Fall Planting... "Florida Style"

This pretty little bunch of flowers is called "Dwarf Ixora"  
It's a bush or shrub, and will grow as much as 10" tall.  The flowers bloom all year long here in Florida and it's the perfect new addition to my front garden.

 We just went through about three months of rainy season and all my plantings have pretty much had it. I go through this every year when Fall sets in because this Northern girl cant seem to not want to plant flowers that just don't work year round and I'm tired of replacing all my flowering plants and bulbs.  So I've chosen a bush that will spread wide and high and is Florida friendly.  It might even give us a bit of privacy in the front of the house. 
As you can see everything was fading and it was looking quite messy.

Yes, I pulled it all but did keep the tubers and bulbs to replant in the back yard.  That large space always has room for one more.

  After planting I put on a weed preventing mixture and plant food then covered the entire area of dirt with Pine Bark Nuggets.
The smell of these nuggets was so good,, I'm thinking of putting an open bag into the house for the scent..(no it's only a thought).

 There, look how neat and tidy.... Why didn't I do this 5 years ago?  I still need to get a few more bags of the pine nuggets to finish the area but  the bushes can't grow fast enough for me.. hopefully they will get taller than the suggested 10"s ?

(The little green plastic circle on the bottom right of the photo below is a termite killer.. we get them bad here and the bug guy comes to replace them every few months)

Another day and I finished the Pine Bark with the addition of a few yellow Marigolds. (that's the Northerner in me)

 It seems when one owns a house the projects never end.  Now I want to replace the brick that lines the street side of the area.  Something pretty and tall to keep the soil from running out into the street when the rain pours down.
That is for another day!

The weekend is almost here and I want you all to enjoy yours! 



Sweet Potato Pound Cake... yummm!

My copy of Country Living Magazine came this week and I found a really tasty recipe using Sweet Potatoes to make  pound cake.  
I had to try it! 

(please excuse the drip marks on the page, things got messy)

The recipe was easy. The only thing that took a bit of time was cooking the sweet potato since I did not have any left over in the fridge.

 The only changes I made to this recipe was a sugar drizzle on top after it was baked and cooled.  Although I love Pecans my family does not. So I left them off. The next time I make this cake I think I'll make it for me and add the pecans chopped and folded into the batter.. that would really make me smile.

 This was indeed a pound cake since the batter was very dry and heavy.

It was a hit!

Before anyone could devour my cake I sent a piece to one of my neighbors. He is a senior and lives alone so I'm always sending what ever new food  I might bake or cook over to him.

After the pound cake was finished I went out to run some errands, was gone about an hour or so and this is what I came home to.


 "My family gives this recipe an A plus"


Dont be afraid to paint your kitchen counter top....

 I'm back home from my week with my #1 daughter, helping her with quite a few projects in her new home.
We had such a good time and it was fun for both of us, but today after getting up at 4am to drive home "I'm tired" so I played with my cats (the Mr. was home with them for the week) did a few chores that needed tending then simply sat down for the first time in a week.
I have several projects on the camera but I'd like to tell you about the one that made such a difference,  the kitchen counter top.
Like most of us, Cyndi looked at the bones of the house before buying.  Her home was move in ready and the layout is perfect for her needs and had new paint in each room and it's just beautiful.  The one thing that had to go was the kitchen counter.  I'm sure the previous owners knew the laminate counter was in need of help so they did a faux granite paint and it was downright horrible.  I told Cyndi of how I painted mine some 3 years ago and how well it's held up so off to the HD to pick out the paint.

The preparation for the paint was easy.. just sand to remove the shine... 

 Then roll on the paint. 

Cyndi's first choice of color was nice but once it was applied we had to laugh, it was the exact color as her cabinets and wall paint.  Looked nice but odd.  So we went back to the store and bought a nice cool Olive color.  It's perfect.  We cheated a bit, the directions said to wait 3 days if a second coat was needed but after about 6 hours it was dry to the touch so we went ahead and put it on... not one problem!
Oh, the best part, the quart that did her counters cost $12.99.  Can't beat that!  She also painted a bar top that is not shown in the photos.

 For those of you who need to get rid of old laminate but were afraid to paint it... here is the box.  New counter tops are so expensive and this paint is a quick fix until the budget allows this major purchase. You can take my word for it.. after 3 years I have not one peel or knife mark on mine.  This stuff is wonderful!

 The Olive color is really nice with the creamy color in her kitchen. Look how smooth and shiny it is.  My 3 year shine is still going strong  after many scrubs.

 Cyndi called this afternoon and asked, "Can I put my stuff back on the counter, It's dry".  "No", I said. You will have rings and marks with weight on the paint.  "It needs to cure the three days".  Lets hope she listened, but then knowing Cyndi, I know she will leave it alone the proper amount of time.
Cyndi chose a glass back splash with a mixture of colors that included Olive but will wait for me to return next month to give her a hand with it.  I'm thinking of going to her house for Thanksgiving.
Will be her first holiday in the house so we want to make is special.
I don't have to cook, that is special enough for me!

Ok, back to doing nothing the remainder of today. I have several movies on the DVR that I need to catch up on.
Bye all!