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Backyard Oasis on a Dime
Parenting can be tough! Stressed out? Want to create a little Backyard Oasis in a little nook in your yard, but don't have oodles of money or time? Would you maybe like to just try a hot tub "on for size" to see what all the fuss is about without making a huge investment? For years, Mr. Kidlutions has talked about wanting to have a hot tub of our own, yet with three kids in multiple sports and being on the road more than we've been home, it just never seemed to be the right time. Now that two of our kids are in college, and one not far behind them, it seemed like a great time to create our own little relaxation station in a nook in our yard. Follow along to see how easy it was, get our affilate links to the products we tested out and see exactly how we did it.
An Easy Peasey Choice
We did not want to spend thousands of dollars (remember, it's the college years), so we opted for a portable, inflatable hot tub. I was more than a bit skeptical, but I ended up agreeing to give it a whirl. It all started with a little order place through Amazon Prime (a huge amount of our shopping is done here because we are so rural and shopping is limited in these parts). We decided on an Intex PureSpa Bubble Massage 4-person Portable Hot Tub. It arrived in just a few days, and we set it up on our side patio which had never before been utilized. The complete cost of the hot tub and all the supplies we needed to get started (included in the boxed set) came to under $400, not thousands as would be the case with a traditional hot tub. This tub is economical and well-constructed! It was an easy peasey choice. So, depending on how many bells and whistles you'd like to add to your outdoor oasis, you can easily complete this project for under $500.00.
|This picture courtesy of Amazon/Intex.|
Looks Aren't Everything
Everything You Need is in the Box!
Once our tub arrived, we set to work to get it inflated (the pump comes with it), get it filled and start heating it. Within an hour, all was said and done and we anxiously awaited it heating up so we could take our first dip. Set-up is fairly easy and straightforward. It comes with directions and a DVD. In addition, you can find videos online that explain the set up.
A Pleasant Surprise
We were extremely pleased with the quality of the hot tub. It was sturdy and well-constructed. When inflated, it appeared just like it did online...and is durable enough to sit on the sides when properly filled.
We checked the temp hourly, mostly because we were so excited. It went up about 1.5-2 degrees per hour. By the next morning, it had hit 98 degrees and the youngest Kidlutions Kid took the first dip.
But, That's Not All...
That hot tub was just the beginning. We needed to do a bit to spruce up the area...remember it had been a forgotten, tucked-away side yard that was mostly neglected. There was no landscaping, color or "jazz" to it, so we set out to remedy that with things we had on hand already, and a few extra purchased items (again, from Amazon). With some plants from a local drugstore, resin wicker furniture (ours was already on hand), a bistro table (again, we had this on hand) and some tiki torches with citronella oil (a must in our mosquito-magnet town), solar lights and LED, battery-operated lanterns, outdoor rug (wasn't sure at first about this, but ended up LOVING it...you can hose it down to clean it) and twinkle lights in the shrubs, we were all set!
Mr. Kidlutions and I got to try it out that evening. It's magical at night, with all the ambient lighting! It's like being away at your own private retreat (with a teenager thrown in for good measure)!
Our Thoughts on the Hot Tub
When the Mr. and I finally got a turn to try it out, we were beyond thrilled with the hot tub. It was truly sturdy and comfy. I was a bit worried because this portable hot tub does not have seats in it (you just sit on the floor of the tub). I thought it would be a bit uncomfortable, especially since it was on a cement slab. However, Intex includes a round mat with air bubbles for insulation purposes (think bubble wrap, only sturdier) to put under the tub, which does an amazing job of making sitting in the tub (even for an hour) a pleasure. The bubbles from the jet spa are great, too. Stronger than I imagined. The fact that it comes with a locking, insulated cover (also inflatable in the center) makes it safer to use around younger children and animals (however, never leave children unattended by bodies of water).
It Was Still Missing Something
It seemed like our little oasis was missing something, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. When Mr. K was out of town, he picked up the finishing touch...the thing that tied it all together. Bamboo Straw Fencing that just made everything pop! We attached it to the existing chain link fence in about five minutes with cable ties. That made it all come alive!
Our Final Thoughts: We would have even paid more more this hot tub. We love it that much. It went beyond our expectations. Our only regret: We wish we had done it sooner! Our other regret is that we didn't take a "before" picture of our desolate patio! One important thing to know about this hot tub, is that you have to take it down when the temperatures dip down below 39 degrees. We figure we'll be able to enjoy it into the cooler fall days before packing it away in its carry bag for the season!
Some wicker we already had and
flowers (on sale) from the local drug store
added the finishing touches.
Our local drugstore was the perfect place to
buy some foliage and pops of color! Best part? They were
all on sale! SCORE!
To reach our new flora and fauna (and even to fill the pool), we needed a hose that would reach far distances. Our old one was just not going to cut it. Enter the 75 ft expandable garden hose...the best we've ever had. It seems to go on for miles and miles and stretches easily without crimping!
So, there you have it...our own little Backyard Oasis on a Dime!
6. LED Lantern
7. Tiki Torches
What's your favorite outdoor space?
Do you have a favorite outdoor space? Where is it? What makes you love it so? We'd love to hear about it over on our Kidlutions Facebook page! Even (and especially) if you don't see this until the middle of winter (when we'll be under a minimum of 3 feet of snow), please share your little slice of heaven oasis with us! You can even tweet a pic to us @kidlutions We can't wait to see how you like to de-stress!
And here's a little reminder for life in general:
Drinking coffee out on the patio in the morning
makes it just a bit tastier than usual, too!