Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Retaining Walls: Railings and Stonework

Heyyyyy you guysssss...

We're back. We're back for a quick update. I know, I know, we were supposed to share the basement and home bar update months ago. But, not today. Someday.
We've been working on a little DIY project lately and it really should be documented. Well, maybe I should say, we've asked my dad to do another DIY project for us.

If we back up a little and look at photos from the build in 2012, we started with two pretty unsafe and very bland retaining walls.

I mean, they did the job. They kept the dirt mud where it needed to be. They were fine.

They were fine for a few years. Then we went and had a baby in 2015. Then that baby became a toddler and started walking, then running. Really, he runs all over.  Also he climbs, climbs everything. So, the time came to make the retaining walls a bit safer. We needed custom railings out back asap.

Luckily for us, my dad retired this year and has a bit of extra time on his hands. Bonus: he's a retired Ironworker. Steel railings sounded sturdy and safe.

Adam, my dad and I discussed what we wanted the railings to look like. Mostly they talked about it and measured. I showed them a dozen Pinterest photos. But still, we discussed.

Then they poured a concrete cap on the top of each retaining wall. They also installed steel plates where the welded posts would be secured.
Then my dad got to work. Welding away the steel to create the railings. He welded two railings. One approximately 16 feet, the other 20 feet.

After he finished, he set the railings, then welded the spindles. Adam was his trusty assistant.
Last, they painted them black with black metal paint. 


Finito. Or so we thought.

About that time we mentioned that someday we would like the retaining walls stoned. If you are new here, my dad did all the stonework on our house. The exterior has about 350 square feet of custom stonework.  Our two-story fireplace is in the heart of our home. He did that too. We love it all, and it's a wonderful feature of our home. It's extra special because my dad did it himself.

Well, back to those two retaining walls...
Next thing you know we are ordering the stone and my dad is back with his tools. I told you he's retired now.

The stone is from the same quarry as what we used when we built. It's a cedar web-wall. We use a 2 inch cut natural stone. My dad picks and chooses his stones, and cuts many of them to create the web-wall. He uses his own mix of mortar. 

He's been doing this for most of the summer, but not every day. He'll come down and stay with us a few days here and there. A fishing trip and a Mexican vacation in between, and then he's back. He even had a helper some days! In matching overall bibs... all the heart eyes right here.

Ben really loves helping his Pa when he's visiting. He's not too upset about the giant pile of sand in our backyard at the moment either. (The sand is needed to make the mortar mix).

I have to say, our patio furniture looked even better when the wall was only 1/3 of the way done!

Getting closer...

And then just last week. It was done.

It looks even better than we imagined.

This was last week, and he's already been back to start the second wall. Soon we'll be having a patio party! We'll report back soon. Probably.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas ...and more

From our family to yours, we hope you have a holly jolly Christmas!

Although we don't get to share as much as we used to, we didn't forget about our readers. We have project updates coming up in the new year! You want to see how that basement finish went right?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ho Ho Holiday Cards with {Minted}

Do you send out Christmas or other holiday wishes to friends and family?  I enjoy designing the card every year. I always create a few different designs then let Adam choose his favorite. There are 100 places to make your holiday cards, but I always go back to Minted.
I choose to use Minted because they feature art from all over the world for their beautiful designs. Minted is the marketplace for independent artists, from around the globe. Their designs are not only gorgeous and unique, but their products are the highest quality.

This year, we took advantage of their free address book concierge. How beautiful are the fronts of our envelopes! This is a service Minted is offering at no charge for a limited time. Send your addresses in any format and Minted makes the hard part easy! You will thank yourself next year too, no searching for that address list!

There is still time to order beautiful cards for the holidays. Christmas Cards, New Year's Cards, and even special Minted gifts from Minted Art & Minted Home can still be ordered in time for Christmas.

Get cards with free rush shipping and 15% off with Minted promo codes: SHIPNOW and WINTER16 

Your cards will arrive by 12/20 if you use the free concierge service, you are still a step ahead and your friends and family will get their cards before Santa arrives!

Minted is known for its high-quality paper and printing. Minted’s Signature paper is thick and luxurious with a creamy cotton texture, and has been optimized for photo printing. You can also choose 100% recycled paper, Pearlescent paper which adds a subtle shimmer, DoubleThick paper or even TripleThick paper. Minted also offers postcards, ornament cards and 8 unique die-cut shapes.  A variety of backer options allow you to add additional photos, text, and customization options to your holiday card.

I was compensated for my time for this post but as usual all opinions are my own.

Monday, September 5, 2016

We've been Featured: Effingham Life Magazine

Exciting news! We've been featured in a local magazine. Our story, and photos of a few of our favorite projects and flea market finds, have been included in magazine Effingham Life.

We did the photos and story earlier this year for their Spring publication but it didn't make the cut. We quickly put it in the back of our minds thinking it was buried. We were all surprised this week when friends and co-workers were calling and messaging us that we were cover models! Yep, we even made the cover!

You can see the full article here: Effingham Daily News Life 2016

Many thanks to the great  husband and wife team Tony Huffman & Danaille Huffman Photography for making us look good in photos and on paper!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

DIY A-Frame Kids Tent ($25)

Summer is almost over. Which means blogging break is over. We typically take a blog break in the summertime to spend the longer days outside. I know what you are thinking... I promised the basement reveal months ago. It’s coming. Soon. But not today. 

Today I’m sharing a simple DIY play tent that can be made during nap time. Really…. We did this during nap time. It was the easiest project we’ve ever done.

Photo Credit Danaille Huffman Photography
Those tepees are so popular right now and obviously it’s because they are gosh darn cute, aren’t they? I see them all over Instagram and blogs.  They seem to be a staple in every nursery. Check out this adorable gold and white striped tepee Hudson & Co. used in their gender neutral nursery! I so wanted one for Benjamin. He’s now at the perfect age to get a kick out of something like this. But I couldn't convince myself to spend the cash on one, even if they did make my heart pitter-patter. 

So, as we typically do, we looked into DIY-ing our own. After doing a few minutes of brainstorming, instead of the tepee, we found inspiration from this cool explorer style tent from Land of Nod.

Explorer Playhouse
Land of Nod $199

So stinkin' cute huh?  Look at the price tag too. Yipes. Well, this would have been perfect for Ben, but we didn't build that either. I think a tepee would've been easier than that! However,  we took that as inspiration--which reminded me of the Boy Scouts, which made me think vintage Boy Scout stuff you see at flea markets...and  sometime after that...we ended up with a super simple version--a traditional A-Frame style tent. I did a bit of google-ing and found we were not the only ones building our own tents for our kiddos.
As I said earlier, this was a quick project. Even better? It was inexpensive. Total cost for supplies was about $25.
1 Drop Cloth $9
3  3/4 Dowels $9
4 1X2x48 boards $8
Stain: Minwax American Walnut was already on hand from past projects
Stitch-witch: leftover from other projects
Total: $26

This project took less than an hour total. But, having a toddler it still took us two days. Adam stained the frame while Ben and I watered the flowers one evening.  The next day, it took Adam about 10 minutes to measure, cut, and drill the holes. 

Just like that--and the frame was finished. 

During naptime, I cut the drop cloth a bit bigger than the frame, and stitch-witched loops for the dowels. It took me about a half an hour to cut and stitch-witch. It was such a fast project I'm pretty sure we both got to nap during nap time too. Seriously! I think the hardest part was putting it together with Ben and Scout chasing each other around and causing a commotion that evening.


As far as the I mentioned above we are not the only ones who have built our own kiddo tent. A quick pinterest search will give you a few dozen tutorials. We followed the HandMade Mood's tutorial.

The only difference was we used 1x2s instead of slats. She also used a lighter fabric than a drop cloth.
I imagine an old king sized sheet would be perfect too. Or if you had a coupon at Hobby Lobby or Joanne's you could use a few yards of printed fabric for some pizzazz. I like the simplicity and texture of the drop cloth. Maybe we'll stencil something on it later. 

For now, this is stationed in our basement for playtime.  Later on when Ben gets a big boy room, we’ll move it there so he can have his own reading nook. 
Bonus: the tent folds up in a snap for easy storage when we need the space in the basement family room. 

The twinkle lights were a super clearance find at Homegoods one year. I should have bought all they had.

Ben likes to bring his toys into the tent to play.

He liked it so much, we took it with us to his 18 month photo shoot.  I added a few camping themed items I had from the house. It ended up being a fun prop, and the photos turned out perfect.
Photo Credit Danaille Huffman Photography

Photo Credit Danaille Huffman Photography
Here is another shot of the basement. It's pretty easy to keep clean with all the bins for Ben's toys on the barn wood built-ins. I did make sure Adam's stinky socks were out of the frame when I took the photos. However, the plastic slide & basketball hoop are never not in the living room. Sidenote: I'm still figuring out this whole DSLR thing. The carpet is grey, taupe & brown...not purple!

More to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Spa Bathroom by PlumbTile

Our basement bathroom is finally finished. Well, mostly finished I should say. While we’re all waiting on the photographer (me) to take decent photos for blog sharing--sometimes it’s still fun to do a little design daydreaming!  

I teamed up with PlumbTile to create a fun mood board for a dreamy spa-like bath. If you’ve been around Let’s Just Build a House for a while, you know I love incorporating vintage and rustic pieces in every room of my home. The bathroom is no different! It’s easy to get carried away though with all the neat finds at flea markets and thrift stores. It’s all about balance.

Let’s start with the floors. PlumbTile's glass tile & stone  selection is top notch. It was fun browsing the beautiful glass tiles they offer. But for this mood board I had to stick with a natural stone like the limestone. I’m pretty happy with our natural stone in the master bathroom, so it’s an easy choice for this room design. I love the color too.  Oh, and how about the accent tiles below? Wouldn't that be fun to incorporate into your bathroom? They reminded me of my recent vacation to Mexico! I had to pull them into the design for some fun and warmth. We typically stick with a neutral base tone of flooring and wall color, and then pair it with crisp white as accents. It helps to give a clean and spa-like tone. Towels, white linens, and of course the lighting is important!

PlumbTile is really a one stop shop. They have what seems an endless selection of lighting . I’d choose this white and chrome 3 light fixtures over the mirror, with matching sconces throughout the room. My favorite tip is to put your bathroom lights on a dimmer. It’s easy to create perfect mood lighting for soaking in the tub.
That brings me to the tub in this design.  Dream tub. Seriously. A copper tub is truly the showstopper in this design. 

I’d certainly love this beautiful copper soaker tub paired with the marble vanity & sink combo. This brings a nice balance to our rustic items with modern and sleek.  It’s always best to combine a few modern or contemporary touches into your decorating scheme to offset the rustic themes in the room. The gorgeous hand crafted vanity is a stand-out piece. It compliments the soaking tub and rounds out the bathroom design perfectly! Just picture yourself in this room, with a glass of wine, a good book, in that big copper tub!

Do you have a bathroom renovations,  refresh, or renovation in progress or on your mind? 

sconce | vanity light | stainless towel rack | marble vanity  |  copper tub | limestone | soap dish

This post was written by me and sponsored by the I was compensated for my time, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Kids Custom Name & Clothing Labels from {Minted}

I love opening a box of fresh stationary. We ordered our birth announcements from Minted and we were so happy with the quality. When we heard about the custom name labels minted was rolling out we were excited to give them a try.

There were so many adorable designs to choose from, I had a hard time deciding what to order, so I chose a variety of kid friendly goodies. The Minted name and clothing labels are a durable way to customize your kids' clothing, bottles, food containers, toys---anything! They're dishwasher safe, laundry safe, water proof and non toxic. These could go pretty much on every item Ben owns. Well, they are doing just that.

First, I got to work on a few thank you notes we had been slacking on. The flat personalized thank you cards are oh-so-cute and customization was simple.

They were easy to customize with Ben's name, plus, I had 100s of designs and customization options to choose from.

Then the best part, using the custom name and clothing labels on EVERYTHING. I ordered a few different sizes and styles for a fun variety.

First, I labeled his new books. We don't want any other baby getting his grubby hands on these awesome Eric Carle books.

Then, I started labeling some of Ben's Clothes, I stuck to outer wear for now--since that seems to be what we lose the most. Hats, sweatshirts and jackets.

These are great  so  that his stuff doesn't get mixed up at the sitter's. I got label happy pretty quickly after the first batch still looked so nice after I a load of laundry. 

All Ben's blankies labeled-- then tested these out right away too! They are still perfectly sticky after a few loads of laundry. 

These would be GREAT in a few years when Ben goes to school. You can personalize most of the designs with room number, teacher, phone numbers...anything!

Sippy cups were next. We typically use the cheapo ones---so everyone else has these too. It took me about 2 minutes to label all the cups in the cabinet.  The photos below are AFTER I took them out of the dishwasher. Still sticky, still attached, no movement, curling, or fading.

Of course, we had to choose one of the puppy themed stickers. He looks like a cartoon version of Ben's favorite puppy toy 'Kipper' don't you think?

Thanks to Minted for providing these handy and super cute goodies for us! 

A bit about Minted:
We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent artists that people do not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted uses technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses. Minted is a design marketplace. We source creative content from a global community of independent artists, then sell the best content in the form of art, home d├ęcor, and stationery, directly to consumers. An early pioneer of crowdsourcing, Minted has held art and design challenges monthly since April 2008. Challenges are open for both submission and voting, the 'crowd' curates Minted's product selection by rating products, and Minted utilizes analytics to evaluate votes.  
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