Friday, March 30, 2012

This song has been on repeat all morning.  Just what I needed. <3

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Repurposing: More barn treasures! :)

I had found a couple more things in our barns this winter that I wanted to fix up, and with the beautiful weather, what better day to tackle an outside project? :)

First up, I found this cute little stand. I'm assuming it's a plant stand or something like that. It was in pretty rough shape.

I washed it up, and realized the finish was pretty much non-existent, and since I didn't have any, and this was a zero-budget project, I found some leftover paint from our house, and painter 'er up...

Much better! :)

I did some distressing on it.
 I love how it turned out! :D

I also had my eye on this table. It's a nice, solid wood piece. However, it was filthy and had some water damage.

But, with the help of my trusty Murphy's Oil Soap...

And my ever-annoying helpful companion, Claire...

We got it cleaned right up! Isn't she shiny? :)

Lugged it inside, and found a perfect place for it in my kitchen. :)

The crate shelves are also a barn salvage. I love the rustic look.

I love how they both turned out, and they fit our house perfectly! Yay for free stuff! ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

There is someone in my life who knows me more than anyone else, someone who always beside me, always supportive. He loves me unconditionally.

No matter what he is in the middle of, whether he's working outside or inside on a ladder, he will always, always stop what he's doing and hug me, whenever I need it. No questions. He will always listen to anything I say, patiently letting me rant or stumble through an explanation.

He holds me, even when I'm angry and try to push him away. He will gently hold me until I surrender, because, after all, that's what I really did want.

He is willing to step out of his comfort zone and try new things with me. He makes my life an adventure.

He went riding with me! <3

He works so hard to provide for me, working from dawn to well after dusk to keep food on the table and to make sure we have a little extra to go on trips or an impromptu shopping spree.


He works hard to make our house beautiful, and has put his amazing constructions skills to good use.

He lets me get pets, and helps me with them. Even if he isn't a total animal person, he tries for me.

Hubs with Charlotte, my hedgie. 

He makes me laugh. Every day. He has an awesome sense of humor, and no matter what mood I am in, he can always make me smile.

He holds my hand in the car. He holds my hand while we walk through the store. He holds doors for me. He opens my car door.
Ireland Honeymoon

He calls me beautiful. And means it.


He supports me. He believes in me. He knows what to say at all the right moments to encourage me. He will always catch me if I fall.

I trust him with my whole heart. I love him with all I have.

He is my best friend, the one I vowed to love the rest of my life.

I love you, baby! <3

What if we were made for each other

Born to become best friends and lovers

I want to stay right here

In this moment with you
Over and over and over again

What if this could be a real love
A love, a love, yeah
I write our names down in the sand
Picturing all our plans
I close my eyes and I can see
You, and you ask, "Will you marry me?" 

Colbie Caillat "What If"

September 17, 2011 <3

To my amazing husband, Jacob. I will always love you. 

Psalm 24:1-2

"The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods..."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

This is something I've been wanting to try for a little bit, and we emptied the last our bottle of laundry soap, I figured this was as good a time as any to give it a try! I did some research at One Good Thing and Marmee's Pantry about recipes and essential oils to add.

This is the recipe I ended up going with. I basically halved it. I didn't have enough jugs, and I also didn't want to make a huge batch and hate it. :P

Liquid Laundry Soap
½ bar of Fels Naptha soap
½ cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (make sure it’s Super Washing Soda)
1/3 cup Mule Team Borax
20 drops lavender essential oil (optional, but good for antiseptic qualities, and leaves a good clean scent)

Grate soap, put in pot and fill to about a fourth of the pan with water. Melt  over medium heat until soap is dissolved and it’s a creamy texture. Add lavender oil if you’re using it.
Soap and water.

Heat just until soap is melted.
Add borax and soda, stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn't boil at this point, as it will easily boil over and make a mess. :P
Add soda and borax.

It will be creamy and slightly thicker at this point.

Heat just until all the ingredients are mixed and it’s nice and creamy. Remove from heat and let cool fifteen minutes or so. I used gallon milk jugs for mine, not the best but it was all I had. I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t melt the jugs, so I waited longer.

Divide between the jugs. I did 2/3 in one, 1/3 in the other.  I used a glass one cup measure to transfer it since I didn’t have a funnel that size.

Add  hot water to bring the jugs to half and fourth full, respectively.  Shake vigoursely, and leave overnight.
Add water...

Before I shook it.

After I shook it.

In the morning I took the handle of a wooden spoon and broke up the “glob”, then added enough water to bring the soap up to a few inches below the top, and a little over half in the smaller jug.
Shake vigorously again, and it’s done! J
I tried it today on a load, and I love it! I threw in some soured dish rags, and some jeans that had also soured when they didn't dry well, and everything smelled and looked clean and fresh! I'm not a lavender person usually, but I really like the fresh scent it added. 

Use ½ cup per load. Top load: do not put in the soap dispenser, put right in with the wash. 

I also did a price break down, and I was impressed with the results! :)
Soap cost ($0.97 for one bar = $0.49 for 1 batch) + washing soda cost ($3.25 for 6.5 cups = $0.46 for 1 batch or 1/2 cup) + borax cost ($3.38 for 20.5 cups = $0.08 for 1 batch or 1/2 cup) = $1.03 for 1 batch. 1.5 gallons per batch. Using 1/2 cup for each load equals 32 loads from 1 batch = $0.68 per gallon, $0.043 per load!
Tide Spring Renewel: This jugs is less than a gallon, about 3 quarts
 $12 one jug, divided by 60 loads (as per directions)= $12.00 per jug (3 quarts), $0.20 per load

Savings of: $11.32 per batch, $0.16 per load!!

DIY Coasters, for pennies each!

I had been looking online for ideas for DIY coasters, and after seeing many ideas using 6-inch tiles, I headed to Home Depot and ended up with these! I love them!

All you need is:
  • 6-inch tiles 
  • flooring samples (I found these at Home Depot. Vinyl samples would be best)
  • Glue (I used Elmer's Glue-All)
  • Felt scraps, or felt chair pads with adhesive

All you do is:

Glue samples to the tiles.

Allow to dry. I left mine for a while under a stack of  handy Simply Said catalogs. :P

Add felt pads.

And you're done! I loved these samples because they reminded me of birch wood, which goes along with my decorating theme in that room.
I also made four with Simply Said designs that I had. Love 'em!

Total cost:
$0.68 tiles
$0.13 felt pads x 4
= $0.81 each!

Thrifting Treasures

Thrifting. Probably one of my favorite activities, especially when I can find good deals! I stopped by our local Salvation Army a couple days ago, and was able to pick up a couple good deals, including a perfect coffee table for our great room! I had been keeping my eye out for one while shopping. It had to be under $20, in decent shape, and preferably dark cherry finish to match the other furniture we have so far. I was also hoping for some drawers.

I found this little beauty for $12! I was quite pleased, and after some wrestling we got it into the back seat of my little car, and it was mine!
I looked it up online when I got home (it still had an original sticker on it), and it looks like they run about $150 new. :D

When Jacob got home, he noticed the drawer tracks were on upside down! No wonder the drawers didn't work well. :P He took them all off and fixed that problem, and I spray painted the handles black. They were wood colored, but I wanted it to look a little more formal, and the black accents it well.

He is always so helpful! :)

I also found this:
 Which, after a couple coats of black spray paint, is now this:

I also finished my coasters, which will have their own post, so now I have a nice coffee table in my living room. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning: Master List


I have started my spring cleaning! There is no greater motivator to  really deep clean than a warm clean breeze coming through my windows. :) 
I love our big house.. but it takes a good deal of time to get it clean! I have to make lists to remember it all.

This is my list after getting caught up a months worth of daily grime and laundry...

wash window
empty, clean, and reorganize fridge
wipe off cabinets
empty, clean, and reorganize cupboards as needed. Store/give unused items
clean oven
dust shelf

sort all drawers, discard old items
clean shower

wash sheets, clean mattress
purge closet
switch winter clothes for summer clothes
dust fan

Great Room:
vacuum/mop floors
clean up/redo light fixtures
spray paint vents on the fireplace
clean couches using baking soda treatment
wash windows/slider
clean table and chairs

move craft/sewing stuff into the craft room

organize desk and business items
empty and move bookshelf into the  great room

Guest Room:
wash sheets/remake beds
vacuum carpet
go thru closet, purge

 How is your spring cleaning going?

Spring Cleaning: Mattress treatment

Yesterday I set out to wash all of our bedding in the master bedroom, and once I had that started, I had an urge to clean the mattress. I've heard baking soda is good, and wanted to add essential oils. I researched the different effects of oils in this particular instance, and heard good reviews on lavender, so this is what I decided upon:
1 cup baking soda
4-6 drops lavender essential oil
Sprinkle on mattress, let sit at least 15 minutes. Vacuum up using the hose on your vacuum with the upholstery attachment 
The baking soda helps deodorize and pull moisture up the bedding, and lavender is a natural antiseptic. It also leaves a faint, calming scent behind. :)

I also plan to use this on some area rugs I have and our love seat.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A look at ME :)

So, in an effort to portray more my personality, I decided to do this list I found online. Bold are things I have done. :)