Texas Tulip Farm 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015
** Post Warning :: WAYY too many photos **
We found a little gem in North Texas today ...and when we say "little gem," we mean the Jewel of Spring!  We are so lucky there is a brand new Tulip Farm just North of Frisco.  This is the first year of Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, TX, but today, it became a Springtime Tradition for the Imhoff Family.
Rows and rows of Tulips in all different colors lined the country side, it was one of the most beautiful sights I have seen since moving here in August.  Open from February to April, this farm allows you to "pick your own" flowers and every possible photo opportunity for families and children of all ages.  You'll notice I had a hard time choosing just a few :)
It was pefect for us to snap a few [ahem] a LOT of photos just in time for Easter.  We also picked quite a few tulips for the kids teachers and our own Easter Table for brunch.

If you're in North Texas during the months of Feb - April, you'll need to make sure Texas Tulips is a stop you make!  You won't regret it and we're already looking forward to next year!
Happy Easter!

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Spring Baseball 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015
It's officially baseball season in the Imhoff Household. After 3 weeks of straight rain, the boys were finally able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and hit a few balls!
Love this time of year!



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The Pampered Mom's Savannah Chop Salad

Friday, March 20, 2015
I am a huge sucker for a good salad.  I mean seriously, is there anything better?!
I of course have my favorite restaurants for salads, and recently added a new one to the list.
Have you tried McAllister's Savannah Chop Salad? No?! You must go now and try!
So here is how this went down.  I stopped by a close by McAllister's and decided to try this specific salad.  WOW!  I was left wanting more.  So much so that I decided to remake it for dinner that night!

To my delight, it was SUPER easy to re-create.  Here is my take on

The Savannah Chop Salad from McAllister's Deli

1.  Lettuce [I used just a regular head of lettuce]
2.  Tomatoes [I used Roma Tomatoes]
3.  Cucumbers
4.  Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
5.  Cranberry & Pecan pieces [used a mixed bag from Target]
6.  Green Onions
7. Chicken [optional]
7.  Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Chop first three ingredients A LOT [this is a chop salad after all!]  Then add cheese, cranberries and pecans.  Add dressing TT.  Garnish with chopped green onions.  Umm ... told you it was EASY!

Have you tried this recipe?  Leave a comment and let me know, I would love to hear the feedback!

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Allegheney Family Room Inspiration

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
So here it is, the pieces that I am piecing together for our Family Room in Allegheny.  You'll notice many of the items are from our previous home, but I have added a few elements due to the hardwoods and all the natural light.
Until I get in the space it's hard to really fell the space itself.  This will be the room that our family spends the most time in, so it's important that all the elements are durable and family friendly.

Yes it's very neutral - I know.  I will bring in color with the pillows and mantle d├ęcor, but really - I'm a neutral kind of girl.  Colors stress me out :)

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Click to Folow Our Building Progress

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Now you can follow along with us by clicking Home Construction above

By clicking above, you'll be able to scroll through our entire building process from start to finish.  Conveniently put in-order, so you can easily find the post or posts you're looking for!
Coming this May, our Home Tour tab will be available for viewing.

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What's Your Landscaping Plan

Monday, March 9, 2015


It's hard to believe that just 2 months ago we were given this diagram of our landscaping for the new house.  After a few tweaks, we were happy with the plan in general.  You don't get a lot of say when it comes to the landscaping they provide.  It depends on the season, what they will have in stock and all must go a long with the "rules" of the neighborhood.  We also had to take into account all pants that could withstand extreme Texas heat.  Since I am not from Texas myself, I had to look up most of the plants before accepting the proposal.
The first diagram had a lot of red tones right up against our brick  It wasn't my ideal choice, and after some back and forth, we ended up choosing a more monochromatic pallet with a lot of green shades.

See Below for a few Tips to Consider before Landscaping your NEW Build!

Here is a sneak peek photo of some of the landscaping.
 Any thoughts on what do you did to make your house "more like your own" with landscaping?

- Tips to Consider Before Landscaping your NEW Build -

1. Select a Plant Pallet
Like I mentioned above, we had a lot of red and green tones when we first were given our landscaping outline.  With our brick having a lot of red tones, I didn't want the landscaping to get lost.  I wanted the landscaping to pop against the house.  Therefore we decided to use a green pallet. We are using different shades of green to compliment the home and hopefully give dimension.  I should say that you don't have to stick to a monochromatic look, you can use an array of colors within a color pallet.  Play around and get creative to create your space!

2.  Create Visual Height and Depth
Once you have the pallet in place, you'll want to use a mixture of both high and low plants and tress.  You'll want to use different hues to create depth.  Lay it out on paper and play around.  Make sure you're using the taller plants in the back, and smaller plants in the front.  This may seem obvious but when you receive your plants, they will all be very small [at least if you're a new build like us], and you may not be able to tell.   Make sure to do your research and use the plants which are known to get larger and taller in the future in the back, even if they're smaller to begin with.

3.  Consider your Outdoor Negative Space
Once you have the first draft of your landscaping diagram, begin to think about your negative space.  Where will you most likely hang out when you're in the yard?  Will you be dining outdoors, do you want to garden?  For us, we wanted the kids to have plenty of space to run and enough room for soccer goals in the back.  Therefore we had to place the trees in a way they wouldn't block our "negative space."  Are you putting in a pool, will you watch movies under the stars?  Whatever it is, you want to really visualize the space and how your landscaping can improve and stay clear of all your expected activities!

4.  Meet the Landscaper
This may be the most important tip when hiring an outside company or individual to landscape your yard.  You can write emails and messages until you're blue in the face, but until you're face-to-face, things can get crossed or forgotten completely.  Make sure everyone has the same plan before you begin.


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What Exactly is Messy Mortar ...

Monday, March 2, 2015

If you have been following along to the Hubs & I's house construction, you know that there was a bit of controversy with the bricks.  Theoretically, it was probably our lack of knowledge of the entire subject that led us to our dissatisfaction.  Looking back, I should have done more research, but then again, I didn't know there were different ways to mortar brick.  I just knew what I liked :)  So scientific of me don't you think?!
When I would thumb through magazines or look at exterior brick photos on Pinterest, all the houses seemed to have the same "look" to them.  Each of the exteriors used a "messy mortar" application. This type of mason style was used back in the early 30's, maybe even before, and mostly when the brick wasn't going to be seen from the outside of the home.  You see this look a lot when exposing brick during a renovation, and realizing that the mason just didn't "clean up" his work.  BUT, because of the old feel of the brick, this method has become more and more popular, especially with new builds.
The Hubs and I had chosen our brick based on another home in the neighborhood we feel in love with.  To us, that was the end of it.  The brick arrived on site and I kept telling him - "It looks so much darker than the brick we selected."  We finally were able to meet with our builder and much to our surprise, this was the same brick, however they used the messy mortar style application.  Since the brick was half way done, the brickmason did have to go back over some of his work, but eventually, the home was complete with the style.  I have to say, I am in love with how it turned out.  Who knew there was more to the story?!  To me, it gives the house a bit of character compared to those who's houses lacked additional mortar - totally personal preference.  Let me show you in photos ...
Home with Messy Mortar:
Home without Messy Mortar [Acid Washed] with same brick as above:
See the difference?
Most masonries use an acid wash over the brick after completion.  This basically takes off additional mortar, giving the brick a more clean look.   Messy Mortar is where the brick mason not only uses a white wash application but then spears on additional mortar giving it a whiter appearance all together.  There is also another form of mortar that requires the same amount of skill called, Weeping Mortar.  The beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  This particular technique was used a lot with Tudor style homes.  I personally do not like this type of brickwork.  To me, it looks unfinished and "sloppy," for lack of a better term, BUT, it's widely used.  Some people probably think messy mortar looks old and incomplete as well.
Home with Weeping Mortar:

Whether you love it or hate it, one thing is for sure.  Before you build a brick house or before you do any projects that require brick to your existing home, do your research and know what you like.  Our brick would have looked 100% different if we had chosen to do an acid wash, or even a white wash on the house.  What a difference a little mortar can do!
Here are some of my favorite Messy Mortar Houses ...
smeared mortar front of house
smeared mortar partial
white colonial style homes | Mortar washed houses, brick smeared with mortar, or soft lime washed ...
What do you think?  Love it or hate it?!

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