Thrill of the Week: Literally

This week’s thrill was about as thrilling as it gets. If you follow us on Instagram, you saw that we were hard at work celebrating Mitch’s sister’s 10th birthday this weekend!Birthday Fun 004And boy, did we party in style (if the luau outfit wasn’t indication enough)… check out this water slide they rented for the day!Birthday Fun 008

Huge, huh? And I can tell you- it was even bigger in person. See that square-ish panel to the left? Here’s a picture of Kylie and one of her buddies standing next to it for some height comparison.Birthday Fun 009

It was almost three stories high! Needless to say, we had an awesome day flying down that slide and into the pool at the bottom. Here’s the cool thing- you can try it too… and right from your seat! We didn’t want you to miss out on the fun, so we shot a little video for your viewing riding pleasure… enjoy!

I know you watched that more than once… I don’t blame you. 🙂 As fun as the party was, this weekend wasn’t all birthday cake and balloons- we even managed to sneak in a bit of homey eye candy for ya too! On our way home, we stopped in Marshalls/HomeGoods because they were boasting a massive clearance sale (which I couldn’t seem to find in the store). Here are a few things that caught my eye as I wandered through the home aisles while Mitch went hunting for a belt to wear in an upcoming wedding he’s in. Obviously we couldn’t walk out with everything I saw and liked, but window shopping can be just as fun as real shopping! So let’s get to it:Green chairThis tufted, light apple green chair ($199) caught my eye because it looks so business-like from the front, but give it a spin and there’s definitely a party going in the back! I liked the surprise patterned backing, topped off with some nail head edging. So cool!

Birthday Fun 035This guy was right up my alley (teal glass? yes please.) and was on clearance for $10. This would be a unique addition to any room and could definitely transition nicely between seasons. Fill it with something tall and leafy and you’ve got an instant centerpiece. You could also fill it with sand and shells or even pine cones for more of a seasonal look… yeah, I was tempted to add him to our cart.

HomeGoods Fall

Speaking of seasons, my absolute favorite of the four is right around the corner, so you can image how my heart started racing when I turned into this aisle. As much as I love watching all the fire-y colors appear on trees, this silvery pumpkin made me double take. I forgot to check the price, but I think that’s because I was too busy trying to work out how I could DIY the same look on my own. I think a regular pumpkin, some silver spray paint, and white craft paint would get you the same vibe… this might make the “fall crafty to-do list” this year.Birthday Fun 033Ok, switch gears back to the present. These shelves were full of beachy fun, but what caught my eye was the silver (am I sensing a theme?) clam shell and the coral nautical knot/ball. I wanted to scoop the coral ball right up and give it a home in our spare bedroom. If you’re in the market for some beachy swag, the clam shell was $39 and the nautical ball was $10… send us some pictures if you end up with one of ’em and I’ll live vicariously through you and your beachy decor. 🙂

Birthday Fun 032In the pillow department, I fell hard for the silver-y (what did I tell you?!) pattern on the two above. Mitch quickly pointed out that the longer pillow looked like a bunch of Jesus fish all in a row… how cool! Both of the pillows above were $20 each. The ones pictured below ($17 a piece) caught our eye as family room possibilities. We liked the textured, almost-burlap (but softer) feel and the color was a great neutral that could go a host of different room colors and styles.

Birthday Fun 031Birthday Fun 034

Ok, this bicycle figurine was just charming. For $17, I was 90% certain that we’d be taking it home with us… that is until Mitch ruined it for me by saying that it reminded him of a certain scary movie with a certain scary clown. If you know anything about me, you know I don’t do scary movies and I can do without clowns for the most part too. So it stayed. But please, if you don’t know the movie I’m talking about, I certainly won’t ruin it for you. For pete’s sake, SOMEONE should get to enjoy the charming bike on their family room shelf.

Birthday Fun 030These capiz shell boxes came in all different shapes and sizes and The hexagon shaped ones in the upper corners were $17 and the larger ones were more (I forgot to check). I thought that one of these would be a great place to stash away remotes, TV guides, or anything else that needs a home, but isn’t super pretty to look at.

Birthday Fun 036

Last, but not least- these owls were stashed in with all of the Halloween stuff (it’s that time already?), but I thought that they could make cute shelf pieces all year round. The small, silver-y ones to the left were $8, so some of the larger ones were probably a bit more. Such an adorable way to spend eight buckaroos!

So there you have it- a birthday bash round up of all things thrilling and tempting! Oh, and you know we didn’t leave empty handed… Here’s what made it home in our cart:Birthday Fun 031Capiz Shell BoxCan’t wait to give those pillows a whirl on the couch and put that capiz box to work housing a few remotes!

Happy Monday, everyone!


Thrill of the Week: Quit Grillin’ Me!

We got a grill, yo. FINALLY! Remember way back when we were pining over our grill woes? Here’s the one we were looking for:lowes grill

Well, I’m happy to report that we waited it out and snatched ours up when Lowes ran another sale on them… but it wasn’t completely smooth sailing. As soon as I saw them go on sale again (for $159 down from $199), we booked it to our local Lowes to find that they had plenty of the grills.grillBut was set up. The sales associate assured us that most people love to take them home already-assembled, which I’m sure is true… if you don’t drive a Hyundai Sonata and a Hyundai Accent. Ain’t no way that monster was fitting in either of our cars all set up like that. The funny thing was (but not at the time)- out of all sixteen they had in stock, EVERY LAST ONE of them was assembled! Sooooo, we got back in the car (now running super late in getting on the road to go to the bay for the weekend) and drove to a different location to see if they had any still in boxes, all the while keeping an eye on a storm that was drawing closer by the minute.


Happy Day, they had some all boxed up and ready to go! We were paying for it when the heavens opened up in a downpour, so our loading experience was… well, wet. The details of this story are nothing, if not consistent. 🙂 Being our first grill ever, we were psyched to finally (a couple weeks later) get a chance to open the box and start assembling the goods.grillMitch’s dad was nice enough to come over one Saturday morning (remember watching that show, those of you who grew up in the 90’s?) and give us a hand setting everything up. And by “us”, I mean they set it up and I watched from inside in the AC and took pictures. #teamplayer

grillHappy is hardly a good enough word to describe how it feels to finally have a grill! We’re stoked!


We’ve already put it to use during a youth group cookout and dinner a few times… Mitch is thrilled with his new toy and I’m thrilled with the grilled chicken. It’s a win win.outdoor 112Oh, and as for where we keep it- a few of you mentioned the dangers of having a grill and cooking with it too close to siding (it will melt the siding!) and we took your advice to heart. In addition to not wanting to burn the house down, our grill is a bit bigger than we anticipated. Alright, it’s enormous. At least for our little patio. However, we’ve found a way to “hide” it so that you’d barely know it was there if you’re not looking…Grill 001With the cover (this is the one we got) on it, it blends right in! As much as a grill can, at least. So that’s the end of our grillscapades… any new backyard items at your house lately? We’re still holding out for that darned umbrella… but for now, here’s the updated “to-do” list:

  • Find and purchase bench See it here.
  • Purchase table with lots of potential seating See it here.
  • Find and purchase seating for at least 10-12 people  See it here and here.
  • Purchase a grill
  • Purchase an umbrella
  • Build a mini-patio under the bench See it here.
  • DIY solution for hiding the air conditioner and misc. garden supplies See it here.
  • Weed and plant new flowers in garden bed See it here.
  • Edge garden bed  See it here.
  • Weed brick patio
  • Figure out a way to better camouflage Christmas lights
  • DIY a birdhouse and hang
  •  Figure out how to plant a mini veggie/herb garden See it here.
  • Decide on plants to fill hanging baskets and empty pots
  • DIY or purchase accent pillows for seating

Only a few more to go!


Thrill of the Week: We Found a (well, another) Bench!

Remember way back when we chatted about our hopes and dreams for the backyard in this post? Well, we have officially found another piece to the “seating for at least 10 people” puzzle! Check her out:Bench

I know, I know- exciting. What’s even more exciting than the bench itself is the story behind it. So, I’ll start at the beginning. When we got our first bench, then the table, and finally four black chairs, each piece was purchased with the goal of a multi-functional backyard patio space in mind. We wanted things that could function on their own (aka. be dragged to different spots of the patio for seating here and there), but also come together to form a complete dining set. And the overall goal- to be able to seat as many bodies at one time as possible, should the occasion arrise. Our transformer table helps with that, as it has the capabilities to seat as little as 4 people…Applaro Drop Leaf TableOr as many as 10 (maybe 11 or 12 if we really squeeeeeeeze)…

Applaro Drop Leaf Table

So we figured that our goal would be to slowly accumulate seating for at least ten people around the table, that could also function as seating that could be pulled out and used elsewhere. Here is the rough sketch that we came up with to create a wish lists of sorts for the remaining pieces we’d need to reach ten:Furniture SketchThe shaded in parts represent what we already had. We pictured pulling the garden bench/loveseat up to the table on one of the long sides and sticking a black chair on each of the four sides of the removable table “wings”. That just leaves something on the other long side of the table and two somethings for each end. Enter the additional bench idea.

Applaro Bench

Although we could have gone back to Ikea and picked up an identical one to the one we already had (pictured above), we decided that something a bit more compact and a bit less cumbersome would be better suited for our space. After all, when the full table is not in use, we like to keep it all the way against the fence and ideally, we’d get a bench that could fit completely underneath the table when not being sat on. Maybe like a long piano bench or something of the sort?Bench

After striking out in a number of thrift stores, I did a quick search on the Ikea website to see if our existing Applaro set (of which we now owned two pieces) came with any benches in that style. They didApplaro bench

… but not in white. Yes, we could have gotten the natural wood bench, stripped, painted it white, and resealed it for outdoor use, but spending $60 on a brand new piece just to change it completely didn’t sit right with me. And quite frankly, the $60 price tag seemed a bit much for a bench anyway. Darn. Dead end number… oh, I’ve lost count.

Here’s where the happy ending comes in. Some time ago, my friend (we’ll call her Ally) and I were out one Saturday, hitting as many yard sales as we could find. Just as we were warming up, we rounded a bend in the road and found this:mega yard sale

An entire church parking lot FULL of yard sales! Holy treasure-hunting, batman. Yeah, Ally and I went nuts. About halfway around the circle ‘o sales, I noticed this almost-exactly-as-I-had-pictured-it bench at one woman’s stand.BenchNo price tag and after asking what she was selling it for ($6-seriously?!) and doing a bit of negotiating (down to $5- every dollar counts!), it was mine! The hunt finally comes to an end! Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Ally walked away with a pair of awesome end tables for her new (and very first!!) apartment… for a total of $5. It was a good day. And the icing on the cake? Successfully cramming two end tables and a bench (oh, and a few shirts and puzzles that we also snagged) into the back of my Hyundai Sonata. Score.

car label

Of course, the first thing I wanted to do was set it up outside with the other furniture to see how she fairs.Bench

Success! Now, it’s a bit too long to tuck underneath, but for $5 I’m not complaining. If it really gets to be an issue, we’ll just take a couple of inches off both ends to make it tuck-in-able. The other question on the table, er bench, is… color! We’re tossing around a few options (paint it white, paint it light teal/blue, etc.), but one thing is for sure- we want it to be outdoor proof so that it can live on the patio permanently. As for potential colors, stain, etc. I think we’ll hold off and let the ideas simmer for a bit before jumping to a decision. For now, we’re enjoying the extra seating we get out of having another bench around!Bench

And for the rest of our patio to-do list, well here is an updated version:

  • Find and purchase bench
  • Purchase table with lots of potential seating
  • Find and purchase seating for at least 8 more people (we already have the bench that can be pulled up to the table to seat 2) Almost there!
  • Purchase a grill
  • Purchase an umbrella
  • Build a mini-patio under the bench
  • DIY solution for hiding the air conditioner and misc. garden supplies
  • Weed and plant new flowers in garden bed
  • Edge garden bed 
  • Weed brick patio
  • Figure out a way to better camouflage Christmas lights
  • DIY a birdhouse and hang
  •  Figure out how to plant a mini veggie/herb garden
  • Decide on plants to fill hanging baskets and empty pots
  • DIY or purchase accent pillows for seating

Still a ways to go, but progress is in the air! And actually, this whole week is a week of backyard updates and reveals, so stay tuned for more of those list items we’ll get to cross off!Bench

See ya tomorrow,