Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My little boy is turning 1

I don't know what has happened to the last year!  It feels like just last week I was waiting for my little bun in the oven to join us in this great big world!  And now in a couple of weeks he's turning 1!

I was told prior to his arrival that he would change my world 100 fold.  Yes, yes, yes he has!  I've always been the independent type and I'm known to be quite stubborn.  Well, my little guy has inherited both.  And I've struggled a lot this past year in finding my happy medium.  No longer was I able to just run an errand and be back in 5 min.  I'd have to schedule my errands when my husband was home so that I could leave Noah home with daddy and I could make it a 5 min errand.  Winter was long.  He was too little to play outside in the snow so we spent long, cold, winter days/nights in the house.  I'm sure he didn't mind since he didn't know much else.

I worked August-early January, but January till now I've not been working.  And now that spring/summer finally blossomed I'm no longer depressed.  The only thing that I think was depressing me was being inside day after day.  I didn't want to get up in the morning.  I could sleep all day long.  But as soon as the weather changed I've been getting up with Noah.  Getting out in the yard, getting it ready for spring, planning landscaping projects.

I think what I'm finally grasping is its ok not to be the breadwinner, to be the Susie Homemaker, trophy wife as my husband once called me and the constant support for my little guy...

Friday, April 5, 2013


Yes, I am rearranging our living room again that is.  When you have a little one who is learning to walk and pull himself up while holding on to the furniture it makes you access which pieces of furniture really are safe for children.  Like we have this gorgeous hand carved wood table that could be used as an end table or a table between two living room chairs, well, Noah is so strong that when he holds on it it to help him up he pulls it over even with heavy objects on top.

So we acquire other furniture to meet our needs and switch it out.  Usually I sell the other but I've been falling in love with these pieces but again I can't keep everything because we have such a small house!

I also had to come to the conclusion this morning that our furniture isn't the only thing that needs rearranging.  Since having our little one almost a year ago we have had some financial challenges at various times within the last 11 months and not having a paying job since January, I need to rearrange our budget, our spending, and how I can contribute to my family in the form of earning some form of income to help pay the expenses.  

We have switched to as many reusable products as possible that I made to cut down on toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels, napkins, dryer sheets, laundry detergent, cleaning products, period pads, using the clothes line poles to dry all laundry in the summer months.  But its not enough.  My husband's paycheck this morning had over time hours on it and left us with only $100 for the next two weeks and I only paid 3 routine bills.  Three bills I don't usually pay all at once but with paychecks falling on certain days it was inevitable.

Do I give up being at home with my son all day to re-enter the workforce only hoping to find a job that works around my husband and my mother's schedule or do I creatively find a job I can do from home that is legitimate?   I vote for the second option however I know this won't be easy because I've been trying to find a work from home job since 2008 with no success, only lots of scams.  I don't want to throw parties and sell stuff nor do I want to sell something I don't believe in.

I have the house to myself tonight as my son and my husband are at my parents for dinner and playing games.  I have to share.  Which is good because I can hopefully finish un-upholstering a chair I got in February and re-upholster as I found some awesome medium weight curtains at Goodwill yesterday that I'm going to use to re-upholster.  I need to clean up the house and be serious about how it is I'm going to rearrange our lives to get out from under so much yuck.  When I figure this out I'll be sure to share!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Baby proofing and preparing for Spring

There is a lot going on in my house right now.  My little boy is very mobile, crawling on hands and knees, climbing up furniture and putting fingers every where they shouldn't be.  He's exploring yes I know and he's in the cause and effect stage so he sees what happens if he pulls on a table to see if it will topple over or not and what will happen.

Thinking end of the week project will be to finally make radiator covers for our livingroom.  Granted spring is on its way but its something I've wanted to do before we had our little one.  And while we are at it we mine as well make one for the bathroom, the bonus room, and our room.

Then there is the notion that spring has arrived and our snow is melting that we need to finish cutting trees down in our backyard before they begin to bud.  We had a ton of "weed" trees that sprung up on one side of our property that we are removing due to them getting tangled in with the power lines and the garbage truck driver complaining he can't see where he is going.  (Trust me it wasn't that drastic!) So we are cutting them down to place planter boxes along the property line to put in vertical gardens.  Veggies on our side and flowers on the other.

Hoping that growing our own food will help cut grocery costs during the summer and winter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Babyville Snap Pliers

Have you ever tried putting snaps on a apron or other material object?  I don't know about you but I tried the metal snaps with the proper pliers and that sucked!  When I was in a pinch the last time I tried using metal snaps and couldn't get to lining up those stupid teeth, I ended up sewing snaps on and then putting a decorative button on top!  So much work.

Last year sometime I had watched a video on YouTube on how to use the pliers for the plastic snaps they make for using on cloth diapers and all sorts of other fun things.  They are priced $19.99 for the plier and each set of 60 snaps for $7.99. I broke down and bought one yesterday only because I had a couple of 50% off coupons.  So I got my plier for $9.99 and my snaps for $3.99 sweet deal.  And it works wonders!  I'm so glad I made this purchase yesterday!

I'm in the midst of making myself a set of reusable tree cloths.  What are these you may be thinking?  They are reusable paper towels essentially.  Made from terry cloth and a decorative fabric.  I made mine out of new terry cloth, however I think I will keep my eye open for 2nd hand towels or clearance towels and part of an old bed sheet.  I just used my sewing machine to act like a serger around the edges and now I'm adding snaps to attach them together.  Then onto a standard paper towel roll.  

I absolutely hate using one use items only.  Last year I made family cloth.  Reusable toilet paper, we wash and dry on hot about every 2 weeks or when we are running low.  So I'm not sure the last time I purchased toilet paper, we do buy it so our guests can still use what they're used to.  My next goal is to make hankies and cloth napkins.

Here are my finished tree towels!

If I were to sell these, I'd not do the snaps, and I would have them dispense differently.  I was following a pattern, the snaps would make this a very expensive project!  But I loved putting the snaps in!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thinking and sewing green

This time of every year I start getting in the mood for Earth Day!  Our area has a annual Earth Fest celebration with local grown foods made into yummy dishes, vendors doing "green" or "earth friendly" things, crafters selling their recycled goods.  I've participated for the last 3 years and was going to again this year but I decided I've never been able to actually walk around and enjoy it for myself so that's what I plan on doing this year!

Though now I'm thinking I should have any ways.  But I do plan on selling my recycled creations at Farmer's Markets this summer.

Being green also helps save the green.  I'm really trying to assess where all of the money earned is spent so we can save money to pay down our debt.

We have successfully achieved Dave Ramsey's 1st goal of saving $1,000 in an emergency fund.  We are currently trying to pay down the debt using his debt snowball to achieve goal #2.  So in making reusable items from recycled sources we are saving money to apply to our debt.

In January we started using cloth diapers on our son Noah.  That has already saved us about $72 in diapers.  I made reusable cloth flannel wipes to use in conjunction with the cloth diapers so we no longer have to buy wipes either.  Tonight I was recycling some of our towels, old receiving blankets, and some fleece I had to make new inserts for his cloth diapers as microfiber inserts stink very quickly.

Though I just purchased a babyville plastic snap plier today at Joann's Fabric's at a very great price to make my own mama pads (menstrual pads), I haven't used plastic in at least 2 years which saves money but also doesn't leech bad chemicals into your blood stream.  I'm also in the process of making reusable tree towels, reusable cloth napkins, and reusable hankies vs kleenex.  All year long I sneeze at least 4-5x daily as well as daily blow my nose.  So we go through quite a bid of kleenex and its expensive!

I've found that vs buying fabric at outrageous prices at the fabric store even if you have sweet coupons that I like purusing Goodwill and other 2nd hand stores for flat bed sheets.  They come in tons of awesome patterns and entirely cheap!  Usually $2.99 and you can do so much with them.  I've also come to find out that I'd much rather prefer to do clothing shopping at 2nd hand stores.  Its hard for Noah in smaller cities such as where we live as there doesn't seem to be much in anything his size.  Though the facebook groups I belong to have quite a few great deals when you need something.

I'm reading a book called, "America's Cheapest Family," and its written by a husband and wife, Steve & Annette Economides on how to get out of debt and pay cash.  A lot I already new but a lot I needed to be reminded upon as well.  Like if you make a monthly calendar for breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks, go grocery shopping once a month, stick to your list only, you save a lot of money.  Not only in gas going to the grocery store but when you have a menu and you know what you're going to make you know how much to buy and you have it on hand so when you're hungry you don't have to waste electricity with the fridge door open wondering what in the world you are eating tonight.  Also helps you to eat the proper proportions if you're trying to lose some weight!

Tomorrow is my sewing day as my mother is going to watch my son for the majority of the day as she misses his company.  So I'll post pictures as soon as I'm through!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Its official I'm 98% done with the hall tree!  Basically took me one month to do from my last post!  We ran into a few snags along the way.  But the last 2% I'm not entirely sure as to whether or not I'm even going to do or not.  I have the wood if I want to do it, just not sure.  Gonna have to sketch it out and ponder over it.  I did a lot of pondering as to what I should and shouldn't do.  So for your viewing here it is:
My 2% is whether or not I want to cover the bottom half of the radiator with wood, just not sure yet.  I still need to paint the ceiling grid as you can see it is still brown.  I did however finally put lace inserts in the livingroom windows!  I found an old lace table cloth at our local good will that I cut into forths, hemmed, and hung.  I like the texture it adds to the space.

I picked up a old mail sorter at a rummage sale in Wisconsin this month for $2.50 this is what it looked like before:
This is what it looks like now as it hangs next to our front door:
I bought some wood cutouts at our local home improvement store that I put on and then spray painted.  The color ties in perfectly with the colors in our diningroom bench cushions.

So needless to say I may not have posted very often but I have been keeping busy.  I acquired another chair that needs to be reupholstered but its not a rocker, its quite comfy, its missing a chunk from the padding on the arm rest, the only reason I haven't started this project yet is because I need to find fabric to recover it in.  I also have to reconfigure a frame I bought at a thrift store to put our family photo in.
Oh and I did a really cute set up in our bathroom too, I'll have to remember to take a picture tomorrow!
Well, I have my plate full for tomorrow.  Good Night.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

A few snags

Well, I've run into a few snags with the hall tree project.  We cut what I thought was needed from the bottom of each door to fit behind the radiator.  However, I'm continually reminded that old homes aren't square, level, or even.  So now I'm thinking we have to cut even more off of the doors and then anchor them to the wall before I can continue to work on it.

Hoping to get a better start on the project tomorrow.

Project Day

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Life has been a little crazy!  Though my husband's work week is over so I'm hoping on getting a lot done today, being it his first day off!  My main project today will be working on making the hall tree for our livingroom.  I finally got all the hardware off of the old doors that I no longer wanted, but when I tried what I initially thought I was going to do, the doors were too tall.  So I need the hubby's help to trim about a foot off of each door.  I'm building the hall tree to go around our radiator and will double as a radiator cover.
If you look in the corner of this picture where the recliner is sitting.  That is where the hall tree will be, just behind it.  You can see one of the doors sitting there.

I'm so excited to start this project!  I'm hoping on putting a shelf on the top and then some smaller ones on one door or some baskets and the other door will have hooks.  Then there will be a bench.

This project also makes me think of what to do about "uncluttering" the bathroom.  We don't have a lot of space or storage in our bathroom and currently we use a tall small shelf to hold everything, buts really just a huge eye sore.  I've been looking pinterest as of late for ideas.  There are a lot of great ideas but we have a window and a partially slanted ceiling our bathroom so of course there is no easy fix.
I'll try to post pictures later today on how far we have gotten on the hall tree!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dreaming of Spring

I am ready for spring to be here and winter to be over!  We have a sidewalk next to our house that we never use.  We also have a paved alley on the other side of our house so people usually just walk up the alley vs use our sidewalk.  The sidewalk needs some help as there are a few sections that need to be leveled.  The side of our house with the sidewalk is a large vacant condemed house.  The guy who owns it tells us he's going to tear it down and offer the land to us, but I'm thinking that's never going to happen.  So I have been dreaming of putting in a garden gate at the front of our house for where the sidewalk is.  Let's see if I can find a picture of the front of our house so you can see where I mean...
You can't really see the sidewalk between our house and the one next door.  But from where the front of the porch is, is where I'd want to line up the new garden gate with.  I was looking for the kind that is shown in the next picture that is in front of their fireplace, but I can't seem to find one like that:
So then I started browsing around ebay and decided a full size door would look pretty good there.  Not a solid door but like an old farmhouse screen door.  However, a new idea sparked in my head when I was trying to find old metal garden gates on ebay.  It seems people must use old metal headboards and footboards for garden fencing.  The lady we just went to see in Maple, WI on Friday where we bought our new to use vintage double bed has two metal twins forsale.  I just can't decide if I can make her twin headboards and footboards into a garden fence, what do you think?
393353_4054169705314_1085832758_n 523339_4054164345180_518858259_n  
So what do you think?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost There

Last night I got pretty far on finishing up my project with the antique rocker.  I successfully with the hubby's help finished uncovering the chair, getting the arms off, and re-recovering the main part of the chair.
Now tonight to recover the arm rests and re-attach the arm rests.  I can't put the back on till I find some buttons to stitch in to the back rest or buy buttons to cover in the same fabric.  There is also a ottoman that goes with this piece that I need to recover as well.  This chair will be in my son's nursery.  Though one day when we have a bigger house it will resurface in the livingroom.

The "needs work and some TLC" chandelier I bid on, on Ebay arrived today.  This was the picture on the listing I bid on, on the left and how I fixed it up on the right:
Chandelier tn
As you can see in the picture on the left some of the light fixtures were broken and it was quite dirty and it was not known whether or not it worked.  So when it came today the first thing I did was to take out the clorox wipes and clean it up.  Then I wired it up to be able to plug it in to see what I was working with.  With luck everything worked just fine.  I did have to repair the fixture itselves that were broken and bought new sleeves.  I did decide not to keep it so it is relisted on ebay here.

Tomorrow we are heading to Maple, WI to finally pick up the antique bed I want very badly, looking at a chair that needs some serious help, some candle wall sconces, and a vintage mail sorter.  And hopefully pictures of a finished antique rocker, minus the buttons, not sure if I'll find those tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Still falling in Love...with vintage

So, I've successfully sold some items on ebay and while waiting for my auctions to end I decided to take a look around.  I've fallen in love with some enamel ware pieces that I think would be fabulous additions to my redecorating.  Here is some eye candy to share with you!
**********$(KGrHqJ,!pwFB,gjQhT)BQqmJ!4FI!~~60_57 $(KGrHqFHJDcFCiqcqVC7BQ)1LZTyFw~~60_57 $(KGrHqZHJDQE9!B+JF4EBPZG67nSlw~~60_3 $T2eC16ZHJHEE9ny2sYlJBR!9M9Ds5Q~~60_35********

I think I'm gonna try bidding on a double boiler so I can start making homemade lotions and soaps.  I got quite the kit for Christmas that I haven't used yet because you need a double boiler.  We have one but I don't want to use our good stainless steel one for that.

Last night I cut up some flannel I had and some flannel receiving blankets we didn't really use to make reusable cloth baby wipes.  I had bought a used wipe warmer from a friend last week so I even figured out how to lay them in the warmer to come out like normal wipes.  I added water and some of his baby wash to make a solution.  They work really nice.  So I'm just gonna save his store bought wipes for on the go.

Today I'm hoping to get our taxes ready to drop off on Thursday.  Make some reusable cloth inserts for Noah's cloth diapers and maybe start recovering that chair.  We brought that chair up from the basement last week so it sits in the livingroom looking for some serious TLC.  I have fabric to cover its just finding the time and energy and know how to fix it.  So we'll see where or how far I get today!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In love with all things old

I think I'm totally in love with all things old!  We already know that I'm becoming infatuated with vintage tole chandeliers, since I fell in love with one a few weeks ago that I bought, fixed, spruced up, and is now successfully hanging and working in my dining room.
Then I fell in love with another that I also purchased and is on its way here:
Not entirely sure what does and doesn't work on this one yet or exactly what it is I am going to do with it yet.  I've been contemplating for a while now about hanging it over my desk in our bonus room at the top of the stairs that would also double as a light over the stairs since there isn't one.  Or in the back entry over the basement stairs as there isn't light there either.  But not too many people would see the chandelier there.  And then there's the front porch... but I'm not sure if it would be too big there.

Now I was doing some research on Ebay and by total accident, I promise I wasn't looking for another I found one that is no longer hooked to any thing electrical and thought, "oh how wonderful that'd be in an outdoor leisure space with candles....
See what I mean?  So you see I'm in love with vintage tole chandeliers.  But I also oh so much also love hand embroidered linens especially dresser scarfs or table runners.  Vintage fabrics, funky designs on old china, lace curtains, fun old table cloths, funky antique furniture, oh so much to love!

Speaking of old stuff.  I finally took the 2nd old door I received out of our van today.  It has a window!  Though the window will come out and a mirror will go in. Haven't decided yet if I'm just gonna put a plain mirror in or stencil around the edge first.  And one door is stained dark and the other one medium.  So I also haven't decided if I will leave them that way or sand and match them.  I almost think I'm gonna leave them as is.  We have both colors of wood in our space now.  Granted the doors will be used for a hall tree in our livingroom and they will be built in, so they won't leave with us when we leave whenever that may be.  The future owners might like them the way I design them or they can paint them! Also deciding on if I want to leave the door handles on or take them off.... so many decisions.

I also had high hopes today of starting or to continue working on the antique rocker I have that I was to recover/reupholster.  I amazingly have fabric left over from the vintage curtains I picked up at a thrift store over the holidays that I also used for the cushion covers in our diningroom.  But I do work better later in the evening.  So maybe I'll still get around to that.  I just can't wait till its done!  But now that I saw that cute chandelier online I think I'm gonna day dream about a leisurely outside space for a while, maybe draw up some plans.  End of January and we've had -50 with the windchill all week so why not think of warm summer days?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Catching Up

This morning we conquered cleaning the oven!  I've been putting it off for months!  Though the hubby even offered to help.  I think that's what made it go so much quicker.  I read online this morning the easiest way to clean an oven the "green" way is to put baking soda on the baked on spots, spray with water and leave over night.  Then in the morning just wipe away with a cloth.  Even saw a You-Tube video.  That wasn't going to help me.  We're having Family Night at our house tonight which means we're in charge of dinner.  I also wanted to bake today!

So I got out a scrapper and scrapped what we could off of the oven.  Then I sprayed it with a homemade all purpose cleaner and some bon ami and then let it sit for about 10-15 min.  Then I took steel wool and scrubbed.  The honey scrubbed here too.  Then we just wiped clean with a wet microfiber cloth.

I ran out to our local whole foods co-op and picked up some ingredients for today's baking list that I wasn't able to find at our big grocery store.  In the oven now is simple bread from the wheat belly cookbook.  I also ran to Ben Franklin this morning to pick up some 100% wool yarn to make dryer balls to throw in with the cloth diapers but also for the rest of the laundry to cut the drying time in half.

Next on the list is to make flat bread and wraps.  All wheat free.  Later today we have to find a longer dryer vent and some creative storage ideas for home made laundry detergent, cleaners, and cloth diapering accessories!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Saving Money

Well, yesterday I bought 13 cloth diapers.  Today I purchased another 11.  I'm looking at a few more on Ebay that have velcro closure.  I tried a form of cloth diapers when my son was born but I couldn't figure them out and they always leaked and were SO bulky.  But then a ton of my facebook friends have been talking about them and formed a group within the last week that I joined and they got me started on Pocket Diapers.  So nice and easy!  Most of the pocket diapers I've boughten between yesterday and today are brand new and only $6 each!  Though I did get two at $8 each and 4 at $10 a piece.  Most of these retail for $17.95 on up.

As you know I was stressing out because of our utility bill and losing my job.  A box of disposable diapers maybe lasts us 2 weeks or so, depending on the size of the box.  Which is at leaset $25. So by purchasing cloth diapers once you only pay for them once and then just wash and reuse.  My little boy doesn't seem to mind the change and I've found out from so many other mom's that children in cloth potty train a lot sooner than those in disposables.

Thankfully my husband's paycheck had holiday pay so we were able to pay the bills and have money left over.  Now to make it stretch!

Along with cloth diapering I'll be going back to cloth wipes too.  Why not?  We have been using cloth family wipes instead of toilet paper for the last year.  We rarely use toilet paper.

I saw a great blog post some where on making reusable paper towels and having them snap to each other.  One day I'll make those.  I've also made my own luna pads, reusable sandwich bags, most everything I can actually.

Oh someone also told me about making your own dryer balls for the dryer vs dryer sheets.  Here is the link.

I'm in green mode right now, why maybe because we were broke and I like saving money.  Or I'm getting excited for the annual Earth Fest celebration my hometown does that's just next door to our city I'm not sure but in any means saving money is GREAT!

Tomorrow my plan is to bake wheat free breads since I was able to grocery shopping today.
Thinking about a great idea.  Now through April 6th I'll challenge myself as well as you to find a way to save money each day on something that has a continual savings.  Like last year we made the switch from toilet paper to family cloth so its not just a daily savings like using coupons but a lifestyle change.  Then when April 6th arrives which is the date of Earth Fest we'll total up our savings!  This can also be for doing something DIY that saves you a ton of money for something that you use for a long time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life's been a bit stressful...

I haven't posted in a while, I know!  A couple of weeks ago I had to pay a rather large hospital bill from having a CT and an ultrasound done.  Insurance did pay 80% but our 20% was still around $400.  I don't like having debt nor do I like having to make payments.  I had $400 to pay it so I paid it but now its been tight to pay for other things like gas and groceries.

There is this great Facebook group I belong to called Quad City Traders for my local area.  Its great!  Its like what Craigslist used to be and before Craigslist the classifieds.  You take a photo of what you are selling, post it, say something about it, with a price you are comfortable with and where you live.  If it weren't for this group I'm not sure how we would have survived these past couple of weeks.

I lost my job the first week of January so I have no new income coming into the equation.  We also just got a $459 utility bill, biggest one we've ever had living in our home for almost 6 years.  I called and its due to the infared heater we have in our son's room.  Noah's room doesn't have a radiator.  So I've had to unplug his heater, open the valve's on the two radiator's upstairs wider to try heating his room that way better.

I've been praying that either I get approved for unemployment or I get a job that will amazingly work with my husband's schedule or he gets the Supervisor position he's applied for or his W2 comes so we can file taxes, but something.

A few years ago we attended a local Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey to learn how to get rid of our debt and live like no one else.  Well, we don't have credit card debt which a lot of people have a lot of.  We do have vehicle debt and our house.  Dave has 7 steps for financial freedom.
1) $1,000 in an emergency fund
2) Pay off all debt except the house utilizing the debt snowball
3) 3 to 6 months expenses in savings
4) Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs & pretax retirement
5) College Funding
6) Pay off home early
7) Build Wealth & Give

We are just shy of goal #1.  But getting to goal #1 is proving to be hard with limited income and a little one.  The money I'm making by selling stuff we own is going to pay for every day expenses like putting gas in the car, a few inexpensive groceries here and there, diapers, wipes, baby food/formula, etc.  Granted when winter is over the utility bills won't be so big so we'll have some wiggle room.

I have made an appointment for tomorrow to meet with another insurance agency to see if we can lower our insurance costs on our home and our vehicles.  Next is to call some mortgage companies to see if we can refinance since interest rates are so low.  Our mortgage interest rate isn't high but if we could save some money, then lets save some money!

I've also started posting items on Ebay to see if I have any luck in selling there.  Ebay offers 50 free listings each month so that's what I'm working on.  No bids yet but I have noticed that there are views and people watching.  When I find something on Ebay I watch it till it gets closer to the end of the auction before I bid too hoping no one else bids on it.  You can set it for a minium price and see if it goes up from there.

I have finished painting the livingroom.  Though I've been slacking on the curtains and the cushions. I've been awfully tired lately.  So I'm taking Vit D as I live in north eastern Minnesota and its winter so we don't get much sunlight. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Antiquing Online

So, I think I'm addicted to antiquing online.  I have a facebook account that I use to belong to a few local and regional groups.  One in particular I use to sell a lot of stuff, I make enough money to almost be a part time job, which is good cause I don't have one and God always seems to provide for our needs.

The other groups I belong to are vintage finds.  And I've been doing a lot of browsing on Etsy and Ebay too.  My lovely chandelier hanging in my newly remodeled diningroom was a great find on Ebay for $30 and a new coat of paint with some new bulbs made it amazing.  I found another chandelier on there that
I bidded on that's also amazingly adorable.  Needs some TLC but I learned how to wire lamps in college as I made funky ones out of LP Records.  Haven't decided yet if the next chandelier will hang in the stairwell going up stairs or going downstairs.  Guess I'll decide when it gets here, I'm thinking upstairs because more people will see it.

Next Saturday my husband and I are going to visit Maple, WI to pick up an absolutely awesome vintage double bed frame!  This is it: 223045_4054165825217_814707497_n-1
Isn't it awesome!  All for only $40!  Its a steal!  Also picking up some other awesome finds from this lady.  She has a whole pole barn full of goodies.  Getting a mail sorter, some wall sconce candle holders, a scroll book shelf, and some super cute wall hangings.

I have 98% of the painting finished in the livingroom.  Just a few spots here and there that I just noticed that I totally forgot!  Here's a picture on how I decided to paint the beams! DSCF5235
I painted the gray at an angle at the top.  I really like it. I debated for a few days as to what I was gonna do about it and then this idea popped into my head!
This is what it looked like prior: DSCF5225
My next thought is if I want to stencil the walls with a larger design in a slightly darker shade of what's on the walls.  In the picture it looks white but really its a light shade of yellow, amazingly enough.  The only stencils I could find were either damask or of chandeliers.  Neither of which I want.  So I guess I'll just have to search for a while.

I've also been deciding what I want to do for window coverings.  I've decided I want a panel of lace down the center of each window but haven't decided completely for the ends.  I've been thinking about vintage table cloths or sheer fabric but nothing concrete yet.

So many things to do and such little time!  I really need to get my sewing machine set up again so I can get the cushions done for the benches in the diningroom and get the benches stained!
Well, have a wonderful weekend!  We're headed to Brainerd/Baxter tomorrow so the hubby can take a test Saturday morning.  Please share your weekend plans below!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

YAY!!!! I installed the chandelier by myself!!!

So I am very proud of myself today!  Last night I brought my chandelier to my parents home to get some assistance in cleaning it up.  Then last night when we got home I spray painted it.  My step-dad was thinking I needed help in hanging it from the ceiling because we have a suspended ceiling with a plaster ceiling above the suspended ceiling.

Well, my parents watched my son while I made a quick trip to Menards this afternoon and the guy in hardware told me also did something similar.  He got me fitted with a butterfly anchor and a long eye hook and told me what I had to do.  My parents didn't know why I was going to Menards and honestly I didn't want to tell them.

So I got out my husband's cordless drill, found my 3/8" drill bit, determinded where I wanted the chandelier to hang down from, marked a spot on the ceiling, drilled through the plaster, the lath, and a stud I think.  I had some trouble because the butterfly anchor was more like 3/4" wide then 1/2" like the guy told me.  So, I ran out to the garage and scrounged and found a ton of other drill bit type things and made the hole slightly bigger.  I then put my eye hook through the butterfly anchor, hammered it in till it butterflied out.  I did all this with the ceiling tile aside.  Then I had to measure how many inches in on two sides where the eye bolt was hanging so I could cut a small hole through the ceiling tile.  I ran downstairs, grabbed my xacto knife and just made a big enough hole for part of a chain link to fit through.  I put a shower curtain hook through it to make sure it wouldn't come out on the top.

Here are some bad pictures to give you an idea, clarity is not great when you're practically photographing blind...
Chandelier hook
So, then I grabbed chain that I had to soak over night and then spray paint an antique white.  Dropped it to where I thought would be proper height and then hung the chandelier.  I had a bit trial and error but it turned out amazing!

So this is what the diningroom looked like a week ago today.  It used to look much more blah, but this was a week ago (on the left) and what it looks like today (on right.)
Picture 4
I'm not done yet.  I took the day off from painting so my little boy could have playing room.  So, I still have to finish painting the accent color completely.  I'm so excited with how it turned out!
Oh and you know what else exciting happened today!  I bartered with someone on the table I made by hand that didn't really fit my vision for the diningroom for an awesome door that I just need one more of so I can make the hall tree I've envistioned!
Here are a few more close ups of the diningroom remodel, hope you enjoy...
Picture 5
The plate racks are on both sides of the built in bookshelf.  The plate rack on the left has some decopauged frames I made with inspirational quotes in them.  The top left says, "Grow where you are planted," the bottom left says, "My child, You worry too much!  Remember, I've got this! Love your dad, God."  The top right says, "The greast pleasrure in life is doing what people say you can't do!" (One of my favorite quotes) and bottom left says, "When life gets to hard to stand....kneel."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Project Wrap Ups

Well, today we finished assembling the benches!!! Yay!

This is the shorter of the two benches.  Its 3 feet long and perfect storage for fabric boxes, these store dvds.

Picture 1
This last shelf is a continuous 6 feet long.  I wasn't able to take one shot, the table was in the way.  So the center break, there is just the wider 6" board and the bench continues.  I plan on putting fabric boxes here as well to hold table cloths, place mats, centerpieces, etc.

They will be stained to match the table and then I've picked out the fabric to make a cushion for the top of each bench.  This is the fabric I've chosen, I should have enough, it was a thrift store find during the Holiday Season: DSCF5210
I had to get the accent color tinted darker today.  It other wise had blended in with the wall.  My chandelier arrived today.  Needed some serious cleaning, had to take out a broken bulb that was stuck in the main light socket.  And gave it a nice new coating of antique white paint.  Also had to remove the chain, it was nasty feeling and smelly.  So the chain came off and its soaking in soapy water and we wiped down the cord.  Now just to measure the cord to make sure we will have enough length.

Tomorrow, my step dad is coming to help me anchor a hook to the ceiling thru our suspended ceiling to hang the new beauty.  It is absolutey amazing!  I will definitely post photo's once its up!

Tomorrow I also plan on finishing the accent color.  Hanging some pictures on the wall, look into new window drapery, and putting the livingroom back together!

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Chair Before & After

So I did finish re-doing Noah's new to him high chair that was a thrift store find during the Christmas holiday season.  We paid $12.75 for it.  I took the cushions off, took the yucky fabric off, reupholstered, had my step dad sandblast the tray, then I sanded it, cleaned it with alcohol, and spray painted it all.  My little boy looked so big in it when we put him in it and oh how he loved it!
So here is what it looked like before:
DSCF5104 DSCF5203
Pretty neat-o huh?!
My livingroom/diningroom remodel is coming along.  I finished painting the walls and baseboards tonight and started the accent color.  I'm thinking because we went from dark and dark to light and light, I might make the beams, window frames, and built in book shelf look worn in some places to bring the darker out for some depth.
I checked the tracking on my chandelier and its finally in Minnesota so shouldn't be too long now.
Oh I also found some really cool corbels at Menards tonight to put in our beam's corners to add some class.
This is what our beam corners looked like prior to painting: Beam corner
Now we are adding these to the corners:
I also still need to paint the ceiling, because as you saw in the picture with our beams we have a hideous looking suspended ceiling.  I'm not sure who in their right mind would paint the grid brown, but I think they were crazy!  And no it didn't come that way, you can tell if you look close it was painted that color.
Well, my back is killing me and I really want to finish assembling the benches tomorrow and finish the accent color.  My almond flour came today so I want to find time to bake tomorrow too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still Painting...

Well today we picked up our new to us table and chairs from Two Harbors and the antique bud vases from Duluth and we even got home before Noon!  I finished painting the main part of the walls and now just have some edges left.  Last night we picked up the accent color so I'll start that tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I'm hoping on finally finishing the benches and then stain them a gray tone.  I've decided not to spray the ceiling so I'm gonna take all the panels out, paint them with a roller and then stamp to look like a faux tin ceiling.  My chandelier is still some where in Florida.  I'm supposed to receive it by the 17th.

I got this groovy idea to make a hall tree in the entrance once in our livingroom.  So I might luck out and find some doors on a facebook group I belong to.  Once I get it sketched out I'll share.  Hoping this weekend to get a table set up in my craft room so I can re-set up my sewing machine and make cushions and cushion covers for the new benches as well as the curtains in the porch.

Oh and I finally started to repaint the newer high chair.  So I'm hoping to assemble tomorrow.  In which I will definitely have pictures to share.

I've also decided to open an E-bay shop!  I'm gonna thrift on the weekends and sell online during the week.  Works great cause I can still stay home with my little man and ship from home.

Oh and I thought up this great idea to repurpose baby food jars and be super organized as a crafter or a gift wrapper. And as soon as I make one I'll share!

Well, I'm off to check on the high chair and the drying process and then off to bed!  Lots to do tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Livingroom/Dining Room Make Over

Well, last night I was debating.  Do I want to start painting the living room or do I want to work on Noah's new high chair?  Well, I figured the high chair really needs to get going so he can start using it but knowing it wouldn't take very much time, I decided to start painting the livingroom.  I love what a new coat of paint can do to a room, however, I HATE painting.  But I really wanted it done and I was the only one who was gonna do it and I really wanted it done before the table gets picked up tomorrow and the new chandelier arrives.    As I also want to paint the ceiling...

Though now I'm thinking about a different way to paint the ceiling cause it rather intimidates me.
The one thing that already feels great about the living room is that it feels so big and bright!

I'm not ready to post before and after pictures nor am I wanting to post intermittent pictures.  So you're just gonna have to wait patiently.

On the upside I finally picked out my accent color.  Its a shade of gray but I had about 50 samples, then I narrowed it down to 6 and now finally 1.  It ties in the tiles in the dining room/ kitchen as well as the new backsplash, the kitchen hardware, the new paint color, and eventually the new accents!

So I'm sorry to leave you hanging, I'll try really hard to get this done by the weekend with the exception of the chandelier as its still in transit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wheat Free Living Helpful Recipe Books

My primary M.D. told me back in November when we saw her for my son's 6 month wellness check about the book, Wheat Belly.  We were discussing my endometriosis and if she thought I should go back to the diet I had been on before ever trying to have a family.  She mentioned two books to me.  Wheat Belly and Endometriosis by a Dr. Shepherdson.  I read the Endometriosis one first but that told me nothing new.  I then picked up Wheat Belly from our local Target.  That proved to be very informative.

Wheat wreaks so much havoc on all of our lives, not just those of us who have endometriosis.  I realized back in February of 2012 how wheat can make me go crazy!  I was pregnant with my son Noah at the time and I failed the first test for gestational diabetes.  So in order to confirm they make you eat 100+ grams of carbs (primary wheat) for 3 days in a row.  I was so cranky, moody, and just out right out of control.  I would get so mad at the littlest things, throwing things, yelling at my husband with no control.  I could see it happening like I was watching from outside of my body and then ding, ding, ding.  It hit me.  This used to happen to me in high school.  I'd go into these fits and I hated them yet I never knew what triggered them.  It was wheat.  In high school I ate a lot of wheat noodles in various dishes, pizza, sandwiches, etc.  I would just sit and cry afterwords.  My mom even sent me to therapy but we never figured out it was wheat.  When I realized this back in Februray I called my mom and said I know why I had all those fits in high school!  What a wake up call!

So they did confirm with me with gestational diabetes.  I learned fast that everything I was used to eating no longer could I eat as it would make my blood sugars spike.  I did a lot of online research.  I came across Elana's Pantry  boy was this a helpful site.  Recipes helped me the most in creating breakfast foods and desserts using almond flour vs wheat flour.  I ate almond flour items as much as I could and was available, so primarily in my kitchen only.

As soon as my son was born I went back to the traditional way of eating until I read Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.  Again, that ding, ding, ding sounded in my head.  Why in the world did I ever go back to traditional eating, more or less because I was no longer gestational diabetic.  I still weigh more than I did before I got pregnant and eating wheat isn't helping lose the extra weight.  I did pretty good in the month of December not eating wheat, I lost quite a bit of weight.  Then Christmas came with all those scrumptious wheat filled cookies, bars, candies, and I gained it all back.

Christmas morning brought "The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook" by Elana Amsterdam, the wonderful lady who has Elana's Pantry.  And I had been waiting for Christmas Eve to come and go so "The Wheat Belly Cookbook, " would be released.  I just picked up my very own copy last week at Barnes and Noble.  

So what is stopping me from going full on almond flour vs wheat?  I needed to order more almond flour.  Our local whole foods co-op only sells very small quantities for the very same price I can buy large quantities online.  But don't fret, I just purchased 10 lbs from today.  

Oh I'm so excited!!!  Between both books I should be able to bake bread, flat bread (sub sandwiches), french toast, pancakes, cookies, etc all while feeling good and losing weight!  I do have some almond flour left though the difference between what I have and what I ordered is that what I ordered is blanched meaning it doesn't have the skin on it and isn't as heavy.  The non-blanched almond flour is great for heavier baking like cookies and cakes.  I want to use the blanched for breads.

Now my only hope is that my son won't be allergic to nuts so he'll never have to be introduced to wheat and its harmful side effects!

The key to weight loss and good health

So after attempting many "diets" and trying many different diet supplements I think I've figured out the key to weight loss and good health.  We all plan to stick to a diet, we make resolutions, we spend thousands of dollars on programs like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, etc but most people don't succeed.

I my self have tried Weight Watchers on more than one occasion, I've recently tried the 17-day diet, and most currently trying No Wheat.

I love to plan, I plan and organize as much of my life as humanly possible, I'm anal about getting set amount of things done that need to be done vs procrastinating.  So yes I do get irritated with myself if I don't get my "to-do" list done.

They key to weight loss and good health is to take each day as it comes, one day at a time.  Don't plan to lose 5 lbs a week because your work out dvd states it will help you do so.  You build up expectations that within 3 months you'll be to your perfect size.  But that's based on a plan of doing it every day for 3 months.  You don't know what happens day to day.  Stuff happens and we can't stress out over that.

You and I both know that stress only makes things worth.
If we just focus on the here and now and tackle each day at a time knowing our goals of losing weight and being healthier we are better to achieve then to continue gaining or plateauing.
I'm down a couple of pounds  just by eating healthy and making conscious decisions for the day at hand.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Kitchen Backsplash...Check

So I can cross one thing off of my list.  Putting the back splash in the kitchen.  I did that tonight.  Here is a before picture and an after:  DSCF5161
And the after:  DSCF5163
Pretty shiny huh.  I bought the tiles through and the reviews for the adhesives they send with weren't great, but when I was looking at buying liquid nails it stated it would not be adheasive to the products I was using.  I tried liquid nails just in case but it didn't work, so I did use the adhesives Harriet Carter sent with and so far no problem.  The back splash cost about $36 and I bought matching silver outlet covers at my local Home Improvement store.

Tomorrow my husband doesn't have to work a double shift so I plan on getting more screws and one more 1x3x6 for him to cut and hopefully finish assembling the benches.  And one of two of the larger projects I really want to get done is painting our living room/ dining room area before the end of the week, so that's my goal for tomorrow after my son goes to bed for the night and then finishing Wednesday in time for our new table.

Oh and even more exciting!  I did win that chandelier I posted pictures of yesterday!  Yay!
No wheat today or sugar, had a few bouts of withdrawls but made it through.  Lost a couple of pounds too!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1st Floor Remodel Project

So the remodel on our main floor is progressing.  I did some more work on the dining room benches today  but with my husband at work all day it was slow going.  My little boy tenses as the drill sounds and I can't do that to him.  I was able to drill pilot holes while he napped but then I ran out of screws.  So I'm a little further then this picture shows, but here is the last photo I took:  DSCF5140
I'm hoping to start painting the livingroom tomorrow after my son goes to bed for the night.  I can't paint during the day as I'm sure he'd find it fun to ram his car (walker) into the paint tray.  I found a table that I believe will work well in the dining area that we are picking up from Two Harbor's, MN on Thursday:532398_131447543680859_1494178632_n

 I found some super cute bud vases that we are picking up in Duluth, MN on Thursday too:  734307_581241575225731_562532512_n

And I'm hoping to land this super cute chandelier: Picture 2

Ultimately hoping I can get the livingroom painted before Thursday.  Still have to pick out my accent color.  I'm thinking a shade of gray, which particular not sure yet, I've narrowed it down to 3 different shades.  Then there's the feat of painting the ceiling and then stenciling in a faux tin ceiling.  That's gonna be a job but so worth it!

I came up with a super cute idea for the front porch.  My dad made me a ladder shelf about 4 years ago for a store we used to own.  I've used it for displays for craft shows but that's not my thing anymore.  So instead of storing it in the garage, I'm going to take the hinges off and affix the two sides to both sides of the front door in our porch and then put two planters on the top rung on either side.  I also still have to sew the new curtains for the porch.  Sewing anything will be put off a bit as I'm converting my sewing studio in to a guest room/craft room and I can't get much further until stuff sells and furniture moves around.

And there's still the backsplash in the kitchen, that I might get done tomorrow since there is no noise associated with that and Noah might allow me to do that!

Well, I'm exhausted!  I do hope I have fasinating pictures to share tomorrow!
As for giving up wheat and sugar... I'm having withdrawls and its making me feel ill, probably why I'm exhausted but I haven't given in to eating either!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lumber Shopping

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, way too busy of a day!  Successfully selling the extra furniture pieces in our home to be more minimalistic.  Found my mom a super cheaply priced high chair for their house at Goodwill.  Bought fabric at Hancock Fabrics for the porch.  Picked up some more computer fabric paper for a quilt I'm working on in memory of my late grandmother.

Though my biggest excitement yesterday was going to our local Menards and buying the lumber to make our benches for the diningroom.  I'm following Ana White's Build a Spa Bench tutorial.  Though we are making a 3 foot bench and a 6 foot bench.  For support for the 6 foot bench we are making two 3-foot benches and attaching them so we have support in the middle.  I'm so excited to be making these.

The next venture will be to make a round pedestal table if I can't find one reasonably priced.  The check out lady at Menards yesterday gave me an idea on how I could make my own.  So if I can't find one then I guess I'll make one.

Hoping I get these benches built before 12 noon today I have a few more projects I'd like to tackle.  I'll photograph my day to share with you later!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


My husband and my mother created a wonderful space for me in our basment and finished the day my water broke.  The original intentions were for an at home studio to do my sewing creations that I sold at craft shows and wholesale to stores across Minnesota.
Well, with the arrival of my son, I didn't have the time to sew nor did I want to anymore.  So now I have all of this finished product and no time to sell it.  So I'm offering it all up for sale.  $2500+ worth of product for $500.  Its taking up space in the area I'm now converting to a guest room/craft room.  I'd like the space and get rid of everything associated with it.  This is what my space looks like now:  DSCF5135
See what I mean?  I just don't know what to do with it all!
I guess I could go back down there and attempt at organizing...  I think I'll be buying some ziplock totes tomorrow to put it all into and hope someone comes along and buys them.  My husband says anything we have to store that's not season is too much.  And I agree with him.
Day 2 of my no wheat no sugar was hard today and I knew it would be.  We went to my great-aunt Lorraine's in Cook for our Holiday get together, its been a tradition since before I was born.  I couldn't be rude and state I couldn't eat anything because I was giving up sugar and wheat.  So today I did eat quite a bit of both.  But, I don't forsee continuing to do so, so we'll shall see how the next couple of days progress.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


So today I caught up on some projects that were waiting for me for quite some time and started moving furniture around and planning the next move for remodeling.  I cleaned under and behind the stove today, finished putting mop board up behind it.  Cleaned off a shelf we had made to fit between the oven and the wall and removed it as it was more of an eye sore than anything else.  Put our 5 gal water jug and crock there instead so its not so easy for Noah to push over.  Brought a load of clothes to Goodwill.
A few years ago I was going for a different style and I built my own dining table.  Great table for my first ever table, though it made our dining area small.  DSCN0429
So today I had the hubby help me bring it down stairs thinking I'd use it for a laundry table, it makes the basement look tiny, but I don't want to part with it.
This is our dining space.   DSCF5127
The table that now sits there is a family heirloom.  I'd ideally like to design a pedestal table but having a bit of a tough time finding a round base that is heavy enough and my liking to go off of.  So if I can make my great-grandmother's table work then that's what I want to do. But what else I want to do is make built in benches that frame the walls that have storage under them.  Then it makes the space multi-functional in my old home.  I like character and for my home being 97-years-old it doesn't have a ton so I like adding some.  The cedar chest in the background I put there for height perspective, that will eventually make it to the basement bedroom.
Then there's this bookshelf: DSCF5128
Sorry for the quality of the photo.  I bought this bookshelf at Salvation Army in St. Cloud, MN.  Orginially I bought it for my studio that I no longer have because I'm no longer sewing for profit.  I've always wanted an island in my kitchen.  I only have one wall of cupboards and counter.  However, I've always designed my island to be convertible.  One I can put up against the wall when I don't need it and pull it out when I do.  So I'm using this bookshelf as the basis.  I'm gonna get some lumber and some hinges and supports and create something similar to a gate leg table.
So with moving furniture around and cleaning, I'm still in the process and want to finish cleaning up before the hubby arrives home.  If I create or rearrange when he's at work, I like to have it picked up before he gets home.  He's not the neat police, I am.  But, I like arriving home in a neat, organized home, so I make sure I have it that way when my husband or any one else steps through our door.
Day 1
Today was Day 1 of giving up wheat and sugar.  I succeed in not consuming any wheat and the only sugar I consumed was in a can of Cherry Coke later in the day.  I needed a pick me up as I worked a midnight shift last night and desperately needed some energy.  I've read that regular sugar is better than aspartame which they put in all diet pops.  Didn't get in any regular exercise today.  Just exercise from moving furniture and appliances.