Playhouse makeover Part I

Our little playhouse is getting a makeover.  See the original post HERE

Here’s the original photo

And here’s what it looks like today
The porch railing came down on a whim.  One side was not secure so I knocked it out.  I then noticed the railing was made out of 2×4’s and decided it would be easier to rebuild than to paint…so down it came!  The porch floor needs to be replaced so it probably had to come down anyway.

Here’s a closer look.  Taking the rail down really made that tiny porch feel more open. I plan to add it back but may reconfigure the layout and enlarge the porch.  Maybe…

This is a look at the filthy inside! (after we trashed a lot of junk!)


Christmas decor, craft supplies, old toys, and dead lizards! ICKKK!!!



Out came the carpet!!


so now we have a cleaner slate to work with.


I want to add windows but these adorable shutters doors must stay!  I’m thinking of mounting them on the outside as fixed shutters.  I love how the diamond shape is replicated from the front door.


I want to add insulation to the ceiling and walls but will keeping the beams exposed.  I want the back wall to be an accent wall and the other walls a solid color, possibly white.  Distressed #shiplapwall or #palletwall  ????


Progress is being made but I have a long way to go…and so many possibilities its hard to decide!!!  That’s why I suggest having a decorator….my Zoey has great tastes!


Do you have a 4 legged helper?

Please feel free to share any decorating tips/ideas that you may have for my makeover.  I appreciate the feedback!






DIY Backyard waterfall

My husband and I like to plan one new feature or update in our yard every year.  This year we decided to makeover our fish pond by adding a waterfall that flows into the pond.  The pump died months ago so sprucing up this eyesore was overdue.


We already had the pond insert and basic shape so we just needed to add some height. We positioned some HEAVY stone thingys ?? (found them on the side of the road one day) for the base.  We moved these around until we felt it would be a firm base for the decorative rock to rest on.


Next we covered the base with a thick pond liner like this one here.  At first, we skimped and went with a thinner liner but it didn’t last 10 minutes.  Splurge and purchase the thicker one from the start.  #trustme  Run your pump hose so it can easily be disguised once you start placing the rock on top.


Position your decorative rock on top of the liner.  We moved rock around for at least an hour trying to get the drops and water sounds pleasing to the eyes and ears.  (Most of the rock we pulled from various locations around our yard.  We ended up buying a few (3-4) flat stones that we used as stepping stones around the pond.

*TIP…place your pump (purchased HERE) in a bucket full of water and test out the stream to see how the water flows.   Another way to test it is to take the water and pour it straight from the bucket over the top and down the front of the formation.  That way you can visualize where the water will flow without having to turn on the pump.  (I spy cute legs!) #notmine 🙂


We landscaped the area around the pond with fresh mulch and added some greenery.

Let’s take another look….from THIS


to THIS!  We are SO pleased with the outcome and love this little corner of our world.  It really is the focal point of our backyard now.


Honestly, I wondered if the sound of water running constantly might get annoying but it has been very soothing.  Every night, we look forward to relaxing by our outdoor oasis!

Do you have any outdoor summer projects planned?

Playhouse makeover

We had high hopes and big dreams for our granddaughter to use this shed as a playhouse.  We even painted it her favorite color! (cringe)  Blends in nicely don’t you think?!  LOL  #thethingswedoforgrandbabies

She did use it from time to time but not as much as we expected so my plan is to GLAM IT UP!  I have a feeling she will  use it more once its updated since she’s 5 going on 15! #timeslowdown


A tiny porch…so charming!


I love how it’s tucked in the corner… semi-private.  I envision my husband and I having candlelight dinners in here!


Bye, bye pink…hello white walls!


and a MINT DOOR!  I had some swatches in my hand and noticed this on the discount shelf and BINGO!  Just the color I was looking for!


The pic doesn’t do the color justice.  Yummy, fresh and clean!

I was able to test out the colors this weekend and I’m already IN LOVE already!  I plan to tackle the outside first then work my way indoors.  Ugh…nothing pretty in there…YET!

Stay tuned…..

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Homemade Ravioli w/ Tomato Cream Sauce

Hello folks!  Southern Sawdust here.  I enjoy spending time outdoors and in my garage working on my wood projects, but I love my kitchen even more!  And I spent a lot of time there this weekend!  For starters,  I got a head start on my contribution to our pot luck Easter Sunday meal at my sisters.


a meal or party to which each of the guests contributes a dish.

“a potluck supper”

I made a 7 layer salad, a classic green bean casserole, Conestoga yeast rolls and Dirt cake. YUM!  It was great creating some of the traditional springtime foods but my culinary highlight of the weekend was THIS…Homemade Ravioli! IMG_0902

I am 1/4 Italian (paternal grandmother) and true to my roots, I LOVE Italian food.  One of my brothers and I have a tradition of making pasta from scratch every so often.  He lives closer now (YAY!) so hopefully this tradition will become more frequent.  Next time, my plan is to visit my Nonna and cook with the master.

It takes very few ingredients to make pasta…flour, (Semolina or All-Purpose) egg (slightly beaten), salt and water/olive oil.  A pasta machine is not necessary but helpful.

Mix the flour and salt then make a well in the middle.  Add the beaten egg then incorporate the flour a little at a time until a stiff dough forms.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for several minutes.

Hand roll or use a pasta machine for desired thickness. YES…we are messy cooks!


We made a meat filling using lots of garlic, pepperoni, ground beef and sausage, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Romano cheese and Italian seasonings.


Lay one pasta sheet flat and lightly brush water over the dough.  Spoon mounds of the filling, about 2 teaspoons each, onto the damp half of the dough.


Leave about 1/2 inch between the mounds. IMG_0902

Lay the dry half over the sheet lengthwise to cover the filling. Press the sheets together and use fork tines to seal the edges.  Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut individual ravioli. Cook, uncovered, into salted, gently boiling water until the pasta is al dente, firm to the bite, 2 – 3 minutes.  IMG_0899

Serve with your favorite sauce.  I used a tweaked version of this Tomato Cream Sauce. Ahh mazing!


We shared our labor of love with family, friends, great wine!  Just like Nonna would do. (My Nonna lives less than 2 hours from me so I’ll be seeing you soon!  Ciao Bella)

Here is a picture of her birthplace, Trieste, Italy….wow, that was a trip of a lifetime!


Have you ever made pasta from scratch?

Have you ever visited Italy?  If so, what region?

Ps….Don’t forget to visit my cousins new blog Delight & Flourish

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DIY Sugar scrub

It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from Southern Sawdust / Alabama Spice but no worries, we are still alive and kicking.

You can thank my cousin for the comeback story.  She’s a Nashville native and has started her own blog Delight & Flourish!!!  I’m so excited to share her food, travel and fashion stories with you.  Please show her some love!  Congrats Sara and happy posting! Love YOU!!!

On to the DIY!  For Easter I wanted to make something for the older bunnies in my life and I decided on homemade sugar scrubs.  I ended up making 2 to choose from.
(Links are provided (click on the name)
1. Cinnamon Coffee Sugar Scrub

2. Vanilla Pumpkin Spice 

For some reason I had fall scents on the brain last night.  However, I do have the ingredients to make myself some refreshing summer scrubs.  🙂

I would venture a guess that most of the ingredients you already have on hand but if not, they are readily available and inexpensive at your local market.

Pictured below are my ingredients.  I tossed everything into my stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment then mixed until all the ingredients were well combined.


I spooned the scrub into small jars


Then sealed them tightly.


I just need to pretty them up with some twine and tags and they are ready for the Easter baskets.
The smells are divine and all ingredients are edible so in case you get hungry in the bathtub>>>>>(keep that to yourself)!

I hope you try this super simple recipe!  Be sure to carve out some time for yourself to enjoy the softness of your skin and delicious aroma!

Happy Easter!


Luke 24:2-3 “And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”


From Grilling to Drilling

SO I did it! It happened! Wait what? I finally built something. Ok ok with the help of the hand dandy Southern Sawdust behind the scenes here. Let me explain…

My grandmother just recently did some remodeling and she gave me her old farmhouse table and chairs. Well, the seats of the chairs are the kind that look like sack string were sewn in the bottoms. They are finally falling apart. I’m 27 years old and they are finally throwing in the towel. (I know she had them long before me)

I was talking with Mrs Sawdust and told her I needed something to put there so my children were not sitting on the floor eating dinner. Now, I already have one white bench on one side of the table so I was thinking why not make a simple bench to go on the other? HA! Simple?? What was I thinking? This was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I panicked a few times, drilled my hand, dropped the screws… need I go on? So without further adieu, i’m pleased to introduce to you the new addition to my kitchen. The kid was already there but isn’t he just the cutest??image

So here we go, first her hubby had the boards cut to the correct length for me. Thank you Mr Sawdust!! Now they made me do all the cutting with the jigsaw. It was not all that bad once I got used to it. Which was the last part of the last leg 🙂 Just kidding, no really. imageimageimage

Next we had to assemble the bench, this is where my little helper came in to play. imageimageimageimage

Next thing I knew, my bench was COMPLETE! image

All joking aside, it was the most rewarding feeling. I was so proud of myself. I didn’t realize how hard that was and what detail goes into DIY. Mrs Sawdust BRAVO!!

So I now have another project going on for a Window Pane Chalkboard. Thank you Lauren over at Bless’er House for the idea.

Have a great day!

Mrs Alabama Spice

Funky Polkadot Giraffe

Sugar Bee Crafts

Hello world!

Hey everybody welcome to Southern Sawdust/Alabama Spice. I’m Chase, the food guru behind the posts. Food has always been a passion. I remember sitting in the kitchen with both grandmothers cooking anything from delicate dishes to down home dishes. I am married to the most handsome man in the South and have five children.. If I have time to cook for a big family-anyone can. Let’s get cooking!

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by Southern Sawdust/Alabama Spice.  Grab a seat & sip on some sweet tea while I introduce myself.  My name is Malissa aka Southern Sawdust.  I’m the rookie carpenter in this duo and have always had a creative side.   However, my mediums have changed over the years.  I’ve made the switch from delicate cakes to 2×4’s and power tools.  Building something out of nothing can be pretty intimidating, especially if you’ve never worked with power tools before. I’m here to teach you the basics that I’ve learned and help you build that piece you love, but can’t afford.  Let’s get building!