A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family
A Little of This & That… Renovating, Decorating, DIY Projects & Family

Library Dates

Growing up, we went to the library often enough that I knew the place was awesome. I was very big into kid, then pre-teen, then young adult novels (Boxcar Children, Babysitter’s Club, Nancy Drew, anyone?) and still love to pick up a book just for the sake of a really good read.

When Liv was about a year old, I discovered our neighborhood library. It’s such a treat. Now that we visit once or twice a week, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to move out of our little nook of San Diego because this little library is so special. We can walk (that has made all of the difference), it’s next to a park (though often rivals it for where the girls want to spend time) and a coffee shop (hey, momma!).

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

They have a great little children’s section that’s sort of partitioned off from the rest of the library stacks. I don’t feel as guilty as the girls wander, pull books and flip through pages on the floor.

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

Finding books to bring home is sort of like a treasure hunt. These become our bedtime stories and it’s interesting to see which ones Liv clings to and which ones she’s ready to return the next day.

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

On especially hot days when we just need to get out of that house during our lunch hour, the library is always our destination! On cooler evenings, sometimes we’ll stop for a hot cocoa on our way.

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

I’ve mentioned before that our days get so very busy… our little library dates where we can slip away together for 30 minutes are so special.

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

Library Dates | PepperDesignBlog.com

I hope that these trips will instill in the girls a love of reading that even my best night time character voices can’t keep up with. It brings me great joy when Liv has a stack of 10 new books and she’s just so excited to dive in (even if it means arguing on how many she really gets to bring home). Books transport, books inspire, books help us to grow.

For the young mind, how does the old saying go? ‘Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!’

Do you get to read? Sometimes my ‘reading’ comes in the form of a good audio book, Audible is my favorite for listening on my iPhone (makes car travel, cleaning and laundry kind of fun). I’ve been trying to read at night and lately air travel has afforded me a couple of solid hours of uninterrupted book time as well. I can’t complain!

PS as for my own reading, I shared with you all that I was struggling to get into Winter’s Tale. Well, I eventually skipped over it to start The Cuckoo’s Calling (mostly because I adore mysteries and JK Rowling), and I love it so far!

Really Digging… Giant Baubles

Giant Baubles | PepperDesignBlog.com

The Little Mill | One White Sunday | Mod Fresh
Shop Lula Pearl | Coral and Cloud | R Kite KT

I don’t know what it is about these guys but right now I think they’re kind of awesome. I bought a mint green and light pink clay beaded necklace from The Little Mill just a couple of weeks ago and it makes me smile every time I wear it.

Playful, colorful and happy. Maybe they remind me of the girls a bit (I think Liv might have a wooden shapes necklace – like daughter, like mother?). They brighten up my maternity dresses and that’s always a sweet thing.

I’m traveling today for work and Kev has the littles solo tonight. I’ve packed one of these necklaces along just as a reminder of my girls.

PS have you ever sold your clothes online? and more style board fun… 

The Finished Backyard ‘Refresh’

Our Yard in Progress | PepperDesignBlog.com

The backyard is back! With the weather being so very warm here in San Diego, we’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Brunch with friends, family dinners, lounging around the outdoor couch…

I shared that I was planning on giving this space a little love back in July and while it’s taken almost all of August to find the little touches that are beginning to make this space bright, colorful and special, I’m really happy with where it’s at now.

Here was my inspiration (resources):

Backyard Refresh Ideas | PepperDesignBlog.com

And the end result:

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Just for a really rough comparison, here’s the space ‘before’. I know, not a very detailed picture at all (I don’t seem to have any??) but the color scheme was pretty neutral with a few orange accents (via some cool Craigslist glass lanterns that have run their time out here).

Our Yard in Progress | PepperDesignBlog.com

What a nice difference navy, pink and even little bits of lime green can make! Feels summer-y, feels brighter and so much fresher.

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

If you’re new here (hi!), it’s hard to believe how far this space has really come. When we bought the house the backyard was an outdoor room of sorts with a carpeted floor, wall paneling and windows. Inside (top left), outside (top right – it’s the building behind the one in the foreground). We tore out the flooring and walls (bottom left) and eventually the roof (bottom right). Next came adding saltillo tile and flagstone as a beautiful ground covering, Kev built the outdoor fireplace and grill area with a lot of materials that we collected from Craigslist (the structural concrete block and even the grill itself), eventually we added the wraparound deck to finish off the space (full transformation broken out here).

Our Yard in Progress | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

My first goal was to track down new outdoor throw cushions for the space. Having settled on navy and pink, I found this shop on Etsy and ordered 4 solid navy 20″ pillows and 2 pink lumbar pillows during a sale. I was beyond thrilled with the price and quality (and the sweet lady that runs the shop), and feeling like this space needed one more accent color, ended up also splurging on 2 lime green pillows as well. If you’re searching out new pillows (especially outdoor ones), check out this shop.

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Garden stools from Ruelala are actually what sort of triggered some new decor out here. We don’t currently have a table for drinks and snacks, so when I found these guys I thought they’d be a perfect stand-in. Eventually I’m hoping to find some sort of cool, round, giant ottoman (maybe metal, like a brass? Maybe ceramic?) and move these guys to another spot in the yard. But for now they’re working out pretty well. (Similar here, here and here.)

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Possibly my favorite addition are these AMAZING porcelain bird feeders that I’ve had my eye on for some time. The shop and ladies behind it are so sweet, more to come on that.

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

The shape, the color… everything about them.

I wasn’t planning on it, but when I came across a huge Pottery Barn outdoor sale and found my Chesapeake cushions on super sale, I pulled the trigger and updated our dirty, well-loved cushions with new ones in ‘mocha’ (I believe they usually retail for about $650 – we DIYed our first set - but scooped up this new set for just over $200, which is actually the same price as they’re on sale for now + a 15% coupon). That’s definitely the comfiest upgrade we made, these real cushions (as opposed to the handmade version) are so soft and relaxing.

Another update is the addition of a few more fun pots, plants and succulents to add to the mix. I’m really beginning to understand what can grow well out here.

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Not too many updates to share once we round the corner to the deck… but a few more pretty pictures (thanks, Katie!).

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

My succulent clippings are still going strong (even though the planter is seeing a little outdoor wear-and-tear). We still use this table all of the time. To those that have asked, I’m trying to get Kev to put together a DIY to share!

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

The yard finishes off with the girls’ sandbox (they could spend all day out here, which is a great thing) and veggie garden:

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

A Garden Box Harvest | PepperDesignBlog.com

Amazing that she started as a jungle, and then a space in disrepair (nothing quite usable about it), and finally, became one of the most LOVED spots in our home. So much time, sweat, energy… This in-progress photo takes me back.

Our Yard in Progress | PepperDesignBlog.com

Now let’s head back to that new party space – she’s looking like she’s ready for a nice little soiree, right? :)

Our Backyard | PepperDesignBlog.com

We’re ready.

Family Love | Pepper Design Blog

Family Love | Pepper Design Blog

Sources:

  • navy, pink and lime green pillows – PillowsCushionsOhMy on Etsy
  • oversized blue and green patterned pillow – local consignment shop
  • turquoise patterned pillows and pots – c/o Lowes
  • porcelain bird feeders – (1 c/o) l&m studio on Etsy
  • white garden stools – Ruelala (similar herehere and here)
  • glass string lights – Target (left over from our wedding! but still available)
  • outdoor sectional – Pottery Barn
  • outdoor hairpin leg slab table – handmade by Kev (similar legs)
  • shade sail – eBay (similar)
  • outdoor farmhouse table – handmade by Kev
  • outdoor table black chairs – Lowes
  • geometric planter – handmade by Morgan
  • children’s wicker chairs – Ikea

Sort construction and project posts here for more on the flagstone, saltillo tile, grill area, fireplace, wall, deck, sandbox, garden box and more. Thanks for stopping by to check it all out!

Photo credit: Katie Beverley (an especially big thanks for catching that above family photo that completely makes my heart flutter.)

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