Have Yourself a DIY Summer


In general, summer feels more simplified around our home.  Schedules are less hectic.  It seems we are around the house more.  The days are longer…and hotter.  All of these factors get me in the mood for DIY projects to spruce up the home. (Well, except hotter which sometimes makes me want to crawl in a hole…or pool!)

I realize everyone’s to-do or wish list looks different.  The homes we love to live in all look different as well.  I hope by sharing a few ways we spruce our home for summer inspires you to tackle one or a few projects around your home to make your spaces and your memories more lovely and enjoyable.

Though we spend a good majority of the summer outdoors, I will start by sharing a few ways I spruce the inside of our home for summer.  Honestly, summer is really the only season I don’t get excited about decorating.  When the cooler weather comes, I can’t wait to display pumpkins, gourds and other fall goodies.  For Christmas, decorating the tree is always a family affair.  Bunnies and birds sneak in the house for spring.  When summer rolls around, I tend to keep things very simple. 

To start, I purge and organize!  We usually have a garage sale every spring so having this chore done by the sale is the goal!  It’s always a good time to clear the clutter and make some cash and/or donate things you no longer use.

After the purge, it’s a good time to refresh your décor…especially if you have a little garage sale cash burning a hole in your pocket.  This year, I found myself adding touches of greenery.  Succulents are hot right now too.  The options in faux greenery, florals, and succulents are currently abundant, high quality, inexpensive, and most importantly, so hard to kill.  Find a fun container, pop in your plant, and your home will be instantly spruced.

Another fun item to display in your home, particularly this time of year, is photobooks and scrapbooks. Updating the photos in your frames is another quick way to spruce your home. I like to drag out mementos from summer vacations past.  Books and photos not only add character to a space, but they are also great conversation starters for summer guests.

I find the kitchen is the place I do many of my DIY projects in the summer.  With all of the fresh fruits and veggies available this time of year, it’s hard not to indulge in the bounty.  Whether you have your own garden or orchard, a giving friend that shares the harvest or love to visit the Farmers’ Market, the options are endless.  From drinks, to desserts, to soups and salads, food made with fresh ingredients is hard to beat.  I thought I would share a couple of our favorites.

A quick, easy recipe that is fun to make with your kids.

Print Recipe
Pasta Fagioli
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and garlic. Cook 3 minutes, stirring. Add broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring a few times.
  2. Add pasta, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover; stir in zucchini, squash, parsley, and salt. Continue to simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes, or until pasta is just al dente.
  3. Remove from heat and cover saucepan. Let soup stand to develop flavors and for the pasta to swell. While the flavors are developing, it's a good time to put together some grilled cheese sandwiches for a delicious summer meal.

I’ve tried several popsicle recipes and the best ones have been made with whatever fruit I have and yogurt.  Basically, you can’t go wrong.  Prepare your fruit by peeling it and removing the seed.  Place the fruit, yogurt, and some milk (if it needs thinning) in a blender and blend until smooth.  I pour mine in small plastic cups and insert a stick.  Freeze and serve. Easy Peasy!  Our favorite combination is peaches and strawberry yogurt.  If I have oranges, strawberries, or bananas that need to be used, I will throw those in too.  My little one may not have loved what I cooked for dinner last night, but I am always a good cook when I make popsicles!

Let’s take it outside with the summer sprucing.  The easiest way to spruce your outdoor living area is to add plants and flowers.  Planters and pots are the way to go if you are doing your sprucing in the hotter months.  I prefer to plant my flowerbeds in the fall to give them time to establish root systems before it gets hot and dry.  So when I add plants or flowers in the summer, I plant them in containers so I can easily water and move them.  If a plant is struggling in the afternoon sun, it’s nice to be able to relocate it to a place that makes it happier.

Patio string lights are a quick way to add ambiance to your space.  This is always a favorite for kids.  String lights around your patio awning, wrap trees, or playground equipment for a magical atmosphere that even the big kids will enjoy.

A fire pit or ring is also a nice addition for outdoor areas.  Gathering sticks, cooking hotdogs or smores always makes for a fun evening.

 My favorite DIY project we’ve completed so far is our stock pond swimming pool (Aka hillbilly pool).  Basically, we bought a livestock tank from the hardware store, cut holes in it and added fittings to attach a water filter, filled it with water, and added a chlorine tablet container.  We have enjoyed this little pool for four years now.  It’s simple, budget friendly, perfect for kids, and even adds some rustic charm to our backyard.  I really felt stylish when I saw Country Living post about this type pool on Instagram last week! (They really know how to make all things dreamy!) Here’s the link if you want to check it out.

Whatever DIY projects you decide to tackle this summer, enjoy yourself.  Celebrate your accomplishments with a dip in the pool, or I don’t know, maybe a DIY margarita?!





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