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Summer Garden Tour

Gardening has been a passion of mine for many years. There’s nothing quite like getting down, hands in the soil, nurturing and bringing forth green and growing things. It is indescribably rewarding.

Gardening is a useful skill. Growing a vegetable garden can provide fresh, nutrient rich food for the family. Yes, it’s a lot of work to grow your own vegetables, but the quality of the food and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from it is worth the effort.

My favorite type of gardening, however, isn’t the practical kind at all. It’s planting and tending my flower gardens and landscaping beds. I love flowers, and my favorite way to enjoy them is when they are growing right in my own backyard.

I’ve spent several years working to develop and cultivate my flower gardens. It’s something I dreamed about for years before we built and moved into our house. I envisioned the profusion of flowers that would spill forth from my garden beds. I could see in my mind all the varieties of plants I would choose, and many of those are the very plants I have now.

Bringing beauty and creativity into the world is an extremely rewarding pastime, whether you are growing flowers or painting a picture or cooking a delicious meal for your family. Never underestimate the value of creating beautiful things. As humans, we are made in the image and He is an inherently creative being. This means that we should also be creative. One of our missions in life should be to find the ways in which we are gifted toward creativity and pursue those ways to beautify and enhance the world around us.

In gardening, I like I am cooperating with God in encouraging the growth and expression of the beauty of His creation. There is an aspect of flowers and plants that brings glory to God in His amazing creativity.

It thought it would be fun to give you a bit of a tour of my gardens and tell you a bit about how they have developed over the years. What do you think? Would you like a peek at my gardens and all the pretty flowers I get to see out my windows every day?

Well, then, here we go….

We’ll start in the front yard. Our home is a large traditional federal style house. We built it ourselves (my husband used to build houses for a living) about 15 years ago. About 12 years ago, we added some hardscape (stone surrounded beds) to the front and one side of the house to enclose the foundation plantings. In the front of the house, these stone wrapped beds hold a profusion of hydrangea bushes.


Hydrangeas have long been one of my favorite flowers. I love their big showiness, yet there is an element of simplicity in them I really enjoy. These front flower plantings are one of the things I clearly envisioned long before our house was built. I had a picture in my mind of exactly what this area of the garden would look like, and that’s exactly what it looks like today.

One of the things I love most about having these hydrangeas planted in the front of my house is the beautiful, dramatic bouquets I have on my kitchen counters at this time of year. There’s nothing quite like a vase full of hydrangea blooms to brighten a room.

Toward the front corner of the house, there is a spirea bush I bought years ago at a local plant sale held by our town’s garden club. (Several of the plants in my garden came from this annual sale which is a fundraiser for the garden club.) What started out as a small sprig I paid $1 for has grown into a large bush which is overflowing from the space where it is planted.


Next to the spirea grows our large lilac bush. At this point, it is more of a tree. It could use a good pruning one of these years. I love the sent of lilacs wafting through the living room windows on a lovely spring day. Another flower I love to bring inside, lilacs make beautiful cut flowers. Lilacs also happen to be my husband’s favorite flower.


Moving on to the side of the house, I have couple of flower beds that I designed to have the feel of an English country garden. There is a profusion of flowers blooming throughout the season, from spring through fall. Daylilies, pink mallow, peonies, candytuft, irises, salvia, creeping phlox, and climbing roses all take their turns in the spotlight during the summer months.


Our house is set into a hill, so our side garden is laid out in a terraced design. In the lower terrace, I have more bright bloomers overflowing from the bed.


Heading away from the house and into the backyard area, there is a small and simple garden consisting of hostas and daylillies surrounding the base of a willow tree. There are also some fragrant asiatic lilies that were given to us in honor of our daughter who passed away. There are a beautiful pure white color and smell heavenly, reminding us of our little girl’s beautiful purity and the hope that she is waiting for us in our heavenly home. This garden has special meaning to me not only because of these lilies, but also because I planted the garden the summer I was expecting her. For me, this has created a tender connection to her life.


Beyond this flower bed, we have a small orchard and a few berry bushes. To the side, we have an arbor with grapevines and we have a small fire pit area set up as well. The fire pit was thrown together by our sons one afternoon last summer and we’ve enjoyed and used it often since then.




Along the perimeter of our back deck I have planted hostas. Hostas are wonderful plants for landscaping. They are easy care plants that give you a lot of bang for your buck. They blend with many different styles of landscaping and gardens.


One last area of gardening in my yard (at least for now!) is my little herb garden, which is planted beside my vegetable garden plot. In it, I have two kinds of mint, lavender, oregano, purple coneflower, lamb’s ear, and chives.

There you have it—my summer garden tour! I hope you enjoyed getting this peek into one of my favorite places to spend a quiet summer afternoon. Gardening has been a rewarding and enjoyable hobby for me for many years, and I hope it will continue to be for many more to come.

How about you? Do you enjoy gardening, or is it a hobby you hope to develop for yourself one day? I’d love to hear your thoughts–please leave a comment!

You’re Looking Fabulous, Darling! Giveaway

Today is my birthday, and to celebrate, I thought I would give one of YOU a gift!

I’m calling this my “You’re Looking Fabulous, Darling! Giveaway.” I’ve gathered up a few of my favorite things from this summer and bundled them into one amazing gift for you!

Having a summer birthday is definitely very cool. I’ve always loved the fact that my birthday falls right in the middle of the best part of summer. It is always warm enough for pool parties. There is still plenty of time before having to start school shopping or planning. We’re still in the midst of the nicest days of the most relaxing season (in case you’re new here, I really like relaxing). Yep, I have to say I have the best day for my birthday!

Now, on to the giveaway!

birthday giveaway

This little bundle of goodies includes some really fun and fabulous items I just know you’re going to love! It’s perfectly curated to help you get the most out of the last few remaining days of summer. I’m so excited to give it away to one of YOU!

Here’s what’s included:

Gorgeous Sun hat
Keep the sun off your face and look glamorous

Cute Flamingo Kimono/Scarf
This adorable kimono combines two trends I find irresistible

Cool Sunglasses
Foster grants—good quality and you’ll look cool too

Pretty Silver-toned Earrings
These have a lovely delicate look, yet they make a statement

Essential Sunscreen
Gotta have it—this stuff is really nice quality, too

Urban Decay Lipstick
Need I say more? It’s Urban Decay—the real deal

and the one I’m most excited to give to you…

Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette
This makeup palette is simply beautiful. It includes some of Tarte’s most iconic colors (can you say “Park Avenue Princess?”) in a gorgeous nomination that will help you create many fabulous looks. The packaging really stands out as well—it’s very unique. If you’ve ever tried anything from Tarte, you know the quality of their products is excellent.

birthday giveaway overlay

I can’t wait to see which of you wins this! This giveaway will run for eight days. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below.

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

How to Wear a Dress as a Tunic

I’ve you’ve read many of my previous fashion posts, you know I’m fond of wearing dresses over pants. It’s a fun look and a great way to wear a dress that might be a bit too short for me to feel comfortable wearing by itself.


This look features a dress I picked up from Old Navy in the spring. (Why are so many of Old Navy’s dresses so short?) It really is more of a tunic length. I love the swing style of this dress; it is such a flattering silhouette. This is a sleeveless dress, which makes it perfect for layering. I also love that it’s a button down. Very cute detailing. The pattern of the fabric is fun and the color is extremely easy to wear.

To truly convert it to the tunic look, I paired the dress with a pair of dark wash boyfriend jeans. I rolled up the cuffs for a more relaxed feel. These jeans are super comfy, perfect for a casual summer day.

To add a bit of warmth and interest to the outfit, I added a simple off white cardigan. This cardigan is extremely versatile and it really added a lot to this outfit.

The final addition to the look was a comfy pair of cognac colored flip flops. They really lend themselves well to the casual, relaxed feel of the outfit.


This was such a comfortable outfit, perfect for a day of kicking around town with the family. (Incidentally, I just realized that this entire outfit, right down to the shoes, came for Old Navy—how’s that for brand loyalty? And, no, this post is not sponsored.)

What I Wore

Dress/tunic: Old Navy
Jeans: Old Navy
Cardigan: Old Navy
Sandals: Old Navy (out of stock, but here’s a similar pair)

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

Feminine Fashion in Mint and Taupe

Things have been very busy around our house the past couple of weeks. Our family has recently embarked on a new adventure, which I will be sharing more about in the near future. Stay tuned for that, and for what it will mean for the blog.

In the meantime, I’ve go another fashion-related post for you. I recently wore this feminine top and skirt to a Sunday morning church service. All the pieces in this outfit are ones I have had for years. Both the blouse and the skirt were thrifted as well. How’s that for economy in fashion?


The colors in this outfit are so pretty together. Mint and taupe make a soft, ladylike color combination, don’t you think?


I picked up this taupe skirt from the $1 rack at a thrift store because it had an ink stain. When I got it home, I very easily removed the ink stain by spritzing it with hairspray and then washing. Worked like magic! The skirt has been a staple in my wardrobe ever since.


This floaty, flowing top came from my favorite online store for fashion—you guessed—Thredup. (The label is Gap.) It has a subtle floral pattern that is exquisite in it’s simplicity. It could definitely be considered understated elegance. Because the blouse is quite sheer, I wore a basic beige tank underneath it.

The shoes I paired with this outfit are ones I have featured several times in previous outfit posts. The taupe color of the sandals is the perfect neutral shade to go with any outfit. These wedges are super comfortable to wear, as well. I could wear them all day long and they wouldn’t bother my feet at all.

I kept my jewelry very simple with this outfit. I chose a delicate gemstone necklace with silver chain which I received in my most recent Fab Fit Fun box (see my unboxing post here). It’s simple and understated and feminine, just like the rest of the look. The earrings are silver drops I wear often in my everyday looks.


This was a simple outfit to put together from things I’ve had for ages. But I think that’s what makes it so special. (A couple of my little guys wanted to join in on my photo shoot–I thought I’d include the picture so you could get a peek at one of the things in life that puts the biggest smile on my face! Incidentally my 12-year-old daughter took the pictures. Isn’t she talented?)

What I Wore

Blouse: Gap (via ThredUp)
Skirt: NY&Co, thrifted (similar here, here, here, and here)
Shoes: Nine West
Necklace: Kris Nations (via Fab Fit Fun)
Earrings: Amazon Collection



Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

Floral Wrap Maxi Dress

If you’ve seen many of my previous posts, you know how much I love a good maxi dress. You’re also probably familiar with my affection for all things floral. Combine the two, and I’m completely smitten.

So, when I found the Rosalie Floral Wrap Maxi Dress from Florence Adams, I just knew it was meant to be mine. This dress is perfection! The fabric has a nice weight and a lovely drape. It is soft and silky feeling. The fit is just right and the style is completely on trend. And the color—so pretty and feminine!

florence adams floral wrap maxi dress

I love the wrap style of this dress, which is a bit unusual in a maxi dress. It is a universally flattering silhouette—almost any woman of any size and shape can wear a wrap dress and look fabulous. This dress has 3/4 length sleeves, which are a nice versatile length that can be worn in lots of temperatures. The length of the skirt is just right for my height, though someone a bit shorter or taller than me could wear it easily.


Soft pastel hues of blue, pink, and peach make this dress just right for spring and summer. It’s easy to elevate this dress to a more formal look, or wear it in a more casual style.

I paired the dress with my simple nude pumps so the beauty of the dress itself could be highlighted. A floral maxi like this is a statement piece that shouldn’t be made to complete with any other pieces in an outfit. It should take center stage.


I added a beautiful crystal and quartz pendant necklace from Chloe + Isabel. The soft pinks of the stones in this necklace go perfectly with the pastels of the dress. This necklace is convertible, which means it can be worn several different ways. I love the length and size of the chains and pendants. The bag is from Steve Madden, but I scored a huge bargain on it at our local thrift store.

Wearing this lovely floral wrap maxi dress really is a delight! Can you tell it has become one of my favorite dresses?

What I Wore

Floral Wrap Maxi Dress: Florence Adams
Nude Pumps: Nine West
Necklace: Chloe + Isabel
Shell: Halftee
Handbag: Steve Madden (thrifted—similar here and here)



Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase something using one of my links.  Be assured that  I only recommend products I believe in. Your support is appreciated!

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