Thursday, February 26, 2015

His and Her Rocking Chairs

One more thing off the to-do list.

My mother-in-law and I bought this chair….

you guessed it,

last summer.

I had always planned on reupholstering it, but if you’ve ever priced foam, it’s expensive.

It turns out, I had some extra stuff in my basement so I only needed to purchase new fabric, and with a 50% off coupon and only needing one yard, it was way more manageable than I had anticipated.

The trip went exactly like you might expect with two boys, the fabric store, not enough staff and an indecisive mother. 

But, we made it out alive and that’s what counts…

So here it is before.


And after.





Now Bryce and I each have our own cute rocking chair.

That we are never sitting in next to each other at the same time, because, well,

we have five kids.

But someday, someday.


And he brought me home flowers yesterday.

I know that not every girl likes flowers.

But I love them.

I love the indulgence, the thoughtfulness, the frivolity of what they represent.

Bryce and I have been married for almost 12 years.

We budget, we have retirement plans, we save for our children’s education, we have 21 fruit trees in our backyard and a massive garden.

We are responsible adults.

So, yes, I like to get flowers.

From a real flower shop picked up from my husband on the way home from work.

{Especially on a day where Bennett only napped for 45 min.}


Hope your week is going well,


Monday, February 23, 2015

Red Spray Paint

Nothing like an approaching baby and realizing that your life will never be the same to light the fire of productivity under your bum.

Also, excellent outdoor spray painting weather doesn’t hurt either.


I bought this little red metal stool while in Ohio.

Looking back, I probably should’ve saved the space in our luggage.

But, it’s here now and I really, really like it. 

It resides in the laundry room so the kids can use it to wash their hands in the enormous cement sink after playing outside.

{If only my life was as charming as it sounds….}

I just sanded it down and used some rust stop spray paint.




And then I had this metal Cosco chair/stool/step ladder thing that I picked up last summer at a garage sale. 

I was really gung-ho about re-doing it.

Six months ago.

But then it took me a while to figure out how to get the seat off to recover it

and was overwhelmed by how hard it would be to spray paint just portions of it

and then I moved it into the house and kinda forgot about how yucky it was.

Needless to say, I overcame.




I decided to use the red and white check fabric.

I really, really, really wanted to use the red with white polka dot, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough contrast.


Spencer helped me scrub down the frame and I taped and plastic bagged off the rest so I could spray paint it.


We’ll just pretend that the one white leg cap is charming instead of distracting….


The seat flips up.


And a ‘thank you’ to Bryce who went and got the power drill to remove the steps instead of watching me struggle with a basic flat head because I was too lazy to get up and find it after settling my big be-hind on the couch.


Happy Monday.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Blankets for Baby #6

I’ve been sewing.


trying to sew.

And by trying I mean listening to the sweet sound of Bennett crying at my side.

The sound of my machine turning on is like a siren call for Bennett.

And he immediately feels the need to come over

and unplug my pedal and/or machine,

unwind my bobbins,

throw my fabric on the floor,

drool, slobber, or wipe his nose on the pants I’m trying to hem

or try to sit on my lap.

So, yeah,

go me.

Anyway, I did get three of these flannel blankets with mitered corners done.

And the bumper for the bassinet done up in a more feminine fabric.




This elephant one is my favorite.






For Valentine’s Day, Bryce and I drove out to one of the nearby covered bridges and had a picnic.

And then ate our weight in local ice cream at the general store on our way home.

I should say, the day BEFORE Valentine’s Day, because on the actual day we killed nine chickens in the morning and then roasted hot dogs with our five kids for dinner.

Super romantic….


Have a good weekend!


P.S. red and white checkered fabric or red fabric with white polka dots?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

My One And Only Linen Closet


I know, I know.

It’s been three weeks.

My mom has made me pretty aware of that fact.


So, in light of the new year, I’ve been working on purging and organizing.

Or maybe it’s nesting?

Anyway, as you might suspect, a house built in 1875 comes with a lot of things, but large or multiple closets is not one of them.

I have one large closet upstairs.

Which is mandatory.

Because our bathroom is this size.


So it became the catchall for toys and bathroom stuff……and toys.

And it was yucky.

Dark and dingy.

And there’s like this gross particle board stuff happening.

So I took it all down.

And found 67 layers of wallpaper.

And quite a bit of soot.

{Thanks to an inspection when we first purchased the house we know there was a flue fire at some point.}

{But, no money or hidden treasures.}


And underneath it all was the original rough hewn boards.

And, wait for it, a bead board ceiling!

I painted all the trim and ceiling white.

{After one dear friend came and helped take the wallpaper off the ceiling.  I mean, who wallpapers over wood?!}

I also decided to white wash the walls.

That way the grain of the wood would still show through but the orange of it was gone.


I also re-did these canisters my friend picked up for me from IKEA.


I painted them with some chalk board paint, Bryce drilled a hole in the top, and put on some drawer pulls.


Painted trim, white washed walls, striped floor.


With blue shelves.



I know it looks pretty clutter-y, but all of the stuff was stashed in various rooms in various drawers.

And now it’s all in one tidy place.


I had an extra ladder piece that I outfitted with some quilts.  They were on the bottom shelf in hall way where the books are and they were just neglected.


One last thing.

That’s a vintage Kirby vacuum that I picked up at a garage sale this last summer for $10.

The belt broke and for Christmas Bryce replaced in for me.

And, guys,

it has a carpet shampoo attachment!

So, yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

The instruction manual has a nice looking lady in pearls and a dress carefully dumping the dirt onto some newspapers on her living room floor.

And I’m  wearing a stained shirt, huffing and puffing, encouraging yelling at Bennett to stay back while I empty the dirt on my living room floor using some papers I dug out of the recycling.

Yup, we’re kindred spirits.


And one of the best parts?  I spent $2.50 on the whole thing.

{I also realized that I may or may not have a hand-embroidered-pillow-case-collecting-problem.  The struggle is real, people.} 


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Improving the Laundry Room

Ah, the new year.

The time of year where I want to:

save money,

spend money,




finish up projects,

start new ones,

move to a new house,

work on my old one,

stop watching so much TV,

find a new series,

leave the house more,

and stay home more.

It’s a complicated time for me, even if it’s one of my favorites.


One of the things I wanted to do was work on the laundry room.

{Which may or may not have included hand washing some shirts that had been sitting in there for four months…}

I go back in forth in my life.

I want to be a minimalist.

I really do.

I’m just not.

I think I like too many things.

Part of me really loves these before pictures where you can see the yellow plank walls and chunky molding around the windows.


And you can see almost the whole wall of exposed brick.

{Which is now partially hidden by a box of outside toys and an umbrella stroller.}



But I also really love this.


I get to showcase some of the things I really love.

And that I wasn’t going to get rid of anyway and were just sitting in my basement.


But it definitely looks more cluttered.


Even if it is organized.




What do you love about the new year?  Are you a minimalist or not?  {What’s the opposite of a minimalist anyway?  I mean, besides a hoarder?}



And, Meg has been drawing pictures of me.

With some loose interpretations as to how my body really looks…..


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Holidays in the Brief

Well, we celebrated Christmas.

Spencer was a stinker almost the entire day. 

Like embarrassingly so.

And I was sick.

Terribly sick.

But, other than that, it was pretty nice.

Here are some pictures of the kids the Sunday before Christmas in nice church outfits….that I did not make.










And some sugar cookie decorating and eating.




And because I was so sick on Christmas Eve, the kids decorated and set the table.

It’s charming in it’s own way.


While we were in Ohio one of the vendors at a flea market was selling these paper lanterns.

I bought them for New Year’s Eve.

And actually remembered that I had them

AND where I had put them.

We wrote wishes on them.

They were a huge hit and pretty easy to do.


My wish was to be more patient and meek.

And, ironically enough,

my lantern totally got stuck in our tree.

Five feet above my head.

And it was the only one.

So, yeah, I don’t know what that means.

But probably something significant.


Here’s to a new year,

{maybe without as much patience and meekness as I had originally anticipated…}