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Nursery Scouting


I hope you're having a great week and gearing up for a nice holiday weekend.  I suspect many of you might be doing some yard work too, right?  I have been planning out my garden and my pots for the summer, and in my quest for new ideas, I went to a couple of great local nurseries to scout them out and share them with you!

I am not the most creative when it comes to gardening, so I rely on the experts, and I'm not ashamed to say that I copy emulate them.  It's the highest form of flattery, right?

I adore this purple and bright green color combination, don't you?  The green just pops so beautifully against the deep purple.  Sure to add some curb appeal, wouldn't you agree?

This nursery has the BEST hanging baskets I've ever seen.  For real.  Aren't they amazing?  Again, with the purples!  And no, they're not cheap - these were $100 each.  But oh boy, what an impact!

Here is another great pot to use for inspiration.  I love how the sweet potato vine contrasts against the bright green and the wave petunias. 
This entry into an area of the nursery caught my eye too.  Look at this arbor and the plantings that flank each side.

Here is a close up of the planters.  Gorgeous!

The other nursery I scouted was filled with beautiful planters as well.  This is one of the designs I'm attempting to replicate for my home.  Except I didn't realize those stripey wave petunias would be so hard to come by!  Aren't they unique?

And then there's this one that I'm copying as well.  Fortunately, the plants for this one were in plentiful supply. :-)

Like house stalking, I really enjoy all of the great designs and ideas that are out there, even if I might not be daring enough to try them myself.

The great thing about these places is that if you're not feeling creative, and want to grab something and go, you can pick up one of these premade planters that just drop right in to your pots and you can call it a day.

I also go to the big box stores and hit the jackpot on some clearance plants.  50 cents for geraniums - um, yes please!  I think I picked up a dozen of them!

Seriously, of all plants, you gotta love how hardy geraniums are.  This is one plant that makes me look like I know what I'm doing.  Pluck off the dry leaf, and you're good to go.
So, have you planted your flowers yet? Are you planting a garden too? Do you stalk the nurseries like I do?

Linking up to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures


Curb Appeal - My Block


I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to hit the ground running this week.  I'm counting the days until the kids are out of school and my quiet house becomes a scuttlebutt of non-stop activity.  I don't know about you, but I'm working on a to-do list to keep them busy from killing each other this summer.

First things first.  Have you been stalking following Cyndy's series on color palettes over at The Creativity Exchange like I have?  Well, you must scoot over there and take a peek if you haven't already.  Each Monday she has been featuring different color palettes like this one - and rooms that emulate them.   Brilliant!

Since I'm an admitted color palette junkie, it's right up my alley.  I'm thrilled that she invited me to do a guest post for this series, so you'll find me there today giving the lowdown on my home's color palette. 

Now that the weather is warming up, I find myself paying closer attention to curb appeal.  Plus, now that I'm home full-time, this fella and I have been taking daily walks, which makes the curb appeal thing even more top of mind.  He waits for me at the door after I drop the kids off and/or go to the gym - ready for his walk.  Love this gentle giant.

So, I snapped a few photos of houses around the hood that really speak to the whole notion of curb appeal.

Ok, this house isn't technically in our neighborhood, but another one nearby.  It was a Homearama house several years ago, and I still adore the exterior curb appeal of this beauty.  It looks like it belongs in the Hamptons, doesn't it?  The eyebrow window, cedar shake exterior, gorgeous front porches and windowed double front door?  What's not to like?  Never mind the immaculate landscaping.  Perfection!

This lovely is another one that I always slow down to admire.  It's hard to tell from this photo, but there is a beautiful Mission style front door, and I love the mix of materials too.  The stone work really catches your eye and draws you in.  A sweet front porch doesn't hurt either, and I have major yard envy for their grass.  Do you think they'd mind if I rolled around in their front yard?  We're still working on getting away from the tufted look of different types of grasses in ours, and are on lawn service numero three. 

Another case of grass envy on this house.  Perhaps that's why I captured so much of it in the photo.  It's pristine and the flowering bushes in the front just make it even prettier, and shutters always add pizazz to a home.

This home is another one that just shouts, "Welcome Home" when I walk by.  The wrap around front porch, dormer windows and cheerful exterior color combination are just lovely.

This house is another one I have always admired.  Great stone work, and again, the glass front double doors get me every time. 

This last house just screams All American Home doesn't it?  I love the white color with the black shutters, the dormer windows and the welcoming front porch.  You can sort of see the beautiful potted ferns that flank the windowed black front door.  Love it.

I may have to venture out to some new neighborhoods or change my daily route so I can share some other gorgeous exteriors.  I always enjoy looking at homes as the earth is coming back to life. 

Who am I kidding?  I always enjoy looking at homes, period, no matter what the season.  It's just prettier in the springtime.

Have a beautiful day!

Linking up to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures


Craigslist Treasure & Upholstery Decisions

Happy Friday!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks around here!  Let's see, hubby's birthday, my oldest son's confirmation, my dad's birthday and Mother's Day all in one week, and then I hosted my Bunco group last night.  And you know how I get when I host a party...  Suffice to say, my house looks better than it has in months weeks.  But, it's nice to wake up to a clean house!  I think I need to entertain more often.

And you gotta love it when someone is a no-show for a Craigslist purchase.  That means that I have these lovelies in my husband's office...

Awwww yeah!  That's right - I got them and I love them!  Granted, it was another errand on my crazy to-do list yesterday, but, I didn't want to risk someone else snatching them up, so it was totally worth it.  It's a good thing, because the seller told me that there were three other people interested in them.  Of course, because they're awesome (and comfortable!).  You'd never think they would be that comfortable by looking at them.

So now I'm debating on upholstery.  But there is some orange in the current upholstery, so it's not a huge rush, because they kind of work just as they are. 

I'm looking at these fabrics right now - they gray paisley (even though my husband just said, "I'm not having paisley in my office").  He's not a paisley fan - there is a history to that, it involves a big green paisley couch from when we first dated .  But I think it's totally masculine and such a great combination of colors from my palette.

Or this fabric - I do love the durability factor of this one...

What do you think?  I am half tempted to move these beauties into our family room - they're just what we need in there!  Great versatility here, that's for sure.

There is still more to be done in here, but this is the best it's looked in a long time.  I told you entertaining lights a fire under my butt to get things done, didn't I?

Have a fantastic weekend!


Office Progress and Craigslist Stalking


How are you?  I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day and are enjoying your week.  I have been busy!  It still amazes me how full my days are and how quickly they pass sans full-time corporate job.  But, I'm loving it.  Seriously, I've adjusted even more quickly than I thought I would.

I put a palette together for my husband's office, and have been dealing with the wallpaper fallout in trying to get this space painted.  Ridiculousness!  Don't you hate it when you have a project that you really work on, but at the end of the day, don't have a whole lot to show for it?  Yeah, that's been this room so far.

The amount of patching and sanding was maddening.  But at the end of the day on Monday, the office was primed.  Can I get a "Halleluiah"?

So, it went from this:

To the walls looking like this:

To this:

And finally, the back wall - primed! 

Thank goodness only two walls were wallpapered.  And really, the window wall wasn't even a full wall.   After painting the two non-wallpaper walls, you can imagine how anxious I was to pretty up the ugliness.
Pictures of the fully painted room coming soon.  I'm still sort of kicking myself for not going with the more daring shade of Chelsea Gray (bottom left).  I got cold feet, fearful that it would be too dark.
Chelsea Gray - bottom left
Instead, I went with Cape May Cobblestone.
Now I'm on the hunt for some chairs that I can freshen up with some fabric.  I have my eyes on a couple of craigslist cuties.
These are my favorites - two for $50!  I sent an email about them, and someone is supposed to pick them up tomorrow. :-(  I'm hoping they're a no-show.  I love these - they would be a pretty easy update with the fabric I have in mind.

Then there are these two for $40.  Still cute, but I like the first pair better, don't you?
Figures, I've been looking for a dynamic duo of chairs, and was too busy patching and sanding to peruse craigslist.  Must pay closer attention!

What are you working on right now?  Any opinions on the chairs?  Keep looking or make an offer?  Did I mention there is a neighborhood garage sale in our neighborhood this weekend?


Picking the Perfect Shade of Gray

Happy Friday!

I hope you've had a great week and are gearing up for a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  Ours will include a "Mother's Day Baseball Tournament".  Let me just throw this out there to coaches - as much as I love watching my boys play baseball, please don't schedule a tournament over Mother's Day weekend as though it's a "gift".  We have enough games and practices every week that a tournament in our honor isn't necessary.  Just sayin'.

If you follow me on Facebook, you saw that I put some samples of gray paint on the walls of my husband's office, not realizing how, um, similar they all were to one another.  And this was after agonizing over a bajillion shades of gray - clearly I was delirious.

Top left - Dolphin
Top right - Secret
Bottom left - Chelsea Gray
Bottom right - Revere Pewter
(That little swatch in the middle is Graystone)

Kind of reminds you of that song, 'Which one of these is not like the other...."

Then I put the same colors up against a backdrop of primer.  Big difference, yes?  Especially with the color that "doesn't belong".

The coloring might be a bit off, due to the light and the fact that I put the paint colors up on different walls, but you get the idea.  And at the end of the day, I wasn't sold.  At first I was leaning toward Chelsea Gray, but then I was afraid it would be too dark with some of the other dark pieces that are in there (black desk, black credenza, etc...).

So what do I do?  I pick a color without even doing a sample swatch.  Yeah, I'm a risk taker like that.

I chose Cape May Cobblestone by Benjamin Moore.  I saw some lovely images on Kristin's blog (and one of my favorite go-to sites for solving color quandries) Favorite Paint Colors

This gorgeous room is from Four Generations One Roof.  A stunner, right?

Mind you, I'm still patching walls from the wallpaper removal (I swear, I think drywalling them all over again would be an easier process), but I have two walls that are wallpaper-free, so I slapped the paint up there to see how it looked...

The jury is still out at this point, but it's growing on me.  I just start to freak out when I think it starts to have any smidge of a purple undertone.  I swear, grays are harder than any other color I've chosen so far!  So tricky!

But, it does look better than this hot mess:
On the motivational front - I'm hosting my Bunco group next week, so I anticipate I'll crack the whip and finish painting the entire room before then!  Nothing like a party to light the fire, right?

Do you have a favorite shade of gray?  Do share!

Have a beautiful Mother's Day weekend!


The Month of May: Five Favorites

Hello friends!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I would share my five favorite things about the month of May.  I know yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, but my favorite things about May are still valid, even on Seis de Mayo (that would be May 6th)...

1.  Spring is in full bloom
If you follow Mother Nature's lead for color inspiration, she won't let you down - especially in transitional months like Spring and Fall.  I have developed a serious color crush on lavender and green as a result.

Such a fresh look, don't you think?

2.  Summer is Near
While summer doesn't "officially" start until June, we all know that it kicks off with Memorial Day weekend, which means lots of outdoor entertaining.  I love outdoor parties when the weather warms up, and with the advent of Pinterest, the ideas abound.
SMW Design
 Even some lavender and green on this lovely dining table...
3.  Mother's Day
One of the greatest gifts in my life is being a mother, and I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful role model in my own mother.  And now I know what she means when she said all she wanted for Mother's Day was good kids.  But pretty flowers are always nice too, right?
4.  Time to Plant
I love planting my pots and getting my garden started, and am always rewarded by watching my flowers blossom and my vegetables grow.  I never tire of it, and can't wait to enjoy some  garden ripen tomatoes with some home grown basil and fresh mozzarella, drizzled with some good balsamic vinegar, of course.  Nothing better.
 5.  Outdoor Fun
May brings consistent warm weather (at least more consistent than April around here), which means more time for outdoor fun.  And it's also a good time to start thinking about summer activities with the kids.  Now that I'm home full-time, I'm starting to make a list so that we don't kill each other get bored.
Lemonade stands are a staple of summertime fun, and I am itching to make this one that I saw in Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine.  I love that it has wheels too, and could imagine the girls in the neighborhood pushing this thing all over town.  How stinking cute is that?
If money is no object, pick up one of these for a cool $2000.
I'm thinking I might need to try an outdoor scavenger hunt this year too.
Do you have favorites for the month of May too?
Don't forget to link up to the April Project Party!