You’ve Bought Your First Home Now What?

You’ve did it!  You purchased your first home, but now as you sit in your fabulous home you’re feeling a little overwhelmed because of all of the “things” that come with owning a home.  You know what I’m talking about, the maintenance, the yard work, the furnace, etc.

While this can be completely overwhelming having a quarterly schedule of maintenance items to be done can really help.  I’m going to provide. you with a few tips for each quarter of the year to help you get started:



Remove the lint from your dryer, dryer vent and vent hose.  According to the US Fire Administration approximately 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year and it is estimated that they cause five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property losses.  In addition, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home dryer fires in America.

Clean the exhaust fan in your kitchen.  You would be amazed at how greasy and icky they get over a year from all of the cooking that we do.

Check your dishwasher, around kitchen/bathroom cabinets and toilets to see if there are any leaks.

Seal your tile grout.

Prune trees and shrubs.


It’s time to rake your leaves and aerate your yard.

Have your trusted HVAC company come out and make sure your furnace is in proper order for the colder winter months.

Do touch up painting on the exterior and trim of your home.

Have your fireplace professionally inspected and have a chimney sweep come out.  Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll be on any adventures with Bert from Mary Poppins when they do come out.

Drain and store your hoses, and also drain your sprinkler system.  You don’t want spring to roll around and find out you have broken pipes.


Cover your A/C unit.

Inspect your roof, gutters and downspouts after any major storms.  Left over leaves, and pine needles can clog them after major storms and create problems for you the next time it rains.

Clean the drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bath tubs and showers.  It’s amazing how much hair can wind up going down the drain and start to clog things up.


Change your A/C filters in preparation for the warmer days that are ahead.

Clean windows and screens.

Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Fertilize your yard


Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include all of the items you can do to keep your new home in tip top shape it does hopefully give you good start.


Have you visited Garden Frog Nursery?

If you were to drive by Garden Frog Nursery in Hillsboro you might just keep on driving based off of it’s looks and location.  Let me assure you that looks can certainly be deceiving.  Garden Frog is basically right across the street from Lowes and Home Depot.  It’s got the appearance of being some place that wouldn’t have a whole lot of options, yet they really do.

We like to go their to get our seed potatoes each year, and of course to look around.  I love that they have lots of different plants as well as cute pots and items for your yard.  The people who work their are knowledgeable as well.

In addition to plants they also provide landscape design services and can help you figure out landscaping, hardscaping, lighting and irrigation.  They also provide delivery services.

Something that I find really nice since I’ve got a black thumb (my husband takes care of all of our plants) is that they have a section on their website dedicated to plant care and information  It’s especially handy if you’re just getting into gardening too.

So if you’re out taking a tour of local nurseries this spring to see what each of them has be sure to stop by Garden Frog.

With three locations you’re sure to find one close to you…….

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyThis week’s local hot spot of the week is Farmington Gardens   This is one of my husband’s favorites because of the fact that there are three locations on the Westside.  They are open every day from 10-5 PM which is helpful when your weekends are different from everyone else, as is the case in our home.

If you are new to gardening they’ve got a handy chart that lets you know when you should be starting your spring vegetables as well as how deep and what the soil temp should be.  There website is a wealth of information as not only are they a garden center they also have a floral department.  The floral department is there for all of your needs and they even do special occasion flowers.

If you are looking to redesign your flower beds or just do not know where to start they have a consultation and design service that offers DIY Design at the center to full on design and installation.

Be sure to really look around their website as it’s a treasure trove of information and gardening tips.  As I mentioned they have three locations to serve you on the Westside – Farmington, Downtown Hillsboro and Aloha.


Prepared to be overwhelmed with soooo many plants…………

I am so happy that the days are longer, and my yard is starting to be full of color.  It really has me excited to head out to one of my favorite nurseries that is close to home…..Blooming Junction

Why do my husband and I love Blooming Junction so much?  I love that it is just 10 minutes away from my home, they have soooo many plants, they have a wonderful blog for you to follow, when COVID isn’t here they have done classes and events, plus if you’re interested in doing a CSA – community supported agriculture.

Another thing that we absolutely love about Blooming Junction is the fact that they have a plants on hand list on their website.  This can come in handy when you are wanting to go look for a specific plant and wondering if they have it.  In our house that one plant is purple fountain grass.  I feel in love with this fun grass 8 years ago.  As it grows it produces these fun soft tufts that are just so pretty.  Typically a grass is something that will come back year after year.  Purple fountain grass is not one of those items.  We have to plant it every year and have struggled to find it at times.  Blooming Junction has always had it when we go to look for it.

When we go to visit Blooming Junction we make sure that we have a few hours because the place is so large, and I get overwhelmed that it takes us awhile to pick out the plants that we want.  I find that I find something, then roam and go back.

Another thing that I love is that they have a little grocery style store there with some amazing products.  Many of which are unique and would make great gifts.

Blooming Junction is located at 35105 Zion Church Road, Cornelius, OR or contact them at


Hello March & Welcome to Gardening Season Prep!

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyWow it seems like February flew by, however I think that I always say that due to it being such a short month.  With the longer days, and warmer weather I know you like me are excited for gardening season and seeing all of the beautiful flowers in your yard.  Well, I suppose I’m excited for my husband to do the gardening.  In our house it’s I point he plants.  So, because I’m so excited I’m going to share our favorite garden centers with you each week this month for the business of the week.

Up first is Starkey’s Corner Farm & Garden   I would have to say the main reason we love Starkey’s is because it’s on Glencoe Road literally 5 minutes from our home.  When we get into the yard and see that we need something for a pot or space in the yard it’s so quick and easy to jump in the car and make a quick trip.  Which in all honesty is pretty nice.  Do not get me wrong I know that some of you love your Fred Meyer Garden Center or other big box garden center and that’s fine, however often times the service and knowledge you get from a local nursery is AMAZING.

So what types of items will you find at Starkey’s?

  • Plants
  • Edibles – herbs, berries, fruit trees
  • Seeds
  • Fertilizer and Soil

My husband loves Starkey’s because he can typically get straw/hay for the garden to cover up our asparagus plants in the winter.  It’s honestly just a fun place to go and roam and get ideas of what types of plants are out there.  It gets you to thinking about what types of plants you may want to see in your yard or container/patio gardens.  As the days get longer and the sun is out I encourage you to take a trip and get some inspiration.