When we bought our house, it had a huge, ugly shed in the backyard that was falling apart. We asked the sellers if they would remove it after our inspector said it wasn’t worth keeping, especially with all the termite damage. However, they denied our request, as they must’ve thought it was in good shape because they had just repainted it (a horrible paint job, may I add). The shed had an addition that didn’t even have a floor and was never built correctly. What would we have used it for anyway?! We have a huge addition on the back of our garage that is great for storage and it opens to the backyard. The shed was just an eyesore in our backyard – and pointless. So.. we thought we would knock it down, haul it out, and be done with it. Easier said than done. :)
You know how things never go as planned with home projects…. Well, demolition was fun at first and then became a pain. Poor Ryan was really sore from swinging the sledgehammer and axe. We thought we could rent a moving truck and take everything to the dump and it would be cheaper than renting a dumpster. Well, after renting the moving truck and throwing a bunch of the shed in there..we found out 1) it wouldn’t all fit in there and 2) it would cost $200+ to take it to the dump. The plan failed big time. I guess that’s what we get for planning poorly and trying to a take a shortcut.
So we unloaded everything out of the truck, took the truck back, and rented a dumpster. Take our advice – just rent the dumpster. ;) Oh and we even burned a little bit of it because the dumpster wasn’t quite big enough. Go figure. We also gave away the huge roof that was on the addition of the shed. It felt good to finally get everything in the dumpster and have a huge area of our yard back.
With the newfound space, we decided to build six 4×4 raised garden beds. The size of the garden boxes was determined by what size boards fit into our car. ;) At the time, my cousin and her friends were visiting so they actually kind of took over the building of the garden boxes. That was so awesome and helpful!!!
We secured them into the ground and our yard took on a much better look!! We wanted to get dirt and start a somewhat late garden (in June), but then that was a huge expense to buy it and have it delivered. So instead, we thought we’d find some free dirt on Craigslist (yes, that is listed a lot from people building pools, etc), rent Menards pick-up and go get some free dirt. Well.. unfortunately we never got around to it. Plus we were gone a lot over the summer and didn’t want our garden to dry up. So – next year – we will have six awesome raised garden beds with a bountiful harvest! Wishful thinking?! :)
Life update: We bought a house and moved in at the end of January! It was easier said than done, as our closing date got moved last minute and blah blah,typical house buying drama. But the important part is that it all worked out in the end and we became home owners. :)
There are so many things we love about it! It makes more financial sense to own rather than rent – our mortgage is cheaper than our rent was and it’s double the space! Plus, we get a yard! We love the freedom of being able to do what we want to make this our home. The problem? There’s so much we want to do and not enough money to make it happen! It’s okay though – we can take it slow because it’s just things we want to do to make it our own.
So, with that being said, one of our first projects made a big impact but it didn’t cost too much money. In our family room/lower level, there is a brick fireplace and mantle that takes up the entire wall. When we moved in, we knew it had a lot of potential but it needed a little work. Here’s the before photo:
We decided to white wash the brick first. White washing is a lot easier than it sounds. You just mix 1 part water and 1 part white paint and slap it on the brick! Use a cheap paintbrush because it will be rough on your brush. We did two coats, but you can do as many as you want depending on how much brick you want showing through the paint. Make sure to get paint into all the little crevices as well.
Next, we sanded and stained the mantle.
The firebox still needs a little work (a little brick and mortar work and a paint job), but that will come. For now, it works.
Finally, it was time to decorate!! It took a little bit of rearranging to finally get it how we both liked it. It’s subject to change at any time, of course. ;) One of my favorite decorations is this old wooden ladder that I painted and am using it for a succulent display.
Ah, who am I kidding?! I love every decoration from the plants to the globe to the vintage cameras. A lot of them our Moms helped us collect, which is awesome!
And last but not least….We added some string globe lights onto the mantle that we had left over from our wedding. Ryan hammered tiny staples into the mantle (very tedious work) and secured every light onto a staple (using clips that were already on the string of lights). Then he just cut the extra length off at the end. Of course, now I have to do something with that extra length he cut off – marquee light project coming soon!
Anyway, day or night, it looks awesome if I do say so myself. ;) Now we just need some extra money for some furniture and paint in this room. The white washed brick will look even better against a wall with color.
I don’t know about you, but I love to enjoy a fruity cocktail every now and then. I’m not a beer fan and wine burns my insides, but a fruity mixed drink seems to be just right. I love trying new ones when I go out for dinner, and then trying to replicate them at home where it’s a lot cheaper!
One of my favorites I tried was at Colton’s Steakhouse, called the Wild West Fling. It was really tasty (so good you have to be careful not to slurp it down), plus it looked pretty because there were different layers to it. I looked up the recipe online, but for some reason, I could barely find any information about it. So I thought I better get the recipe out there for others to try too! Trust me, you’ll love it.
Midori Melon Liquor
Put 1 oz of the Midori liquor in a cocktail glass. Next, pour in 1 oz of peach schnapps.
If you want to produce separate layers, you need to use a big spoon for the next part. It’s a little tricky, but it makes a pretty drink!
Now you will want to add equal amounts of the juices to your liking. Put the back of the spoon up against the side of the glass. Slowly pour the pineapple juice down the side of the glass against the spoon. Because of the differences in density, the pineapple juice will sit on top of the alcohol layer and not mix.
Next, do the same thing with the cranberry juice. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the cranberry juice to sit on top of the pineapple juice (mine mixed in), but maybe you can! It may depend on the type of juice you get – haven’t figured it out quite yet.
Finally, add a pretty straw and enjoy!! You may want to mix the layers after all is said and done anyway because it tastes better that way! Drink responsibly. :o)
My inspiration for my Crafty Christmas trees came about from a few different sources. I loved these ideas that I saw (see below) and wanted to make my own versions.
I bought three different sizes of floral foam cones and made each tree a little different.
For the biggest tree, I pinned on circles of felt to look like ruffles. It took 16 sheets of felt and a lot of time to cut out all of those circles! But it was worth it ~ so pretty! I then added little jingle bells as ornaments, a pretty sequin ribbon for garland, and some glitter as snow. Then a bow on top to complete it.
For the smallest tree, I wrapped the cone in green yarn, glued on tiny pom poms for the ornaments, and added a mini bow to the top. I also painted a very small plant pot to put underneath the tree.
For the middle sized tree, I also painted a plant pot to put underneath it. I wrapped the tree in white yarn, but covered the whole thing in silver glitter. (I LOVE glitter!) I also added tiny pom poms to it as ornaments and added a little star to the top.
Now I have a cute display on little Christmas trees. I’d love to make more – like a pinecone tree, a fabric tree, a jingle bell tree — the sky is the limit!
Any other ideas?!?