Makeover – Part 2 – The Front Yard

So I’m going to tease you with a wedding picture of my beautiful new daughter-in-law at the end of this post that was taken in the area pictured below.

Funny how sometimes the areas you’ve worked so hard on are the very areas the experts tell you needs to be replaced.  The areas in question may have been beautiful at one time and even what was popular but today that are “outdated.”  One of the areas we got this advice on was our front porch area (okay – it’s not a true front porch) but it’s my front sitting area so I’m calling it a porch. 


Years ago my husband, Jeff, worked so hard placing tile in this area.  But it was time for it to go.  In order to save some money we decided to demo this area ourselves.  How hard could it be right?  It was pretty hard and we ended up renting a tool to help break it up.  Our thanks to Josh, our son-in-law, for helping Jeff with this project.

Here were a few things I learned during this process:

Lesson One – we often have to remove something to make way for something new and better. 

Lesson Two – we will be living in a mess for awhile and wonder more than once what did we just do?

Lesson Three – next time we might want to get a quote from the experts who have the tools and see if the money being saved was worth the effort we expended?i

Note – there is a bench in the corner of this picture – promise it will mean more later in the post.


Another block wall – ugg! – this wall also began to show it’s wear and I wasn’t sad when we decided to remove it entirely.


I took this picture because this was a project that was important to Jeff.  We had a yellow plant on the other side of the garage and he wanted it to match on both sides.  So he moved rock, found a way to get water to the area, brought dirt in and after several hours we had a yellow plant on this side of the garage also.  As you can see it was a bit of a wrestling match – Jeff won.


Our new front yard.

wedding - Rhiannon - bench

Photo – Aaron Kes Photography

Our daughter-in-law sitting on the bench but now with rustic bricks under her pretty toes.  This area was used in several of Evan and Rhiannon’s wedding photos.  

If you missed Part 1 of the Makeover Series (Getting Ready for the Wedding) you can find it HERE

Next week we’ll be returning to the back yard.

During the time the front was getting made over I felt a a bit like the the tile being broken up as I learned a new way to exercise consistently and provide daily nutrition that was a benefit to my body.  I remember how proud I was when I finished 42 days of the program and could see my own changes happening.  

IMG_6627Deliciously Inspired offers support and tools to help you build a healthier you.   Leave a comment or email directly for more info. 


Makeover – Part 1 – The Wall

House M-0 - Block Fence Before

When I look at this picture I see so many things…I see the yard my children’s birthday parties occurred in when they were growing up – Evan’s 4-year-old Winnie the Pooh Blustery Day Picnic;  Tamara’s 8-year-old western sleepover.  I remember when we first moved in over 20 years ago and the ash tree was a starter tree.  We have watched it grow year after year drop seeds in the summer that catch the wind and look like little whirly gigs spinning to the earth as we floated in the pool.  Then the season changes to fall and the leaves of the tree seem to endlessly drop in large batches until the lawn is covered in a quilt of yellow, orange and brown.  We would often wonder as we raked those leaves if they would ever stop dropping  but then one day you notice the branches are as bare as a newborn’s behind and you await new growth  that comes in the spring to bring shade back to the summer days ahead. We have celebrated anniversaries, bridal showers, holidays  and a few weeks ago we watched our son (yes, that same child who had his 4-year-old birthday party) and his sweetheart exchange their wedding vows.   

It was in February of this year that both our yard and I began to be refurbished a bit.  We were both a bit worn out.  For several years every time I saw the wall outside, it reminded me of how I felt on certain days.  It wasn’t that effort was being put into keeping us up and running but what was being tried wasn’t effective.   In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing lessons I’ve learned through this experience, share progress as we worked on getting the yard ready for the special day and a little of my continuing progress in regards to my health  journey.

Lesson 1 – Bring in the experts or at least someone who knows more than you do and knows what tools to use.

 As I said we had tried to take care of that wall by ourselves with a brush, a sprayer,  etc but nothing lasted, nothing blended well and we couldn’t patch the holes that were beginning to appear.  Looking back I wonder how many hours and dollars we spent trying to do it on our own.   What a difference when we paid someone who had a skill set we didn’t.  It felt like a miracle that in only a few days time we went from the picture above to this.  Old plants had been removed, tree roots had been shaved and oh the wall was smooth – no holes and ready for a coat of paint that would stick.


We did paint the wall ourselves – so much blue painter tape before the sprayer could be used but worth it.


Lesson 2 – Invest in what you want to accomplish.  My dad has a saying about having a choice to either “Work hard or Work SMART.”   When we find the right tools for the right job, it stops being so hard.  That doesn’t mean there isn’t effort but we have a plan to meet the goals on hand.  I know this proved especially true for me when it came to implementing consistent nutrition and exercise.  Purchasing a $60.00 at-home program became the catalyst of change with an on-line coach and group support.  I found the right tools for the right season.  I didn’t have to design a program; my job was to follow it to the best of my ability.  The picture on the left was taken in September and the picture on the right was when I got started on February 16th.

I am happy to say that both the wall and I are in a much better place.



Summer Makeover

Summer - Flippy Floppy

My family has always struggled with weight so over the years I have become a student of different programs. I have counted calories, points, worked with trainers, tried to do it on my own. I have felt bad when my clothes became as my grandmother would say “snug”. But it was chronic illnesses that continued to motivate me to find a program that was the right fit for this body of mine that struggles with sleep apnea, interstitial cystitis, hypoglycemia and permanent nerve pain from shingles. I share this with you because I know that having a nutrition/fitness program that works for my body but has room to challenge me as I get stronger and allows me to be creative in the kitchen is a powerful tool in managing these conditions so they don’t manage me. Everyone needs good nutrition, a practice of proper portions and varied workouts that are being applied daily. Our bodies do so much for us but often we don’t maintain them well. If you are looking for a place to start because you’ve been lacking the proper tools, the at home program I’m using, 21-Day Fix, may be just what you need.  Read HERE for more information on my fitness journey.  I have spots for two women who are ready to make a change in my Summer Challenge Group starting Monday, June 29. It’s not too late to join us. Leave me a comment below or private message me.

 Note –   If June doesn’t work for you, I run a challenge group every month – just type I’m interest in a comment and I’ll email you.

Debbie - June Update - slant

Here is a healthy Chocolate Banana Nut Fudgepop I enjoyed using this recipe with a twist
Chocolate Banana Nut Fudgepop