What Not to Do at a Home and Garden Show

Spring is almost here, which means Home and Garden Show time! Over the weekend, I attended my first Home and Garden Show and I learned a lot.

I saw some innovative home products, took a look at some cool home services, took home some cool tote bags, and best of all ran into an old friend.


However, I am the absolute worst at trade shows. I have a guilt complex. I feel horrible for these people standing there at their little constructed booths waiting or asking kindly for someone to talk to them. I hate that they are constantly getting rejected. Their products are getting rejected. They came all this way after all. Who could stand all that drive by rejection?

As a writer who has suffered more rejection than I care to admit, I feel for these booth people. I know that rejection. So, I will talk to them for a little while. (We have no intention of getting a hot tub, bathroom renovation, pergola, etc.)

I know, I’m the worst.

However, I always say, you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I did learn a great deal about some of the products and services I don’t need such as bathroom remodels so there’s that. Let’s pretend I did this in the name of education.

I also say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In other words there is a cost to all of this education: I will be deleting emails from people providing products and services I don’t need for the foreseeable future.

When going to a Home and Garden Show or any trade show for that matter, here is a list of DON’TS (you don’t want to be getting emails for the next month because you couldn’t say no at a trade show.)

1. Don’t go in without a plan: if you are going to just look around, want to see bathrooms, kitchens, gutters, pools. Make a mental note of what you are there to see.

2. Don’t forget what household projects are coming up: many vendors offer coupons, discounts, and even raffles for prizes for patrons attending the trade show. Make sure you visit the booths of any current or impending home projects. For example, new countertops, and a basement remodel are in our future. I made sure to hit up any booth I could that might have discounts or promotions to help us with these projects.

3. Don’t talk to anyone you don’t want to: people at trade shows are there to try and gain your business, but they also want to talk to people who are seriously considering their products or services. If you live in a condo, don’t get sucked into talking to a landscaper for an hour. A polite “no thanks” will do the trick and move on.

4. Don’t go in clueless: get a map of the convention center area or talk to someone running the trade show and get a lay of the land. This will help you find where specific booths are so that you can plan your time accordingly.

5. Don’t give out your information unless your’e ok with people contacting you: this is a no brainer, but unless you want to set up an appointment for an estimate for new gutters go ahead and take their card or pamphlet and tell them you’ll give them a call when you’re ready to do business.

6. Don’t go to a trade show without having a little fun and getting a little swag: When going to a trade show, I always leave some time at the end for visiting a few booths that look interesting or have cool demonstrations or let’s face it neat swag. I usually will hit up those booths last if I have time.

7. Don’t wear heels: Just don’t, unless they are the most comfortable shoes you own. Trade shows are for walking and gathering information and collecting tote bags, save the good shoes for date night.

Now, that you know what not to do at your next Home and Garden or trade show you should go online and see when the next one in your area is. Spring is almost here after all!

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Garden Progress and Tips for a Successful Vegetable Garden

Since we are midway through the summer and I gave a sneak peak yesterday, I thought it was time for a garden update.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that while the vegetable garden was making wonderful progress, the bunnies in my yard thought it was delicious too. I got several suggestions to keep them at bay, but there was one thing I did that worked perfect.


I think the bunnies have lost interest. Also, some of the plant are getting so large, and some of them are a bit prickly. I don’t think the bunnies are too fond of either of those things. Also, the plants that got munched on are starting to return.


While, the garden isn’t quite ready for harvest yet, I am so happy to report all my plants are doing phenomenally.

Would you believe I started this garden from seed?

I cannot wait to make zucchini bread!

If you would like to read more about Gardening, DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

You Better Bring It: Bunny Control


Picture yourself, waking up late on a Saturday morning with
no alarms. There is just the faintest sound of little pitter pats running into
your room and little kids yelling, “Can we have Chocolate Milk?!” Then, you let
the little ones climb into your bed and as they are looking out the window,
they say, “Mommy, Daddy, BUNNIES!”
They giggle and watch the bunnies, we all look out and see a
little teeny gray bunny hopping around the yard stopping once in awhile to
nibble on some grass. The kids giggling and shouting words like, CUTE, SNUGGLY, and FLUFFY!
Those images are cute, right? Bunnies are cute. They are fun
to look at with their little cotton like tails and fluffiness. That’s why there
are hundreds of children’s stories surrounding bunnies, rabbits, and hares.
They are lovable. I mean who doesn’t love a bunny?
ME! That’s who! Not anymore anyway.
The weeks I spent planning, and the care taken to buy just
the right amount of mushroom compost, and have the kids help me water, and
fertilize. The strategic placement of broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas,
zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon was all working out
wonderfully. The weekly weeding that caused my sunburned neck. Every morning I walk out to water the garden, I’m amazed that after years of killing houseplants, I can actually grow food.
The cute, sweet, and innocent little bunnies no longer seem
so sweet and are definitely no longer so innocent! They are ruining my garden!
They are like GOATS! They would probably eat tin cans if I tried to plant them.Check out these before and afters:





There is no way to sugar coat this, I’m angry. I’m going to bring it! Well, as much as I can bring it without hurting the bunnies.


I’ve done a little research, and have read about marigolds,
and cayenne pepper, and fences, but before I did anything that might ruin what
I have left, and before my neighbors start calling me Farmer McGregor, I thought I would ask a wonderful resource that I have right at my fingertips: You! My readers.
How do I get these bunnies out of my garden? (Yesterday, I
walked out to water, and there was a bunny sitting in the RAISED BED staring me
down as he ate my lettuce. I did the only thing I could think of and turned the
hose on the little buggar, and he scampered away, probably glad for the shower
on a hot morning.)
Also, will my vegetables come back? I am worried that I might have to replant some of these things. Is that true?
So, to all the seasoned gardeners out there,what should this novice do about the bunnies?

Brick Paver for Beginners

As I mentioned yesterday, the previous owners of this house left a lot of things behind for us. Some were annoyances that had to be thrown away, but other thing turned out to be some pretty nice gifts.

We have a beautiful and very spacious brick paver patio on the back of the house. It was here when we moved in and it was one of the only parts of the backyard that didn’t need some TLC. As a result of the brick paver installation, the previous owners had a lot of pavers left over, and left them on the side of the house.

Brian and I have been trying to think of a wonderful way to use them, and last weekend on a whim, we came up with the perfect plan.

Between my two raised beds it is a veritable weed trap. It is annoying. Also, after watering it becomes pretty muddy in there, and my shoes are a mess after trying to weed.

This is when we (For the record this is one of those times, when I say “we” I mean I came up with the idea and Brian executed it.) decided to put a small section of brick pavers between the garden beds to cut down on the weeds, and help save my cute new summer kicks.

First, Brian removed any weeds and raked up the soil. He then flattened everything out as best he could by hand. He also put down a good layer of weed killer to help prevent any weeds from growing in between the crevices.

We then started laying bricks in kind of a pattern between the beds. there is only room for 5 bricks between the garden beds so it was not hard to come up with a pattern. Starting from left to right. We started with placing two bricks vertically. Then we placed two horizonally, and then one vertically again.

The next row kind of alternated. We placed two horizontally, one vertically and two horizontally again.

Finally, the third row is one brick vertically, two horizontally, and two vertically.

Once we had a pattern we only had to repeat it one more time to reach the end of the small “walkway.” Also, we tried to mix up the colors a bit for some variety.

I know they don’t seem level in these pictures, but once the pavers were placed I had to put down the camera and start gently tapping them into place.

Once that was done, Brian took the leftover bullet edging from the mulch project a few weeks back and continued it in front of the garden beds.

The whole project only took about an hour, oh and did I mention it was FREE? Thank you previous owners, for leaving some of the things you did.

Voila! No more weeds (hopefully), and no more importantly, no more muddy shoes. I could have gotten a pair of gardening shoes, but I like the pavers better. The little walkway is also a nice place for my pots of herbs.

Also, from these pictures, you can see the vegetable garden is doing pretty well this year. I better get out there and weed the INSIDE of the beds now.

If you liked this project, and would like to read more about DIY, Cooking, Baking and all other things domestic you can check me out on Facebook or become a follower of Home Everyday here

An Herb Garden

If you follow my fan page on facebook, you’ll see I was picking some basil in my garden yesterday for lunch. Yes, I was making another caprese sandwich. I cannot help it, they are delicious.

As most of you know, this year marks the start of my second vegetable garden (you can read about 2012’s garden here, here, and here and 2013’s garden here). After lots of planning, and year of growing under my belt, I already feel more confident. However, there is one thing that I have tried over and over without success and that is growing herbs from seeds.

For whatever reason, my herb seeds never do well and very rarely survive. So, for the second year in a row I have bought herb plants at Home Depot, and put them in a pot near the vegetable garden.



This year, I decided to plant sweet basil, rosemary, Italian flat leaf parsley, thyme, in one pot and mint in another.

I chose herbs that I would use a lot of in my cooking. This is my first experience with mint, but I have to say I’m pretty excited about making some mojitos very soon.

Anyone else have an herb garden? Want to share some cilantro with me?

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The Backyard in All Its Glory

I will never forget the day we first toured this house. We were so excited to see this house as it was in our “dream neighborhood”. It was a beautiful crisp autumn day. The trees lining the street to our house were every shade of orange, red, and yellow. The house next door had kids jumping in piles of leaves. The sun was shining.

When we first walked into the house, we knew we liked it, but after living in a two bedroom condo for the last few years a large backyard was a big priority for us. We saw the living room and the kitchen, but immediately asked our realtor if we could see the backyard. They opened the patio doors and the boys ran out into the sunshine in the backyard, and started kicking around a soccer ball they had brought. They were in love.
After looking at the rest of the house. So were Brian and I.
The backyard (as well as other landscaped areas of surrounding our house) has undergone some huge transformations since we have moved in two years ago.
When we moved in, we really like the brick paver patio, however there was a huge above ground pool with a rickety deck. Also, there were some trees and shrubs, but there were definitely some areas that were overgrown and needed some TLC.
Brian and I decided to just tackle the yard a little bit at a time.
The first order of business was to remove the pool and deck. Neither were kept up very well, and were not safe. So, Brian tore down the deck and pool.
Next, we had some landscapers come and remove any dead overgrowth as well as sod the area where the pool used to be. They added a little mulch area to add some plants.


Finally, Brian and I also built two raised beds for our vegetable garden. You can read more about how we built them HERE.


We were happy that the pool was gone and that there was plenty of room for the kids to run around, but the yard seemed unfinished.
This year, we decided to add a little more dimension to the backyard and asked landscapers to come back this spring to add some bullet edging and mulch to the entire perimeter of the backyard. Also, they removed some other dead bushes and trees, and added a few other elements such as a two more crab apple trees.



Also, on the side of the house was a huge island that was filled with nothing but some dead bushes and overgrowth.
The landscapers removed everything that was dead, kept the nice flowering tree, and surrounded that area with rocks and bullet edging that is consistent with the landscaping in the front of the house.
There are some other things in years to come that we would like to do, but for now we are happy that we have wide open spaces, a healthy lawn, and some mulched areas to add some flowers.
We’ve come a long way from this:
To this:


I think this weekend, we will celebrate with some s’mores in the fire pit!

Vegetable Garden 2013

Over the weekend, Brian and his Dad were able to get a lot of yard work done, and even helped to till the vegetable garden and add a few bags of mushroom compost to the beds. This was a wonderful help as then all the kids and I had to do was plant the seeds.

On Friday, I mentioned that we were going to plant a great deal less this year to help avoid crowding. So, with the help of the kids, we planted broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and watermelon.


I know most people start with small plants, or they start their seeds indoors, and then plant outdoors. Last summer, I started from seeds outdoors, and everything grew very well.
The plants that do not grow as high I kept close to each other to help avoid any chance of bigger plants blocking out any sun. Here is what everything looks like now. Hopefully, in about a week, we will start seeing some sprouts.
Now that the veggies are planted, it is time to get some herbs and flowers going!
If you would like to week to week progress on the vegetable garden, follow me on Facebook here!

Garden Planning 2013

This weekend at our house is known as planting weekend! Last year, when we were first planning our vegetable garden I did a TON of research and talked to a lot of seasoned gardeners about when the best time to plant would be. The consensus for our area is the weekend after Mother’s Day. Our garden last year (you can check out posts here and here), was pretty successful, so I am sticking with that plan.

There were a few mistakes with last year’s garden, that hopefully I will not make this year to ensure we get a bigger crop of veggies.

The biggest mistake last year was overcrowding. This year, I am really limiting what we are planting to what we will really use a lot of. For example, last year the peas and lettuce were the biggest hit, and we wish we would have had more off those, and less of the radishes.

Here is what we have planned for this year:

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me this weekend.

It won’t be long though before I will be enjoying some zucchini bread, a caprese salad or sandwich, or a veggie frittata right from our garden.

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Garden Harvest

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our first ever vegetable garden here and here. Some people have been asking for updates, so I decided to show you the fruits…er vegetables of our labor.


We have had a really hot summer as well as very little rain. Also, I think some animals were eating some of my veggies, especially the corn. However, for our first attempt at this, I think we did pretty well. Here are some of the pretty vegetables we have harvested thus far.








So far, my favorite has been the tomatoes. They are so sweet. The kids LOVED the peas, and Brian has liked the zucchini because it means two of his favorite things, zucchini bread and zucchini frittata.

I am definitely looking forward to next year!

Captain Vegetable Part Deux: Planting a Vegetable Garden

As I said in this post, planning the vegetable garden took
a little bit of preparation. After building the raised beds, putting them in the
right part of the yard, and filling them with the right material (in our case peat moss and mushroom compost as suggested by the Home Depot gardening expert), it was time to plant.
This garden, I knew would be a trial and error process as I am not known for my green thumb. I looked around the internet, Pinterest, and talked to family and friends about what vegetables work well for them, and decided to do a large variety of vegetables. My thinking was that if I tried a little of everything, I would have a better idea of what works in our yard, and only plant the successful plants next year.
After doing more research, and talking to a few more people, I decided to buy my seeds on Amazon. I bought this seed kit. For $12.41 plus free
shipping, I couldn’t beat the price. These are all vegetables that we like, so if they were all successful, nothing would go to waste.
To plant the seeds, all I did was follow the directions on
the back of each seed packet. On the back it gives suggestions for when, where,
and how to plant the seeds. Once planted, this is how the garden progressed.
Planting Day!
 Week 1
Week 2


Week 3


Week 4
Week 5


Week 6
So far, I have been amazed at how it has been growing. My expectations weren’t too high, as I have killed many house plants in the past, and we have not had much rain here. Take it from me (former black thumb), with a lot planning, regular watering, and weeding, this isn’t impossible.
We have already been reaping the benefits of this garden with some salad and a few recipes that I will be sharing soon.