MOVIN’ ON UP! TO A NEW DOMAIN!

I am so excited to announce that this blog officially lives at http://www.youngbrokediy.com.

Because of the ‘broke’ part of this blog, I am not going to pay for a redirect of this blog so I will be abandoning this blog and moving over to the new domain.

Don’t worry– all this content, is over there!  But all the new content will only be over there. Does that make sense?

So if you are currently a follower, please go on over to http://www.youngbrokediy.com to make sure you stay up  to date on my latest DIY home improvement adventures.

ALL THE LOVE!

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Introducing… Product Reviews!

Summer has been pretty slow on the home improvement front so I decided to keep my loyal readers happy I will now be accepting product reviews! I am open to reviewing anything DIY-esque, home decor, home improvement, lifestyle, health,  or tech related.

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If you are interested, contact me and I will get back to you with information on how to get started.  Stats and subscribers, are available upon request!

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Tips for putting down MULCH!

It’s officially summer-time (yay!).  Which means time for… backyard livin’!  I don’t know about you but I am always very self conscious about my backyard when I have people over.  I find myself on my hands and knees 10 minutes before the guests arrive picking out weeds.  I have quite a few garden beds now, that are very tedious to maintain.  It’s frustrating, because I will weed and spend hours picking them out and then I turn around and they are all back!  This is why, I decided to put down mulch!  Mulch is a great (or so I hear) natural weed preventer.  Not to mention it’s a great way to brighten up your garden (especially if you pick a bold color like RED).   Mulch is a pretty easy job.  I did this one all by myself.  I did make some mistakes though (what else is new) so below I have some tips for first-time mulchers and amateur gardeners like myself.

218786389_fd21e4e571_oDo:
-Weed before putting down the mulch.  If you were in a situation like I was (AKA totally overgrown garden beds), it will help to use a weed killer, which will kill them and loosen up the roots.  If you go this route, spray and wait at least an hour (the longer the better) and wear gloves (REALLY- you should always wear gloves when gardening).
-Put down Preen*, which helps to PREVENT future weeds.  It’s pretty easy to use, just spread it and then water it.  Read the directions on the back for the total 411 but it’s pretty self explanatory and easy.
-Wait at least an hour before putting down the mulch.
-Re weed once you put the mulch down and get anything you might have missed.

Don’t:
-Don’t bother investing in rubber mulch.  It’s QUADRUPLE the price, and yes the color is guaranteed for longer (about 11 years longer as a matter of a fact), you still are going to have to replace it due to weather damage and erosion.  So unless you live in California or in a bubble, go with normal mulch.
-Think weeds will never grow back.  Be prepared to still have do a little bit of weeding.

Hindsight:
-Don’t mulch before a rainstorm.  I made that mistake (of course I did) and it SMELLS!
-Buy extra!  I feel like this should be my blog’s motto because I am always running out of supplies before I finish my project.  If that doesn’t show you how cheap I am — not sure what does.
Oh and in case you were wondering, here’s 1 of the flower beds after the mulch.  I picked red because , well, I like to make a statement.

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*(Disclaimer, I was not paid by Preen to promote their product.  To be completely honest, it seems like they have little to no competitors and have monopolized the weed preventing market so I am not sure if there are any other products to use  but if there are I am sure they work the same.  But as always, don’t take my word for it). 

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The Bar Is Opened!

Our memorial day weekend was spent replacing the floor in our basement.  When I say ‘our’ and ‘we’ I mean, my boyfriend and his dad.  This project is way to advanced for little ol’ me.

Background: When we moved in, the basement was in shambles.  From flooding, the floor had rotted (it was ply-wood with tile on top, not to water resistant) and it had become a storage area for junk.  But, this basement, in it’s glory was absolutely amazing.  My grandfather was a mason worker and he had crafted a bar (see below) that was so unique and because of that we decided to restore the basement to it’s former glory.

Since I wasn’t skilled enough to participate in most of this project (expect picking out the floor and decorating of course), this is just going to be a before & after post.  But, if you are interested in how the tile was taken up, sub floor and floor were put down, feel free to shoot me a request in the comments!

 

BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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Tips:

1. We put down a sub floor (like this) over the old concrete.  This cushions the floor, evens it out and protects the wood panel if there is any type of flooding (it is a basement after all!)
2. We used tongue and groove flooring.  We were originally going to go with a stick and peel (because it is easy to replace) but this looks nicer, has no gaps and wasn’t too much more money.  This is the flooring we used.

Hindsight:

Be prepared to mess up! During this, from taking out the tiles — our stairs actually collapsed.  It was an easy (and needed) fix, but don’t be shocked when something goes wrong.

Disclaimer: We saved a lot of money by having someone who actually knew what they were doing help (my boyfriend’s father).  If you don’t have anyone like that to help out– seriously take some time to educate yourself on the process, get the right tools and find the right materials.  If you really screw it up, you would wind up with a costlier mess on your hands than if you just hired someone from the beginning. 

 

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Easy (yet costly) Backyard Facelift

The backyard got a much needed facelift and we replaced our old dingy tin shed (which God bless it because it lasted a few decades and housed quite a few raccoons and other critters towards the end), with a brand new Rubbermaid (or as I like to call them– Playskool) Shed.

This isn’t really a tutorial, but just a confession that even when you are doing it yourself– you are going to have splurge once in a while.  Although the shed was pretty expensive, we considered it an investment and a cost we had to make.  We did decide to downsize the shed from 8×10 to 7×7 to save a few bucks.

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But look how much of a difference it makes!!  The shed we picked out is a Rubbermaid Roughneck XL*.  We love it! Easy to put together,  water tight, has (tinted) skylights to let light in.  The assembly took about 1/2 a day.  It’s a follow the instructions type of thing, follow them and you’ll do it right the first time.  Ignore them and you probably will wind up having to start all over (SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE FELLAS!)

*Yes, I know the shed is discontinued.  I did a lot of research before purchasing and wound up buying it from Ebay where they FREIGHT shipped it to my house for free.   Loews and Home Depot had similar models but I would have had to rent a truck or pay for shipping and I would have spent more.

NOTE: (I was not paid by Rubbermaid to promote their product, nor did I receive this shed or any similar gift, for free.  BUT if you are a representative from Rubbermaid, feel free to send me free products).

 

 

Pinterest Inspired: China Cabinet Book Case

I was cleaning out an old china cabinet, that probably weighs about 1,000 lbs, trying to figure out how the heck I was going to get rid of it.  Staring at the solid wood,  10 foot tall cabinet, I realized… it’s not going anywhere.

TIME FOR PLAN B: I started thinking of what I could do with it.  As a 25 year old, I don’t have too much china or antiques that deserve to be showcased.  But I do have one collection that deserves to be showcased… my books.

I decided to make it a book shelf, but thought that it might be stale to just have books in there…. not too visually appealing.  So I decided to make my book collection something to admire… by color coordinating them! I got this idea from Pinterest and it was actually pretty easy(but totally time consuming).  Check out the finished product!

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Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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