Posts Tagged ‘summertime’

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.


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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Happy Monday, Everyone! I haven’t participated in a FMM in weeks, but this one is right up my alley, since I have the entire summer off!

A quick weekend update first – I’m proud to share that this weekend I was incredibly active.  Saturday I went to a fantastic (and really sweaty!) Zumba class and then headed straight to a gentle yoga class afterward.  I plan to make this my Saturday routine through the first Saturday in August (when my yoga pass expires).  I’d burned 1576 calories before 2pm!  Saturday was also the day that I drank 17 glasses of water!  All that exercise makes me really thirsty, plus it was a HOT day, so the water went down really easy.  I also made a new recipe – grilled tofu – that was a huge hit!!  Yesterday I took a semi-rest day, but I did take Sofi for a long walk and did some housework.  The highlight was going to see Woody Allen’s new movie, To Rome With Love, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It was all the things that make a great Woody Allen movie – highly entertaining, semi-ridiculous, quirky, hilarious, and a satire of modern society: culture and celebrity.  I loved the Italian actors in the movie, they stole the show, especially Roberto Benigni. But I thought most of the Americans were terribly miscast, except Woody Allen (naturally) and Alec Baldwin.  And of course seeing Rome, the Eternal City, was the best part of all.  It’s been 17 years since my sister and I were there, but it looks just as beautiful as I remember it.  If you enjoy the offbeat storylines that are in all Woody Allen movies, I’m sure you’ll like this one, too.

I also want to wish ScaleWarfare a very happy birthday today.  If you haven’t read her blog, go and check it out. ScaleWarfare has lost over 110 pounds, and is on her way to reaching her goal weight.  She has transformed her life as well as her body, and is such an inspiration to me.  She and I have never met in person, but she is one of my best friends in the world.  She is one of my biggest cheerleaders, and I know that I can count on her for support, advice, and friendship.  She’s the best!!


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Summertime

1. What is your favorite thing about summer? I get two months off of work to rest, relax, and spend time doing anything I please.  Summer allows me to get back to myself and let go of the stress of the school year.  My birthday is also in the summer, so that’s a nice thing.  Summertime brings warm weather, positive attitudes, and lots of opportunities to be outside.

2. What is your favorite outdoor activity? Swimming, by far.  Although taking Sofi for a walk is right up there, as is riding my beach cruiser.

3. If you had to choose, would you prefer to be too hot or too cold? You can always put more clothes on, so too cold would be the preference.

4. Does your appetite increase or decrease during warmer months? Does it stay the same? In general, my appetite decreases because I’m out and about and more active, so I think about food/eating less.  Plus, the warm weather makes me want lighter food, so I make healthier choices.

5. What is your favorite seasonal summer fruit? This is too difficult to choose – I love all the fruits of summer.  Berries, melon, peaches, nectarines, plums – how can I choose just one?  Not to mention all the amazing veggies that are in season in the summer: zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers – and those are just in our garden!

6. Would you prefer to spend a hot summer day at the mall or at a swimming pool? The pool, for sure!  Although Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is on July 20, so maybe just for that day…

7. Are you more likely to tan or sunburn? Tan.  I’m bronze May through October.

8. How does your routine change when summer begins? My routine changes completely!  I can make my own schedule, get up whenever I want to, don’t have to commute anywhere, no work, no papers to grade, no stress.  This summer I’m building my daily schedule around my workouts, which has been fun.

9. What is the temperature outside where you are today? This morning was a bit overcast and foggy, so at 9:49am, the sun is just beginning to peek out.  It’s currently 59 degrees, with an expected high of 82.  Perfect.

10.  What is your favorite summer holiday? My birthday….Oh, wait, you mean a holiday that everyone celebrates?  The 4th of July, of course!

Now it’s your turn to share. Don’t forget to go back to Kenlie’s blog to link up in the comments!

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