Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Outdoor dining area back patio reveal! And our new grill/smoker!

Our backyard has gone through a lot of changes in the 3 years we've lived here. When we moved in it was overgrown and had several old wood structures, a large deck, old garden beds, and a big circle of sand in the middle from where a pool had been. We were totally overwhelmed. 

We started removing landscaping and debris and slowly it took shape so we could picture it as a functional backyard for us. We did a ton of improvements last summer (fence, gazebo, garden, wood chips, more landscape removal...) and it was really great! But there was one area we hadn't tackled: the patio by the house.

This patio was cracked, so the previous owners put a deck over it, but we removed it so we could have it all one level. It wasn't really usable for much other than a project area until we got rid of the hot tub in June! Then... it was ready for dining furniture, a grill, string lights... a great backyard dining space! 

Here's what it looked like before...

And when we first bought the house!

We put an outdoor rug on the patio which covers the cracks but also makes it feel like a room! A dedicated place to go to eat or hang out--not just the extra space where we spray off our tile tools, like it has been for us many times. (Ideally I yes, we'd replace the concrete, but I got a couple bids--not in the budget.) Had to add these string lights too!

I really love the new outdoor dining chairs and benches, and a simple metal table and umbrella I got locally.

I've styled it up with the most beautiful table linens from Saffron Marigold. I recently discovered them and am just in awe. All fair trade, handcrafted block prints from India, and so many beautiful patterns and colors. I chose the Moonlit Taj pattern napkins and runner. Thanks to Saffron Marigold for providing these to me for this project!

We've had a grill in the past but got rid of our last one before we moved, so have been without one the past 3 years. We wanted a grill that could do it all--grill, smoke, temperature that was easy to control... we've learned from some friends who have a Traeger that it's the gold standard for all that! We are so so excited to have upgraded (from no grill, and little finicky ones before that) to the Traeger Ironwood 885, which has been so awesome to use. It has 885 square inches of cooking area on two grills and all the great features of the Ironwood line like extra insulation for consistent cooking, digital controls for heat and smoke, and the smoke/sear bottom grate.

I asked Jason, the primary grill user between us, what his favorite things are about the Traeger:

  • Versatile. You can make your own bacon and grill for dinner on the same machine, easily.
  • High quality, beautiful. Every component and accessory looks great and feels good to use.
  • It is easy!!!! to set up, use, and clean. 
  • The app is great. You have to turn the grill on right at it but once it's on you can adjust the temperature from your phone. 
  • Some cool features: the meat probe is a built-in thermometer so you can tell how hot the food is without lifting the lid. It's great for a big piece of meat like a whole chicken or turkey or brisket.
  • It's just so nice. The whole experience. 
Thanks to Traeger for partnering with me!

Every meal we've made in the the Traeger has been delicious!! Simple burgers and zucchini from the garden, chicken breasts, steak, or, last night we made this marinated flank or skirt steak recipe with grilled peppers. Wow, everything had an incredible flavor. And was cooked so evenly and predictably!

You can easily swap out the pellets for different flavors. We've been enjoying the applewood ones a lot.

The grill is so awesome, I'm so glad we could give it a nice place to be and an outdoor eating area to go with it. 

So, so happy with this transformed space and so grateful to have this spot for soaking up great Oregon summer evenings!

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