DIY Planter Box

If you didn’t catch my plans for farm living in the city, I’m trying our hand at gardening y’all. And I’m also in a crazy lady state of purging out stuff that is laying around (why – WHY do we accumulate so much stuff in life?). The combination of these two things led to an impromptu planter for our backyard which we’re currently using for the start of our winter garden.

Remember the project I mentioned that fizzled out that had already been started a few months back that left us with some scrap wood that had just been siting in our garage for a long time and was driving me batty – the one we used for our DIY desk top?

Well after we cut the custom dimensions for that top, we still had a small piece left over. I didn’t want to throw it away, but was leaning toward that since it was just sitting in our garage collecting dust (and driving me crazy).

Pine Wood planter, DIY planter, how to build a planter, urban gardening, square foot gardening, compact gardening #UrbanGarden


The more I looked at it though, to more I thought to myself, by george, that might actually work as the base of a planter for our square foot garden experiment.

So I asked Jay what he thought and bless that man’s big old heart, he whipped something together for me in an evening!

Building a planter box, DIY planter, Pine planter, DIY pine planter, cheap planter box. DIY cheap planter box

You can see here that the wood was a bit warped, and gappy before we screwed everything in together.

#UrbanGarden

So Jay just clamped up the sides while he worked and added in a few screws to each board (and glued it too, for extra holding power)

how to build a planter, DIY planter, Planter box, urban garden, square foot garden

Notice it’s getting darker in these shots? πŸ˜‰

square foot gardening #SquareFootGarden

The next day we added some more vinegar and steel wool stain to darken it up a bit. Nice, right??

DIY planter, Planter Ideas, urban garden, square foot garden, DIY planter box, planter box, easy planter, pine planter

We planted the seeds and they’re already coming up – I think they love this cooler weather!

Square foot garden, urban garden, winter garden, NC gardening, gardening in the city, gardening on small lot


Remember – this is pine wood from Home Depot that was c-h-e-a-p so the entire top before was around $20-$30 – so getting TWO projects out of it is pretty rockin.

Lighting the Way

I feel like light fixtures, especially in the bedrooms in the houses we’ve lived in, have always been aspirational check boxes, vs. anything I actually ever get around to. It’s just one of those things that is a bit more out of sight, out of mind, which is a shame because they really can up the anty on a room and make it looks a lot more pulled together (like this guest room back in MI).

Case and point, the light we had in our nursery. lolz.

#DIY

I mean, it just doesn’t reach out and grab you, ya know? πŸ˜€ You can see on my mood board, that I had an organic/textury light picked out and I did a bit of a whomp whomp in my heads when I saw on Shades of Light that this bad boy was over $200. Which just felt like a lot, for a dangling basket, more or less.

You guys – sometimes the internet just really comes through for you. This time, it was amazon where I was able to find the *exact* same jute globe, for $80, but instead of 1 globe, I got THREE globes.

#DIY #DIYlightpendant

Now I have no idea how it happened, since these jute balls are now $160 for the set of (3), but I seriously got all (3) for $80! I purchased a DIY kit off amazon as well, and from there, we were ready to hang this light up!

Once they arrived, we decided to use the middle size pendant light for her room, which you can see below before it was up.

#DIY #DIYlightpendant


My goal is to try and sell the other two jute pendants on craigslist to try and recoup some of the cost (or come out ahead), but either way, at this point we’re paying half of what we would have new, so it’s still a win while we hold on to the two other sizes and wait for someone to buy them (or for another room we could use them in).

As soon as I had the room painted, I asked Jay if he’d help me get this in the next morning because I had been dying to see this up and y’all it did not disappoint.

So cute though, right? It looks virtually identical to the one I’d been drooling over and it was so much cheaper! Huzza!

You can see how the lightbulb is a bit off to the side, but it’s really not noticeable, and we could eventually get some type of bracket for the inside if it bugs me enough.

Here is another view from straight down below. I love how different this light fixture is, especially compared to the builder grade light we had up in there before. It adds some natural warmth to the space, which is what I was hoping to have with the darker walls.

Here is another shot of it peeking out, so you can see the juxtaposition against the dark nursery walls. Time to get a crib, some bedding, pop up some art – and this room is done! I’ll have a cost breakdown and more room photos up on the blog next week! πŸ™‚

Now I’m conflicted on which light was a better steal, this one, or our $30 ceiling fan for the back patio. We’ll just call them both a win. πŸ™‚

Dark Nursery Ideas


Nursery Furniture

So, have I mentioned I’m having a girl? Whoa baby. So y’all – I definitely thought, ever since I met my husband and saw that his lineage more or less spurted off boys, I was like – ok – I choose you as mate, I get boys. And girls just never really came into my brain cells as something that like might even happen. And here I am well into the process of baking a girl. Dang.

I mean, there are silver linings. Girl clothes are *really* cute. Evidence of acquisition … I know … right? We’ve had so many people generously give us stuff and I’ve scoured the racks at a few consignment sales as well. (If you can’t tell…)

How_To_Save_On_Baby_Clothes

I’m on board y’all, I’m just not like one of those ladies that was like, my life won’t be complete until I have a girl πŸ˜‰ So another fun thing, in addition to buying clothes, is giving her a space that feels 100% hers and not like our old office.

My first score (and this is a small room, so perhaps the only furniture buy I’ll make) is this dresser!

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It’s cute, right! I love the top of itΒ  – it’s super unique and almost looks like a wood floor to me with the different pieces of wood sewn in on the top.


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So calling out to the internet world, but this thing definitely needs some type of finish on it, and at this point just seems like open/unfinished/not sealed wood. I was thinking about waxing it (vs poly) to avoid it being super shiny, but if others have ideas or suggestions, holla.

It’s got lots of imperfections which is one of my favorite parts about it since I feel like it gives some character to the room right off the bat.

Antique_Dresser

With H, we were in and out of our last house when he was a tiny human, and then moved into a 1-bedroom apartment where there was not room for cute things like glass pumps to hold hand sanitizer on the changing dresser, so I’m pretty excited about being able to pop in little details like this to the space. (This is as far as we got with nursery #1 and H’s room currently, now transitioning to big boy room…)

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Next stop, clearing out the closet. πŸ™‚

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For now though, I’m just enjoying our new find and working hard to get the rest of the room up and ready, as I’m hitting my 3rd tri right now.

Antique_Dresser_Changing_Table

We’re up to lots of work on this space – I’ll have an update next week with our paint selections and some other adventures in designing the space.

Here is my design board, so you can see the full vision!

Botanical Nursery Design


Outdoor Ceiling Fan (For a Steal)

You guys, if I have not sufficiently evangelized you on never buying your stuff new (atleast not straight out of the gate) – let this be another lesson! πŸ˜‰ We scored an outdoor fancy old fan for $30 on craiglist – holla!!

So first, some before shots and back story. This is what our outdoor ceiling looked like.

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Notice that pretty little plate, mounted smack in the middle? Well we knew it was an electrical box, and as the summer scorched on (North Carolina you guys – it gets hot) we kept thinking to ourselves – we *need* a fan. Our kid absolutely loves to play with his kiddy pool so 9 days out of 10 we’re out there chilling on the porch and getting coached by our 2-year old on acceptable water table behavior. There are more rules to this than you’d first imagine πŸ˜‰

But being cheap, and realizing this definitely fell into the category of non-essential, I refused to buy a brand new one for like $200+ for the styles I loved.

Which is where craigslist comes in!

Ceiling_Fan_Outdoor

I saw this beauty/cutie come up for $30 and I was like whaaaa – Jay, we need to go in the car and get this! It even has an edison bulb already planted in it, which is like $5-$8 right there, haha!

This was also where our whomp whomp moment came in. The next morning we were super excited to install it, when Jay realized that although the box did have electrical, it was definitely missing some key provisions we’d need for installing a ceiling fan.

Installing_Ceiling_Fan

Apparently, you need to have more than just wires to install something as substantial as a fan, which totally makes sense, but was definitely not something that was on my radar until Jay told me no dice.

We realized we needed to buy the thing er jigger (here) and down below that essentially finds beams up above in your ceiling and locks into them, to make sure your ceiling fan, well doesn’t fall on your head mid spin, so it’s a rather important detail! Ceiling_Fan_Mounting We had a 2-day delay while we ordered this guy and waited. But the good news is, here in the South, you almost have to wait until late fall before being outside is actually something you’d want to do, so the timing – all and all – worked perfectly πŸ™‚

Here is the ceiling fan up and running – we love it!


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And another shot of the entire porch, which right now only consists of this lonely little bench and our shoe basket.

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Here is a close up of the light fixture portion as well. I love the character it has and truly – for $30 it was a no brainer to drive out to the sticks to pick this beauty up!

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I’m looking forward to having this outside and feel super happy about the price we paid for it, too. It can be so hard to wait for things but I’m really glad we held out and waited for a deal.

Now if someone could coach me on the importance of doing this for say … buying stuff for Henry’s “Big Boy” room and the new addition’s nursery – I might need some encouragement on that front πŸ˜‰

DIY Desk!

We officially have a desk nook and y’all I be all Beyonce crazy in love with this beauty. And beyond being easy on the eyes, it’s as functional as all get out which is probably actually getting it more brownie points than anything for me.

So Jay, knowing he had a crazy wife, who reminds him on the daily that she is now more than *half* way through baking a child and time is of the essence, made the magic happen and got this desk done by my self created deadline of the end of the month, so thank you, husband (you rock).

I mentioned in this post that we decided to keep things a bit more simple, and nix the bookcases (for now) and just get something functional and done.

You can actually see our table top inspiration right outside with our large farmhouse style table. Jay always tells people he built a picnic table when he talks about it, which makes me lol. Do you hear Joanna Gaines calling her tables picnic tables – no – you don’t. We need to work on our marketing pitch πŸ˜€

I’m quasi obsessed with the imperfections in the wood, which kinda make this look like we reclaimed it off the back porch of some 1920’s bungalow. Y’all – these are cheapo lumber 2×10’s that you can get at Home Depot for $8 a piece (for an 8′ board). Hella score, right?

As you can see, one feature, shall we say, of this desk is the ability to have a built-in litter box snuck in for easy storage options. Are these things you think about when you get a cat – no, they’re not, but this litter box is sorta a PITA (hehe – get it?) I mean, whatever, what are you going to do. I bought a smell neutralizer thing a ma jig from Amazon which helps (a lot) but some day when we don’t have cat anymore I won’t persay – miss the litter box presence πŸ˜‰ We bought this “bad air sponge” in our last house to help with a musty smell as well, and I literally swear by it if anyone is looking to knock out a bad smell.

You can see the litter box “rug” sticking out on this longer style photo and I definitely want to replace that with a 4×6 rug that fills out the space a bit more and doesn’t make the litter box part stick out as overtly.

On the opposite side we have space for extra storage, books, whatever. I’m trying to keep it simple though to keep clutter down so I might pop one more basket in there are time, or may just leave it open and accessorize it later πŸ™‚

Off to the left, on our “litter box” side we have the litter and our printer. This is the litter box we purchased which works great and fits in the little cubby spot perfectly!

It feels a lot more functional these days than our before, which was just a console table.

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Desk Duty

So babies – they kinda take over and claim their own spaces in this world. Which is ultimately a good thing, but in the mean time, we’re pretty busy over here shifting our office from workspace, to baby space. Mostly this is fun and games (and a few too many trips to Home Depot – $$$) but it also meant pulling out our (insert JAY’s) bob the builder skills to whip up a desk of his pregnant wife’s dreams.

This is our office currently. I don’t feel *too* sad about transitioning this space over because it’s like not done in the least and basically a glorified storage room.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And the floor is NEVER empty like that, haha. Usually has costumes or books or a teepee splayed out in the middle of it πŸ˜‰ This was Saturday am right after our weekend round up of vacuuming. It’s a fleeting moment, so I had to capture it.

And this is the desk area.

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And this is what I dreamed up for this room and I told y’all that it was still going downΒ just in a new locale. (Because this is going in it’s place…)

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Drum roll pa-lease. The new locale!

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Not quite an office, persay, but y’all, I think it’s going to be the perfect little nook for a desk / workspace and a landing spot for our computer. This is ultimately what I envision – something built out entirely around the window, with some bookcases on either end to store odds and ends, and to make a statement as well.

Built In Desk Design

Here is a general idea of the look/feel I’m going for! Perhaps a base color similar to this?

Build In Desk Ideas

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And I love how this photo shows a very similar bookcase flanking either side of the wall.

Built In Desk

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I’ll have progress on our build-out next week, perhaps even some after photos. I may have to buy Jay a 12-pack of beer or some bourbon to get a finished desk done around here πŸ˜‰


Never, Ever, Buy Things New

Y’all, I mentioned a few months ago our new found journey to becoming frugal masters. We’ve always been sorta inclined toward this path and there are *definitely* those that do this much better than me. Case and point, kiddo clothes. So sometimes, I like imagine a life where I would bust my bootie into Carter’s and Old Navy and just sorta crackle with pure glee as I load up my cart with the bargains around me. $5, FIVE DOLLARS?! Why, I really should grab two! I mean, the marketing you guys, they got that down and the clothes are so. darn. CUTE. Feeling me parents of the internet world?

Well you’ve got to use your imagination a bit more when you shop second hand, because the clothes are not marketed and laid out for you so nicely, but y’all, I guarantee you that there are so many other humans out there that paid full price for kids clothes that got underused, that you’ve got a prime opportunity to swoop in there and get your hands on the goods for a steal of a deal.

I’m {personally} totally hooked though. I just got H’s entire 5T wardrobe for $61 and since a toddler jacket at the Gap runs you around $40, I consider this a win.

Kids Consignment Sales Raleigh

Disclaimer – I’ll probably add a shirt or pair of pants here and there, but overall – this kid is going to be looking j-crew posh when he hits the streets.

A few points really quick – notice I said my kids 5T wardrobe? Y’all he’s in 3T right now, but truly, the only way to successfully keep yourself from having to buy things full price down the road, is to start stashing clothes for them early and then add a few small, key pieces as they get older. Like an extra pair of pants, more jammies, or water shoes. Every one of the items above cost less than $3 and they’re all name brand, really nice stuff! (more here on how I keep each size organized)

Consignment Sales Raleigh

I mean, that sweater y’all. It makes me wish for a nice cup of coco and weather that was not 100. NC in summatime, it’s great! πŸ˜‰

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I’m loving this Gap windbreaker, $2. Yeaaaasss. So cute, and barely worn!

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One thing you do need to be ok with is having other children’s names scribed inside the goods (especially things like jackets, I’ve noticed).

Meh – for $2, if people call my kid Jack, I’m ok with that! If he lands up with a Jack in his class we may have to cross it out to say Henry, just so the coat stays in the Sell Casa πŸ˜‰

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My mom is super amazing and chipped in to help buy the kiddo some shoes, too. These are all in great condition and are brands like Stride Rite and Keen (hello $50 per pair of shoes – no thanks!). More like $5 when you buy them used you guys.

Another thing I’ve personally taken a liking to – is at consignment sales only shopping the 1/2 off days. I’m sure there are better selections on full price days but there is still really, really nice/cute stuff on the 1/2 off day – so I typically wait and see what I can find! When you start early, it’s not dire that you get everything you need in 1-shot, too. Consignment stores will often have dollar days, etc, so you can find good deals no matter the locale.

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One of the blogs I read, Frugalwoods is all about clothes bans. Like never buy clothes and I’m all – nope. Not happening! 1) Buying clothes is fun, it’s fun to have the kiddo dressed up and dapper. I like doing it, it brings me joy (she would roll over and die hearing me saying buying stuff is fun BUT my other point is 2) Frugal living is all about the ROI y’all – IMO. I’m confident that all the clothes I buy for H will be sold for nearly what I bought them for, giving the dirt cheap prices I paid. Following me, grasshopper? Sure, some clothes will get trashed, etc, but most of them I will sell for what I paid, which is like a $1 or $2. So, I call that a win – it’s like borrowing a cute wardrobe, right? Either way – I think the path to frugal living is all about carving out what it is that you value and minimizing the rest.

Don’t let friends buy new. That’s your PSA for the day.

Here are some of my favorite Raleigh consignment sale locales, for anyone local!

 

 

Round Two – Nursery Design!

Oh you guys. This pregnancy has been rough so far. I’ve been feeling so sick every day and the last few weeks have just started to feel really depressed about it – it literally starts to feel like you will never, ever, feel normal again. I know we’re getting so close to better days ahead though y’all and one thing that helps calm my nerves and make me forget about all my nausea is – designing a nursery! πŸ˜‰ Haha. It’s THAT fun πŸ˜€

Silver lining with this room is that other than paint and 4-5 fill in items, I’m going to reuse staples like the glider and the crib from H’s room. Henry is actually still *using* the crib (hey, I like having a baby jail, don’t judge me!) so we’ll uhhh, have to address that as well. πŸ˜‰

Here is what H’s never quite complete nursery looked like.

Dark Blue Baby Room

I’ll use this glider and the crib, and maybe the bookcase in the new baby’s room. Dark Blue Boys Room Y’all this is what I’m thinking for the new babes space. A botanical themed space with some paneling on charcoal walls!

Botanical Nursery Design

Different than what we’ve done in the past, but I’m just really into dark colors right now! I think with the lighter details, it helps to balance it out and ground the darker base.

Notice those new doors … I sorta told Jay I want to replace all the doors and hardware in the house (our current style looks like this)

Laundry Room Closet

I don’t know – pinterest has pretty much ruined me. Jay thinks I’m off my rocker.

If you’re extra blog savvy, you’ll also recognize that the room we’ll be using as our nursery for baby #2, is also our office. I know I totally was dreaming and scheming of turning this room into a crazy awesome library esq space (not all dreams come true guys), but I’m actually going to try and recreate that look in a little nook in our house downstairs. Stay tuned, it’s on the honey do list this month so I’m hoping to have progress to share on our new office locale sooner rather than later! (not all is lost!)

I’ve always thought this was a boy, but the past few weeks, as I’m still feeling pretty sick every day, I’m like – crap – maybe this is a girl… Not going to lie, I actually want another boy (same clothes, same everything – easy) but the more I think about it, the more I’ve come around to the idea of a potential girl.

More than anything our only hope is for a healthy baby. Cliche, but especially with these first few uncertain months for us, we’re just hoping we continue to hear good news about the prospects of this little ones health. I’ll keep y’all updated, but we’ll have an amnio in the next few weeks along with an ultrasound, which will provide more information. Please continue to send us good vibes!

DIY Counter in Laundry

So Jay’s been busy building some tables that we’ve actually been selling on craigslist (woo hoo for handy husband’s with carpentry skills!) and while he was fiddling with those, I asked him, pretty please if he could create a counter top for the laundry room since we’ve had virtually no storage in here for the past 18-months. It was time, as Rafiki would say. He’s a wise baboon, no? (I blame my 2-year old for any Disney references on this blog)

Y’all saw our current laundry room (and upstairs hall) in last week’s post, but here is a quick snap shot in case you’re like me and forget anything that didn’t happen in the last 30 minutes.

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So while Jay was building away, he crafted this little counter, which has a few notches in the back to account for the electrical and plumbing behind the washer and the dryer.

These are just 10″x10′ pine boards y’all – to the tune of $9 each at Home Depot, so this entire project was under $30. Woot!

DIY_Laundry_Countertop

So although we DID account for the notches we had to make in the back, apparently we did not account for the fact that there was a wall on either side of this sucker cause y’all – ummmmm – our walls be looking rough after we got this thing (finally) wedged into place. We probably should have just taken it downstairs and cut an 1/8th inch off the side but I (true to form) was rearing to go and wanted this in place without hauling out the saw (again).

Luckily it was mostly just scuffing (there was a staple on the end of one of the wood pieces, doy!) and with some paint touch up it looks fine, but I was a bit stressed out about it during install. Jay can attest to that πŸ˜‰

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We used a vinegar and steel wool concoction that is a natural way to age wood quickly. We just used this tutorial and overall, we’re super happy with the way things turned out.

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This did require a lot of experimenting, and I’d highly recommend testing it on scrap wood before you go ahead and put it all over your entire finished piece. It’s a bit of a science experiment,Β and will come out different each time you do it (based on how much steel wool you use, and how long you let it sit, etc) so test it out before hand. You can always dilute it to get a slightly less dark look.

DIY_Pine_Countertop

And a wider angle view so you can see some of the color variation on the counter.

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Over time I’d love to add some shelves but it took us a year + to get around to the counter, so don’t hold your breath on an update any time *too* soon in that department πŸ˜‰

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Super easy, darn cheap, and heyo – chic too! Pretty happy with this upgrade for a weekend, a saw, and thirty bucks!!

One last look at the improved space.

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And the before!

Renovating Small Laundry Room

Farmhouse Table + Flowers

Our house was pretty landscaped when we moved in a year ago, and with a 2-year old, and an interior I wanted to get cracking on, we’ve literally done nothing – like nothing – to the outside of the house. Well I guess Jay did trim the bushes once last year – ha! But that’s been it! Oh and he’s built this table, which I’m obsessed with. Plan from Ana White, here.

Farmhouse Style Table

So this planter and been growing away over time … by now, it’s a bit overgrown. We had some basil in there that we transplanted into a small planter we keep in the kitchen for cooking.

Brick_Planter_Landscaping_Before

I’ve always loved the look of houses with tons and tons of hydrangeas all over the place. That or peonies but now that I have a kiddo and ants like never leave my life (ummm food crumbs all the time), the thought of a plant that attracts ants is not something I’m mojoing for too much.

We have a tiny little courtyard around our house, so I’d really like to give it a bit more of “us” character over time, and get rid of some of these tall wacky trees we have planted all over the place.

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These are some of the images that I swoon over when thinking about designing our backyard space.

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Do you think I could get away with turning our house into a tree, a la the photo above? I think Jay might fa-reak out πŸ˜‰

Or what about turning the house into a bush, like this photo? Maybe I should just paint it green with a faux finish πŸ˜‰ Something about that ivy/plantings growing over the wall just makes a space look old and lived in, I think. I love it!

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Or this one (that table is a bit too weathered for my liking), but the droves of hydrangeas is definitely something I can get behind. And that charcoal shed tucked in the corner – mmm hmmm. Nice. Hydrangea_Backyard_Courtyard

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So one small step toward this oh so lovely vision was to turn our planter introduced at the beginning of this post, into a small spot for some hydrangeas to grow. We picked up two from Home Depot this weekend, and y’all I am so excited to watch these babies grow. Down here in NC things do grow pretty fast, so hopefully they take off quickly!

Hydrangea_Bush_Starters

I’m desperately hoping I don’t kill these beauties – I found this article helpful – and others attempting to grow hydrangeas may as well!

Next up, a porch swing (?) and some dark navy paint perhaps a la this photo. It hurts my heart I love this photo THAT much.

Outdoor Porch Swing

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