Friday, July 30, 2010

The Kitchen Sink, Everything but...

So here's a question to all of you inspirational bloggers.

Would you use this as your kitchen sink?

  This old utility sink is in the laundry area in my basement. It's 56 inches long.

The actual sink hole is 26 inches, I believe, which is pretty small for a sink. It's also only 5 1/2 inches deep. I wiped it down today and there are some rust stains left. Would they come out?

 It's 25 inches from front to back, including the backsplash area, so it would line up with the counter. It's white porcelain, I believe. 

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

Image from Sunset Magazine

Image from

Image from Southern Living

What do you think? I'd love to know!

White House, Black Shutters


Menu Board

Ever since I saw this post over at Under The Table and Dreaming by the talented Stephanie Lynn, I knew I wanted to do my own version of it. (Not the only time that has happened--Stephanie Lynn's blog is SO inspiring!)

Stephanie Lynn's amazing Menu Board

I finally gathered my supplies and put it together this week! And I LOVE it!!!

A picture frame with glass

A grain sack found in the barn!
(Curious? Read more about our cool old barn!)

I cut the grain sack around the piece of cardboard from my frame.

Then I put stickers (from Michael's) onto tags (from Walmart).

Next I put everything together.

I actually taped the sack material to the back of the cardboard with packaging tape! It was too thick to use the nice back of the picture frame, but the burlap keeps things nice and tight! I didn't tape or glue the tags and circles down at all--they're stuck in place just by the pressure.

Then I filled in my menu! 

Hint: Don't have a dry-erase marker? Just use a sharpie! It wipes right off with window cleaner.

I hung my menu board on the wall behind my stove. 

Finally, I stood back and enjoyed! 

Thanks again, Stephanie Lynn, for the inspiration!

I'm linking up! Follow the links for LOTS of inspiration from talented bloggers. To see how I changed my recipe holder to match my decor, go here. To see the rest of my making-it-work kitchen, go here



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Farm Glass Tablescape

I love beach glass. I think the colors are so pretty and I love that the sharp edges have been worn smooth by the waves and sand. Living in the midwest, we're a LONG way from the beach. 

But in the spirit of using what you have, there's farm glass! Never heard of it? Me neither. 

However, our garden is full of it. Come to find out, there used to be a building in that spot and apparently that's where they threw broken glass. I don't get it, but I grew up in the land of curbside garbage day, not homesteading in the midwest... There's lots I don't get!

I thought it would be fun to do a simple tablescape using my collected bits of farm glass. I've been picking up the pretty pieces (three or four shades of blue, yellow, green, some white and even pink!) a few at a time. Here they are!

This is our centerpiece today.

It's a very simple arrangement so you just have to stare at that farm glass!

Don't you love all the colors? I would love to know what they are from! I know most are those pretty blue jars that have been spotted all over blogland. 

I found some of the little jars out in the garden too!

If only glass could talk!

Today we're using my favorite dishes, Corelle! I love that they don't chip or break easily--I have my 3-year-old set and clear the table, so it's nice to not worry about the plates! (Not to mention that in the 2 years we had a different set I broke many, errr, several, um one or two.

I know this isn't a fancy, beautiful tablescape, but it's very true to my family's week-night suppers. Notice the booster seat and the highchair? It's all family-friendly around here, folks! Even the farm glass isn't very sharp because of its years in the dirt! After the shed with the glass was torn down, the land it was on (that is now our garden) was crop land that was tilled, planted and harvested year after year. Seriously, that glass has stories to tell!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kitchen Now & Ideas

I don't want to tell anyone how much time I've spent obsessing over working on gathering ideas, information and inspiration about our kitchen remodel. I've practically memorized all the kitchen pictures on, their network site, and When I find a new blog, I usually head straight for the kitchen tab, and let me tell you, there are some amazing do-it-yourselfers out there! 

So to give you an idea of what we're starting with, here are some pictures of my kitchen that I took today. We've lived here for just short of 2 years, and it was horrible when we moved in! We had absolutely no money for upgrades, so my MIL and I scrubbed and painted everything we could. It took 8 hours to clean out the fridge. Seriously. Those pictures are on another computer, so I'll show you what we have now.

Make-do "Hutch" and Fridge

I use this hand-me-down bookcase for extra storage--towels, trivets, cookbooks, and toys! Notice my barn finds on the top? That's a $100 craigslist fridge, not the 8-hours-to-clean fridge. When we "do" the kitchen, this will be a built-in hutch/desk area and the fridge will be look built-in too.

Storage/Coat Closet

I'm keeping the closet, but I'll trick it out with shelves, a counter top and tons of outlets for all of those little gadgets--mixer, blender, toaster...

Stove Wall

Who knew how tricky it would be to find stock cabinetry to fit exactly in that space and allow the top cabinets to be the right distance from the window!

Corner & Sink Area

South Wall

The funny empty space with the wire shelf used to house the stove. It was an extra-wide stove, so when we got the craigslist stove and fridge, the new fridge was too tall for the old fridge space, and the new stove was too small for the old stove place! My very talented husband :) changed the power dealy-bobs around so we could but the new stove where the old fridge had been and the new fridge against the wall by the closet. This space let us move our table closer to the window, but those weird upper cabinets don't let the table line up. They're built-in as a unit and I desperately need the storage, so I couldn't knock them down. It works for now!

Dining Area

I love my dining room set, as I mentioned here. I love my funky window treatment too! We're thinking about bumping this area out a couple feet to add more windows (those views and the natural light!) and make the space more comfy for that big table. 

I have my heart set on beaded board wainscoting with a shelf for pictures (like the one of my sweeties I re-painted) to lean on. And a bench instead of so many chairs.

So there you have it! The 360* tour is complete. I'll leave you with some inspirational pictures that'll do more to explain the style and feeling I want to capture. Hope you enjoyed my soon-to-be-BEFORE pictures!

Oh, the earliest we'll get to the remodel is March. That's soon, right? :)

(Images are from, and, linked above.)


Monday, July 26, 2010


Our garden is growing like crazy! 

Butternut Squash


Tomatoes & Garlic


And the dirtiest little boy ever!

Seriously, doesn't he look like a poster child for one of those feed-the-children ads?

This afternoon I went out to the garden to see what I should make for supper. I filled my basket with rhubarb, strawberries, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, beets, parsley, basil and cilantro.

And this is what we feasted on!


Couscous Salad

For the couscous salad, I mixed 1 cup of dry couscous with 1 1/2 cups boiling water, then let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped a cucumber (from a friend's garden--can't wait till ours are ready!) and 1/4 each of a red, yellow and orange bell pepper. I also chopped up the herbs I picked--5 or 6 basil leaves, a couple tablespoons of parsley, and one sprig of cilantro. I passed the dish along to my sweetheart (gotta love a man who cooks!) who added EVOO, salt, lemon juice and balsamic glaze. It was delicious!

Steamed Beets

After washing off the dirt from the garden, I cut off the tops and boiled my beets whole for about 45 minutes. When a fork easily pierces the beets, they're done! I rinsed them in cold water so I could handle them, cut off a thin layer at the stem end and popped the rest of the skin right off. I diced the beets at that was eat! We ate them with a little sea salt.

Sauteed Zucchini & Yellow Squash

My favorite way to eat zucchini and yellow squash is to saute it with garlic, onion and EVOO. I mix it occasionally so nothing burns. I cook it until the veggies are soft but not mushy, and when some of the pieces are starting to brown.

With a piece of homemade whole grain bread, you've got yourself a yummy meal! 

Did you notice it was meatless? Yeah. We're vegan! We also choose to grow organic, heirloom veggies in our garden. That way we know our family is getting the best nutrition possible. We're able to save the seeds or let things seed themselves from year to year. None of us has allergies to meat or dairy products; we're not doing it for political reasons or to save the planet. We feel it's the best for our bodies and minds to eat a simple diet close to the original plan that God designed at creation. 

We also choose to enjoy a yummy dessert once in a while!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Notice it's mostly gone? Hey now, our kids are good eaters! And I already packed my husband's lunch for tomorrow, so really that's 5 portions gone. And it was SO GOOD!

Did I mention it was yummy?!

I used a tried-and-true Betty Crocker recipe and followed the modifications for rhubarb crisp that come after the basic apple crisp recipe. And I've included it for your enjoyment. 

Apple Crisp

2 cups cut up rhubarb pieces 
2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 375*. Grease bottom and sides of square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches, with shortening.
2. Spread fruit in pan. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake about 30 minutes. Serve warm. 


The Girl Creative


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