Friday, June 19, 2015

Sprucin' Up the Porch

Hello my faithful readers!

Today I'm bringing you a story.  A story of a sad sad little porch, neglected and forlorn, looking abandoned for the entire year and a half that the owners lived there.    


It was home to dirty towels and knocked over chairs, stinky socks left out in the rain by little children that can't stand to wear shoes.  A plastic folding table that sometimes served as a patio table was knocked over in a storm and no one ever cared enough to pick it up again or even to (gasp!) put it back in the shed where it belonged.  


It was empty and cold and no one wanted to spend much time there.  It simply served as a walkway to get from the backyard into the house.

But...in the owner's defense, she had been searching and searching for a nice used patio set with 6 chairs to put on the deck, but after months and months of waiting for a good deal, she had just not found the right one.  New sets were way too expensive, and any used sets that did show up on the local yard sale sites were either too junky, not a style that would fit the owner's taste, OR they were located too far away to be worth it.  So....sad and neglected the little porch stayed.

BUT THEN...........

One Saturday night the owner was on her way to pick up pizza for her family for dinner and she made a quick stop at Walmart to pick up a couple of necessities.  She parked by the garden center (which she hadn't been in for months) and quickly made her way in and out so that her family wouldn't starve before she made it home with the pizza.  But on her speedy trail through the garden center and into the store she spied a cute little patio set that was marked $99.  "Hmmmmmm..." she thought to herself, "my little budget could handle $99, and that cute little set could make do until I can afford something bigger."  


So that very night she transferred some of her hard earned money from her little shop into their bank account and first thing Monday morning she headed back to purchase that little set.  She also perused the clearance plant section and bought some .98¢ plants and a $6 mixed container planter.  That afternoon while her children were having quiet time in their rooms she worked on putting the patio set together. Then that evening once the sun had started to set and the porch was finally in the shade she set to work planting all those clearance plants into pots and buckets she already had.  




She scrubbed up the plastic Adirondack chairs that were scattered around the yard and brought them all back to live on the porch again.  




She brought out one of her much loved crates to serve as a plant stand.



The little $3 yard sale chair that never got painted like it was supposed to actually looked very cute with its new coordinating container plant sitting on it.




And finally....finally the little porch was happy and welcoming and the family began to spend time out there each day, eating breakfast under the cute little umbrella, sucking on popsicles in the hot afternoon sun.  Even the pets seemed to enjoy it better.  And in the fall, when the weather turns cool enough again, the family will probably eat almost every meal out here and will immensely enjoy its new found cheery atmosphere.


The End.

** The funny aggravating part of this story is that TWO DAYS after I purchased the little 4 seater patio set for $99, a nice 6 seater used set finally came up on a yard sale site, in my local town, a nice style, decent shape, for $125.  I just shook my head in defeat.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all. **


                                                                 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Two Exciting Things to Share!

Hello all!

I have two exciting things to share with you today.  

First up, my very good friend Wendy just opened her first Etsy shop TODAY!!  I'm so excited for her!  She's been working very hard designing and sewing and getting ready for this and I wanted to share her adorable pillow covers with you all.  


She calls them "peek pillows" because the ticking material "peeks" out of the side.


Aren't they just the cutest things ever?!?  
She's very detail oriented so I know that these pillow covers will be very well made.


These are only part of the designs she's offering right now, so be sure to visit her shop and see the rest!  Share the love, spread the word, give her a "like" or two on her products, and maybe even send some business her way! 

You can find her shop here: 


Now, onto the second exciting thing.

Have you ever seen this image before?



Well.....that's me!!

I'm busy making a 3rd little person for our family who is due in early January.  We're very excited and thankful for this added blessing from the Lord.  And let's be honest here, maybe just a little bit nervous too.  I feel like I'm starting all over since my last baby was 4.5 years ago!  :)

Well, that's all for today.  
I've changed up the living room for the summer months, it's nothing grand or glorious or magazine worthy, just real and simple.  I'll share it with you soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mix-N-Match Spring Table Setting

I don't know about where you live, but here in northern Florida spring is basically gone and done with. We've moved right into hot and humid summer-like weather.  I'm sure most bloggers that are better at keeping up with things than I am are already posting red, white, and blue Memorial Day and/or 4th of July table scape ideas.  I realize I'm quite behind the times posting a spring table setting this late in the game, but if you've been around these here parts long enough then you'll know that's just how I roll.  I feel no obligation to the blogging world's schedule and I'll get to it when I get to it.  :D


 So...on to today's post.  I've had this pale yellow and blue combination on our dining room table since a little before Easter and I have enjoyed it so much.  I decided to get out my mismatched dishes and make a table setting to show you all.  Pretty much everything on the table is second-hand treasures (including the table and chairs themselves).


The blue and white buffalo checked vintage tablecloth was a yard sale find a couple of years ago.  You can tell it had lots of use by the softness and perfectly worn texture it has.  It even has a place where a hole was lovingly stitched up.


The placemats were a recent purchase at a local 2nd hand shop for $1 each, and the canning jars have been collected here and there and we use them everyday to drink from.



The silverware has been collected piece by piece at different yard sales and thrift stores.  None of it matches and I love it.  



The white basket weave plates were a church rummage sale find, and the little vintage dessert plates are from a local thrift store.  I love that each one has a different pattern and color, and some have smooth edges while others have scalloped edges.  We use both style of plates just about every day.


These sweet little lanterns were a thrift store find for $2 each.  I think they were originally from Target.


The pitcher is also a thrift store purchase, and the fresh hydrangea blooms were cut from the yard.



I just love the combination of the checkered and the floral patterns.


I thought it all blended well for a cheery mix-n-match combination.  Simple, everything secondhand, everything cheap....just my style.  :D

In other news, I'm hoping to be able to get the kids' bathroom completed someday before I'm old and feeble.  I've had the sink/vanity and tiles waiting for weeks now, but Hubs has been so busy on the weekends with his side work that we haven't been able to get to it yet.  Someday.....I keep telling myself....someday.

                                                                

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Springtime Activity

 Hey everybody!  Long time no blog!  If you don't follow me on Facebook then I'm sure by now you're probably convinced that I've been whisked away to the witness protection program, or that maybe all my fingers were broken in a freak accident and I couldn't type.  But alas, no...I'm still around, with all 10 fingers in good working order, I just haven't had time to blog lately.

I have some posts coming up in a couple of weeks that will be fun before and after makeovers.  I was going to share them before they were finished because I didn't really have anything else to blog about, but then I just procrastinated and got really busy and it never happened.  But now I'm kind of glad I didn't because I'm all set to add the finishing touches!

In the mean time, I thought I'd share a bit of what's going on around the "farm" that's been keeping me busy.  Of course homeschooling my kiddos is a big thing, my Etsy shop orders keep me hopping, and I'm still teaching a kids' class at church, but besides all of that here's what's been happening lately.


We got our winter garden tilled up and the summer garden is off to a good start.  We've planted 5, 50' rows of corn.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be doing as well this year as it did last year.  I don't think this new variety we tried likes the sandy Florida soil very much.


On the other hand, the peas seem to be doing really well so far and we're pleased with their progress.


We've also got 4 rows of bush beans planted so far and they're starting to pop up.


Hubs built these trellis contraptions with scrap wood so that we can try out some pole beans this year.  I'm sure the kids will love playing in the shady tunnel once the vines start growing well.


We bought a big rain barrel at a yard sale for $5 and it has become our compost bin.  It's about 3/4 full now and so heavy I can hardly flip it anymore to keep it mixed up.  In the background you can see the tree swing Hubby built for the kids last year.  They spend SO much time playing on it!  They love to twist it all up and then just spin like crazy all the while throwing their heads back laughing with gleeful abandon.  


I keep this enamelware bucket under the counter in the kitchen so that I can toss all my fruit and veggie scraps into it while I'm cooking.  I also add eggshells and coffee grounds, then once it's full I take it out and dump it into the big barrel.  The lid helps keep the smell contained and we change out the grocery bag in it each time to help with the smell also.  Our neighbor brings us plenty of manure that we mix in to the big barrel, as well as ash from our firepit, and leaves and grass from the yard.  We hope it will make a big improvement in our sandy soil once it's ready.


In other news on the "farm," Hubs built me a clothesline!  Yay!!  I LOVE using it!  He used limbs from a tree that fell during a storm and I love its rustic look.  He made the lines low for me since I'm such a shorty and it makes it nice for the kids also because they love to help.  Even the 4 year old likes to get in on the action, thus the little red chair he drug over there so that he could reach.  I love my little helpers!  :)


And this little uniform is a sign of another thing eating up my time lately...T-ball!  With games and practices a few times a week it keeps us hopping.  But it's SO much fun to watch them, and our lil' guy is having a lot of fun with it.


Hubs has taken on some side work.  A man in our church is paying him to get this old thing running again.  That keeps him busy in his spare time.  Thankfully he has it parked behind his workshop so I don't have to look at it much.  :)


 Over the winter months while the grass wasn't growing he also rebuilt our mower deck.  As you can see, it was completely rusted out.  It had been welded and patched to death and just wasn't going to make it one more summer.  The sand here just eats it up.


We have 5 acres to mow, plus we'll now be mowing the 5 acres next door to us so a good mower is essential.  This zero-turn Dixie Chopper is 20 years old, but Hubs keeps it running and takes good care of it.  He ordered all the parts to make the new deck and now it'll be like having a brand new mower I bet!  I don't know how men know how to do these things.  I think they're born with the knowledge of engines and construction already ingrained in them.  It baffles me how he does it, but I sure am thankful for his skills!

And that's a little look at what's been taking up our time around here.  I hope you haven't completely given up on me, I haven't given up on blogging that's for sure, but I have needed to take a break from it for a bit so that I could juggle everything else I've had going on.  But like I said, I'll have some decor posts coming soon.  I've been saving up my money to order some things to put the finishing touches on the kids' bathroom, and an unexpected cast-off coming our way will make a huge difference in our kids' bedrooms.  I hope to be able to share all of that with you soon.

Don't give up on me, I'm still here!  :D

                                                               

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Unexpected Shopping Spree!

I'm really excited about sharing today's post.  It doesn't contain any mind blowing tutorials, or even any great DIY projects.  But it's exciting to me because it's all about my first partnership.  Well, maybe partnership isn't the right word.  Maybe sponsor?  I don't really know actually since this is my first time doing it.  : )

About a month or so ago I got an email from a media corporation asking me if I would like to join their campaign with a website called Build.com.  I would receive free product to try and all I had to do was blog about my experience.  Well.....let me think on that awhile before I get back to you.  NOT!  I responded so fast to that email I bet they didn't have time to breathe in between sending it and receiving a reply.  I've read about other bloggers getting opportunities like this and I had always hoped I would be able to do it as well someday, and now my "someday" was here!

After a few more emails back and forth it was all set and I was told I could peruse the build.com website and choose $250 of product to try!!  SHOPPING SPREE!! Oh man was that ever fun!  I spent a very long time considering all of my options.  I was considering a chandelier for our dining room, or maybe a new farmhouse style faucet for our kitchen sink, but in the end I decided I didn't want to spend it all in one place so to speak.  I ended up ordering five products that have been on my wish list but haven't been a priority before this.

 I've been working on finishing up both of the kiddos' rooms and on my list for those projects were ceiling fans for both of them.  Not terribly exciting I know, but something we've needed for an entire year but didn't really have the extra cash to spend on them.


We live in Florida and the summers (and the spring....and the fall) tend to get really hot and even though we have central air, ceiling fans are a must for circulating the air.  Plus, the fact that both kids are just like me in that they have trouble sleeping well without being able to feel some air movement.  In the meantime, we had been making do with little plastic oscillating fans that we already had in each of their rooms.  They looked ugly and collected dust like crazy, but it was our only option for the time being.  They both also had basic, ugly, flush mount ceiling lights.



I can't show too much of Lil Man's room yet, because that room reveal is yet to come.  I have a project to finish up this week and then I plan to show you most of it.

So, back to the ceiling fans.  I ordered two of these white Westinghouse fans.  
I went back to their website to find the link to share with you, but it appears they're not carrying this particular one anymore.  But {this} brand is almost identical.




So far we really like these.  Hubs got them up and installed in no time, and they feel solid and of good quality.  We have fans in other rooms of our home that are from the "every day low prices" store and they feel cheap compared to these.  Something is always going wrong with them, but these are quiet and seem really well made.


My favorite feature of them is the pull chains.  They have a little light and a fan emblem on them so there's no confusion about which one to pull.  Very handy!


And now, with the ugly plastic fan out of the way we can come up with something much prettier to display on their dressers.

Here's another quick "before and after" that has nothing to do with this partnership, but it happened at the same time so I wanted to show you.  

Another project for each of their rooms was to get rid of the ugly, grimy, cracked and broken, blinds in their rooms.  They were terrible already when we moved here, but after a year of not cleaning them they were much much worse.  I don't do mini-blind cleaning.  I just don't.  I'd rather pitch 'em and buy new ones than to clean them.  I much prefer roller blinds that don't require so much upkeep.  Plus, you don't have to worry about dangly cords in children's rooms.


I replaced my daughter's with these pretty scalloped edge ones from JCPenny and man, what a difference!  
SO much better, and the scalloped edge adds a nice feminine touch.


Ok, back to the FREE products now!


Another thing on my wish list (but not priority list) was new porch lights.  Ours were horribly sad.


They were too small, they were corroded and grody, and even still had the stickers on them from when they were put up years ago.   So ugly.


The back porch had the same depressing light with the same sad story.


The side entrance (actually the one we use the most) had a decent enough light that was still in good shape, it just wasn't quite my style.  And since this is basically the main entrance I wanted something a little more "me" here.

In comes..... 2 barn style lights!


From the picture on the website I thought they were going to be a galvanized color, so I was surprised when I pulled them out of the box and they were black.  I went back and looked at the listing and sure enough, right there in bold print it did indeed say "Oil Rubbed Bronze."  So...my fault on that one, but I still like them very much.  (And as for the mold around the white square, we tried and tried to clean it and bleach it but to no avail.  Any suggestions?)


Having a new light at the front entry way inspired me to finally come up with something cute to make it look more welcoming.  It probably helps that I finally took down the Christmas lights, too.  : )

                          "Go away, we hate life."                                                           "C'mon in!  We're friendly 'round here!"


Lookin' cute for Valentine's Day!  The only item here that's not second-hand is the cup cake sign. Well, and the flowers, too, of course.


The perfectly good porch light from the side entrance got moved around to the back porch and the scale of it fits much better here.  (And yes, we still have snowflakes on our windows. Don't judge.)


The side entrance then received one of the new barn lights.  I don't really have a good before and after shot of this area because the landing is SO small you can't do anything with it.  But the new light is the first step in making my vision for this entrance a reality.

I have in mind something like this.

(source)

But that's another "someday" project that isn't a priority as of yet.


So that brings us to the final product that I ordered on my spending spree.


Another barn style light, but this one is a pendant style.  We don't have it installed yet because it's going in our next room waiting for a makeover.


The Depths of Despair laundry room.

I hope to get started on that room next week.

So, in conclusion, this experience was SO much fun and working with build.com was a breeze and I want to say a big THANK YOU to them (and to Hawke Media) for giving me this opportunity!  They shipped my items quickly, even the ones that originally said they were back ordered still came much quicker than expected.  The products are good quality and were easy to install.  So, if you're looking for building products, or home renovation products, consider build.com for your needs.

* Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, I received free product in return for my opinion about the products, but all opinions and reviews are 100% my own. *

                                                            
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