Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

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The five things in January that made my life a whole lot better!

- Feb 27 2017
The five things in january that made my life awesome. Bed buddy, silicone baking cups, Mason jars, spray bottle, hanging basket

I think I’ve said this 1,000 times since I started this blog: Sometimes the smallest things can make our lives dramatically better. It surprises me how the big projects can make as much of a difference as some of the smaller changes we make. I moved our living room around a tad the other day and BAM, no cost and now I literally love the room again! Sometimes it does cost a little, or require just a small change (or the purchase of a product) and it truly can change your life for the better. Here are the five things that happened in January that absolutely made my life incredibly better! … read the rest of the post »

Long overdue basement updates and what’s coming up next!

- Feb 24 2017
Long overdue updates about how we're coming along with finishing my basement wood workshop, second kitchen and tool cave, pallet wood, wood working, diy

I have a way of finishing something and then procrastinating on telling you guys about it because then I get distracted and on to something else. The basement is basically done with just a few more finishing touches that I want to do along the way. I finished covering all of the walls with either old doors, plywood, pallet wood or barn wood. (And anything else that I could find.) From there I told you guys how I finished the bathroom and remain totally stoked about it – though it is still missing an actual toilet. I also told you guys how I finished building my big shelf a while ago and then proceeded to hall all of my tools down there and get them all organized. For the first time in my life when I need a screw driver I know exactly where it is lol. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #24)

- Feb 22 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Hey guys, how has your February been going? My hubby is planning to take me away somewhere for my birthday this weekend but it remains one big secret – love that man so much! I’m turning the big 31 this year on the 24th and this just so happens to be our 24th party! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #24! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

Build your own platform bed frame DIY

- Feb 20 2017
Tutorial how to build your own platform bed using 2x6s. Easy, Workshop, DIY.

So, it finally happened guys, we got our bed frame done!!! I think its been like two months since I mentioned to you that I was finally working on our bed frame plan and how excited I was at the time. But, the weather and just plain life got in the way! And, goodness knows, I always have something I can work on that makes it easy to put off the bigger projects until later. I knew this one was going to be a big project for one main reason: A very narrow stairwell. At the time of the renovation moving our load bearing wall for a few more inches of width in our stairwell just didn’t seem worth it. SO, to get to our master bedroom on the second floor, every single thing I do has to be calculated around that stairwell. Which meant I knew I would have to take every individual piece of the bed frame upstairs and put it together there. Not to mention I had to haul the old bed frame out of there all while trying real hard not to put holes in every wall on the way down. … read the rest of the post »

Valentines day on the old farmstead

- Feb 17 2017
Valentines day at Grandma's House DIY. Getting through the winter blues and rut and crabbiness, looking forward to vacation.

I’ve been thinking about spring a lot lately. (This time of the year I think just about EVERY Minnesotan is thinking about spring!!) After getting absolutely hammered with snow and cold like hasn’t been seen in nearly a decade we have received our first real reprieve. For the last two weeks we’ve seen highs in the above freezing temperatures and some serious highs are coming this weekend! After that? Well… lets just say its pretty snowy and cold on the extended forecast. (Which should surprise no one.) For now though the sound of water dripping off the roof and the bare patches of ground showing through all of our snow is absolutely incredible and seeing multiple folks wearing shorts (including my husband) is always great for making me feel like summer really is coming! … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #23)

- Feb 15 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Hey everyone, how is your winter going? We finally got a nice break from the hard core cold temperatures and actually saw some days in 30s! Another blast of cold for us this week (and apparently a hard core snow storm no one predicted that’s going on right now) but now we have a high of 40 on Friday and all 30s in the forecast after that! Dare I hope that this might be our real break toward spring? Oh I hope so! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #23! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

The four recipes that save us over $1,000 a year!

- Feb 13 2017
The 4 household homemade DIY cleaning recipes that are saving us over $1,000 per year! So easy to make and better for us and the environment!

If you’ve ever bought organic or “natural” anything you know that you’ll probably be spending more then any other version you could buy of the same product in the store. So, my expectation here was that by making my own homemade cleaning products I would be choosing to spend more money for a healthier and greener home. And I was ok with that. (Our health is kind of important to me.) But, as the months went by and I eliminated one product after the other I couldn’t believe it but every single time: WE WERE SAVING MONEY. Every time! Every product! We make all of our cleaning products now and it’s saving us over $1,000 a year! … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Modern country home

- Feb 10 2017
In this two story free house plan of a modern country home outdoor space is everything with a front porch, covered breezeway between the garage and home and a screen in porch out back.

This two story modern country home plan boasts some really great spaces that embrace the outdoors to the fullest. The covered front porch attaches to a breezeway that runs the length of the garage and home, connecting them comfortably through all the elements and ending up at a quaint screened-in porch out back. It is not a large home at less then 1,200 square feet but it could easily accommodate a family of 3-4 or a couple on their own in need a guest bedroom. It boasts two full bathroom with the master really getting the best part of the deal. The landing at the top of the second floor staircase offers a little laundry room that is just essential in a two story house (who wants to lug laundry up and down stairs?!). … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #22)

- Feb 08 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Hey everyone, how is your winter going? We finally got a nice break from the hard core cold temperatures and actually saw some days in 30s! Another blast of cold for us this week (and apparently a hard core snow storm no one predicted that’s going on right now) but now we have a high of 40 on Friday and all 30s in the forecast after that! Dare I hope that this might be our real break toward spring? Oh I hope so! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #22! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

Country bedside tables get a glamorous makeover for our master!

- Feb 06 2017
A couple of very country bedside tables get a chic glam hollywood makeover using glossy black paint for our master bedroom! Furniture before and afters

So, awhile back I mentioned to you guys that we had decided to move the head of our bed to the east wall of our master bedroom. So I’ve been in the process of moving our headboard, fixing the holes left behind from the headboard on the wall and fixing the floor caused by the awful steel wheels of our bed frame. We LOVE having the bed in its new position but it created a real problem for us, before Joe’s bedside table was also his dresser (Check that out here) and my bedside table was my grandparents’ old washstand I gave a makeover to (Check that out here) but neither now would fit. In fact I was left with less then two feet on either side of the bed to work with!
… read the rest of the post »

Hometalk: Flooring ideas that will floor you!

- Feb 03 2017
Hometalk inspiration board: Flooring ideas that are totally out of the box, inexpensive that you can do yourself and that look absolutely incredible!

Many of you know that I spend a good amount of my online time over at Hometalk. They’re so great to bloggers like me and I am endlessly inspired by what is submitted there! You guys also know that I am one unconventional kind of gal and, honestly, it’s gotten so bad that the idea of buying flooring out of a box at Home Depot kind of makes me shudder. Years ago (like over a decade) I was shut down in my suggestion of using plywood (cut into strips) to make inexpensive hardwood flooring ourselves – I’ll never get over paying an arm and a leg for carpet instead because my idea was just too weird. Well, I’m pretty stoked to see that I am not the only unconventional person out there and it is official: It does NOT need to come out of a box (or from Home depot) to make a gorgeous floor and you can absolutely do it yourself! … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #21)

- Feb 01 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Hey guys I am SO pleased to announce that we have an additional host now added to our link party! It is my pleasure to introduce Kate from The House of Hollingsworth Blog! I first “met” Kate through her incredible post about how she reupholstered and fixed her captain’s chair so when she contacted me to become a host here it was a no brainer! Make sure and go check her features this week too! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #21! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

Kitchen organizing – a hanging basket that has changed my life!

- Jan 30 2017
Wrapped twine hanging basket how to make it country for our kitchen organization

After building our kitchen sink base to fit our antique cast enamel sink I thought I had all of my storage needs well in hand. Well, it just goes to show that you really never know until you live in it for awhile! As for general storage the shelves and wicker baskets I put beneath the sink do a great job for us. In the bottom basket I keep our onions and garlic, in the top basket I keep all of our kitchen soaps, extra sponges etc. However, no matter how many times I tried it, there was just NO keeping our day to day foaming hand soap down there (check out my recipe here), it was just way too inconvenient! I also never wanted to drop our wet sponge or potato scrubber down there either because seriously wet + wicker + a wood shelf = just not a good combination. … read the rest of the post »

A winter weekend in the life of: Grandma’s House DIY

- Jan 27 2017
A winter life a Grandma's house DIY in northern MN, ice fishing, heating with a wood stove in our kitchen, chopping wood and filling the horse's water tank

Joe is always up before I am and when he gets up his first priority is to get the fire going. We heat entirely with wood in our wood stove that sits in the kitchen so, during the winter months, keeping the fire going is a full time job. I have a “kind of” smart clock by my bed that includes a little sensor I stuck outside so the minute I wake up I get to see what the temperature is outside and inside. Right now its 62 inside and -12 outside. I double check my phone and it is actually -17 outside, oh fun *sarcasm*. Today Joe’s plan is to spend it in the wood shed, chopping, stacking and bringing more wood in to fill our closet under the stairs. I will help him later but first I have to fill the horse’s water tank and I am not looking forward to it. Last weekend we had trouble keeping it from freezing because it was REALLY cold out (closer to -30) after two days of hell we finally figured out the right combination of two tank haters, one on either side of the tank. (I’ve already ordered another tank heater just to have on backup.) … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #20)

- Jan 25 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Well we had an amazing week of rain, 30 degree temperatures and ridiculously treacherous roads that no one was going to complain about. Yes, there were people wearing shorts, this is Minnesota after all 😉 Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #20! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

DIY All purpose and surface spray recipe!

- Jan 23 2017
Easy to make all purpose and surface spray recipe utilizing vinegar, water and essential oils, inexpensive, frugal and green living!

I finally got tired of dumping vinegar on any of my countertops or surfaces I wanted to clean and decided to finally break down and buy a spray bottle. (I found this lovely little glass bottle on Amazon here.) Honestly I am a little embarrassed that I hadn’t made this sooner! The recipe is so very simple!
… read the rest of the post »

A fall (full) weekend in the life of: Grandma’s House DIY

- Jan 20 2017
A fall (full) weekend in northern Minnesota at Grandma's House DIY!

Here’s a bit of a flashback! I had intended to post this this last fall when I wrote it and never got the chance to. Now that we’re in the dead of winter it was fun to be reminded what it was like a couple of months ago. The biggest most obvious thing I’m taking away from this is: WOW, I’m not into winter but it is nice to have a bit of a break! Right now our weekends are not nearly this full, with dad’s house finished (finally!) and my basement basically done (also a finally!) and hunting season over with and Joe not working out of town anymore our weekends now are quite a bit less crazy lol, makes me almost appreciate winter a teeny tiny little bit 😉 … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #19)

- Jan 18 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Guys, I am SO excited to report that we have highs in the 30s this week!!!! *Squeals!* Oh my gosh is it going to feel good to thaw out a little bit! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #19! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

The 10 design choices I made in our house that I LOVE

- Jan 16 2017
My top ten favorite design choices I made throughout the renovation of our 100 year old farm house

There is a real benefit to doing the majority of the work yourself in your own home – it means you get to do things that are not necessarily standard that may just make your life better. I was in charge of the plan and I was also the electrician and the plumber, my husband helped, but it was entirely on me. He tackled the majority of the gutting of the home, siding the whole place and building the garage while I was running wire and water pipes! Of course we helped each other along the way but my being directly in charge of what happened and when (because I was doing it) meant I got to really think about things like outlet placement and where I would want lights meaning: I got to do some things in our home that I absolutely appreciate every day and here are my top ten! … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Stately country home

- Jan 13 2017
A two story stately country home with a true country kitchen, a covered front porch swing and attached garage. Free house plans and floor plan.

In this pretty stately home I nodded back to the olden days where kitchen tables were still very popular 🙂 Combing the dining room and the kitchen has become one of my favorite design ideas to save on costs and to eliminate the all-to-often rarely-used dining room. I think I still managed a kitchen however that is spacious, full of storage and open to the living room with sacrificing some division between the home. Lots of storage greets you when you come in from the garage as well as some half bath from the main floor, offering privacy and a nook for things like the electrical panel and water softener etc. In all of my homes I work to create “nooks” using every little bit of space possible, giving an out of the way place for a desk that is still a part of the main home without having to give it its own room. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #18)

- Jan 11 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #18! For those of you experiencing this worse then average winter (or, as the old folks call it, “The way winter was when I was your age!”) stay warm out there! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

How we save $4,200 a year on groceries because: we want to pay off our house ASAP!

- Jan 09 2017
How I save over 4,000 a year on groceries, buying dried beans, using amazon prime pantry, eating pasta and never buying beef. Hunting and fishing all year.

Do you know how much you will eventually pay for a mortgage over a 30 year span of time? With the average interest rate you can get today on an in bank loan and on a thirty year commitment you will eventually pay almost double! I don’t know about you but I for one do not want to have to pay double for my home and, even it means living a little less comfortably, having an old car, or not being able to take a vacation, I will be happy to do that! Our grocery budget every month is only $150 compared to the average grocery bill for a two person household of $500 per month in the United States. All out Savings: $4,200 PER YEAR! (The following tips for saving money on groceries is all based on where I live so your own prices in your grocery store may be very different then mine. Go and look! Do your research!) … read the rest of the post »

Hello from the frozen tundra; ice fishing in northern MN

- Jan 06 2017
Going ice fishing when its twenty degrees below zero in northern MN, feeding corn to the squirrels and finding ways to stay warm in a frozen tundra.

At some point here you guys are going to get tired of my talking about our incredibly wintry winter but, honestly, its kind of all consuming. A friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook that read “only 6 Mondays until spring!” yeah, she apologized because we are actually 10 Mondays from the official day of spring and, let’s be honest, we’ve had snow storms on March 20th so it could be a while after that too! My aunt tells me that on January 15th we will be half way through with winter and that does ease the blow a little bit. It was -20 this morning when I got up at 8am and it felt like -37. We’re all sorts of optimistic up here and my father would say, “That’s why you people can live here!” Well, he’s not wrong. In conversations about the weather this morning at work I’ve already heard (or said myself) the following optimistic statements, “Well, at least the wind isn’t blowing!” “The roads are clear because its too cold to snow, that’s good!” “The sun is out and and its really not that bad when you stand in it!” … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #17)

- Jan 04 2017
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #17! Phew… I don’t know about you guys but I am rather relieved to have the holidays over with 🙂 Not that I didn’t love the celebrating and love and time off spent with my family (especially my husband) but, it is good to get back to some kind of non alcohol added, non sugar dipped and non gravy covered normalcy lol. In light of the new year we had a smaller then average party last week but still there was truly awesome shares and it was hard to pick my five features! Hope you all had a wonderful new year! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

Top ten posts of 2016 – Happy new year!

The top ten posts of 2016 at Grandma's House DIY, wood working, renovation, refinishing, before afters, tips tutorials, do it yourself. Happy new year!

Phew! I’m stuck between having a hard time believing that 2016 has finally come to a close and looking around wondering how on earth time can move so quickly. This was our first whole year together in this old farm house of my grandparents’ and our second winter and, though this winter has already been much more brutal then the last, we are much warmer thanks to a new wood stove and a lot more time for preparation. (It is amazing how much more time you have when you’re not renovating a house and planning a wedding!) If this year is any indication what next year will bring then I am very excited for 2017! And not just for us and our home but for this website!

… read the rest of the post »

Letting go of 2016 – its a new year!

- Dec 30 2016
A new year at Grandma's house DIY, future projects, letting go of 2016 and time off spent with my awesome husband Joe, so much love.

In 2015 Joe and I “finished” renovating this house, moved in and got married in the back yard. It was a big year for us, most of the spring and summer is a total blur, I ran from dawn until dusk every single day. I will never forget that hot August, two weeks before the wedding, I was painting the kitchen cabinets I just finished building going over and over and over again what had to get done before September 5th when we would be hosting 150 of our friends and family. It was wild. I’m so glad I’ll never be doing that again but it did prove something to me: we are much more capable then we ever give ourselves credit for. Every year after 2015 is going to appear tame to me I think (and thank goodness) 2016 is no exception. It’s funny how we look back and think, “Did anything happen in 2016? What did we do with all that time?” Even though the one thing I remember the most was thinking, “There is never enough time!” … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #16)

- Dec 28 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #16! For the first time in many many months I took Monday off from the blog, instead, I spent it with my husband which, of course, was so totally awesome and worth it! Hope you had the opportunity to relax with the people you love this holiday too! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

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

- Dec 23 2016
Furniture transformation by some extremely talented bloggers that you have to see to believe! DIY, wood working, refinishing

It is absolutely no secret that I am a sucker for furniture transformations. I love remodeling, renovation and home tours but my true love, where my heart really sleeps at night and truly what I want to do when I grow up, is in furniture refinishing! There is just nothing like taking an old beat up relic (that very well might have been tossed by someone who simply didn’t know any better) and making it shine better then new again! Here are five of my favorites by some of my very favorite bloggers (make sure you pay them a visit, they have many more furniture transformations over at their blogs!) … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #15)

- Dec 21 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #15! For those of you that celebrate holidays this time of the year, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! And, for those of you that don’t have a holiday right now, I still hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m so excited to have a four day weekend, I’m definitely going to have to get on those doors of mine that need painting but I’m going to have to do it between the four Christmases we have planned! Happy holidays everybody! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

An old frame and chicken wire upcycled into a jewelry hanger!

- Dec 19 2016
Upcycle old antique frame with paint, glue, clamps and chicken wire to make a shabby country chic jewelry earrings hanger

I’ve been holding on to this frame since 2013. It used to be attached to this old dresser, though it was clear that it did NOT belong there and literally fell off into my hands. It used to hold a spectacular old mirror that was in tremendously bad shape and though I tried very hard to save it the shattering was just too deep so I donated it to my wonderful aunt for her mosaics. I’ve seen many jewelry hangers online made out chicken wire and it didn’t take me long to put two and two together. I have a jewelry box (like most girls) but like with any box everything in it gets all tangled up together and I’ve been wanting a jewelry hanger ever since I made my mom hers out of a mirror. So, I got to work! … read the rest of the post »

Old doors and the shocking cold we’re having

- Dec 16 2016
Very cold snowy road northern minnesota winter

As I’m writing this (Wednesday morning Dec 14th) the sun is shining with enormous sun dogs flanking it and they’re so bright it looks like we have 3 suns! The reason for the sun dogs is that it is literally only minus five degrees outside. That’s right, we have a high that is a negative number today, tomorrow and throughout the weekend too. Oh wait, its gonna warm up enough on Friday (a whopping heat wave of 10 degrees above zero!) so it can snow. lol wow. Have I mentioned I’m not a big winter person? Yeah, I can’t say that any of this excites me in any way. On Saturday we now have a low of -25 degrees! It could break a record! We’ve been hit so hard with such cold, wind and snow that the roads have been treacherous almost every day for the last month, I literally LOATHE my drive home from work and the fact that it gets dark at 4:30 now too isn’t helping matters at all… … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #14)

- Dec 14 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #14! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

15,000 Pageviews a month: How I did it in 1 year & how I do it every day!

- Dec 12 2016
How I took my DIY blog from 0 to 15,000 visitors a month in only one year and no budget, how I do it every day.

When I first started this blog I had already had my own little side business as a web designer since 2001. It kept me busy but being behind the scenes for other bloggers left me really unfulfilled… I wasn’t working for myself on my own project like I wanted to be. So, I started Grandma’s house DIY as most bloggers start: Without a clue as to what I was doing! Sure I knew how to set it all up, update it and keep it running smoothly but I hadn’t ever done this before! I read everything I could from other bloggers on how to do this but I never felt like any of them were very specific on a day to day basis. So, this is what I do every day that made me hit 15,000 pageviews a month exactly one year after I started blogging. (Note: I have never paid for advertising right now my costs are $30 a month for Boardbooster and $120 a year for hosting – I have a self hosted WordPress blog on Directnic.com) … read the rest of the post »

Renovation Flashbacks

- Dec 09 2016
100 year old farm house full gut renovation DIY, taking one small step at a time

I was browsing Pinterest the other day and stumbled upon one of my pins from what feels like a REALLY long time ago. The renovation is this big gray blur most of the time for me, I don’t think of it very often I think because my mind is still on the working “to do” list of what still needs to be done. We had a conversation at my day job the other day about how easy it is with projects (especially DIY and house projects) to build it up and worry over it so much that you end up paralyzed and not even able to start. This has always been a problem for me. “Fear of nothing” is what I call it. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen? Going into the house renovation I had to pump myself up to the point of almost ridiculousness for fear that I would become overwhelmed and thus: paralyzed. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #13)

- Dec 07 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #13! You guys always impress me so much with all of your great projects! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

How to: braid your own large rag area rug!

- Dec 05 2016
How to diy braid your own large homemade area rug for our farmhouse living room

Did you hear about that insane winter storm we got hit by a couple of Fridays ago? Well, it meant I was basically stranded at home for three days straight and I thought, “I know, I’ll make that rug I’ve been planning on working on!” So, while the snow piled up outside, I grabbed two $5 blankets and a big drop cloth I had purchased just for this project and I started cutting them all into strips so I could braid them. And I cut and I cut and I cut. In the end this project translated into two things. 1: Rugs are worth every penny we pay for them and then some and 2: I never want to do anything like this again. I foolishly thought this project really wasn’t going to be all that big of a deal and, in the end, it would be worth the $100 or so dollars I saved doing it. Honestly, I’m on the fence on whether or not the 40+ hours I spent on this rug was actually worth it. Do I love the rug? Of course. Do I love that I made it? Of course. But this was A LOT of work! … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Unique cottage with old world Charm

- Dec 02 2016
Small cottage, free house plan with a master suite that has its own floor and screened in porch

This pretty little cottage was really my trying to go back to an older style and design. I love old farm houses (no kidding huh? I betcha never guessed lol) and often they have the look that they do today from multiple additions. My own home here started as a two and a half story five hundred square foot box, then the addition of the wrap around screened in porch was added and then, throughout the years, a bit of that screened in porch was enclosed and added to the living area at a time until it was all living space. This little cottage is not much different, it certainly has the look that it got at least one (if not two) additions added to it over the years. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #12)

- Nov 30 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

In light of the holiday we had a smaller then usual party but there was still some really amazing projects and recipes shared. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #12! Last week went wonderful and I was so impressed with your beautiful posts! 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. (Grab the featured button following the features.) … read the rest of the post »

How we save over $10,000 a year!

- Nov 28 2016
How we save over $10,000 per year on insurance, electric bill, cigarettes, smoking, cheap, save money, frugal tips, car maintenance, household products

I’m sure you guys have noticed that “frugal” is basically my middle name. I really really hate having to buy anything new and just the knowledge of how much we’ll be paying for our house on our thirty year loan in interest is enough to give me heart palpitations! So, I do what I can to help us live as frugally as possible in the hopes that someday we will have a little extra so that we can pay off our house a lot faster. With Joe just starting his own business we have learned to cinch our belts a little tighter and put off our mortgage free dreams for a little longer. But, I never give up hope, and every single cent I can save us helps us in the long run! And, ya know what? It also makes us a lot healthier as I have found, time and time again, when we make it ourselves (whether its food or cleaning products or really anything) it is almost always better for us as well! … read the rest of the post »

A thankful holiday and winter storm pictures!

- Nov 25 2016
Going from 60 degrees to a 50mph north wind and 16 inches of snow in 24 hours, winter is definitely here in northern minnesota!

Well, there really isn’t any denying it anymore: winter is here. I hadn’t realized how much I had been depending on the ten day forecast promising 40 degree temps until they disappeared and it hit me that winter is not going anywhere anytime soon. Last time I checked in was a week ago with a major storm looming down on us despite that that day it was nearly 60 degrees outside. There were several memes on facebook that were darned funny but my favorite was this forecast for Minnesota: “Expecting 1-79 inches of snow within the next thirty days… maybe… probably.” After all the hoopla I think we all kind of expected to get 1-2 inches and maybe a little wind. Well, it turned out that the weatherman was correct this time and boy did we get hit by a winter storm. The wind gusts out of the north were up to fifty miles per hour and, officially, in my yard, we got around 16 inches of snow in less then 24 hours. It was impressive! … read the rest of the post »

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