The Yellow Brick House | DIY Patio Table

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that Mike and I were at it again with home projects this weekend. This time, I just couldn't stand to finish the weekend without having a patio table to enjoy the nice weather we had. First, I looked at places like Target, Home Depot, Lowes, even IKEA but the furniture was either insanely expensive, or looked like it would fall apart with even the slightest summer breeze. So, in true Affourtit fashion, we decided to DIY.

We hit up the local hardware store bright and early Saturday morning and got everything we needed and beat the crowds. I think my days of partying all night Friday are over until we get this house the way I want it.



Our shopping list included:
  • (2) 4"x4"x6' posts -- Cut down to four 29.5" pieces for legs
  • (5) 2"x4"x8' studs -- Cut down to five 38.5" pieces for table top structure
  • (7) 1"x6"x6' posts -- No cutting necessary
  • Outdoor wood stain
  • Outdoor wood paint (yellow)
  • Outdoor wood sealant
  • 3" wood screws
  • 1 1/2" wood screws
  • Wood filler/putty
Our tools list included things we already had in our garage:
  • Power drill
  • Circular saw
  • Power sander
  • Screwdriver
  • Sand paper
  • Paint brushes

I drew up our plan based on the fact that I didn't want to have to cut any of the 1x6s for the top. Those came in a 6ft length which is exactly how long we wanted the table and I knew I wanted seven boards across the top (because I'm anal and didn't want a crease in the middle--I wanted a board in the center of the table). We also wanted the table to seat 6 comfortably with the option of adding another chair to each side.






So we went to it and start cutting down the 2x4s and screwing them into place to create the structure of the table. Then we screwed in the top boards. We wanted the sides to be flush, but you could have overhang if you wanted, you would just need to rethink the math for the 2x4s. After the top of finished, we cut and screwed on the 4x4 legs and sanded them down until the table sat level. There was a bit of wobbling at first which we fully expected.



Next came the staining, painting, and sealing which I wasn't as good at photographing. I think at that point I was just ready to sit down at our new table and have an ice cold beer in celebration. We stained the top a medium wood color and didn't worry about getting it on the sides because we would be painting that yellow. After that dried we quickly painted the sides with two coats of yellow outdoor paint made specifically for wood furniture and/or decking. We let that dry for a few hours and then came back with the outdoor stain (also for wood decking).



Ta-da! Our new (super-sturdy) patio table! I joke with Mike that it looks like it came from a Mexican restaurant because of the color. It's still growing on me. I'm not positive I like the yellow. But the awesome thing about a solid wood table? I can just sand it down and re-finish it in a few weeks if I'm still unsure of the color. I started to think a forest green base would look really nice with the outdoors. What do you think?

Home Sweet Home


We're home owners!!!

Mike and I have had quite the busy beginning to 2014! Mike started a new position in his company, my company sent us to Key West, and the icing on the cake? We just closed on an adorable little ranch house! We lovingly refer to it as the Yellow Brick House and couldn't be happier!


I was actually in Dallas, Texas on business earlier in the week to shoot some client testimonial videos. While it was great to see new places, I was dying inside not being able to be home with Mike to help pack. My flight home got in at 10:00pm the night before we went to the closing table. We closed at 9:00am and then immediately started moving all of our stuff out of the apartment and into the house. If it wasn't for the shear excitement I had, I probably would have passed out from exhaustion. It took us a little longer than expected but we got everything moved in a day and just spent the next day cleaning the apartment and getting last minute small things. Now starts the fun of unpacking all the boxes. I wish they would just unpack themselves!

You might be seeing a lot more home improvement posts around here for the next few months as we make this house into a home. We've already started changing out doors, putting up shelves/pictures, and getting the back yard ready for many lazy summer days. I can't wait to be able to show some before and after pictures!

Key West | As Told By Instagram

Let's not even get into how long it's been since I last blogged. Let's just let that one slide... but unless I explain a little background to this post, you might be thinking "What the heck, when did you go to Key West?" Well, I shall tell you.



Back in January I found out I was nominated for my company's "Elite Club" which is pretty much the top 100 people in the whole company. I was extremely honored to be chosen for this as, not only was it for my very first year with the company, we also have thousands of employees in the US. Not only do you get a schnazzy award to put on your desk for this honor, the company also sends you and your family on vacation with the other Elite Club members! The location changes every year and this year, you guessed it, was Key West, Florida. Talk about a dream.

So at the end of February Mike and I packed up our suitcases, said farewell to Ohio's single-digit weather, and hopped on a plane to the Keys.




We stayed at the Casa Marina Resort which was amazing, to say the least. The very first thing we did when we arrived was throw on our swimsuits and run out to lounge on the beach. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it was February. It was in the 70's while we were there!



 



It doesn't matter where we go, we always end up renting bikes to get around. It's the best! Key West is already an extremely bike-friendly area so it was perfect for us. We rode up and down Duval street and ate at some pretty amazing places. I of course had to get my crab fix so we stopped in at Pincher's Crab Shack for some crab claws. Interesting. Not my normal crab legs but crab legs aren't exactly indigenous to Key West anyway.

One of my favorite things about Duval street was probably how anytime you were at a restaurant and you were finishing up, instead of having to rush through the rest of your beer, the waiter/waitress would ask if you'd like a to-go cup. What???? Yeah, we used that to our advantage for sure. Strolling down the sidewalk (while pushing our bikes of course) with a beer in your hand... that's the life.

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. I have more photos to show in another post but for now it's making me a little depressed thinking about Key West when it's supposed to snow this week :-P 

One Little Word for 2014



Last year I really enjoyed reading about Elise's "one little word" theme for 2013 and decided to join in this year. For our word, Mike and I decided that "prudent" was a perfect theme for what we want to focus on in 2014.

During this upcoming year we really want to start saving more, spending less, and knocking out debt as much as we can. While it's great to have that college degree, it's not so much fun to watch a whole paycheck go towards paying it off each month. I don't think I can take a full 10 years of that. So we're just going to buckle down and pay it off earlier!

2014 is going to be the year of watching our wallets closer. Clipping coupons. Making homemade products instead of buying name brand. Skipping eating out and instead putting that money aside for the future.

I've already started a new budget binder full of planning tools to keep us on track which I will show off here as soon as I finish added everything we need. There's nothing like organization supplies to get me excited about saving some cash :) Other than that, I'm on the hunt for cheap date ideas, money saving diy projects, and any other way to help us stay strong on this little path. So if you have any ideas, don't hesitate to share them! Anyone else have a word for 2014? I'd love to hear about it!

Designed | A Very Colorful Christmas

We mailed our Christmas cards yesterday so I figured it was okay to blog about it since most of them have probably made it to their mailboxes by now. I think it's going to be a new challenge every year to out-do the previous year. Last year I designed simple cards with a wedding photo. This year I went one step above and made the envelopes by hand as well. In fact, I may have designed the cards to match the envelopes. Yeah- I'm that crazy.


This year we also added one more person (and three animals) to the cards. Mike's brother, Jon Luc, currently lives with us so we thought it'd be funny to all hold an animal. Jon happens to be 6'7" so we thought it'd be even funnier to make him hold the tiniest fur ball, Talia. And in typical Mike & Allison style, I designed them with a bit of a comic book feel. I'm in love. I don't know how I could out-do this next year. They look so cool with the envelopes.



To finish them all up, I printed out wrap-around labels in coordinating colors. There was no way I'd be able to write on the patterned envelopes and it be legible. Plus I'd rather type out 75 addresses that write them. Can you say major hand crampage?

I love these cards so much I was almost sad to put them in the mailbox. I'd be perfectly content leaving them in a pile on my desk all year. I told you I'm crazy. Anyone else have fun Holiday cards you want to share? I'd love to see!