Sunday, May 17, 2015

A New Arbor for the Backyard

I've been wanting to work on the entrance into our backyard for a few years now.  Recently, we redid the west side of the backyard. HERE.   Now it's time to do the east side.

We started with this.  Of course this was several weeks ago, so everything was still looking drab during the winter...

We dug up an area and decided to use the same pavers that we used for the other side of the backyard.  Of course we have our trusty new helper, Henry! 

We have really bad winds at times here, so we needed to make sure the arbor would stay put.  These 8" tubes were the smallest that Home Depot had.  We thought about using 4" pipe, but it was significantly more expensive.  One 4 foot tube did the trick for the four footings.

We mixed two bags of concrete mix in the wheelbarrow and filled the tubes.  (then it rained for 6 days!)

After a week, we drilled holes in the footings and put concrete anchors in.  The arbor was then attached to those.

Once again, our trusty helper...  :)

We used bags of paver sand for the base and carefully made sure every paver was level itself, then level with all of the pavers next to it. 


We'll let the sand settle in (more rain coming this week!), then I'll add soil and plant ground cover between the pavers.  That will soften the look.
I've added a clematis on the left and some cosmos on the right.  We'll see about hanging some baskets until the clematis takes off to add some color.

We're so happy with the entrance now!
Thank you for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Shady Spots for Summer

It gets really hot here in the summer.  It's so nice to have a shady spot to sit in the heat of the day.  Recently I was on Hometalk and found these inspiring spots to relax and stay cool.  Check out my Hometalk clipboard HERE.
Of course, my favorite is the one in my own backyard.  :)

Thank you for your visit!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Guest Post--Bathroom Updates

Today I am welcoming Wilbert Bail with a guest post on bathrooms.  Thanks Wilbert!

The Adventurous Bathroom

The bathroom is without a doubt one of the best rooms in the house to spend some quality time. From taking a relaxing bath to pampering ourselves, it is the place where we can escape our everyday stresses. This is why we design our bathrooms to be not only functional but also to have an aesthetic which we can enjoy. When covering our walls and floors, we often adventure ourselves in either two directions: the modern looks vs the traditional ones.

The Modern Bathroom

Modern bathrooms are mainly designed with the idea of hygiene, often being tiled with simple colours so that dirt can be made visible and easy to clean. This approach not only looks clean, it also emphasizes on the idea of luxury and modernity. This makes modern bathrooms looking great, displaying shiny mono-coloured surfaces like a sports car would. However, not everyone enjoys this look, and some of us feel compelled towards something with more personality and less shine.

The Traditional Bathroom.

Most of us who enjoy old traditional bathrooms do so because those have more charm and character than their modern counterparts. Rather than using simple coloured tiles, older bathrooms have tiles which display patterns which get repeated over the spreading of multiple tiles. Those beautiful and sometimes intricate patterns add more originality to the room as they are very eye-catching. When looking around the room, our eyes glance at those patterns to make sure they are repeated perfectly, jumping from one tile to the other. And no matter how often we use the bathroom, we always take the time to stare at those patterns because it is something our eyes and brain enjoy doing.

Being adventurous

There is nothing wrong with getting what we want. Modern and luxurious looking bathrooms will often project the idea that we are financially well-off and as such their aesthetics will evolve around status. Whilst there are merits to this approach, it is not the most original way to do things. Buying the latest luxury item is an easy thing to do when you can afford it but taking the time to find an aesthetic which corresponds to certain traits of your personality takes time and reflection. So when it comes down to researching, being adventurous and hardworking will really pay off.

Choosing the ideal floor and wall coverings

Like many life choices, choosing the right aesthetics for our bathroom is all about taking the time to look at as many different options as possible. The best way is to look at different bathrooms displayed in catalogues, websites, DIY showrooms and even friend’s houses. Places such as the ABL Tile Centre provide a great choice of bathroom floor and wall coverings, and it is especially worth checking online to see the Artisan range at ABL. Doing so, we realise that there are many different appealing floor and wall coverings to choose from, covering all colours, patterns and textures. After all, why not be adventurous and find something we really want, rather than doing what everyone else does?


Thank you for your visit!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Industrial Pipe and Mahogany Table

My husband is an incredible woodworker.  Recently, he decided to build a table base out of plumbing pipes rather than wood.  (yes, I was a bit shocked!)  :) 
Lots of pipe and connectors from Home Depot.
He painted everything black. 
He made the top out of mahogany.  It is such a beautiful wood!

It really came out nice!

Thank you for your visit!

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A New Path for the Side Yard

For the past couple of years, I've wanted to get rid of the grass on our side yard.  It's a really narrow area and kind of pain to mow.  We put a shed back there to hold the snow blower in the summer and store my pots for the winter, but other than that, we rarely go back there.  Pavers and pea gravel seemed like an easy solution.  Of course, once the project starts, it's always harder on the body than expected.  :)
We started with this:
We removed a truckload of sod.
We ordered a yard of sand, but the guy with the tractor at the garden center put this road base gravel in the truck.  Once it's put in the truck, there are not a lot of choices.  Luckily, it worked out ok.
They were able to add the pavers to the truck with a forklift.  Then we only had to handle them a couple of times.  At 18 pounds each, they are heavier than you might expect.
 It took a LONG time to set the pavers.  Each had to be completely level itself, and with the other pavers.  We used 2x4 pieces to keep the spacing correct.  As soon as we'd finish two rows, we'd fill the rows with the road base to hold the pavers in place.

We are thrilled with the result!  And amazingly enough, we had only two shovelfuls of the road base left over.  Boy were we lucky that we had enough, but not too much.

While we were in the middle of this project, we added this adorable boy to our family.  Henry is such a sweet boy and we are thrilled he's ours! 

Thank you for your visit!

Thanks so much to Cindy at Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home for the feature this week!

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

I am linking to the following parties:

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easter Nests!

It's that time of year again.  Time for Easter Nests! 


I love making these nests for Easter.  Everyone looks forward to them and they are so easy to make!

2 cups Mini Marshmallows
1/4 cup Butter (half stick)
4 cups of Chow Mein Noodles

 Jelly Beans, M&M's or Robin's Eggs to fill


 --This recipe makes about 12 nests.  If you want to make more, buy two bags of Chow Mein Noodles.  You'll have plenty of Marshmallows with one bag.

In 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows.  Stir until smooth.  Take off of heat and immediately add chow mein noodles.  Stir until coated with marshmallow/butter mixture. 

Use a very clean 12 count cupcake pan.  Rub butter in all cups.


Put butter on your hands.  Spoon the coated chow mein noodles in each cup, then use your hands to form it into  little nests. 

Put the cupcake pan in freezer for an hour or so (or even overnight).  To pop each nest out, I usually use a butter knife to gently pry it out.   I use parchment paper or wax paper between the plate and the nests so they don't stick.   Fill with candy and enjoy!


Sometimes I find the candies on the plate and the nests have all been eaten!  They are delicious.


 Thank you for your visit!




I am linking to the following parties:


Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

DIY Show Off


The Scoop #110 at Stone Gable