• carriage house tongue and groove ceiling
    colonial farmhouse

    Why We Installed a Tongue and Groove Ceiling In Our Carriage House

    We have been installing a tongue and groove ceiling in our Carriage House. I’m excited about a tongue and groove ceiling not because it looks good but because it is helping us insulate the building. Insulating the building means a lower electric bill. A lower electric bill means I’ve reached peak adulting. Yep. This is what gets me excited these days. If you’re new here, let me give you the rundown of our Carriage House. It’s a 2-story stone building that’s well over 200 years old. It was originally used to store a horse-drawn carriage and the related tack that is needed when a carriage is your primary mode of…

  • dave's killer bread knock off recipe on the happy list
    happy list

    Happy List: #256

    Hello! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. I hope you’ve had a fantastic week. It was a fun week on the blog. I shared what we do for family fun…make our kids look at old houses. They tolerate this activity if we promise them a stop at the arcade. It’s well worth the $20 we waste so that they can “win” 50 cents worth of candy. Arcades are just the children’s version of a casino. But, seriously. If you haven’t been to Salem, Massachusetts, it makes for a great day trip. On Wednesday the fun continued with a blog post all about us moving 10 yards of mulch. Kidding. I…

  • connecting two decks with landscaping
    colonial farmhouse,  gardening and landscape

    How I’m Connecting Two Decks With Landscaping

    This spring we’ve been working on connecting two decks on the back of our house with landscaping. We’d rather just connect the two decks and make one gigantic deck, but someone forgot to plant a money tree in the backyard. Decks are expensive to build and maintain and this house needs one hundred other things before it needs a bigger deck. Until that day comes we can try to visually connect the decks with landscaping instead. Think of it as a bridge between two islands. Here’s a picture from three years ago when we moved into the Colonial Farmhouse. You can hardly see the small deck on the right because…

  • salem massachusetts historic homes

    In Praise Of: Historic Homes in Salem, Massachusetts

    We went to Salem, Massachusetts, for the witchy stuff, but we stayed for the historic homes in this gorgeous seaside town. Salem, Massachusetts, was settled by Europeans in 1626. It is most well known for the witch trials of 1692 in which 19 people were hanged for false accusations of witchcraft. Later, during the American Revolutionary War, close to 800 ships were commissioned as privateers and were credited with capturing or destroying nearly 600 British vessels. Today, Salem is a tourist town. In addition to several witch-related museums and attractions, it is home to The House of Seven Gables and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. The extra great thing…

  • spring blue flowers on the happy list
    happy list

    Happy List: #255

    Hello! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. It has felt like an extra heavy week in the world and the U.S. and my aim is to keep today’s post light and bright. I hope that works for you because I need a mental health break and this is it! I don’t often reference past Happy Lists, but I’m making an exception today. I made the Spring Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette from A Pinch of Yum that was mentioned in last week’s Happy List and it was delicious! I could eat that every day as a meal. I did half brown rice and half quinoa because I didn’t have much…

  • overwinter ferns
    gardening and landscape

    I Successfully Overwintered Our Porch Plants

    I hope I don’t jinx it by saying I successfully overwintered our front porch plants which included the ferns and the Spike plants. But I did! For those of you who enjoy gardening and consider it one of your life passions this will seem like not a big deal. To me, it was a big deal to keep my summer plants alive all winter long because I’d never tried to save my front porch plants. Frankly, I’m usually sick and tired of watering them by the time August rolls around and they die a sad death. Then I feel guilty that my neglect caused this catastrophe. But not last summer!…

  • refinished wood mirror
    decorating,  DIY

    Refinished Wood Mirror With a Sentimental Twist

    I love a DIY project with a sentimental twist. Don’t you? Today’s refinished wood mirror project fits that description to a T. We have owned this wood mirror our entire marriage, so over 20 years but the mirror is much older than that. It was made in the mid-1960s. I had never seen the frame unpainted. It was painted when Handy Husband carted it over from his dive of a bachelor pad (Hello, gross shag carpet!) to the place we rented together. It was painted several times by yours truly as my style evolved over the years. The most recent iteration was a chippy, distressed look. Since that’s no longer…

  • flower basket centerpiece
    happy list

    Happy List: #254

    Hello! Welcome to the last Happy List of April! Time flies, my friends. This week on the blog we celebrated Handy Husband’s birthday and we discussed our junk drawer situation or lack thereof. So, a typical week on the blog. Ha! If you’ve been sprucing up the outside of your house as we have been lately, we’d love to see what you’ve been working on. Maybe we can inspire each other! A friendly reminder, if you see something you enjoy here, please share it with your friends. Eyeballs on website pages or on Instagram or Facebook help keep this blog trucking along. Thank you! Now, here’s the Happy List! MIRROR, MIRROR I…

  • happy birthday cake happy birthday handy husband

    Happy Birthday to Handy Husband

    Please join me in wishing a very happy birthday to Handy Husband. Today is not his actual birthday, but April is his birth month. What a great month to be born in with all the promise spring holds. I thought it would be easy to write a quick little birthday tribute, but when I sat down to type I didn’t know what to say. The feelings were just too big. Finally, I decided I’d share a story that encapsulates how grateful I am to have the absolute privilege of growing older with him. Recently, on a random Tuesday, Handy Husband woke up, went downstairs, made coffee, and then brought me…

  • built in office desks farmhouse desk no junk drawer

    How We Manage With No Junk Drawer In Our House

    I don’t think I’ve ever written a more melodramatic blog post title than “How We Manage With No Junk Drawer In Our House.” No junk drawer. The horror. How DO we manage? All joking and sarcasm aside, we really don’t have a junk drawer and haven’t had one for years. It’s not because I don’t pine for a junk drawer. If we had a spare drawer in the house, I would junk it all up in a heartbeat. Kidding. Sort of. But that does tend to happen when you have a drawer assigned as a catchall. In fact, in a survey sponsored by ClosetMaid in 2021, they reported that 88%…