Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
cookery, organic gardening, crafts, DIYing, vintage stuff, and more...

Apr 17, 2016

Pressure Washing And More Prep, Baby Shower

Pressure Washing And More Prep-
I've had the wheezy, croupy crud for the last 2 weeks and was out sick a few days from work. So no blog posts! I finally slept thru the night last week. I won't bore you with the details but prescription meds where involved, ick. Dave kept to his paint prep schedule and our neighbor loaned him his pressure washer! Awesome, and Dave cleaned the house and the back deck. What a difference! Our Trex decking is gray and about 10 years old. While I have scrubbed it in the past the deck pressure washing made it look new! We also found an area around one bedroom window with water coming, time to re-caulk. We FINALLY finished choosing our new paint color, going from beige (boring) to a gray with darker denim blue/gray trim. With the red brick we think it will be a nice combo. We did a test paint area, great idea. We also took down our four old icky plastic front shutters. Dave made more cedar trim for the windows and garage door, much nicer. He had already made these for the back as it needed something after we installed our new windows years ago. Photos soon...

Bye bye shutters and beige paint!

Baby Shower-
I offered to host and coordinate a baby shower for my daughter, who is due with our first Grandchild in early June. Coordinating with 3 others daughters has been a bit of a challenge. I tend to be very detailed oriented and write things down. In the long run it came together. Since the group was bigger than I was expecting I moved it outside to our back yard. I had planned on an inside shower since April is dicey weather-wise, but it was 65 and sunny today. My neighbor loaned us outside tables and chairs as she used to cater weddings. I bought some fun jungle themed decor and we had the food inside. I created a drink bar (no alcohol) on my garden bench outside covering it with a burlap runner (sorry no pics). I added balloons and fresh gerbera daisies. Everyone loved it! We ate, drank, played games and they (Dad attended too) opened gifts. Off to bed, I pooped!!! What a great day.

My daughter Michelle's original artwork for the nursery, with thick felt, 
very tactile! Much prettier in real life...

Apr 2, 2016

Decorating With Pitchers, Spring Painting Preps & Buds, Tuscan Beef Ragu Recipe

In the dining room

Decorating With Pitchers-
I've always loved the old vintage French-style metal pitchers. They can be spendy and we're on a budget like everyone else. I bought these tow pitchers at Ikea and then couldn't quite decide how to fill them? I saw an Ikea shot that inspired me, since I pretty bored with the white on white I see everywhere else. I'm not trendy and I can live with that! Too much white can be too flat visually in my opinion.  

From Ikea

 Bingo, some colors! So I bought flowers these at Hobby Lobby today, 1/2 off, all for $5.00-

In my little powder room, my 2nd little pitcher, reminds me of the ocean!

Spring Painting Preps & Buds-
We'll be painting our house next month, so Dave's prepping the siding. We had a small boring vent up near the top of our front garage. We looked around and found some nice cedar ones. I wanted something with curves since the house is such a little rectangular box. We bought this through Home Depot after not being able to find a used one. Dave did a great job installing it today. It just needs some sealing then paint. We're leaning towards sage green for the color? Anyway, it's a nice touch to an otherwise boring area. I had a copper star there so that will get moved to another part of the front of the house.

And buds, lots of buds!!!
New peach tree has lots of buds!

Pear buds!

Ornamental cherry too

Apple tree is budding, but now flowers yet. It's 70 today and Dave mowed for the first time. Welcome Spring!!!

Tuscan Beef Ragu-
Last weekend I made this new recipe and loved it- Tuscan Beef Ragu  I made it in my big enameled pot and the meat came out so tender! I served it on linguine. Add some crusty french bread and that's it baby. Try it, this is great stuff! You could add mushrooms too or add other veggies.

Mar 26, 2016

Spring Independence Days, Easy Easter Decor

Spring Independence Days-
It's getting busy here on the little homestead, so here's an update!

1. Plant Something-

Soon, with some pansies for my window box, and maybe some cool weather starts. We'll get out our mini-greenhouse when the nights get out of the 30's.

2. Harvest Something-
Lots of eggs and chives.

3. Preserve/Store Something-
Still making water kefir, adding more freezer items.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-
I scored some great deals at the Grocery Outlet last night- frozen foods, gluten free granola bars I love in a 10-pack for $4.00! Also hair conditioner, Ben and Jerry's (OMG!) Strawberry Shortcake ice cream, and a 2 rake set for $10.00 for our new homeowner kids-

I also found 2 big, new pinwheels for the garden!

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-
I saw this On Annabell Langbein's website, Tuscan Beef Ragu, and I'll be making this for dinner tomorrow night, looks yummy! I found her marathon showing of all her episodes on PBS today, what a treat!!!

6. Build Community Food Systems-
Still giving excess eggs to my kids, I may start selling some soon.

7. Recycle/Re-Use-
I'll be putting out my 3 thrifted wood, yard art flowers. I bought them in the winter, and stashed them-

We have some scrap cedar and I may have Dave help me build some planting boxes.

8. Skill Up-
Dave is doing research on how to repair our fascia above our siding. He's prepping the house to paint. We're taking some time off work in early May to paint, who hoo! I am so sick of beige, and now that's it's time to paint we'll go with gray, sage green or something with some color. I got an app for my phone from Home Depot where you can take a photo of your house then overlay a color and see what it will look like, cool! We may build a small shed so we're looking at designs we can build from scratch.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-
Prepping the house for painting, scraping, patching, etc. We'll landscape an empty area from where we had to take down our nectarine tree last year. I'll do some nice pollinating plants for that area.

Easy Easter Decor-
Here's a peek at my very simple Easter decorations, simple simple-

Bunny watching the yard

From Mama Pea's giveaway, my fave Spring mini quilt

Some eggs in my French clock


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