All summer we promised the kids we'd bust out the tent and camp in our backyard. Last weekend we made it happen. Don't tell real campers in our new city but we didn't skimp on comfort. There were fizzy drinks, fancy hot dogs, sparkly lights, and wifi.
I spent most of the afternoon on another project so we didn't get the tent set up until after dinner as the light was fading. People say going to IKEA with your significant other is a true way to test your love and patience but I say putting a tent together in the dark is where it's at. I cussed, I stomped my feet, I threw a tent peg, and I almost threw in the towel but I didn't want to disappoint the kids and we finally figured it out.
Sebastian got this 5 person tent for his 4th birthday from my grandparents. I'm sad to say we've had the best of intentions but this was the first time we'd actually used it. It was cavernous in there! We had Sunday snoozing with us while we ate popcorn and watched a movie on Netflix using our wifi. We weren't sure if we'd all make it through the night or be heading indoors around 1 am but we kept those kids up late enough that they fell asleep in no time. Even Brett, who usually has a hard time getting to sleep, was out like a light. I layed awake for about an hour trying to ignore the cricket opera on my side of the tent but seeing another shooting star was worth it.
What are your favorite camping recipes? I pinned this one recently. What's worked for your family?
I bought a jasmine plant because a magazine said it works as a sleep aid if you keep it in your room but then I realized it doesn't grow well indoors so I stuck it in a planter in order to possibly bring it in for the winter and called it a day. It's recently started stretching out and didn't have much to hold on to so I came up with a pretty solution to my long-limbed plant problem.
Trellises are easily purchased at your local nursery or hardware store but I wanted something unique. If you'd like to make your own you'll need: 5 garden stakes measuring 6' high, 2 smaller stakes ( I used left over garage sale stakes) measuring the width of your trellis (about 4'). You'll also need a pack of large shims (the chevron part), a hand saw, scissors, a hammer, small nails (I used picture frame nails but anything short will work), a staple gun and 1/2" staples, and paint (optional). If you don't paint it I suggest weather guarding it somehow so it doesn't rot away if it sits near a sprinkler head.
Step One: Space your garden stakes as wide as your smaller stakes and then even spread them out. Nail one of your smaller garden stakes so that it's flush with the top of your long garden stakes. Step Two: Place two shims where you'd like them and mark where you'll want to cut the ends so that they meet almost seamlessly. Step Three: Cut the ends off with a hand saw at the thick end and a sharp pair of scissors at the thin end. Step Four: Space your shims out evenly down your trellis. Once you're satisfied with their placement, nail the thick ends down and staple the thin ends down. Don't fret if your ends aren't meeting up nicely. I turned mine over so you can't see them. Step Five: Attach your bottom shorter stake so that it's flush up against the bottom of your chevron ends as shown. Step Six: Continue with your chevron nailing. Paint or seal if desired.
To install your trellis, measure how far apart your stakes are spaced and then dig five holes that you can set your stakes down in. Refill with dirt. Be sure to leave a bit of space between your trellis and a wall or fence so the vines can weave around. Three separate trellises against a wall makes a bold statement while adding on stakes to create a wider trellis would also provide some privacy if placed in front of a chain link fence.
If you make your own trellis feel free to link back to this tutorial and share a photo with us. I'd love to see yours.
Does anyone else have jasmine in their yard? I'd love a whole fence full of it as well as honeysuckle. It reminds me so much of my childhood.
I feel like I'm still adjusting to our summer rhythm. Ruby's also stopped taking her afternoon nap. Mixed feelings on that front but at least now we can get them both in bed earlier and our days aren't needing to be so structured around nap time. We've also been spending a lot more time outside playing and working.
When we first moved in I spotted this bench in our neighbors' backyard. The rest of their yard was pretty wrecked from their dogs but then there was this bench. Ever since 'the shooting' as I like to refer to it, our neighbors have been working on adding a higher wood fence to block the alley way as well as other yard work to spruce up their backyard. I asked him if the bench had come with the house or if they'd found it in town and he asked me if I wanted it right away. Apparently, their across the street elderly neighbor was giving stuff away and they took it off her hands without really loving it. I'm sitting on it as I type. In love. We are definitely baking them cookies.
I finally got some more twinkle lights up in our backyard patio area. Despite waiting on our lawn to grow, our backyard space and mosquito-less environment is already making me so happy.
I enjoyed reading the responses from yesterday's post. Some days are just smoother than others, aren't they.
My mom gave the kids each a sunflower seed in a pot the last time we saw them in February. Last week we watered them and were surprised when a sprout shot up within a few days. They've been almost doubling in size every day and were about to outgrow their little pots so I told Sebastian we could plant them outside.
As a kid my brother and I had a sunflower growing in one of our backyards that we named Suzy. I still remember how huge it's head was and how high it grew above our fence line. I wanted to make sure our little sunflower sprout had a good chance at surviving so I took Ruby to Home Depot and we brought back supplies to make a little bed along the back fence. We bought another bag of sunflower seeds to plant and after getting the bricks in place and the dirt poured I let the kids plant the sprouted plant as well as the seeds.
I can't wait to see those sprouts come up! I'm hoping they'll provide some nice color and privacy to our chain link fenced backyard but I'm really excited that our kids will get to enjoy these special flowers like I did.
As I mentioned before, we seeded our backyard Memorial weekend with grass and have been working hard to keep the kids and dog off of it without letting it dry out. We saw our first grass sprouts on Friday and even more today! It's totally worth geeking out about!
Did you spend any time in the dirt this weekend?
I bought some shims for another DIY but it didn't work out so I took most of them back to the store. One of the packs that stayed home were used as diggers by the kids and were lying about the yard when suddenly I got an idea. Arrows! Mobile! Graphic, bold, modern, easy!
It took me all of an hour and a half to finish this since I had to let the paint dry and cost about $2 since I already had the paint, twine, glue, and hook on hand.
1. Supplies: One pack of wood shims, wood glue, scissors, spray paint, twine, hook, hammer, nail, clamps (optional). 2. Spread a thin amount of wood glue on the thin end of one shim and adhere the thin end of the other shim so that they form a right angle as shown. Wipe off excess glue. Press between bricks, chip clips, or clamps until set (20 minutes). 3. Repeat for as many arrows as you need. I suggest an odd number for visual impact. 4. Using a nail, puncture through the center of your arrow twice as shown being careful not to split your shims. After you puncture a small hole, use your screw hook to gently widen your hole so that it's big enough for twine to fit through later. Remove screw. Repeat with each arrow. 5. Paint wood in three or four thin coats with spray paint (or acrylic). 6. Tie a knot in one end of your twine and measure about how long you want your mobile to be, cut. Thread through your arrows and tie a knot before you thread through each arrow to keep it from sliding down. Hang and enjoy!
We have had a windy weekend so most of these are of the mobile twisting in the breeze a bit but I love the graphic look it adds to our outdoor space. It'd be great used in a kid's room or nursery painted in a bright color or black (hello, boy decor). It's a really easy project for all skill levels and shouldn't cost too much to make.
I haven't lived somewhere where it's nice enough to eat dinner outdoors (cool temperatures, zero mosquitos and flies) in years so I feel like I owe it to myself and our family to enjoy it as often as realistic. I've had an insatiable urge to finally give our backyard some attention so I've been busy pulling weeds, spreading mulch, hanging things from the house and the tree, and hammering away at some diy's that I'll share soon. Pinterest and a limited budget have been all the inspiration I've needed to come up with some solutions for our space that are not only practical but beautiful.
Brett bought a new basketball rim off of Craigslist this past weekend which has already been more fun than I imagined. He beat me at a game of PIG because he can slam dunk and I can't. Cheater.
Oh, and Sebastian hits almost all of his shots. For not having had regular access to a hoop before, he's pretty consistent. The kid got the good hand-eye coordination genes! Woohoo!
Have you been digging in your yard lately? Any big projects this summer or are you keeping it simple?
Our sunny kitchen window sill and counter are suddenly filling up with store bought flowers, plants, produce experiments, and blooming branches (not shown). I love having a West facing kitchen because it's usually bright and cheerful during dinner prep.
I'm not sure if I first saw the green onion regrowth idea on Instagram or Pinterest but about three weeks ago we had teriyaki chicken and I had myself some green onion stubs so I stuck them in a jar of water and gave them a home in the window. It's been so fun to watch them grow a little longer every day! My first batch were overachievers and I had full length onions in about two weeks. I cut them back again and they've slowed a bit so I'm tempted to stick like five jars full of onions up there to keep the kitchen stocked. Ha!
The Venus Fly Trap was purchased at Lowe's and is doing well. We've tweezer fed it an ant and a fly and the kids have both loved seeing something happen right before their eyes! We're getting pretty exotic up in here.
Brett has been making it a regular habit to bring me flowers since we've moved here and I'm truly enjoying it. Tulips are just so happy, don't you think?