The Ranch

We love to go the “Ranch”. It is the family home of my husband’s father. It is all about the grandkids when we all go out there.

We don’t have to worry about traffic, being too loud, or watching the kids like hawks now that they are getting older, and a slew of other things. There is always a good meal and plenty to do, not mention time to take a nap (well for some of us – never me ;p)

We did make pillows for the new playhouse, the kids loved the activity and were so excited to see them put together. We didn’t get to all of the activities I had brought because of time. Swimming in the cattle tank was more important, as was wagon rides, swinging, and playing in the playhouse.

I snapped a few photos of our days there.

Typical scenery the entire way out there!

We saw a lot of trains!

Early morning skies

“Backyard”

Some of Mimi’s garden

The infamous skulls in the trees- I think they were/are cows

“My swing” as Z likes to call it, even though it is for everyone

“The kid bowl” as it was nicknamed this week – like a dog bowl but for the kids!

Remembering Porter – the beloved, dedicated, ever so loving, black lab who passed this year after 11 years

We still have Chip – he adopted us all

This wagon is almost on its last leg

This bike might be a little too big – Thanks for sharing Campbell!

Cows drink out of here! YUCK!

The pillow project – looks much for neon than they really are. Lots of fun!

Overall, the two days were two well spent! Cannot wait for the next weekend out there!

 

 

Laundry Time – 4 year old style

Last weekend, my son was very adamant that he do his own laundry. I said “okay” and was fairly impressed that he wanted to do it. He called for help a couple of times, yet I was not helping him the way he wanted. So I backed off and let him do his own thing.

Here is his process:

This is how I wanted it to be sorted.

Piles won't do, it has to be stacked NICELY!

He had to pour the soap, not me, so he poured the soap in, even though I measured it.

Looks like the right place to pour it.

Don't forget to rinse the soap cup

Now we can finally put the clothes in there. This was  a process as well.

One....... at a time

still....one at a time

Make sure they get in the washer!

still taking it one at a time

Pile is getting smaller

Yep, it's in there

Finally.... we are done

Maybe I should take more time for my laundry to be sure it is sorted just right! Always learning something new and never cease to be amazed by my little guy and his quirky ways!

Humble Beginnings

So this year I really pushed my DH to build me a raised garden bed. I am really excited to see how much will survive.

Mushroom compost

Mushroom compost!

So we went with mushroom compost for the first season. I read it is not a good idea to use animal manure the first 6 months. I will add the stinky stuff in the fall to prep for next year. I wonder how many neighbors will say “what is that smell!” I know I do when I smell manure.

Is this enough soil?

is this enough soil?

So I am a big fan of MiracleGro. Other soils get all hard and turn to cement, so I am hoping this will stay loose enough to help the water get to the roots and not become so compacted.

Soon to be peas!

Soon to be peas! Yay!

Peppa - peppers

Soon to be peppers!

Grow baby grow!

Grow baby grow! I think this is lettuce in the making. They all look the same in the beginning!

Broccoli baby

Broccoli baby!

Popeye would be happy to see this Spinach growing!

Popeye would be proud to see this spinach growing!

The start of something ... lettuce

the start of more lettuce... I think!

AN UPDATE since planting the garden the end of March. We had SNOW!!!!! Of course, right after I planted the garden – MURPHY’S LAW right? Many of the plants didn’t make it and kept shriveling. I even covered it up to protect it. So I dug up many of them, I am an impatient gardener! I planted more seeds and then recently went to the garden section at Lowes and purchased broccoli and new tomato plants. I reused the containers to plant more peppers, leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, and spinach. I have high hopes for this otherwise, I owe DH the money he spent to help me put it together. YIKES! Here’s to grey thumbs hoping to turn more green as the season progresses (I don’t have a black thumb, just grey)

Also as we were getting the garden ready, we had a little accident:

I just fell out of the tree! I can't stop crying!

I am starting to feel better. I am trying to be "strong and tough" "boy-like" - Boys can cry - it's okay

The scene of the CRIME! (He fell facing the other way on his belly) Poor guy! He is definitely more cautious climbing the tree lately.

Well Organized Refrigerator

I got another great special issue of Cook’s Illustrated and found a great article about how a refrigerator should be organized.

It really motivated me, like right away, to clean up my own. I could not believe what was in the bottom and in the corners of the drawers. Okay that sounds way worse than it really was. Let’s just say it needed a good wipe down.

Here is the article from Cook’s Illustrated, I scanned it so you have the visual to go along with it or could print it out too.

Cook's Illustrated, Getting To Know Your Refrigerator

Cook's Illustrated Getting to Know Your Refrigerator Pt. 2

Here is how my refrigerator turned out. I found the white bins at Ikea (SO HAPPY we got our own store last summer here in Colorado). The bins have been great because we have started to order Bountiful Baskets and the fruit and vegetables come loose, so it keeps them all together.

Newly organized refrigerator!

Why not organize the freezer too!

When you spring clean, do you consider the refrigerator. I know I didn’t usually. Now I am happy it is all organized! Hope this helps to inspire you to go through yours.

Terrarium Inspiration

I was looking around on Teal and Lime a while back and really liked her terrariums. So that evening I went and bought all the materials I would need to make my own. (please click on the “terrarium” link, above, to go to the original tutorial and pin or look at the original photos/tutorial referenced in this blog)

I found two great glass vases/candle holders from HomeGoods (love that store) for $10 and $8.

At Lowes I picked up the following:

  • White Marble Rocks – 5#
  • Potting Soil – Miracle Grow, Moisture Control
  • Moss
  • Various plants

The layering is very simple:

Bottom layers of Terrarium

  1. White Rocks
  2. Layer of moss – to keep the soil from falling through to the bottom
  3. Layer of Soil, enough to plant the plant in and establish its roots
  4. Moss to help hold in moisture

We did not use activated charcoal because the tops were open and air could circulate. I think the charcoal is more for closed terrariums

Lastly – Add your plants. We broke ours up to split between the two vases. I am showing you the smaller of the two.

Plant for thinner vase

Here are our two terrariums (that are STILL ALIVE!!! Woo Hoo!)

Larger terrarium

Smaller terrarium

Our plants are a little larger, the selection was minimal at Lowes when I did this. It is best to look for smaller plants or ask your local nursery for terrarium appropriate plants.

Teal and Lime inspiration:

Teal and Lime Terrarium Inspiration

Layering as shown on Teal and Lime

A Place to hang my..”Jewels”..

HSo I went to the thrift store and bought an old frame. I probably won’t go back to this particular thrift store and the selection was bad and the prices were high. I paid enough for the frame let’s just say that.

I thought I had a great idea to make a menu board and put cork on it to stick things on. So I bought all the supplies:

Nice.

Well as the night progressed I began measuring and cutting and fitting and gluing and HATING every minute of it. By the end of the night I had completed a “board” and stepped away from it and then five minutes later went back and tore it all apart. It was awful and only took about 45 seconds to undo everything.

So the next day, Thursday, I had a new plan. I have more of a need/want for a jewelry frame than a menu board. My husband was not into it anyways.

Here is what I did instead:

I got more supplies – Tropical Oasis Glossy Spray paint from Valspar, a metal sheet with a triangle pattern (galvanized aluminum), leather gloves, drop cloth, blue painters tape, staple gun and 5/16″ staples, and tin snips. I had already purchased Machine Gray Glossy from Ace.

I removed the paper backing and pulled out the staples that were holding the matte in the frame. It was pretty easy to pull them out.

Once I pulled the matte off I traced it on the metal so it would be the correct size for the frame.

 I cut the aluminum with the tin snips. Glad I got my own pair of leather work gloves, there were some sharp edges.

Once the piece was cut I wiped the metal down with vinegar. I was told to do this by the friendly people at Lowes. I would not have known to do this on my own. The vinegar removes the galvanization and exposes the raw metal, aluminum in this case.

I sprayed the metal with the Tropical Oasis.

I sprayed the frame with the Machinery Gray at the same time.

I sanded the frame the night before, yet there were some spaces that were not cooperating and I thought I would leave it distressed and white. I changed my mind and when I sprayed it, it had a cool crackle effect on the frame that I ended up liking.

I pulled the tape and the matte off of the metal and this was how it turned out. I really liked the blue and had to incorporate it somehow and I thought framing the jewelry would have a nice effect.

I used the staple gun to hold the metal close to the frame. I didn’t press the gun right up to the wood I held it away slightly to have them stand out. If they were too far down, I used a flat screw driver to lift them up.

Close up of the frame and metal

The finished frame.

Now it is time to go to Charming Charlies and use my gift card to get some more earrings and necklaces!

As I was leaving Lowes prior to starting this project, I was talking to a lady who works in the paint department about my project and she shared her projects and I made the comment that I feel like my projects don’t turn out how I envision them. She said practice makes perfect.

Has anyone else felt this way? With Pinterest and other DIY blogs, it seems like everyone else’s projects turn out great. Or am I just expecting to be too perfect right away (most likely)?

Project Motivation…

I get a lot of magazines, well according to my husband I do, to the everyday women, eh….. not so much. Okay, maybe I do. I so look forward to getting them in the mail and flipping through the shiny colored pages. I HAVE to be the first to read them, that is my rule. I don’t know why, I just don’t want others to flip through it first.

At this time I am currently getting the following magazines:

Lucky

Better Homes and Garden

Marie Claire

Fitness (even though I haven’t paid for it in years. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone, they keep sending it anyway)

Good Housekeeping

Real Simple

Martha Stewart Living – digitally on my nook.

Considering getting a subscription to Country Living. (Good deal right now.)

Anyways, Better Homes and Gardens latest issue is all about COLOR. I love these types of focuses. It gets me excited to do something. Of course, I usually don’t. I just get excited with ideas. This time however, I have a few ideas that I am going  to work on and I am hoping to find some inspiration with color and the help of Pinterest and some of my favorite DIY sites. (Keep checking the featured post, as I will always update with new sites).

Tonight I would love to do a Menu board and a framed Jewelry Board. I have seen a few on Pinterest and other DIY sites. I have a tiny little notebook I write my grocery list on and it just isn’t cutting it anymore. I have a couple of thrift stores next to my house I hope to stop by on my way to pick up the kiddo from preschool.

We will see what will come of it all!

Here is some of my inspiration: