How to Paint a Brick Paver Patio – DIY

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Continuing on the side of house……

I had to decide what to do with this extra side patio that’s off my office. As you can see, there isn’t much to it. Patterned brick pavers that are about 14″ x 14″. Very HO-HUM. This part of the house needed some color badly! I didn’t want to rely on plants to do this because I still haven’t quite figured out what grows best there.

side patio with walkway

So, I busted out big color! I caution you, this next picture is not for those that enjoy tame, monotone looks. But, I think it’s AWESOME!

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DIY – Stenciled Curtains


Let’s face it, curtains are a great way to warm up a room, but OMG they can be expensive. (I know cuz I used to sell them!)  When I tackled decorating the office last week,  I knew I wanted “nice” curtains that looked expensive but weren’t.  DIY time!  Fabric paint, plain white curtains, and presto!

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Flagstone Walkway with decomposed granite – DIY

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The backyard transformation continues!  The side of the house has a walkway that had great flagstone steps but they were surrounded with small white stones.  I hated these stones from the first.  Not that they are that bad really, but it wasn’t screaming keep me! Keep ME!  This is the before shot.side walkway

One curvy walkway. (I like straight lines, I’m funny like that) Tons of small white stones that do nothing to show off the flagstones.  This is admittedly an older shot.  My camera skills are still improving folks, so the vegetation is a wee bit different in the AFTER!DSCN1703

Check out the difference!  One, you can actually see the flagstones.  Get credit for quality in your yard where you can!  I opened the path up into the backyard to tie the two spaces together.  The curvy lines are gone!

Want to see how I did it?  Keep reading! Continue Reading »

Take the Tour of my Backyard…the home of The Factory

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The hubby and I bought our first house last August, and while we loved the interior — the backyard had something to be desired.  One piece of advice that we took to heart when we bought the house was to enhance the space that we would use the most first.  Coming from a gal that always had to move within three months of adding a pool or landscaping her yard, we knew we shouldn’t wait to make the backyard great.   Check out the Before and Afters!

DIY – Pallet Bookshelf

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With all of the landscaping I’ve been doing in the backyard, I had a surplus of wooden pallets.  So, I did what any enterprising lady would do and turned to google.   I found this project online and thought it would work great in the “Garden room” (which is really a guest bedroom, but there isn’t a bed, and I grow all my seedlings in it). This took me about two days (10 hours) to make.  The hardest part was ripping off all the back pieces of the pallet.  Adding the shelving was super easy.  Now I’ve got a great bookshelf/magazine rack that displays all of my gardening books.

Pallet Bookshelf

Pallet Bookshelf

Dinner Time – March 2nd

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Wine - Rule - Cabernet, Napa Valley 2009

Wine – Rule – Cabernet, Napa Valley 2009

Osso Buco

Osso Buco

Okay, so this recipe isn’t one I just made up (come on, I’m not that good, yet).  It came from Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Slow cooking.  IT WAS DELICIOUS.   A little bit of pre – cooking, 6 hours in the slow cooker and presto – Great Veal.  The risotto only took about 30 minutes and was a great compliment to the meat.   We enjoyed a great wine (of course) with dinner.  We chose Rule – a Napa Valley Cab from 2009 that worked really well.


4 veal shanks (Bone in – 2in thick)
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c white wine
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 1/2 c crushed tomato
1 c chicken broth
2 tps fresh oregano
2 tps fresh thyme

Season the shanks with salt and pepper and brown the meat on all sides in a large frying pan with the olive oil over med-high heat. Remove meat from the pan.

Add the onion and garlic into the pan and saute until tender. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and scrape up all the browned pieces from the meat. Add carrot, celery, tomato, broth, oregano and thyme and bring it to a boil.

Get out the slow cooker.

Add the meat and pour the veggie broth mix over the shanks and cook on low for six hours.