Thursday, August 30, 2012


It was almost exactly a year ago today when I wrote this post about a wonderful little spot outside of Madison called The Tree Farm.  It is a hidden gem slightly off the beaten path and when I go there it fills me with love for where I live.   The Tree Farm is a pick-your-own vegetable farm in the Summer (and a Christmas Tree Farm in the Winter).  In addition to carrots, peppers, beans, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, herbs, cabbage, kale, potatoes and kohlrabi the Tree Farm has amazing flowers, which is always the highlight of my trip.  And today for the grand total price of $5.43 (YES, you read that right) I came home with 3 flower bouquets, peppers, zucchini and broccoli.  What a wonderful day!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Blooming Good Time

A few weeks ago I went to Blooming Butterflies with my daughter.  It is an annual event held at our local and fabulous Olbrich Botanical Gardens (a must see if you ever come to Madison).  Thousands of beautiful butterflies are released into the indoor conservatory while the kids (and some adults maybe) run around and explore.

In addition to all the wonderful gardens and flying creatures Olbrich has a great little shop with all types of things to entice.  And on this particular trip I was enticed by all the lovely seed packets.

I loved the colors and vintage look so although I was unsure of how I would use them I took a few with me (oh, I paid for them too).  I actually find myself doing this all the time.  I only purchase bigger ticket items if I know exactly how they are going to be used but sometimes smaller items just grab me and I figure out the details later.

Well yesterday I figured out how I was going to use them!  I spotted this trellis while cruising through Home Depot.  For $4 it was the perfect solution.

I sprayed a few clothes pins with my favorite spray paint, Oil Rubbed Bronze...

 ...which I recommend everyone has a can of.  I use it all the time!  And when they were dry I put together the trellis and seed packets and had something I was pretty happy with.

And even if you don't have seed packets to display (I mean who doesn't have seed packets to display!) you could use this same idea to display pictures, postcards, fabric, all sorts of goodies!  And I did it all for just a few bucks.    

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I'm Getting Paid!

I'm back!  A week long vacation with the fam was exactly what I needed.  We biked, we hiked, we beached, we hung out with farm animals, we boated, we shopped, we ate and we wrapped up the week with a drive-in movie...SO FUN!  But now it is time to get back to work on all the projects I left hanging and the first one to talk about is one I am getting paid to do. betcha!

Can you believe it, someone is actually paying me to do this stuff!  One of my Personal Training clients is also an MD reader.  And after seeing the two headboards I made (here and here) she asked if I would be interested in making a couple for her.  And I said No.  Ha, just kidding, I said Heck Yeah!  (I'm so professional).

So Barbara (that's my client) and I have been putting our heads together and we have come up with a plan.  I must say she has been so fun to work with.  In addition to being a friend, she actually thinks my ideas are great, imagine that!  In her very own words "I welcome your ideas.  I'm sick of my own."

My work includes an upholstered headboard for her master bedroom.  I'm not going to give away all the details but I will tell you I used one of these fabulous shapes...

Headboard Shape Options  

and there is a chance this fabric is involved

And as I said above, Barbara loved the re-purposed headboard I made for my master so her new guest room headboard will be very similar with a few new features of course.

So as soon as I complete these two projects I will officially be a professional.  Ha!  That is funny.  I am so not a professional, but it is nice to have someone appreciate what I love to do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back To School

Back to school time is here.  And in my case it is Start School time. daughter is starting school this Fall.  She will be at preschool two mornings a week and all she can talk about is the school bus (which she actually wont be riding to school but once in a while on field trips).  We recently went on a tour of the district school bus facility and she was over the moon!

We got to go through the "bus bath" twice.  It was awesome!

So for all of you sending kids back to school or just starting out like us, here is an adorably fun idea brought to us by How Does She.  

Follow this link and join How Does She and you will find free printables for every year, Pre-K through 12th, to help you create that perfect first day of school pic.

What fun back to school traditions do you love?  Share them in the comments below!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who Needs Underwear Anyways!

We are leaving for vacation in less then twenty four hours.  Yippee!  I seriously can't wait.  But you know how those last few days before packing up the family can be a little stressful?  That is where I am right now...running around trying to think of everything we might possibly need for a week away.  I have 5 lists on paper and 3 more running through my head.  And in the middle of all this my multitasking brain caught a glimpse of our pantry doors and thought "Wow, they could be so much more functional not to mention cute".  So slam on the stressing out breaks cause I think now would be the perfect time for a little project.  Crazy lady walking!

So I took these...

Taped them off like this...

Applied some of this...

And now I have this...

So I may have forgotten to pack any underwear but at least our pantry doors are now much more functional.  Ooo I have an idea, maybe I should use my new space to write my packing list...brilliant!

Monday, August 13, 2012

I'm About To Loose Control And I Think I Like It!

Have you ever been listening to someone tell you a story and it just keeps going on and on?  You politely listen / make your grocery list in your head.  Once in a while you nod, laugh or smile.  And then when they finally get to the end of the story you think...Wow!  They could have told that entire 10 minute long story in one sentence.  Well, this is going to be one of those stories so hang on to your seats people cause it is going to get crazy (actually it really isn't and if you are busy doing 10 other more important things just skip to the end and see why I am so excited.)

Let's start this story with one important fact - my husband is a wonderful man!  He really puts up with so much crazy and doesn't ever make a peep.   And this weekend was no exception.  Yesterday around lunch time I was getting ready to go to work and my husband mentioned that he may take my daughter to Home Depot that afternoon to pick up one last thing we needed to finish up the wainscoting in our bathroom.  And I immediately pounced...what, a trip to Home Depot, let me add a few things to your list!  On that list included a piece of plywood, cut to specific size for a project I am working on (more on that later).

So we went our separate ways, me to work and him and my daughter to the Depot.  When I got home a couple hours later I was surprised to see they weren't home.  Yes, everything takes longer with a 2 year old but it was getting close to her bedtime so I figured something must have happened.  Only moments later my phone rang.

Me: Hello
Hubby: Hey Babe, small problem
Me: What's up?
Hubby: The wood wont fit
Me: Wont fit?
Hubby: I'm stuck in the Home Depot parking lot because the wood wont fit in the car with the car seat
side note: my friends were picking me up in one hour for a girls night out which I was not going to miss.
Me: Crap.  On my way.

So I rushed to Home Depot, about 20 minutes away.  We switched the car seat to the small car, wrestled the wood into the trunk and sped home all the while I was in my cute going out with the girls outfit.  But I made it home just in time to put on a little makeup and sneak away for great, and well deserved, night out.

OK so at this point you are all wondering why I am still telling and you are still reading this story.  I am still telling this story because my husband is a wonderful man and there is one surprise still left and you are still reading because you are way to nice and enjoying procrastinating what you really should be doing.

The surprise?  The surprise is that in addition to buying all the things on my shopping list, chasing a 2 year old around Home Depot, and getting marooned in the parking lot my husband bought me this...

A DREMEL!  And these...

DREMEL ACCESSORIES!  OMG I have wanted one for so long!  I dream of all the cutting, sanding, shaping I could do if I only had one.  And now I DO!  There are so many possibilities I don't even know where to begin.  Should I carve a cutting board, sculpt a wooden duck, sharpen an ax, polish some hinges?  The possibilities are endless.  Thank you wonderful husband, thank you!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Little Bit Of Whimsy

I get that not everyone is into re-purposing and recycling.  Personally, I love it!  I take great pride in hunting down an item, envisioning it as something else and then creating a new look or purpose.  And you know what, it may be odd that I hang old cabinet doors on my walls as art

or use paint cans as storage

but I love the character and whimsy items like this bring to my home so there :)  And you might think it odd that when I saw this little ladder at the ReStore I immediately thought side table!  

Well, I did and the $3 I spent on it agreed.  It was soon in the back of my car on its way to its new home and to serve it new purpose.  

And all it took was about an hours worth of work.  First came some tape

then came some paint and a little poly to coat the top

 and my new side table (aka wine holder) was born.

So challenge yourself to think outside the box.  It not only saves a pretty penny but it allows that creativity, that yes we all have, to shine bright.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Free Paint!

I love my local ACE Hardware!  But I have to say I am a little embarrassed that every time I walk in the doors I hear "Hi Jill, more paint today?".  Well this weekend I wasn't embarrassed at all to hear those words because of this...

Free Paint Saturday

Nothing better than Free Paint Saturday!  My local ACE has been running this promo on and off throughout the Summer and I finally was around to take advantage of it.  Well, I was kind of around.

See here is what in-laws were in town and we had this great plan that my husband and father-in-law were going to take my daughter fishing for the first time.  But first they needed a fishing pole!  So off they went to ACE with two things on their list, 1. A fishing pole (Dora the Explorer fishing pole to be exact) and 2. Get me a free can of paint!

My first choice was white.  Yup, boring old white.  But I am almost out and I need a little more to finish off (and actually start) my daughters bathroom ceiling.  My second choice was a color, any color, to paint our outdoor picnic table.  Remember this one we built last summer?

My husband soon discovered there were some restrictions on the free can of paint and for some reason they wouldn't let him get white, so odd.  Which means he was in charge of picking out the picnic table color.  So what did he come up with?!?!?!

 Color match of Ace A32-6 Summerland*

ACE Paint Summerland A32-6

The above sample is actually really far off.  The color is much brighter and limer (yes, that is a word).  I started the first coat on the table and it looks a little something like this...

So fun!  The table still needs another coat of paint and a sealer but I just love how the Summerland green looks.  Once again a win for the hubs.  Good work dear, good work.

Check out your local ACE to see if they are offering this same great offer cause we all know we love us a little free paint!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sell, Sell, Sell

We all enjoy finding a great deal on Craig's List!  I have had some truly great successes that I am happy to brag about.  Warning, I'm about to brag...

Just to show a few!

In addition to great Craig's List purchases I have also had success in selling on Craig's List and that is what I want to talk about today.  The Nester wrote this great post about Editing which led my brain to this topic.  So I came up with these tips to help you sell on Craig's List.  Because although we love to buy, it is once in a while time to sell.  

Tips To Sell On Craig's List

1. The Basics - Write a short, concise add that includes a simple description, dimensions if applicable, price, your location and a picture.  Which leads me to my next tip...

2. You MUST include a picture - Many shoppers, myself included, will not even look at an add if it does not include a picture.  Picture tips include - clear away other items to minimize distractions, only include what you are actually selling (for example if you are selling a bed frame remove the mattress if it is not for sale) and include the brand name in a pic if expecting more money due to name recognition.  

3. Be Honest - Don't waste your time or buyers time by not including important information.  If something is broken say so!  Many people are happy to fix broken things.  but others will be very upset if they get to your house and are then told something is broken.  For example, I sold this bed 

on Craig's List for $75 even though there was this little problem...

But you know what, I just said the cross slates were broken but could be replaced right there in the add and someone swooped it up in a couple of days.  

4. Be Ready - When someone comes to look at the item please be aware of both your safety and theirs.  Whenever I respond to an add and set up a time to view an item I always ask the seller to have the item outside or in the garage.  I specifically tell them I am not comfortable coming in their house.  And I do the same when selling.  I move the item into the garage and I personally only allow people to come over when I know my husband will be home.  Your comfort level is your comfort level but please be careful!  

5. Cash Only - I assume you  know to only accept cash - those still exist??- but I also think it is important to decide before the buyer arrives if you are willing to negotiate on price.  You don't have to but many do.  If you are willing to negotiate decide up front what your bottom dollar is and stick to it.  There are plenty of other fish in the sea so it isn't the end of the word to let someone walk away.  On several occasions I have had buyers try and totally rip me off and you know what, I just said "No!" and I sold the items to someone else within a few days.  

6. Remove The Ad Once It Has Sold - I believe in good behavior to help everyone have a good experience and this is one of those rules.  Once you have sold an item please delete your add.  This not only saves buyers time but it saves you from getting unwanted emails.  And on that same note, if you have an add still posted please respond to all inquiries even if you only write a one sentence response.  Because you know how it feels to be interested in something and the seller never emails you back.  Let's all be nice ;)  

So I hope these tips will help you to get selling.  And remember the best part about selling is it gives you more money to buy...oh wait I was talking about editing, shoot!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What Have You Pinned For Me Lately?

Recently I have been working on a Pinterest board all about color.  And not just your average colors.  Colors that make you smile.  Colors that can turn a grouchy day into a great day.  Colors that you may never imagine together or dare to put together.  But with a little courage and Pinterest inspiration you may just make that leap.  So let's jump on in...the water is warm!

gray & pinks

turquoise table. print chairs

pink and turquoise


And don't forget sometimes the best inspiration comes from unexpected places.

Pinks, yellow and white

DIY Kids Fabric Necklace

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes.

These colors are so great I could just eat them up.

So remember...keep your eyes wide and creativity flowing because every room should have some fun in it!