While cleaning up my desktop files earlier this week, I came across this little 8 second video I took last year, but never shared.
Before moving to North Carolina, I'd never seen a firefly before (or lightning bug, as they're called in the south). I was fascinated by them, and just like a little kid, I just had to catch one in a jar to see it up close.
If you've never seen one either, here's what they look like when they flash.
(don't worry, I released this little guy outside right after filming him)
The lighting bugs are just starting to come out for the season, and it's so neat to sit on our deck after sunset to watch for the little flashes between the trees. I'm sure we'll be doing some of that this weekend, while we rest in the evenings after long days of hauling paver stones around to build our fire pit area!
Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully I'll be back next week with the good news that our fire pit is finished, and we got to enjoy it Monday evening, but we'll see!
After all of our hard work on Saturday, we were in need of a snack. My husband sort of felt like having cheese and crackers, but I was in the mood for guacamole, although I didn't feel like going to all the effort to making guac from scratch.
So Avo-cow-do Dip was born!
Makes 4 servings, 62.1 calories per serving
1/3rd of an avocado
2 wedges of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese
2 slices of bacon (we used Hormel Microwave Ready Bacon)
garlic salt and pepper to taste
a few drops of sriracha sauce (optional)
Mash avocado and Laughing Cow wedges together in a bowl with a fork. Cook bacon and crumple it in the bowl. Stir in as much garlic salt, pepper and sriracha as you like. Serve with chips or crackers (we ate it with Whole Wheat Ritz).
So creamy and avocado-y, with little crunches of bacon and a slight spicy taste from the sriracha. And so quick and easy to make. I have a feeling this dip will be making a reappearance in our house again soon!
Well, we had a very productive weekend! We spent both days prepping for our big Memorial Day Weekend project: building two retaining walls and our fire pit area.
Saturday morning we were up early to check out the nearby garage sales (no luck though, since we were only looking for big furniture pieces that we could refinish). Then we visited two landscaping supply yards and a garden center, looking at paver stone options for our retaining walls. Unfortunately none of these places had very many options for pavers to build walls with a slight curve, mostly we found rectangular shaped pavers, and lots of flagstone and natural rocks. And their prices weren't really better than what we'd seen at Lowes the previous weekend.
But luckily we decided to try Home Depot, to see what their selection and prices looked like, and we found our pavers! They are a nice color blend of greys, reds and browns, so they will blend into the surrounding natural landscape really well, and they were only $1.18 each! We'd been budgeting for $2 pavers, and even though these are slightly smaller, so we need to use more (only 3 inches high, instead of 4), it's still a savings over what we found at the stone yards and Lowes.
We bought 300 pavers, along with 10 bags of paver base, and 20 bags of small decorative rocks which will cover the finished fire pit area (although someday we may replace the decorative rocks with a paver stone patio, but that will be in phase 2 of the project, and we have a feeling we may end up liking the more natural rock surface even more than we would a patio.).
I'm so in love with these sweet photos I saw on Reddit of a deer and a cat being friendly, that I had to share. Now my kitties need to step up their game, and make nice with our own backyard deer so I can see them more!
Do you ever feel like you're working on a ton of projects all at once? That's how we're feeling. We really need to get more organized, rather than bouncing around from project to project. But when everything needs to be done, it's a little hard not to just work on what you feel like at the moment.
However, that means I don't have any shiny new completed projects to blog about yet. So instead, here's a quick look at what's in the works.
Well this weekend we started working on fixing the transition and patching the holes. Unfortunately, the two little transition strips that we needed to span the 12' 9" space were about $30 each, which was more than we wanted to spend on this fix-to-get-us-through-until-we-put-in-hardwood-floors. But since hardwood floors are a couple of years away, we bought the expensive transition pieces. And some $0.25 flooring samples to use to patch the holes in the floor itself.
We were expecting to just be able to pull up the old transition piece, insert the new pieces, glue them down and be done. But no, like most things, it took longer than we thought. For some reason the gap between the tile and laminate wasn't uniform, or even big enough for the T part of the transition piece to fit in properly. Once we looked at the back side of the old transition, we found they'd cut the T part off in a lot of places....which would explain why it never did a good job of staying in place. My husband did it right though, and used the circular saw to shave off the laminate flooring to give us an appropriate and uniform sized gap across the width of the room.
I sent this photo to Melinda at Palindrome at Home a couple of months ago, because she inspired me to see if I could "bread" one of my cats. Yes, I know, totally old and stale internet meme at this point!
But I just came across the photo again and it made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it here. Hope it makes you smile too!
(I'm pretty sure he was licking his lips in anticipation of eating the bread off his face!)
Hope you all have a great weekend! Anyone got any fun plans?
Surprise, surprise, we will be working on the house. On the agenda for this weekend is organizing my home office/closet bedroom while my husband works on his own office, looking at bathroom tile ideas, attacking the still completely full of boxes dining room, and maybe removing wallpaper from the downstairs bathroom. Depends on how ambitious and motivated we feel like being. Our to do list is so long at this point that we are just kind of picking what to do next by what we feel like at the moment. But we also need to make time to enjoy our deck though, since we only have about a month left before it gets humid and icky out! Gotta enjoy "first summer" while it lasts!
Happy Friday! And happy Mother's Day to any of you mothers reading (hi Mom!).
Well we got to experience one of the "joys of homeownership" this past weekend. You know, something breaking or going wrong with the house!
We've known since doing our home inspections that there were a few cracks in the grout in our master bathroom shower. It was on our to do list to caulk the cracks, in case they were deep enough to be causing leaks, and we were already planning on eventually redoing all of the bathrooms in the house, including re-tiling the master shower, although the master bath was going to be our last priority out of the three baths.
Well, now we're going to have to move the master bath up on our to do list.
Saturday, after we installed a new dryer vent in our crawlspace (and rerouted it so the vent was only about an 8 foot span, instead of the 25+ foot run it used to be), my husband went to go take a shower. Which resulted in us seeing a drip coming from the ceiling in the laundry room, right through the drywall.
We'd already removed the popcorn from the laundry room ceiling, but hadn't done anything else with it, so we decided to just go ahead and open it up to see if we could identify the source of the leak. Considering the drywall was already squishy from a couple of weeks of leaking on it, we knew we'd be replacing it anyway.
And yes, as we'd expected, the leak was coming from just to the side of the drain pipe. Good times!
Behold, what I spent all of last week working on. An unplanned pantry makeover!
Well, not entirely unplanned. I'd pinned a few photos a while back with cute stencils or wallpaper inside pantries, thinking that someday, when I had the free time, I'd do something fun inside our pantry.
Y'all know by now how much I've LOVED spotting wildlife in our yard ever since we moved to NC. Well I found a new type of animal to watch in our new backyard!
Do you see it? Between the slats of the deck?
How about now?
It's a gorgeous hawk! We've seen this guy a couple of times a day, flying through our yard down to the little runoff creek and up along it, searching for food. I've even seen him flying with a little snake in his mouth!
On Monday you got to see a glimpse of last week's project: building a custom cat door in a window. Well, now here's how we did it!
First, I just want to say that this is a highly customized project, so I'm not going to provide you the measurements we used. It is all going to depend on what type of window you have, and you need to measure your own window anyway, to make sure you have as tight of a fit as possible. This is the 3rd of these types of custom window doors we've made (scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to see past iterations) and each one has been different, but all were based on the same principals.
Which are, make it safe for the cats, and make it so nobody can break in through it. Obviously, if someone wants to break in, they're going to do it, and can just break a window. But you don't want to make it easy for them to get in through the cat door in the window (and by the way, we know for a fact that someone tried unsuccessfully to break in through our very first cat door back in California, but they couldn't, so they broke windows instead).
Also, I should note that this is only stage one of our cat door. This design is fine for spring and summer, warmer months, but we are going to beef it up a bit come fall, to help hold in the heat for winter.
I have a deep love for shoes, anything with garlic on it, and all things DIY. Just a West Coast 30-something adjusting to life in the South with my husband and 3 kitties. To pay the bills I'm a marketing communications professional, but my true love is crafting and working on decor projects. And now that we are homeowners, I love taking on bigger renovation projects side-by-side with my husband, as we strive to make our new house a home.