New Swing Set

It took a bit longer than I expected but I finally got the swing set put together. This thing is sturdy and build to last! I am so glad we went with a build it yourself model from the local lumber-yard vs a kit from one of the big box stores. We wanted one that could support everyone from our 10 month old all the way up to me. šŸ™‚

Overall it took one full day of cutting and assembling and then a few hours here and there after work to put the finishing touches on it.

New Life for a Little Tikes House

The other day I was coming back home from a run when I came across a Little Tikes house thrown out by the curb. It had definitely seen better days and was even missing the roof but I was still interested in its potential. Even though our daughters are a little big for a playhouse of that size, our son would definitely be interested in it. The problem was, it was pink and white.

I got home and proceeded to tell my Mother-in-Law what I found and she suggested I go back and get it. One problem, I dont dumpster dive. I have seen many great things sitting on the side of the road but I have always felt bad about grabbing them, even though I know they are destined for the dump anyway. Well my Mother-in-Law had no problems with going up to the front door and asking them if we could have it, and she did. šŸ™‚

Here is how it looked when we first got it.

House Before

After we figured out how it all needed to be assembled, we proceeded to tear it all down and give it a really good scrubbing. This thing was dirty!

After it was all clean, Ashley and I went onto Pinterest to try and find some color inspiration. We finally decided on a Nutmeg for the walls, a Colonial Red for the door, chairs, and outside flower pots, and Flat Black for the sink and table. All colors were RustOleum Ultra Cover 2X.  A note of caution, if you get this stuff at Wal-Mart, it does not have the Primer + Paint option and it also doesnt not specifically say it will work on plastic. The first cans I got at Wal-Mart. The second coat, I got the paint at Home Depot and right on the can it said will work with Plastic and had the Primer already added. The stuff from Home Depot covered much, much better.

I ended up using 5 cans of the Nutmeg and 1 can each of the Red and Black. I think had I gotten the Home Depot paint the first round, I could have covered the walls with 3 cans and been done.

The final product turned out great. Even though it doesnt have a roof, you cannot beat getting the house for free and only spending $40 bucks on paint!

Got Mulch?

Not much of an article but more of a gallery of a mulch project “A” and I worked on. Four yards of mulch and a beautiful Saturday morning. You can’t ask for much more than that!

I wish I would have taken more “before” pictures though. We are into our second year of living in this house and didn’t have time to mulch the first year. I am not sure the previous owners ever did.  From here on out, we shouldn’t have to do as much except to fill in a few places here and there.

We used a black dyed mulch. The color starts out nice but over time has already started to fade away. I am not sure if I will spend the money on that next time or go with more of a neutral brown.  Dream mulch would be the rubber stuff.

Car Wash Sprinkler

Yesterday afternoon Ashley sent me a Pinterest pic of a DIY sprinkler she thought would be fun for the kids to run through. It was a simple square made of PVC pipe that was put on the ground and then had holes drilled into the top of it.

I liked it but I thought it needed a bit more. I started to do some searching on my own and ran across another one that was like a “car wash” that the kids ran through.

I decided to combine the two and this is the end result. I had most of the materials on hand from a Halloween costume I made the previous year. I did have to buy another stick of 1 inch PVC pipe, two 90 degree elbows, and the adapter for the hose. Total new cost was $6 dollars.

Like most projects, I didn’t get any pics taken while I built it. I always forget until the end. Oh well. Hit me up in the comments if you have any questions.

Outdoor Projects Completed

We just got done with a pretty busy weekend and were finally able to cross a few things off of the old list. What a great feeling that is! Here is what we got done:

  • built a water barrel stand
  • put together the kids trampoline
  • built a cover for the concrete waste water culvert
  • built a raised garden
  • broke the guard off of the circular saw
  • mowed the lawn
  • weed and feed
  • cleaned out new nursery

OK, so not all of those things were good. I really miss having the safety guard on my saw for one. But one small mishap still doesn’t darken the projects we were able to accomplish. I don’t have a lot of ‘in progress” pics mostly because I was too busy trying to get everything done, but the end result pictures give a pretty good idea of what we did.

If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to drop us a comment below and we can answer them the best we can. Thanks!

New Deck

We finally finished the deck! To date this was the biggest project that we have tackled at our new home. It didn’t help that it was almost always 100 degrees or above everyday that we worked on it. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Here is what the deck looked like when we first moved in.

The pictures are a bit deceiving and it makes it look like the deck wasnt in that bad of shape. But up close it was easy to see plenty of wood rot amongst pretty much all of the boards.  We were just going to replace the top boards but after we ripped them off, it was quite apparent that we needed to replace the supporting posts as well.

We decided to go with 5/4″ x 6″ pressure treated lumber instead of the 2″x6″ cedar that the deck currently was composed of. This was mainly a decision based on cost.

Although the deck wasn’t flimsy to begin with, we wanted to do a few things to make the deck even more secure. We accomplished this by adding some more braces between the joists (were only three braces originally). We added everything else you see in this picture.

We were also surprised to see that the original support posts were not really in concrete but rather set on the ground with a small 3 inch concrete “pad” poured around it. We ripped those out and put down Dek-Block‘sĀ®  instead. Although not as secure as a poured concrete footing, we felt it would suffice for this deck.

 Once we had the new support posts installed everything else just sort of fell into place. We put down the new deck planks, installed new railings capped with solar lights, and built out new stairs. The project was a ton of work but the end result is amazing and everyone that see’s it thinks it looks amazing.


Did a few projects around the house this weekend. One of which I will post later on this week (hint – its a sandbox with cover). One of the biggest projects and most time consuming ones was buying and assembling our kid’s new trampoline. The time consuming part was because I removed all of the sand from an old swimming pool ring. I then put down weed barrier and filled it back in with sand. This morning I assembled the trampoline and even though it said a 45 minute assembling time with two people, it took me a little over 3 hours! Did I forget to mention that it was over 100 degrees both days?

But in the end the kids absolutely love it and that is really what matters most isn’t?

New Patio Chairs

Ashley and I really wanted to get patio chairs so we could enjoy our backyard and deck. Problem was, a set of chairs can be very expensive and we had enough expenses right now with the new house. Then one weekend Ashley went out garage sale shopping and ran across a set of 6 of these chairs.


She ended up talking the guy down to $5.00 a chair! A little Rustoleum spray paint (same paint as here) and some cushions and we have almost brand new looking chairs for a fraction of what they would have cost us brand new.

Outdoor Farmhouse Table

One thing Ashley and I said we really wanted on the new deck was a table. A table that was capable of having 8 people sit around it in comfort but that also looked cool and was function for the space when not in use. I also knew that I was going to have a lot of old cedar 2×6’s when I pulled the decking off. I really wanted to be able to resuse this so I set out on the internet to do some searching.

I stumbled upon and her modern take on the old farmhouse table.  As soon as I saw this table I knew it would be perfect for our needs and would look awesome with the old reclaimed wood that I had to use.

I proceeded to download the plans and modify them to my needs. I left most of the table as it was but did lengthen it to 84″. This was done to allow for three patio chairs on each side.

After some careful searching through my wood pile, I pulled out what I considered some of the better pieces to use. I was able to cut off any rot that I found and I also ripped down some of the boards to make the 2×4 skirts.

It was my initial intent to sand this down with some 40grit sandpaper, stain, and seal but everyone that has seen it (and Ashley) says it looks fantastic the way it is. I guess I will probably leave it as is.