Monday, July 30, 2012

Loving our new grass!

This weekend, we finally finished up our most recent giant undertaking, completely re-sodding our front yard!  It has been a lot of work, but I really think the end result is beautiful. Yesterday, when I came home from the grocery store, I literally said out loud, "OMG, it looks so good! Eeek!" because Kevin had finished it up while I was out.

When we bought this house, we started out with a mixture of grass and weeds. The lawn didn't look that bad and it was green, but when you walked around on it, you would find about 5 different types of grass and it was being taken over by weeds.  Also, since some of the grasses were different types, in the winter, we had a splotchy green and brown mess... we decided that the best solution was to kill everything and start over.

So, here are some pictures of the grass now, it looks a million times better than it did only a few of weeks ago. We're so glad that it turned out well.

Here's the process that we followed, for anyone interested.
Our original grass/weeds
1. Kill all grass and weeds with regular Round-up (i.e. not the long lasting stuff) by spraying multiple times, wait a couple of weeks for everything to die. If you have any bermuda or extra crazy weeds, it will take multiple applications, with time in between, to get rid of everything.
Killing our grass (left) and our neighbor's grass (right)
Waiting for all of the grass to go brown
2. Mow the weeds and grass on the lowest lawn mower setting to almost scrape the dirt and get rid of a lot of the weeds and grass.
3. Till the ground to 3-6" depth with a tiller (you can rent one for a couple hours to a day for pretty cheap)
4. Rake out and remove all of the loose debris in the dirt.  Add topsoil or a mix of compost and soil to the dirt and mix with the existing dirt.
Our yard after tilling, raking and adding more soil
5. Add a starter fertilizer and lime to the soil before installing sod.
6. Lay the sod. Make sure to stagger pieces like bricks and place small pieces between others instead of at edges where they can dry out.
Laying the sod
Sod on the pallets
Sod finally down in the front yard!
7. Water 3 times a day for 3 weeks, then go to a more normal watering schedule.
Watering the grass after installation
8. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work and lush grass!

Monday, July 23, 2012

More updates!

We just got back from vacation this weekend, though it's hard to go back to work and our normal schedule. We were in NY and had a fabulous time! I'll post a recap of some of the fun things we did while we were there last week.

I did manage to find time yesterday to change some things up in our living room/library.  I bought 6 square picture frames from Ikea in NY that I've been looking at forever... so I ended up returning the ones from Target, and I think the new option is much better.  I had originally wanted these frames a long time ago, but I couldn't figure out how to successfully get them home. They're pretty big and I was a little hesitant that we could get them home without breaking, but we boxed them up and checked them on our flight home and it worked out well.  I really like them, I can't wait to get the prints that will go in the frames!  I think their scale is a little better than the silver frames were and the frames don't take your eye from the prints. 

I also got two chairs for the room while shopping on Sunday. I came across these brightly patterned chairs and the green is actually perfect for the room.  I'm trying them out for a few days to see how they fit in the room and decide on them. I had actually started to think, before I even found these chairs, that if I put cream/beige chairs and a neutral ottoman in here it would get a little boring.  So, what do you think about these patterned chairs? I'm planning to add a couple more coordinating fabrics to tie everything together if I keep them.  Here are some pictures I took with my iPhone, so they're not the best.

My one hesitation about them is that they have dark legs, which kind of stick out when I look at them, but I may be over-analyzing. I'm considering painting them a white or distressed gray, so they coordinate a little better, but don't match the rest of the room exactly. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Living Room Update

I haven't posted an update on what's going on in our living room/library in a while... well, that's because not much has happened, lol.  I've been pretty busy with a lot of other things recently and got a little distracted.

I have also been stuck because I still can't find the chairs and ottoman that I want for this room.  I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger, but if you know me, you know that sometimes I would rather just not do anything than pick something I don't absolutely love.

I've also been on constant look out for square frames that I can use to make a gallery wall above the couch.  Square frames are seriously so hard to find, Ikea is the main location that has a decent number of options and there you can only buy frames in the store. Since we don't have an Ikea close enough to us, that has just meant waiting to see if I can find something I like better.  Here are some of the pictures that I was using for inspiration.
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This weekend I found some frames at Target that are very close to square, about 18x20" and I decided to try them out at home, to see what they looked like. I only was able to get 4, but after testing them out, I think I'm going to go back and get the other two to finish it out. Here are the pics I took with my iPhone last night.

I'm planning to buy prints from this Etsy shop and I think they will go really well with our color scheme and curtains.

What do you think? After this I need to actually buy the chairs and ottoman for this room and decide on pillows, then I'll be basically done!

Friday, July 6, 2012

We have grass!

It was a ton of work, but we finally have a front lawn again! Last week, we had originally planned to have the sod delivered on Friday, but we decided that since the weather was going to be 105 for almost 3 days in a row, it was best to wait. I'm glad we did, although it was still 99 and 100 when we did end up putting down the sod. If you remember, here is what our grass looked like about a month ago:

Also, this was before the real heat actually hit, so the weeds are still green. Trust me, they're in there, lol. We had at least 4 different types of grass (plus weeds) to begin with. I was just so excited to get rid of everything and start over.

Then we tilled everything up, added topsoil and fertilizer and lime, to end up with this last week:

So, the grass was delivered on Tuesday afternoon, after having been cut and loaded on the truck just earlier that morning. We started putting the sod down soon after it arrived and it was an exciting transformation.

We ordered 9 pallets of Emerald Zoysia, which works out to 4000 sqft of grass. We laid sod until 9pm on Tuesday night and started at 8am again on Wednesday. We finally finished around 12:30 on Wednesday. Although it was a ton of work, it looks really great and we saved a ton of money putting it down ourselves.
6 pallets down only a few more to go
Green grass!!
Here are some more pictures of the grass. There are a couple brown areas where the sod was cut and from sitting in the sun, but I know that it will all green up and grow together after it gets established.
Watering the grass
Grass the next morning
Front yard
Now we're just busy watering, watering, and watering it some more. It's supposed to be hot again this weekend, so we just have to make sure that we keep it from drying out before the roots take hold.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Well, I guess it's time...

Time to discuss our blog name that is.  Though we definitely were brand new newlyweds when we started this blog, it's been over two years since we got married.  I think it's time for a slight change!  It's still hard for us to believe it's already been so long since we got married, but it's time to admit that we're probably not newlyweds anymore ;)

So, instead of changing my blog address and coming up with an original name (which I'm clearly bad at), I'm introducing a new blog header and 'name.'

Newlywed McGees

Until I can think of a better blog name or find a more clearly defined vision for this blog, we'll now be the Not so Newlywed McGees.

I also updated the theme, color scheme and background on the blog. So, if you're reading from a reader like Google Reader, I hope you can stop by to check it out sometime.

I know I've been posting less in the past couple of months, but I'm really hoping to step it back up. I enjoy writing about what we've been up to and I definitely like to use this blog as a chronicle of what we've done. It's a lot of fun to look back on everything at the end of the year.

So, let me know what you think! Is this an okay change and what do you think of the new colors/theme?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kelsey and Brandon's Wedding (Part 2)

I'm back with more details and pictures from Kelsey's wedding. I managed to get quite a few pictures throughout the day, even though I mostly tried to stay out of the way of her pro photographers. However, there were a few moments where I couldn't resist and I wanted to have my own pics!

We started off the day getting ready with all of the girls at the Marriott downtown.  We had a pretty relaxing morning with barely any problems, everyone was excited and still couldn't believe the day had finally come!
Getting ready
hair touch ups
Gorgeous flowers!
Kelsey with her new monogram
Almost everyone got their hair and makeup done throughout the morning and then we put our dresses on a little later.  Kelsey got her makeup and hair done last, then she was ready to put on her gown. :)
Sarah with one of the bridesmaids' bouquets
Getting the MOB ready
Putting on the dress!
Tying her sash
so pretty!
pretty blush bow
Finishing touches
ready to go!!
Me in the bridesmaids dress
Kelsey and Brandon decided to do a first look, so we went there at 3 for them to meet and get some pictures together. Then, we took bridal party pictures before heading to the church for the ceremony.  Kelsey finally got to open her card from Brandon there.
Waiting for the car to leave
Reading Brandon's card
At the ceremony, I gave Kevin my camera and he got a few shots.
Seating of the mother of the groom
Seating the mother of the bride
Sarah walking down the aisle
Kelsey walking down the aisle on her way to Brandon
We took formal pictures after the ceremony and then everyone headed to the cocktail hour and reception at The State Club.
Pictures with Brandon's family
Pictures with Kelsey's family
Moss covered Ms on The State Club entrance
the foyer
Mini coke bottles
the wedding cake! 
Cocktail hour
The main reception was in a tent on the patio. Everything looked so great, even though it was pretty hot ;)
Sweetheart table 
Brandon's Bourbon Bar
Pretty tables
The new Mr. and Mrs.
First Dance!
Dancing :)
the tent
Kevin and I at the reception
the reception

Listening to the maid of honor's speech
Kelsey and Brandon had their getaway to NCSU pom poms and it was a great ending to a wonderful night!
Making their getaway!
Just Married! Congratulations!! 
Congratulations Kelsey and Brandon!!
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