Category Archives: Outdoors

Switching out your old outdoor light fixtures

One way to increase the curb appeal of your home and make your home safer is to replace those old light fixtures with a bright, and stylish light. That could be replacing ones by your front door, at the side of an entryway, or a light pole… You can easily do this yourself!

For our home, the pre existing, outdoor light-fixtures we had were literally about to fall off. They were so badly rusted that Peter had to break some of the screws in half in order to get the old fixture down. We actually think they were the originals when the house was built, which was 1976!!! Yikes is right!

BEFORE

AFTER

With Summer starting now, it was time to replace them. We waited and waited because we knew this would be a more costly purchase, being that we needed four lights. We searched and finally found the right fixture to fit our home! We wanted more unique and not the typical “barn light” that’s popular right now (nothing against that)! We wanted something easy to clean when needed to, something that was appealing, unique and also being the right color to go along with the house. Thanks to Amazon, we found exactly what we were looking for and it was a twin pack. SCORE!!!!!! So we purchased two, and in the future we will replace the light fixture by our patio door, but that one is still in good shape for now!

P.S. In the picture below I was so excited they arrived a day earlier than expected!!!!!!

I can’t believe we bought these lights for really $35.97 each, they are so beautiful and are great quality. I couldn’t find anything else with this similar style for less than $40 each, hey it’s a $5 difference per light but that still adds up. We are very happy with these lights from Amazon!

Supplies needed:

  • Power drill / Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Outdoor light fixture with hardware and instructions (Here is the link to the light fixture we purchased)
  • Electrical tape
  • Caulk gun (highly recommend)

Installing the light fixture:

  1. BEFORE removing existing light, turn off the circuit breaker on your service panel.
  2. Replace mounting bracket -> The new light fixture should come with the mounting hardware.
  3. Wire the outdoor light -> Included in instructions that come with fixture
  4. Caulk – used as a precaution for bees building nests, and water entering the home where the hole was.
  5. Install the new fixture, then light on top of it.
  6. Ā Turn electricity back on, and test that it works as expected.

Previously, the fixtures had a 60 watt twist light bulb, they were replaced with NEW 60 watt clear bulbs and they give off a great amount of light for our front porch and walkway, as well as outside our garage. The old were so dim, and didn’t give off much light at all, one of our front porch lights wasn’t grounded, so we actually had a fire hazard that we didn’t realize! But again we haven’t touched those lights since my husband first moved in…. so it was time!!!

So sorry for the ugly caulking around the doors, obvs the previous owners didn’t care, and just slapped it on there… GRRRRR. In the future we plan to put all new siding, and trim on, but for now we are doing the little things first. šŸ™‚ Happy Summer y’all! And happy outdoor projects!!!

DIY tips to Improve your Deck and/or Patio

Thank you for your patience, as my husband and I just got back from an amazing vacation to Hawaii. We are sad and happy to be back!

PS. If you get the chance and/or opportunity to go, you need to GO!!!!

So I would like to share with you a few simple things you can do to your outdoor space to easily make it look like a whole new space! For example here is what we did:

Repairs

  • Replace floorboards that aren’t sturdy or are old/rotting out (2).

Repaint

  • Deck
  • Spray Painted Tiki + Poles
  • Spray painted Flower planters/Shepard hooks
  • Metal arbor

I purchased the: Craftsman “paint and primer in one” to metal at Kmart for $6 each

Scrub a Dub Dub

  • Simply used soap+ water with a high pressure setting with hose to clean out spots on the area rug
  • Spot cleaned chair cushions with soap+ water with a high pressure setting with hose

 

 

Added

 

  • New outdoor chair throw pillows ( from Homegoods)
  • Weather protected lantern ( from Homegoods)
  • A flower pot that perfectly adds with the new pillows ( from Marshalls)
  • Globe string lights ( click here to purchase)
  • Outdoor curtain rod (click here to purchase)
  • Outdoor water resistant curtain panels (click here to purchase)

Took away

  • Arbor Chandelier – One of the lights broke, and because the light has been dc’d we could not find a replacement. Instead we decided to add and weave string lights (that are attached) to the center of the arbor

Other things you can do as well

  • Add potted plants
  • Invest in patio furniture
  • Power wash patio
  • Eliminate weeds in patio cracks

Break down of the costs:

  • Behr Exterior flat paint- 1 gallon $28
  • Behr deck over paint- 1 gallon $35
  • Craftsman “paint and primer” to metalĀ  spray paint – $6 each
  • Throw pillows (2 to a pack) -$20 each
  • Flower pot – $6
  • Tabletop Lantern – $15

This simple refresh sure made for a new look! A look that we both have been wanting for a bit now. After time, paint fades, style changes, and you just need to add a little to change the feel, and make for a new look! After the application of 1 coat of exterior black paint, it instantly showed off the arbor! Previously, the grey color was so faded, you really didn’t know what the color was supposed to be, that goes along with the tiki torches. To match the arbor, and also allow the flowers to pop, I spray painted the flower planters, and I surely don’t regret it! I was so excited to add the globe string lights, because they add so much to the space! Especially at night, when they twinkle and the lights gleam down and bring out the lush green ferns. We knew we wanted to “enclose” our arbor space a little for more privacy, and it took a bit of time to figure out exactly what we wanted to do… But we decided to add the weathered outdoor curtain panels, and we love them!!!!!! We love the pop the curtains add to the arbor, and how cozy it made the space instantly.

Side note: We decided to not put any curtains on the side(s) because of safety reasons with the tiki’s and the grill, asĀ  well as some bushes being in the way. Not a problem at all, we love the main view where the curtains were placed.

While some of the top layering of wood was peeling, we decided to not worry about replacing until we completely redo the deck and add a patio down the road. Why spend $$$ now when we can just save it, and do it right when we want to add the patio? But honestly once the “deck over” was applied, because of the thickness it helped make it more settle and not be as apparent. It actually adds more of a rustic feel, which I don’t mind at all! šŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, as much as I did writing it!

 

 

A low maintenance plant- Pansies!

Add some pops of color and joy to your front porch with care-free pansies.

  • You can choose from pre-planted pansy bowls that are ready to be placed on your front porch, deck and/or patio, or you can pick up some packs and create a planter yourself!
  • Get them off to a good start by planting them a few inches apart to allow more room, you can use a variety in hanging baskets or as a filler in planters.
  • Tip: to allow the roots to grow more stronger, spread the bottom of the plant before placing into the planter.Ā 
  • Water lightly
  • Later on, You can get more, and place the pansies close together to allow a more fuller look (after they are off and growing), you can also add some greens like (leaf lettuce, kale etc.) as a border.
  • I do suggest, if freezing temps come, to bring them inside just to prevent from them from dying. (why not be better safe than sorry)
  • After pansy season, replace these beauties with summer loving annuals.

 

Ps. Sorry for the not so pretty brick, after we get back from our vacation, we plan to borrow my parents air compressor, and give this baby a good cleaning!

I am so excited to get my hands in the dirt and start planting more! This year I plan to plant many planters for our deck and plant a big variety of veggies, wildflowers, and sunflowers in our garden! Thanks for reading, have a nice weekend!

Our Christmas of 2018

I have been on the ball this year, and I LOVE that feeling!!!! The Christmas decor, both inside and outside our house, was completed just a few days prior to Thanksgiving!! And our Christmas cards were ordered and sent out the first week of December!

This year I was shooting for a simple and cozy feeling, with mostly neutral colors. And let me tell ya, we are very happy with how it turned out!

The living Room

I have always been the type of person who doesn’t like clutter and I don’t like a room feeling overbearing using too many items, and I am so thankful Peter feels the same! In saying so, this year we didn’t add as much to our living room space, and it feels just as cozy and inviting like the previous years!

Although we kept it more simple this year, I did do some shopping for a few new items. Who doesn’t like to go out and get something new?! While browsing at Target, I came across these galvanized house lanterns, and instantly knew I had to get them! They fit perfectly on our handmade wall-shelf that sits above our love seat.Ā  (I purchased 2 different sizesĀ for staggering) I also picked up these fake frosted Christmas trees for UNDER $10!

Our 6 1/2 ft tree was cut down from a local, beautiful tree-farm located within a few miles from our home, and we paid only $34!!!! Click hereĀ to find it yourself! This year we only used our neutral colored Christmas balls and added a natural appearance with some pine cones! To add the more rustic feel we twirled burlap a couple times on the tree, and lastly added our glistening star atop.

The Kitchen

On-top of our beautiful, handcrafted, farm-table lays a frosty, fresh garland against a rusty grey table-runner. Staggered in sizes between the garland are 5 white candles that give off that warm and cozy feel for our table. For those of you who shop at Home Goods, you know it’s a great place that you never know what you’ll find, so in that case click here for a garland that replicates what I purchased.

I was easily inspired adding the lit garland around our kitchen window after seeing pictures from @nestingwithgrace Christmas blog. The garland was purchased at our local Kmart, I’m sorry I could not locate it on their website soĀ hereĀ is one very similar. Instantly our window felt more full, and inviting with the surrounding warm glow of twinkling lights. And guess what…. We only paid $20 for the garland (s) and the strand of 50 lights!Ā That, my friends, is a great deal!

The Upstairs

Garland galore! Can you tell I love garlands?! Both garlands going up our stairway are great for accent lighting. These twinkling lights give off a warm glow, like a night-light that leads up the stairs! It is the same garland we used for around our kitchen window (see link above). And at the landing, a 3 foot, frosted frasier fir tree occupies one of my favorite yard sale finds, our unique wood slab stool.

The great outdoorsĀ 

This year I tweaked the design to our little brick patio! Along side the sled with skates, I added a galvanized basin with logs, and a new lantern with fresh cut greens from ourĀ Arborvitae trees! Although I wish our front porch was a big wrap around with a porch swing, there is something so special about a small brick porch filled with lots of love!

Thanks for reading!!! Feel free to share with your friends!

Need any more ideas?! Please contact me!

Our sweet small porch filled with fall love!

Hello Friends!

I love decorating our front porch, and especially for fall! So I am excited to share this with you!

Pumpkins and lanterns were my big inspiration this year. Driving on back country roads, I loved how people incorporated different types of pumpkins, whether it was big or small, nudgy or smooth, white, green, or off-white, and stack-able! Some mums, cornstalks and straw bales were common. So after much drive-byes of porches filled with pumpkins, I was really excited to get started on our own front porch! I went neutral this year, I added some whites, and greens. You may recognize since the last blog, we have a new accent rug! This rug was purchased at Walmart for a whole $8! I chose this grey rug as it complements our light grey siding with graphite trim. Layered on top is the hello mat in which I find so cozy. I also purchased the beautiful gold lantern for less than $10. I don’t regret purchasing it, as I think it adds a great pop of color against the neutral stacked pumpkins, and I can use it all year round in many spaces. As for the black one, I already had it, so that was easily included in this space.

The warty, green gourd is my FAVORITE! It gives so much character to the space. This gourd was actually bought at a small roadside stand, which if I haven’t told you…. Those are my favorite! Not only do you get deals, but they have a lot of fun stuff and some rockin homemade desserts too! šŸ˜‰ The mums and pumpkins were gotten at one of my favorite places, the Country Barn located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When you visit the area, or live in the area and haven’t checked them out, please do so, you won’t regret it! Right now they have endless different pumpkins to choose from, gourds, mums, corn stalks, dried corn, crates, baskets, and inside they have a great selection of scrumptious baked goods, jellies etc.

P.S. I am giving you the real-life picture here! I’m sorry for the “not so pretty” bricks, we plan to power wash them this upcoming spring! And let me tell ya… I cannot wait! There are so many projects I want to get done like: power washing, scrubbing the siding, getting new outdoor lights, repainting the front door and the list goes on…. But , I have to keep telling myself that it’s fine and that it will take time!