Archive for the ‘outdoor space’ Category

Oh Deer

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Posted by Rebecca, August 30th, 2011

Yesterday, Mike spotted this in our backyard…

I love our random deer sightings. It’s amazing how well they camouflage themselves and I’m sure they’re out there more than we realize. Mike and I grew up in a more congested area (we’re from the same town) and deer sightings were rare and always exciting. I love having furry, speckled butt neighbors 🙂

I love them so much that when my mother in law was getting rid of these bookends, I decided to take them.

They belonged to Mike’s grandmother and are apparently decades old. But you know what? The oldies are coming back. I figured with a little white, high gloss spray paint these would look like they came straight out of West Elm.

But first, I couldn’t resist doing this.

Yes, I tried to recreate the live deer scene. However, the bookend version was way smaller than I anticipated. But maybe Deer can be our version of the Travelocity gnome and just pop up in random places?

If my neighbors didn’t already know about this blog (yes, secret’s out… hey guys!), then I would have felt weird. But I obviously have no shame and put inanimate objects in my weeds for entertainment purposes.

After I was done gnoming, it was time to get down to business.

I often spray paint in the garage, but all of our outdoor furniture (including a table, 6 chairs, a bench, 2 umbrellas and a fire pit) are still taking hurricane shelter in there. So I decided to use this old Pottery Barn box and spray them in the grass.

I used the short and quick spray method. I confess that I am normally rather impatient and just hold the trigger down, 3 inches away from the object (12 is the recommended) and generally succeed. I didn’t want to mess these up, so I was more cautious.

They look a little more worn when spray painted (they have some cracks) but it doesn’t bother me. Here are the two of them after a first coat.

I went back outside a half hour or so later for a second coat. Even after that, this strange mark keeps popping back up. Chemical reaction or something?

I eventually lost my patience and just sprayed the hell out of it, but it kept reappearing after a minute. Weird.

I have no pictures of my second coat because after the first one, I noticed that this happened…

That is my camera. With a light dusting of spray paint. Ugh. Thankfully, the lens was spared and it just looks stupid. The wind was blowing lightly and I didn’t realize that my camera was laying in the grass, in the line of fire. Therefore, it stayed inside for the rest of the night.

However, my bookends will not be staying inside tonight. I went to pick up the Pottery Barn box to move it inside and the bookends fell over. While soaked. Then I had to use my hands to stand them back up, which not only got me messy but required touch up work. I’m hoping the tacky surface that was left isn’t noticeable, considering I just sprayed right over it. So I ended up leaving the entire box outside for the night. Don’t worry, it’s not supposed to rain. I’m actually more concered with bugs getting stuck to them…

The one time I try to spray paint properly. The one time! ::shakes fist in air:: Hopefully I’ll have true after pictures later this week…

 

ps- The Office wedding episode was just on and that dance scene gets me every time! Couldn’t help but stop to watch 🙂

Beauty and the Beast

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Posted by Rebecca, August 22nd, 2011

We have had non-stop rain here all week…probably longer. It’s been a very thunderstormy summer and while our grass is looking pretty, the weeds are out in full force. Every time I planned to pull them in the past 2 weeks or so, it has rained. Finally tonight after dinner, while it was just around 80 degrees with no direct sun, I decided to tackle them.

This normally would not be blog worthy, though I have blogged about my ginormous weeds and my hatred of them before. But it became blog worthy once I saw what the rain has grown around my beloved hydrangea…

Now, I don’t know what the vine thing is. Every now and then a miniature version of it would pop up behind the hydrangea and I’d pull it, with gloves on. Knowing this could very well be poison ivy, I was sure to put on sneakers, pants and gloves. Once I climbed in there and saw the extent of this beast, I texted Mike and asked him to bring out a long sleeve shirt for me as well. I had a mysterious rash earlier in the summer and I’m starting to think this may have done it. I wasn’t taking any chances!

You may think I’m a moron for not noticing this thing sooner, but the bushes in front of the hydrangea are currently taller than it because we planted the 2 hydrangeas ourselves last year. Unless I stand on the porch steps and peek my head back there, I can’t see it. Early in the summer I did this often, but with the rain and being busy with Darwin, I haven’t walked out front in a while (we enter/exit through the garage).

The viney beast was just starting to grow around one of our trees and had wrapped itself around our security sign multiple times. I didn’t whip out my iPhone to take pictures until after I had unwrapped these parts.

This thing was such a mess that I had to pull out some giant landscaping scissor things. I just started cutting because I realized I would never be able to unwind it. I did it carefully so that I wouldn’t injure my beloved hydrangea. Soon, (okay maybe not soon, maybe it took an hour..) it was freed.

It seems to be unscathed. The back is a little flat from where the vines were, but I think she’ll be okay 🙂

I needed a wheelbarrow to cart all of the viney stuff out of there. The strangest part? It was all connected to the ground in just ONE place. It was one giant vine!!!

Now, here is where I ask for your help in identifying the beast. This is obviously my first house and I have never touched poison anything before. I know about the good ol’ rhyme of “leaves of three, let it be” but these leaves? Single leaves that look like mittens.. if you had 2 thumbs…

Everything I google seems to go back to pictures that look like this…

Though I was careful (okay I could have been more careful), I can’t help but feel itchy at the thought of all of the vineage I handled (even with gloves). Plus I’ve heard of people who have taped their gloves to their sleeves and still manage to catch a rash :::scratches face, shoulder and hand while typing:::

At least I saved the hydrangea?

 

Poison plants image from here

Knocked Up

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Posted by Michael, August 3rd, 2011

No, mom, this entry title does not mean Rebecca is knocked up.  I wouldn’t tell you via the blog; I’d do on Facebook instead.  Or via an email.  I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know after our 5-year plan to have kids.

Every time Rebecca and I watch Knocked Up, one of us always brings up how we love the house in this movie.  Then we spend the next 5-10 minutes discussing why we love the house so much.  And then we spend the following 5 minutes laughing about how whenever we watch this movie, we comment on the house.  It’s a vicious cycle.

Anyways, as we watched Knocked Up the other night, I had the idea to highlight the areas of the house we love and post them!  Original, right?  Right!  So for your viewing pleasure, here are all the things we love about the Knocked Up house!  (btw, it was incredibly hard not to label Katherine Heigl in every picture).

Okay, I don’t like this pool and seating area.  I like the idea of this pool and seating area.  Got it?  Good.

Actually, is that house for sale? We want to trade up.

ps- This is our 200th post! So far we’re doing well on our list of goals we set out in our 100th post, which can be found here.

Big Blue

19 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 27th, 2011

Our umbrella has arrived! Okay we’ve had it since last week, but we needed a base for it. We checked Target during one of our many visits there and they had nothing. In fact, most of their outdoor area is already on clearance and it’s not even July 4th yet! On Saturday we made a spontaneous trip to the Crate & Barrel outlet and were lucky enough to find an umbrella base there, among other things. That place was magical on Saturday. Anywho, back to that umbrella!

It’s definitely larger and prettier than I imagined. The patio just feels so classy now 🙂

The blue breaks up all of the brown we have going on with the stained stairs.

The umbrella base we found worked out perfectly. I really wasn’t going to be picky about a base, since no one is going to see it and it will mostly be kicked, but I love the one we found. Most of the others I saw in my brief search were black and had a wrought iron type of design.

In complete Pottery Barn fashion, the umbrella opens by a rope and pulley system rather than a crank thing. I still have yet to figure out what to do with the rope when the umbrella is fully extended, so for now I’ve just been wrapping it around one of the metal parts. I’ll have to check the PB images to see what they do.

All of the inner parts of the umbrella are wood, which is probably my favorite part. I’m looking forward to hanging some laterns all up in there 🙂

Thank you reward points for a free umbrella! Okay I guess we technically paid for it, the least Pottery Barn could do was throw in an umbrella with our patio furniture purchase. Nothing is really free, right?

The backyard is slowly coming along. Last weekend Mike seeded the freshly cleared part of our backyard, but nothing has grown yet 🙁

That green stuff you see around the sprinkler? Weeds. Why is it that they always grow and grass doesn’t?

I picked up some $4 planters at the Crate & Barrel outlet, but other than that, we don’t have much else planned for the patio at the moment. Summer is quickly running away from us and we have so many weekend commitments that I’m not sure how many patio projects we can fit in. It looks like our built-in grill plans will actually be pushed back to next year. My bank account is very thankful 🙂

Square and Shady

4 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, June 15th, 2011

Yesterday I got a 10% off coupon code from Pottery Barn. It was just in time because we also just received our reward certificate for buying our patio furniture! Okay that also means we got our bill for that patio furniture, but let’s not focus on the negative okay? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, if you open a Pottery Barn credit card, you receive 10% of all of the money you spend back in a gift certificate. Highly recommended if you shop there a lot or are planning a large purchase like we did (Banana Republic, Gap & Old Navy have a similar system on the clothing front in between all 3 stores) We ripped open that envelope and pulled out that reward certificate!

We planned from the start to get a square market umbrella in the fresca color. We just decided to wait and get it for free rather than find a cheaper version elsewhere. I love the square shape as an unexpected alternative to the standard round. But, I did begin to think that with square furniture and a square fire pit, our backyard was turning a little too square. I always try to balance my shapes in rooms to make them a little more interesting, but then I remembered that our entire patio itself is curved. Sold on the square! 🙂

This next umbrella isn’t the right color, but I love the lanterns hanging from it. It’s a nice alternative to hanging lanterns in trees when they are too tall 🙂

Even after shipping, we had some money left in rewards and we decided to purchase the umbrella cover. I know that we could have gotten a cheaper one elsewhere, but we’ve made that choice once already. We bought a cover for our table and chairs from Target and it’s not working out so well for us. It only attaches to the table in 2 places, which are diagonal from each other, and air gets under it and it becomes uncovered. It has a bungee pull thingy to tighten the bottom, but it doesn’t pull. I cannot get that thing tight for the life of me. So in windy weather, the cover just blows to the side but stays attached to the legs. Sort of as if our table had been pantsed.

We were considering getting an additional piece of furniture with our rewards when Pottery Barn had an umbrella sale over Memorial Day weekend. They were 20% off and we figured we’d take advantage of the sale, despite the fact that we didn’t have our reward certificate yet. But we forgot about the sale and didn’t order it. It’s probably for the best, considering we’d have to pay something about of pocket for anything else we would have chosen. We love most of the Chesapeake collection, including this much needed storage.

Instead of spitting out 500 bucks for this thing, we headed to Target last weekend. Yes I know, I love Target. If I could camp out in a store ala that episode of “Saved by the Bell”, I’d sleep in a Target.

Okay I couldn’t resist, here’s a really awful clip from that episode…

YouTube Preview Image

Anyway, we picked up this plastic deck box from Target for $60.

See it down there? It fits under the stairs quite nicely. Sorry I don’t have more pictures because my camera died 🙁 It’s plastic and waterproof, so it keeps our wide striped pillows nice and dry when we’re not using them. We have some citronella candles in there too. We also wanted storage to have a place to put our furniture covers when we take them off for the day. So when the pillows and candles come out of the box, the covers go in! It works out nicely. It matches the color of our newly stained steps pretty well and it snapped together in a few minutes, like a giant lego.

Long story short, we got an umbrella and cover from Pottery Barn for free, opted for the cheaper storage option and I love “Saved by the Bell” and will now go watch more videos. I recommend you do the same 🙂

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