How we turned our front yard from zero to hero!

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No one shares with you the joy of landscaping maintenance when you buy a home. G and I purchased our home about 3 years ago and of course the front and back yard were perfectly maintained with nice grass. Once we got hit by our first harsh winter and blazing hot summer our perfect yard quickly turned into an eye sore. It stayed that way for a good year and a half until we had had enough and finally decided to put in the time and effort to get it back to what it once was.

The first issue was that we had no irrigation so we knew that it was going to be a massive project to get sod and grass in there again. We also knew that G prefers to spend his weekends out with friends or in the mountains and not mowing the yard. This is when we started looking into turf and what our options were. It was honestly more money to put in real grass then it was artificial turf so we decided to go with that option.

We called several places and it was so hard to get people to call us back but The Green Guys were great! They came out right away for an estimate and got started on our front yard as soon as we were ready. They are a full service landscape company, however we decided to save some money and do everything but the turf ourselves.

We had 7 tons of cobble stone delivered from Santa Fe Sand & Gravel which was another great place to work with. They have a show room where you can go and look at all the different rock and determine what is right for your project. Once we spread that out all over our street scape we also lined our front yard with it to add some different texture and save money on the amount of turf we were putting town. The rock was very labor intensive and took us several weeks to get it all put where we want it but we are so happy with the results.

The turf also turned out great. I mean we are not fooling anyone buy making them think it is real but I think it does look like quality turf and the best part is no maintenance and green grass year round! All in all I am very happy with our final product and can’t wait to have the back yard done (fingers crossed) in a couple more weeks!

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-M

Hosting Game Night

G and I hosted our friends over this past weekend for game night and I wanted to share what we did that made it such a fun night. We usually get together with our friends at least a couple times a month to eat, drink and get competitive with games. Here are some of the things that I did this weekend that were a success!

Food

I decided to keep it super simple and do pulled pork sliders. I went to Wal-Mart and grabbed a big chunk of pork butt 🙂 and roasted it with Dr. Pepper and salt and pepper for 6-7 hours on low in the crock pot. Once it was cooked I went ahead and shredded it and added in some BBQ sauce. For the buns we did the Kings Hawaiian Rolls which were small but delicious so get plenty! We also whipped up some Cole Slaw for dressing which was super easy.

The best part in my opinion was the dessert! I wanted something super easy and while we were at Wal-Mart socking up we walked by the Little Debbie’s and could not pass it up (plus our group had talked about how much we used to love them as kids so I thought it would be a funny reminder). I ended up getting a box of Nutty Bars and Fancy Cakes. They were so good and so easy since I just set them up on my dessert tower. They were also a hit and only $2 a box!

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Drinks

We had plenty of Whisky on hand as well as Vodka, wine and beer. One thing we learned from our friends was to get a bag of ice. Our ice machine in our refrigerator is good but with 6 or 7 people getting drinks filled with ice it can go quick and not having any is a real bummer.

Games

Our game of choice is Catch Phrase. I ordered a new Catch Phrase: Uncensored on Amazon and it was a fun mix up from the regular version we usually play. This is definitely not x-rated so you could play it with your family as well.

I also put out my new Instax Camera. It was fun to have people be able to take pictures throughout the night.

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*Pro tip* Get your dog a bone or toy that will occupy them for the night. I got Charlie the biggest bone I could find and that kept his attention all night. It is never fun to have someone else’s dog trying to eat your dinner and our dog is 100 lbs so that is a lot of dog coming at you!

Game night has turned into such a fun night for us with friends and I am looking forward to continuing the tradition.

-M

Repurposed Wine Bottle

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After we finished the 5 liter Centine wine, G just could not part with the bottle. It sat on our mantel for a while until I had finally had enough. Since G is typically such a good sport about me decorating (or trying to decorate) the house, I decided that we could keep the wine bottle around, but we needed to do something with it.

I went over to our local Ross and picked up these decorative sticks for $7.99! They had a bunch of them with different colors and there are a ton of them in each package. I have also seen them at Marshalls, Home Goods and Michaels.

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I just started adding sticks to the top of the wine bottle mixing in the different colors and textures until I got as many as I could in the bottle. I only used like a quarter of the bundle of sticks so there were more than enough to use for other projects if needed. I am happy with the way that it turned out and feel like it doesn’t look like it belongs in a frat house anymore.

-M