How to Make Your Patio Look New Again for Less Than $100

how to make your old patio like new again

Last year, I made an Olympic-sized (pun-intended) effort to make over my back yard. I took down ivy (which dumped bugs and dirt in my bra), sawed down branches, pulled out weeds longer than my arm, built a fence, found an entire toy store's worth of balls and frisbees, and even dressed up my tiny patio with some new outdoor chairs and a couple planters. There was just one problem: My concrete slab patio is complete garbage. It's not really the slab's fault; it's mine. I often … [Read more...]

Tips for Growing Hydrangeas

tips for growing hydrangeas

I absolutely love hydrangeas.  Whether they are blue, green, white, purple, or pink, they are one of my favorite things about summer.  They were one of the first shrubs I ever planted in my yard (after the one I discovered in my back yard quickly died from overgrown ivy during the first year), and thankfully, they are growing back strong this year. I should also mention that when it comes to outdoor gardening, I do not have a green thumb.  I'm not even much of a fan of gardening, … [Read more...]

Going for Gold

flowers to sell a house

I am not exactly sure how I stumbled onto the info, but someone must have told me a long time ago that yellow flowers sell a house.  And for a long time, I just kind of assumed it was an old wives' tale.  But now that I've decided to prepare the house for sale, I got a little curious and checked with my old friend, Google.  And do you know where that lead? Yep. If you think about it in terms of color theory, we choose paint colors to invoke emotions all the time in home decor.  People … [Read more...]

A Little Here, A Little There

new rug

Staycation Day 1:  My aunt and uncle arrived in town, and while the intention was to get to work on the kitchen immediately, there was a small snafu.  I'll get into the drama of it later once I've stopped swearing. Instead, Monday consisted of a good deal of brainstorming, more backyard cleanup (fall = pine needles everywhere), and coming up with a game plan for the rest of the week. I may not have as much time as I thought this week to write post updates until we start making some … [Read more...]

The Backyard Makeover: Before and After

patio after

After the third outdoor post this week, you're probably wondering what's going on with the kitchen progress.  I can assure you it's been on my mind (I've been watching videos and reading up about how to install my kitchen counters and sink when the time comes.  It makes me a little bit sad that I'm not carving the hole for the sink right this minute.  But I know I need to wait for some expert help to at least feel comfortable making that first cut). But despite knowing that you guys want to … [Read more...]

Backyard Makeover: Fall Color

pansies

Let's say your good friend Amy brags to you that she actually "loves" doing yard work and gardening.  And you have a yard full o' this to work with: Clearly, there's a chance she's insane... but I have absolutely no ethical issues with taking advantage of her delusions and letting her stick her bare hands in dirt. And then, let's say The Home Depot sees your post about cleaning up your back yard and dangles a magical orange gift card in front of you - one that has the power to give … [Read more...]

Fence Me In

fence

I am sore from head to toe.  Well, I guess if I didn't hit my head, I'm just sore from the neck down.  But the bottoms of my feet are feeling the burn in addition to all of my other major muscle groups, so I'm still counting the toe part.  And did you know that you can actually get a bruise on your palm?  I'm not even sure I know how that happened (I think it was from chiseling out cement).  I didn't even know it was a bruise until I tried to wash off what I thought was dirt in the … [Read more...]

Die Hard: Sarah versus The Enchanted Forest

tree ivy

Winner of the Aquasana giveaway has been chosen!  Click back on the giveaway post for details (& send me your contact info if you're the winner!).  Congrats! (So this is a total sidebar:  I have just recently started watching Sons of Anarchy.  Holy crap, I love it after only one episode.  I know, I know - it takes me forever to watch extremely popular shows.  But the bonus is that I get to watch shows the way I like 'em:  fifty plus episodes back to insomnia-producing back.  And I'm not … [Read more...]

A Looooong-Awaited Project Begins

backyard

When it comes to owning a house, projects can often get split into two distinct categories: the projects I'm nearly doing backflips over to get done right this very second the projects I'd rather peel my own eyelids off before I'd do more than once It's entirely possible for a project to be both at the same time.  For example, I am thrilled over the idea of bringing my kitchen mood board to life.  But the idea of painting another four to five coats of primer and paint on the upper … [Read more...]

Soggy

deck

While some of the country might be experiencing a heat wave right now, Georgia has been turned into a tropical rain forest.  It's been raining all summer.  Sure, I've been in school for most of it and haven't really been in a position to do anything about a sunny day if we were to have one, but still.  My progress on the Great Yard Cleanup of 2013 has pretty much been on hold since chopping down all of the branches and bushes in the front yard. It's been soggy to the point that we're treating … [Read more...]

The Aftermath

new house pic

So, what does it look like when one yard gets rid of tree limbs and a bunch of overgrown bushes all over the place? A heavy, hot mess. If you recall from last week, my Dad and a neighborhood friend helped me tackle several curb-appeal related projects:  exterior maintenance, clearing excess limbs from a tree, and even taking a chainsaw to the bushes on the side and front of the house.  In short:  we cut down a lot of shit in the name of yard cleanup. We filled one truck with all of the … [Read more...]

Bricks and Pricks Be Gone

saw

Yep, still talking about yard work this week.  So far, I covered maintaining certain things (like the mulch and gutters) and clearing out the branches that were blocking the view of the house from the street (thanks to a new pole saw).  But it's not over yet! Yeah, buddy. Does anyone else feel like letting out a grunt? No?  Just me then. (#fistbump, Colleen) In case you weren't sure, this was one of the items on my birthday wish list. That chainsaw was heavy.  But it … [Read more...]