April 24, 2014
by likeasaturday
2 Comments

How to Hang Patio String Lights

Happy Thursday, everyone! We’ve almost made it to the end of the week! Thursday is the day when I say to myself “you only have to wake up at this ungodly hour one more time this week…”. Good pep talk, huh? 

This is apparently backyard week around these parts. It wasn’t the plan originally, but it kinda unfolded that way. Today, I’m going to show you how I hung my beloved patio string lights. This is a great method if you don’t have a tree or some other tall object near by to string them on. We do have a big, gorgeous live oak in the back, but it’s a bit farther from the house than I wanted to string lights. I really wanted them to just surround the actual patio area. 

How to Hang Patio String LightsI also didn’t want them to be permanent {cemented into the ground}, so I came up with this patio lighting solution. I set out to create two posts for the back corners of the patio, and strung the lights between those and the house.

How to Hang Patio String LightsFor each post you will need 2 different sizes of terra cotta pots, a wooden posts {mine are cedar 1″ x 2″ x 8′}, quick dry cement, eye hooks, cable ties, potting soil and plants of choice. 

The very first thing you will need to do is to screw an eye hook into the top of the post. This is super easy and you shouldn’t even need a drill for this part.

How to Hang Patio String LightsNext, start mixing your cement in the smaller terra cotta pot per the directions on the package. This was the first time I worked with cement, and it was much less intimidating than I thought it would be. The bag….was much heavier than I thought it would be. :)

How to Hang Patio String LightsWhile the cement is still wet, place your post in the center of the pot. My directions called for first pouring in the dry concrete mix, so I stuck the post into the dry mix before pouring in the wet portion. While it is still wet, use this time to make sure the post is in straight. 

How to Hang Patio String LightsIt is a good idea to have something near by to help hold the post straight while the cement is drying. Unless you want to hold it straight for the duration of the dry time {which actually doesn’t take that long if you buy quick-dry cement}. Once everything is dry, you are going to stick the smaller pot inside the larger pot.

How to Hang Patio String LightsBefore doing that, I put a small layer of soil in the bottom so that water was still able to drain. Put the smaller pot and post in and start packing in the soil around and above it. Pack it fairly tight so it doesn’t have much room to wiggle over.

You can plant seasonal flowers or other plants around the base of the post to make it all look a bit prettier. 

How to Hang Patio String Lights

The last thing to do it string the lights! I used cable zip ties to attach the lights to the eye hooks on both the posts and the side of the house. They look nice with a slight swag, but don’t the let lights hang too low. There needs to be enough clearance for taller people to walk under them. 

How to Hang Patio String Lights

 

How to Hang Patio String Lights

 

How to Hang Patio String Lights

 

How to Hang Patio String Lights

I really am loving these lights! The one thing I wish I would have done is by thicker posts. You can tell in some of these photos that the weight of the lights bends the wood a bit. You live and learn, though. They don’t bother me too much {and the bend actually looks more dramatic in pictures for some reason}. If it does start to drive me nuts, the good thing is these are CHEAP. I can always build a thicker, sturdier post for just a few bucks. 

After all of that work in the backyard this weekend, I’m planning on taking it easy this next weekend {I’ll probably work on something small. I can’t not work on a project!}. What do you want to tackle this weekend?

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How to Hang Patio String Lights

 

April 22, 2014
by likeasaturday
4 Comments

Backyard S’more Party

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

All hard work should be rewarded with a little bit of fun, right? After many hours of labor, sweat, and dirt under my nails…I was ready to head out back and spend some quality time on the patio soaking in spring. This past weekend, we had an impromptu back yard get-together with some dear friends. It was such a wonderful time to kick back and relax, catch up with each other, and laugh {a lot}. 

Backyard S'more Party

One of our favorite backyard activities is roasting marshmallows over the fire pit for s’mores! I’m not the most outdoorsy person in the world, but given enough sugar and chocolate…I could live outside. ;) 

Backyard S'more Party

I put together a mini-s’more bar for the festivities. To make things a little more interesting and to satisfy all palates, I stocked up on a variety of chocolates. We had your basic milk and dark chocolate, but I also found some dark chocolate with sea salt and milk chocolate filled with caramel. We’re talking gourmet s’mores, here. Dee-licious!

Backyard S'more PartyI made individually wrapped “kits” by putting the needed ingredients for one s’more {2 graham crackers, 1 piece of chocolate, and 1 large marshmallow} in a small kraft paper sack and labeled by the type of chocolate. I wrapped them up instead of just placing the ingredients on plates because…bugs. Ick. No bugs landing on this chocolatey, sugary goodness! {hint: these would also make great party favors!}

Backyard S'more PartyWhile I love a good sugary treat, I can not stand messes. Especially sticky messes. Stickiness on hands, tables and door knobs makes me twitch. Since these treats are inevitably sticky and gooey, I attached and individually wrapped Wet-Nap to the back of each bag with a piece of washi tape. Everything is cuter with a bit of washi, and we were all able to enjoy our evening without any big messes to clean up. 

Backyard S'more PartyI like my marshmallows charred. :) Do you prefer yours lightly toasted, black or somewhere in the middle?

Backyard S'more Party

Backyard S'more Party

Backyard S'more Party#manhand

Backyard S'more PartyOur little s’more party was the perfect way to spend a warm Saturday  night. It was wonderful to relax a bit and laugh with friends we hadn’t seen in a while. It was all very low stress to put together. I think sometimes we worry so much about creating all of these perfect, elaborate details for our get-togethers and making sure our home is perfectly spotless before we have anyone over. Sometimes you just need to take the easy and relaxed route so you don’t miss out on meaningful time with the important people in your life.

Backyard S'more PartyNow, if you’re still needing a little instruction in the way of building your s’mores, I would suggest this clip from a fine film known as The Sandlot. It’ll teach you everything you need to know. ;)

To keep your s’more party clean and less sticky, you can use this coupon for $.55 off any Wet-Nap product {while supplies last}. I bought mine at Walmart where they were only $1.97 each, so you could get yours for just $1.42 {hello, affordable!}. 

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easy backyard s'more party.jpg

 

April 21, 2014
by likeasaturday
7 Comments

Back Yard Updates for Spring

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was wonderful! I’m in a little bit of a food fog and watching a late basketball game as I write this {Go Rockets!}, so this post will be lighter on words than usual, and heavy on photos. 

Our unusually cold winter and late spring threw me off my gardening game a bit this year. To be fair, my thumb is basically black and I am garden challenged, so I don’t have a whole lot of game to begin with. It seems like our spring is also deciding to hang around a little longer than it usually does {and you won’t hear me complaining about it!}, so motivation finally hit me. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working to freshen up our back yard for the season, and wrapped it up with a full day outside on Friday. 

Back Yard Updates for SpringI mainly focused on the patio, but the flower beds lining the back of the house got a bit of attention as well. {I didn’t really get a good picture of them, though}. I lined the beds with leftover brick that has just been sitting in the garage, planted some new hostas and knockout roses, and added some fresh mulch. They look nicer than they ever have before! The wind chime is from Hobby Lobby. 

Back Yard Updates for Spring

Back Yard Updates for SpringI gave the patio a coat of concrete paint {Behr in Blackberry Wine…I think?} and repainted the patio chairs in Apple Red {Rustoleum spray paint with the primer mixed in}. The chair cushions are from Target last year, and the pillows are from Home Depot.

Back Yard Updates for SpringMilo got a new do. 

Back Yard Updates for Spring

Back Yard Updates for SpringOne of my favorite additions is the sunshine yellow door {excuse the sad photo}. The black mesh is one of those “as seen on TV” screens. It’s not the most beautiful thing in the world but has proven to be very practical. It’s nice to be able to leave the back door open without too many bugs getting into the house {and Macy loves running in and out, of course!}.

Back Yard Updates for Spring

Back Yard Updates for Spring

Back Yard Updates for Spring

Back Yard Updates for SpringI am SO excited to finally have string lights over the patio! I’ll share more about those later on. 

Back Yard Updates for Spring

 

How did you spend your Easter weekend? Have you been doing any gardening lately?

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