Monday, October 5, 2015

New Blog, New Blog Post




Hey there!  I’ve just hit publish on a new post over at my new blog, Creating Loveliness.  It isn’t earth shattering but there are pictures of chickens in a jungle.  Hmmm.  Go on over to check it out

Friday, September 18, 2015

I'm Alive...

and if anyone is out there I just wanted to let you know I’m starting a new blog that I will share with you soon.  While I remain obsessed with making my home beautiful, I felt that this current blog had painted me into a corner (so to speak) and I struggled to come up with posts that felt like me on a regular basis.  I mean, I’m busy like we all are and have a full time job being a mom and wife and I don’t have time to be working on projects around the house all the time.  Sometimes I want to go on tangents about being a mom or the crazy things my kids did the other day or the garden I’m always working on (when it is not snowing!).  I’m hopeful this new blog will let me do that a little better.

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Our New (old) Front Door


In the midst of a few other projects I had going on, this one got done first!


I, like so many out there in blogland, am loving bold front doors that add a pop of color to your entry.  I have had this in the back of my mind for months, but finally took the plunge with a less “in your face” color that I think will transition through the seasons well.  I loved this front door on Emily A. Clark’s house,


but since we don’t have a brick fa├žade I wanted something a tad more bright.  I started a Pinterest board with all kinds of green door pins to show my husband what it might look like since initially he was a little skeptical.  He ended up being pretty neutral about it after seeing some of them which was great progress so I went ahead and painted it when he went to visit his parents last week.  : )  I had Benjamin Moore’s Avocado color matched in a Behr exterior semi-gloss…with the tiniest bit of black added after I thought it was a little too bright olive-y. 

After the first coat it looked pretty darn awful.  And this next picture is actually after the 2nd coat so it looked slightly better, but still…



And I was really questioning my color choice since it looked positively neon in the sunlight!!!

But after 5 coats, done over the course of 3 days, it now looks like this:


I think our lion is liking his green surroundings…


though as always he doesn’t show it.  . 

I found it is difficult to make the green not look flat in pictures.  It looks much more vibrant in person, but oh well!


And here is a comparison--

Before (this spring when all the plants were new):


And now:


I think it looks a lot more welcoming and a lot less stark now!  What a difference a little paint and some lush plants make!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Days



I’ve taken quite a break from blogging this summer, and for no really good reason other than that it is summer and it’s busy (but aren’t we all??  not a very good excuse for me I’m afraid) and it is glorious outside in the summer here in the polar north.  We have to get our vitamin D somehow!!  We have actually been having quite a mild summer here which we have been loving, though I hope hope HOPE it doesn’t mean the polar vortex is awaiting us again right around the corner.  Yikes. 

Actually, I think the main reason I haven’t been blogging is because I have done basically nothing inside our house these past couple of months.  Nothing blog-worthy, anyway.  And I have been even worse about taking pictures of anything that might have been in the slightest bit blogworthy.  : )  I have been outside enjoying and gardening.  I’ll just touch upon a few things…

We are in the middle of doing the Whole 30!  What is that?  This site can tell you all about it, but basically you go off dairy, all grains, legumes (including peanuts and soy), sugar in any form (including honey and all those sneaky things that get added to foods that end in -ose), alcohol, and MSG/carrageenan/sulfites for 30 days and then slowly re-introduce them into your diet.  During re-introduction you try to notice if any foods seem to bother you to determine if you could be sensitive to those.  We are on day 17 today and I haven’t noticed much benefit yet (I started this hoping for more energy as it always seems to be low) and my husband says he felt great before we started this diet and feels great still, but it is still early so the jury is out.  I am missing my dairy and carbs for sure!  It definitely has opened my eyes to all the things they add to even the most basic of foods!  On a side note, we are all tired of eggs for breakfast.  : )  (My husband bought one of those 15 dozen boxes of eggs last week and we have already plowed through almost half of them!)



I don’t think I shared this last year, but we will be starting our 2nd year of homeschooling so I am working on turning our music room into a “study” for the coming school year.  Last year I used part of the playroom in the basement for schooling, but this year I thought it might be nice to be on the main level because we don’t have carpeting up here and I would feel less nervous about glue, paint, play-doh, and other preschool/school mess that comes with the territory.  The music room looked kind of like this:


And now as a study it looks like a hot mess:


But never fear, stay tuned for more progress on that!! 


And our garden(s), ahhhh…they are doing great for the most part!!  We have been enjoying a lot of fresh veggies around here.


Pea thief : )

Can you spy the three melons?


Everything is growing wildly, including the marigolds I planted along the main path in the garden.  I intended them to be more like a hedge, but they obviously are more free-spirited souls who intend to take over the path instead! 


And what do you think of my rebel pink-haired corn?


Broccoli and beans haven’t done as well, but that doesn’t mean Butterscotch doesn’t enjoy resting in their shade


I have another post in the works all about the state of the gardens and how that garden arch is working for us so far.  Hopefully I’ll get that up soon!


I hope you’re all enjoying your summer days!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Gardens in June


The weather has been absolutely beautiful around here for the past week or so…perfect for getting all my plants into the ground and lots of outdoor chores done!  Yay!  I took a few pictures of the gardens, mostly for my own reference for next year and to see the difference from one month to another. 

Here is one of the front gardens…a new garden I made early this spring, and finally finished planting about a week ago.


The plants are all quite tiny since it is not an established bed, so hopefully they will fill in this year and be much larger for next year!


I also planted window boxes that will hopefully also fill out in a few weeks.  They look rather sparse now but they are much better than when I planted them a couple weeks ago so there is hope for them!


I used asparagus fern that I had overwintered and divided this past winter and then some geraniums that I grew from cuttings and also some kale I started from seed.  I have no idea how the kale will actually look with everything else, but it is fun to try something different!  I can always just pull them out if it looks awful.  : )  I bought a couple 4 packs of coleus and a 6 pack of wave petunias to put in there too so I did spend something but overall I am happy to have such inexpensive window boxes. 

Here is another front garden…this was new last fall.  I dug it  when my husband was out of town on a hunting trip and I was SO sore at the end of it.  I’m not quite sure why I feel that is an appropriate time to jump into a big new project but I always do…it must be some crazy coping mechanism.  : )   Earlier in the spring there were tulips blooming here but now the garden is in what I am calling its “purple phase”.  I didn’t exactly plan it this way, but all the blooms right now are shades of blue and purple and I am really liking it!



I am hoping the vanilla marigolds I planted in front of the bare legs of the baptisia (blue flowers near center) will grow quickly so it won’t look quite so top-heavy!

Heading in the backyard to the garden I affectionately refer to as the weed garden:


The iris are blooming right now which is just lovely!  I call it the weed garden because this is one of the gardens that was here when we bought the place last year and it is filled with grass and lots of weeds as well.  Next year I plan to either get rid of this garden altogether and make a much larger bed extending from the garden shed to the garden, or re-work it so I can get rid of the weeds. 


Moving on to the shade garden:


It is home to mostly hostas with a few other shade-loving perennials, though I added some impatiens so it should be more colorful in a few weeks.  The chickens have decided they like to scratch around in this garden so I have to be careful to protect any new young plants I have planted or they will die an untimely death (the plants, not the chickens—we are very fond of Mrs. Bertha and friends!). 

Last but not least, the veggie garden. 


We have come up with an elaborate fencing system to keep the deer out, which has been working for deer but less so for rabbits, so I feel a bit like Mr. McGregor  whenever I find another cabbage plant has been eaten off.  Grrrr!! 

The arch is for cucumbers, though this is the first year I am attempting to grow them vertically so we’ll see how it goes! 


Swiss chard is coming along nicely, as are the radishes.  The beans are getting bigger too!



The other side of the garden:



I’m excited to see what it will all look like next month!

I am joining Cari over at Clan Donalson for the June garden link-up…so fun to look at everyone’s gardens and see the progress from month to month! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

How to get spray paint off skin


With the warmer weather we’ve been having it is finally time to break out the spray paint!  I’ve been so busy with landscaping/gardening related projects that I only finally got around to doing a spray paint project a few days ago, and in the process accidentally stumbled upon a really great way to get spray paint off skin!  My spray paint bottle/nozzle was spluttering and finally it just started oozing black paint out all over my hand, under my fingernails, and up my arm.  Ugh!  It was especially bad because it was the enamel kind, which seems to be extra fumey and sticks really well to—anything!  I didn’t take a picture because…I had no idea I was going to figure this out and I don’t randomly take pictures of paint on my hands.  : )  I really didn’t want to go to all the events we had planned for last weekend with a hand/arm that looks like some horrible disease has taken its toll, so I went in and proceeded to scrub and scrub and even tried the hand sanitizer trick I heard about to no avail.  It just wasn’t coming off!

I ended up taking a shower to freshen up from the hot day outside, using a little scrub recipe I occasionally use to exfoliate my face.  On a whim I started rubbing it on my hand and lo and behold, the paint started to come off!!  Within moments of scrubbing it was SO much better and almost all off, even under my fingernails!  I was really excited to not have to explain my awful-looking hand.  : )

So, want to know how you can erase that spray paint fast??  It only takes two ingredients, and I bet most people have them in their kitchen. 

Take a couple tablespoons of coffee grounds (used or unused), add a tablespoon or so of olive oil (any old one will do!);


mix them together,


and voila!  Magic spray-paint remover!! 


Easy easy!  Just use like any scrub with warm water, and follow up with some soap to remove the olive oil grease if that’s not your thing.  Hope my accidental discovery helps someone!



Linking up with Remodelaholic’s Anonymous Party, Tatertots and Jello’s Link Party Palooza, The DIY Showoff’s That DIY Party, Home Coming’s The DIYers,  Upcycled Treasures’ The Makers