Floating Deck Reveal

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You know how you watch HGTV shows like Property Brothers and Love it or List it and they always have something go awry or cost more money?  And you’re all like “C’mooooon already.  This happens every time!”  Well, I am starting to understand their position.  When we made our plan for the backyard here, we weren’t 100% dead set on getting everything done this summer due to budget/time restrictions.  But, as each project is completed we get more and more excited to keep going and realize the full vision.  The floating deck was the last project to be completed and fill in this odd, low corner space in the yard.  I was talking to my dad on the phone about the fiancee’s upcoming 30th(!) birthday, and he suggested we throw him a surprise party… and have the deck finished in time.  I loved the idea so we set the plan and were ready to get started.  And then summer decided to really show up and give us some 90 degree weather and sunny days in our shadeless corner.  Luckily our setback wasn’t of the monetary variety, but hot weather sure has been giving us a run for our money and making projects a challenge!  After 4.5 days of work, the deck was completed and we had an amazing surprise birthday party.  We knew all of the work and sweat was worth it when at one point in the night all 18 people were up on the deck relaxing, eating, and having a great time.


Here’s a reminder of  the original yard and plan:

#simplycaitsbackyard | before | SimplyCait.com


And here’s a close up of the corner post retaining wall and fence:

Before the Deck



We decided to go with a floating deck to give us more flexibility in making it level and secure over the low corner of the yard.  We’ve been incredibly lucky and haven’t had any water problems with our house, and we didn’t want to decrease the slope of the yard and challenge mother nature.  It was also quite a bit easier than pouring really deep concrete footings and working against the heat.  In the end, I love the way it turned out and think it really gives the illusion of a flat yard while still maintaining great drainage. {I feel like there’s a “You know you’re an adult when…” statement there.  Who knew I would be worrying about drainage someday?!?}

Here’s the deck at night with our “new” fire pit.  {We ultimately decided not to reinforce the deck for the 450 pound concrete one we poured, so we bought a clearance concrete pot from a local garden center and put the propane kit in there.  It’s much lighter and still looks great IMHO!  As soon as we decide 100% on a location, we’ll drill a hole in the deck and put the propane hose underneath.  We’ll be repurposing the old fire pit into a modern planter, so it wasn’t all for nothing.}  We couldn’t love it more, and it is the perfect place to hang out and relax.

Deck at night


Note: The original plan was to add short plants/bushes along the non-step perimeter of the deck.  But, at the party, it turned out to be a great bench for overflow so that made us reconsider.  We’re going to put in a mini-patio for the gas grill, so I think we’ll wait until after that to see what the overall space feels like and if it could benefit from some extra greenery!  Also, the dining table chairs aren’t cutting it for me by the fire pit, so we’re on the hunt for some that fit the space better.  It’s always an evolution. 🙂



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Friday Finds

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These DIY ice buckets are amazing.  It’s one of those projects that you reallllly wish you had thought of yourself so you could put it out in the blogosphere and claim it as your own.  But, alas, I didn’t.  So enjoy French By Design’s post.  If you’re not up for the full on ice bucket, you can make some beautiful ice cubes instead!


I want to make about a million of these to recognize those everyday heroes that remind us that kindness really is everywhere if you take a moment to notice it.  How special would you feel if a stranger gave you one?


Right after graduating from undergrad, I was a personal trainer.  I used to love using sliders but haven’t used them in years and it’s time to fire them back up!  They’re super effective, and you can easily substitute a towel (hard surfaces) or paper plates (carpet) to get the same effect.  Try this workout to feel the burn and see results.


It’s going to be steamy again this weekend (I’m not complaining, it’s better than -30 degrees and fearing for your life when you leave the house), and a frozen eucalyptus towel sounds like just the right way to lounge outside with a cocktail and still feel refreshed.


I have been dying to make these marshmallow fluff krispie treats.  Cookies and Cups actually claims that these are the best krispie treats out there, and from the looks of them they’re a strong contender.  I have to wait to make them until we go to a group outing where they’ll disappear immediately, because otherwise I know that I will eat the entire pan in a weekend.  Oops.


Have a really wonderful weekend, wear your sunscreen, and in the words of my personal hero Ellen, “Be good to one another.”

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