8 Ways To Improve Your Curb Appeal In A Day

curbappeal I’m no expert, but curb appeal can say so much about your home. Even if you can’t put a lot of money into your outdoor spaces, there are a few things you can do, for cheap or free, that will make a big difference. And as always, a little elbow grease goes a long way.

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1. A Little Paint Never Hurt Anyone.
Dig in your stash (if you have one) and find something to paint! IMG_4726[2]web Even if it’s not your desired color at the moment, a nice, fresh coat of paint can really make things sparkle. Obviously not literally sparkle, my husband would have none of that. :) frontdoorfinal If you don’t have much to pick from for paint and are looking to update smaller outdoor projects like your front door, hit up Lowes and pick up a small sample paint in the color you want. It’ll run you $2.50, and will get you a good solid coat on any regular sized door, or a couple of coats on smaller projects. Paint a doormat at your front door, paint your steps, paint your window boxes, mail box, window trim, outdoor furniture, the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t have to be a permanent solution, because you can always just paint over it!

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2. Add Some Potted Plants.
This is a very cheap way of adding life to your outdoor space. If you don’t have any flower pots, for under $5 you can buy a simple clay pot, and a cheap annual flower. Paint your flower pot for a pop of color with some paint you have at home, or craft paint for .69 cents each at Michaels. Succulents are also very cheap($2-3) and super easy to care for. You only need to water when the soil is dry. Or you can plant from seed. The wildflower seeds we planted came free through the mail. The dollar store would be a good place to look for clay pots for very cheap. plants[2]

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3. Think Lighting.
On top of the outdoor lighting you may already have, garden solar lights, and lanterns are a cheap way to add charming ambiance to your exterior at night. lanterns[2] Our DIY lanterns were so simple. We bought light fixture covers for $2 each at Lowes, and $3 tiki oil lights. Wrapped craft wire around them, and hung them up! You can do this with mason jars as well. There are also very cheap moroccan lanterns for under $10 on Amazon, which we bought for the back patio for a different feel. If you’re looking for solar garden lights, a lot of grocery stores carry $2-3 ones, which is usually cheaper than buying a box of 8. outdoorlightsweb Shopping in the Target clearance can yield great finds like these $2 candle holders. You can get a similar look by punching holes in a regular tin can. Blue Diamond almond cans would be perfect for this as they are not variegated on the outside and would give you a clean look. Plus you can paint them any color you want!

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4. Wash Windows & Power-Wash The Exterior.
There’s nothing worse than the continuous battle of the never ending dirt that accumulates on your windows, and exterior of your house. But, the battle must be fought. Or should be. I’m no queen of clean when it comes to the outdoors, but when your windows get so dirty the sun no longer shines through, you know it’s time to clean them. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything… And assuming the dirt doesn’t just gather on your windows, you can be sure the rest of your house is covered. *sigh* A little power wash once or twice a year will help your house look it’s best, and extend the life of your siding. Windows should be washed more often. Whether or not that happens, is another thing. I wont judge you if you don’t judge me. :) IMG_4776[2]web

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5. Trim The Hedges & Mow Your Lawn!

And don’t forget to pull those stubborn weeds. It’s the worst job in the world, but it’s the most rewarding. While you might not actually be adding anything, taking away things can really add a lot to your curb appeal.
mowyourlawn You can have cute potted plants, outdoor decor and such, but if your landscaping is out of control, it makes everything else look like a mess. Even if your landscaping isn’t how you want it to look.. if you have weeds, or an annoying ivy plant that multiplies by the minute, or even straight up trash that blows in, cleaning that up will make a huge difference.

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And speaking of taking things away…

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6. Clean Unwanted Debris Out Of The Yard.

Nothing makes a yard look subpar like dead trees, plants or shrubs. Even if you don’t have anything to put in it’s place, it’s a step in the right direction, and cleans up that clutter. april2011mtlaurel
This spot in our yard has never been able to keep any tree of ours alive. We’ve lost 3 trees to this hole. It is the black hole of the botanical world. So we haven’t replaced it yet, and are considering other options. No shrub is better than a dead shrub. If you’re looking to replace right away, Craigslist is a awesome place to look. A lot of times you can make a deal.. if you do the work of digging up the tree or shrub, you get it for free. There’s that elbow grease I warned you about.

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7. Create A Border With Things You Find In Nature
When we first moved in, we talked to our new neighbors who had also just moved in, and they told us of some large limestone rocks that were dug up in the new part of the subdivision. They had gotten us permission from the construction manager to take some, so that’s what we did! It’s subtle, but nice.
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To keep the weeds and grass from growing through the cracks, we just spray with Roundup. You can create a border around other things besides a front flower bed. You could border your driveway, or trees as well. Any way you do it, free is your friend. And as long as you aren’t stealing or trespassing, nature is full of free things.

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8. Go Green. Install A Rain Barrel.
See how we did it with our tutorial for a DIY rain barrel here. IMG_4760[2]web While this wont directly improve to your curb appeal, indirectly it will help improve your curb appeal by supplying great rain water to all your greenery and keep them flourishing throughout the summertime. A rain barrel will save you a lot of money in the long run, but requires an upfront cost. Your cost will be dependent on how you go about acquiring your barrel. Maybe you have a 55 gallon barrel lying around that you can use, maybe you don’t. We didn’t have a barrel, so we checked out Craigslist and found someone who makes and sells rain barrels for $40. That’s very reasonable considering what you will be saving.  IMG_4762[2]web For us, it was necessary to beat our summertime water restrictions here in Texas. We can keep our grass and plants from dying without making our water bill sky-rocket on the days we can water, and still complying with the restrictions. We can water everyday if needed. Replacing your landscaping can be an expensive undertaking, so this is a very good long term savings plan, and also environmentally responsible!

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These are just some things I’ve been successful with in making my curb appeal just a little better. Even if you don’t have a lot to work with, you can have decent looking curb appeal that wont break the bank by simply polishing up what you already have, and adding some cheap accessories. You just have to know where to look, how to prioritize what you need, and do the work yourself. Hey, we all could use a little calorie burning activity once in a while. :) Plus, you will be that much more proud. Now, get out there, stop thinking about what you’d like to do, and just do it!

Not brought to you by Nike.

Come And Knock On Our Door – Picking The Right Paint Color

Isn’t the front door of a house the most fun (and easiest) to makeover?

It’s such a quick fix, you can nearly change it with the seasons.

It’s also the first thing you normally see when you come to someone’s house. It sets the mood before you even get inside.

When we first moved in, the mood was gray. Literally. A dark and and uninviting gray.
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At the time I wanted to paint it a color that matched the brick, so that’s what I did. I found myself a color, orange in this case, and took to the door.

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It was an improvement for sure, and I liked it for a while until it struck me that contrast and complimentary are your friends, and matchy-matchy is not.

So, away to the store I went. Blues are complimentary to oranges, and since our brick color wasn’t going to change, I hit up the blue paint swatches and picked out the first one that caught my eye.

I don’t have any photos of the painting process because I wasn’t thinking, and it was 1am. But here she is in all her bluish/turquoise afterglow.
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It’s modern and fun, and plays really well off of our brick color.

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It’s growing on me! And you can totally see it from the street. Before you couldn’t see anything down this short, dark hallway.

And see what I mean about the pillar color? Needs to be darker. Maybe I’ll go drastic and pull color from the darkest tone in the brick. The dark brownish/gray? That would be a statement!

You Clean Up Nice, Curb Appeal: A Timeline & An Armadillo

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Let’s talk curb appeal.

In the 4 years we’ve lived in our house we’ve sort of just worked with the curb appeal we’ve been given. Besides adding a few annuals here and there, these over grown bushes were put in by the landscapers that were hired to landscape our brand new home back in 2009.

Here’s a little shot of them back then.
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March 2009: Ha, just kidding. Here we have NO curb appeal/landscaping of any kind. Our overgrown bush convention we have going on now doesn’t look so bad compared to this.
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April 2009: Ah, there’s those baby bushes.

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June 2009: There’s the grass. The stone border we put in ourselves when the new section of the subdivision was still in the “breaking ground” stage. We went (with permission) and grabbed a bunch of limestone rocks to line our bed with.

.:.

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March 2010: Starting to fill out. I’d like to note, about 1/3rd of these bushes didn’t make it.

.:.
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April 2011: A whole year later from the last photo, the bushes are thriving and growing faster than a weed. Although this photo actually is showing Tree fatality #1 during the replacement process. In the flower bed, just right of the shovel is our baby Mountain Laurel who isn’t so much a baby anymore. It’s a little over 4 feet tall now.

Now jumping ahead to June 2013.

Just a mere 4 weeks ago we hired someone to cut our grass(since our weed whacker was out of commission) and we had him trim up our bushes while he was at it. Then they looked like this…
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The big bush on the right used to be half ways up the pillar.

Skip 4 weeks ahead to now… here, we have every hedge trimmers dream. Or demise. However you look at it, it’s.. bushy. And in a rather short amount of time.
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Here’s a front view. Or a rear view, in Pete’s case. :)
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It appears we may lose the house.

You’d never know we have a front porch..

Or a sidewalk. These were taking over our valuable walking space, and apparently had gotten Chloe! Ruby got away just in time.
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Time to trim those suckers up!

But first…

The main reason we quickly jumped on trimming the bushes.
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Do you see what I see?

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We had a visitor the night before last who was hanging out under our bushes. We were out, just enjoying the 70 degree weather on the porch. All of a sudden this thing came out of nowhere, ran after the dogs, hissing and making a thumping noise and generally freaking us all out. Because of the hissing, we thought it was a cat at first. It was pitch black out and I was barefoot.. you could hear it’s claws ticking on the driveway as it ran all over. *shiver*. Nope, not a cat. I had one foot on the chair ready to get to high ground when I was instructed to get my camera. This was all I could get of the little bugger.

This is the first alive armadillo I’ve seen in Texas. Normally they’re roadkill by the time we cross paths.

My in-laws scatter moth balls around the foundation of their house to keep these little guys away. They will dig big holes around your house if you let them. We didn’t want to resort to those right away… the smell can be quite intoxicating, and not very welcoming. Thinking about it now, it may weed out more of those dang solicitors!

So today we took to the bushes with the trimmer. Clearing away all the branches around the base, and attempting to not provide these critters enough of a hiding spot to come back. Hopefully.

They could just be laughing at us too.

At least that’s how I feel when we come outside most days to this mess on our porch…
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Rawr. On to the trimming!

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AH, I can breath! Or… the bush can.

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I would just like to say I didn’t just stand around and take pictures. :) I raked while he did the bulk of the trimming, and then I did a little shaping afterwards.

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We have to clean out our bushes a few times a year with how much trash blows down the street and collects in them. BK anyone?

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2 big bags of trimmings later and the bushes look awesome!

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It feels like we just trimmed the mustache of the house. Yep, just said that.

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Much better! Now our ground covers need to start taking off to fill in that void in the middle. IMG_4406[2]web

But in a month it’ll be back to this..
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One last ‘before’.

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After.

Let’s hope this keeps the armadillos away! If not, we’ll have to figure something else out. But for now, the progression of our landscaping sure is drastic. We’ve had these bushes since they were babies, and now their out of control teenagers. Gotta keep them in check.

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April 2009

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July 2013

Now, who wants to help tackle all that bland cream trim?! I tested the privacy wall gray color on the pillars, but I think the gray needs to be darker. We will have to see if the white trim makes a difference first.

Wood You Be My Neighbor? DIY Modern Privacy Wall

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In the back of my mind I’ve been searching for a way to create some privacy between our back patio and our neighbors kitchen window since we moved into this house 4 years ago. I figured any solution would cost us an arm and a leg, and didn’t seriously look into it until about a month ago.

The only thing dividing the barely 25ft distance between our house and neighbors was the fence. Visually, there was no detatch. Don’t get me wrong, we love our neighbors, but we feel privacy doesn’t have to be a favorite pastime! And this is very much needed when it’s possible to see the spinach in their teeth while they’re eating dinner.

Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.

What isn’t an exaggeration is how well we can hear amazing piano playing coming from their house when they practice. True story.

Searching (you guessed it) Pinterest, I found this beautiful gem.
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via The Brick House

Holy smokes! How gorgeous is that privacy wall. I’m totally digging the modern/art deco feel of the exterior. It’s so crisp and clean lined, but that wall warms it all up. A total exterior focal wall!

Me likey.

It didn’t take too much sweet talking to convince my husband either. :)

We decided to paint ours. We LOVE the natural wood look, but for our house, which is brick and painted siding, we felt it needed to be painted as to not detract or conflict with the brick. But it may have looked nice either way!

I knew we could accomplish this and spend very little money doing it.

First, we did a price check on some things at Lowes to make sure we could swing it this month. Finding the 1x3x8’s we wanted to use at only $1.26 a piece, that sealed the deal.

Hello impromptu weekend project!

Let’s view this lovely “before” shot.
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Welcome to our sad patio.

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IMG_3667[2]2 It’s very neglected, rarely used, and embarrassing. It’s a virtual frying pan in the heat of the Texas summer. No shade by trees. No protection at all from the heat. The sun sets to the west, which is this side of the house, so in later afternoon it gets roasty-toasty from the sun. It really warms up the main living area of the house too. No thank you!

Not only was the sun a big issue, there was also this little thing…
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Oh, hello!

I like my neighbors as much as the next person. We’ve made some pretty awesome friends! But in an attempt to make our “little box” fit our lifestyle, this privacy wall falls very much under the “need” category. The closeness of our houses is so tight that if we both stand outside on our own respective patios, it’s very awkward to try and continue doing your own thing, without feeling like you have to say hi every time. Welcome to the suburbs.

<<< >>>

We cruised to Lowe’s, and grabbed up 4 contractor packs of 1x3x8’s (6 in a pack), and had them cut down to 81.5 inches. IMG_3678[2]

We started above the molding at the base of the pillar, made sure it was level, and nailed both sides into place. Then from there we used a 2×4 to keep the spacing equal. It was really smooth sailing! Without stopping, it took under an hour to hang all the boards. That’s including going back and putting in second nails, counter sinking them, and changing out a few boards that had flaws.

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Luckily we didn’t have to worry about attaching the boards to brick since this nice trim piece was there. It lined up perfectly parallel with the outside of the pillar.

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Can’t you feel that shade relief already?

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Done! Now I just have to paint!

Since it was getting dark, I left the painting for the next day.
It is no joke when I tell you those little boards made a HUGE difference the next day as the sun beat down on the house all afternoon. I was able to leave that window shade and the door blind open all day. The kitchenette corner of the house wasn’t 10 degrees warmer, nor was it radiating heat if you happened to walk by it. AND the porch was a little cooler. I’d say it’s a complete WIN.

I bought Valspar outdoor satin paint in Garden Stone. Which is also my guest bathroom color. Apparently that color is no longer in their system, but thanks to a little number on my old can, they were able to mix it up manually! IMG_3714[2]

It’s a nice soft gray color. Nothing too flashy, and will blend nice with the rest of the house. I will be using the leftover paint to paint my front porch pillars too!

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We used 20 boards at $1.26 a piece which is $25.20. The paint was around $30 for a gallon which will be used around the exterior in other places(front pillars, front entry way walls, back patio door(?)…). I only used about 1/5th of the can on the privacy wall. So $6 worth of paint, brings my total to $31.20.

Here’s a quick before and after shot of my patio chairs. IMG_3733[2]
We bought these two chairs with a matching table, a 3 piece set, as a floor model from Lowe’s last year. They came with these striped cushions… sat on by many, faded by the sun, and ugly as the day is long. They had to go. I’m ashamed to say it’s taken this long to replace the cushions. I got 2 new ones for $13 a pop at Home Depot! Not too bad! Then I added these colorful yellow chevron outdoor pillows I found on Amazon.

And of course you need accessories…
IMG_3798[2] Pillows are from here, and the lanterns, here and here. I got the fish from Michaels last fall on super clearance for $6! The candles are from a friends wedding, and the round placemat was from the holiday decor at Bed Bath & Beyond.

IMG_3772[2] Here she is in all her glory!

Private, shaded and cool(er).

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Now, to add some more accessories.

More plans for our little outdoor space:

  • New light fixture(maybe remove existing and install a ceiling fan?)
  • Hang an outdoor decorative thermostat on that bare wall
  • Maybe hang some little bud vases above the table
  • Paint the door (Gray? Yellow?)
  • Paint all the trim white (as well as the rest of the house)
  • Build a planter from leftover wood and plant ivy to climb the privacy wall.
  • Install a sun shade for more relief from the sun
  • Landscaping around the patio

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This awesome rug we bought on sale last summer. It is made out of recycled bottles, and cost only $30 for a 4×6! You can get it here, although it isn’t on sale anymore. From afar, it looks like it has so many colors, but the weaving is only blue, green, red and yellow. It reminds me of spot printing, where CMYK spots are printed so close together it gives the appearance of a different color. Such a trick for the eye, its amazing!

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What neighbors? I need to get some vines started to really fill in this wall.

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One step closer to an outdoor oasis in the middle of a Texas heatwave!

One more before.. IMG_3667[2]2

 

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After

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The Stars at Night, Are Big & Bright..

..*clap clap clap clap* Deep in the heart of Texas!

I thought that was 100% appropriate.

And you can’t say(sing in your head) the first part without saying(singing) the rest of it.

Ask anyone.

:)

 

August 11th was the night!

We sat out, cranked our necks, listened to music, and oo’d and ah’d

I sat out from 11pm until 4:30am. The hubs stayed out until about 5:30-6 like the trooper he is.

It definitely didn’t peak at 3am though, and that was a little bit of a let down.

According to some photos I’ve seen, it really got good closer to 6am.

But, we did get TWO shots. They were small meteors, and the only ones we were lucky enough to capture.

I need a wide angle lens.
Mom?
Santa?
Anyone?

 

Please click the photos to view larger.. you wont be able to see the meteors unless you do. :P


Baby Meteor #1

 


Baby Meteor #2

We sort of had to “get lucky” when snapping photos of the meteors. They were just so random, we had to just aim for the sky and cross our fingers.

I’m less than satisfied, but still glad to have SOMETHING after sitting outside for 6 hours!

Ah well, there’s always next year!
Maybe I’ll have a new wide angle lens by then.

This shot is pretty neat though…


The moon is lined up with Venus and Jupiter! Very cool to see.

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Well, I hope you all got to see some meteors, or as the child in me likes to refer to them as… shooting stars.

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Well, I’m off to start my Christmas List!

1. Wide Angle Lens
2. $$ for wide angle lens

Meteor Shower Watch


[please click any photo to view larger]

Last night Pete and I ventured out to scope out a spot to watch the meteor shower that’s taking place tonight. We went to 4 different spots.

This is how it went.

Spot #1 (Signal Hill- furthest away from the house): This is the perfect spot! We’ll come here, and it’s only 5 minutes from the house if we have to run back.

Spot #2 (Down on the San Gabriel River- second furthest from the house): Oh, I like this spot much better. It’s a lot darker than the last, and only 3 minutes from the house!

Spot #3: (Open grassy area in our community): Well this spot isn’t bad either. It’s as dark as the rest of the spots, and just down the street from the house!

Spot #4: (Our backyard): Pete: I’m just gonna check out the backyard quick and see how bad it is. (10 seconds later) Andrea, come out there. It’s not bad! And we don’t have to leave home!

This proves you don’t ever have to leave home. For any reason. Ever.

Ah, well, the night wasn’t wasted. It was still a fun trip.

But, I was really missing the gorgeous night skies of Minnesota last night. With the nearest “big city” being 35 minutes away (from my home town) across a vast flat land, there is virtually no light pollution. In fact, I can recall a bunch of times driving with my dad at night, and the only “light pollution” was the moon. Sometimes it was so bright you could drive without your headlights on. Of course, totally illegal (do not try this at home, and only trust your dad to do the driving), but what happens in the country… really doesn’t matter. We’d be so lucky to watch the shower there!

But, we do with what we can, and it actually wasn’t too bad last night.

We sat on Signal Hill with our friends, the deer, for a good 2+ hours. Staring into the sky, being stared at by our “friends” while staring into the sky, cramping our necks, arguing over camera settings and having a great time.

Sorry, sarcasm.

After having a “doh” moment, we finally figured out that the image stabilization was turned on on the lens and it was the source of our streaked stars.

We were finally ready to relax.

We set up the lawn chairs, grabbed the cooler, sat back and stared into the abyss.. uh, sky (wishing we would have brought neck pillows).

I never got a shot of the little set up on the hill, but Pete grabbed one before we left.

And it wasn’t complete until we had a NASA bag full of rocks helping to weight down the tripod.

How appropriate.

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Okay, so getting back to the reason we were sitting on a hill at 2:30 in the morning hanging out with some deer..

The meteors!

The Perseid Meteor shower is going to be at it’s peak tonight at around 3AM. Although you could still see some meteors last night, and probably will be seeing some for a few days following, tonight is the night to watch if you are planning to see anything!

Take it from me. I took 118 photos with 30 second exposure over the period of a few hours, and we saw only about 6 meteors (out of frame, damn).

I read somewhere that we could see up to 100 meteors per hour, or 1-2 per minute tonight. How awesome!

Now, it will probably be a little less than that because of our light pollution. Being about 20 minutes out of Austin still gives us quite a bit of light pollution. :(

But, we’re hoping for the best!

Now, even though I didn’t get a shot of any meteors last night, I did get some good star pictures, and an awesome shot of the red moon rising.

So, tonight is the night. Cross your fingers I get some great meteor shots! I will be posting back here with more pictures.

Before & After: Mom’s Garden

Since leaving Minnesota, I had kind of forgotten about the work we put into Mom’s garden when we were home in May. Last year I did the same thing when I was home. And both times I wasn’t around long enough to see the garden fill out, and go crazy.

My sister texted me a photo about 2 weeks ago showing me just how crazy the garden had gotten.
This is similar to the photo I got from her..

And if you remember from my post back in May about mom’s garden, it was just starting to bloom a little.

When I left, those blue and purple violets were still little sprouts, only a handful had bloomed. NOW look at them! They cover the whole flower bed!

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Here’s a before shot..

That Minnesota black soil sure does wonders.

The path before….

After..


Do you see that path there? Yea… thats what it’s like now.

Wild, untamed and weed free! I wont even pretend I’m sad the weeds have no room to grow.

I wish my front flower bed was this awesome!


The little violets before….


Holy cats.

My sister took these “after” pictures for me with only a few grumbles. I lub you Danae.

I knew I had to post the after photos because the change was so drastic! I’ve never seen it do this before.

Sorry if I’m freaking out.

My favorite part of this whole thing is that the violets reseeded themselves and spread everywhere. Normally they’re only an annual.

I’d say the very warm winter with no snow that Minnesota had this past year might of had something to do with it.

I wish it could bloom all year round.

DIY: A Texas Sized Rain Barrel

Okay, so maybe it’s not “Texas Sized”, but 55 gallons is a lot of rain water to work with! Once filled, of course.

That’s 55 gallons of water I don’t have to pay for monthly to water my plants and lawn with.

One could say, it’s 55 gallons of free water!

Free, for a price. :)

It will eventually pay for itself.. by summers end hopefully!

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This week we’ve been getting a bunch of rain. Watching it fall is normally exciting, relaxing, refreshing, relieving… just because we don’t get it much! This week, I felt wasteful just watching it. And much less relaxed.

Maybe I’m becoming cheap, but it was almost like watching free money fall from the sky and right into the gutter.

So, I threw a few buckets down(and a cooler) to catch any money… uh, rain, I could. I had about 6-7 gallons of water in less than an hour, just of run off from the roof. Imagine what I could get from collecting from the gutters!

So I went straight to craigslist. And totally lucked out! Someone’s always got something I need. Not necessarily a good thing.

I found an ad for someone who makes rain barrels and sells them for $40 for a 55 gallon. My husband did a little research and couldn’t find anything less than $65 for JUST the barrel.

Woot!
So we picked one up yesterday, and headed straight to Home Depot where we sorted out how we wanted to attach it to our downspout.

At first we thought we’d just cut off the downspout at the right height so it would just pour straight into the top of the barrel… but considered what we’d have to do to fix/replace it when we decide to move.

This little contraption we stumbled upon by accident. It’s really pretty awesome.

They call it a Catch-A-Raindrop, and it’s designed to catch the majority of the water on the sides of the downspout and redirect it out through a hose attachment, while letting debris fall through the middle and out the bottom. If you’ve ever see water flow through a pipe straight down, you know it flows down the sides, so this is really genius!

Of course we were skeptical, but wanted to try it anyways.

We grabbed the cheapest hose we could find, and moved on to find a base to raise up the rain barrel.

We checked out the paver stones and settled on this terra cotta stone to blend well with the brick on our house.

And they were on sale! Normally $1.91 each, we got 10 for $1.61.

Then we grabbed a bag of sand for the base, and headed out to get started.

So because it was such a quick process, I missed getting a photo of Pete leveling out the ground with a shovel and speading the sand.

So Pete used a hack saw and cut the downspout, and put the Catch-A-Raindrop on, piece of cake!

Then we had to test it to make sure it acutally worked!

Pete sprayed the roof with water, and I honestly was surprised it actually worked! And when we ever move, we can take our barrel with us, cap off the hose attachment end, and the downspout will continue to work like it did before!

Had to drill out a hole in one of the lids to put the hose into.


Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

And the last step was really only for asthetics. I saw and idea on pinterest to make your rain barrel look a bit more “pretty”.  All it involved was decorative marble stones and a flower pot.

Ooooooh. No big deal. I left the flower pot off, for now. May add something around the base. But the only ones who will really see it is us! And our neighbors, if they stand on the side of their house.

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Here’s my inspiration photo from Lovelace Files

A rain barrel doesnt have to be ugly! via Lovelace Files

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The view from the front.

The view from the patio.

So glad to have this for the next time it rains. Hope it’s soon!

Total cost breakdown:
$40 – Barrel with spout
$6.85 – Catch-A-Raindrop
$16.10 – Pavers @ $1.61 for 10
$7.97 – Hose
$3 – Sand
$3 – Marble stones
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$76.92 Total Cost

Totally worth it!

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UPDATE!

We only had to wait 3 days for some rain, and man am I glad we got the rain barrel when we did!

Our barrel is over flowing with 55 gallons of awesome rain water, and it only took about 40 minutes.

And that’s how it’s done, son.

Or daughter.

I’ve never been so proud!

Porch Project: In Progress

After a busy week, I was ready to unwind.

Feeling totally inspired and eager to find something to work on since stumbling upon Young House Love’s blog, I decided to start something this weekend!

I mean, who else unwinds by finding a project to do.

Okay, so it wasn’t a huge project by any means, but fun and relaxing nonetheless!

… and it involved shopping.

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So, Pete and I headed out to do errands and clearance shop.

First stop, Target. They have awesome clearance. Found some cute candle holders for our side table. At $1.48 for the three smaller ones, and $2.68 for the lantern, I couldn’t pass it up!

We also grabbed 6 solar garden lights for $25, but we had a gift card. :)

Total so far: $7.12

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My main focus was the front porch. I’ve been itching to get an outdoor rug for the space. Rugs bring everything together.

And at our last stop, Lowes, I struck gold! Er.. rug! They had outdoor rugs on clearance, and I snagged myself a 5×7 natural fiber rug for 29.99!

Also at Lowes, I grabbed 3 glass light fixture covers for a cozy hanging candle project. They were about $2.30 a piece. And with the 3 tiki oil lights I bought to go inside them for $2 each, that brings my total up to $50.01!

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Oh, almost forgot the 4 bags of mulch we bought to freshen up the flower bed. $10 for 4 bags. Total now: $60.01.

Here’s a “before” picture. I had to dig for it, but I found one.

We had the chairs, and the “shabby chic”, or paint-chipped-off-from-sun-exposure side table already. Also, our bushes have grown quite significantly since the before picture was taken.


Chloe is a fan of the rug.


Love the hanging lights. Can’t beat under $5 per light.

The stump in the foreground is another project I will be getting to soon, once it cures. :)


Doesn’t it it just make you want to come and sit with a drink?

This is where my relaxing weekend hit it’s peak.

My $60 went a long way, and was totally worth it.

It’s far from finished. I want to paint the ceiling of the porch a bright color this winter. Also on the hunt for cheap, but stylish outdoor fabric so I can recover the chair cushions. I want to paint the shabby chic side table white too…

Lots of plans!

I love it so far. And will keep you up to date on any progress I make!