Monday, August 13, 2012

DIY Backyard Landscaping: Jacuzzi Time!

Trent and I are affectionately referred to as scroungers by our family. At least I hope it is affectionately.  Recently we were searching the free section on Craigslist for landscaping supplies
 (a backyard transformation isn't cheap people!) and came across this beauty.

I seven person, fully functioning hot tub in great condition. It was on a rental property and with the current tenants moving out, the owner wanted the tub gone so he could redo the patio. Nice! 

It has been a dream of Trent's for a long time to have a hot tub. What better a price than free?
With a lot of muscular help from the contractor and his crew working on the property we loaded it up onto a flat bed trailer and towed it on home.

Once home, we ran into a small snag. It was a weekday. No one was home. And we didn't have the muscle to get it into the back. Did I mention this thing weighs 1,000 lbs? So in our driveway it sat for a few days. I'm sure our neighbors just looooved us.

Finally, using some ingenuity, Trent strapped two furniture dollies to the bottom of it and with just four of us we hoisted that bad boy up into the air.

The hubbs and our good friend Robert striking a celebratory pose.
Slowly we rolled it into the backyard. Once we hit the dirt-patch-that-will-eventually-be-grass we used sheets of plywood to provide a solid base to roll the massive thing on.

It was 100 degree weather that day. Which I am sure you know is the best time to be moving heavy hot tubs. 1,000 lb hot tubs.

Oh yeah. I am styling. And melting. And in desperate need of a shower and an adult beverage.

We had preped the area already by laying down a 2" bed of 3/4 gravel on a level pad of compacted dirt.

Finally, with all hand on deck we got the sucker down there. Success!

It still needs the electrical to be run before we can use it, but having it out of the driveway is a huge success. With it in place we can make sure to align the sprinklers and sod properly around the area. By next summer there will be a large two level redwood deck wrapping around the front of the hot tub and the pool.

Next up: Cleaning up and prepping for Abigail's birthday!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wish I Had Been on Vacation

I wish I could say I have been on vacation, but sadly no beach front hotels and mixed drinks have been in my life. Just family drama. Family drama sucks. Sucks the life, energy, and creativity right out of you.

Things are finally settling down (thank goodness) and I have been able to focus more on a big event coming up: Abigail's first birthday!

 My little baby girl is turning one. Makes me feel a little misty eyed. We don't plan on having another for a few years, so every little milestone she passes leaves me longing for her to stay a baby for just a little longer. 

Here is a sneak peak of the planning going on for her celebration:

We are having a lot of fun putting her party together. The theme really suits her personality. She is spunky, surly, brave, and the captain of our ship.

Other than planing her party we have been living in two places. First, in front of our air conditioning. And second, our pool. It has been hot, hot, hot and humid here lately. With that in mind, I leave you with this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What We Are Eating Wednesday

Life here this week has been stressful and a little disappointing. I am really trying to refocus my feelings to the more positive blessings in my life, but with the drama ongoing and my little girl now sick it is hard. Enough whining, here is what we are eating.

Basic cheese quesadillas with clementines (nice and light for the sick little girl)

Crock pot pot roast with baked potato

Crock pot turkey and veggie sloppy joes with sweet potato fries

Egg, potato, bell pepper, and spinach scramble

Grilled chicken and tomato sandwiches (Much to my joy, I have tomatoes growing out my ears!)

Chicken, cabbage, carrot, and pepper lettuce wraps with grapes

Grilled pizza
(confession: I have had this on the menu for weeks and have yet to do it. This is the week!)

I really hope this upcoming week will see the resolution of several stressful situations in our lives right now. At least we will still be eating good food!