Monday, April 28, 2014

What to Do When Your Dog Eats a $230 Pair of Shoes?!

Just to be clear, I did not pay $230 for the shoes. I thrifted them from Goodwill for $5.96. They were my favorite pair, and I absolutely loved them because they were very well made, comfortable, and really cool. 

And Buckshot ate the right shoe. After we found the destroyed shoe, Jared looked up how much they were worth--out of curiosity or masochism, I'll never know-- and discovered that a used pair went for $230 on ebay. 

Shoot me now.

Anyway, once I finished throwing up, I decided I couldn't just throw the other one away! It was worth $115 just by itself! (Spare me the talk about how a shoe without it's mate is useless since the market for amputees with no right foot and a left one around size 8 is very small and so therefore the shoe is worth nothing. I don't care.) So what do I do with things I'm not sure what to do with? I turn them into a planter.

So, here's my shoe. Beautiful, wonderful shoe.

I started by drilling some holes for drainage. It was fine and easy closer to the toe section of the shoe, but DARN YOU BRUNO MAGLI AND YOUR FINE HANDMADE ITALIAN CRAFTSMANSHIP! The center section was supported by a metal plate of some kind, and I didn't have the right bit to cut through it. The same went for the heel.

I added rocks for more drainage.

I made my own special dirt for succulents and cacti using a 1:1 ratio of potting soil and sand.

These little guys were on sale for a dollar a piece at Walmart.

And this groundcover has been taking over the world and is very hardy, so I thought I'd add that to my shoe as well. I don't know it's name, but it get little yellow flowers in the early summer.

and TA-DA! It's a cute planter!

I was still a little worried about the drainage, so I pointed the toe downhill, so that the water would hopefully go towards the holes in the shoe. Thankfully, our entire property is downhill, so that worked out nicely for once.

So, what about y'all? Do y'all have any funky planters around your house? I'd love to see them! Send me the links!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do Two Bottle Trees Make a Forest?

If two bottle trees make a forest, then I guess I've at least got the start of one! Here's the other one:

I made it a long, long time ago, and it's seen better days, but I still love it. 

 This past weekend, I dragged the welder out of the garage and made our second one. Now I want to make 500 and give them to everyone because it turned out better than the first, I think. It was certainly easier to make!

Jared helped me cut my 4 feet piece of rebar into 8 six-inch pieces. The cutting part made me a bit nervous (and when I tried, I ended up putting a dent in my own car. Don't ask.), so I was more than happy to see if Jared would do that part. 

I clamped my other 4 feet piece of rebar to a concrete block to hold it still.

And then I called my sister. She is a straight-up professional welder. Plus, she looks like this and stands 4'11 tall, so she looks like a mystery. AND I LOVE IT. One of my favorite things to do is be around when she tells people (especially men) that she's a welder. The looks she gets are the BEST.

Photo by Heather Goodbread/ Photographer and Doula

Since she knows what she's doing, I called her to find out what the voltage/heat and wire speed should be for this kind of project. ( For my machine, in case you were wondering, the voltage/heat should be high and the wire speed around 4.)

I clamped my ground near where I planned on welding and got started. The welds are not pretty. Obviously. But it's stuck!

I wanted to have four sets of branches, and so to keep everything even, I did my first and my last branches first.

In spite of my best efforts, it's still not even, but oh well. I'm imperfect and so are my math skills. I, unfortunately, didn't ask Jared for math help until it was too late.

Katie told me that it wasn't actually too late because I could have used a grinder and started over, but I didn't want to and since I wanted to keep property and bodily damage to a minimum, I decided to leave it.


I hammered it into the ground as deep as I could and then added some rocks that I found laying around.

Something was missing though.

I added a Coke bottle to the top and it seems finished now.


I think it's a nice addition to our in-progress mailbox area, and as soon as Lowes gets the rest of my mulch in, I will finish it. I've been thinking about different bottle tree designs and a better way to anchor them in the ground, so I'm ready to make more!

For an interesting look at the history behind bottle trees, go here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade "Pork Fried Rice"

I used the quotes because if you're looking for anything remotely resembling authentic pork fried rice, you will not find it here. I'm really sorry about that, but I was craving some fried rice and we had a small bit of pork roast left in the freezer, so I tried making my own recipe! I think it turned out pretty good! 


1 small/medium pork roast 
1 onions, chopped and sauteed
1 bag of mixed veggies
4 cups of cooked rice 
3 eggs
3 tablespoons garlic powder for roast
2 teaspoons garlic powder for rice and veggie mixture
5 tablespoons of soy sauce

First, I cooked my roast in the crock pot for about 6 or so hours on high. I covered it in garlic powder and put about an inch or so of water in the crockpot. While it was cooking, I chopped up the onions and sauteed them. 

When the roast was finished, I chopped it up and set it aside.

I steamed my bag of mixed veggies in the microwave and mixed it with the 4 cups of rice. In the skillet, I poured my 3 eggs into the skillet and scrambled them.

Then, I dumped the rice, veggies, pork, onions, soy sauce and garlic powder in my dutch oven all together to make a WHOLE LOT of pork fried rice.

Like I said, it's not even close to authentic, but it ended up being pretty tasty, so I guess that's what really matters!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Front Garden Updates

After we got back from Gibbs Gardens, I was inspired to spruce up our own garden for the spring. Lowe's is currently running their Spring Black Friday sales, so I stocked up on mulch to re-cover the front. So, here are the results of our sprucing so far. 

We put the arbor that Jared and I (and Connie and Justin!) got married under over the walkway to the front door. 

Jared bought me a bare-root clematis to grow up the archway. I planted it in that concrete block.

I'm going to cut back part of this honeysuckle vine so the front porch won't be overrun with this jungle vine!

But I'm leaving everything that is growing out front because I want it to eventually reach onto the arch. It made it that far last year, so hopefully it will do the same this year.

I'm obsessing over this ground cover. I don't even know what it is, but it looks so happy! It will get tiny yellow flowers eventually.

I don't know if my rosemary bush will bounce back from those winter storms we had, but I keep holding on to hope!

I transplanted my snowball bush between the peach tree and the wind chimes, and it has little snowballs on it already! I'm so excited!

We've still got some work to do, but I'm excited about this progress! I'm hoping to add more perennials that are spring blooming, so we will have more early color. We'll see how it goes!

Have y'all started any of your springtime projects?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Adventures at Gibbs Gardens!

Jared surprised me with a date to Gibbs Gardens in Ballground, GA. It's one of the nation's largest estate gardens and it is absolutely beautiful. Right now, the daffodils are on display. There are 20 million planted, and even though they are almost gone for the season, there is still 4 million in bloom!

The late-bloomers are generally fragrant, so we spent a lot of time with our noses in the flowers.

I thought these doubles were so pretty!

I love the pale pink in the centers of this type of daffodil.

I had never seen such small daffodils before!

Daffodil sefies.

This kind smelled like candy!

Mr. Gibbs lives on the estate, and you're allowed to tour the gardens near his home. They're not in full bloom yet, but they're still beautiful.

I am a sucker for koi ponds.

I swear this fish was a dinosaur. It was huge!

No one is allowed in the house, but the outside is gorgeous.

I love this gate!

Jared was obsessed with these crazy trees in the Japanese garden.

Jared and I bought a season's pass because every three weeks there is something new blooming. They have festivals all year long and I can't wait to go back!

The whole day was fantastic!