by laura janning

How to find me Google Readers

June 30, 2013

Hi there! Just wanted to remind you that come tomorrow (July 1st) if you follow me on Google reader you will need to find another way to follow Top This Top That.
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Restyling my Outdoor Living Space

June 28, 2013

With the implementation of my 'Operation Summer Sanity' project aka pool for the kids, one thing was for certain... this mama needed to be comfortable while I was outside watching those fish in the water.
 And unfortunately..... this current setup wasn't going to suffice.
It didn't take much to realize my vision.
See, I am a simple gal with simple needs ( contrary to what my husband might say) and I would like to think my requests are rather easy and purposeful....like this repurposed fire bowl turned flower container. You can read more about that here.
 A table to place my beverages on. Have you ever put an orange slice in your water... it's so refreshing.
Ample seating for friends and the kids when they are done swimming all day, okay I exaggerated more like 7 hours. 
Maybe a couch in case one of them or even mama wants to lay down and take a nap!
 Perhaps a table for a basket large enough to hold some magazines, sunscreen and snacks.
That's it.
See, I told you I was easy. Now if I could just convince my husband  of that.
Here's how I pulled my restyled outdoor space together. The couch was a repurpose project from here. The chairs were moved from the other side of the backyard where they were here and the pretty flowers were from my yard here

About the only thing that I had to spend time doing, was cutting the oranges for the water and that's because I made you a glass too!

So when's the last time you restyled your outdoor space and...... put orange slices in your water?
Grateful for~
a backyard for the kids to make memories in


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Thistle Wood Farm


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"Stepping" Up the Patio

June 26, 2013

Creating additional lighting on the patio can be easier then you think if you are willing to" step it up" with a ladder and a few lanterns.
Although not intended to light the entire space, it's perfect if you are trying to create "mood" lighting while dining or entertaining.


I purchased most of the lanterns at Home Goods at exceptional prices. The other lanterns were one's that were already on hand.
Supplies needed
Flat wooden ladder
Jute rope
chain
anchors
eye bolt
lanterns
Step 1:
Layout the desired position of your lanterns first on your ladder.  The length of your ladder will determine the number of lanterns that you need.
Step 2:
Where on the ceiling do you want the ladder to hang? Once you figure that out, secure your eye hooks into your ceiling equal distance apart. I also used anchors because of the weight of the ladder and lanterns. Not a good thing if you are having dinner and a ladder comes down on your dessert!
Step 3:
Because I used jute rope to hang the ladder from the ceiling, I also wrapped the jute around the metal chain on the ceiling so that the look was consistent.

Step 4:
Level the ladder by adjusting the rope on each side. Once you determine that the ladder is level and secure, you can trim the ends of the rope off.
 Step 5:
Tie your lanterns on with the jute. I used varying lengths of rope with each lantern. I also used battery operated candles in each lantern.

The lanterns really create a focal point in an already fabulous space.
And although I wish I could take credit for this beautiful patio, I can only take credit for this project. The patio belongs to my twin sister.
Grateful for~
A sister who lets me exercise my creative juices while at her house

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Repurposing the Fire Pit

June 24, 2013

Well after 3 years of collecting mosquito larva on the back patio,  I thought it was about time to make some use out of a metal fire bowl that I had bought before we installed our stone fire pit.
Before
After
 After hosing it off I gave it a quick coat of spray paint ( Eden) on the outside of the bowl and sprayed only a couple of inches inside the bowl since it would be covered with dirt and mulch.
The bowl already had a hole on the bottom that would be suitable for drainage. After filling the bowl with some potting soil, I planted some petunias and lantana, perfect for my sunny deck. 
I topped it off with some mini pine bark mulch, sprinkled some water and my new flower bowl is ready for summer.
 And ironically sits right next to the real fire pit.

Some things are just meant to be as the real pit keeps us a tad bit warmer on chilly nights. For more of my outdoor projects go here.
So tell me, what have you repurposed lately?

PS- I didn't get the cart made that I showed you here  but there's always next weekend! 
Grateful for~
Thinking outside of the "bowl" and creating something pretty

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Knock Knock...Who's There?

June 19, 2013

Ahhhh  yes......
I like to think that my front doors give you that "You had me at ..... the knock" kinda feel.

You  know the one that makes them want to stay on the front porch just staring at the doors all goo-goo eyed, instead of coming inside and seeing the toys all over, dishes in the sink, laundry piled up and finger prints all over the windows. Yeah....that feeling.
You see us southern gals love to monogram everything. Our shirts, weekend totes, pillows, blankets,wreaths, mason jars and yes our front doors. That's just who we are and what we do. Ask any Southern gent, he'll tell ya.
So my little ole advice to you if you want your guests to have that "You had me at the knock" kinda feel too, try hanging wooden monogram letters instead of the typical wreath. It gets em every time!
And if it doesn't.....have them come inside to help you clean the mess!
So what's hanging on your front door?

Grateful for~
Visitors


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All The Reasons I Love Summer

June 17, 2013

watermelon
camping
fireworks
having a blast in the pool
sleeping in
staying up late
tan little bodies and white little bums
sandcastles
lemonade
beach
family vacation
learning to swim
playing sweet home alabama on the front porch
running through the sprinklers
barbecues in the backyard
napping in card board tents
going barefoot
popiscles
more popiscles
riding your bike in your pj's
dishes piled up in the sink..... and who cares!
sunsets
reading
riding a wave with your brother
oh how I love summers!
hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am!
Grateful for~
Summers and all that comes with it!

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The Sign that brought some comfort

June 12, 2013

Ever since that phone call at 10:01 pm on March 20th, my heart has not been the same. It longs and aches for my beautiful niece who I will never see again..... on earth. 
And in the midst of my sorrow there is some comfort. For that I am grateful.
Comfort in a sign......... and in friendship.
For years this has always been a favorite song and every time I hear it, it speaks to me and my heart. Little did I know that one day I would be listening to this song being sung at my nieces funeral by a dear family friend, as I sat there broken hearted and completely devastated.
Seeing those lyrics brings me to tears, but yet brings me some comfort.
Wanting to bring my sister an ounce of this comfort during this unimaginable time in her life, I decided to order the sign for her with plans to hand deliver it when I went to Florida last week. It just felt right wanting to be there as she opened it instead of it being delivered to her and opening it alone.
Unfortunately due to schedules, I would not get the sign I ordered in time. Terribly disappointed and upset I called a friend to talk about it and share the updates of my sign order.
It was during that conversation of healing that she also brought me comfort (she does that for me) ...... much comfort. See, this friend of mine who lives four or maybe five states away was willing to drive and meet me halfway to give me something. Something that would stop my tears from sadness and disappointment, and at the same time would create tears of joy in memory and honor . My friend has the same sign and she was was willing to give me hers. 

It was an act of such love and generosity that has touched so many hearts and that will never be forgotten by me or my sister.....just like my beautiful niece.

Grateful for~ 
This friend and other friends who bring me comfort when I most need it in my life.
Sharing~





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Grow it and just....Wait

June 11, 2013

Before we moved to the country, I would have classified myself as a pretty impatient gardener. Well, make that really impatient. On the weekends, I would run to the Garden center for my flats of flowers, shrubs and trees, come home put them in the ground and expect overnight maturity and beauty.
But something had to change when I moved to the country. Now with a surplus of land, plopping a flower, tree or bush wherever I wanted wasn't part of the plan nor was the expense to buy the number of plants that I would want to fill such vast space. I needed to change how I approached gardening. I needed to change........ me.
I remember my girlfriend calling me one day and asking if I wanted some daylily plants from the side of the mountain where her mom lives in North Carolina. I said sure, give me what you got. So she did and brought over 14 full size Daylily plants.  
I divided each of those 14 plants into as many plants as I could. I dug deep into the hard Georgia clay and planted them all in a single row along this wall. Although they looked slightly weak and almost pathetic ( imagine Charlie Brown Christmas Tree) I envisioned that one day with care and patience watching them grow, my single stem daylily plants would grow into something spectacular and amazing.
 So year after year my single stem daylilies all planted in a row, began to grow...spread and naturalize. My patience was paying off.
And if that's not enough, during the past 8 years I divided those daylilies from the wall and planted them along a walkway to our Guest Cottage. In a single row from a single stem.

So each year when the daylilies are in full bloom and I am walking on that pathway that I call the 'pathway to patience', I am reminded of that very impatient gardener and how she learned a valuable lesson 8 years ago, how it paid off and how she never bought another daylily at the Garden center again.
Have you learned your lesson in the garden yet?
PS- My thoughts and what's worked for me on the best times to dig up and divide-  Spring and Early Fall. Either before your plants have blooms on them or after they have bloomed. 

Grateful for~
The friend who gave me those 14 plants

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