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


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...]

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


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...]

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


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...]


Owning a home doesn't always mean a makeover.  Sometimes, a home simply needs upkeep.  And this weekend, I had a little of both.  In one day, I managed to get a ton of outdoor tasks accomplished - which would make for a ridiculously long post if I grouped everything together.  So instead, I'm going to break it up into smaller posts which will help me cover everything sufficiently.  First up: outdoor home maintenance. I have been really proud of myself for choosing the right flowers for the … [Read more...]

My Happy Hydrangea


I think all houses in the south should have at least one hydrangea in the yard.  When I first moved into the house, there was one in the back yard.  Like most of the plants back there, the placement seemed pretty random.  I was just glad to see a beautiful blue cluster of flowers.  Unfortunately, due to either neglect or the ivy ground cover that exists back there, the hydrangea appears to be dead (or so it seems; I haven't seen the flowering since that first year and I can't even remember where … [Read more...]

Small Victories

potted plant progress

Ah, Friday. The perfect day for a brain dump and some blog updates. As some of you (might) know, I love this whole blog design thing. I taught myself how to do HTML, CSS, and have been learning how to do the more complicated stuff so that you can get the most out of navigating this site (I'm just like you; I get frustrated trying to navigate cumbersome websites too, even when they are my own!). Truth be told, I love the challenge, and I'm pretty darn proud of myself when I'm victorious. … [Read more...]

The DIYer Shuffle

Remember how sad and droopy my front garden was looking a few weeks ago? After doing a little night gardening, I've been waiting for some of the snapdragons to deadhead and flower again to share more photos, but they are taking their sweet time (there are a ton of buds, but most of them haven't bloomed yet).  Thankfully, we've been having a good mix of sunny and rainy days to keep these guys happy while I focus on a few other projects (and darn it, that grass just won't stop growing - time to … [Read more...]

Quick Mailbox Makeover

mailbox flowers 1

I sometimes look at my house like it's on a sliding scale.  When I work on my house and make improvements, it moves farther down the line to the end goal: where my house is livable, functional, and beautiful all at the same time.  When I fall into patterns of laziness or just get overwhelmed from other things (for example, finals were on Friday and kicked my ass in terms of lost sleep, shaking hands from too much coffee, and general queasiness from feeling totally unprepared and guilty for not … [Read more...]

Potted Plans: Taking the Guesswork out of Container Garden Design

planters with new flowers

I spotted something GENIUS at my local home improvement store the other day: It's a ready-to-plant container that takes the guesswork out of creating a colorful planter.  No need to mix and match various annuals to make your planters look like a pro job.  Just buy the one container and the plants are already arranged just so.  Easy! The patio is really just a sad cement slab just outside of the sliding glass doors in the kitchen.  It's going to stay this way until I can install a bigger, … [Read more...]