Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Traditions-Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge

It seems that due to an upcoming birthday, I have been thinking a lot about how much my life has changed over the last ten years.  A decade ago, my work was my top priority and took up the majority of my time. I slept in, rarely had to do laundry, and wouldn't be caught dead staying in on a Saturday night. I was engaged at the time and looked forward to the big changes ahead.  I couldn't wait to start a family and create new traditions of our own.

Via Martha Stewart
Some of our favorite traditions are during the holidays. My mother-in-law always invites the kids over on Good Friday to dye Easter eggs. The cousins gather around the kitchen table and "ooh and aah" over the beautiful eggs. These past ten years have been good to our family and we were blessed with fourteen more children around the table.  A few kids always manage to dye their hands blue or green and it is still noticeable on Easter Sunday. A massive Easter egg hunt takes place after everyone has changed out of their church clothes. The kids are armed with their buckets and reminded of the rules. The "bigs" help the "littles" without being asked. The egg hunt usually ends in the hayloft of the barn where a swing hangs from the beams.  Everyone takes turns jumping off the swing and into the piles of hay.

Via Tumblr
I don't know what life will be like in another ten years, but I am sure our traditions will change a little bit over time. Maybe someday I will be lucky enough to invite my grandchildren over to dye eggs. If so, I will make sure to send at least one of them home with blue or green hands!

* If you would like to participate in Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge, you can check it out here.
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Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Little Bit Country House Tour

I have a great house tour for you today! I love the casual feel and neutral palette of this North Carolina home almost as much as I love that it was decorated on a tight budget. The homeowner used second-hand finds and reupholstered furniture with canvas drop cloths. They also built the dining room table themselves. The sliding doors are my favorite!

All images via Country Living

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day Of Spring Lunch

Dirt cup
Via She is Dallas
It is the first day of spring! It is hard to see any signs of spring through the brutal cold and piles of snow. That is why I am making a special lunch for Bean that is full of signs of spring. I am hoping it will add a little sunshine to his day!
Wormy apple
Via Pinterest

Flower-shaped sandwich
Via Kelley Hospitality

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our Basement Rec Room

Can you believe I am finally posting photos of our new rec room? I like to keep people in suspense! Let me give you a little background info first. Our house was built in 1917 and the basement consisted of six creepy rooms. I, having watched way too many horror movies, refused to enter two of these rooms. My husband removed a few walls and we now have a storage room, utility room, and rec room. We already have a playroom on our first floor, but we really needed a space where the boys could be more active. Wisconsin winters are long and the summers are hot, especially without air conditioning. This is a space where they can run, play, be loud, and be messy.

We sprayed the cinder block walls with texture and chose 1/2 inch foam mats for the floor. We bought ours here. Recessed lighting will hold up nicely to any "wild" ball games.

Things To Do:
* Many of our items were given to us years ago or were bought at thrift stores, but I tried to link to similar items for you. The stage is made out of a pallet and a pair of curtains that hang on a clothesline in the corner. If you use a pallet, make sure you know what it was used for. It needs to be clean and free of chemicals.

I love how the climbing holds look and feel like actual rocks. The kids love to see if they can make it all the way across, but making the corner can be a little tricky. The adults love trying it too!
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Luck-Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge

I don't know how much I believe in luck. I know I believe in hard work, passion and perseverance. I guess I don't believe in luck enough to rely on it to get something I really wanted. However, I do think that sometimes the little things in life are due to luck. I feel lucky when:

  • Both kids sleep through the night
  • I crack open one of my hard-boiled eggs and it is actually hard-boiled
  • I get into the fast-moving lane at the grocery store
  • My husband calls to ask if he should bring home dinner (YES, the answer is YES)
What are the little things in your life that make you feel lucky?

*If you would like to take part in Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge, you can check it out here.
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Garden Tools...Green Thumb Not Included

My husband is the gardener around here. We probably wouldn't eat if he wasn't. It's not because I don't like to garden. I happen to LOVE gardening. The problem is that I am a pretty horrible gardener, but I refuse to give up. One of these times I am going to get it right. I will have a beautiful, healthy plant along with the satisfaction that I helped make it that way.  There has to be one plant out there that is hardy enough to survive me. When we meet, there will be an instant connection and we will know that we were meant to be together. That is why I am treating myself to some new gardening tools.  I might as well look like I know what I'm doing!

Tool Tote
Wood Garden Stakes

Flower Gathering Shears
Plant pot

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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Importance of Time-Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge

The importance of time took on a whole new meaning for me in November of 2010. It was an ordinary evening when I got a call from the local hospital. My mom had been in a car accident and I needed to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. At first time seemed to slow to a crawl as I went through the motions of making phone calls, talking to the police, and kissing my mom goodbye before they flew her to a bigger hospital. Then time seemed to come to a complete halt. How could life be going on around me when someone I loved was losing theirs?
Via Tumblr

The next few days seemed like a bad dream as my mom came in and out of consciousness.  We were slowly finding out the details of the accident and were angered to hear that the other driver never even hit his brakes as he sped through the stop sign. He had no license, no insurance, and no remorse. My anger only grew as the days went by and we noticed that something was wrong with my mom's memory. It was like a stab in the heart. How cruel to take away someone's memories! We tried showing her pictures and giving detailed descriptions, but it didn't matter. It was like she was never there. All that time was just erased.
Via Tumblr

While we mourned the time lost, we were also rejoicing over the time she was given. After all, it was a miracle that she survived. We have all been given the gift of time and should celebrate that every day. I try hard not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. My time is precious and I want to spend it doing things that I enjoy or influences others in a positive way. Memories of our time are important, but I now feel that the happiness we feel during those moments are far more important. I hope you enjoy your gift of time today, I know I will.

*If you would like to take part in Folk Magazine's Community Journal Challenge, you can check it out here.
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pretty Pretty Picture

I recently stumbled upon the photography of Anna Kern. Boy, am I smitten!  I could look at her work for hours.  I am always fascinated at how a photo can look like it just happened to catch a single moment in time when it actually took a team of highly talented individuals to plan, style, light and direct that "moment".  I love how looking at a photograph is like seeing something through another person's eyes.  A unique perspective is nice, isn't it?  Some of my favorites are below, but you can check out more of Anna's work here.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Window Shopping

One of my favorite things about summer is flea markets.  I am always amazed at what some people will sell and others will buy.  Last summer I had the good fortune of stumbling upon someone selling bones.  Yes, BONES!  No, I didn't buy any.  Among the quirky junk is some quirky treasure.  A store recently opened up in Rockford that is full of the quirky treasures and I am dying to take a road trip to check it out.  The owner has impeccable taste and the displays are lovely.  You can check out her blog for store information.  Now for a little window shopping!  Here are some photos of Urban Farmgirl.

All photos via urban farmgirl

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Bedroom Switcharoo

Do you have an area of your house that always seems to turn into a dumping zone?  Please tell me you do.  We had a spare bedroom that was filled with all of our misplaced furniture, empty boxes that I tell myself I may need in the future, the one Halloween decoration that I forgot to take down and didn't see until after Thanksgiving...you get the picture.  Well, last week Bean decided he wanted that room.  Brady and I pointed out that it was smaller than his current room and the closet wasn't as nice, but Bean insisted that he and the spare room were meant to be together.  So I cleaned up my mess and he moved right in.

Sorry about the poor quality photos.  Bean was in a hurry to get the picture-taking done so he could play in his new room.  The maps on the walls are from the Target dollar bins and I had the poster frames laying around.  The red storage bench is from Walmart and holds his train track.  The jute rug was bought from Overstock.  The windows are going to stay bare since they look out on the woods and offer a very pretty view.  The silver lamp was only $35.00 at Home Depot and the easel was $2.00 at a Thrift store.  The old time pencil sharpener hanging on his desk came with the house.  Now I just need to find another place to hide all my boxes.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Touch of Pink

I have a major case of cabin fever. Like really bad.  Like "The Shining" bad.  Ok, that's an exaggeration.  I am just really sick of the freezing cold and the icy roads.  Old man winter needs to take a hike! I am looking forward to green grass, warm breezes and pops of color.  How about a touch of pink?  I'm feeling better already!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Industrial Farmhouse Bath

I am really excited to share this new project with you.  I normally try to refrain from potty talk, but I am going to make an exception today.  This bathroom design combines cool industrial style with some classic farmhouse elements.  The wrought iron panes of the shower walls, the iron spigot hooks, and the wood crate rolling cart add a little "country" to the room.  The white walls, cast iron sink and marble hex tile add to the "farmhouse feel".  Towel bars made out of pipe fittings compliment the industrial light fixtures and medicine cabinets.  Fun accessories bring color into the room and are perfect for an all boys bathroom.  If you have to share a bathroom with your brothers, this is the way to go! 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Cozy in the Country

I am looking forward to some much needed R & R this weekend.  A long bubble bath and plenty of sleep is just what I need to knock this cold right out of me.  If that doesn't work, I am pretty sure a few stiff drinks should do the job.  Anyways, here are a few things I wanted to share with you.  

I love these printable notes.  Maybe it will remind me to express my appreciation more often.
I think this might be a  new staple in our medicine cabinet.  Have you ever tried it?
Have you ever wondered what celebrities would look like if they weren't rich and famous?  This made me laugh!
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Country Inspired Color Schemes

It's Tuesday and I figured you could use a good dose of color to brighten your day.  A while back I posted about country inspired color schemes and thought it was time to share with you a few more of my favorites.  Then head on over to design-seeds and enjoy a few more.  You won't be disappointed!

All images via design-seeds

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

10 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Old House

1. If your house was built when electricity was considered a luxury, be thankful for your one outlet.

2. An old fireplace adds ambiance until a bat flies out of it.

3. Push button light switches are way more fun than the typical toggle switch.

4. Those almost to the floor windows may be expensive to replace but the natural light is priceless.

5. There may be hidden treasures in your walls. We found a 1920's medicine bottle, but decided against trying the medicine.

6. There was a time when garbage trucks didn't exist.  Now remember that when you are digging in the yard.

7. Kids will have endless fun rolling balls on the not so level floors.

8. They don't make stuff like they used to.

9. The bucket of extra doorknob parts you bought at the flea market will be your favorite purchase of the year.

10. Soaking in the clawfoot tub will make you remember why you fell in love with the house in the first place.
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A Sledding Party

So what do you do when you have had nine consecutive days of snow?  Well, you can tell everyone you meet that you are moving to Florida OR you can throw a sweet little sledding party.  Gather some friends and hit the hills. We are having a casual afternoon party with kids and adults so I chose easy help yourself kind of food.

Slow cooker hot chocolate (See recipe below)
Caramel corn
Chili and toppings
Hot dogs and condiments
Single Serving bags of Fritos
Assorted raw veggies
Chocolate chip cookies

Slow cooker hot chocolate
1.5 cups of heavy cream
1 can (14 oz.) of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups of milk chocolate chips
6 cups of milk
1 tsp. of vanilla extract

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and stir.  Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally.  I turned mine down to warm once all the ingredients were well combined.

I made some star wands similar to the ones pictured on the inspiration board.  I spread whipped cream onto a wax paper-lined pan and froze until it was set.  Then I used a star-shaped cookie cutter to make the stars and I stuck a popsicle stick (because that is what I had) in each one.  I think the frozen whipped cream will be a nice way to cool the hot chocolate for the little kids, but you could definitely use marshmallows instead.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rainy Days

Today was the 8th consecutive day of waking up to freshly fallen snow.  The trees have been beautiful, but with all the spring catalogs arriving I can't help thinking about spring.  I am looking forward to the warm rain and jumping in the puddles, with the boys of course! (wink, wink)  Rain coats and rain boots are a neccessity around this house and here are my picks for this spring.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Cozy in the Country

Happy Friday everyone!  I am so excited to get the weekend started!  We are heading to an indoor water park to warm up and relax a bit.  I am hoping for a peaceful car trip, warm water and 24 hours without dirty dishes.  What more could a girl want?
Via Hostess with the Mostess

Have you seen this robot-themed baby shower yet? Check out the adorable food labels.
This interactive children's book is one of our new favorites.
I don't think I've ever had one of these, but the photo looks amazing!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Herringbone Floors

The weather in Wisconsin has been CRAZY!  One minute your wearing sandals and carrying an umbrella and the next minute your wearing snow pants.  Oh global warming, what are we going to do about you?  Have you been experiencing any crazy weather?  Well today is a great day to grab a cup of jo and a comfy chair and catch up on your favorite blogs.  Shall we talk about my love of herringbone floors?  My favorite is a slightly distressed wood version in a neutral room.
Via Desire to Inspire

Via Design Inspiration SK
Herringbone floors look great whether in a rustic kitchen, traditional bathroom or a modern living room.  They add so much visual interest to a room.  Here's a little more eye candy for you.
Via Apartment Therapy

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