Garden diary notebook

Every year in the garden is different. Aside from the perennials that come back each year, I also have containers that I enjoy trying new plants in. I’ve long had a goal of keeping a garden diary so I could easily look back to see each year to see what worked well and what didn’t.

Thanks to Make My Notebook I finally have one! And it couldn’t be more perfect for the task with it’s happy garden gnome on the front. What I also loved was that I could choose the background color, and what style of paper I wanted inside (plain, lined, grid, planner, or combo). For the purpose of my garden diary I wanted plain paper.

Garden gnome notebook used for a garden diary.

Using this camera I took photos of all the containers, and parts of the flower beds. The little instant photos worked so well for the task! Then I simply made notes next to the photos in the book. Here is when it helps to either have a good memory, or keep the tags on your plants.

Garden diary with mini instant photos for reference.

As you can see, there was plenty of room for the photo, and for a good description. What you don’t see in the picture is the quality of the paper. This paper is VERY nice. A notebook like this could be amazing for an artist sketch book, and so much more.

Garden diary with mini instant photos as references.

I can’t wait to add to the garden diary this fall as I replace our fading pansies with ornamental cabbages! It will be so fun to look back through the years too, and see how things changed and how they stayed the same.

I’m also excited at all the other fun options for personalized notebooks too. The process of ordering and creating the notebook just as I wanted it was easy and fun. If you need unique gift ideas be sure to check out Make My Notebook, they have a lot of options.

Disclosure: I was given a notebook from Make My Notebook in exchange for my review. As always, my opinions are my own.

Plan in style with Blue Sky Planners

As summer starts to fill up with all sorts of fun activities, what better way to keep track of it all than with a pretty planner! Luckily Blue Sky has you covered with tons of gorgeous choices in both style and design, that start in July 2015.

Blue Sky planner with flamingo pen

I love this calendar above because it has tabs, and nice big days to write events on! It’s the perfect size for my desk too, you could say it’s the “Goldilocks” size because I find it to be “just right”!

Blue Sky offers a lot of fun choices for styles and colors in their Suzy Jack collection. The collection of planners, calendars, clipfolios and binders come in a variety of contemporary and abstract prints. I especially love the simple, nature-inspired designs. After all, a planner should be pretty as well as functional, right?

Suzy Jack planner collection with Blue Sky

I have really loved the clipfolio as a planning tool I didn’t know I needed! It’s so convenient, especially for planning special events, holidays, and projects. Being able to have recipes or any other info you need right at your fingertips is really helpful.

Blue Sky clipfolio

You can find out more and see all the pretty designs on the Blue Sky website. They are also available in stores (I saw them in my local Target).

Do you love planners? Do you like it when they start on the academic year (July-June) or do you prefer to start in January?

Disclosure: I received product for use in my review. As always, my opinion is my own.

Add heart to your summer party with Heart of Haiti

Summer is here, and it’s time to move the fun outside! Welcome your guests with a beautiful handcrafted lantern to light the way. The Jonas Sunflower Metal Lantern, handmade in Haiti, is perfect for this. It’s large, beautiful, and really makes an impact.

Imagine one on every step leading in and out of your home. Imagine them as a centerpiece on your table! Or even hanging from hooks along your garden path.


Macy’s Heart of Haiti home decor and gift line helps support an artisan and their extended family. The Heart of Haiti items are made in Croix des Bouquets by acclaimed metal artisans. Artisans forge these lanterns out of recycled oil barrels, pounding our intricate designs. See them at work below:

And oh they are so pretty! They really come alive at night when you add your favorite candle (citronella would be a great choice for outdoor parties to keep mosquitoes away). This photo doesn’t do it justice, the light creates such pretty shadows, and the metal sparkles along the edges of the design. It’s such a lovely lantern.


You can find Macy’s Heart of Haiti line online, and in person at a few select locations listed here: Herald Square, Brooklyn Downtown, Metro Center, State Street, Northland Center, Seattle Downtown, Portland Downtown, San Francisco Union Square, Biltmore Fashion Park, South Coast Plaza Home, Mission Valley Home, Dallas Galleria, Lenox Square Mall, Dadeland.

It always makes me happy to know that my purchases can do more than just make my home pretty, but that they can actually benefit people. Macy’s Heart of Haiti provides employment to 550 artisans, providing economic support to their 4500 extended family members and others. Next time you are looking for something new for your home, or a unique gift for a loved one, be sure to remember Macy’s Heart of Haiti line. You are sure to find something lovely while doing good in the process!

Follow them on social media and help spread the word! You can find Heart of Haiti on Facebook, here and Twitter here.

Disclosure: I received a lantern in exchange for writing and sharing about the Heart of Haiti program. As always, my opinions are my own.

Garden tools from Troy-Bilt

Having the right tools can make gardening so much easier! Last week we got a fun package full of the new garden tools from Troy-Bilt. They came just in time for our weekend gardening chores, and boy were they all handy!

garden tools

We got several neat tools (keep reading, there’s a giveaway for this same set at the end of this post)! The tools included: a pruner, anvil lopper, flower trowel, planting trowel and rake.

We had a few tree branches, and actual trees, to cut down. The anvil lopper worked perfectly! It did an amazing job getting into tight spots and cutting through branches (and small tree trunks) with ease. Thanks to this one tool alone we were able to take care of our number one to do list item.

anvil lopper

And the rake? Well, it’s my new favorite tool! If you have flowerbeds that always get grass in them, you know how frustrating it can be to keep on top of. In fact, you can pull and pull, and the grass always seems to come back. Well this hand rake is perfect for getting down deep and pulling out the roots!

garden hand rake

I had already cleared the grass by pulling, but I knew that there were still roots hiding under the dirt. The rake exposed them and made it so simple to pull out! This tool would come in handy if you need to till in a small area before planting seeds or plants too!

grass roots

Another great thing about all of the tools is that they are comfortable to use. Everything is well made and durable. We really put some of them to the test this past weekend, and they didn’t bend or break at all! Our soil is very rocky, but the trowels handled it and made planting much quicker.

Are you ready for a chance to win your own set of garden tools from Troy-Bilt? Enter via the form below. USA only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Troy-Bilt for providing the tools for my review and for the giveaway. As always, my opinion is my own.

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