Since our apartment had a teeny patio facing a car dealership, we never spent time outside. Most of the parks close at sunset so our only real option for outdoor time in the evenings was a restaurant with a patio. We're so excited to have a real yard now, it's a much better place to hang out than the patio at Starbucks.
Some quick things we've done to make the outside feel like it's ours:
Hanging fern and some flowers out front.
Another hanging fern (we found them on sale for $7.50!) outside the living room window, along with a couple of bird feeders. The suet feeder and suet were under $5 together, and the other feeder plus a bag of birdseed was under $15, so it was a nice cheap way to make it feel like home. (I always had a bird feeder in the yard growing up.)
Our cute family of chairs! Certain people may have rolled their eyes at my insistence on purchasing a tiny chair for our unborn child, but he'll be big enough to use it next summer... and in the meantime it makes a nice ottoman.
Tiki torches to keep the bugs away.
A nice shrubbery. Not too expensive. In fact it was on clearance for $2, but doesn't appear to be even slightly dead.
The best part: a fire pit! It has a cooking grate so we can use our huge cast iron skillet, plus it saves us from buying a grill just yet.
Still to do this year: put in a small vegetable garden (I'm thinking a couple of tomato plants, some peppers and some herbs), get a side table so we don't have to set our drinks on the ground, and plant a hedge by the road for more quiet/privacy.
I'm planning on showing y'all pictures of the inside too, but we probably won't be all the way moved in for at least a couple of weeks. I'm slowly moving all the small things over here, hopefully we get the rest of our furniture moved this weekend and then next week I'll be cleaning the apartment and finishing unpacking boxes.