Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Back Yard Makeover Part 2: Sod, Stepping-Stone Path, Patio, and Firepit!

Disclaimer: Before I even start, let me say that I couldn't figure out whether backyard was one word or two. (Aren't you glad I don't teach YOUR third graders?!). Google says it can go either way, so both ways it is for this post. Nerd- I know. 

The backyard is really starting to come together!! As I mentioned in the Back Yard Makeover Part 1 post, this has been a long-time work-in-progress since we moved in last February, but the bulk of the change has happened in the past few weeks!

Just for kicks, let's remember what the yard looked like when we first moved in:
Hence my new-found hatred for ivy and monkey grass- all things in moderation people

And now for the most recent updates:

Getting ready for sod... which, by the way, was not necessarily our first choice. In fact, our to-do list said plant seed or sod in the front and back. Well, wouldn't you know, the lawn people did a free estimate for us, and on the receipt that shows all of the different treatment options, they wrote, "your lawn is not treatable". Oh yes, and they don't even DO sod, so they weren't even trying to make money off of us! Yeah, it was bad.

5am sod delivery

Prepping the stepping stone path

Sod laid in the front to cover the hideous aftermath of the pipe replacement from last summer

Prepping the patio area

Prepping the patio area/base for the firepit

Watering away all of the sand

Finished product!

These were all of the stones that were in the middle of our backyard before, so we got to reuse them all for the stepping stone path and patio area!

Here's what it looked like before. Matt pulled up all of the stones a couple of weeks ago in preparation for the transformation. :)

So this past weekend, our brother-in-law, Jeremy, came over to help us build a firepit. Jeremy is pretty much the best brother-in-law ever to spend his Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend sweating in 90-something degree heat to help us out! And not only that, he picked up the materials for us too in his truck! Again, best brother-in-law ever!

These are the medium dry-stack stones from Home Depot. They are $130/pallet, which is significantly cheaper than if you go the firepit kit route. Those run between $400-$500. We have about 1/3 of the pallet remaining if we decide to build a low landscaping wall. It's really a great deal!

The other materials include three bags of S-Mortar, two trowel shovels, and a mixing pan- totaling roughly $25. 

First, they set the stones out and marked the circle with a sharpie.

Then they hosed down the area and mixed the mortar.

Then they prepped the base with mortar for the first layer.

 While they were working hard, I ran to Target to pick up four adirondak chairs. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. And thanks to gift cards from my my sweet kids for the end of school year, I got these four chairs for FREE! :) But if you're interested, they're on sale this week for $19.

While they continued working, I pulled weeds and planted some flowers in the front.

Love Vinca!

By the time I finished, Matt and Jeremy were done too!

Thank you, Matt and Jer!!! You guys ROCK!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cait and Chris's Gender Reveal Party

Last night we went to a Gender Reveal Party for our friends Caitlyn and Chris. Matt and I went to high school with Cait, so we have been friends for quite a few years. She is due in October and is just barely showing- she is too cute! And as you'll see in the pictures, she is also really creative. As someone who is lacking in the creativity department, I have crazy jealously respect for people who can come up with cute party ideas! (On that note, to all of the people who told me how cute they thought last weekend's shower was- thank you, but I played zero part in the creativity side of things- all of that credit goes to Steph, Meagan... and my mom who made the booties). :)

ANYway... on to the pictures! My phone did not come through for me too well, so please excuse the possessed look in our eyes in some of the shots. :)

What's it gonna be?!

Make your prediction!

It's a GIRL!

Congratulations, Cait and Chris! We're so excited for you guys!!!