July 26, 2016

New Look ~New Template

The Stonybrook House Home Page

Have you seen it? Have you seen it? Well, I guess you have if you’re reading this…. Smile with tongue out
I am so thrilled right now! This new look makes me want to blog more!

A blogger friend, Linda, from Life and Linda, does blog redesigns as well as tablescapes and other lovelies on her blog.

Life & Linda

Anyway, I saw some of the the new designs she did and was immediately drawn to one of the templates she uses. I was considering having her do the complete redesign. But if you know me, I’m kind of a hands on, DIYer, plus a control freak and I wanted to try to do it myself. Of course, I was scared to death I was going to mess something up. HTML code can be VERY intimidating!!! But I’d been dabbling in it here and there… So I gathered up my courage and took the plunge!

Linda directed me to the Etsy Shop where I could buy the template.  It was the best spent $18.00! This is the designer of the template I purchased, Omar Wraikat.
Omar website

He has several templates to choose from. You can check them out at his website or his Etsy Store.
I purchased the Charm template and it was super easy to navigate.  Plus, Omar gave instructions with it to make it even easier! Also, he was so prompt answering all my questions.

I still can’t believe, I did it! I’ve been wanting to change the look of my website for over a year, and just didn’t have the courage to do it. I also couldn’t have done it without Linda.  She was always so ready and willing to help me. She understands code much more than I do. Thank you, thank you, Linda! Please all of you reading… please drop by her website or Facebook page and give her some love.

And if you are in need of a redesign, and have no HTML understanding, check her out!

But, if you do have a bit of HTML understanding, you can do this! I am proof!

So, I want to share with you just how easy it was for me to do. This is the the basic template you are given. It’s just a screen shot.
Charm Template

This is not a tutorial, this is hopefully a confidence booster to those that are curious about changing templates on your website. Or those that are just curious to see how easy it can be. :)

Now, I have my blog on Blogger. So, this is a Blogger Template. I love being on Blogger and will never change.  My website has never been down, to my knowledge, nor has it been hacked, which I am so very thankful for! I know there is this HUGE debate on Blogger vs. Wordpress. I won't even go there... But Blogger has been great for me, plus it has always been free, which is a wonderful bonus. :)

Anyhoooo....There are a few things I love about this template.
1. It’s clean looking. Everything is contained.
2. Drop down options on the Nav bar. I have been wanting them for years!!! I still have work to do there…
3. The slider option under the Nav bar. Love it!!
4. There are so many options to change.
5. EASY to work with!

So, basically, I started at the top. You can change colors and choose which social media you want to put in that bar.
Home Page . social media icons

Then I created a simple basic header to insert.  Btw… My daughter is a graphic designer, and I asked her to design a new header for me! Yay!
Home Page. upload header

Then on to the Navigation Bar. Love this option of dropdowns…. Lots of work still to do, but I’m excited to do it!!
Home Page. nav bar

Next is the clickable slider images. Right now I have them set not to slide, I may change that. I just love the option.
Home Page.image slider

The gadgets on the side were just like my old template.  You just add them in and move them where you want. Linda showed me a new one for Instagram!
gadgets on homepage. clean and easy

Lastly, I really like how each post is separate on the home page. Plus the easy to find “continue reading button”.
posts on homepage. cont reading

It was easy working on the “test blog”…but I was soooo nervous going ‘live’. Transferring everything over and hoping it wasn’t all wonky.

For the most part it went pretty smooth. Like I’ve already said a ton of times, it was so comforting having Linda in my corner to help me out!

So, it’s done! Yay! Now, it’s time to get to work and finish it up… well, maybe it will never be completely finished. There’s always something in the world of blogging. But right now, I’m relishing in the fact, that I DID IT!! This has given me such a sense of accomplishment! Yay, me!


July 20, 2016

Brick Garden Edging Update

Hi y’all!! I mentioned last week that I’ve been working on my brick garden edging project…
Brick Garden Edging around Patio

But first, I have to tell you about my weekend. I got to spend it with these awesome people!
Family July 2016
Our son, daughter and her boyfriend all drove in for a long weekend! This momma’s heart was full! We enjoyed eating and walking around the Inner Harbor. Then we went through the Baltimore Aquarium. So many fun memories made! Of course the weekend went by way too fast, but I am so very thankful for my wonderful family! I was so excited to have them home, so sad to see them go…but I enjoyed every minute! Before you know it we’ll be together again at the holidays.

Anyway, back to the bricks and concrete…. If you want to see the dry concrete process I am using, you’ll have to check out this post.
How To Install Brick Borders

Before I started the large garden around our patio, I finished a little ring around our magnolia bush. Let me tell you, the fragrance of those flowers is amazing! I stand there sometimes, just smelling… going from flower to flower. :)
Magnolia Bush Brick Ring
You can see where this bush is in relation to the the house and driveway. The garden around the patio is just to the right of this picture.

This garden edge around the patio took me about 3 days to complete. Now, that’s not working on it non-stop all day. It was about 4 or more hours a day. It was definitely a lot of work, but soooo worth it! I started here at the edge of the driveway. I tried to make the curves easy and not too tight, otherwise they are hard to turn and mow with the tractor.

Now that little patch of bricks on the left in the garden is definitely not finished.  It just laid them there to get an idea of what I want to do. I will be putting some sort of little path there to make it easy to walk through.
Brick Garden Edge

Then I extended the garden around the Japanese weeping cherry tree. You can see I came out a couple of feet. The mulch line is where the garden ended before.
Extended Brick Garden Edge

Then I moved on around the tree…
Extended Brick Garden Edge

I just love the soft curves of gardens…it's calming to me, weird right?? This garden area needs a TON of work, but for now I’m desperately trying to just concentrate on completing all of the edging on all the gardens.
Brick Garden Edging around Patio

Then I came around to the patio. I couldn’t believe how perfect the last brick ended!
Brick Garden Edging at Patio

I used 129 brick pavers and about 25 bags of 50lb. concrete mix, just for this one long garden edge! Whew! I even finished one of the pallets of bricks… it wasn’t a full pallet, but it was nice to get it off the driveway.
Garden Brick Edging

I did manage to finish planting and mulching one of the front rings.  I completed the ring around the light post.

After the concrete hardened, I moved the dirt away from the brick edges, cleaned it up, planted some petunias and mulched.  I love how the mulch is contained inside the ring. Before mulch would spill into the grass after every storm. Plus now it is soooo easy for Hubby to weedwhack. The grass needs to fill in on this ring, but this is the plan for all of my gardens. I won’t be planting petunias everywhere, but you get the idea.
Garden Brick Edging Planted and Mulched

I love our home…

It’s progress! I may not have all of my gardens complete, but there are some pretties around.  Hubby really wanted me to do my patio planters. I didn’t do them last year, so here they are.
Patio Flower Planters

That sweet potato vine is taking over!
Flower pots on the patio

I can’t get enough of the calibrachoa. They are the sweetest most delicate flowers… I am in love with them.
White Calibrachoa

I even put a pot of them up between our patio chairs.
Calibrachoa on the patio

Well, that's all folks! Have a beautiful day!

July 17, 2016

Dishing It & Digging It Link Party #105

Welcome to the Dishing It & Digging It! Link Party!!

Gooood Afternoon!! How are y'all doing on this gorgeous day?
I don't know where you are, but here, it has been warm and sunny! :)
I have been a busy bee working on my brick garden edge and I am making progress!! I can't wait to show you how much I've done!

July 14, 2016

Rental Property Renovation Part Two

I almost completely forgot to share this second part of our Rental Property Renovation.

Rental Property Reno Part 2
It’s summertime and I have been going, going and going!! But I love being busy! I am never bored. Seriously! I had someone ask me the other day if I ever got bored or lonely being home. I didn’t hesitate… the answer is easy…no, not at all. I have so many things to keep me busy and the apartments are just one of them.