Saturday, April 28, 2012

Going To Savannah

I'm so excited!!!
 Our (26th) wedding anniversary is coming up soon and we will be staying at the Hamilton Turner Inn, a historic bed and breakfast in Savannah, Georgia. I know we were just in Savannah last month, but it is our favorite weekend getaway.

We wanted to stay at the Hamilton Turner Inn last year for our 25th last year, but Mr. Fanatic was driving our daughter out to California on our anniversary and the inn was booked up when we were able to go to Savannah the following month. 

May 2011 was a busy month with our oldest moving to SoCal and our youngest daughter graduating from High School (and all the festivities that went along with it).

Here are a few photos of  the Hamilton Turner Inn in Savannah...

Isn't it a gorgeous place?
I am totally going to play the tourist and carry my camera everywhere.

Do you blame me?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shop The House Tablescape

* disclaimer: This post is not for those of you who are seasoned tablescapers, but for those who feel they can't set a pretty table for some reason or another. You seasoned tablescapers can still look at the photos, though!

No excuses ladies (and gentlemen)! 

You can make a beautiful tablescape using what you have. 
All  you need to do is: shop your house.

I don't want to hear " I don't have enough sets of dishes". 
I'm going to let you in on a secret... neither do I

There's more than one way to set a table and the most beautiful ones are a mix of different textures and layers. It's the same as decorating a room. Don't make everything match.

I have the usual white tablecloth with the gold textured topper. Then I added a white napkin with some lace detail. OK, these were already on the table from last week, along with the textured round chargers.

I brought a beautiful pot of geraniums in from the deck. They've really grown a lot in the past few weeks!

Dishes are Mikasa Italian countryside(my every day dishes), paired with some inexpensive salad plates purchased several years ago. Glasses are from Target. The candle holders are actually lucite glasses I found at HomeGoods awhile back.

See... simple. 
I don't want to hear " I'm a busy mom and don't have time to set a pretty table".
Secret number two: have them do it.


 Set a couple of  different place settings  and take pictures of each one. 
Then print them out and put them up on your bulletin board. When it's time to set the table, get the photos out and let your kids choose the photo of how they want to set the table. They can look at the photo for reference. 
I did this when my girls were small.  I think they were 4 or 5 when we started doing it.
Now go shop your house and set a pretty table!



Monday, April 23, 2012

More Flowers For The Deck

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!
 We were able to get a much needed project finished, which I will tell you about another time. Sunday, was much different as we spent the afternoon taking a very long nap after church and lunch.
Mr. Fanatic definitely needed it after all his hard work.

Hopefully good weather has arrived at your home...we are back to cooler weather and rain, but we definitely needed it. But, last week I was able to freshen up another planter on our deck.

The planter looked pretty tired and needed sprucing up.

I went out and found a new coco liner, which had to be cut down.

After cutting the liner to fit, it was filled with new potting soil.

The container was filled with geraniums, creeping Jenny and ivy.

So much better.

I added two plants with silvery foliage to fill in the sides.

Seems this year I am really loving geraniums.
If you would like to see my other Spring flowers for our deck, you can see them HERE,

and my front porch flowers are HERE.  

I've also planted veggies in several raised bed containers and you can find them HERE

What plants and flowers are you growing this year???


Friday, April 20, 2012

Love Your Furniture

 Many years ago when we purchased furniture for our Master Bedroom and Dining Room, Guardsman Furniture Care products were recommended by the stores where we purchased our furniture.
I've used Guardsman wood polish cream quite often since then and my wood furniture still looks great!

So, when Guardsmen contacted me to to help them spread the word and help them launch the “Stop Cleaning, Start Caring” campaign, I agreed wholeheartedly. They also wanted me to tell you about their sweepstakes...but, more on that later...

Guardsman sent me out a few products to try and to review for you. These are my opinions and they did not influence me in any way and I was not paid by them, other than the products they sent me.

The products I really wanted to try were the Filler Sticks and Touch-Up Markers.

Here are a couple of reasons why:

I remember seeing these scratches on the top of our Dining Room Buffet after hearing two of our cats  chasing each other around the house, and yes, on the good furniture.

Following the directions on the back of the package, I  used the darkest filler stick and rubbed it into the scratches.

Then, I used a microfiber cloth to remove the extra material. Next, I used the dark marker on the smaller mark to the left of the scratches.

It blended in perfectly. I then used the marker on the newly filled in scratches.

Much better!

The other product wanted to try was the Fabric Protector.

I had the PERFECT thing to try it on. Remember our Front Porch Makeover? The iron bench is the favorite evening napping spot for my cat Buddy, so the cushion definitely needed protecting.

After a few light coats of Guardsman Fabric Protector and
...water is repelled.

 Now my new cushion is protected against spills and stains....Wish it repelled cat fur!

 Now for the sweepstakes...

To celebrate Guardsman's Stop Cleaning and Start Caring (for your furniture) promotion, Guardsman is offering everyone the chance to win a personal design session at home, complete with $1,500 room re-accessorizing and shopping experience with TV Design Star Tracy Hutson (Extreme Home Makeover).
How cool would that be?

To win, log onto  and share a story about your favorite piece of furniture and make a promise to care for it the same way you care for other things you love.
That's it. Good luck!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Evolving Tablescape

You might think this is the same tablescape that was posted last week...
It is, with a little change.

The table posted last week was set several days before Easter. Of course, nobody sat at of the reasons why I don't usually keep the table fully set.

Here's a reminder of what the Easter week table looked like:

After Easter I went to HomeGoods and came home with these beautiful blue and white dishes. When I first laid  eyes on them I knew  they were coming home with me.
 Lucky  I still had a gift card given to me by my youngest daughter for Christmas.

HomeGoods had dinner plates, bowls and mugs in this lovely pattern. I would have loved to buy them all, but I'm not sure I would ever use them . Who uses all matching dishes these days anyway?
I only have a few full sets of dishes...I use white china for the dinner plate and just buy salad plates for contrast and variety. It's so much cheaper that way...These salad plates were only $3.99 each.

This past week we were going to have a frost so my geraniums had to be brought inside.

I just never get tired of looking at those geraniums. They seem to be glowing with the light coming in.

I would encourage you to set a pretty table today using what you have and maybe a few new things, as well. Let me know if you have any luck getting people to sit at your lovely table!



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raised Beds

Yes, it's really true! I've been telling you about our raised bed garden for months and I'm FINALLY going to reveal the four bee-u-tee ful raised beds Mr. Fanatic made for me several months ago. 

I hope you have a comfy place to sit because I have A LOT to show you!
 Here's a quick glimpse of what's currently growing...Romaine lettuce.
 Isn't it gorgeous?

The raised bed project has been a long time in the making. Last year Mr. Fanatic made me four terraced beds on the South side of our house. After a successful year of gardening in them, we started planning an expansion of gardening space. Here what was planned...

Here is a before photo of the North side of the yard looking into our backyard.. Our lot has very little sun because of all the woods we have. We have two strips of on the lot where we get the 6+ hours of sun needed to grow most veggies. 

On the North side of the yard (left side of the photo), there were 3 very large Leyland Cypress trees that we had to take out. The center tree had caught something and was dying and we figured we'd have all three trees removed to make room for our new North Garden. I had a difficult time with taking them down since it afforded us so much privacy, but it was only a matter of time before the other trees caught whatever the middle tree had.

This is another before photo. You can see one of the Leyland Cypress trees on the far left of the photo. The 9 little plants in front of the pot are the potato plants we grew last year.

Here's how the North side of the yard looked after the Leylands were taken out. The 4 large shrubs are on our neighbor's property. Pretty dismal looking at this point, but I had a vision.

In January, Mr. Fanatic built 4 raised beds out of 2 x 8's. Each bed is apx. 4 feet by 10 feet. (The ends are 4 ft wide and the length is 10 ft + the width of the ends)
Many people make them out of cedar, but that wood is so expensive and this wood should last several years. We finished the outside with a sealing stain, but the inside was finished with a non-toxic stain made from whey.

The most difficult part of this project was terracing the slope...which meant digging out the dirt. I did this by myself, by hand, with a shovel.

Wire "cloth" was attached to the bottom of the boxes so that critters wouldn't tunnel under the boxes and get our veggies.

At this point, we were filling the boxes with dirt. Mr. Fanatic filled  them with several trailer's full of dirt.

Here all the raised beds are filled with dirt and mulch we had just put down the hardwood mulch around the beds. The little dark rows on the right front bed mark where I planted carrot seeds.

Here's the North side of our yard looking into the backyard. Disregard the grass line. I hadn't dug the trench yet! Still working on it, but it's almost done as I write this! :)

I planted two shrubs which will grow quickly and keep the garden from view from the front yard.

Looking toward the front yard.

Here's a photo of the raised beds from our deck. 
This photo was taken about 3 weeks ago; everything has grown since then.

Potatoes are growing tall. The tall ones were planted several weeks ahead of the others.

The sugar snap peas are now well past the second rung on the trellis. The purple cabbage haven't grown much.

As potatoes grow taller, more dirt has to be added to cover the base of the plant so the potatoes growing under the dirt don't  see sunlight, otherwise they will turn green.

This is where my herb garden will be. The 3 plants are basil.

I planted oregano seeds to the left of the gold pot and mint on the right in the pot. Evidently, mint  will take over if you let it. I read somewhere on the internet  that planting it in a sunken pot will keep it from spreading too much. I've also planted parsley to the right of the pot since this photo was taken.

Five strawberry plants have found a temporary home in one of the terra cotta pots. I'm hoping Mr. Fanatic will have some time soon to build a vertical container for them.

For those who don't remember the raised beds Mr. Fanatic built last year on the South side of the house... here they are.

Mr. Fanatic installed a drip irrigation system for these beds. He's also planning to install one in the North garden raised beds, as well.

There you have it...hope you enjoyed your tour of our expanded raised bed vegetable garden. This is where you'll find me most days when the weather is good. 
I just love to watch the plants grow!

If you would like to see how Mr. F. made the terraced raised beds last year, you can see the post HERE.

Are you planting any veggies this year?