Staying Home – For longer then expected

Sounds like people are needing to stay home for longer then they expect lately.  If your not sick and bored, I’m sharing some ways I make the most of my time at home.

No, seriously, You can only binge your shows and social media for so long and your gonna need to do something to pass the time.

Since I’ve been in the “Staying Home” for my everyday living for the last 6 years I feel like I’ve gotten good at making the most of it. This is just a small sample of what I do.

Update Decor

Being a Home and Garden blogger I get the opportunity to share about our home.  Home for me as a kid was growing up in a true FARMHOUSE. Not a modern home with some country farm accents.

But, now that’s me living in a 40 year old home adding Farmhouse accents.

9FCFC0D2-B6E9-4046-979B-EAE30E9C655B

I need to update the winter photo on my wall. Something I can do online from home without going out in public is ordering new a new picture to update that frame.  I will be putting in the Mexican sunrise.  Not a lot of money to do a simple update.

IMG_9013

I got out my simple Spring Decor the other day and put out my upcycled table runner from trimming my bedroom curtains. I still need to sew the one straight edge and it’s done.

Deep Cleaning

Once the flu hits your house at any time of the year we all hit cleaning mode.  It’s not just the “hey, we are getting company” kinda clean.

I mean lets dust and move furniture around and DEEP clean. I’ve been doing my oven, fridge, kids toys, borrowing a carpet shampooer.

My intense Carpet cleaning MIGHT have something to do with our new family addition.  Thankfully Potty training accidents are far and few between now. We made sure our carpet cleaner was specifically the kind that helps them not pee again and again in the same area.  Only happened twice that she went in the same spot.

IMG_9007

Purging and Organizing

If you follow me on Instagram I’ve been getting into my closest and putting away the winter gear.  There’s been thrift store drop offs and recycling.  I think you get the drift.  You know your home and what needs to be done.  If not there’s tons of great organizing videos online to get you motivated.

Anyone else binge watch organizing videos?

Yard Work

Something I’ve noticed is lots of new houses they do now is properties with less maintenance.  Not our place. I’ve been out in our yard getting it cleaned up since early February. I’ve made a HUGE dent and got our kids toys cleaned up so our puppy doesn’t get into something she shouldn’t.  Plus it looks so much better having a cleaned up backyard.

It looks SUPER different now.  Wait for the after photo…coming soon this spring.

IMG_1260

Baking

I’m a big homebody and making homemade food, especially if I have time is well appreciated.

IMG_1072

BUT….

Then baking goes sideways and I burnt the cookies.

IMG_8995

The upside to the burnt cookie moment.  Life was super busy at that moment. I came home for a girls night to find my husband rolling cookies and making them BETTER then I ever have.  I had too bake for 2 classes for the next day and when I burnt the cookies it derailed my day.

I’m not perfect and neither is our home.  I can share all the lovely photos I want.  Sometimes we burn the cookies. 

Last but not least.  I still attempt to make time for…

DIY

I sew or make home decor whenever I can get a free moment.  Which almost feels like never.  BUT, just like many other people in the world…We are supposed to be in social isolation. That means, my sewing machine is coming out. So is my paint brush.  I can’t wait to share more about that in upcoming posts.

IMG_8689

Oh yes,  can’t forget about Gardening.  But that’s gets it’s own posts on my blog.  More to come about that here soon.

How do you spend your days at home?

 

Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable GardeningIt’s March, the official day of spring is coming up very soon.  I hope my posts about my gardening is helpful to you in your own gardening projects.  As going into this new direction with my blog with my niche of Home and Garden I have so much to catch up on it feels like.

Vegetable Gardening!

Best part about growing your own Vegetable Garden is eating FRESH food! Here’s a picture of our own green beans and the lovely pork chops from the pig we bought this past year.

IMG_0860

However, if there is something that I share and post that you want me to expand on please comment below so I can get that information on my blog and share it with others.

Vegetable gardening is something my family and my husbands family for years. My mom is known for her front yard garden.  I hear about it lots from people who know my parents. Lots of what I have comes from my family and my mother in law.

IMG_0121

If you saw my Garden/Backyard Planning post you will see what used to be on our yard.

Before the Raised Garden beds went in last spring this was what my garden used to look like before I harvested in August.

IMG_5409

This was a lot of work to maintain.  I love how this looks, especially with the arch from our wedding.  I updated it and painted it years ago. It got twisted up in a storm and I had to get rid of it sadly.

I mentioned in my Raised Garden Beds post about one negative and that is not being able to grow squash.  In the picture above you can see how big the plants are in this picture.

I had an amazing harvest this particular year and plan to grow another squash garden again.  If your starting out vegetable gardening this is one easy vegetable to grow.

img_5740_original

For more ideas on easy vegetables to grow, check out Tara’s blog on 8 Easy Vegetables to grow. Thanks Tara for including me.

Here’s what I grow in my Garden:

  • Pole Beans – Family Favorite – Using seeds from my grandparents.
  • Snap Peas – Our kids eat these off the vine for a snack
  • Kale – Again – seeds I get from my mom.
  • Zucchini
  • Rhubarb
  • Herbs – Maggie, Chives, Parsley, Basil etc…
  • Radishes
  • Garlic
  • White onion

IMG_0578

I mentioned failing at things.  When we bought our place I got to take on the harvest of the previous owner.  She had LOADS of tomatoes in the greenhouse. I got, potatoes and so much more.  I was so overwhelmed with unpacking I gave LOTS away.

IMG_4400

I worked in a vegetable farm after high school and I knew right away these tomatoes never had their suckers pinched.

Since this abundant time I have only used this as a started house.  We have changed out the soil and I need to test it to find out what’s wrong with the soil.  I can only grow stuff in pots at this point.

Again, as I embark on this new direction as a Home and Garden Blogger, please let me know what you would like me to write more about. Comment below

 

 

 

 

 

Raised Garden Beds

If your considering Raised Garden Beds click on this post to see how we made ours and the how they work for our Garden.

Raised Garden BedsIn my last post I shared about Garden/Backyard Planning.  I mentioned how it takes time.

Planning also has to do with learning what works for your yard and how you want to do things.

I had a big problem on my hands.  I tried growing a garden the traditional way with just rotter tiling a section of our yard.  We had issue after issue with doing this.  Yes, I borrowed my parents machine from their acreage.

I was HOPING have the dirt rotated with a good machine would help. It didn’t.

My husband and I like to keep things fairly neat, tidy and organized.  I will admit not everything is, but when it came to the outside having clean lines it looks great. Considering invasive plants, potatoes growing rampant and loads of rocks we decided last year to put in Raised Garden Beds.

Worth all the hard work that went into making them.

Here’s a snapshot of the garden BEFORE we did the Raised Garden Beds.

IMG_5283

I shudder looking back at this. You can see if you zoom in, I have a few things planted BUT, the weeds and such would not stop persisting.

This decision was the best one we made for this area of our city lot.

Here’s the beginnings of the Raised Garden Beds.

IMG_7001These did not take long to make.  Our middle son jumped right into it and helped us out.  I have to admit, my husband did most of the work.  I helped load the wood. I don’t have the dimensions at this moment, I’ll edit this post and add it back in later.

IMG_7033

2 truck loads of a Garden Blend, filled the boxes up just right. I was off the start my planting for the season.

This was one project we didn’t research, and just went with it. Here’s a recap of how our Raised Garden did last year.

Here’s the list of positives for having Raised Beds:

  • Required less work – Beds has less weeds and where easy to reach to get the ones that did grow.
  • Needed less watering – They act like GIANT flower pots. I noticed our water bill went DOWN during the summer.  Saving money and growing our own food, yes please.
  • Easy to mow around – My husband loved this.
  • Look Great – Nice simple lines and when they were ready for harvest the looked full and amazing.
  • Kids didn’t run through and destroy the plants – this happened in the previous garden LOTS.  Now we have a puppy to train to just go into the boxes.

Negative:

  • It is great for just about all our growing needs for a Garden.  BUT, not running plants like zucchini or squash.
  • I missed growing certain plants that didn’t “fit” this style of gardening.

IMG_0295

I’m excited for another year with my Raised Garden Beds. Hoping the deer stay away from my pole beans.  I think our Dog might help keep them away this year.  I don’t like planting them 3 times. Somehow I need to keep the animals away from my strawberries too.

I honestly feel like I’m still a beginner gardener and have lots to learn.  I hope seeing that we built was helpful for your garden.  If you have any questions on what I shared feel free to comment below.

Happy Gardening.

 

Garden/Backyard Planning

Garden_Backyard PlanningToday I want to share with you about Garden/Backyard Planning.  We bought our home in 2014. This is our journey snapshot of what we started with and where we are now.

If there is something you see that you want me to go deeper into explaining please comment below.

Here I’m going to show you how our gardening/backyard planning took shape.  It would be great if we could have changed it all within that first year. BUT that costs A LOT of money.

To create a garden/backyard of your dreams it needs TIME.

When we bought this place we had one kid, now we have 3 and a puppy. Lots of changes.  The most reno work we have done has been to the outside.

The previous owner had a GREAT garden already going.  However things seemed to be in odd places and we had to re-work the yard how it fit for our dream for the property.

2014

IMG_4394

Here’s the LARGE garden box and a side garden. This garden where the trees are was super overgrown and I’m still fighting an aggressive plant in that area.

IMG_4399

Here’s the Greenhouse and the worn out old fence. I got to get a LOT of tomatoes out of that greenhouse.  Sadly I still have lots of learning to do and how to grow plants in there.  So far it’s been a starter house for me.

IMG_7862

We redid the fence, it was awful.

Remember I mentioned Garden Planning taking time?

Summer 2019

IMG_0294

The Wood was JUST getting weathered.

For our Daughters first birthday last year I tried doing a photo shoot.  It shows the new fence and memorial garden that I added.

IMG_0515

I really need to print and frame this one!

Here’s the current look at the Green House update we did.  My husband broke one of the windows with the lawnmower and we didn’t want to keep replacing the glass so we worked hard to make it more user friendly and to save money.

PLUS everything we did here was re-purposed.

IMG_1293

As you can see, we use it more for storage now. It’s tucked behind the house.

We still have more Garden/Backyard Planning to do. It takes time as I mentioned.  The kids get right into it as well.

I know I didn’t share any tips on this post, but I hope seeing the before and after it gives you some inspiration to work on your own garden and backyard.

IMG_0346

One last photo from last year.  There’s a HUGE Reno, that is still happening.  I’m hoping we get it DONE within the next 6 weeks and show you the reveal.  It’s a huge change for us,  We LOVE to entertain. This was when we served guests last year “in the garden”. That gives you a hint.

Have a great day and I would love to hear about your garden projects.

 

 

Finding my blogging ‘Niche’

Home and Garden NicheOk Ok, one rookie mistake I’ve made and it hasn’t really been helping grow my blog is actually focus on a ‘niche’. I have no shame in sharing this, I thought my blog would be bigger by now.IMG_6849

For those not into the in’s and outs of blogging lingo there’s a thing you need to do and that is find your ‘niche’.  Your area of expertise, or the thing that your passionate about.  I honestly couldn’t find something that really suited what I wanted to share as my “expertise” for this little blog on the internet.

I guess going on a much needed break on our Mexican Vacation from my home did I not see this blog in a different light.

My blogging “Niche” was already coming through on it’s own: Home and Garden

I got some posts out that I do like to share my advice about, but they don’t relate to Home and Garden.  They got barely any views.

IMG_9636Views do make a difference when you working to make an income from blogging. Since this blog is a fun creative outlet for me from my busy life being a stay at home mom  views are great but I don’t go crazy about how many I get.

With a few tweaks of using the right hashtags and sharing more about our home and garden, my blog will grow.   I’ve been WAITING to share more about our home, just life has gotten in the way to do that, like water leaks for example on an area I was ready to do the final photography on and well… I still have holes in my walls at the moment.

I look forward to giving this blog the direction it needs in expanding with the Home and Garden niche.

Notefull Living (2)I’m just someone who loves decorating our home. We live in the Fraser Valley, basically the Suburbs of Vancouver. I’m a big home body.  Plus when the weather is good I’m outside. My husband and I already have a home we renovated and sold and the fun we had flipping that one. I’ll have that post up soon.

Speaking of Gardening, it didn’t take long for me to connect with other bloggers in this niche to find me. For those that have and read my blog, thanks for seeking me out.

The topics I was writing about on my blog was Faith, Family and Music. These are all things that are hugely important to me.  I like sharing little bits of my Faith here and there on the blog.

In regards to Family, I sometimes share the odd picture without my kids faces showing for their privacy.  I strongly believe in children’s privacy especially when it comes to the internet.  Theresa Lynn Photography 023-21Lastly, I’ve got my music.  It’s tough to keep up with it with my family so young but I’m not giving up on it and already getting clients for my piano tuning, plus other things.

IMG_0294So If your a fellow Home and Garden enthusiast like I am, come along and SUBSCRIBE.

I honestly don’t feel like I’m a pro in any of these areas, just enjoy the journey of creating a lovely home for our family and an amazing time in the outdoors in my garden.

Carrie

 

 

Suburban Gardening

It’s Harvest Time! 

I live in the Suburbs of Vancouver in the lovely Fraser Valley and I’m happy to say we scored a decent backyard with the property we bought. I’m still dreaming of an acreage, but for now I will soak up all I can from our little home in the burbs.

I’m a country girl deep down and I grew up with helping my grandparents harvest out of their big garden in the country and their suburban home that they downsized too. I grew up gardening with my mom and my grandpa ended up having a garden on our property too.  It’s just in my veins I guess you can say.

To me, our backyard is small. This year we made planter boxes.  Wow, I wish we made these sooner. We are actually planning to make more in another area. Dreaming big over here.

I’ve shared in my 10 Reasons why I love Gardenening that you can garden anywhere. 

Here’s a look at our garden looked like in June.IMG_0294

Here’s a recent photo in the end of July. We have 4 boxes this year. The wooden Tee Pee’s are covered with snap peas and green beans.

IMG_0578

This year I didn’t have as big of harvest as I have had in previous years. Still, anything in our freezer or in canning jars is a win win. 

Our kids love running to the garden to pick a fresh snap pea and for me, I’m just simply in my happy place.

IMG_0584

Our harvest this year was lots of Pole Beans, Snap Peas, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Maggie, White Onion, Lettuce, Arugula and Chives.  

img_7758

I think my favorite so far was making the blueberry rhubarb sauce with local blueberries. We made a cheesecake and brought that sauce along to a friends luncheon. Lets just say the dessert was DEVOURED. It was so good. I’ll have to remake it again and take pictures next time!!

I love summer. Especially our camping trips and time with family. But gardening to provide fresh food for my family, you can’t put a price on that.

_Growing your own vegetables never looses it's value_

It’s worth all the hard work that does into it. Once you have a system, it doesn’t take much to keep the maintenance going with it.

Do you have a garden? Like mine in town?  If I could I would expand on the whole property…then we would really need an acreage.

What’s your favorite thing to grow?

 

10 Reasons Why I Love Gardening

10 REASONS I LOVE GARDENING

I’ve got a whole list of blog posts that I want to work on about our home.  Mostly about spaces we are working on on the inside.

However, we are an outdoors family through and through.

Gardening for me at this time of year is my top thing to do outside.

I recently shared a snapshot of our backyard on Instagram and lots of people loved it.  The lovely side of living in the Fraser Valley is the awesome spring weather we get (aside from lots of rain).

Truth is all I want to do is get outside and get the yard clean up done so the real work can begin in the gardens.

I went from starting out with one pot by my front door in a rental, when I was single. Getting a potting table built at our rental when we were married.  To our little townhouse with the itty bitty front garden and backyard, with lots of pots added to my collection.

Quote - Gardening verses Working

Now to our property where I’m trying to live the suburban dream of having as much as a mini “homestead worthy” backyard as possible.

I know it’s possible, I have a book that’s got plans that could make this place work.  

As much as I’ve been a stay at home mom for the past couple of years, it’s hard for me to focus working on my business and training when my garden is calling me to get outside.

One day I know my husband and I will have both enough space for the kids to spread out, He can have his lawn and I’ll be living as much as a homesteading dream as I can.

IMG_0300Here’s my 10 reasons why I love Gardening.

1: Saves money:  If you can get enough produce and flower bouquets out of your garden that you spend at the local grocery store then it’s paying off.  I can say we are getting close to that.

This topic could easily be a blog post all in it’s own from what we have experienced on saving money.

2: Stress Relief: If you haven’t spent time outside in a garden just simply weeding, then I hope reading this will help you be motivated to think about making a garden.  Even if it’s pots of a deck outside a condo.

3: Learning a whole new skill: As much as people say to others that they have a “green thumb”, I’ve noticed gardening is a skill to be practiced and perfected. Even the large growing greenhouse companies have whole growing trails fail.  

4: Peace and Quiet: Those early morning or late night watering is something that’s become a favorite quiet time I look forward to every spring.

IMG_01455: Creating a memorial garden: In 2014, we lost someone very special to our family. Most people who have lost a loved one have a physical graveside they can go to and visit.

With having a miscarriage we don’t. Our little girl passed away at 17 weeks in my second pregnancy. In her memory I have created “Gloria’s Garden”. I love sitting in the Adirondack chairs by the ruffed up old tricycle (pictured above) in our backyard.

6: Local Produce:  Nothing gets more local than growing your own food and discovering how fresh and amazing your meals taste with each gardening season.

7: Teaching my kids: I love teaching them about where food comes from, it’s not just from the grocery store. I also love teaching my kids the joy and gift that gardening is. My oldest without being prompted or asked jumped right in to help create his little sister’s garden.IMG_0274

I learned the value of hard work from growing up in the country.  With our little suburban property, our kids are still learning these wonderful life values I was taught.

8: Life lessons: The parallels of life lessons and gardening keep surprising me every year. If your a regular gardener like I am. I’m not an expert by any means. However, I keep finding that what I learn from gardening can be applied to life.

For example: knowing bad things (like weeds) can be deceiving and pretty BUT, if not dealt with can over take your life (or your garden). The morning glory in my garden is almost more than I can handle, just like bad things that come up in my life. If I don’t deal with it, it’s everywhere. You can overcome it…eventually.

IMG_02959: Happiness: Gardening brings out lots of happiness for me. Watching my kids sneak “treats” from the strawberry plants. Running out during dinner prep and adding herbs or making muffins with the rhubarb is worth all the time that goes into gardening.

Recently we upgraded our garden area with raised beds!

We are even starting to build up enough of a harvest in a our little backyard to fill up our freezer to enjoy in the winter months. It just keeps giving.

10: Time with God: This one not everyone will agree with me on.  That’s fine, where I am at in my life this time is becoming more and more a necessity with my walk with God. That peace and quiet time I spoke about in number 4 is fast becoming a much needed prayer time.

Which tip is your favorite?  Love to hear why you love gardening?  If you don’t have a garden I hope some of this is inspiring to help get you started.

Leave a comment!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If you like what I wrote, love to have you Subscribe to my blog.

You can Follow me on Social Media through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Did you notice this blog was ad free?

If you want to support me and my blog you can check out my side hustle.

Ask me about Arbonne Products at carrielynnparbonne@gmail.com or check out my website.

Do you want to connect with me for my blog?

E-mail me: notefullliving@gmail.com

Getting Home Decor and Garden Ready for Spring

Spring Home and GardenCan’t believe the official day of Spring is almost here. I’m so ready for it. My tulips are up and some of my crocuses are starting to bloom.

Here’s some things I’ve done to get my Home and Garden ready for Spring.

Spring Decor in our Home:

I have finally narrowed my Decor into ONE box. Yes, I’ve surprised myself too that I could contain myself to keep stuff in one box.

Here’s how: I keep all my Fall and Spring Decor in the SAME bin. I’m more of a simple decorator.

I’m all about keeping the decor on the cheap side and making it myself.

Plus I have an average size house, which is perfect. Less to clean. BUT we are working on improving some spaces in our home which means I’ll have more places to decorate.

I got my homemade grapevine wreath out and add some Spring bunches I put together just a few flowers on the wreath.

You can find my Homemade Grapevine Wreath here.

IMG_0125 (2)I love having this wreath on the door. I usually keep it up for Spring Summer and Fall.

I’ve also added a decorative box on my counter. The box and cookbook is hiding some tech stuff. Gotta make is pretty somehow, right?

I have some other flower bunches on the fireplace and my painted mason jars on our new table.

In the summer I add my own fresh flowers for the garden to put in the vases.

I actually had this all set up over a week ago. We had a little film done in our home and since it was done early March I was like, perfect time to get my spring decor out!!

Aside from my blog and decor being a great creative outlet for me I garden.

Getting my Garden Ready for Spring.

IMG_0121Our goal is to make Garden Boxes this year. I used to have a large one in the backyard when we bought the place. It was in the way and we took it down with plans to rebuild different ones. I’ll be sure to share before and after pictures when the new boxes are done.

I loved taking in the harvest from the previous owner when we bought. The greenhouse was PACKED with tomatoes. We learned to love making our own tomato sauce and don’t buy store bought sauce ever again.

I haven’t been able to keep the greenhouse happy since. It’s an art form I’ve learned. Need to do something with the soil apparently.

I’m adding a new Garden this year. Alongside having the boxes being built. I hope to get that Garden turned over soon.  More about that to come.

We are also ripping down our deck and rebuilding it. So our backyard is getting some much love this year. This will also make a great before and after posts. Here’s a teaser, you won’t believe what was growing on the deck when we moved in. I made sure to capture it!

For right now, I’m pulling out my seeds and seeing what’s there. Cleaning up the mess from winter. Looking forward to getting busy outside again. I’ve said it before, I love putting on my gumboots.

IMG_6849Love to hear how you decorate for Spring?  

Do you have a Garden?

What’s your Garden plans?

Please leave a comment I would love to hear your answers.

By the way, here’s the new table and the painted DIY mason jars, my view will blogging.

………………………………………………………………………….

If you like what I wrote, love to have you Subscribe to my blog.

You can Follow me on Social Media through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Did you notice this blog was ad free?

If you want to support me and my blog you can check out my side hustle.

Ask me about Arbonne Products at carrielynnparbonne@gmail.com or check out my website.

Do you want to connect with me for my blog?

E-mail me: notefullliving@gmail.com

 

 

Reflections of 2018

Reflections of 2018Is it here? The end of a year? 2018!

Next post will be in 2019!!

Many good things and difficult things have happened in 2018.

Life Storms

What a way to end 2018 in the Fraser Valley/Vancouver here in Canada we had a massive wind storm. The Pier that my husband proposed at got trashed by boats, someone had to get rescued by helicopter.

Some life storms we faced this year to do with a job change, 5 weeks early preemie baby and loss of a family member to name a few things.

Despite life storms I’ve worked more consistently at blogging. Switching to a better platform has made a big difference. I’m enjoying the journey, which it definitely is.

If I could speak openly, I’ve never thought much about venturing online and being more public and vulnerable with writing a blog. I’ll share more about that in the new year.

Best of 2018 for Notefull Living?

Top 5 Blog Posts

  1. Trailer RV Tour
  2. Starting a Business
  3. Boys Bedroom
  4. Camping Adventures
  5. August Birthday/Date Night Surprise are tied for 5th.

My FAVORITE POST is: Date Night Surprise.

You may notice I’m still new to blogging and some of my formatting is different from one blog post to the next.

IMG_9634My FAVORITE PICTURE I took this past year was this one. This one I took for my Birthday Post.

It’s not a goal of mine to be some big famous money making blogger.

I felt very strongly on my heart (from the Holy Spirit, yes, I’m a Christian) that I’m supposed to write this blog, knowing this I’m going to be myself.  

I’ve been loving reading other blogs over the years and in 2018 I’ve branched out on different media platforms and have been discovering who the Canadian bloggers are out there.

Are you are a Canadian blogger? Comment below with your blog sites, I would like to follow and find more Canadian Bloggers.

Speaking of different social media platforms my BIG tweet on twitter was this?DiBK70fVAAAR4Me

I guess my love for gardening and plants was appreciated by others too.

I’ve been enjoying connecting with other bloggers around the world.  It’s been great finding a community (you know who you are) online with getting likes, comments and subscribers!  

A big THANK YOU to everyone who is following, reading, commenting and subscribing.  

If your new hear I would love to have you Subscribe!

You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Blessings to you in 2019!