Monday, June 8, 2020

DIY Project: How to Hang Outdoor String Lights

One of the first projects I wanted to work on for our deck was to hang string lights. I just love the warm and inviting atmosphere string lights create. When we were house hunting, the deck was a big bonus for us. I envisioned hanging out back watching the kids play and eating meals al fresco. 

Today, I am sharing how to hang outdoor string lights and some helpful tips we learned along the way. This project was easy, effective and budget-friendly. The whole project cost me about $80. 

Before I bought supplies, I did some research on how I wanted to complete the project. I planned out the design for the lights, the distance the lights needed to cover and what type of lights I wanted to use. I love the look of Vintage Edison bulbs. I found a set on Amazon that were heavy duty to ensure they can withstand the outdoor elements like wind and rain. 

I had to decide how I would attach the lights. I researched lots of options, but ultimately choose to go with electrical conduit. It is durable, effective and budget-friendly. 
What You'll Need:
black zip ties
(1) 15 ft. outdoor extension cord
deck/wood screws (I used 6)

Other tools needed:

Once I bought all the supplies, I spray painted the electrical conduit black. You can also spray paint the coupling to match. I used the coupling so I didn't have to drill a hole in the pole to attach the lights. This prevents the zip-tied lights from slipping down the pole for any reason. 

Next, I mapped out where I wanted to attach the cup hooks into the side of our house and where the pole would need be attached. We used the conduit straps and deck screws to attach the conduit directly onto our deck. Once the cup screws and post were in place, we were ready to hang the lights. 

Before hanging the lights, test out the strand by screwing in a bulb and plugging it into the outlet. Our strand of lights did not have the bulbs attached. I recommend hanging the lights without the bulbs first so there is no chance of breaking any bulbs in the process. 

We started hanging the lights from the point where we plugged the lights in. We secured the strand to the cup hooks with a zip tie. Then, we extended the strand to the post and secured it with a zip tie in-between the screw coupling. We strung the cord back to the side of the house and so on. 

Once we finished hanging the entire strand, we attached the bulbs and plugged the lights in. I love how it turned out. The lights give off the perfect amount of light that is warm and inviting. I also purchased an outdoor outlet so we can control the lights with my phone or voice control with Google assistant. 

Helpful Tips:
  • Map out the design for your lights to ensure you buy enough sets to cover the desired distance
  • Test the strand out before hanging the lights.
  • Remove the bulbs before hanging the lights to prevent bulbs from breaking 
  • Start with the end that plugs in.  
We cannot wait to enjoy more time outside this summer with our new outdoor string lights! 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Meal Planning: A Month of Dinner Inspiration

Are you cooking alot more these days? Meal planning can be stressful and I want to help! I've put together some dinner inspiration for the whole month! None of these are my own recipes, but they are meals I have cooked for my family and have been our favorites! 

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration! Most of the recipes I'm sharing today are from my Food & Recipes board

My meal planner includes 4 weeks of meals. I typically only cook Sunday through Friday. I've included the links and some of my tips further down. 

I try to meal plan for an entire week before I  make my grocery list because multiple trips to the store is annoying. I hope you find this planner helpful.  What are your favorite meals to cook for your family? I would love to know- drop a comment below with your recommendations!

Steak Stir-fry: Super easy recipe- just add your favorite veggies. My favorites are carrots, snow peas, baby corn and broccoli.
Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles: Feel free to add shrimp or chicken to this recipe

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps: I don't care for water crests so I substitute with chopped baby corn and zucchini 


Air Fryer Honey Glazed Salmon: squeeze lemon in your glaze
Chicken Scampi I substituted the rice for angel hair pasta and served with peas or broccoli

Deck It Out: Inspiration for Your Outdoor Space

Our family has been spending a lot of time outdoors lately and our house comes with a great backyard and deck so I have been itching to start transforming the space.

Our deck has enough room to include a dining area and another section perfect for a grill and conversation set. I have been on Pinterest a lot lately looking for ideas. One thing is for sure, it can get pretty pricey! It will have to be a work in progress, but I am excited to get started.

I used some left over birthday money to make our first big purchase, a dining set. We have had great weather and I cannot wait to start enjoying the space and eating outdoors!

Since I have so much time to daydream, I thought I would share my idea for the space. Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

DIY Custom Beaded Bracelets

This past weekend I was brainstorming some ideas for Mother's Day gifts. It's been challenging to think of gifts since I can't exactly make it out to stores. Thanks for Michael's curbside pick-up option, I thought it would be fun to get crafty this year. 

It also helps to pass the time while we are all spending more time in the house. 

I was browsing the bead selection and loved the idea of rose gold bracelets. 

Today, I am sharing this super easy DIY project that only requires a few things in addition to a pair of scissors.


elastic magic cord
alphabet beads for personalization
beads for the rest of the bracelet

Step 1: Set aside the alphabet beads you'll need for your custom message/name
Step 3: Unwind the elastic and start adding filler beads. I used 25 beads before adding my alphabet beads. I added 25 more beads. *You may want to measure out your wrist to ensure it fits comfortably on your wrist. 
Step 4: Wrap the bracelet around your wrist to ensure a comfortable fit and cut the string. Leave it a bit longer so you can tie the two strings together. 
Step 5: Triple tie the knots to secure the bracelet. You can use glue to ensure the knots are more secure. 

I made sure to make a set for myself too since I had the extra beads. 

They pair perfectly with my Apple watch that is also rose gold. 

This project was fun, super easy and only cost me about $10 total for the 11 bracelets I made.

Since I have some beads leftover, and to celebrate Mother's Day, I'd love to make a custom set for one of my readers! 

1) Follow me on Instagram (@glitterandjuls)
2) Like my last three IG posts
3) Tag a friend or two
3) Comment below with your custom set request.

I'll choose a winner this week! Good luck! 

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