How to Stain a Deck (the Easy Way)

How to Stain a Deck (the Easy Way)

 

This post is sponsored by HomeRight.

how to stain a deck

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


My $10.97 Farmhouse Table Make-over

My $10.97 Farmhouse Table Make-over

 
DIY Farmhouse Table Project

Here’s my new farmhouse table for the back porch that I before and aftered for only $10.97.

Not including tax.

Don’t spread this around, but I would marry it if I could.  Or at least take it to Vegas to watch the Elvis impersonators.

It’s that cute.

Here’s a zoomed-in picture so you can see all that cuteness close up.Continue reading


The Day Technology Left the Building

The Day Technology Left the Building

 
thistlewood-farms_thumb.jpg

When we jumped to the country eight years ago and bought an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with a creek and a pond and acres of land to run and play in….

….never did I envision a house full of children staring at screens.

Not my children.

Never.

i-phones?

i-pads?

Video games?

Why?  Why would they ever need any of those?  They had blue skies and green grass and crickets and land to run….

….so why would technology ever be a part of the equation?Continue reading


Extra Giggles Included

Extra Giggles Included

 
planter window

I love writing this blog.

I love putting words on a page and connecting and sharing my heart and reading your comments and sometimes laughing and sometimes crying and sometimes sighing.

Why do I feel like I just wrote a vintage country song?

Hello Kenny Rodgers.

But sometimes I wish I could leap through the blog and clink my coffee glass with you or create a project together and you could hear me giggle or see me roll my eyes at myself (which may or may not happen all the time).

And now I think I might have kind of found a way.Continue reading


Farmhouse Bathroom Refresh (With a Little Help From My Friends)

Farmhouse Bathroom Refresh (With a Little Help From My Friends)

 
farmhouse bathroom ideas

Yesterday my husband had what I’m sure he would consider one of the more exciting opportunities this year so far…..

….helping me re-decorate the bathroom.

I know what you’re thinking.

We lead a very, very exciting life.

And you would be right. :)Continue reading


A Little Farmhouse Decorating and a Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea

A Little Farmhouse Decorating and a Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea

 

farmhouse kitchen

I cleaned my kitchen for you today.

Just for you, my friend.

I couldn’t help it.  This brilliant sunlight was dancing across these old pine floors, streaming in from behind the shutters and I just got a brand new HD card for the camera and I wanted to see if it made a difference with the pictures of the kitchen and the sunlight….but of course….

….I had to clean it up first.

I do not in any way want to destroy the illusion that it always looks like this. :)Continue reading


The Perfect Negotiation

The Perfect Negotiation

 

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Arhaus

kitchen chairs arhaus

I live in an area where two rivers meet.

And actually if you are a river aficionado, there are two other rivers several miles up the road.

But who’s counting?

Living by that much water can be good and it can be bad.  Good because it’s beautiful and peaceful and full of lush green foliage and picturesque river banks.

Bad because sometimes it floods.

Like four years ago when the river was rising higher than it had in decades and it looked like the 100-year-flood was rearing its ugly head and the water showed no signs of stopping and the entire town built a wall of sandbags higher than my head to prevent the water from flooding the area.

It was stressful.

And overwhelming.

And so I did the only thing that a person can do in the middle of a crisis…..

….I went to a yard sale.Continue reading


5 Tips for Taking Pictures During the Golden Hour

5 Tips for Taking Pictures During the Golden Hour

 

photography tips the golden hour

There’s a term in photography called the golden hour.

It’s the first hour of the day while the sun is rising and the last hour of the day while the sun is setting.

The world is bathed in a golden glow and all around you are sparkles of light.

And the best part?

Even without a fancy camera or a lot of photography knowledge or even just simply using your phone….

….you can take pictures that look like a camera crew came to your house and styled an entire photo shoot for you.

Here’s five tips for taking pictures during the golden hour.

photography tips

1.  Figure out what time the golden hour is where you live

It’s easier than you think.

You can use this site or I also found this app.

But truth?

I didn’t use either one.  I just woke up and looked out my window and saw the glow and grabbed my camera and started taking pictures on the farm.

Sometimes the best way to find the golden hour is just to watch.

the golden hour photography tips with the farm

2.  Take advantage of shadows

When the sun is low in the horizon, the shadows can make even the ordinary extraordinary.

This is the bridge near the entrance to the farm.

See how the shadows make a simple stone bridge look like a piece of art.

golden hour photo ideas

the golden hour photo tips

3.  Use the light to frame ordinary objects

This is a branch silhouetted against the sky.

I simply focused on the branch and used the warm sunlight and golden glow as a backdrop.

So much bokeh….so little time.

tips for taking pictures during the golden hour

photo tips

4.  Wait

Sometimes for a picture all you need is timing.  For example, when I first took this picture….I took it without the sun.

A little boring.

Then I waited.

I waited for the sun to peep out from behind the clouds and create a spotlight for just a moment.

Perfect, beautiful golden hour.

the golden hour photography tips

5.  Enjoy the moment

I know it’s silly.

I get it.  But taking pictures when you are singing to Colbie Caillet at the top of your lungs on a farm with the golden hour swirling around you?

Priceless.

And so I’m going all CBS Sunday Morning on you and leave you with these golden hour pictures and the words of the song of the month here at Thistlewood….click here if you want to sing along.

And just in case no one mentioned yet today….let me be the first.

You are a rock star.

You don’t have to try so hard

You don’t have to give it all away

You just have to get up, get up, get up

You don’t have to change a single thing

You don’t have to try, try, try

You don’t have to try, try, try

You don’t have to try, try, try

You don’t have to try

Take your make-up off

Let your hair down

Take a breath

Look into the mirror at yourself

Don’t like you?

Cause I like you