Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A few backyard projects thus far...

Oh how I wish projects around here could move along a lot quicker than they are. Unfortunately that is just not the case. As I try to come to terms with the fact that this house is one never ending project, I am here to report on the few we have finished.

First up the play set.
As Nick and I were debating what to get the kids for Christmas I threw out the idea to buy them a small slide or play house of some sort. You know the plastic Fisher Price variety. However Nick had much larger plans in mind, so he took that idea and ran with it. I have to admit it started to stress me out and whenever he would talk about it my eyes would glaze over. I tried to talk him out of it multiple times, but in the end he pulled it off and the kids and myself could not be more happy about it.

                                 


Next, the shed.
We poured the cement pad for this shed last May then shortly after Nick had me out in the backyard helping him stand up the walls and getting it ready for trusses. Then it sat. For 8 months. Not a single thing was done until last month when we finally stopped stalling and started doing. Within the next few weeks the trusses were up and the entire thing was sheet-ed with plywood. Soon the door was on. We even added an awning on the side to be able to work on future building projects out side. Now we need to lath(the process of putting paper and wire up before stucco), finish the roof with metal sheeting, add insulation and drywall to the interior and stucco the entire thing. We are so close and yet here it is almost an entire year later and it's still not done. Soon. Soon.

                              


When I look around all I see are things that need to be done, it's frustrating. I really need to stop. Stop being so negative. I love this little house with all it's charm. The street we live on with all it's trees and wonderful neighbors. But, man it's exhausting fixing up a house.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

curly hair don't care.

 Recently I decided that I am too harsh on my hair. I have naturally curly hair and for a long time I was using a blow dryer and flat iron on it almost everyday. Finally I decided enough was enough, it was time to get back to my natural texture and be okay with it. Here's the thing about my hair, it's really curly, like crazy and unruly curly. So choosing the right products is a must. Up until about a month ago I had been trying out a few different curl creams only to be disappointed each time. Then one day I stumbled upon THIS blog and then THIS blog and they both recommended using "Not Your Mother's Kinky Curl Cream". So I had to go right out and get myself some.

You guys this stuff has changed my life. Seriously. It gives my curls just enough definition and shine without weighing them down. Plus it smells amazing and you can find it at Walmart for under $5, doesn't get better than that.

First up in my curly hair routine: Shampoo and Conditioner. Now I just use the Tresemme Curl Hydration line and I have liked it fine so far. I have also heard rave reviews about Wen, but have yet to try it out. When I am putting conditioner in my hair I make sure to run my fingers through my hair thoroughly because I don't brush my hair again after that.

Once out of the shower I rub a dime size amount of Organix Moroccan Argan Oil on my hair from root to tip. I love this stuff, it's lightweight, smells good and doesn't leave my hands feeling greasy. I have noticed a huge difference in my hair since using it too.

Next I let my hair part naturally in the center and rub a quarter size amount of the NYM curl cream through my hair, scrunching as I go. Then I just let it air dry. Once it's dry I take a curling wand and touch-up a few of the pieces around my face and any other that didn't curl enough.

That's it easy peasy. Here's to embracing your natural hair.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The start of something new.

And by new I mean a project not a new house or anything like that. We have done absolutely nothing around here since September when we put our front lawn in. We had run out of money, time and energy to start anything new. But with the spring came a refinance and a bit of money saved up to get started on a whole new batch of projects around here. It just never ends.

This time around we are focusing on the back yard, a shed to be exact. While I would really rather spend the money finishing the kitchen, this is actually the most logical next step in this crazy process of our home re-model. Why is that you ask?
Well, because of this: massive tools in the office/catch-all room.


This: Which also happens to be one of the first things you see when you walk into the house.


And let's not forget this: just a bunch of random camping gear, food storage and such.


You see this house has zero storage space. No extra closets, no garage, no nothing. So we are creating a little space in the backyard to house not only a lawnmower and tools, but holiday decor, camping gear... well, you get the idea. Once all the extra crap is out of the house it might actually start feeling all cozy and organized instead of cluttered and dirty all the time. I can't wait.

Now on to the shed. First things first, a cement pad. We got her formed up pretty quickly one night and then instead of going the Quikrete bag route we brought the big guns in.


And boy was I happy about that, I don't think this back of mine could have handled another concrete session. We are blessed with great friends and family who are willing to lend a hand on some of the larger projects around here. The best part was that all I had to do was take a few photos and pick-up some breakfast.


The pour went super smooth and even included the cement truck performing a 3-point turn in the backyard. It was seriously impressive. Along with the shed pad, we also poured a sidewalk from the kitchen door to the backyard. We will eventually pour a back porch which the sidewalk will connect to. I'm pretty sure I have never posted a pic of our backyard and I am here to rectify that error. So without further ado....


I am standing in the driveway looking back. It's quite a large space and we can't wait to turn it into our own little oasis. The following are a few of the things on our ever growing to do list:

- pour a patio
- cut a hole in the wall for a back door
- build a pergola over the patio
- dig a hole for a trampoline
- fix the fence along the far right side
- plant lots of bushes and such along the back fence for privacy
- grass, grass, grass
- prune the trees
- edging of some sort
- gravel

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure there is a lot I've forgotten. Up next, framing the shed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

yard update: sod.

10.4.12
This post has been almost 7 months in the making, way back in March we decided to start working on our yard. So we tore up some cement, dug trenches for sprinklers, put in pipe for sprinklers, brought in more dirt, poured new cement on 1, 2 and 3 separate occasions, put in railroad ties, even more dirt, lots of shoveling and raking, put the sprinkler heads on and now finally it was time to lay some sod.


These 2 beautiful pallets were delivered yesterday morning around 8:30 a.m., then I had to sit and stare at them all day until Nick got off work. It was torture, but I figured I had waited 7 months, I could wait a few more hours. Finally it was time. We have some amazing neighbors who just showed up and started working, so grateful. Rick was here as well and Hayden and Archie made him work a little bit harder than everyone else.


Travis (the one on the right) knocked on my door at 4:30 and asked if he could get started, of course I said yes. He got to work spreading sod starter fertilizer and wetting down the dirt. Park(the one on the left, who happens to be in his 90's) walked over as well and just got right to work, he was very meticulous and put down a good portion of the sod for us. So grateful to live on a street with such incredible neighbors.




I'm not sure who was more excited me or the kids. I saw Archie rolling around in the grass at one point and Hayden kept telling me how excited and happy she was for our new grass. I think we are going to have some good times out there.


And now lets take a look back shall we... This picture was taken in the midst of cement removal and trench digging. I thought it would look this way forever.


And now the after........ I can't stop staring at it. I love it so much!





It is so nice to not be the eyesore on the street anymore. It's amazing the instant gratification laying sod brings. I can't wait to sit and relax on the grass this fall.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Decor.

Being here in Southern Utah the weather is still quite hot, but much cooler than the 100+ degree temps we see throughout the summer. I have always loved this time of year and I can't wait for things to really start cooling off...I'm a jeans, sweaters, and scarves kind of gal...what can I say. Until that day comes I decided to make it feel a bit more like fall around the house. I pulled out my box of Halloween/Fall decor and got to work. The kids were so excited and of course wanted to help me put things up. I don't have much, so I decided to hit up the internet for a few fun printables and they were just what I needed to finish off my Halloween mantle.


The "trick or treat" banner I got from Target, they have some incredibly cute party decor this year. Seriously, it makes me want to throw a Halloween party just to use it. The bottles I had and the labels I found on the internet here, here, here and here. The Halloween subway art I found at eighteen25 and then printed and stuck in a frame I had.


All of the little things like the pumpkins and spider and such I had from previous years. I love that I was able to create a fun Halloween mantle for free with things I had, it makes it that much more enjoyable knowing I didn't spend any money.


I absolutely love this time of year and Halloween, call me crazy but I think it is so much fun. I can't wait to carve pumpkins and watch some scary movies. To make some yummy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and to see all the leaves change colors. What about you, what are you most looking forward to this fall?

Friday, September 7, 2012

The time has come.

The voting has opened for the EPIC ROOM MAKEOVER! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Please please please go vote for me. I will love you forever and ever. I promise. Click on the picture below, then scroll down until you find entry #14 "a play room of epic proportions". To vote all you have to do is click on the little star below my entry picture. That is all. So easy.


Not only will I love you forever if you vote and tell everyone you know to vote, but these two crazy hoodlums will be your forever friends. And they are a ball to have around. I promise. They are very entertaining.


Ready. Set. Go.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

yard update.

Last time we addressed the front yard it was looking like the following: oh man look how sad it is.


Since this picture was taken we have accomplished a few more projects. First up more concrete. Yes you read that right we took on yet another concrete project. We decided that we wanted a small sidewalk along the driveway leading to our kitchen door. The reasoning behind this is to act as a barrier between the soon to come gravel driveway and the soon to come grass. By this point we are pretty much pros when it comes to Quikrete bags and mixing it in a wheelbarrow two bags at a time.



We followed the same routine as the previous two concrete projects. Forms, mix, pour, finish. We also added rebar to the forms for added support.


Here is the finished sidewalk. We are really happy with how it turned out and the kids have had a ball running up and down it.


Next up we finally decided to address the walkway up to the front door. Nick really wanted to put a flagstone pathway in, but he kept putting off going to the flagstone quarry and getting it. After we finished the driveway sidewalk I told him we should just do the front path in concrete as well. He wasn't having it and the next weekend he was at the flagstone quarry picking out some good pieces.

It was a simple process, but rather labor intensive especially considering we decided to start this project at about 2 in the afternoon. It was hot. First we dug down a couple of inches and then just put the flagstone down like we were putting together a puzzle. Once we settled on a layout we just had to fill in the gaps with dirt, sweep and the spray off the stone and we were finished.


TA-DA!!!!!


The yard is finally starting to really come together. It makes me oh so happy. Next we just have to put the sprinkler heads on and then we can lay the sod. We started working on the yard way back in March and six months later we are almost finished. Progress.