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Well, hello guys! It’s been a while, huh… So, I was visiting my parents’ in North Carolina in May, and I decided to bring my computer with me so I could get some work done. It was halfway through my visit that my sister, Tiffany, and I talked about my visit to their new flat in Ann Arbor, MI. I realized that I would have to drive, and I had a lot of decorations that I wanted to buy and bring with me. Long story short, I decided to leave my computer at my folks’ place to make room for all the decor I’d be driving with to Matt and Tiff’s new place (I knew I’d be back to visit my parents not long after I drove to my sister’s). It was the LONGEST two months without my computer. I didn’t realize how often I would need it. In retrospect, it was an awful idea, and I will never make that call again. I can’t live that long without editing my photos!!!

All of this goes to say that I have a lot of blog posts coming your way.

Today’s post features my sister and brother-in-law’s new flat in Ann Arbor. It is seriously the greatest place! I wish I had time to take more photos of the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms, but I shot these photos on our way out the door (we were driving to my Aunt’s place in Niagara Falls, Canada, that morning).

Anyway, I can’t wait to go back and visit so we can hang out in their gorgeous clubhouse, workout in their awesome weight room, and chill by the pool. It’s like a resort, honestly! Oh, and did I mention that Ann Arbor is one of the highest-ranked places to live in the United States? What a beautiful place; and Matt and Tiff live in the heart of the city! I’m actually so jealous!

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It’s quite simple, really. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to create an amazing outdoor environment, nor do you have to have a lot of space – we certainly don’t! My favorite place to shop for inexpensive and stylish outdoor furniture is [At Home]. We bought our chairs from there for $35 per chair. We also bought all our outdoor cushions from there as well, and I absolutely love them!

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We bought our fire pit from [Overstock.com] for a great price, but I would recommend looking through your local Craigslist before buying new. My close friend bought theirs for $25 as opposed to the typical $200 fire pit. OutdoorOasis (3)OutdoorOasis (4)

It’s important to include multiple surfaces in your outdoor oasis to place items on, such as important Starbucks mugs full of yummy tea. I found our orange folding tray table in the outdoor section of At Home for a great price. Also, be sure to check out Lowes or Home Depot for outdoor tables, because I got my turquoise one below for less than $20!!OutdoorOasis (5)OutdoorOasis (6)

To give your outdoor oasis an eclectic and cozy atmosphere, don’t forget to include lanterns of all shapes and sizes. The key is to create multiple “levels”; use books or boxes to create various heights in which your decor is placed. Each of my lanterns is at a different height, as seen below. And finally, if you don’t have the space to create a garden, potted plants are a great option! The more, the better, in my opinion! Just don’t go too overboard, or it may look cramped. OutdoorOasis (7)

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Our house is an ever-changing, ever-evolving thing. My husband is constantly annoyed with my projects. I don’t really care too much, because in the end they always seem to work out. Sometimes, though, it takes a little more effort.

Take this ottoman, for example. It was a little more work than I had originally thought it would be. I was also pretty nervous about the material; it didn’t really match anything in our house! I got it on sale at Joann for $8 a yard, which is pretty pricey, if you ask me. (I used [this 50% off coupon]!) The ottoman was on sale at TJ Maxx for only $50, though, so I figured I could splurge a bit on cute fabric.

A word of advice: When you’re looking to cover an ottoman, or any piece of furniture, with fabric, make sure you take measurements. I eyeballed the thing before going to get fabric, and it turns out that it was definitely not long enough on one side.

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So, I took the measurements (below) and tried to sew the fabric together on my sewing machine. Wrong. Don’t try to sew faux fur when you don’t really know what you’re doing, which was my case precisely. (That’s another thing my husband hates: I pretty much wing it when it comes to… well, everything. Crafts, sewing, cooking, baking. Dumb.) The stupid thing wouldn’t sew properly and it ended up breaking my needle. So much for that.

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I ended up using my [staple gun], which is a very handy thing to have, and the whole thing is put together with staples. The glorious thing is that you can’t tell because the fur is so thick! The seams are on either side of the top of the ottoman (sorry for the horrible explanation, it doesn’t seem to be a good day for advanced vocabulary for me. Maybe I’ll come back on a better day and edit this post. Maybe). Since the fabric was too short, I figured it’d look best to have 2 strips on either side, and one long strip going from one end to the other. (No matter how many times I read this paragraph, it doesn’t seem to get any better or easier to understand. And I’m the one writing it!)

So there you have it. The world’s worst DIY post with the world’s worst explanation. Good luck making your own. Maybe you should YouTube it.

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