Life Love Larson: June 2014


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Laying Stepping Stones

When we first moved into our house and started tweaking/adding landscaping, we added four stepping stones to the flowerbed off the back patio. The bed was in an area of high traffic, so we knew we needed a natural walkway for people to take, instead of stepping on mulch.

This year, we decided to do the same thing in the front yard. We have lots of kids in our neighborhood, and our house seems to be the meeting place. After laying mulch for hours on end, I decided to preserve my hard work and have Steve lay some stepping stones in the natural walkways that seem to get a lot of traffic.

We purchased these stone pavers at home depot. Each one cost just under $8. I liked the natural look of these stones, they were a good price, in stock, and the size was right. We have these in the back and they have held up great.

Not only do these provide function, they do a nice job of breaking up all the black mulch. And, they give the landscaping some dimension, which I love.

Now, instead of having to walk all the way around the large flowers beds, kids and adults can use the stepping stones. What an easy fix!

These stones are thin, which make them easy to level off with paver sand and a little patience :). Thanks to my hubby for completing these kind of projects for me!

Small projects like this make me happier than they should! I love small projects that make a big impact. You can see my summer porch post here.

What are you tweaking in your yard this year??  xoxo
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fabric Covered Pinboard

I am very slowly trying to put our office space / homework station together in the 5th bedroom off the mudroom. This room used to be the guest bedroom, and several months ago we decided to turn it into an office with two desks and storage. This is one of my favorite spaces in our home. It gets bright light, and has two pretty windows that look out into the backyard. This is where I keep my computer, pay bills, blog, drink my coffee in the morning as I catch up on email and plan out our day. This is also where the kids work on art projects, color, do puzzles, and work on school work (mean mom over here who still makes them do work in the summer!).

Things are starting to come together. I still need to get a rug and some new desk lamps and do a bit more styling, but for now, I am happy with the progress. I just finished covering a pinboard that now hangs above my desk that I wanted to share with you.

For this project, I started with a pinboard that I found at a thrift store for $5. It is large, 2 ft by 3 ft in size. The board looked like it belonged in a school, with a black background and silver trim. I originally thought I would just leave the black and paint the edge white. I tried that and still didn't love it. I knew I just needed to cover it in fabric to soften it.

After doing some research and looking at many photos online, I found myself being very drawn to a neutral backdrop with lots of color on the board. I went with a cheap canvas material because I knew very little of the fabric would actually show once I filled up the board. I purchased one yard for this size and stapled the fabric to the back using my staple gun. The board and trim were all one piece, so I wrapped the entire surface of the board.

Between the $5 board and the $4 fabric, this project came in cheap and easy! I love the impact and color it brings to the space! I use shiny gold thumb tacks from Dollar Tree to pin things to the board and keep that part of it cohesive.

I will be sharing a lot more "after" photos as soon as I purchase a few more items. I have a few DIY projects to share with you too, so stay tuned!  xoxo

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Porch

This was supposed to be titled "Spring Porch", but since I am just getting around to posting and it's almost summer, let's go with that! Here's a look at what our porch/yard looks like this year. I absolutely love this time of year; working in the yard, planting, weeding, etc. It's a bonus that we have had lots of rain this spring and everything is lush and green!

I love a fern. This year, I decided to hang them from the porch, over the rockers. The South rubbed off on me when we lived there…I love a front porch so much.

I kept the same outdoor pillows from last year (Home Depot), and added some faux hydrangeas to a basket on the front door. The black pots hold fountain grass, sweet potato vine, and pink geraniums. The white ceramic stool between the rockers is from Homegoods. The rockers are from Lowe's.

I get lots of questions about our front door color. It is Valspar's "Woodlawn Juniper" in a semi-gloss finish. The hanging lantern is from Lowe's and the house numbers are from Home Depot.

We are tweaking the left side of the house with some additional landscaping that I will share when we actually get it completed. So many projects, so little time!

Hope you are all enjoying being outside as much as we are! xo

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chalkboard Summer Bucket List

A few weeks ago, the kids and I made our summer bucket list and posted it on the chalkboard wall. Even though so many people now have chalk walls, it is still one of the main things people talk about when they visit our home for the first time. One of the easiest projects, was one of the most impactful for this space!

My kids look forward to this list every year. We don't get to everything, every summer, but it makes for a nice blueprint and the kids talk about it This summer is the first summer that will feel a bit shorter because both kids will be starting elementary in mid-August. I know this summer is going to blow by and we intend to enjoy every single minute!

I painted this chalk wall about 18 months ago and it needs to be redone. I have been able to get it pretty clean with soap and water, but it just doesn't have that crisp, chalkboard look anymore. I will hopefully be able to put another coat or two on after this list comes down.

Do you have big plans for the summer? If you need us, we will be by the pool!

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Strawberry Picking & Freezing Fresh Strawberries

One of our first activities of the summer was strawberry picking! We have picked both blueberries and apples, but never strawberries, so we were excited to try something new! Drew was still in school, so Kate and I hit up the patch with some good friends. It was hot, but the picking went fast, and we ended up with about 3.5 lbs. of strawberries.

We picked very ripe strawberries and they were delicious and juicy and sweet. We ate on them for about 2 days, and I decided to go ahead and freeze the rest before they became mushy and overripe. We eat a lot of smoothies, so having lots of frozen strawberries is perfect.

I did the same thing with the strawberries as I did with our blueberries last year. Wash well, cut off the green top, dry well, spread out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, harden in freezer, seal in a freezer bag. Super easy!

Strawberries are in season and cheap right now, so even if you can't pick your own, you should try to freeze some! xo