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We took the house my mom grew up in, the house my grandparents shared for over fifty years and made it a place for us to grow old in. Curious how we made all of those incredible transformations in the Home Tour and the Before & Afters happen? Here are all of my tips and tutorials, everything I've learned in refinishing furniture and building all sorts of things! Let me caution you now though that stripping in your garage late into the night is not nearly as sexy or lucrative as it sounds ;)

Deck gates: a simple wood working project how to!

How I built deck gates for our outdoor deck to match our steel conduit deck rails out of 2x4 green treated wood, hinges, gate latches and steel hangers
Nov 13 2017 -

How to build a simple outdoor deck gate! With our deck railings finally complete it was time to figure out how I was going to build the gates across the two entrances we have on our deck. My first issue was pretty obvious to me, I wanted them to swing entirely out of the way and remain open year around if we wanted them to be. I also wanted them to “match” the deck rails we had already made. So, I built my gate frames out of wood first! Read the rest of the post »

Zero to 1.5 Million Monthly Pinterest Views – Ebook now available from Smashwords!

Ebook. How, in just two years, I'm bringing in over 40% of my website traffic from Pinterest. This is an in-depth, step-by-step guide utilizing BoardBooster
Nov 10 2017 -

After publishing my last three blogging tips posts I fielded A LOT of questions from other bloggers who were just like me wondering if I could help them step by step do exactly what I’ve been doing to create the traffic from Pinterest that I’ve been getting for Grandma’s House DIY. After tackling a huge blog post in an attempt to answer all of your questions it dawned on me that I needed to publish it as an ebook so it would make more sense and be easier to follow. So, here it is, my first ever ebook. I’ve learned a ton of lessons over the past two years and I really hope they can help you with Pinterest as much as they’ve helped me! Read the rest of the post »

DIY Inexpensive deck rails out of steel conduit, easy to do!

DIY inexpensive how to deck rails out of steel conduit to look like steel wire deck railings, tutorial on how we did the railings on our deck!
Nov 06 2017 -

A post on how we built inexpensive deck rails out of steel conduit. Have you seen the gorgeous steel wire railings that have been populating Pinterest the last couple of years and gaining huge popularity? Well I sure have and I’ve been drooling over them for months and months… at least until I saw the price tag. It was an absolute no go for us, on top of that they do require tightening over time and that kinda bugged me too. I was leaning toward just wire fencing (yes like hog panels) but that felt a little rough even for us and I would have wanted to frame them out in wood and that would have been labor intensive and costly. Read the rest of the post »

Farmhouse Hens Decorate: Wall Art – Build a frame out of barn wood!

Building a frame out of barn wood and plexi glass for artwork, farmhouse wall art, wood working, how to, build, diy, do it yourself, farmhouse hens decorate
Nov 03 2017 -

A post about my farmhouse wall art in collaboration with six other DIY bloggers: Farmhouse Hens Decorate! This post is all about how to build a picture frame out of barn wood. My aunt’s birthday was fast approaching this last August and my mom purchased a print for her of a gorgeous old barn painted by a local artist (D.L. Housman). It only seemed natural then for me to take some barn wood and build her a frame to produce some really pretty wall art. The barn on our property is really my aunt and mom’s barn just as much (if not more) then me and Joe’s barn – my aunt and mom grew up here when it was still in its prime and helped their folks (my grandparents) milk cows, bring in hay and garden their entire childhoods. So we really didn’t even discuss who was going to frame her print out and what wood I was going to use to build it! Read the rest of the post »

Outdoor stool: Simple, modern wood working project for our deck!

How to build an outdoor stool for your backyard or deck, modern and easy how to out of green treated lumber, foot rest, wood working, diy, do it yourself
Oct 30 2017 -

How to build a simple outdoor stool for your deck or backyard! With the completion of my barn door table for our deck I’ve been needing to build something to sit on for the table ends. The sides easily sit three at a time on the workshop benches my grandparents’ left me but this summer we were hauling out our dining room chairs to use besides. With my deck build projects done (our bench, sun loungers and end tables) I had just enough green treated lumber to address my seating problem too. Read the rest of the post »

Outdoor end table with built in cooler or flower planter! Wood working DIY

How to build wood working diy do it yourself an outdoor end table cooler project using a flower planter and green treated lumber, building tutorial
Oct 23 2017 -

An outdooor end table build project tutorial with built in cooler or flower planter. When I built my sun loungers it was only natural to build a table to sit between them because, seriously, sun lounging is thirsty work! I was going to build the most basic of little tables with little regard for anything except a sturdy surface for my beer. But then I remembered seeing the most fabulous end table with a cooler built right in on Pinterst… Well, yeah, I’m definitely going to have to do something like that lol! So, I got to work! Read the rest of the post »

Outdoor sun loungers, chaise lounges, wood working project for our deck!

How to build outdoor sun loungers chaise lounges for our deck with a back rest that can lay flat or provide support, how to wood working diy do it yourself
Oct 16 2017 -

How I built simple outdoor sun loungers with changeable back rests for our deck. Way, way, WAAAAY back I was a little girl who spent the majority of every summer outside. I pretended I was Pocahontas! Now I am well away from those days lol I look more like Snow White these days but I remember my child hood in the sun very fondly and am always the last person to complain about any kind of summer heat. So, as you might imagine, I have had my heart set on an outdoor sun lounger project for our deck for a long time! Read the rest of the post »

Outdoor bench for our deck: DIY wood working project tutorial!

Out door bench plan built into a corner of a green treated deck, wood working, tips and tutorials, how to, diy, do it yourself, backyard, outdoor project
Oct 09 2017 -

A wood working tutorial on how to build a corner built-in outdoor bench. This corner has always been a little bit of a “dead man’s land” tucked all the way back behind our home. I had considered a little seating area and even thought about building a tall pub table here but it didn’t feel like that was utilizing the space as well as it could be. A friend of mine has an outdoor bench running literally around her entire deck in place of a railing and the amount of seating offered is just amazing. However, we have way more deck then she does and certainly don’t need that much bench! But this corner spoke to me as being the perfect place for an L-shaped outdoor bench! Read the rest of the post »

Farmhouse Hens Decorate: Farmhouse Kitchen Project Organizing Spices

Second installment of farmhouse hens decorate, a kitchen project, I sort and organize my spice cabinet using mason jars, shaker lids and chalkboard paint!
Oct 06 2017 -

A post about my kitchen project in collaboration with four other AMAZING DIY bloggers: Farmhouse Hens Decorate! When I found out that our next post was to be a farmhouse kitchen project my mind turned immediately to my dreaded spice cabinet. Some of those plastic shakers have literally been with me for YEARS! Once I started buying bulk organic herbs and spices off of Amazon I kept refilling my old shakers until they gave out on me. So, one by one, I’ve been replacing them so my spice cabinet was becoming one very strange collection of pickle jars, olive jars, pepper jars and plastic shakers lol. Read the rest of the post »

When, where & why to start living a more self sufficient life

When, where & why to start living a more self sufficient life, how to begin and why we need to change our mindset and start making things from scratch
Oct 02 2017 -

In the following post I address why living a self sufficient life should be something we are all striving toward as well as when and where to start! If you’re like me you follow DIY bloggers that are true, full on, homesteaders. They’ve “got it all” the farm, the house, the solar panels, the garden, they have come full circle to the point that they can feed their entire family well on what they raise and grow. They are truly what I strive to become someday but, honestly, the whole “homestead” and “self sufficient” movement can be a little intimidating so, where do you start? Read the rest of the post »

A “Faux” Mantel to hide those ugly cords – Woodworking Tutorial How-to!

How to build a faux mantel floating shelf beneath your tv television to hide those unsightly cords and provide a shelf for some pretty storage!
Sep 18 2017 -

This is a wood working tutorial on how I built a “faux” mantel and floating shelf beneath our flat screen television to hide those ugly cords. When I ran the electrical for this house I almost put two holes in the wall so we could run the cords behind the sheet rock however, we didn’t own this television at the time and I really didn’t want to put them in the wrong place! And it turned out to be a good thing that I didn’t because this tv would have required two separate holes – one for the power cord and one a mile away where the majority of our electronics get plugged in. Which means that for the past two years of living here those cords have been driving me crazy! Read the rest of the post »

Console table charging station for behind our sofa: DIY Build project!

Wood working diy how to build a console table charging station for your living room and display for books and flowers, behind couch, sofa tables
Sep 11 2017 -

How to build a simple console table for behind your sofa, with plugin added for easy phone charging! Joe and I are probably a lot like most couples right now where we admittedly spend a certain amount of time on our phones, in front of the tv, after work, every day. So I’m currently limping along a 3 year old Motorolla whose battery life leaves a lot to be desired. So, inevitably, I have to run upstairs, get my phone charger and plug it in wherever I’m sitting which usually means having to move the sofa or an end table out so I can reach an outlet. I’ve been thinking a console table would be the ticket to make for easier charging but also to create a little area for display as well so I got to work! Read the rest of the post »

Time Saving Blogging Tips: How I get ahead on my blog so I can take a break!

Time saving blogging tips how I get ahead on my blog so I can take a break. Revive Old Post, Board Booster and Link Party Animal saving me time!
Sep 04 2017 -

Time Saving Blogging Tips! This post is about how I get my blog posts done ahead of time and the WordPress plugin and other sites that I use to make my blog as automatic as possible. Since I started posting 3 times a week (nearly 2 years ago now) I have only once ever missed my schedule and that was due to the death of my dog. I take my Monday, Wednesday and Friday posts extremely seriously. However, that doesn’t mean I like living right besides a dead line. I spent the first few months with that schedule ALWAYS under so much pressure! Until, of course, I figured out how to get ahead but not just with upcoming posts but, also, with everything else that goes into blogging! Read the rest of the post »

Farmhouse Hens Decorate:
Farmhouse Fall Vignette

Farmhouse Hens Decorate a collaboration between DIY bloggers creating a farmhouse fall vignette, enamelware, firewood, barnwood, autumn
Sep 01 2017 -

A post about my fall vignette in collaboration with six other DIY bloggers: Farmhouse Hens Decorate! I will admit when our first project was announced as a Fall Vignette my immediate thought was, “What’s a vignette?” then I looked it up and my next thought was that I wanted really badly to make a lovely sign just for this project! My mod podge image transfer project did not, admittedly, come out exactly like I had hoped, however, I think it is still quite cool and adds some character to the whole display. I also knew immediately where I wanted my Vignette to be: in our entry way beneath my grandparents’ old mirror! After that it was just a case of getting creative! Read the rest of the post »

Using Mod Podge to image transfer to wood – my first craft

How to use mod podge to transfer a laser jet printed image on to wood. The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.
Aug 28 2017 -

How to use mod podge to transfer a laserjet printed image on to wood. Some folks would say that I’m crafty and I do crafty things all of the time and that this is a “craft” blog… but that’s just not true. I am so far from crafty it isn’t even funny, I’m terribly UN-crafty, totally “craft-inhibited” actually. Give me a power tool and let me build something but please don’t ask me to make something small and cute that requires a glue gun or free hand painting or any kind of creative dexterity at all. I will fail totally. In fact, I do believe that I am craft-impaired… But when the dead line for my Farmhouse Hen’s Fall Vignette started looming into view it was time to put on my big girl panties and order some mod podge… Read the rest of the post »

A healthier life should not cost more! How we’re doing it and saving money!

My living challenge that saved us money and made it possible for us to buy organic and live a much healthier life, come and see how I did it.
Aug 21 2017 -

Many of you have probably already drawn the impression that I’m a little bit of a health nut (and also a smoker which I am aware makes me the ultimate oxymoron…) What bothers me terribly is that oftentimes the healthier choice for our families is usually a lot more expensive and, sometimes, simply not at all affordable. There is so much fear mongering in our media that we’ve become totally numb to headlines, “Coconut oil can save you from cancer!” “Man dies on the clean eating diet!” “New superfood, eat a pound every day to become immortal!” “Toxins in sun screen causing skin cancer!” “Wear sun screen or get skin cancer!” And it goes on and on and on. It is totally the boy that called wolf and the general consensus now is: “Everything is bad for us so I’m not going to bother changing how I’m eating or what I’m buying!” Which is totally understandable but also just awful. Read the rest of the post »

Lip Balm: Peppermint and vanilla recipe for homemade chap stick

Lip balm recipe made out of peppermint, vanilla, beeswax, cocoa butter and coconut oil, organic, green, healthy living recipes
Aug 14 2017 -

A post about how I am now making my own homemade lip balm! I used to put on some kind of chap stick or lip balm every night before bed but managed to break myself of the habit when I realized the commercial (chemical laden) products I was using were actually making my lips more chapped! Since then I keep a product called Mela-Gel on my night stand for really bad chapped lips (winters here in northern MN can be brutal) and it also works incredible on bug bites, burns and pretty much anything you can put it on that needs healing… But I wanted regular chap stick of my own to carry with me. Read the rest of the post »

Barn door table, simple DIY wood working base for our deck!

Do it yourself how to I built my base for a big barn door table to create an outdoor eating area for entertaining on our deck, wood working tutorial
Aug 06 2017 -

A post on how I built a base for a barn door table for outdoor entertaining on our deck! Many times I’ve gone out to our old barn (my grandparents’ old wood working shop) and grabbed something and stashed it somewhere safe for a future project. This barn door was one of those stashes! At first, I had planned on building a base that included shelves, storage and castors for my workshop in the basement. But, the more I worked down there (now that its finally semi-complete!) the more I realized that this big old barn door was just too big for that space! Read the rest of the post »

Announcing Farmhouse Hens Decorate: A DIY Collaboration!

Announcing a fun collaboration of several bloggers called Farmhouse Hens Decorate! Fall Vignette, Kitchen Project, Homemade Christmas Ornament, Wall Art
Aug 04 2017 -

I am so excited to be a part of a brand new collaborative group called Farmhouse Hens Decorate! There’s six of us DIY bloggers all together and the very first Friday of every month for the next four months we’re going to be sharing some of our farmhouse inspiration! From the kitchen, to the wall, to embracing fall and even making Christmas ornaments (oh gosh did I really just mention Christmas?! Summer is going by so fast!) It is really going to be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get started. Read the rest of the post »

My favorite kitchen appliances and our new favorite adult drink recipe!

My favorite kitchen appliances, kitchen aide mixer, sodastream, four slice toaster and my magic bullet have all made my life better!
Jul 31 2017 -

I’m rather surprised at myself for being able to write a post even mentioning kitchen appliances because, honestly, I’m not that big of a fan. Seems to me that most (if not all of us!) have at least one or two random gadgets collecting dust in a closet somewhere! Just about every time I’ve either asked (for xmas etc) or purchased an appliance for myself I’ve always brought them home crossing my fingers that it will be something worth the price and the space it takes up on our counter top! So, these are the four I never regretted for a moment that work hard for us almost every single day we’ve had them! Read the rest of the post »

Liquid Dish Soap Recipe, grease-fighting and easy to make!

Homemade, essential oils, hypo-allergenic liquid dish soap recipe, green recipes, natural, diy, do it yourself, very easy to make
Jul 24 2017 -

This is a post all about my homemade recipe for grease-fighting liquid dish soap! I have a confession to make, even though I said I had replaced all of our household cleaners with our own homemade there was one I just hadn’t tackled yet: Liquid Dish Soap. So, what have I been using to wash our dishes by hand with in the meanwhile? Well, I’ve literally just been dumping some of my homemade dry Dishwasher Detergent in the sink and scrubbing with everything I’ve got. It was actually working all right but I really wanted something for “real” that would have some “soapiness” to it etc. So, I got to searching and experimenting and FINALLY I landed on one that works great for us! Read the rest of the post »

Tall Garden Planter on wheels: How to build, wood working, DIY

Build a tall garden planter on wheels diy wood working do it yourself for easy an easy to weed vegetable garden on your deck or in your yard!
Jul 17 2017 -

After building my mom a tall garden planter for vegetables and strawberries my aunt asked if I could build her one too. Seriously though I can’t blame her: this is a really great idea and everyone should have at least one of these! My mom’s garden only needed to be weeded once or twice all summer lol I’m wondering why I thought I needed to put in a big “normal” garden and didn’t just build myself three of these… Anyway, my aunt had a couple of requests: It needed to be a little smaller then my mom’s so it would fit nice in a specific place on her deck and she also wanted it to be on wheels so she could move it under her house eaves in the winter time or during bad weather. So, I got to the drawing board! Read the rest of the post »

Perfume recipe using vodka that actually smells like REAL perfume!

Jul 10 2017 -

This post is about how I make my own perfume out of essential oils and vodka! So now that Joe and I have switched our entire house over to homemade household cleaners I find that most perfumes have begun to smell more and more like bug spray to me. (Weird, right?) I’ve always had rather sensitive skin which is why the first household recipe we switched to was my homemade laundry detergent but I find now I’ve become sensitive to smells too. Walking down the cleaning aisle at walmart never used to bother me but now my eyes start watering and I am in shock at the horrible smell. Read the rest of the post »

Rain gutters out of 3″ PVC pipe, DIY How to!

PVC rain gutters DIY out of a 3" PVC pipe cut in half with a table saw and then screwed to the eve using steel hex nut screws, how to, do it yourself
Jul 03 2017 -

This is a post on how Joe and I created gutters for our house using PVC pipe! So, quite awhile ago, I stumbled on to the coolest thing online: Rain gutters made out of 3″ PVC pipe. Since then I cannot find it online ANYWHERE! The only thing I can find online about it is forums of people like me who want to try it and other people telling them to just hire a crew to put up seamless gutters because apparently: we’re all rich. Not that I wouldn’t love to be able to afford seamless gutters but, seriously, that’s just not our style! On top of that, we just so happened to have enough 3″ pipe leftover that using it for gutters on our house cost us almost nothing! Read the rest of the post »

On demand hot water heater, the good, the bad and th- WHY IS THE WATER COLD!?

Living with a whole house on demand hot water heater, how much it costs to run, how easy it is to install and what its like to live with, with well water.
Jun 26 2017 -

Now that its been a couple of years of living with an on demand hot water heater (also called a tankless hot water heater), I wanted to put in my two cents. When we renovated the house I really didn’t want anything to do with a regular hot water heater. A: they take up a ton of room and B: They run out! Seriously, it just seemed to me that common sense would say that heating the water ONLY when you need it would be a lot more economic then paying to keep a huge amount of water hot all of the time. So, how’s that been working out for us? Well, there’s a lot that goes into that answer! Read the rest of the post »

Kitchen tips: How I’m making meals out of what most people would throw away!

My favorite frugal kitchen tips and how I'm making meals out of what most people would throw away! making chicken broth our of nothing but kitchen scraps!
Jun 19 2017 -

This post is all about my favorite frugal kitchen tips! I save every single glass jar that comes with a decent lid. I can’t help it! Here’s the thing though, I use them CONSTANTLY. A big batch of stock to freeze? I fill up a bunch of jars and stick them in the freezer. Leftover soup? Yup it all goes in jars and gets frozen. One of my old plastic herb shakers finally breaks? Dump that garlic salt in a jar! (My entire seasoning cabinet will eventually be nothing but jars with green Parmesan container lids screwed on them.) Leftover bacon grease? Yup, it goes in a jar so I can use it later. Leftover every other kind of grease? That also goes in a jar and when the jar is full, it gets thrown away. So handy. I’ve also managed to collect 6 glass drinking “bottles” from my favorite organic tea that I spoil myself with from time to time now I always have one full of our water in my car at all times, which helps me avoid the impulse purchase of buying something to drink when I’m in town. Read the rest of the post »

Flower boxes: Wood working DIY hanging flower boxes in our master!

How to build wood working DIY do it yourself hanging flower and planter boxes for your windows or anywhere with sisal rope
Jun 12 2017 -

This post is about how I built hanging flower boxes for our master bedroom! So this past winter I kinda went stir crazy with cabin fever. There really isn’t any explanation for it as we had an actually VERY short winter for us. But that doesn’t change the fact that I really did have a tough time personally. I just got so tired of the daily grind and the gray and the white and the never-seeing-the-sun and the every day being the same. Ugh. So, it occurred to me that maybe something green and growing in our master bedroom might just help brighten my winter days a little bit. So, I got to planning my flower boxes! Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Is finally complete! Before and after of the entire remodel!

After two weeks and $3,000 the little house remodel is finally complete! Come see the before and afters pics and how we did it fully diy!
Jun 05 2017 -

I am so excited to finally show you guys the before and after of the entire little house remodel! It took me about fifteen days in total to get this place up to snuff and around $3,000 to complete it. I had a serious plan and took a few hits when that plan collided with reality – I also tried a new product (styrofoam ceiling tiles!) for the ceiling in the main room and in the bathroom. I also purchased the most expensive plywood I have ever purchased (nearly $100 for a sheet!) that my husband helped me cut and get into place in the kitchen for the counter tops. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Wood working DIY mahogany counter tops out of plywood!

How to install a mahogany plywood counter tops do it yourself with plywood, poly acyrlic, sanding and a skill saw, beautiful diy inexpensive wood kitchen countertops!
May 29 2017 -

This is a tutorial on how I built the mahogany counter tops in the little house out of plywood. I was in a real pickle when it came to what I wanted to do with the counters in the little house. Normally I probably would have just run to Menards (or Lowes or Home Depot) and purchased stock laminate counter tops that they have on hand. But because I chose to put cabinets back to back I had a span of 48×60 inches to cover so if we wanted laminate counter tops they would have to be custom ordered and thus: too much a splurge for this little house. A big part of me wanted to just use barnwood like I did for the kitchen backsplash but I knew my mom would hate that and if she ever lived here she deserves the flattest smoothest counter that she could ever want. So, I was in a pickle. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Covering up a very ugly ceiling with Styrofoam ceiling tiles

Easy to install Styrofoam do it yourself ceiling tiles over an ugly ceiling, how to
May 22 2017 -

After you got past the horrific glare of the very pink foam insulation covered walls (and that EVERY THING was covered in spray foam) the next worst was probably the ceiling in the main room. This old place at one point was sheetrocked and professionally taped and mudded – the problem is they did not sheet rock the ceiling. Nope, that’s not sheet rock, its some kind of very old particle wood. After it was taped and mudded then acoustic ceiling tiles were stapled to the ceiling. I will never forget my sister-in-law telling me the story of how they went to the basement one night (to go to bed when they lived here over a decade ago) when a tremendous crash and insanity happened above them. Was it a break in? Did a tornado come through? What on earth could have made so much noise?! Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: When a remodel timeline meets with reality

When a remodel plan meets reality during the little house renovation and remodeling, diy, do it yourself, how to organize and work through problems
May 15 2017 -

On April 10th I got up and, for the the first time in a VERY long time, I did not put on my “nice” clothes and head to my day job. Instead, I dug out my “work” clothes (torn up and stained jeans etc.) and, after a cup of coffee, I didn’t even have to get in my car to go to “work” that day, I just walked over to The Little House to begin the remodel. To quote my last post about this (to bring you up to speed on the place): “On the lot beside us this little place (all of 500 square feet) has gone through many “renovations” since my Grandpa built it. It was built for my Grandpa’s dad and then it also housed my Grandma’s dad for awhile. Way back then it didn’t have running water and was as simple as you can imagine: just a 300 square foot box with a dirt floor basement beneath it. Literally decades later my dad and brother dug a septic, a well and added a bathroom, a closet and a bedroom, insulated it, sheet rocked it and gave it new siding and shingles and added a little kitchen. They also poured concrete in the basement and carpeted the floor down there to increase the living space. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: A remodel plan and timeline, getting organized

When a remodel plan meets reality during the little house renovation and remodeling, diy, do it yourself, how to organize and work through problems
May 08 2017 -

If you’ve been hanging out here over the last couple of weeks then you know that my mom hired me to tackle the remodel of “the little house”. On the lot beside us this little place (all of 500 square feet) has gone through many “renovations” since my Grandpa built it. It was built for my Grandpa’s dad and then it also housed my Grandma’s dad for awhile. Way back then it didn’t have running water and was as simple as you can imagine: just a 300 square foot box with a dirt floor basement beneath it. Literally decades later my dad and brother dug a septic, a well and added a bathroom, a closet and a bedroom, insulated it, sheet rocked it and gave it new siding and shingles and added a little kitchen. They also poured concrete in the basement and carpeted the floor down there to increase the living space. I remember several friends and family living here on and off over the years (including my brother when he was first married) and then my dad lived here for the last ten years after my folks’ divorced. Read the rest of the post »

How to DIY Build a small garden with railroad ties & the dangers of creosote.

A new vegetable garden made of railroad ties and how I made the gate and put a fence around it. Balancing the choice of toxic railroad ties for a garden.
May 01 2017 -

I’m going to jump right in here and talk about creosote and the dangers of railroad ties immediately because I know that’s going to be the center of the conversation because just about everyone has heard that railroad ties are toxic. But how toxic? And at what extent is what we’re hearing fear mongering and panic? And why, on earth, if there is any question at all, did I choose to use them around my vegetable garden? You all know me and know that I ere on the side of caution when it comes to our health. (Milk could actually be bad for us? I’m never bringing it in our home again. Possible toxic substances in dryer sheets? Never using them again.) The list for me goes on and on and on. Our health ALWAYS holds priority for me. So, why did I choose to use possibly toxic railroad ties around our vegetable garden? Read the rest of the post »

DIY Fabulous Face Scrub recipe for incredibly smooth skin!

A wonderful face scrub wash recipe made out of baking soda, coconut oil and any essential oils you would like to add! A moisturizer and scrub all in one!
Apr 24 2017 -

So, a few years back, I was your average girl. I washed my face at least once a day (like everyone told me to) and I struggled with my share of acne and even used ProActive when I couldn’t stand it any more. I had a whole bunch of special products from face wash to moisturizer etc. I even visited Acne.org and started purchasing the same ingredients for way less money on Amazon instead of dealing with the ProActive subscription headache. I still have those bottles and, on the rare instance when I do break out, use them maybe once or twice a year. So, what changed? Why do I no longer need my hard core acne cream, lotions and such? Read the rest of the post »

How I organize my blog and why you need Dropbox right now

Blog organization, link parties, submit places, how and why you need to start using Dropbox for your blog
Apr 17 2017 -

This post is in answer to the many questions I received about how I organize my blog after publishing my post: 15,000 Pageviews a month: How I did it in 1 year & how I do it every day! In that post I detailed my nitty gritty day to day schedule on how I promote this blog. But, like all schedules, mine keeps evolving with me, my time and what works best for me. For example: in that post I talked about how I was putting together posts that would then literally publish that very day. I don’t do that anymore. Now I am finishing posts and scheduling them at least two weeks before they go live on the blog. This has lessened my stress level considerably! I am no longer frantically putting posts together the day I want them to go live! Read the rest of the post »

No green house? No problem! My unconventional solution that worked great!

Inexpensive way to create mini green houses to start your own seedlings! Plant and grow your own vegetables by starting them from seed, easy and frugal!
Apr 10 2017 -

It occurred to me last year when I purchased a few bell pepper plants at a local green house that if I was going to give this gardening thing a real shot then I was going to need to start my own seeds. (The cost of buying plants being a little too high for my frugal self.) However, I had two major obstacles in my way, firstly I don’t have a green house so I had to start my seedlings indoors and secondly I don’t have a good south facing area in my home for decent sunlight. I tackled the first problem by going to my drawing board because the second problem isn’t going to be changing anytime soon. It came to me when I was at Walmart and I stumbled upon the perfect mini green houses. “Disposable” roaster pans with clear plastic lids! Read the rest of the post »

DIY wood working Ice fishing rod rack with a shelf for tip ups

How to build an ice fishing rod rack with a shelf for tip ups out of barn wood and 2x2s, wood working, work shop, diy, do it yourself, how to, tutorials
Apr 03 2017 -

When my husband asked me to build him an ice fishing rod rack I got really excited and realized that that makes me either a rather awesome wife (at least to Joe) or weird as hell. Either way, I was stoked to actually be able to build and do something for him! Joe keeps the majority of his tools and toys in a storage unit throughout the year until he needs them and then he needs somewhere handy to keep them in the garage. I was just plain old excited to work on something that was A: not one of my own hair brained ideas and B: kind of like he was my client! I ran him through twenty questions, doing a bit of sketching as we went. I mulled the plan over in my head for a couple of weeks when he made a change: He also wanted a shelf along the bottom of it for enough head room for all of his tip ups. Read the rest of the post »

Pinterest Strategy: What I wish I had known and implemented when I started blogging.

Pinterest Strategy: What I wish I had known and implemented when I started blogging. Using BoarBooster, how to increase your Pinterest numbers over night!
Mar 27 2017 -

There are so many instances now that I’ve been blogging for a year and half that I look back and think, “Oh I wish I had known that then!” Of course hind sight is always a b*tch but it doesn’t have to be for everyone. So, here is my entire Pinterest strategy, everything I’m doing right now on Pinterst and wish I would have done since the moment I started this blog. Right now I’m hitting around 20,000 page views a month and over half of those are from Pinterest and I’m getting nearly 100 new followers a day on my Pinterest profile. But I really feel like if I had implemented everything I know now at the beginning those numbers would probably be double that! I started using BoardBooster/implementing this strategy in July of 2016 and the numbers don’t lie, just look at what it did to my Pinterest Profile! Read the rest of the post »

Heating your home with a wood stove: the good, the bad and the ashes

Heating your home with wood all of the tips and information you need to decide whether or not you want to heat your house with a wood stove
Mar 20 2017 -

We are just concluding our second winter living in my grandparents’ 100 year old farm house. When we gutted the home we removed the old fuel oil burning furnace in the basement and all of the old corresponding duct work. Then it was the question on how we wanted to heat our home. My plan initially was to have a small wood stove in the kitchen to support electric off peak heat. Within a month of subzero temperatures though we knew we would never be willing to afford the electric heat… oh my gosh expensive! So, we kept our little wood stove burning hot all of the time and found out real quick a “little” stove was not going to cut it against a northern Minnesota winter! Read the rest of the post »

Old tools: Planing/finishing a do it yourself butcher block counter top!

How to build, do it yourself a butcher block island and how to finish it by hand with a planer and sander, diy, wood working, tips & tutorials
Mar 06 2017 -

Oh my goodness how time flies! Back in September of 2015 I posted about how I built/created my own butcher block for our red kitchen island I had upcycled out of an old radio stand. Finishing said butcher block has been on my list of to-dos ever since: over a year and a half ago! I created my counter top out of 1x2s I found out in the barn, a leftover from my grandparent’s days as wood workers who threw nothing away. Here’s a few pictures of how I built it: Read the rest of the post »

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

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

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 »

Build your own platform bed frame DIY

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

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 »

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

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!
Feb 13 2017 -

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 »

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

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

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 »

DIY All purpose and surface spray recipe!

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

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 »


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