Backyard Furniture

PS I know it is April Fool’s Day, and many bloggers like to post a joke or something, but I have a major aversion to this day.  Probably in direct response to how much my mom loves this day.  I seriously have calendar reminders on my phone that alert me all day so that I can’t fall for her practical jokes.  It works most of the time.  Some day I’ll share some of the better ones with you all, but for today: our patio furniture.

Our new casa has a fabulous backyard that I know we are going to enjoy the heck out of this summer, but our outdoor furniture was looking a little sad:


Now don’t get me wrong, those $20.00 red rocking chairs from Dillons (For you Dallas-ites… that is the same store as Kroger) served us well for 2+ years, but if we were going to spend some major time outdoors and poolside, we needed some real grown up patio furniture.

Which is exactly what my mom and dad gave the husband and I for Christmas (and maybe a little birthday…outdoor furniture is not cheap!).  So we went to a place over in Richardson that mom had bought her favorite outdoor glider back when they lived in Texas.  I’d already scoped out Lowe’s and Home Depot, so I kind of knew what the competition was.  If you live in Dallas and are looking for good outdoor furniture, it is Sunnyland Outdoor Furniture and they were fantastic! I highly recommend them.  All of their furniture has the Sunbrella fabric that won’t mildew or fade over time.  And most of their furniture has a 15 year warranty.


After looking at lots of options, I liked the look of the black and gray chairs (who is shocked I picked gray?!?!) not to mention these are hands down the most comfortable chairs and couch.  Seriously, I could easily take a nap in any one of them.  Plus the loveseat has a curve to it which meant it fit perfectly onto our patio, giving the maximum space out front.

This set had a coffee table with it, but I didn’t love it and all the pieces sold individually, so we didn’t get it! We picked up the accent pillows and umbrella from Lowe’s.  I decided against spending the extra money for the higher quality accent pieces because I want to be able to change my mind on the colors when I want to change things up.  I figured the black and gray will stay nice and I can just change out pillows when I get tired of this look!


The gray has a subtle pattern to it that you can kind of see in the picture above.  I plan on spending the entire 9th month of my pregnancy parked right there… only getting up when I want to float in the pool.  Oh and to do my day job… that pesky day job.

Fall Flowers

We did a little fall planting this past weekend! My side patio has largely sat unchanged since I took this depressing picture and posted about my flower killing summer:


Flower killer extraordinaire! Well it finally progressed into fall planting time, so I decided to spruce up some of those dead planters. This is such a quick and easy change, I don’t know why I put it off so long.  I had about an hour and a half of free time, so I headed over to pick up some flowers, came home and within the hour here’s what the patio looked like:


The flowers on the bottom shelf I kept as they were because one of them are mums which should grow back a bit, and I can’t bear to unplant flowering pots no matter how pathetic they look, so I left the geraniums.  On the shelf above the top shelf are pansies, second shelf is ornamental cabbage and more pansies, and then the bottom shelf is a dying geranium and yellow mums.  The rack hanging on the fence has some pretty pink and white flowers that I have already forgotten the names of… oops!


This rack has more cabbage, pansies, and the middle rack has a pretty ornamental purple pepper.

And just because I love flowers, here’s a few more closeups:


These are the flowers I can’t name… Anyone out there who knows what they are?



I’m so happy to have some fall color outside my window!

I had a few plants that I bought and didn’t know where I would put them, but I found a corner of my front flower beds that was looking a little bare, so I planted 2 dusty millers (the whiteish ones) and a purple mum, and I can’t believe how much of a difference it makes for the front of my house!


And I put a few by the front door to welcome my Halloween guests! (the one on the left is a croton and the one on the right


I bought that web at Pier 1 a few years ago and normally I hang it at the front of the alcove, but the husband nicely offered to hang it this year and put it immediately in front of the door.  I think it looks fine there, but it scares me to death (not literally) every time I walk out the door and think something is falling down on me.

And just for one more Halloween sneak peak… I freehanded a chalkboard drawing I found on Pinterest onto the chalkboard that hangs in my hallway (leading into the kitchen):


I’m almost ready for my Halloween party and things are starting to look pretty spooktacular!





Let’s be real here…

Or probably more appropriately titled… How to kill all your plants. In one easy step.

I have a lot of things in common with my mom and grandmother but one is how we deal with being upset. If we are having a bad day, we all make it better by going to buy flowers: cut flowers for vases or pots to plant outside, it doesn’t really matter. My husband knows that if I bought flowers it was a bad day.

When I was in the process of moving into my house I had a very close friend going through a really tough time and it hit me hard as well, so when my parents came down they helped me plant a few flowers in my yard and set up a couple of planters full of annuals to cheer me up. And each spring I plant new pots full of pretty annuals that are visible out of my kitchen sliding glass door on the side patio. The shelves the plants are all on came from my grandmother’s basement and are the perfect way to spruce up this plain concrete patio on the side of my house. (I plan on painting them some fun color when it gets cool enough in Texas to spray paint again).

So here is what they look like at the beginning of the summer (I think this picture is actually from last year, but they look pretty similar every year).


Some of the flowers I’ve had good luck with in this container garden in Texas are:

  • purple wave petunias (top two baskets)
  • Sweet Williams–usually come back every year on their own which is awesome
  • Vincas always do pretty well in the heat (white ones on the bottom)
  • Zinnias, which actually do much better in the ground, and are one of my favorite flowers to cut and bring in the house
  • Mandevilla– the pots on either side of the gate
  • Not shown but usually do well: Pentas and Impatiens

Ones that don’t fare so well:

  • Those two gerber daisy’s shown below? Never bloomed again, and wilt FAST from the Texas heat
  • Mom planted some sort of baby’s breath looking flower this year, didn’t even last through June
  • Snapdragons pretty while they bloomed, but didn’t do well in the containers flowers

And then for the part which relates to the title: I am part of a small group that meets once a week, and this week one (of the many) topic{s} we talked about was the tendency we have to ‘put our best foot forward’ or to not show weakness. And I think blogs definitely play into that. I always love reading a blog post where someone explains that not everything is a well put together home, and in fact some of the happiest are anything but clean, perfect spaces all the time. (I know mine wasn’t growing up… thanks to 3 kids and ALL our friends)

So I never want to pretend that I have it all together or that my house is clean all the time (I can just hear my college roommates/parents laughing out loud at this statement). So here’s a post to show you just how wrong things can go in my world.

Last week was a crazy week in my world… I traveled for work and my youth director husband had his big camp (which I went to as an adult sponsor). So we were both gone for the better part of a week. Normally I have someone to come into the house to take care of Lexie and water my plants, but all my normal dog-sitters were also at camp… so we boarded her. But in the rush I completely forgot to get someone to come by and water the plants and that 4 days of 104+ Texas heat and no water=dead plants.

So here is the terrible after… what your plants SHOULDN’T look like. I’m still trying to rescue a few of them, but I think for the most part I’ll wait a bit and plant some fall flowers in their places. flowers-dead1 flowers-dead But on a brighter note, this guy below got the same water deprivation treatment… and decided to bloom in a gorgeous orange bloom. I bought this one as an already planted planter, so I have no idea what kind of plant this is, but I loved the surprise bloom!

flowers-2 So let’s pretend the pictures above are just really great ‘before’ pics for how awesome they are going to look in a month or two when I get new plants planted and convince my almost black thumb to turn a little greener.