How to Stain a Deck (the Easy Way)

How to Stain a Deck (the Easy Way)


This post is sponsored by HomeRight.

We have stained and painted a lot of decks and porches around our house.

Like this one.

And this one.

It’s our permanent hobby along with power washing the siding and edging the lawn.

And every time we paint (and by we…I mean me and the mouse in my pocket) it’s a lot of bending and stretching and getting up to go to the paint bucket…

….and a lot of time.

Until now.Continue reading

Wood Slice Centerpiece

Wood Slice Centerpiece


Last week this happened.


One minute you have a storm with torrential rain and high winds and thunder and lightening.

And the next minute you have sunshine and hay and green grass and blue skies….

….and a tree down.Continue reading

Ice Box Cake in a Jar (Revisited)

Ice Box Cake in a Jar (Revisited)


When I was younger my granny used to make this dessert called Icebox Cake.

It was my favorite.

Like stand in the kitchen and watch and sigh and giggle and try to stick my fingers in the whipped cream and wipe the bowl clean kind of favorite.

Lately, I’ve been trying to start a few traditions around here and I thought it would be the perfect first day of after school snack.  I would make it and have it chilled and ready and covered with whipped cream and tiny chocolate chips. And when everyone got off the bus I would greet them at the door and they’d snack and I’d hear all the middle school gossip.

And in my new tradition day dream I would be having the perfect hair day….

…..wearing an apron.Continue reading

Back to School Office Organization (and a Little Before and After)

Back to School Office Organization (and a Little Before and After)


This post was written in collaboration with Birch Lane.

metal handled basket

In not-organization news I spent a not-productive Sunday watching an entire marathon of Flea Market Flip.

Have you ever seen that show?

It features two teams of two people who meet at a flea market and are given a certain amount of money and an hour and three categories of projects to create and they have to shop the market and buy loads of sad, neglected parts of this and that and turn it into something amazing.  Then then the next day they bring their treasures back to the market and try to sell them and whoever makes the most profit wins $5000.

I know all of this because I spent hours yesterday watching the show.

I couldn’t help it.

As soon as I saw the teams I would start rooting for one of them and when I saw what they bought I had to see what they turned it into and then I had to see who won.  And I kept thinking that this was going to be the last show and that any minute an episode of House Hunters was about to be on.

Good thing I got all organized before the whole Flip Market Flip debaucle.

And here’s how I did it.Continue reading




Yesterday I drove my teenage son to McDonald’s to get a snack on my way into town.  We had just eaten lunch 30 minutes ago and he and his hollow leg were hungry again.

I thought a snack might tide him over until dinner.

A snack.

In the drive-through he ordered an entire cheeseburger meal and asked if it was okay if he ordered apple pies for dessert.

“What?” I said and stared at him incredulously.  “Seriously? We just ate lunch.”

“I know mom”, he said.  “But this is linner.”


You know.

The meal between lunch and dinner.  :)Continue reading

Five Creative Chalkboard Project Ideas

Five Creative Chalkboard Project Ideas


I vaguely remember a world before chalkboard paint.

It’s kind of hazy, but I’m pretty sure it co-incided with phones that had rotary dials and clock radios with numbers that flipped.

I can’t pin point an exact date when I discovered it, but I think it all started with this 40-pane window that we rescued from the trash and drove down the back roads to our house.

When I saw it in the trash, it called my name and told me it was a calendar in disguise.

I speak trash, so I understood perfectly.Continue reading

The Meow Heard Around the World

The Meow Heard Around the World


When I was younger and thought about my older self, I always wondered what I’d be like and where I’d work and who my friends would be and if I would live in a mansion with gold faucets and a laundry chute from the second floor and wear leg warmers after I turned 30.

And then I would close my eyes and imagine my future family.

I hoped they’d be silly.

And crazy.

And funny.

I imagined a big, ramshackle, creative, zany family with lots and lots of kids and pets and laughter and an understanding husband….

….who never met a dad joke he didn’t like.Continue reading

In Breaking News

In Breaking News


In super, exciting breaking news….

….we painted the hutch in the dining room white.

I couldn’t wait until it was finished.

In my mind it was going to be an amazing project.

You know.

The whole-see-it-be-inspired-dream-about-it-think-about-it-have-to-have-it-done-asap kind of project.

The kind of project you imagine and you just know it’s going to be perfect and you can see it finished before you ever even start.  I just knew I was going to walk by the dining room and see the hutch  painted white and sigh and look at the white dishes against my white hutch and all that beautiful neutral against the dark walls was going to make my heart sing.

Instead I think I changed keys somewhere midway through the second verse.Continue reading