a year of change challenge...completed?


Hello again!

Unless you have been following me on Instagram, you are probably wondering where I have disappeared to this time. Some of you have even been so sweet as to message me to make sure I am OK (read: I didn't check myself in to a hospital following the One Room Challenge Linking Event reveal). Well--I am OK, and...I got a job! Mama needed some money to decorate the rest of this house! So I beg of you to bear with me as I find the balance between working and blogging, but rest assured--shell and chinoiserie isn't going anywhere!

So, let's move on to today's post, shall we?

I cannot believe we have already reached the end of May! I was so flattered in the beginning of month when the Suburban Bitches asked me and Kari Joy to join them and their fabulous friends Commona My HouseRosa Beltran Design, and Life on Virginia Street for the month of May in their A Year of Change challenge.

Each month, these ladies pick the same project to complete and showcase their unique approaches and talents in their reveals. The year began in March when they used Cutting Edge Stencils for a stencil project, and in April they challenged each other to revamp a piece of furniture. Their goal is to demonstrate that completing these little projects can make a big change.

This month's challenge was to take it outside and tackle an exterior project in anticipation of this summer's outdoor entertaining. You can see the Suburban Bitches' reveal here, and be sure to check out  Commona My HouseLife on Virginia StreetRosa Beltran Design, and of course Kari Joy, as well!:

As for me, I decided to give my garage a facelift.

In my first post, I discussed how one of my pet peeves is when you drive up to a house--such as ours--and all you see is garage:

I cringe.

So in an easy and affordable effort to treat this big blemish on the face of our home, I planned to add a pretty plant between the garage doors, some lanterns above each door, and place window decals--yes, decals--on the doors themselves. My goal was to demonstrate that these three little changes could make a big difference for the curb appeal of our home.

And I failed. Miserably.

The plant was no problem--easy peasy lime squeezy (because I bought a little lime tree).

The lanterns turned out to be a little more involved than I thought they would be, as apparently electricians are expensive! Really expensive. So I nixed that and planned to simply mount decorative lanterns instead. That was until I gave-up altogether following the decal disaster...

Perhaps the smallest change that would have the biggest impact on my garage was these these window decals which I spent $125 for on Etsy. The decals promised to be an easy and affordable (check and check!) way to turn standard garage doors into charming ones.

Case in point:

Man do I wish I could say those doors are mine, but alas...

The directions warned that the doors must be clean in order for the stickers to stick to the surface, so we had our home power washed. And then we hosed and scrubbed (with Clorox wipes) for good measure:

But the stickers didn't stick. At. All. After some swearing and perhaps even a tear (a moment we did not capture on film), my husband and I surrendered to the stickers and have decided to explore stencils. At least I know who to turn to for stencil advice ;-)

So the only semi-successful part of this project is my little lime tree, which seems to think it is the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (but still looks a lot better than my second Fiddle Leaf Fig...).

So here is my pathetic "after" photo, which I still consider to be a before photo:

I promise to keep you all posted about the progress of this ongoing project. (Settle down--it's not that exciting!).

But in the meantime, in an effort to redeem myself, I scrambled to complete another outdoor project for my post.

I was so inspired by Simple StylingsOne Room Challenge Linking Event deck reveal that I decided to follow suit by attempting to create that same, ethereal look in my own backyard.

When we first toured our home, I fell in love with all of the limb-y trees in the backyard, which I like to think is quite Twilight/The Hunger Games-esque, even though we are smack in the middle of a giant subdivision:

Anyway, the privacy is nice, especially considering all of the time we hope to spend outdoors now that we are no longer in New England!

I immediately imagined hanging little lanterns from the tree limbs to create a twinkling canopy under which we could sit and socialize. Because these trees are set back a bit from our house, there is no electrical source nearby, so instead of strung lights, I took to making mason jar lanterns:

I filled them with little, twinkling LED votives:

And hung them from the trees!:

We also finally set-up our fire pit, which was a wedding present (from--you guessed it--my brother-in-law/the best gift-giver in the world!) that has been sitting in its box since we got married almost two years ago:

Next stop, s'more town! And perhaps Lowe's to get some outdoor furniture to place around our fire pit...

Nothing crazy, albeit a little project that made a big difference in our backyard!

And be sure to head over to check out the reveals of Suburban Bitches, Commona My HouseLife on Virginia StreetRosa Beltran Design, and Kari Joy! I am willing to bet their reveals are a bit more impressive... ;-/

As promised, I will keep you all posted about future improvements to my ongoing projects!


sharon smith said...

So glad you're back. I've missed you! Welcome to the working world and trying to balance life as you once knew it. It can be a challenge, but rewarding too!
Thanks for be so honest about your adventures in DIY as I have had some big fails. But on the other hand so major successes in some of the simplest things. I love your hanging lanterns and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do to the rest of the yard.

Krystine @ www.KrystineEdwards.com said...

I cannot wait to see the garage doors!!! Love the mason jars with the twinkling lights- I have big plans for our backyard, it needs love!!! Congrats on the job again!

Kerry Steele- Design du Monde said...

Glad you are back. I hate it when a project goes south like that. You could do what I do in the case of ugly garage doors...pretend.
I love the outdoor twinkly lights!

Elisa of Fancy Free Me said...

Love your garage door vision and your honesty! I hope they work out for you. Oh, and your tree votives are lovely. I bet it's amazing to sit back there in the evening.

Summer Hogan said...

I love these mason jar lanterns! I might even have to add some to my front porch! Thanks for the inspiration and the shout lady!!! You rock and so sorry about the garage fail :( Did you get your $ back from the stickers?

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

Stickers for garage doors are so clever! I had no idea those existed.....problem...that they don't work...ugh! I h. I hope you were able to return them! Love your lanterns...I bet these made-up for any garage door frustrations!

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

Glad to know you are human! I love the real life story about those decals, which admittedly when I first saw that there was such a thing, I was about to jump on the idea, until your experience. Im so sorry! Hey the lanterns in your trees are SPECTACULAR and give off the greatest ambiance. Enjoy your yard, it looks like heaven. Take care of yourself and good luck with the job and finding balance :) xo Nancy

Andrea said...

We have the same problem with our garage... ugh!! But your house is so beautiful, you really don't notice yours. I wouldn't worry about it... Promise! And I'm absolutely in love with your backyard. The mason jar lanterns are beautiful... it looks like a twinkling fairy tale! LOVE!!!

The Glam Pad

Lauren -ThisGirlDecor said...

Glad to see you are doing well! I love all those beautiful twinkling lights in mason jars! It really does set a mood! So pretty. I am thinking about putting some sort of lights around here and there on my patio! So inspiring!
-Lauren @thisgirldecor

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