In the Kitchen with Lumber in my Minivan: Classic Hot Chocolate

My kids love hot chocolate but with coronavirus on the rise again and with two small children, we are staying home. Did you know you can make delicious hot chocolate from things you already have in your cabinet?

All you need is Hershey’s cocoa, salt, sugar, hot water, milk and vanilla extract.

To make the cocoa, simply bring four cups of your choice of milk to a boil. I am dairy free, so I opt for almond milk. Stir in 1/4 cup of Hershey’s cocoa and add a small amount of salt. Then, add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir. Next, add 1/3 cup of hot water and 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Bring it all to a boil.

My girls love to add whipped cream and sprinkles to their hot chocolate to fancy it up.

E approves of this hot chocolate.
And little A loves it, too!

Now that the weather is colder, make yourself some hot chocolate.

Happy Fall Y’all!! 2020 Fall Home Tour

I know it isn’t quite fall yet; it won’t be fall until the 22nd. However, after the year we have had, I am into doing whatever brings me joy these days. Fall decorating brings me joy- our home is the most beautiful to me when it’s decorated for fall and Christmas. So I decided to decorate early…and I am so glad I did it.

I’m not going to show you every single room in our home, nor am I going to show you every fall decor item. Consider this our highlight reel.

Our living room is one of my favorite rooms to decorate, now that we built the fireplace. I love the orange pillows against the navy plaid chairs. We topped our mantle off with a fall garland, pumpkins, simple white candlesticks and candles, and a fall wreath from my family.

Here’s a close up of our fireplace mantle.
Fall pillows and a cozy throw on the couch, pumpkins and fall flowers on the coffee table.
Here is our side table in the living room.
Here is another view of the living room.

We also have fall pillows and a throw made from my dad’s T-shirts on our family room sofa.

Family room couch
A fall throw and comfy pillows make our family room cute and cozy.
The family room coffee table also includes this adorable fall vignette with a lantern, vase of fall flowers and acorns.

Our two bathrooms have these pipe shelves, and we have decorated both of them for fall.

Our kitchen, which is under renovation, has a tiny bit of fall decor as well. This pitcher belonged to my great grandmother and I bet she’d love to know I am using it.

Lastly, our dining room is particularly lovely this time of year. My favorite things in the room are this fall runner I bought last year and a set of pretty placemats my grandmother gave me.

Daisy is trying to blend in and appear part of the decor.
She is pretty enough to be decorative.
Our sidebar has a little fall treatment too.

I hope you have a blessed day, and I will see you again this Friday for a post from a special guest.

Have a wonderful day!!

Scrap Wood Challenge: A Scrappy Grape Arbor

Hi, all! It’s been a minute. We have taken a few weeks off blogging and social media influencing to figure out our crazy new lives and schedules amongst the covid crisis. We have missed you all dearly but we are glad to be back online.

As you know, my husband wanted me to get rid of the scrap wood pile in the garage. I told him you can’t just get rid of perfectly good wood…you must build something cool with it.

Enter my grape arbor. We knew we wanted to plant grapes next year, but I didn’t want a traditional low grape arbor. I wanted a tall arbor!

First, I dug holes and sunk four 4×4 posts. I then attached the posts with two 1×6 boards on each side (front, back and sides).

I then cut shorter pieces, just a little longer than the width of the sides. I attached them parallel on each side.

Then, I cut pieces for the top and cut them slightly wider than the top of the arbor.

I kept adding slats until I had it finished.

And I cannot wait until we have actual grapes growing from this thing!! Stay tuned!!

2020 Spring Home Tour

I debated on even posting my spring tour this year. As is the case with many of you, we are self quarantining for our own safety. Typically, I’d decorate for spring and run out and buy whatever I thought I needed to complete the home tour. This year I’ve had to get creative since we can’t pop into Hobby Lobby and grab whatever. My spring tour isn’t nearly as elaborate or well executed as usual, but because I want to be real with my readers, I’m sharing it anyway.

Welcome to our porch!!

Welcome to our front porch! Come on in- notice that pretty wreath in our door and the little round sign hanging on the right. They were both made by sweet friends at church. The planter is actually a window box from Lowe’s and it’s planted with red geraniums that haven’t bloomed yet. The door mats are from Urban Outfitters and the Welcome sign was a Hobby Lobby find.

Our foyer

This sofa table sits inside our front door. We kept it simple with this spring vignette.

Eggs, a nest and rabbits. Doesn’t get much more spring like than that.
Our spring living room.

Our fireplace mantle is simple and spring like with potted moss topiaries and white wooden candlesticks. I added a boxwood wreath and another nest. The coffee table got a small vignette as well.

Coffee table vignette
A closer look at the mantle. I need to unearth some candles but I cannot find them.

Next, we have this simple table centerpiece in our dining room and this scale and nest on our sideboard.

Our dining room.
Spring vignette on our side board.

And lastly, our two bathrooms got a little spring treatment on the shelves.

Our shelves in our master bath.
Our hall bath- lavender sprigs on the shelf and a boxwood ball.

Well, I hope you enjoyed our spring home tour, even if it is a bit subpar this year. Have a wonderful week, and we will see you again Saturday for a really cool kids’ craft.

How to beat the boredom during the covid-19 self quarantines

As you know, I am predominantly a DIY blogger but one portion of my blog pertains to parenting. Like many of you, we are navigating our new normal as homeschool parents who work from home and self quarantine to safe guard our families against getting sick with covid-19.

Being quarantined doesn’t mean you must stay indoors.

While we have mine and the girls’ school work to occupy a lot of time, and we can go outside to occupy a bit more time, sometimes we still find ourselves a little bored and lonely. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun and useful ways to bond as a family , and to teach your kiddos a little something in the process.

1. Cooking

Get yourself some cute kitchen helpers.

Everyone needs to eat, and once you’re tired of all the takeout options, you might as well cook at home. I’m kidding, sort of. In all seriousness, cooking is hands on, a cross curricular activity and something your kids will need to know as adults. You don’t have to make a full meal, you could even make something as simple as a tray of cookies. My child hates math but she loves cooking. She doesn’t realize we are practicing math skills when we cook. She just thinks it’s grown up to help mom with dinner.

2. Take a nature walk

Nature’s playground

Recess at school serves the same purpose as recess when you’re schooling at home. Fresh air and activity give the brain a refresh. You can make a science lesson out of it and go on a nature walk. You can go on a nature scavenger hunt and find rocks, acorns or flowers. Or, you can go outside and simply enjoy the great outdoors.

3. Roast some marshmallows

This one requires lots and lots of supervision. Reward your kiddos for their hard work by allowing them to make a few s’mores. Even if you only make one s’more, they will love it!

4. Paint a picture or make a craft

Make a cute little footbird

We made a bird painting from a little paint and our kids’ feet and they turned out so cute. You can also just hand your kiddos some paper and colored pencils and let them take the reigns- creativity at its finest!

What sort of “sanity saving learning activities are you all using?