Family & Friends Entertaining Outside ideas

My family enjoys gathering  with our kith & Kin (Kith means friends). In the summer time we love to be outdoors. Here is  some inspiration for you to have your own outside gathering. It shouldn’t take a lot to pull together. Cut some flowers from your yard, pull out your good dishes, and have everyone bring something to eat and drink. Grab a chair and gather around the fire pit.

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I hope that I leave my son with memories of friends &  family gatherings, the way my mom has given me all my wonderful memories.

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My mother and I would  go along old country roads gathering wildflowers to put in old crocks and glass vases. We’d gather them and  put them through out  the house. We would  leave some for any outside  tables. Everybody would bring food and their own drinks. My mom’s knack for putting a party together has rubbed off on me. My son gets so excited when he knows we are going to be have company coming over.

I like to add little touches with  candles,  in glass jars. I fill the bottom of the jars with pebbles. ( You can find them at a craft stores or where they sell fish. That’s where I found mine) Make sure not to put them where they would get tipped over by little ones or pets.

Here is some photo’s of how I added a personal touch to the picnic  table, by displaying the food in  a beautiful and unique way. The good dishes are not  just used for the holidays. Take them out of their cabinets and show them off.

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As dusk sets in the kids keeping asking when the S’mores are coming out. Having a camp fire and S’mores is a  must at all our outdoor gatherings.

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Make a fire pit in your backyard for free.

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1-Dig a hole wide and deep enough to hold a few pieces of wood. The fire department said that you have to be able to step over it. So no huge circles.

2-Make sure that there is no grass on the outside of the circle. We put About 4 inches of stone around the fire pit

3-Gather rocks around your yard. Place them on the outside of the circle and on top of the stone gravel you put down.

4- Call your fire department and get a permit.VERY IMPORTANT. They will come out and inspect it. Each town and state is different so call ahead before you go and build it. It would be very disappointing to have to take it apart.

5-Gather your Kith & Kin, food & drink, and great conversation.

6-Don’t forget the marshmallows.

7- ENJOY

Spring Smells

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Do you have a favorite smell of Spring?

Mine is the scent of Lilacs.

I just love the look of these flowers. In my yard I have three different kinds of Lilac bushes. White , dark purple, and the kind that are above in the photo.

I wished I could remember all the Latin names for them. I do know what I like and how they look though.

I had a bunch of off shoots that I dug up  a few Weeks ago. I’m hoping in about 5 years I will have two areas in my yard that will be in full bloom this time of year. The house will be chuck full of cut Lilacs.

In this part of New England you can drive along any old dirt or paved road and see rows upon rows of Lilac bushes. If you see an old farm house, you can be sure  there is  Lilac bush near by. When I was younger my mother & I use to go around and cut Lilacs from old abandoned properties. One place we use to go to, the Lilac bushes were really full and tall.  Unfortunately that farm house got torn down to make room for a gas Station.

As I write this, I realize that anyone living south of us has already had the treat, of seeing these bloom this year. For us it is a welcome treat from a long , long, cold Winter.

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Hope your enjoying your Spring and smelling the flowers.

Enjoy!

Tracy

Slow down and smell the flowers

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It’s that time of year when families are  in full throttle . Running with the kids to games, school concerts, plays, recitals. The weeks blend into each other until Summer vacation hits.

It’s also one of the most beautiful times of the year. The trees & bushes are in full bloom. They are  decked out in glorious  colors. Each a little bit prettier then the other. It can be a wonderful inspiration to anyone that opens  their eyes and just enjoy the beauty. Even if it’s only for a moment.

Live in that little moment because, like a magnificent Magnolia flower, the moment will not be there for long.

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I was talking to a client the other day who was about 20 minutes away from our home town. She said she was driving along and  thought how beautiful all the green and flowering buds looked. She spent the whole time driving home admiring each town as she passed through it. When she pulled into her drive way she realized how beautiful her road was.  She couldn’t get over how she had missed the beauty on her own road, until she took a minute to really look.

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So if your life is spinning at a fast pace try to step off the merry- go-round for just a second and admire all the new life that is popping up.

Up here in the Northeast our growing season is not long. We learn to appreciate what we have before the next season begins. Slow down and smell the flowers.

Window boxes for less

Here is a post from last summer.

You can check out my old blog @ Visionsofsuagrplums.net

Inexpensive Window Boxes

I finally got my window boxes. We’ve lived here for 5 years and I have always wanted window boxes on the front of the house. I love looking at houses with beautiful over flowing window boxes. My husband was worried about damage that the water might cause to the house. I came up with an idea that puts the boxes far enough away from the house that their should not be any damage.
I got all the material from the Mill Store. The unfinished boxes with plastic liners were only $14 a piece. Most window boxes I looked at were $75 and up. The brackets were $5.00 a piece. This was a very inexpensive project that added a lot of character to the house.I originally wanted to buy antique brackets but I couldn’t find enough that matched. I needed 8 brackets. I have four windows.

First thing I did to prepare the boxes was:

  1. Drilled about 30 holes in the bottom of each box
  2. Sand the boxes before painting
  3. Primed the boxes
  4. Used exterior paint ( I used 2 coats of left over paint from the house trim)
  5. Re drill the holes (paint can clog the them)
  6. I cut huge holes in the plastic liners so they would drain easily
  7. Placed one layer of newspaper on the bottom of the liner.
  8. Fill with potting soil and compost.
  9. Fill with plants. ( Choose filler flowers( I used pink Becopia) Usually small buds, trailing flowers & vines( Vinca or Potato Leaf as an example) and then a main flower ( I used ruffled Petunia)

I placed the brackets on the house with the long side faced up. The window boxes sit right up to the end of the bracket. ( I wanted a 2 to 3 inch gap between the house and the window box. )Once the flowers fill in you really don’t notice the gap. The window boxes were drilled to the bracket from underneath.


Notice the Whimsical bug. This was from the Kith & Kin Studios a few years back. My sister-n-law designed the wings and I designed and painted the body. We had them in all kinds of playful colors. Someday I’ll post the Fat Fairies we made. They are adorable.
You can really change the look of your house with this project. Next month I’m going to replace the summer flowers with Mums and Decorative Cabbage, and this winter I will have Holly berry, mixture of greens and red berries.

Have fun with them.

Happy Spring!

I WANT TO WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!

To celebrate I raked out my gardens that didn’t have any white stuff on them, started my seeds inside, and bought pretty pink Tulips.

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Pretty flowers always  brightens the day.

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Can’t wait to see them grow.

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Soaking up the sun. These will have to come in. I need to get lights so they will grow properly. In our region the safest time to put plants out is after Memorial Day. We have had snow in the past on Mother’s day. Enjoying the sun and warmth for now. Yeh!

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Small signs of Spring. Looking  forward to seeing my Daffodils!

Happy Gardening!

Tracy