If you ever wondered what our hardest outdoor DIY was….it was this deck. It took months to sand it down, stain it, fix broken parts, build a baby gate and give it a general overhaul. It was definitely no Cinderella moment here folks. It was like watching a makeover show….that lasts seven hours too long….in slow motion. Bone chilling. But in the end, it has proved it’s worth and this year, I go out there every morning to check on my plants and to enjoy the early morning chill….all 73 degrees of it 🙂 God bless Hotlanta.
I thought it would be fun to share some updates that we have done in this space recently. We, like everyone else, are still learning what works for our family…..so tweak all the things! If you see the pictures aren’t perfectly staged or something moves in one picture to another…it’s because that’s real life. We move crap.
So the biggest update is getting a new umbrella. Ground breaking news here folks. Katie bought an umbrella. But it actually was one of those purchases that makes this deck feel even more special….like a vacation right here at home. I blame the cabana stripes with the scalloped edge. Just call me Holly GoLightly at Palm Springs.
I must have texted my sister about six different umbrellas….some with scallops, some with stripes and I even asked her to go on a scouting mission to Sam’s Club (she is one of those high rollin members and I’m not) to see if they had one that was a decent price. In the end, I found the perfect combination which was a big deal because you can literally see this from our living room, our foyer, our kitchen, and our entire backyard. It had to be just right.
The umbrella itself was the cheapest 9 footer tilting umbrella I could find….Walmart for the win. And the umbrella cover was ordered separately from here. All I had to do was unscrew the plastic thing on the top of the umbrella and then remove the old cover (it was just royal blue) and put on the striped version. Not hard at all and I got exactly what I wanted for under $70.
Everything that is in these photos stays outside. We don’t move anything in. But we do occasionally have to take the umbrella down and lay it on the ground if a storm is coming because the wind can blow it clear off our deck….even while in the stand….even while folded down. It’s nuts. One time I dared Jeremy to hold onto it while open in a storm….not because I wanted him to get electrocuted but because I wanted to see him fly Mary Poppins style. He didn’t go for it.
In the corner, I moved a small ceramic stool and put some flowers on it. I get majority of my flowers from the discount section at Walmart, Home Depot or at a local growers outlet. I’m not really into spending a ton on plants when the possibility exists that it could die from lack of watering 🙂 Which is it a legit pregnancy symptom to feel very concerned about plants? Because that is happening this time around.
Our furniture is no longer available but I did find a similar set here. We still LOVE the look. The combo is considered a conversation set but we use it more as a dining area. And the rug? It gets pressure washed maybe twice a year? And then it looks new again. Overall it’s been very low maintenance. After it rains, we do put the cushions up right and let that water drain out….so if you are like us (don’t need more to maintain), draining moisture out of the cushions is easy and helps them stay alive longer.
On the table top I put a couple new finds – URCHIN bowls! Guys. If you know us then you know that Jeremy tries to find urchin shells when we go to the beach. On our honeymoon, whenever we travel, it’s this super sweet thing that he does and when I asked him why, he said that it was because they are very hard to find, a rare and delicate and beautiful thing….just like me. WHO IS THIS MAN AND HOW DO I MAKE A MILLION COPIES OF HIM?! #backoffhesmine
I’m still figuring out what exactly to do with them (an outdoor candle? a faux succulent? a vase for flowers?)….but yeah…I’m obsessed. Here is the link for them. (just looked – they are on sale!!!) And then the white bowl has my chicks and hens….it survived the winter….miracle!…and is doing great out here. They remind me of my Mummum….probably because she has some out her porch too.
We switched the tall planters….the $20 ones we built are now on the front porch and then these gray ones are back here. It made sense because the tall ones had ferns and they were getting too much sun on the deck. These ones weren’t getting enough sun on the front porch….so switcherooo. Already they are doing so much better.
In the corner, we did get a new addition….a sweet little bar cart. I’m thinking it probably won’t live up here permanently….but I can also use it down under on our patio. I wanted to share it with you because it is such a great find.
It’s the perfect size and I love that it doesn’t scream I’M A BARCART. It’s more like I’M A SMALL SHELF UNIT WITH WHEELS.
The X’s on the sides are perfect size and make it look way more expensive. And the fact that it’s metal? My kids probably will take an extra minute to figure out how to destroy it 🙂
On the lower shelf we store random cups and buckets and play toys. More on that in a second. And I got this outdoor candle and wooden holder at Target and I’m LOVING IT. I think I might go back and buy like six more. The candle is a fake but it’s on a timer so it’s on for 5 hours and then off for 19. I just flipped it on one night at around 7 pm (it wasn’t even dark yet) and now it comes on automatically and shuts off at midnight. Makes me feel like a VIP. Love those little things!
Okay so that is our dining/conversation area….
And I would like to welcome you to our new pool….
Yup. We are high rollers y’all.
This is Crush (named affectionately after the turtle on Finding Nemo) and he is usually a sand lover (aka a sand box) but we dragged him up on the deck and he makes for a pretty amazing baby pool (the sides are stiffer and it doesn’t crack easily). Hence the collection of cups and bowls and buckets on the bar cart. We fill Crush up and the kids go at it. They like that it keeps them cool and I like the fact that they enjoy transferring water to my plants and that I can sit back and just watch with a cold drink! This is what mom-winning looks like. The green smile of success.
Oh and for anyone wondering….we still have the STOK grill (I recently saw it at Target discounted to $200!) and it’s going strong after two years. It’s actually been one of the best grills that we have had…it heats evenly and the grates have held up great. Also we haven’t put a cover on it and it cleans up really nicely….so yeah…highly recommend this if you are just one of those normal-just-need-a-decent-grill-on-a-budget people.
So where do I lounge with bonbons and iced decaf lattes and foot rubs while my children play together silently and encourage each other verbally? So glad you asked….
Welcome to the Katie corner of the deck. We have two chaise lounges on this side of the deck with a little concrete side table I built in between. Here is the tutorial for the table.
The cushions on the lounge chairs are needing replaced (Bear tore up the top side one day and so I flipped them) but they served us well for the last five years and we have heard great reviews about the new cushions. Thankfully the set still looks brand new and the cushions are still available! I never get that lucky!
The pillows I got at Lowes….their outdoor pillows are just so cute! Bravo to the designer! Hey Home Depot – you know you are my BFF but seriously….you need to steal that designer! (Note…I don’t condone stealing….except in this case because mama needs pillows at a better price.) And my rehabilitating hydrangea is finally getting new leaves….which is ALL KINDS OF EXCITING.
Also I would like to introduce you to our new hedgehog….I adopted him from HomeGoods. He is the perfect pet….requires no work, is very cute and adds lots of texture 🙂 (here is a similar one)
I actually bought him thinking that Bear would freak out but nope. My ball of curly fluff thinks he is adorable too.
Last but not least is this hibiscus tree. I took Will to the growers outlet and he BEGGED me to buy an elephant ear plant (where the heck would I put that giant thing?!) and he only changed his mind when I told him about this tree. We put some creeping jenny on the bottom to make sure it stayed moist….and truly, it’s been the best bloomer! The kids check on it every day and love counting all the flowers….guessing how many will come tomorrow and picking up the spent blooms (aka I can’t bend so I make them think it’s a competition and my deck floor is miraculously clean). It’s actually one of the weirdest things that they love this tree….they are so obsessed…but it does get me a little worried….can I pull this in for winter?!!
So thats it folks. A little update for ya! And I’m sure I’ll have to do another one in a month or so because I need more pillows for the dining area and to figure out a lighting plan. It’s so dark once the sun goes down and I’d love to still sit out there. I’m actually loving these pillows…..
What do you think? That navy fish one….so good.
And if you have any mom hacks…baby pool on a deck for hours of fun….I’d love to hear them. Summer with a seven year old, a four year old, a three year old and an almost two year old while pregnant is NO JOKE. I need all the hacks. all. of. them.