Monday, June 9, 2014

Manor Monday {Summer's Here}

Summer vacation is upon us and the chaos has just begun. Now that the littles are not quite-so-little anymore our summer schedule includes: baseball 2 x week, swim team 5 x week + meets 3 x week, tennis 1 x week, and golf 2 x week. This new routine comes with quite the learning curve and results in a lot less free time for yours truly. So please hang tight & I promise to be back to regularly posting soon as I have tons of family photos & updates to share along with our newly reworked "summer school" room.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Want It Wednesday {I Bought It Edition}

With summer vacation officially starting tomorrow I've been busy replenishing our summer staples. 

I an not wait to pack up our new Vineyard Vines cooler and use it for picnics, poolside & on the boat. After 8 years our old soft cooler was ready for retirement. 

Speaking of water. I could hardly believe my luck when I found these aqua dot beach towels (oh so Garnet Hill) at Costco for $10 a piece. Even though our club has towel service, my littles enjoy a jumbo towel to snuggle in on the drive home. 

Belle & I are both obsessed with the Trippin and Sippin Lilly print. I picked up 3 new tumblers for summer thirst quenching and since they were delivered one hasn't been out of arm's reach.

I usually drink ice coffee or ice tea but when happy hour rolls around I've found this delightful duo is addictively refreshing. 

While shopping at Target I snatched up this beachy sea urchin inspired bowl. We have quite a few summer BBQs on the calendar and this sure to come in handy. 

How about you, what fun summer staples have you shopped for lately? 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Manor Monday {Great Expectations: Our New Garden}

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" ~Audrey Hepburn

Like most projects, our simple raised beds turned out to require a lot more time, labor, & money than we initially thought. In the end though, we have a wonderful place to marvel at the working of mother nature and teach responsibility, healthy habits & hard work to the littles.  

The garden plot was a former landscape bed that we cleared of a half dead burning bush, day lillies, hostas & a few other plantings that this still learning gardener can't identify. On Mother's Day weekend I asked Hubby to build two raised beds as my gift (the one weekend a year he must comply with my requests). We lined the bottom of the beds with cardboard and 800 lbs of soil!!! The plants went in and the beds were topped with straw. To cut down on weeds and help prevent mud, we surrounded the perimeter with pea gravel. 

The final step was to instal a garden fence to prohibit visiting vermin and make the garden a magical place to visit. There is just something about a gate to children that makes the place they are about to enter so special. Belle requested the aqua latch & spray painted it herself...not bad for her first painting project.

I painted the boxes, lattice and posts SW Urban Bronze to match our front door & driveway seating. Having the continuity of color throughout our outdoor space helps to unify everything and is easy on the eye.

As for the garden itself, the large bed measures 10'x10' and houses tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, zucchini, pole beans, mini cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce, kale, spinach & a sweet baby watermelon.

The second bed is our berry patch that measures 10'x 3'. Inside we have a Caroline raspberry bush and 3 strawberry plants. I would have to say the kids are most excited about this bed and the deliciousness we hope to be picking over the summer.

I can not end this post without a humongous "thank you" to Hubby who passed up several hours on the course to build this gift for our family. We are lucky to have you! Now the fun begins...fingers crossed I don't kill everything. We've already had 3 fatalities. Any tricks or tips you all have would be greatly appreciated.