Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Backyard Pond

In 2012 we did a backyard overhaul including a deck, patio and landscaping and I blogged about it here.

In 2015 we added a fish pond next to the patio and I never found the time to share it on my blog. So here it is!

We really had no idea what we were doing when we started digging for a pond. I guess it goes to show that anyone can build a pond? We did a little research about how deep we should dig it so our fish would survive the winter and were fortunate enough to have someone doing away with their pond so we had a pump and rocks to work with.
We just laid out a hose and created what we thought we wanted. It's nearly 3 feet deep in the middle and we made some ledges for plants to sit on. I loved to see them change colors and bloom!

The pond is about 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. Hubby built a bridge for the fish to have some summer shade (but I can't seem to find a pic of it right now).I am happy to report that the fish survived their first winter!
Now I am anxiously awaiting some beautiful warm weather so we can enjoy our backyard again!

Fireplace Update

Time for another home improvement! This one I have been dreaming about for a few years and my husband for Valentines gave me a choice... a new ring or a fireplace remodel. Well, anyone that knows me well enough knows it was an easy choice. So basically as soon as I told him my decision I was ripping out the tile on our fireplace (so he couldn't turn back!).

The one thing that did change about the plan I had in my head for over 2 years was the stone. I had visualized this rustic looking stacked stone.

And after making the decision to open up the room and take out the hearth (the seat in front of the fireplace), I started having second thoughts about the rustic stone I had picked.

Someone suggested granite in place of the hearth and my heart started throbbing. Once I had my mind made up on granite I decided to look for a more contemporary stacked stone. My hubby and I decided on a stone we found at Home Depot. It was $10.99 a square foot. We ended up spending $1200 on just the stone and we have only tiny scraps left over.
It turned out our stone was going to be so heavy that we needed to replace our drywall with backer board. The only part of the fireplace we actually did was removing the tile/ hearth and the design work. From this point on we hired a remodeling company. From start to end it took them three days (and they did a great job!).
Initially I wanted a floating stone mantel but I couldn't find anyone that could do exactly what I wanted so I decided on a wood mantel. I wanted straight lines and dark stain (someday our hardwood floors will coordinate, but that's soooommmeday).

The toughest job about the tiling of this stone was the 45 degree corners. We insisted that we wanted the look of the 45 degree cuts. The installers tried to convince us otherwise but we were persistent and are glad we were as we love the result! We choose a Black Pearl granite to replace the hearth. It's beautiful and really gives a nice finish to the project.

And yes, the tv did go back up. In fact my hubby thinks he needs a larger one up there now.
 What's the next house project? Stay tuned to find out!

Monday, July 13, 2015

How I spend my time

I was thinking today about my life and how I spend my time. 

When my schedule is NOT full and I have openings on my calendar I feel like there is so much more I want to do with my life. I feel like I'm missing out on accomplishing everything I want to do. Like unused valuable time is just passing away. 

When my schedule IS full and I'm running from one thing to the next I feel like there are so many other things I want to do with my time. I feel like my hours, days, months are disappearing at an unbelievably rapid speed. 

I guess my point is no matter how I spend my time I always second guess it. I always have a gut feeling that there is something more, something bigger, something much more important. What is it that I am supposed to be doing with this life God gifted me?!

This entire thought process exhausts my husband, he tells me I just can't sit still and relax. If you know me even a little you have surely heard me say how amazing my husband is, but oh how we are wired so differently! He recharges by serious down time, doing nothing. I recharge by people who inspire me, visiting a place I've never been, or learning something new. 

I suppose tomorrow I will continue thinking about my life and how I spend my time. I would love any insight on the matter. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kitchen Cabinet redo

I am finally done with my kitchen cabinets! I love the end result but have yet to determine a wall paint color. Suggestions? I am eventually going to have the floors redone but there are many projects ahead of them. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

2015 is going to be a great year! 

Why not be optimistic on the first day of the year?!

Some of my goals this year...

Spiritual growth- read the bible more and reflect more on life purpose.

Relationships- show love and compassion, listen more, judge less. 

Fitness- work out at the very least 20 minutes EVERY single day. 

Volunteer- get to know the struggling families at a greater level.

Work- create an environment where people will enjoy coming to work. 

Simplify- Donate stuff, commit to less. 

Budget- don't spend money on unnecessary things. Save more. 

BALANCE WILL DETERMINE MY SUCCESS.  And yes, these a vague but I will make smaller weekly goals to help me reach these larger goals. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Decorating

With the cooler temperatures upon us in Kansas I have started my fall decorating.

Europe 2013

I can't believe it's been an ENTIRE year since I last posted. Where has this past year gone?!

Let me share a few photos from a recent vacation to Europe. It was such a blessing to be able to travel with my husband and two sons to Ireland and England this summer.

 More to come!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012 Backyard Project

The plans for our backyard project had been materializing in hubby my minds for nearly two years. It's so great to finally see and feel the results of our thorough planning.

First, the before photo.

As much as we love the outdoors... We hardly ever stepped foot in our own backyard. When we wanted to sit outside, we sat on the front porch because the backyard never seemed inviting.

Don't get me wrong we have always loved our nice size backyard. But what we didn't like is that we had set of stairs which led straight down into the grass. Something we knew when we purchased the house we would want to change someday. There was not a patio or anywhere for outdoor furniture to sit just grass and more grass.

So we drew up plans that changed several times until we ended up with this... And even after our final drawing and 2 years of dreaming this up, we still changed some things!

Then we..
Got bids and lots of them.
Applied for a city building permit.
Hired a deck company to build our deck. Picked materials and how we wanted it constructed (screwed not nailed).
Hired a light specialist/ electrician to install our deck lighting. Decided on lighting fixtures and where we wanted them.
Hired a patio installer to install a stamped patio (picked a design and color).
Had our sprinkler company move our in ground sprinklers.
Hired a stone company to build us a seating wall and fire pit with drain.
Hubby installed lighting in the seating wall as it was installed.
Grass ended up a mess so we started building some landscaping beds to avoid looking at our dead grass until this fall when we had planned to work on the landscaping.
Decided to go ahead and plant one tree and install landscaping lights.
Hubby and I stained deck.
Oh and somewhere along the way we bought deck and patio furniture and shades for the deck.

After photos...

We have been enjoying the deck and patio and feel like we added a lot of living space to our home. We love every part of it! Looking forward to landscaping around it all this fall when the temperatures drop.

We are already dreaming up our next few projects... Master bathroom remodeling and in a few years a screened in porch off our formal dining room (which we planned this project around).

I hope everyone is having a productive summer like ours!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yoga is Amazing!

I have been wanting to learn how to do yoga for years but I just didn't know where to begin. I bought a groupon for a month of unlimited yoga and finally started  at the end of last year (because I didn't want to not complete that resolution!). I figured I would just learn what I needed to and start doing it at home.. but I am really enjoying the classes.

YOGA is amazing!

I am not a flexible person by any means, so I thought it would be a perfect new challenge for me, and it has proven to be.

I wasn't sure where I would fit it into my schedule. so I found a time I'm usually not even awake...5:30am! I started doing it a few times a week and I can't get over how great it makes me feel.

Yoga makes me feel...
In Control

I look forward to every opportunity I get to practice yoga on my pretty mat. Somehow the moments I'm on that mat make every other moment of my life more enjoyable.

If you haven't tried yoga you should... it is truly AMAZING!