Monday, April 20, 2015

A Look at the Garden/Sneak Peak at the Patio

Rain Rain and more rain!  They say April showers bring May flowers.  They are not kidding!  My Garden is growing at record speeds and I can't keep up!  I finally planted half of the vegetable garden this week.  Lowes and Home Depot were both having a sale: 5 veges or herbs for $10.  I bought our favorite peppers, Habanero, Serrano and JalepeƱo and also added some basil, mint and parsely.  (FYI-I saw that HD was still running that sale, so Lowes probably is too)

My neighbor caught me pilfering rosemary [for my pasta one night] from a house on the next block and 2 days later there was a rosemary bush on my doorstep.  Ha!  Thanks guys!  I was planning to buy one! Really!

Tomatoes still need to be planted.  Ernesto bought an heirloom tomato plant at our farmers market and I always like to plant grape tomatoes and sun gold cherry tomatoes.  They only thing is that these plants get HUGE and if not properly supported look really messy!  Regular tomato cages can't handle these.  Im not that worried about this, but every year it bothers Ernesto.  

Sooooooo...I have requested (as a Mothers Day gift) that Ernesto help the boys build me a few obelisks to keep these tomatoes in check. These look easy enough to build and the supplies are only $20 each. Done. (I hope!)

My addiction Clematis vines grows.  Literally!  I now have 14 of them around my garden and last week Aldi had them for $5 each.  I picked up 2 more.  How could I not?  Two of them are blooming now and they are just gorgeous!  

Some blue pots are planted.  But since we will be in San Diego next month, I have to leave some open for all the succulents I will be transporting.  You know I don't leave California without my plants!! 

So yes, the garden is looking great!  The backyard is a different story.  One section has been covered up for the past 5 weeks to kill all grass and weeds.  It was so bad, we just wanted to start over.  That area will be tilled this weekend, paying special attention to any remaining weeds.  Afterwards we will be laying new sod! Yeah grass!  On the other side of the yard our patio is more that halfway finished.  

My inspiration?

I have long loved plants growing in between pavers.  We debated pea gravel as opposed to pavers and I love the look but in the end we chose a material that our toddlers can not pick up and throw at each other into the grass.  After I was set on the 24x24 cement pavers, wouldn't you know, I couldn't find them ANYWHERE!  Home Depot and Lowes both dicontinued them, and I called many different places in Atlanta with no luck.  

Let me just say that I am sooooooooo glad mi esposo is handy.  One day he said, "I can make those."     And so he did. 

He got started with a wood mold of two squares, his wheelbarrow and bags of cement.

Due to all the rain we have been getting here, the whole process has moved at a snails pace.  At best, he can only do about 4 squares per day, and those need to dry 24 hours before removing the mold.  Some days we he was not able to work at all due to rain and others he would sneek in one square before scurrying to cover it up before the rain hit.  Needless to say, we have been living with a muddy mess and little space for the boys to play.  Of course they are not ones that mind getting a little dirty.  They have been right there "helping" papi.

Slowly but surely we are starting to see our patio take shape. And I an LOVING it!!                

We are planning to install a shade sail above the patio, so we can actually sit out there without roasting in the sun.  I am envisioning a lounge type area and Im totally inspired by this patio that Emily Henderson just designed using all Target decor.  God I love Target! 


Right???  Don't you want to come hang out at our house? Ill share a full how to post and reveal once it is finished.  If it ever stops raining! 

WEEKLY WISHES #12

1. Finish at least 10 new necklaces and 10 new earrings.  I have created a lot of new pieces.  

2. GARDEN!  Yes, I did garden, but I have so much more to do.  The vegetable garden is planted, but some plants still need moving around. 

3. Post an update on our patio progress and my garden.  DONE! You can read it here

4. Secure a buddy pass for my sister.  Done!  A big thank you to Sandy, my dear friend and a loyal Viva Cindy reader!! Jenny is flying in Thursday!  Let the girls weekend begin! 

This Week's Wish

1. More More More Jewelry!! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

WEEKLY WISHES # 11

You haven't seen this series in a while, but I had to ressurect because it's time to get some shit done

April is always crunch time.  I have a ton of work to do in my garden and I need to make a ton of new jewelry for my Spring shows.   This year is no different.  

We are leaving town in mid May for several weeks and I feel like that is a hard deadline to get some things crossed off our house to-do list.

Without further ado....

This Week's Wishes

1. Finish at least 10 new necklaces and 10 new earrings.  I need way more, but this is a manageable goal. (I hope!) I am working with a few new materials (leather and brass sheets) so some more time will be spent on newer pieces, but the Zafiro classics I can create a lot faster.

2. GARDEN!  I just purchased about 10 new plants/veges that need to go in the ground (which needs to be prepared) and it would be nice to do it while we are in this rain rut.  Would save me a lot of time watering them myself.  Also need to transplant several plants before they get to big.  

3. Post an update on our patio progress and my garden.  Both are looking fabulous, I can't wait to share.

And that is it folks.  Nothing lofty this week.  This is really all that needs to get done.  I have way more I WANT to do, but I won't try and fool myself that I have time for more.

SHOOT!

4. Secure a buddy pass for my sister.  She always flys here to help me with Inman Park Festival. I need my right hand girl!  Any Delta friends reading and want to volunteer before I have to beg you?!

I hope you have a great week and GET SOME DHIT DONE! 


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Gardening 101: Propogating Succulents


It all started with jade plants back in college.  Well, wait.  I was raised by the queen of gardening, so I think I can say a seed was planted (pun intended) at an early age.  
But is was in college that my obsession began with jade plants and other succulents and sedum.  One of my roommates was majoring in Horticulture and she actually got me a job in the greenhouse at Ohio State.  HUGE!  Chalk full of gorgeous plants.  And needless to say I learned a lot about propogating and nursing sick plants back to life. Every corner in our apartment had plants, and this obsession has stayed with me.
Another obsession of mine?  Blue glazed clay pots!  
For many years I filled my outdoor pots with different plants in the Summer.  But in recent years I discovered that succulents and sedum are actually the perfect plants for Atlanta Summers.   My pots look beautiful and need little care.  Win-win!
Even though Atlanta winters are not rough, it still gets down to freezing and a lot of succulents will not survive.  Needless to say I loose quite a few plants over the winter.  Instead of buying all new, I like to propogate over the winter to defray the cost of filling all of my pots.
Indoors, these easy to care for plants need bright light and water roughly once a month.  Overwatering is the main culprit for their death.  If they are not getting enough sun, you may start to notice them getting a little leggy reaching for more.  The leaves stretch furthur apart, and this is a good time to propogate them. (see tallest stems) 
The plant above is called Sedum Rubrotinctum, or common name Jelly Bean Sedum.  It is extremely easy to propogate.   But the following process wiill work for any kind of succulent.
Many of my plants started from cuttings of California leaves and cuttings that I brought home on an airplane and propogated and rooted.  Want to learn how to do it yourself?  Here we go.

HOW TO PROPOGATE SUCCULENTS
1.  Carefully take leaves off the stem by moving side to side until they snap off.  If the leaf tears, you will not be able to root it. 
2.  Next you wait!  The step is very important.  The ends need to dry out and callus over or they will absorb too much water once put on the soil and will rot.  This drying process takes at least a couple weeks.  You will start to see the little roots emerge and this is your signal they are ready.

3. Set succulents on top of soil in a well draining pot (ie: it has a hole)  I use a soil mix called Cactus & Succulent Mix.  I actually do not water until they start to form the little babies.
4.  Add water sparingly.  When your plants look like this they are ready to be watered.  I usually give the soil a good soak about once a week or when the soil is totally dry. Set pot in a window with bright indirect sunlight and watch each one grow.  Plants can be transferred to individual pots.  I am short of pots at the moment, so I am letting a little forrest grow until they are a bit bigger and I can just transfer them outside to my front steps.
Good luck and have fun!

Monday, April 06, 2015

Happy Easter


I hope you guys had a SWEET Easter!  We certainly did.  The weather was gorgeous here in Atlanta and our neighborhood network threw together an Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning.   It was a HUGE hit with the kids.


The Easter bunny made an appearance at the park.  Mateo was ready to give a list of what he wanted in his Easter basket......but then got a little to scared to approach himself.  Marcelo on the other hand, walked right up to him for a hug.
I love our neighborhood so much!  Any other friends want to move here?  Its a great place for families and has the best farmers market!  (which starts this Sunday. Im so excited!)
 

Easter was laidback and wonderful.

 
Mateo was crazy excited for the Easter bunny and drug us downstairs at 6:30 am to make sure he had eaten the carrots and arugula we left out for him.  Mateo found his basket behind the laundry room door in less than one minute.  Marcelo's was hidden behind the living room curtains, and big brother spotted it first. 

 

The Easter bunny brought candy, a few small wrapped toys and a battery TOOTHBRUSH!! What a smart bunny.  They were excited to brush!  They enjoyed the spoils without too much parental control. What the heck!?  

Ernesto worked a little on our patio (which should be finished soon!) while the kids played outside.  Smita & Rashid, Sean & Lucy and their kids celebrated with us at a 5pm ham dinner.
We colored eggs with the boys on Saturday, for the third time.  They really like this activity.   Ernesto We had an accident with the Easter egg tree one night and we had a lot of eggs to replace.  Our huge tree of 24 eggs went down to 8. 
The makeshift tree/orchid was festive along with some gorgeous yellow tulips and a buquet of purple hyacthins.

Although nothing compares to my mom's holiday celebrations, we were able to throw together a memorable feast, complete with great friends around the table.  I stuck to my moms traditional menu of ham, potatoes, salad and eggs, but was missing two key items.  The homemade bread and fresh horseradish.  Ugh!  Like I said, nothing compares to my mom's holidays. 


Did you follow any special traditions or maybe creat some new ones??

Friday, March 27, 2015

House To-Do List


Happy Friday!!  There are so many house projects we want to complete, and so little time.  I'm not getting much farther than the initial “I want to do it” phase.  I can make all kinds of excuses (two of them are upstairs sleeping right now), but that’s neither here nor there. The plan? A to-do list! That will get things moving along right?  Actually this will overwhelm Ernesto, but it's better that I write it out, because, if I was talking to him, he would not listen for more than a few items.

Here’s what you can expect to see us working on this year.  

(I started this list a couple months ago, so some of the tasks are already crossed off the list.  That makes me feel accomplished, so I left them on the list!)


KITCHEN
*  Cabinets professionally painted and new hardware (scheduled for April)

*  New window shades

*  New pendant lights

*  Find Persian/vintage rug

1/2 BATH (MAIN FLOOR)

*  New light and vanity (see plan here)

*  Wallpaper


DINING ROOM

*  Organize/style shelves

*  Add sheepskins to chairs

*  Wax n Feed table


LIVING ROOM

*  New couch

*  Move [now tv stand] nightstands up to my bedroom and find new piece for tv

*  Sew slipcover for ottoman


MASTER BEDROOM

*  Get bed reupholstered (must find fabric first!)

*  Finish painting

*  Build floating frame for Indian tapestry (Ernesto obvs)

*  Put up ceiling medallion and re-wire vintage chandelier

*  Hang artwork

*  Find HUGE rug


OUTSIDE

*  Paint house (color undecided)

*  Install shutters on windows

*  Install patio in back yard (installing going on now-post coming!)

*  Turn weeds back into grass or relay sod

*  Plant bushes/move trees

*  Finish compost pile

*  Gravel under deck

*  Hang new house numbers

*  New front door

*  New porch lights

*  More blue pots

*  New porch swing cushion


MISCELLANEOUS

*  New sconces in stairwell

*  Paint wide horizontal stripes in stairwell

*  New roman shades in 2 bedrooms (purchased but need installed yet)

*  Finish painting spindle beds for boys room

*  Frame artwork [that was found curbside]



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Florida Road Trip

             We arrived home Saturday night after a wonderful week in Florida!  My parents rented the same little cabin [as last year] on the Weeki Wachee River.  We spent our time on kayaks and playing the beach.  
                           Pine Island has a VERY kid-friendly beach.  No waves and knee-deep water out 100+ yards.  We loaded up the garbage truck and dump truck [that we brought from Atlanta], a couple buckets and shovels, and the kids were amused for hours.  HOURS!!                 Of course we did have to watch out for the occasional stone wall jump.  If there is an adventure, Mateo is on it.  And funny enough, this little guy wants to do EVERYTHING big brother does.
                 One word: Daredevils.  We are in so much trouble.                                                                                                             Yes, these padres have their hands full, but look how much fun we are having!                 My brother Tim drove up from The Keys with his son for the weekend.  It was so great to see them. 
Whenever Tim and Ernesto are together, delicious food is created!  How about starting offf with shrimp and fish ceviche?  The main course? Fish tacos with a freshly roasted salsa. Oh My!! I may have had one too many tacos, because this was the excitement that ensued after dinner. 
My brother and I are notoriously out by 9pm.
Mateo wanted to do EVERYTHING with his big cousin Noah.  And Marcelo wanted to was all into the soccer ball Noah brought.             With a plethora of outdoor activities, the boys were not bored ...and with that comes better behavior.  Now, don't get me wrong, we had our moments.  Like the morning where by 10am I felt like it was already 4pm and I was going to pull my hair out.  The boys were restless and we were coloring easter eggs before 7am.  Grandma always has good ideas!             Yes, Marcelo's whole cheek is green.                    Im not sure why I never thought of turning the tv on in the mornings while here.  Without the normal routine of cartoons and fruit....we had fruit with chaos!  One morning I filled up the sink with water and bubbles and they had a ball for about an hour.
            Even though we didn't see hardly any fish off our dock, we tried our hand at fishing. This did not hold their (or anyone elses) interest for very long.                            We did get to see a lot of fish at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, about 20 miles north  of Weeki Wachee.  It was a pretty great place for adults and kids alike.               You start off with a boat ride from the visitors center to the park where you are able to see lots of birds on the river.  With mostly shaded walkways, you are led around the park to see all kinds of native Florida wildlife.  Manatees, black bears, flamingos, snakes, alligators, deer, bobcats, and more.  Oh and one random hippo named Lou, who was made an honorary Florida citizen by the Governor. Wha?
             We have friends who moved to Winterhaven from Atlanta a few years ago, so we arranged a short visit at their house while we were down that way.  They have a 2.5 year old little girl and so it was pretty cool seeing our kids play together.  Little ones make friends so easily.        Thanks to Stuart and Livini for the hospitality and great memories!  The drive home was smooth with only a few pits stops.  When we were 40 miles outside of Atlanta we hit horrible traffic that lasted for 20 miles.  Very Frustrating!  So happy that we came home to a clean house.  That is the best welcome home!
Also, my garden was really starting to pop up.  
So excited to garden!  Sprfing is here and one of my favorite trees is blooming all over Atlanta!  Garden updates to come...stay tuned!
  

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