Summer Deck Makeover

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

Today I’m sharing my Summer Deck Makeover for the Canadian Bloggers Summer Patio Tour.

Earlier this spring my poor old deck was looking a little rough, and a little barren.  Everything has to get packed up and put away for cold Canadian winters, so in spring, after the rain, it’s time to bring it all out again.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

You can see in this “Before” shot, the chairs and little bench are out, but that’s about it.  My girls had been playing with their water table, and there were some very dead pansies in some containers.  Time for some sprucing up for sure!

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

I started out with the pretty rug.  I shopped around for an inexpensive one, since in my experience, they only last one summer.  I love the subtle pattern, and the grey colour, and it’s so soft underfoot.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

Next we moved our umbrella from the back corner.  We found that when we want to sit out the sun is on the far side, and it didn’t really provide much shade where it was located.  It’s much more usable now.

The chairs we bought to mark our very first wedding anniversary(15 years and counting) -well these are actually their replacements.  We had wood Muskoka chairs originally, but over the years, and a few coats of stain, they had definitely seen better days.  Two years ago my husband convinced me to replace them with these zero maintenance ones, and they have been great, and I’ll never have to worry about restaining or decay with them again.

New for this year are the pretty cushions.  I like pink, and it hasn’t been around for a few years, so when I saw these with  a little pink, and the trendy geometric pattern,  I thought they’d be a nice addition.  They’re made for outside, so if I forget to bring them in one night, it’s no big deal.  I love the colours they bring in and how they help update some of the older pieces.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

The little pink bench is one I’ve had for years.  It’s so handy here, it can be extra seating for a party, or a serving area -great for a few summer refreshments.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a bowl of cold cherries.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

I was inspired by the colours in the cushions to add some colour to the string of lights.  I picked up an inexpensive string at the dollar store, removed the rattan balls, and spray painted them with some left over pink and aqua paint to match the cushions.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

They’re so pretty at night, and a pop of colour in the day.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

The cushions and their colours also inspired these fun geometric wooden blocks.  They’re made with some fence post off cuts.  My brother-in-law made them for me by sawing off the edges to create the geometric shapes,  I painted them to match the cushion colours, and gave them a coat of mod podge to seal them.  I love the mix of the modern geometrics and the old thrifted teapot with flowers.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

Down the stairs I added more pots of flowers.  I love using vintage containers for flowers, just be sure to add some holes in the bottom for drainage.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

And, if you look carefully at these pots, you might notice that I have fairies living in my garden.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

There’s a few pretty houses in my neighbourhood.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

And a new fairy pergola that’s very similar to our grown up version.  More details on it coming soon, but here’s a sneak peek.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

The deck is a favourite spot to sit in the evening and look out on the beautiful forest we have behind our house, and I’m so glad that I invested in a new rug and pillows, did a few DIY’s, moved the umbrella, and planted the pots.  I’m looking forward to a summer of enjoying it all.

Summer Deck Makeover: simple and pretty summer deck makeover ideas.

With a Summer Deck Makeover to enjoy, life really is a party!

Want to see some more great gardens, decks, and patios?  I’m joining some Canadian blogger friends today to give you a little tour!

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Come for a drink on Ariel’s patio – PMQ for two

Check out Laurie’s simple patio upgrades – Vin’yet Etc.

Get a peek into Tara’s backyard – Suburble

Andrea shows us how to love our suburban backyards – Personally Andrea

Tour Dannyelle’s patio updates – Life is a Party

View Becki’s summer deck – The Uncommon Law

View Meredith’s balcony patio – Coral & Mint

Relax on Joann’s funky chairs – Woman in Real Life

Scented Bleached Pinecones

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

Sometimes the simple little DIY’s are the sweetest, and this little project fits in that category.

A pinecone, all on it’s own is beautiful.  But, add some paint, or group various kinds together, or bleach some and the simple beauty it has all on it’s own is magnified.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

Here’s how to make your own Scented Bleached Pinecones

Materials:

  • Pinecones
  • Bleach
  • Large Bucket
  • Something to use as a Weight (I used a cutting board and some rocks)
  • Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Essential Oil
  • Ziplock Bag

To Make Scented Bleached Pinecones:

1.  Place your pinecones in a large bucket, and then fill with enough bleach and water to cover the pinecones.  I did about 1:1 ratio, you can go all the way up to 2:1 beach to water, or somewhere in-between.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.
2.  Put something over your pinecones to weigh them down and hold them in the bleach and water solution, since they float.  I used a cutting a board with a few rocks on top.
DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.
3.  Let sit, outside or in the garage if you’re able, for about 24 hours.  Don’t worry if they still look kind of dark and are closed up, they do that in water, when we dry them they’ll open back up and get lighter.
4.  Drain them and rinse them with water.
DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.
5.  Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and place in a 200 degree oven for a few hours until they are open again.
DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.
6.  Lastly, place them in a ziplock bag and add some essential oil -any scent you like we used apple pie.  Seal the bag and let them sit a few days to a week.  When you open them up all the bleach smell will be gone, and they will smell like your oil.
DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

I’ve used the pinecones all over the house, and grouped them with different varieties, shapes and sizes, and even a few painted ones.  I love all the texture.  Perfect for Christmas, but also great for fall and winter decorating.  And, they smell so pretty and sweet.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

I added some little screw in eye hooks to some and used them as ornaments.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

I really love how they turned out.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

So simple and so pretty.

DIY Scented Bleached Pinecones: How to make your own scented bleached pinecones.

With Scented Bleached Pinecones, life really is a party.

How To Dry Herbs

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

This fall has been so nice, and so warm (she said with fingers crossed not wanting to jinx anything) that last week there was still time to clip a few herbs from my garden.

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

I ran out of dried sage a little while ago, and realized I had better pick some and hang it up to dry for my sage and onion stuffing on Christmas day.

It’s very simple to dry your own herbs.

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

Just clip some herbs from your garden, and tie in small bundles.  While I was getting the sage, I thought I may as well dry a little thyme and oregano too, since winter is coming.

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

Once you’ve tied your bundles, just find somewhere to hang them.  It will take a few weeks for them to dry out.

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

You’ll be able to tell when the herbs are dry by touching them -they won’t be flexible anymore.

Store your dried herbs in an airtight container and enjoy them in your cooking all winter.

How To Dry Your Own Herbs -easy method anyone can do at home.

With dried herbs from your garden this winter, life really is a party.

Neutral Fall Front Porch

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

Yesterday was the first day of fall, glorious fall!  I love fall.  I love the cooler temps, the pumpkin flavoured everything, the leaves changing colour, and all the beautiful decorations.  Today I’m sharing my front porch all dressed up for fall.

I do like orange pumpkins and all the fall colours, but there’s just something about the white pumpkins, and straw, and white mums that keeps calling my name, and this year was no exception.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

I few weeks ago for my daughters Pink Paris themed birthday party, I sent my sweet husband out to buy some white and pink mums for outside.

Since they were just starting to come out, covered in buds but not really open it was tricky for him to tell the exact colour.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

We ended up with three white and one cream and two sort of peachy, pinky, white.  They aren’t pink, but they are super pretty and inspired this neutral with a little peachy pink colour scheme.  It was a happy accident, because I love it.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

To go with the mums I went searching for and actually found (a rare and wonderful event) pink pumpkins.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

I also added in some pretty white pumpkins and some straw -with a mini straw bale, and a simple straw wreath for the door that I picked up at the craft store, and tied an easy satin ribbon on.  Sometimes simple is best.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

I also, just happen to have the perfect vintage wool blanket.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

If you follow me on instagram your a good person…and you know that I was at a great antique fall the weekend before last.  I came home with a couple treasures and this blanket was one of them.  My mom came to the sale for the first time, and I might have dropped a few strategic hints that this would make a great birthday present…and that I’d be willing to hang on to it for her until the end of Nov. when she might want to wrap it up.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

I just love my little mini tower of pumpkins too.  The top one is a fake…I had that moment at the farm like you do, where you’re figuring out how much those amazing $5-10 white pumpkins are going to add up to, and you remember there’s a coupon for the craft store today and they’re on sale.  They still cost too much, but let’s call it an investment in future falls to come.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

I’m really happy with how it all turned out…now if I can just remember to keep watering the mums.

Neutral Fall Front Porch: pretty white, cream, straw, peachy-pink mums, light pink pumpkins and vintage touches make this a beautiful fall front porch.

With a pretty neutral fall front porch, life really is a party!

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