Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites - Slow Week Edition

Happy Friday, friends!

 ErikaNarci and I are all sharing our Friday Favorites and we'd love for you to join us!  Grab our graphic, link back to one (or all!) of us and link to your blog at the bottom of this post.  Easy!

Today's post is going to be short and sweet.  This has been a slow week at our house and the laid back pace has been my FAVORITE!  Not a whole lot on the agenda but fun and hanging out together!  #amen

 Evening swims and this floral suit are our FAVORITES!

(her suit is sold out - the original link is HERE in case you want to keep an eye on it to see if it comes back in stock.  The brand is GREAT quality and we love all their suits!)

Waiting at the car dealership is our FAVORITE when there are cookies and hot chocolate!

And when y'all tag me and let me know you're loving recipes I share.... well that's my FAVORITE! ;)

Luke and I have been having a week-long Mario-Kart tournament.  Racing it out after the other two go to bed has been one of my FAVORITE times this week.

Griffin andI did one of our FAVORITE things this week as well...

Pretty sure that's how my face looks when I lick cake batter....

Movie night popcorn is our FAVORITE!

A little "luxury" that I miss sometimes during the school year is just hanging out with lots of time on our hands.  Watching these three play and be silly while NOT folding laundry, wiping shelves and/or grading papers is probably my FAVORITE part of summer.  

While I shared some pretty pictures of our yard yesterday, my FAVORITE way for the patio to look is like this...

... lunch, books, towels thrown everywhere and kids in the pool.

We are LOVING the spray sunscreen from Trader Joe's this summer.  We haven't had a single sunburn at our house and I'm giving the spray the credit (and the fact that I haul them out of the water about every hour to dry off and reapply).

PS - Mason's suit is from Boden and you can find it HERE.  He HATED his regular swimsuits because they were "too heavy" and so we tried this out and he's IN LOVE!!!  It doesn't hurt that it's absolutely precious!

Red, white and blue attire is my FAVORITE in the summer and I probably have too much fun picking out festive outfits for everyone for Fourth of July.

I got the boys this peace shirt and rockets' red glare shirt (and I can't get the picture to rotate - boo!) and they are so soft and festive!

I ordered this dress for myself because SIXTEEN DOLLARS and I think it will be really cute with flip flops and will be comfy enough to take me from the parade, to the pool to fireworks.

Those little freckles are my FAVORITE!!!

Earlier this week we celebrated one of my FAVORITE girls bringing home her baby girl and I was tickled to wrap up a cute gift (pool float HERE)...

GG and I had to run by one of our FAVORITE places this week and she was loving being in charge of the cart...

... and another FAVORITE view from the week.  Yes ma'am.

Hope y'all have a GREAT weekend!!! 

PS - This post contained affiliate links... thank you for supporting my blog!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Backyard Update

I feel like we decorated and got the house "together" pretty soon after moving in last Spring, but one thing that was put on the back burner was our outdoor space... specifically the patio.  After living here for a year and really figuring out how we wanted the space to function we've made some progress!

WARNING!!! I have a TON of pictures... I'm aware.  I can't help myself! ;)

This first picture is a little bit dark but if you live in the South you know how AMAZING that is because it means shade!  #hallelujah  This is right when you step out onto the patio from the kitchen...

There's a love seat, coffee table, chairs, side table and a potting table....

My dad made the potting table for me years ago and sanding and restaining/sealing it is on my project list for the Fall.  I actually use it do to a lot of gardening things hence the bottom shelf :) 

The little galvanized stand is where we keep sunscreen (and backup sunscreen), extra pots, citronella candles and is also where we keep the speaker when we're hanging out out back.

You'll have to excuse our grass... the sweet kid who mows for us is at camp this week :)

If you remember last year's post that back garden area was full of really gross and tall vines and ground cover.  We had that all pulled up, had a few of the bushes removed and are still planning to put a playhouse of some sort down where that bird bath is.

It's super shady (hence the grass situation we're working on) and you can see it from the kitchen window so I think it will be the perfect spot.

Right off the patio is the pool - which is something that we have grown to love.  At first having a pool made me SUPER nervous but after having the fence installed we felt 1000% better.  We had the fence professionally installed last Spring... they drilled holes down into our decking and then put the fence poles down into the holes.  We can remove sections of it at a time, it can withstand all of our crazy weather and doesn't bother me visually at all anymore.  I don't foresee us taking it down even when the kids are older just because you never know who's going to be over (friends, friends of friends, kids of friends, etc.) and I just don't see any reason to NOT have it up.

Our pool is a "play pool" and is about 5 feet deep at it's deepest point in the middle. 

The pool float resting spot :)

The little gazebo felt super awkward at first since we really had no clue what to do with it.  We picked up some stackable adirondack chairs, strung up some lights and called it a day.  

We didn't want to do any large furniture out there right now because we want the space to be flexible... shady spot for a picnic blanket, food table at a party, performance stage, etc.  I'm excited about having pumpkins out there this Fall and someone on Instagram even suggested a Christmas tree in the middle this Holiday season!  We're going to leave the lights up year round and I'm loving all the possibilities.  (Plus - if you're a Gilmore Girls fan it's seeming very "Stars Hollow" to me at the moment!)

The trampoline is on the far side of the yard and after much debate we've decided to just let this side be a big ol' space for the kids to run, play soccer, practice baseball, etc.  We are looking into getting a little shed to go on the side of the house to hold all their sports stuff and I would LOVE to have a raised bed garden over here BUT I just don't have the time to commit to that right now.

In the garden at the back of the house I have a small butterfly bush and three lantana plants.  Lantana LOVE the hot sun and so they've done REALLY well so far this year.  I had them back there last year as well and loved them.

You can see where the sunny spot ends and the lantana I had in the shady spot last year never really grew so this Spring I planted a perennial butterfly bush and it lives up to it's name and we get to see lots of beautiful butterflies out there!

Other plants that I have around the backyard are asparagus ferns (these do really well for me potted in shady spots)...

.... moss rose in hanging baskets (these do well in full sun, but do need to get watered often in the summer or else they dry out crazy fast!)...

... and this purslane that has absolutely TAKEN OVER this pot!  It gets a pretty significant amount of sun and is growing like a weed!  The kids think it's awesome too because the flowers close up at night and reopen in the morning!  I mixed it in with sweet potato vine and stonecrop which has pretty much been overrun by the purslane at this point.

The pool area gets a TON of sun and the sweet potato vine is LOVING it!

I have no clue the name of these plants outside the gazebo... at one point they had big orange flowers but all that really mattered was that they were "drought tolerant".  I never water them (AWESOME!) and they're growing!

I have NEVER seen peony plants for sale here because I think we're pretty much the exact opposite climate of where they thrive ;)  That said, when I saw two plants at Lowe's I had to take a chance on them.  I left them in their pots and moved them around my yard to see if I could find a spot shady/cool enough for them and they wilted every afternoon.  So... I planted them in a large pot and am crossing my fingers that I can keep them alive on the patio and MAYBE get a few blooms years down the road.  If you've had success with growing peonies in the South I'd love to hear your advice!

The HUGE pot by the back door I bought about 10 years ago at a flea market and my mom and I carried/rolled that sucker about 1/4 mile back to the car :)  I thought that the winter had killed the asparagus fern in it but when I went to plant something else in the pot there was a tiny little sprig of fern so I decided just to let it grow.  I'm hoping I can be a little more diligent this winter and keep it alive.

 The patio set is new... I grabbed it for a STEAL and even though we just put it together this past weekend we're really loving it already!  (I purchased it from Sears HERE but you can also find it on Amazon HERE).  Our old set was about 8 years old and so we were excited to get something a little more our current style.

It needed a little "something" so I grabbed these pillows from World Market (for 50% off!) for a little bit of pattern/texture.  The side table is also from World Market. 

We knew we wanted a dining table outside but weren't sold on a table/chairs setup.  Since we're a family of 5 if we have my parents over (or any other family/couple) a typical 6-seat table wouldn't work.  PLUS we wanted it to be super durable and not have to worry about bringing in cushions all the time since that particular area isn't covered.  

So... we settled on a picnic table and we are OBSESSED!!!  I found a local guy who built, stained and sealed it for us and we ADORE it!  It's 8 feet long and 5 feet wide (including the benches) and we bought an umbrella to make it usable during the day and we are out here ALL THE TIME! 

It seats a TON of people and is amazingly durable.  I foresee a TON of family memories around this table!  If you're local and interested in having a table built I can't recommend Jim enough!  His email address is jim@iamjimoler.com and he's great to work with.  
(PS - this post is in NO WAY sponsored!!!)

Thanks so much for hanging out out back with me today!  Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Happy Thursday, friends!

PS - This post contained affiliate links!  Thanks so much for supporting my blog!