#FEARNOMESS - our patio makeover with method

First of all! I'm partnering with method on this post, and though I am being compensated, all thoughts and ideas are our own. Thanks for supporting the people who support us!

We've been in our rental house for a few months now. I LOVE our rental house. Who says that about a rental? It might be because our landlords are so chill about changes we want to make, or the layout, or all of the windows and natural light, or everything all together. When we moved in we immediately made each room our own. The only weird thing about our house is that we don't really have a back yard - we have a weird side yard patio thing, and it's all concrete. Yep. No grass - all concrete / rock / block wall fence. Gray 4 dayz. Sad city. For awhile it's just housed toys and our grill, but everything gets pretty dusty (it turns out we live in the DESERT) so I never really thought we would use it for much more than that.

Josh had been playing around with the idea of making a table for the side yard, and so after method challenged us to #fearnomess, I got over myself and my weird aversion to our dirty concrete box yard, and we got excited planning our new outdoor space - dust or no dust! We planned a dinner party as our deadline (which is a great motivator. We usually invite people over when our house is a wreck so we'll be forced to clean it. Does anybody else do that!?) and got to work.

I can't tell you how he does it, but Josh makes the dopest things. He MADE this table and two benches (they are so sturdy, too!) and the cost of materials ended up being about $150. Good thing he had Imogen around to keep an eye on things. She's so interested in building and how things are put together - very much like her papa.

I decided to make some lil' pillows for delicate butts. I had all of this white canvas fabric leftover from a previous project, as well as some textile paints. (I love textile paints! Acrylic paints on fabric end up feeling too stiff but textile paints are made to feel so much softer.) I think I made 5 pillows in one afternoon, so it was a great simple project to knock out if you have a few hours on your hands.

Since we also dream on a budget, we don't just go buy plants for every new space. I've been learning as I go but I love propagating new plants from existing plants. A couple of weeks prior to our party, I took my very large pencil cactus plant (these things grow like crrrrraaazy) and replanted a bunch of cuttings into smaller vases. SPOILER ALERT: they're still alive! I also grabbed this paddle cactus off of a larger cactus and stuck it in a pot. They're that easy to grow. This one is already starting to bloom after being in its new home for a couple of weeks! If you're also on a budget and happen to live around Phoenix, Craigslist is a GREAT resource for cheap or free cacti cuttings. We definitely have scored over the past couple of months as we're trying to build up more greenery in the patio area!

We were able to update our outdoor lighting for about $50 at Costco. These are such a great deal - I think everyone we know has grabbed these lights, too! They really make such a cozy ambiance.

One of my favorite things about the surface spray is that method sprays actually smell NATURAL. They're not chemical-y. You spray the French lavender, it smells like actual lavender. I'll never get tired of it. We are also really big on recycling, so naturally I love that all of the method products are biodegradable, made FROM recycled materials, and are 100% recyclable. I'm happy to partner with a company that does so much environmental good, but also makes a dang good product on top of it. Because Josh sealed our outdoor table, it's so easy to spray and clean before guests arrive, and bonus: smells amazing! (Clementine!)

Time to use our space for the first time. So much fun! Thanks to our friends Anthony + Jamie (and crew!), Scott + Chelsea, and Robert + Christina for joining us (and loving on our kids!).

I'm so glad we decided to go for it with this outdoor space. Fear no mess, you guys! Make it happen and you'll be so glad you took a risk! If you haven't tried method products then head over to their site (if you sign up for their email newsletter you'll get 15% off and promos and stuff, you know the deal!). I've never bought a method product I didn't like. Which scent should I try next?!

 

March Loves

March is coming to an end, and so ends one of the best months in Phoenix. The weather is perfect, everybody is outside all the time, neighbors are trading parsley and rosemary from their herb gardens. It's idyllic. Here's some things I loved from March 2016.

Loyal is only 7 months, but already started pulling up to stand up in his bed. WHAT!? How did it happen so fast? I seem to remember it taking Imogen a year to get to that point! We just moved him to a big crib one month ago and already we've had to lower it. Crazy. Also I'm noticing more similarities in Loyal and IQ in photos and it's blowing my mind, because I think they look so different. Kids, man!

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Dave Bazan just released his first single "The Trouble With Boys" from the upcoming album Blanco and I'm completely obsessed with it / ripped apart by it. Hear the single on Paste HERE. I hope he knows what an incredible songwriter he is.

In true Sarah Rhodes form, I am 17 years tardy to the West Wing party and I can't stop watching it. I started it out of boredom one night, and it's all I can think about... especially when contrasted with the current presidential candidate campaigns. BARTLET AMERICA NEEDS U.

Josh and I just started a pretty big lifestyle change with a pretty big goal - we want to lose 100 lbs between the two of us. We took "before" photos. It was.... horrible. But good and necessary.

This is the month I started working for my dad managing his social media, and we are also beginning to rebuild his website! I'm so excited for him (he's a doctor that runs a medically supervised weight loss program in NC) and Josh and I will be sharing our own personal weight loss journeys on his blog once we get that up and running! I feel VERY insecure about doing this, but it's a great challenge to do this so publicly. We've been on the program for almost a week now and already seeing differences and significant changes in our energy levels. Feel free to message me if you live in NC and want to know more.

We have also ramped up the serious conversation about buying an investment house to use as an Airbnb! I shared more about that with my friends, but I'm okay starting to talk about it here, too. I can't help but have big dreams, and as a visionary it's hard to take those tedious baby steps to get to that point to do everything wisely (money-wise, mostly)! But even if it takes another year, I know it will be worth it! Who wants to come stay in our future super-cool desert Airbnb home!?

I just released a huge shop update that I've worked very hard on! I think there's 12-14 new prints, as well as five from Josh from his exploding food series! (My favorite one is the pancakes, but I also love the bloody mary one too.) Please go have a look and tell me your fav! Today only all of the prints are 30% off with the code BARTLET, but if you miss it, you'll still be able to have 20% off the rest of the weekend with the code WESTWING. (Do you see what happens to me when I get invested in a show!?)

This month my friend Chelsea completely rebranded her site (Chelsea-bird.com - it's beautiful!!) and it inspired me to pick back up my back-burner project of rebranding mine, as well. It might seem like kind of a pointless thing to do, but for me, my logo is the last thing that ties me to shooting weddings, which I got very burned out on. (It wasn't the people! I don't know what it was. My clients/friends were the best in the world! I think it was that I got so busy, I didn't get to make time for my own creativity, and it only got worse. Just wanted to clarify because I truly loved ALL of my couples, the weddings themselves were SO FUN, and I was honored to have been chosen for that role in each wedding!). Anyway! I chose my current logo font with brides in mind. It seems romantic, fun, a little creative. But it's not ME. Know what I mean? It was for weddings. For attracting couples planning weddings. So off I go weeding through thousands of fonts trying to find myself. Let me tell you, looking at the words ARROW AND APPLE in a million different typefaces for hours can make a woman batty. You start wondering if you spelled "arrow" wrong or if that's even a real word and did you mean to type ELBOW instead? Hah!

FYI: elbowandapple.com is available. Maybe that's my new thing?

Hope your March was wonderful and I hope your April rules harder. <3