Aug 31, 2013

mother in law's friend's pastor's mom's son's garage sale


I went on an adventure last night with my mother in law and cousin. Actually, it's my husband's cousin but it's just easier to call her my cousin instead of my husband's cousin or my husband's mom's brother's daughter. I wish there was a shortened version of my mother in law instead of MIL. I could just call her my mother but then that would be confusing when I am talking about my birth mother. There's just something about MIL that I don't like...

Anyways, I am off track, as usual.

I am about to really confuse you because the adventure we went on last night was to my mother in law's friend's pastor's mom's son's house. Do you follow?  Excellent. She caught wind that there was a garage sale at said friend's pastor's mom's son's house with around 25 antique milk bottles from various places for $3 a piece. I've seen antique milk bottles run anywhere from $10-15 up to almost $200 at antique stores all depending on the condition, rarity, age, etc. So, this was definitely a steal. If all of this were true. Milk bottles, in my opinion have been one of the harder items to "junk" for because of their value. We were really excited since we heard some of the bottles are marked with towns from our surrounding areas including a few from Chicago.

Aug 30, 2013

MINI PALLET DISPLAYS & FALL PRINTABLE

Hey everyone! It's Friday and even better it's Labor Day weekend. Our last chance to enjoy some festivals and cookouts before the cooler weather hits. Speaking of cooler weather and fall, I have been working on a little fall printable with words that remind me of fall to display in my entryway to give myself and guests a warm autumn welcome! Even better, I am going to make it FREE for you to download and print out yourself! Put it in your favorite frame or clip board amongst your pumpkins and mums! You could also put it on your fridge, bulletin board or any place you'd like to dress up with a little fall pizazz.



Just click the above image to print the 8x8" PDF file onto card stock and you'll have a nice piece of pretend chalk board art without the dust!

After I made this printable, I was trying to think of the perfect way to display it and other seasonal print outs. I've seen clip board photo holders all over Pinterest.


Aug 29, 2013

my camera

Sad story, I dropped my what I consider really realy nice camera that I didn't deserve face down on the lens yesterday. My hand caught into the strap and I yanked it unexpectdly. Luckily, it was on my Congoleum flooring which creates a cushion on our concrete slab. The fall bound up my basic 18-55 mm lens. It's working "ok" now but not like it use to. Out of curiosity of what it would cost to replace my standard lens, I was doing some searching for my camera and accessories.

I ended up finding my camera in a bundle with the 18-55 mm lens on Amazon for only $446.95! I say "only" because my husband paid $800 for this exact bundle two years ago at Christmas. I hope he doesn't see this because he will be upset. No, I am not buying my camera again. I just wanted to share this price with you!

Aug 28, 2013

lasagna sauce spaghetti



Last night, after finishing my pie plate project I was craving lasagna!

One of my favorite meals in this entire world is my mother's lasagna. Next to that is my spasagna.  However, both of those dishes take a lot of steps and then there's the whole waiting on it to bake process. And I was hungry. I've mentioned before, that I am all about quick and easy hearty recipes with a lot of taste. 

If you're looking for an easy week night recipe that takes care of your lasgna fix, you need to try out my lasagna sauce spaghetti! It's nothing fancy and gourmet but it's saucy, cheesey and delicious. Unfortunately, it's not real lasagna and it never will be. If you want real lasgna, well, you'll just have to wait. 

junk pie plates or decor?


So the other day I posted about a little picking trip I went on. I had mentioned my pile of rusty pie plates and how I had a project in mind for them in the kitchen! Well, I finally was able to finish that project Monday night. It was so humid out, I was better off inside, anyways! You'd think it was July or something...

Aug 27, 2013

photography learning curve




This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to do a favor for a friend and do her daughter's 6 month photo shoot. I will disclaim, I am not a family photographer and I do not want to become one. I'd have to have years and years of experience before I'd ever think about charging anyone. I did this to get a better feel on using my camera, settings and some editing experience for my own personal use. I have a decent hobby camera, a Nikon D3100 but nothing close to professional. I am still learning how to use it. I learn something new everyday it seems like.

Aug 26, 2013

chalkboard pinterest board covers


Last week, I was playing around with some chalkboard graphics and decided to make some Pinterest Board covers for my Pinterest account. I use Pinterest on a daily basis for so many things. It has saved us on paper, wasting time putting ideas in binders and so much more! Pinterest is the new search engine for all things home, recipes, DIY and more. It can be addicting at times but I like to look at it as an organization tool in my life.

Aug 25, 2013

rusty pie pans and cheese graters


One of my favorite things to do is search for what I call "junk".... or my husband calls it my "rustic gold"... usually it consists of rusty antiques, rare items or weathered objects. Some people call it "antiquing" and some call it "picking"... When I think of "antiquing" I think of items in pristine or mint condition. I think of dealers. I think of collectors. I think of houses full of furniture you can't sit on and lamps you don't dare touch. I think of fine China. I am not really an "antiquer" but more of a picker who likes to go 'pickin' for junk I can turn to treasure. I started doing this a few years before the show American Pickers. Before 'pickin' was cool.

Aug 24, 2013

making writing a priority


Good morning! I am excited to announce a new feature here at Old Blue Silo. Recently, I have been checking out a lot of blogs and studying some of them and what some of these bloggers are all about. I've checked out various themed blogs and I am finding some of the bigger, more successful blogs are somewhat becoming on the commercialized side. I know all about how they clean, how they organize their underwear and what they had for dinner Monday night but where are the stories? Where is life?

Aug 23, 2013

gluten free cookie dough bites


I can't believe it's already Friday! I am not complaining... but I don't know where this week has gone! A shout out to one of my good friend who's turning the big 27 today! Happy birthday miss Erica :) If you missed my kitchen reveal this week, be sure to check it out! 

So, this past week, my friend Angie over at Don't worry. Be happy. Keep learning. made cookie dough balls. I was intrigued because the recipe didn't call for any eggs. I haven't had cookie dough in almost three years! I was excited. One minor step back, however. I have to eat gluten free so the flour in her recipe wasn't going to work for me. 

Aug 22, 2013

hand painted sign round #1



Good afternoon! It's been a busy boxed mac and cheese week here at the Old Blue Silo studio with the kitchen reveal going on, a few painting projects and learning on how to improve my graphic skills. Not to mention, laundry, cleaning, watering plants (it finally rained today), weeding and helping out a friend with her project.

A while back, I was junking/antiquing with my husband at one of my favorite stores, Green Oak Antiques. I typically like to rummage through the weathered junk they have outside. My husband really didn't get it at first but now I catch him staring at all the goodies they have out there. He has even picked up an old oil can for his office all on his own! That excites me. I always knew I married a keeper.

Aug 21, 2013

KITCHEN REVEAL




I wanted to do something special for my 50th blog post. One of the best features of my house is my kitchen and I am excited to finally share it with you. It really fits my personality and works well into the flow and floor plan of our home. It is the first thing you see when you walk in. It's the center of our home and serves as our command center. I spent a lot of time planning and working with my cabinet builder and contractor to design 
something unique, cozy and functional. I am giddy with joy every time I walk in the room.

I hope you enjoy the tour and this photograph heavy post!


Aug 17, 2013

10 year high school reunion


Tonight is my 10 year class reunion.

You know, it just seems like yesterday I was waking up to chocolate milk instead of coffee saying "Tonight is my high school graduation."

Being a senior in high school, you're constantly being told to "enjoy it - it goes by fast." You nod your head and say "Uh huh, ok... ok..." because at that point, you feel like you've been in school for what seems like forever and you're ready to move on to that next big step. Freedom.

Freedom wasn't as much freedom as you thought it would be. Mom and dad are still providing a roof over you head during the summer and still paying for a lot of your bills. They still kind of had a say of what went on in your life. Or at least they had their "say"... whether we listened or not was another story.

College was fun. It was an opportunity to learn a lot of things, discover who you really are and make some new friends. It goes by even quicker than high school. Once again, it seems just like yesterday mom and dad were moving me down to the big campus of Purdue University. And then picking me back up for the following summer. Repeat x 4.

Then, you get out of college and you're trying to knot your high school self and your college self together figuring out which direction you'd like to go next. You start your big girl job and before you know it, your dad is walking you down the aisle.

Freedom. Ah, there you are. Oh wait. Nope. Now you've started a life together with someone else. So now, not only are you trying to knot your high school self, college self, big girl job self but you're also trying to mesh your life into someone else's.

Other than a few extra years added to college due to some changes in my major, my life has almost been like clock work. Everything has fallen into place like it was always meant to be that way. I've been a pretty lucky girl with a lot of support. Very caring parents, a protective brother, friends that are like sisters and a husband who I love more than life itself. I couldn't ask for more.

No matter how hard I tried to plan my life out, it was going in the direction it was intended. There was no use running against the wind. Swimming up stream.

Sometimes I wish I could go back 10 years ago and show my 18 year old self how great life would turn out. When you're 18, you have no clue. You think you know it all. Even though I was voted one of the most likely in my class to never leave our home town, I thought for sure I would end up somewhere really far away. But I didn't. I'm 10 minutes away from my high school and 20 minutes away from my parents. I'm not a famous interior designer.

I did marry that farmer, though. My parents always knew I would. They use to tease me about some of the local farm boys. Your parents know you better than you know yourself. Never forget that. I always thought they were full of it. :)

I look at where a lot of my classmates and high school friends ended up and it's so interesting how everybody has gone their separate ways. Some have moved out of state. Started lives in a whole different world. Some have big families. I saw a fellow classmate of mine at a wedding a few weeks ago. He was following his 1 year old son around as we were talking about the upcoming reunion. It was fun watching him be a dad. Over all, I think everyone turned out pretty well. We all had to learn from our mistakes and figure out who we are as adults.

At first I wasn't going to go to my class reunion. We have a wedding we've been looking forward to and I thought, I still keep in touch with most through Facebook and stuff. Then it hit me that it would be kind of neat to see everyone in the same room again. I know some won't be able to make it due to being out of state or having to work. They'll definitely be missed. I can show up late. It'll be fine. The last time I spoke to some of my classmates we were teenagers. Tonight, I will be speaking to them as an adult. But as a kid at heart. Some things never change.

Can't believe it. It's been 10 years already. Before we know it, we'll be planning our 20th.

They say time flies. It really does.

Senior Year, 2003




Aug 16, 2013

why i blog




When I started this blog back in October of 2011, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to share with you. Sometimes it's hard to determine what is appropriate for the internet and what we should hold dearly to ourselves. We live in a world of social networking and it's only getting worse. Or better. Depending on the way you view social networking.

When you get into facebooking and blogging, your world is constantly revolving around the questions of "Is this worthy of sharing?" or "Oh, I need to get a picture of that so I can write about it later!" Sometimes it sounds ridiculous and I try to picture my grandparents getting involved with social networking. My grandpa passed away before he even knew how to turn on a computer. He never owned a computer. He had good secretaries that did all his computer work for him at work. My grandmother, his wife on the contrary absolutely loved computers and the internet. When the internet first came out, she was the first one with it. I didn't know anyone else at the time who had the internet besides my grandma. She ate it up. She researched and emailed her little heart away in her office before we even knew what email was.

I like to imagine her in the world of Facebook, blogging, Twitter and smart phones. Unfortunately, she passed away long before any of this came into our world. I could see her texting me often. Sharing ideas for my home and the farm. On Facebook, she'd constantly be posting pictures of her grandkids, yours truly and writing articles about anything and everything under the sun on her blog. She didn't hold anything back. I am friends with a lot of my friends' moms and grandmas on Facebook and I think it's a wonderful thing. They're proudly showing off pictures of the grandkids and their latest recipe or project. It's finally their time to shine.

There has been a time or two where I unplugged Facebook. It was cleansing, peaceful and productive but at the same time I felt disconnected from the world. I missed a few parties, birth announcements and other important things because I didn't have Facebook. I think Facebook and the internet have become a normality in our lives. Those who have not joined, will only slip farther between the cracks. It's how we socialize.

Whether you think it's sad or not. There's days where I just want to unplug and delete everything all together. Then, I sit back and think about all the people I am connected to on Facebook that live out of state. Sadly, I would feel like I am disconnected from them if I disconnect from Facebook. Facebook has done wonderful things in my social world but it has also done some harm as well. We have to learn how to use our filters when we write and take pictures. We also have to learn to just block someone from our news feed or even from our account in general if that person is causing harm or making hurtful comments. People just need to stop airing their dirty laundry online.

That is the one problem with social networking. It's so much easier to create a Facebook status or a blog post about someone you're upset with rather than to just go to that person.  Bashing on people is not for the internet. Just because my friend hurt me, her grandma doesn't need to see that. It's that simple. Filter, people. Filter. I guess if you don't want your grandma or mom to see something on the internet, don't share it with ANYONE. I mean, ANYONE. Once it's in cyber space, it's there for all to see. I use to be kind of shy when I blogged. I didn't want any of my friends or family to read it. Then one day, I decided I wanted to blog so those close to me could see my story. I had nothing to hide. I didn't write about bad things. I wanted those who didn't know me, to be inspired from my story and things that I took interest in or busied myself with.

I love my little life here on the farm. I love the silly projects and things I get myself into. I love my friends and my family. I want to share that part of me with others. I've always wanted to write for a magazine. Or write a book. I've never considered myself to be an expert at anything and I never will but you don't know until you try. This blog has inspired me to try new things and to share things with people I never thought I would. It's kind of like having my own magazine. I get to be the editor, the writer, the designer, the photographer and the director. It's awesome. I can choose to turn it into a monetary blog or a hobby blog. I can write to just write or I can share projects and tutorials.

There are all kinds of blogs out there. There are networks that join similar blogs together. There are even blogging conventions of all kinds. I think the world of blogging is one of the coolest things I've seen. It's hard to explain what a blog is to someone who's never turned on a computer. It can be a journal, a business, a portfolio, a continuing novel. It's whatever you want it to be.

That satisfaction you get from clicking "publish" after hours of composing, editing and uploading pictures just for one post is extremely rewarding. People don't realize the amount of time and planning that go into a post. There are days, like today, where you just turn on the computer and you write. Your heart just feels like sharing.

When I was in 7th grade. 7th grade, one winter I taught myself how to code an entire website with html. Hyper text markup language. Most of you don't know what any of that is. I designed a website on a Geocities (now hosted by Yahoo) server from scratch called Dandelions in the Wind. I really don't know what was on it other than "Hi, my name is Kelly. I am in 7th grade. I play sports and ride horses or four wheelers. I love Beanie Babies, too." It took me hours. Weeks. Months. To perfect this silly little website only I knew existed. My address was crazy long, too. That's just how it was back then. Now, you don't even need HTML to start up a website. There are so many different plug and go options that make it so much easier for the less tech savvy to social network or start up a blog.

I am not quite sure what happened to Dandelions in the Wind. I think I deleted it because no one "surfed" to it and none of my friends even had the internet yet. I tried doing a Google search on it. No luck. I don't remember what my Yahoo logins are, either. I am sure the account has been long deleted.

It's so different having a blog or a website now. Even just a little Facebook page/group. Everyone's online. Well, almost. My husband's grandma has the internet but she doesn't social network. You can create anything you want and between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. you have an entire network to share with. They share with their friends. Their friends share with their friend's friends and so forth.

It really is all crazy. Sometimes I ask myself if I am crazy for doing this. It makes me happy, though. I guess as long as something makes you happy, you're not crazy for doing it. Except for drugs. If those make you happy, STOP. STOP NOW. Find something else that makes you happy. You are crazy if you do drugs. Maybe I need to rephrase the above quote. Anyways, you catch my drift.

My best friend who I went to Frankenmuth with, is moving 12 hours away next week. It brought tears to my eyes this morning thinking about it. No more weekly dinner dates. No more shopping sprees to desperately find the perfect pair of jeans. No more frog hunting. It just makes me sad. However, I am happy for her. She is pursuing an opportunity she has always wanted to do and has been talking about for a long time. But you know, with cell phones and social networking, she's only a finger tip away. We can still chat on HeyTell every morning. That won't change. We can send each other pictures with the click of a button. Phone calls. Emails. There are no excuses to not stay in touch with someone far away.

I have so many friends and family that I hold so close to my heart who live far away. Sometimes it's hard but then I sit back and think about how lucky we are to have social networking. I never would have connected with my grandma's best friend, Miss Mary B. in Georgia without Facebook. I wouldn't be able to watch my nieces and nephew in Kansas grow or things happening on their ranch if my sister and brother in law didn't post things on Facebook. My sister in law, almost 20 hours away has become one of my closest friends thanks to the abilities of being able to keep in touch. I know that she too, is just a finger tip away.

There's so many opportunities out there to get in touch. Don't be afraid and remember, if you don't like what you see, delete and move on. It's that simple. If my blog posts bother you and you think they're a waste of my time, please just move on. And don't come back. I know that sounds harsh, but this is for me and the people who want to keep reading. It's hard to come up with interesting content and to put yourself out there. You'll never be found unless you do.

This is kind of like the American Idol opportunity for those who like to write, photograph and create. There's so much more I want to share, it will just come with time. For my 50th post anniversary, I would like to come up with something special, but I am not sure what that is yet. It's coming up, though. Some bloggers measure their anniversary in years but I think it's better to do posts. Not everyone can post everyday or even week. Some post 10 times a day. Regardless, each post is unique and takes time to create whether it took you a year to generate 300 posts or 5 years. It all takes the same amount of time.

It all takes time, just like anything else. We spend time on what's most important to us.

This is important to me.


Aug 15, 2013

distressed teal crate



So, yesterday I shared with you a few inspirations and ideas for my office. I have a cupboard that I would like to paint my main accent color, teal, but I wanted to try it on something small first and I am going to show you how I did it!

I chose this old fruit crate that was given to me for free by a family friend when she was having a garage sale. I liked it. But it's been sitting in storage for over a year and if I LOVED it, I would have found a spot for it by now. The green is just the wrong shade.


It's time to give it a makeover so it will actually be used in my office!


Let's get started! I first applied two coats of new, fresh spray paint. I used tropical Oasis in satin by Valspar which was found at Lowes. It is a paint and primer all in one. I let each coat dry for about an hour. That's the hardest part! Waiting for paint to dry.


I thought the color turned out gorgeous! It was too bright and shiny for this country home, though. I knew that too before I started, which I why I had a sanding block and antique glaze ready!

Next, I sanded the edges and spots I wanted to look "worn" with a sanding block. You can use sand paper as well. The block just makes it easier when working with edges.

After I sanded everything I wanted down, I wiped off the dust with a tack cloth. You can find these just about anywhere and they are very handy with keeping projects clean.

It was time to apply the antique glaze. Antique glaze can be used for a lot of techniques. I just wanted to give my piece a rough, aged look. My glaze is by Valspar and I found it at Lowes. You can read about it here.

You're suppose to wait 24 hours for your base coat to dry before applying antique glaze but I was practically dancing with excitement so I.......... didn't wait. 

I decided a shop rag would be the best way to apply it. A brush would put it on too evenly and it just wouldn't provide the look I was going for. I just dipped the towel into the glaze and smeared it on all over like so.



Then, with the dirty rag, I smeared the glaze all over and smoothed it out. It's pretty transparent and really just the rough parts of the piece pick up the glaze. There's really no wrong or right way of applying this, folks. Just slap it on and swirl 'er around! Just keep in mind that you only have a few minutes to work with it as it dries quickly.


What really surprised me was how little glaze I actually used. I just dabbed off the lid mostly. I had to pour a little more onto the lid towards the end.


And she's all done!

I think she turned out swell! All fresh, modern and slightly distressed.


























I just love the sanded detail the glaze picked up.


Time to play a little..




I am so excited about using the antique glaze. I've been looking up distressed painted wood project how to's for what seems like ever and I never got around to doing it because I thought the process would be extremely time consuming. It was so much easier than I thought and I can't wait to try it on a bigger piece. You can do it too! Trust me!

So let's recap! 

\
Materials I  needed for this makeover :

  • A base coat of paint, spray or brushed on
  • Sanding block or paper
  • Tack cloth
  • Antique glaze
  • Rag
Paint, sand, clean and glaze! It's so easy, anyone could do it. 


I think I'm ready to move on to a bigger piece!

What projects have you been putting off due to intimidation? This was one of mine and I feel so silly for not trying it sooner. 

Stay tuned for more paint projects in the future!

I shared this post on Remodelaholic!

Aug 14, 2013

office decisions and lilies


In June, I posted some office ideas. Different layouts, desk ideas, etc. I've been pinning a lot of office and organization ideas throughout the year. It's a room that's been sitting on my mental back burner for a while. After we moved in, it was kind of used as a catch all and for a while it served as storage. I cleaned out a lot of it and I am almost to the point where I am ready to start making some decisions about what I'd like to do. I have a little temporary setup with some Lifetime tables and it's okay, but it's time to make this a place where I actually want to be. 

I know what I would like to do for a desk, work space and shelving, I just have to actually build it. I am thinking that may be a winter project. My dad is currently tearing down an old shed on their property and it has some wood in really great shape. It's really, really old wood but it's not weathered since it was inside.

It will have a similar structure to Donna's at Funky Junk Interiors :

Make a pallet wood desk! - Full home tour via Funky Junk Interiors

and quite possible more like this :X Leg Desk Plans

But what I have been really struggling with the most are colors and theme. My trim and doors are knotty pine to match the lodge style theme in the rest of the house, the walls are already a light taupe and I have a brownish industrial carpet that has specks of taupe, purple, hunter green, navy in it. Sounds odd, but when you stand back and look at it, it's brown. 

Anyways, today is the day I finally made up my mind on style and color and I am so excited for this room to come together. Most of my house consists of darker, earthy, country primitive colors. And I love it. But my office needs to be a little more light and airy. It needs to have less of a cozy, country feel and just more of a productive, more modern but rustic air to it. It all came together when I found a valance at Lowes with teal, and different shades of browns with a paisley pattern. It's almost like a light bulb went on inside my head! The light bulb that has been burnt out for so long when it came to this room...

I came home and pulled out the lamp shade from the lamp makeover I performed, a cork board with a teal border, a galvanized bucket I've been keeping my Sharpies in for years and most favorite item in the world, a blue mason jar. I put all my inspiration pieces in front of some old wood since that's what my furniture will be made out of. 


I now know why people create idea boards and find inspiration items before they go painting a room. 


I just love the teal up against the faded old barn wood and the galvanized metal. As soon as  I was dead set on this valence and my accent color of teal, I practically ran to the spray paint section at Lowes to find it. I have this little cabinet my mom use to keep in her kitchen and whatever accent color I decided my office was going to be, that's what color the cabinet would be painted. I first want to try painting something small like a little shelf first and see how the color turns out. I also bought some antique glaze and some other goodies for when I embark on my painting adventures. I still have a high off of painting that lamp. And I don't mean from the fumes!

So that means stay tuned from some more paint projects coming up!



Don't you just love it when an idea comes together? I am just digging these colors. I'm a brown girl. Teal goes with brown like peanut butter goes with jelly.


I think I may start doing inspiration boards from now on before I decorate a room. It's a good way to see if an idea is going to pull together or not.

On a side note, I think today was one of the nicest days we had all summer. The sun was shining. It stayed cooler in the 70s. It was just gorgeous. It almost reminded me of fall.

But as I was chomping on some sweet corn, grilling out burgers and eating watermelon sherbet, it felt like summer again. But like I said earlier, we're slowly saying goodbye to summer. Before it goes, we have some late summer blooming action going on right now! 




These beauties are called resurrection lilies. Their greenery comes up in the early spring (It kind of looks like a Daffodil's greenery) and you don't see any flowers. THEN, the greenery dies off. Completely gone. Later, towards the end of summer, out of nowhere, these gorgeous pink lilies just pop up! It's the weirdest thing. They're really tall too. About up to my stomach. They're kind of odd looking because they literally have no greenery surrounding them right now. This is the first time they've shot up since I transplanted them. Last summer we didn't get any blooms.


Another late summer/early fall bloomer is sedum. This is one of my most favorite plants! If you're good at killing plants, this is for you. They're extremely hardy.These are a new sedum plant I got from Lemler Valley Farms but I also have some really old sedum that blooms a peach color that I transplanted from my grandma's house. It's not blooming quite yet. Almost.


My ornamental grass is coming to seed.

Yep, falling is a coming.

And the new season of Ducky Dynasty starts tonight!! I hope I can stay awake.....

Aug 12, 2013

decorating with sentiment

I was skimming through Pinterest during breakfast this morning and came across a farmhouse bathroom remodel that I thoroughly enjoyed. The woman created a Red Cross theme up against pale, aqua walls. I kept skimming and skimming through her beautiful pictures admiring her vintage first aid kits. You can tell she put a lot of heart and thought into this room. You can check it out at Breida with a B.

I don't think that I will start collecting vintage first aid kits, although I would like to; but they had  me thinking about some of the things I collect and display in my home and why I do. Yesterday, I posted some of my favorite useful products. What I am talking about now are some of the things that make up our house to have a significant meaning, memory or reminder of someone special.

Enamelware gifted at my bridal shower from family
When it comes to house keeping, it's definitely a topic that can be debated by all and for some it can be a sensitive subject. Everybody has different opinions on how one should keep their home. I have been told before that my house is too clean; needs lived in, etc. I've also been asked where all my photographs are by another. Those questions or statements may not have been made to intentionally hurt me, but it makes me question myself as a house keeper and if I am doing the right thing or not. Trust me, my home is very lived in. We just clean as we go.


Everybody has their own way of living and displaying memories. I have so many things in my house that take place of a picture. Things I'm actually using or looking at on a daily basis. Take this above mantle for example. It's one of my favorite places in my house. On it are items displayed that allow me to bring a photograph into my mind of my grandpa, the farm where we live and Dan's great grandparents, Dan's parents, my sister in law, my parents and my friend Molly. All of whom make up this mantel from these items found or given to us by them.

Refurnished Trunk gifted by the Weaver Family at our wedding

I guess I have a bad habit of ignoring a photograph once it is up and displayed. They collect dust like most things and people are always changing their looks whether by choice or age. Often, I am not quite sure how I want to remember somsone; by the way they looked last year or the way they look today? Don't be offended if you come into my home and there's not a picture of you somewhere. More than likely, I'm thinking of you every time I use or see a certain item. Maybe that will change one day if I ever become a grandma. Or I guess a mom. Ew, not yet.

An afghan made by my mother in law

I do like the idea of displaying a photograph of a lost loved one because that's the only way we can still see them personally. My grandparents passed away before Dan came along. He never met them. He knows how much they mean to me and what a huge impact they had on my life but he has no memory of them so I display their photo in my office where I sit by the computer every day. My office is kind of my special place where I can keep things before-Dan aka B.D. Things that came out of my childhood room. He has his own office as well. This way, we can keep things in the house we have accumulated together. There's no fighting over what goes where. Even though we are married, I still like to think of us as two separate people. It's how we come together as one by choice that makes us whole.

2012 Christmas present from our in-laws 
Photograph taken by Mike Deak - frame from Hobby Lobby
The only photo I have out right now of my husband and myself in the house is a sepia print from our engagement session in a barn wood frame. It's not just a great picture of my husband and myself all cleaned up. It's more than that. The frame and the photo were displayed at our wedding by the guest book. We had the opportunity to show it to everyone we know and love. When I see that photo of Dan and myself, I am also reminded of our friends Angie and Mike who shot our engagement session. You can tell they were just as excited as we were about upcoming events. They actually got engaged shortly after this session and were married a month after we were. That's something special Angie and I will always share as friends. Planning a wedding together! Not to mention, we are both bloggers. While you're checking out new blogs, be sure to stop by Don't Worry Be Happy Keep Learning as Angie takes you on her adventure of trying new things.

My grandmother's cookbook
I guess one of the reasons I like to keep my house clean and clear of clutter is so I can enjoy some of these special things I have around my home. Clutter and mess instantly distracts from the special things in our life; the things that are meant to be in our life. A person with a perfect home does not mean they are vain or materialistic. In fact, if you look around, they are quite sentimental with the carefully displayed objects all around. I am not saying someone with a messy home isn't sentimental. Please do not read into that. I'm just trying to rid you of the materialistic stigma and stereotype that often comes with a well kept home.

2012 Christmas gift from my mom - always wanted a butter churn

I love walking into a home and admiring one's collections and things they decorate with. Their paint colors. Their style of furniture. It's just something I've always enjoyed. A home is our canvas. Sometimes things can get in the way of how of we want our homes like money or time but often times a person's personality still shines even if their home isn't quite the way they want it. I've always admired one's ability to save and wait for what they really want because settling is not an option. 

Another blog I have enjoyed reading is Love Grows Wild- Liz lives in a rented farmhouse so she is unable to do some of the upgrades she would like to but I think she's doing an amazing and I mean amazing job at making it her own and adding her own touches. Granite countertops like the ones she'd prefer or not, her kitchen is adorable.

Often times, when you find a vintage or antique piece in someone's home, your first question is whether or not it is a family heirloom. Sometimes antiques can be special to us even if our great great grandfather didn't use them. Maybe you picked something up that reminded you of something your grandmother had that went to another family member or was misplaced. You could have had a fun day out with someone special and picked up a piece that will always remind you of that day. My mom and a family friend of ours, Bobbie happened to be out looking at antiques. I fell in love with a gray enamel pot with a lid but I was quickly talked out of  buying it because they told me it was a chamber pot. Eh, no thanks. I guess I'll pass on the chamber pot.

Child's Chamber Pot

Turns out, after some research on my existing collection when I got home and  I actually have a child's enamelware chamber pot that I had picked up at a shop. I put potpourri in it ironically. Kind of gross huh? Now, oddly, every time I look at it, I think of my mom and Bobbie along with the fun day we had. Yes, ladies, you're reminded of by a chamber pot!

A few months back, I created a post called 'collecting dust or memories' about my gray enamelware collection and how I was wanting to add a creamer can to it but they were so expensive. My friend Laura was reading my post one day and decided to get on Ebay to see what she could find. She sent me a link to an auction with a dirt cheap gray enamelware creamer can. I instantly bid on it. And after a few more bids I scored it for under $20. 

It's actually what my collection needed. I am reminded of her and her thoughtfulness every time I sit down next to it! We actually lived across from each other in a dorm at Purdue but never really talked or hung out at that time. Maybe a squeaky, awkward "hi" here and there in the hallway. I was shy. One day, we bonded over something on Facebook. I think it was our mutual love for Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman aka P-dub and the fact that none of our other friends knew who she was. Now we stalk each other's blogs and enjoy chatting about home decor and gluten free recipes. Since I am throwing all kinds of blog addresses out there, you should read her blog Waiting for Bedtime. It is chock full of witty antics of adventures in her career as a stay at home mom.

Egg basket from my friend Molly - Christmas 2011
Antique Cobbler Stands
From a dear family friend Mary, a barn on our property and a gift from my mom.
What makes a home charming and beautiful are the little touches. Our signatures. How we display art and photos. The way we toss blankets and pillows. Where we keep our things. It's not the hardwood floors, the granite counter tops or the perfectly crafted wood built ins.

Don't give up on your home just because it's not exactly what you want. Make it what you want. Fill it with love, memories and all things you. Take care of it. Don't compare it to what everyone else has. It's so hard especially with facebook, Pinterest and blogs to not want what someone else has.

Inspire. Create. Help others create. We need to lift each other up and show each other how we can love our homes. Make it a place where you enjoy being. A home should be so much more than were we eat, sleep and shower. 

I want to hear from some of my readers. What is one of your most favorite cherished item you have in your home and why?

Until next time my friends,