Outdoor Living



I had never heard of a Baja Shelf - or Ledge Loungers (which are the ridiculously glamorous chair you see me and Erin sitting in above) - until about six months ago. And now I am not entirely sure how this was so, because it seems to me that every pool-owning person should prooooooobably be on the receiving end of this info.

I've talked about the Baja Shelf before, but since the concept of one was totally new to me, I thought it was worth revisiting. When I decided to redo my pool (not really an option, actually, since the plaster was cracking all over the place), the guy who came over to help me plan it said "Hey, what about a Baja Shelf?" Cleeeeeearly an attempt at upselling me, but once I saw what it was I was all hook, line and sinker. Would I also like to have a built-in hole in this shelf for an umbrella? WHY NOT. Because seriously, if you're going to do a project as massive as a full pool renovation, you might as well do it right.

And "right," to me, means being able to be in the water without actually having to, you know, expend any effort to do so. (BTW, just a recap, if you're curious how we paid for our renovations.)


Simplify Your Summer

This post is sponsored by Red Baron, but all opinions are my own. 

Remember when summer was relaxing? I do! It was seven years ago, before my first child was born, and subsequently removed from my life even the vaguest whisper of calm. Now what summer means is that I have to do all the stuff I have to do the rest of the year, except now I have two people right there with me all day, and they need me to not do anything except for devote all of my attention to them all of the time. 

And usually it’s more than just two kids, because we are The People With the Pool. I like this fact a whole lot, because it means that I don’t have to leave my house in order to socialize - when it’s 105 degrees out, humans have a tendency to go wherever the water is - but it also means that I have a LOT of children running around my house preeeeetty much every day during the summer. And sometimes the children get overstimulated and crazy and their parents drag them home around midafternoon, but other times they are wonderful and playing together so well that we agree that sure, let’s all have dinner together.

Before & After Renovations

Sunset, Poolside

I know I already posted about my pool renovation, but these photos have muuuuch better light and show the details so much better. So here they are.

As a recap, here's what we changed: 

  • Removed the dated, curved coping and replaced it with clean, squared-off white coping;
  • Replaced the plaster bottom with deep blue Pebbletec;
  • Built a Baja shelf (a 8" deep platform in the shallow end that you use for lounging and such);
  • Removed the ladder, and built a bench in the deep end to replace it;
  • Replaced the dated tiles with iridescent tiles in varying shades of white.

Check out the original post (with before and afters) here, if you missed it.

Before & After Renovations

The Pool Of My Dreams

dark blue pool with Baja shelf and pebbletec

Everyone says having a pool is crazily expensive. I haven't found it to be terrible so far - we have a reasonably priced pool guy, and the fact that we have solar offsets the cost of heating it a lot - but you know what happens when you have to repair your pool? Like, because the plaster, having reached its expiration date, starts cracking and flaking off?

You spend oh my god, so much money having it fixed.

When we applied for our home equity line of credit, a pool renovation was one of the main things we knew we were going to do (and yes, it spiraled off into more renovations, and then more) - but the thing about renovating a pool is that it's such a major expense and such a pain, what with the draining and pouring of concrete and spraying of plaster and etc etc - that if you're going to do it, you don't want to do it more than once. Which means you should probably just do it right the first time.

Home Projects

Oh, My Patio

This is what my patio looks like this morning. It is not, however, what it looked like yesterday. Between the whole winter/rain situation (the one that also destroyed my outdoor table and benches) and the fact that it’s served as the equipment storage area and workspace for the renovations we’ve been doing for the past six months…

It was officially trashed.

It was so gross I’m embarrassed to show you, but I’m going to. Greater good, and all that.

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