Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Board and Batten farmhouse shutters: a ridiculously easy DIY

Our kitchen had this awkward window above the sink, which looked into the dining room. It was random and weird, and I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I thought about putting a cafe rod and curtains there, but I really didn’t want to do that.

I wanted something more unique. I spotted some scrap wood in my garage and I had an idea: why not create some simple, rustic shutters? I measured the opening and cut the wood. Then, I bought some cute hinges and handles.

Here they are all laid out but not actually put together.

I constructed four shutters with crossbars like this:

I then painted them white, as you can see.

I attached the hinges on the insides of the shutters so I could accordion close them into the sides of the opening.

I absolutely love how much character these simple, rustic shutters add to our kitchen.

What rustic DIY have you recently created?

Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

Creating a calm, orderly space for homework and studying

homework spaces

 

My third grader has just started back to school, and we usually have a little homework to do each evening. While the homework is not difficult, what can be difficult is finding somewhere in our home where there are no distractions.

She has a desk in her room where she sits to complete her homework.

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There are a lot of things I like about this set up, but there are also a lot of things I would like to improve upon.

Her desk is actually pretty neat.

We are currently using a repurposed shoe box (covered with pretty paper and embellished with a book plate) and a crate to corral her desk items.

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I also created this super cute French memo board to hold her pictures and papers for school (more about that later).

So what more does her desk need?

1. Lighting

Emorie’s desk currently has no lighting. I am looking for one of these little gooseneck lamps, preferably one with a USB charging port for her tablet.

desk lamp

Walmart.com

pb kids lamp

Pottery Barn Kids

2. Pencil/pen/art utensil storage

Right now, Emorie’s pens, pencils and other writing odds and ends are housed in this white crate, which is more suited for reading books and magazines.

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This is simply too much in that white crate. Instead, I’d like to do something like this:

hanging pen storage

Shelterness

 

I  have both a dowel rod and curtain hardware, and an extra towel bar. I also already have buckets. I could easily use either one of those things to create this for her desk. Plus, it’d be super cute and she’d be able to find things soooo much easier.

3. Comfy seating

desk-chair-cushions-c

Pottery Barn Kids

Emorie’s chair isn’t uncomfortable, but it could be better. I love these cute, comfy cushions from PB Kids.

Have a wonderful week.

Simplify Saturday: keeping your pet safe in summer heat

Simplify Saturday: keeping your pet safe in summer heat

The dog days of summer aren’t here yet, but they are near. If you live in the American South, you’ve been dealing with soaring temperatures for awhile now. Hot temperatures can be hard on the elderly, small children, but also on your pet. Today, I am going to share tips for keeping your furry friends safe in searing summer heat.

1. Outfit your outdoor pet with a fan and some shade.

Make sure your outdoor pet has some sort of shade. Sun sails work great and are easily installed. Shade trees have many benefits, aside from providing shades. They provide oxygen and add beauty to your yard.

2. Have plenty of water available

One of the best ideas I’ve seen is to get your pup a kiddie pool. You can even bury it to make it an “inground” pool. Think of it as a water bowl big enough to swim in. You can drink it, or cool off in it.

3. Proper hair and grooming

If your dog has a long coat,keeping him or her trimmed and groomed up will make a huge difference in the heat. A short haired dog? Keep him combed and brushed to help eliminate extra hair.

4. Get your pup a snowball

Did you know Pelicans Snowball sells a “pup cup?” Pup cups are just shaved ice in a bowl with chicken broth poured over it. It doesn’t sound too tasty to me, but doggies love it.

What are some of your favorite ways to keep your pets cool during the dog days of summer?

Simplify Saturday: Meal Planning Made Easier

Simplify Saturday: Meal Planning Made Easier

As a busy mother of two with a full time job and a part-time business on the side, I know a thing or two about how difficult it is to cook. I also know that when you’re not prepared, it’s a lot easier to justify running to the drive through, where you end up spending money and making choices that aren’t the healthiest.

Once during the school year, we went over our monthly bank statement to discover we’d spent $400 that month on eating out. We were shocked…and vowed to do better. We are now doing an experiment in our house- we write on the calendar each time we eat out, and write down each time we cook at home. This is helping us keep track of how much we are spending, but also on how often we are eating at home.

I’d also like to share some other things you can do to ensure that meal times run more smoothly in your home.

1. Keep staple ingredients in your pantry at all times.

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Who else here has started following a recipe, only to find that you were missing one or two ingredients you needed? Isn’t it frustrating? Think about your family’s favorite things to eat at home, and isolate the ingredients that are common in those recipes. Then, make sure you keep a stockpile of those ingredients in your pantry and fridge.

2. Plan ahead as often as possible

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Planning ahead means that you already have a good idea of what you are going to cook for that week. I have tried to plan two weeks of meals at a time, but sometimes life happens and we don’t stick to it entirely. I’ve now started planning for one week at a time, and planning based on what I have in the pantry, fridge and freezer that week. This way, I am taking our weekly activities into account as well. Gymnastics on Tuesdays? Use the crock pot so it isn’t as time consuming and there is little clean up. Church on Wednesday night?How about salads for dinner? You get the idea.

3. Clean as you go

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Do you ever find that there is a giant mess in your kitchen after you cook, and you often do not get to it until hours later? I have had to wake up early before to clean the kitchen from the night before. One way that I handle this are to fill the sink with soapy water and wash/rinse utensils as I’m cooking. I can also soak bowls and pans before popping them into the dishwasher. The second thing I do is to reuse a bowl from meal prepping to put food scraps or trash in. Having a trash bowl saves me trips to the compost bin or trash can. I use a dish that I’ve already used so I’m cutting down on dirty dishes. It doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it really helps.

4. Pre-prepare as much as possible

close up of salad in plate
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve realized I need to spend a little more money at the grocery store to get pre-chopped vegetables once in awhile. I initially felt silly about this, but then I realized it truly does save me a lot of time and prep work in the kitchen.

What have you done to simplify your cooking at home? Please comment below and share your tips with me 🙂

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

 

 

 

What can you make with pool noodles?

What can you make with pool noodles?

What can you make with

Pool noodles are ridiculously cheap, and you can find them almost anywhere. And while most of us use them to float in a pool, there are many other ways you can use them as well. In today’s Pinterest roundup, I’d like to share some creative ideas for repurposing pool noodles.

You can use them to make a cheap wreath form for a lot cheaper than a foam wreath form.

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Hometalk

You can use them to make a footstool for your house, or a faux stone column, or pool noodle luminaries.

pool noodle footstool

Mother Daughter Projects

stone column

Epbot

luminaries

Create. Craft. Love.

Make an obstacle course, a sprinkler, or a track for marble racing.

marble track

Sortrature

A pool noodle obstacle course would be a great, easy and cheap fun activity for your kids.

pool noodle obstacle course

PBS Kids

You can cut the pool noodles to create stamps and paint a pattern.

paint.jpg

Instagram

Next week, I’ll share how to organize your home with pool noodles. Have a wonderful weekend, and visit us here tomorrow for a GIVEAWAY!