I know you’ve been thinking about all the moms in your life lately, Mother’s day is coming up quick! I’ve made your life a little easier with 9 gift suggestions for your favorite mommy out there. Any of these are bound to please. I know I could certainly use more brass & fringe in my life 🙂
We’ve been working on our backyard these last few weeks, nearly every chance we get. I hear a few of you shout “show us the after already!” which I totally get. Trust me, I’ve been waiting way too long to share!
Let’s begin with our turf. I’ve received a lot of questions about it, and wont be sourcing ours just yet (I’ll do that in the final before & after post, sorry) but I will say It’s not from any big box hardware store. We did a lot (a LOT a lot) of research on turf (different blade structures, thatching densities, etc) as well as weighing the options of sod vs turf. We chose turf for a few reasons:
- we are low maintenance people and turf is the lowest maintenance option for grass out there
- we live in California where it’s almost illegal to water your lawn and we weren’t about to pay thousands to lay a sprinkler system and sod just to watch our lawn die
- because we had a dirt wasteland back here before, the cost of sod/sprinkler system + perpetual landscaper fees vs laying turf was pretty much the same cost.
- and lastly, NO MUD
Before showing you the full before & after, we have one last (big) task to do which involves sanding, staining, and sealing our floating benches because, stupid us, we didn’t do it last year and now they look like this – dry, sad, and sun bleached.
Not a fun project, but once it’s complete it will make a world of difference.
Now, since I feel bad about not sharing much of the afters yet, let me share photos of my backyard as of now, according to my phone!
See that guy on the bottom right in the above photo? I snapped this pic the day after these guys were planted. Two weeks later he’s grown!
All those new little buttons, pads, fronds, whatever they’re called, make me SO happy! Grow kiddo grow!
The perimeter of our backyard consists of a LOT of space, and I knew if I wanted to fill it up I would have to find some “filler” plants that still fit with the modern desert-scape theme I was shooting for. This guy above was $40, not too bad for such a wide sculptural plant. I bought a bunch of mini versions at $10/pot and peppered them around the perimeter of our yard, with the hopes they’ll grow like this dude.
Other filler plants I found were these wispy tall plants (I’m terrible remembering plant names and tossed the pots too soon, so if you know what they are, please leave a comment!) These were $30/pot at Lowes, and the aqua colored grasses were $5 pot, also at Lowes.
And guess what you see in the back?! MY AGAVE! He was my biggest individual purchase. Someone asked me how much one of these guys cost. In this size, I’ve seen them sold for as high as $900 and as low as $175, so it’s hard to say how much a mature guy like this should be. I bought mine for $175 (after negotiating a little) at Dry Garden in Berkeley (I love that place!). They currently have others with not so long of a neck for $200.
Besides my pet agave, I will say this euphorbia cactus garden my favorite little nook in the entire backyard. Oh, and for those of you concerned about my kid falling into these plants, do not fear! Almost all of these plants I’ve had for over half a year sitting in my sunroom where Zano frequently hangs out, and has learned that these plants are off limits. Right now we’re now working on him not throwing the rock all over the yard. Ha! That kid.
This weekend was a tough one. Our family is recovering from heartache – we lost our Gram, suddenly, on Easter Sunday, and our family held the services this past weekend. I haven’t had much experience with loss at a close, personal level. This one is tough to swallow, but as a family we’re slowly moving forward, remembering her for what a fantastic, loving and caring woman she was. Gram, you are sorely missed.
I pretty much stayed low all weekend, hung around the house and appreciated my son for being such an angel during the (very long!) funeral. He’s growing up so fast, it also breaks my heart. Wasn’t the baby stage supposed to last longer? Zano sat (with his iPad, on silent) through the 3 hour funeral without a peep, except for yelling out his baby cousin’s name “CALLIE!” during one of the speeches – totally adorable and equally embarrassing. Maybe it was the big crowd, or maybe he’s maturing enough to know when to be reverent. Either way, this kid couldn’t have been more of an angel this weekend. As if my heart couldn’t get any bigger…
Enough of the sad sappy stuff, what I did do this weekend was prep for the launch of more rugs and pillows in the shop! I also received the pair of #FP+Loom moccosins that I ordered last week. Now that I’m a shop owner and equivocally a ‘maker’, the urge to support small businesses, especially women in business, has quadrupled. I always loved Freshly Picked moccs, but this collab is too good not to support.
I also got a wild hair up my you-know-what and made the first article of clothing ever – these insane mudcloth trousers! I analyzed a pair of Zano’s joggers (these to be exact) and created my own pattern, then made these joggers (with elastic and jersey lining and everything!). It took me probably 5 hours and a few curse words, but how cute are they?
Gah, how cute is that kid.
With my weekdays being so hectic and fully focused on my day job, I spend almost every “free” minute on the weekends focused on content for the blog or my shop. This weekend was a fun one!
It took a little convincing (after trying out a new budgeting process, thanks for the tip Julia!) but my husband was finally on board with finishing the backyard! Friday we placed our order for 9 cubic yards of rock (um, that’s a lot!) and Saturday morning the delivery came! We ran around town purchasing plants for the perimeter of our back yard. We are low maintenance people and decided drought tolerant is the best option for us. We spent two days straight planting and spreading dirt throughout our backyard. I’ve never been so sore. How do I not have a 6-pack right now..
I’m also happy to report I now own a massive foxtail agave! For a hot minute I didn’t think we could get him into the car. But the front seat worked perfectly! (I documented the whole thing on snapchat, I’m: brittanymakes)
He looks happy as a clam 🙂
Sunday morning I hit the flea real quick to restock product for the shop. I just about died when I saw this rug, peachy navy perfection. I desperately want to keep it for my kitchen, but I think it’s a tad too wide 🙁 Good news for you, it might hit the shop!
And finally, I actually went shopping for once. Let me preface this by saying I NEVER do this (never post photos of myself in the dressing room – I look like a total dork and I’m wearing a black bra – oops). BUT, this shirt makes me feel like Claire Underwood (sans the jeans) and I bought it in two colors. It’s structured and really flattering in person (my selfie photo skills are majorly lacking). It’s on sale, and I recommend sizing down.
What did you do this weekend?
It was about this time last year when my husband and I started planning our backyard renovation. Our backyard used to be a dirt wasteland (you can check out all the before photos here) and desperately needed some love.
We completed all of the hardscape and turf, just a day before our deadline. We were throwing a big one-year birthday party/house warming and it was probably the first time our extended family had seen our house. The deadline was self-imposed, but it totally helped with decision making, and just getting things accomplished that we had been talking about for months.
While the hardscape was finished in the nick of time, we ran out of energy (and budget) to finish landscaping the perimeter and adding the fun al fresco stuff like a dining table and chairs. Now that winter’s over, I’m ready to put the finishing touches on our back yard. Here’s what I’m thinking: