Plans for my Backyard!

Hello all! As we are nearing Spring, I’m excited to finally be tackling my backyard! It’s been a little bit of an eyesore since I bought my house, and I haven’t done anything with it since. 1, because I wasn’t sure what I could do to it, and 2, I was more focused on some of my indoor projects. But I’m finally ready to at least give it a little more life, and my goal is to have it usable by time April comes!

One of the biggest problems with it, is it has a HUGE tree in the backyard. So big that the roots cover everything and make it almost impossible to grow anything. Anyone has a solution to this please comment below! I wanted to dump a bunch of dirt back there to at least even out the ground, but I was told the dirt will eventually wash down because it’s on a slope. So for now, I at least have a plan for the porch! Here is the current state below after I recently power washed it! If you guys haven’t ever power washed it makes a world of a difference and prepped the porch!

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So that’s where I’m starting: the patio. Below is a moodboard of kind of what I want to be doing with my backyard.

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1. Lounge Furniture

Along with the patio dining set, I want a place where I can also just lounge by the firepit if I wanted. Some chairs like these look perfect for doing just that!

2. Build a Firepit

I haven’t decided where I should put the fireplace yet, but I’ve been looking at options to build one! There’s a lot of cheap tutorials out there where you can make one of your own for $40!

3. Fill with plants

The plant beds have absolutely nothing in them right now, so the goal is to find cheap, but effective and low maintenance plants I can fill them in with that will add a lot of dimension to the porch and make it feel more alive. I found this article on Country Living that lists a lot of great options if you’re looking for low maintenance greenery.

4. Dining set

We can’t have dinner parties without a table! Target has a lot of great options and I loved this one from Opalhouse. I’m not sold on any one set yet, but liked the warm colors of it.

5. String Lights

I plan to create a “ceiling” of sorts over the patio to add some ambient light at night and make it feel more inviting to hang out back there even after hours!

6. Vine wall

This won’t be on the patio, but next to it. The back of my house has a blank wall similar to the picture, and I think it would be the perfect place to add a vine wall!

7. Paint the plant beds

Though it’s not on the moodboards, I’m going the paint the cinder blocks black. I’ve known I wanted to paint the plant beds since I bought the house, but they were much too gross. My parents recently bought a pressure washer, so I took advantage of the opportunity to use it on the porch and has made a world of a difference! They’re clean enough now that I can paint them, so I bought black exterior mold resistant paint and that is the first step.

So those are my first steps! Later we will tackle the yard, but I’m going to start with the patio first! In the meantime, if you’re a landscape architect, or just have some good ideas, feel free to share those with me! Landscape design is not my forte!

HOW TO: DIY Farmhouse Shutters for $150

diy, diy shutters, farmhouse shutters, white house, cheap shutters, shutter project

Hi Friends!

This week we’re talking about my new shutters! These shutters turned out so good, and can’t wait to share how I did it. Not to mention I was able to do 4 windows (so 8 shutters) for only $150! So if you’re looking for an affordable DIY project to up the value of your house this is the one! My old shutters were not made properly by the previous owners. They were falling off the house and rotting by the day so I went ahead and decided to make these new ones that are much sturdier and professional looking! So here we go read on to see how I did it.

QUICK TIP: You can buy a Lowe’s coupon to save $20 off $100 on Ebay and save even more! Just search Lowe’s coupon on Ebay!

Materials

  • 12 - 1x4 treated pine boards @10ft (This is based on my window height, so may vary based on window)

  • 4 - 1x2 treated pine boards (for the cross piece)

  • 3” Wood screws

  • 1 ½” Wood screws

  • 1 ¼” Kreg Jig screws

  • 7/64 wood drill bit

  • Valspar Solid Stain

  • Wood filler

Tools

  • Drill

  • Kreg Jig (I used this one)

  • Electric Sander and sandpaper (rough grit)

  • Circular Saw

  • Wood clamps

  • Measuring tape


Note: This is the back side of the boards as you can see I wanted the black and nasty part of the board to be on the back side of the shutter.

Note: This is the back side of the boards as you can see I wanted the black and nasty part of the board to be on the back side of the shutter.

Step One

When choosing your wood, make sure you lay it on the ground and get pieces that are not warped. Make sure they lay relatively flat. The straighter and flatter they are, the cleaner and more lined up they will be when you screw them together. I then laid all the boards out with the back side facing me, and chose the order in which I wanted the boards to be and line up, so they looked best on the front side.

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Step Two

Drill your pocket holes using the Kreg Jig drill attachment. I put the wood on the saw horses and used some wood clamps to help secure the Kreg Jig. I chose to do 3 different pocket holes on each board to add extra security. Make sure to measure equidistance between each pocket hole. Once you’ve drilled all the pocket holes, take your 1 ¼” kreg jigs screws and screw each board together and you should end up with something like this.

NOTE: There is no need to add pocket holes to the last board unless you want added security.

NOTE: There is no need to add pocket holes to the last board unless you want added security.

Step Three

Cut the boards down to size. It’s best to wait until you have them all screwed together because it will ensure that you will have a straight line with all three boards. My windows were 42” tall, but be sure to measure your own windows and cut to size.

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Step Four

Sand the front and back of the boards until smooth. Depending on the grit of sandpaper, if your boards are perfectly matched up, now is the time to sand the joints, so they are smooth.

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Step Five

Cut down the 1x2s to the size of the shutters. I used two each, but you can also do 3 if you like. It’s also up to you where you want them, so just lay them out and measure to find the perfect spot. Mine were 9” from the edge. We pre-drilled three holes, so it it easier to get the wood screws in.

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Step Six

Then screw in the board from the back, so that you can hide the screws. You can also use a nail gun, but I thought this was more secure. You can also see I lined up the boards to the pencil mark measurements to make sure we stayed straight and even.

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Step Seven

Time to paint! I used Valspar Solid Stain to ensure that I got a solid color that would hold up outside in Sherwin Williams “Windstorm” from Lowe’s. Be sure to do 2 coats and also paint the back to seal the wood.

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Step Eight

Last step is to put up the shutters! We used the 3” wood screws and pre-drilled holes for them so they we’re easier to put up! Make sure you sink the screws slightly so that you can fill in the wholes. Once they are up sand just the spot where you screwed them in, and fill them in with wood filler. Once dry paint over the spots and you’re DONE!



diy, diy shutters, farmhouse shutters, white house, cheap shutters, shutter project


FREE Printable Recipe Cards

Free Printable Recipe Cards

If you’re like me, you don’t trust computers. I always wonder 20 years from now if things like Pinterest will be around. Or the blogs that have all your favorite recipes!? What if they delete their blog or take it down? I will no longer have that recipe! So I went to Pinterest to try and find some cute recipe cards I could print out at home, and I did not like a single one. They were all too “cute” if you know what I mean. I wanted something classic that I would never look at and not like. So I made my own! These ones are simple and easy to use! They’re straight to the point and I think may be useful to you guys! I’ve created a tab version if you like to be organized like me, but if not there’s also a non tab version! So scroll to the bottom of the post to download the cards! I recommend printing on cardstock and trim on the dotted lines.

Printable Recipe Cards

5 Essentials for a Cozy Bedroom

Everyone wants a bedroom that is their oasis right!? It’s where you sleep and wake up and probably spend a good part of your evening. A lot of times people don’t know what to do to make their bedroom cozier. It feels like something is always missing right? Well I’m here to share 5 things that I think will make your room feel cozier and that you will enjoy waking up to in the morning

1 Curtains

This the number one essential thing everyone needs. Even if you are in an apartment you can easily buy no screw curtain rods like this one here or here that go inside the window sill! I bought some Ikea curtains and curtain rods to stay budget friendly, but also warm up the bedroom!

Curtains:  Ikea  Curtain Rods:  Ikea

Curtains: Ikea Curtain Rods: Ikea

2. Art

Art may be the number one thing I recommend everyone has in their. It just adds such a personal touch and allows your guests to see your personality. Not to mention art just makes me happy and I love supporting artists and seeing something in my home and know its an original and handmade.

Art by Deann Rieves

Art by Deann Rieves

3. Rug

I’d say every bedroom needs a rug! A rug can bring so much life into a room! Especially if you have hardwood floors it will add a little warmth to your room and also make it easier to get out out bed when you have something soft to touch! I find Target to be a great place to find a affordable rugs and they are always running specials online!

Rug:  Target

Rug: Target

4. Mirror

Everyone needs a big mirror! It makes the room look bigger and also makes getting ready much more fun and easy. And having a bedroom you want to get ready in adds in to making it cozy!

Mirror:  West Elm

Mirror: West Elm

5. Candles

Candles are a must for a cozy bedroom! Light one up and you’ll want to stay in there forever! One of my favorite local candle companies, ecam and co, has this Sparkling Evergreen and it will smell just like Christmas! I’ve also teamed up with Ecam & Co to giveaway one Sparkling evergreen and a $20 Target gift card! To enter, visit my Instagram page and find this image! You can also check out more of her scents at eccamandco.com

Candle:  Ecam & Co

Candle: Ecam & Co

Happy One Year in my House! +Before & Afters

Picture taken right after I laid new sod.

Picture taken right after I laid new sod.

Happy One year anniversary in my house! It’s been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it has already been a year! I’ve gotten a lot done and there is still so much to do! I'll share some before and afters of the exterior since I’ve bought the house and what shape it is in today. Let me tell you it’s hard work maintaining the outside of a house! You don’t think about replenishing mulch, keeping the new sod healthy and watered, pruning the plants, keeps the porch clean, it’s a LOT of work, especially if you’re trying to DIY it. Today to kick off my first post on the blog I’m just going to be sharing the outside of the house and the stages it has gone through in the last year, as well as my plans for the future!

Before and Afters

 
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As you can see, today the plants we put in have grown so much! I plan to prune some of these to keep them healthy and not get too overgrown. I obviously can’t keep a plant alive in those pots though so if you have any suggestions comment below! I love the fall look on the porch though! And you can also see the fencing material the previous owners used to make shutters are not holding up, so that is my next project!


The Porch

Here’s a little up close of the porch! I’m loving the fall vibe! Of course my dead plants aren’t the prettiest, but I finally got some lanterns to dress it up!

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What’s Next

There’s still a lot I want to do for the outside! So I’m gonna list out a couple things that I plan to do this next year to the front!

  • Make new shutters - These ones were made with fencing wood (what!?!) so I plan to make nice and sturdy new ones that will withstand weathering and are meant to be shutters.

  • New front door - While this one is okay, it has a hard time closing right and has an outdated window, so I look forward to replacing it soon!

  • New Light fixture - I want something that is a little more modern and fits my aesthetic a little more. I’ve found some great ones that are super cheap you can check out here!

  • Plants - We planted these right when I moved in, but we have ignored the sides of the house that still look overgrown and not pretty, so I plan to tear those out and replace it with a nicer looking plants and to clean it up a bit.

I hope you enjoyed a little look in this last year, and I’m excited to start sharing more in depth looks into my house and my DIY projects! Comment below any projects you suggest or want to see me do outside!