In October of last year, we went over our front yard and backyard with our landscaper (aka Joshua’s adopted dad). While we got started with clearing stuff out of the backyard we paused on it to focus on the front yard.

We got our motivation back this summer, of course during the hottest days. I focused on tearing out all the oddly placed planter boxes, tearing out overgrown grapevines, and clearing out the garden beds.

Clearing Out Old Planter Boxes

Joshua tore out what we suspect to be some kind of water feature gone glorified plant box.

Fountain dismantling in progress Tearing apart the fountain All torn down!

We also managed to get a fire pit going with the spare stone from disassembling the fountain-thing.

The Fire Pit

As much as we’ve cleared out and done, it still feels like it’s gotten out of control. We need help, so we’re going to be bringing in Joshua’s dad and brother to help us out with landscaping.

Really what it comes down to is we just want our backyard to be simple, clean, and green. A great example of our ideal backyard is my Uncle Steve and Aunt Patty’s backyard in their Tahoe home.

Backyard Backyard

Just grass, shrubs/trees, and bark. That’s the goal this fall.


Joshua and I have decided to take the plunge and move forward with removing all the carpet in our home and replacing it with laminate. We spent our Labor Day weekend visiting various flooring stores to compare pricing on materials and installation.

We came home with a lot of samples.

Adventures in Flooring

Our goal was to keep both the cost of materials and installation under $2 per square foot. Since we have roughly 1600 square feet of carpet to replace, we have to keep it budget friendly.

The winner? Lowe’s (I swear, we always end up going with them).

Adventures in Flooring

They had the lowest price for the flooring we wanted (the Tavern Oak seen above), low price for installation, lowest price for installing base board, and no sales tax! No one else could compare.

Since the majority of our house is carpet we’re going to start the process of packing things up that we don’t need. We have a bit of planning to do, so the goal is to get the flooring in by the end of next month.

With four animals, I know my allergies and Roomba are going to be a LOT happier with this change!


Summer LAN Party

This weekend we had our annual Summer LAN party.

The Gaming Boys The Gaming Boys

As usual, we made our famous dip and had an amazing array of food brought by others.

The Food

My sister’s boyfriend came up for the weekend and made tacos. They were SO good!

Dani's Boyf Grilling Meat for Tacos

Because of the drought, heat, and fire ban we couldn’t break in our recently created fire pit.

The Fire Pit

But we lit a couple citronella candles and placed them in the pit, so we had a “fire” to gather around, hehe.

Mr. Big likes BBQ

Mr. Big had a great time socializing, especially around the barbecue.

Sleepy Gamers

And everybody slept quite well! People who spent the night left around 1pm, so the rest of the day was spent cleaning and relaxing.

Looking forward to our next LAN party – New Year’s Eve, when we can really break in the fire pit!


Two Fridays ago I showed you our new front door, and here’s how it looks after a fresh coat of paint…

Painted Front Door

Saturday morning I went over to The Paint Spot and picked up two quarts of paint: Benjamin Moore’s St. Lucia Teal for the front and a white semi-gloss by Pittsburgh Paints.

Joshua helped me remove the hardware and after a couple episodes of Property Brothers played in the background, my two coats of the front of the door were done.

The front of the door is painted! Benjamin Moore's St. Lucia Teal #lovehome #diy

I don’t know if the fact it was 100+°F out or what, but the Benjamin Moore paint went on so smoothly! I was very impressed, and I can see why everyone is such a big fan of this paint.

Painted Front Door

Today our new front door was installed! It looks pretty!

New Front Door

Our previous front door had some swelling issues ever since we moved in, and recently it got so bad to where we couldn’t lock the deadbolt. We’ve tried trimming the door (it’s solid wood) to make it fit, but eventually we realized that the door frame and door itself were never properly installed to begin with.

Current Front Door

You can see that our attempts to trim it have left us with a few gaps which is not great with the hot summer heat right now. We decided that it would be best to get a brand new door, one that’s fiberglass to prevent warping and a new frame.

We spent a couple weekends checking out a few local places that sell doors/windows, and we ultimately landed on this one from Lowe’s.

Joshua with our new front door!

After we picked out our door we set up a time for Lowe’s to come out and accurately measure our door frame for the install. Once the measurements got back to the store, we paid for our door and installation. About 24 hours later we got a call to setup a time for our install.

And today, the door was put in!

New Front Door New Front Door

I also ordered a shiny new handle for it off eBay which arrived yesterday, just in time for the new door to be installed.

Society Brass Collection 858w 15 Hawthorne Handleset Made By Kwikset

Since the door comes primed, I had to start thinking about what color(s) I wanted to paint it. After looking at some Pinsteration I knew I wanted to go for a light turquoise for the front.

benjamin moore wytheblue

Front door in Wythe Blue from hiya papaya

benjamin moore st. lucia teal

Front door in St. Lucia Teal from Rebecca Lukens Designs

The two colors I was leaning towards: Wythe Blue or St. Lucia Teal, both by Benjamin Moore. Last weekend I checked out a paint shop a couple miles away from my house that carries Benjamin Moore paints to get the swatches.

Up until this point we’ve always been close to Home Depot and/or Lowe’s, so that’s where we’d always get our paint. Shops that carried Benjamin Moore ‘nearby’ were few and far between, so it always bummed me out looking at other blogs/Pinterest where all the paint colors were by Benjamin Moore. Now, there’s a place closer to my house than Home Depot/Lowe’s is, so I’m happy I can finally use Benjamin Moore colors in my house!

We decided we’re going to go with St. Lucia Teal, so we’ll be doing the painting next weekend.