Inspiration Saturdays: a little home improvement

Inspiration Saturdays: a little home improvement

So I told you guys earlier this week that I had done a DIY makeover on my deck, and now I have the pictures for you! I have seen so many other bloggers getting started on outdoor yard and/or garden projects that it really got me itching to do something about our neglected deck area.

Here’s what my deck looked like before and after. The carpet was dirty and all I had up there for planters was a line of $5 grey plastic totes whose plants had long since died. I did go to the Home Depot two years ago and buy pipes and fixtures to create a raised run on the porch to hold the planters but that was all the work I had put into this area.

I wanted to give this area a makeover for about $100, so let’s see how I did.

I started by cleaning up the carpet, then taking apart all of the piping and refitting it in an “L” shape in the corner. Then I used cans of brown and “stone” look spray paint to give the tubs a facelift. I used two cans of brown spray paint specifically meant for use on plastics as a primer/opaque base, then two cans of the textured paint over the top; this was enough to cover all five tubs. Total cost to revamp the tubs: about $20.

The tubs get lots of sun, so I found some sun-loving perennials including columbine and a bleeding heart. The solar lights were picked up on clearance at Walmart a few years ago. I also have some chives from a friend, plus Cosmos seeds from my mom that I threw in the tubs and a mixed flower seed packet that should yield hollyhocks, echinacea, daisies, some ornamental grass, and one other type of flower (sorry, I can’t remember!).

It’s true that it’s cheaper to just plant seeds than to buy live plants, but I didn’t want the deck to be totally barren, so I went ahead and splurged on a few plants just to get started. Total cost of plants and seeds: $20.

Here’s the biggest part of my project: the privacy screen. There is nothing to block the line of sight from my neighbor’s deck to mine, and the lack of privacy really bugs me. I like to be able to enjoy dinner or a book on the deck without feeling like someone can see everything I’m doing!

Building the screen was simple in theory, less so in practice. I needed to go to Lowe’s for lumber and lattice. Unfortunately, while they did cut the strips of lumber to size, I was informed that they would not cut the lattice, which left me with two options: walk away empty-handed, or tie the eight-foot long sheet of lattice to the roof of my car and pray I made it home.

Did I mention how flexible and floppy these lattice sheets are? There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than driving home with a stack of lattice sheets slapping merrily against the rear window of the car with every tap of the brakes. I don’t blame the many drivers who sped up to pass me!

Once I got home I just had to cut the lattice down to the correct length with a hand saw, spray-paint the lumber strips, nail them into a frame, and attach the lattice to the back with 3/4″ screws. Then I added hinges to create a pair of two-panel screens. Total cost: about $65.

I wanted a rug for the porch but since I’d maxed out my budget at this point, I just grabbed an older throw rug from the kitchen. The table and chairs were a housewarming gift from my mom when we first moved into this house two years ago, and they haven’t seen nearly enough use up until now because the deck just wasn’t an enjoyable place to hang out. Not any more! Now we can enjoy an evening dinner on our lovely deck.

Random Thursday: Spring Apparel

Random Thursday: Spring Apparel

 
I don’t know that the hell is going on with Blogger today, but it let me upload all of one photo before it pooped out. This would be annoying but admittedly not such a big deal if I hadn’t spent an hour taking and editing photos today to show off my spring wardrobe. Grrrrrrr…I wound up switching into Internet Explorer to upload the rest of the photos to the post, saving it, then switching back to Mozilla to finish writing it up. Apparently I’m not the only one having this problem, and I hope Google fixes it soon!

Anyway, let’s get into the clothes! Hands-down, my favorite thing to wear when the weather warms up is a maxi dress. The print dress on the left is one of my favorite pieces of clothing ever (like EVAH).

Maxi dresses rock for so many reasons:

  • They don’t require a lot of effort.
  • They keep you cool on super-hot days, but if you go in a chilly restaurant or movie theater you don’t have a ton of skin exposed and freezing.
  • They look great on everyone. I don’t care what height or weight you are, you can rock a maxi dress.
  • You can skip shaving your legs for a day. (Lazy girl here.)

I wear lots of floral print skirts and dresses in the warmer months. If I’m going casual I add sneakers and a moto jacket, or I might wear boots. Spring in the northwest isn’t always warm and dry enough for sandals, so I have lots and lots of cute boots and sneakers on hand to wear with my skirts and dresses!

Spring also means that it’s warm enough to dress up and show some skin after a winter of being bundled under layers and layers of clothing. I like to wear lots of light, bright colors and the highest heels and wedges I can find!

Lots of people seem to think it’s odd that I wear such high heels. I’m 5’8″ but I still wear five or six inch heels if they’re at all comfortable enough to walk in. Is that weird? I’ve been informed that those shoes are for “short people”. I say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

When I want to go more casual, I usually just grab shorts or skinnies, a t-shirt, and my Chucks. These sneakers go with EVERYTHING in my closet and are probably my favorite pair of shoes, period. I really want to buy more pairs in different colors this summer. It’s important to carry a light jacket or hoodie with me because you don’t know when it will get chilly or start raining–the Northwest is not known for steady weather patterns.

When I’m really feeling lazy, I revert to my natural all-black uniform, but with a t-shirt and these gauchos that I made in high school. It’s like wearing pajamas, but for some reason it looks better. You can also see on the right how I wear my hair when I’m feeling lazy: in a loose twist. Simple and easy.

I can’t let you leave without a peek at my favorite spring shoes. As I said, spring means the end of ice and rain so I get to break out my favorite heels. I also love wearing ankle boots (lower left corner). When I want to wear something flat I have a ton of sneakers, sandals and ballet flats to choose from. The studded gladiators, cheetah print flats and my Chucks are always my favorites!

Oh, and scarves. I wear lots of different scarves year-round but these four are my favorite for spring: turquoise, pink, and two floral prints.

So what are your favorite pieces of clothing for spring? If you linked up for Random Thursday let me know so I can see your spring fashion show!

Nail Polish of the Month: March 2013

Nail Polish of the Month: March 2013

I was really bummed that I didn’t get around to sharing a pick for Nail Polish of the Month in February, but my nails were in such poor shape that I honestly would have been embarrassed to post a picture! Not so this month. I’m picking a minty green-blue called Thistle or That?, from the new Flower Beauty line at Walmart ($5).

What color are you obsessed with this month?

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage collection giveaway!

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage collection giveaway!

Who’s up for a giveaway?! I liked the new Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection so much, I wanted to share some of the beauty goodness with you via a giveaway. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and will run through March 31 2013.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • One To Reflect Shimmer Palette in Rose Golden Goddess (approximate retail value $6)
  • One Photo Op Eyeshadow in Maldives Sky (approximate retail value $5)
  • Two Perfect Pout Lip Colors, in Penthouse Sweet and Old School Glam (approximate retail value $3.50 each)

These bright colors are perfect for spring and summer!

You must answer the mandatory question entry; I’ve temporarily set the comments to “anonymous” so you do not have to be a registered user to leave a comment! If you choose to comment anonymously though you must leave a valid e-mail with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

After that you can earn extra entries by following me via GFC, Twitter and Facebook, and by tweeting daily about the giveaway. And because I love ya: everyone gets one bonus entry! Please read through the full terms and conditions of the giveaway before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway