Patio Projects for the Win!

patio makeover

Wow, you guys! July was such a busy month that seemed to both crawl and fly by. We spent so many evenings working on our patio makeover— it was quite exhausting! But I’m happy to report that the project is finished! Check out my patio planning blog post I wrote before setting out on the project. Kind of crazy how the result actually turned out how I planned! Ha! I’ve shared two posts at A Beautiful Mess about the first steps of the project:

The grand reveal is coming soon, along with a post about the slat wood pergola we build. But for now, I’d love to show you some of the process and results right here at my own blog.

patio makeover

This is the lovely view we had from our sunroom door, which has since been transformed to the view below. We spent a grueling weekend stripping the deck, and another entire week putting up the privacy fence. I can’t even believe it was this bad before! Mostly the floor was in super bad shape, but the overall darkness of the space has been dramatically improved.

patio before

Here’s another great before and after scene! Above is the original dining area, complete with a grill which we moved out of the way to better position the dining table. We extended the fence posts so the roof in here would be enough height to add the slat wood pergola. What a difference all of that white makes! And now we can enjoy dining al fresco without baking in the hot afternoon sun.

patio makeover

patio makeover

Before we refinished the deck, it was pretty chippy and scratched. Some boards were so chewed up that we had to pull them up and replace them. Phil and I would’ve loved to replace all of the deck boards, but that just wasn’t in the budget. But I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, even though it took soooo much effort to make this old deck shine again!

patio makeover

patio makeover

Here’s how the deck looked before we finished staining, fencing, and adding the slats above the pergola area. It was so exciting to see it com together!

Below you can see what it looks like from the outside. I have since planted sweet autumn clematis up here, which will climb up fishing line that I’m string long the posts of the fence, to keep the clematis off the actual fencing. I hope it fills out how I would like! I’ve been reading a lot about caring and pruning clematis, but any extra advice you have for me would be more than welcome!

patio makeover

patio makeover

We’ve definitely been over-indulging in s’mores since the patio completion, but I know that winter has a way of sneaking up on us here in Ohio, and then we’ll be longing for this warm summer evenings with toasty sugar sandwiches! haha!

I’ve included a list of all of the products I’ve used in this space down below. Article gave us all of the outdoor furniture to be used in the project (except for the umbrella and fire pit). We’re really happy with the quality, and I’d definitely recommend their furniture to anyone who is looking! Feel free to ask me questions and I’ll check back in to answer.

Product Sources:

Plans for the Powder Room

I’m so excited to finally begin work on our first floor bathroom this month! We ripped out the flooring and toilet last Summer, and have been hiking up the stairs every time we need to use the facilities. Yes, even through potty training. It’s been a joy.

The good news about waiting a year to begin working on a space is that I get a year to plan, replan, and plan again! I’ve been through so many design options for this space, I’ve lost count! But I finally settled on three looks that I really dig. I’d love for you all to weight in on which option is your favorite!

When we sold our home last May, the first thing I bought for our next house was this vintage yellow sink. I just knew it would work, even though we hadn’t found a home to move into yet! Thankfully we have a nice little powder room in our new home that perfectly suits a small sink like this. All of my design plans center around the yellow sink. It’s a non-negotiable. ;)

OPTION ONE: Funky Traditional

I love an eclectic interior, so this design appeals to me because of how it would blend together elements from traditional and modern design camps. That light and faucet? So deliciously modern. But the sink and mirror definitely harken back to the earlier decades of the 20th century. The tone-on-tone wallpaper, vertical shiplap, and checkered flooring would feel at home in any space, but combined, it feels so funky fresh!

What do you think? A bit too much for such a small space? Or, go big or go home?

Materials: 12 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

OPTION TWO: Mid Century Minimal

I was really gravitating towards doing a mosaic tile in here because there isn’t much square footage to deal with, and I love the grand impact a mosaic tile has been known to make in mid century time-capsule bathrooms. When I found this pebble tile that reminded me of miniature fieldstone, I was all about it. After making the mock-up seen at the top of this post, I was really digging the early minimal vibes that such a wall and floor treatment could bring to my tiny powder room. Pair it with a wood-tone torch sconce and a snazzy chrome faucet, and this mid century look feels completely updated!

Do you think you’ll go crazy if I put this tile in so much of the room? Or do you think it will make a simple and significant statement?

Materials: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

OPTION THREE: Modern Classic

As I’ve revamped each room of our home, I’ve attempted to keep baseline elements of classic design. The lighting I selected for the kitchen, the moulding details, and the medium wood tones throughout the home felt a bit like an anchor that kept things from going a bit too trendy or modern. The sconces in this powder room design tie in with the chrome elements I have throughout the house, and recalls the subway tile I put in my kitchen. In general, this design feels sophisticatedly restrained, allowing the yellow sink to take center stage. But the tumbling block floor tile still reinforce the fun vibes introduced by the sink.

Does this space feel too cold for you, or just the right restraint? Perhaps I’ll regret using ubiquitous subway tile yet again?

Materials: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

We’re beginning clearing out the powder room tomorrow and having a plumber prep the space for drywall work and tiling. I can’t wait to get things underway in here! Tune in to my Instagram stories to check in on the progress for our powder room renovation.

Vegetarian Protein-Packed Pesto Pasta

vegetarian high protein pesto pasta

Are you trying to fit in more vegetables, less meat, more protein, less carbs? It’s a lot to think about! But this vegetarian pesto pasta dish has it all, thanks to the edamame spaghetti I used, rather than traditional wheat-based pasta. It’s also a one-pot meal, so there’s very little cleanup involved with food prep or cooking. It’s serious the answer to all of my problems! (Or at least the problems that arise during dinnertime!)

I’ve struggled with eating healthy during the past year of home renovations. There’s so much mental and physical work involved, not to mention time, that it often feels like very little motivation and attention is leftover for planning and making nutritious meals. But lately I’ve committed to doing better with our family dinners, and not resorting to pizza, or french toast, or whatever sounds good after a long day of work.

I’ve been trying to figure out a few core meals that everyone in our family, even the little kids, can enjoy, without feeling like, “It’s okay for a healthy meal.” You know what I mean? This protein-packed pasta dish was devoured by everyone without complaints, and I didn’t mention one word about it being health. I’d say it’s definitely a keeper! So much so that I had to bring it to my blog to share with you all.

vegetarian protein pasta

I used frozen peas and green beans as well as canned pesto, just for convenience. I always have those items on hand so I can throw together a meal without a lot of leg work or planning. Of course you can use fresh vegetables and homemade pesto if that’s your jam!


  • 1 8oz box of edamame pasta
  • 1/2 8oz jar of traditional basil pesto
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • tablespoon of chopped or slivered nuts (optional garnish)

This is gonna be so easy, I promise! All you need to do to make this dish is get a big pot of water boiling, and dump in 1 cup of frozen peas, 1 bag of frozen green beans, and the entire 8oz box of edamame pasta. Bring back to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and allow to cook for 8 minutes.

vegetarian high protein pesto pasta

After the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain the pot and gently mix in half of the jar of pesto.

As you serve the pasta, mix in some fresh spinach until barely wilted, and top with the chopped nut of your choice. I chose sliced almonds because it’s what I had on hand, but pine nuts would have been amazing!

vegetarian high protein pesto pasta

Such a delicious and satisfying meal! Sometimes I also serve it with sliced sausage for extra heartiness and protein. Just enjoyed a reheated bowl of leftovers for my post-workout meal today and it really hit the spot! Let me know if you give it a try. :)