Landscape Up-Lighting

Installing up-lighting on the exterior of your house is something that you can do in one night.

First, find your exterior outlet – then figure out how many areas/lights you’d like to highlight. Once you have your plan, head to your local hardware stores to pick up your materials. Install should take you less than 2 hours.

Install.
– Connect the Wire to your Low-Voltage Transformer (following the instructions included in the transformer)
– Insert lights into the ground where you’d like the up-lighting.
– Connect lights to the wire, following the instructions.
– Plug the Transformer in and make sure the lights work. Unplug the transformer to finish the following steps.
– Using wire cutters, cut the excess wire.
– Separate the wire. Grab your electrical tape, wrap each of the individual wires (using electrical tape).
This is where I got a little hung up, because I originally taped the wire without separating the two wires and the lights didn’t work.
– Plug the transformer back in (to make sure everything works)
– Mount the Transformer and Solar sensor to your home. I mounted ours behind our Boxwoods to keep it hidden.
– I set ours up to go on at Dusk and be lit for 7 hours – but you choose what’s right for you and your home.

Materials.
Hampton Bay Low-Voltage 200-Watt Landscape Transformer
Landscape Lighting Wire (we needed less than 50 feet)
Hampton Bay LED Landscape Flood Light
Wire Stripper
– Screw Driver
– Drill with Bit to handle concrete

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Y’all – our Master Bedroom is done. After living in our home for 4 years, this is the second room in our house that is “finished”.

Bevel Square Mirror, 19″

The finishing touches were the Square Bevel Mirrors from Pottery Barn (they’re currently on sale for 50% off – $73.99). It’s only available for Curbside Pickup and I don’t think it will last long (goes in and out of stock very frequently), so RUN don’t walk to pick this up.

Having our Master Bedroom feel complete is a breath of fresh air.

Projects.

Creating Tufted Bench
Hanging Curtains
Fiddle Leaf Fig

Sources.

Paint Color – Sherwin Williams Sea Salt
Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig – QVC
Hyacinth Margaux Tote Basket Small – World Market
Dresser – Pottery Barn, Old. Similar: Beadboard 9-Drawer Wide Dresser, Pottery Barn Teen
Nightstands – Pottery Barn, Old. Similar: Beadboard Nightstand, Pottery Barn Teen
Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Euro Shams, White – Pottery Barn
Belgian Flax Linen Duvet Cover, Natural Flax – West Elm
Umbra Cappa Clip Curtain Rings – Bed Bath and Beyond
Umbra Cappa Curtain Rod – (2) 36 to 66 inches and (1) 66 to 120 inches
Cameron Cotton Pole-Pocket Curtain, White (4 Panels) – Pottery Barn
Pencil Art- Flounder – Steve Whitlock
Curacao Art Print 18″ x 24″ – Minted
Wood Gallery Single Opening Frame, White( 4″ x 6″ ; 5″ x 7″x; 8″ X 10″ ) – Pottery Barn
“I Love You” Print, Old- Scarlet and Gold Shop
Bevel Mirror, 19″ (2) – Pottery Barn
Headboard – Made by Jay

Rain Barrel Dreams

It’s been a wet few days weeks here in Michigan, and I’ve been dreaming of installing a Rain Barrel (insert an earth loving GIF). I’m dreaming of having it in our backyard, tucked away behind our deck – which would still allow us to use the rain water to water our grass – are you getting as excited as I am???

Rain Barrels I’m Eyeing:

Wicker 50 Gallon Rain Barrel – Wayfair – $127.99
Canaan 50 Gallon Rain Barrel – Wayfair – $104.99
Rainwater Urn, 65 Gallon – Gardener’s Supply Company – $199.00
Rainwater Urn, 50 Gallon – Gardener’s Supply Company – $139.00
Madison 49 Gallon Rain Barrel – Home Depot – $118.00
Good Ideas 50 Gallon Bark-Textured Rain Saver – Walmart – $121.06
Athena 50 Gallon Charcoal Rain Barrel – Home Depot – $113.42

Things to Think About:

– How frequently are there problems with the pickets?
– Is it really worth the small savings we’d see in our water bill?
– How many headaches will we have (water not flowing correctly)?
– What other items would we need to successfully connect your current gutters to a Rain Barrel?
– Again, is it worth it?

If you’ve installed a rain barrel in the past, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I will be sure to take you along as we install our Rain Barrel over on Instastories!

Air Pod Pro Review

Air Pod Pro Review

I took the leap and bought Air Pod Pros. Blame it on quarantine, overlapping conference calls and trying to multitask on said conference calls. I originally was going back and forth between the two different models. Finally got some intel from a friend who has had both that Air Pod Pros were the way to go, and pulled the trigger. Now would be a great time to tell you, that I over research any purchase (small or large), so found it a little shocking that I made such quick decision.

Long story short – I’m not a fan (enough so that I’m giving them to my husband, and y’all I’m frugal – so this is 1) a huge pick up for him and 2) speaks loudly about how I feel about them). Now let me give you my pro-con-pro (hello to all my former sorority girls out there) feedback.

They’re a nice headphone, which my husband will now be the lucky recipient of. But if you have small ears like me, stay away from them.

Pro:

– Great Noise Cancelling Headphone with option to turn Noise Cancelling off
– Audio is improved over corded Apple Headphones that come with your phone’s purchase.
– Love the cordless feature. Honestly didn’t think it was necessary and laughed at myself a little for thinking I needed it, but it’s ruined me and I don’t think I could use a corded headphone again)
– Offers different sizes for in-ear piece

Con:

– Difficult to transition form noise canceling to transparent mode.
– They fall out of my ears if I’m doing anything other than sitting down.
– I accidentally end calls when trying to push the headphones back into my ears.

Pro:

– Love the idea of them and will be giving Apple more of my money when I buy AirPods.

Air Pod vs Air Pod Pro
Source

Links:
Air Pod 2nd Generation – $139
Air Pod Pro – $235

Cooking in Quarantine

Cooking in Quarantine

Traditionally, I am not the cook in our house – but it is something I’m trying to get better at. So I’ve taken to quarantine to try to get more comfortable in the kitchen and take the place of head chef a few nights a week. I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite recipes with some tips and tricks I’ve learned in the process.

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Lent Review

This year we went pretty wild with the items we gave up for lent: Shopping and Meat. I broke down the rules and the reasoning in a blog post, here.

Meat.

Originally, I thought giving up meat would be the hardest part of this whole situation.

Results: We ate meat for one meal over the 40 days.
Thoughts: I loved it. I physically felt really good and found that we cooked interesting dishes that I wouldn’t have normally thought up. The hardest part was lunch and making sure I was getting enough protein to not crave candy in the afternoon. On Easter, we had bacon for breakfast and Chile con Carne for dinner – may have broken a little too much into the meat category for our first day back, but it was nice. We’re committed to eating mostly a pescatarian (removing meat) diet moving forward and sprinkling in meat every so often.

Shopping.

Overall, I am wildly impressed with myself.

Results: I went out to eat a handful of times (thank you social distancing), purchased AirPod Pro (by using gift cards to pay for 2/3 the cost) and an Echelon Connect EX3 Indoor Bike (From Bed Bath and Beyond – using a 20% off Coupon). And those were essential the only purchases I made in 40 days.
Thoughts: If you were to look at this as black and white – I didn’t pass. But I look at this as a win. I changed my mental attitude regarding purchasing things and only bought items that were good for my mental and physical well-being.

Have you given something up for Lent that has ended up changing your lifestyle?

Self Distancing

Self Distancing

2020 has become an interesting place for all of us. While Self Distancing isn’t ideal – it will hopefully help to save hundreds and thousands of lives.

I’m trying to do my best to practice gratitude and relax into this situation. (A lot easier said than done, we don’t have kids and we try to be easy going). I encourage you to find one thing each day that you’re grateful for.

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