My Driveway got a MAKEOVER!

Are y’all ready to behold the best makeover a driveway could ever receive?


Okay so maybe this wasn’t exactly the type of makeover you were expecting ;) But the new van did improve how our home and driveway look! And we did do some improvements such as painting the garage doors, adding a new light, adding house numbers, and cleaning the oil stain on the cement. Either way, it is a HUGE improvement.



Yes, we got a “used-but-new-to-us” van!!! And honestly, I was not planning on posting about it here at all. BUT……. when our old van died,  I reached out to you on facebook a few months ago and asked for advice on shopping for a vehicle. You guys were amazing! I had so many comments and I seriously read through them with my husband and made notes. You guys helped so much.

So I wanted to show off my new-ish van and say thank you for your help. It was my first time car shopping for me and I was terrified. The last vehicle we bought a friend of a friend picked it up at an auction and so we didn’t see it until after we bought it. And the first car we bought as a married couple my husband just showed up with one night. Uhhhhh, yeah. And I am still married to him :P  I had been shopping with my older sisters before I got married and I didn’t have a good experience. I felt like I needed a shower after getting home.  I am sure you know what I mean.

The first couple of places we went were the big, huge dealers than mainly sell new. It was the exact experience I was expecting. Then we went to a smaller lot. They had a TON of Honda Odyssey vans. They had other things as well, but I couldn’t help but notice the plethora of the Hondas. Since that is what we were in the market for, I got a tiny bit excited. But I still put up my “you aren’t going to bully me in to something I don’t want” front and prepared myself. The place was called Forrest Motors and it is in Orem, Ut.

And guess what? I love them. Yep. I had such a FUN, good experience I kinda want to invite the owners, Forrest and Sammy,  over for a backyard BBQ. The experience I had there verses the other car lots was night and day people! Night and day! I could have chatted with them all night. I trust them completely. And I loved them so much I offered to have them as a sponsor. So Look over at my sidebar. Maybe even click over and say “hi”. ————————–>

Alrighty, back to the makeover of my driveway…..

Every year I change up my outside décor. One year I was feeling extra patriotic and did red, white, and blue. One year was all white, one year was blue. You get the idea. This year I went with yellow. Remember my side porch that got freshened up? The yellow plaque for the house numbers and yellow flowers tie into the lemon wreath and yellow flowers on the porch and the hello mat. I also have yellow flowers on the front porch which I just realized I have yet to show you.


Our old van had an oil leak. We took it in a million times and had every thing replaced and it still leaked. It baffled two different mechanics. We gave up hope of ever having an oil free driveway. Once we sold the old van I scrubbed the driveway with Dawn dish soap and a little bit of water. I cleaned up the dirty suds with paper towels and then rinsed it off. I went through almost a whole thing of Dawn and 4 big rolls of paper towels! It looks pretty good now. You can still see where it was. I am thinking a round two may do the trick.


I realized that I hosed off all the mud (mud pie making mess from my 3 year old) and then hurried and snapped pictures but never got a good shot of the cleaned up oil. It was by the little door so this is the best I have. We bought these plastic planters at Home Depot. They were originally black. I used plastic spray paint to paint them red.


The old light on our garage never did work. And then one day it just fell. Kind of like its head hung in shame. The wood was rotted so we added a board and a new light.


We got this light at Home Depot and it is the kind that automatically comes on when it starts to get dark. I think it is called a “dawn to dust” feature. It will act as a spotlight to our new house numbers! I cut the plaque out of plywood, painted it, and added vinyl numbers.


We are happy with the new look of our driveway… and the van :) The only painful thing was that we have not had a car payment in almost 7 years. We have only had ONE car for 10 of our 13 years of marriage. So the decision to buy a car was HUGE for us. We took it very seriously. We took into account all of your advice. And we opted to go for a 2006 van with several miles on it so that our payment was low. Luckily we had just refinanced our house and our mortgage payment went down more than $200. So as much as I HATE going into debt, it will not affect us as far as the monthly payment. I am hoping when we have a good month we can pay more than the payment and pay it off quickly. My husband and I have NEVER had a credit card. We have never gone into debt for anything other than a few student loans and our house. But when you have little kids and you travel out of state to visit family, you need something that won’t keep dying on you. In fact, the last few times we went anywhere past an hour away, we had to rent a van because our mechanic said it wouldn’t last!



But we couldn’t pass up the awesome deal we got at Forrest Motors and we feel so safe driving all over. AND it has air conditioning! Summer is going to be so much more enjoyable this year.

I wrote this post before My husband was laid off from work. I feel confident that since the last 3 times he was laid off we were able to maintain our mortgage payment that we will be fine this time too seeing as the van payment + the new lower mortgage payment = the old mortgage payment. I do not regret getting this new van. I have faith in our ability to be resourceful until Shane can get a new job.

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  1. Elizabeth H says

    Your van looks brand new! Like your mini makeover to garage. Wishing your hubby finds a job soon. You guys are great and I am sure it will happen soon.

  2. says

    Stacy, I love your driveway makeover! Hope you are enjoying your new van. Thanks for hosting another great party! We appreciate all the work you do so we can show off!

    Linda and Jeannie at The French Hens Nest

  3. CT says

    It looks great! It’s amazing what a few little touches can do to improve the appearance of the outside of your house. It’s inspiration for me to take a good, hard look at my house and think of some inexpensive little upgrades with big impact. I love the color palette of your house. The little touches of yellow look great against the house. I would never have thought of yellow, but it really works. Those little planters are so charming.

  4. says

    Love your “new” van, Stacy! I’d give anything to have a local place I could trust. I also prefer to purchase used vs. new. The garage and updates (love the light and number plaque) look awesome!

  5. Kristiana says

    You only made a few changes, but it made a huge difference! I’m kind of a freak for details sometimes, so I love that the new light is centered now. Last year, right after we bought our first “new” car, my husband lost his job too. Luckily we were smart like you, and had shopped wisely. Your post makes me think I need to get a hose out and spray down my house. It’s the little things that count!

  6. Kristen says

    Nice! I need to at least paint my garage doors; it makes a world of difference! I’m curious how you qualified for a mortgage with no credit card history. Was it because you had student loan history? Debt-free friends with good-paying, stable jobs tried to get a mortgage and were denied because they didn’t have credit cards/history. Just curious.

  7. says

    It’s beautiful! The van AND your driveway. :) I too get the night and day experience. I’ve never had to ‘work’ so hard in my life when I bought my truck. Once the smoke cleared, I commented, “That was one ridiculous game you know.” And his reply, “It’s all part of it.” Let me emphasize ridiculous one more time… :) So happy your experience was such a good one! The bonus is, you will return there for another one day!

  8. Katie says

    Looks great. It’s amazing how little things like painting the doors and washing the side walk, make a huge difference. Good luck in your job search. Once I think you mentioned your husband would like to be a seminary teacher, has he pursued that any? (I think that was you???) You are a great inspiration and I admire your frugality and creativity!

    • Stacy says

      He took the classes and we are still open to that option. Trouble is, it is more of a calling than anything else so it has to be “right” and meant to be :)

  9. says

    I loved my Odyssey. It was totaled by hail while we were away on vacation (we had flown), and if I had still had my kids doing all sorts of sports I would have gotten another, but we ended up downsizing. But it was a wonderful, reliable, comfortable van and served us well. You’ll love it.

    • Stacy says

      Oh shoot! That must have been some intense hail! With four kids, there will be no downsizing for a long time :)

  10. Sherry says

    So jealous! I live in a community where everything & everyone has to be uniform and abide by association rules. I would love to be able to redo my front driveway/house As you did yours. Love the fact that it didn’t take a whole lot to make such a difference. Looks lovely & so does your new van!

    • Stacy says

      So does my sister and I don’t know if I could do it! Although it would be nice for other reasons. Sometimes I wish there was a penalty for neighbors who have junk in their yards or never mow. Maybe you should lobby to become president and change some of the rules :)

  11. Heart and Haven says

    Wow! The van looks brand-new!
    I too always have bought “gently used” new-to-us vehicles. I like having the security of a good-running vehicle, combined with low or no payments.
    – ’92 Acura Integra (bought in ’97, now has 230K miles and still runs great!) w/decent down payment, so had low payments for 3 1/2 years.
    – ’02 Mercury Mountaineer (bought in ’07 with only 34K miles!), we had a trade-in + down payment, so again low payments for 5 years (which we paid off in just over 3)

    It’s a good thing you guys did your re-fi when you did, cause it appears that rates are starting to creep back up again.
    We too are in the process of re-fi’ing our primary…hopefully will close this month! We’re looking to save approx. $900/mo. with the lower interest rates, and I can’t wait! (Have I mentioned how ridiculously high the cost of living is in S. Cali? Ugh.)
    See, grass is greener (and cheaper) in Utah ;-)

    • Stacy says

      WOW! SAVE $900? My mortgage isn’t that much. Yes, Utah is cheaper! But California has plenty of perks :)

  12. Laura says

    Love the new van! And your driveway looks great. Not sure how well it works on an old stain but newer oil stains you can throw kitty litter on it and it helps to absorb the oil! Wishing your hubby luck in finding a new job!

    • Stacy says

      We have tried kitty littler in the past and it does a pretty good job. And thank you! He spent the day taking his resume around. Hopefully he will find something soon!

  13. Lynn says

    Praying your husband finds work soon. Your makeover looks great. I thought the planters were wood. They look really nice. Never would have thought of vinyl numbers for the adress – good idea. For your oil spot, try a can of coke or two. Pour it on and let it sit awhile and then scrub it with a broom. Follow up with the dawn solution again using the broom to scrub.

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