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Friday, August 4, 2017

Picket Fence #DIYproject

My husband's initial plan was to put fence  just around the back porch but  I thought  that it would be easier and less expensive  if we include the  concrete side of our backyard since we would need less material.  The  challenge he had was that he didn't know  how to put  a fence post on a concrete.  I told him that we will figure it out and he did.  
By having a picket fence attached to the side of the garage, we can let our  dogs  without  worry that they would ran out and wander around the neighborhood.  I mean it is easier to let them out  and I am glad that he agreed with me because  our backyard looks a lot bigger for the kids and  fur babies to run around to.
 He used his  special  tool to  make  specific cuts for the posts.
 The picket fence comes in a kits also so we  put  it together when it arrived.
We used a metal post holder for the posts.  His buddy at work lent him  a drill for the  screw.  He tried doing it manually but it was taking so long to make the hole so I am grateful that his friend  lend us his tools.
Our fence project took us a long time to finish but I am really satisfied how it turned out.  Our neighbors are complimenting us for  doing it by ourselves and we even had a guy who was visiting our neighbor's house came and  asked us where we got the  fencing that we had, he said it looks beautiful.  I told my husband that we should do this for a living lol.  It was  fun doing it with my husband and our kids helped us a lot too.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

#DIYproject : Planters We Made Using Scrap Materials

Our picket  fence on the side of our house has bigger  gaps in between the panels so the rabbits can still get our from it.  I asked my husband if he can build me some planters to block the bottom of our picket fence and he said  yes.  I told him that he can just use the scrap of woods available in the garage but just like  every project that he work on, he doesn't like  making something that isn't to his standard.  He told me that he will go to the store and buy some piece of wood but I really didn't want to  spend  any cash  for it so I decided to build it myself using the wood I told him to use.  I am always into up-cycling stuff.  I mean why spend money if you can  use the  ones you have available already.  I do agree that my husband's projects always turned out great but I love  avoiding unnecessary expenses.  Anyway, here's what  I ended up creating.
My husband   helped me put some screws on the first planter.  I think it was painful for him to watch trying to use nails hahaha.  I am not comfortable  using the   electric tools yet so I was using all the manual tools that I know how to use.  So this project  took several hours to make as oppose to getting it done quickly if  I use his  wood cutting tools.  When I was growing up, I was always my Dad's right hand girl when he is fixing something in our home.  He always calls me his  personal  assistant which makes me feel special.    I just love watching and learning about carpentry.
I even used  the small  cuts of  wood to decorate the  center of the planter.  I couldn't use any nail to it so I just glued them using wood glue.  My husband think that it would have  looked cleaner without those  triangle wood I added, so I build another one without it.  Then he told me that he like the first one I made, ahhhh he makes me go bonkers sometimes.  He told me I  did a great job though so that is  a really nice compliment from a man who is always a hard  critic.
I drive my husband  crazy sometimes when I want us to do project because I don't like  waiting.  I  would  start working on it  until he gets on board.  As a former  Navy guy, my husband always  want to  do things by the book whereas I do things very differently.  He does a lot of planning and sketching, I just work on whatever  pops in the small nugget of mine.  Most of the time  my idea works but  sometimes it fails, it doesn't  discourage  me because it's the failure that I  make that I learned a lot.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fence is Done, YAY! #DIYproject

Our fence project is finally done, at last after two months of working on it!     Oh let me tell you how relieved I am now that this big project is done. We ordered the panel kits in April and it did not get delivered until the first week of May.  It took   almost an hour to assemble the very first panel, the first is always the  most difficult but as the time goes on, it got easier and  we assembled it   a bit faster.
We decided to buy the kits  although we knew that it would take us an extra time to  do it.  There is no design that we like on the  pre-assembled ones.  At first, my husband  got frustrated but he was okay after we got done with the initial shock lol.
There are many pieces that comes in a kit so it takes a while to put it together.
The kids had their summer job working for us staining the panels after we assembled all of it.  He did  a really good job.  I love including  our children in doing projects like this because it teaches them to be a team player.  They might not realize it but it is a good  lesson for them  in real life when they get older.
I think if we dedicated time just to do  this project all day long, the project would have last  for a week but since we  could only work on it  full days on Saturdays and  a couple of hours  during the weekdays, it took us almost two months.  
There's no instruction how to attach this kind of panels to a post so we figured it out as we go.  On regular fence panels (see  the fence we put at our old home here), you attach the panels at the back of the posts but on this specific kind of panels, we  have to attach it on the side of the posts so  every  holes that we dig  has to be precised in measurement.
We were kind of worried but  at the same time finding humor  when the top of our street burst  in flood.  All the water ran to our yard and flooded our new fence that  wasn't even finish.  My husband said, now is the true testament  to test the panels if the stain we put would protect the wood from water, and it held up pretty good so it was a relief.
I am so glad that  the fence is up already because our dogs can stay in our own backyard.  They used to love running around our neighbor's yard and I feel awful because they feel  terrorized by our pets.  Granted that  our dogs don't bite but for them it  was scary.
Anyway, as soon as the fence was almost done, I did not waste time  and did some gardening around the fence.
We had to order the  hinges and other hardware online because we couldn't find something that my husband like on our local  stores.  Our order  took a week before  it arrive so it made the timeline of pour  project a lot longer.
The empty  dishwasher detergent bucket was  a great tool to use  for the stain.
We had to  buy additional wood panels  to put on the side of the doors.
We couldn't find a matching panels for the  side of the  garage so we decided to use this picket  fencing.  These are made of cedar wood also so  after  staining them, it kind of looks similar to the  other side of the fence.
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The bunnies can  slide in between the panels so I put plants  in front of  it to serve as a barricade.  I made two planters for this specific sports but that would be another post next time.

I also chronicled our project via Instagram so it serves as our timeline.  Now I can breath and relax before  school start again.  




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Coming up are some projects that we did in the yard.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Magnolia Tree We Planted for Rylie's 12th Birthday

When we  moved out from our first home, it was  bittersweet.  because  we made a lot of great memories from that home.  EJ is still having a hard time accepting the fact that we sold our first home.  He was  very attached to the  house where he  grew up and lived in for 9 years of his life.  
Another thing that we will always remember in our Park Avenue home  was the cherry tree that we planted when Rylie was 2 years old, she helped us plant it in the front lawn.  So to recreate those memories, we planted a Magnolia tree on her 12th birthday.  
 Planting a tree is not  a typical  thing to do on birthdays but I thought it would be memorable and symbolic to do that.  This tree would help  shield us from the business  part of our area.  Right now, the only thing that separate our home to the  business area is a fence which is  starting to fall apart.
 I can't wait to see this tree grow and  see  it's beautiful bloom in the Spring.  It would take probably a couple of years before this blooms, we will see.
 We planted  pines last year with the same reason, shielding our home to the business area.  Hopefully, the tree and the pines will grow  quickly and  give us shade and barrier from the  other side of our property.
 I wrote the message  on a piece of wood and  stained it.
 Right now, the tree is as almost as tall as the kids so we will see the growth each year.
 Even Bolt was very enthusiastic in helping out with the planting.
 You can learn more about the Magnolia tree here.
I love how Magnolia tree looks like when it blooms during Spring time.  I can't wait to see ours bloom in  few more years.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

How to Create a Family-Friendly Garden

During the summer months, there is nothing better than getting out in your garden to spend some time together as a family. And you will get even more enjoyment out of your outdoor space if you make it as family friendly as possible. It is very easy for everything to get taken over by the kids, but if you separate out the different areas, you can create a space that is great for everyone. Of course, what constitutes a family-friendly garden really varies from person to person, but here are a few general tips that will get you started.

Divide Your Garden into Zones

To start off with, you should make a plan of how you are going to divide up your garden. Check out some advice here http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/outdoors/dividing-outdoor-areas-by-function.  So, you may have an area where your kids’ play equipment is kept and a separate section where you have a flowerbed or vegetable patch. You may also want to create an area for entertaining where you put the chairs, table and barbecue. Ultimately, you want to have different areas depending on the various functions of your garden. Of course, it is nice for them all to overlap, but you may decide that there are some sections that are out of bounds for the kids. If you are a keen gardener, you don’t want all your hard work to end up getting trampled on! Depending on how old your kids are, you may want to put their equipment in view of the house so you can keep an eye on them on their own. However, if they are a little older, you may want to give them an area that is more shielded.
Choose Some Equipment for the Kids



One of the most exciting aspects of the garden for your kids is the equipment you choose for them. At the cheaper end of the scale are the bright and bold plastic items that you can pick up from various places. A swing set is high up on the list for many kids, so take a look at the stylish metal ones that are available at https://backyardville.com/flexible-flyer-metal-swing-sets/. Another great option that is fun for kids of all ages is a trampoline, and you may also find yourself enjoying it too! If you want to encourage them to try something a little more sporty, you could go for something like a badminton net or table tennis table. If you are particularly handy and good with your DIY tasks, another option is to make some play equipment yourself, though you need to make sure that everything is entirely safe for use.

Make Sure the Garden is Safe

You will find it much more difficult to get the maximum enjoyment out of your garden if you are constantly worried about the kids. Ultimately, it all depends on the age of your kids and also how much of a sense of personal safety that they have. First of all, be careful with any water features that you have in your garden. If you have a pond already, you may need to put some grids across so toddlers can’t fall in. A good way to help your kids avoid getting hurt when they fall over is to make sure that your lawn is well-kept so that it softens their fall. Watch out for plants that could cause them harm like nettles or brambles and any others that may cause some sort of skin reaction.
Encourage Wildlife into Your Garden





A great way to encourage enjoy the garden as a family is to attract different types of wildlife into the area. So, you could start by putting up some nesting boxes containing different types of seed to encourage birds to breed. You are also more likely to get them into your garden by putting up a birdbath so they have a water source to drink and wash. Planting trees and hedges is another good way to do this as they allow all types of wildlife to seek shelter in them including birds, squirrels and hedgehogs. We already talked about making sure that your pond is safe, but if you have one of these, you can keep fish in there as well as attracting all kinds of frogs and insects.

Do Some Gardening as a Family

There is nothing like getting together as a family to do some gardening together. Start off with something simple where you start seeing results quickly such as sunflowers, poppies and marigolds. A great way to generate some enthusiasm about gardening is by growing some vegetables. Not only do you get to see the results, you get to eat them as well and things always taste better when you have grown them yourself! With so much advice available online, there is plenty of information out there to help you get started.

Sprinklers, Water Pistols and Slides


When the weather starts getting warm, it is a great idea to have a water fight with the family. Sprinklers are a fantastic way to get wet while also making sure that the whole garden is well watered! And many people also set up their own DIY water slides using some plastic sheets. Otherwise, a classic water pistol fight is something that people of all ages can enjoy.

Don’t Worry About Trying to Make Everything Perfect

The whole point of having your garden is to give you a space that you can enjoy. If you have too many rules and regulations, it will be difficult for you to get the maximum fun out of your outdoor space. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take pride in your garden and have everything looking great, but just remember that you don’t want perfectionism to get in the way of your fun.   


These are just a few ways that you can create a fantastic family-friendly garden this summer. All you have to do then is enjoy the weather as long as it lasts and get outdoors as much as possible!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hot Weather, Fence Project, and a New Tower Fan

The weather is getting hotter each day although we had a  couple of days of rain but I thought it was a needed  shower for the plants before the  summer officially begins.   We have  5 more days  of Spring and  summer  will be here.  My kids have been in the  pool   for few times with their Dad and during those times, the  temperature is up to 90+ degrees.  
Between my husband's busy schedule at work, we managed to  work on our fence project  every now and then when he isn't too tired and during the weekends.  I feel bad for him but  so grateful that he  just keep on doing what he has to for his family.  Right now, our garage is a mess.  All of our fencing materials are stored there.  We started this project late in May.
We ordered the  panels  online and  assembled it  inside our garage.  The first panel took a long time as we were still figuring out how to  put it together but  it got easier as we  work on it over and over again.
We hired our two kiddos who are off from school already to stain the assembled panels and they were excited  to earn money on  their school break.  We have to keep these young fellas  busy.   

We don't have an AC  in the garage so it is  scorching hot when the temperature is above 90 degrees.  For me, I can tolerate it as  I am used to it growing up but not them.  I decided to assemble the  adjustable oscillating tower fan that Ozeri sent me for review.  We  were using a big fan there but  that one is steady and it only hit the panels which is good as it  dry it out quick.  
I thought we could use this in there while we work but  I read the instructions and it said not to use outdoors depending on the kind of  outlet you have so I did not bother plugging it there just to be safe.  
Anyway, this tower fan is very easy to put together.  I normally leave assembly job to my husband but this one I can do just fine.  The only  hard part  of this is the base as you have to  align it well to  for the other part to fit in there.  
You don't even need a tool  to do this.  I assembled it without any  screwdriver.  When you are attaching this  extension part, make sure that  the  wire  is inside it.
I love that they  also provide you with the batteries for the remote.  The remote is pretty cute too, my daughter called it a stub knob.
You don't have to  worry about  the remote being misplaced as you can store it on top of the fan.  There is a cover to the top too so   dust won't be able to  get it.
At the bottom, the wire is also  snugged in there  safely with the outlet they added onto it.  So that's about it, the Assembly is very easy and what I love about this fan is that it runs quietly unlike other fans out there.  You can get this via Amazon and it's   a great time to buy it now while it is on sale.  It is regularly priced at $129.95 but it is on 51% off sale so you will only pay $64.24 with free shipping. 
I put the tower fan at the  dining area so we could use it when we are hanging out in the dining  area.  We bought  a portable AC that cools down the  first floor but we don't turn it on  when it is not too hot so  having the fan there is great.  I have to admit, I miss having the central AC  at our old house but it is what it is, we have to sacrificed that to have a bigger house.  
Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the product/s mentioned  to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

About Me

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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