Our Backyard Makeover: Before and After

So waaaay back in August I told ya’ll that we were going to redo the backyard, which we did! I hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures of it until this weekend, mainly because I am stuck in the office during daylight hours. But now I finally have the “After” shots!

Here’s the “before”:

And here are the “afters”…

Unfortunately, the grass was damaged by the recent “Backyard Pool” incident. Then again, it wasn’t growing in well to begin with! If anyone has advice on growing grass, I’m all ears.

We’d also like to paint the walls white, and eventually remove the potted tree and potted bush. We’re still thinking that one over, though… we really hate that tree, but it does provide good shade. We’d replace the tree with my new orchid tree. After my last post on it, a reader (Thanks, Pauline!) identified it as an orchid tree, not a plant, which is very exciting! No shade from that baby for a few more years, though. 🙁

The total cost for this makeover, including palm plants, grass, dirt and patio, was somewhere around $300 US. Not bad, eh?

Not Cool, Suki. Not Cool.

Since we finished the backyard, we’ve been leaving our dogs outside during the day. Things have been going great (meaning that my grass and palm trees are still intact)!

Well yesterday we had our first big rain in awhile. Apparently Suki hasn’t yet learned to stay in a covered area and NOT ROLL AROUND IN THE DIRT when it’s raining, because I came home to this:

Well I'm glad somebody's happy.

If you've ever wondered why all my dog pictures are blurry, it's because they can't stay still when I'm standing.

She's normally about the same color as Dolly, but now she's moving more toward the color of Konan.

*sigh*

My Three Day Weekend

So my 3-day weekend for Mexican Independence Day was busy, busy, busy! I’ll do a quick run-through for ya 🙂

Thursday

To celebrate Independence Day, we played it simple this year… tacos and potatoes at a friend’s pool. Just a calm evening sitting around and talking while listening to fireworks in the distance. Ended the night around 5 am, I think.

We really need to hang out with this group of friends more often. They’re friends of Jorge from high school, and we always have a great time with them.

Friday

Also a low-key day. We ordered the plants we want for the backyard, then went to Jorge’s cousin’s 3rd birthday party where we had tortas and raspados. Then we went home and took a long nap!

In the evening, we went to my suegros house for some pasta from Cheester.

Me and Jorge at Sofia's bday party

Saturday

My brother-in-law scored a dozen free passes to Xcaret. Since Jorge’s cousins were in town visiting, we went with them for the day. I’ll do a more detailed post later this week, but here’s a teaser photo for ya…

Sunday

On Sunday morning, we (and by “we”, I mean Jorge) planted some mini palm trees in our up-and-coming backyard, and laid some some dirt. I’ll post the full makeover later this week, so you can check out our little patio, palm trees, fancy grass and orchid (whaaaaat??)!

Here’s a preview shot of Jorge hard at work while I supervised (and by “supervised”, I mean ate cereal, took pictures, played with the dogs and decided where the palm trees should go).

I think we can all agree that Jorge is the best husband ever.

The grass and orchid plant came today, but won’t be installed until tomorrow. Boo.

Immediately afterwards, my suegros came and picked us up to go to the pool. My brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s parents (confusing, I know) own a piece of land out in the middle of the jungle where they’ve built a little private pool and garden, complete with hammock area and bathroom. We spent the rest of the afternoon there. I would have taken pictures, but I was too busy swimming, eating Domino’s pizza and napping in hammocks. Life is so hard sometimes.

Afterwards we did laundry at my suegros house, like we do every Sunday. Meanwhile, I caught up on reality TV online… Project Runway, new season of Survivor (hurray!) and America’s Next Top Model All Stars (go Allison and Laura!). Then Jorge and I went home and watched the first episode of Jersey Shore Italy. (Oh Mike, you scoundrel!)

So that’s it for my 3-day weekend. What did you do this weekend?

 

Dear Neighbors… Seriously?

So our house has been consistently invaded by animals this year, but I can’t figure out if they’re drawn to us out of love or hatred. Either way, they love hanging out there.

First there were the cockroaches and slugs (still there, but in much smaller quantities). Then, there were the evil cats (who no longer poop in our planter, thanks for all the tips!). I also saw a teeny tiny frog in the kitchen last week, but at least he was cute. Now… ok, I seriously can’t even explain this one. My Facebook and Twitter friends already know that one of our neighbors a few houses down has acquired a rooster.

A ROOSTER.

A ROOSTER THAT CROWS.

A ROOSTER THAT HAS LEARNED TO CLIMB NOT ONE, BUT SEVERAL BACKYARD WALLS.

Apparently our house is a Mecca for Yucatan wildlife.

What animal do you think will be next? Place your bets!

Around the House

Jorge and I have been spending the last few weeks trying to get the house together so we can finally actually USE the house instead of spending most of the time watching TV upstairs.

Currently our living room has our nice new sofas pushed face-forward against the wall because the dogs are home alone during the day and we don’t want them jumping on there. We also had our coffee table recently finished… it’s STUNNING! (and currently residing in our back room where all our storage stuff is) I’ll try to remember to post pictures of it soon.

In order to reclaim our living room from the dogs, we have to spruce up our backyard to make it liveable for them so they can stay there during the day. Luckily our backyard already has nice shade from a small tree whose branches spread out over most of the yard. Right now it’s half gravel, half dirt… we plan on changing it to half patio, half grass, with some nice plants thrown in there. We also desperately need to paint the walls.

As you can see, it needs work. Hopefully by the end of this weekend, it will be a miniature doggy paradise (or next weekend, depending on if we can find someone to lay the floor by… today)

So that’s the plan for the next few days: create incredible backyard for the dogs, reclaim living room, live happily ever after.

Oh, and my neighbor across the street gave us a plant in a hanging coconut. It’s the cutest thing ever! We hung it from the tree in our front patio and it’s started to bloom:

So that’s what’s going on around our house. Do you have any house projects right now?