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Inspiration board: Build projects I am in love with!

Sep 27 2016
An inspiration board of build projects with full plans and tutorials that I am in love with DIY Do it yourself wood workshop

There are two things I obsess over online and that is Before and Afters of furniture (or anything really) and build projects with full on tutorials. The truth is I am NOT what I would consider a wood worker or a craftsman in any way. Yes, I have built some things that I am very proud of but I am really just a full blown novice with a working knowledge of how to use power tools. I also am easily intimidated by the idea of “building” anything from scratch and oh my gosh I have so much respect for those who do. Here are a few of those projects that I either will never attempt (but am so totally blown away by) or I am hoping to attempt myself very soon and am also totally blown away by! … read the rest of the post »

Herb drying rack utilizing an old sign and office binder clips!

Sep 26 2016
A DIY build project of a simple sign combined with office binder clips to create a great herb drying rack or hat rack or anything really!

I mentioned in one of my last blog posts that we put in a little kitchen garden right by our front step this spring. I loved it! I was able to transplant just about every type of perennial flower of my grandma’s into it so they won’t be lost and will keep on blooming for years. Besides the flowers though I finally got some fresh herbs! I’ve been dabbling in just about every type of herb storing since they started growing. I’ve frozen them as is and I tried freezing them in oil as well. But I really just wanted to dry them because that’s how I use herbs the most. So, I needed an herb drying rack! At work we have these medium sized binder clips that I bought a box of. … read the rest of the post »

My basement workshop: I officially have a plan!

Sep 23 2016
feature-basement-workshop

It finally happened guys! I broke out of my basement funk! What was my basement funk you might ask? Well, despite all of my trying, I was still pouting on the inside about this basement not becoming what I had first planned for it to become. This kind of thing happens all the time (I’m aware of that) I am also fully aware that this basement becoming my workshop is far more awesome then this basement becoming a rental apartment. This is actually one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me! But I was still pouting… in fact, this pout lasted a good six months. I just couldn’t help it. We spent SO much time, effort and money to make this a legal basement suite and then boom… not gonna happen. It just sucks. I hate undoing anything. I hate waste. The thought of it all just made me want to throw up! So, I pouted (on the inside) and basically ignored the basement. I was literally waiting myself out because no matter what I said or did to myself, there was absolutely no forcing this girl to be happy with this situation regardless of how many pep talks I gave her. (Yup, referring to myself in the third person AND talking to myself.) … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #2)

Sep 21 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #2! Last week went wonderful and I was so impressed with your beautiful posts that I had a real hard time picking the features! Read an incredible article called Recovery through Gardening, a great step by step canning tutorial on how to can fresh tomatoes, a recipe that looks so easy and incredible for chicken and dumplings, a really informative post for dairy free substitutes in baking and cooking and, last but not least, the cutest little concrete bowls you’ll ever see that you can make yourselves! (Grab the featured button following the features.) Thank you all for your wonderful posts, can’t wait to see what this next week brings. … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: 1,200 square foot country home

Sep 20 2016
A sweet 1,200 square foot country home on one level with two bedrooms and a knock out bathroom. With this open floor plan this small home feels big when you walk in, the kitchen dining room combo is light, airy and huge for a home of this size.

A sweet 1,200 square foot country home on one level with two bedrooms and a knock out bathroom. With this open floor plan this small home feels big when you walk in, the kitchen dining room combo is light, airy and huge for a home of this size. I always plan for east facing windows in a kitchen or dining room so you can guarantee that when you’re having coffee in the morning it will be in the sunshine 🙂 In this free house plan there is only one bathroom to share between the two bedrooms however it is big and luxurious with a huge soaker tub and separate shower. The bedrooms have great storage with the master sporting a walk in closet. Another feature of this home I love is the walk through combination of storage, mud room and laundry room that you pass through coming in from the garage which also sports a separate entrance. To me that exterior door is just screaming for a doggie door to be added and then if you don’t want the dog(s) to have free reign of the house when you’re gone you could just shut the door to the main house. Thanks guys for coming by and checking out this free house plan if you would like the main file just leave a comment or a note using our contact form. … read the rest of the post »

Kitchen garden planning, the good, the bad and what I learned this year!

Sep 19 2016
Kitchen garden planning, the good, the bad and what I learned this year, perennials, bell pepper, herbs, north side of the house and shade plants

The entire area wrapping from the front door on the west side of the house around to the north side of the back of our house felt strange and barren to me. It sloped down from the front step/front door so it created a rather awkward drop off. It seemed a perfect opportunity to build something to fill the void. My first thought was a kitchen garden and my second thought was railroad ties. Upon further research though I didn’t want to use something that is as toxic as railroad ties close to something we would be growing to eat! … read the rest of the post »

First frost in northern Minnesota

Sep 16 2016
The first frost up here in northern minnesota and my learning to see what its like to live alone for a little while.

It sure seems cruelly early for this but we just had a frost advisory two nights ago :/ I am happy to report though that we’re back to 60s and 70s now but it’s not without the tinge in the air, that north wind just biding its time… One year mom and I golfed after thanksgiving… I fear that this year will probably not see us doing that! When I was a kid we generally wore snow suits over our Halloween costumes and it was not at all strange to have a snow storm pretty much any time in October. However, things have been different the last decade and I just hope we get another month and a half (at least!!!) of bare ground and not freezing yet. We shall see. I hit our garden hard and harvested all of our herbs now it looks like a deer got in there. All that’s left are the bell peppers and too much lettuce. Next week I’ll post about both our failures in our garden as well as what I plan on doing next year. I was alone the night the temperature dropped and at around midnight I grabbed my camera and headed outside – the resulting photos are what you’ll see here today 🙂 … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #1)

Sep 14 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice.

Welcome to our first ever To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! I’ve been a participant of many link parties over the past few months and it felt like time for me to put on one of my own and give back! There will be features every week and every single link will be pinned at the To Grandma’s House We Go Pinterest page. the party will be shared on Facebook and Twitter and will be in our weekly DIY newsletter! … read the rest of the post »

Inspiration board: Kitchen transformations you have to see to believe!

Sep 13 2016
Inspiration board: Kitchen transformations you have to see to believe, before and afters, DIY, before & after, paint, painted cabinets, do it yourself

We’ve all said on at least one occasion or another, “It is amazing what paint can do!” Sometimes it seems almost to the point of miraculous actually. Many of the following kitchen transformations on this Inspiration Board are almost entirely due to a lot of work and a lot of paint. My fellow bloggers are nothing if not ingenuous and VERY hard working, make sure and click forward to see what they accomplished and how they did it along the way. You really do need to see every one of these transformation to believe it! … read the rest of the post »

Creating a cubby under our deck – to make my life easier!

Sep 12 2016
Creating a cubby under our lattice deck diy backyard hidden outdoor outside storage ideas

I do find it funny how so often the projects that take us the least amount of time and effort sometimes are the projects that improve our lives the most! With the help of Joe and his chainsaw this project took me all of thirty minutes to complete and BOOM our lives improved considerably. All summer long we’ve been dealing with the fact that our outside spigot is up on our deck. I could get into what caused this to happen (because I ran all of our plumbing) but I’m going to spare you the technical details. In the end, our spigot on our deck is fine and dandy and handy to water our garden etc. However, it meant that we always had a hose run across our deck, laying in a big heap on our deck or laying in a big heap in our yard where we would have to move it to mow. (And you know how much I hate moving stuff when we mow – hence our fire pit that I posted about two weeks ago) Even if we managed to get it all rolled up in its little spool (which we did from time to time) the spool was still there, still in the way. It drove me crazy. So, I got the idea to create a door so we could access the underside of our deck – essentially making one heck of a giant hidden outdoor storage cubby! … read the rest of the post »

Our 1st year anniversary for both the blog and us!

Sep 09 2016
First year wedding and blog anniversary northern minnesota Grandma's House DIY

Looking back I wrote and posted our first blog post here on August 19 of last year, so we just passed our blog’s very 1st anniversary! We also just passed our 100th blog post on August 18th – amazing that that landed within 1 day of our blog’s 1st post! And, just two days ago Joe and I celebrated our 1st year wedding anniversary! Lots of firsts around here lately 🙂 Joe and I also started dating in September and we also got engaged in September so I guess its only natural that all of our firsts will be close to it. Joe’s been bringing our anniversary up over the past month, “What do you want? What can we do? Anything you want, what do you want?!” I kept thinking of those buzzards in the Jungle Book sounding like The Beatles, “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do you wanna do?” And I just kept coming up with a big blank. We’ve been working really hard lately (so I’m pooped) and we had just gone camping so I didn’t really want to go anywhere. I’m also worried about our finances right now because Joe just started working for himself so I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. I also felt guilty because I still feel like I should be like a “normal” girl and request a sexy dinner out and jewelry… but I just wasn’t feeling it. … read the rest of the post »

A privacy fence room divider: Covering up an outdoor eye sore

Sep 05 2016
How to wood working build a room divider out of a privacy fence panel white wash diy do it yourself to cover an eye sore outside the house electrical panel equipment

Hey guys, well you’ve already heard me rant and rave about the terrible place our electrician put our electric panel: Right by our front door! To see what I did about that ugliness on the inside of the house check this out: Covering up an incredible eye sore in our entry way. After seeing that post many of you asked what we did on the outside of our house because it was all just as ugly on the outside as it was on the inside! I had been at the drawing board about this problem all last winter before I finally had a light bulb moment! We had one extra fence panel leftover from when we put up our privacy fence so I thought I could make something like a room divider out of it… I got to work. … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Two story rambler with the biggest island ever!

Sep 01 2016
Free House Plan: Two story rambler with a huge kitchen island, just under 1300 with three bathrooms and three bedrooms and a ton of storage.

In this free house plan you’ll see another house with concrete floors because I went through an obsession with the idea of them for awhile. This entire plan has a unique modern rustic farm house feel that I really like. Lots of windows, as you’ve probably come to expect from me, and a nod toward conservative space planning to get as much “bang for your buck” as possible. As far as plans go this is about as big as it gets for me with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I rarely go bigger then two bedrooms as I always design homes that I would want to live in and, as far as my family goes, we just don’t need more then two bedrooms. I love walking into the heart of the home in this plan (through a screened in porch on the front of the house) and an awesome double sided fireplace in the middle of everything for those cold nights. I don’t believe I’ve ever designed a plan with a bigger kitchen island then this one, of course it doubles as the dining room table too. … read the rest of the post »

Beachy low maintenance backyard fire pit tutorial you can do yourself!

Aug 29 2016
Tutorial on how to create a do it yourself diy low maintenance beachy backyard fire pit in just one day, safe bonfire, outdoors, outdoor

Well with September fast approaching it dawned on me that it was either going to be now or next summer to show you guys all the work on the yard we did this spring so this is the beginning of several posts about our yard. Why haven’t I told you about our fire pit sooner? Well, here’s the thing about yards: they just never look nice enough! We won’t be fertilizing or spraying for weeds or anything like that around here – we live on a farm and I WILL NOT put chemicals on my yard nor will I kill a single dandelion intentionally. This yard is NEVER gonna look like we hired a landscaper and that’s just the way it is and I am totally happy with that. However, there were several serious dead spots I wanted to grow in and then we had three floods. (Seriously the storms we got hit by this summer was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in all my years living in northern MN) So, up until now, everything looked pretty rough and if it wasn’t for my husband our yard would probably never get mowed and this place would look like the apocalypse happened which would also have been ok with me. Anyway, I may not be good at cutting the grass but I did want a decent fire pit to hang out at! Here’s the thing though, we had NO money to put in to a fire pit so that meant I had to get really creative! … read the rest of the post »

A little R&R – taking a camping break from the every day grind

Aug 25 2016
Camping and fishing, renting a boat, in late August in northern Minnesota lake country

I was starved from the ability and chance to camp for years as the person I was with at the time had no interest in “roughing it” whatsoever. (It is funny looking back at how many compromises a person makes to keep a relationship going until they aren’t doing a single thing they want to do at all.) When I left and came home for good I made a few promises to myself. One of them was that I would go camping as much as I wanted to! I had very little money at the time but I started saving and planning. All those years ago I grabbed a couple of big Rubbermaid totes (with good clip-on lids) bought myself a fabulous tent, a cast iron pan, a camping coffee pot, a bunch of fire tools, a hatchet, a decent cooler and a full size air mattress. (note: all of those links are affiliate links and they are the EXACT products I purchased and am still using camping so in other words: I totally endorse all of them! Sadly, the tent is no longer being sold…) It was the first time in many years that I didn’t have to ask for permission and didn’t have to share or compromise. Instead, it was my money: my gift to myself. It was so totally awesome and I’ll never forget packing up my car for the first time to go: honestly, up until that point it was truly one of the happiest days of my life! I almost sang FREEDOM the whole way to the camp ground! Knowing that, I guess now you understand why I love camping so much! 🙂 … read the rest of the post »

An old screen door made new again for our deck!

Aug 22 2016
Modifying an old green screen door to fit over a new glass exterior door on our deck and painting it with red outdoor paint, diy, remodeling, installing

I’m starting to (finally!!!) hack away at a few of the non-essential updates that still need to be completed around the house 🙂 It sure is nice to have little puttery home projects to do now that don’t also include a stressful deadline. All but one of our exterior doors is new and they have all desperately needed to be painted since their installation. Up until now I simply had more pertinent projects to do or I was being lazy so they didn’t get done! This old screen door that I’m using I’ve had stashed since the renovation with the expectation to use it exactly right here, it used to be on the old screened in porch that we enclosed for my office. It is VERY old and had been built specifically to the height of the screened in porch so it was nearly a foot too short so I had to do some modification. … read the rest of the post »

Inspiration board: Buffet and sideboard makeovers!

Aug 18 2016
Inspiration board of gorgeous buffet and sideboard makeovers, before and afters, painted furniture, refinished furniture, antique furniture, diy

There is something about buffets that I have always just drooled over. They’re always so stately and practical all in one go. Some people call them sideboards but I’ve always just thought of them as buffets. There are SO many different styles out there but my all time favorites are usually dubbed “antiques” and they always have legs for days! I have two buffets myself that I’ve refinished and utilized here at Grandma’s house. Interestingly enough one of the buffets actually came from my other Grandma (Eleonora) and it has claw feet that make me swoon and a very unique mirror across the back! The other was a simpler piece my mother purchased when she was all of 19 years old when she moved out of the house (this house actually lol) for the first time. She considered it (and used it as) a dresser then but it is definitely a buffet, Joe helped me convert it into our master bathroom vanity. When it comes to buffet makeovers on Pinterest so much has been done with paint and glazing and amazing techniques that it is REALLY hard to choose just a few. But, here are my top six! … read the rest of the post »

An old milk can recycle into an outdoor end table!

Aug 15 2016
Tutorial on how to convert an old milk can into an outdoor end table for your back yard or deck, diy, wood working, tips, tutorials

My mom recently has been working on her beautiful new deck, adding seating and flowers etc. She picked up four red Adirondack chairs and then commented, “I really need just one little end table!” My brain immediately started turning and it didn’t take it long to land on this old milk can. My mom had mentioned a couple of years ago that she really wanted one of the old milk cans she was sure were lying about the farm. I found one out in the woods one day but it was in such bad shape I didn’t even haul it back to the house. Fast forward another year when I went to grab a big screen I had spotted between our wood shed and our completely caved in old granary. (I used the screen to build a screen door for our “wood shed” under our staircase.) I peaked in the old granary for good measure thinking I might be able to salvage a shelf that’s still in there when I saw it: an old milk can! And it looked awesome! … read the rest of the post »

For the love of August

Aug 11 2016
August in northern Minnesota, the last breath of hot weather before we head to fall, is my favorite month

August brought work and joy for us this year. I am pleased to report that with some experimentation I managed to get my dad’s house’s sheet rock (ceilings and walls, 1,000 square feet) taped and mudded with only two coats and no sanding. How did I do this? After a solid first coat/taping I skim coated the second coat using lots of mud evenly over every wall and ceiling. I just finished painting half the house and stood back to admire my work – not bad at all. It certainly is not perfect but dad wanted me to get it done as quickly as I could (and so did I) you can’t see a single tape line and I sanded absolutely nothing, I wish I had had the courage to try this in our home when I taped and mudded the sheet rock there but, you live and you learn, as always. Now on to painting and I damned near enjoyed myself (I’ve always liked to paint) I did two coats on half the house already and will be finishing the rest of the house this afternoon. All in: around 40 hours from start to finish with bare sheet rock walls and I never want to do it again lol. I’ll be so glad to never pick up another sheet rock knife! I forgot though just how messy painting ceilings are :/ Oh well, paint washes off 😉 And I needed a new profile pic for Grandma’s House anyway! (Wow you can even tell in that pic my eyes are two different colors lol) … read the rest of the post »

Home tour: the Kitchen Reveal!

Aug 08 2016
Kitchen reveal at the Grandma's House DIY home tour! 15 months of renovation, remodeling a custom country kitchen with a cast iron sink after a full gut.

Oh I am so excited to finally show you our kitchen reveal! You guys have heard me talk many times about how it took us fifteen months to renovate my grandparents’ 100 year old farm house. It was a tremendous amount of work but we did get the majority of it done and now we’ve been living here for a year in August! I know, I know, you can throw tomatoes at me, I have not yet given you guys the complete home tour. You’ve seen our Master bedroom, closet and bathroom as well as my office but, after that, I’ve been pretty much mute. I promised you last week that my kitchen reveal was imminent because we FINALLY finished the door thresholds and I asked Joe at the time, “Do you think our floors are ever going to be this clean again?” His answer was, “I doubt it.” Because what happened when we put in the door thresholds was that I was forced to clean the floors thoroughly and anyone with dark hardwood floors will tell you that they NEVER look truly clean almost no matter what you do. SO, I got out my camera, did a little staging, and tackled the big photography job for this kitchen reveal. But, first, allow us to take a trip down memory lane 🙂 … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Rustic country home with a 2 car garage

Aug 04 2016
Two story rustic country home with modern and open elements, a two car garage, a window-filled master bathroom and a wrap around deck

This 1500 square foot two story free country home house plan has so many elements that I absolutely love. Honestly, if I ever built a home, I think this would be the one, I really love all of the houses I design (those I don’t love I don’t keep lol or share here!) but this one has some special qualities like that wrap around porch! The wrap around porch also includes a screened in porch which is something I have always wanted and we even have the future plan of adding one to our place! As far as country homes go it seems like a back deck is imperative as well as lots and lots of windows because there are no neighbors to worry about. Speaking of windows though, nothing takes the cake like the master bedroom on the second story which boasts TWO walk in closets and a bathroom with a set of modern windows that would just have to be facing the east, can you imagine waking up and showering directly in the morning sun? Sounds like heaven … read the rest of the post »

Old tools, building door thresholds for our home

Aug 01 2016
Hand tools, DIY, wood working, creating hardwood door thresholds by hand with rasps and clamps.

Well, we finally did it, after months upon months upon months of procrastination we finally put in door thresholds across the bottom of the three exterior doors that needed it. I also patched the three rectangular holes in our hardwoods that used to be vents for my grandparents’ old hvac system. This is one of those thankless jobs that I wasn’t sure would make any more then a foot note in a blog entry here about something else. However, how Joe tackled this project was just too cool to NOT devote an entire blog entry to them. He made them by hand, out in the barn, using my grandpa’s old tools! So here is what our doors liked like before: … read the rest of the post »

Walter: Hand feeding a snapping turtle

Jul 28 2016
Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

Scroll down for the video of Joe hand feeding Walter the snapping turtle! When you live this far north in the land of 10,000 lakes there are two absolute certainties in your life: #1 you actually know that, in fact, Minnesota really has over 11,000 lakes and #2 You’re going to be spending a lot of your time on or near said lakes. I’m sure there are people in this world who might not enjoy spending time in the summer on a lake but I have no idea how that is even possible. Being on (or in) a lake is simply part of my DNA. When I was kid my mom would strap a life jacket on me and just let me swim and I was literally happy for hours. Back then we lived on a lake and I still miss it though I don’t usually realize it until we go to spend time on one and then I am left absolutely speechless by just how much I love it. Honestly, on a summer night in Minnesota there is just no place else to be. Heaven. … read the rest of the post »

Grill Station – Tutorial build with granite and 4×4 posts

Jul 25 2016
How to build an outdoor grill station with a DIY pipe rack, 4x4 posts, a black granite remnant tips and tutorials backyard how to wood working project

First thing is first, I just have to show you the amazing grill station we had for our grill BEFORE I built this new grill station. Feast your eyes on this awesomeness! I know stop drooling over my chippy old fabulous little kitchen table with the rotted feet that I pulled out of a shed. My dad gave us this great little grill for the time being until we can afford a regular BIG grill and retire this little guy to camping. Honestly though, it really is only Joe and I, we certainly don’t need anything bigger then this little grill and it sure is portable, but that little propane cylinder doesn’t last long and we can’t use a bigger one – dad tried it and said that it didn’t work right at all. Anyway, regardless of whether or not we get a bigger grill I’ve needed to build us a good grill station since we moved in. When Joe and I got married it was not long before that that my brother had scored an enormous selection of granite remnants on K-bid for a song so you can guess what we got for a wedding gift! Everyone encouraged me to consider picking from the selection for our kitchen counter tops but… no… I’m sorry…. granite in a 100 year old farm house?…. no… I just, COULD NOT DO IT. … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: One story with a screened in front porch

Jul 21 2016
Free one story 1200 square foot house plan with a hotel-esque master suite, an eat in kitchen and a three season screened in front porch.

This 1200 square foot one story free house plan packs a lot of wonderful things into such a small package. The kitchen, though economical, is open to the living room and offers a beautiful, big bay window for a large dining area. From the two car garage is a huge pass through closet so its easy to drop all of your gear at the end of the day and know any mess is well away from sight. This two bedroom also offers a big closets and lots of storage with a huge laundry room and a walk-in-closet even for the extra bedroom. The master really shines when you walk in to the closet and double vanity – making it feel like a luxurious hotel suite with a shower sporting two shower heads. All in this little place has about double the windows you might expect, this would make a great lake house or summer cabin or a lovely little place to retire to. This free house plan also offers a back deck and a front screened in porch. … read the rest of the post »

Galvanized pipe rack for our grill – so cool and so simple!

Jul 18 2016
How to build an easy inexpensive galvanized pipe DIY grill and towel rack for outside on your deck or in your backyard.

A tutorial on how to build a galvanized pipe rack for towels and utensils. I finished up our new grill station just this last weekend and a lot of the awesomeness of it comes from the project that was the easiest and took me the least amount of time! Our pipe rack! Check out the grill station by clicking here! First, you need to gather your tools/pipe pieces. … read the rest of the post »

Midsummer in northern Minnesota

Jul 14 2016
Midsummer in northern Minnesota, trying to fit in as much work and fun into every last solitary second, trying not to miss anything while still spending time together.

I can’t believe we’ve come to midsummer already! Within 50 miles of where Joe and I live there is an event/fair/festival going on every single weekend since June came around (and several before that and during the week too!) and it will be this way until the end of August. Minnesotans take summer very seriously! They do all that they possibly can to fit in as much outdoor activities as possible in the summer. There are, of course, events that Joe and I avoid like the plague simply because we are locals and just know that getting there and dealing with the crowd and the tourists just won’t be worth it for us. The truth is as well that no matter how many festivals and fairs Joe and I get to almost nothing beats just the two of us sitting around our bonfire in our backyard. Still though, that knowledge does not change the inexplicable suddenness of HURRY WE CAN’T WASTE A SINGLE SECOND!!!! And that’s just how it is when you live in a harsh climate. Locals are just like that dog in Dr Doolittle in the spring time waiting, waiting, waiting, throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball! Come on summer would you get here already!? And then BOOM summer is here and we are sprinting from dawn until dusk wondering what the hell it was we were so excited and anxious about because oh-my-gosh how we run ourselves ragged. … read the rest of the post »

A $5 Retro desk becomes our brand new coffee station!

Jul 11 2016
Old retro desk gets black paint and chrome spray paint in a diy makeover to become our coffee station, before and after

I can’t begin the story of this little retro desk until I explain first why on earth I need another piece of furniture in my kitchen. The plan was for the outside glass door there beside the kitchen sink to swing in and fold over in front of the window, so I chose a window the width of a regular exterior door and just left this area totally empty. I had the dream of this door swinging in and against the window/wall: getting conveniently and awesomely and totally out of the way in the summer time when we would then use the outside screen door instead. Well, once we got the sheet rock and trim on it the door would NEVER open all the way. Oops and shit. So, then I had this three feet of “wasted” space beside my kitchen sink under the window. After a couple of months of living here I put a kitchen table in the empty spot and the coffee pots moved over because they’re being right there where I wash dishes on the other side of the sink was driving my crazy. So, this spot became our “coffee station” conveniently “out” of the kitchen but still totally in the kitchen to be “convenient” 😉 … read the rest of the post »

DIY Lamps Inspiration Board – Amazing transformations!

Jul 07 2016
DIY glorious lamp makeovers, thrift store lamps before and afters, inspiration board

One of my very favorite (and easy!) makeovers are of lamps! I spend a good chunk of my time on Pinterest just drooling over them. I wish I knew now what I didn’t know a few years ago when I purchased two lamps new at walmart. I can’t even believe I did that! My goodness the simple and inexpensive transformation that can be made out an inexpensive thrift store lamp is absolutely amazing. There really is no reason to go buy new! And here are a few of my favorite lamps that prove that fact! Now, without further delay and in no particular order! … read the rest of the post »

Indoor to Outdoor furniture – I painted until my arm fell off

Jul 04 2016
Converting indoor wooden furniture to outdoor furniture for our deck with exterior primer, exterior paint and exterior sealant, diy.

Hey guys, I’m so excited to share our new outdoor furniture with you today! We have a lovely and enormous deck that I will tell you all about someday when we finish it (still gotta get those pesky railings done and stain it this fall) so you’re just gonna have to believe me for now when I say its wonderful but its been a waste land since we moved in. Outdoor furniture is expensive! And it was NOT in our budget. So, I’ve been keeping an eye and ear out for something I could buy and refinish. Remember when I mentioned scoring a bunch of furniture at an estate sale a couple months ago? Yup I finally finished it for our deck! … read the rest of the post »

June in Minnesota and a harbor cruise in Duluth

Jun 30 2016
When it comes to Minnesota June might arguably be the best month to live here, we enjoyed it as best we could by taking a harbor cruise in Duluth for some much needed R&R.

When it comes to Minnesota June might arguably be the best month to live here, it always goes WAY too fast and I looked up this morning and thought, “Oh my gosh it’s already over!” We’ve had some pretty long, hot and very dry summers over the past couple of decades but never until we saw June come and go first. June is abundant here and oh SO green and glorious. It was hot this year but June still gave us enough rain that the most we had to complain about was that it was hard to keep up with the lawn! One night the fog draped over the field across from our house in such a way that I just had to go grab my camera. … read the rest of the post »

Mason Jar Solar lights for our back deck!

Jun 27 2016
How to make your own mason jar solar lights to hang on your deck or patio, easy DIY, tips and tutorials.

First things first I have to admit that I actually ended up NOT using my Grandma’s old mason jars for this project. Instead, I used some of her other jars that were much smaller and easier to get my hand in. You’ve probably already seen this project floating around the internet and pinterest, solar mason jar lights is definitely not a new idea. However, I had a bit of a problem with the mason jar solar lights tutorials I’ve seen online. Every tutorial I’ve read had you cut a square out of the lid and attach the solar light to the lid. This always bothered me, it seemed like then wouldn’t the jar fill with water and become all nastiness? So, I got to work on my own design. Why not flip the jars over and glue the top of the light to the bottom of the jar instead? … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: One story with an incredible master bedroom

Jun 23 2016
Free one story small house plan, floor plan, house plans for free, country home with a great back deck, covered front porch and a deluxe master bedroom

I’ve always loved the idea of walking in the front door of a house and seeing right through to the backyard. To me homes should be filled with light and nature – I’ve always lived in the country though, if I was a city mouse I would probably feel a little differently when it comes to lots and lots of windows! But I digress, this plan is surely an ode to country living, you step in the front door to the big kitchen/dining room that is absolutely flanked by windows on two sides. The kitchen almost feels like a pass through/sun room to get from the living room to the bedrooms, or to step right outside. This free house plan I kept in mind size and cost when it came to construction, it is only 1200 square feet and has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master really shines here in its uniqueness: Instead of a huge bathroom that contains two vanities instead, I put the second vanity in the large walk in closet. There is a second walk in closet here as well for the “man” of the house (or whoever has the least clothes lol) the master also boasts french doors to the back deck! … read the rest of the post »

How to convert old chairs into fun end tables and extra seating – Eat Drink and Be Merry!

Jun 20 2016
How to convert old chairs into fun end tables and extra seating with barn wood and stenciling, make them look like old signs - eat, drink and be merry!

When I was cleaning out the old play house and converting it to my new Tack Shack I ran into these three old chairs and a light bulb went off in my head. What we needed most on our deck was not extra seating (I was already working on that) but we really needed some end tables. We’ve just been putting our glasses down on the deck and, quite frankly, it was a tad inconvenient so I brought the old chairs down to the garage and got to work taking them a part. The backs and the seats look so much less gross in the picture then they actually were because they were NASTY. … read the rest of the post »

Finding time with each other

Jun 16 2016
Finding time for each other every other weekend minnesota cherry, apple, iris, peony and honey suckles

I don’t like the term “busy” it implies things like “busy body” or someone who keeps themselves “busy doing nothing” because they simply can’t sit still. Though Joe and I certainly have a little bit of “simply can’t sit still” in us, neither of us are good at being busy just for the sake of being busy. Instead I’m more inclined to say that our “days are full” and though this is usually a very good thing that satisfies us both sometimes it can be hard on us as a couple. When we have nothing left to give each other at the end of the day except a silent presence on the other side of the couch for an hour before bed then perhaps our days have become a bit too “full” and it’s time to start making time with each other. … read the rest of the post »

Painted Rocking Chair – From dated to stunning!

Jun 14 2016
Dated rocking chair gets a before and after makeover with black painted rocking chair, before and afters, DIY.

I scored at an estate sale a while back, picking up one painted rocking chair, another chair with a matching couch, two end tables and a coffee table for only $100 and, as you might imagine, I had big plans for all of it! You can read my post about when I picked them up here. I already completed the two end tables awhile back and I’m very happy to report that we still love them in our living room! Two end tables get a sweet country makeover. This last weekend I spent the ENTIRE day Saturday working on the painted rocking chair and the matching chair and couch and the coffee table. … read the rest of the post »

Bed Frame Inspiration Board – Prepare to swoon!

Jun 09 2016
Bed frame inspiration board DIY, platform, wood working, build, tips and tutorials bed frame.

As most of you probably have already heard me say: I LOVE MY MASTER BEDROOM. However, I don’t love everything about my master bedroom lol, a DIYer’s life is never without projects is it?! To check out my master bedroom head over here. There is one major thing in this room that is just NOT working for me and that is: our bed frame. We actually don’t really have one – what we have is the typical nasty little steel frame on wheels that everyone has owned at one point in their lives. First thing I hate is that the wheels are making scary awful marks on our hardwood floors I also hate that the underside of our bed is nothing but a giant dust bunny collector. On top of that the “box spring” that we are using between our “mattress” and the frame is actually not a box spring at all – it is entirely made from plastic and was actually made for my old Sleep Number bed that (very sadly) did not survive two years in storage. … read the rest of the post »

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