Happy 2014 all! My golly, 2014?! Whew. How awesome and awestruck I feel. Remember when 2014 felt like we would all be wearing spacesuits and eating with aliens?
We are welcoming 2014 with open arms over here at our family. For one, I welcome any year, any day I am given. I mean, how awesome to even be alive, right? Also, I am so happy to view this year as another year I can grow as a person and a company. Man, we have a ton of learning and growing to do. And, I am choosing not to be afraid of these lessons. BRING IT, 2014. TEACH ME YOUR LESSONS, HELP ME GROW AND GUIDE ME TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON, A BETTER BUSINESS OWNER, A BETTER MOTHER, A BETTER WIFE. I WILL NOT VIEW MY SHORTCOMINGS AS FAILURES LIKE I HAVE IN THE PAST. I WILL NOT BEAT MYSELF UP OVER THEM. I WILL TAKE THEM AND MAKE MYSELF BETTER. (Please remind me that I said this in a few months as I sob into a pillow, ok?)
And on top of this, I am excited to post more and let you all into our little lives. I get a handful of emails a month regarding our family, our day to day. What does it look like? Well, I am going to let y'all see more of us, share some recipes (I only have 3), some family activities, some projects...
Which brings me to the little project I did for my husband at Christmas-- A side yard patio make-over, part 1. It is part 1 because it is cold and not the time to plant anything. So, it still needs a TON of work. And, I didn't get many BEFORE shots. Rats.
When we rented the house, everything was covered and overgrown. Our home is TINY (not even 1000 sq ft) so we knew we eventually wanted to work hard in the yard to add another living area (the beauty of Cali- outside living), thinking we would begin in the Spring. Then, while laying in bed, I had this amazing idea. I WAS GOING TO SURPRISE BOB WITH A YARD MAKEOVER WHILE HE WAS AT WORK THE MONDAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS! HE WAS GOING TO COME HOME AT NIGHT AND IT WAS GOING TO BE PERFECT!
Here is what I set out to do: clear the whole yard, build a table, scour Craigslist for the perfect furniture, hang lights and lanterns, build a teepee, build a coffee table, hang outdoor art.
I was basically, in my head, going to be on HGTV and surprise my man with a complete overhaul... with just me, and 2 kids at my feet... because I always think I can do everything. And then I realize I can't. At least this came to me fast. I called the best handyman ever, Gregg, to come help me. And, although we didn't get everything completed that I was hoping, we did a pretty kick ass job.
Here is what I actually got finished:
- Sanded down and coated an old door to use as an outside table and built benches for each side. The old door was actually laying on the side of our house. I asked our landlord if I could snag it and then went to work. I wanted to leave it white but get some of the under color to come through. I also wanted to leave the old handle and plate. The handle didn't work, but the plate did and I love the result.
- Built a custom coffee table with an old bathroom sink as a planter. *this was my favorite part*. If you haven't gotten the vibe, Bob and I are a little quirky and like to keep things that way. I had this great idea of making a table into a planter with a vintage bathroom sink. I headed to our second hand yard (The Aways Station in Fairfax, CA) and picked out a delightful vintage yellow porcelain sink to be centerpiece of the table. Originally, I bought a table there as well to cut a whole into. But, after we spray painted it, I wasn't happy with the result. It was too tall and there there wasn't enough space. I wanted this table to be able to wear many hats-- a cool planter, a place to sit, a coffee table. I wanted the lines clean and the table low as to not overtake the rest of the space. I got more lumber and drew what I wanted for Gregg. complete with measurements. The man did the rest. It is fantastic and really fun.
- Bought the PERFECT rattan set on Craigslist for a STEAL. Man, I am in LOVE with this set. Originally, it had 3 pieces. But, it was too much for our space so I was able to get them to separate it for me and lower the cost significantly. The lines are just gorgeous. I then ordered some of my favorite blankets off Agate Mermaid and used them to cover the furniture. Finally, I took some of my fur fabric i have lying around and made some accent throws. I love to mix fabrics and this combination really does it for me.
- Hung industrial string lights over both spaces. I mean, I backyard isn't complete without some string lights. I found a great all weather set on Amazon. They can withstand anything.
- Bought and hung lanterns in our large tree. This was kind of the icing on the cake. When lit, it really sets the tone of the whole yard. Great addition.
- Cleared the yard-- which means I uncovered its original state. It was beyond overgrown... had to rake for over 6 hours and clear the bricks, etc. I also cut back weeds and tore down some trees. That is the not fun work. But, it needed to be done.
- Oh, I almost forgot-- we fought off bad guys. The only thing that would keep little man (Robin Hood) occupied. Added a good couple hours onto the work day but as most of you know, so is the life of a parent.
And here are the pictures!! Enjoy!!