A Patio Reveal!

So…I’ve been working on our back patio for a while now. And as I sit here working on this post, I’m suddenly disappointed, because I realize I don’t have a “before” photo. Geeze! Does anyone else do that other than me? Get so excited about a project that you dive headfirst into it without any documentation? I must get better at that…

But in the meantime, let’s just use our imaginations, shall we?

Let’s imagine a brick patio that was mostly black from never being cleaned. Where bricks were missing and cracked and uneven. And where ants roamed like they built the patio themselves. That’s what we found when we bought this house a little over a year ago.

But I had big plans for the space! And when we finally fenced in the yard, I knew I could do whatever I wanted to out there, so I got started. And here are the results…

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Allow me to take you on a tour!

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The Little Ledge that Lived

When we moved into our house over a year ago, I had big plans for the built-in ledge that’s in our living room.

“The ledge” is common with houses built about 10 years ago (our house is 11 years old) but I always liked them, and I thought I could be really creative with ours.

And then I decorated it ONCE. And I dragged the ladder back and forth and back and forth, climbing up and down and up and down, trying to get everything just right. (For those of you who have never seen me in person, I’m not tall. I’m only 5 feet 4 inches tall, to be exact.) Almost an hour later, I had had enough! And then, in a few months, I had to do it all over again when I had too pull stuff down and dust it! In another few months, I pulled it all down again to decorate it for fall, and then, just after that, AGAIN to decorate it for Christmas. And you know what happened after Christmas…I had to pull all THAT down again! It was getting to be kind of a pain.

So I left it bare. With nothing on it. For about 6 months.

But then, I had run into Hobby Lobby to get just one thing. (You know how that goes!) They had all their home decor on SALE for 80% off! 80%!!! I had to go check it out. And as I rounded the corner, the angels sang, and my eyes lit up as I saw a trio of decor items, priced at $8, $10 and $12, respectively. I bought – hook, line and sinker!

So then I had SOMETHING. Take a look!

Here is our living room:

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Can I just say here that it’s funny what you notice when you take pictures of your house. Allow me to explain:

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All of the above I noticed when I downloaded this picture to the computer, and wish I had “fixed” them before taking the photo…but we’re all friends here, right?

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Van’s Natural Foods Review and GIVEAWAY!

**PLEASE NOTE: While Van’s Natural Foods DID provide me with these products to test at no cost, I was not in any way paid for my review. The following opinion is hereby my own.**

Every time the folks at Van’s contact me to do a review of their newest offerings, I get excited! I absolutely adore Van’s! And there’s a reason for this: quality. I’ve tried TONS of gluten-free products since I was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease in 2001, and Van’s by far are the best of the best. They have made my life SO much easier, so I always take the chance to share their products with YOU, too!

Take a look at what they sent me this month:

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From left to right: Multigrain Chips, PB&J Sandwich Bars, Gluten-Free Blueberry Waffles, Crispy Whole Grain Baked Crackers…and the fabulous burlap bag it all came in! (You guys KNOW how I LOVE burlap!)

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Easy Does It!

Most people seem to think I have it all together. This is hilarious to me, because I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT. Not even a little! I think that’s one reason why I never allow myself to stop and take a break, because there’s always something I can see that needs to be accomplished!

I have learned something, though. Even though I can look around and see things that need to be accomplished, it’s okay to not get everything completed at the same time! Easy does it! So I just thought I’d do a post today to encourage those who feel overwhelmed with all there is to do around their homes. It’s okay! You don’t have to do it all at once! Easy does it! Just go little by little! Let me show you what I mean: here are three things I did in three different rooms of my house that made a difference…and were cost-effective and EASY!

1. I added curtains to the sliding glass doors in the living room

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The blinds have been there since we moved in, but I hadn’t been able to find the right curtains for the sliding glass doors in our living room in over a year. I searched everywhere I could think of with no luck. The funny thing was, I was actually at Target with my hubby looking for curtains for the DINING ROOM when he picked these up and said, “What about these?” “No,” I said, “Those aren’t the right style for the Dining Room. Nice for the Living Room, but not the Dining Room, babe.”

**Insert “ah-ha” moment here**

“OH! Those are PERFECT for the Living Room!!!”

**Insert my husband rubbing his ear here**

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DIY Summer Wreath!

Hopefully wherever you live now you’re feeling the effects of summer! Here in Florida, it’s HOT. I’m eternally grateful for air conditioning, that’s for sure! But I’m also eternally grateful to live near the beach! We’re near enough to be able to go over to the beach for a long or short weekend (this past Saturday we spent the afternoon and evening at John’s Pass) but far enough away that our insurance premiums aren’t “coastal”! It’s a beautiful thing!

So when I decorated my Summer Holiday Shelf this month, I did it “beachy”! Did you see it? If not, CLICK HERE to see what I’m rambling on about. But what I ran into was that I couldn’t find any kind of beachy door decor. I like to hang something that coordinates with the shelf on the inside of the front door, since it’s right next the shelf. After a few days of searching all my favorite spots, I listened to my husband (who constantly tells me, if you can’t find what you like, just make it yourself like you do everything else!) and decided to make it myself. I thought I’d share with all of you, too, because it was super easy!

Here’s my “ingredients”:

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That, my friends, is a plain wooden frame from Michael’s, and a collection of “beachy” decor balls from Michael’s, as well. Oh, and if you want to get great deals from Michael’s, do check out this link! Fantastic savings at: http://verified.codes/Michaels

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