Archive for June, 2011

Terrarium Time

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We had been talking about making a terrarium for a long time.  And we finally did it this spring.  We actually made two in our first go since we over-committed on our plant purchase the first time around.  And we are still loving them months later.  So when it came to thinking of the perfect gift for a family member’s upcoming birthday, we knew it was time to bust out our terrarium skills again.

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Rediscovering the Library

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I’ve obviously known about the library for a long time.  My mom used to take me to the Rochester Public Library when I was kid, and we would go to the little library at our elementary school beginning in kindergarten.  But it really wasn’t until this past year that I rediscovered how incredible the library truly is and how lucky we are in Minnesota to have a large, sophisticated public library system.  Everyone is so caught up these days with their iPads and Kindles and Netflix subscriptions that we seem to have forgotten what a true treasure the library is.  And it is completely free, which is a rarity in this world.

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Refreshing the Front Steps

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Because apparently you have to do that with concrete stairs.  As you know if you’ve followed any of our posts about our other concrete staircase, how we patched our stucco where it was removed, and how we fixed our yard when it was all done, we hate concrete.  With a growing passion.  But of course our stairs to the front door are also a full-on concrete jungle.  And let’s just say, they have seen better days.  So Dain decided to patch and resurface them.  And now they are looking sparkly and new (although not as sparkly as they would have been had Dain let me hit them with a coat of my glitter spray paint).

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DIY “Brickends”

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As we’ve mentioned before, our house came with a large pile of bricks that we found EVERYWHERE around our yard.  And since we like to reuse and repurpose things instead of throwing them out, we’ve been brainstorming ideas for how to use our lovely bricks.  And by lovely, I actually just mean annoying.  But while I was perusing Pinterest the other day, I came across a picture of a brick book end.  Ding, ding, ding.

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Summer Recipe-Bean Dip

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Like we’ve mentioned before, we are not gourmet chefs.  But we do have a few good recipes up our sleeves.  And this one is our go-to summer party dish to share.  We just call it bean dip…which probably conjures up visions of something quite different for you than it does for us (creepy, thick refried bean vision anyone?).  But our “bean dip” is a very fluid recipe that can be adjusted to your own likes, and it is full of color, flavor and healthy ingredients.  Throw it in a bowl and grab a bag of your favorite tortilla chips, and you have the perfect crowd-pleaser to bring to any gathering.

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Birdcage Planter

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We were lucky enough to receive a beautiful birdcage from my dad last summer.  He had it sitting in his yard, but he apparently wasn’t in love with it since he offered it to us (which means it must have actually been my mom’s doing or a gift).  Not ones to pass up cool things, we of course took it home.  And it lived on our deck last summer (and fall and winter….lazy as charged).  But we finally got around to hanging it (after I nagged Dain incessantly since he’s apparently also not as in love with it as I am).  And I added a fun little succulent assortment to take it up a notch.  It was cheap and simple, and I think it’s even growing on Dain.

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Radon…the Invisible Gangsta

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It’s funny how you can be completely oblivious to things until they come crashing into your life.  Or more like stealthily seeping in.  When we were looking for homes in the fall of 2009, we never discussed radon.  That is, until we made an offer on our current home.  We decided on a home inspector, and he asked whether we also wanted him to do a radon test in the basement to check the radon levels.  At the time, it was a painful extra expense (since we were still coming to terms with making the largest purchase of our lives).  But we decided to shell out the extra $125 for a radon test.  And sure enough…….it came back with unacceptably high levels and the invisible gangster entered our lives.

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Our Finished Front Garden

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Although we felt like we were “done” last week when we shared our landscaping progress, we found that there was still more to do over the past week.  Since we had guests staying with us over the weekend, we actually managed to organize everything that we had lying around, run a load of trash to a dumpster, cut up the large iron railing we’ve had by our garage for a year, and clean our driveway.  And thanks to a generous gift of hostas and a sale at our local Bachman’s, we were also able to fill up just about all of the real estate in our new gardens in the front yard and along the alley.

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Our Very Own Adirondacks

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As we mentioned in our post about living in the land of 10,000 adirondacks, our neighborhood is a mecca for adirondack chairs.  And we have finally given into the peer pressure of driving by house after house with these wooden wonders (and plastic wonders) out front.  And now on a lazy summer night, you just may find us in our very own adirondacks.  You won’t be seeing our Aegean Blue beauties plopped in front of our house for decoration any time soon, but we do plan to use them in the backyard for a nice place to sit and enjoy the yard.

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The Heart Shop is Open for Business

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Finally.  And we apologize for the delay.  The whole at-home screen printing thing has been a little more difficult than we thought.  But we have finally mastered it.  And we’re rolling out our new shirts so that everyone can enjoy them as much as we do.  Dain’s been wanting to try his hand at screen-printing for awhile now because he loves graphic tees and figured he could make ones that are just as cool as the ones he buys.  So when he found an at-home setup for sale on Craigslist this spring, he pulled the trigger and started the learning process.  And now we can say that we make our own t-shirts (not the actual shirt….but you know what I mean).

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