Deck Reveal

August 31, 2020 at 6:22 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Its been a two year wait since moving into this house and several weeks of work this summer… but she’s finally done! We have a deck!!

Now mom has a spot to relax and watch the family magic happen! 😉

Yes, its huge! The land directly behind the house used to be another house attached. This left the ground hilly, dead, full of bricks and glass, and in general, useless. So, cover it up we did. We filled in two giant cisterns and started a deck slab. Next year we will add a pergola to the blank spot of house where the table is now. We will put a pool in down below and then the following year add another piece of deck to half wrap around the pool. It will be the ultimate dream area when we are finished.

We do still want to add trellis to the bottom to keep everything out, but that will happen this fall.

One thing that was super important to us when adding the deck was having some shade, as we have very little from the one small existing tree.

My favorite umbrellas?! From Abba Patio! (You can use code La10 on your order with them too!) The 11 foot red stripe is gorgeous! And so easy to use. We custom installed it with brackets we made, but it can go on a table or a base as well. This keep it so much cooler in the shaded areas!!

Next I need to find some outdoor rugs to tie in the different areas. Suggestions?? I’m being so indecisive!

Also, looking for an outdoor sectional. Maybe a hot tub?! 😜

The table and chairs are from Menards. The wood lantern is from Walmart, along with the orange striped pillow and turquoise planters. The beach bag below is from Amazon.

The kids table is Step 2 and an awesome thing to have if you have littles. We use it all the time!

Tip- use a beach bag or tote like the one below to hold your deck or patio essentials. We take it in at night and bring out each day. Super helpful to keep things corralled while not getting ruined being left outside. We keep sunscreen, bug spray, santizer, sunglasses, beach towels, a speaker, and anything we want for the day inside. So handy!!

XX,

Jess

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Muscatine Iowa Area Sightseeing

July 13, 2020 at 8:12 pm (travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Summer is here! We’ve been quarantined long enough, so we are off to see all the sights, but distantly! So, we thought we would round up some of the things to do and see outside and at a distance, here in Muscatine area, Iowa. Enjoy!

1. Wilcat Den and Saw Mill- this is one of my family’s favorites in the area. Its historic and beautiful and there is plenty to do here! You can camp or stop for the day, hike the many trails, and explore the historic buildings. There is a school and an old church and even a mill. The old bridge over the stream at the mill is a gorgeous sight to behold. PLUS… you can swim in the stream and go up to the waterfall! Its an amazing experience and the whole family loves doing it!

2. Weed Park- one of the best parks I’ve found, anywhere. Picnic areas, pavilions, historical plaques and sights, gorgeous views of the Mississippi, beautiful landscaping, and a pond with ducks, geese, and fishing for kids. Plus, they have two playgrounds that are awesome. And once back to normal they have a waterpark. Totally worth a visit for everyone in the family.

3. Discovery Park- during normal times, they have an indoor center to see interactive wildlife features and even take classes. Currently, you can still see all they have to offer outside. There are numerous trails to walk, most paved, through gorgeous views, wildflower patches and even see wild animals. They have a butterfly garden and owls outside to view too. They also have a pond where you can fish!

4. Muscatine River Front- plenty to do down here, even distantly! You may not be visiting the pearl button factory museum right now, and even the splash pad is not turned on yet, but it’s still a beautiful, relaxing, and even entertaining area of Muscatine. You can walk the gorgeous river front, even stopping to read the plaques about the city history. You can play at the play ground. You can even take photos with the clam digger statue. And there are a few downtown restaurants up the block that offer outside dining!

5. Swinging Bridge- you have to drive about 15 minutes out of town for this one, but worth the drive. The Swinging Bridge in Columbus Junction is a sight to not miss. We visit each year for the views and a photo. Read about the bridge’s history, walk across if you dare, snap some photos, and even hike the lower trails. You will love this one!!

While you are out in the Columbus Junction area, you can see the historical marker for Convict Highway! 😉 Just a super old road, but you can read about how the convicts of the time built it!

Muscatine also offers several parks with awesome playgrounds, a skate park, and a disk golf course. Plus plenty of sites indoors once that is safe again!

We also love to camp and boat. I can recommend places for that too! Enjoy! 😉

XX,

Jess

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Sneak Peak of the Outside

June 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm (Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am learning how to use the Blackberry wordpress app to update posts, so I thought I would test this out by giving you a little sneak peak of the outside of the new house. Now that the flowers are all planted things are starting to look bright and fresh!

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Picnic Tables and Hammocks

June 17, 2009 at 7:46 am (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We are getting there!  Almost ready for the party!  And, not to mention, an enjoyable and usable summer yard!  I snagged this little red pillow and teal votive holder yesterday:

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It feels cozy now.  And don’t worry about that plant hanger behind the table.  Something has a spot there, but I will show you in the party pictures.  We also got the hammock in the mail and hung it the other day.  If you have never relaxed in a hammock then you haven’t lived.  This is the coziest spot in our home now!  I can see that Tony will never get the yard mowed now! 😉  I also added a couple pillows there.

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Also don’t mind the bushy, patchy grass.  We are letting that grow as long as possible before the party so that the freshly planted stuff has time to get strong before all the company tramples it.  The grass we planted just a few weeks ago has really taken off though!  (Probably thanks to all of the annoying rain we have had!)

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Look how long and thick some of it is already!  And, see the spruced up chair in the background?  I will post more on that project soon.  The dogs also say hi!

One more thing we added over the weekend was a vintage fiberglass picnic table.  My grandparents have had this table ever since I can remember, and now it is ours.  But, it is sun faded and scratched.  I am looking for a way to refurbish fiberglass if any of you out there have suggestions.  I read that some people have had luck with Penetrol. I tried that last night.  This did give it a great shine, but as far as bringing back color, I didn’t think it worked.  Not to mention it would never bring back the one extra faded area in the middle!   Here it is, and let me know if you have any ideas!

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picnic table 009

Sweet, huh?  Don’t worry, the yard won’t be so stuffed full of junk when the party is over.  The other picnic table goes back to the previous owner of the house.  We are just using it for extra seating.  This gorgeous guy stays! 🙂

P.S. I just wanted to say that Tony has put in many hard, hot hours cutting and dragging out tree limbs and overgrown “things” from this yard.  Even though there are still some naked patches and unruly weeds it has come a long long way from the unusable yard it was when we moved in.  Thanks Tony! 😉

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Lawn Chairs and Cookouts

June 5, 2009 at 8:01 am (Home Changes and Additions, Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Yesterday I finally got the garage sale lawn chairs finished!  Remember the old blue metal set we got for $10?  The one that looked like it belonged next to pink plastic flamingos in, well, not our yard?  Yes, those are nice shiny black now!  Before:

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Now:

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lawn chairs 004

All we needed was a couple fun cushions.  Well, that has been a task.  Since these chairs are so old no cushions are the right size!  And, have you noticed how dull this year’s “summer” colors are?  Blah!  But, we stopped in at K-Mart just to check, and found a decent, fun and bright set.  Not what we thought we wanted, but it will work for this year!  They are a bit different shape, but when you sit in them and squish them down they are perfect.  I would also like to add a couple red throw pillows to match the ones we would like to throw on the hammock (coming soon!).  Here’s what we have so far:

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Better!  And Tony even helped me pick ’em out!  So, we decided to celebrate a productive day (and the fact that it didn’t rain!) by grilling out and having dinner at the picnic table. 

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The pups even joined in!  Have a great weekend!

P.S.  Just for the record, the blue on the chairs was a really pretty color.  But, we have a lot of red in our yard and it just wasn’t matching what we wanted to do out there.  But, after already painted the set black we realized the new cushions do have the exact blue in them!  Oh, well, sticking to the plan!  Now they are versatile enough to change our minds on cushions all the time! (if they weren’t so ridiculously expensive!)

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Engagement Party Decor

May 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm (Inspiration, Wedding Plans) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We are finally ready to throw the long awaited engagement party!!  We have been patiently (or not so much) waiting for good weather and a finished yard in order to throw an outdoor fest.  We now seem to have both (or as good as its going to get).  So, bring on the party! 

I have a few simple ideas swirling around in my head, but for some fun inspiration I put together a few photos I’ve spotted. 

This idea is so simple and cute.  Although the picture is more fall decor it could easily be summer-y with some sand or shells in the jars!

This scene is so pretty.  We already picked up some red paper lanterns that are perfect to go under our trees around the fire because they are battery operated.

These vintage letters would look neat in our yard showing our initials or wedding date. 

I love the colors of this space.  We hope to use some random candle-light as this photo does.

Are you all in the mood for some outdoor time yet?  We will keep you updated with our party pictures- the party is on the 20th of June…

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