Category Archives: Life

We may actually be done with the nursery

It’s been a long time coming, but I think the nursery is just about FINISHED!  Of course I will continuously add little things here and there (like his name tiles and a birth stats painting) but I’m not going to count that.

First up is the dresser.  I scoured Craigslist and Goodwill until I found the dresser of my nursery dreams.  It needed to be long enough be hold the changing pad and diapering paraphernalia and tall enough so Jonathan and I wouldn’t have to hunch over when changing the boy.   The dresser that finally fit the bill was from a kind Craigslister up in Michigan, for $75.  It was kind of an oak finish, but I

It was originally kind of an oak finish, but I knew I wanted it white to match the crib.  So it sat and sat and sat in the garage until Aunt Terry and Mom could come out and paint it for me.

It turned out pretty awesome, don’t you think?  I painted the existing knobs.  I gave Jonathan a choice of many different designs including dinosaurs and monsters,  but who would have thunk it…he picked numbers.  They turned out pretty cute.  Mom sprayed a few coats of high gloss clear coat and they looked like they came from a store.

Now on to a cozy place for bedtime stories and late night feedings.

The rocker was another thrifty find…$15 at Goodwill.  It was a lovely shade of greenish yellow, but still super comfy.  I wanted to reupholster it, but I’ve never tackled that before and needed some reinforcements.  So again, it sat and sat until Aunt Terry and Mom came to visit.  Since Aunt Terry has done chairs before Mom and I were just helpers.  I chose a canvas drop cloth from Home Depot as my fabric and it turned out great!

Of course the lamp was another Goodwill find, at $3 for the base and $2 for the shade.  Mom spray painted the base and I recovered the shade with a pretty fabric we picked up from Hobby Lobby.  The little dinosaur  next to the lamp was the first little toy I made for the baby.

Now, the artwork in this corner. I repurposed an old canvas by having Jonathan spray paint the same orange from the lamp over top of the original painting.  The original painting had some dark lines in it and ridges from my brushstrokes and I wanted to camouflage as much of that as possible, so using watered down white glue and white tissue paper I decoupaged over the whole orange surface.  I found silhouette of a triceratops on clip art and used that to make the outline for the dinos.  I’m really proud of the finished product as it came out even better than I anticipated.

I don’t know where I originally saw the idea for rain gutter bookshelves, but it stayed in my brain until I had a place to put them.  I used the tutorial here for installing them.  

The whole project was less than $20 and I installed them in under an hour.  

The crib nook is the final stop on our nursery tour.  This first picture is a little older, and since I took it, the mobile has been lowered significantly, a mattress added to the crib, and artwork hung next to the window.  I’d go take a new picture now, but frankly I’m tired and don’t want to.

I constructed the mobile for FREE with paint chips from Home Depot, some card stock I had on hand left over from our wedding, thread, and an old embroidery hoop.  I punched out a bunch of circles from the paint chips and card stock and put them back to back.  I stitched the line of circles together on my sewing machine and attached each string to the hoop.  Easy peasy.  I can’t take credit for the idea though…I found it here.

The artwork in this part of the room was created by everyone who attended the baby shower my sister had for me.  She had the great idea to have everyone paint a small square tile with the colors of the nursery.  To make them more uniform and fun, we had everyone use tape to mask off areas for solid colors.  I put them all together, mounted them on foam board and trimmed the edges with orange ribbon.  It looks great in his room and it will be a nice reminder of all the people who loved the baby before he was even born!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of the nursery!  All it really needs now is a baby…three more weeks!


Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Home Decorating, Life


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Simpson Garden Park

Two weekends ago Jonathan and I went to explore a little botanical garden we pass on an almost daily basis, Simpson Garden Park.  It is about a three minute drive from our house.  They had nice paths through acres of garden and open space.  The weather was gorgeous, and while I have to admit I waddled for most of the time, it was nice walk.  Here are some photo highlights:I can’t really even pretend to tell you what types of plants these are.  Gardens and flowers aren’t really my strong suit…but they sure are pretty!

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Posted by on May 19, 2012 in Life, Photography


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I was spoiled…

Lately I’ve been realizing that I was spoiled for the four years we lived in Florida.  I look around now at Facebook and in blog-land and see pictures of something we’re missing here in Ohio.  The beach.  While we didn’t go to the beach that often when we lived in the Sunshine State, the option was there…about 1.5-2 hours away. We could take a day trip to St. Augustine, one of my favorite places, and just soak in the beauty.  It is strange…there were many times when Jonathan wanted to go to the beach and my response was, “It’s too hot”…”You’re going to be fishing, what will I do?”…”It’s kinda boring.”  Can you believe that?!?  Now I see a photo of a friend at the beach and I long for it.  You always want what you can’t have!  So, in honor of my beach craving, I present some of my favorite beach photos…

Cape Cod, Massachusetts 2004

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii 2008

Vilano Beach, Florida 2010

Somewhere on Oahu, Hawaii 2008

Vilano Beach, Florida 2009

Cozumel, Mexico 2011

Vilano Beach, Florida 2009
(one of my first and favorite pictures of my niece Lily)


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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Life, Photography


Ten months in Ohio and a lot has changed!

It appears as thought I haven’t written anything since November 1st.  That is a long time and a lot has happened.  Back in the fall and early winter I just didn’t feel like writing.  I didn’t feel like moving from the couch…I blame it on the baby.  We found out we were pregnant at the very beginning of November.  A few short weeks later, I started not feeling so hot…which continued until about last month.  Aside from being pukey, I have really enjoyed being pregnant.  I love watching my belly get bigger.  I love looking pregnant.  It is the one time in my life when I’ve been happy to have my belly stick out! I am almost 31 weeks now, and our little guy is due July 7.

 (at 20 weeks)

In the last few weeks (or months) I’ve been working on lots of baby projects.  Pinterest has been a dangerous place for me.  As soon as I see something for the nursery or for the baby I feel compelled to make it.  Right then and there.  Some of the things I’ve done (or I’m still working on) are:

  • Mobile
  • Rug
  • Dino Loopy
  • Loopy Block
  • “Moby” style wrap
  • Two Ring Slings
  • Curtains
  • Cloth wipes

Projects I haven’t started yet:

  • Changing table/dresser
  • Lamp
  • Rocking chair
  • Rain gutter bookshelves

I’ll get some pictures of everything I’ve done and begin to share my experiences of making a nursery soon.  For now, all you get is my hand drawn floor plan:

I promise not to neglect the blog for six months again.  You have my word.


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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Life


The Fall-ification of a House

So, I have hinted around that I was attempting to decorate for the season.  Over the last month or so I’ve slowly added fall touches to the house.  I thought I would share them with you.  As always, I tried my best to spend as little money as possible, even if it meant “recycle bin diving” at the local recycle center.  Of course, being me, I asked permission first!

We’ll start with the front door.  The front porch isn’t looking fallish yet due to the lack of pumpkins.  Hopefully we will get some soon and I can complete the front of the house.  Anyhow…the front door.  I wanted to make a wreath.  I have been checking out fall wreaths online and found one I liked over at HomeStoriesAtoZ so I thought I’d give it a whirl but keep it simple.

I found the wreath at Goodwill covered in awful fake flowers. I ripped them off and was left with a simple grapevine wreath.

I made the flowers from felt and fleece.  My Hobby Lobby didn’t have a great selection of felt colors, so I checked out the fleece and picked up the orange and gold.

Aren’t they cute?

Right inside the front door is my little refinished pedestal table.   I think this is now my Goodwill spot…the table is Goodwill, along with the little crate and wreath ($0.50 each).  I added a little jute frame I already had and filled it with the first colorful leaf from our yard.

Who knows how long the leaf will stay colorful.  First I tried ironing it between wax paper.  While that was ok in elementary school, I wasn’t cool with the look.  So, I removed the leaf from the wax paper and simply ironed it between fabric to completely dry it out.  It’s been about two weeks, so I think I may have found a good method!  Finally, I added a delicious smelling Apple Cider votive to complete the vignette.  ( I am silently chastising myself for the use of the word vignette but I guess if the word fits, use it).

Next up, the mantel…

This was a conglomeration of things.  I am finding this is how many people decorate for fall.  They look around their house for anything fall-like and go with it.  So…

I made the ceramic canister back in college and though the ochre glaze and red clay worked well.  I loved the idea of glass bottles (thanks recycling center) wrapped with twine, so I went with it.  First I tried the glass cutting technique of wrapping a nail-polish-remover-soaked string around it and lighting it on fire.  It sounds way more dramatic that it actually was.  I couldn’t get it to work, so I stuck with the whole bottle and opted to wrap them in different ways.

The little white “barrels” are doctored up cardboard canisters from the pantry.  I really wanted some twigs or wheat to put in them, but I couldn’t get the nerve to walk up to someone’s brush pile and snag some.  I think I’ll have to plan a nature walk and take some from the woods.  We shall see…

Next up, squishy pumpkins.  I am still not sure how I feel about them, but they are kind of cute.  I saw the idea over at Bungalow.  I tea stained some flour sack cloths that I pilfered from a closet in my old school building that was being torn down.  Of course I had permission to pilfer…

Finally, the last fall project was a little raised dish of pumpkins for a centerpiece.  I am not satisfied with it as a centerpiece, so I may switch it out for a wooden pumpkin I got for zip zilch nada at Kohls with my $10 off coupon.  Anyway, it’s on the table now, so I ought to show you…

The dish is a little glass bowl I glued to a candlestick…courtesy of Goodwill for $0.75.  The pumpkins were an ugly fake orange, so I spray painted them cream and aged them a bit with watered down brown paint.  The original stem was lovely green plastic, so I ripped it out and hot glued some mulch in its place.

I L-O-V-E the pumpkins, I am just not crazy about the whole thing as a centerpiece.  I threw in some extra felt flowers from the wreath project, but that’s not cutting it.  Hopefully when I go out on my stick finding mission, I can collect some acorns to fill the bowl.

The grand total for all of my projects was less than $10, with the most expensive thing being the wreath at Goodwill for $3…still cheaper than one from the craft store.  While I know I am not finished with my fall decor, I’m good for now.  I don’t have anything else around the house to utilize, and there is no fund for crafts in our We-Just-Moved-And-Bought-A-House-Budget.  So, until nature hands me some more inspiration I’m on pause.


Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Home Decorating, Life


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Apple Pickin’ Fools

It’s apple pickin’ time.  We bundled up in our BGSU finest this morning and drove out the MacQueen’s Orchard in Holland, OH. On the way we stopped at Tim Hortons.  This was our first visit there, and for those of you who didn’t know (like me) Tim Hortons seems to be a higher quality Dunkin Donuts. Jonathan says the coffee is better and our bagels were wonderful!  I got hot apple cider with mine.  Though it was clearly from a mix, I enjoyed it and it filled the car with yummy “appley” smells.

Once we got to the orchard and spoke with the nice folks there, we decided to pick a half-bushel of Jonathan apples and a half-bushel of Ida Reds.  Despite the foggy damp morning, the orchard was beautiful and I only stopped taking pictures to pop a few apples of the trees.

The Red Delicious apples were gorgeous, but we don’t find them as delicious as the name implies

My dad says I need an apple picker.  Who needs an apple picker when you are amost six feet tall and have hands

Half a bushel of Ida Reds

I was slightly obsessed with the fact that everything had droplets of water on them. So pretty!

Imagine that, Jonathan’s favorite apple is the Jonathan.

Look closely.  Yes, his mouth is full.  Yes, he’s eating an apple.  No, it wasn’t his first, second, or third. Yes, he taste-tested all the apple varieties.

Apple picking was a fun way to enjoy our morning.  After loading our bushel into the car and having it inspected (no apple thieves here…except maybe the few Jonathan ate), we went into the market.  The smells made us wish we hadn’t stopped at Tim Hortons!  There were some amazing looking baked goods there!  There were also mini-pumpkins and gourds, which we promptly bought.  They are now part of my on-going effort to Fall-ify the house.  More on that later…

Last but not least, amidst the shots of apples and us, I snapped a pretty little picture of a stick.  Yes, a stick.  But it’s a stick with a rain drop…and I thought it was cool.  So there!

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Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Life, Photography


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19 Pounds of Pickles

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything and while I certainly could have shared last weekend, other things got in the way.  Like a really cool arts festival, so I didn’t write.  Now I am here to tell you about last weekend.  We entered the wide world of food preservation.  Thanks to my grandma, we came home from my parents’ house completely equipped to start canning.  With 19 pounds of pickles fresh from our garden, we naturally made pickles.  We used a few different recipes, two of which were the packaged pickling spices.  The third was Alton Brown’s Dill Pickles.  I will leave the rest of the story to the pictures…

These are Alton Brown’s pickles…they are supposed to be made in a pickle crock.  Since we didn’t have one, we opted for the crock out of our crock pot.  They are currently fermenting away in our basement along with 15 jars of perfectly canned pickles.



Too bad I don’t really like pickles.


Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Cooking and Restaurants, Life