house tour {backyard}

the house tour slowly continues… this time to my back yard!

when we first bought our house, while we were waiting on building permits from the city (long process), we started on our backyard first.  it was originally one level, kind of.  the backyard basically was one big slope, from up high at the back fence to the edge of the house.  no flat surfaces.  since we live on a hill we had to tier the yard.

we have 3 levels: the first level is level with the main house and is almost all concrete.  the second level is the grass and planter beds, and the smallest 3rd level is ever changing – sometimes is a play area for the kids, sometimes it has a hammock, sometimes (like now) it has tomatoes growing up there.  someday we hope to have a spa up there.  i would’ve loved to have a play house for the kids, but by the time we get that done they will probably have out grown it – so sad!


the first level is all concrete, which i love and hate.  we had a diamond pattern cut into it for some visual interest, but its just so. much. concrete.  i kind of wish we had left a 1 foot border around the whole area for planter beds.  but when you’re building a house, decisions have to be made every day, and sometimes you just make the wrong ones and have to live with them.  it turns out, the concrete has been great for bike riding, skateboarding, roller blading and hours of chalk sketching.


we still haven’t invested in furniture for our backyard.  i’d love to have teak, but its so dang expensive!  everything else seems cheap and will only last a few seasons, so i never pull the trigger.  we’ve had the white painted pine furniture since we first got married.  the table was a french bistro table found at long beach flea years ago, and the chairs are also ages old from ikea.


i built this succulent container several months ago and i just love how its been filling out!


the corrugated metal was a free find (!!!) that we just installed after 8 years of living with the worlds ugliest cinder block wall.  i am more than thrilled with it!


we still have to do some sort of treatment on the fireplace, but i just haven;t settled on what will be perfect.  i figured i’ve lived with it being ugly for this long, i can probably handle it a little bit longer ;)


our bedroom has french doors that open to the backyard, which is great for sean since he works out of our room, and can sneak outside for a change of scenery when he needs it.  when silas was just a teeny newborn, my parents made the potting bench for us out of recycled materials.  the giant chalkboard was a hand-me-down from friends.


looking at our yard, i am realizing we are the king and queen of getting hand-me-downs and second hand finds!  this table was given to us by our neighbors when they got a new one.  it needs a little love, but its not bad for free!  there are usually towels hanging on the wooden towel each to the right of the back doors all summer long.


the hydrangeas are my all-time favorite flower and even occupy the wheel barrow we got from my grandparents’ home.


up the stairs to the second tier… this also takes you to my parents’ loft, above our garage.  my parents’ live with us about 1 week a month, and then we can use their space as a guest house if needed.  its pretty adorable.  i need to sneak up there more!


every yard needs a little grassy space to run around on and slip n’ slide on!  we have a sad little non-producing lime tree, an equally pathetic dwarf apple tree, and an amazing apricot tree.


there’s the sad 3rd tier.  next to it on the 2nd tier usually sits our veggie garden, but we just didn’t get to it this year.


we also have some beautiful rose bushes to the left of the steps.  one of the plants grows about 8 feet high!










i’ll share more details soon on how we covered the cinder block wall with the corrugated metal!

as always, let me know if you have any questions!


instafriday x3

i have been a bit out of the instafriday loop because i’ve had computer issues, topped by internet issues which lead to only answering the most important emails when we had any wifi.  but today?  today the wifi gods seem to be smiling down on me!  and i popped in a movie for my kids in the rv, so all is quiet and i can actually throw up a blog post – yay!  i’ve kind of been missing my old regular schedule of posting and i just plain miss you guys!

so here’s a little instagram recap of our last few weeks.  i’m linking up my post with my friend jeannett.  come link up with us!  if you want to follow along real-time, i’m thepleatedpoppy on insta-g.


family dinners with our favorite friends!  we need more of these all summer long!


we took off a couple weeks ago for my parents’ boat on the Delta.  fishing was high on silas’ priority list.  i just love my boys in matching hats!


this beautiful cris craft was our home for about 4 days.  even though the quarters were a little tighter than we’re used to, we had all the water we needed to spread out in.  plus, it just prepared us for our time in the RV!


sean snuck a picture of me while i was napping in my parents’ room on board.  naps are my favorite ;)


lily also got in on the fishing action.


i soaked up as much gracie as i could since we dropped her off at camp (for 11 days!) right after our boat trip.


and now that we have an eleventeen year old, she likes to grab our phones when we’re not looking to take selfies.  ugh.  but she did have the good excuse that she was taking the pictures so she could look at them to draw a self-portrait.


the first fish was caught!


we had beautiful weather – not too hot, but warm all day, even from the first moment i woke up.  we were blessed with all 3 kids sleeping in each day, so i got to wake up slowly and quietly each day, which is a vacation all on its own!


we moved locations on the delta a few times, starting out in a quite area, then moving the edge of the party area for the excitement of the fourth.  see the mass of boats behind the girls?  thats just a bit of what was out there!  we took the dinghy out for a wild ride down “water gun alley” and got soaked without any ammunition of out own.  (dresses ℅ sunuva)


fish #2!


snuggles for mama!


fish #3!


watching the sunset as we waited for fireworks.


we dropped gracie off at camp and headed home to pick up the rv.  we are staying locally, one town over at the beach.  i feel like i need to explain this since i brought so much jewelry with me!  we’re not really camping, more like staying in a tiny space on the beach ;)  we still are seeing friends, going on dates, going to meetings, etc, so i could;t fully get into camping mode just yet.

our RV is still new to us, so i am slowly making improvements and working out the organizational kinks.  lots of you have asked for posts on what we’ve done so far, but i’m still trying to figure things out before i feel like i can post as an “expert” on Rving.  soon.  i promise.


the kids and i have been going for long walks on the beach almost every morning.  not a bad way to start the day!


thank you pinterest for being the pretty version of google for me!  cooking in an RV is just different than at home.  the space is smaller and our resources are a bit more limited.  we wanted to cook out on the fire to minimize our cooking time inside so i did a quick pinterest search for tin foil dinners.  our first try was actually amazing!  it was coconut lime tilapia with zucchini and corn – even the kids loved it!

and s’mores are just a requirement.  adding a reeses pb cup is also a requirement.


if you are ever in pismo beach, ca, you have to try old west cinnamon rolls.  i like mine with pecans and cream cheese frosting.  i’d like to congratulate myself on only eating 1/2 of one this whole week, considering we are just a few blocks away.


again with the beach.  still not getting old.


one of the first improvements i did in the RV was to add this bulletin board i got at homegoods.  this was an otherwise unusable wall and i wanted somewhere to post a few pretty prints and other necessary papers for the parks we were staying at.  since we are basically living on top of one another, i thought this print from nap time diaries was an appropriate reminder.


with super spotty & irritatingly slow internet, i finally packed up the kid lets and headed to starbucks for guaranteed wifi.  with the kids regularly deprived of screen time (poor things!) they were more than happy to sit quietly and watch a few episodes of casper on hulu while i whipped out a couple blog posts.


even though i don;t get to talk to gracie for 11 days, the camp posts pictures online for parents to see about 3 times a day!  gracie does this little hand signal to tell us she loves us – so sweet!  i can tell by the pictures that she is having great time! (shirt ℅ zoe clothing company)

plans for the weekend: finish painting the fridge (yep, you heard me right), install a new stereo system, fix the leaky faucet, and clean my room.