Thursday, April 21, 2011


(Sidenote--most of these won't play in google reader so you have to go to my blog to listen to them. Blerg.)

Some of my current favorites...

Adele's entire cd is amazing. You've probably heard the first song on the radio (faaabulous) and I've also included another favorite.

"Rolling in the Deep"

"Set Fire to the Rain"

Do I think Train wrote this song in hopes it would be in every couple's rehearsal dinner slideshow and/or wedding in 2011 (and therefore make them tons of money)? Absolutely. Do I care? Not one bit.

"Dog Days are Over" by Florence + the Machine (her hair.... WOW.)

This one makes me happy (cute story and SNAPPING!)
"I Hope This Gets to You" by The Daylights

That's all I've got for now. Oh ok, one more...

Cracks me up. Who is this guy?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Let's Start At The Very Beginning...

(A very good place to start...)

When Michael and I moved into our home two years ago, one of the biggest selling points was the low maintenance yard. Our neighborhood has a yard crew that mows our lawn and takes care of our shrubs. The side yard--our responsibility--is about the size of a closet. We were in heaven... for the first year. Last summer, however, we realized that not doing anything with our lawn was killing us. We love being outdoors yet our yard left much to be desired. 2010 was the summer of concrete staining, potted plants, one row of English ivy, and more mulch than one yard should ever allow. We also learned that our yard, while still small, is much larger (or at least longer) than we realized.

The mulch was a temporary fix, so last month we met with a landscaper to see what he would suggest. We really wanted to plant sod, which he nixed immediately due to the lack of sunlight. He mentioned river rocks and said he'd email us a quote.

You guys. Holy cow. He gave us two separate quotes: $1331 and $2955. The quotes included prep work, weed cover, and two different types of rocks. That was it. Not only were both quotes over our price range, but for $3000 I better see diamonds amidst river rocks. We decided we would take our last year's DIY project to the next level and plant English ivy EVERYWHERE. That would take care of our need for green as well as stay within our budget.

I typically don't discuss money on this blog (thank you mom and dad for teaching me good manners), but in this case I want to break it down for you because, well... I'm super proud of us. I am seriously considering sending the landscaper a link to this post in hopes that he stops ripping off the American public.

One last thing--we have absolutely ZERO knowledge of plants/soil/flowers/etc. This past month has been a labor of love (we have insane blisters, back pain and red necks to prove it), but we fully realize that no one would look at our yard and think we'd hired a landscaper. We understand that and we're ok with it. We also realize that ivy is a process and it looks downright funny this year. But next year? It'll look better. The year after that? The ground could be completely covered in beautiful green ivy. And when that happens, we can sit back and realize these painful weekends in 2011 were absolutely worth it.

And now, let's break it down! (If something was on sale, I included what we paid for it as well as the original price because GOOD LORD I love sales!)

Ground cover
English Ivy (8 flats): $150
Pond pebbles: $30
Mulch: $10

Hibiscus (2): $45 (original price: $60)
Jasmine: $20
Croton: $20
Azalea bush: $25
Purple spike plant (See what I mean? No clue): $20
Begonias: $40 (original price: $55)
Hanging basket flowers: $19
Hanging basket: $0 (recycled from last year)
Flower pots: $0 (purchased last year)
Watering can: $0 (purchased last year)

Patio Furniture: $400
Plates (6): $26 (original price: $36)
Napkins: $0 (wedding gift)
Table decor: $60 (original price: $75) (total splurge)
Bird Bath: $50
Chiminea: $65 (original price: $130!!!)
Garden stool: $70 (original price: $90) (total splurge) (But also great when we have a 5th guest!)

Tools, etc.
Gloves (2): $8
Tiller: $20 (I would've paid $300 for this--it was a lifesaver)
Concrete stain for touch-ups: $0 (purchased last year)
Sealant for concrete: $15
Hose: $15


Don't get me wrong, I realize $1108 is still quite a bit and we're now eating ramen noodles to compensate, but knowing that we did all of the above for less than what it cost for "prep work, weed fabric, and native gravel" makes me one very happy lady. :)

Last year, before the stain:
Last year after the stain:
Align Center
Front yard - kept it simple with begonias and a hanging plant

Sideyard (like I said, looks a bit goofy right now...)
Thinking ahead for fall!

Ivy we planted along the wall last year

Terrible picture. It's a dark blue. LOVE.

Our river rocks (of the $30 variety)

A bird bath outside our bedroom window.
Plants/flowers in front of our kitchen window.

My personal favorite - hibiscus

Jasmine ivy--smells AMAZING.
The table is set!

Our first meal served on the new table.

Rows and rows (and rows) of English ivy. Just looking at this makes my hands, arms, and back so tired.

When I bought a flat of pink begonias this little guy hitched a ride (he hadn't bloomed but I assumed he was pink). As soon as I saw a white bloom I dug him up. Michael then replanted him in his very own pot. Is it weird that I'm talking about a plant like it's a person?)
Unfortunately, the hail storm beat the crap out of some of our plants. Poor Mr. Croton...

This gorgeous azalea bush now has three remaining blooms...
Thumbs kept us company while we worked!

Our star performer for the next few months...

What are you waiting for? Come on over--we've got beers in the fridge!

Actually, can we re-schedule for tomorrow? We are exhausted. GOOD NIGHT!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

It's A....


Braden (Bray) Charles Besancon
Born: April 8, 7:06 pm
7 lbs, 10 oz
21 inches long
Dark brown hair, light brown eyes, Besancon nose (Lord help him...)

We're all in love!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Great Few Days

One of our favorite events to attend when we lived in Tulsa was Mayfest. The downtown area had booths lining several streets, showcasing all sorts of artists (photography, painting, ceramics, etc.), performers, as well as every type of "fair food" imaginable. Both of us worked downtown so we'd meet at lunch and enjoy the talents of nearby artists, whilst wolfing down a corn dog covered in mustard or ketchup.

Last week I was driving to work when the DJs started discussing Deep Ellum's Art Festival, which took place last weekend. My ears perked up as they essentially described Dallas' very own Mayfest. I called Michael to let him know we now had plans for the weekend. I was so excited!

Friday night I looked at the website to see where we could park and saw they highly recommended the Dart, our public transit "light rail," which we've never taken. We decided to make it a day of firsts and I'm so glad we did.

We got a little bored waiting for the train. Here is my mopey husband going through the seven stages of grief...

(This one is my favorite...)

Fortunately, the train arrived before Michael turned into a puddle of doom. :) The train was really clean, very safe, and we now wish there was a stop close to work so we wouldn't have to drive each morning. A few stops before Deep Ellum, approx 75 kids hopped on and I think we both travelled back in time. It is crazy how that age has zero awareness of anyone around them. They were screaming, taking pictures of people right behind us (I didn't know whether I should smile just in case), and started singing a song we all used to sing in high school ("I am a C, I am a C-H, I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N"). It was absolutely dreadful and glorious at the same time. I couldn't decide if I thought they were rude for being so obnoxiously loud, or if I wanted to hug them and tell them never to lose that uninhibited joy. Before I was able to make up my mind, we reached our stop and hopped off the train. I had that song stuck in my head for the remainder of the weekend.

I think I'll let the pictures tell the rest. Deep Ellum is not for the faint of heart, but it made me appreciate Dallas even more. So happy to call this place home.

Do you see us?

In other news, we spent most of Sunday digging and planting. I'll do a post on that in the near future, but here's a quick glimpse...

Last but not least, a certain someone was supposed to have her baby THREE DAYS AGO. We are all (Michelle most of all) anxiously awaiting the newest arrival to the Besancon family! Please say a quick prayer for Justin, Michelle and Evan that this precious baby arrives healthy and happy and SOON. :) Aunt Merdi needs to know if she needs to turn left or right once she enters Baby Gap!!


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