Monday, January 20, 2014

And Now We Are Those Neighbors With A Toilet On Our Back Deck

The first step of our bathroom remodel involved some serious wall tile, trim, and wallpaper removal.

Arren and I started with the tile around the sink.  It was old outdated stuff and we had it all off in about 30 minutes.

Next up was the baseboard and crown molding.  The baseboard was pretty easy.  There weren't too many nails holding it on and it came off with a few pries of the handy old pry bar.  The newer crown molding put up a fight though.  It had crazy long nails and had been caulked around.  Luckily the bathroom isn't very big so there weren't too many pieces to finagle loose.

Then it was onto the dreaded wallpaper.  This is the only room in our house that had wallpaper.  Notice the "that had" in the previous sentence..  It's all gone now!  After around 6 hours of steaming and picking I managed to get it all free.

I used my mom's clothing steamer which worked fairly well.  It was pretty small and not too powerful so I found it worked best if I peeled the thick paper off first and then used the steam to remove the thin paper and glue underneath.  It was an easy job but time consuming.

We also removed the toilet so we could get to the wallpaper behind it too.  We went ahead and bought a new toilet.  The old one was... well old.  And this new one uses half the amount of water per flush... Hello water savings!  (In a related note our old toilet was removed during a snow storm and was promptly deposited on our deck... 2 weeks later and it's still there... we have sadly become those people with a toilet on their back deck..)

While removing the toilet we thought we'd go ahead and take down the toilet paper holder too.  We soon discovered this was a much larger job than we first thought.  Turns out the people who installed the holder loved it so much they cemented it to the wall... with wire mesh and everything.  This explains the large hole in our bathroom wall in the pic above.  I'm still baffled by the fact some one would cement a toilet paper holder to a wall... I mean who makes that kind of commitment?!

I also have big plans for that used-to-be closet.  I want a built in.  Not just any built in, one made by us!  Here's a little inspiration.

The walls still have a lovely yellowish hue to them.  I'm dying to get a coat of prime on those babies!  But before prime, we still need to take down the lovely ball ceiling lights and replace them with a more stylish wall mount light.  While doing this we are also replacing the vent fan and light over the shower.  The vent fan is old, old, and more old, and just does not do its job anymore.  Then the ceiling get's a layer of quarter inch drywall (but that's another post for another day) and our huge gaping hole in the wall gets patched.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Hiatus Is Officially Over

After a long long long hiatus from blogging I'm back!

I'm sure as most of you already know, we are officially first time homeowners now.  Take a moment to let that sink in because it still hasn't sunk in to my head and we've been living here for 3 and a half months.

We are also now a 4 person family.  We added a adorable, goofy puppy.  Well, he's not so much of a puppy anymore (even though he is only a little older than 6 months).

His name is Zeke the all white German Shepard but you can call him Zeke, or Zekey, or Pup-pups.  Ash tolerates him as long as a foot of personal kitty bubble space is allowed between cat and dog at all times... This rarely happens.

We love it here.  It's across from a lake and peaceful and serene and only 5 minutes from Green Acres.  Since it's winter there hasn't been much happening on the farm.  Well, besides 3 calves on the ground, a giant snow storm, busted water pipes ruining a whole room, and digging out the Green Acre dogs and cattle.  It's been a heck of start to 2014.  Oh did I mention a certain puppy chewed up the side of our less than a month old couch...

We've also started a bathroom project on the main bathroom in our new house.  It's in complete middle of renovation mode and will be lightless after this weekend.  It's our first big project and seems to keep getting bigger!

Stay tuned for updates on Green Acres as well as our new house adventures!

I also forgot to mention this post marks my 100th total post for the blog.  Talk about a lot of writing and a lot of reading!  I feel so lucky to have so many people who actually take the time to read little tid-bits of nothing of all that great importance.  Here's to another 100!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Makin' That Paper

For most of our invitation and paper needs we used The Paper Boutique

Corynn is the owner and is so great to work with.  Not to mention she is quick, up on all her invitation etiquette, and quite a perfectionist. 

We met with her late last fall to go over our save the dates.  Here is how they ended up looking...

I knew from the get go that I wanted to do a post card Save the Date.  It's cheap, no envelope needed, and allowed us to incorporate a picture from our engagement session.  I also came up with the snazzy wording on the back thanks to a little site called Pinterest.  Each card only cost us $1 each and Corynn addressed them all for us. 
This past spring we sat down and began to discuss invitations.  Corynn had a million examples of different invitations she had made in the past with varying sizes, costs and colors.  We ended up picking the fairly simple design below.

Our colors were navy and ivory which, were represented in every part of the invitation.  To go with the vintage-y feel of the wedding we decided to add a lace ribbon down the side of each invite to personalize them a little more.  Corynn added each lace ribbon by hand (I would have went crazy!).  We had 3 inserts with info on the reception, directions to the ceremony and reception, and the RSVP post card.
All together each invite cost us around $4.50 each.  Plus we had 65 cents of postage.  Corynn also did our table numbers, program fans, and escort board lists.  The table numbers were my favorite because they had a little bit of lace added to the tops to match our invites.
The program fans were made on very pretty scrap book paper so the backs were all kinds of colorful navy and ivory print.

One thing I did do myself was our bar sign that we put in an old vintage 8x10 picture frame.  We wanted something to sit on the reception bar to let people know what was free and what wasn't.  I used Pinterest and a friends own wedding bar sign for some inspiration and came up with this...

Not bad for a novice with a Mac!

That pretty much wraps up the paper details of the wedding.  I'll be back later to discuss all the reception decor... which might be my longest post ever!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Eating Machines

Here at Green Acres the youngest group of calves are still with their Mommas.  But because they have access to our barns at home we started giving them feed about a month ago in their own little pin.

They are eating machines!  I've never seen such little calves eat so much... They lick their plates feeder clean. It doesn't matter how much we give them it will be gone the next day.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Goodbye Granny Lamp

So the other night I got the wild hair to finally change our lovely green and gold living room lamps.  You can see in the picture below they were quite granny-rific!

My parents had gifted them to us 3 years ago and ever since then they have been a sore spot with our other living room furniture.

So for the past 3 years I've been mindlessly searching the web for 2 (cheap) lamps that I would love.  I had found a few at target that I'd been mulling over for the past few months but somehow I could never pull the trigger on buying two $40 lamps plus new shades.  All together that would have cost around $120... yikes!

That was when I stumbled upon this post from a fellow blogger... And the little tiny lamp's light bulb went off in my head.  Spray paint them!  It's a cheap solution and I can make them any color I want.

Then it was onto choosing a color.  Two of the three lamps I liked from Target were a dark gray/orb color (the other was wood and that obviously wasn't happening).  I headed to the local True Value to check out the spray paint selection and I was in luck, they had the perfect color!  I picked up a can of X-O Rust Professional Gray Primer, a can of dark gray Rust-Oleum gloss protective enamel spray paint, and some blue painters tape. 

I decided to take it one lamp at a time.  I wasn't sure if my slick metal lamps would hold the paint very well.  I taped off the little shade holder (I'm sure there is a professional term for this), the cord, and light bulb socket.  Then it was prime time!

The primer covered up the gold and green really well.  I let it dry and attacked the lamp with the darker paint.  I stepped back and oh my I admired my pretty new dark gray lamp for about 5 minutes.  I went ahead and did 2 coats of dark gray to make sure all the gold shinyness was covered.

Looking at my new babies I realized the only thing missing was new lamp shades.  I quickly zeroed in on a few choices at Target and decided on a light tan linen with a wavy design.  I thought the wavy design would play off the single dark gray color and the light tan matches our other living room furniture.

Here is the before and after.. 

I'd say that's a pretty awesome upgrade!  And it didn't cost an arm and a leg... All together the whole project cost about $70 for both lamps (including new shades) which saved me a whole 50 buckaroos! And the best part about this project is it is totally customizable.  You could have spray painted these lamps any crazy color your heart desired.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Turtle Man and Tree Slices

This is another one of those pesky wedding posts.

Our wedding had a very nature friendly and vintage theme going on.  In keeping with that theme I decided early on we were going to make our own tree slices from the huge stock pile of wood at Green Acres.  I had been searching online and tree slices were going for $20 a pop.  With our 21 tables at the reception that just wasn't going to fly.  And when I found a customized brander in the shape of a heart with our initials I just couldn't pass up the DIY project.

Somehow in my head I had it work out that this project would be a piece of cake.  That after a few fun hours we'd have 25 perfectly shaped tree slices.  Boy was I wrong!

We ended up with about 30 slices.  None were the same shape but that's what made them unique.  The biggest problem was crackage.  A week after we had successfully branded about 10 slices almost half of them had cracks.  After consulting a local wood expert he suggest we put them in a cool dark place.  That trick seemed to work and we managed to avoid any major cracks from there on out.

We knew then that we would need at least 10 extras for backups.  So my dad took up the chain saw and sliced log after log.  Each slice was about an inch thick and 12-14 inches in diameter.  

Our set up method was pretty simple.  We took a large tree stump and strapped it to a rack wagon.  Probably not the best or safest method, but it got the logs off the ground and made it much easier to make a straight cut.

Then we were on to branding which was a big hairy beast in it's own right.  The first day we branded about 8 and only 1 ended up working out.  We originally hoped to use an old mulberry tree but alas the wood was too hard to brand.  So then we started using pine slices and had a lot more success.

Here are a few tips for branding...
  • Make sure you have a good build up of really hot coals
  • Leave the brand in the coals for around 5 minutes so it gets nice and hot
  • Wet your wood... Pour water over the tree slice you are about to brand
  • Use some sort of protective glove (or several protective gloves... we ended up using an Ove' Glove and 2 potholders)
  • Get 2 boards to press down on each side of the brand (we didn't do this until the very end... this method worked the best for an even brand... when we applied pressure to just the handle  the brand started to warp and bend)
  • After each branding session you might have to reset and straighten your brand

So basically that is what I have to offer.  After completing the whole process I can totally understand why tree slices are so darned expensive to buy!  Would we do this again?... probably not.  We spent 4 Saturdays cutting wood and branding when we could have spent around $500 and just bought them online.  But, in the end each tree slice was unique and special to us and we managed to get 21 great looking slices for the reception.

Below is a video of the whole process.  It was taken pretty early on so we aren't using the 2 pieces of wood technique but you can get a good idea of what all went into the branding.  Plus my dad imitates Turtle Man and I couldn't pass that up!

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Here at Green Acres we are taking it up a technological notch.

If you would please place your cursor over the lovely picture below.

Yup, that's right folks you can now pin my posts and pictures to your Pinterest boards! 

I'm a huge fan of Pinterest.  I've used it for countless wedding ideas and lots of future home ideas.  After searching online for about an hour I finally found a way to make my pictures pin-able!  Just hover over them, click the giant red "P" and automatically be taken to your Pinterest page where you can save the picture along with the link to the blog post... You know so you can save your favorite posts and pics all in one place!

And for those of you wondering how I managed this magic, I refer you to this link.  It pretty much walks you through it step by step.  Do not be afraid of the html talk, I know nothing about this and was able to do it to it!  If this country bumpkin can figure it out you can too!