So What’s a Berm Again?

“What’s a berm?” “Why are you building that?” “What’s the reason again?” These are some of the questions I get when I tell people we’re taking dirt from the back yard and walking it in a wheelbarrow to the front yard to build a berm.

Here’s our house “before”
And After!

This is the area behind our house I grabbed dirt, branches and rocks from to fill the berm.

I’d say it took a good 80-100 loads of dirt (About 4-5 hours) to get it up to 18 inches. We threw old sand from the sandbox, rocks, dirt, grass – anything we could find to bulk up the berm for free.

After it was an acceptable size I layed down newspaper and old cardboard boxes instead of landscape fabric. This is the part the neighbors were probably the most confused about but hey it’s free and works just as well!

We got 3 yards of mulch delivered to top it off, bought a rhododendron bush, a wild grass bush and some pretty colorful annuals. Each year we’ll plant more until it fills in. For now this is all we wanted to spend but it adds interest to the yard and blocks out some of the traffic noise. It’s a win win!

Here she is! Once the shrubs and plants fill in it will look much more impressive but we love how it’s started out.

Alright here’s a little update!! We found some landscaping rocks that someone was unloading FOR FREE!! What an awesome score – we got 2 car and 1 pickup truck worth of rocks and she still has more for us!! Check out pics….

Here’s a look of the berm in Spring


After renting apartments all my life it’s easy to say I’m VERY comfortable calling the landowner or Super when things go wrong. Robbie, on the other hand is a true DIY’er. If a faucet is leaking or the ceiling starts to crack his first instinct is to grab his tool belt and run to the hardware store to fix it. It took me a while to get into his way of thinking now that I’m a homeowner. I’d have the phone in my hand ready to call someone then slowly realize….there’s no one to call. I have to fix it. BOOOO!!!

Also not running to the store to BUY what I need for the house has been another challenge for me. Robbie is the type of person that re-uses and repurposes things before considering buying a new product. I love this way of doing things but it takes way more patience and compromise AND WHO WANTS TO COMPROMISE??? Yes you can “one click Amazon” that perfect shelf to your house in a matter of hours but maybe go through the back yard and you’ll see some wood you can use instead? Reduce reuse recycle right?

That being said here are some shelves we made out of wood Robbie found in the attic – he cleaned them up and stained them then cut them all the same size….

I found black brackets for 75 cents at IKEA and painted them gold.

The finished (almost) product! Still have to find artwork for the center but the shelves turned out great!

From Thrift to Boutique! How We Quickly Cleaned These Barstools To Look Fabulous

I ALMOST missed these beauties at Savers because they looked so dingy but Robbie spotted them on our way out. They were the right height for a bar we want to make in our dining room. Even though the bar doesn’t exist yet we knew at $20 each they were too good to pass up! They needed some TLC but were in great shape.

Here they are “before” -still have the Savers price tags….

Robbie used this stain to clean up the wicker
Look at the difference!
An “After” and “Before” (After on left)
Ok they don’t have a home yet but look how nice! I still may paint the legs….stay tuned….

How We Made a $60 Mirror Look Like A Million Bucks

Look. We love West Elm just as much as you do but unless there’s a blow out clearance sale and we have the employee discount coupled with a promo code – we can’t afford to decorate our house with their stuff. So we like to see what they sell and copy it best we can for CHEAP! And you can too. You will need spray paint and a Robbie. If you can’t find Robbie just the spray paint will do. Here’s what we did!

Here’s the beauty from West Elm that we were drooling over. After shipping it was about $300. We couldn’t find broze or gold large round mirrors for under $100 anywhere so……
Robbie found this silver 36 inch-er on Ebay. We couldn’t find a pretty broze one bc apparently that’s what EVERYONE wants so we got out our trusty spray paint and told our three year old she could help.
Cover the mirror with paper and tape
Lightly sand so the paint has something to grab onto
Spray lightly – a couple of coats in big back and forth motions. Keep each coat light. It’s best to go back and add another light coat then to deal with heavy clumps
Let it dry thoroughly! Don’t be impatient!
Voila! She’s done and ready to hang
Now we need a pretty MCM console table….to buy or make one?

Our new house!

We just bought our new house built in 1951 located in Baltimore County, MD. It was move in ready but, we want to make it ours. We have an aesthetic that is not what is popular or mainstream. We like to take a bit of our childhood dreams and our adult eyes and create something magical. Join us on this journey. It will be fun, hard, tiring, and rewarding.