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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

Summer_Sun1_000002It’s finally summer vacation!!!

I want to apologize for disappearing from the blog without any warning.  It wasn’t my intention, but life just got so hectic there at the end.  The end of this school year seemed especially busy for some reason.  But it all turned out fantastically well, and I’m so happy to be enjoying Day 2 of summer vacation. I have so much to update that I almost don’t know where to start.  I guess I’ll do a bit of a weekend update, and then take it from there.

Friday was my last teacher workday, which is always a nice, easy way to end the school year.  I was out of there by noon, and then spent the next several hours vegging out on the couch.  My sister and I went to go see The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed.  I loved the book, and the movie did a great job with staying true to it.  The actor playing Augustus Waters was phenomenal.  It was a great way to kick off the summer.

Saturday was all about sprucing up my yards.  My dad came over at 9am, and he and I worked until 3:30, stopping only briefly at 2pm to eat a quick lunch.

We started off transplanting groundcover from the backyard to the front.  This plant grows prodigiously, so I thought it would be a great way to thin out the backyard groundcover and fill in some spaces in my front yard.  It worked really well, and once it settles in and takes root, it will look great.  I’m not sure if it shows up, but this plant has tiny hot pink flowers that bloom during the summer. (That bush in the middle of the photo was already there – I’d purchased those back in April to replace two diseased bushes that I’d had the gardeners remove.  Even though I’m a renter, I don’t mind purchasing this kind of thing to make the house look good, because I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty yard. Plus, I can dig the bushes up if I ever move).

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Next, my dad and I headed to OSH to buy hoses, sprayers, planters, spliters, potting soil, etc.  You can see the soaker hose (black hose) in the photo above.  $153 later, we had plenty of essentials. Once the groundcover grows a bit more it will hide the hose, which will look better.  The soaker hose is cool because you can turn it on and leave it for 10 minutes and it slowly waters the groundcover.  After OSH, we headed to Summerwinds, the best nursery in our area.  I bought lots of full sun annuals and flowers for the hanging pots I’d bought on a whim at OSH ($77).  Before we headed home we realized we had nothing to hang the pots I’d bought, so we made a quick pit stop in Ace to buy chain, light bulbs (a few bulbs had blown out that I needed my dad’s help to reach), and some hooks to hang the pots ($35).  Whew! My summer garden was going to look beautiful, but it was expensive, at $265!  Much of that expense was the planters and hoses/sprayers, all of which I can keep, so it doesn’t make me feel quite as bad.  Plus, I consider this a gift to myself every summer, because I’ll spend my entire vacation (and beyond) enjoying the way my yards look.

When we got back, it was time to get to planting.  Sofi absolutely loved that my dad and I were in the backyard, playing in the dirt.  LOL. We started with the terra cotta planter, because that was going in the front yard, and I wanted it to look perfect.  The inspiration for all of this planting were these pots that my parents surprised me with when I got back from Hawaii:

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My mom had found the planters when she was out shopping, and from there it became a family affair.  My dad found the cement tiles to anchor them to, my niece picked out the Martha Washington geraniums, and my dad planted them.  When I got home and saw them, I was so happy!  I knew I needed to fill in the dirt (with the groundcover from the backyard), and move my huge terra cotta planter from the back to the front.

2014-06-08 06.59.22I love the way the terra cotta planter turned out! I found this great ficus ivy for the front, which will eventually hang down. I knew I wanted big blooms, and when my dad found those large zinnias, I knew they would be perfect.  I can’t wait for it to fill in.

I hated the hose I had in the front yard, because it was really inflexible and always kinked up.  The hose holder was also falling off the wall, so it was time to replace all of that, especially since we were buying the soaker hose and splitter anyway.

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose.  My dad knows so many tricks!

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose. My dad knows so many tricks!

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I love the black scroll work on this hose holder, and I really like that the hose blends into the background. They only had a 50-foot hose in this color, so I have way more hose than I need. My dad said we could cut the hose to make it the length I want, so that’ll be a mini project for another day.

Now the front looks really good:

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The only thing I want to add are some small solar lights, because I think they’ll look really nice and add the perfect bit of twinkle.

Now it was time to tackle all the pots for the backyard.  If money was no object, all of the my planters in the back would be terra cotta, too, but since I have other things I want to buy this summer, I’m using these plastic planters that mimic terra cotta.  They look sort of cheap, but they’re okay for now.  Eventually I’ll replace them. I think the backyard looks really happy now:

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These sun-loving annuals are bright and happy, and I love the mix of colors.  They go well with my roses and my hydrangeas, which are looking so pretty:

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I’d had this New Guinea impatien in one of the other pots, but moved it to this great watering can planter in a shady spot of the garden. We had a couple flowers left over, so I planted them in with my mint plant.

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The impulse purchase yesterday were these hanging pots. My sister has a couple of hanging pots in her back patio, and I really like the way they looked.  And then when we were at OSH yesterday, I saw these planters, and fell in love.  They were pricey, at $17.99 each, but I knew I was going to splurge on them, because they’d add so much to my patio.  I absolutely love the way they turned out, and can’t wait for them to grow and start falling over the edges of the pots.

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All in all, it was a long, tiring day, but very worth it for the end product.  I definitely want to have lots of people over this summer, so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of this garden.

Sunday my plan is to go on a 2- or 3-mile walk with my mom this morning at 8:30, and then spend the rest of the day cleaning the house.  It is in desperate need of a major cleaning.  I’m talking top to bottom and every room in between.  I let it go over the past month, and I want to start out the summer with a clean house.  One thing I love about summertime is that once the house is clean, I can tackle cleaning it a bit at a time – bathrooms one day, floors another, dusting a different day.  Once it’s spotless, keeping up with it isn’t a big deal, and insures that the house always looks immaculate.  My reward for all the hard work in store today is going to be a bit of a binge watch of Orange is the New Black.  I’ve watched the first episode of Season 2 already, but I love watching a bunch of them in a row, so that’s the plan for later this evening.

All in all, I’m starting summer in wonderful way – beautifying the house and gardens.

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I have a bunch of blog posts swirling in my head, so get ready for an onslaught of writing from me over the next few days:

  • getting back on track with my food & exercise routine
  • PopSugar MustHave Box reveal/review
  • 20-mile bike ride adventure
  • Diamond Head hike adventure (yes, two months later!)
  • Graduation NSV
  • Bottle Rock music festival discoveries
  • Bella in T.O.Y.land music mix
  • weekly workout plan
  • weigh-in update

 

 

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Each year when I plant my summer flower garden, it’s the signal that summer is just around the corner.  Some years are so busy that I wait until after school gets out. Other years, my mom and dad have surprised me by planting all the flowers for me.  This year I decided the long Memorial Day weekend was the perfect time to plant my flower garden.

As is our yearly tradition, my dad and I met up in the morning and headed out to a few of our local nurseries to select, purchase, and plant the summer flowers.  This year I wanted to make sure there was plenty of color in both my front and back yards.  I’m so grateful for everything I have in my life – a wonderful family, a fabulous place to live, and soon a new puppy companion – and I wanted that joy to be vividly shown in my garden.

The photos were taken yesterday (and a few this morning) and I think they show just how successful we were in capturing that feeling.  See what you think:

First we’ll start in the front of the house.  My sister has a green thumb, and as I look out my window or front door every morning, I see a beautiful array of roses and lilies.  I wanted to make sure that my sister (and anyone else who might see my front yard) had a view that was just as pretty.  My front yard is mostly shade until around 4pm, when I get a few hours of hot afternoon sun.  I think the combo of flowers we selected will do really well with this light.

This is the view from my sister's house (front yard).

I love how unique these square containers look. Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, fiberous begonias

Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, petunias, begonia

Flowers: impatiens, dianthus, petunias, begonia, fiberous begonia

Flowers - impatiens, dianthus, fiberous begonias

Next, we’ll go to the back yard.  My backyard is very lush and green, thanks to some nice plants and trees that have been there for years, but I have always thought that it lacked color.  Yes, the bird of paradise have color, but they in need of some serious pruning, and I really hate those plants, but since the landlord likes them, they stay.  Also, I enjoy the bottle  brush tree and the holly berry tree, but other than that, my backyard is pretty blah.  That is, until yesterday.  I think the combination of potted flowers really adds a lot of life to the yard.  I get great light all day in the back, but the sun really hits around 1pm and lasts the rest of the afternoon until sunset.

A view of the backyard, taken from my patio. I really am lucky to have such a nice-sized yard.

This is the memorial garden I made for Lulu; the hydrangeas were there (although now they're blooming). I added the sunflower pot.

Close-up of the sunflower pot. Flowers: dianthus, fiberous begonia

I love the firecracker red salvia!

These pots originally held the hydrangeas, but I repurposed them, and I'm very happy with the way they turned out. I get to see these beauties every morning when I look outside from my dining table.

I love the bright-orange zinnia coupled with the colorful petunias.

Whenever I'm on a walk, I'm always drawn to geraniums, so I decided to plant some of my own. They're coupled with petunias here.

This was the plant I had on my patio table, but I thought it would fill in the corner of the yard nicely and add some much-needed color.

This azelea has seen better days on my dining table, but I'm hoping it will come back now that it's roots have room to grow.

I can’t wait until all of my flowers really take root and begin to flourish!  As my dad and I were planting them yesterday, I started to think about how nice it will be to take a few quiet moments to water each of these plants and think about my day.  Right now, while school is still in and things are hectic, it will be a short relief from the stress.  Later, when summer is here, it will be a wonderful way to begin or end my day, reminding myself of the beauty that can be found in the simplest things.

As much as I say that I’m not a gardener, I do think I have the soul of one.  I love everything that goes along with it, even getting my hands dirty.  Maybe with a bit more practice and a dash of confidence, I’ll become a full-fledged green thumb after all.

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Because I love to have plants and flowers in the house, too, I thought I’d share the newest additions.

Dalias have to be one of my favorite flowers ever, and this pink./yellow combo is gorgeous.

The thing I love about Pathos plants is that they thrive in low light. This one is going to do really well in my bedroom.

Do you garden?  What have you been planting, lately?

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I had such a great weekend! It was a mix of fun and errands, nice weather and rain, indulging and counting calories.

Saturday

My high school alumnae food & wine club (of which I’m the president) took a day trip to Napa to celebrate our 1st anniversary.  We hired a van service (a nice Mercedes diesel) so that we wouldn’t have to worry about driving and could just enjoy our wine.  The weather was gorgeous – a perfect fall day: just a bit cool, a slight breeze, and the colors of fall all around us.  Here are some of the best photos of the day.  (Click on any of them to make them larger, if you’d like).

Bouchon is a ridiculously popular bakery that had a line a mile long (which we waited in).  The second photo was snapped while we were waiting for the bread.

Of the 3 wines I bought, the Quackenbush Zin was my favorite of the day.

A great day of friends, memories, wine, food, and sisterhood. I’m also proud to say that I counted each and every ounce of wine and morsel of food into LoseIt, and sent my food journal to Scale Warfare this morning, flaws and all.  I’m glad I tracked each calorie, but I’m also glad that I let myself indulge and have a good time.  I need days like that, too, every once in a while.

Sunday

Today I was determined to make that extra hour (the end of daylight savings time) count, and boy, did I.  I still work up at 5am (new time) and did my usual Sunday morning routine of coffee, newspaper, and playtime followed by a quick morning walk with Lulu.  I wanted to make sure to beat the rain, because as much as I love listening to the rain outside, I like to avoid being out in it, if I can.

Having said that, I decided that today was the day to fit as many errands into a hour and a half as I possibly could.  So out I went to Ace Hardware to get some light timers (now that it’s getting darker earlier, I want to make sure there are lights on for Lulu, in case I get home late. They also had the “must-have” dog lights that all the dogs at the dog park are sporting.  I didn’t want Lulu to be without, and I really do think it will be safer when we take our walks in the morning/evening this fall & winter.

Then I headed to the nursery to buy bulbs, because all the fall planting guides are telling me that between Halloween and Thanksgiving is the ideal time to get them in the ground.  The nursery had all sorts of bulbs on sale, but I got a combo of bright purple & yellow tulips, anemones, and freesias.  We’ll see how they turn out, but it will be a fun project to watch.  Because the dirt in front of my house is rock hard, my dad brought two planters over, pre-filled with dirt (he’s so good to me).

They should end up looking like this:

Then I headed to Michael’s to get a fall wreath for my front door.  I’m trying to watch my budget, and I got some good deals!
Everything I found was 70% off: the wreath was $11.99 and the flowers were $5.00.

Then I was off to Target to get the usual household items, although no matter what I go in for, I never leave without spending $70.  Am I the only one?  I also found this great water bottle, which is BPA-free, has a frozen core to keep the water cold, and the essential (for me) straw:

I went to Trader Joe’s to get my weekly salads and other veggies, and I saw another new seasonal coffee.  I mentioned on Twitter last week that I’d tried the Wintry Blend, and I LOVE it.  The addition of cloves, pepper, and other spices makes it perfect for this time of year.  Along those same lines, I thought my newest find, the gingerbread coffee, would be a budget-friendly way to have my version of a gingerbread latte.

After all the errands, I came home and tidied up a bit, did laundry, and planted the bulbs.  And after uploading a bunch of photos on Facebook and writing this blog post, I intend to spend the rest of the evening relaxing:

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(Yes, I know that it’s Saturday, making this post one day late, but since I’m on Spring Break, I figure I’m allowed a little leeway, right?)

J/K....No, this isn't how I spent my spring break. 😛

Saturday, April 10 – Off.  I wasn’t feeling very well today, so I spent most of the day resting.  I had a bad headache, and I think the stress of the previous week finally hit me.

Sunday, April 11light housecleaning.  Today I didn’t do too much other than laundry, a few pots & pans, and picking up the bathroom, but hey, I still earned 4 APs.

Monday, April 12
Today I was determined to get in some great activity.  Since it was pouring rain outside, I really didn’t want to even get in the car and go to the gym.  The rain seriously makes me want to stay in and read a book or watch a movie, but I told myself that I could do that later, after I got in some serious exercise.  This spring break week off is supposed to be all about working out, after all, so I wanted to get right to it.

I read BitchCakes’ blog all the time, and I am always impressed in the workouts she does.  She’s been talking about the Punk Rope classes that she takes all the time.  It looks like so much fun because it incorporates all the fun parts of recess, but for adults.  Plus, jumping rope is such good exercise.  I checked out the site to see if there were any classes offered in my area, but unfortunately, it hasn’t made it to the Bay Area yet. If it ever does, you better believe I’m going to join in on one of the classes.  So, I decided to buy the DVD and a jump rope for myself at home.  I hit the purchase button before I realized that they had a starter kit available that was cheaper and included everything, plus a cool CD of music. I figured it was my bad that I hadn’t been a bit more careful before hitting “purchase,” but then to my surprise, Tim Haft, president of Punk Rope, emailed me to tell me he was refunding me the difference and sending me a starter kit anyway!  How cool is that?  I hadn’t had time to try it out up to this point, but today I had nothing but time.  Ok, guys, I think I’m going to have a few scars on my legs from my uncoordinated attempts to jump rope.  LOL.  I kept whipping myself with the jump rope.  Finally I just decided to try the DVD without the rope, but still jumping and moving my arms as if I was.  (I’m sure I’ll get the jump rope thing down in time, but right now I’m just not there yet).  I could only last for about 10 minutes before I was just gasping for breath.  What a workout!  Still, I earned 2 APs for those 10 minutes, which is awesome.

Since the Punk Rope workout only lasted a few minutes, I decided to do some Wii FitPlus today, as well.  Today I did a more intense workout on the FitPlus.  I did the 3 minute short run, 3-4 times trying the obstacle course, a few balance games, and then I did 10 minutes of free step.  The free step is supposed to allow you to watch t.v. while you do the step for 10 minutes.  The FitPlus said the goal was to do 800 steps in 10 min., but knowing how competitive I am, you know I had to break that to smithereens, right?  Of course I did.  In 10 minutes, I did 1199 steps!  I was pissed that I didn’t get to 1200, but I’ll save that for another day.  Altogether I did 38 minutes on the FitPlus and earned 4 APs.

Monday’s total: 48 minutes and 6APs.

Tuesday, April 13 – Off.  The lazies got the better of me today.  I spent most of the day watching t.v., reading, and hanging around the house.  The weather wasn’t helping at all.  I get so uninspired when it’s raining.

Wednesday, April 14 – I was completely stunned and happy with my weight loss on the scale, and it definitely inspired me to hit the gym and do 33 minutes on the elliptical.  LOL.  I know that 33 minutes sounds ridiculous, but I do this weight loss program on the machine and it just so happens to be 33 minutes, including the cool down.  It’s a great interval training mode with 2 minutes of Level 4 at an incline of 1, 2 minutes of Level 7 at an incline of 10, repeated for 28 minutes.  My heart beats out of my chest the entire time (in a good way), and I really break a sweat.  I love it.  The cool down is always the best, because I drink a whole 32-oz of water while I’m listening to some mellow grooves.  5 APs earned.

Thursday, April 15 – Today I had plans to meet Ish for coffee at a Starbucks not far from my house, and since the weather was finally beautiful and sunny, I decided to ride my bike there, rather than driving.  It’s 1.1 miles from my house, according to my map App on the iPhone, and let me tell you, I was definitely out of breath by the time I got there in just about 10 minutes.  It felt good to take the beach cruiser out for a spin, and even better to have a destination.  I like aimlessly riding my bike, but that’s usually more fun with a friend, so when I’m by myself, I like to have a destination.  After our gab session, I rode for another 20 minutes, because I wanted to get in at least 30 minutes total.  It was awesome feeling my thighs work while I rode.  I earned 3 APs.

Friday, April 16 – I had a ton of fun planting gorgeous flowers in my windowbox, while earning 3 APs.

All in all, I had a fantastic week off.  I didn’t do too much in terms of sightseeing, but I sure did a lot in terms of stacking up those Activity Points!  I earned a total of 21 APs throughout the week, which is great.  The better thing is that I put a lot of variety into my workouts which made them that much more enjoyable.  I know many of you love the gym, and I do like going, but for me, I like being out and about and enjoying the scenery a lot more than I like being inside the gym walls.  Mixing it up helps me stay inspired to keep up with my workouts.

Stay tuned for next week, when I’m going to try a new class at the gym.

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This is going to be a long post, so get something to drink (water!), sit back, and stay awhile.  (This doormat that I placed at my back door is one of the many purchases I made yesterday).

Yesterday was one of the best Fridays I’ve spent in a long, long time, and definitely the best day of my spring break so far.  I got to spend the entire day with my dad, which is always fun.  He recently had orthroscopic knee surgery, but was feeling better yesterday, so we decided to have a little “Daddy & me” time.

We wanted to take in a movie, but none of them looked that good or were that interesting to us.  I hate it when all of the movies in the theatres just don’t look appealing, don’t you?  I guess we’re in that weird in-between time when the Oscars are all done and the summer blockbusters haven’t come out yet.  There isn’t even a small, independent film that seemed worth viewing.

So instead, we decided we’d go to lunch at Chevy’s (I won’t even MENTION how terrible the calories are for seemingly healthy choices).  It was nice to catch up with my dad, just the two of us, because usually when I see my parents my mom and I dominate the conversation.  My dad is a quiet person, and although he’s the sweetest, most intelligent person I know, he tends to let others around him do most of the talking and only says things when he feels he has something worthwhile to share.  It actually works, though, because whenever my dad is talking, everyone pays attention.  🙂 We got caught up on each others lives, and although we see each other at least once a week, we always have things to talk about.

After lunch, our only other plan was to go to Target to pick up something for my mom.  I would’ve loved to do something active like go for a walk, go bowling, or play tennis, but my dad’s knee isn’t quite up to any of those things yet.   We did enjoy the car ride in the convertible; it was a gorgeous, sunny day so we took full advantage of it.

Why is it that I can never go into Target without buying something?  I swear, that store just has lots of great stuff.  I got the doormat you see above, some Thomas’ Bagel Thins (which I’ve been waiting for FOREVER.  I hate that it takes so long for us to get new things on the west coast.  I always thought we got things first, but judging from everyone else’s blogs, I think we’re usually a few months behind, for new grocery items, at least), and this for my kitchen:

It doesn’t match the colors of the kitchen perfectly, but I liked the retro feel of it, and for $9, it’ll do for a while.

After Target, we headed back to my parents’ house, but were quickly scooted out again by my mom.  She was in the middle of doing a major housecleaning and didn’t want either of us underfoot.  LOL.  My mom is so funny when she’s cleaning the house – very single-minded.  Since my dad had planned to buy some perennials for their garden, we headed to the nursery to check out what they had.  Again, we took the convertible, because it’s just so much more fun to drive. (My dad can’t drive right now with his knee, and I didn’t feel like driving his truck).  Since he wanted to scope out the flowers and then bring my mom the next day to choose them, we didn’t think it would be a problem if we took my car.

Once we got the nursery, I found some amazing New Guinea Impatiens that would work perfectly in my windowbox. The colors were amazing – almost iridescent orangey-peach-and-yellow and hot pink.

In the backseat of the Beetle, waiting to be planted

I also found  a mother-in-law’s tongue plant that I’d been wanting for my living room:

Tip: this plant is perfect for those who don’t think they have a green thumb because you just can’t seem to kill it.  It likes indoor, low light and only needs watering once every couple of weeks, or so.

I picked up this kalanchoe as my weight loss “bouquet” for myself.  For $4.99, it’s going to last at least 3 weeks, so the money is well spent.

After the nursery, we went back to my parents’ house, showed my mom all of the choices of flowers (I love the photos my iPhone takes for this very reason), chatted, had a glass of wine, and then I went home.

I was so inspired to plant the flowers that I had purchased, so I did something I’ve never done before – planted flowers on my own.  Usually I wait for my dad to “supervise” me to make sure that I’m doing it correctly.  I figured that I had spent enough time watching him do it that I could figure it out.  Hopefully I wouldn’t kill the new blooms.  I did have to use a step ladder to reach the inside of my windowbox (my dad is tall, so this is where he usually comes in, because he can reach without any assistance).

Aren’t they gorgeous?  I can’t wait until they’ve taken root and really bloom.  The man at the nursery said they’ll flower all summer, which is amazing. In about a month I’ll make another gardening post where I give you an update on their progress.

I absolutely love this fibrous begonia.  I didn’t plant this yesterday, my uncle gave it to me before he moved to Michigan last fall, but I did cut it back prune it in the winter, and I’m very proud of how well it’s come back.

Hands of a hard-working gardener. (That green stuff is fertilizer)

Dirt under my fingernails from when I got too impatient to use the shovel. 😉

My garden is almost complete!  All I have left to plant are some big, round pots that I usually put on my front porch, but I think that will have to wait for another weekend, because I didn’t find anything that I liked yesterday.  I usually plant impatiens in them, but I’m sort of bored with that.  It’s so difficult to find pretty shade flowers.  A colleague suggested fuchsias, which I think are pretty, so I might do that.  If any of you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

I had the best time planting all of the flowers, and I was really glad to see that 30 minutes of gardening earned 3 APs, because after that big lunch, I knew I needed it.

Yesterday was the type of day that I love, and I can’t wait to have many, many more days like it once summer hits.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I am loving spring!  The weather is warmer (although we’re expecting a bit of a cold front to come in tomorrow and the next day 😦 ), the days are longer, and people just seem to be in a better mood, don’t they?  It was a long winter for everyone, and even though I didn’t have to live through “snomageddon 2010,” for a while I thought I had somehow moved to Seattle, with all the rain we were getting.  (Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the city of Seattle, but I don’t think I could handle all of the precipitation).

Spring also makes me want to dress nicer.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that my business trip required me to dress up a lot more than I normally do, which meant buying a few new dresses and things.  I really loved the way I looked and felt in the dresses, and I vowed that I was going to start taking a bit more time and attention to detail in my daily wardrobe.  I have been doing it for two weeks now, and I love it.  I’ve always been the type of person to take great pride in my appearance, but somehow this winter, I sort of let that go.  It was just so much easier to grab jeans and a sweater or sweatshirt when the weather outside was lousy.  I was totally uninspired to dress nicely.  Now that the weather is warmer, I want to shed those layers and show my style.  The other plus is that the more form fitting clothes keep me motivated to keep up with my workouts and food plan!

I mentioned yesterday that I spent quite a bit of time this weekend cleaning, and it feels so great to come home to a spotless, organized house.  The next spring project that I want to take on is planting flowers in my front yard.  I have a window box, as well as two pots that I put on my front stoop.

One of last year's pots, right after planting.

I have to choose flowers that will deal with shade, because I only get morning sun.  I usually end up choosing impatiens, because they do so well, but I think I’m a bit bored with them after three years.  Any ideas of other shade-loving flowers I could try?

This spring I also want to bring back a weekly treat that I used to give to myself some time ago – a new bouquet of flowers each week.  I used to buy them on Fridays after work, to enjoy all weekend.  I think I’m going to change it to stopping at the store on Wednesdays after work, as a reward to myself for another good week on plan.  This works perfectly because I weigh myself each Wednesday, and Tuesdays/Wednesdays are the days when my local grocery store gets their new floral deliveries.  So, my Wednesday afternoon flowers will be a great way to inspire myself to remember that I’m a work in progress, a flower that’s still blossoming (ok, was that too cheesey?).  Plus, I just love flowers, so having a fresh floral bouquet always puts me in a great mood.

Spring also inspires me to get outside for my activity, and I’ve been enjoying the longer, sunny days by walking outside or biking around the neighborhood after I get home from work.  Even a few minutes helps me clear my mind and be thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful climate.

I’m also looking forward to Spring Break, which will be here in about 3 weeks – 19 more days, to be exact.  The rest of the school year flies by after Spring Break, and then summer is here.  Ah, glorious summer.  But I won’t get to far ahead of myself.  For now, I’ll just enjoy these beautiful spring days…

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