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This is what the poor Husband is currently dealing with:


Our backyard is a M-E-S-S.  It’s basically a pile of mulch, dirt, and rocks covered in ivy, monkey grass, and weeds.  When we were at closing, the seller went on and on about her ‘rock garden’ – to each their own, I guess!  We want a lovely, lush lawn… but we’re far, far from that goal.  There’s so many different ways to tackle this bad boy, and everyone gives us different advice (usually a variety of clearing, pulling, tilling, and spraying with pesticides – which scares me because of the dogs); all we can tell is that it’s going to be a massive job. 


Well, I should say it’s a massive job for the Husband – there’s no way I can physically participate in this kind of manual labor at this point in my pregnancy (especially with the weather).  I’m supervising from the deck and in charge of supplying snacks and drinks.  Yay, homeownership!


Mid-garden lunch:


This combination was excellent:


Brown rice

Black beans

Stir-fried broccoli and carrots

Spicy pumpkin seeds

Balsamic dressing


Anyone else addicted to watermelon, too? I think I ate almost an entire watermelon over four days.


What’s the biggest home improvement project you’ve ever done?  Getting our DIY hands dirty is fun but man – is it intense.



  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 5, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I love watermelon! I am like you, I get one and eat it ALL the time. PLus, my husband doesn’t love it, so then I end up eating it by myself. Which I am totally fine with, though 🙂

    No improvement projects right now….fingers crossed. hah.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB May 5, 2012, 4:10 pm

    The biggest thing I tackled was painting like 6 rooms alone. Grrrrr.

    A quick thing to think about for your future lush lawn, which I’m sure you’ve considered: female dogs kills lots of types of grass with their urine. We’re actually to replace ours with synthetic (we have mostly concrete and a small side yard for the dogs) it’s gotten so irritating.

  • Sana May 5, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I can’t wait to get marrried 🙂 someone else will have to do all the chores with me. #ihatechores

    • Caitlin May 5, 2012, 7:18 pm

      hahah this made me LOL

  • Laura @ She Eats Well May 5, 2012, 4:43 pm

    I am jealous of your garden! It takes so much work but the end product is so worth it. No home improvement projects for me since I’m in a small SF apartment…but I’m quite happy here :).

    Also, balsamic is such a good topping! Not just for salads.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 5, 2012, 4:46 pm

    When I was about 8, my brothers and I helped my dad put up a new wood fence in our backyard! First time using a power drill and I loved it!

  • mary @ minutespermile May 5, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Lunch looks awesome! Rice and beans are a go-to for something quick and healthy!

  • Cindy May 5, 2012, 5:06 pm

    When I lived in Worcester, I tore down all the hideous wallpaper in my bedroom, and primed and painted the room. That is as about as adventurous as I get as I’ve lived the past few years in places where I have not had permission to do any home improvements.

  • RunEatRepeat May 5, 2012, 5:33 pm

    Fact: I am the #1 watermelon addict of America.

  • Lindsey May 5, 2012, 5:37 pm

    Building a fence! But I cannot take credit, my hubby worked very hard on it and did most it himself 🙂

  • Linz @ Itz Linz May 5, 2012, 5:41 pm

    i’m not gonna lie… i hate home improvement projects. i don’t really do them. ever. however, we did just find out that we had enough hail damage on our roof that our insurance will pay for it. now it’s their home improvement project. 🙂 just the way i like it – not me!

  • Angela May 5, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I’ve never personally done any of the big jobs but I do have a habit of trying to build massive flat pack furniture items by myself. I usually get so far and have to call someone round for help!

  • Colleen May 5, 2012, 6:15 pm

    Love watermelon! Quick question – do you make your balsamic vinagrette? It looks delicious!

    • Caitlin May 5, 2012, 7:18 pm

      That is Trader Joe’s balsamic but there is a BV recipe in the new HTP book! 🙂

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction May 5, 2012, 6:24 pm

    Lunch looks soooo yummy! I hate yard work! Wait till the summer it will be much easier!

  • gazmocity May 5, 2012, 6:40 pm

    The summer I was 9 years old and attending girl scout camp, I successfully ate an entire (full sized) watermelon in one day on a dare. The worst part of the experience was the necessity for multiple middle of the night bathroom breaks which required flip flops and a flashlight : )

  • jen May 5, 2012, 7:46 pm

    caitlin, new cooker question, per usual- thank you! when you say “stir fried broccoli and carrots” do you use oil? soy sauce? help!

    • CaitlinHTP May 6, 2012, 12:22 pm

      I chop up the veggies, put them in a wok with a little water and a dash of oil, and turn it up on high. Stir a lot!

      • jen May 8, 2012, 8:03 am

        thank you for always responding!!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 5, 2012, 8:55 pm

    You are making me want watermelon every time I get on your blog….ARGH! It’s not even remotely in season here yet so they are pure crap but I know that soon they will be, in a month or two and I’m going to chow down on them like crazy.

    I’m at the end of my pregnancy and it’s hot here so watermelon sounds just so freaking amazing.

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt May 5, 2012, 11:01 pm

    I hear ya on the watermelon. I’ve eaten so much of it lately that they actual comment on it when I go to the farm stand to buy more.

  • Bec May 5, 2012, 11:43 pm

    If you are looking for pet friendly lawn products, I have a friend with 4 LARGE dogs (one is the largest in our state) and she swears by NatraTurf. It’s all natural and it comes highly recommended 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 6, 2012, 12:21 pm

      Hmm thats good to know! We’ve tried some organic options and they do not work 🙁 But we haven’t tried NatraTurf yet.

  • Ranya May 6, 2012, 3:05 am

    Have you ever thought of planting native plants instead I a lawn? They are much better for the environment as they save water and don’t require chemicals (fertilizers and peticides/herbicides). They require much less maintenance and so save thou time and money! I hope you at least consider it 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 6, 2012, 12:21 pm

      Haha I think that’s what we have right now?! It is nice because the maintenance is low, but its not very conducive to a kid playing back there.

  • Presley @ Run Pretty May 6, 2012, 11:24 am

    I’ve been trying to help my husband with our yard work. It’s HARD as hell to weed at 32 weeks. I gave up this morning after about 20 minutes. haha

  • Deanna May 6, 2012, 8:52 pm

    I ate insane amounts of watermelon when I was pregnant. It was so hot outside, and the watermelon tasted even better than usual.

  • Dynamics May 6, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Check out the artificial grasses. They look and feel fantastic. The grade is dependent on how much you want to pay. Great for kids and dogs. Great for the environment and the budget over the long haul.

  • Dana May 7, 2012, 3:02 pm

    I love watermelon! I just bought a watermelon this weekend at the super market and I was snacking on it as I was cutting it up and putting it into containers and before I knew it I had already eaten probably a quarter of it. Oops! It’s so refreshing and delicious!

  • Robyn May 7, 2012, 3:20 pm

    I’ve been eating watermelon like it’s going out of style – 32 weeks pregnant and thirsty all the time so I think any kind of melon with a high water content is super satisfying right now!!!

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