Earth Day 2020

2020 (1)It’s April 21st.  I don’t always keep up with all the “days” of the year where there’s something to celebrate. Earth Day seems like an important one to highlight this year.

Am I a big tree huger? Do I love the earth that we live on and thinks it’s important to take care of it, YES.

I’ve been a bit weighed down for a while about our earth and the major changes that are taking place.  Truth is, I see technology pushing natures boundaries in the coming years worse then ever for our convenience. Doesn’t take long to do some research and get annoyed at what’s coming in the next few years and even now.

2020

Take care of our Earth

I’ve been on a more ‘Eco’ friendly lifestyle for a while.  I’m not fully a granola crunchy person as people like to tease, but I’m close. My husband did a night over camping trip at a local lake in the mountains a few years ago and shared with me when he got back there were some women there that if ‘Carrie let herself go…I would look like that’.

Every small step makes a difference:

For money savings sake a long time ago I started hanging my laundry to dry. In turn I wasn’t running my energy draining dryer.

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Another way is hand washing dishes. I’m learning lots of minimalists who don’t have a dishwasher and only just enough plates and such for their families. That would sure make washing dishes a lot faster if there was less.

That’s just an example of 2 small steps. There’s so much more Eco living tips that I haven’t even attempted to try yet. If you look at my living on one income post you can see much more how we save.

I honestly see it as more going back to the old ways and less leaning on the conveniences of our modern ways of life.

“Electronics are expensive and convenience is costly”

Any way you can change the way you look at your everyday living and think more of an earthly mindset you can make a big difference.

How do we take care of our earth?

Making small steps in your home and lifestyle for one. Also, when shopping looking for products that either use environmental practices in their products or fund an organisation that helps the environment.

Most of my clothes is second hand or I bought on clearance.  Here’s a shirt I’ve had my eye on for a long time. It’s made by a local clothing company, literally 15 min from where I live.  Knowing that the fabric is made in North America and not from a sweat shop makes a difference.

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Taking care of our earth is buying local, sourcing out products that have the environment in mind. One of my planters I recently bought is made from recycled plastics collected from my local area.

How are YOU celebrating Earth Day?

This Earth Day we can’t go to any parades or host big celebrations. The kids and I painted a big earth on our window and talked about ways we can help save the earth.

Oh – They requested cupcakes too.

What are some Earth Friendly things you do to help the earth?

Self Care: Managing Coronavirus

How am I doing?

Need to talk about self care today. Especially around this current time we are in. While walking with our puppy and the kids this morning all of this was heavy on my mind.

I’ve always been a ‘rule follower’. I’m not saying I am perfect at following the rules but , I’ve realized this whole stay home order that we have in Canada is kicking in all my childhood thoughts and feelings? Why?

How am I feeling?

Left out, like a failure and alone…

Last week my son noticed our neighbor having friends over. It was obvious by conversations that all the adjoining yards to hers that they are front line workers.

‘Mom, if I’m not allowed to have friends over why is she?’ Good question?

We are blessed to live by lots of parks and trails. Recently the bc parks got closed, which meant we’ve been sticking close to home more then we have. I recently learned friends going for walks and right away felt ‘left out’. Again, those childhood fears crept right back up.

An order is an order, doing our best to be an example to our kids to ‘follow the rules’. Then there’s doing ‘crisis homeschooling’. Last week I completely missed read a section of the school website and missed several day’s worth of learning that I should have been doing. Those old feelings surfaced of being a failure and not ‘understanding’ the teachers directions and doing it wrong. All came back. Create and hands on is how I learn. Written directions have always been a challenge.

As much as all these feelings of left out, failure and alone. Seriously, grocery shopping is just silently weird. I’m almost always that annoying chatty person in the line up. As much as I can come across as shy I like meeting new people. Spaced out line ups and sparse shoppers in the stores is weird and kinda lonely.

Managing it all

As I write this on my phone, my son has his class zoom call soon and my neighbor just dropped off dalia tubers in my mailbox.

I allow these feelings to come up, acknowledge them and move on.

Truth is I’m so exhausted at the end of the day. It’s a good exhausted feeling. One that tells me I’m not giving up on life. I’m keeping more busy then I ever have and am very grateful for what I do have.

I’ve been through too many ‘rough’ patches to know it’s temporary and the know the feeling of freedom once I’m out of the worst of it.

Flute playing, gardening, family birthdays, decor projects, Reno projects, organizing, running a ministry, blogging, studying, housework and family life. I think that’s it? I couldn’t do any of this without my faith or my amazing marriage with my husband.

How are you managing this Coronavirus self isolation order?

Our First Reno – Townhouse Renovation

TownhouseI thought I would take a moment and share a past project.  This one was HUGE.  We bought our townhouse in 2010 and moved in January 1st 2011 and the renovations began the NEXT morning!

It’s only a GLIMPSE of what we did. I took a ton of pictures so I tried finding the best before and after.

I’m a sucker for home transformation and when it was finally our turn I was so excited!!

Here’s our Townhouse Renovation from 2011 – 2014

Front Entrance

Before

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Inspectors Photo during the purchasing process. We renovated so quickly I didn’t get much before pictures.

After

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New Door – Floor Tile – Trim – Coat Hook – Electrical – Drywall – All the important stuff behind the walls and we can’t forget PAINT!

Front Hallway

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Yikes – This is hard to look at.  It’s USED to be a huge mudroom, with a storage closet with Hot water tank and electrical and access to the garage PLUS the front door.  Oh, that window at the end in over the kitchen sink.  The townhouse USED to have a carport.  This used to be exterior.

After

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New hallway and just a pass through window without cabinets blocking the view to the backyard.

Here’s a shot of the old front door.

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We took it out – obviously.  This is the original front entrance where I’m standing taking the picture. The man with the hammer.  My handsome hubby.

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We just had it as a more open area with old coat closet becoming a pantry.  Something I don’t have now and miss! Plus I had a storage cabinet there.  Townhouse – need all the storage you can get.

Kitchen

Before

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Truth – The best photo I have because it was so boxed in with walls and cabinets that were ready to fall. Cabinets had rat droppings on them and the light above the sink wasn’t secure and ready to fall into the kitchen sink at any moment.

After

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Did you catch that?  We FOUND these stairs on the other side and it completely changed our design plan and ended up with a bigger kitchen.

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Cabinet makers daughter here.  Solid Maple Cabinets with crown molding.  Yes – Solid cabinets.  Do I ever miss those cabinets.  Dreaming of a new kitchen again.  It’s SO nice.

Living Room

Before

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Again – Inspection photo.  This hurts my eyes, I can SMELL this place.  It stank so bad. Oh….did you see the GIANT mirror. Then there was this all over the walls.

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Confused?  Vaulted ceilings.  We kept the top part and took down the rest.  What a job.

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This place had 1970’s written all over it.  Orange Curtains!! We camped in our living room with camping kitchen.

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Last living room shot.  That fireplace!

After

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Bathrooms

Downstairs 1/2 bath Before

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Again, I shudder when I see this.

After

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Don’t ask me why the lid is open. I loved the wainscoting we did in this bathroom.  The shelf was from the upstairs bathroom and fit better on the main floor.

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Upstairs Bathroom Before

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After

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Just like my kitchen, it was hard to say goodbye to this bathroom when we sold this place.

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I just realized the trim isn’t done in these photos.  It was before we sold it.

I took lots of pictures – never knowing I was going to blog in the future. We learned a TON during this and are already getting our current home into the planning process for some renovations.  Yes – We did have our first son in this place. Painting and Pregnant…

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Hope this post was fun and inspiring too look at.  Some of the design is still current and some of it isn’t anymore.  It’s a townhouse complex so the exterior is all done by strata.  So there’s now photos of that.

What Renovations have you done?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Home and Garden Tour

Spring 2020Spring is in full swing here at our house. I hope these pictures are an inspiration for your own home and garden.

I just shared my first Plant Haul on my Instagram feed. That was fun to do.  I’ve always seen peoples “hauls” when they go shopping.  Anticipate more Plant and Home Decor hauls.  Although I like to DIY most of my decor.

Spring in our Home

I don’t do much for Home Decor, but a few changes sure makes a difference.  I’m working towards having more plants in my house, but with 2 young boys, almost 2 year old daughter and add a puppy to the mix this is what I do.

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My Mantel got a re-fresh.  Yes, there’s only one live plant up there. I looked back at pictures and noticed I had fresh flowers a lot sooner before. For now, fake hydrangeas and lavender sprigs will do.

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I think there’s something sweet about my old Flute joining the mantel again. With my love for music it’s a nice personal touch.

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My spider plant is having a baby.  I grew this plant from 3 baby’s from my mother in laws plant.  Recently those 3 sprouted and finally grew air roots and planted them and then this one sprouted.

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I’m sure there’s a technically term then baby but I think it’s cute to call it that.

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Truth is, this table display doesn’t last as we use this table all the time.  BUT there’s HOPE!! Our deck is near complete and lots of meals have been enjoyed out there already.

Spring in our Garden

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To all my followers and friends who like Eco Living.

This pot is made from re-claimed plastics from our local area in Vancouver.

I still love this welcome board I made from our old fence.

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My tulips FINALLY turned color.  My gardens, even though I live in a rich environment for growing is always behind at least 3 weeks from everyone else.

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I started the staging process before I plant my Geraniums and Petunias.  Plus I started snap dragons and other mixed seed packages for this garden in the green house.  I hope to have more bouquets from my garden this year.

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Remember I said we are eating more outside now, here’s a sneak peak.  I finally have lavender again! I’m so excited for this space.

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You can always find our kids on the deck, including our puppy sunbathing.

Hope you enjoyed my spring home and garden tour

SUBSCRIBE for more!

What Home and Garden projects are you working for this Spring?

 

Easter Fun

Easter FunIt’s the evening of Good Friday as I write this. I’ve been thinking as we are going into this Easter weekend not being able to be with Family and Friends. There’s no Easter Egg Hunts put on by my mother in law or coloring eggs with Grandma.

Easter 2020? I guess it’s time to get creative and still make some family fun out of it for our family.

Tonight I thought it would be fun to share an Easter from years past. Hopefully it’s help inspire some Easter fun for your home.

Comment Below, “What are your Easter Plans?”

Easter Egg Coloring

I don’t remember many Easter egg hunts as a kid.  I remember lots of Good Friday church services at night. What I do remember is coloring eggs!

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I found this gem of a photo from a couple of years ago.  We did this when our oldest was 4 at my parents house and hosted an international student.  Both kids loved it. FYI – the Christmas table clothe is like a “crafting” table clothe.  I use an old bed sheet for my kids once the crafting supplies come out.

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I was never fooled as a kid about the world view of Easter Eggs and bunnies.  My bunny Charlie was in his cage in the backyard and I had to collect eggs from the chickens.  Country kid knows those 2 things don’t go together.

If your interested in a natural dye option for eggs check out Shifting Roots blog post. I had a good laugh at all her attempts. Next year I’ll try some and see how they turn out!

Easter Egg Hunts

I think these pictures say it all.  I’ll admit I’m “that aunt who always has a camera with her”. I have an Aunt like that that’s always taking pictures with her camera. Let’s say she’s inspired me. I’m glad I took these cute pictures.

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The kids running into the yard after we said “GO”.

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I couldn’t help but add an Egg being picked up in the garden!

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“Son, I think you have some growing to do”.  Something tells me my husband was up to this egg placement.

Egg Hunts at our House

Easter Egg hunts happened a couple years at our house too.  For Privacy of family it was hard to find a good picture to share without protecting their privacy. These next couple photo’s where taken in our backyard.

Here our middle son is crouched in the yard with his bucket and not sure “what is going on?”

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You might have noticed my kids have their Easter Clothes on.

Then there’s me and the camera.  Remember our old fence?  I couldn’t help myself get a photo op.

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Thankfully I could save just a few boards.  But having 2 boys this fence got replaced the summer after this photo was taken.

One more…

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How we really celebrate Easter

I rarely bring this up,  Easter seems like a good time to share.

At our house you won’t find pictures of the kids with the Easter Bunny.  Just not something we “celebrate”. Tonight we spent joining our church live for the Good Friday service.  It’s good to see familiar faces while being stuck at home.

Our kids colored while we watched and we did communion with fishy crackers and juice.  We also took the time to light candles after the kids went to bed and prayed.

Easter is about Jesus and what we He did. I know what I experience having Him in my heart and how much of an impact that’s had on my life. I can encourage you to seek faith in believing in Him but ultimately that’s up to you and where your at in your life. All I can do is be an example.

We celebrate Easter by looking to the cross and most especially leaving our burdens at the feet of the cross. This time of the year I’ve had some very difficult things to go through.  One including quitting my job after loosing our second baby.  Having an Elder come over after the Good Friday service still is clear as day for me from 6 years ago. Now that I’m building up a business and working from home that’s all changed and I’m thankful for every step that’s brought me to where I am today.  I have Jesus to thank for that.

Easter 2020???

Tomorrow – We will be hiding eggs for the kids, coloring eggs, painting rocks, buying more plants (from local vendors of course) and taking a break from anything online, unless there’s family and friends who want to video chat them I’m all in.

Have a great long weekend!

Buy Local Plants

Help your local communityIt’s April and planting season is here.  In the Fraser Valley it is anyways.

Here’s the deal, I’ll admit I have been just as stressed as everyone with this world wide pandemic with COVID 19.  I need to still keep myself in a place of balance and not get my mind stuck on what’s happening.

When life is stressful, I garden.

If I can help be of a voice on my small piece of the internet today is the day to do so.

Chatting with a friend a few weeks ago we talked about “what’s deemed essential”.

My friend and I agreed that we see Gardening as essential.

Buying Local

I stopped in a Tanglebank today as I needed to buy a gift for a friend. Don’t worry the kids were in the car with the windows open and they loved being goofy while mom shopped.

Support your local Garden Centers and buy some seeds and plants

If I think back on it, I don’t buy a ton of plants as I grow lots of my own stuff or save seeds or split plants when I can. My gardening goals are to grow a lot of my own food. I  would love to teach it to my kids.

That would include shopping the local garden centers to do it.

While at Tanglebank today another costumer showed up and they had his order all ready to go for PICKUP. Still available to serve their customers and the tired cooped up mom like me!

I have 2 other options if going to the stores isn’t an option.  I know lots of stores are hustling to get into online ordering.

Ordering Plants Online

I recently heard of this new website that’s exclusive to BC and Canada.  Buying Canadian helps boost our economy and I think it’s safe to say “GO BUY CANADIAN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN”.

Considering I want to add more to my plants into my home and I have a near finished patio I have my eye on a couple plants from this company.

Check out Curb Appeal Plants

I must admit I’m getting a little tired of my rescued plant that I combined from Christmas planters I was given one year. Plus I would rather have real lavender, not dollar store sprigs.  I kinda killed the lavender plant I have by moving it too much. Oops.

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Home and Garden Swap

Here’s another option. Over a week ago I asked on my Instagram and made a video asking “How can I help you?”  So many in my life right now are being affected by loss of job and so forth.  It’s very hard to sit back and watch this happening.

When looking at the world and living with a bigger picture, it would be WONDERFUL if I could help in a BIG way but at this time that isn’t possible.

 

With being a stay at home mom and having this blog as a creative outlet, my best way that I can serve my community and help is hosting a Home and Garden Swap.

Home and Garden swap is setting up a community drop box outside of your home.

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Members of your community can drop off seeds and plants they don’t need or have extra’s off. Others can come along and pick up plants to get their garden started. I see this as a way to help my community get gardening or grow their garden.

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This box can be made with anything your have in your home.  I used my stencils and paints from my crafting supplies and re-purposed an old garden planter.

How to start your own community box: It’s easy to host a Facebook event and let people know the location and just update the event as new plants arrive or leave. I started lots of my gardening by swapping.

Contact me if you want to get an event started in your community.  I have a graphic you can use and some helpful tips to got you started.

This post is written to my Canadian friends all over Canada.

Reading this and not Canadian?  I hope this encourages your to buy local in your community/country.

 

Starting a Garden – Planting Seeds

Starting a gardenIf it’s your first time planting a Garden or you have planted many, I hope this posts gives you some helpful tips.

Is it too late to start a Garden?  Nope.  I live in the Fraser Valley on the outskirts of Vancouver BC Canada and we are considered Zone 8.  We are in a rich area for growers and lots of gardening centers because of our great growing climate.

Truthfully, I’ve started mine even later then March and even had to restart some plants several times due to deer eating my stuff.  I still got a good harvest at the end of the season.

Buying/Organizing Seeds

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I see buying seeds like grocery shopping.  Find seeds that are similar to veggies you would buy or herbs.  Some are easy to grow, others can be picky.  I’ll be completely honest and have had many gardening fails.  But, that’s how we learn.

My seeds are a collection from seeds I have saved from Harvest or seeds from my mom’s garden or seeds I bought. I’ve gotten seeds in a gift exchange and even got seeds from church.

Easy DIY – Seed Markers

  • Re-purpose an empty plastic container and cut them into strips and use Permanent Marker to write your plant names on them. Shown in picture above and seen in video in this post.
  • Hopefully they don’t get destroyed and can be useful for years to come!

Prepping Seed Containers

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Use what you have.  Even if it’s a egg carton.  Get creative, seeds will grow in rich soil and they aren’t picky how fancy the container is that they grow in. I’ve re-purposed containers I saved from times.  I bought starter plants when I didn’t have time to start seeds and have saved the holders to use as seed starters.

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I grabbed soil from my Raised Garden Beds and filled up the containers. Something I forgot to do in this picture was moisten my soil.

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Yup, I’ll say it again, get the soil wet. FYI I bought my gardening gloves from the dollar store a couple years ago.

I made a hole with my finger to make a nice spot for the seeds to go in.

Planting Seeds

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I love this photo.  Popping open seeds pods that I let dry on the vine from last year is something that’s exciting to see what’s inside.

Pretty straight forward to drop the seed in the hole you made and cover it up with soil.

Not all seeds will grow, I usually drop at least 2 seeds per spot

Mini Greenhouses – Encouraging seeds to start

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Keeping it real and again, using what I have.  A plastic container, vacuum bag and my window. Anyway I can to encourage the seeds to grow. I usually put it in my greenhouse and check on them if they are watered.  This year the frost is still here in the mornings.

I can’t end this post here and just say “Happy Planting”.

Bonus Tip – Community Outreach

My heart has been heavy with the current world state.  I see bloggers I’ve connect with here online in full on Quarantine. My husband and I are blessed he’s still working and we are not affected by job loss. Many are loosing their jobs here in Canada with COVID 19 outbreak happening.

With having young kids and we are taking the government order very seriously to stay home. I would love to reach out and help my community in any way I can.

I created a Garden Swap Box.

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  • I took an old planter box that was made for a Garden Party a couple years ago.  I don’t have a fancy word making machine.
  • I used my stencils and pre-planned my words on paper.
  • Using a Foam Brush I painted the words on.

Here’s how it turned out.

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While the kids painted I painted too. I asked a neighbor if I could put it out on his corner of his yard.  I put a plastic container with some seeds in unopened seed packages that I won’t be using and some pots to get people started.  Not sure who will use it.

Have you started seeds?

What are you planning to plant in your garden this year?

 

 

Home School Transformation

how to transform a room forWell,  This should be the LAST of my shift from my regular content.  BUT, Everyone is going through uncertain times.  When I said I cried in my last post.  It was because of the school closure announcement here in Canada. It’s been heavy on my heart to home school and now I know why.

As a Home and Garden blogger a big part of my home is my family.  I do have an Education background, as I worked as an EA for 5 years. It’s definitely impacted how I do things at home especially for my family.

I have a kid in Grade 2, 4 year old whose registered for kindergarten next year and a almost 2 year old.

I noticed a MASSIVE shift online since the announcement. Everyone is sharing their best at home websites.  Lots of FREE content etc.

However, not everyone is set up for helping educate their kids at home!

Zones

Let’s be real here.  It’s NOT my goal to enforce what my son would be missing if he was at school.  It’s just to keep his mind active with the basics.  So yesterday we transformed our spare bedroom into a learning room with “zones”.

I made signs for each zone that my son colored and made with old picture frames. My son LOVES art and was hoping around and singing as he made these.  Fully in his happy place.

Here’s the FREE Home School Zones

Homework

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My son already has been playing Math games and writing in his Journal.  All on his own.  Without me prompting him. I hope this little “Homework is Awesome” sign keeps him in a positive place about homework for years to come.

The sign is in a picture frame that stays by our kitchen table.  Computer time is done in a public space in our home.

All OTHER activities are SCREEN FREE

Reading

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In our Spare Bedroom I pushed the Queen Sized bed into the corner.  My boys had a blast yesterday grabbing all the stuffed animals and blankets and books to add to this space.

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It’s also a great spot for all my kids to be in while the others are doing art or playing Lego.

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This is a BIG part of our home. This is MY art from Grade 8, I used to have all 3 in the kids nursery.

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I used to have a “Ready Set Go” Set up that I wrote about in my Spring Break Ideas for Kids last year. BUT my kitchen table was becoming a fight to get it cleaned up all the time.

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So I took out the dresser in this room and set up our outdoor camping table. Then I found a shelf in our house we weren’t really using and had installed.

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Lego

Yes, an important part of our kids lives, LEGO.

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We used to Host International Students for about 7 years. This was once their bedroom.  This desk got taken over by Lego in the past year.  It has been called “the Lego room” for months now.

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I’m still letting my kids have their freedom and treating “Spring Break” as much fun as possible EVEN THOUGH they can’t play with anyone else but family and be at home. We still walk our dog and get outside in our big backyard as much as the weather permits.

Now to go plant my seeds.

I love my kids, but my way of dealing with stress is Gardening!!!

Hope this little home school transformation was helpful!

 

Living on One Income

One IncomeI cried today.

I need to pause my regular home/garden content and talk about something important. 

Real day in the Life post for you today. Since this outbreak here in Canada and the mad scramble for the grocery store, we’ve been OK.

  • Store was out of wipes – I told my husband to buy cloth ones. 
  • Store was out of bread – I baked a batch.
  • Just recently I pulled out and organized my “home school” supplies. No, we don’t home school. BUT my son has missed SO many WEEKS of school this year. Plus homeschooling has been heavy on my heart and mind this year, as of today, now I know why.

Uncertain times have been a reality for my Husband and I.  I would be lying if I said life was a breeze. I can share all the cute pictures I want of our home and make my blog seem super attractive but there the real life realities that our family faces ALL the time.

Living on ONE income and how we did it!

We are not alone with the worldly reality of what’s happening and not sure about our financial future.  Thing is, I feel like to some degree because of our past experience with uncertain times it’s not hitting us like walking into a brick wall like it used to.

In 2014 we came to the realization I needed to stay home.  Prior to this in 2012 BOTH my husband and I dealt with uncertain Job positions and felt the biggest blow when he learned the shop he was working for was closing and the job I had worked at prior to my mat leave didn’t have a position for me to go back to.

We have a saying in our family “God Provides”

I’ll share more about how that situation ended.

I’m not a financial guru, just sharing how we KEEP living on ONE income. Writing this in no particular order. This is my own personal experience.

1: Family Haircuts – YES I cut EVERYONE’S hair in our family of 5. Our guess was saving us $800 a year doing this.   That figure is based on the most basic/ cheapest haircut we could all get in town.

2: I DON’T spend money on is my nails done, hair dyed, wax, spray tan…Whatever it is that most women treat themselves on I see as a waste of money and just don’t spend money on it.  Remember this is my own personal opinion, comment isn’t meant to offend anyone.

3: Hang Dry laundry – I did the math, $500 in savings on my mat leave (2012)  for the entire year.

4: Cloth Diapers – Even if you’re doing this 50% of the time, your still saving money.  Worth the time and energy that goes into it.

5: Vegetable Gardening – More to share about this in the coming weeks. Still eating fresh/frozen food from last year.

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6: Take a vehicle OFF the road.  If one of you can walk or bike to work, sell a vehicle or take the vehicle off the road.

7: Sell stuff – This past Sept we sold over $1,000 of stuff we had laying around our home.

8: Baking – Have you seen how expensive packaged snacks are for school?? Between this and cloth diapering is a HUGE savings on our grocery bill.

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9: Accept hand me down clothes.  I grew up with this as a kid. I was blessed pretty early on with hand me downs for my kids.  I make sure to pay it forward once my kids grow out the clothes. Friends and I do clothing swaps all the time since our kids are close in size. Notice I said “Accept”. I don’t focus on fashion, it’s not worth the cost.  From what we get for our kids I think they look pretty good all things considered.

10: Buy Local food.  With doing most of the above buying local meat and produce is affordable. We buy a lot more higher quality food. It comes down to healthier choices with what we put in our bodies.  I’m someone who struggles with my gut health.  Making this switch, not so many flair ups anymore.

11: DIY – This applies to ALL areas of our home. Vehicles – My husband is a mechanic. Home Decor, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting a room for example. Almost all of our construction stuff in our house we do. With the exception of needing professionals when it’s above what we can do. 

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12: Gardening and Lawn Maintenance.  This seems like a common sense item to me.  BUT, with the amount of small lawn companies that frequent our neighborhood I know lots of people get their properties cared for.

13: Rent Equipment: If we don’t own the equipment to do a small job, instead of hiring we rent it.

14: Date Night in – PUT THE PHONES DOWN…Play a game, invite another couple over to play a game night for example. 

15: Shop clearance, deals, sales or always look second hand.  This has saved us tons of money. My husband actually can’t stand that I’m a roadside picker upper. Yup, if it’s worth it, then I stop.  FYI – A chunk of my gardening pots I acquired this way.

16: Side Hustles: Direct Sales with Arbonne and THIS BLOG! I recently made the change to have ads.

I could keep going or expand more on any of these topics.  I’m not a financial blogger and there’s many great blogs or books to read.  This is just a list of how we do it. It is still tight to live on one income. 

Seeing as how much people ask me to be a part of stuff that costs money to do, tells me they think we got it figured out. 

It takes lots of communication between my husband and I and not giving in to our kids.  At the end of the day we lean on our Faith. God Provides. Doesn’t mean we don’t need to spring into action and get creative when your income gets cut in half. 

It’s happened a few times to us. Each time we’ve just gotten smarter.

Back to our story: In 2012, my husband legit walked back into his old job.  I scrambled to find work in a different school district and found childcare.  Our story keeps working out again and again. 

Hope seeing our list of what we do with living on one income is helpful. 

Share in the comments of other tips that are helpful to you! 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Baking

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

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BUT….

Then baking goes sideways and I burnt the cookies.

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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.

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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?