Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let the Patio Demo Begin

Well, spring has been slow to arrive in my part of the world, but that hasn't stopped Mr. Bluebird and I from planning some major yard renovations.  After ten years, we have decided to have our existing patio completely  ripped out and replaced with cobblestone pavers. Our existing concrete was starting to shift toward the house and we didn't want to risk water getting in.

Here's a little look back on last summer, when everything was lush and summer was in full swing.

Today, we took down our metal gazebo frame and started clearing out all the patio junk. We've also taken down our pool and will fill the area in, add grass seed, and landscape. We will miss the pool, but now that our daughter is in college, it just didn't get much use.

A view from our backyard looking toward the house.  Everything you see (except Mr. Bluebird!) is being torn out and replaced. We are also doubling the size of the patio area.

Looking out our kitchen window, this is the messy view of today.  Looking forward to something like this in the next month or so:


We are adding an open air gazebo, as shown in the photo, but with stone pillars, and also a large seat wall.  In the end, it will be very similar to the picture.

Pretty exciting stuff for us.  We usually are the do it yourselfers, but this seemed like a big undertaking and with Mr. Bluebird having major back surgery last summer, it also seemed just a bit too risky. 

I will keep you posted on the progress! Hopefully the demo will start this week if the weather holds.  We have had rain and more rain the last two weeks, but fortunately we live on a hill with great drainage and we also had a good two and a half days without any significant rain.  Can't wait to enjoy a Pina Colada on our new patio!

Wishing you happiness,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Drinkin' My Drinks From a Mason Jar (How I Spent My Branson Vacation)

Hi Everyone! Mr. Bluebird and I just returned from a short little vacation to Branson, MO, For us northerners, the weather was glorious -  sunny and in the seventies & eighties.  Our Wisconsin spring has been  missing in action and in fact, today it is about 42 degrees with rain & thunder, and a prediction of snow flurries on Thursday!  Anywho, we loved the summer like weather while we were there.

We had gone to Branson last year and just had a fantastic time, so we went for round two this year.  We saw some really terrific shows (The Haygoods, Barry Williams, Grand Jubilee, Dixie Stampede, Joseph,  and Cats Pajamas). In addition, we really enjoyed hanging out at Branson Landing, which is an outdoor shopping mall on the lake, with lots of restaurants and bars - many with outdoor seating lakeside.
~Barry Williams, aka Greg Brady from the Brady Bunch~

~A view of the Branson Landing mall from across the lake~

~An awesome oil & vinegar bar~

On our last day, took a lunch cruise and met a wonderful couple from Wisconsin of all places!  We just had the best time and hit it off so much!

One of the places we ate was Joe's Crab Shack and they sent me home with one of their mason jar glasses. (because I enjoyed a fruity, yummy drink in one!) So what to do? what to do? with this glass?

Well, I always like to come up with a momento from our trips and while grocery shopping today I picked up a little ivy plant and a bag of rocks.

I filled the bottom of my glass with the rocks and then plunked the ivy in it.  Simple, simple - but I like it.  I added a piece of twine for some rough texture and bam!  A cute addition to my kitchen windowsill that will bring a smile to my face every time I see it.

Besides my little mason jar, I did pick up a few things for our guest room and I also scored a gorgeous lamp for our den from the best Kirkland's EVER at Branson Landing. I will be showing those soon!
Well, thanks for joining on my "vacation slide show" (remember those? hopefully this one wasn't too dull! lol!).
Wishing you happiness,
Joining these fun parties:


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter & Time for Spring Break

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a blessed Easter weekend. Mr. Bluebird, Sweet Daughter, and I went to early mass (7 a.m.!). We had an Easter gathering at our house with a few members of our extended family - very relaxing and fun.  We also got to meet our newest great-niece (but then again, all of our nieces are "great" lol) - six week old Jocelyn.  So sweet!

Here's a peek at our Easter feast:

 Our menu consisted of honey baked ham (oh yum!), cheesy potatoes,  fruit salad in mason jars, cupcakes....

Carrots & dip in mini bread bowls, mozarella 'pearls' with grape tomatoes skewered with a spinach leaf, chicken salad puffs, deviled eggs, chocolate mousse shooters, and pink lemonade!  It was all delicious (if I say so myself).

Here's a cute snap of my daughter, my soon to be 88 year old (this Friday) mom, and one of my wonderful nieces.

A group shot of some of our guests - myself and Mr. Bluebird on the left. It still was a bit chilly yesterday, so sweaters were the attire of the day.  All in all, we had a lovely time!
  I am on spring break for the next nine days, so I am looking forward to the time off.  Today I am working on spring cleaning, tomorrow is a much needed hair appointment, and later in the week we are headed to Branson, MO for a  little getaway.  Hope to get in some shopping while I am there and I also hope to make it to Olde Tyme Pottery near St. Louis. I have heard so much about those stores, but this is the closest one to my Wisconsin home. 
Any suggestions on Branson shopping or dining?!
Have a great week!
Wishing you happiness,