Sunday, March 13, 2011

Confessions of a Hillbilly

Growing up, I remember always having a nice house. It wasnt perfectly clean, decorated or fancy but it was always tidy and well kept. Our yard was always beautiful and we always had somewhere to be very proud of. Though I may sound like a judgemental little twit from the suburbs for saying this...when I would visit friends houses that werent clean I would get almost an anxiety about playing there. I remember being 5-6 years old and avoiding certain peoples houses because of the clutter. Lucky for me, almost all of my friends had very clean, very well kept houses and yards. When my mother passed away I quickly I soon found myself being one of those people that were a little embarrassed of my house. It wasnt as nice. It wasnt as clean. My dad worked hard and did a damn good job, but...its hard for one person to do what two people did. Especially, when that one person is a man. No offense. Women are just better at...well, everything.

My handsome man just turned 3. To me, this means that the whole 2 year old amnesia thing is wearing off and he's going to start developing memories of his house and home. I want him to be proud. I want him to invite people over and the only thought he and his friends have are playing.

With ALL that longwinded nonsense is where our hillbilly yard comes into play. Somewhere along the last couple years I have completely abandoned my backyard and it definately shows.

Yupp, thats a car tire. Thats also a ridiculous amount of seasonal toys that have been sitting back there since...last summer. Oh and a jogging stroller. Kind of embarrasing. Here's a close up of that nonsense just in case you didnt get enough the first time...

Not good, then there's our porch. It's little and has lots of unused potential. Here's a picture with our lovely Kita. See all that crap in the background behind her. I shamefully admit, it's been sitting there for a while.

As well as all the stuff sitting on the sides and underneath the porch.

To be completely honest, these pictures dont do the uglyness of our backyard justice. It truly is ugly. Uglier then I think I can even show in pictures. But the pictures are ugly enough to embarrass me. Thats kind of the point of this whole post, to embarrass me into getting this backyard into tip top shape. Nothing will move someone faster then embarrassment.

Our plans for the backyard arent lavish by any means but they will make our backyard somewhere where we can bbq, play and work. Mostly DIY and cheap-o projects to make this space feel more like an extended room off of our home.

Our backyard itinerary for this spring/summer:
1. Getting all that JUNK to the dump or goodwill
2. Powerwashing our pavers and then repaving our patio with them to make everything nice and even - lots of work but it'll be cheap!
3. Buying a new patio set, I'm thinking this one
4. Making a potted plant garden
5. Grass! Were gonna try and grow some grass!
6. Buying a shed to store our lawn mower and other outdoor tools
7. Powerwashing and restaining our porch
8. Making a sandy area for Patrick's water table
9. Putting up some sort of lattice under the deck to keep all the leaves and winter muck out from underneath
10. Adding some solar lighting for breezy summer nights

Today were taking stuff to the dump, cleaning it up and donating it. Hopefully our first little step will make a BIG difference.

Cheers to spring!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tray'ding Spaces like that post title? I know, I'm clever.

Lately, I have been seeing laquered trays all over design magazine, blogs and catalogs.

Like these from west elm

I came across a tray that I bought a little over 10 years ago from Pier 1. It's a solid little wood tray but is dark and drab and totally not our style. I thought that maybe I could use some left over paint and make it into something new. Something pretty that could serve as a catch all for everything the hubby dumps from his pockets every evening.

I stole a couple hours during nap times and started a new project.

Here's the tray before her facelift

And that super low...obviously 10 years ago price tag from Pier 1

I spray painted the entire thing white

I couldnt decide what I wanted to do with it from there...but I knew it needed something. As I was digging around our "house stuff" shelf in our laundry room storage I found this little guy.

I bought this originally intending for it to be the color of our guest bathroom. All the boys in our house objected. Suprised? Yeah, me niether.

Anyway, here's the tray after the first coat. First coats of paint always look like crap. Thats normally how you know your doing a good first coat. It's kind of thin, uneven and not cute by anyones standards. Oh, and as you can see...I didnt even bother using another paint brush. I just used the one right out of the bottle. Super easy.

Then the second and final coat. She's all done!

And here she is in her new home...

The best thing about this whole project...was that it was free! Gotta love free!