Friday, June 19, 2015

The Garden... Finally!

After a ridiculous amount of sweat and hard work, I have to say the back perennial garden is essentially DONE (for this year, that is).  Of course, that is, unless I happen to come into some free plants, cause then I really couldn't NOT plant them! 

Let me give you a little back story:

This little garden of mine came about 3 years ago, when I decided to finally start adding a little life to our (at the time...) backyard.  And so I decided to pick up 4 5' tall Cedars to plant along the back fence for some interest.  At the time, the only other thing in the "yard", was sod.  It was a sad little space.

(this planting in-progress shot is somehow, the only one I seem to have)
I then decided that it looked a little weird to have these floating cedars and really wanted a divider of sorts and decided I was going to put in a stone retaining wall of sorts.... if I were to do it all again, I would have done my job differently and made a slew of changes, so I will NOT be giving any sort of tutorial on this.  I mean, it turned out okay and looks not bad, so I'm not about to rip it out anytime soon, but just know that taking shortcuts, isn't the best way to do most tasks....
But I started it in 2013, then went thru a HUGE life change, took a little hiatus and finished this bad boy up last year. 
In addition to those cedars, I added black mulch and a few plants here and there.

One of my cedars didn't do so well after that first winter and slowly started to die.

I was a little worried about the one next to it, but I hung on to both, hoping they might come around...

Which takes us to this year:
While the 3 others flourished, that sad little boy on the end, was DOA!  So I dug that sad puppy out and replaced it.  Unfortunately, the new guy is the same size as the old ones when they were first planted, so he has some catching up to do.
It's actually already filled out since this photo was taken a few weeks ago.
My biggest goal this year was adding in a ton more perennials to really fill this space out.  I ventured out of my comfort zone of pretty, colorful flowers and even embraced non-flowering shrubbery which was scary for me.
A few of this year's additions were:  Lilacs, dogwood, peonies, irises (a transplant last year from my mom), hyacinths (bulbs I planted in the fall), cotoneaster, and something like a firebush whose name I can't recall...

My favorite decorative addition this year was this old Ikea mirror on the back fence.    It's missing a little mirror on one of the arms so I got it for free from an old showhome sale. While it's not the right style for my house, it's PERFECT out here!! 

Here we are a couple weeks later:

As you can see, things are definitely growing and I think Irises have become my new fave!  Look at that gorgeous purple color just taking over the centre portion of the garden!

I added some stakes so the dropping blooms wouldn't crush everything underneath!  I am definitely going to be asking mom for a few more of these to fill in some of the blank spots!
I may have overdone it in this area and will most likely transplant some of these shrubs to different spots once they start filling out.  I did manage to get one beautiful peony though..... sadly it is long gone though.  It's my first year though so I wasn't expecting much from it. 
The next thing to bloom in this garden will most likely be these lilies.  I planted several plants last year, and they have DOUBLED in size in all sections and have a crazy amount of buds, which I am definitely looking forward to.  They are one of my faves and will bring a nice burst of color to the garden once the irises have come and gone. 
One of my goals was to try and pick items that would bloom throughout the season, so that there was always something starting as others were fading.  However, I am a lazy gardener in that I have no patience for choosing plants that growing in optimal conditions or work well together, or even look at the growing times... I just choose plants that I like and that I think will be pretty to look at.  Thankfully, it has worked out so far!

My "spilled pot" roses are coming back, but hadn't quite greened up yet.  Thankfully I added another shrub of very similar ones next to it, so once they are both going, I hope this arrangement will look stunning!  It was super pretty last year.

The roses were memorial flowers I planted last year in honor of my Mischu who passed.   I also happened to pick one up for Greyson who was still living (at the time).  He passed in November and I am happy to say that both bushes made it through the winter and are slowly starting to get buds so I am excited to see them bloom.  I found these sweet little plaques in honor of each boy and they are holding place next to each boy's rose bush.

Look at the color combo here with the purple, the red and the chartreuse!  LOVE!

It's no surprise that I love birdies, so the garden is full of sweeties like this cute boy!

While it is hard to get a full shot of the space, it is slowly coming together and I love heading out the to backyard each night to see what's blooming and doing my daily weeding.    it's by no means complete, but I have definitely got a nice base of plants here now and can't wait to see how it grows!

Now, I've just got to tackle those darn dog spots in the grass..
How's your garden doing?  I love seeing spaces and getting tips! Feel free to share!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Wantable Intimates Review: June 2015

I had no plans this past weekend other than to spend a good portion of time watching Netflix since Season 3 of both Orange is the New Black and Nashville had been uploaded. 

But Friday was also a good MAIL DAY!! So, here is my Wantable Intimates review!

The Scoop: 
Wantable is a Subscription Box Service.  They offer a few different types:  Accessories, Intimates and Makeup - which operate like a regular subscription service, arrive monthly, you can skip any month you like, etc.  They also have a Clothing and Fitness Clothing Edit Service, which are a bit different and are more of a personal styling option.  (these two are not yet available to Canada). I subscribe to both the Accessories and the Intimates.

Cost: $36 US which works out to about $54 for us Canadian folks once you factor in exchange, shipping, and all other charges. 

Ships to: US (free); Canada $6; Uk $7; Australia $7

Once you fill out your style profile, you are good to go! 

Here's a first look:

 Their info card is pretty detailed, which I like.  It includes a lot of info including styling tips, price, etc.

 Your stylist chooses your items based on selections you made in your Style Profile. I like to change mine up each month. Here's a peek:  

  After briefly checking the card, I dug right in! I like what I see right off the bat. Color, pattern and something new! 
Rene Rofe It's a Frenzy Bra
This is the first time I've received a bra (other than a bralette) from Wantable and I was a little skeptical as I wasn't sure how it would fit. 

This bra is a push-up, front clasp racer-back style. The cups are padded but not overly so and it is pretty light weight. My absolute favorite part is the back: 

Absolutely LOVE the lace! This is also perfect for summer and wearing with skimpier tanks, where it will show through! This turned out well. 
Valued at $28 this is a good price for a bra. 

Rene Rofe Spring Print Chemise 
This is exactly the kind of stuff I would expect from a summer Intimates box. It is cute, colorful with a fun print and super lightweight! Absolutely perfect for hot summer nights!  Couldn't like this more. Actually, I could, but that involves losing a little weight around my mid-section, so I'm working on that ;) 

Here's a closer view at the lace and bow detailing on the bodice: 

Valued at $22.00 this price point is very good. I'm quite happy with it. 

Rene Rofe Spring Print Robe 
OMG! Yay! A matching set! I never would have thought to want a light weight robe but this is such a smart idea! Since some of the summery chemises are shorter (and sleeveless), it only makes sense to have a coverup. This is also perfect for wearing fresh out of the shower when I blow dry on hot days! 

The pattern and colors of both pieces are so pretty. I really love this set and couldn't have asked for a better match! 
The robe has both the standard belt and the inner ties to really keep everything tied up nice and tight! Valued at $36 this is still a great price and I have no issues with this, especially as the entire set is under $60! 

Overall, this box has a value of $86 which I think it pretty good. It's more than double the Value of the box (obviously less for anyone not in US) but still, a good value. 

The Intimates box has long been one of my favorites and if I keep getting boxes like this, I'll be a happy girl!
The only thing I want to note is that I have definitely been seeing a lot of the same items being sent to other reviewers which makes me a bit skeptical on how well they are actually reading my comments and style profile since I doubt I have the same as everyone. Might be time to be more specific! 

Do you subscribe? What's in your box this month? 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Time Flies...

Wowza... I don't know where the days are going!! We have been incredibly fortunate to be having a phenomenal spring, weather-wise and I have been taking full-advantage any time I am not working.   Which to be fair, isn't much ;)

Regardless, I wanted to check in and let you know what I've been working on. 

Firstly, I seeded the lawn. It's an absolute disaster every spring. Mostly, I think it's cause of the dog, but also partly the fact that it gets little sun in the winter as the neighbours house is set further back than mine. This winter, I'll be blocking the yard off from the dog, to see if I have better luck. 

Oh yes, and I bought a pool, as you can see! It's actually not too big and will mostly just be used to keep me cool during hot days working in the yard but it'll be fun to dip into when I have friends over!!  I also thought it a good ploy to cover the area of grass that was completely dead.... Sadly that area is not as flat as it looks and the pool collapsed one day and flooded my yard.  The only upside? The crazy good weather we've been having meant my grass needed it! 

Lots and Lots of planting had been going on! As usual, I added a few pots to the front porch, back deck and am ever-working on the perennial garden at the back of the yard. It's all still a work in progress but weather permitting, I will be shooting some shots on Sunday!  Here's what before looks like:
I think gardening might be one of my absolute favorite pass-times! 

Spending time outside with this girl has been how I spend most days. She's patient and kind and mostly just enjoying being outside when I'm in the yard. We've also been hitting up the dogpark when we can! 

The biggest progress so far has been in making over the lower patio! I am super pleased at how it is coming along and can't wait for it to be finished. It's currently in what I am calling Phase 1, which is purely cosmetic and useable. The previous incarnation was dim, gross and dirty, filled with spiders and storing junk. It's been cleared out, cleaned up and prettied up. I have big plans for this space and got lots underway. Above, you saw a sneak peek at Finley enjoying the space but here's a shot at how cute it's currently looking! 
Definitely an improvement! Can't wait to finish all the projects on my list and have some people over! 

What are you working on in your yard? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Week in Photos

Last week was randomly exhausting. I actually worked less last week but was somehow MORE busy. I also just wasn't feeling like myself so I may or may my have spent a good portion of it binge watching Netflix.....

I have several projects in random states of completion and in the works, unfortunately due to a random dumping of SNOW last week, reveals will be happening next week! 

As such, I did want to pop in and share a little phone photo dump. So here's my week, with little words. 
Is this big enough or do I just bite the bullet and get a large ugly shed? I really just need a place to store the snowblower and lawn mower... 

                         Real Stone 
This rubber stuff..... Might be worth looking into, if just for my sanity! I've been spending a LOT of time at <a href="">Home Depot</a> lately....

    The makings of French Toast!  I've been cooking on the weekends. Sometimes it's fancy (for me) and sometimes it's the easiest dessert ever:

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes 

It's that time of year again: Peony Season!  Sadly, I don't live somewhere where they are regularly in-stock and these babies are PRICEY!!! At $15 per and $8 each for the ranunculus, this tiny Mason  jar bouquet was not cheap. Especially since the pink blooms turned completely white in 3 days. Sad face! 

We bought a ton of flowers but thankfully didn't plant them, since we got snow and they lived inside for half of last week. Now to find a home for these lilac bushes! 

This cheerful little porch makes me smile. I've thought of changing it up, but there's somethig about it's sweet simplicity that I like.  I'm also going to attempt to keep that pink Hydrangea alive... Past attempts with them haven't yielded great results. 

I attended <a href="">Army & Navy's</a> Legendary Shoe Sale last week and bought 6 pairs..... I threw out about as many last year thanks to a hungry boxer..... So we're even! 

I hate selfies.... But I lol GREAT in this gorgeous jewel-toned emerald green color! Glamming  it up for the besties bday dinner! 

THIS was $38 and a 2 hour wait. I ate only the stuff on the right. Do NOT visit the Wildflower Grill here in Edmonton. The service was terrible ( we were seated at 8 and didn't get dinner til well after 10:30....). , the food meh and over priced and apparently the wait staff was trash-talking our entire group. Someone heard them calling members of our party "fat", "wrinkled and old" and various other degrading comments.  I think we looked stunning and we had a lovely time heading our "fat, wrinkled old asses" out dancing after.  Sadly, I have not one photo after this point at dinner...  That means I was too busy enjoying myself I think! 

Mother's Day. I may not have birthed her, but I am a proud mama to this beauty. We spent the day working on the yard and cleaning up the back garden. She never ventures far away from me when I'm back there! 

So that my folks, is a brief summary of where I've been, what I've been up to.  There's some planting and various other outdoor updates in the works! I'm excited to share with you all! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Splendies Review: June 2015

I always get excited when I see a package in the mailbox!! Today was <a href="">Splendies</a> mail day! 

Splendies is a monthly Underwear Subscription service that sends out 3 pairs of surprise undies. You will get a variety of styles from bikini, boy cut, hipster and thong.  I also find they are pretty good about creating a "theme" or at least coordinating the pairs they choose. 

Cost: $13.99/mth for 3 pairs

Shipping: Free to US: $7.00 to Canada 

Splendies don't come in a box, just a plain white mailer, wrapped in tissue. 

Wet Seal Striped Thong 
This cute grey and purple striped thong is super cute, simple and looks super comfy. I've never tried this brand as we've never had Wet Seal here. 

Pucker Up Floral Bikini
These aren't really my style, but are still pretty cute.  I'm not so sure about the fabric of these. There seems to be a pretty high polyester content, which I don't love in a bikini, but I'm still gonna wear these for casual days. 

Spree Chevron Lace Trimmed Hipster
These look super cute and comfy. The fabric is nice and I really like the lace waistband.  

  Overall, I'm always pretty happy with the undies they send.  The quality is good, the selections seem curated and they're always super cute!   Splendies does have a tendency to run a little small with their sizing, and since I sized up, I've been much happier with my packages and haven't had much issue with pairs not fitting.  I will say that this month was probably the only month that didn't include a "sexy" pair, which is fine but it usually helps to add some more variety to the styles I receive. 

Interested in signing up for yourself?  <a href="">click here</a> to sign up!!