Friday, November 6, 2015

Things to Consider Before Heading to Your Engagement Photo Shoot

I know this isn't technically a wedding blog, but I just have to share what's been going on in wedding world over here. We just got our engagement pictures back and are absolutely in love with them! I received a lot of tips and tricks from friends, family, and blogs before the shoot and was really thankful for some of the advice. Take a peek at a few of our favorite photos and keep reading for a few things to think about before getting in front of the camera.

Things to Consider Before your Engagement Photo Shoot

Get your hair cut and colored

 A fresh 'do is always a great idea before you get in front of the camera. The new color and cut will look polished and fresh making you look extra great. Try to get to the salon about 2-3 weeks before the shoot.

He might be way uncomfortable with this whole thing

If ya got a shy guy on your hands, just roll with it. It's not everyday you take kissing pics with your significant other while a random person documents your every move on camera. Nic nervously laughed for the first 20 minutes until he got comfortable. We actually got quite a few great candid shots because of it.

Pick outfits that are weather appropriate

If you are taking your engagement pictures in the cold, dress for the cold. Engagement pictures can take a couple hours and you don't want to look uncomfortable in every shot. It was pretty chilly for our shoot, so I was really glad we were wearing sweaters and jackets.

Pick inspirational engagement photos and share them with your photographer

This one should be easy. You most likely already have a ton of inspirational pics on Pinterest, so be sure to share them with your photographer. If you haven't collected ideas yet, here are some of mine:

What are some of your tips for brides-to-be on engagement photo day?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wedding Bells - I'm Getting Married! (+ Proposal Video)

I've been told I'm impossible to surprise, that I'm a little nosy, and that I have a knack for being a little too curious. (What can I say? I like to know things…) Turns out, my nosiness was a bit of a challenge when it came to proposing to me.  Somehow, Nic pulled off the surprise of a lifetime and I’m excited to share the story of my utter shock and excitement at the Butler bell tower last Monday.

engagement pic

Butler university bell tower proposal

Let’s rewind back to freshman year of college at Butler University. 

During my first week of school, I participated in many tours around campus - one of which I remember pretty vividly. My RA led a group of girls past Holcomb Gardens and the Butler bell tower sharing information about each place. She explained that there was a little legend surrounding the bell tower. It was said that if you kissed your significant other under the tower and the bell rang, it meant you were destined to be with that person forever.

The next time Nic came to visit, we decided to test that tale. We marched up those stairs and quickly kissed under the tower before anyone could see us. Surprisingly, the bell tower rang out with a loud clang that sounded out across campus.

You should have seen Nic's face. I would've describe it as a combination of amazement and shock. I'm sure mine was the same. From then on he would jokingly say, "You're stuck with me babe. The bell did ring, you know."   

Fast forward 6 years to present.

Engagement is a hot topic in our world. Friends are getting married and I’m constantly rambling on about “our wedding someday". Not to mention, we were attending friends' weddings almost every weekend. (Cue embarrassing pictures of me trying to catch  the bouquet...)

catch the bouquet

catching the bouquet

There are more, but I'll stick with two for now. It was pretty clear, my mind was on engagement and I needed to be really thrown off guard if I was going to be surprised by a proposal. (Oops)

About a month ago, I signed up for a 10K and have been training with my old college roommate, Bridget. On September 28, 2015 I was prepared for a long, strenuous run up and down the Butler bell tower steps to prepare for the race. Instead, I got the surprise of a lifetime. I'll let the video show the rest.

I was shocked. Just in awe that he had pulled off such an amazing proposal.

Afterwards, as we walked back up the stairs, he explained why he proposed that day. His grandpa had passed away a few months before, and September 28 would have been his birthday. I just balled. Like a baby.

How thoughtful?

I am beyond blown away and so excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Cheers to wedding planning over this next year!

radiant cut engagement ring

What can I say, the bell did ring.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

5 Ways to Sneak Kale into your Diet

Okay so here's the short version of my relationship with kale: I hear kale is a healthy superfood, I attempt to eat it, I don't like the taste of it, I find sneaky ways to get it into my diet.

kale recipes

After trying kale for the very first time, I didn't exactly understand what all the fuss was about...until I looked up the nutrition facts (featured below courtesy of  good 'ole Google). Kale is a great source of protein and potassium while having a pretty low calorie count. Not to mention, it's jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants. So I got creative. Yes, you can try to choke down kale soup, but here are a few sneaky ways to get kale into your diet while still pleasing the palate.

  1. Amount Per 

    Calories 33
  2. % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.6 g0%
    Saturated fat 0.1 g0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 25 mg1%
    Potassium 329 mg9%
    Total Carbohydrate 6 g2%
    Protein 2.9 g5%
    Vitamin A133%Vitamin C134%
    Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-610%
    Vitamin B-120%Magnesium7%

Grilled Cheese and Kale

Okay, it sounds weird, but when it's melted in with cheese you can hardly taste the kale at all! I know grilled cheese doesn't sound like the healthiest option, but if you grab some whole wheat bread and low-fat cheddar cheese, you are good to go. Don't forget to chop off the kale stems first.

Mini Kale Breakfast Quiche

For this one, chop up 1 ounce of baby kale and throw it into a mixture of eggs, onions, tomatoes, and a little sharp cheddar cheese. Heat the oven to 350 degrees, pour the contents into a muffin tin, and bake 18 minutes for mini breakfast delights.

Kale Smoothies

This is one of my favorite ways to get in a large serving of kale without ever tasting it. I've tried a few different recipes but my favorite has to be a mix of Greek yogurt, bananas, strawberries, lemon juice, and skim milk with a full cup of kale.

Mixed Kale Salad

This one is pretty simple. Add a little bit of baby kale to your salad or  mixed greens for a tender, flavorful salad.

Kale Muffins

I haven't actually tried this one, but the recipe looks really delicious. Just chop baby kale and add it  into the mixture of other healthy ingredients like oats and flax seed. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite ways to sneak kale into your weekly diet?

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This Year's Fall Favorite Essentials

Happy fall, everybody! Fall is absolutely my favorite season of all time. Whether it's the smell of burning leaves, crisp air or beautiful scenery, I'm thrilled when September rolls around. It's been that way for as long as I can remember. Recently, I've stumbled across a couple of things that have made fall truly feel like fall here in Indianapolis. Pumpkin spice lattes, candles that smell like cinnamon, and new nail colors are just a few of my fall favorite essentials this year. 

Fall favorite essentials

Autumn Wreath

Fall decor is one of those essentials that's pretty hard to pass up. We've had the same "Welcome" wreath on our front door for the past year and I just couldn't pass on the opportunity to swap it our for a fall one. I love coming home to a festively decorated front door. It truly puts you is a fall mood.


Oh yes - this one is a given. When I learned Starbucks was changing their pumpkin spice latte recipe, I was slightly nervous. After giving it a try, I have to say I'm a fan. Not to mention the iced version is uh-maz-ing. The flavor seems to be more bold and spicy. Fall favorite? I think yes.

Essie Wicked Nail Polish

I'm going to be in a wedding this weekend and the colors are gold, burgundy, and navy blue. I wanted a deep red nail color to complement my gold dress and discovered Wicked. This color is a must-have for fall. Obsessed!

Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless

I usually buy MAC foundation for everyday wear, but found myself browsing the makeup aisle at Target when I ran out this time around. I needed something that wasn't super heavy and made my skin look clean and fresh. I picked this one to try and it's become one of my fall favs. Not only did they have the shade I needed, (my skin color is close to translucent) but the matte element gave me a finished look with just a couple sweeps across my face.

Pumpkin Spice Candle

There is nothing better than lighting a candle on fall weekends transforming your house into a cinnamon-infused autumn wonderland. Pumpkin spice candles make fall the best season of the year.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

During fall and winter my skin starts to dry out and break out. This year I grabbed Cetaphil at my local grocery store and started using it in the morning and at night to cleanse and hydrate.  I absolutely love it. It cleans without drying and truly has helped reduce my breakouts. You can pick it up at a drug store for less than $15. This one is definitely a fall essential.

What are some of your absolute must-haves for fall this year?

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Race Update + 10K Training Guide

Happy Monday! I have a bit of an exciting update to share this morning. I've decided to run a 10K as a part of the Red, White & Rosé Wine Run Series. That's right. 6.2 miles of pure pain and suffering followed by the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and, of course, a tall glass of wine. On November 14th, a few friends and I will be taking on the cold air and beautiful trails surrounding the Butler Winery along Lake Lemon.

Race day is about 8 weeks away and I had to put together a training guide if I wanted to run over 6 miles. I've never ran more than 4 miles at a time in my life, EVER! After running a few 5K races, I have an idea of what the race will entail. However, those 5K's didn't require much prep considering they involved beer sampling every few minutes. This time around, it's going to be a major challenge that will require a bit of planning. 

I created a 10K training plan to help me be race ready in 8 weeks. Based on this novice program, my plan includes a series of weekly runs as well as strength and cross training. At this point,  I've completed my first week of training and am super sore. The good kind of sore though. The kind of sore that feels amazing when you wake up in the morning, and kills when you attempt to go down any set of stairs. I'm excited to see how far I can push myself and can't wait to see how beautiful the scenery will be this November.

Map of Butler Winery 10k race

There's still time to sign up! If you live in Indiana and want to participate in the Red, White & Rosé Wine Run Series, head over to to view race dates and locations. Oh! Use code SAVE20155 to save a few bucks on the registration fee. Happy running!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

This Week's Healthy Dinner Inspiration

Monday flew by! How often can you say that? I've been running around all day like a mad person trying to catch up on weekly duties. To give you  a mental picture, I actually put together a grocery list while walking on the treadmill at the gym today...multitasking at it's finest. Usually Sunday is grocery day, but we were out of town this weekend and got off to a late start. While I was "listing" I realized every week I'm looking to Pinterest for inspiration for healthy meals. Sometimes coming up with a weekly dinner plan can be daunting, so I thought I'd share mine. Here's my dinner inspiration for the week. Happy healthy eating! (Except for Tuesday. Tuesday is catch-up-with-the-bestie-taco-and-margs night.)


Sausage & Pepper Pasta

two peas & their pod


No Cooking - Mexican Food Date Night : )


Stuffed Peppers

Cooking Classy


Ocean Cod & Veggies

Julia's Album


Lemon Pepper Chicken

Averie Cooks

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Meet Ruxin + Puppy Adoption Tips

I am very excited to introduce a new member of the fam, Ruxin! On Sunday, July 26 , Nic and I wondered into the humane society in Indianapolis and fell in love with a little 2-month-old pit bull terrier. That little pup grasped on to my shoulder like he never wanted to be let go. And that was it -  I was sold. I got the tingles and everything. Of course, adopting a little pit bull puppy wasn't a spur of the moment decision, it had been a topic of conversation for quite some time. We had been warned of all kinds of puppy traits and were well aware of the pit bull reputation. After lots of discussion and research, we decided to take the plunge and are so incredibly happy we did.

adopt pit bull

sleeping pit bull puppy

pit bull puppy adopted

 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Puppy

What does your immediate future look like?
One of the first things the adoption counselor as us was if we had any major lifestyle changes coming up in the near future. This included things like a joAdopting a new puppy is an incredibly exciting event in your life. Here are a few things to consider before adopting your new furry member of the family.

The sleep thing...
Yeah, so, um you basically have an infant on your hands.This is probably one of the harder transitions I've had to make these past couple weeks.  To determine how often your puppy will need to go out during the night, take the age of your puppy in months and add one. Ruxin needs to go out about every three hours of the night give or take. In other words, Starbucks has become my very best friend.

What's your game plan for the work day?
Since the pup needs to potty every few hours, it's crucial to have a strategy for the work day. Luckily, Nic and I have flexible work schedules and can stagger our lunches to walk the dog every three hours. If you aren't able to come home, try asking a family member or friend to take out your puppy.

Prepare to be overwhelmed with joy!
When you welcome a puppy into your home, your heart will be filled with absolute warmth and happiness. Ruxin has been a little ray of sunshine in our lives and we can't wait to continue to make memories with him.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Decorating Diaries: Novice Edition

shelf wall decorations

I admit it - Pinterest tricked me. All those immaculate decor blogs and HGTV totally convinced me house decorating was a breeze. Is it fun?  Most definitely, yes. Is it easy?  Umm no.

It seemed simple enough. How hard could it be when you have LOADS of Pinterest inspiration photos? All you have to do is head to your favorite décor store (Target), fall in love with a lamp here and a rug there, then wa-lah! A beautiful home appears…not! Falling in love with everything in the store is the easy part. Putting it all together in some sort of cohesive way is where the challenge begins.

As I walked down each isle of the home department at Target, I seemed to be constantly drawn to the same damask-like woven pattern over and over again (as you will see in the throw pillows below). At one point, I had a rug, curtains, AND pillows all with the identical pattern in my cart. Oops? I don’t think Martha Stewart would approve.

It took a couple weekends to start to finally get it right, but I actually have ended up with a couple items that I really like. If you are planning on house decorating, I’ve found it helps to do one room at a time. Picking up decorations for more than one room gets confusing and you’ll end up with all kinds of odds and ends. Also, try to pick a color scheme that features one dominant color, then pair it with a few neutrals. I started by picking out the small stuff for room inspiration - a rug, throw pillows, and a few wall décor items. Here are my favorite decorations so far!

wall shelves picture collage
Shelves | Decorative Signs

Entry table with flowers

damask throw pillows multicolor
How have you spruced up your home this summer?

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pineapple Rum Cocktail Recipe

pineapple rum cocktail recipe

Pineapple Rum Recipe

Happy Thursday, everyone! We've basically made it through the entire week and most certainly deserve a cocktail to celebrate. It's been so rainy and dreary around Indy lately, it's time to add a splash of summery fun into our nighttime ritual. Last weekend, I grabbed a few items off the bar cart and created, what I like to call, the Pineapple Fizz Cocktail. It's perfect for summer nights just like this one. Cheers!


2 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Rum
1 oz. Ginger Ale
Splash of Peach Cranberry Juice


Add ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix, and pour into an adorable cocktail glass.

Pineapple Cocktail

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Zesty Zucchini Boat Recipe

Let's talk zucchini! I fall into a boring chicken and veggie dinner rut every now and again, but this Southwest Zucchini Boat recipe really added a fresh zing to my normal routine.  I was a little skeptical about the zucchini boat at first, considering I am not a huge fan of the veggie in general, but I was blown away with a delicious, zesty flavor! This one has definitely been added to the "must make again" list.

zucchini recipe for dinner


1 Pepper
2 Zucchini
2 Chicken Breasts
1 Chili Packet
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
Salt & Pepper

zucchini recipes for dinner

The Instructions:

Wash the zucchini, cut in half, and scoop out the pulp before boiling for 1 minute. Next, chop green pepper into tiny bits and pieces.

Cook chicken, green pepper, and zucchini pulp in a skillet until fully cooked. Pull chicken apart into small pieces and add chili packet to taste. (I only used half the packet)

Place chicken mixture into zucchini boats and top with cheese. Cook at 400° for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and zucchini is soft all the way through.

I enjoyed a little sour cream and salsa on top for a little southwestern flair, but all kinds of toppings go well with this recipe.(Or eat simply with salt and pepper) Nic added garlic hot sauce to his and ate every last bite. I call that success!

Happy cooking!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Beach Trip Essentials

With summer officially starting this month, I was itching to take a mini vacation to lie on the beach, try a few new restaurants, and shop! Seeing as we didn’t have an entire week to travel too far, we chose to visit Lake Michigan and the quaint little town of New Buffalo. I grabbed these essentials before gallivanting around the beach:

 Sun Hat – I don’t wear hats all that much, but stumbled upon this one while shopping for a swim suit top and just loved it. It screamed “Oh hey, I’m beachy chic” – naturally I snatched it and bee-lined to the register. Best decision ever! Totally saved me from actually doing my hair the entire weekend. (I was going for the beach bum look, okay?)

New Suit – I know swim suits can cost a pretty penny, but they don’t have to! Try mixing and matching an old bottom with a new top or vice-versa. I have a semi-old pair of basic black bottoms that I matched with this new bermuda blue top and it created a whole new suit.

Sunscreen – As much as I would love to be a glowing bronze goddess, the reality is I’m extremely pale and really prone to sunburn. So, I lathered on the sunscreen every hour and ended up with a little color (whoohoo!) without the crazy painful burn.

Magazine – I’m so used to reading blog posts and social media blurbs and wanted to shake it up a little bit. There’s just something about reading a magazine on the beach that you just can’t beat.

Maxi Dress – A maxi dress is an absolute must for a beach weekend. It can be dressed up for dinner and down for a beach cover-up. I found mine at a little boutique in Broad Ripple called Pitaya.

Snack-filled Cooler – Instead of eating every meal at a restaurant during your trip, pre-plan a beach picnic lunch. We grabbed lunch meat, bread, snacks, and drinks from the grocery store and packed a cooler before heading out. Saved us quite a bit of money, and the restaurants we did choose were that much more enjoyable.

Adventurous Attitude (and a little spending money) – Try visiting little shops and restaurants while on your little beach escapade. After all it IS vacation, right? We ventured into a few local shops like the Whittaker House and found the most adorable living room decorations! You never know what you may find.

Make time for yourself this summer and plan a mini getaway! What are some of your summer plans?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Kale Smoothie Recipe

Well it's been a minute or two since I've posted, hasn't it!? I have a good excuse, I swear. I've been taking on new things at work, attending wedding festivities for friends, and making plans for house decor updates! It's been a little crazy, but now that I have a free second, I discovered this new smoothie recipe and I have to share!

fruit for smoothie

I've started to experiment with the blender and came up with a fruit smoothie creation packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and protein. Oh - and it's super delicious! It's easy to whip up in the morning for breakfast or add it to your lunch routine. Kale smoothies are super refreshing and keep you full throughout the day.


1 Banana
8 Strawberries
½ Cup Greek Yogurt
½ Cup Skim Milk
3 Ice Cubes
2 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 Cup Kale
1 TBSP Honey

Feel free to play with the amount of each ingredient you add to your smoothie. I gave ballpark quantities, but I tend to add a dash of this and that as I go along until I get the perfect consistency and taste. Also, don't be scared off by the color. Your smoothie may not be a bright green or pink color, so just remember it tastes better than it looks.

Looking for more smoothie recipes? Try this one and this one. Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe I should try?

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Living Room Decor Inspiration

House decorating is on the horizon! In the next few months, I'm planning to revamp a lot of the decor in our house and make some sort of change or upgrade to almost every room. Up until this point, we've collected a lot of hand-me-downs and Goodwill items that were totally functional right out of college. Now that I've been working for a couple years, it's time to make our little rental house a home. The plan is to start with the living room and work our way throughout the rest of the house making little changes here and there.

As any other sane twentysomething girl would do, I've been collecting inspiration photos on Pinterest to get started. I'm trying not to get too attached to the inspiration photos because we all know it's nearly impossible to recreate them. In any case, I need some sort of jump start to get going on the right track or I'd end up with a hodge podge of just a little bit of everything.

It turns out I like a lot of different styles when it come to living room decor. Some of these pictures have a ton of color and others have a pretty neutral color scheme. Instead of trying to copy just one of these looks, I've pulled together a few commonalities that appear in almost all of the photos.

I like neutrals.

Gray, black, white and tan seem to show up somewhere in all of these photos. The light neutrals brighten up the room and make it look clean and crisp, yet welcoming.

Wood accents are a must.

I really love the wood coffee tables in photos 3 and 4. Some sort of wood accent seems to make a room look modern, especially the old, reclaimed wood look. We have a few coffee tables that we may be able to update or we may just need to buy a new one.

House plants are a plus.

Some sort of greenery seems to add a touch of freshness to the space. I haven't had to best of luck with keeping house plants alive (apparently you've gotta water those little buggers), but I'm willing to give it another try!

Throw pillows can make all the difference.

In a lot of these photos, throw pillows are used to add a dash of color or pattern to the room. Instead of buying expensive curtains or rug to add pizzazz, maybe I'll experiment with throw pillows.

Are you attempting any decor changes in your house or apartment this summer? Any tips?

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Friday, April 10, 2015

5 Healthy Sweet Snacks that Curb Sugar Cravings

I admit it, I have a raging sweet tooth. I will seriously eat the healthiest breakfast, lunch, and dinner then ruin it all with gummy worms, ice cream, and chocolate for dessert. Recently, I've discovered a few healthy snacks that kill my sweet craving and satisfy my sweet tooth. Try picking up some of these snacks at the grocery store next time you need a healthy snack substitute.

Rice Cakes: Packing a rice cake in your bag for an afternoon snack or breakfast on-the-go, is an easy way to satisfy your sweet cravings. Not only are they low in calories and sugar, they come in a variety of different flavors like chocolate and caramel.Yum!

chocolate rice cake

Dried Cranberries: With 0g of fat and only 120 calories for 1/4 cup, these little guys are my favorite healthy snack! Instead of grabbing fruit snacks, gummy worms, or any other sugary snack, I've been buying dried cranberries in the organic food isle. Around 3 o'clock every day, I'll pull out the dried cranberries and munch away.

Oatmeal with Peanut Butter: If you're less of a sweet and sour craver and more of a savory snack craver, try oatmeal with peanut butter. I stumbled upon this magical union of oats and peanut spread in college when my roommate would eat it for breakfast. Since it's fiber and protein packed, I like to whip up a bowl before or after the gym.

Blackberry and Banana Medley: Throwing blackberries and bananas into a little treat cup for your busy afternoons is such an easy way to cater to your sweet tooth. This combo is perfect for those sweet and sour craving days.
berries and banana snack
Happy Snacking!
Granola Bar: I'm a huge fan of the peanut butter Nature Valley or Clif bars. (I'm pretty much in love with things peanut butter if you haven't noticed.) They are packed with protein and other good nutrients that a candy bar can't offer.

The next time you want to grab your "bad habit" snack, try one of these instead. Who knows, you may find your new go-to sweet! What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? I'm always looking for fun ways to mix up my grocery list.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

DIY Backyard Landscape Project

backyard landscape before picture

The projects just keep on coming! The past couple of weekends, Nic and I have gotten into the habit of saying, "What's our project for today?" Saturday was beautiful so we headed to Lowe's to tackle a small part of the backyard that needed some major improvement. We've been toying with different landscaping ideas for the front of the house and wanted to test our skills in the backyard first. Nic used to do a little landscaping for a summer job in college so he got us off to a great start.

backyard landscape project

First, we dug a small path from the deck stairs to the sun room door. (Actually, Nic did the digging, I took pictures. haha) Then we laid a few bricks and cement slabs into the ground to create a little walking pathway. We actually found the bricks scattered around the backyard and I'm still not exactly sure why they were there in the first place.

backyard brick pathway

backyard landscape progress
Maybe our next project should be staining this deck....yeesh
Once we finished the path, it was time to add a little color and greenery. We chose four blue juniper shrubs and planted them alongside of the house. I was reassured it's nearly impossible to kill these guys, which is great, because I can't keep a plant alive if my life depended on it.

backyard blue juniper

shrubs in backyard

Finally, we added some chestnut brown mulch around the path and plants to finish off the look.  I was incredibly surprised by how affordable mulch can be for a small area. We don't live on a huge property so adding mulch to this space cost us less than $10. This was probably the easiest part, you literally dump and spread around.

backyard landscape

diy backyard landscape

diy backyard landscape

I'm super excited with how this backyard landscape project turned out. Not only did it take less than a couple of hours, we did it all for under $40. Next on the list? The front yard! At this point, it's a blank canvas, so any ideas are welcome! What DIY landscaping tips do you have up your sleeve?

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