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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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 »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #11)

- Nov 23 2016
This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.

Happy thanksgiving everyone, I so hope that you get to spend it with people you love and that it is a wonderful relaxing time for you and yours. Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party #11! 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 to clean and remove stains from an old cast iron sink

- Nov 21 2016
How to remove stains and clean an antique old cast iron American Standard sink with vinegar and baking soda, a fifty year old sink from one of my sheds

So, as you all know, I have been working diligently in my basement for the past couple of months. For the bathroom I had set aside my grandparents’ old bathroom cabinet and this gorgeous, ancient, American Standard, cast iron sink! It was in one of the sheds and though I don’t know exactly how old it is my guess is between 40-50 years. When I posted about our kitchen sink base, I had lots of questions on how to clean cast iron because, like this one, it was SO GROSS. So I rolled up my sleeves and took lots of pictures of the process this time! So, this is how I removed stains from and clean cast iron sinks that are covered in total nasty! But first, check out this amazing sink! … read the rest of the post »

Major blizzard warning and basement updates

- Nov 18 2016
First snow storm of the year, major winter blizzard in northern Minnesota, feeding the squirrels corn and basement updates

Well, it happened, we have a blizzard on the way 🙁 As I’m typing this (the day before this post will go live) it is 62 degrees with all blue skies and sunshine sunshine sunshine. It is hard to believe that we have a blizzard coming! We’ve been hit by warnings and updates for days now, everybody is just freaking out about it. For the record: no one is surprised, we have not at all forgotten that we do, in fact, live in northern Minnesota. However, it has been almost eight months since we had snow on the ground and this really is shaping up to be one ugly storm. Right now we’re looking at it raining Thursday night turning to sleet turning to what may be 6-15 inches of snow with winds up to fifty miles per hour all day Friday :-O So, yes, that means its gonna get nice and slick with every road totally covered in ice and then snow on top of that to make for just awesome driving conditions. I’ve already planned on parking my car in the garage Thursday night and having my mom get me to go to work that day, she drives a pretty little Rav4 that has a much better chance of driving through eight inches of snow then my car does. Yes, we are all still planning on being open and getting to work on time 🙂 … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #10)

- Nov 16 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 #10! 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 saved over $70,000 on our renovation because: we want to pay off our house ASAP!

- Nov 14 2016
All of the tips and tricks I learned along the way renovating our house to save over 70,000 on the 15 month renovation on our 100 year old home.

With the full house renovation that we just survived Joe and I did LITERALLY 98% of the work from top to bottom. That includes (but is not limited to) fully gutting it entirely and removing walls/adding beams where we needed to, putting in all new plumbing throughout for three bathrooms and two kitchens, installing sixteen all new windows, four brand new exterior doors and five interior doors, building all of the new framing, running all new electrical throughout, putting on all new siding, building a brand new two car garage, refinishing the floors that were here and installing new floors where we needed to, hung and then taped all of the sheet rock and we did all of the painting and trim throughout. My estimate at the end of the renovation was that Joe and I saved over $60,000 in labor costs alone and another $10,000 on all of my purchases. … read the rest of the post »

70 degrees in November and basement updates!

- Nov 11 2016
November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement

We’re having weather temperatures here in November the likes of which have rarely been seen. This is northern Minnesota, any calendar you buy for this state I guarantee the picture for the month of November has snow on the ground. This last weekend it hit 70 degrees! Weirdly it has made Joe and I both antsy, bored and almost crabby. What is it we actually want to be doing? No idea. But I think its the weather messing with our heads. Is it spring? Should I be planting seeds? I certainly need to be doing something if its spring! I have to admit that this just isn’t normal no matter how much I love it, I worked myself into a total stupor on Saturday and could barely walk by the time supper came around and yet I still felt bored and antsy like I couldn’t sit!
… read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #9)

- Nov 09 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 #9! 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 »

Covering walls with pallet wood: The basement bathroom renovation

- Nov 07 2016
Covering the walls of my basement bathroom with pallet and barn wood instead of sheet rock during the renovation of my basement workshop

Hey guys! I’m so excited to show you the finished walls of my basement bathroom today! I covered them entirely with pallet wood and barn wood from our barn. As many of you know I have been working down in my basement to get it finished as a wood workshop for me and my number one goal was to spend the least amount of money possible. In an exchange we were given a pile of old pallet wood that my husband and I hauled down to the basement for me to start work with. I had a little extra sheet rock leftover and a ton of old closet doors I had no use for so this whole basement ended up covered with basically everything but the kitchen sink lol! During it all I saved the best wood I had for the bathroom, here’s my pile of wood and all of the before photos. … read the rest of the post »

Resources: Products I absolutely cannot live without!

- Nov 04 2016
I've had folks ask me several times to create a list of some of the products I use every day so, products I cannot live without at Grandma's House!

I’ve been often asked my favorite brands or tools that I use often here on my projects and while working on the house. Really, nowadays especially, unless it is clearly a cheap knockoff made of plastic, most brands will do you JUST fine. But, you need to take care of them, always oil your air tools every single time you use them etc. I empty my air compressor out every single time I finish with it and empty any moisture out of it whenever I need to. As always, with any steel product, it is moisture that causes rust that causes them to deteriorate. I keep all of my tools in a safe dry space. I have also been asked what tools a new DIYer should buy to have on hand. Well, that’s a VERY hard question to answer because it, of course, depends on what exactly the projects are you will be doing.

… read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #8)

- Nov 02 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 #8! 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 to DIY a florescent light box cover out of an old window

- Oct 31 2016
How to DIY a florescent light box cover out of an old window, a sheer curtain and 2x6s stained and painted, wood working tips and tutorials.

As you guys know from my previous posts over the last few weeks I have been spending the majority of my days in the basement. When the plan had been initially to build a rental suite down here (because the basement conveniently has a separate entrance) I had built a wall separating the main room into two living spaces. Since then the plan has changed considerably and this basement will now be my wood workshop so, one of the first things I did, was take down the wall that chopped the main room into two rooms. With the room wide open I started working on lighting because nothing takes a creepy basement into a real living space like light! I started by running a whole bunch of bulbs around the room (8 all together!) and covering them with mason jars like I showed you in my last tutorial. Then, I grabbed a florescent light I had replaced in my mom’s house and brought home because: it was free. It was missing its steel cover plate as well as a whole florescent light cover but I figured: light is light! So, I put it up right smack dab in the middle of the room where the wall used to be. … read the rest of the post »

Basement renovation updates: The sub pump works!

- Oct 28 2016
Basement renovation updates: The sub pump works!

The basement is really starting to move along guys, hard work does eventually pay off! Last I updated about it Joe was getting the bathroom floor fixed for me so I could FINALLY move the tub/shower back into its right place! So, two years ago, when I was building all of the walls down here I started with the main kitchen/bathroom wall and realized I couldn’t build it until I got the tub/shower in there first! If I built that wall, that thing was NEVER going to be going into the bathroom through the door. So, two years ago, I slid it in there in the only spot it could sit: directly in front of the bathroom door because the rest of the bathroom floor was all open for the plumbing: hence Joe patching it. So, all this time, over two years, that part of the basement has been almost inaccessible to us, we’ve been getting to it by walking through the wall in the back of the closet, then through our “utility room” and then we could get to the bathroom. It was a real pain in the butt. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #7)

- Oct 26 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 #7! 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 »

Free House Plan: Quaint country cottage

- Oct 24 2016
Free country quaint house plan, stately and interest, small cottage, free floor plan

Quaint free country house plan. I love how stately this two story turned out with so many windows and a front porch. It makes a really bold statement for such a small house! It is only 1200 square feet but could be comfortable for a small family or ideal for a couple. The kitchen is small bugoot smart offering a ton more storage then you would expect. I kept this home a lot more “old school” then most of my plans that boast serious open concepts. Instead, I gave this little home a real dining room, including a little separation throughout. This house reminds me of an older farm house … read the rest of the post »

Inspiration board: Hometalk paint and stain stunners!

- Oct 21 2016
Inspiration board, a collection of refinished furniture found on Hometalk that brings the paint and stain combination together in a stunning way!

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 know just how obsessed I am with the paint and stain combination and I spend a lot of my time drooling over it online. Here are just a few of those absolute stunners that I’ve found over on Hometalk that leave me totally speechless! … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #6)

- Oct 19 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 #6! 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 »

Jar light bulb covers for our basement!

- Oct 17 2016
Jar light bulb covers DIY with leftover wire, a keyless lamp holder and a big mason jar for easy, cheap, inexpensive, basement lighting.

If you’ve been following along lately you know that I am slowly hacking away at finishing our basement into my workshop. Two things you need to know about this situation before I proceed with this tutorial: #1 I am doing everything as inexpensively as possible with little to no regard for how things might “look” and #2 There is little to nothing here that I am doing conventionally and I know well that some people might think it looks “weird” and I’m ok with that! 🙂 Anyway, my basement needed one thing first and foremost before I could start work on it at all. LIGHT! Up until I started in on this job I had three bare bulbs wired up down there because we had to have something but they were really adding to the creepiness factor. It was time to light this basement up like a Christmas tree! Problem was though – I had no budget to do it! So, I went to the drawing board to make my own jar lights. … read the rest of the post »

A date to the pumpkin patch and basement updates!

- Oct 14 2016
Don't let anyone ever tell you that you're too old to go the pumpkin patch, on the hay ride or through the corn maze. Fall in Minnesota.

Well there is absolutely no denying it anymore: Fall is here. Fall is SO very here and leaving as quickly as it came. We are now living with consistent frost advisories and two days of what we have to admit was literal snow falling from the sky. If I had known fall was only going to last two weeks I would have taken more pictures! But, like normal in northern Minnesota, our weather is fickle and promising highs in the 60s in just a couple of days. When they did a poll of Minnesotans on when we would be ok with it snowing most folks said mid December and I am right there with them! We don’t always get much of a fall and that seems like always such a shame when winter up here lasts so long. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #5)

- Oct 12 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 #5! Last week went wonderful and I was so impressed with your beautiful posts! (Grab the featured button following the features.) This week I picked out five wonderful shares, an awesome DIY wood crate rolling cart because don’t we all want to build something out of wood crates now?! A DIY utility meter cover out of old shutters; a great and multipurpose upcycle for sure! A beautiful desk transformation in a beautiful dusky blue, how to repair a really large rip in pants (total respect for you seamstresses out there!) and who can say no to peanut white chocolate fudge?! … read the rest of the post »

Because kitchens are actually meant to be cooked in!

- Oct 10 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.

Prepare yourselves, this blog post is going to begin with a small rant about kitchen design: Somewhere along the way kitchen designers and cabinet makers realized that people liked symmetry. They started designing kitchens with main elements centered in the middle of cabinet runs. I have cooked in many kitchens and I am at a complete loss as to this design-over-function mentality that seems to be raging through this country like a wild fire. Who in their right mind would choose two counter tops on either side of the stove that are only ten inches wide as opposed to one on one side of the stove that is twenty inches wide? Seriously, you can’t even put a cutting board on ten inches! In a small kitchen especially, breaking up counters simply does not make any sense to me. … read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Sweet country home with big style

- Oct 07 2016
Sweet country home free house plan, free floor plan on one story with a big open kitchen a major storage with a beautiful bathroom that's big on style

This is a sweet little country home on one story with one big bathroom that boasts a separate tube and shower. The walk in for the master is huge and the open style kitchen I just love with a huge pantry and a great custom island. The living room is small but aqueduct just off the laundry room that is a great walk through from the attached two car garage. The laundry room is also connected to a utility room that gives a back door entrance for those yard working days when you don’t want to walk through the whole house when you’re dirty! I love the front porch here and I picked a cheery yellow for the door. This is an easy small home that I think just about any couple could enjoy – or even a small family! Click the link below to download the zip of the plans. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #4)

- Oct 05 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 #4! Last week went wonderful and I was so impressed with your beautiful posts! (Grab the featured button following the features.) This week I picked out five wonderful shares, how to make homemade cinnamon bread (can you imagine how good that must make your house smell!?), how to make your own toothpaste, how to build a fabulous farm house coffee table, a fantastic free printable of an iconic quote from Anne of Green Gables and a really gorgeous backyard makeover! Thank you all for your wonderful posts, can’t wait to see what this next week brings. … read the rest of the post »

DIY foaming hand soap recipe – my newest favorite money saver!

- Oct 03 2016
Homemade DIY foaming hand soap recipe using castile soap, castor oil and thyme, lavender and tangerine essential oils, frugal money saver

Many of you reading this are going to be wondering why the heck I hadn’t figured this one out a lot sooner. Here’s the truth, between wedding gifts and Christmas gifts, Joe and I have had a surplus of extra hand soap to use up for months now. (Note: soap of any kind makes a lovely gift and we so appreciated it!) So, I hadn’t been able to start making our own foaming hand soap until now so I’ve literally been waiting lol. In the mean time I’ve been looking around Amazon for the right foaming hand soap dispenser and finally ended up on the one you see in the pictures. It is not the least expensive (by far) but I’m a firm believer in quality when I’m going to be purchasing anything new and I also thought it looked nice. Besides, the reviews on it are very good and this foaming hand soap pump really needs to last to pay for itself. It also has a cool little suction cup on the bottom that keeps it in place. … read the rest of the post »

Barn wood in the basement and I took a bit of a tumble…

- Sep 30 2016
Basement progress with barn wood and pallet wood up on the wall and I took a tumble, adding insult to injury.

Our last weekend started off so much fun with an end of the year golf tournament, I had no idea it would go WAY down hill from there. First I caught a major head cold and then I took a tumble off of our deck 🙁 But, I’m getting ahead of myself, Joe was able to come home early from his job out of town so he headed right off hunting at the end of last week. My man is a bow hunter and he filled both of his tags with a couple of gorgeous deer for us. I know a lot of people think hunting is a bad thing but we use all that we can of the animals and provide them with the kindest death possible. Joe and I are conservationists, we feed deer all year around, helping them through the winter and doing all we can for them. By hunting every year Joe and I have not ever had to buy beef and thus: I’ve never had to support the commercial beef industry, I hope someday I can say that about all of the meat that we consume. With those two deer we packed away nearly 100 pounds of meat in our freezer and I am SO grateful. Eventually we hope to get ducks and chickens too: my goal is to never ever have to buy meat in the store. So proud and grateful of my man. … read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #3)

- Sep 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 #3! Last week went wonderful and I was so impressed with your beautiful posts! (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 »

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

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.

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 »

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