Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor. I am a stay-at-home mom of four boys and I have been married for 16 years. I build and refinish furniture, paint, decorate, cook, garden, read, and make lists. I would much rather be outside than in.
Summer is always so busy and filled with swim lessons, games, BBQs, camping, family events, and of course, yard work! Whether you love it like I do, or hate it, it still needs to be done. I recently received some yard tools that make things easier and thanks to Ryobi, I get to give one of them away today!
I have a large garden. It is 19 feet by 90 feet. That is a lot of produce! But unfortunately that also means a lot of weeds. In the past I tried hand weeding and hoeing but that took too long even with my 4 sons helping. I started tilling in between the rows a few years ago and it is so much better! Like hoeing on steroids :)
It is so nice to zip up and down the rows. This year I received this battery powered cultivator from Ryobi and it is perfect for this job. It is ridiculously easy to start, easy to maneuver, and goes deep enough to rip up all the small to medium weeds. I wish I could say I let these weeds get this big to show you just how much this cultivator rocks, but I was just lazy.
This cultivator is part of a really cool system called Expand-It. The cultivator part comes off the handle and you can snap on different tools. How smart it that?!?
The different attachments include string trimmers, edgers, blower, pole saw, hedge trimmer, brush cutter, snow thrower, and sweeper.
I have the edger, string trimmer and the cultivator. I am definitely going to be buying more attachments!
Five years ago I received a Ryobi battery powered lawn mower to review. You can read that here.. I have LOVED it. I love how easy it is to start, how quiet it is, and that I don’t have to worry about gas. When we are done mowing we put the batteries on the chargers and then they are ready for the next time we mow!
Ryobi offered to send me a new model to try out and I was pumped!
My youngest can start it and mow easily. I even bought one for my mom a couple of years ago. Even though my boys mow her lawn, I wanted her to have one that she could start and use herself if she had to. No more bending and pulling that start cord!
Ryobi has several models of battery powered mowers. This one is the 20 inch 40-volt Brushless Lithium-Ion Smart TREK Self-Propelled mower. Our yard is very big and we can get most of the lawn done on one battery. We always have two charged because we need to use the second for a bit. I love that we can fold it up to store it vertically too. Our garage is tiny and FULL of storage.
I actually really love to mow, although my boys do it more often because they have more time. Plus it builds character, right ;)
You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from July 17, 2019 until July 24, 2019. A winner will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, Ryobi Outdoors.
I finally cleaned up my bedroom in the office well enough to photograph it! Before we added our bed to the mix, this room already was hard to keep tidy since it was multi-functional. It was our mudroom, storage room, and my home office. Now we can add bedroom to the mix….. at least temporarily.
I need to rewind a bit and explain why we moved our bedroom upstairs to the office space for those of you who may have missed it in a previous post. We used to have the boys all in one big bedroom. We decided that since the boys were getting older, we would have two kid bedrooms. The plan was to finish the unfinished part of the basement, turn it into a new bedroom for Shane and I, and then separate the boys. I got really excited about designing kid spaces and jumped the gun. I moved the kids into our old room before the basement was even started. So Shane and I were camping in the unfinished part of the basement.
Two things prompted the move to the office. A.) I hated it down there. There isn’t a ceiling with insulation yet. We heard every single sound above us. There are also no windows so the only light was coming from the bathroom next door. I felt like a vampire. B.) I do not have a workshop so the basement has been my workshop during the winter. Our garage is tiny and is full of things in storage. We moved the bed upstairs so I could again work on things like my sister’s kitchen cabinets.
Soooo…. I have come to the conclusion that we can’t do the basement until I get a shed. Then I can move the stuff in the garage to the shed and use the garage as a workshop. Then that frees up the basement to be a bedroom. Whew! All that just to show you these photos of my clean (temporary) bedroom :)
My Bedroom in the Office!
I’ve been crushing on moody shades of green like sage and olive green for a long time and knew I wanted to add more to my home. This was the perfect space to do that!
I knew it was going to feel weird having a large piece of furniture sticking out where nothing was previously so I wanted the bedding to be light and bright. Something dark would have been too heavy. This bedding was perfect! (affiliate link) The green pillow is from H&M Home and the gray pillows are from IKEA.
I painted the previously white cabinet olive green and I LOVE it! Shane (as usual) was a little hesitant for the change. As soon as the room was all put together and styled, he said liked it better than before.
There is only a couple of feet of empty space on either side of the bed. A bit tight! So we added wheels to the bed so if we need more room on one side, we can easily slide it over.
I love the light in this space! It is west facing which means the morning light is soft and subtle and then by mid day it is sunny clear until sundown.
The shelves will forever be one of my favorite things I have built. Made from old fence pickets, they are also drawers! I store paperwork in them and photos that need to be filed or scrapbooked. It is fun to change up the decor too. This room has gone from turquoise, to more neutral, to green!
The rug in this space was not intended for this room. It was just an extra that I threw in here when we moved our bed up so that our feet would have something warm to touch when we woke up. I don’t love it, but it works okay for now. When we install new flooring next month, I will get a new rug.
I almost didn’t share this post because it isn’t a finished room. I also hate having to give a long explanation of why we are sleeping in here. Shane and I feel a bit like we are living in an apartment all over again. But I thought that maybe those of you who have downsized, those of you renting, those of you who’s living arrangements may have changed, or those of you who might want to add a guest bedroom to your office, might find value in this post. We lived with just a mattress on the floor for a month and I finally said “I know this is temporary, but I need this space to be cute and actually feel like a bedroom!” Just because a situation is temporary, doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like “home”. I still think it is worth putting forth effort to make it your own space. Shane and I may be in here for another 6 month or even longer. I wanted to love my room :)
P.S. The other wall of this room still looks the same as before. I need to paint some of the boxes or bins green and restyle them so they fit this new space better. I will share when I get it done!
So what do you think? Have you found yourself in a similar situation? I love to hear about it! Please share in the comments.
It has been a couple of years since I shared this project. This is the perfect time of year to start a project like this so I am sharing it again. I only made 4 last time so I think I am going to build some more DIY outdoor chairs this summer. We are lucky enough to have a nice fire pit in the backyard. Having four boys who love all things outdoors, we use it all the time. Up until now, we have lugged out the dining room chairs every time we use the fire pit. I finally broke down and decided that building some chairs needed to be pushed to the top of my to-do list. Here is how I made these super easy DIY outdoor chairs!
A long time ago I built a bench for Shane’s brother and his wife for their new home. I liked the design I came up with so much that I decided to use it for these chairs. I liked that the bench was deep enough that adding a pillow didn’t make you feel like you were sitting on the edge of the seat. And since it’s made from 1x4s and 2x4s, it’s very sturdy and won’t blow away every time it gets a little windy.
Cut list per chair:
(11) 18” 1x4s – slats for seat and back
(2) 22” 2x4s – front and back connector
(2) 38” 2x4s – back legs and back
(2) 17” 2x4s – front legs
(2) 15” 2x4s – finishes off sides
(1) 18” 1×3 – caps off top of chair for a finished look
(1) 15” 1×3 – added to back of chair
DIY Outdoor Chairs – Assembly
I started by cutting two pieces of 2×4 to be 38 inches high and two pieces to be 17 inches high. The 38-inch boards will be the back and the 17-inch-high boards will be the front legs. Then I cut two 22-inch boards. These will connect the front and the back and determine how deep your chair is. If you don’t plan on having pillows and want it a bit shallower, 18 inches would be a good depth too.
I wanted the back slightly slanted so it would be more comfortable. I measured and marked the center of the top of the back 2x4s, then used a straightedge to draw a line down to the bottom where the seat will be.
I used my jigsaw to cut along the line, then sanded it after cutting.
Now it’s time to attach all the 1×4 boards. I cut 11 boards to be 18 inches long, attached the front pieces first to the leg pieces as shown below, then added the back piece.
By adding the front and back pieces of the seat first, you can then fill in the center and make sure the gaps are all equal. I eyeballed it, although the measurement will be about ½ inch.
Once the seat boards are attached with wood screws, you can start the back. I started with the lowest one. Instead of having it flush against the seat board, I made a ½ gap. I added the top back board next so I could then fill in the middle like the way I did the seat.
Step 5: (*optional)
Now that the chair is basically assembled, it’s time to add some boards that will give it a more finished look. Cut a 2×4 board to fit inside the legs and attach one to each side.
I added a 1×3 to the top and to the back of the seat like shown below.
DIY Outdoor Chairs – Finishing
The chair is completely assembled! It is really a pretty easy build. I built all four in one day.
Once the chair is done you will want to use a hand sander to remove any inked-on text from the wood, then hand sand the whole chair. 1x4s have a waxy feel and won’t absorb stain well unless you sand and open the pores. Wherever you used the hand sander, make sure to hand sand after really well or you will be able to see the circular marks made by the sander when you begin to stain. Start with a 100 grit then finish with a 150 or 220.
Mustard, yellow, gold, whatever you chose to call it, I am crushing on this color! I have always loved it and have always had this color somewhere in my home. It is such a happy color and works well with any design style. Here are some of my favorite examples of mustard home decor.
I recently revamped my secret garden. Updating the garden meant I needed to also fix up the garden gates. After 8 years of wear and tear, they looked a little sad. I used my Super Finish Max sprayer to re-stain them and I have one up for grabs today thanks to HomeRight who is sponsoring today’s post. It was pretty easy to refresh old garden gates!
The Gates Before
First I removed the hardware. They were still in good shape so I spray painted them black and they looked good as new.
I sanded the gates to remove and flakes of stain and to make it smooth.
Clean Them Up!
After I sanded both sides of the gates, I hosed them off to remove all the dust and dirt.
Time to Stain
I draped a plastic tarp over the fence and propped the gates up against it. I filled my Super Finish Max (affiliate) with Dark Walnut stain and sprayed them. When you are done, make sure to clean the sprayer with soap and water if it was a water based paint or stain and with mineral spirits if it was an oil based paint or stain.
After they dried, I added new knobs and with Shane’s help, I got them back up. If you missed the reveal of the Secret Garden with raised beds, you can check it out HERE.
I love how the dark brown looks against all the greenery.
If you have staining and painting projects on your list, I have a chance for you to win a Super Finish Max so you can knock them out FAST!
You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from June 19, 2019 until June 25, 2019. A winner will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, HomeRight.
This post was sponsored by HomeRight but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own :)
Aaaaaah! I have been so excited to share this project with you. Just like in my favorite childhood book, my secret garden has come full circle. It started out beautiful, got neglected, and then was restored. If you want to see what it looked like 8 years ago, you can read my post Welcome to My Secret Garden. My secret garden was basically a large flower bed, and while very pretty, it was a lot work to keep it weed free and looking its best. Last year I closed the gates and forgot about it. In just one year, it was overcome with weeds. I decided to revamp my garden and create a more useful space that required less maintenance. I created raised garden beds for herbs!
The Garden Before:
Raised Garden Beds
Now only these 5 raised garden beds need to be weeded. Actually, since it is new, organic dirt and I use Preen, I probably will have very little, if any, weeds.
raised garden beds with herbs
Herbs and Cool Weather Vegetables
I planted mint, basil, oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, chives, and sage. Since my larger vegetable garden is rarely ready for planting in March when cool weather veggies need to be planted, I can plant things like lettuce, spinach, and peas here too. I have one box full of lettuce and another has some celery.
By having the herbs closer to the house, it is easier to collect what I need for making meals.
Hooks for Tools
I took down the moss art and added some hooks for the garden tools. This tall juniper hides the ugly telephone box.
Morning is my favorite time to be out in the garden. I also love the crunching sound the gravel makes.
All of the details on how I created this space, including all materials used and the tutorial for the planter boxes, can be found on the Home Depot’s blog. Head over for more pictures (including an above shot I took hanging out my office window!) and all the information you need to created a raised garden beds :)
This is my favorite time of year. I love all the lawn mowing and planting! Everything is green and it isn’t too hot yet. I was planting my front entry flower pots this past weekend and decided it would be a good idea to repost my tips for planting pots.
Tips for Planting Pots
If you have a really tall planter like this, add packing peanuts, empty plastic post upside down, or something else light weight to the bottom half of pot so you don’t have to fill the whole thing with dirt. It makes the pot easy to move and your plants don’t need that much dirt anyway. Also, make sure your pot has drainage holes.
I like to add different textures as well as different heights to planters so I grabbed some grass, vines, and of course flowers. I try to get a plant with small flowers and one with large flowers.
Make sure you are choosing flowers that all have the same sun/shade requirements. Don’t mix a shade loving flower with a sun loving one. If your porch gets little light, pick shade loving varieties. And if your porch is full sun all day, make sure your plants can handle that.
Plants in containers dry out faster than those in the ground. Make sure to water regularly. Set a reminder on your phone. Darker containers will heat up more than lighter ones so they may need to be watered more often.
Have you planted any flowers yet? What are your favorites? Do you have any tips for planting pots that I should add?
Last Fall our mountains caught fire. You can read that post HERE. It turned into the second largest wildfire our state has ever had. I look out my window and can see the burned scars. For those of you who asked, and those of you interested in a quick update, here you go :)
After the fire, they closed the canyon down. We were not able to go up in the Fall to see the damage up close. This winter we got more snow than usual which meant that the canyon remained closed longer this spring. A couple weeks ago they finally opened one of the gates. We still can no get all the way up, but we were able to go and check on a couple of our special places. They look like this now.
These first two pictures are of the trail leading to our meadow.
This is a before and after of our meadow we would hang out in as a family after hiking.
I am kind of glad that we were not able to go up right after. I think seeing some green grass growing here and there helped make it seem not so bleak.
A bit lower, there places that have burned spots among the green but are in pretty good condition. And there are even areas that look the same.
We are looking forward to when they open the whole Nebo loop so we can see our favorite camping places. We know one is completely gone but hope that some are okay. I’m also curious to see what the lake looks like.
This fire has taught me some things. Or at least reinforced what I already knew. One, our community rocks. They banded together and served their little guts out. I’m proud to live here. Second, things are never as bad in the morning, or in this case, in the spring. Having time to process things and come to terms with the change, really helped.
Fingers crossed the upper part of the canyon opens soon!
Every summer I swear I am going to somehow stay on top of the blog. And then the kids get out of school and we party and eat snow cones. And I start doing a whole slew of outdoor projects and I am too wiped out to do much once the sun goes down. I’m not good at balancing things.
I thought I would give you an update on all the projects I’ve been working on while I was MIA on the blog.
The front yard got a makeover. I transplanted a lot of the flowers to the backyard and gave away the rest. It created a blank sate in the front. Since all the flowers were perennial, it was the first time we have had empty flowerbeds since we moved in 12 year ago.
I dug up the plants in the secret garden and transplanted them in the front. I did it even thought late spring is the worst time to transplant things. My peonies were about to bloom and my bleeding hearts were already blooming.
I till it up and gave it an epic makeover! I can not wait to share it with you!
Peonies are notoriously bad at being transplanted. They do not like change ( I get you Peonies, I get you). I prayed for, worried about, and babied those plants and they seem to be doing alright. I cut off most of the flower buds. I figured if I cut off the flowers, all the energy would go to the roots. I should have cut them all off but I didn’t have the heart.
Back in the secret garden, the vines had started to grow on the house so I trimmed them back. those little suction feet that vines have are a beast to get off. Power washing, soaking then scrubbing, and wire brushing didn’t work.
The only thing that worked was sanding with a heavy grit sandpaper. I put my child laborers, I mean kids, to work. It even worked on the brick with out damaging the brick. I was surprised. It didn’t get it 100% clean, but it was way less noticeable. I painted the foundation after.
My sister and niece came into town for a week and while they were here we helped clean out my mom’s barn. She has stored all our “treasures” from growing up and it was time to sort through them to see what we wanted to keep. I found a box of unsent thank you cards from my wedding….Whoops! We also cleaned everything else and filled the giant trailer more than once.
It is a nice barn and if I had the money, I would fix it up to be a space to entertain since she no longer has horses. One day…
I do not have my whole garden in yet. It is all tilled and prepped, but mostly empty. Last year I was in panic mode because I didn’t have my garden planted until the middle of June and it ended up being the best producing garden we have ever had. This spring, especially May, was NUTS weather wise. Rain, rain, rain, hail, rain, and more hail. I have more than one friend who had their garden destroyed from the crazy spring weather this year. So I waited in part because of the weather and in part due to other projects taking precedence. But my perennial plants like my strawberries, raspberries, and artichokes are doing great :)
I’ve done a ton of painting. Mostly for other people. But some projects for me too. I still need to share the bedroom/office makeover. I can’t seem to keep it clean long enough to do a proper photo shoot. Having a space that functions as so many things is hard.
So to recap, I have the following projects that will be popping up on the blog soon:
The front yard makeover
The secret garden makeover
The office/bedroom makeover
New yard tools review
Paint sprayer project and giveaway
Has your summer been busy? I hope you have had time for some fun and some projects :)
We have had backyard chickens since we moved in 12 years ago. Back then we had just bought our house and were trying our best to furnish it, so we didn’t really have a budget for coop materials. My mom had recently asked the local boy scouts to come and help dismantle an old shed that she no longer needed. We were going to help take the pieces to the dump. When we saw the 2x4s, 2x6s, and some of the plywood, we knew they were still in pretty good shape and we could reuse it for the coop. Fast forward 12 years and the plywood was really ready for retirement this time. So with the help of HomeRight and our Super Finish Max sprayer, we gave our previously red coop and much needed makeover and turned it into a shiny new white chicken coop… with some upgrades!
Shane was in charge of taking the before picture since he was taking the roof off while I was working in the garden. He failed. But you can see how worn the plywood was at least in this shot.
This photo was about 7 years ago after we repatinted it to spruce it up a bit.
We started by taking off all the old plywood. The we took the top part of the coop off of the base. I built a new base that had more wood beams going across the bottom to better support the chicken wire. We like having a couple layers of chicken wire for the bottom because then we never have to clean it out. Everything eventually falls through and can be cleaned up easily.
We added new plywood siding and a new roof. The base got legs too!
Before we added the shingles, I sprayed the whole thing white with my Super Finish Max paint sprayer (affiliate link). It was done in no time at all. Then I laid a tarp out and sprayed all the trim a dark gray to match the new shingles.
I hated it.
I only got a couple of trim boards up before I knew I didn’t like it at all. When I looked at it, it looked like a cheap shed. My husband didn’t mind it and I know it isn’t the ugliest thing ever, but it was not the look I was going for.
I took the trim off and painted it white.
Much better! The little door I built was the cherry on the top. I have always wanted a white chicken coop but held off because of the potential for it to always be dirty. And guess what? I may hate it later on and regret my choice. But it is just paint. It can be changed. I am hoping with the legs keeping it up off the ground, that it will help. We also are going to lay down straw all over the ground to cover the dirt. We did that for years but recently got lazy and stopped.
I built a new ramp as well. I had tried to just paint the old one but it was badly warped and once I changed the color of the trim, I didn’t want the ramp to be gray either. I’m hoping the brown will hide the dirt better!
Our chickens had stopped laying in the coop. They kind of just laid all over the pen in the dirt and the haystack. Now that the coop is fixed, they all lay in the nesting boxes!
You can see the wire floor as well as the 2×4 that runs the length of the coop opposite of the nesting boxes for them to roost at night.
And even with the addition of legs, our youngest can still reach in and collect the eggs.
HomeRight is offering to give a Super FInish Max paint sprayer to one lucky reader. Enter below for your chance to win!
You must be at least 18 years old to enter. You must be a resident of the USA to enter. The giveaway will go from May 20, 2019 until May 28, 2019. A winner will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. The shipping of the prize is the responsibility of the company, in this case, HomeRight.
I’d love to hear what you think about the changes I made to our coop. Do you have chickens? What is your coop like?
And if you are curious about raising backyard chickens, I wrote a post all about it HERE!
This post is sponsored by HomeRight but all ideas and opinions are 100% my own!