Category Archives: Uncategorized

Now You See Them, Now You Don’t – Simple Shoe Storage


One of the things I always said I never wanted to have, was a home without a proper entry way.  Of course, our new home not only opens right into our living room, but because there is no closet near by, you also stumble over a conglomeration of shoes, with some of them being freakishly large.  I tried to temporarily remedy the situation with a shoe rack, while I tended to other, more pressing renovation projects.


But enough is enough, and here is the solution I came up with (this is the view from our front door): Continue reading Now You See Them, Now You Don’t – Simple Shoe Storage

How to Store a Mattress in Plain Sight: Create a Chaise!


Our new home is the first home we ever lived in that had two living areas: One right off the entrance, and one attached to the kitchen area. I have never been a fan of two living rooms because I would rather see the square footage be put to a better use in a separate additional room or in a more spacious layout in general.  And let’s face it: why do you need two living rooms?  Our “problem” was that we didn’t exactly have the furniture to fill the second room.  We had an older Ikea entertainment center that we bought 10 years ago and an extra recliner, but that was it and, since we move so often, I did not like the idea of purchasing another couch.  I had to come up with some additional, functional seating for what was supposed to become a comfy “hangout” area to enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings, read, play board games, and watch TV.  At the same time, we decided to use the space under our son’s bed as storage, which previously was home to an extra twin mattress that now stood upright in our upstairs hallway without a real purpose in life.  So, I added empty space plus extra mattress and came up with, tah-dah: the chaise! Continue reading How to Store a Mattress in Plain Sight: Create a Chaise!

Let Them Shine: How to Makeover Outdoor Light Fixtures


Soft yellow siding + off white trim + white light fixtures = boring house exterior.  That’s pretty much our new home in a nutshell, and while we are planning on having the house painted (I think we talked ourselves out of breaking our necks trying to paint a two story house ourselves), I still couldn’t live with all the “blah” until then.  I spray painted outdoor lighting in a previous home, and, since it held up very well over several years, I decided to do it again here.  It is the easiest and cheapest way to add some interest to your exterior, without having to run out and spend lots of money on new light fixtures. Continue reading Let Them Shine: How to Makeover Outdoor Light Fixtures

… Aaaaaand She’s Back!

If you are wondering why my last post was almost 6 months ago, I can give you one very good reason: yet another move half way across the country for this family of nomads. And even though we always have the option to have a moving company assist us in our many moves, we have had too many bad experiences and prefer to do it ourselves. Why take the easy way, if you can create months of work for you, right? We started organizing and packing in March, cleaned, organized and packed some more through-out April and May, and finally loaded our Penske truck in June to head towards the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Continue reading … Aaaaaand She’s Back!

Winter’s Bounty: Snow Cone Syrup


What sounds better on a freezing winter day than standing outside with an ice cold snow cone in your hand?….  Actually, I can think of a few things, but apparently my children don’t mind.  We usually stay clear of typical snow cones because of the large amounts of food coloring and artificial flavors involved.  Not much of a treat (if you ask me!) when your tongue ends up glowing in the dark after enjoying a lime flavored snow cone.

Last summer, we came upon a snow cone stand that advertised a selection of natural syrups, which included all of 2 flavors, in addition to an overwhelming variety of “traditional” concoctions.  We asked why they didn’t have more natural flavors, because we assumed people would be thrilled at the rare opportunity to indulge in “healthy” snow cones.   To our surprise, we learned that, aside from us, nobody even asked to try the pale colored lime or soft pink natural fruit punch.  And why would you, if you have mouthwatering flavors such as “Tiger’s Blood” or “Blueberry Blast”  as an alternative?  Not only do these two turn your mouth into a multicolored wonder, but dye your stomach lining to match…  I tend to go on a rant when it comes to food coloring, because I really don’t see any reason why it should find its way into our food, other than the occasional birthday cake (yes, I use food coloring in my fondant and icing, but that’s it!).  Anyway, let me try this again:

What sounds better on a freezing winter day, than standing outside with an ice cold snow cone in your hand?….  So when the first snow fell, my children asked me to make syrup for them and since I had  a few bags of frozen raspberries in the freezer, I decided to comply: Continue reading Winter’s Bounty: Snow Cone Syrup

A Seedy Story – Or Growing a Pumpkin Plant


Have you ever eaten a fruit and just stuck its pit into the ground to see what would happen?  My grandmother was one of those people who actually did that.  With her curiosity to see what would happen, combined with and the greenest thumb I had ever seen, she managed to grow a smorgasbord of plants, including a pineapple plant.  I actually watched her finish a peach, contemplate the pit for a few moments, then stick it into a pot with some soil and successfully got it to grow.  Despite the genetic connection, my thumb ended up with a paler shade of brownish-green, and so far, my gardening success has been contained to houseplants and growing a few herbs in the window.

Continue reading A Seedy Story – Or Growing a Pumpkin Plant