Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Low Water Landscaping

The large landscape bed to the right of my front door had a large hedge. 

And not much else.  

It was difficult to grow anything on the sidewalk side of the hedge because the hedge blocked most of the spray from the irrigation.  I decided the hedge must go.

As often happens, the hedge and ugly plants were gone before I even thought about taking a photo for my blog.  So I started searching for a before photo and what I found is that it was so ugly I never took a picture of just this area.  

I finally found this one - focus on the area to the right of the front door as you look at the house.  See the hedge?  Not too exciting. Especially in this winter photo.



I also found the picture below from a couple years ago.  The picture is of the flowers (which were amazing that spring). The hedge looks a little better in the spring photo than in the winter one above, but still.....blah.





After many years of hand watering a few plants on the sidewalk side of the hedge through the summer, I came up with a plan.

A project if you will.    

And I hired someone to remove the hedge.  

And then we worked and worked.

And now it looks like this.


Thankfully, SuperDave hauled all those bags of crushed granite for me.

And dug the holes for the large plants.  


I carried every rock you see 
except for the ones that were too heavy for me to lift.  
I even recruited the baby girl's boyfriend for some heavy lifting 
to get this project finished up.


I was seriously sore for several days after I moved these rocks 
from other locations around our yard to this location.  

Yard work is hard work.

North Texas where we live has been in drought conditions the past few years and we are under serious water restrictions.  So this low water landscape is a good choice for our area.

I stood back and admired my work. A few hours later I would go out and look again.

And as I admired by finished project I saw this.  

Sprouts.  

Yaupon Holly Sprouts.

Bazillions of them.  

I hate these things.



There were also a several (dozen) volunteer trees.  Elm, Red Oak, Chinese Pistache, Pecan. The squirrels stay very busy in our neighborhood.  I'm sure some are just due to the wind spreading seed, but I blame the squirrels for all of them.

Here it was, a virtual jungle, right next to my new landscaping.
(I had been working so hard I hadn't even noticed)

So SuperDave and I spent another day working on the front yard landscaping. 

But it was totally worth it.



We spend at least two days a year (about every 6 months) dealing with the sprouts. Except for the sprouts, the rest of the landscape is pretty easy.  This time we cut them really good and put down fabric and lots of mulch.


It looks awesome now - I'm hoping it stays that way for at least a year.


Because I need to float in the pool and read a few books this summer.


Once again, one thing led to another. But eventually we got it done. 

Summer arrived big time this week in North Texas, so hopefully, the yard projects are completely finished until Fall....or next Spring.

Much Love and Laughter.

Laura


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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pantry Reveal - A Small Pantry Can Be Functional!

Several weeks ago, I showed you the BEFORE and IN PROGESS pictures of our pantry renovation project.  But I never showed you the completed project and for that I apologize.  I can't believe the last 6 weeks have gone by so fast!
It's almost June!  My Dad had surgery 6 weeks ago and his recovery is going way too slow for me and of course, for him.  It's consumed most of my thoughts and a good deal of my time - but he's worth every second.

In the midst of LIFE we did finish the pantry and having been enjoying it every day (when we are home).  We even did a landscape project which I will share soon (I promise.)  But until then, here are some a bunch of pics of the completed pantry. And since a picture is worth a thousand words (and this girl is super busy) I'll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.


New floor, new trim, new shelves, new paint, new contact paper, new light.
NEW EVERYTHING!

NEW FLOOR - I swear this is the best part.  See before picture here.

Ready to load up!

The ceiling is way up there and so are the shelves -
I put my least used items up high.

Stocked UP!
I added baskets for small items, partly because I was afraid
stuff would fall off the narrower shelves.
Partly because they are cute!

Full view - including the spice rack on the door.
It was the only good things about the pantry before.

Another shot, which shows off the matching paper I added on the spice rack.
I added this when the project was supposed to be done,
even though I was exhausted and didn't want to keep going.
Because a 'work in progress' is always a work in progress.

Another floor shot - did I mention it's my favorite?

I have to say for a project we talked about doing for a couple years and completed in a week, this is one of the best things we've EVER done.
And it was one of the least expensive, so win, WIN.

You can check out all the Before and In Progress pics  here and here.

I am still IN LOVE with the new pantry, every time I open the door it makes me happy all over again. Especially when the motion lights pops on and I can see!  It doesn't take much to make me happy, right?  Just being organized and stylish!

Much Love and Laughter,

Laura


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Friday, April 11, 2014

California Dreaming

How do you get through the work week and make it to the weekend with your sanity somewhat intact? Frequently I manage to make it through the week with the help of music, prayer, counting my blessings or dreaming about vacation.

We continued to work on the pantry project last night and it's coming along. Last night after work - I painted! And paint ALWAYS makes things look so much better. Paint is like a miracle face lift for things that are tired and dirty and need freshened up. I had a bit of my paint in my hair last night and I just remembered that I didn't have my honey to check to see if it washed out.  oops!

BEFORE - the lighting is really tricky in a closet this small
AFTER - TA DA!
Even with tricky lighting you can see it's an improvement
At least it's clean and all one color and yes that color is BLUE
Is that my shadow? I think it is.
After 4 nights of working on the pantry after working all day at the job that pays for projects and such (plus major spring allergy issues) I was super tired this morning. On my way to work I was thinking of vacation.  Because after all, isn't that one reason we go to work?  So we can play?  

Work to live, not live to work - that's my motto!

My parents, who are originally from Oklahoma and Arkansas, met and married in California, then moved backed to Oklahoma to live forever.  My Dad's parents, brother and sister stayed in California. My aunts, uncles and cousins still live there.  Because of this, many of our vacations when I was growing up involved road trips from Oklahoma to California and visiting family. Nothing was more fun to my siblings and me than visiting our cousins in California.

As an adult, I've made several trips to California with my own family. SuperDave grew up in a military family and spent his teenage years in California, so we are both familiar with the left coast.  We are currently booked for 10 days of fun in the sun in California this summer.  Away from the 100 degree temps of Texas.  Ten days visiting with family, playing and seeing some amazing natural beauty.  My baby girl is finishing up with beauty college in less than two months and we are taking her on a fun trip before she begins "real life", working 40 hours a week (or more).

On our list of things to do in Cali is a 2 day drive down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Morro Bay.....in a Mustang convertible!  So I'll be checking off an item on my bucket list in a couple months.  I expect to have some beautiful west coast photos to share with everyone when I get back.  Scenes like this one.  sigh

Photo credit
And that my friends is how I get through the 40 hour work week...a little California Dreaming.

Have a great weekend!

Much love and laughter,


Laura


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