Life as a Lumber: what we’ve been up to!

Hi, all! After a short, busy summer, we are now (mostly) back on a regular blogging schedule. We’ve been a bit quiet here on the blogging front as we are trying to establish our farm and spend time together as a family.

If you follow me on Instagram or TiKToK, you already have seen some of this.

1. On the farm front

We have grown our backyard flock to five chickens. I definitely want more of them- I have developed a liking to silkie chickens. Look at those little fluffy butts! They’re too cute for words.

Our squash is done, our lettuce is done, and our corn and cucumbers never did a thing! We are still getting some delicious watermelons, banana peppers and tomatoes. We already have started seeds for our fall garden and greenhouse.

We are also adding some raised bed gardens to our farm…look for more on that this week.

On the home front

Our sweet family finally got to take a vacation to the beach. We had a blast: sand, sunburn and all.
It was lots of fun and I’m glad we got to go.

Back to school

These little stinkers start back to school and dance this week!

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! We will see you this week for the following posts:

New Uses for Old Things: herb plant pots

Back to school photo shoot tips

Lumber in my Minivan: repurposed raised beds

Have a wonderful weekend!

15 Free Summer Activities For Your Family

I don’t know about you, but we struggle to find fun, free ways to occupy our time toward the end of summer. There are plenty of activities you can pay to do, but that gets expensive. Today, I am going to share 15 awesome ways you and your family can have fun this summer…for free!!

1. Go on a nature walk

You don’t even have to leave your house. Go for a walk around your yard. Check out the trees, the flowers and see if you can spot any small animals or insects. You never know what you may find (but watch out for snakes).

2. Blow bubbles

This one may cost just a little, but it’s a lot of fun for your little people. My girls are now 10 and 5 and they still love blowing bubbles. You can even make your own bubbles from dish soap.

3. Have a Photo shoot

Put on a cute outfit, play dress up or do each other’s hair and snap some pics! The sillier, the better.

4. Bake something from scratch together

You would be surprised what you can make from things you already have in your cabinet. Whip up some delicious treats and enjoy them together.

5. Swing on a swing

This was my absolute favorite thing to do as a kid. I absolutely loved it. So it’s no surprise my kids love it, too.

6. Have a water fight

Use water balloons, water guns, soaking wet sponges, water hoses, or whatever…grab something with water and have an all out battle. It’s a blast!

7. Go on a picnic

Grab a blanket and some snacks and head outside. You don’t even have to leave your yard. Find a shady spot and spread out the blanket, and have a tasty snack.

8. Make a backyard movie theater

Source

String up a white sheet and borrow a projector. Use your smart phone and a DIY projector if you can. This is a low cost way to have some easy family fun.

9. Set up an obstacle course

Use what you have to create a backyard obstacle course- hula hoops, pool noodles, a slide, you name it. Then, pretend you’re a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. It’s a blast- you can even take turns being the announcer.

10. Karaoke or dance party

Put on some costumes, pick up a toy mic, and belt out one of your favorite songs. We have tons of fun with this at our house.

11. Build something

Grab some blocks or LEGO’s and have a contest: let your imagination flow and see what you can come up with.

12. Make a bucket list

What is something you want to do during your life? Where do you want to travel someday? Make a list and share it with one another. You may be surprised at how similar yours and your family members’ lists are.

13. Go to the library

A lot of places will let you get a library card at age five. Most libraries do not charge a fee unless a book is lost or damaged. Check out some books from your local library and enjoy them together. Our local library even offers a summer reading program and story hour each week.

14. Make something fun

Draw or paint something, make a bracelet or sew a pillow. Look at the craft supplies you have and see what you can create.

15. Exercise together

Take a walk together, do yoga together, or try a YouTube exercise video. Find one you all like and give it a try. Exercise has so many benefits- it helps you sleep, it boosts your health and it evens put your mood. Use it as a free, fun way to spend time together too .

I hope you have enjoyed this list! What ways does your family like to spend time together and have fun?

Junk Drawer DIYs: make these crafts from things you already have around your home

I don’t know about you guys, but I am itching for a good project. With the current cost of lumber, I have been struggling to find ways to scratch my creative itch.

I’ve got a few scrap wood projects and pallet projects in mind, but until then, I’m making things from what I already have. I’d love to share some of those things with you.

1. Desk storage boxes

Source: Create Fashionable Storage from Ordinary Shoeboxes

I have two daughters and a love for shoes…so you better believe I have a collection of shoeboxes. Get some paint, some metal bookplates and some glue…and you have yourself some new desk storage boxes.

2. Farmhouse candlesticks

Source: DIY farmhouse candlesticks

If you have some candlesticks, some plant pot saucers, white chalk paint and a drill, you can make these candlesticks.

3. White mason jar succulent planter

Source: mason jar succulent planter

If you’re like me, you have an assortment of mason jars lying around. Take a small one, paint it white and pop a succulent in it.

4. Picture frame tray

Source: make a tray from an old picture frame

All you need for this one is some drawer pulls, a drill, a pretty piece of paper and some chalk paint.

5. Scrap wood shutters

Source: scrap wood shutters

Do you have some scrap wood lying around? Just use it to create some faux shutters!! You will need wood, drawer pulls and hinges, and paint or stain.

I hope these five easy and cheap DIYs inspire you! Maybe you can scratch your creative itches, too.

Intex Quick Set Pool Review

We had a Target version of an Intex family pool at the start of summer. It was 7 feet in diameter with a bench and it held 200 gallons of water. It was great.

Until we came outside one morning to find it leaking badly and partially deflated. I tried to patch it and make it last but to not avail.

Due to the quarantine, kiddie pools are hard to come by. I had heard good things about the Intex Easy Set pools and found a smaller sized model for a reasonable price.

I knew where I wanted the pool but the spot wasn’t level. I used our garden tiller to level up the spot.

I raked out the dirt so it would be level and I used stall mats to ensure the kids could hop out of the pool onto a dry, non muddy surface.

Set up is super easy. Take it out of the box and spread it out on a level surface. Inflate the top ring with a hand pump. If you’re using a filter, follow the directions and assemble and connect the filter. If you aren’t using a filter, insert the plugs into the holes.

Then, after you have put the plugs in the filter hose holes and made sure the drain is closed, begin filling your pool. As your pool fills, your sides will rise. Be careful not to overfill it.

Finally, when your pool is filled, enjoy it with your family!

There are a lot of things I like about this pool. If we had a little bit larger of a pool we would have gotten the pump and filter. This pool is only 294 gallons so we are doing fine with our chlorine dispenser and our pool vacuum. I like the fact that is durable and easy to set up- it also is really easy to clean.

If I were to reorder this, I’d get the eight foot instead of the six foot. I don’t really consider that a con, since that was my mistake and no fault of the pool. Even at six feet, the four of us can sit together comfortably.

In short, if you are looking for a small pool for you and your small children with low maintenance, look no further than an Intex Easy Set.

Enjoy and we will see you again tomorrow for a furniture re-do.