S'mores on the Front Porch

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When we first moved into the Valley house, I was frustrated by the number of exterior doors and mini-porches here. It seemed silly and inefficient. I still wish our exits were consolidated, but I have a new appreciation for our side porch, which is in front of the mudroom and next to the garage. We've been using this space so much lately and I think it's starting to look pretty cute:

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Here's the full rundown on our little porch makeover...
Remember what this spaced looked like before?

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Pretty sad. It looks so much more lived in now! Adding just a little bit of furniture and some pots with pretty plants made a huge difference.

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My favorite is our new blue porch swing.

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We live close to a lot of family members now, so we find ourselves having impromptu gatherings a few times a week.

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My mom was in town a couple days ago and we were having unseasonably cool weather, so Heather picked up Grimaldi's pizzas and we made s'mores on the newly furnished front porch.

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Energizer had recently invited me to try out their new outdoor lanterns, so I pulled them out for our little s'mores party. We live in a really quiet private neighborhood where there aren't a ton of street lights. We love how dark it gets here (hello, star gazing!), except for when we want to have friends over for s'mores and scooter-riding. :) Their newly designed lights were super helpful for task and general lighting, and I like that they run on LED technology. I'm sure we'll be taking these lights on our next camping trip.

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The pop-up lantern ended up being our favorite to use. The kids took turns hanging it from their scooters while they zipped around the culdesac. 

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We needed some extra seating on the porch for the s'mores party, so I pulled out the Kagan style wire chairs that I bought in Williamsburg. It's pretty low on the priority list at this point, but I'd really love to strip these and paint them a dark peacock blue to play off the porch swing color.

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Also, I randomly found a pair of vintage wire chairs on Craigslist that look a lot like my wire chairs, except with much lower backs. I think the two pairs look great sitting together. The new pair is a bright white, which I like and will keep.

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Won't those taller chairs look great in a glossy peacock blue? The trio of colors with the neon yellow stools from Target will be fun.

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The new swing was also a Craigslist find. A couple in Mesa builds these swings together and sells them (painted and with hardware) for about $100. All I had to do was hang ours! It's really cute and fits perfectly in front of the mudroom window on our porch.

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Another lucky Craigslist find was this chiminea for $40. My mom and Gracie helped me paint it white, which I liked better than the terracotta finish. I think it makes it look a little more California-Spanish style in the white.

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I'm completely in love with the chiminea. I really like that the access to the fire is smaller than a traditional open fire pit. It feels a little safer with all these kids running around (though we always have at least one adult on fire-watching duty to keep the situation as safe as possible)

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The chiminea fire makes the yummiest, chewiest toasted marshmallows. Throw a little dove chocolate or Nutella in the mix and I'm in heaven.

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It's been a busy month since moving to Arizona, but I keep telling Michael that it feels like the day is 32 hours long here. In New York it felt like there were only about 12 hours to have. Now there's more than enough time to get all the work done, and plenty left over for the fun stuff. Suddenly nights and weekends are ours again - and it feels so good.

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Thanks to Energizer® for sponsoring this post. And thank you for supporting the companies that help me run LGN. Click here to learn more about Energizer® Portable Lights with Light Fusion Technology.


  1. I don't know how you do it! You seem like you have time for everything! What is your secret? I would love to read "a day in teh life of Jenny!" Do you sleep:)

  2. How nice! Looks like a wonderful night! The porch is looking great.

  3. Love your porch furniture, especially that chimenea. Your family get togethers looks so sweet!


  4. What did kind of paint did you use for that chimnea??I have one I'm looking to paint but want to make sure it's a safe paint to use.

  5. Loving all of the wire pieces together! And yes, definitely digging the idea of peacock blue on the vintage chairs!

    I think the nicest sentiment in this entire post is your statement about how much longer the days feel since you've moved. That's such a good thing and should reaffirm the good choice to make the move across country!

  6. I know what you mean about lots of exits, but our contractor pointed out to us how MUCH safer it makes a house. I am just adoring your blog -- its my number one favorite. I think it is amazing what you have done. I love your attitude of getting things done with out agonizing over every little decision for months. You are sensational.

  7. The porch looks adorable, and how wonderful that your family is so close. Completely delighted to hear that Arizona is treating you guys so well (with the possible exception of the floors :).

  8. It looks darling! The peacock blue is a must. If you get a bouginvilla somewhere out there, you'll have the most amazing pink to add to that fabulous peacock, teal and yellow on the patio.

    That brick wall is very cool! I've never seen one like that and I grew up in Arizona.

  9. I love the Chimenea. I know you got it on Craigslist but has anyone ever seen one like it? I like the diamond pattern.

  10. I love the Chimenea. I know you got it on Craigslist but has anyone ever seen one like it? I like the diamond pattern.

  11. I'm glad to see the pair of chairs reappear. I love when you reuse/repurpose your pieces after you move. Its inspirational for the "every-woman" who has to make their stuff fit in a new space each time they move, not start new. So far with the valley house we haven't gotten a glimpse of your old stuff in a new space. I can't wait. Your creative reuses and updates is the best part of LGN.

  12. Your little porch looks great! I love that chiminea. The white paint really makes it stand out in front of all of your brickwork. I'm a little jealous of your cool chairs, too.

  13. Love love love your porch so far! I feel exactly like you regarding hte hours in a day .... we just moved from a small condo in Santa Monica to an actually 4 bedroom house in Orange County and I feel like we get so much more time together as a family

  14. Nutella smores is just about the best idea ever.

  15. Jenny-- As a New Yorker since the age of one (and brief stints in New Orleans and London for College), I am curious as to why you think your days feel longer in Arizona. Do you simply spend less time commuting? What's the secret!

  16. I second Tanya, I would love a day in the life post!

    The house is looking more and more you. I vote for Peacock blue chairs.

  17. Hi Jenny. I love your porch. I'm also wondering what kind of paint you used on the chiminea? I'd love to do something similar. I really love your taste!

  18. Hi Jenny. I love your porch. I'm also wondering what kind of paint you used on the chiminea? I'd love to do something similar. I really love your taste!

  19. wow, looks great. I can't wait for summer here in Australia to be able to eat outdoors again!

  20. I love the color combination of sky blue and orange on the porch swing.

  21. Hi Jenny!

    I'm also loving what you did with your Chiminea and would love to know what type of paint you used!

    It's all looking so great - Can't wait to see what you do next!

  22. I'm so impressed with how much you've achieved in your new home in only a month! Reading your blog keeps me motivated to work on new projects.

  23. Prior to reading this post, I didn't know what a chiminea was. Now I need one!

  24. What a wonderful outdoor space! The chimnea painted white looks so modern! It's really lovely to see you all with so much family, and I'm glad you hear you feel like you're able to slow down a bit here and there!

  25. I love seing all the changes you are making with the Valley house. After living there for 19 years and recently moving to So Cal, I love reading the familiar sources you mention, Home Fabrics in Mesa, Hobby Lobby (getting one finally later this year) but seeing those Grimaldi's boxes, nearly brought me to tears! Boy I sure miss Grimaldi's, Oregano's runs a close second!

  26. I love what you did with the chimenea and I think that peacock blue will be fantastic with that porch swing. Now I need some Dove chocolate...

  27. Love it. Did you use a high heat paint on the chiminea?

  28. You really got creative thoughts, i totally admire the way you have transformed the chiminea :)

  29. In love with the porch swing!

    --Sayeh, The Office Stylist

  30. Love love love the chiminea transformation, crazy what a little paint can do. Overall what a perfect place to spend QT with fam and friends. Reminds me we need to take advantage of our deck before the temps drop too low.
    Natalie @ DRB

  31. The chiminea is SO GORGEOUS!!! I was wondering where you found a white one - BRILLIANT!!

  32. It looks like she's not answering the type of paint used on the Chimenia. Doesn't look like high temp paint because all I could find is spray and she is applying it w/ a brush. This could either be dangerous, fumes from melting paint or catching on fire. Looks like it was done just for show. Not a good example for followers of this blog. Please respond to this if I am wrong.

  33. Hi guys - sorry for not being more on top of questions in the comments section. I've got my hands full with these floors right now. :)

    The paint I used on the chiminea is just regular old latex and it worked great. I can definitely see why you'd want to use the high-temp paint, but this chiminea doesn't get used daily and there is no paint on the inside or even on the lip of the area where flames could potentially touch. We don't use the thing long enough for the outside to get crazy hot. I'm not worried about it. We used a really light coat of paint and let it dry and off-gas well before putting the very, very small fire inside for the s'mores.

    But definitely, it's a good idea to buy the paint used for radiators. And it's a bad idea to use oil-based paint. I used latex because that's what I had on hand and I felt comfortable with it.


  34. This looks like so much fun! I love the peacock blue


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