3 Steps We’re Taking To Save Our Grass From Those Pesky Brown Spots Caused By Dog Urine.

** THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.  THAT MEANS IF YOU PURCHASE SOMETHING THROUGH MY LINK, WHILE IT’S THE SAME COST TO YOU, I GET A SMALL COMMISSION FOR ME AND MY FAMILY.

This week has flown by and today feels like CHRISTMAS.  The day has come….GRASS INSTALLATION DAY!  So here’s the back story…Last year we bought a house, and adopted our beautiful dog, Charlie.  Charlie peed on the grass.  Peed on it some more.  And then some more.  The grass died.  The End.

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First thing’s first, to be clear, female dog urine is not any worse than males–in fact it probably smells like rainbows and sunshine.  However, it’s because females squat when they pee, causing it to be more concentrated in one area.  While males, well you know, lift their legs up like savages.

Ok, back to the grass.  The beautifully manicured grass that we had when we moved in, turned into what looked like a junkyard.  So, we decided to do our research, weigh our options, and it came down to a 3-step solution (fingers crossed).

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1. New Grass (well, duh)

While we REALLY wanted synthetic grass, our bank account thought that idea was hilarious.  The next best thing was to find a durable grass–and if you don’t know this already, there are all kinds of grass, and some great for pets.

St. Augustine grass, we were told, was a great option.  The only problem was, it can go dormant (so icky brown) for a few months out of the year depending on your climate. Not to mention, it was the most expensive when we looked.  The next best thing?  Fescue.  Also durable, and I hear it’s prettier.  And bonus, it doesn’t go dormant–bye bye icky brown color.

**Fescue and perennial ryegrass are most resistant to dog urine. (according to my very sophisticated google search)

2.  Gummies

img_6633First of all, let me just say this is not an endorsement, nor am I equipped to give a professional opinion on this.  With that said, when I did a poll in my stories on Instagram, quite a few of you sent me this product and said that it worked.

When I looked it up, it had great reviews.  It’s a natural supplement that the product claims “is clinically proven to help flush out any bad bacteria to support the bladder and urinary tract, keeping your dog healthy while ensuring your yard looks great.”

If it’s safe for Charlie, has great reviews, I’m trying it.  I’ll also say, for the first few days she’s been taking them, she LOVES them.

3. Training

Did you hear my loud sigh?  This last part is going to test my patience I’m sure.  I know you can buy fancy rocks and turf online, but I’m going a bit old school with this part.  The plan is to take her on leash in the backyard and train her to pee behind the garage in a designated area.  I’ve heard this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks–wish me luck!

As always, please stop by my Instagram to say hello!  And if you enjoyed this post, please sign up for my email updates below.  I promise I won’t spam you.  We can be best buds.

Love,

Deema

 

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Beautiful Built In

One of my most recent projects was the kid’s room, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It all started with an old dresser I was thinking of selling but then had a vision, then had tunnel vision, and then there was no turning back.  It took some time, but was easier than I thought.  And while this may not be the best way to do it, it was the easiest and cheapest option I could find.  When I wanted to do this, I had no idea how, and I thought I’d share the steps I took for those of you looking to do something similar. Continue reading “How To Turn A Dresser Into A Beautiful Built In”

12 Things I Wish Realtors Would Start Doing At Open Houses

Alright, this is a PSA for all you real estate agents out there.  As a prospective home buyer, I have some things I’ve observed that I love, and well, some that I think you could improve on.  And for what it’s worth, I think you should take some notes.

1. Online pictures

Ok seriously?  Put some effort in these.  I don’t need to see zoomed in pictures of furniture, I just care about the house.  And come on, stop taking pictures of homes at night.  I mean, WHY?  Open the blinds/curtains, wait for the sun, and show me the house when it’s at it’s best:  natural sunlight is your friend!

2.  Take a video of the home

This is pretty rare, and I never understood it.  I LOVE when you guys post videos of the home.  You don’t need a fancy production company to produce one of these, you know that right?  You can even do a simple social media post (see #12).

3. Brochure

I may be alone on this, but I just want you to know, I throw that brochure away as soon as I get back to my car.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice,  but unless it has something that isn’t already on my app (zillow, realtor), I’m tossing that right away.  And if you are going to have it available, just leave it on the table.  Don’t give it to folks that don’t want it, save yourself some money.

4.  Printed Floor plan

For those of you that have floor plans available, I LOVE YOU.  I don’t need that fancy brochure with pictures I already see online, I need a floor plan with measurements.  Can my couch fit in that living room?  Will my bed fit in there?  I need measurements!

5.  Measuring tape

Look, I keep this in my purse, but I know many shoppers don’t.  And if you’re not going to have a floor plan available, I’m sure serious prospects would appreciate some measuring tape available.

6.  Put the lights on

I can’t tell you how many open houses I’ve been to with no lights on.  Yes, the sunlight is shining through, but for some homes that lack sunlight, those lights would make a world of a difference.

7.  Home’s story

I could be alone on this, but I LOVE when the real estate agent shares the story of the home, the age, the previous occupants…etc.  With that said, don’t talk my ear off while I’m there.  Let me walk around in peace.

8.  Stuff for kids

I went to an open house once, and the real estate agent had a “treasure hunt.”  I thought it was GENIUS.  They had a “map” for my kids (of the house) and it had something my kids needed to find.  In that case, it was a parrot.  It kept them busy, and at the end, he had a little box of stickers and candy that he gave for finding the “treasure.”  I thought this was SUCH A GOOD IDEA!

9.  Clean up

I kid you not, I’ve seen open houses with trash on the lawn or on the sidewalk.  I’ve also seen cups and all kinds of things scattered around the house.  Seriously, declutter as much as you can.  Please.  Put some effort into it.

10.  Ask for feedback

I don’t get this often, but appreciate it when I do.  And, I can only imagine it would help you as a real estate agent as well.  So ask folks what they think, and ask for any feedback on the house, the neighborhood–what they liked, what they didn’t..etc.  Some may not want to say anything, but you’d be surprised what helpful information you may get.

11.  Music

Very few of the open houses I’ve gone to have played music.  However, the ones that did, made a HUGE difference for me.  It really sets the mood, and in my opinion, changes the ‘feel’ of the home and the experience.  It’s such an easy thing to do, and honestly makes such a difference.

12. Utilize Social Media

I’m surprised at how underutilized social media is.   Do a “live,” post some pictures, do a story, and create a buzz!  I had one agent ask me to post the video I took (I always videotape my viewings) and tag him.  I thought that was super smart on his end.

Anyway, I hope you find this helpful, and I hope you forward this to any realtors you may know too.  And happy house hunting if you’re not a realtor!

Love,

Deema

Photo Credit: The Fox Group

10 Reasons To Read Reese Witherspoon’s New Book: Whiskey in a Teacup.

If you follow me on Instagram, you likely didn’t miss my not so subtle excitement over Reese Witherspoon’s new book, Whiskey in a Teacup.  And it’s not because I’m obsessed with Reese Witherspoon, or the fact that I love Whiskey, or that I have an obsession with books in general.   Because all those things are true, but this book was really special.  I couldn’t put it down.  And by the time I was finished, I had texted all my girlfriends to go out and buy it.  Here’s why you should:

1.  You can totally judge this book by it’s cover.

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We all know I’m obsessed with coffee table books.  And if you’re a Reese Witherspoon fan (I mean, who isn’t?), the cover of this book is super cute and has her right on the cover.  It really is a beautiful book (and the pictures inside are beautiful too!).

2.  Totally a ‘feel good’ book

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You know how when you watch a movie and it makes you feel all good inside?  That’s exactly how I felt about this book.  I felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee with Reese as she shared all her stories, traditions, and tips.  She really reminds us what’s important about life–family, friends, home, and traditions.

3.  Recipes

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OMG the recipes.  And not just the food, but the recipes for drinks!  There is some serious good stuff in there.

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She even has full menu recommendations for different occasions.

4.  Stories + Memories

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Hands down my favorite part.  Reese shares a TON of memories and stories throughout the book.  She shares stories about important life lessons, shopping with her grandma, gardening with her grandpa, catching frogs, and how doing her own lemonade stand taught her a lot about running a business.

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And damnit she made me want a dog again!  She had me reminiscing about my own grandma and traditions, some of which were so relatable.

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And I loved learning about her mom, her incredible laugh, and her love for life and dancing.  Her grandma was a beacon of solid wisdom from beauty tips to her wisdom growing up in the civil rights movement, and the importance of love and inclusiveness.

5.  Parties and Traditions

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I LOVED learning about the dinner parties and different traditions she has and cherishes.  From the keepsake books for her kids, to the road trips (I already tried one of the games with my son during our morning car ride!), to the family dinners at the table, to the music, I loved them all.

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And look, now I’m convinced I need to host a Kentucky Derby Party of my own.  I’m already looking for some super cute hats.

6.  Tips, more tips, and then more tips!

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I don’t even know where to begin here!  She shares full menu ideas, table setting ideas, road trip games, hostess tips, flea market strategies, gift ideas, houseguest  etiquette, and even playlists for different occasions.

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I mean the list goes on and on.  And look, if you want to master the hot hair roller technique, or learn how to make the perfect sweet tea, this book is for you.

7.  The South

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As an extremely proud Lebanese woman, I LOVE how proud she is of where she came from, and loved learning so much about the South.   It was super cute, she even “translated” some of the Southern “language.”

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I loved learning about wicker and wallpaper, it totally gave me some ideas for my own home.  Reese talks about the music there, the traditions, the love for Monograms, and look, by the time I finished reading the book, I felt like I was about to let a few “y’alls” slip off my tongue.  Oh, and now I love Dolly Parton even more.

8.  Life Lessons

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Reese really hones in on what’s really important in life, from family and friends, to home and traditions.  She highlights how important dogs and animals are, and that it’s so important to make an effort in this busy world, to really sit down at the dinner table with your family and have good food and conversation.

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She talks about the importance of female friendships, and the importance of community and giving back.  I especially loved what she said about having a pretty home, but a welcoming and practical home for your family and your kids.  As she said it, “your home is not a museum.”  I think I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

9.  Book Club

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Umm, did you know Reese has a book club?  Not only does she share her favorites, but she shares ideas for a Book Club party menu, how she organizes her books, and all kinds of other good stuff…etc.  I cannot wait to start on some of her recommendations.

10.  Music, dancing, and playlists

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One thing I really loved was the theme of how important music was to her.  She shares many playlists throughout the book, and I thought that was such a nice touch!  She shares a little something about her early aspirations in life, but I’ll let you wait and find out when you read the book.

So go buy it!  Whether you need a cute coffee table book, a good read, or looking for a good gift, I promise you will not be disappointed.  I know this is definitely going to be my ‘go to’ for gifts for awhile now.  And Reese, in the off chance you ever read this, I totally get the sweatpants thing.  And thank you for reminding us that you can care about “silly” things like hair, makeup, or fashion, and still be educated, thoughtful, and care about other things like politics, and civic engagement.  And, please, write another book.

Love,

Deema

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