Preserving the Harvest 2020

preserving theIt’s September 2nd.  I’m still here.  Just super busy with getting a camping trip in and then coming home to my garden and bringing in the harvest.

For me this is the best part.  I love seeing the plants start and grow from seeds.  An added bonus, my husband went out and bought a TIMER with a splinter and my garden and greenhouse got water twice a day while we were gone.

I’ll write a post next year in how we set it all up.

You can watch our camping video here:

I hope you got a chance to get out this summer.

Garden Harvest + September =  CANNING SEASON

We stopped in Keromeos BC, Canada on our drive back and bought peaches and salsa making supplies. It’s a great place to go and visit if you live in BC.  It’s right next to wine country, how could you not stop!

Picking the Harvest

I’m so grateful.  My garden is STILL pumping out harvest.  I’ve done a fall garden as well this year and things are still growing strong. I must say though….the weather has definitely shifted. Fall is coming quickly.

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I think this is round 3 of Harvest that I got this year. Lots of Tomatoes – Kinda thought I would have more, but that’s fine.  LOADS of beans. I’ve been getting good at making Rhubarb juice and using that more smoothies. I sadly lost my lettuce, which we loved having fresh most of the season.

Since this photo, I’ve been able to get more yet. Plus small fall Harvest that I planted. I can’t get over how abundant this year has been. I still feel like a new gardener as there’s lots to learn but I think I’m starting to turn a corner.

Preserving the Harvest

Now that everything is getting ready to pick it’s GO TIME. I’ll be honest and admit it’s tiring to do canning and I’m only doing a small scale.

IMG_2052I get help.  I don’t do it all on my own. My mom has come over to help with the Apple Sauce (she has an awesome machine that I borrow), plus she came and helped with the pears just now.

61939602015__140C4C82-8A8F-48D2-821C-7FEBA57D89F1My sister in law and husband LOVE their salsa so she pitches buying half the supplies and we all do Salsa together.  My husband comes home from work and he comes for the adding spices part which he enjoys.

The Strawberry Jam and Beans my husband and I did, plus a friend came over and helped with processing the beans.

Do your research if your starting out.  It’s easier and simpler then you think.

Make sure you ask a friend to help whose done it before or ask to come over when they are doing it.

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We are working on our storage room again and I had to move all my canning at the moment. It made for a nice picture I think!

Here’s a video that I made for YouTube where I take you along with me.

Other ways we Preserve:

Just a last thing to note. We have often frozen most of our harvest with a vacuum sealer.  I usually have my blueberries, blackberries, beans and apples in the freezer.  As I shared in the video we have a whole pig coming so I’ll need the space.

We also have a smoker and in the future I would like to dehydrate the harvest as well.

Last few thoughts to leave you with.  I’ve been feeling strongly about being self sufficient or being more PREPARED in general. Life is getting more challenging and being prepared is more important then ever.

I’m grateful I have a simple lifestyle and don’t need lots of “things” to be happy.  It makes me very happy that I have some food to have on hand that was fresh and freshly preserved.

How about you?  Are you prepared if there is an upcoming food shortage?

Do you can and preserve?

 

 

Dining Room Flooring Upgrade

Updgrade FlooringAs we are making changes to our home again, I want to share with you updates we have done in the recent past that’s made a massive impact for our family and home life.

In 2017 we upgraded our flooring.  We had an extra vehicle we didn’t need and sold that and went out the bought flooring for our kitchen/dining room.

This happened to be a cheap and simple renovation that has had a HUGE impact. People who come over to our home still comment on the difference this has had.

Before

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This was just after we moved in in 2014. This is how our townhouse was set up, this was only a little bit bigger.  The difference was we could have our table leaf in to make it full size.  We had it like this for a few years until it wasn’t working anymore.

I had my “Love it or List it” moment while pregnant and could barely get out from behind the table.

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This right here is WHY we never put our table in it’s proper space. The carpet….Young family and carpet was a NO GO.

The day finally came for the flooring to be installed.

Interesting thing is I was already blogging and didn’t really document the process. I was in my test phase of how to blog and very green back then.

After

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I still today look at this space and am super happy with how this turned out.

We bought this second hand table on Market Place for a steal and the chairs got an upgrade with slip covers.

There’s still some updates that need to get done, however, we are super grateful and thankful to be able to host big dinners now that we have the space to do so.

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I’m thoroughly enjoying picking flowers or doing small table decorations on the top.

In the video I made for YouTube you can see my DIY table runner and canning jar DIY.  I had no inspiration with the previous table to do this.

Today the upgrade conversations continue to happen as we have started a few projects and had some major issues come up and had to halt on them.

This is the year to get them DONE. We are not expected to really go anywhere and lucky YOU get to follow along on our updates as we do them.

The amount of flooring the needs to be done in this home is pretty much the entire house, no joke, true story!

Have you installed new flooring?

Which room did you do?

Other Reno’s we have done, you can find those posts here:

COMPLETE Townhouse Reno

Outdoor Deck Before and After

Basement Demo

Garden/Backyard Before and After

Subscribe if you want to find out what we do next !

 

 

Demo Day – Basement Renovation

Demo Day

I started a project. My husband and I have spent hours talking over which Reno to do next after we 90% completed our deck Reno. We still have a few more touch ups.  It’ll get done. That will be up on YouTube as well.

Our deck Reno you can see here

Basement Reno

I remember walking through this house before buying it.  I went through it without my husband and later took him through it again. We both thought the basement was weird.  The layout is just OFF.

Either way we bought this house. Right away I noticed this unsafe boarded up fireplace.  During the showing it was a bedroom so I didn’t pay close attention to how bad it was.

Before

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This served as our kids playroom.  We also had a hide-a-bed in here.  We just gave it away. So now we had more space.  We made the kids go through their toys.  I moved the bookshelf out and this past weekend, with the help of my sister in law, we started tearing into this wall.

It was wall to wall of painted paneling. It had this weird boxed out thing on the ceiling – which we now know has to STAY. There’s a gas pipe dropping down into our ceiling. I’ve watched enough design channels and shows to know how to make this a part of the future design.

Here’s a video of our progress:

I just recently started this YouTube channel – mean a lot if you subscribe.

After

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We uncovered an UNUSED fireplace. Our home is around 40 years old. There was never a fire in this fireplace.

From a design perspective this fireplace is even worse now that it’s exposed.  We will board it up properly this time.  Our basement is COLD so we will be properly insulating this.

Design

As promised in the video at the end, I’ll share my design ideas with you. We have a few options my husband and I have been tossing around.

No – It’s not smart to start a project and not know what you have planned for the Reno in the end. Our deck we planned it out and it made a massive difference in the long run.

This will be an entertainment wall for the whole family.  I have board games and stuff everywhere in our house because it never had a home.

Are you doing any Reno’s right now?

 

Reclaimed Canada Flag Wood Sign

Reclaimed Wood signCrisis Homeschooling is DONE and it’s SUMMER BREAK!! We already have been 2 trips, one camping trip locally for Fathers Day Weekend and just got back from a trip to see Family in Williams Lake.

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Today is Canada Day!  My husband and I have been busy working on a project.  We had a gate blown down from the wind and ended up hiring someone to build a new one.  So we had really nice weathered fence boards.

Video of the process is also on YouTube.

Reclaimed Canada Flag Wood Sign

Step One:

Find wood or buy some and set it out to measure it.

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We just copied the size of our Canadian Flag to keep it simple. We also had a space for this to fit in our outdoor Patio.

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Step 2:

Cut support boards for the back side.  Measurements depend on how big your flag is.  My husband also counter sinked the holes for the screws.

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Step 3:

Make the Maple Leaf Template. This was an interesting challenge to trace the leaf through a large piece of paper. I explain this lots on the video I made for You Tube.

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Step 4:

Pin the paper down too the wood.  Then Paint!

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I started with the edges and made sure to go with the grain of the wood. Then I filled it in.

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It’s starting to come together!

Step 5:

Measure out where the Side lines will go.  Again – We kept it simple and referred to the flag to where the tap should go.

Then Paint the Sides!  Our boys helped with this next part.

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Remember to paint the edges!!!

Step 6:

Put in Eyelets and Hang it up!

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Tip: My husband set his small level on the top of the sign to make sure it was level when he hung it. It’s up to you how you choose to hang your sign.  We have a an overhang over our patio where we could screw the other eyelet into and use mechanics wire to secure it.

Completed!

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It may seem big but it actually fits this space.

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It’s a great addition to our outdoor patio – full tour is found here.

Here’s a video version of how we made this!

 

Blog addition: You Tube

Blogging addition_It’s been a bit quiet here on the blog.  However, I’ve been very busy getting some additions to my blog. I have a short blogging announcement.  Which I’m pretty sure you already can guess what it is.

If you follow me on Social Media you already know I’ve made this leap.

Aside from relaxing with my hubby in this space for many nights with our fire pit here.  Gotta take the breaks when you can.

Even though places are opening up here in BC, we are still hanging low at home.

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Blog Addition: You Tube

I’ve been curious to add YouTube since the beginning of my blogging journey and decided to just do it once my blog had growth.  Which I where I’m at now.

I have a few videos up already.

Here’s a first Welcome Video based off the last blog post I made.

I’ll be upfront and honest, it a bit scary.  If we live our lives in our comfort zone then that’s a boring life to live.  I’ve lived in my comfort zone for years. Not unless you’ve broken out of your comfort zone do you know what I mean. Seriously, try it!!!

I’m grateful for a husband that loves going on adventures and pushing me to be brave and have fun in life.

Before I took the leap I asked for his opinion.  We both agree that it can’t take away from family time or my first responsibility and that is the kids.

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HoneyMoon in 2008, Banff Alberta!

 

Video Tutorials

As a Home and Garden blogger, making tutorial blog posts are still possible (obviously), just a video ADDS to seeing how I do things.

Like this video about Stringing Tomato Plants….

This Gardening Video I made with a request from a family member.  It would be hard to do this tutorial in a blog post, hopefully this video is helpful.

I’m still learning, and I’m enjoying the adventure.  I’m super low tech with my iPhone and the iMovie app, yet it seems to be more simple then I think.

Subscribe

Be super awesome if you would subscribe to my NEW YouTube Channel.  I’ve been enjoying all the connections I’ve been making here on my blog and look forward to who I’ll connect with on YouTube as well.

As always, have a great day!

What have you been doing lately that’s NEW and out of your COMFORT ZONE!

The Ultimate DREAM HOME

2020, what a year.

I’m taking a moment to share something about our home and a part of my life that I cautious to share on the blog.  However with recent events in our world, I’ve felt this intense pain from all over.

Knowing my personality (Highly Sensitive/Empathetic) I felt compelled to open up and share this.

The Ultimate DREAM HOME

What’s this about?  Just a disclaimer there’s no literal home and garden tips today. Read to the end to understand what I mean. I hope at the end you can understand how this fits with the ultimate dream home.

Here’s a fact about OUR home: It’s an OPEN DOOR!

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Our dream for our home was for it to be an open door to family and friends.  For our kids friends to come and be the HUB home. It’s something my husband family does and it’s a GIFT we wanted to carry out for others who come into our lives.

It’s been incredible journey opening our doors to international students for over 7 years. Hosting many friends and family visiting from out of town. Yes – It’s possible to fit a family of 6 in our basement. FYI we have one shower in this house.  We hope to change that.

Enough about our home. Let’s pause for a moment and think about the ultimate DREAM HOME.

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I made a vision board for my Arbonne business back in 2013. Little did I know most of the board is true today.

Here’s where things about my view have changed…

A DREAM home has nothing to do with how great the decor is or the latest Reno – it’s the PEOPLE that make a HOME.

I was brought up with this and never understood it until recently.

Also, another important fact is:

It’s the HEART of the individual and how they live out their lives that creates their own DREAM HOME.

Our heartbeat is what keeps us going everyday. Let me share something about my own life to see how my home/body was broken.

How I almost lost my life

I’ve personally had near death experience over the years.  Going through that was more then I could take which broke me to my core. Not to get into too much here, however pregnancy for me has either been staring death (severe preclampsia) in the face for myself or my future children. Laying frozen and unable to move in a Hospital bed with our first, going through our Pregnancy Loss  and almost loosing my third baby (pictured below) was more then enough. Being in full active labor I needed to go into surgery as my son almost had no heartbeat. I’ll never forget having a mask put over my face and crying out to God as everything blacked out. 

Back to this HEART of the individual, I’m not talking like a literal, physical heart surgery. I did NOT like the person I was and people could pick up on how BROKEN HEARTED I was. 

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I could try put on a mask and a ‘happy’ face, however people saw through me after a while. I was heavily watched and monitored through this pregnancy (pictured above) with deep concern from my doctors about my mental health. They could see and hear what was really in my heart with the words I spoke.

BROKEN HEART + BROKEN HOME = BROKEN WORLD

I don’t know how else to put it.  Can’t put it any other way, and trying to keep it simple.

I’m not perfect and my broken heart still needs HEALING.  Your a witness to this reading my blog to my healing process and you don’t even know it.

Here’s a picture of our daughter in the memorial garden for our little Gloria.  Our third (technically fourth) pregnancy I faced death yet again, this little girl is one whom we have longed for. When our first daughter died, I was coming to accept our boys whom I love, Someone was still missing.

In my next post I’ll share about how we almost lost her too.

IMG_0515We ALL have our own story of a broken home, or a broken heart which can lead to feeling like a dream home or a dream life isn’t possible.

So, I hope you can hear how the Ultimate DREAM HOME and what I’m talking about has nothing to do with a magazine worthy home that’s beautifully decorated.

Do you want the ultimate dream home? Healing from within needs to happen.

I’m surrounded ALL THE TIME, by those who are hurting and their homes/hearts are BROKEN.  People close to me are hurting and it’s so hard to watch/witness.  Wow 2020 is sure a raw reality of how hurt our world is.

Those who know they can come and talk to me, do.  It’s a gift I’ve fought and never understood until recently. Hears a truth I’ve come to know.

 The ultimate DREAM HOME, begins with YOU.

HEALED HEART + HEALED HOME = HEALED WORLD

If watching the news wasn’t painful enough before, it’s gut wrenching what’s happening. Pain on this earth and in our world has been around for years/centuries.

I’m so sorry to each and every person that’s enduring pain in their lives today. I truly am, this isn’t some FLUFF post to get views or recognition. I only can share my own personal pieces to share that you can overcome what your going through.

I’m truly SORRY that you are suffering. I’m sorry that through your struggle that an attempt to have a MOMENT to have any sort of DREAM life or HOME seems completely unreachable.

IMG_0844It’s my PRAY for YOU that your HEART starts healing, in the smallest way today. I PRAY that your HOME starts healing. May you and those in your home receive the same. One person at a time our world heals.

The ultimate dream home is possible.  Don’t give up hope.

My healing (still needs lots of work) heart is only made possible through my faith in my heavenly father.

Writing this blog is another form living out that OPEN DOOR dream that my husband and I have. I hope sharing this post gives you insight to where my hearts at.

img_9022I am today living in my ultimate dream home – because of the person I have become through my own healing. My ultimate dream home still needs work (both in my heart and in my actual home). There’s some GOOD transformation reno’s coming up on the blog!!

If anyone hasn’t told you today – You are LOVED. Don’t forget that, when we are hurting it’s easy to forget that people out there care for you.

I can only lift up this hurting world up in prayer and hope that people reading this post don’t give up hope on their ULTIMATE DREAM HOME.

MUCH LOVE,

Carrie

 

 

 

 

Growing Indoor House Plants

Growing IndoorIt’s been super busy around here with the Garden, as you may know if you have been following me for a while.  Also homeschooling or crisis schooling as I call it at the moment. Last couple weeks, almost there

There’s something about bringing the outside in.  I’m not just talking about blending my morning smoothie with mint leaves or trying a new smoothie with rhubarb. I’m talking about flowers from the Garden and better yet bringing in House plants into our home.

Being in the “growing family” mode for a while and it’s been a bumpy road of recovery from that time.  I’ve always dreamed of having more house plants. I feel like that time has finally come that I can turn my attention more to our home again.

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My ‘go to’ fake lavender and daisy – completely fake.

I used fake flowers to get through this phase.  I learned, even looking at that was still worth the money spent at the dollar store, when I would have preferred real over fake.

House Plants

What Indoor House Plants do I have at the moment?

Currently I have plants I have “rescued” or saved or simply had them given to me. FYI – Huge money savings if you can save plants people don’t want anymore.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you notice a plant with baby shoots on it.  They might just happily pull out an extra pot and send it home with you.

9FCFC0D2-B6E9-4046-979B-EAE30E9C655BSpider plant – I grew from baby shoots from my Mother in Law.  I’ve already potted up a first set of baby shoots from this plant and about to do it again. As I mentioned above, I noticed her plant had several shoots and I asked and she said to “go ahead”.

This plant has bloomed several times.  It’s been really neat.  I had no idea this indoor plant bloomed with little flowers.

IMG_1358First time it had 3 Spiderettes and this time it has 2.  This plant is grown from 3 shoots. I suspect I need to repot this one soon.

What do I mean by “rescue” plants.  Here’s an example of that, with my next house plant.

IMG_1738Peperomia – This is a combination of the plants that didn’t die from 2 Christmas baskets I got one Christmas. I loved the look of it. I like the fact that this plant isn’t bushy and big. The Planter it is in is from the original Christmas Basket I got with at least 3 other plants that didn’t survive.  Since both of the planters had this plant in it I combined the 2 and they have doubled in size since.  Super great beginner plant I might add.

13BC789B-E7D4-4B9A-ADD4-2DB7F42E9078Kaffir Lily – Someone just gave me in my neighborhood through a connection over the Garden Swap Box. Here’s my blog post about the Garden Swap Box. This plant is completely new to me.  I’m super curious to see it bloom.  It already has a baby shoot starting. This lady from my neighborhood has kept the original plant alive since 1970, so I think I got a good shoot at keeping this one going too.

Go check out my Instagram for the story behind this plant. Look for this photo.

IMG_1735Stromanthe Triostar – I just bought this. I was wanting to add something to my indoor house plants that I picked out and bought for myself.  These plants were ALL over our resort in Mexico.  When I saw it at the local garden center it was definitely coming home with me.

I’ve already noticed, this is my new plant “baby”. Seriously, this plant loves LOTS OF WATER. Oh, at least my kids think this parts fun, it needs to be misted. At least I have helpers, “mom did you mist the plant today?”.

Here’s The blog post about our recent trip to Mexico.  Don’t worry,  it was before the world literally shut down.

One of the light bulb moments I had that realized my blogging niche is Home and Garden. I took as much pictures of the plants ( videos of the Stromanthe in particular) then time with my family.

Farmhouse Inspired -DIY Pot for Indoor Plants!

Items you will need:

  • Dollar Store metal pot with handle.
  • White Spray Paint
  • Painters Tape

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Steps for preparing the pot for paint:

  • Tape the TOP EDGE of the pot and the HANDLE.
  • Tape any extra metal sides, where you don’t want paint.  Like the handle piece connected to the pot on mine.
  • Paint in a open area for over spray.
  • Paint 2 coats. Once dry remove the tape!

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Allow the paint to ‘gas off’ before coming the house. And set it in it’s new home.

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Additional TIPS for Indoor House Plants:

If you are just starting out or a beginner, start small like I did with 2 or three plants.  If you have too many to start, it can be overwhelming. Plus I had to consider, kids and now a dog. Yes – My oldest we learned is allergic to Easter Lily’s.

Each plant has it’s own spot in the house it”ll like.  Plus it took time for me to learn the signs of stress in the plants or when I forgot to water. I noticed over time my spider plant was fussy. I learned to pay attention to the leaves color. Dull – needs water. Bright – well watered.  I also moved it around a LOT to find it’s “happy” spot in the living room.

My Pemperima was/is a great beginner plant, I’ve moved it downstairs with less sun for a while and it did just fine.

Fresh Flowers – From the Garden

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I’m having so much fun creating fresh flower bouquets. My fave is the peonies!

Fresh Flowers from the Garden beat Fake Flowers from the Dollar Store

I’m already busy planting more cut flowers in my new garden I made last year along our fence. I’ve been blessed with flowers from the previous owners like these peonies.

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Ok – I think you might have noticed I’m loving finally being able to get to this place now and share this with you.

How about you?

What do you have for Indoor Plants?

Are you a beginner or have had plants for a long time?

Carrie

 

 

Setting up an Outdoor Patio

Setting up anWhen a moment happens that something you’ve wanted to do or create for a long time comes together.  That’s what happened today for me.  I’ve long since loved reading magazines like Style at Home and just LOVE all the outdoor spaces people make.

Today was the first of many patio set ups for our home!

It’s May Long Weekend and our Trailer is still in the driveway.  Not something we are excited about.  We do plan to sleep in it one of the nights this weekend. Plus we get to install a new awning!

I hustled yesterday to get this space ready. I was inspired by a local lady and her “She Shed”. Here’s my version on my Patio.

Setting up our Patio Space:

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Creating a patio space for me includes things that inspire you for the outdoors.  Here we have Adirondack (plastic, mind you), Rowing paddles tucked in the corner and of course lots of plants.

2 big bonuses on our property is the greenhouse AND a covered patio. It’s a double win in my mind.

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I grabbed out folding side table from the trailer, painted a sign from an old sign we had in the house and put the word “LAKE” on it and hung my succulent planter.

Simple touches that help make the space become a relaxing zone at anytime of the day.

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Lots of personal touches like, decor, fresh cut flowers on the table and lots of different colored and sized pots.

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I think every gardener has a story to tell about their pots.  Beige pot I bought when I was renting. The next 2 come from my husbands family. The water pot his grandparents and parents used for camping.  We used it too for many camping trips to boil water. The big colorful pot is from his grandparents.  The little wine bottle lantern I got for a birthday present from my Sister-in-law. I had to more it for the kids, they might break it.

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I see a future painting project in this picture. I can’t wait to paint this little table. I love running out to cut the rhodo’s that line our property.  I’ll have more fresh flowers this summer going here for sure.

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These Paddles, I saved them.  My hubby was ready to let them go.  I was like, nope, decor, and took them back. I do those kinda things. FYI – Made by the Canadian Paddle Company.

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Here’s a side shot with the greenhouse. We have a swing the kids love to hang out it. I also have my hanging baskets growing.  I would love to extend the patio bricks in front of the greenhouse, but that’s a project for another day.

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Now off to pour some wine and enjoy the propane fire pit we have going in our new patio space to enjoy the long weekend.

Our puppy loves to curl up at our feet and the kids loved the s’mores tonight.

Do you have a patio space?

How are you spending the May Long Weekend?

 

 

 

Community Garden Box

Home and Garden Swap (1)My heart beats for Community and the well being of others.  When I think back on how I got started Gardening a lot of my plants that I started with I got for FREE.

One of my goals as a blogger is serving YOU, my readers. I like to help solve a problem you may be having.  Here’s the thing.  Recently MANY people have lost their jobs. This has been hard for many close to me. My big community heart wants to HELP.

So I created a community garden box.

Here’s all the steps of how I made mine and let me know if you plan to host a community garden box too!

Community Garden Swap

Here’s how I made it:

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Step 1:

I found an old cedar box planter I had not been using. I took out my stencils and paint.  I planned out the words and painted them on the box. I used stencils – not a fancy machine with vinyl. I don’t make enough signs. Simple stencils from the dollar store!

Step 2:

Fill it with plants you are not wanting anymore. Plants you have extra of!! Sometimes our seeds do really well and we don’t need that many.

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Step 3: 

Let your community know! My box sat for close to 2 weeks before any plants started moving. I realized my mistake in not advertising to the local community group on Facebook.

I’ve ran into some problems with mine and realized I needed to add some “Rules and Guidelines” to the box.

FREE PDF Version click Community Garden Box

Community Garden Box

Step 4:

Have fun – Get to know your local gardening community. You might find someone to share the Harvest with! I’ve already had lots of great connections with my neighborhood through mine.

Here’s the Final Community Garden Swap Box

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The box did get picked up from a miss understanding and I was able to track it down and get it back.  My seed container in the box had a bunch of loose seeds rolling around. So the guidelines was needed.

I just printed the guidelines – put it in a plastic sleeve and stapled it to the bottom.

Step 5: (Optional)

If you want to host one in your community and like to be added to the list of locations join the Community Garden Swap Facebook Group.

If your not on Facebook and want to know a list of locations with contact information fill out the contact form.

 

 

Benefits of hosting a Garden Swap:

1: Your helping someone who has a minimal budget grow food for their family.

2: Get to know your Gardening Community Near you – SHARE THE HARVEST.

3: Try a new plant!

4: Gardening is great for our health and well being on so many levels.

Gardening is an ESSENTIAL part of my life.

I shared more in my 10 Reasons Why I love Gardening

Love to hear from you,

Do you share your plants or harvest with others?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our DIY Deck – Patio Renovation

Patio Renovation

Disclaimer: We are NOT deck building professionals. This deck was built by us with guidance from construction workers. Additional work done on the deck was done by a professional company for the vinyl and railing in which we received a discount for work done. 

Our DIY Deck – Patio Renovation!

We aren’t construction workers, however my husband was excited to take on this build. Lots of research, designing and planning went into this. We did get a quote from one company to do the entire thing and then we decided to do the build ourselves. The vinyl and railing was done by a local company.

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Logo used by permission

We got 2 word of mouth recommendations for the vinyl and railing for Pheonix and Ediger Sundecks.

BEFORE – The old deck

Let’s be real, we bought an older house. When we moved in the deck caught our attention with how bad it was. It was growing mushrooms!

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The deck wasn’t a builder grade and was patched and held together by many materials not suitable for decks. Roofing shingles belong on roof’s not stairs.

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The wood was fencing boards and super slippery when wet.

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I bought several rice mats over the last couple years and stapled them down to make it somewhat bearable to use.

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I resorted to blocking the stairs for the kids safety sake. I have no idea how my piano made it up these stairs.

FYI – My garden hose was under those stairs. I had many bruises on my back hitting the stairs to turn the water on and off.

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I shudder looking at this.

I was running Foam Fest last year and my husband started sending me pictures of a destroyed deck. Where he stood to BBQ, his pry-bar slipped through like butter when he let go to TEST how rotten the deck was.

AFTER – Our new deck

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If you look at the staining on the patio tiles you can see how small the old deck was.

The basement bedroom has so much light now. It has a full view of the backyard. We will be building a storage shed in the future to replace the storage we lost from underneath.

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We spent so much time designing: Where the stairs should go?  How far out we wanted it to be?

We took our existing table and BBQ and set it out in the grass and laid out several scenarios.  Then the right one clicked.

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View from our patio sliding door to the stairs.

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View from the stairs coming up. Made sure there was lots of space for sitting around the table and the BBQ being a good safe distance from the table.

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Our youngest and our puppy are on the deck ALL the time. Kona is constantly sun bathing on the deck. Or she’s often found looking for scraps after a meal.

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We can’t wait to host BBQ’s again.  We are always outside.  Our house needs lots of work, we’ve done most of our Reno’s for outside. We still have a stucco repair to do, stain the stair tread’s, landscaping and paint.

If you planning a deck renovation and looking for a company, I encourage you to contact Pheonix and Edigar Sundecks. 

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We are excited to finally do a big change for our property. It’s already changed how we live in our home. It’s like an outdoor dining and living room.

Are you planning a deck Reno?