Posted in Front yard, Home Decorating and Crafts

The Bright Front Door

The porch and front door area of our home needed an overhaul and that’s just what I’ve been working on.

We had our last paint job on the home about eight years ago when we first moved in. Let me tell you the “smurf” look doesn’t look well on a home and that’s exactly how our house was painted. Bright blue with bright white trim. All I can say is no, no, no…don’t ever do that to your home. We picked out a neutral shade of light gray and kept it the same color this year. Even though we had our home painted back then, we never did anything with the front door and it would starting to look mighty shabby.

P1010385 The stain is starting to wear off and it just looks bad. Really bad. I had a inclination to paint the front door some bright color that complements the rest of the house and so off to the hardware store my husband and I went.

There are so many different options for exterior paint. Just getting through them all can make your head hurt.  Not only is there special paint for doors and trim now, some come in premixed colors or you can choose your own color and have it mixed in to a base color.

We had a lot of ideas of colors but basically after watching some interesting videos on YouTube for front door painting we narrowed it down to – bright blue, bright red, or a satin maroon color. Our home has a lot of red brick in it and I really wanted to door to pop, so we ended up going with the blue and I absolutely love the way it has turned out.

I never really figured out what type of material the door is made from, but I think it might be some sort of processed wood. It’s definitely not metal, but the paint we bought works on pretty much anything.

P1010410 Rust-Oleum Painters’ Touch in blue.

Because we have a dog and cat that might think it’s okay to make a run for it while the door would be open, my husband thought it would just be better to take it off of it’s hinges and put up a make-shift door until I was done with it. He ended up stapling a large piece of tarp in the doorway and then put a large trash can next to it so Brownie wouldn’t be able to push through it, but it was fine. (Brownie didn’t even notice the door was missing.)

P1010387 Once the horses were on another tarp and the door was in place we painted a thin coat of primer on it, let it try and then started out on the blue paint. It was love at first sight. We ended up putting on two full coats of paint, then after it had been hung back up and rested for a bit I put on another light coat. 

P1010395 What a difference – wow!! We had our parents over for dinner later that night and they all loved it.

I’m so happy we choose blue~Bam

Posted in Container Gardening, Cooking

Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

We’ve had a good turn out of Sun Sugar tomatoes and basil in our raised garden this summer and I made this delicious, healthy salad with them and I thought I would share this recipe.

20150728_191730 Simple, healthy ingredients.

1/2 cup Sun Sugar tomatoes – sliced in half

1/2 cup Mozzarella Pearls (I used BelGioioso)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I like a minimal amount of vinegar in my dressings – feel free to add more to taste)

1 Tbsp fresh Basil – sliced chiffonade style (rolled tightly and thinly sliced)

salt and pepper to taste

20150728_193223 A delicious, healthy, quick salad to take to work for lunch and as an added bonus it’s gluten free. I don’t have celiac disease so I’m not overly concerned with eating gluten, however, I do believe I feel less sluggish when I eat less gluten. Loved it!!!

For different variations – I’ve add fresh sliced cucumber, or a packet of Mediterranean tuna (it’s one of my favorites).

Enjoy the freshness of summer~Bam.

Posted in flowers, Front yard, summer flowers

Summer Flowers

I love having flowers in my front yard, especially right by our front door. I thought I’d share some of my favorites. 

P1010376 I have a huge mum, yellow coreopsis and some random snap dragons right at the front door. I love coreopsis – I have had these for about six years now and they bloom all summer long. Mine has tiny little yellow flowers, but they come in several different colors. I think yellow flowers are just so cheerful. My mum is huge – I planted it last fall and it’s just taken over the front but it’s so pretty. I wish it hadn’t bloomed so early though. I like mums to bloom in the fall.

P1010390 Aren’t these so pretty? They’re so delicate.

P1010389 My yellow snap dragons are mixed in with the yellow coreopsis.

P1010379 P1010378 Here on the other side of my coreopsis I have these pretty bright purple snap dragons. These even have some white and a wee little bit of yellow mixed in the very middle.

P1010380 P1010384 Further out at the front of my drive way I have two shades of pink snap dragons. They’re just so pretty.

P1010392 These cute little daisies I planted on the other side of my coreopsis at the end of the walkway. My sister-in-law gave these to me this year for Mother’s Day, and I love the color of these. They are a delicate, light pink shade. So pretty.

P1010383  P1010381 And lastly, my Surprise Lily’s. I just love these flowers. They come in up huge leaves early spring, then they die off and I just cut them down to the ground and a few months later these beautiful, delicate pink and yellow flowers pop up. (hence the name) They are also called Resurrection Lily’s.

As I’ve gotten older I have purposefully chosen flowers and bulbs that grow easy, and are very low maintenance. I don’t want to have to do a lot of work to make my yard look nice. I love having lots of color by my front door. I just couldn’t imagine a yard with nothing but evergreens, and thankfully I don’t have to.

Enjoy some summer color~Bam.

Posted in Container Gardening

Raised Garden Update #2

It’s the middle of summer and we’ve had a lot of rain. Rain, rain and more rain. I think if someone built an underground pipeline from the Midwest to California they would never have a drought problem again, that’s how much rain we’ve had here.

The garden is doing okay, but still not as great as I would have liked. The lettuce kind of shriveled out, and we’ve gotten very little peppers out of the garden this year. There just wasn’t enough hot weather and sunshine to match the amount of rain we had early on. As always, the weather plays an important part in how good things grow or don’t grow. The plants that do well with a lot of rain -tomatoes, okra, green beans have done really well. The root vegetables I have planted have done well too because the garden bed drains from the bottom and so far that’s been working out well.

We’ve had some dry weather the last couple of weeks but still not really a lot of full on sunshine.

20141013_180641 These are the only peppers I’ve gotten – two medium green peppers and one Jalapeño, so sad.

20150728_192539  On the other hand, our carrots have done better than last years. I just love pulling the carrots out of the dirt. They smell wonderful and are so sweet right out of the garden.

20150816_084123 This is our first year to grow okra…I had no idea okra was so easy to grow. I’m definitely going to be adding more okra to next years garden.

20150816_083725 The tomatoes are growing really well too.

20150816_083740 Unfortunately, some critter has decided to eat them. I haven’t been able to figure out what’s getting to them – squirrels or more than likely a racoon, but it’s driving me nuts. It’s gotten two of my Heirloom tomatoes already.

I would love to have comments from any other raised bed gardeners, to see what I can improve on for next year.

Still enjoying the garden~Bam