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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.