Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Fake Grass and Dogs

We recently replaced our backyard lawn with artificial grass and a putting green (hubby and son are avid golfers).

It looks awesome and we all love it!

We did this for several reasons:
1.  We don't have a sprinkler system and didn't want to install one.  We have water restrictions in our district so our real grass only looked nice for a few months in the spring and then died off to a dirt/dust bowl by July & August.
2.  We all have seasonal allergies and no one wanted to suffer through mowing the lawn.
3.  The dogs love to tear up the backyard with chase games and digging holes in the grass.
4.  We had some drainage issues during the rainy season and our stone patio needed to be redone anyway.

5.  I thought adding a putting green would be a nice social feature for the family - much like a swing set was when the kids were little.

6.  Bottom line we have a nice backyard and the grass wasn't very nice for all the above reasons.

We got several quotes and in the end went with Precision Greens.  They were not the cheapest but I liked their product and people better than the others.

This is not an endorsement for them just letting you know who we used and why.

The crew that did the install was great and when I reported a wrinkling problem a week later (install was done in cool weather and then we had sunny warm days)

They came out right away to fix it.  I mean right away and yes it was fixed!

However, it's not exactly what I expected so I thought I'd write a post on how this change has impacted our lives and the lives of our 2 dogs - Murphy 9 and Finn 1 1/2 both Wheaten Terriers.

I think I would have found something like this helpful when I was doing my research.  It probably would not have deterred us from doing this but I would have been more prepared.

First off, it's NOT "no maintenance" like I thought it would be.

We have some pretty big trees in our backyard - mostly cedars and maples.  There is stuff dropping down all the time.

You have to keep it clean - for looks also for durability.  It's important to remove the organic material so that it doesn't break down into the grass and then grow weeds or other plants.  I vacuum mine once a week with a Black & Decker Leaf Blower (attach Leaf Hog & Bag vacuum).

I talked to someone recently at a golf club event who actually uses his old Dyson to vacuum his turf!

I prefer to use the Black & Decker Leaf Hog because it will pick up large leaves and twigs and mulches it all into the bag.

I was told that you can use a shop vac or old vacuum but I had this old leaf blower with vacuum attachment and so I use this method for cleaning.

Also, Precision Greens does maintenance as often as you want it.  We've signed up for twice yearly fill and brushing with them.

Secondly, you need to clean up after your dog's #2s more diligently than if they were going on real grass.  I treat mine like carpet so when there's a #2 to clean up I pick up with the poop bags and then clean the area with a wet wipe (or wet paper towel) until clean.

I'll spare you the details - I don't think you need to see pics of that.

We had the special fill put in to help with the urine smell and so far so good.

But we are also working on re-training our dogs to do their business in the gardens rather than on the turf.  So far they will not go on the putting green turf but don't seem to mind the artificial grass (at least Finn does - Murphy likes to use the gardens now).

So in the end you might ask is it worth it?

Like I said it's NOT "no maintenance" it's just different maintenance than real grass.

I have to say for now - YES - it is worth it.  I don't mind the vacuuming and the picking up because I love the way backyard looks and how the turf feels.   I sit on it more so than the real grass and I'm considering doing yoga on it - not to mention all the fun we're having with the putting green.

I'll try and do an update post next year or next next year and let you know how it's going.

Until next time,

Friday, May 12, 2017

Reno Wish List Update 2017

This is a repost of a yearly post I do for myself...

As I've mentioned before my hubby and I have a wish list of home improvements.

We've been in our house for almost 20 years now and we've done a lot.  But we still have some things on our list that "need" to get done and also stuff we'd "like" done

So each year, usually in the spring, we try to sit down and prioritize the list.  There isn't much left on this list since we've been knocking stuff off the last couple of years but I wanted to post an update.

You might not be interested but I like to use my blog as a photo album and place to record stuff.

Here's our last WISH LIST with updates in no particular order (*denotes Major reno):

*Kitchen - Cabinets/countertops, Knook (?) and move some REPLACE all appliances, resurface/flat popcorn ceiling (2019)
*Outside Front - Front doors/Landscaping/Rock work at Foundation and raised planter/lighting/driveway/replace grass with rock walk way (2018)
Family Room - Replace sectional & Repaint Walls (2017), Update Fireplace surround rock work - stacked stone? (2019 with Kitchen?)
Outside Backyard - Replace turf and some rock work, rework outdoor lighting (2017)
Outside Backyard - Repaint deck (2017), Replace Hot Tub (as needed)
Inside - Repaint/Update Room colours (as needed), Purge (ongoing as needed)
Living room - Repaint walls, Add Fireplace Mantel (?), and Replace Furniture (2018)
Convert Bi Fold Closet Doors to French - Laundry Room (2014), Hall (2017), Linen (2017)
Garage Organization - finish walls and install shelving/storage, Purge (ongoing and never ending)
Misc Repairs and Organization throughout house (ongoing and never ending)
Re-Do Den Flooring - Replace damaged cork with faux wood plank tile (2019 with Kitchen?)
Replace Kids' Bathroom Toilet - (2016)
Paint Jackson's Room - last painted in 1997!! (Summer 2017)
Master Bath - total gut (2016)
Laundry Room - total gut  (done 2014)
Paint the Exterior (done 2015)
Replace Windows - not all just 3 large ones on front of house (done 2015)
Replace Bathroom Windows - 2 in master ensuite and 1 in kids' bathroom (done 2016)

I just have to keep buying those lottery tickets so we can finish off this list...or move!

Until next time...

Paint Paint Paint

My hubby and I like to do one big house reno a year.

We get together at the beginning of year and discuss what we'd like to do and what we can afford to do.

We've been in our house for over 20 years and we are almost done our home reno to-do list.

The only big things left now are:
Kitchen reno
Front of the house reno

There are many small things to do on the list and then we start to re-do stuff that we did years ago but now need repair/updating.

Things like:
Replace furniture
Replace Hot Tub (now 15 years old yikes!)
PURGE closets and garage (this is an ongoing task!)

The kitchen reno comes up every year but every year we put it back on the list because we can't seem to agree on what to do.  I do believe it will be the last thing we do before my husband retires.  Which won't be a bad thing because then we'll have a new kitchen to enjoy until we downsize.

We're also not quite ready to do the front of the house - new doors, new end of the driveway lamp posts, new walk way, reface aggregate, replace cedar hedge etc.

One project that came up a few years ago was to replace the back yard grass with artificial grass and a putting green.

But that got side lined when we decided to do our LAUNDRY ROOM, then repaint the HOUSE EXTERIOR and then last year renovate the MASTER BATHROOM.

This year we decided to go ahead with the backyard project and also do a bit of updating inside.

So we replaced our family room sectional and got a new sectional with reclining end units.  We love it! But it's a different colour than our old one - both leather - new one is a dark taupe and the old was a dark burgundy.

This started a little domino effect because now the walls did not go well with the new coloured sectional.  Painting the family room also meant painting the kitchen - all one big space - with 2 walls meeting.

Picking paint colour is no easy task for us - hubby is colour blind but opinionated!

So began the trips to the paint store and testing out samples on the actual walls.

In the end we decided to use Behr Marquee Perfect Taupe (75%).  It's much lighter than what we had before but I like it.

For the kitchen we choose BM Niveous.

The two colours look great together and they brighten up the space.

I'll be posting my backyard putting green and artificial grass pictures soon!  

Until next time,

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hair Journey - Growing out my Grey

I'm posting this as a reminder to me and an inspiration to others you might be going through the same thing.

In 2009 I lost all my hair from chemo treatments for breast cancer.

When it started growing back in 2010 I was surprised at how grey it was.

March 2010

I let it grow in for a bit but it was short and curly and I wasn't ready for that look.

 May 2010

December 2010

I dyed it my "natural" dark brunette colour in the fall of 2010 and continued to do so until late 2014.

Me and my sister Yvonne summer of 2014

After a while, I got tired of that "skunk" line that would appear only 2 weeks after I'd done my roots.  It was getting costly and I started dying it myself in between salon visits.

During Christmas 2014 I decided that January 2015 would be the start of my Grey Grow Out!

So I've been growing out my grey hair since January 2015.

I started off by seeing a great hairdresser who was well known for dying young girls hair that popular lilac-ly grey.

He bleached out my dark brunette "box" colour and gave me some low/highlights to transition as my hair grew out.

And after a few months, it looked like this.

I have to admit that it's taking a really long time to grow out all the colour - I'm surprised at how much "caramel" colour I had on the ends.

This was taken earlier this month (July 2016)

I finally decided to see another hairdresser and try to "frost" out the ends and add some highlights.

This is what it looks like today - a bit lighter than I expected but I'm happy with the brighter look for the summer!

Not sure I'll keep it this way but we'll see how it grows out...

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I feel like I need a project....

I'm at loose ends right now...

It won't last long because I've got a lot of busy work around here - nothing major just small projects and chores to get done now that the weather is nicer.

I feel so scattered, but I'm sure that's because I've been focused on getting the master bathroom done.

Here's what I've been up to lately...

  • We've had some sunny days so I've been working in the yard weeding and building a moat (fixing some drainage issues).
  • I need to work on my garage!!!  I won't even share a pic of that with you - it's sooooo bad!  Lots of reno leftovers and stuff that's been dumped in there over the winter.  I have to empty it out completely and only put back stuff that I "need" to keep.
  • And I need to clear out my closets and storage in the house...My daughter came home on Sunday and filled 4 bags of unwanted clothing from her bedroom closet - she's filled 2 bags from her apartment closet too.  I've already dispersed the good stuff and dropped off the leftovers at the Sally Ann.  There is a bag of "fancy" prom shoes left and I'm trying to find an organization to donate them to for "cinderella" type projects.  If you know of any please leave a comment.
  • The bathroom reno is done and the kitchen planning/reno is too far off to put any time into it now.  But I am saving inspiration pics and asking for advice on some of the ideas I want to implement there.  Banquette or no banquette?
  • The crochet has been put away until the fall - not sure what I'm going to do with it all though.  I feel like it's time to move on to something else but I'm not sure the leather tassels will do it for me.
  • I had someone contact me through my other blog about COPIC colouring and that's got me thinking about clearing out my craft room so I can play with my colouring again.
  • I need to get some dog things pulled out of storage and sorted out because I've got a new puppy coming at the end of April and then I'll be real busy with him.
I just need to make a list and get to it before our new little one arrives!

What's on your spring cleaning/chore list?

Until next time...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

BKF continued...

After I wrote the post the other day on Bar Keepers Friend I cleaned my glass cook top to see if I could get the scorch marks off.

Here's the Before (top) and After (bottom)

I left the Bar Keepers Friend (cream) on the marks for a few minutes.  Then I used a plastic scrungey to work out the marks. 

I've used other products and even a ceramic cooktop cleaner but after several attempts I just gave up.  These marks would not come off and I thought they were going to be permanent. But BKF got these marks out!

I also did 1/2 of a stainless pan.

Here's the Before (left) and the After (right)

This pan had been used to saute something (?) and it was washed a few times but the white marks did not come off.
You can see by the pic on the right that the pan was clean and shiny on the side I washed with Bar Keepers Friend!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Finally the Master Bath is Finished!!!

Here are the final pics from our "Master Bathroom Renovation of 2016"

Until next time...