Posts Tagged With: outside

Raining Painted Bugs

I feel I must warn you that the title of this post makes little to no sense. Other than there is rain, paint and bugs. Yesterday, for the first time since I started helping to plan my brother and SILTB’s wedding I felt stressed. I went to town and was able to cross some things off the need to buy list. I also sat at Chick-fil-A and made a good list of the things that need to be done and the things that are already done. I don’t know if it was the waffle fries and sweet tea or the sense of accomplishment that came from the list but I felt better. Good thing I had my stressed out time before Lindsee had hers last night. That way when she asked for the “to do” list, I didn’t have to make it, I already had it. There are just a few things that need to be done for the wedding. The thing I’m getting nervous about is the shower.

I was getting home yesterday and saw this dark sky.

Part of me hoped it meant rain since we really need it and part of me hoped it would pass us by so I could paint. Well, it rained a little bit and then it was done so I could paint. I need to start wearing gloves when I paint. For real this time

Can I tell you how much I’m loving this canvas drop cloth I got at Harbor Freight? It was on sale for $6.99 and I used a 20% off coupon so it was less than $6 total. Do you know how much I can paint with 4×12 feet of blank space? It’s about this much

Then I also had a great idea for table decorations. I had planned on making coffee filter peonies but since the shower is going to be outside I was concerned about bugs. Yes, it’s going to be in the morning, but I wanted to take a few precautions. One of them is the table decorations. Did you know that bugs don’t like geraniums? They don’t…but I do. I was at Menards and looked at their geraniums and they had some beautiful bright pink ones

I picked up a bag of potting soil (I couldn’t find MiracleGro so I settled for this – I’ll let you know how it works)

This morning I planted it in a green pot I had

I’ll be using some MiraclGro BloomBooster to help them flower more in the next week. But these will be gracing the tables. Well, I covered the rain, the paint and the bugs…or lack thereof. Thanks for sticking with me through a terrbile post title! I must be getting back out to the deck and do some more painting!

 

Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Projects | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Watching the Corn Grow

I went to college in North Carolina. Most of my friends would tease me about being from Iowa. “What do y’all do there? Watch potatoes grow?” No. That is not was we do in Iowa. Perhaps in Idaho they watch potatoes grow. “In Iowa, we watch corn grow and go through giant corn mazes.” True story. Keep in mind that this was in 1997 before the corn maze craze spread out of Iowa. Anyway, did you know that there is an actual webcam sitting in an an Iowa field where you can watch the corn grow? It’s like watching paint dry only not as exciting. Or in my case, it’s like watching baby’s breath grow.

That’s right, it’s time for another installment in the saga. In case you’ve been missing out on my whining, you can find the other installments here, here and here. This is last week’s picture

You’ll notice that the sprinkler is missing from today’s picture. It’s been making the rounds in the yard and I’ve decided to start watering this by hand with some MiracleGro Bloom Booster.

It looks like it might be helping some. I hope that it’s not too little too late.

Something kind of exciting and unexpected happened at our house last week. After still not being able to find a job, I decided that maybe it was time to push a restart button on my career. I’m a bit of a “go big or go home” type of person so I signed up for four online classes through our local community college.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure what I have gotten myself into, but I know it will be interesting. You might not be able to guess from those book titles, but my official major is interior design. Is anyone surprised? I think the classes I’m taking this summer will help me write better blog posts. Let me know if I get too technical and I need to throw in an Amy-ism like using ORB as a verb.

So I know I keep telling you to check me out (not like that) on Instagram. Being so busy with my brother & SILTB’s wedding and the bridal shower and now throwing school into the mix, sometimes there just isn’t time to write a blog post, but I’ll Instagram a picture like this one. A Mint S’moreo that was inspired by a Strawberry S’moreo pin that my dear friend enabler Kristen made me aware of.

I also ate my first hot dog in over 18 years (no exaggeration)

Kristen has also introduced me to Postagram. Can I tell you how fun it is to send random postcards for no reason other than I felt like it? I took my nephew Landon out for ice cream last week at ColdStone then sent him a postcard thanking him for not making me eat alone.

If you don’t have Instagram, I share all the pictures on Twitter and if I can ever figure out how to get them to post to my facebook page instead of my personal facebook timeline, they will be there too. Anyone know how I can change that? Or add it. Somehow I don’t think it will be covered in my Intro to Computers class…that I’m taking online. Is that strange to just me? Anyway, earlier today I shared this picture on Instagram with the caption”Peas and paint. It’s an interesting afternoon in our house…or rather on our deck.”

I’m off to finish off the peas. I recommend not eating the peas if you come to our house.

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Foodie Faves, It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , | Leave a comment

This is My Nervous Face

Remember the flower bed I put in to grow a whole mess of baby’s breath? Well, with four weeks to go before my brother and SILTB’s wedding I’m pretty nervous. Just in case you haven’t been with me from the beginning of this adventure or if you prefer to have everything in one place, I thought I would show you the four week progression of this flower bed. Ready?

Here’s what it looked like the first spring after we moved in

I’d like to say that it changed that first year, but well, it’ didn’t. Not enough to warrant a new picture anyway. Then after my mama and I went to work we had a flower bed full of baby’s breath seeds

May 1st

One week later I showed you the progress and it was looking promising. It was supposed to take 10 days before we saw little green seedlings

May 8th

I think that was the last picture I showed y’all and we just can’t have that. Misery loves company! So a week after that picture, I had this

May 16th

I know there is some difference in that week, but I’m seriously nervous. I’ve been watering in the cold part of the day so I don’t shock the plants and everything. Last summer I got a snazzy sprinkler thing that I hadn’t used yet so I busted it out  and two days later, here was my bed

May 18th

I know it looks kinda strange just in the middle of the flower bed, but it’s totally cool. I made the hubs come look at it while I turned it on and I did not tell him that this baby sprinkles half way into the front yard and all of the deck stairs (muahahaha). Just in case you have nothing better to do with the next 19 seconds of your life, here is my sprinkler in action. Please keep in mind that I took this video with my phone and I had to stand pretty far away.

So, five days later I needed a comparison picture.

May 23rd

Still completely nervous because in 4 weeks and one day I need these to be pretty white flowers. Fortunately, there are a couple substitute ideas. Our hydrangea bush is starting to bloom right on cue. Right now they look like this

But soon they will look like this picture from last year

I know there will be plenty too. Another option is tissue paper pom poms like these ones we’re making for the bridal shower

But I really really hope the baby’s breath is all pretty and white and flowery in 29 days. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Categories: Best Laid Plans, It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Grow Baby, Grow

I was starting to get nervous about my baby’s breath in my new front flower bed actually growing. But a week later, here’s what I have!

image

In case you missed it, here’s the before picture

The ground is a little cracked and needing watering, but I think with rain in the forecast that will be taken care of. I’ll keep praying it grows and is big and beautiful for my brother and SILTB’s wedding in June!

Categories: Best Laid Plans, It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A River Runs Through It

I made you a promise and I intend to keep it. So here I am! Yay me!

I told you that my brother is getting married in June and I’m helping plan the wedding. I also told you that I don’t want to share the projects I’m working on until after the wedding. Well, I’m going to make a small exception with this post since I’ve already told you that I’m planting a whole mess of baby’s breath so I think it’s safe to show you this project. We have this odd little patch of grass that both the hubs and I hate mowing so I’ve been planning on turning it into a flower bed since the first summer we had to mow. I decided that white baby’s breath will balance out the white hydrangea on the other side of the steps quite well. Plus I just needed a place to plant the aforementioned mess of baby’s breath.

I got some weed blocking cloth and laid it out a few days before I actually started working on the bed. I wanted it to smother some of the grass. Turns out it didn’t do much of anything so if you’re making your own, don’t worry about this.

Then I busted out the Kreg jig to build the sides of the bed. Keep in mind that Kreg and I are just getting to know each other. I’ve only used it for one other project.

I put together three 1×3 furring strips for the bed. If you wanted this to last forever, you could use treated wood, but I’m not a big fan of the chemicals used to treat the wood and cedar wasn’t in the budget so they are just plain furring strips. I also do not plan on this being there forever so furring strips at $1.25 each were a good option. One was eight feet and then I cut down the other side to  83 inches (the distance from the house to the sidewalk. Then I set them outside for a couple days until my mom was able to come help me with the rest of the bed

When mama came to visit on Monday night, I put her to work. While she laid out more weed blocker (we ended up with two layers criss crossing) I added stakes to my boards. I got the stakes at Menards and I think 12 of them were maybe $3 or something like that. I put one stake on each end of the 8 foot board and one in the middle. On the 7 foot (83 inch) one I put one on one end and one in the middle because once it was all in place both boards would share one of the stakes.

Next I dug a “trench” for the 7 foot board so it would sit below the ground level and line up with the 8 foot board in front. Then with the stakes attached we put the boards in place. Mom took the rubber mallet and started in

Then the dirt went in and it was time to play with some poop

We did 8 bags of top soil and sprinkled on one bag of poo and then sprinkled about 2,500 baby’s breath seeds. We only did half of the bed on Monday because someone didn’t get enough top soil [insert picture of me pointing to myself here – you know, cool chick thumb pointing style] so here’s the half baked picture

Michael and I went and saw The Hunger Games yesterday (yay!!!!) so I picked up more top soil and finished off the bed last night. Eight more bags of soil,

one more bag of poo and 2,500 seeds

I had this

Thrilling right? I wanted to make sure to get it finished last night because it was supposed to rain. Here’s what the sky was looking like as I was finishing up.

Did it ever rain. I went outside this morning to check out the bed and I found this

Do you see it? Let me give you a closer picture

The culprit? Our “front porch” doesn’t have gutters

We’re expecting rain for the next 6 days – yes, six days! I really need to figure out how to keep this from happening again. I have an idea so maybe that will be this afternoon’s project? I’ll keep you updated. For now I’m waiting on pins and needles for the next ten days for that baby’s breath to germinate.

Ooo and did you know I’m on Instagram (username: thisDIYlife)? I started a few weeks ago but didn’t really have any pictures up. Just one of Bristol. Then I got a text from Ashley chastising me for not having more on there so yesterday I Instagrammed this picture and a few more

Hopefully I’ll remember to Instagram a little more often.

Must head to Menards to get some things to fix my river problem. I’ll keep you updated…I promised!

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Projects | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Fantasic Damask

It’s true. I kinda love damask. It’s like my catnip really. Ranks right up there with the hubs, the “kids” and s’mores. Way back when during the fall Pinterest Challenge, I had planned to do a planter that I saw on, you guessed it, Pinterest.

Image from Life On the Balcony

I set out looking for a damask patter for a terra cotta pot that I had. I asked what you thought and then decided that it was a whole lotta cutting to do so the project went to the backburner until I could find a damask cartridge for my Cricut or a stencil that fit on my pot. I was looking through my Cricut cartridges not long ago and found one. I don’t know why I didn’t see it the first time but I didn’t. I mean really, I only have six of them. Anyway, I found some things in Ashlyn’s Alphabet that would work out just fine. My damask wasn’t going to be overly intricate like the inspiration one, but it was definitely going to work. My first step was to seal the entire pot. It is important to seal the inside and outside of the pot if you are going to use it for real plants. The reason being that if you water your plants, the clay of the pot will soak up the water and it won’t come through the other side, but it can cause your paint to lift off the pot. So I sealed the whole thing and then I painted most of it white. I only painted the part where my “stencil” was going.

I had some contact paper on hand so I cut a piece to fit onto my mat. I measured around my pot and then divided it by three. I wanted to have my pattern repeat three times and that is the size that I made my first design. I set the pressure on my Cricut to low.

I wanted it to cut through the sticky part of the contact paper but not through the paper backing. I know from previous experience that it’s not easy to peel that paper backing off of the an uber sticky mat. The contact paper just peeled right off

I ended up using two like this and two of another one. I centered them on the pot and took it outside to the deck and my spring/summer painting area. I’m in serious trouble when we get the deck refinished.

I picked out a brownish color. I know that it says London Gray, but trust me, it’s brownish

Then I started painting.

It took a few coats to get a nice even coverage

I let it dry for a day before peeling off the contact paper. Normally I wouldn’t do that, but since I had to paint over the course of a couple days thanks to rain and cold, I waited. I felt like I was five and waiting for Christmas morning. It. Was. Torture. Worth the wait

I heart it. Now I just have to decide what flowers are going to go in there. I’m planting a whole lot of baby’s breath for my brother’s wedding in June. When I say a lot, I mean alot…I have enough seeds to cover a 10’x80′ area. Maybe I’ll plant some in this pot just for me. Maybe I’ll add some red to it. I started some other flower seeds last week. Germination time  scares me. Anyone else? Pictures will come when there’s something to show besides dirt and my pretty pink gardening gloves holding seeds.

Next on the agenda is planter boxes for the deck. Something with a trellis like this

Image from Lumber Jocks

I’d love to grow some veggies in it to snack on while we’re out on the deck enjoying the weather this summer. Yummy. I think I’ll go start building now…

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Projects, Tutorials | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Birdie Watching

I’ve shown you a few pictures of the outside of our house, but none of the back of our house. So here it is. This is what the back of our house looked like when we looked at it that first time

 

There was a lot of stuff to do here. Obviously some landscaping and clean up, but the door had to be replaced because it looked like this

The trim around the door was rotten too

 

There was rotted wood above the back door. Well, when the rain blew in from the south (the back of the house faces south), the rain would go right into our mudroom/laundry room. That, my friends, is a problem. One day, the hubs and I replaced that board there. You know when I say the hubs and I, I really mean that Michael did most of the work. I showed up to hold the board in place. Which is kind of a big deal because I hate ladders unless I’m painting…then the fear is outweighed by the love of painting. After we he did that, there was no more puddles in our laundry room! Woo hoo! We decided to replace the rest of the rotten wood there when we were up on the roof putting down ice and water barrier on the three seasons porch. Disclaimer: If you are doing this for a permanent fixture, you should definitely use treated wood or cedar which naturally resists rot. We did not use either of those because we had most of the wood in the rafters of our garage. We know that we will have to replace it again, but we’re okay with that since we don’t know what we want to do there. We’ll decide if we want cedar or painted when we paint the house. There’s still quite a bit of work to do, but that is done (for now).

I started off by adding bird feeders though. I found a suet feeder that had a copper “roof” on it so I got it and hung it up on the deck.

I was filling this thing all. the. time. So I decided to add another one

That drew more birds so I was just filling both of them all. the time.

The “kids” love to sit out on the three seasons porch spring through fall. I want to put a rain garden by the deck and possibly a butterfly garden on the back of the house. So I came up with the great idea to put bird feeders on the three seasons porch where they can watch the birds. Well, when they aren’t watching the neighbor kids ride their bikes in the alley by our house

I hung up two more suet feeders on the three seasons porch so Bella and Bristol could watch the birds fly around. I busted out the good ol’ Hitachi drill and put two plant hangers that I got at Menards for $2 each and put them on these two posts

It was great. I wasn’t filling the feeders near as much. I had finally gotten ahead of the birds! Then I realized that wasn’t it at all. The real reason was that no bird with a basic need for survival is going to eat at a bird feeder with this six inches away

It’s like sitting at a picnic table with a bear sitting there watching you

So, it didn’t take long and the birdfeeders made a move. Not too far so Bella & Bristol could still watch the birds from the three seasons porch.

They moved to the back of the deck…and I added another one. Yes I did miss a post. I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I will need to get another one to even it out. I can’t wait to get a rain garden there with some native grasses and stuff. I guess the first order of business should be to clean out all the leaves though. One thing at a time.

In the meantime, we now have five bird feeders where the birds can entertain Bella & Bristol and, let’s face it, in our house that’s what really matters…keeping our kitties happy

This outside posts makes me thing I need to take you on a full tour of the outside of our house. Maybe that should be the next thing added to the “Tour Our House” page (find it at the top of the page).

Or do you have another request? What part of our house do you want to see?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Tour | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

I Should’ve Known…

Seriously, I was born here and except for a few years gallivanting all over the world, I’ve lived here since then. You would think that I should know that just when the snow melts, that means we’ll be getting more snow. But, alas, I guess I have not yet learned. Guess I’m just slow to catch on. But last night, it snowed again. When I was watching the weather last night they said that it would be 1-3 inches but most places would get 1 inch-ish. Yeah, that wasn’t us – 3 1/2 inches here. It was really wet snow which makes things slippery (boo) but it also sticks to everything so it can be really pretty (redemption).

Bella and Bristol decided this morning that I didn’t need to sleep past 5:30. Bella likes to wake me up by cuddling and licking my nose and Bristol runs across the bed. Michael sleeps right through the whole ordeal. I’m not at all a morning person, but I do love the low key time…and they are so lucky they are just plain adorable. So, I got up and got my day started. While the “kids” were eating, I added some wood to the fire (since snow brought cold and I wanted to stay warm), shoveled a path to the curb so we didn’t miss garbage day again and decided to take some pictures. Last night the hubs had me testing some cameras again and I found one that I liked, but I just had to know how it took pretty snowy pictures. So for those of you in warmer climates, here’s your snow!

My pretty red watering can

I love our deck in the winter (I also love it in the spring and summer to0)

 I love that we have about a bagillion trees on our 1/3 acre in town

Guess who left her clothespins on the clothes line all winter…that’d be me. I think I’ll need new clothespins in the spring, but I kinda like this picture for our laundry room so I guess it all evens out right?

We need to go get a load of firewood soon…especially since we kinda forgot to cover this up before the snow last night. Oops

Our lilac bush(?) I think this might be it’s last winter right there.

Remember the great big beautiful maple tree that holds our swing? This is what it looked like this morning

Now it’s time for a cautionary tale. Do you remember the dining room chair swing that I drug out into three posts (here, here and here)? Well I did two things wrong. 1- I didn’t seal it with an outdoor sealer 2- I left it up through the winter. Look at the difference!

This is definitely a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do thing. Wanna guess what I’m going to be doing in the spring?

The weather here changes pretty quick. One minute it’s melting and the next minute it’s freezing

I can’t wait for my Hydrangea to start blooming again

Replacing this railing is on my to do list along with painting or doing something to those front steps.

The frogs are waiting for their little birdie visitors to arrive

I brushed the snow off the suet feeder so maybe they will come soon. The Suet usually doesn’t last long in this thing, but it seems like we don’t have birds that like this hot pepper one. We may have to switch back to peanut or pecan

I know this won’t be the last snow of the year…mostly because snow is actually in the forecast for three days from now, but I’m hoping not to be awake at 5:30am to take pictures. Anyone interested in cluing Bella and Bristol into this? For those of you in the warmth, I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures of the snow. If you got snow too, I hope you don’t have to go out in it today. Happy winter everyone!

 

 

 

Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Up on The Roof

Recently (before the snow hit a couple weeks ago) the hubs and I spent some quality time up on the roof.

In fact, it was totally booooring but totally necessary. Blah

Some of you may remember back in July when I told you that we would be taking on our roof in the fall.

We didn’t do nearly as much as we had planned to do, but the hubs and I did have a couple days that we spent redoing the roof on the three seasons porch. Our whole roof is in desperate need of being redone, but the three seasons porch and laundry room/mudroom really needed to be done so we didn’t have to walk through puddles inside the house. My dad and Michael spent a day in October or November (can’t remember exactly when) and covered the leaking part of the roof with ice and water barrier and Michael and I finished off the rest of it. It’ll get us by until this summer when we do the whole roof (hopefully). It worked like a charm and we decided that we would do the rest of it just to be safe and get us through the winter and the spring.

Ice and water barrier is this black paper-type thing that if you crawl around on it, you will get holes in the knees of your jeans and you will have to buy new shoelaces. Michael measured out our roof and decided that we would need a one square and a two square to finish the roof. To be clear, I have no idea what those terms mean, I just regurgitated the information to the guy at Menards to make it seem like I knew what I was talking about. Basically the paper was about three feet wide and the smaller roll was 33 feet long and the bigger roll was 66 feet long. I let Michael haul them up the ladder to roof while I watched from the sidelines.This chicky does not do ladders…unless it’s when I’m painting and I need to trim around the ceiling.

First we had to sweep off all the pieces of our shingles that had found their way off the regular roof to the three seasons porch

Right after I discovered the wonderful world of Ana white furniture, I decided I needed my own tools. Pink ones that the hubs wouldn’t “borrow” from me. So, that’s what I asked for for my birthday and Christmas.

Michael: You mean I can actually get you tools for your birthday?

Me: Like it ever stopped you before.

Michael: Yes, but this year I have permission.

Anyway, my pretty pink Christmas present (aka hammer) and I started pulling nails while Michael pulled nails with his boring black hammer

I think it took about an hour to do that. Someone really nailed that thing.

Once they were all up, we had to fill in the holes with roof cement

It looked something like this

Then it was time to roll out the barrier

Evidently, you don’t normally need to use a heat gun for this project, but normally, you’re doing this in the summer so the paper-type thing is all hot and sticky. When you do this in January, it’s not so much. So we sat up on the roof with a heat gun and heated the edges. We worked until it got dark and then Michael went and got a lantern and we worked some more.

We went outside the next day and worked on it some more. Bella and Bristol watched from inside

The barrier had lifted in quite a few places so we got out the heat gun and a rolling pin and went to work flattening it out. I’m sure it was quite interesting and unfortunately since Michael and I were both working on it, we don’t have pictures of it. But here’s what it looked like when it was all done

Being up on the roof gave me some time to survey our back yard and see what I’d really like to do in the yard this summer (the list is long)

  1. Get rid of the great big blue dog house
  2. Get rid of the smaller dog house (that’s half hidden by the tree)
  3. Get rid of the giant dog run that takes up half the yard
  4. Build something for the firewood so it looks prettier than a couple blue tarps that blow around all over the place if the wind blows too much (a couple ideas on one of my Pinterest boards)
  5. Start in on the garden for Beau and Brady. I’ve asked my aunt to help me plan it. I know that she’ll have some great ideas.

For now, the roof on the three seasons porch doesn’t leak! We finished it just in time. The first real snow came just two days after we finished up hanging out on the roof. Whew! That was a close one. Now that I’ve finished up telling you about a boring, but necessary, project I’m totally excited to show you a couple pretty ones.

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