Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patio Paintjob

Check out what our concrete patio looked like since moving in 2 and 1/2 years ago:

 You need a close-up of all that chipped-up finish? No prob!

Ugh. It had been driving me BONKERS! Mike and I agreed it was high time we did something about it - we needed beautify that baby.

We love the idea of covering up the concrete patio with cobblestone-like pavers (Lowe's has a great tutorial for it on their Creative Ideas site), but we couldn't go with that option right now for 2 reasons: A- I can't do all that heavy lifting in my pregnant state, and B- even if we DIY'd the labor, the supply costs are out of our budget right now.

Oh but how pretty would this be....sigh

Concrete Cover-Up

Eventually, I still think that's in our long-term plans for this space, but for now the cheapest (and quickest!) option was simply painting the existing concrete.

We researched what Lowe's had to offer in their outdoor paint options and liked these two products from Valspar:

We first considered the Skid-not version (which has a textured finish) as opposed to the smooth finish of the satin Porch & Floor paint. BUT we soon changed our minds and decided on the smoother Porch & Floor paint when we recalled what a dirt debacle the fireplace tiles were afer painting that a textured finish.

So we bought a gallon of that in a color called Elkhorn Cactus (crazy name, but nice earthtone color), moved our furniture off the patio, and started cutting in around the perimeter.

Oh, and I should mention that prior to all this we prepped the surface by power washing the patio, which removed all the old chipping and flaking paint.

After the cutting in came the fun part. This is Mike's favorite way to paint - easy rolling:

The first coat went on great.

And it was already looking soooooo much better.

Here it is after the second coat was drying:


We still need to paint the vertical side of the step up there, but grass on either side of it should hide the exposed concrete (we're trying to get some to grow there now).

Here are two more finished shots from different angles (I tied up the burlap curtains so they wouldn't be in the way):


And compare that porch photo above with this one from 2 summers ago (before we took down the walls):

Yay for open porches! :)

So once more, here's a side-by-side before and after the painting:

After letting the paint dry and cure for just over 24 hours we moved our DIY patio table and other furniture back onto the porch. We're spending more time sitting on it now (watching Winston run around like a crazy dog) and enjoying it very much!  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Maternity Pics

I'm 34 weeks pregnant now - only 6 more weeks to go! :) I'm DYING to meet the little man who's about to change our life!

Since reading up on all things baby over the past 8 months, I've learned that maternity shoots have come into popularity over the last decade. I was thinking about taking some maternity photos myself, but you know, without all the awkward and inappropriately nekked poses we've all seen and been turned off by, haha. Nobody needs to see that ;)

So when I asked our good friend Kelcey if she'd be up for snapping a few photos for us, she kindly agreed. I'm so thankful she did too - they turned out better than I could have wished! And I'm so happy to have them to look back on years from now.

We took them outside on a wonderfully warm and sunny day in March, around our backyard and the park behind our house. It was perfect. I love so many of them! But there are just too many to fit in this post, so here are a few of my absolute favorites...warning, there's still a bunch! :)

Even Winston cooperated for 2 sweet moments :)

Of course we had to be a little silly too. Our son needs to know how goofy his rents are :)



And I had fun with some cool photo editing on this pic. I used a heart bokeh effect so it looks kinda pixelated:

And last outfit change, haha :)

This next pic has extra sentimental value - this arbor in our backyard is the one we were married under coming up on 3 years ago :) 


I can't thank Kelcey enough. I've tried to, but I don't think there are the right words to express how much the gift of these photos means to us. I'll cherish it when my son turns one, when he's learning to drive, when he graduates high school, and when he leaves home and starts a family of his own...I'll cherish these pictures forever :) 
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