Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wannabe landscape designer

One of the drawbacks of new construction is that there's zero landscaping to start with - no patio, no deck, no gardens... just a whole lot of empty, ugly space. In our case, we've got trees in the backyard (which, as I've mentioned, is currently in 'jungle' status), and the remainder of the yard is bare dirt. It's a little overwhelming, and I've definitely been having trouble visualizing ideas for what we might want to do. Because the first floor is just a few feet above the ground, we knew we just wanted a patio rather than a deck in the back, but I couldn't picture at all what that patio might look like. And the front yard is massive (at least by DC area standards), so I had no idea what to do with that either.

But this weekend, I found a new time waster (not that I have to search too hard to find those...). I downloaded the free trial version of Realtime Landscaping Pro 2013. The full version is $100, and there is a 'Plus' version (instead of Pro) that is $80, but I found the free version suited my needs perfectly... this version was awesome for designing a general landscaping and hardscaping layout - to help me plan where we'd want a patio, walkways, mulch, etc. and to help me visualize what that layout might look like. If you've already got your basic layout and just want to plan more specific details like what kinds of plants you want, then this free version is not for you - the options for specific plants and materials are pretty limited in the trial.

Our virtual front yard

Saturday, June 22, 2013

{House update} Sheetrocking 'n rolling

As I explained in my last post, the brick took a while to finish, but by mid-June, it was finally done! Another new update was the drywall - during this visit on the 19th, most of it was up, but there were still a few spots that needed it, and the family room was taken over by scaffolding. Also, we found a frog in our basement that day (the tiny pic in the bottom left)! I love all the little signs of wildlife...although hopefully we won't have many frogs hopping around inside the house when it's done!

Friday, June 21, 2013

{House update} Webs, tubs, bricks, puffiness, jungle, & a skull

My last house update was of our first time checking out the 2nd floor, after the stairs had been installed - that was basically the status of the house in early May, just before we left for vacation. When we returned, we found that they had been busy - plumbing, electrical, duct work, bathtubs... all that fun stuff had been installed. The intricate webs/spiders that go on behind the walls are pretty crazy looking (all the black ducts that connect in the center of the attic looked like a giant spider to me)! We also found that the brick had been delivered...

FMS Photo-A-Day May Wrap-up

Well I came very, very close to giving up on this challenge in May. I stopped just before we left for our 10 day vacation, then when we got home, I wasn't feeling very motivated to catch up. But once I got back in my usual groove I started to miss it, so I did finally get back up to speed (and now I'm very glad I did!). Here are my May photos with the prompt list below.

Learn more about the challenge here, and follow me on Instagram @jdeares!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

{Recipe} Caprese Panini

We've been on a major caprese panini kick lately - we've had these a couple times a week for the past several weeks. I could totally go for one right now...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

UK 2013, Part 4: Northumberland, York & London

After Edinburgh, we headed back to England for the final portion of the trip - this time traveling down the eastern portion of the country and stopping in Northumberland and York before returning to London for our last couple of nights.

Northumberland, York & London