Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Outdoor Table

We had been searching for an outdoor table for our deck that didn't cost a fortune, weigh a ton, and/or come with hideous chairs. Alas, no such table exists. So we made one ourselves. Charlie did the majority of it. I drew the picture, picked out the wood that wasn't warped, and did the sanding/staining.

I knew I wanted hairpin legs so I ordered a set of four on sale from Charlie wanted cedar wood so it wouldn't rot and would last longer. Those were our individual requirements and I think it turned out pretty well. We both commented during the process; "This looks better than I thought it would."
Charlie assembled the top, then we worked together to add the "trim" to the outside of the table. That part was my idea. I think it makes it look more finished, and will hopefully keep us from getting splinters in our wrists when we eat at the table. Charlie held the boards in place while I did most of the nailing, which turned out less than stellar in some places. As with all of our home projects, if you come over please be sure to admire from afar and not inspect too closely. Since the table has spaces between the boards for drainage we kept joking that all of the mistakes were for "drainage purposes." My other favorite line when doing DIY projects is "That'll buff out." One huge mistake we made was thinking that it would be easy/fast to get the dust from sanding off of the table by spraying it with the air compressor. Don't do that! It left pit marks on the spots where I did it. Big oops. (The marks did not 100% buff out.)

We used three coats of polyurethane and lightly sanded between each coat. After everything was dry we attached the legs and- ta-da a table for the deck! Well....not really. We attached the legs and it was so wobbly. A few paint stir sticks for shims later under  where the legs attach to the table and we were in business. We can now eat dinner outside, and feed the bugs our blood while we feed ourselves. Today was my last day of work and we had a delicious diner on the deck to celebrate.

I am very impressed with our Charlie's skills. I am also happy to report that all three weekend projects we did resulted in 0 fights. This has got to be some kind of a record.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Projects

We got so much done this weekend I can't even believe it was only two days long. I think the fact that the sun is setting really late helps us to be more productive.

On Saturday my dad and step-mom came to visit and built us new steps from the garage to the back patio. Charlie had ripped the old steps out about two months ago because they were rotten. When he tore them out there were carpenter ants everywhere and signs of mice. Yuck. Since neither of us knew how to build steps it looked like this for the past two months and we just jumped out the door.

Luckily my dad is a fantastic carpenter who can make plans to build something from a picture and measurements I sent him. He and Charlie were able to build the steps in no time. We also filled in the spots where the ants/mice/squirrels were getting in with cement and a lot of spray foam.

The pipes for the propane go right past the door, and the old steps went up higher to cover them. Due to that the pipes kind of stick out, and the foundation and clapboard were not painted. On Sunday I painted the rest of the wall to match.

 Then got a few new plants in a planter hide the rest of it. Total sacrifice on my part....buying more plants, what a drag. Nawt! Not sure about the other two empty pots. Might get some more plants, or not.

My dad said that the project was an early 3 year anniversary present because pressure treated wood is the traditional gift for a 3rd anniversary right? Well, no, leather is but I like pressure treated steps a lot better than I'd like leather steps. (Who made that stuff up anyways? I'm not into it until about the 35th year in which case please give me pearls, rubies, and sapphires galore.) Anyhow, we love the steps. Blaze totally tripped on them the first time out the door because he is used to jumping down. We will be staining/painting them this summer at the same time that we do the deck.

I have been pining for a clothesline for over a year now and finally got one this weekend. I had really wanted one that had a pulley and could be hoisted into the trees. After everyone I told my idea rolled their eyes at me I decided to scale it back a bit and just go for a traditional clothesline bolted to two trees. It turned out pretty well I think. I love the smell of clothes, sheets, and towels dried on a clothesline.

There is one more project we (mostly Charlie) worked on this weekend, but it's not totally done yet. More on that soon.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Bucket List

With only 3 days left of school I felt it was imperative to get my Summer Bucket List out to the world. Here goes: 
  1. Pick strawberries.
  2. Hike to the top of the logging road 4 times.
  3. Swim, swim, swim.
  4. Wear sunscreen everyday and not get sunburned once.
  5. Go to concerts. 
  6. Hike a 4,000 footer and not cry.
  7. Host a Summer party.
  8. Finally figure out what poison ivy looks like and not touch it.
  9. Eat fresh veggies from the garden.
  10. Hold a baby. (I'm looking at you Liz!)
  11. Go to a yard sale. 
  12. Write my Mum one snail mail letter a week.
  13. Float the Saco with Sammy and Keith.
  14. Sew a pair of shorts.
  15. Have fresh flowers in the house.
  16. Eat dinner on the deck.
  17. Read five books. 
  18. Make popsicles. 
  19. Go to concerts.
  20. Learn to use the grill. 
  21. String lights over the deck for summer ambiance. 
  22. Tackle the list of home projects we have on the fridge.
  23. Spend a few days "tech free."
  24. Make fruity drinks.
  25. Play frisbee golf. 
  26. See "The Fault In Our Stars".
  27. Make friendship bracelets.
  28. Have fires in the fire pit.
  29. Go to five NH State Parks.
  30.  Visit farmer's market.

Happy Friday the 13th! 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bridal Shower Apron

This weekend my cousin Liz had her bridal shower. It was very nice. I loved seeing everyone. Liz is seven months older than me and we spent a lot of time together as kids so I've known a lot of her friends for a long time and think of them as my friends too. Obviously for a shower gift I gave her an apron. It's my go to bridal shower present. 

I didn't use a pattern so it ended up taking a lot longer than it probably should have because I made silly mistakes. The ruffle at the bottom is a detail I really like.

I like the way it turned out and kind of wanted to keep it.

Next is the bachelorette party which I am super excited for.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Spring Books

With Summer just around the corner I thought I'd share some of the books I've read recently. I like sharing what I've read, and also hearing other recommendations. One of my favorite bloggers just posted a few books she's read lately and the comments had a great list of books that I've added to my list of books to read this summer. Here's mine.

1. The invention Of Wings- by Sue Monk Kidd. I L-O-V-E-D this book. It's a historical fiction, which I didn't realize until the end of the book. I enjoy books that have more than one narrator. Half is written from the perspective of a young woman living in South Carolina before the Civil War. The other half is written by the slave who works for the young woman.

2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling. Also loved this book, but in a different way. It was so funny. I wished it went on for 500 more pages. It felt like Mindy and I should be best friends because we think the same (sick and twisted) way. I was genuinely laughing out loud in bed as I read this book.

3. One More Thing- By BJ Novak. Funny but not the funniest thing ever. It was all different stories, told by different people, so it sometimes took a few pages for me to figure out who the heck the narrator was. Some stories were also a bit off color for me, and if they were off color for me then they must be really off color to other people.

4. It Starts With Food- Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. This is not a fiction book, which is big for me, it's about healthy eating. I won't go into it a whole lot because I don't really want to start down that path, but it was very eye opening in terms of what goes into your body and the impact of that. I've changed my diet since reading the book, and feel much better for it. I've also been cooking more and even grocery shopping without having a mental breakdown in the aisles. All pluses for me and for Charlie, no one likes a crazy wife in the grocery store. I'd recommend this book if you are looking to make a dietary/lifestyle change, are experiencing gastric distress, or want to be healthier. The biggest take home for me has been to look at ingredients in the food you're eating.

What have you been reading? Any books on your list for Summer?

Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend. I am waiting for Charlie to come home from work so we can begin our weekend adventure.

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