Super Easy Grape Jelly Recipe (and a Giveaway)

Super Easy Grape Jelly Recipe (and a Giveaway)

 
Easy Grape Jelly recipe

I remember when we planned the jump from the city to the country and I spent hours with my friends talking about the future….

…waxing poetic on country life.

I couldn’t wait to have a little house on a prairie.

I told everyone I was going to grind my own wheat and grow cucumbers and tomatoes and squash and bake with fresh herbs and raise horses and have chickens and farm fresh eggs and can my own preserves.

And nine years later?

One out of eight isn’t bad.Continue reading


Lessons From a Recipe Wall

Lessons From a Recipe Wall

 
recipe wall kitchen

This is one of my most popular projects.

A recipe wall.

I created it back when the blog was still learning to walk and it’s been facebooked and tweeted and shared and pinned thousands and thousands of times.

It always gets to sit at the popular table in the cafeteria.

Odes have been written about it.  Poems have been composed it its honor.  Ballads have been sung to it on fluted lyre.

Town criers have stood on street corners with proclamations dedicated to its name.

And all of that is so not even the point of this post.Continue reading


How to Tackle It Like Macaroni

How to Tackle It Like Macaroni

 
farmhouse dining table

The other day I found a trail of macaroni and cheese stuck to the kitchen table.

I’m not sure exactly how it unfolded or what the events were that led up to it….

…but Lewis and Clark would have been proud.

The trail started at one end with a few lone pieces and dripped and drabbed bits of cheese and noodle remnants from one side of the table to the other.

And then?

It looked like the macaroni eater discovered the trail and in a valiant attempt to clean it up….

….smeared giant cheese swirls all over the table.

Continue reading


Five Inexpensive Kitchen Remodeling Shortcuts

Five Inexpensive Kitchen Remodeling Shortcuts

 

kitchen organization ideas

Almost eight years ago this room was nothing but a pipe in the middle of the floor and hundreds and hundreds of nails sticking up where we had pulled up layer after layer on the original floor.

We were remodeling the house and running out of money.

We started with an original budget and my husband had a detailed spreadsheet, but somewhere along the way we got derailed.

Like seriously.

Things that were supposed to cost $2.00, ended up costing $2.50 and all those .50 added up and our budget was limping along and asking for a place where it could lay down and rest.

My kitchen budget got cut in half.  Gone were the marble counter tops.  Gone was the built-in kitchen island.  Gone were the custom cabinets.

It was just me and a stack of laminate counter top samples.

And now?  Years later, sitting in my kitchen typing this post?

I’m so happy.

Because when you remodel a kitchen and the funds are low and you are wondering if your five gallon bucket can double as a sink, you only really need one thing….

….a little creativity.

Here are my top five inexpensive kitchen remodeling shortcuts.Continue reading


The One Thing Every Mountain Climber Needs

The One Thing Every Mountain Climber Needs

 

kitchen-and-butlers-pantry

We all have a seemingly insurmountable mountain to climb.

Each and everyone of us.

For some it’s getting up and giving a public speech in front of hundreds of people or having the courage to fly in an airplane or facing down a bully or paying off overwhelming debt and mounting bills or trying to mend fences with someone who has wounded you.

Or climbing a mountain.

Literally.

When you are in middle school and 4’10” and you are a little shy and used to having your twin sister with you everywhere you go….

….your mountain is basketball camp.Continue reading


How Much Wood You Care?

How Much Wood You Care?

 
farmhouse kitchen organization

When we bought the house the kitchen didn’t look like this.

Not even close.

There was blue bird wallpaper and dark cabinets and a reproduction stove attached to the chimney with a pipe and a wall where the opening over the sink is.

And the floors were a honey colored laminate flooring.

No worries.

I had a vision and a design and a purpose….

….and I was married to a pair of twinkling eyes with really big muscles.Continue reading


Thistlekeeping

Thistlekeeping

 
pergola project

Yesterday we spent all day at a basketball tournament.

I know you are thinking that it’s baseball season.

But we live in Kentucky.

At the end of a day of dribbling and passing and bouncing and shooting and running and lay-uping….

….we landed here.

Sitting around a fire laughing and talking and sharing and planning and hoping and dreaming and listening to crickets chirp under the stars.

It made me so happy that on that long ago day when our knees shook and our hearts trembled and we were so scared….

….that we jumped.Continue reading


Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover With Faux Brick Wall

Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover With Faux Brick Wall

 

farmhouse kitchen project

Several years ago I created a room for La-Z-boy.  You can see it here.

I still get asked questions about it and its faux brick wall.

I actually have been wanting to recreate the look from that room in the gatehouse kitchen for a while now, but I wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to do it.

Until Walls Need Love approached me and asked me to design a room for them and I found this.

Seriously.

Amazing.

It’s kind of like the brick wall in my kitchen.

Except a little prettier.

Here’s the entire gatehouse kitchen make-over from all angles and all sides with a little bit of farmhouse and a whole lot of brick. Continue reading