologist brother had already left the trip so I texted him telling him about my great catch (I'm in blue)


My "awesome" catch was a stinky uneatable SQUAWFISH! All my coolness immediately left - hahahahaha!  

All to say, we had a GREAT time and we were all EXHAUSTED at the end. 

I hope all of your summer trips have been relaxing and special.
Till next week my friends!

Top FIVE Fun Tree House Designs and Garden Spaces

Hi Friends :-)

Lately, I've been having fun on Pinterest looking at cute little homes - like itsy bitsy mini homes.  

OK, I've been fascinated with tree houses lately.  :-)

I want to be like the Swiss Family Robinson and climb up a tree to sleep so I can feel safe from all the wild roaming deer in my yard. :-)

We actually have three baby fawns that roam our backyard regularly!

 Isn't this perfect?! Tell me you want a tree house of your own now!  Ha! I call this The Hobbit inspired style. :-)  

If you are a bit more traditional, this Arts and Craft style tree house would be the one for you. :-)  I love the curved iron railing - a perfect balcony to be on the look out for wild animals. :-)

This one would be delightful - it has the feel of a Rustic Scandinavian home design.  I love the hanging pendant lights over the table.  The hammock adds a great touch too.  I'm glad they put the hammock on ground level.  I'm not sure how relaxed I'd feel swinging 30' off the ground especially if someone wanted to jump on it with me.  ;-)  "NO, you can NOT join me on the hammock!"

For those fitness fanatics determined to get in their daily cardio, this might be the one you choose. HA!  Can you imagine bringing the groceries up and down that winding staircase?!  To hear the words  "Hey honey, I just need ONE more thing" might take on a whole new emotion. :-)

This next tree house if for the "lucky guy" that keeps having to run up and down those stairs for his wife - hahahah!  One day he just won't come back and she'll find him at THIS tree house. ;-)

It's a tree house BREWERY!  Really, it's the Treehouse Brewing Company. :-)  

I pinned this to my "Makes me Laugh" Pinterest Board - I've pinned a few hilarious things lately.  When you need to just escape life for about 2 minutes head over there  - I promise you'll smile just a little bit.  ;-)

 If you are afraid of heights and you would prefer a cozy outdoor garden space on the GROUND I thought this one was awesome.  As I clicked the source link to this picture, The Hobbit soundtrack began to play, and then soothing New Age music was next - It just made me smile  :-) Maybe if I show up there I can get a free massage :-)  haha!

Maybe you can start thinking up your own tree house design. (-:Have a GREAT weekend my friends! 
Please see my full disclosure policy regarding this sponsored post

Vintage Industrial Chic Home Design - Inspirations!

Hi Friends :-)

I thought I would start out this week with some lovely eye candy from a recently introduced website by the name of Uniche.  OH WOW! :-)  

industrial chic vintage trolley sofa on wheels
Uniche's Factory Day Bed

They focus on Industrial Chic or sometimes referred to as Vintage Industrial home furnishings.  I know that style isn't for everyone BUT I find it one of the most fascinating and exciting styles out there!  Those that follow my blog know I chose a Rustic Tuscan theme for my home.  All to say though, I would hope that well rounded interior designers could respect any decorating style.  I love ALL styles, yep, there really isn't a decorating style that I can't find some beauty in.  

Industrial Clothes Rack

How fun is this 1940's trolley inspired clothes rack! Can you picture it in your bedroom displaying your favorite outfits?  You could also put something like this in your hallway for shoes and to hang your coats - a very unique "hall tree" :-)  

This crank table just makes me smile - so full of character!  Oh and the chair is pretty cool too.

Large adjustable crank table

I have an uber creative friend locally that I always run into at my favorite thrift store grabbing old ugly wing back chairs. :-)  She takes them and along with any vintage fabric she finds, creates these gorgeous "newly" upholstered patchwork chairs.  She sells them in very high end furniture boutiques.  

Here is Uniche's patchwork wing back chair. Yes, I know it's not for everyone, but you can't tell me that chair wouldn't bring a little bit of sunshine and a smile on your face in the right home.  :-)

Patchwork Wingback Chair

I could go on and on with the fun industrial items from this website but I'll let you go check it out yourself.....well, after I show you one more thing - hee,hee.

Uniche's first question on the description of this dining room table is "How brave are you?"  :-)  

It's made from sheet steel with an aged paint job.  Your kids can NOT ruin this table - ha!  The more tonka trucks and pounding toys on this table the better. :-)

Like I mentioned earlier, I know each of you will either love this style or just shake your head.  My 7 year old daughter just came up and said "That's BEAUTIFUL!" and then my 11 year old son just shook his head and said, uh,uh.....that's just weird. 

What do you think of this style?  Are you brave enough?  :-)

Please see my full disclosure policy regarding this sponsored post.  

Update on Backyard Home Sports Court (Pickleball)

Hello Friends!

The Pickleball Sports Court Saga Continues :-)

Well, we just got a slab of concrete poured!  For those who have been following the blog, you know the sports court tile company (Flex Court) told us they believed we would not have to pour to make their tiles work but unfortunately, over the "ok'd" compacted crushed gravel compound the pickleball wouldn't even bounce.  (I have to say, did the sports court people REALLY not know it wouldn't work? SIGH, we had LOTS of other problems dealing with that company too, one of them being we ordered the tiles in March and received them in July - yep)

backyard pickleball court
Compacted gravel compound - this does not work.

So, with a very expensive (unexpected) extra cost added to the project, we poured concrete. :-)

It was interesting to see how it was all done :-)

concrete slab for pickleball court

This is what the sport court tiles looked liked delivered to us.  I have to admit I was thinking OH MY, this looks like a very BIG project! :-)

And it was :-) :-)  

Seriously, it was like a giant puzzle!  You started in the center and then followed the lines piecing the tiles together.  It took us a little over 5 hours - my husband realistically inform me that in general, it should have gone a LOT faster as he was sure people would have more than 1 1/2 men working on the project.   

Ummm yes, he credited me as only HALF a man - hee, hee.  FINE, whatever! :-) 

pickleball court instillation

We finished up the court around 10pm and honestly the last few pieces we couldn't even see because it was so dark out (but that didn't stop this 1/2 a man!) :-)

And the VERY next day, I caught a buck and a doe casually strolling on the newly laid court - so much for the new bright colors scaring them away!  (OK, it's fun to have deer in our yard, just not when they eat my newly planted bushes) :-)

backyard pickleball sports court

My husband and I played our very first game that next night and what do you think this 1/2 a man did???? 

 YEP, I beat him 6 to 11 (OK I'm giggling just a bit) :-)

What did he expect though?  I won a medal at the championship pickleball tournament I just played in, I'm not going to let myself lose to a FULL man ;-)

championship game winner
My son encouraging me on :-)

Alright, if I'm honest, I know that in about 2 weeks of playing every night, he will probably be better than me but I'm OK with that.....he'll enjoy sleeping out in the hammock.  Hee,hee.....no, I'm a better sport than that......maybe  :-)

As soon as all the landscape and rock are in (we actually have a few more big landscape things to do)  I'll show you the completed court and maybe a pickleball video. :-)

We did buy this fantastic portable pickleball net - it's been GREAT!

Paddletek pickleball company is sending me 3 paddles to review.  I am very excited as Paddletek is known for having excellent pickleball paddles.

If anyone is reading this post contemplating instillation of sport court tiles in their own backyard you can see how the pickleball didn't bounce over the gravel with a short video on my You Tube channel

You can see lots of stunning backyard landscape ideas in this post.

*EDIT:  You can go over to the Completed Pickleball Sports Court post to see it all complete, landscape and all :-)

ENJOY the weekend my friends!
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