• Outdoor Dining Set Makeover
    DIY,  decorating,  gardening and landscape

    $20 Outdoor Dining Set Makeover

    One of the things I was really glad the seller of our home left when he moved out was all the outdoor furniture. Most of it was dirty and gross and not my style, but we would definitely use the furniture until I found something better…after I cleaned it all up. Okay, fine. We sat in it before too. It was an immunity-building experience. Of the three outdoor dining sets (yes, three!) that were left here, the one I liked the most was the one that was in the worst shape. Of course. It is a classic metal outdoor dining set and you really can’t go wrong with those. This…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #131

    Hey, hey! All my friends in the Southeast have sent their kids back to school and I love those pictures! We still have a couple of weeks before school starts, so plenty of time to procrastinate on getting school supplies. Right?! This week I shared the new and improved pictures of our backyard. I do not miss the fence we took down one bit. I just need to try to sell or giveaway the fencing material now, since Handy Husband was very careful about how he took it apart. I also shared a neat place you need to shop at if you live in or are visiting New Jersey. It…

  • happy thrifting smalltown antiques

    Happy Thrifting: Smalltown Antiques

    I’ll happily admit I’m the type of shopper that judges an antique or thrift store by the stuff they have outside. If it looks like “good” stuff – whatever that means – I’m more likely to want to stop. Do you do that too? Smalltown Antiques in Flanders, New Jersey, had all sorts of good stuff outside its front door when I visited. I’m guessing thieves don’t steal old crocks? Not only was the outside packed, but Smalltown Antiques the kind of shop that is brimming with interesting finds inside too. It’s not big space-wise, but there’s a lot to take in. I loved the bookends on this table and…

  • gardening and landscape,  colonial farmhouse

    Removing Rotten Trees and a Chainlink Fence

    Last week I shared how we cleared a sight line to the pool and in that post I mentioned another section of our property that we’ve also been working on clearing and cleaning up. This was the back of our house when we moved in. There was nothing wrong with the back of the house, but there were some areas we knew could be improved upon fairly easily. The chainlink fence is what really bothered me. It wasn’t the prettiest fence ever built. It also made that space unusable since we don’t have a dog and don’t have plans to get a dog. The trees are what really bothered Handy…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #130

    Hello! We’ve reached the part of the summer where my kids are “so bored” that they started reading a dictionary. Then I heard my son say, “Wow, Mom. This is really educational.” I’m sure Daniel Webster himself wouldn’t have the words for this situation. I just shook my head. This week I wrote about how we cleared a sight line to the pool. Come back on Monday and I’ll explain where we found the rocks to make the paths. I also wrote about how I fixed the stretched out toe post on my plastic Birkenstocks. My foot finally healed after that incident and I am still ridiculously pleased that my…

  • plastic birkenstock repair hack
    clothing and jewelry,  DIY

    Plastic Birkenstock Repair Hack

    If you are the .01% of the population that needs a plastic Birkenstock repair hack to fix the stretched out toe post on your Gizeh-style sandals, you’ve come to the right place! I fear the following disaster has only happened to me, but on the off chance it has happened to another Birkenstock fan, here’s what happened and the repair hack I used to fix it. I was wearing my plastic Birkenstocks and walking through the yard carrying something large and bulky. Does it matter what it was and where I was taking it? No. Fine. I’ll tell you. It was a Culligan water dispenser and I was taking it…

  • clearing a sight line to the pool
    gardening and landscape

    Clearing a Sight Line to the Pool

    One of the perks of buying a really old home is that the landscaping is mature. But with every rule there’s always an exception, right? In the case of our colonial farmhouse, our landscaping had ventured into a realm past mature. I’m not sure how to say this delicately…so I won’t. Every single tree, bush, shrub, weed, flower, vine and blade of grass on the property was overgrown when we moved in. Not just overgrown, but out-of-control. Not just out-of-control, but rapidly taking over anything and everything in its path. It crossed my mind that if I stood still for more than a minute, the Virginia Creeper vine would probably…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #129

    Hey, hey! Can you believe it is August already? It feels like summer is flying by. Last week we took time off to hang out with friends visiting from Oregon. We mainly stuck close to home, but we did take a few days to visit Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. This week I shared pictures of our living room and how I turned a dining table into a coffee table. I’ve never had a round coffee table and I’m enjoying the heck out of this one. If you’re curious about our dining situation, we are back to using my original dining table because I have the space for it once again.…

  • Five Old Books I Found in Our New Home
    colonial farmhouse,  decorating

    5 Old Books I Found in Our New Home

    Old houses are full of surprises. (I’m a master of the understatement.) Our colonial farmhouse has already given us plenty of surprises – most of them electrical related. I also found some old books and magazines in our new home. That’s a WAY better surprise than realizing you only have one inconveniently located outlet in your master bedroom! Since I previously told you the seller left tons of unwanted items in the house when he moved out, you might think that I found these old books in one of the four gazillion dozen boxes of junk on the premises. Nope. I found the old books and magazines in two places.…

  • Convert a Dining Table Into a Coffee Table
    colonial farmhouse,  decorating,  DIY

    My Dining Table Is Now a Coffee Table

    Do you remember when I bought a $9.60 round dining table at the Habitat Restore and making over that table almost sent me over the edge? That was fun. Fast forward several months and the scars from the traumatic table makeover experience were healing nicely. Then I realized why that table might have been donated to the Habitat Restore in the first place. The top kept coming loose from the base. I’d tighten it and then people would put their elbows on the table (!) and eventually the top would loosen up again. The solution was clear. Either I could teach my family manners or we could stop eating all…