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A backyard to grow in.

by Juliemara

Over the past few weeks you’ve probably seen a few picture in the blog or Instagram that look like this. 20121009-223315.jpg

Or this20121009-223338.jpg

Or this20121009-223356.jpg
And you probably wondered where these pictures were taken. They were taken on our new deck! It was a long process but we now have a beautiful toddler safe deck and beautifully landscaped budget friendly backyard
Over a year ago when we moved into our current home to make room for babies the backyard was in much need of some serious TLC.20121008-230404.jpg20121008-230415.jpg20121008-230419.jpg20121008-230423.jpg20121008-230433.jpg
As much as I love being outside and digging in the dirt, No really, I’m serious, I would be a farmer if I could live on a farm close to family friends and a grocery store! , I was also very pregnant and could barely walk down the hall let alone clear overgrowth. And on top of that the inside renovations were still very much underway and that was priority with two infants about join our family.

So in the mean time because there was rotting wood and overgrown weeds there was the possibility of snakes in the yard. To not let this become an issue my husband had the yard cleared. Everything pushed to the wooded area in the back and the main part leveled out. 20121009-224509.jpg20121009-224516.jpg
Winter set in and figuring out life with two babies filled all our time, so the back yard remained untouched.20121011-033316.jpg20121016-131512.jpg
Spring came and with warmer air and a little rain a soft coating of green covered some of the dirt, the idea of a green backyard was becoming a reality. 20121011-041707.jpgBut spring rains came with a vengeance, and all the green was washed away.20121016-131231.jpg20121016-131523.jpg
And to add to the issues of the back deck, babies who crawl and a deck with an old style railing are not a good mix. The deck was a great small space to spend some time outside taking in the fresh air while the babies were immobile.20121016-131425.jpg20121016-131442.jpg
But as soon as they got to moving on there own it wasn’t safe to be outside to let them play. It was a crazy hot summer anyway so we spent most of our days at the pool it in the shade at a nearby park. But with fall approaching and the babies birthday just around the corner we knew we wanted to make the investment in the backyard so that we could spend the beautiful fall days in Georgia outside.

And so it began, DEMOLITION.20121016-132119.jpg



And the work began, it all happened really quickly.
Day 1


Day 2




Day 3






The girls loved watching the work get done

Day 4
It rained
Day 5

It was done!




That was it, in just five days we had a brand new super fun giant playpen! We have used it almost every day since it was finished.



The girls are always trying to get out there.

We even scored this awesome plastic playset for a cant beat price off Craig’s list. The woman we bought it from, had triplets!








A few weeks later it was time to finish the yard. We contacted a few landscape architects and designers but they all wanted an obscene amount of money to do a basic landscaping job. We already had the people to install the yard, we just needed a design. I was pretty confident that I could draw a good looking yard, I did grow up with a dad who was pretty particular about our yard, so I knew basically what needs to go where. I was a little worried about how the sunlight in our yard would work with my design and how future additions may ruin what we do now but I got to drawing anyway. Here’s what I came up with.

It rained a little more and then it finally happened, grass and order appeared in the back yard while I was hard at work at my job.





next year we will add shrubs here or maybe azaleas.


the playset will be arriving soon!


the tree line is no longer a disaster


the gate keeps the toddlers in and the stones keep the dirt out.



past the steps in the side yard will be our garden, We plan to do a stone raised bed and grow a variety of herbs and veggies. We will play weekend warriors one weekend this winter and hopefully plant by early spring.


We even got a sprikler system installed so we can spend more time playing with talia and Jordan and less time moving around hoses!


We love our new deck and out tall trees and our amazing backyard. We are looking forward to plenty of days running around in the yard with kids and friends for years to come.




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A do-it-ourselves bookshelf project

by Juliemara

We have stuff, and lots of it. In our old place we had two three foot wide bookshelves built into the wall in our dinning room, in this new house we have no built in shelves, there isn’t even a linen closet. We have to be creative on how to create easy to access storage. Sure the giant basement is great but we think it’s about time to unpack those boxes of books that have been there for a year.

I’d like to introduce you to Kate, the woman behind Censational Girl Blog and all her DIY home improvement goodness. She also wanted a beautiful place to showcase her books and trinkets, but she didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars for custom built ins. What a coincidence! Neither do we!20120726-100628.jpg
Instead she used billy bookcases from ikea, jazzed them up with some fancy trim and walla, what looks like professional built inns are actually easy to assemble MDF bookshelves with some painted trim glued on, check out her complete how to tutorial here.
And here is our progress
Our big blank empty wall.
Filled with billy bookcases.
Ok it’s not much progress but we have been a little busy, we’ll get to it eventually.
20120725-222652.jpgNext step is to get rid of the toe moulding and elevate the bookcases a bit so the bottom shelf height matches the moulding.20120725-222707.jpgWish us luck!

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Our family room

by Juliemara

Here is the house decorating update I’ve been promising you. Just to catch everyone up to speed we moved into this new to us house in July when I was five months pregnant. By that time it was already impossible for me to pack a box, unpack a box or put anything away, it all got put somewhere and left. Now that I am no longer pregnant and have two babies to take care of I have to find bits of spare time to organize and decorate our house. Slowly, slowly, little by little, we are getting things done and making our house a home.

Here’s what the living room was,



And here’s what it looks like now,





20120213-161840.jpgThe large picture in this image is a canvas painted with chalkboard paint. The art can be changed. It’s the same canvas I use when taking the girls monthly pictures. The small picture I bought at an art auction. I have no idea what it is but I love the texture and the frame!



I made the curtains myself.


Six panels plus hardware cost me a grand total of $250, and 30 minutes of my time (and 1/2 a day of my dad and husbands- to install the hardware. Thanks Dad and Husband). The panels took no time because they are not sewn. I was in a hurry to get them up so I cut the length long enough to one day hem them but folded that extra at the top for now. The sides are just twisted back.


20120216-200558.jpgthe fabric is from It’s Waverly indoor outdoor fabric so it’s coated which makes it stiff, it gives it a nice drape without being backed at all. 18 yards cost $168 after a coupon which I found by googling coupons and free shipping. The rod supports and rings are from bed bath and beyond.


The rod supports were $6 each, and the packs of rings were $8 each. Each ring comes with a clip, so I clipped them over the folded fabric.

It looks fine and no one ever looks at the rings. Once I get around to hemming them I can use drapery hooks if I want a more polished look.

The rod is 1/2 inch copper pipe from home depot. It’s $12 for a 10ft length and it’s easy to cut to length with a saw. The separate pieces can be connected with $.50 connectors.

We still have a long way to go filling white wall space.

Here are few pieces I’ve added so far. These two pictures we purchased this summer at the neighborhood art festival, frames were $14 for both from Khols.




And to make sure that conversation by the water cooler never gets dull, I added a few photos I took while living in Brooklyn of our little coffee shop on our block.




We hope you have a great weekend.
Happy Friday!

Do you have any DIY decorating or home improvement plans for the weekend? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!


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Reindeer Spoting

by Juliemara

When we moved to our new home this past summer we had no idea how much fun it would be, even though it’s just over the river it feels like a mountain retreat most of the time, sure getting home during rush hour can be a nightmare but once home it’s worth the wait. One of the most fun things we have discovered about our new home is that we share our land with a family of reindeer!




Haha, just kidding, that’s Talia and Jordan dressed up like reindeer and wishing all of you a Happy Christmas Day, celebrating the holiday or just enjoying a nice winter Sunday.

Here are the actual reindeer, ok, they’re not really reindeer, they are just regular deer, but it was still cool to see them in our yard.




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more rooms for living

by Juliemara

It’s been a while since I’ve update the blog on our home other than the babies room, it IS the most fun room, we know. But in a life we lived not that long ago, before babies were the center of everything, we, like most adults, were really excited about planning our own brand new kitchen and bathrooms!

The last pictures you saw of the bathrooms were these

Master bath

and now it looks like this,

we are planning to do glass doors at some point.

And the Hall bathroom, which will also be the girls bathroom, looked like this…

And now it’s all nice and shiny,

And with a few final touches

Everything is is just right

Ok the light still needs centering, but what fun would it be if everything was really just perfect

And a little something added by Grandaddy to make sure that little girls don’t get their fingers mashed when big boys don’t put the seat down.

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babies room

by Juliemara

These little ladies are going to have one lovely room if you ask either my husband or I. We can’t walk past the room without stopping to take a peak, just to see how cute it’s becoming. Sorry for the horn tooting but we just love the room and can’t wait to fill it with pretty babies in pink.

Here’s what it was, and the progression to the present follows.

remember the really boring closet

now it’s more fun

then we put together the cribs, ok my husband did most of the work, But I did read the instructions to him.

At this stage, most people get to say “good job” lets go celebrate! Not in our house…nope I said “half way there!”

good job Baby!

Did you happen to see that pretty little grey and white thing in the corner of that picture before. This one?

That, my friends, is my craigs list redo.

I found this…

And with some professional help, turned it into this.

look familiar? remember this picture?

hehehe, it’s getting there.

and I love it. More to come soon!

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it’s slow, but it’s progress

by Juliemara

First, I just want to say that my husband is amazing, he is taking great care of me and doing everything in his super human power to get our house “Done” (quotation explanation a little later). Now, remember this post? That was 21 days ago, I laugh at myself as I think about how I told you that the “major” things would be done next week. OK, so that deadline came and went, but each week things here and there get “worked on” and I do have a lot of faith that one day we will have a house that looks and feels put together and lived in all at the same time.

Originally this renovation was suppose to be “DONE” when we moved in (july fourth weeknd), since nothing was working at that point we spent one week at my sisters house while she and her husband were traveling and another two, oh wait, we extened it to three days at the staybrige (which was actually kinda great, with the whole maid service thing). When we did move in, as you can see from the above post things were hardly “done”. So each day I was told, by my wonderful husband, that today ______ (fill in the blank) would be done, and each day it maybe gets worked on, but not much is really done. I actually don’t like the word, I believe a home should grow with your family as much as possible, so when you are done, what it means is that it’s time to move : )

so, as annoying as it was to not have a kitchen to cook in for several weeks, I must say I have enjoyed delicious home cooked meals for the past three night, courtsy of that great guy I married. And As much as I hated brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink day after day, I am really happy with how the hall bathroom is shaping up.

Here are a few pics to show what Has been done,


















and now

and, from this

















to this, in case you were curious, it’s super comfy.


and from this

to this (for several weeks)


to a fully functional lou!

it still needs some finishing touches, but It’s usable!


and remember this lovely old schoolness in our room

gone and replaced with something I like much more

ok, here’s where that pesky word comes in. See this, to my sweet husband who really tries to make me as happy as possible, is “Done” except it’s obvious that it is not, for starters, the sink doesn’t work, and there is all this construction junk where I am suppose to clean my face and teeth.

And there is still no mirror and that light, oh, that light, it has to go ASAP. It’s really not what I want to look at first thing in the morning, it reminds me of the lights in Hollister ( I use to work there). More to come on this project.

And a quick peak into the babies to be room

It still needs longer candles, bulbs and shades, but I already love it.

And I got this rug, what do you think?

PS my bump is the size of a huge watermelon and feel and looks like one with the stripe that has developed, LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Some things I will miss

by Juliemara

One of the things that I have always loved doing is roaming around antique malls and fairs and looking at the stuff that people have from the past. I have purchased a thing or two here and there but I am by no means a collector.  I just love the design of household items from the 20’s. 30’s, 40’s 50’s 60’s and 70’s. I thinks it makes for a really interesting environment when the new and old are mixed up around you. Last weekend I took some time for myself and went to one of my favorite Antique malls near Atlanta. There are so many around the south and hopefully one day I’ll be able to share this passion with two young ladies, but I imagine that will be some time from now. I don’t think any of these stores would appreciate a double wide trying to maneuver through the tiny isles and hidden nooks and crannies.

Part of me hates that I do it to myself, going to these stores and seeing all these interesting pieces that I know, given the time and research, I could make them come alive again. But Thanks to that great show on TLC “hoarders” I refrain from buying much of anything and I am happy just to see whats there and dream about it later.

One of the items in general that I am obsessed with are chairs, doesn’t matter what kind or for what use, I just love chairs.

I found these bentwood dinning chairs, but they were a bit wobbly and I would have no idea how to fix them,

there were four of them.

Wouldn’t they have been a lovely addition to our home with a little makeover.

and then there was this wood chair, with the great carved detail.

I would paint it and probably add a cushion.

I actually have two chairs that a church was going to throw away, so I got them for free.

And as soon as I get around to painting and reupholstering them, I’ll show you how it turned out.

Look for that in late 2012 sometime ; ).

I also found these adorable vintage kid sized folding chairs, I think I may actually get these if they are still there when I go back.

Another chair that I am currently obsessing over is this Eames reproduction in kids size, I want two, obviously.

Ok enough with my chair sickness, on to glass wear.

I love glass! Colored glass, vintage glass, etched glass, and of course glass that looks like fancy crystal. I also love anything for the kitchen that is colorful.

Some of you may be wondering why I choose all white dishes to register for when we got married. Easy! I could never pick a favorite color (although blue and green tend to usually win me over).

Mixing it up is easy when you have white dishes, I can use yellow salad plates or blue cups or pink utensils and the table will always look fun and put together.

Then I found these old suitcases. I actually remember a few times when I was young having to actually carry a suitcase.

Now these relics are much better served as makeshift coffee tables or bedside table, ooh, imagine that n a guest room, get it travel theme.

And last I found these while I was writing this post, click the picture to get the recipe. I’m going to make some in my new kitchen, some time very soon. Don’t worry the almost finished house pics are coming.

Have a happy Hump day!

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Just the beginning

by Juliemara

All week I’ve been trying to find the time to post the new pics of our house. And when you ask you shall receive, my flight to my hometown for the weekend for one last visit aline is Delayed! By 45 minutes, so far.

So in the mean time, I am happy to say, we live in our new house! Sort of, it depends on your definition of live in. If live in means you sleep there, then yes, we live there. But I your definition of live in I more like the place where you come home to after a long day of work to relax, unwind, make dinner for or with the ones you love then we are not quite there, but we will get there. And all the hard work and personal touches will make it the best home for us.

Since our Internet I not yet functioning I had to take the photos with my phone in order to be able to post them. So I apologize for the quality. But here are a few highlights of how we are roughing it for a few more days.






All the major parts should be complete by next weekend, then I get to really get started on setting up the babies room and all my DIY projects, like curtains and wall art!

Have a great weekend!

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Things are coming along…

by Juliemara

First, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! to my amazing husband. I love you and it has been a wonderful year and I am excited for a thousand more!

Things are coming along and beginning to take shape out in East Cobb. Our original move in date of July 4th weekend had to get pushed back a week or two because, who does a gut renovation of three bathrooms, a kitchen and a family room,  AND paints an entire house in 30days, apparently nobody (except Ty Pennington and his crew of two thousand), so mid July it is. I’m ok with that, because it means that my sweet husband, who is working so hard to make this house a home for us, will take a few days off to relax with our family at the lake for the holiday weekend, instead of moving boxes! YEAH! I’m happy and I know he will enjoy the relaxation.

Here’s how far we have come.

(Side note – towards the bottom of the post all the captions are messed up from their pictures, it’s a funny wordpress thing that I don’t know how to fix, but you’ll get the point)

Family room – remember this big mess

Here it is now, the cabinet doors are at the cabinet doctor getting a facelift.

The floor where we removed the fire place is almost finished.

Remember that hole in the back of the house

It has a filling now

Then there was that lovely mustard yellow dinning room that the tenants left for us

and what we have now

The Hall Bathroom went through a rough patch,

but things are looking up and emeraldy.

The girls room was blue, now that just wouldn’t do

here it is now,

but not for long, we are still going for this look, thanks Haute Mama

Here is their closet now

and here are my plans for it

Then there was our room

now here’s our room, just primer and a lot of mess

we tried out some different colors, which do you think is the best?

and our bathroom before

and after… in progress


Happy Monday!

The hall was is definitely better now than it was in it’s mustard yellow day

and yet somehow, some way all these things will be magically completed by mid July. I think it’s amazing. But for now, when I go to the house I just get so excited at the thought of sitting outside n our backyard or fron and laying on a blanket with my family staring up at these beautiful trees and watching the cloud go by.

Happy Monday!

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