• decorating,  DIY

    Bookrack Makeover for an Older Boy’s Room

    Before I get rid of anything in our home, I do not ask myself if it sparks joy. No. I ask myself if I can repurpose, reuse or makeover the item to make it work better in our home. I also ask myself if I have the energy to repurpose, reuse or makeover the item. Sometimes the answer is “no.” Sometimes the answer is “maybe.” Sometimes the answer is “I really shouldn’t, but I can’t help myself!” Then I end up doing something drastic like cutting off belt loops on Handy Husband’s old, ripped-up jeans to make hanging loops for kitchen towels. Remember that project? Still using those towels, by…

  • Food,  Uncategorized

    Would I Make It Again: Homemade Ginger Ale with Fresh Ginger

    Ginger ale is one beverage that I never, ever considered making at home. It didn’t even dawn on me that you could. Or should. Or would! But I did. The idea started on a somewhat typical Friday night. I had cooked a package of bacon. Why bacon on a Friday night? Why not?! We had company visiting us for the weekend. Handy Husband was on bartender duty. The adult beverage of choice that evening was a Moscow Mule. This drink is made with ginger beer, lime and vodka. I had purchased a few different varieties of ginger beer and ginger ale for Handy Husband to use to mix these drinks.…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #111

    Hello, hello! I’m trying not to get my hopes up because I see a snowflake on my weather app for next week, but our high temperature might hit 60 degrees today! This week I wrote two posts about travel. What can I say? It was that kind of week! First was our trip to see Washington’s Headquarters and Ford Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey. Second, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, was a list of places to see in Ireland if you like castles and nature. Here’s the Happy List! ROCK WALL This is my kind of rock wall! More pictures of Michelle Gage’s home can be found at Domino.…

  • travel

    10 Must See Places in Ireland if You Like Castles and Nature

    I routinely receive emails from people asking what they should do when visiting Ireland. It’s an impossible question! Especially if you are only visiting for a week. For a small country, Ireland has a lot to see, experience and savor. I should know – I lived there for two years and didn’t see or do everything on my list. Oh, the regrets! With St. Patrick’s Day only a few days away, I thought it would be fitting to round up my favorite, must-see places in the Republic of Ireland especially if you like castles and nature. I’m leaving Northern Ireland off the list (this time!) only because I’m trying to help you…

  • travel

    Travel: Washington’s Headquarters and Ford Mansion

    When I used to think of New Jersey, I thought of Jersey Shore (the reality tv show, not the actual shore). As it turns out, an over-the-top reality show does not do New Jersey any justice – at least not in the historical sense. New Jersey actually played a very important role in the founding of the United States during the Revolutionary War. Think about where New Jersey is located between New York and Pennsylvania and you’ll have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment like I did. New Jersey was centrally located among the American colonies. It had a decent transportation and provisioning system. It had also developed defense systems that would play an…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #110

    Hello! I love it when we meet here like this! As an update to last week’s Happy List, I didn’t get to read to my son’s class last Friday because we had a snow day delay. Trying again today! Speaking of my son, he’s been learning to play the recorder at school and on Monday I shared how wrong I was about that whole experience. Then on Wednesday I discussed a quick, easy DIY for my daughter’s souvenir pin collection. Here’s the List O’ Happy! TOOTSIE EGGS I need you guys to do me a favor. It involves candy, so don’t argue! The next time you are at the store,…

  • Crafts,  decorating

    Display a Souvenir Pin Collection in a Shadowbox Frame

    Did you catch last week’s furniture makeover? It was a fun one! We turned a hutch into a freestanding bookcase for my tween daughter’s room. Now there is plenty of room for her books, sketch pads and ceramic animals. There’s also a spot for her souvenir pin collection. Do you see the collection on the shelf below? You’re dying to learn more about it, aren’t you? I figured. We do a fair amount of traveling and at some point (thank goodness) my daughter outgrew the souvenir stuffed animal. Instead, she recently started collecting souvenir pins. They are small, inexpensive and relatively easy to find at souvenir shops. She also has…

  • education,  Family

    Maybe I Was Wrong About My Child Playing the Recorder

    My son is in 3rd grade. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been in 3rd grade, let me refresh your memory. Being in 3rd grade means he’s learning multiplication and division. He’s spending time writing long stories. He’s no longer learning to read. He’s reading to learn. He’s also learning to play the recorder. If this blog had music that last sentence would be followed by a ‘dun, dun, duuuun!!’ sound. Handy Husband and I both recall learning to play the recorder in school at about that same age, so it has been part of school curriculum in many U.S. schools for a good long while. If you want to…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #109

    Hello everyone! Today we are celebrating Read Across America Day! I have a 9 a.m. appointment at my son’s school to read to his class. I *think* I am going to read Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem. This is going to be a last minute decision. Read Across America is an event established in honor of Dr. Seuss (his birthday is March 2). Many Barnes & Noble and Target stores will be having events tomorrow. For a full list of Read Across America events and activities, click here. This week on the blog as been fun! I’m biased, but that’s the kind of editorial license you get to…

  • decorating,  DIY,  Makeover

    Turn a Hutch Into a Freestanding Bookcase

    Who loves a good furniture makeover? *raises both my hands…and feet* You’ve come to the right place because I have a fun makeover to show you today! We were able to turn a hutch into a freestanding bookcase and it’s been a game-changer in my tween daughter’s room. If you’ve been a long-time follower, you might remember that when I bought this dresser with brass details at the Habitat Restore it came with a hutch. I never could figure out the hutch part of the dresser. Not only was it not quite the right size, I couldn’t tell where it had ever attached to the dresser. It was a mystery. I…