DIY Backyard Fire Pit Area
For the first few years we lived in our house our backyard wasn’t a place where we wanted to hang out. The grass was patchy, there was nowhere to sit and hang out, and the only form of entertainment was a trampoline that our kids barely used. Last summer, I finely decided that I was sick of looking at the trampoline, so I made a post on our neighborhood page and listed it for free. Thankfully, it was gone by that afternoon and it was time for me to start planning for our DIY backyard fire pit area.
Once the trampoline was gone, this was the view from our deck. To be fair, I had no plans of doing a DIY backyard fire pit area until I saw this almost perfectly round circle. I quickly started doing the math and coming up with a plan. I realized that for a reasonable amount of money we could do the fire pit area instead of just putting down grass seed and calling it a day.
The first thing we did was dig out what was left of the grass in the area. We also tried to even out the area as best we could and straighten the circle as much as we could. This was definitely the hardest part and the most time consuming, but we knew it would be worth it in the end.
The next thing wed did was put down black landscape paper to keep weeds and grass from growing. You can get this paper at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or any other hardware store. You cut it to fit the area where you are putting it and then put stakes down to hold it in place. Not only do we use this landscape paper here, but we use it in our landscape as well under the mulch.
After the paper was down, it was time to pick the rock we wanted to use. We went to Lowe’s and they have several types of rock to choose from. We ended up picking a simple gray rock that wasn’t too big, or small for the area. I forgot to keep track of how many bags it took to fill this area, but it was a lot. We keep underestimating how many it would take and had to make a couple of trips to Lowe’s. Once the rock was down and it was all spread out, it was time for the fun part!
And here she is all done! It took me a while to find the adirondack chairs. Originally, I wanted black, but they were hard to find in plastic. I knew I wanted plastic because the wooden ones are expensive and a little harder to take care of. So, since I couldn’t find black, I went with the gray. I found them at Lowe’s and they were inexpensive and work perfect in this area. And believe it or not, I found the fire pit at our local grocery store. I like the shape and size and went for it! I would love to know what you all think about this project. We have already used it several times and can’t wait to use it many more!
My Favorite Kitchen Staples
If you have been around here anytime at all, you know I love food and I love to cook! Every now and again I like to prepare a new and complex meal, but on a daily basis I like to keep it quick and easy. We all know life is busy and keeping things simple is a must when it comes to making meals. I put together a list of my favorite kitchen staples that I like to have on hand to use when cooking. These are all items that can be used to add flavor to a wide variety of foods!
The first thing on my list is Himalayan pink salt. I get a big bottle from Costco and I use it on everything when I am cooking. I like using this much better than table salt when seasoning food. One of my favorite things I like to do is rub it on the skin of a potato right before baking it. I make sure to never run out of this salt!
Second on the list are avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil. I get both of these from Costco as well because you get a good amount for less money. I love to use the avocado oil in a cast iron skillet to cook steak. I use the olive oil on EVERYTHING! It is great for sautéing vegetables, chicken, shrimp, and I even like to use a little in the pan when I am scrambling eggs. You can also use the olive oil in homemade salad dressings. I always like to have both of these on hand at all times. I make sure to never run out!
Another thing I always like to have in the kitchen is this big bag of bacon crumbles from Costco. You can also buy smaller bags from your local grocery store. I use this bacon a lot in omelets and also to season green beans. I also have two blog posts you can check out where I use bacon in this brussel sprouts recipe and in this yummy salad recipe. Both are delicious and we all know bacon makes everything better!
Next up we have these spices from Kinder’s. There are so many good ones! The taco seasoning is actually our favorite, but I didn’t include it in the photo above. You can order a large bottle from Walmart and have it delivered straight to your door! You cannot go wrong with any of these seasonings. I have tried them all and they are great if you are looking to spice up your meals!
And last, but certainly not least, is the Pork Barrel BBQ seasoning I get from Costco! This sits right by the stove and I sprinkle it on everything. My favorite things to use it on are pork, shrimp, chicken, and potatoes. I love potatoes in the skillet with onions and topping it off with this seasoning is so good! My guess is you can sprinkle this on anything and it will taste great! I hope you found this list of my favorite kitchen staples helpful. Happy cooking!
*This blog post contains affiliate links.
DIY Disco Ball
I recently announced on social media that my oldest daughter is getting married! We are so excited for her and her fiancé and cannot wait until their big day. In the meantime, there is lots of planning and prepping to do for the shower and wedding. If you all know me, you know I love all of this. The food, the flowers, the decorations, all of it! I am going to be throwing the shower at my home and I have been looking at inspiration photos for months. The theme we’ve decided on is simple and pretty, but very glam with flowers, disco balls, and some gold vintage pieces I have on hand. Disco balls are a big trend right now and I love it. So today in this blog post, I am going to show you how to DIY a disco ball!
To get the project started, I ordered these four inch foam balls from Amazon. I am actually going to do a variety of sizes, but decided to start with these since this is the first time I’ve done this project.
The other thing you will need for this project are these glass mirror tiles from Amazon.
Now it is time for the fun part, putting all of the mirrored stickers on the balls! We had a craft night to make these and we tried putting the stickers on a couple of different ways. One way worked and looked good, the other way not so much. Please don’t hate me when I say this, but the best way to put them on is one at a time. When we took our time and put each sticker on one by one it actually looked like a real disco ball. When we first started making them, we were wrapping a whole group of the stickers on at one time and it did not look as good. So, as tedious as it sounds, it looks best when you put each sticker on one by one.
I must say, I actually found this project to be relaxing and fun. Disco balls are expensive, so this was a budget friendly and fun way to spend the night and be productive. And not only are we going to use these stickers on foam balls, but we are going to use them on a couple of other items, so stay tuned for more fun DIY wedding projects!
Look how pretty they all are! They are going to look so good with the flowers and all of the other items we have for decorating. I am so glad disco balls are making a comeback. The best part is, you don’t have to use them for a retro theme. They look great with lots of colors and florals and other fun patterns. A DIY disco ball would not only be great for weddings and showers, but also birthday parties and bachelorette parties! Be sure to let me know what you think. Also, if you aren’t already following me on Facebook or Instagram you can find me in both places at Heather Loves Home!
Use The Five Senses To Make Your House A Home
It feels good to make a house a home. To make it pretty and cozy and welcoming. Several years ago, I was thinking about all of the things that go into making a house a home and it hit me that using the five senses is a good starting place! You’ve got sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Think about all of the things in your home right now that pertain to all of these. Are you ready to hear more about how to use the five senses to make your house a home? Let’s go!
First, let’s talk about sight! We all love to look at pretty things, right? Think about when you look around your home and how you take in everything around you. The colors, photos, art, furniture, lighting, and all the other pretty decor. Your eyes move around the room and it brings a smile to your face. This dresser is the perfect shade of green and a lot of people ask for the paint color!
The sense of sight is your opportunity to bring in your favorite colors and items. Do you love flowers, vases, lamps? What is your style? Is it more modern, or traditional? Do you like signs that have your favorite sayings? What do you want to see when you look around? Bring those things into your home. I love all of the colors in this butterfly art from World Market.
Now let’s talk about our favorite sense of all. Taste! We all love good things to eat and drink. Think about your favorite recipes, snacks, and drinks. Think about sitting down at the dining room table and sharing a meal with people you love. Making a dish that has been passed down through your family. And by the way, this breakfast casserole is delicious!
Some foods that taste good can also sit out on the counter and look pretty too!
A soft blanket, a comfy couch, or a cushy pillow. These are all items that pertain to touch. There is nothing better than curling up on the couch with a favorite blanket to read a book, or watch tv. And who doesn’t love going to bed at night on a comfortable mattress with your favorite pillow. This throw blanket is one of my favorites to snuggle up with in our home.
You can bring in so many different materials to bring your sense of touch alive. There are leather chairs, linen couches, granite countertops, wood tables, cotton quilts, metal barstools, porcelain tiles, crystal glasses and so many other materials you can use around your home!
Smell is a wonderful thing (most of the time anyway, ha). Chocolate chip cookies baking, a vanilla candle burning, or even your favorite perfume you sprayed right before walking out the door, smell is an important part of making your house a home. I honestly think that your home’s smell is what helps you recognize your home the most. You always hear people talking about how everyone’s house has a smell.
Last, but not least, let’s talk about the sense of hearing. There are so many sounds you can hear in your home from your favorite music to your favorite people talking and laughing. One of my favorite sounds is the water feature in my office. It is so soothing and relaxing. Your home should be a calm and relaxing place for you to unwind at the end of the day. In fact, your home should be a relaxing place for you anytime of the day. Now go and use the five senses to make your house a home by filling it with things you love to see, taste, hear, touch, and smell!
**This blog post contains affiliate links.
Jewelry Organization Part Two
I definitely have a weakness for cute jewelry! I love bold pieces in different colors and textures. While I love all jewelry, I especially love earrings! Which means I have a lot of earrings. A while back I shared part one of my jewelry organization, so without further ado, here is jewelry organization part two.
Several years ago when my aunt passed away I inherited this beautiful piece of furniture from her. Originally, I used it in my office, but when we moved to our new house I decided to use it in my closet to hold my jewelry. I know it is a little different, but I love it!
This project was a lot of fun for me and it gave me the chance to get creative. For example, I used this styrofoam cone from Dollar Tree to hold bracelets. I also like to add a pop of color by using some decorative pieces.
How fun is this candle holder that I use to hold bracelets? It is from Home Goods and I bought it specifically for this purpose. When you are in stores like TJMaxx, Home Goods, and Hobby Lobby be on the lookout for fun items like this to use anywhere in your home for organization.
Now for my favorite thing, the earring drawer! This is where I got really creative because I wanted to be sure my earrings were organized in a way that I could see all of them when I open the drawer. I used three different items, all found at Dollar Tree to use. One is a deviled egg tray, another one is an ice cube tray, and the last one is just a plain tray. I use the ice cube tray for my small studs earrings. The deviled egg tray helps keep pairs of earrings together. The gold tray is perfect for holding my larger earrings.
Again, it is all about being creative and thinking outside the box. It didn’t occur to me to use a deviled egg tray until I was walking around Dollar Tree one day and saw it. I knew it was perfect!
What did you think? Do you have a cabinet like this in your home you could use to organize jewelry? A chest or dresser works really well also! I hope you found this helpful. Happy decorating and organizing!
The Most Important Room In Your Home To Organize
It’s that time of year to purge, clean, and organize! There isn’t much going on in the month of January, so it’s a great time for a reset and refresh in your home. I love going room by room and cleaning out cabinets, closets, and drawers; however, today I want to talk about the most important room in your home to organize. Any guesses? It’s the kitchen!
The kitchen is the hub of the home and where we spend a lot of our time. It is where we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is where we cook, eat, and clean. And most importantly, it is where we gather with friends and family. Have you noticed when people come over everyone tends to gather in the kitchen?
There are several reasons why I think the kitchen is the most important room in your home to organize. The number one reason is because we do spend a lot of time in there and there is a lot going on. When you are cooking you want to know exactly where pots, pans, and utensils are. It is nice for everything to have a home. You don’t want to scramble around looking for something when you are right in the middle of preparing a meal. Plus, if there are multiple people living in your home it is a lot less stressful if everyone knows where everything is.
Another reason why I think the kitchen is a room that needs to be organized is for meal planning purposes. When your fridge and pantry are organized and you know what food you have, it makes meal planning and grocery shopping so much easier. And the great thing about that is it helps save time and money. It’s no secret we spend a lot of money on food and a lot of time shopping for it, so why not make sure we are being efficient!
I hope you found this helpful and it gave you some insight on why it’s important to organize your kitchen. In my opinion, if you are only going to organize one room in your home, I would make it the kitchen. It is the heart of the home after all.
Don’t Just Survive In Your Home, Thrive In Your Home
Happy New Year! The new year is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. It is also a popular time to set goals that pertain to your home. Maybe you want to get more organized, or maybe you want to redecorate a room. Whatever it is that you are hoping to do, I would like to encourage you to make it a goal that you don’t just survive in your home, thrive in your home! It is important for your home to be a place of peace and refuge. Your home shouldn’t stress you out. It should help you destress.
We are not supposed to constantly live life in survival mode. Running from place to place, stressing out about what we are going to make for dinner, and living with an endless pile of laundry to do. When we live in survival mode we are creating constant stress in our lives and to our bodies. We are also robbing ourselves of joy.
It is important to take some time to get organized, make to do lists, and learn how to prioritize. I know it can feel overwhelming to clean out closets, drawers, and the fridge, but once it is done you will feel so much better! You will see that we are not meant to constantly live in survival mode.
Take some time to finish forgotten projects, or freshen up a room. It brings joy and peace to check those unfinished projects off your to do list. Really take some time to decide what should and shouldn’t be in your home. Only hold on to things you love. The less clutter you have, the easier it will be to stay organized.
Be sure to sit down often and look at your calendar and plan ahead. It is also a great idea to have a running to do list, so you can check things off as you do them. Meal planning and making a shopping list are great ways to help lower stress when it comes to making meals.
Making your home an organized retreat will not happen overnight. It will take time and planning, but it is so worth it in the end. And once you have your home exactly the way you want it, you will realize how important it is that you don’t just survive in your home, thrive in your home! Happy planning and organizing!
Simple And Delicious Breakfast Casserole
I think it is safe to say that almost everyone loves breakfast food! I mean, what’s not to love? Sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon, pancakes, and French toast. Are you hungry yet? This simple and delicious breakfast casserole combines several of the foods I mentioned above into one yummy dish. The best part is, you can prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven the next morning. You will go to bed with your mouth watering and dreaming about breakfast.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 1 1/2 pounds sausage
- 1 package (5.5 oz) herb seasoned croutons
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups half and half cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- salt and pepper to taste
The first thing you will do is sauté the onion in a pan. Once it has started to soften, add the sausage and cook until it is brown and crumbled.
Spread the croutons evenly in the bottom of a greased 9×13 baking dish. I like to use the seasoned croutons from Walmart and they work really well in the dish.
Next, you will cover the croutons with both the sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. Then, sprinkle the sausage and onions over the cheese. You can then set this aside as it will be time to mix the other ingredients.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, half and half, milk, salt, and pepper. I like to use a whisk to make sure it is mixed really well. Next, pour this mixture over the sausage mixture. You will then cover the casserole dish and refrigerate for 8 hours. I like to make this the night before we are going to eat it and let it refrigerate overnight.
I am going to be really honest, it is hard to sleep knowing this delicious breakfast casserole is in the fridge waiting to be baked and eaten the next morning. Ha! Ha! Just joking, but not really. This is what the casserole will look like when you remove it from the fridge. Now, the only thing standing in between you and this casserole is baking it at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. I usually find that it needs the full 60 minutes in order for it to be cooked well in the center.
How good does this look? My family loves this recipe for breakfast, or dinner. I like to serve it with biscuits and gravy, and a little sprinkle of gravy over the casserole hits the spot. I hope you all will try this simple and delicious breakfast casserole, and if you do, please let me know what you think. Also, here is a fruit salad you might like to serve with the casserole. Enjoy!
Using Floral Stems To Decorate For Fall
I used to hate the fall season because it meant summer was coming to an end. When I was younger, my mom would get excited when the weather cooled off and the leaves started changing colors. She would make chili, buy caramel apples, and decorate our house with pumpkins and pretty fall colors. I could not understand why she was so happy and loved fall so much! Fast forward thirty plus years and now I get it. Fall is great! Summer is still my favorite season by far, but fall is a close second. One of my favorite things about fall is decorating with different colors, textures, and floral stems. And using floral stems to decorate for fall is a simple and inexpensive way to make your home look beautiful and feel cozy.
There is a good variety of floral stems throughout our home that I have collected over the years. This dried wheat looking stem in our sitting room is a perfect example of a texture that screams fall. I love the mix of cream and black and I placed it in a clear glass jar. And can we talk about the bowl of pumpkins and pine cones? It adds a nice pop of color to this neutral space!
Here is another view of the sitting room. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up in the chair with a cup of coffee and a good book?
This is another example of a natural looking stem. It sits on the table in our foyer and I love how tall it is. The glass jar sits on the table year round, so it is really easy to add this stem to it for some texture. I found the cute wooden leaf charm a couple of years ago and thought it was a cute addition to the jar. And of course, the pumpkins add a nice pop of color.
How cute are these vases I found at Goodwill? I bought them in the summer and knew I would have a use for them one day. They are currently sitting on the kitchen island and I put a couple of small fall stems in each one. This is a great example of mixing different textures and colors for fall.
When decorating for fall you’ve gotta have some brown leaves, right? This is another glass jar that sits on a table in our dining area year round. It’s another easy way to add some fall decor to items that I use everyday! The pumpkin sitting on the book is even made up of flowers! See how fun it is to add different colors and textures around your home? The warmth makes your home feel so cozy!
Now it is time to bring in some color! How pretty is this golden color stem? And it looks so good with the blue vase! And, guess what? That vase sits on the mantle year round. Are you seeing a pattern here? It is so easy to use everyday items to decorate for fall. And, it makes it a lot easier to decorate as well.
The dining room is where I added the best pops of fall colors! I love these stems I found at Dollar Tree a couple of years ago and they look great with the sign from Hobby Lobby! And you already know that once upon a time I would never have that sign in my home. Ha! Ha! But it does look perfect sitting on this tray that sits on the dining room console year round. And have I mentioned how much I love pops of gold for fall decorating? It adds so much warmth to the room. If you would like more fall decorating ideas you can check out this blog post or this one. Thank you for stopping by!
How to Be Organized For School At Home
School is back in full swing and with it comes all sorts of fun things to keep up with. Supply lists, welcome letters, syllabi, sports forms, and the list goes on. There were several years when all three of my daughters were in school at the same time and keeping up with papers and school supplies was not my favorite. And, I am not a fan of things feeling unorganized and chaotic. I eventually developed a system that helped me tremendously and I want to share it with you!
In our last home, I had a three drawer dresser that wasn’t serving a purpose, so I decided that I would use it for my girls’ school stuff. Each one of them had their own drawer and we would toss any papers, or school supplies they needed in their drawer. This worked perfectly because they each knew if they needed something it would be in that drawer. And, as they brought papers home, I would file what we needed to keep in their drawer and toss the rest.
Now that we are down to two girls left in school, we only need a two drawer cabinet. I found this one at Ross a few years ago and it works perfectly. Each of my daughters has their own drawer and I routinely go through it and clean out any papers that are no longer needed.
The cabinet conveniently sits next to the desk in our sitting area. The desk has two drawers that can hold any supplies the girls might need for doing projects and homework. I found these bins at Target and they are perfect for pens, pencils, scissors, and glue sticks.
The second drawer holds extra notebook paper and paper for the printer. In an effort to stay organized and make sure we always have what we need, I check the drawers routinely to see if I need to stock up on more supplies.
I love having the desk and cabinet in our sitting area. This system works perfectly and since we have been doing it his way for so long, my girls know exactly what to expect when it comes to their school stuff. I hope you found this helpful and I highly encourage you to carve out a corner in your home to do the same!