August 29, 2014

Friday Letters

Dear bed, I was so thankful I got to spend some extra time with you this morning. I think Artie would agree with me!

Dear Blacksburg, we meet again!! FINALLY. I can't wait to eat some great food, spend time with my sister and cheer on the Hokies in Lane Stadium!!

Dear Ty and Gabby, why couldn't you have stayed in Christiansburg so we can visit you more often??

Dear weather, thank you for proving to everyone that we have a little bit of summer left. I really appreciate it. And please cooperate this weekend...no rain!!

Dear twitter, I am so glad we have a better relationship now. I finally understand you and your purpose. If you don't have an account, come join and I will teach you my ways!!

Dear Jessica, thank you for giving us this gorgeous free "hello fall" printable from your shop!! I can't wait to display it. (use code HELLOFALLFREEBIE until Saturday)

Dear blog, I'm sorry that because of my neglect I forgot to wish you a Happy 2nd Birthday on July 29th! I did so much better last year. Dear bloggers, I am planning a little giveaway to celebrate this. Let me know if you want in!!

Dear wardrobe, you are about to get a revamp between all of the new jewelry I'm getting and the clothing swap that I'm going to in a few weeks. YAY! It's like Christmas is coming early. I got 12 items for free from hosting a Premier Designs party with Ashley. Even if you aren't close by, you can still do a facebook show (which is a ton of fun). (tell her I sent you!!)

Dear car, thank you for passing the always-dreadful inspection with flying colors. I will reward you with a nice car wash soon..I promise. P.S. I still need to name you. My last car was Shirley and my friend Denise's is Laverne!! (suggestions welcome)

Dear computer, you are really making me miss my Mac. I mean why do you always have to "update" when I am in the middle of something?!

Dear hubby, thank you for making me dinner on your day off :) And when I saying making me dinner I mean taking me to Qdoba!! Haha love you! (and can we get a Salsarita's please?)

Dear Richmond, thank you for having so many fun summer festivals. And there a lot more coming up and lots of new great restaurants and shops too!! (including Duck Donuts, Perly's (reopening),and Graffiato-top chef restaurant)

Dear post, I think you need some pictures. (phone dump time) Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend everyone!!



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August 26, 2014

Deck Refinishing Do's and Don'ts



If you have been following along, you know I have been obsessively talking about the outdoors. I shared our front porch reveal, an easy outdoor living design and how I daydream about decks and patios. So today we are continuing that obsession by talking about the best way (in my opinion) to refinish your deck! I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say we are not as awesome as Young House Love because we did not build a new deck but we did bring some life back into our old one. We Tim faced a lot of trial and error in refinishing our deck. I told him from the start that this would be his project but that I would help paint. The end result was amazing but there a few times I wasn't sure that we would make it.

Way's we thought we could get the paint off:
Power washer-NO (but we did use it to clean the siding)
Paint Strippers/Thinners- NO (we tried this one and this one)

How we DID get the paint off:
A Belt Sander- Tim did each board individually. If anyone knows of a better way, pleas share!! If your boards are flatter, you may be able to use an orbital sander but ours were too uneven.

What paint we put on:
We purchased Olympic Maximum Stain and Sealant in One (Solid Color-Autumn Brown). We used multiple brushes and rollers. I used smaller brushes to get in little crevices and a larger brush to get in between boards.

FEATURES
-Enhanced Waterproofing Protection
-Advanced SunBlock® UV Defense
-Extends Color Life
-Exclusive Scuff Guard® Technology
-Provides Our Best Mildew-Resistant Coating

Other Tips:
-We also cleaned it with Olympic deck cleaner
-An employee at Lowes told us about this little thing called a painting mitt (best.invention.ever) If you plan to paint any railings in the near future go ahead and pick one or 5 up! You're welcome :)
-Get as many volunteers as you can. This could have went a lot faster had we had some more helpers.
-You may already know about this one but instead of cleaning out your rollers and brushes every day, wrap them up in saran wrap tightly, stick them in the fridge and they will keep fresh for a few days.
-Make sure the deck is completely dry before you start and make sure to check the weather because the new paint needs about 48 hrs of dry time. If it rains, you will have to touch it up or possibly redo it.
 So the backyard was definitely one of the major selling features of the house for us. We loved the size of the deck and yard and knew it would be perfect for our every day and entertaining. All it needed was a little love, right? We may have underestimated how much work it would be. We did get an estimate to have the work done but figured we could tackle it ourselves and save the money! Not only was it in pretty rough condition, the color just wasn't doing anything for us. You can see that Artie wanted to help but we only let him be a spectator.
 You can see that we didn't get ALL of the paint off. But it covered really well in the first coat! I put down a few samples before we started (not that it mattered, we had already bought the paint. They do not sell sample sizes for this product so we just had to cross our fingers.) We actually came to an agreement on the color pretty easily. I think it compliments the siding color and blends in well with the fence and trees.
TA-DA! I love the dark stain that we chose because it doesn't show much dirt at all. I also think it makes the teal and yellow really pop! I put "after" because the deck is finished although we do have a few things left to take care of to complete the look. We have a new security light to put up (that's oil-rubbed bronze) We need a few more lights to string to the other half of the house. There is some trim work around the doors that needs my attention. The red paint was just slapped on and is all over the almond colored trim. Not sure what to get it off with so thinking I will have to find a paint to match the trim and cover it up. Oh and we need a new roof too...no big deal.

Here's hoping the mosquitoes go away soon so I can actually enjoying the deck without being bitten 5 million times.

Do you have any additional tips to add? Should I put something to the left of the door?

Sources:
Yellow tub chairs: World Market (no longer available)
Table: Target
Umbrella: Target
String Lights: Target (no longer available)
Teal Paint (on doors): Valspar La Fonda Teal
Door Hardware: Lowes


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August 25, 2014

DIY Fall Decor-Gabby Post

I know, I know. Summer isn't over and we still have a good month until fall. I'm the first to yell when stores start putting Halloween decorations up in August. I'm pretty sure Samantha is going to yell at me. ;)

But, I'll be honest, I'm so slow that by the time fall comes around I probably wouldn't be done with my fall craft projects. Plus, I've been seeing so many awesome fall DIY projects, that I had to start. Fall is my fave.


So, bare with me as I unveil my first fall project! I had a ton of inspiration:


Source
Source
Source


I decided to start my fall projects with the middle "FALL" decor. I love Shanty 2 Chic and have done a few of the projects, so I knew I couldn't go wrong with this one.


I started off in Michaels to find some letters, twine (which I already had), burlap flowers and burnt orange paint.




I started with painting the letters white instead of black, and then added some Annie Sloan dark wax to give them an aged look.




 After much thought I decided to return the frames I bought at Michaels and went to Lowes to get some scrap wood. I liked the look way better!





Top: Used gorilla wood glue to glue a support piece for the 3 pieces of wood.
Middle: Wood glued together ready for paint.
Bottom: One coat of Burnt Orange paint. In the tutorial they had stained their wood, but I liked the look of the distressed/aged orange for fall.


  

Top Left: Sanded down the paint to get a distressed look.
Top Right: Used more dark wax to give it an aged look.
Bottom Left: Added the twine and burlap flower.
Bottom Right: Hot glued the letter to the wood.

Repeat 3x more....and DONE! I did this project in 1 day. SUPER easy and really cute for this fall. Total cost was around $20!

The finished product!

I can't wait to put it up once fall rolls around. I'll be doing a few more fall DIY decor. Did I mention I love fall? Do you guys have any projects your working on or have in mind? I'd love some inspiration! Check out my page for another project I worked on this weekend.

Enjoy the rest of your summer! :)

Gabby

August 20, 2014

What I'm loving Wednesday

Rifle Paper Co: Most of you probably already know about this one but I have just been OBSESSED lately. I really want their iPhone case (among other things) Their brand is very inspiring and every time I see their product in a store I just squeal! Do you own any Rifle Paper Co??


Evol Foods: I am one of those people who likes to have a hot/cooked lunch. I can only take so many pb&j's or salads. So sometimes I resort to frozen dinners if I don't have leftovers. Well Tim and I went grocery shopping this past weekend at Target (click here to find out where you can buy) and there was a whole section of Evol in the frozen food dept. I was curious so I just grabbed a couple things and moved along. I had the Chicken Enchilada Bake for lunch on Monday and OH MY GOSH it was delicious. I was shocked. It tasted fresh, homemade and even better, when I checked the ingredients list...they were actually real ingredients!! Not to mentioned their packaging is great.


Southern Season: A store just opened up in Richmond about a month ago called Southern Season. We finally made a visit there over the weekend. I wasn't in too much of a hurry because I knew it was expensive and I was right. BUT IT'S AMAZING! If you are not familiar, its a gourmet grocery store/restaurant/cooking school. In addition to the Richmond location, they also have stores in Chapel Hill and Charleston. So if you live in one of those places, go check out this place stat!! I can't wait to go to one of their classes. And maybe get some gift baskets for Christmas gifts!

School Supplies: Say what, Samantha?! I know this one sounds crazy but when I was in Target this past weekend I walked right by the back to school section and it made me rather sad. I have always loved picking that stuff out whether it be a new Jansport back pack or Lisa Frank folder (where my 90's friends at?) to all of the dorm room goodies. And it just seems like they get fancier every year.
Richmond Bloggers: They are pretty much the best. Liz has done a great job organizing the Virginia Bloggers website and constantly comes up with fun local events. There is some amazing talent around here and just all around great people that I am proud to call friends. I am so thankful for this little community in RVA and you never know but we may have something pretty incredible in the works for the blogosphere!

Ashley, me, Liz
Blue Bee Cidery meet-up (source)

So tell me, what are you loving??

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August 18, 2014

Easy Outdoor Living

I've already told you how I daydream about outdoor living. Now we FINALLY have our own deck and backyard to spruce up. I will share a few before/progress pics of that but before I do I wanted to talk about a design board I recently created. This client asked to remain anonymous so let's just call them "A". A wanted me to help her set up her deck for the summer and entertaining. (And by the way, summer is NOT OVER YET) Everyone is talking about Fall but they will soon be regretting that when there is snow on the ground again...grrr.

She already had these lovely yellow Adirondack chairs so of course I used those as inspiration.

Here is some key info that I used to create this design:

-family loves to entertain
-wanted a conversation space for adults
-wanted table that could multi-function for crafts and dining
-grilling area
-transitional style
-bright colors
-low maintenance



A also sent me some measurements and asked that I help her layout the seating more efficiently. She also sent me pictures so that I could see how the railings and levels are.

I hope that she sends me "after" pictures as well!!

Now completely unrelated (although in the same color scheme) I will give you a sneak peek of our outdoor living!

Before:
(this was my first pic of the backyard-before we even bought the house)

 Only before pic I could find of the red doors




Progress:


(added lattice, repainted the deck, bought furniture and umbrella, painted doors, new grill, landscaped/cleaned up yard, new string lights, power-washed siding)

It's coming along...don't ya think?? I would love to see your backyards or "outdoor living rooms" haha!

Linking up w/ Meg for Mingle Monday

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