This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home. All opinions are 100% mine. I’m partial to lions. I find it hard to walk away from just about anything lion decor related. I have good reason for this though. Grunt Labor and I met while we were both teachers. Our school’s mascot was…
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of At Home. All opinions are 100% mine. I don’t know about you, but the Circus, Grunt and I are super pumped that spring has sprung. Our garden is in the ground, our pool is getting cleaned out, the Circus can finally ride her tricycle…
I am willing spring to come with this project. Willing the cold cold cold air of yesterday to go away and the warmth that we enjoyed just on Monday to return. Living in the Tennessee valley, you literally never know what the weather may bring. And now, I just realized I sound like an old…
I didn’t fall in love with Grunt Labor on a fire pit night. But he definitely got a few brownie points the first time we set around a fire pit.
There are many things that seem to be imprinted on your DNA when you are born in the country. One of those things is a love for fire pit nights. There aren’t many things better than a weekend night spent around a fire pit with good friends, good drinks and good music. In fact, I feel I should also write you a fire pit playlist now that I think about it. But I digress. A good fire is imperative though to the night’s success. You need it big, but not too big and you don’t want to have to waste too much time starting it. So let me introduce you to the coolest new fire lighting tool you have ever seen…
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One summer, my great uncle and I got into gardening.
Ok well, it was more me and he just listened to me rant on about it.
We visited every Lowe’s, Home Depot, plant nursery and any store basically within an hour of us that was selling plants.
He bought each of us a rose bush.
I bought each of us a tropical plant of some sort.
As if I know the name, I just thought it was pretty.
The rose bushes lived.
The tropical plants died.
As did anything else I purchased.
I read his mother’s book on gardening that was thicker than the Bible.
I’m not kidding. I still have it.
I attempted to propogate hydrangeas.
I divided irises.
I ordered a ridiculous amount of flower seeds from a specialty seed company and planted every last one of them.
Much to my dismay, not a darn thing lived except for a few irises.
It was apparent that summer that me and flowers didn’t get along too well.
When I realized Grunt Labor was such a fantastic gardener, I jumped for joy and didn’t worry with anything flower related again.
Things have changed though.
I have now achieved green thumb status, y’all.
And I didn’t have to lie, cheat or steal to get it.
Ok, I did cheat a little…
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Instead of giving moms-to-be sweet cards about how wonderful life with their new baby will be, I often feel like I should instead give them a book of realistic things that will happen.
Not that life isn’t wonderful with a kid, but let’s be real.
There’s a lot of poop.
And spitting up.
And screaming and crying.
There are those times she will stomp her foot…at you.
And wave her finger in your face at the same time.
And it takes every ounce of your being not to smack her to next Tuesday and then kick her butt again on Wednesday.
There’s also the fact that your house no longer becomes yours anymore. Instead, it becomes the property of the kid and her entourage of Mr. Bear, a herd of horses, a dog conveniently named Dog and every known small stuffed animal that can be found at the Target Dollar spot.
And its not just inside of your house.
It extends into your yard.
Pretty soon, you’ll be making way for swing sets, little pink plastic cars, John Deere tricycles, every other mode of toddler transportation known to mankind and even their own little cedar house and car garage.
These are the things I feel each mother-to-be should be warned about.
Especially the stomping of the foot and waving of the finger. I mean, ain’t nobody got time for that.
And I haven’t even begun to talk about how we are supposed to find the time to clean up our houses and all the outdoor paraphernalia that our properties have gained since the arrival of the kid.
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The last time I wrote about gardening or flowers in general, I was apparently misleading.
You see the post was titled how to get a yard full of hydrangeas, but all I did to get a yard full of beautiful hydrangeas was have a husband who heard me say I’d never leave if I had them.
So I see where you may have been a bit miffed with me.
But it was a good story, no?
This time though, I promise, I actually have real tips and tricks for you on how to get those glorious container gardens that we all lust after at the plant nurseries.
Remember how I made over my screened-in porch last year?
For the second year in a row?
Well, its gotten more changes this year too.
I never intended to change it any.
But we built a patio. And the patio got custody of the chaise lounge. And that meant I had no where to lay down and relax in the porch like I did before.
Even though that only happens a few times during the year.
When Furniture Medic challenged me to build an outdoor furniture project, I happily accepted and knew exactly what I wanted to build – an outdoor daybed.
If you aren’t familiar with Furniture Medic, they are literally a medic for furniture. They are one of the world’s largest wood and furniture repair & restoration companies. They can do on-site color touch-up and finish restoration, refinishing, polishing, and repairs.
See, they really are a medic for furniture.
Grunt Labor is working on creating the ultimate backyard.
Last year, we built the deck and made over the screened-in porch.
This year, we added on a patio.
And if this summer heat gets any worse, there’s going to be a new pool with me in it on a pink flamingo float.
After said patio was finished, we looked at it and asked ourselves what in the world we were going to put on it.
Didn’t think that one through.
So we built an outdoor sectional.
Ok, I came up with the idea and Grunt Labor mostly built it.
Oh, and Nicky helped a little. He got mad that I didn’t mention him in my Facebook post about the sectional, so I have to mention him here. He’s such a girl sometimes.
Of course, the ultimate backyard must include ultimate seating and this is the ultimate DIY outdoor sectional.
Its that time of the year, friends.
Time for sipping drinks, preferably ones with little umbrellas, on porches, decks and patios.
Furthermore, we should all be enjoying those beverages in pretty outdoor chairs, chaises and other comfortable perches. No?
If you are like me though, as you were dusting the three inches or so of pollen off your outdoor furniture, you may have discovered the furniture needed a little facelift of its own.
These outdoor furniture makeovers have my head brewing with ideas. The best part – they were all done with a HomeRight Paint Sprayer. That means they were easy as pie to re-hab.
Now, if only a real facelift were that easy…and that inexpensive. 😉
I have a thing.
For pink plastic flamingos.
Some consider them tacky.
I consider them fun.
And the perfect symbol of summer.
Since I have a deep love for this plastic being, Grunt Labor decided we should make a pink flamingo sprinkler.
But the really cool thing about it is that its not only a sprinkler, but also feeds your plants at the same time.
Typically, I leave the outdoor arena to Grunt Labor.
He is amazing at growing flowers.
He loves to keep the grass looking good.
He puts his heart and soul into our garden.
He’s currently working on building a new patio.
However, cleaning outdoors isn’t necessarily his thing.
That’s usually left to me – and that’s ok – especially when its as easy as it was to clean these concrete blocks.
Grunt Labor has lots of great project ideas.
Some of those ideas are born out of sheer creativity and genius.
Some of those ideas are born out of being annoyed by his wife’s ongoing accumulation of junk prized possessions.
This DIY picnic table made out of an old barn door was a combination of both Grunt Labor’s genius and annoyance.
I am almost ashamed to show you just how gross my sidewalk was.
But I know that you guys understand the concept of real life.
Real life that involves neglecting things such as the sidewalk while focusing on much more important and fun things such as a kitchen makeover or just chasing around the circus at the park.
When we bought the beloved foreclosure, the exterior was the last thing on our minds. It may not have been that pretty, but there was nothing wrong with it and we would have rather had a functional kitchen and bathroom rather than a pretty exterior.
So we didn’t really touch the exterior except for some painting on the porch and a semi-makeover on the screened-in porch.
This summer I kicked the screened-in porch up quite a few notches with a complete (and super colorful) makeover.
And then I looked at our sidewalk.
And realized just how disgustingly gross it was.
As you guys know, my new favorite happy place is my screened-in porch. Its colorful, its relaxing, and its the perfect place for a cheap beer or two. Or three. However, I am also digging these gorgeous outdoor living spaces.
As you guys well know, I will stretch a dollar as far as I possibly can.
And then some.
The same is true with fabric.
When I started the colorful porch makeover, Grunt Labor had one request:
Well he had other requests too, like a fireplace and a television, but at the current moment, those aren’t attainable.
He was adamant on the curtains though. He thought it would make the space feel more homey.
Yes, that coming from a male who even refers to himself as Grunt Labor is a little odd, but he was right. And really, the man rarely asks for anything around here – there was no way I could say no.
My problem was that I only had three yards of fabric for the curtains. Typically, I would be lucky to get two curtain panels out of three yards – and they would be skinnier panels at that.
My other problem here was that even though the porch is screened-in, the curtains were still going to get dirty at the bottom pretty quickly.
Luckily at Home Depot one day, the lightbulb went off.
Does anyone else have moments of genius at Home Depot? I swear sometimes that’s the only place I get them. I will have ran in for one can of spray paint and by the time I get to the checkout line, I’m struggling to hold onto everything that I’ve picked up and apologizing for knocking over a display with the 10 foot piece of pipe I’m barely holding under my arm.
Yep, I’m that girl.
But it was that stroke of genius that solved both problems – I would make Floating Curtain Panels.
As I write this post, I am sitting in the most colorful space in my home.
I dare you to step into the screened-in porch and not be happy.
Double Triple Dog Dare You.
And if you do step out here, and you aren’t happy, I’ve got a cheap beer for ya and a kid is bound to turn the corner at any moment riding a plastic pink flamingo.
Heck, you just smiled as you read that last sentence, didn’t you?
Sweet friends, who put up with way too much craziness from me, welcome to my back porch.
It all started with Nancy Drew.
The Hidden Staircase to be exact.
After reading the book as a middle schooler, and being a lover of all ghost stories and mysteries, I became convinced that a secret staircase was nearby.
Under my grandparent’s screened-in porch.
As I was walking around my grandparent’s house one sunny spring day collecting old glass I found buried in the ground (convinced it held a secret meant for only me), I stumbled onto their screened-in porch and began to examine it.
The porch was a simple square structure that came off their dining room. It wasn’t above their basement though, as the rest of the house was. It was supported by four sturdy walls of brick.
There had to be something under that porch, and there had to be a staircase that led to whatever was under there.
I immediately rushed up to the porch and started stomping my feet on the AstroTurf covered floor to find a hollow spot where a door leading to the staircase might be.
My feet were met by the sound of concrete.
I persisted, making my way to the outer edges of the porch where the AstroTurf carpeting ended.
I attempted to pull it up, but discovered it was securely glued down.
Darn the AstroTurf.
The secrets of the porch were never uncovered.
However, I’m now coming to love AstroTurf very very much.
Seriously, what other 6 ft. x 8 ft. rug can you find for $20?
Only AstroTurf baby.
**Don’t miss the giveaway at the end!**
You know those things you tend to put off and put off and put off a little more because you really don’t want to do it?
And sometimes maybe you don’t even really see it that much, nor does anyone else, so that helps you put it off a little more?
This project was one of those things.
You see, we have dogs. One dog in particular that stays in the back yard where the screened-in porch is located.
One dog that destroyed the screen of a screened-in porch.
On multiple occasions.
In the end, the solution to keeping the dog from destroying the screen was to put lattice around the bottom half of the porch. Not exactly what I wanted to do, but it keeps the screened-in porch a screened-in porch.
When we realized that was our only solution, we just tacked up the lattice and left it.
For a couple years.
It wasn’t something that we really saw that much and since our backyard is fenced in, no one else really saw it either.
But once we built the deck beside the porch, the freshly stained deck was making the lattice look not-so-fresh.
Alas, the lattice had to be stained – a lot of lattice in fact.
Last week, I showed a little sneak peek of this project when you saw the leopard print table.
I’ve been sitting over here antsy as all get out to show you the whole project.
I’m pretty pumped about how this painted porch floor turned out.
When I showed you my Audrey Hepburn inspired outdoor chandelier last week, I told you that I had plans for the screened-in porch.
Last year, around this time actually, after being in the beloved foreclosure for two years, I finally got the screened-in porch in shape.
It was too basic.
After we added on the deck and I started to look at the porch, I realized that it needed something more.
Its time for the first installment of our Summer Style Soiree!
This quote from Mrs. Hepburn inspired my chandelier makeover….
I think those are words we should all live by everyday.
I’m not usually much of a pink wearin’ person but, I love some pops of pink in my home decor.
I am an impatient person.
I do not like to wait. On anything.
Good things come to those who wait, right? Well, I guess I’m more of a go out there and get it done now kind of girl.
Case in point, our new deck.
Yep, I said new deck. Over the past month, Grunt Labor built a deck. Isn’t he just awesome, y’all?
Of course that deck was built with pressure treated wood. Many people say you should wait at least six months before staining pressure treated wood.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So being a real rebel, I stained that pressure treated wood after only two weeks of the deck being completed.
Remember back in November when I made a confession?
I told you that I kinda, sorta, maybe, sometimes ignore the outside of my house.
Well, a couple weeks ago it seemed as if spring was finally arriving here (it was a trick though!). It was sunny, it was nearly 70 degrees and the kid was at preschool (thank heaven).
I certainly did not want to coop myself up in front of this computer all day. I thought it was a good time to spruce-up the porch a bit – seeing as how I have not touched it since its makeover nearly three years ago. And when I did do the makeover, I got pregnant half-way through and failed to touch the lattice on account of being tired all the time.
At least that’s the excuse I’m giving.
So, on that beautiful day a couple weeks ago, I figured out how to stain wood the easy way and gave my lattice a much needed refresh.