Summer Home Improvement Updates

Looking back a year, did I think I would ever get excited about new appliances or home updates? Um, no. Not really. But now, with a house and baby on the way? Yep, you bet. 

If you’re a home owner (and a slight clean/organizational/type A freak like me), you’ll probably appreciate this post. If not, my apologies.

1. Patio & Fence

I like how I am nonchalantly mentioning these two projects like they’re as simple as dusting off a table or something, but these were huge, labor intensive projects.

I will say I am very fortunate to have an extremely handy husband with pretty awesome carpentry skills, brick laying skills, plumbing and electrical skills, and more. Where did he learn all of those things? I have no idea. He just knows. And he has the ambition and energy to do it for our home – which I am forever grateful for.

The Fence

Hubbs dug each of these 39 fence post holes (3 feet deep, ya’ll) BY HAND. Ouch. Why? Because we unfortunately have a lot of cable and other wires running underneath our yard. Better safe than sorry ($$$). He also hung each support board and picket by hand, and designed the little drop off in height in the center of the fence so we can still enjoy the pond view in our back yard. He did an awesome job and I am super proud of him. Now our little four-legged tyrants can run around freely and our children won’t fall into the water.

Ignore the patchy grass situation – when you do yard projects, this happens. It will grow back. 🙂

DIY Fence

fenced in backyard

The first photo shows the 6 ft fence and the second shows part of the 4ft area where we dropped it down to see the pond. There is usually a fountain on but this is early morning. 🙂

Oh, and that’s my first garden tomato on the table. I am so professional at photography.


The Patio

We knew we wanted a patio someday but we really didn’t think we could afford to have concrete poured this year with a baby on the way and a fence to build. But then Hubbs hit the jackpot at work and got a whole bunch of antique brick pavers from old Chicago roads – FO’ FREE! So, much to his dismay (laying brick sucks), he tackled this long, torturous project. I will spare you the list of steps we had to take, but it took a good few months of him working almost every weeknight and all day weekend-days on it to be complete. Bravo, Hubbs. You da man. 

I consider the outdoor space to be his man cave for now. He’s proud, and he should be.

brick paver patio

He hammered in each of the hundreds of bricks. I love the imperfections of each brick. Looks so cool.

Brick paver patio

There were plants (lilies and hostas) between each stepping stone, but the rabbits literally ate ALL OF THEM.

flag pallet

2. A New Refrigerator

When we moved into our house a little over a year ago, we were lucky that all appliances came with it. Well, we just replaced the last appliance (LOL, joke’s on us). The stove was replaced before we even moved in because the original one was from a horror movie. The dishwasher broke about two months ago. And the fridge that was in our kitchen is now in the garage. For beverage and extra storage purposes.

The old one was one of those two-skinny-side-by-side kinds. If you know what I mean. They hold almost NO food, let alone any freezer space. The ice and water makers did not work but took up a ton of space. With more than two people in a family it just wasn’t going to work. They’re just a bad design.

I plan on nursing and pumping when the baby is born and we were at a loss when thinking about where we’d store any breastmilk whatsoever. So, we thought long and hard about investing in a nice fridge and bit the bullet during the 4th of July sale at our second home – Home Depot.

This thing is the bomb. So much space. So much room to store breastmilk flat in the drawer. And we now have filtered water and ice! Wahoo. You don’t realize you miss having an ice maker until you don’t anymore, trust me. 

samsung refrigerator

3. A New Vacuum

When you’re basically 9 months pregnant and your house is primarily carpeted, lugging a giant vacuum up and down the stairs (and God forbid vacuuming those stupid stairs) is a legit nightmare. Ever worked out hard and been out of breath? Try walking up the stairs with a heavy-ish appliance with 25 extra pounds chilling on your belly, all while your lungs are crowded. Just sayin’.

Anyway, please stop what you are doing, go to Target, Sam’s Club, or and purchase this vacuum cleaner – The Shark Rocket. Then come back and we can discuss.

This is the most amazing vacuum ever. Yes, I am officially old. I am excited about a vacuum. But you need to try this out and you’ll see exactly why. I won’t even go into too much detail – read the Amazon reviews.

It only weights like 5 pounds. The stick removes and it becomes a hand vac. I was able to vacuum my furniture, stairs, hard floors, carpeted floors, and more. The canister is easy to empty and this thing picks up everything. It’s fabulous. And we have two shedaholic dogs. This is great for pet hair.

Shark Rocket

So, we’ve been busy this summer, as you can see. And those are only a few of the projects we’ve tackled. Think we’re trying to cram everything in before baby comes? YES, YES WE ARE!

FOUR MORE WEEKS TO GO. HOLY MOLY. We’re ready for you, baby girl.

And here’s a bump pic for ya.

35 weeks pregnant


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