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Hey, friends! I was going to share a vacation recap today, but I decided to toss that aside in consideration of some recent events that I’m still trying to process (the only details I’m going to share about it right now are here, but thanks to those of you who have already left comments). Charlie’s recap will still be on its way because her experience was just too damn funny not to share, but for today, I think it’s better to focus on what it is that I do best: starting projects (finishing them is a whole other story, though).

One of these is happening in the interior of the house, while the other is a huge project I’m super excited about, and both are hopefully going to make my home a lot more guest friendly.

Organizing the Entryway

It’s been a long while since I did anything to the entryway area, and I realized when I got home from my road trip that this…

entryway before

… is just ridiculous. This little nook has been really tough for me to figure out how to organize, but the main issue is that because it’s not pretty or helpful in any way, I use it as a dumping ground. I hardly ever use the closet, and I brought the coat rack down from the guest bedroom because I kept tossing coats on the bench instead of hanging them up (I’m not proud of the sheer laziness of that, but we all fall into really annoying habits sometimes).

Almost everything above that you see in that picture needs to be installed somewhere else in the house (mostly upstairs), but when I lug things in from the car, this is where it goes first. I’ve been working with a hardware company this summer, so they have sent me a package full of goodies to help turn this into something that doesn’t make me audibly groan anymore. I have some fun ideas, and I’m looking forward to seeing it come together.

Leveling Out the Back Yard

Ok, so I’ve taken out trees, moved plants over, built some garden beds, and done some makeover stuff back here before, but I’m excited to finally announce that I’m going to begin one of my biggest projects ever. There will be video. There will be lots and lots of labor and sweat. And pretty soon, a spiffy new place to entertain. And, it’s all going to be thanks to one amazing brand partnership that I’ll be sharing with you guys soon. But first, let’s just just take a quick glimpse at what we’re now going to call the “before” photo:

backyard before

And just for shits and giggles, some really lazy Photoshopping to demonstrate my excitement about what’s going to be happening. Boom!

cartoon me on backhoe

I’m going to be renting a giant toy* (eep!) and using it to move the large dirt mound on the left side of the yard into the depressed area along the back (you guys might recall me talking about this sink hole problem before). Then, I’m going to probably have to grab some extra fill dirt to level things out even more. And once that’s done, I’m going to add a shed back here (remember, the garage isn’t very large, and having extra storage space for the garden supplies will be so helpful) and build a large area that will be my new spot for entertaining (the tiny cement patio that I’ve worked on before will get some updates as well, but it will be used as a separate space… hopefully for a grill).

Will all of that happen this summer? Ha! Shit no. I have other projects already going on that need to be addressed as well, so I’ll be happy if just the ground gets leveled out and I don’t do anything idiotic. But since even that is a giant first step, I’m going to recap the whole thing in a few posts and show you how it’s done. Can you tell how excited I am?!?! My personal life is kind of a shit sundae right now, but this? THIS. My friends have offered to take me to a gun range to do some target practice as a form of catharsis, but I chuckled and thought to myself, “actually… I think I have a better idea!”

*For the record, I know this is a serious piece of machinery, so I’m going to be safe about it and will be encouraging you guys to do the same in the upcoming tutorials. But I’m just also already giddy at thinking of how badass I’m going to feel sitting in this thing, which is kind of funny when you consider how much I loathe mowing my grass.

Alrighty, enough for now. I need to go hit something with a hammer.

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  1. Sarah, you’re a hoot! Your answer about doing it all this summer made me laugh out loud. I know that feeling! Little by little it’ll happen. Good luck!

  2. That looks like a lot of fun! We just bought our first house last week and my Dad helped me cut down a 15 foot pine tree this weekend. It was awesome, I got to you a mini chainsaw. I loved it and can’t wait to use more power tools

  3. I always love reading your posts. They are so upbeat and positive, and really make home-ownership seem like one big creative adventure. I’m lightyears away from buying a house (bay area real estate is crazy expensive) but i really enjoy seeing the process, so keep the posts coming!

  4. Let us know how the heavy machinery works out. I’ve always wanted to operate one.

  5. sad to hear about your recent shit storm/shit sundae (love that expression). but your upcoming projects sound so fun! can’t wait to see what you’re doing in the back yard, i’m wondering if it’s a deck/gazebo type area. love the photoshopped pic!

  6. Not to take the fun out of it but remember to call your friends at DigSafe or whatever it is you have in Georgia. The last thing you want to do is find a buried cable or water line the hard way. Sorry, just putting my “Dad” hat on.

    Every time we see one of those mini excavators, I keep telling my wife we need a toy like that.

    1. Yep! It’s 811. Call before you dig – I know the line well! You can usually just submit online a few days before you begin to have them come out and make sure you’re safe.