Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! We hope you have a great day barbecuing, spending time with family and friends, as well as celebrating our great country!

Not only is today the birth of our country, it is also a special day for us for another reason. Today is Zoey’s birthday! She is our independent girl. Happy Birthday to America and Zoey!


Hand-Me-Down No More

We finally have a new couch!! Hooray!  No more hand-me-down couch with a lack of seats when friends and family come over.

Remember our old couch?

Here is its replacement. It’s bigger, has more seating and fits in a little better with our decor.

Before we left to pick up our new couch at Ikea, we made sure it would fit by using blue painters tape to visualize the dimensions on the floor. I find this helps me to see how the object will be incorporated into our home. We did the same process when we built our kitchen island.

We postponed getting a new coffee table due to the lack of time we had a Ikea. We were more concerned about getting the couch while we had access to a truck to haul it in. It’s also a good thing that we didn’t buy a new coffee table because there is no way it would’ve fit in the truck. We barely made it with the couch alone. So until we find a new coffee table, our old wooden one will remain.

I would like to change our current coffee table to a square table. I really like this idea I found on Pinterest. I’m still debating the color, but I do like how bright this one is.

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I’m so excited about our new couch. I can’t wait to add some more bright throw pillows and find/make the perfect coffee table and really tie the room together.

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t always go the way you expect. The goal this week was to mulch the front gardens. But on Sunday, I came home with a pretty intense sunburn on the back of my legs and it’s a little painful to bend down… so mulching is out for at least a few days.

But the good news is, our gardens are doing really well despite the dry weather. We’ve been watering regularly and our efforts are paying off. We have one of the most colorful gardens in the neighborhood! The petunias are doing great. My brother gave me some really great advice when I first planted them. He told me that I will need to make sure I water them every day for the first two weeks and not to water them in full sun because it will burn the leaves. I followed his advice and now our petunias look like this:

Thanks, big brother! 🙂

And now that our tropical and stargazer lilies are finished blooming, our day lily is taking its turn.


And the bee balm is blooming as well.

And our gladiolus starting peeking out. Last year it was red and this year it is white. I planted several bulbs and only one has come up a year since I planted them. Maybe this year we will get two!

Once my sunburn heals, I will be out there mulching. It’s supposed to cool down as the week goes on so maybe by the weekend it will be cooler and I will have some pictures of our mulched gardens to post!

Have a great week!

Raising the Bar

The patio looks a little different now than it did a few weeks ago. We went from this:

To this:

So how did we get here? It took a bit of work to put up the gazebo, especially since we ran into an issue pretty early on. The side post weren’t tall enough ro raise the top bar above our sliding glass door. It didn’t seem like that big of an issue at first, but we thought about how it would look with the canvas top on, and how it would look inside. So after we deliberated on how we would raise the gazebo, we landed on the idea of paver and off to Menards we went.

The selection of pavers was daunting, but after we narrowed down a few choices, we decided on the red Belgium rock pavers.

Before we could mount the post, we had to glue the pavers to the patio. That required some glue and some elbow grease (provided by BJ).

Another snag we ran into is our patio, which is supposed to be a 10 x 10, is actually more like 9 1/2 x 11. The gazebo is 10 x 10. Eventually, we will build some brick pedestals around the pavers to finish the look and not have pavers hanging off the edge of our deck.

Once the pavers were glued down and had 24 hours to set up, BJ drilled holes in the top pavers to mount the gazebo posts.

Then he used these crazy screws to anchor everything down.

After the posts were anchored down, we attached the canvas roof and the next night, we added lights.

And now we are finished!

And here is our view from the kitchen. A shady deck, calling for us to come sit outside and enjoy the summer days.

Have a great weekend!

Friday Night Lights

The gazebo is finished and the lights are up. It’s official, we now have a patio where we can relax and enjoy the summer days and nights.

I didn’t have my tripod out, but here is a (slightly blurry) nighttime photo of the finished patio. I will grab a better picture tomorrow with my tripod.

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I love the lights.

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Tomorrow I will have another post on how we installed the gazebo. Because the gazebo wasn’t tall enough to clear the sliding glass door, we decided to raise it up. But more on that tomorrow. 🙂

Have a great night!

Backyard Living

Ever since we added the backyard bistro set to our patio, BJ and I have been talking a lot more about our future plans for the backyard. For two years, we barely used the space. Other than grilling, we didn’t go out there for anything else. Now that we have the table and chairs, we hope to use the space more often.

After a few nights of eating outside last week, we discovered that it’s very warm on our patio. We have some nice shade from the neighboring trees, but because our house faces east, the sun sets right on our backyard, heating up the patio.

To keep from avoiding the backyard and the heat over the next few months, we decided to buy a gazebo to provide some additional shade… Oh and not to mention that the whole gazebo idea started when we found all these awesome led lights on sale and we needed somewhere to hang them in our backyard.

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We started building the gazebo tonight, but after looking at the weather and seeing that rain and wind are on their way here, we only put up the frame. We didn’t have a chance to anchor the gazebo down and we do not want the fabric top to act as parachute and carry everything away in the meantime.

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Tomorrow night, we are planning to anchor the whole thing down and add the fabric top. We are also looking at how we can raise the height of the gazebo because the frame at its current height, goes right across the top of our door.

More updates to come! Stay tuned!

A little wine with your home decor?

Mmmm wine. I love  how some of it tastes and I love to use wine bottles in our decor. We came across these wine racks at Ikea while we were still living in our apartment. When we moved into our house, we hung them up in our kitchen and ever since then, we’ve found different ways to incorporate wine into our kitchen decor.

The flowers and grapes came from Michaels. I bought them for another project and just on a whim, I weaved the flowers through the wine racks and then hung the grapes from them for a little something extra. I’ve always liked the way it looks and now I don’t remember what I originally bought the flowers or grapes for.

One of the fun things about using wine bottles in your kitchen decor is the constant change of scenery. As friends and family come over and you enjoy a bottle of wine together, you replace that bottle with a new one.

And you can also use the corks. Here is how we are reusing our wine bottle corks. Our collection is still in progress.

Finally, to go along with our wine decor, we found this neat wall hanging.

Once we finish the crown molding, our plan is to hang this above the door into our dining room.

BJ and I became more into wine around this time last year when we took our first anniversary trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. We took tours of the winery, participated in a wine tasting and even enjoyed a wine and chocolate pairing. If you enjoy wine and haven’t been to the Biltmore, I definitely recommend it. If you are interesting in learning more about wine it’s a great way to get away to the mountains and learn about vino while you’re there!

Who wouldn’t want to kick back, drink a glass of wine and enjoy this view?

Have a great week!

Backyard Bistro

We’ve lived in our house for two years now and ever since we moved in, I’ve longed to enjoy meals outside on our patio. This week, I decided to wander by the seasonal section while I was at Target to buy groceries, and I found a fun bistro set. And it was on sale! Score!

So after I managed to get the new (heavy) bistro set into my cart, then into my car, and home, I assembled it all by myself. Who says married girls can’t put together their own furniture? Bam. Done.

Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I finished assembling all the pieces on Wednesday.

And it rained on Thursday…

And  because it was too chilly and overcast Friday evening, I waited until today to sit outside and enjoy the new bistro set.

Remember what our backyard looked like before? After I added the bistro set, our backyard went from this:

To this:

Did you notice the new flower-pot? I think it adds a little something to our backyard bistro theme.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Pinterest Picks: Summer Living

In honor of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial kick off to summer, I thought it would be fun to check out Pinterest and search using the keywords “summer living.” Lately, I’ve been dreaming of a patio to relax and hang out during the warm summer months. My search gave me some ideas for our future patio.

Here are a few of my favorite “summer living” finds:

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For more of my “summer living” search click here or visit my Pinterest board, Backyards to see some of my favorite outdoor decors.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! And a special thank you to our troops for all you do for our country!

Have a a great weekend!