How to: Paint Your Farmer’s Porch

farmers porch

When I started this year’s summer break, I had a lot of grand plans – the grandest, to paint our farmer’s porch (a project I abandoned last year.) As you can see in the picture below, the floor of the deck was somewhere between teal and green (and chipping where it hadn’t been totally replaced and not painted over). The ceiling was close to the same. I knew this would be a biggie, but with all the “free time” I had this summer, I knew I wanted to get it done.

For you first time DIYers out there… this is not a project for the faint of heart. I significantly underestimated how much work it would be, but it was so rewarding at the end!

img_1861

Read more to learn how to successfully paint your porch – even first time painters like me.

Continue reading

Starter Perennial Garden

garden 123

Growing up, I was surrounded by gardens. Vegetable gardens at both my home and at my grandmother’s, and a big yard with perennial gardens everywhere. There weren’t any kids in my neighborhood, so when I was in elementary school, I spent my afternoons in my next door neighbors’ front yard, picking weeds and planting flowers and snacking on American cheese.

This past year has been my first opportunity as an adult to actually plant my own garden. Having a garden – a real one, not a New York City balcony herb garden and some succulents in my window – has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Now, after countless Martha Stewart magazines, a few coffee table books, and endless pins, I have a yard with ample space for florals and veggies. Hence including the goal to start and maintain a perennial garden on this year’s summer checklist!

Last year, I planted a few hostas, some daffodils, and a hydrangea – and then basically walked away, because school took over my entire life. This year, I took on the gardening task early.

I started a greenhouse and grew some annuals and perennials from seed – nasturiums, morning glory, geraniums, marigolds (with some very old seeds), and a few other flowers I picked up at the store.

Then I got to work.

54784711062__979ece9c-15a0-4b73-a2f0-67776a05922f

See those grasses in the back of this dirt patch? This WHOLE DIRT PATCH was full of those grasses, and Mike and I got to work digging up those messy grasses and creating a clean slate for an entryway garden.

Continue reading

DIY Platform Bed with Storage

bed title
How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night, displaced from your comfortable bed “zone” by your significant other and your dog (or kids, for all the moms out there!)? Chances are, probably a lot. And, chances are, you’ve probably come to this conclusion one time or another – WE’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BED.

That decision was made in our house in early March, when Mike and I started shopping for mattresses (aka polling all of our friends, family, coworkers, waiters, etc). We finally decided to buy our brand new (King!) mattress from Nectar, which came highly recommended from a former coworker of mine and comes with a ONE YEAR Warranty, which seems like a totally reasonable amount of time to evaluate how much we liked the mattress.

With a new king mattress and a full/queen frame, it was clear we also needed to invest in a new bed. I browsed online for hours and found a million links to beds that I liked a little bit, but nothing truly caught my eye that would match our wall-to-wall carpet and go well with this dresser I upcycled last summer.

That’s when Mike suggested we BUILD our new bed – a more cost-effective option that gave us the flexibility to decide on features and colors, and also gave us a project that we could work on together.

First things first – it should be noted that building a DIY bed is not that much cheaper than buying a bed, particularly if you don’t have all of the necessary tools. That said, this bed has all of the features we want (read: storage) that we may not have found in the same price range from a furniture store.

The Plan
Mike found this great pattern on the Lowes blog in his great internet sweep for DIY beds.
Continue reading

Halloween – Creepy Home Decor for that Scary Time of Year

There’s something about October that just sparks a little life into the fall season. The weather gets chillier, the coats come out, and everything gets just a little spooky.

It’s also sort of a divisive season. There are Halloween people, and there are not-Halloween people; costume people and the people that hide out to avoid the dress-up madness; the people who hoard their candy all year and the people who gorge that same night.

I am the ultimate Halloween person. Costumes make me so happy and the spooky decorations always crack me up. This year, instead of a small, shared apartment, I have an actual house to decorate! It’s the best. And now I get to share this deco with you!

img_0021

This year’s Halloween Centerpiece was inspired by a bouquet of roses that Mike had gotten me for our anniversary in August. Normally, the roses last about 2 weeks before they really start to wilt and harden – and that’s when I start drying them out to jar and preserve them. (Read more about my Jarred Roses here.)

That two weeks puts us mid-September, and two weeks more of drying out brings us to the month of Halloween! I decided it might be a good idea to make them the center of this year’s centerpiece before I jarred them up this time…. and the rest of the display comes from the Target dollar section – aka my favorite store. I think the flowers are just really perfect!

img_0084

Behind the centerpiece, hanging over our window, is this Bloody Weapons Garland I found on Amazon that absolutely cracks me up. It’s metallic, and really noticeable from the street, which I also love since our street has high walking traffic. Buy the garland here. 

52936581827__3bbb3323-e6e5-446b-902d-62a1eb9c20c3

Last but not least, Halloween Door Decor. Last year around Halloween I had only been dating Mike for a couple of months. Probably against my better judgement, I bought this Rottingham’s “Dead and Breakfast” sign and decorated his doorway with it along with some cobwebs as a surprise. (I also dressed in a unicorn costume to hand out candy, right down to the blue wig and the rainbow tail, which I don’t regret for one minute. Mike is in the “not a costume guy” group, which makes this more entertaining for the reader.)

The sign had to make an appearance again this year for that reason. However, I cannot stand those cobwebs. They’re annoying to put up, they’re annoying to take down, and they don’t ever seem to stay! That’s why I opted for black creepy cloth this year, and this fun “keep out” tape – also from the Target dollar section!

Halloween has always gotten me so excited. The decorations, the desserts, and the costumes are just so fun. and there’s so much opportunity to tap your creative genius!

Stay tuned in the next few days for two new posts… a Halloween treat for the whole family, and some of my favorite costumes from over the years.

How are you decorating this Halloween? I’d love to see how you’ve done up your home!

<h6><a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19054823/?claim=3889cnw7xph“>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a></h6>

cropped-profile_picture_symbol

Upcycled: Bedroom Dresser to Outdoor Buffet

img_5003

There is nothing better than sitting outside on a summer night with friends and family, campfire going, enjoying an ice cold beer* and whatever you’ve whipped up on the grill.
*adult seltzer for us gluten free maniacs

At our house, we have a set of great Adirondack chairs sitting on the porch with a view into Greenwich Bay, but our table space is severely lacking. Plus, with an excited pup waiting inside, a revolving door for friends and guests can become a little taxing.

I was browsing ideas for the Nautical Dresser I made this summer when I came across a DIY article from My Creative Days called How To Turn a Curbside Dresser Into a Bar. It was almost too perfect. I had been trying to figure out what to do with my childhood dresser so that our room wasn’t so cluttered with furniture; there was absolutely no room in the house for it and it wasn’t in good enough shape to sell for any real profit.

 

Continue reading