Our Salute to Summer Shindig

posted by Andrea | 10/10/2014

summer shindig

As I mentioned in last week’s post, we hosted a big “salute to summer shindig” at our house to celebrate the end of the summer and the end of all our summer projects.

It was a great opportunity for us to see many of our extended family members again and an opportunity for them to see our home renovations as many of them had never even been to our house before.

The party was planned for our backyard with the food set up on our new Trex deck… but, in fine Michigan form, the Fall weather did not cooperate. It was only about 50-55*F with strong winds, blowing rain, and even a bit of hail at one point.

Needless to say, the party ended up in our garage!

Thankfully, our garage is pretty large and looks a lot nicer thanks to our garage renovation project from last summer!

It definitely would have been nice to have the party outside (especially since we did a bunch of yard work earlier in the week to prepare), but our garage had plenty of room for all the yummy foods, the delicious desserts, and (of course) the people.

Yes, we ate well! (the picture below doesn’t even include all the desserts and sweet treats!) 

We figured that since the garage is conveniently located right across from our brand new deck and our backyard, everyone could at least see where we were SUPPOSED to be partying through the garage windows!

our garage party

The garage is also connected to our new mudroom by a covered walkway, which meant everyone could get inside for a house tour without getting wet.

(note: I shared our full house tour in this post last week)

garage to mudroom

Anyway, back to the party…

Although we were honored to be the party hosts, the food and other supplies were actually provided for us courtesy of Trex and Zeeland Lumber — the two companies we worked closely with to build our new deck.

They contacted me after our deck was finished and asked if we’d like to throw a party to celebrate the finished deck with family and/or friends. Of course, we were super excited and eagerly sent an email out to our “in-town family” asking what dates would work.

We put October 3 on our calendar and started the planning process. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the actual party — mainly because I chose to socialize and give home-tours versus spending all night taking pictures — but I can assure you we had a great time (and I think most of our guests did too!)

Aside from a few containers of food in our refrigerator, this is all that was left at the end of the night…

Not only was this party a great opportunity to get together with family to enjoy a great meal, it was also an opportunity for ME to meet some of the people from Trex and Zeeland Lumber — many of whom I’ve been working with over email but never met in person before (this happens a lot in the blog world!)

A few of the Trex Sales Reps. and the Zeeland Lumber Marketing Manager came out to meet me — even the CEO of Zeeland Lumber stopped by with his wife to see the deck! It was fun for me to put a face with the names in my email Inbox — and of course, to thank them in person for helping us with the deck and the party.

Side Note: We have purchased many supplies from Zeeland Lumber over the past 4 years (including our new front door that is on it’s way to our house as I type) and we have always been impressed with the quality. My dad has also done TONS of business with Zeeland Lumber over the past 20 years, and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for quality building materials in the West Michigan area.


And just like that… our summer of projects is officially over.

We are thrilled with all the outdoor projects we tackled this year (yes, I know I still need to share some photos of all our landscaping projects) and we are SO excited to have a nice, new, low-maintenance deck that we’ll be able to enjoy for many summers to come (see all the deck before and after pictures here).

After we install our new front door, we’re planning to pack up our house project to-do list until next spring — and yes, we’ve already been talking about the first projects we want to do!

Just for kicks, here are a few more “before/after” pictures of the deck and mudroom areas.

new mudroom and deck

A HUGE thanks to Trex and Zeeland Lumber for working with us over the past six months — first on our new deck project, and then for our party. We are ecstatic with our new deck (I still can’t believe how perfectly the deck plans fell into place) and we had such a great time celebrating with our family last weekend — even if we were in the garage!

Cheers to another summer filled with projects, vacations, family, friends, food, and fun!

Filed under: LifeEntertaining

Leave a comment


  1. Sue


    I have a question.. I have been reading your blog for a while now.. and I know you can save a bunch with having your Father and Uncle help out with projects. ie you mentioned that your Uncle made the sink/vanity in the bath.. and having Dad help out. So having family that even if they do not do stuff for you for free, paying them at a family discount or at least teaching you and your husband how to do stuff is WONDERFUL and a HUGE Money saver.

    But I was really wondering how you got companies to ” give you for free stuff”, Like the flooring in the garage. or the new deck, and then on top of that give you a free party.. as you said they did in this post. Did these companies approach you.. or do you go to them and see what you can get? Like do they give you stuff in the hopes of you writing about it on your blog.

    thanks for any insight.



    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Sue, Yes, my dad and uncle helping us on various projects has been a big money-saver!

    As far as the free products, those are all from companies who contact me. Usually I get stuff like free vacuums, free storage containers, free blenders, free gift cards, etc. but it just so happened that we got a free garage organizing system last year and a free deck this year! Pretty sweet 🙂

    I always fully disclose within each post that the items were provided free from the company (as I did with the garage products and the deck) and yes, they provide the free products as either part or all of the compensation for me blogging about their brand.

    This is a job — and since my services are provided totally free to all my readers, I make money via advertisements in my side bar and working with companies to promote their products and services. While and most of the time I get monetary compensation, there are many other times when I get free products or a combination of free products and cash.

    I figure it’s basically a win-win for everyone because you all get everything on my blog for free, I’m able to make a living, and these companies are able to get their brands and products in front of thousands of people who might be interested in purchasing similar products. 🙂


  2. Michele


    You have a very beautiful home! Thank you for sharing! I have to admit that I am a bit jealous of your husband’s willingness to want to do projects and home improvements! I can’t get my husband to even go through his side of the closet. Sigh. lol! Love the pictures! Enjoy the fruits of your labor.


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Michele! And honestly, if we weren’t willing to do massive amounts of house projects, we would have never purchased this house in the first place.

    We basically bought this house with the intentions of spending the next 10 years renovating every single space from top to bottom… and after 4 years, we’re about half way there!


    Michele Reply:

    You both have done a beautiful job!!!!! Looks like a dream home to me! 🙂


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Michele, It was fun for Dave and I to look back at the pictures and see how far we’ve come!


  3. Debbie


    I’m curious if you rented the tables and chairs for this party or you have those just lying around in your house.


    Andrea Reply:

    Yup, all the tables and chairs were rented from a local rental supply place. We definitely wouldn’t have the room or desire to store all of that year round!!


  4. Garnet


    It all looks lovely. I’m glad you were able to get so much done and have a fun time. Great memories, I’m sure. 🙂