First flowers of 2017

I love when the weather turns warmer, and the first flowers of the season start to show up. Here are some of the first flowers of the year. Peonies, a fun flower from a wildflower mix (I wish I knew it’s name), one of our beautiful roses, and of course the clematis.


The peonies are all but done blooming now, most have already finished and are ready to be cut back (this encourages more blooms for next year, so I better get on it). The first round of roses has finished as well, the clematis is still blooming a bunch, and the wildflowers seem to just be getting started.

I always call this time of year “pretty season” in the garden. There will be a lull where nothing much is blooming other than roses, and then the summer blooms start coming in. Sadly, grass is always growing, and in places it doesn’t belong, like the flower beds.

What is currently blooming in your garden?

This entry was posted in garden.

Using Prime Pantry to keep your home running smoothly

Amazon has two great programs (we actually use both for separate reasons) that can help you save money on staples you buy all the time, while also keeping your home easily stocked. Today I am going to share some tips on using Prime Pantry.

Prime Pantry offers many of the staples you love, even a lot of organic products, but unlike the Subscribe and Save feature, there are no subscriptions and no scheduled shipments. This means you can customize your shipment to include what you need, how much, and when you want it shipped.

Prime Pantry uses dedicated boxes at a $6 flat shipping rate. Amazon will keep track of how full you box is based on the size of your items. Luckily there are two easy ways to get around the shipping fee if you want to:

You may have noticed when placing regular prime orders that there is an option to choose “No-Rush Shipping”, this option can be used towards your next Prime Pantry purchase. This is a great option if you know you will be using Prime Pantry soon, and you have an order that you don’t need right away.

Second is by adding 5 “select items” to your Prime Pantry order. These items might be something you already want to buy, so be sure to look at that page!

Prime Pantry prices tend to be on par with grocery store prices, but sometimes they do offer instant coupons or other savings. You will be saving money in terms of not buying more than you need (and wasting it), and saving time, gas, and the chance for impulse buys at the store.

The biggest advantage is the ease of being able to keep your home well stocked with staples, but without having to run to the store all the time to do it. We have loved being able to spend a little time each month, usually in our pajamas, filling a box with things we need. It frees up a lot of time at the store too, since we now mostly go for fresh foods only.

Have you used the Prime Pantry service? What do you think about it? Do you use Subscribe and Save too? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Mill Plaza at Gardner Village

I had so much fun checking out the new Mill Plaza at Gardner Village this week. It’s a beautiful space where you can host all types of events. It’s also just fun to see this part of the village in a new way, you can now get close to the water wheel, and the restaurant, Archibald’s, even has new menu items.

We were treated to delicious food, drinks, and desserts. After we filled our tummies, we got to walk around the village and look for faeries. Oh so many cute fairy houses and gardens! You may remember mine, but these take it to a whole other level!

The faeries will be there until June 24th, so be sure to visit soon so you don’t miss the fun. And of course no trip to Gardner Village would be complete with out visiting the Chocolate Covered Wagon for some fudge. This time I got the Oreo fudge, it was so delicious!

After our time shopping in the village, it was back to Mill Plaza for delicious desserts and chatting with fellow bloggers. It was such a nice evening, and so fun to see so many friends too!

Bobs for Dogs

PS. Everything at Gardner Village is just charming, to the point where I had to take a photo of the sidewalk. Yes, isn’t it cute? And of course, I had to share my favorite shoes (they benefit our favorite rescue, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary).

Right Size Your Home for Summer

With summer fast approaching, spring cleaning is underway at our house. I really love this time of year when we can spruce up and clear out. So, of course I was thrilled to be able to share this article with you to help you in your spring cleaning adventures.

Home Industries Expert, Gale Steves Offers Simple Pre-Summer Changes

“Before you head outdoors this summer,” Steves says, “take a good, long look at your house. You may be surprised to discover that things have been accumulating since you last cleared out or cleaned up.” She has all kinds of tips and helpful advice to help get our homes and ourselves ready for summer in plenty of time for our July 4th barbecues. Here are a few easy steps to take that are guaranteed to make a “right-sizing” difference:

  • Make room in your coat closet – Review the contents of your coat closet for out of season jackets, coats, scarves, or even boots that were never put away for seasonal storage. This is a good opportunity to discard the worn-out or too small or repair those missing buttons.
  • Get control of your picnic gear – Gather all those paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils onto one central shelf so that you can create an instant eating outdoors center. Include some trays or baskets if you will carry ingredients or meals out to the patio or deck.
  • Evaluate your beach towels – Pull out large bath sheets that no longer work and recycle into backyard or beach towels. At the end of the summer, send them onto further use at the local Humane Society or animal shelter.
  • Take a good look at your pantry – Rearrange cans or boxes of food supplies together that make quick warm-weather meals section. Canned soups that can be served cold or boxed mixes that make instant desserts. You want to be outside, not inside cooking over a hot stove.
  • Look at your casual shoes – Assess your sneakers, sandals, and flip-flops held over from last year and throw away those that are showing wear and tear. This is a good chance to make room for new footwear and not still hold onto the old.
  • Give your bedroom a summer makeover – Refresh your bedding with some new sheets and pillowcases. Get rid of those bed linens that have seen better days. Do not recycle them to your guest room, however.

For ten years Gale Steves served as editor-in-chief of Home magazine. Under her management, the publication attracted over four million readers nationwide, and established her as an authority on everything to do with the home. Steves’ approach to decorating and remodeling has inspired millions with ideas and real solutions for the home, earning her a reader-friendly reputation along the way.

In 2001, Steves formed Open House Productions, a home industries consulting company, to create an ongoing dialogue between consumers and retailers and manufacturers. It was in response to consumer queries about making their homes more livable that she developed the concept of Right-Sizing.

Get to know more about Gale Steves through her website, and her SpaceSmarts blog. Also, be sure to check out her wonderful book Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle for great tips on how to make the best use of your home.

This entry was posted in Misc.