Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where I Blog

One of the things I love about blogging is being able to see glimpses of other people's lives and homes. I like to see how other people decorate and use their spaces. Some of us have huge, beautiful homes, some have little fixer-uppers. But all of us in blog world have computers and spend a lot of time updating our blogs and checking out what other people have blogged about. 

So, where do you blog? Do you have a tricked-out office space with a place for everything? Do you include your computer area in a craft room? Is the computer used by the family and centrally located?

My office is mobile. And red. 

My couch is a favorite computer time spot. I usually sit here when my kids are in bed and I can focus on blogging. 

When the boys are up and playing, I move my office here:

Though not nearly as comfortable, it keeps my computer away from curious little hands. It also provides a great desk area if I have paperwork to do. 

Check out where other bloggers spend vast amounts of their time at Centsational Girl

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Old Barn

This is a repost from April. Enjoy!

When I was in college I took a solo roadtrip and fell in love with barns. I took plenty of pictures of barns along my way and thought it would be cool to make my own coffee table book about barns. I love the history that barns suggest, the honest hard work, that barns are usually in the country where family values and quiet living takes place. I didn't realize that there are hundreds of barn coffee table books out there already, and I certainly never thought I'd live somewhere with a barn!

Fast forward a few years (10, actually, but I can't believe that much time has passed since college and I'm not really ready to admit that it has... Ooops!), thru starting my career, living on my own in a big city, moving across country, marrying the man of my dreams and being blessed with two perfect little boys, and here we are, proud owners of a barn. Wanna see?

I know! It's way too cool. And too old to ever be functional again, but still. I can totally see why J (almost 3) loves it. Every time we go outside, he heads to the barn.

I love the architecture, age, and history here. Even though I don't know what the history is! And I love this door!

Here is one of the treasures I unearthed this week. I haven't done much with it, but here is how I found it!

But our cool barn has issues. The former owners were packrats. Don't EVEN get me started on how horrible the house was before we moved in, nor the HOURS we put in cleaning it up enough to live here. That's a whole nother post! Or 5...

I guess the silver lining with the pack rat past of our barn is that's why we have treasures! Like this wood. Oh the ideas!!! What do you think I should do with this?

Can't wait to hear your ideas! Have a great weekend!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

I'm participating in Sunday Favorites at Happy to Design.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

From Pooper to Planner

Party, that is.

Mr. B4A's birthday is in just over 2 weeks.
(I don't know how that's possible, cuz isn't it still July? HA!)

Other than a gift and his favorite homemade dessert, I'm not good at planning stuff! I'd love to have some creative, low-budget (preferably FREE) ideas to make his special day, well, special. 

Thanks for your input!

White House, Black Shutters

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Love FREE!

I don't get to thrift stores as often as I'd like and I almost never go to yardsales. We live waaaaaay out in the country and when I do go to town I have my little buddies who are worn out after a morning of grocery shopping and going to Taco Bell. Not to mention that even ridiculously cheap finds cost something, and cash is not something I have a lot of. Living on one income pays the bills if we make sacrifices, and our little boys are more precious than a million store-bought treasures.

Ok, wow. I totally did NOT mean to get defensive about our lifestyle choice.


My MIL brought me some dishes on their recent visit. She works at her church's service center and sometimes they get donations of things that don't really serve the needs of the people who come to them for help. 

Enter my new dishes!

A serving bowl and matching smaller bowl:

Two tiny teacups:

Other pretty pieces:

And a pretty, little vase.

Thanks MIL!

I'm linking up to the following:

Twice Owned Tuesday at House of Grace.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Gift for Grandpa

My awesome in-laws were here this weekend. I am one of those lucky (blessed!) people who love their in-laws! They are wonderfully helpful and supportive. They and the boys have a mutual adoration thing going on, and it's so fun to live relatively close (a day's drive) to them so they can see their grandbabies grow up.

We were given some crabapples and my MIL and I spent an afternoon making freezer jam. Did we take pictures? Nope.

On Sunday we went to a neighbor's house and picked up as many apples as we could. They weren't great apples and wouldn't keep long, so we made applesauce. Not including picking time (which was hot and sweaty) it took the 4 of us 8 hours to process all of the apples. We made 33 quarts. 

Did we take pictures? Nope.


I did take pictures of the Father's Day gift we finally gave my FIL. Yes, I know it's August.

Back in June (see, I had good intentions!!!) I took a piece of plywood and sanded down the face just a little bit.

I slapped on a coat in my favorite brown house paint.

When the paint was dry, I used more house paint to stencil 'Grandpa' on the board.

When THAT was done, I put on handprints of the boys using, you guessed it, more house paint.

I wrote their names and ages with a sharpie.

My husband drilled holes and threaded them with twine so Grandpa could hang the sign. Here it is completed:

I think he liked it.

center>Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's in a Name?

Ann Marie over at White House, Black Shutters is having her second Help Me Wednesday.


I was just over there telling her I didn't have anything ready to link up when it dawned on me.

 I've been trying to come up with a name for our place.

 It's way out in the country in the middle of the corn and soy fields of Iowa.

We have 5 acres which we want to plant to native prairie.  

It's our little haven in the world where we can rear our children.

And have a HUGE garden every year. 

We also have long, cold winters.

And crazy, scary storms!

I'm playing around with a couple names.

Prairie Haven Acres

Prairie Homestead

Prairie Haven Homestead

Prairie Garden Farm

What do YOU think? Should I ditch the "prairie" and go another route?

Wanna Know a Secret?

What do these pictures have in common?

Did you figure it out? HINT: They all have the same background.

It's the countertops. Big deal, right?

Here's the secret: It's contact paper.


It's clean and nuetral. We haven't renovated our kitchen yet and the original laminate was pinkish peachy sparkles with cracks and burn marks and sparkles missing. Oh, and when we first moved in it was rather gray with built-up grime. I didn't get the contact paper epiphany for at least a year, but I love it! For now, it's what works.

Did I mention that it's clean?!


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