Part 1: Sprucing Up Our Outdoor Living Space With “Guess Who”?

spring outdoors

Earlier in April, we committed to starting a garden. As overwhelming as researching and preparing for a few DIY gardening projects has been, I’m so excited to get my hands dirty! In addition to starting a garden, we have decided to spruce up our backyard as well, because, well, it needs it…

025 - Before

029 - Before

As you can see, we’re working with limited space. We can’t have anything out in the grass or else it becomes a problem for the mowing service (they use ride on mowers). But, we can make it work. I’ve built three wishlists based on a budget with 5 categories in mind; Garden Essentials, DIY Garden Projects, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Serenity, and Outdoor Play. I can be terribly indecisive when working with a budget, so yes, it took three wishlists to narrow down my selection. I’ve hit up a few stores for the items that I could find and I ordered the remaining. I will be shopping for flowers and plants once everything starts coming together. I don’t want to accidentally crowd the space! So lets stroll through the wishlist for our outdoor living space, shall we? I get a little detailed, but it’s important to note for when I reveal how much was spent in my next post!

Garden Essentials

Heirloom Vegetable Seeds, Fruit/Nut Trees
Germination Station
Garden Gloves, Trowel, and Tree Pruner
Garden Storage Bench
Eco-friendly Garden Hose
Soil, Compost, and Mulch

DIY Garden Projects

18 Gallon Storage Tubs, Food Containers, Pantyhose
Chicken Wire, U Posts, Snip Pliers
PVC Pipes (may replace)
Drill/Driver Kit, Hand Saw
Composting Worms
Hose Bibb, Downspout Filter

Outdoor Cooking

Gas Grill w/Cover, Gas Cylinder, and Propane
Grill and Shish Kabob Baskets, Grill Brush
Dinnerware Set

Outdoor Serenity

Patio Swing
Seat Cushions
Butterfly Solar Lights
Floor Coco Planters
Window Mount Bird Feeder and Bird Seed
Flowers & Plants

Outdoor Play

Little Tikes Grill
Step2 Easel For Two (will be stored inside or in shed)
Sand and Water Toys
Water Guns

What are you doing in your outdoor space? What are some things you are doing or hoping to do to spruce things up a bit? Oh, and while I have you, take a wild guess where we purchased most of our supplies!

More from this series:

Part 2
Part 3
Flickr Photo Set

I have been compensated for this unique shopping experience. Opinions are my own, of course!
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is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper.


  • Reply June 11, 2011

    Donna B.

    I’d love some solar lights too… as well as more storage, and some sort of trellis/screening for privacy.

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    There is your little mans bbq. I would like to get some of those butterfly solar lights. Love em!

  • Reply May 6, 2011


    I love gardening and would have lots of ideas. I am really good at spending someone’s money. But you have a rental and even I can’t spend your money money on a rental. With that said I would do raised beds and research 1 foot gardening techniques. You could place raised beds either tight together or spaced for lawn mower wheels.

  • Reply May 6, 2011


    I would like to get my grass up to par as a doityourself project.

    Great article!

  • Reply May 5, 2011


    i love rain barrels! looks great.

  • I’m dying to know what the panty hose are for!!!

  • Reply May 5, 2011

    jessica todd

    i know a little girl that would love some of those toys! :)

  • Your photos are gorgeous! We are sprucing up by cleaning all the patio cushions, weeding, and mulching!

  • Reply May 5, 2011

    eva kieu

    I love your bird feeder :]

  • Reply May 5, 2011

    Cynthia C

    Looks like you get shade on the patio – maybe some impatiens would brighten it up?

  • Reply May 4, 2011


    What a fun project! Gosh, living in the city is no fun – we don’t have a backyard or front yard for that matter. Looking forward to that one day!

    Love the picture of Jayden helping out. He looks so serious and into the task! lol, so cute. I’m also loving Thomas the train running through the landscaping. Perfect touch!

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Jennifer Marie

    I would love to have a patio chair like that and my kids would love the Easel! I hope to find some good deals on outside deals this year!

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    You REALLY make me wish that our rental came with a yard. Alas, our patio is all we have to work with, so I’ll have to live vicariously through you and your green space!

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Crystal K.

    I love that porch swing! So cute.

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Judy S

    I am going to try and get some nice flowers outside to make it look nice!

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Margaret Smith

    We’re in the middle of staining our decks and fences around our home. Next we’re planning on painting our foundation and shed. Then we’ll start with flower planting.
    I’m going to guess kmart

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    Laura C

    I like how you arranged your lists!

  • Reply May 4, 2011


    I’m thinking Wal-mart or Target for buying all the supplies. We live in an appartment so no backyard for us :( however my boyfriend has transformed our porch in to a garden! I love it!

  • Reply May 4, 2011

    jeannine m

    We don’t have a patio out back yet but would love to put one it. We also have a pool we need to landscap around this yr

  • Reply May 3, 2011

    Julie Jones

    That little tikes grill is so cute. I want one too!
    Great plan for your backyard

  • Reply May 3, 2011


    Oh my gosh! I love how you did your post. Such pretty pictures. I’m excited to see how it all came together.

    I’ve guessed on a few other blogs, but I’m going with Kmart.

  • Reply May 3, 2011


    How exciting! Can’t wait to see how it came together!

  • Reply May 3, 2011


    Can’t wait to see how this all turns out~ you picked some great elements! :)

  • Reply May 3, 2011

    Zippy Sandler

    I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

  • I can’t wait to see what you do with all of your supplies! Fun!

  • Did you actually get to buy everything on all of your lists? holy cow! That’s going to be one awesome backyard! Stopped by to also congratulate you on Mega Bloks Mom! I applied but wasn’t picked, but that’s okay. I’m excited for you!

  • That’s awesome! You are super organized that you’re motivating me to start a garden. Too bad my allergies are drop kicking that idea! LOL.

  • Reply May 2, 2011

    Cat Davis

    Our backyard decor leaves a lot to be desired. At the moment we have fence posts (fence coming this week), our garden and a whole lot of grass. Everything on your wishlist looks great … I’m guessing maybe Walmart?

    • Reply May 3, 2011


      Cat, I can’t wait to see how your fence turns out. Yay for privacy, right!?


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