Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yard Sale List


Oh my, I am SOOOOOOO excited!!  This weekend is our local town’s citywide garage sales!!!!  The nice spring days have been few and far between this year so there haven’t been very many garage sales yet around here.  I am planning to be out bright and early come Thursday morning!!!  (So if you live around here, sleep in that day, mmmkay??  ; )


To get ready for the garage sale season, I usually make a yard sale list.  What is that, you say? 

It is the list of things I am going to look for more deliberately at garage/yard sales this year (or thrifting, though I do less of that). 

I started making a list a couple of years ago because I found myself forgetting that I needed such and such a thing or kids pants in this size, etc. and then I passed them by only to be bitten by garage sale regret later!  Sometimes I put old stand-by’s on the list--such as painting supplies (I have discovered garage sales are a great place to get new paint rollers and brushes), frames, storage bins, kids crafting supplies, and so on.  Mostly, however, I just put things on that I wouldn’t normally scan for or sizes of kids’ clothes so I have a handy reference of what exactly I need.  I haven’t in the past, but this year I am going to keep the list on the car dashboard so I can easily access it. 

To give you even more of an idea, here is a start to my list this year:

BIG frames

boxy baskets

pruning shears

chop/miter saw

bunk bed

chicken nesting boxes

chicken waterer

new boards

white cardstock

large white mugs

nightstand with shelves and drawer, 26” or taller

king sheets in white, gray, or blue

air compresser


And the list goes on!  I have found that it is really helpful to write down the dimensions of things you may be looking for, such as the size of window blinds, cabinets, rugs, etc.  It is pretty frustrating to be at a garage sale eyeing an awesome deal and thinking, hmmmm….is that the right size??  Will that fit?  It is even more frustrating if you buy it and then it doesn’t work out…no returns at garage sales!! 

I buy most of my kids’ clothes from garage sales and I this year I plan to do that differently too.  In the past when I go to a garage sale with clothes in the right sizes, in good condition, and at a good price, I would tend to snatch up anything I thought they would wear.  This worked pretty well for boys’ clothes, but I noticed that it didn’t work so well for girl clothes.  Boy clothes all seem to mix and match easily, for the most part.  But with girl clothes it is a different story…you need to have a plan in mind so the random tops and pants you get look good together.  So this year, I am being very specific with my list.  I will still stock up on the random play clothes that I find because she is just going to get them dirty and worn out anyway, but for other clothes I am going to be on the lookout for exactly what is on my list, for example—a black cardigan, size 7.  If I don’t find it, I don’t find it and I will have to supplement either at a thrift or a regular store. 

So, do you make lists for garage saling?  Maybe you’ve got it together and you have a mental list.  : )

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What I’ve been up to lately…


Oh wow, the past few weeks seem to have whizzed by SO quickly!  I meant to post several times but I have not worked on a single house project since the headboard I finished quite a while ago.  Nope, instead I have been focusing on this:


And when the weather permits, this:


(new flower bed in front of the house…in progress)


(signs of life!!  can’t wait to see those blooms!)


(hubby tilled a big veggie garden and I’m super excited to start planting…once we get a fence around it…pesky deer and rabbits!)


(I have been working on this particular area for a couple weeks now…it used to be covered with brambles, wild grape vine, and brush…but slowly but surely I have been clearing it.  There is more to be done, and I know it doesn’t look like anything, but trust me when I say it is waaaaaay better than it was!!  We have ordered three apple trees and a cherry tree to plant here.  So excited to start our “orchard”!!)


(our kitty Butterscotch…I don’t think I’ve ever talked about her before, but she is such a sweetie!)


we got chickens!! 

Sorry, no photo yet (I tried, but it was getting too dark in the coop to get a good one) and we are really enjoying them!

So no, I have not dropped off the face of the earth.  : )  We are just mostly soaking up the great outdoors.  I hope to be back posting regularly again now—I have certainly missed it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Liebster Award


Ah, the Liebster award…it seems to be going around the internet again, and I’m finally playing along!!

The Liebster is an award for bloggers with 500 or less followers as a way to get to know each other and build a blogging community.
Here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. 
  • Answer the 11 questions you're given. 
  • Nominate 11 other new bloggers with less than 500 followers. 
  • Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer. 
  • Tag you nominees and leave them a comment on their blog so they know that you nominated them.

Talented Ashley, from The Honest Room, nominated me (thank you, thank you!) and posed a few questions I’ll attempt to answer here.

  1. How long have you been blogging?  I started blogging in 2011, but only really got into posting regularly in the fall/winter of 2013.
  2. Why did you start blogging? Has it turned out to be what you expected? I discovered the world of DIY/home blogs in 2009 and loved being a spectator then, but as time went on and we had lots of projects going on in our home, I wanted to join the community!  I also wanted to journal our home and life for me.  As far as expectations--it has taken longer to feel a  part of a community than I thought it might, though a lot of that was due to not really commenting on others’ blogs and not joining linky parties (I didn’t even know what a linky party really was about until long after starting the blog).  It is really fun to get to know other bloggers!
  3. What's the story behind your blog name?  No real story, I picked it because my initials spelled EAT and and I thought Create would encompass a lot of creative endeavors from home d├ęcor to food to family traditions. 
  4. What has been your most popular post?  This may surprise anyone who hasn’t seen the stats (and, quite honestly, me), but my absolute most popular post is the one on How to Make Paneling look like Drywall.  There must be a lot of people out there with awful paneling!!
  5. What is your motto or tagline?  What is your favorite blog to read and what draws you to them?  Hmm.  I don’t really have a motto or tagline…I probably should but I think I’ll procrastinate on that a while!  My favorite blog????????  You mean, I have to pick just ONE???  ; )  I think my absolute most favorite blog, for years now, is the blog My Child I Love You.  It is not a DIY blog but a mother’s blog for and about her children.  It is simply beautiful…I get inspired every time I visit there to see my kids as the amazing precious persons they are.  As far as DIY blogs go…I really love Vintage Revivals and View Along the Way…AAACCCKK!…it is so hard to pick just one or two!   Basically I love those two blogs because Mandi and Kelly seem so real and really creative and they are super entertaining to read!  But I have many other favorites too.  : )
  6. What is your decorating style?  I know it when I see it, but I couldn’t tell you in a concise way.  I once took a Home Goods style quiz and they told me I was New Country with a touch of Classic which sounds more like a music genre than me!  I love vintage (but not chippy), earthy tones, crisp white frames, and wood with rich character. 
  7. Gold or silver? Silver, but not a hater of gold!
  8. Name one of your bucket list items.  Grow an intricate boxwood hedge like you see in the English gardens. 
  9. How do you spend your weekends?  Wishing I could sleep in!  Well, that and taking care of the small people, spending time with the hubby, visiting with friends and family, and working on projects. 
  10. Where do find most of your home decor inspiration? (store, blog, magazine)  Definitely blogs…I rarely step foot into any store more fancy than Target (Goodwill is more my speed) as I generally have the kids in tow.  I also think a lot of inspiration comes organically from the limitations of our homes, lifestyles, finances, and time.  You really have to think outside the box to reach your goal and create the look you’re going for within those constraints, and that can be a really creative state of mind. 

Thanks so much Ashley for nominating me!!  What fun! 

Well, we don’t want the fun to stop here…so I’m awarding the Liebster Award to these deserving blogs:

Little House of Four

Joie de Vivre

being Sarah Marie

Average but Inspired

undercover DIYer

(I know it’s not the 11 I’m supposed to nominate but let’s just pretend, shall we?  : )

Here are my questions (with a few borrowed from Ashley):

1.  How long have you been blogging?

2.  How do you balance life and blogging?

3.  If you could have a dream house, how would it look? 

4.  What is the story behind your blog name?

5.  What is your favorite season?

6.  What has been your most popular post?

7.  What was the first blog that you ever followed?

8.  Why did you start blogging? 

9.  White or wood trim?

10.  Have you ever gotten a strange reaction to people finding out that you blog?

11.  Do you have a celebrity look-alike? 

Tag!  You’re it!!

; )

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How I save money on gardening—part 1 of a series—seed starting


It is finally sloooooowwly warming up here!  We still have lots of snow to melt so it will be a while before we see all of the ground, but I feel like there is some hope for spring to finally come at last!  I am eagerly awaiting the time when I can go and scope out the yard and see if any plants are starting to poke up out of the ground.  : )  Can you tell spring is my favorite season??

I’m going to share with you today the first of my favorite ways to save money when you garden.  If you’ve ever been to a garden center and picked out some plants (or maybe a shrub or two), you know how quickly they can add up when you get to the checkout.  Ouch!  Especially if you go somewhere that has higher quality plants…then you are really in for a painful moment at the register!  And you may give hubby a heart attack if he happens to be with you!!  (Kidding!!)  Whether you are planting perennials in the ground or annuals in hanging baskets or vegetables, there are ways to make it cheaper. 


Probably the most obvious way to do this is by starting seeds yourself.  I try to start as many plants from seed as I can.  Some years this works out better than others—for example, in our previous house we didn’t have as much natural sunlight so the plants didn’t always grow very well.   Depending on where you live, late winter is the perfect time to start some things ahead of spring.  I love to see those little green tops poking up out of the soil—it just makes me happy.  : )  I know a lot of people start tomato plants ahead of time…but you can definitely start more than just vegetable seeds.  I have hollyhocks, marigolds, delphiniums, sweet williams, bells of Ireland, zinnias, and some other annuals and perennials planted in trays right now, and my mom even plants petunia and impatien seeds.  A packet of seeds is generally pretty inexpensive depending on the type and where you buy it…most of the ones I got this year were around $2 each, though I do buy them from a seed catalog so it is cheaper than buying them from the store. 

There are a lots of good resources out there for starting plants from seed; here are a few I found:

Seed Starting 101 from the Empress of Dirt

Start Seeds Indoors from Organic Gardening

Seed Starting for Beginners from The Kat’s Garden

And, to make it even more thrifty, you can save seeds from plants you already have (after they flower), dry them, and then plant them the following year!  I haven’t been organized enough to do much of that, but I plan to change that this year. 


The kids are loving seed starting too…we learned about how seeds grow a couple of weeks ago and watched a number of time-lapse youtube videos of seeds sprouting and growing…then I let them plant a few bean seeds in glasses so they could watch the sprouting/rooting/growing process up close and personal.  Every day they check to see how their beans are growing—and they are growing—they were pole bean seeds so they are a now a couple feet tall and I need to figure out a support system.  : )  Fun!!



If you look on Pinterest you can find multitudes of ways to start seeds very cheaply…some people use egg shells or empty egg cartons or TP rolls.  I don’t have an elaborate system and it seems to work ok for me, though I’m sure the plants could do with a bit more light. 

A lot of our backyard is currently under a few feet of water or snow, so it will be a while before those seeds/plants will go into the ground, but they certainly make me hopeful for springy weather and green grass again! 


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,