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).

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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!

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


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)

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

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

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

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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.

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.


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!


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.


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!


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


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!


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˜‰

Charmed by Charlottesville

I had the pleasure of taking a quick trip up to Charlottesville last week and I’m so glad I happened to pack my camera, since this town is a beaut. I was literally only in town for a quick 24-hour conference, but I wanted to show y’all some snapshots of this beautiful city. If you haven’t visited, it’s an absolute must! The city reminds me a lot of Savannah with the architecture and Asheville with the scenery around you. It’s nestled right in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which to me, is absolute perfection.

Downtown was gorgeous, with lots of brick laid walkways, and outdoor restaurants to enjoy the southern heat. And by heat, it was like 95 degrees the day I was there πŸ˜€ Most people ate inside πŸ˜‰

Things to Do IN Charlottesville

In addition to lots of restaurants and shops, traditional row house architecture filled in lots of downtown as well. I wanted to sneak in to adjacent neighborhoods to snag a few pictures as well, but with the way the downtown corridor was laid out, I had a tricky time finding any! Next trip, I’m going to sleuth a few down, since I’m sure they’re gorgeous!


Another thing on my Charlottesville bucket list for next time – stay at this sweet Bed and Breakfast! Love!


Ha, and if you know me, you know when I saw this pretty little Farrow & Ball sign, that I just had to stop and snap a photo. Chic signs, people, the world doesn’t have enough of them.

Farrow and Ball Locations

Charlottesville’s downtown was beautiful, but equally stunning is the University of Virginia Campus. I love all the history of this space and how old everything was. Just like Duke University here in Durham, the University of Virginia also has a stone wall that runs along the perimeter of the campus. It’s so lovely – isn’t it!

University of Virginia Campus

Lucky for me, at the conference I was at, I just happened to be sitting next to a lady that works part-time at Monticello (what?!) so she was giving me lots of fun scoop on the campus, from her indepth knowledge of our man Jefferson.

Like this serpentine wall along the campus gardens was apparently built that way since it was stronger, and only needed one row of bricks. It’s also really neat looking in person.

Serpentine Wall

All the campus architecture was incredibly detailed, with lots of ornate touches. The building below is where my conference was held.


Many of the buildings on campus had some crazy pillar action, making them look ultra swanky. πŸ˜€


One of my favorite sections of campus was the campus lawn, where buildings flanked a large, open, grassy area. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along that section.

I loved this door, and the large, black shutters around it.


Here’s a close up shot of the windows next to this door.Β I thought that was such a cool and unique detail on the bottom sash.


Love me some herringbone patterned brick work, too!


I’m already planning a weekend escape to Charlottesville with Jay, soon.Β Here are a few destinations that were must stops for me this trip, and a few that I’ll be visiting next time!

University of Virginia Campus

Everything’s free! And gorgeous πŸ˜‰ Parts of campus are designated world heritage sites so it’s really a must see if you’re in the area!

Downtown Charlottesville

Equally as charming, the downtown area is known for it’s excellent restaurants, walkable locations, and downtown outdoor pedestrian mall.


If you love the campus architecture, you’ll love Monticello even more! I think we can all agree that Jefferson’s got some mad taste. Here is the website for more info.


A scenic mountain backdrop with a glass of locally made wine in hand. Yes, please! Check out this website for a list of local wineries in the area!

Outdoor Recreation

Charlottesville is at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so there’s lot of outdoor recreational locales! Here’s a full list of locations.


Savannah Has My Heart

If had to pick one place, one place in the world that I could vacation in forever more it would be dear old Savannah. Actually, if I had to pick one place, it would probably be Tahiti, but let’s just say one place in the contiguous United States. πŸ˜‰ But seriously, if y’all have not scooted your booty down to Savannah, you really need to get there. Fast.

See the look on my Jay’s face? Pure happiness. Savannah is pretty much our jam.

Road Trip To Savannah

What made this trip extra sweet, was the fact that we got to meet us with my sister and her mister, Lee! πŸ™‚

Traveling to Savannah

Where to begin on my favorite things about this wonderful little city … where to begin. Well, it’s got some sa-weet architecture. And if you know me, you know I’m a sucker for lovely spaces and great design. Coupled with an awesome urban environment where you can take a traveling cup for your drink (what?!) – well, it’s just the cat’s meow. And by drink, I mean your “adult beverage”. I mean, you could probably also get a traveler for your lemonade as well, but where’s the fun in that.

Here is a small sampling of the gorgeous architecture in this amazing little city.

Historic Savannah Row House

Man alive. Those windows. Those shutters. That door. Must, need, have to have it all. Srrriously.

Here is a side angle of the same house. Perfect landscaping.

Best Blocks in Savannah

I must have a thing for black doors, I found a few of them as I was sorting through the vacay photos.

Savannah Architecture

Or maybe it’s the red doors that had me at hello. I can’t decided. Fickle.

Red Front Door

Ok, one more. Check out these beautiful iron steps with green stuff growing all over them. Is there anything better than steps with green stuff growing all over them? The answer, my friends, is no πŸ˜€

Savannah Building Architecture

Or perhaps it’s all the trees doting the landscape that make my heart pitter patter. I think I love them so much since whenever I dreamed of living in the south some day I would visualize these big (oak?) trees with the Spanish moss growing all over it. So dang beautiful.

Trees In Savannah

We seriously had tons of fun. It was an incredibly quick trip (like 24 hours there and back, quick), but it was so very nice to see my big sister and Lee. Since she moved to Florida a few years back, we always felt so far away from her up in the mitten, but now that we’re in North Carolina we’re definitely driving distance. Conveniently, Savannah is actually our half way point!

We, along with half of the other people visiting Savannah, had to stop by Leopold’s Ice Cream parlor for some sweet treats. All the flavors were good, but I sampled my sister’s (chocolate raspberry) and it was ommmerrrgaauuudd good. Like I’d give you a finger in exchange for a scoop.

Ice Cream Selfies!

Leonards Ice Cream Savannah

We have a friend that will be managing the bike share system up in Ann Arbor, so when we passed it on the streets of Savannah, we had to take a selfie there, too! πŸ™‚ The system is super new right now, and only appeared to have (2) docking stations, so we skipped it this time. Definitely a fun way to get around town for subsequent trips though!

Savannah Bike Share

Right off this park, there’s a really nice stretch of restaurants along a pedestrian only street. We usually found ourselves gravitating toward this section of town since it had so many eating options. This square also has a fountain for kids to run in and out of, so it’s a popular destination for families. Here is another fountain, looking out toward some pretty cool old school architecture.

Ellis Square

This fountain also caught my eye. I love the patina it’s formed over time.

Fountains in Savannah

I told the mister that one day, I seriously want to find one of these row houses that are in need of some love and snatch it up as a vacation/income property. Now that, that would be a dream my friends.

Until next time, my sweet Savannah!

Most Beautiful Savannah Streets