Tag Archive: Outdoor Inspiration

Oct 02

Fireside Five on Friday

Can I just say how much I’ve missed Five for Fridays?!?! I know it’s weird, but it’s such a fun way to recapping the week in photos. I’ll be so glad I have this to look back on as Charlotte grows up.

Fireside Five on FridayCue grainy iphone pictures…

ONE– I say it all the time, but it boggles my mind how fast Charlotte is. She moved up to the one year old room at daycare on Monday. Is this not a huge deal to anyone else?! Being the overly emotional Mom that I’ve become, I got in my car and the tears came. I had so many feelings wrapped into one: scared that she was too small for all of the big one year olds, sad that she’s getting so big (I know, it’s an oxymoron- I didn’t say my feelings made sense!), and grateful that she’s ready for the transition and all of the kiddos welcomed her warmly. The teacher in her room is amazing, so I feel super lucky for that. Gosh, this Mom thing is confusing!
I can’t believe she sits in a normal chair and eats! This is only the beginning of all the big girl things to come…

Fireside Five on Friday

TWO– Things are getting festive around here. I did a little fall decorating near the curb. Our house is tucked away behind a forest of trees, so people likely think we a) are creepsters or b) hermits. Eric is convinced that someone will steal everything…and while he might be right, I’m willing to take that risk for the happiness this brings me when I pull into the driveway. HELLO fall!

Fireside Five on FridayFireside Five on Friday

THREE– I recently visited my cousin who has two boys. While there I noticed that Charlotte loved a shopping cart that they had. Being the nice people that they are, they said “it’s yours!” and loaded it in the car (unbeknownst to the boys). Granted, she said this was one of 5 shopping carts they have. Anywho, this has quickly become Charley’s favorite toy! She loads it up, puts her purse around her neck (because where else would a purse go?) and goes. She’s a natural shopper. It’s in her blood.

Fireside Five on FridayFireside Five on Friday

FOUR– These photos both show off how friggen cute this Chiefs Cheerleader is, AND to display just how much Charlotte loves Lilly. She is seriously obsessed with this cat. She doesn’t say many words yet, but one thing she CAN say is “Hiiiii Lilly”. Of course.

Fireside Five on Friday“I’m coming to get you”

Fireside Five on Friday

FIVE– We hit up Ikea in KC last weekend! We were super excited to go. Because we had been living so close to Denver’s Ikea when we lived in Nebraska, we were definitely having withdrawals from all the killer deals. We’re redoing a room in the basement (get excited for that update) so we found some sweet light fixtures and other goodies. Charlotte did remarkably well while we browsed. She wanted out of the stroller, so naturally Dad put her on his shoulders only to receive the sweetest head hug ever. This girl and her hugs. I can’t even handle it.

Fireside Five on FridayWe drove down to Louisburg, KS to take the kids to the cider mill with our BFFS, the Browns. Once we arrived, we quickly realized it was Cider Fest….which meant WAY too many people. Long lines and hot weather does not equal a good time with two toddlers around naptime. So instead we ate at a “diner” in town, which was really more like a giant cafeteria with the median age being 60.

Fireside Five on FridayGetting these two wild children to take a photo is seriously impossible. Please note that neither of them are fully clothed. That’s how we roll.

 

Well, that’s the week wrapped up! We’re excited for more fun this weekend. Happy Friday!

 

Jan 12

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little Charm

So we love our house, but one of the main issues we have with it is that the outside looks a little dated.  Kelli and I have been on a mission since we’ve moved in to get the “curb appeal” to a better place.  The first thing that we did was replace the garage doors (still need to write this post.)
We’ve also done some landscaping, which was a lot more dangerous than we were expecting.  This leads to the shutter installation project.  We thought they would be a cheap and effective way to help add a little outside charm to this house that looked like it was slightly stuck in the 70’s.

Here’s a little before and after.

Before

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmAfter

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmI (Eric) have fallen in love with Menards.  To me, it’s the perfect balance of price, quality, and selection.  And no, they [unfortunately] didn’t pay me to say that.  Maybe one day, sigh.  I believe it’s a midwest regional hardware store.  So you coastal people may not have the pleasure of doing your shopping there.

We put shutters on a total of three windows, meaning we had to get three sets of shutters.  We got them from Mendards for around $23 a piece.  We are very happy with the results of the shutter installation. Plus, we did it all for under $75 and about an hour installation time. Score!

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little Charm

 

The tools I used to do the shutter installation were:

  • Drill
  • 1/4” drill bit
  • Multi-tool(pictured below)
  • Tape measure
  • rubber mallet

In the above picture, I went ahead and laid everything out so I knew what I was getting into.

Below, we have board and batten siding, so to make sure the shutter was flush with the window I had to use my multi-tool to cut about a 1 inch section to make this happen.

 

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmShutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmShutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmThe last step was to re-seal the seam that was left when I cut the piece of wood out.  I did this with a exterior caulk. Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little Charm

Now that the house was ready, I had to do a little prep work on the shutter, per the instructions that came with shutters.  I put a total of 4-1/4inch holes into each of the corners of each shutter.

After I got the holes in the shutter, I placed the shutter in it’s final resting place next to the window and drilled the same sized hole through the siding.  If you have brick or stone siding, this is where it could be a little tougher.  My assumption is that you would have to use a masonry bit rather than your typical wood bit.

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmThe last steps to the shutter installation is to hammer in the plastic spikes.  This is the easiest step of the entire process, as you have already completed all the prep work.

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little Charm

 

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmAfter you know it, you’ve got shutters on your house!  Like I said earlier, the shutter installation only took about an hour.  I installed a total of 6 shutters throughout the whole project.

Shutter Installation: Adding an Extra Little CharmThis project was just another step on the way to a more charming exterior.  There are so many things we love about this house.  We can now add shutters to that same list!!  Next stop, I rip out and replace of the front porch and that sweet ramp to the bottom left of the picture.

Until next time. Build On!

-ER-

P.S. If you enjoy reading our latest happenings, its simple to get the most recent post delivered automatically to your email inbox. To do so, follow these easy instructions. We also update our Facebook page on a regular basis, so “like us” to see our latest project or delicious recipe we are thinking up.

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Jul 14

What Sundays are Made of

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sundays are glorious. And this Sunday morning, the weather was beautiful AND our first tomato was ready to be picked! This is an exciting day around our household. We’ve been watching this little guy, waiting for the perfect picking hour. In the two years past, we’ve put a lot of effort into gardening but haven’t seen a lot of produce come from it (see here), . We blame the inconsistent weather and constant hail storms of Western Nebraska. So to see a ripened tomato this early in KS was super exciting! What Sundays are Made of
Barkley took a little time this morning to stop and smell the flowers. He knows what’s important in life.What Sundays are Made of
These guys will be ready in a few days/weeks/however long they need!What Sundays are Made of
You should also know that I brought it inside, washed it up, sprinkled some salt on it and ate the whole dang thing. It was “the best tomato I’ve ever had”…direct quote from me this morning to my loving husband. What Sundays are Made of
Just a Sunday morning glimpse of our back patio where our container gardens are growing.What Sundays are Made of Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!

Jun 25

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

“Sure Dad, c’mon up and we will play golf or something”.  “Yeah Andrew, we will just relax and do some grilling”.  I had em’ right where I wanted them.  Little did they know that they were going to have to deal with the tree of torture: 5 inch thorns and all.

Both my Dad and best friend knew they were going to get in some good old fashion manual labor.  I can’t say it enough, Kelli and I are very lucky and blessed to have people like them in our lives; that no questions asked, will come up for a weekend and help out with our crazy forest house!

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

Super Pumped to have the help of these fellas.  One project off the list!!

 

This Locust tree was only a small part of our weekend project, but it is definitely the most intimidating.  Those thorns are long, sharp, and will go right though a pair of shoes.  I also found out that if they stick you, the very tip breaks off and stays in you.  I’m living proof of that…

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

Here was the before picture of the house.  As you can see, this side of the house needs a little TLC.  By a “little”, I mean a lot of work for three guys, plus some work from my wonderful wife and her tag-a-long Char Char.  Kelli is not a big fan of that name for Charlotte but until something else pops in my head that’s what daddy’s nickname for our mini is going to be.  Sorry, I digressed.

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
I’m picturing settlers back in the frontier days making some pretty intense weapons out of these things.  I mean seriously, look at them! They’re straight out of a Steven King book.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
With all that said, naturally the first thing to do would be to climb up a ladder straight into the thick of things.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
Bush, meet Dad.  Dad, meet bush.  It just needed a little hair cut.
(Both my dad and I were blessed with low maintenance hair, aka we are bald.  But, if we did have hair, this bush is what I assume it would look like in the morning.)
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
Continuing on the trimming theme, we decided to take out these green things from beside the house. Are they a tree, a bush, a weed?  Those mixed messages are probably the main reason it got the ax…I mean saw.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
After we got everything cut down prepared, we were ready to start re-laying the brick edging.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
How many guys does it take to screw in a light bulb…wait, I mean lay down bricks in a neat line?
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
Bring on the greenery!
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
Kelli and I don’t get a ton of chances to go on “errands” with the family.  I really enjoyed the time of sifting through the 50% off area at the greenhouse.  Gotta love deals and gotta love family!! 
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

at the greenhouse

Honestly, I don’t know what this thing is.  I’m sure if I asked Kelli she would know, but it’s 12:30 a.m. now and she is fast asleep.  Whatever it is, it is one of my favorite plants.  I love the color of the leaves without any type of flowering or blooming.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
Throughout the 3 years of total home ownership and the variety of landscaping projects we’ve done (see Sidney example 1 or example 2), we’ve learned a couple lessons.
One is to always stage what you plant.  It’s the easiest way to determine whether you will like the arrangements of your plants.
The other is to keep in mind that your plants will grow, so be sure to space them out.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

staging plants

 

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!
There’s “miss green thumb” herself.  Even with a bun in the oven she is still out there pitching in.  What a trooper!!  Can’t keep her away from planting.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

Kelli planting

 

One of the last things we had to take care of was the random bench on the entry way.  A couple of bolts and a few screws and it’s outta here.
Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

 

 

 

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

 

Here’s the rag tag trio of landscapers.  Without them I would probably still be stuck in the thorny tree!

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

the work crew

 

Barkley was the supervisor for this project.  As you can see, he takes his job very seriously.

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

Big B

 

And the Grand Reveal!

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!One last Before picture so you have a good idea of where we started.

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

before 2

Project: Dont get Stuck with the 5 inch Thorns!

Until next time!

-ER-

P.S. If you enjoy reading our latest happenings, its simple to get the most recent post delivered automatically to your email inbox.  To do so, follow these instructions.  We also update our Facebook on a regular basis, so “like us” and see our latest project or delicious recipe we are thinking up.

Facebook ~~~ Pinterest ~~~ Email Latest Post

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