On My Mind | Backyard Makeover

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 ...and goodbye lackluster backyard!
When we bought this house five years ago (five years?!) one thing we loved was our very private and very lush backyard.  And by lush I mean extremely overgrown!  The property had sat idle for two years and with it was a backyard that looked more like the Louisiana bayou than a residence located in Atlanta city limits.  But we loved it and saw the vision for what it could become.  
The first two years were spent simply deciphering the weeds from the actual plants and foliage.  And once we could tell the difference between the two, we were pleasantly surprised to see an abundance of beautiful plants and shrubs.  Arborvitaes frame the perimeter, camellias border the back wall and azalea's divide the center of our split level backyard.  We added a railroad tie garden, planted hydrangeas and box-woods, stained the back deck and built a fire pit.  Then a little thing called time snuck in and what we have is 5 years of a backyard that we love the potential of, but haven't fully enjoyed.
In a recent reader survey a lot of you asked for my design process and inspiration.  I wish I could tell you that I have sure fire method that easily and quickly takes a project from idea to fruition.  Truth be told, most of the time the final outcome ends up quite differently from the initial idea.  And in today's 'makeover madness' world, it sometimes can appear that a project happens overnight.  And for some platforms, it does.  But in most situations there's a lot of work and planning that goes into the front end.  For myself it's about being inspired, solving a problem then figuring out how to execute it in a way that stays within budget & timeline with the end result being equal in both form and function.

So, today I'm taking some time to be inspired.  Going through vacation pics for inspiration and seeking my muse throughout the web.  For those of you wanting to follow along my design process, you can check out this Pinterest board I started for the project!
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In the meantime, this is what my backyard currently looks like, dead grass...overgrown bushes...but a whole lot of potential!

What projects are you dreaming about this summer?


To Charleston with Love

Monday, June 22, 2015

The recent tragedy in Charleston has my heart hurting.  

And while I can't speak to the pain and devastation these families are feeling, I did want to share one small way for you to show your support.  I just got off the phone with my mom, who shared that my youngest brother played baseball with one of the victim's youngest sons.  

A tragedy to say the least.

This young boy, along with his older brother and sister lost their mother and their sole provider.

Obviously, this story is close to home for me, and for those of you looking for a way to show your support I wanted to share that a GoFundMe account has been set up in the eldest son's name,

I hope you will take time out of your busy day, read their story and donate what you can...remembering that even $5 when multiplied by numerous donors can go a long way!



  

ICYMI | DIY Lawn Dominoes

It's officially summer!!  And what better way than to celebrate in the great outdoors with friends, family & fun?!  After returning home from our 3,000 mile road trip, we're looking forward to grilled dinners, playing with the twins and a healthy dose of competitive game nights!  In case you missed it, last summer we shared this DIY and were thrilled to see it featured in this months All You Magazine
 Inspired by our summer game-nights we decided to make an oversized version of a classic!
An easy DIY Lawn Game of Dominoes!  Add a splash of color that screams summertime and what you've got is a weekend favorite!

This DIY is so easy and simple ~ I promise it'll be a sure-fire hit at your next backyard BBQ!
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Materials Needed for a Set of 28 Dominoes:

1 Quart each of Glidden® Paint in the following colors:

Paint Brush

Paint Containers for Mixing Colors

Non-treated Pine Wood
Two 2x6x10
One 2x6x8

Miter Saw or Saw to cut wood

Sandpaper

Pencil

Cardboard for Domino Template

Cutting Tool to Create Domino Template
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To Make:

Start by cutting the wood into 28 individual pieces that are 11 inches long:

Using sandpaper, smooth any rough surfaces and edges.

Because our oversized dominoes are made for outdoor use, we chose to use Glidden Paint's Premium Collection Exterior Paint, in flat.  One thing we love about Glidden Paint is that you don't have to go through a bazillion color swatches to find the one you like.  Instead, they've done all the narrowing down for you, creating a simplified palette that makes color selection a breeze!  Which, let's be honest, we'd all prefer spending time enjoying a finished project, rather than wasting endless time deciding on paint colors.
After only a couple minutes we decided on a tropical inspired, turquoise palette of Glidden Paint Peacock Blue, Glidden Paint Hawaiian Teal & Glidden Paint Muslin White.  To achieve our ombre color scheme, we painted 5 dominoes Glidden Paint Peacock Blue, 5 dominoes Glidden Paint Hawaiian Teal, and 3 dominoes in each variation below:
In planning for this DIY we assumed we'd need to paint our dominoes a minimum of two coats, possibly even three since we opted not to waste time and money priming them (this was our first time using Glidden Paint's Premium Collection Exterior Paint).  So of course I was jumping for joy when I saw how thick and amazing the coverage was on just the first coat.
And I was even more shocked to see how that the first coat dried with full coverage.  Brian couldn't believe I had only given them one coat of paint ~ and given my current case of pregnancy-brain, he kept asking are you sure this isn't two coats?!  Needless to say we were more than pleased with the results and decided not to give an unnecessary 2nd coat of paint.
While I worked on painting, Brian created our Domino Template.  Cut a piece of cardboard to size, 5.5" x 11".  Then trace and cut out 1 1/8" circles and a line in the middle (finished it will look like the green template below).  Remember: this is for a set of 28 dominoes, 6 will be the largest number.  Once your template is made, use a pencil to trace onto each domino.

Then use a small paintbrush and Glidden Paint Muslin White:
Making your individual dominoes look like this:
Once your set is done, enjoy a friendly (or competitive) game of lawn dominoes!!
To store, use a large basket or laundry bag.
Wishing you a summer filled with FUN!!!


What I Wore | Martha's Vineyard

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

On our recent roadtrip, we spent time in Martha's Vineyard.  The sun was warm, but the breeze was cool.  Mornings tended to be foggy and the afternoons windy.  Layering pieces made the daily temperature transitions easy.  Colorful totes acted as a diaper bag, purse and camera bag in one.  And what better place for preppy, casual attire!  Some of my pieces I bought on sale and are no longer available.  For those items I linked to similar pieces below.

American Made | Sea Bags Maine

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The official start to summer is about a week away!  The season of road trips, seaside visits, pool days, beach days...lazy days.  Summer to me means adventures, big and small.  I love exploring those places that are off the beaten path...camouflaged in their environment, .  It's a local restaurant, a natural spot or a place near to your heart.  Custom House Wharf in Portland, Maine is that place.

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