Time for a Patio Makeover

Charlotte's Patio Makeover

Our House

Charlotte Working on the DeckYou know when one project leads to another? That’s what happened with my recent patio refresh. It all started with redoing my outdoor furniture that got destroyed by weather over the last few years. Our pergola isn’t covered so it suffered from rain and sun damage. 

I decided to use Flex Seal Liquid Rubber Sealant in black to not only freshen up my furniture, but to also protect it from any future damage. I cleaned the surface first with a wet soapy rag and then applied the product with a roller and paint brush once it was completely dry. After applying the sealant, I allowed a dry time of 24 hours before adding the second coat. The sealant has a satin rubbery finish. I am ok with that because it looks nice and totally protects it. In fact, we had heavy rain a few days ago and all I had to do was take a damp rag to wipe away any dirt and water residue. I highly recommend this to not only refresh your outdoor furniture, but to also protect it.

Charlotte's Patio MakeoverI’ve been painting a lot black lately! Check out my Instagram to see some black accent walls I recently did. I really had a vision for my patio floor to be black. I used Deck Correct tinted black from Lowes, but I hear Deckover is just as good. I made sure the surface was clean by using dawn dish detergent and water. If you have any mildew or peeling paint, be sure to remove before starting. You can sand the surface if needed. I then rolled the deck paint on. Don’t forget to trim it out first if you have space between your boards like we do. Tip- Pour deck paint in a 5 gallon bucket to make it easier for the roller to be saturated with paint. It rolls on very smoothly and has great coverage. It does require two coats, though. It takes 4 to 6 hours to dry and then you can apply your second coat. Wait 24 hours before placing furniture back on the deck to give it time to cure.

I finished the look with some textured outdoor pillows along with some fresh flowers and plants. I am a fan of mixing old with new. You will see some old crocks, a worn terra cotta pot, thrift store basket and a new larger planter to display my flowers and ferns in.  I am so excited about this refresh and looking forward to many days of hanging out here with the family!

-Charlotte Evans Russell

For more design inspiration and tips, follow Charlotte on Instagram @charlotteshappyhome and subscribe to her blog, www.charlotteshappyhome.com. To read her faith story, click here

Sunglasses at Marks Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

Looking for that perfect Father’s Day gift? The staff at Mark’s Outdoors is ready to assist you in finding a gift Dad will love and use. Besides being a one stop shop for hunting and fishing needs, Mark’s also carries a wide variety of lifestyle products for the husband or father in your life. Here are just a few ideas for Father’s Day.

Protect in Style. Give Dad the shades he needs for all of his outdoor activities, including Costa, Bajio and Ombraz brands. Lots of great styles to choose from with lenses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection.

Play it Safe. Shirts with sun protection are a great gift for the dad who spends anytime outdoors. Mark’s has sizes ranging from small to 3x in great colors and styles from the top men’s sportswear brands including Coastal Cotton, Simms, and AFTCO. Along with a sun protection shirt, gift dad with a sun protection hat. Mark’s has a variety of Tilley Hats- perfect for people susceptible to sunburns.

Besides remembering your Dad with a gift this Father’s Day, most importantly, we hope you will have the opportunity to spend some time with your Dad- if at all possible, in God’s great outdoors.

Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822-2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

Be one of the first 100 kids to visit Mark’s Outdoors on Saturday June 22, 2019 and receive a free rod and reel!
Be one of the first 250 kids to visit Mark’s Outdoors on June 18, 2022, and receive a free rod and reel!

Don’t’ Miss Take a Kid Fishing Day!

On Saturday June 18, 2022, Mark’s Outdoors will be giving the first 250 kids that come into the store a free rod and reel. The doors open at 9 a.m.  The only “catch” is that the parent must take their kid fishing asap. “It is our way of giving back to the community and getting parents involved with their kids and interested in the outdoors,” explains Mark Whitlock, Jr. “The objective is to make memories. With the rise of cell phones in the hands of children they miss out on nature and we want people to get involved.” Mark’s will also have sales throughout the store on fishing reels and rods, clothing, fishing accessories and much more!




Great Outdoors Marks Outdoors Summer KC2

Great Outdoors

With brands like: Kuhl, Costal Cotton, Mountain Khaki, Huk, Aftco, Under Armour, Pelagic, Filson, Yeti, Coosa Cotton, Deep and many more, we are confident that we can get you outfitted for a great summer!
With brands like: Kuhl, Costal Cotton, Mountain Khaki, Huk, Aftco, Under Armour, Pelagic, Filson, Duck Camp, Coosa Cotton, Deep and many more, we are confident that we can get you outfitted for a great summer!

Winter has come and gone, and we are flipping the store! All our spring and summer clothing is here! We have many new summer lines here at Mark’s Outdoors and our team is so excited to share them with you.

One in particular is Coastal Cotton! We have everything from dress pants and slacks, polo shirts that are perfect for work or even a weekend of golf, casual shorts, ultra-soft t shirts, and even long sleeve fishing shirts! We have also expanded our line of Kuhl clothing! Shorts, polos, long sleeve fishing shirts and much, much more!

Great Outdoors Marks Outdoors interior store image April 19 BCF 11817
Mark’s Outdoors has everything you need for your next adventure.

One line that our customers love this time of year is Aftco shorts! These have been the HOTTEST selling short that we have ever seen. The line gained popularity from adult sport fishers and has found a new age demographic with the younger generation. We sell more youth sizes than adults now with parents from all around the Birmingham area coming to see our selection.

Thank you for the opportunity to outfit you and your family for all your outdoor summer fun!

– Mark Whitlock, Jr.

Mark’s Outdoors 

1400-B Montgomery Highway, Vestavia 35216

205-822- 2010, www.marksoutdoors.com

Marks Outdoors Logo

Hold the Fort Race

Mission Makers

Community Partner Logo 20 Years 150x150Brought to you by: Community Partner Sawyer Solutions, www.sawyersolutionsllc.com 

Blanket Fort Hope Prayer Rocks
Blanket Fort Hope closed on land in Columbiana, Ala. in July! This land is the future home of the Restoration Center. Even though they have not broken ground yet, people already visit to pray over the land and leave Scripture rocks scattered around the property.

Did you know that the average age for child human trafficking survivors is between 11-17 years old? Child human trafficking is happening all around the country, explains Birmingham based ministry Blanket Fort Hope (BFH) Chief Executive Officer Alexa James. “We really do have a problem. It’s not another country that is having this problem. This is the fastest growing crime in America,” James says.

James believes that God called her to found BFH after years of experience volunteering and working with human trafficking survivors. It was through volunteering at an elementary school that she realized how high-risk children were for human trafficking. “I would literally walk out the door and see a drug dealer at the corner of the school every day.” This experience opened her eyes and she felt God put a burden on her heart for children. She went on to found BFH in 2015. “This is something that God showed me; this is the plan He had for my life.”

Hold the Fort Race Runners
The Hold the Fort 5K & 10K is a certified race at Oak Mountain State Park on September 18. Join other runners (and walkers) in supporting Blanket Fort Hope’s mission of restoring hope for child human trafficking survivors. Expect fantastic giveaways and more! Learn more at HoldTheFortRaces.com.

To date, BFH has trained over 6,000 people in preventative education. “This training has been on the professional level, the school level, and through our foster care initiative,” James explains, adding, “Our mission is to restore hope in the lives of child sex trafficking survivors through access to essential services, compassionate care, and a loving Christian witness.” In July, BFH purchased 73 acres of land in Columbiana! After many years of praying and waiting on the Lord to move, James says that this land will be the future BFH Restoration Home for trafficking survivors. How will BFH introduce survivors to Jesus? “First, through example. Everything we do with these children will exemplify the love of Jesus Christ,” says James. Once their basic needs are met, they will have opportunities to attend Bible studies, church groups and more. 

Grab your running shoes! The 3rd Annual Hold the Fort 5K & 10K is set for September 18 at Oak Mountain State Park. “The run is an opportunity for people who like to run or walk to support a cause and make a difference for child survivors of human trafficking,” James explains. The money that is raised will go to engineering the property and building the home in Columbiana. “We are offering hope, not fear. These kids have a chance. We have a blanket fort. And the blanket fort has a name, and its name is hope.” Learn more about BFH at www.blanketforthope.org

-Melissa Armstrong 

Brought to you by: Community Partner, Sawyer SolutionsSawyer Solutions logo

We do I.T. so you don’t have to!

Complete I.T. consulting, security and managed services that are tailored to help your business excel.



Member  www.Convenenow.com

Our House Curb Appeal Front Yard and Home

Our House

Selling a home can be very taxing, but the final touches you do are what cause your home to stand out beyond your competition and sell for top dollar. Curb appeal is crucial for a first impression, so get your gloves, wheelbarrow, spade, pressure washer, and joyful spirit ready! Remember, the effort you put in it is what you should expect to get out of it.

Backyard with PlantsThink “clean edges” with everything and it will help as you prepare to sell. You’ll want the edges of your yard and natural areas to be clearly defined and edges of concrete meeting your lawn to be crisp. Regardless of whether you have a large or small lot, give it purpose and take away the distractions. Do you have old worn-out play equipment? Either spruce it up with new boards, pressure wash, or paint… or get rid of it. Remember, you are not running a daycare center- toys outside that feel unattended will take away a fresh feel and also show a lack of storage. Do you have parts of a birdbath missing or other miscellaneous items lying around? Get rid of them because you will not want the clutter at your new home.

Julie loves instant gratification and pressure washing scratches that itch of hers. If you do not own one, try renting one. It will be worth the investment once your potential buyers see the results when your driveway, sidewalk, steps, and deck go from grungy to gleaming. 

Julie and I both love working outside and using our green thumbs. In matters of selling, tidy up beds by pulling weeds and getting rid of dead plants. Also, consider adding pops of color in pots by the front door, window boxes (if you have them), and edges of landscaped beds.   

The importance of curb appeal can never be underestimated. Take advantage of the beautiful weather May brings before it gets too hot by pulling weeds, planting flowers, installing pine straw, and pressure washing. After all, the best thing about curb appeal is you will appreciate your efforts whether you are selling or not.

Tom and Julie Douglass-Tom and Julie Douglass 

tdoug@tdrepro.com, jdoug@tdrepro.com

205-999-2780, 205-999-4153 

tom and julie douglass

Get More Good News! E-subscribe to Birmingham Christian Family