Mothers Day 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

It seems everyone I know is pregnant right now, which is not true, I really only know like 5 pregnant people right now, but still, it’s a lot of moms-to-be! Also three of the bloggers I read daily are also pregnant, so I think it’s just in the air.

We had such a lovely mothers day this year! It was actually the first time Mr. Gaunt and I hosted a dinner that wasn’t just my mom and siblings. My grandparents came up for the afternoon too, which was really cool. My grandparents are really awesome people with lots of really great skills. They can cook better than anyone I know (my grandpa is a professional BBQ and they owned restaurants for years) so getting the opportunity to make a meal for them was kind of exciting. The house and yard also look really awesome right now (if I do say so myself) and with prefect weather and a perfect cat, the day was splendid! I felt like such a grown up. I can’t wait until we have kids and can have birthday parties and other fun holiday celebrations at our house.

Mr. Gaunt did all the grilling today, while mom and I made salad, potato salad, asparagus, sangria, chocolate cover strawberries, and garlic bread. Yum. We really know how to eat.

This first photo is really awesome. It’s me and my mom and my grandma, I think it’s the only three generation photo I have, all we need now is a baby (I know I’m starting to sound baby crazy!). We all look so similar, and blonde…lol!

Mr. Gaunt cooked his first Salmon, and we also did steak kabobs and Asparagus on the grill.

My mom bought me that cute cherry tablecloth at a thrift store in Portland, and today she made a quick stop at Kmart where they had flat sheets on clearance for $5, so that’s what that green one is. Who knew a flat twin sheet fit a 6′ card table so well?

My Fur Baby was extra sweet all day too!

Tomorrow its back to work. My back is a bit sore tonight from cleaning, gardening, moving the lawns and cooking all day. Lordy. It’s also back to the gym this week. We took all of last week off from the gym and worked out outside in the nice weather.  This coming week is supposed to be pretty darn nice too, but we paid for the membership so we rally should use it. It’s just so much nicer, and we work out so much longer outside. Oh well. I’m a little sun burnt too.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL, especially my awesome mom.

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The House, The Lunch, The Barrel

I’ve done these before, but they make me soooo happy that I thought I would do an updated one.

Although the bottom photo also says March, and really it was taken today April 28th, so that’s a lie. The newest addition to the front yard would be the landscaping, new plants and black mulch. Also if you squint you can see the new grass growing in where we brought the front beds in a foot or so. It’s growing so nicely.

It literally shocks me that the house looked like that last year. I’m sorry, but our neighbor who lives directly across the street from us must be thanking their lucky stars that we moved it. Soooo much nicer to look at.

Today for lunch Mr. Gaunt and I grilled. We made chicken sausages, french fries and leeks from the garden. The weather held out so we could eat on the Patio and Mr.Gaunt could hit some golf balls. Now its getting chilly.

For those who wonder, Hula does go into the backyard when it’s nicer. She HATES being cold, so she will only go out there if it’s above 55 degrees. She also just lays in the grass or follows us around. She has no interest in jumping the fence or running away (I don’t know if she even knows how to jump or run…lol!). She also comes in when we do, or if we clap at her she just prances in on her own. It’s a pretty ideal situation, as it would be super annoying to have to keep the back door closed, but I will not risk losing her and let her run wild. I really want to put a screen door (like the kind with a glass bottom, like a storm door) on the front door so I can have the door open for airing out the house, but so she can’t escape. I’m going to hunt for one used at the RE store.

Also I bought a 60 gallon food barrel off Craigslist last week for Mr. Gaunt to make me a rain barrel! We don’t have a water supply in our front yard, so this is going to make taking care of the front gardens a lot easier. And don’t worry, I plan to paint the barrel either the house color or black so it’s not so glaringly blue. (:

 

 

Earth Day at the Gaunt Household

We celebrated earth day by doing a little more work on our little piece of earth.

Having a yard is never end work, did you know this?

No to mention, I’m someone who really likes my surroundings to look pretty nice, so keeping a yard looking fab is near impossible. In Washington things just grow and grow and grow. I know this is awesome in lots of areas, but in the weeds/grass area, it mean constant maintenance.

This year we decided to get rid of one of the larger garden beds in the middle of our yard. It looked like this last year:

If you look past that table you can see the large garden to the right. YES its beautiful and lots and lots of things grew fantastically, but it was too much. The whole garden was too much last year. Too much work (for us) and too much food. It went to waste. this year we decided to downsize a little. We wanted to still garden, but bring it to a much more manageable (for us) size. We both work 40+ hours a week in the summer, and we are busy on the weekends, we just don’t have the proper time to dedicate 10 hours a week on maintaining a large garden. So we are still keeping the 3 smaller beds along the fence, and have already started this years crops.

A few weeks ago after clearing out that large bed, we used Scotts EZ Seed  to fill it in with grass. We really love having a big yard, and that one was really taking up a huge portion of it. It’s crazy to think when we first moved into this house there were two more gardens we filled in with grass. When we filled those ones in we actually used the grass we removed from building our patio and transplanted into those cleared out beds. For this huge bed we didn’t have any grass to transplant, so Scotts it is!

At this height its hard to see all the new grass. Mr. Gaunt is worried that it will be patchy and weird, but I have faith that it will grow in nicely, and like the rest of our yard, slowly be overtaken by clover (which if nothing else makes it nice and green!). Here is a close up of the grass where you can see it really is growing well.

Another big task I accomplished today was cleaning out the blueberry bushes. These were here when we moved in, and at first we thought they would be awesome, but we realized they are probably super old. They ended up only producing a few leaves, while most of the branches were just dead. I think we got maybe 2 blueberries. I read an article that said we could cut them back and fertilize them and they might re-grow, but again it just wasn’t something we were interested in. At the end of last year I decided to clear these beds (that became overtaken with weeds) out (although I lost some pretty awesome strawberry plants…sad) and start fresh. However the roots were insane and I ended up just hacking them back until this weekend. It seems the roots had finally died enough that the whole root ball came out. This is what they looked like last year.

And today they look like this. I plan to put potatoes, garlic and maybe sweet peas in this bed. I need to fix that one board too.

Mr. Gaunt edged our biggest bed (that we planted things in last weekend). I cleaned up the Raspberries (which are twice as big this year as they were last year at this time…eeek!) Plus tended to our 4 herb pots (which are growing like crazy!)

This bed we cleared out AGAIN! (it has a horrible Morning Glory problem). We have plans to pour a concrete slab here when we can afford it, for the BBQ, and such. I would love to plant things in it, but the Morning Glory will kill anything we plant here. A slab seems like the only option, and it butts right up against the sidewalk, so it makes sense.

Last I mowed the lawn and looked over my Earth Day work with pride! I got a little sun and felt good!

What did you do on Earth Day?

The Laundry Room – Pretty in Peach

It’s been a long time since we have done any major home repairs/remodel. It’s actually been a full year since we moved in last March, crazy. I remember when we first moved in feeling panicked that I had to clean and update every room in the whole house right away. And I did, well, almost every room.  One room I didn’t touch was the laundry room. The main reason I didn’t do the laundry room, was that it honestly felt too hard. It was such a mess, and the flooring was soooo gross (see here where I tried to clean it) that I doubted I could even do much. Plus I really couldn’t afford to buy even more paint and supplies, so I told myself to wait, and wait I did. I waited 12 whole months before even attempting to fixe this room up. I had even picked out an amazing paint color (Martha Stewart Butternut Squash), which I promptly bought with some tax return dolla’s last month, I enlisted Mr. Gaunt, and we set out to whip that room into shape.

To start we painted the whole room, and all the trim, doors, and cabinets EVEN THE CEILING. Next we moved the refrigerator (it lives in the laundry room because I like the kitchen more open. At first people think this is a little odd, but it makes so much sense for us) from being just around the kitchen corner, to sitting between the hot water heater and the furnace. Then we hung some old Ikea curtains that an old roommate gave me (hi Andrea!) to hide the unsightly appliances a little. Last we hung up some extra hooks and some white shelves I go for $5 at a thrift store. And here she is folks (sorry the photos are kinda wonky, it’s a tight space)

This first photo is if you are standing in the kitchen looking into the laundry room. See the fridge on the right, and the back door is on the left (where you can’t see).

This shot is looking back at the kitchen. Again fridge on the left and back door on the right.

A closer look of the washer. In an ideal world the washer and dryer would both fit in this nook. Whomever designed this house didn’t think that through. The washer is actually “newer” than the dryer, we bought it this last summer because the old one was nasty and broken. Of course that litter box is unfortunate, but dead kitties that live outside are MORE unfortunate, so it stays.

This is where we keep our reusable bags. I adjusted the number of hooks to reduce the over-filling problem. You don’t own 35 reusable bags…oh.

This photo shows where the fridge was, and where we moved it. You can see the panel on the floor that the fridge was sitting on. For an entire year I thought the seal was busted on this fridge, once we moved it off the panel and onto level ground, it seals perfect. Hindsight folks. You can also kind of see the hot water heater behind the fridge.

The AFTER shot shows this area better. This is between the Hot Water heater and the Furnace, where the litter box use to live, and the fridge now lives.

This is the furnace corner. I love this furnace because it is new, not because it is pretty.

Here is the blank wall where we hung shelves for me to store party supply stuff and other large glass items that I use often, and think are cute.  You can also kind of see how we hung the curtains using inexpensive curtain rods and small “bike” hooks. This makes them hang nice and straight and makes them easy to take down.

So there you have it. I’m soooo in love with the color, I will probably use it for a nursery one day. The whole room just feels so much nicer and roomier and happier. I love it! The only thing I hate is the flooring, but that’s where I draw the line when updating houses I don’t own…lol…maybe.

When Spring Comes

I love spring.

Mostly I just love the light at the end of the tunnel. The mud drying up, the trees budding, all of it. It makes me motivated and happy, and ready for NEW and CLEAN!

Sad thing is, it’s only February 11th, it’s still like a month and a half until winter is over, but I see the signs! There are most definitely Crocus sprouting up in my yard, and the sun has been showing its beautiful self more often these days (even though everyone says it’s not gonna stay) and I am taking full advantage of it!

On Friday my mom, Mr. Gaunt and I went to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. It’s a huge yearly convention for gardening, I’ll blog about it probably tomorrow. Anyway we bought a few awesome new gardening tools, and today I decided to use the morning sun and put those new tools to work.

I wont lie, the summer burned me out on gardening, and we have hardly touched the yard since we got married. Needles to say, it looked like crap. So today we did the following:

-Raked all the pine needles and weird pine cones off the front lawn.

-Weeded the front beds.

-Dug up the 3 gross rose bushes from the front beds.

-Hacked back the big nasty corner bush (we need to rent a chainsaw to get the stump out)

-Edged the sidewalk

-Cleaned up the porch

-Pruned to side roses and cleaned up the brush

-Pruned our big evergreen tree.

On top of the front yard we also did a ton of work to the NASTY back yard. It was kind of a disaster. There was like old dead plants, wedding milk glass succulents everywhere, rotting pumpkins, garbage, oh lordy, embarrassing!

Things we did:

-Weeded all the beds, and completely cleared out the larger center bed. We actually have plans to lay grass over this bed this spring (more on this later)

-Cleaned up the mess of wood my brother left when he moved out.

-Transplanted all the Succulents from their Milk glass into their barrels, and drilled drainage holes in said barrels.

-Pruned the grapes.

-Pruned and tied up our prim rose-bush on the fence.

-Cleared out old dead Morning Glory vines from the fence.

-Threw away garbage, leftover pots, and other such nastyness.

-Hosed down the patio

-Hacked back the old dead blueberries (this will also be removed when we rent the chainsaw)

So yeah, the yard is looking way better. I mean, November-May everyone’s yard looks like muddy crap, but at least it’s cleaned up now, and we have a good start for Spring. We have some smaller scale plans for the back yard this year, but what we really want is to focus on the front lawn. I’m planning on re-shaping the front beds, edging, mulching, and planting some new shrubs. Also replacing the stepping-stones to new non broken ones. I would also loooove to dump some gravel on the driveway, as it’s a slip and slide mud fest right now, but we can’t afford that.

I also have two big blisters on my thumb, which is the only way you know you worked hard in your yard…duh. (:

 

Finding Focus

I’m having a bit of a struggle these days finding something to focus on, and feeling strong enough to actually do anything. A killer headache that lasted all day today made me feel fat, lazy and sad. I feel like the wedding really took a lot out of me, and mellowing down is both much need, and frustratingly difficult for me. I WANT to do nothing, but after a few hours of laying around I feel the internal struggle of my mind saying “You should be doing something!” Sigh.

Mr. Gaunt

my momma

The wedding also produced a lot of stuff and a lot of garbage. Lots. It’s taken us 3 weeks to get it all under control, and we still have boxes of stuff to sell or give away, and wedding gifts to find a home. Before we moved I had made an honest effort to downsize and get rid of all the extra STUFF, but now its back! Gah! A lot of it has to do with the fact that there are 3 grownups living in a pretty small 2 bedroom house, plus my sister has some stuff in our garage, and we have a bunch of wedding stuff. On top of that, our neighborhood LOVES to give stuff away for free, and the men in my house love to scoop that stuff up. We have an excess of patio furniture, chairs, tools, etc in our garage, all that we got for free.  Needless to say I foresee a garage sale in the spring. We are also sharing 1 dresser and 1 TINY (like 3 feet wide) closet between the two of us, and that just sucks!

My job right now is well…boring. It is what it is, it’s not the worst thing in the world. The biggest problem is that it gives me way too much time to think about things. I sit and think about all the things I should do, with my job, my blog, my life in general. Its frustrating. I so want to have the strength and energy to move forward on some of my projects, but for whatever reason, I’m just not able to. I often think I need a partner (not Mr. Gaunt) to be the 2nd half to push me into something. My job is also making me take 5 unpaid weeks off before January 27th…eeek!

Lastly, my weight. I had planned to give myself a month off after the wedding, to chill out. To eat what I want, and not workout. I’m 3 weeks in, and I feel like shit, absolute shit. I feel fat and bloated, my skin feels bad, I feel tired and weak all over. Before the wedding, despite not having lost much weight, I actually felt really strong and fit. I was running 12-15 miles a week, eating small healthy foods, and felt pretty good. Cutting myself off from all of that (as fun as it might have seemed) has made me feel awful. I think tomorrow I will go running again (which I can now do outside as it’s not too hot) and ditch the sweets, cheese, cream, fat, carbs. I need more lean proteins, vegetables and water in my diet…STAT! I actually haven’t stepped on a scale in over a month, and I’d like to feel comfortable enough to do so by the time we go to Colorado (November 26th).

So for now I’m working through each day, trying to let life flow naturally and not stress about what I should be doing, could be doing, or want to be doing.  Oh and the pictures through out this post are just random fall fun (: