You asked: I answered. What we learned from our first year as new hot tub owners

This post is sponsored by Master Spas but all thoughts and opinions are my own

Can you believe it’s been a full year since we got our new Master Spas hot tub? When I first posted about it, I received SO many questions from you guys! One of the hottest topics to date – even more than the new bedroom\bathroom addition! And in honor of our first anniversary as hot tub owners, I thought it would be fun to answer the most popular questions that came in from you guys. Sound good? Let’s goooooo!

As a refresher, we went with their Clarity Balance 8 model, which is big enough to seat 6 with plenty of elbow room. My favorite spot is the lounger, where you can really relax and enjoy a full body massage. Puuuurfect for relaxing after a tough workout, or a hard day of work. Also, the wonderful folks at Master Spas are still offering all of you $500 off any of their hot tubs, or $1,000 off of any of their swim spas. All you have to do is click on my link here!

Now, lets get into those questions;

1. Do you have to have a concrete pad poured before the hot tub is installed?

Yup. We had several concrete contractors come out to give quotes for a pad that would be big enough to accommodate our new hot tub. A hot tub can’t be installed directly on the grass or ground. Because our yards aren’t totally level or even, (unless you are some kind of wizard with magical powers) water will inevitably get underneath which will cause an array of problems, and could potentially sink from the weight of a hot tub full of water and humans. And that would be bad. Very bad.

2. How did you figure out the chlorine/chemicals for the water?

We worried about this too! But, it only took a few weeks of trial and error and we found our groove. First, I should mention that every Master Spas hot tub has their patented, time-saving EcoPur Water Purification System. This is a mineral filtration system that reduces the time and amount of maintenance needed on your hot tub. I won’t pretend I understand the “how’s”, but it uses natural elements, like copper and zinc, in the filtration process that leaves the water crystal clear. It even smells good too! We also ordered test strips to frequently check the water, which alert you to any adjustments you need to make regarding the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels. It might sound intimidating, but I promise, it’s very straightforward. If we can do it, so can you!

3. How much did your energy bill increase?

We didn’t know what to expect when it came to energy costs, but were surprised to learn that it was pretty minimal. All of Master Spas hot tubs are fully insulated with an environmentally friendly foam, which never loses its insulating value over the life of your hot tub, and makes it one of the most energy efficient hot tubs on the market today. Master Spas also offers a handy hot tub energy calculator that will help you figure out how much it will cost to heat your new hot tub. Such a great idea, huh? Ours added about $20.00/month. And most of their hot tubs average under $30. Ummmmmmmm….#worthit

4. Be honest. How much do you guys actually use it?

Every day. Seriously. Now that we have had the hot tub for all four of our seasons, (and we do have four distinctive seasons here in Bend)  there hasn’t been a day that goes by where at least one of us, or all of us, enjoy a good soak in hot tub. In the summer, we used it more often during the mornings and evenings. And the fall and winter months, its even more frequent! There is something really kind of magical about being in the nice, hot water while watching the snow fall all around. Kind of like being in your own personal snow globe.

5. What type of plumbing and power is necessary for a hot tub?

We had an electrician come out to help us determine what we needed for the hot tub. We learned that most hot tubs will need a dedicated 220V system for the installation. As far as plumbing goes, you don’t need to do a thing! All you’ll need is your garden hose for filling it, and then your hot tub will have a drain underneath that allows you to drain your water every few months for cleaning and to start your water over again. Easy peasy!


We have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of quality time that the hot tub has created for our family. Obviously, there aren’t any phones or screens of any kind in the hot tub, so the kids are alert and engaged, and as a result, we’ve had so many quality conversations and discussions together. Our littlest likes to tell us spooky stories when we’re all soaking after dark. It’s just the cutest and I should write them down, so I never forget these sweet memories.

One thing is for sure, we love our Master Spas hot tub! I hope this helped answer your questions about our experience as newbies to the hot tub club, but as always, if I missed yours, feel free to leave a question in the comments below. I’ll write ya back! XOXO

Our New Master Spas Hot Tub

This post is sponsored by Master Spas but all thoughts and opinions are my own

Today is a BIG DAY!  It’s been months in the making, but our back yard makeover is complete! This has been one of our slower projects to finish (think construction delays and snow storms galore), but it’s been soooo worth the wait! As a little refresh, many of you already know that we have been adding a new bedroom, bathroom and closet onto the existing footprint (as well as tweaking the floorplan) of our house for the last year. It’s been quite the slippery slope and has forced us to address a few other projects that we didn’t expect to tackle quite yet…looking at you, new roof, and you too, new deck. Does anyone remember when the deck looked like this?

Our old deck was ugly, worn out, and in rough shape. After we talked it over with our contractor, we quickly decided that the entire thing had to go, and the best course of action would be to start over. I LOVED the idea of starting over because it would enable us to change the overall footprint of the deck too, if we wanted. WE WANTED! I’ve always dreamed of a hot tub for our family to enjoy together, and have an obscene number of inspiration pics with decks built around hot tubs pinned on my pinterest page. Then, the wonderful folks at Master Spas said they could help make that dream come true, and I cried tears of happiness. No…really, I did.

We designed the entire deck with the Master Spas hot tub in mind. First, we arranged to have a concrete pad poured where the hot tub would go, then the deck framing began.

The design was simple, and the goal was to wrap the new deck around (literally around) the hot tub with a low, wide step around the entire perimeter where you could step down into the grass. Mission accomplished!

Deciding on the right hot tub for our family, that fit all of our criteria, was simple! Master Spas gives you so many helpful tips, and even has a tool that will help you calculate monthly maintenance and energy costs, so that you can be sure it fits into your budget! We ultimately went with their Clarity Balance 8 model, which comfortably seats 6. It was important for us to be able to fit our entire family at once, because we’ve noticed that once one of us announces they are getting in the hot tub, everyone joins in on the fun! We have a family of 5, and the Clarity Balance 8, has enough room for us all to spread out and relax, even when the whole family is in at the same time. There are 48 jets total, so every seat has a number of jet combinations, and they adjust in pressure, depending on what you prefer. The kids loooooove the waterfall option and it makes such a lovely sound when it’s turned on. Nate swears that he sleeps better after being in the hot tub, and I love it for soaking sore muscles after a good workout. It’s amazing! Oh and I almost forgot to mention that it has a foot massager! They really thought of everything when they designed these hot tubs!

Master Spas offers lots of beautiful color options that you can customize so that your hot tub fits in with your design aesthetic. We went with their Sterling Silver shell, which has a classic carrara marble look, complemented with their Duramaster Graphite skirting. I never realized a hot tub could be so pretty, but pretty she is!

In typical Bend fashion, we are still having quite a few spring snow storms, so I owe you another post on the deck details and cannot wait to share all that with you guys. The temps need to go up and the snow needs to melt first.

This is such a dream come true for us! It’s so wonderful to utilize this outdoor space of ours, especially during the LONG winter months. I am so grateful! Oh, and did I forget to mention just how great the folks are at Master Spas? Just when I thought they couldn’t get any more wonderful, they agreed to share a coupon code especially for my readers that will give you $500 off any hot tub of your choosing! SERIOUSLY!! Just click HERE.

Happy Shopping, my friends! And thank you all so much for reading XOXO



Trex Stairs And Cable Railing…The Combo That Won My Whole Heart

This post is sponsored by Webfoot Painting

When we first bought our house in the fall of 2019, a MAJOR fixer upper, we were so excited to have a little guest house separate from our main house. It’s a small studio-style apartment that sits above our garage, complete with its own kitchenette and bathroom. You see, I have four siblings, who are all married with kids, so weekend house guests are a regular occurrence around these parts. I think the privacy and separate bathroom make it so popular with my extended fam, and it’s always fun to see who calls first dibs! There’s just one problem with the guest house, the stairs that lead up to the entrance were over 30 years old, and showing their age in a big way. In fact, one of treads broke while Nate was walking up them just after we moved in. We promptly banned their use after that, and decided we better get serious about replacing them before we had a real accident…gulp.

Enter Webfoot Painting to save the day! Webfoot is a local outfit here in Bend, and initially, I thought they were solely a painting company. Boy, was I wrongo! They offer a whole host of services including deck building, interior/exterior painting, carpentry services, concrete coatings and so much more! After seeing that they have over 500 google reviews with a 4.9 star rating, I knew we were in good hands going into this project. I was also happy to see that Webfoot is so involved in our small Oregon community, and even host an annual giveaway called Project Serious, that donates $25k of services to a deserving local non-profit. How cool is that?!

Not only were the old stairs a safety hazard, they were also UGLY. They were a lovely shade of gold with lots of brown accents…ahem, insert sarcasm here. This was the color combination on the exterior of the house when we moved in. Maybe even the original color to the house from when it was built in the early 1980’s, I wonder?

Anyone else getting a haunted house vibe? No? Just me? Anyways, the crew from Webfoot arrived on the first day and made quick work of the old stairs. They were gone in just a few short hours!

After the stairs were nothing more than a distant memory, we swapped out the old window and door for a fresh new look and a fun pop of color! All ready for the guys to come back and start building the new stairs!

The next day, Webfoot showed up right on time, and got to work! The crew was awesome, and their communication was so on point, we always knew the action plan for the day.

I was so excited to use Trex on the stairs for it’s durability, zero maintenance, and scratch resistance. We hemmed and hawed over all of the beautiful color options, but ultimately went with the Havana Gold color from their Transcend line. It has a lot of great texture, and really looks like wood – without the maintenance that comes with real wood. I also learned that Trex is made from 95% recycled materials, which made my inner Oregonian feel v happy.

These sleek and dare I say, sexy railings were a custom design by American Structures out of Portland, and are powder coated for durability against the outside elements. The crew even provided us with touch-up paint if we ever manage to scratch them – great for peace of mind! The black cables were sourced locally from Bend Rigging & Supply. The finished look is modern and clean. I couldn’t love it more!

Webfoot is one of the largest Trex deck builders in the state of Oregon, and their experience showed through their craftsmanship and attention to detail. The guys told me this stair design is called a “picture frame,” and it’s just beautiful!

Ok…now to the good part! It’s time to SPAM YOU WITH ALL THE GORGEOUS AFTER SHOTS…

Overall, we are so grateful for such an amazing experience, and couldn’t be happier with our new stairs. We’ve had just about all of our neighbors stop by to tell us how much they love the upgrade! A big thank you goes out to Gavin, Colin, and everyone at Webfoot Painting who were all knowledgeable, friendly, easy to work with, and full of energy! So tell me guys, what do you think!? Do you have any home projects that have been on your to-do list? I’m already busy dreaming up our next one!