Friday, April 30, 2010

weekend plans

After the week of backyard makeover craziness I am excited to be back home in Oklahoma City for a little rest, lots of wedding planning and spending some quality time with my extremely missed friends.

downtown oklahoma city

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

laying sod

Continuing with our backyard makeover, a couple days ago we had 3 flats (1700 sq ft) of St. Augustine grass delivered to our house.

I described the overall process a few posts back, you can check that out here.  It came down to a lot of hard intensive work over 2 days time.

First things first, prepping the yard. This consisted of mostly tilling up the existing grass (what little we had) and working the soil to be flat and ready for sod. We rented a rototiller and a roller from Home Depot, total cost $65.



We ordered the sod from Miller Grass, a local sod farm.  The sod is harvested fresh daily and the people there were super knowledgeable.  The sod was in fantastic shape.  The total cost was $611 delivered.



Once the sod was at the house the next 5 to 6 hours was carrying sod out to the yard and placing it. We had to make sure the pieces fit snug up next to each other and got patted down into the soil. We also had to do quite a bit of cutting around the trees and edges of the yard.



After all the sod was placed the backyard had instant grass! The next step is making sure to soak the yard with water for the next month to insure that the sod takes root to the soil. No walking on the grass for awhile and our water bill is going to be huge!!


Our new grass backyard:

We have a few more small projects in the back but its starting to look really good!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

and the trees came down

One of the bigger investments we made in our backyard project was paying for tree limb removal and general tree cleanup.  We have 5 trees in our backyard that have pretty much been left alone to grow wild all over the place.  We knew we needed to trim off a lot of dead limbs but after having a few arborists or "tree whisperers" (self proclaimed nickname) out to the house we realized we might need to make a bigger investment and really clean and shape up our trees.




One of the biggest advantages of the tree work is getting a lot more sun into our backyard.  Previously it was pretty much entirely shade for 70% of the day...this caused problems when it came to planting flowers and veggies that need sunlight.  Now we have a lot more sun coming in which means better growth and an all around happier back yard.

Now that the trees are cleaned up, let the sod work begin!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

backyard project status

This past weekend was the kick-off of the big backyard makeover. It was a very long weekend with lots of hard labor but not really any results to show for it yet.

We did make some progress. The weekend was mostly spent cleaning up debris, leaves, tree roots etc. out of the yard. We also created a brick edge around the back of the yard to separate the line of trees from the main yard area. That project was a lot harder than what we anticipated.




 All in all, three trips to Home Depot including two truck fulls of supplies. Two trips to the dump to get rid of truck loads of bushes, branches etc. And two small projects to check off the list.

Trip one to Home Depot

In the coming days we will be having a tree company come and clean up all the dead limbs in our trees, rent and rototill the backyard, purchase and lay sod.

Stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

backyard makeover

Our backyard is in a bit of disarray. It has pretty much been neglected for several years and needs some love.

This weekend we are kicking off this HUGE project with step one in the makeover...sod the backyard. Right now our backyard is mostly dirt with a little bit of grass here and there but after next week we should have a nice new yard full of St. Augustine grass.


Here is a breakdown of the project:
Step one- create a map of the backyard and decide where all we are going to put the grass
Step Two- Pull up any small bushes or trees we are going to get rid of
Step Three- Spray all existing grass with farmer grade grass killer
Step Four- Rent a rototiller and till the soil making it softer and ready to accept the new grass
Step Five- Measure the square footage of the yard to determine how much grass we need
Step Six- Mark off the areas where we will be putting pavers for a walkway and trim for the back beds
Step Seven- Purchase and load/deliver the sod to the house
Step Eight- Put down the fresh sod onto the yard starting with the perimeter and working in
Step Nine- Roll the sod to establish root contact
Step Ten- Water, water, water


Wow, that sounds so exhausting. Luckily my dad, who has done this before, is coming in town to help out and make sure we do everything right.

More posts to show the progress will be coming.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My plants are here

My plants from Burpee Home Gardens arrived on my doorstep today.

They are so beautiful and green. I can't wait to plant them this weekend. We are still trying to figure out exactly where in the backyard to plant them so more details on that to come.

Getting excited about having tomatoes right in my own backyard!

Skinny Vanilla Latte

This morning, while walking into Starbucks, I totally called the drink order of the two girls that were walking in before me.

Two tall skinny vanilla lattes.

They were also riding in a brand new BMW with a personalized car tag.

Called it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Made My Day

I got a surprise visitor at work today and he brought along a sweet little gift.

How sweet it is to be loved.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Unique Opportunity

Yesterday I got a very interesting email in my inbox. It was a representative from Burpee Home Gardens, a company that has been producing products for the home gardener since 1885.

Burpee Home Gardens is starting a new line of products as part of a campaign called I Can Grow designed to help the next generation of gardeners succeed with their vegetable and herb plants. They were searching for novice gardeners (me) to blog about their own gardening experiences. The people at Burpee had come across my blog and offered me the opportunity to guest blog on the Burpee Home Gardens website and talk about my experience in gardening. Wow! Seriously? I thought for sure it wasn't the real deal. Well it turns out it was!

Burpee Home Gardens is sending me some of their latest vegetable and herb plants along with a new book they developed to help Chase and I get our very own home garden started. How exciting!

I will be posting at so go check it out! I will keep everyone here updated and be sure to link to my posts when they are published.

Also check out the Burpee Home Garden website, it has great tips and advice on home gardening.  A great resource.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wedding Craziness

As of today we are 215 days away from our wedding. While that might seem like a lot to some of you, that number is starting to haunt me more and more with every passing day.

A couple weeks ago we decided that we wanted to find someplace else to have our wedding ceremony. Well that has proven to be very difficult. And now we are also exploring other options for the reception as well. I just felt like all of a sudden I had the makings of a wedding I didn't really like.

So the stress continues to build and my to-do list is growing longer and longer and I am not crossing anything off. Ahh!!

If anybody has any suggestions for wedding ceremony and reception venues in Oklahoma City I am all ears!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Now Eat This

As I am picking up steam in the cooking department and trying to be healthier while still eating good food I HAD to get Rocco Dispirito's new book, Now Eat This.

The cook book is all about taking really yummy traditional dishes and then reformatting them in a way that cuts the calories and fat in half. Yes, in half!

Rocco said he created this book because he had gained 30 pounds from being a chef and constantly being around really delicious but unhealthy food. The book has 150 favorite comfort foods that he compiled from Twitter followers. Some of the recipes include Fried Chicken, Mac n' Cheese, and brownies. Yum!

“Now Eat This” is as family-friendly as it is dinner party-friendly, making this an essential for any home cook who wants to enjoy and serve favorite comfort foods without sacrificing health, quality or flavor. You’re bound to find several of your personal favorites revamped in this colorful new cookbook.

Stay tuned for my posts on cooking some of these yummy meals.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

what's for dinner?

Alright, so this blog topic has been pretty much ignored since the first couple I wrote for the series. Well to be honest...our cooking has been really boring. We are both trying to eat well (diet) so it has been a lot of grilled chicken with a veggie. However, I LOVE the recipes I get in Real Simple magazine so last night we tried out a new recipe from the May issue.


Spinach and Ricotta-Stuffed Shells was on the menu last night. While its not the healthiest (I did opt for light Ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella) it was not super terrible. But it was delicious.




More what's for dinner series to come. I promise.

Monday, April 12, 2010

saturday afternoon at the ballpark

Chase and I spent the beautiful Saturday afternoon at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for our first baseball game of the season.


It was an absolutely perfect day for baseball...sunny with a little breeze, not too hot.

And the beer, peanuts and hotdogs were delicious as always.


One big plus about living in Dallas is having a major league ballpark/team just 20 minutes away.  We will be enjoying lots of baseball games this summer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

weekend plans

Another weekend is here! What do we have going on? Well, its a free weekend so we are going to have a little fun just the two of us. And Chase has tons of studying to do...blah!

Weekend Plans:
  1. Friday night dinner with extended family- cousins are in town for a couple birthdays. (but they are staying elsewhere!)
  2. Grocery store- boring, I know.  We have been living on scraps from the back of the pantry for days.
  3. Texas Rangers game- first baseball game of the season!  yay!  Hotdogs, beer and the crack of the wooden bat.  It doesn't get any better.
  4. Wedding planning- ugh.  Major change of plans for our wedding so trying to work through that.
  5. Wedding website- the change of plans has pushed this back but hopefully I can launch it this weekend.
  6. Park- a weekend must for us.
  7. Study, study, study- Chase has 3 big tests next week.  Eek!
Pretty lame weekend but we are excited about that.   Hope everyone else has a fun weekend in store!

Rangers vs Braves game two years ago

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

go thunder!

This past weekend, in addition to all the other things going on, Chase and I were invited by some friends of ours to the Mavs vs. Thunder game here in Dallas.  Chase and I jumped at the chance.

Our tickets were suite tickets so we got to experience the good life and cheer on the OKC Thunder to victory!!  Its always fun to be supporting the visiting team and have them prevail.  Lucky for us, my friends are Thunder fans too so it was appreciated.



My parents and brother were in town as well so they bought some tickets and got all decked out in their Thunder gear too!


Final score: Thunder-121, Mavs- 116!!  Thunder Up!!

spring planting

This past weekend I decided to take full advantage of having my mom, an avid gardener, and my brother, a landscape designer, in town.  We had a long bed in the front of our house, a bed in the back and some shrubbery to work on.  Lucky for me they were all in!

They arrived in town on Saturday morning and after they settled in we went outside to assess the situation, discuss our options (based on the way the house faces, the sun/shade exposure, the grade of the ground etc.), make notes and so on. After we had a game plan we headed out to a few local nursery shops.

We piled flowers and plants into the back of my car, got some mulch and a new pot for the front porch and made our way back to the house to begin the dirt-y work. ha! It took us, in total, about 4 hours (including removal of old shrubbery, ground prep, shopping, planting, clean up, dumping).

Combination of Mums, Impatients and Calanbais.

potted Geranium on newly transformed pot stand


combination of Green Potato vine (which will fill in as ground cover), Caladiums and Gardenias.


We are pleased!

Monday, April 5, 2010

little transformation

During our garage project I came across this cute little pink table that I got in college for our front porch. The table was originally hot pink but over the years it had taken a beating and was not a little rusty and turned a very pale pink.  So, I had an idea for a new use of this table and went to work.


I found a very spring-like warm green color can of spray paint in the many boxes we cleaned out and knew it would be a perfect color for my sad little table.  I sanded it down and put a few coats of spray paint on it.


The table is now a pretty green plant stand for my front porch!  Voila!

Friday, April 2, 2010

weekend plans

Well another weekend has arrived. They actually seem to be coming pretty quickly these days...that's always nice.

This weekend we have big plans down here in Dallas. It's an all out Easter weekend with family coming to visit. And not only are my parents and little bro coming for the weekend, they are bringing the entire OKC Thunder NBA basketball team with them!!

Weekend Plans:
  1. Clean the house in preparation for company
  2. Hit the gym to make room for weekend calories
  3. Welcome my parents and brother to town for their visit
  4. Yard work- yes I am putting my family to work.  We have some gardening to do.
  5. Thunder vs Mavs basketball game.  Should be a great match-up.  And rumor has it Chase and I got invited to attend VIP style in a suite.
  6. Easter!  We will be celebrating by cooking up a grand feast and gathering the family around the table.
I think that's it.  Can't wait to see the fam and have some fun!

family picture from Oklahoma State Homecoming 2009