Back porch rehab: a mood board and a plan

Spaces

We have a wonderful covered back porch, but it’s a bit lacking in decor and comfort.

The space itself is great, but it’s bland and underused.

It could be really nice, with the right comforts and features.

We live in Central North Carolina, and it’s so hot here in the summer we can’t stand to sit on the porch. Even if it’s covered. Even if it has a ceiling fan- which ours doesn’t.

I’d love to make this a cozy little sitting space, kind of like an outdoor living room. I’ve got so many good ideas of what I’d like to do. Take a look at my ideas and the inspiration I’ve pulled from  Pinterest!  Here’s what I think our porch really needs:

  1. A ceiling fan
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The porch in this photo reminds me of a nicer version of my own porch. The spaces are similar. I love that ceiling fan because it’s decorative, and because I definitely don’t love our hot, humid weather.

2. Porch rug and a coffee table

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I just love the porch furniture, the colors, and the general coziness of Suzy’s porch over at Worthing Court. It’s lovely- I just wanna sit there and drink my coffee.

3. Pillows or cushions

See the picture above. Cushions and pillows make any porch seem cozy and inviting.

4. Soft lighting for fun and for evenings

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I realize this is a Christmas photo, but I love the soft lighting from the string lights. String lights are also just a very cool look.

5. citronella candles

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The mosquitoes in North Carolina are world-famous. They’re mean and they will get you. And since you’re well aware of my fondness for mason jars, I thought I’d try my hand at making a few of these citronella candle jars.

6. a new porch lantern

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Our puny, builder grade light fixture was broken in one of the hurricanes last year and we haven’t replaced it yet. I’d love this barn light lantern on our back porch. It’s such a cool look.

7. different wreaths

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There is nothing wrong with the wreaths I made, but I think they’re a little puny. This wreath is fuller and the colors are better and I think it’d look great on my doors.

We are actively working on making the porch cozier and better right now. I can’t wait to share it with you in the next few months!

The BEST candied yam recipe EVER!

I am a southern woman, through and through. One of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes is candied yams. I look forward to eating these things all year long. I can honestly say I have a sweet tooth, and these yams truly do taste like candy.

To make them, you only need a few ingredients: butter, brown sugar, and of course, yams. You can even use canned yams if you want to.

First, melt a cup of butter on medium in your saucepan.
Next, add two tightly packed cups of brown sugar. Bring it to a boil.

Then, pour your brown sugar and butter mixture over your yams in a 9×12 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Next, eat some delicious candied yams until you feel like you’re going to pop- they’re that good.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! What is your favorite way to cook candied yams?

Things I Wish I Knew Before Cooking My First Thanksgiving

Last year, we found ourselves scrambling to make Thanksgiving plans amidst a global pandemic. Unable to gather with local family and unable to travel to out of state family, we decided to host our very own Thanksgiving celebration at home for the four of us.

While I am a decent cook, I’m not a chef. I’m far from it. No one at my house is going to go hungry, but I’m not used to cooking large holiday feasts.

Dinner turned out well, and it tasted great, but there are still a few things I would like to share to make your life easier.

1. Plan ahead!

Do as much as you can ahead of time. Plan your meal in advance. Make your shopping list early and buy the ingredients a week in advance- that way, you have plenty of time to make changes or pick up additional ingredients. If there are any dishes you can make a day early, do it. Save yourself some time and last minute planning.

2. Not everything has to be made from scratch.

Not everything tastes good premade but you can get away with using some canned or premade goods. Why not save yourself some time by using frozen yeast rolls or canned yams? If it works for you, and your family is happy, why does it matter?

3. Make sure you have extra cookware on hand

Most of us don’t typically use three or four pots at once to cook dinner, so a lot of us don’t have that many pots. Try to calculate when you will be cooking what so you can ensure you have enough pots before you get started. This way, you can borrow or purchase extras in advance.

4. Research unfamiliar recipes

Never cooked a turkey before? No problem! Just research the recipe that meets your needs! We are a busy family with small, picky children who won’t eat just anything. I searched for a few weeks before I found a turkey recipe I thought everyone in our family would enjoy!

5. And lastly, don’t stress over the small details

Your kids and your family aren’t going to remember whether everything is perfect- they are going to remember how much they enjoyed family dinners with their loved ones. Don’t stress on the small details- remember to relax and have a good time with your family.

Have a great week!!

Fall decor at Michael’s!

I don’t know about you guys, but I absolutely love decorating for fall. We have over a month until Christmas comes and it seems to me that fall decor is getting harder to find in the stores.

Recently, I popped into Michael’s to look at ribbon and was pleasantly surprised by all the fall decor they still had in stock. I thought I’d share some of my favorite finds with you all.

This cute little metal sign was less than $20.

Colorful burlap pumpkins, anyone? Less than $10.

There were a lot of cute fall pillows to choose from. These were less than $20.

These faux pumpkins were by far the most expensive thing I found at $30…but they’re so cute though.

What fantastic fall finds have you found lately?

Easy DIY Fall Wreath

I wanted a new fall wreath as mine has gotten a bit faded, but I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. I found some cute ones I really liked, but they were $70 or more. I just couldn’t see spending so much for a wreath I would only use for a year or two.

Did you know you can make a pretty but simple wreath all on your own ?

All you will need are these things: everything here cost me about $20.

I started by removing the tags from the flowers and arranging them on the wreath as I wanted. I then glued them down and secured the ends with floral wire.

I then added a cute little bow to my wreath.

My wreath was cute but it needed something more. I added this B that I already had.

Have you DIY’d any fall wreaths this year? I’d love to see them!