WINDOW BOXES!!!

I fell in love with a particular window box right after we moved into our house.

Window Box Grandin Road

I saw them on the beautiful home at August Fields and knew that they would be a perfect addition to our home. They are the Nantucket Window Planter from Grandin Road and by golly, they aren’t cheap! So, I did what any bargain-loving lady does…I checked their website every week until they went on sale. I was beginning to give up hope that they even ran sales on them when in November (go figure?!) I checked on them and they were on sale. I literally ran upstairs and burst into the room my hubby was in, shrieking with excitement that after waiting 7 months, my beautiful window boxes were on sale! Yippee!! I ordered them that minute. :)

I can’t tell you how excited I was when the weather finally cooperated and we could get them hung and more importantly, I could get them planted!

Window Boxes and front windows

Front of House with Window Boxes

Window Box and Window

Aren’t they dreamy?? I just love the corbels and it seriously looks like they were made for our house the way they match the shutters. LOVE.THEM.

They are already filling out so nicely! I find myself just standing out front looking at them. :)

Window Box Grandin Road

They are filled with 3 fuchsia geraniums* (they look red in the photo, but they aren’t), 2 Diamond Frost – Euphorbia, 2 sweet potato vines, 3 white trailing verbena (one is between the vines and then on each side), and 2 Superbells – Tickled Pink. I am so pleased with how they are already filling out and I can’t wait to watch the verbena and vines trail down the front! :)

*I told you in my post about Lowes that I scored some gorgeous geranium planters for 4 bucks. Each planter had 3 plants full of buds and beautiful green leaves. SO, I pulled them out of the planter and split them all up and used them to fill my window boxes! $4 bucks for 3 plants vs $4 PER plant at the local greenhouse I picked up the rest of my annuals. Now THAT’S a good deal! :)

So what about you? Do you have window boxes or a new space this Spring you are loving?

Summer Reading Incentive

Reading is fun,
Reading is cool.
If I could choose,
I’d read by a pool.

No clue where that came from. Sorry. :)

So, I need a little help this summer keeping my girls reading on track. We need a little “Sustained Silent Reading” as Ramona would say. Ok, ok, D.E.A.R if you’re Miss Whaley. (Can you tell which book we’re reading together right now?)

SO, I’m super excited to use the really fun printables my friend told me about (Hi Christy!).

HowDoesShe Reading BINGO

Click the photo to go to my pin or you can check out the original post here. I was a little disappointed I had to register to be able to get the printables, who wants more emails? Not this girl. But, I’m glad I did because I really love this.

Short version, the BINGO sheet has a bunch of fun places or ways to read for a set time (20 minutes in our case) and when you do one of them, you mark it off. Each time you get a BINGO, you get a coupon that has a predetermined prize on it. Say, 15 extra minutes of playing outside or an ice cream treat. Then, when you fill in the entire sheet, you earn The Golden Ticket! (Please tell me you also immediately think of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory whenever you hear Golden Ticket?) And the Golden Ticket should be the prize of all prizes. We’re still deciding ours. :)

I showed it to my girls and they love the idea. I can’t wait to get started!

Do you need some help keeping your kid’s noses in books this summer? Perhaps you can stop into your local library to get some good tips or do a quick Google search and see if there are any fun programs in your area!

Happy Reading!

Shopping at Lowes: Discount Perennials and Annuals

I should have posted this a couple weeks ago because this is one of my favorite things to do and it has been awesome again this year!

Do you know about the markdown section at your Lowes Garden Center? It’s one of my favorite places. Our location always has an amazing selection of marked down perennials, shrubs and bushes, usually at least 50% off, and even deeper discount on annuals!

The first time I stumbled upon it last year I was shocked to see how much was set aside and super marked down. I went and found an employee to get a little info, truly expecting for them to tell me that something was wrong with the plants. NOPE! They have such a constant stream of new inventory that comes in that if it has bloomed or needs to be deadheaded, it gets marked down. For reals. Cha-ching! A few weeks ago it was a perfect time to buy anything that blooms for Spring and that had already peaked. They want that stuff outta there! Don’t mind if I do!

Plants from Lowes

This is just part of what I picked up last year. I think I went 3 times and filled the back of our truck. The variety available was amazing: spirea, Knock Out roses, perennial salvia, lily, Russian Sage, etc. If I remember correctly, the majority of those perennials you see towards the front were 2-3 bucks a piece. See that Knock Out Rose in the upper right of the photo? I think I paid 6 bucks for it! And it wasn’t a lone plant – I bought 3 of the best looking from the bunch. All of them just needed their spent blossoms trimmed off and they were as good as new.  This year, my Mom and I hit the jackpot on amazing geranium planters. Gorgeous, full planters of geraniums that just needed to be deadhead – for $4.00! I’ll show you soon how I made that deal even sweeter. :)

Remember, because our house was new construction, we had NOTHING around our house. I had about 10 pieces of plants I brought from our last house, but otherwise, I was starting from scratch. Finding the discount section at Lowes was like hitting a gardening jackpot for this gardener. :) If you need plants for your yard, I highly recommend stopping into your local Lowes and seeing what deals you can find!

I’ve been working on photos to share how all the landscaping is shaping up this year. Oh, and I can’t wait to introduce you to my super exciting addition – WINDOW BOXES!! :)

School’s out for SUMMER!

We DID it! We did it! Awwww, yeah!

Yesterday, we finished our first year of homeschooling! What an awesome feeling. Summer break is always exciting, but it feels so special this year. 6 months ago, I didn’t think we’d make it to this point. Well, we’d make it, but I would either have a). all grey hair or b). no hair at all from pulling it all out. Thankfully, I still have hair and it’s not totally grey (note to self, make hair appointment).

This girl just finished 2nd grade! I guess I did too!

There hasn’t been much time for reflection since we slammed our books shut and breathed a big sigh of relief yesterday, but of this much I am sure: I love homeschooling.

I LOVE homeschooling! Can you believe it? I barely can. We had some very distinct highs and lows to our year and I learned as much as the kids did. Homeschooling is not a cookie cutter endeavor. It’s very much a living, breathing, adventure that requires adjustments and flexibility for each person, each subject, and for sure, each year.

We’re going to be changing things up this Fall quite a bit from this past year. We’re keeping the parts that we loved and giving a swift kick out the door to the parts we hated. It has me really looking forward to starting school again – but not until the end of August. For now, it’s all fun and games and the beach and friends and memories. (Ok, maybe a little bit of math facts and some reading, but don’t make me think about that yet. It’s only day 1 of break man!)

Within the past three weeks, each of my girls, at different times and without any prompting, shared with me 4 words I never thought I would hear:

Mom, I love homeschooling!

Be still this Mom’s heart.

IMG_1855

How to Talk to Little Girls

I’ve been wanting to start posting again on the ole blog for about a week. I knew that we had a bunch of school work to finish and an extremely packed calendar to navigate, but after that I knew that I could get my blogging on. It was on the horizon!

And then I got sick.

Oh well! Life goes on! And now I am on the other end and feeling a spark of motivation to post, so here I am. I am hoping to start posting regularly again and I’m going to give myself the grace to post with a carefree and casual approach. Kind of like how there is no crying in baseball, there are no rules to blogging this summer. So get ready world – random posts and sub-par photography coming your way! Woo-hoo!

My Mom shared a link with me today on Facebook and I love.it. No, I LOVE.IT. Judging from the date of the original post, it’s possible you have seen it before, but I suggest rereading it even if you have. If you haven’t read it, please do. Go ahead…I’ll wait.

How to Talk to Little Girls

You with me? Sweet.

This post spoke VOLUMES to me. As a mother of two darling red-headed girls, we get comments ALL.THE.TIME. The red hair, the curls, their eyes…”Where does the red hair come from?” “Oh! Girls, you’re so beautiful! Their hair!” “OH, look at her hair!” “What beautiful children!” and on…and on…and on…You don’t realize how rare red hair is until you live with two of them. And people love it, especially Grandmas at grocery stores.

We have taken great measures to be sure our girls are gracious and always say thank you when they are given a compliment. This has been a struggle at times. Our youngest, the one with the red AND the curls went through a phase when she would be SO annoyed to hear it again. She would almost involuntarily groan at ANOTHER hair comment. I can imagine her groan could be translated to, “Really? Again with the hair? Have I nothing else you would like to talk about?”

As her parents, we work very hard to pull them aside and look them in the eyes and them all the other things that are amazing about them. Yes, the Lord is creative and gave you beautiful hair, but you are caring, thoughtful, smart, funny, kind, compassionate. We have also spent time talking about no matter how beautiful you are on the outside, if your inside is ugly and your attitude is nasty, you aren’t beautiful. You can be dressed in your best, your hair done and LOOK beautiful, but if you are acting unkind or naughty, you ain’t so pretty sister.

It’s so easy to compliment little girls in our lives because it’s true – they are so cute! WIth their cute clothes, painted piggy nails and ribbons and bows, it’s almost impossible zip our lip and talk about bigger and better things. But it’s SO worth it. As noted in the post:

This week ABC news reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that fifteen to eighteen percent of girls under twelve now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s next top model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.

I just wanted to share this because I agree with what Lisa said and I know I want to do better about how I talk to all little girls. It’s worth it. They are worth it.

See you again soon!

 

 

Blogging? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Seriously…I haven’t had time for it. (obviously)

I have so much to write about, but haven’t had time. We are recently back home from a vacation (awesome) and I am giddy about all my flowers growing and sprouting (hooray!) and in a constant state of daydreaming and planning about all the projects I hope to do this Summer (big, huge, SO.STINKING.EXCITED).

The month of May is always crazy for our family, but this one seems to be exceptionally busy. I am hoping that once we get through next week, life will calm down a bit and I can get my blog on.

Today is a Pinterest Challenge with Bower Power and Young House Love (TOTALLY sad I don’t have a post to share for it) and I am sure there will be TONS of awesome inspiration, so check it out!

Until next time…