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Thursday
Aug302018

all your questions about our pool (and some new sod!)

If you've been following along on Instagram, you're probably tired of seeing photos of our pool in my feed and my stories, but since I'm in complete denial that summer is officially/technically coming to a close here very soon (and since it's going to be a while before it starts to feel like Fall here in the south), I figured it was better late than never to answer all of the questions I've gotten this summer about our pool in a blog post!

I also thought this was a great opportunity to talk a little about the new sod we had put down in June.  We have a ton of trees on our property, which I have always loved, but all that shade killed 80% of our Bermuda grass and left our yard looking like a hot mess.  Earlier this spring, we decided to take the leap and have all of it sprayed and dug up and replaced with zoyzia sod.  It has been the best decision we have ever made!  It's seriously like instant carpet; it looks amazing, the kids love how soft it is and it's so far, knock on wood, been pretty low maintenance (with the exception of keeping on top of watering).  When the Bermuda died off, moss and weeds took its place and, I'll be honest, it was depressing being out back and looking at that.  The new sod has been such a game changer.  Considering how much time we spend in the pool in the summer, it was definitely worth the investment. 

I've gotten a bunch of questions about the pool every time I post a shot, so here we go!  I made sure to go back through my DM's so that I answered each and every one!  If there's anything I missed, make sure to leave me a note in the comment section!

How big is your pool?  It's 18x36 feet.

Is it saltwater?  Yes!

How do you keep the grass around the pool from dying?  Honestly, this has never been a problem, even when we had Bermuda and so far, since we had the zoyzia put down in June, we haven't had an issue, either. 

How is your pool so blue?  Our pool is plaster, which is tinted azure blue all the way through.  This means that, even if there is ever a scrape or a gash in the plaster, you'll always only ever see the blue.

How wide is the coping around your pool?  We have 24 inches of concrete around the pool, the absolute minimum width to be able to support a pool of our size. 

Is that slate tile around the top?  We were told that slate did not fare well with salt water so, instead, we opted to go with a matte ceramic tile that looks just like it!  I absolutely love it - you really can't even tell that it's not slate!

How deep is your pool?  It goes from three feet in the shallow end to seven feet in the deep end.

How much time do you spend on maintaining the pool?  Honestly, it really isn't too much work - once a week we brush the pool and backwash (or more often if we've gotten a lot of rain), both of which I can do with the kiddos in the pool.  We also have an automatic vacuum, which is worth its weight in gold.  I literally plug it in and let it go for 45 minutes to an hour and it's squeaky clean!  The biggest issue with saltwater pools, at least that we have experienced, is that the pH is always super high.  If you let it go, it can lead to other bigger issues, so we test the water once a week and add some muriatic acid to bring it back down again. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  We will be celebrating Luca's second birthday right here by the pool.  Be sure to check out Instagram for party snaps!

Tuesday
Aug282018

diy myrtle topiary

I love, love, LOVE myrtle topiary; I think they may, quite possibly, be the chicest house plant, as much for the texture as the shape and pop of green, but despite my best efforts (or the $$$ I've spent buying them in the first place), I've never been able to keep one alive for more than a month.  While I've never really been one for fake plants or flowers, I just couldn't justify spending more money on another live topiary, only to have it up and die on me shortly after, so I have been on the hunt for a pretty good fake myrtle topiary for a while now (no judging).  I always came up empty-handed, so I figured...how hard could it be to make one myself?  The answer, as it turns out, is much easier than I thought! 

The hardest part was finding legit-looking greenery.  I ended up using these from Hobby Lobby; I like how the pieces kind of fall down and hide the top of the stick and the wire I used to adhere it.  All I did was use wire cutters to cut individual pieces and then wrapped the pieces with green floral wire tightly around a stick from my yard.  Stick it into a piece of floral styrofoam in a pot, cover the base with moss and you're set! 

I got a lot of questions about the pot I used for this when I posted a snap on my Instagram stories and it's another quick project that couldn't be easier!  I spray painted an inexpensive terra cotta pot with gray spray paint in a satin finish.  Once it was dry, I whitewashed a little watered down white paint and then wiped it back with a clean cloth.  Once that step was dry, I dry brushed a little white paint.  You can see a step-by-step tutorial for this with furniture here; it's the exact same process I used this time, too. 

I still love fresh greenery, house plants and flowers (we all know I can't live without hydrangeas all over the house!) but I think a faux project like this one works here because it isn't over the top (and no one gets close enough to be able to tell that it's not real).  If anyone stumbles across a very convincing fake, pretty please share!  In the meantime, this will do!

Thursday
Aug232018

hamptons handpoured + a giveaway!

I can't remember the last time I went an entire day at home without lighting a candle.  I keep one on my mantle where it's out of my littles' reach and when I'm done running errands for the day, lighting it is the first thing I do before anything else.  I'm always on the hunt for affordable, soy-based candles that smell amazing so, I was thrilled to discover Hamptons Handpoured, an East Hampton-based candle company created by a Hamptons' native to merge her love of interior design and wellness. 

Each and every candle is hand poured and uses American grown, natural soy and plant-based fragrance oils. I love that each scent that is used tells the story of life on the East End!  The candles burn so well and smell absolutely AMAZING and, an added bonus-the packaging blends in so well with the rest of my decor.

I've been burning Bridgehampton nonstop in the kitchen lately; the mix of lime, arugula and honeysuckle is so fresh but still light, which I love because it's not competing with whatever I'm cooking.  Southampton has taken up permanent residence in my bathroom; I burn it after the kids have gone to bed and I get a chance to take a hot shower after a long day.  With cotton, gardenia and white tea undertones, it smells just like freshly laundered linen!  East End is probably my most favorite because it smells exactly like the sea!  

I'm so excited to have teamed up with Hamptons Handpoured on Instagram to give away one of their candles of your choice!  So, hop on over to Instagram (@bungalowblue) and tag a friend for a chance to win! 

Tuesday
Aug072018

5 favorite (and easy!) summer-inspired diy's

My idea of the perfect DIY is one that is easy, inexpensive, relatively quick to execute and doesn't look like something you actually made yourself.  (Had to add that last part because it's so true!!)  If you're in the mood for some easy, summer-inspired DIY's to try, I've got a few for you that will have your friends and guests wanting to know your secrets!  I've blogged about these before, but I thought it would be fun to update the list and add a couple new favorites:

This rope-wrapped vase is one of my favorite diy's, as much for the fact that it's INCREDIBLY easy as it is because it looks so beautiful with simple summer blooms! I made a bunch of these for the centerpieces at my cousin's wedding in Newport, Rhode Island, a couple years ago and they looked absolutely AMAZING  filled to the brim with blue and white hydrangea! 

Turn 12 feet of rope from Lowe's or Home Depot into a nautical addition to a bookshelf or coffee table in minutes, or, impress your friends with mini versions of these monkey's fist knots to take home as favors from your next barbeque or get together!  I made a few of these to give away as prizes for the games at my baby shower a few years ago and I'm still getting compliments and comments on them!

Two quick, light coats of liquid gold leaf turn these oyster shells into chic salt and pepper shakers that will have everyone raving at your next dinner party!  I found the mini spoons on clearance at Sur la Table and sprayed the shells with a coat of food safe poly before filling them with salt and pepper.

Give your gallery wall a little refresh and add some texture and softness to your favorite photos or artwork by gluing linen fabric to plain white mats.  These were the perfect addition to a few favorite pieces of art on the gallery wall in Lydia's nursery; I spray painted the frames high gloss white and love the contrast!

My hubby made the oversize Versailles planters that flank my front door for Mother's Day a couple years back and they are still one of my favorite gifts ever.  While this isn't exactly something you could just whip up in less than a half hour like the rest of my picks here today, it's one of my favorite diy's for the fact that these are HUGE and bring so much drama and interest to my front porch (and they look amazing with bright green ferns), but the cost to make these is a fraction of what it would cost to buy something of similar size. 

What are some of your favorite DIY's to do in summer? 

Friday
Jul272018

deb achak: ebb and flow

If you've been following here for any length of time, you know that I have a weakness for/mild obsession with oversize photographic prints of the sea, so it was only fitting that I would fall head over heels in love with Seattle-based photographer Deb Achak's Ebb and Flow series.  And since we are about to head back to the beach, I can't think of a better time to post! 

Taken off the coast of Maui and the Amalfi Coast of Italy, the shots are from the vantage point of the swimmer's eye, which I absolutely LOVE, and the colors are absolutely stunning!  Can you just imagine the dramatic impact one of these prints would make in a room on a very large scale?  I have been following Deb for a while on Instagram and have particularly enjoyed all the snaps she's shared on her stories of her recent trip back to Italy; her feed is full of so much inspiration, she's definitely one to follow!  In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites from her Ebb and Flow series

And just to see how amazing these prints truly are on a large scale, here are a few snaps from her Instagram.  Most are in her all-white studio, which make for the perfect backdrop for her beautiful prints:

Happy Hump Day!