Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, organic gardening, crafts, DIYing, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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Feb 20, 2018

Filling The Freezer, New Master Bedroom Paint Reveal, Thrifting Scores! Speaking Of Decorating

Filling The Freezer-
Last time I mentioned our freezer was about 1/2 empty, so it was time to stock up. I thought since we had tax refund money I'd fill it up with meats. Food is always a good investment, with times being what they are, with a possible economic down turn coming. I started at Costco this weekend, bought really thick pork chops, and country style ribs, all for $30.00.  I split up the packs and bagged them for the freezer, 2 bags for each cut-The beef cuts weren't want I wanted, so I looked at other stores. Before I added the meats, I rotated some frozen fruits to the top, so I could see the better.

Today I went shopping and bought this beef- two boneless chuck roasts, perfect for the slow cooker, total 6.5 lbs for $18.00 for both. Lots of meals there. Also two packages totaling 2 lb.s of flat iron steak for $12.00. I got the flat irons since they're great for a salad recipe I have. One package = 2 dinners, about $2.50+ per person. I may a couple of extra briskets, since they're hitting the stores for St. Patrick's Day. I don't know how this compares nationally as far as prices?

New Master Bedroom Paint Reveal-
Our peach wall paint from 10+ years ago needed a freshening and something lighter colored. Between low winter light, and heavy shade in the summer, the room is darker than we thought when I first painted. We loved the Behr Silverdrop 790C-2, a little darker than the Irish Mist we used in the master bathroom re-hab. It's a light gray and we went with it. Since we have sage green carpet and drapes we wanted something fairly neutral, but not beige or white. When I bought the primer/paint I bought 2 gallons. One might be pushing it and I would need to touch up later. Of course we used just under 1 gallon sigh. Good news we could re-tint it late if we wanted to use it. We bought all our supplies for under $100.00. Pretty cheap for a major update. We started about 10:30 a.m. Sunday by emptying the room, stripping the walls, vacuuming (under where the furniture was), and cleaning top of the windows and doors-
Very peachy

 Nest we put down tarps on the floor, some canvas, then plastic. We also covered the bed with plastic-

 Gray walls starting-

 All the little cobwebs, etc. need to go to paint. I brought in a flor lamp form the other bedroom for extra light. First I spackled all the nails holes with lightweight spackle. Nice to have a clean slate. I had back problems from the last exterior house painting, so no twisting for me! I asked Dave to do the upper edges and floor areas. I did the upper trim, windows, doors, and 2 closet doors. That was a LOT of brush work! I went behind him when I finished those with the roller. Rolling on paint is is so much fun! Suddenly the wall is different. Instant gratification. Even though it was cold outside, we had the window open 1/2 way. Midway thru painting dark clouds, strong winds rolled in, and it started snowing "corn snow", time to close the window-

A little later it was sunny-

We finished the wall color faster than I thought, by about 12:30 p.m. Sunday. I asked Dave to paint the white baseboards, pretty beat up from years of use, and a messy job from me the 1st time. I offered to do the closest and door trim, but he wanted to do it all. I vetoed him. I did the upper closest, etc, while he worked below. I also painted the trim on the window. Monday I finished the small amount of touch up work. I also touched up a couple of spots, in the kitchen, hallway and bathroom, filling screw holes from things we've moved. I may get a new duvet cover at some point, but this will work for now. We rotated a few prints and we love it! Nice and fresh.

Still loving the set I bought a few years ago over the bed-

More wall art coming on Dave's side-

Thrifting Scores!
Since I was off today, some vacation for me, I went to Goodwill and the place was empty! Right off the bat I snagged a like-new pair of navy corduroy slacks for work and some jeans. The jeans just need a little hemming. I saw this pillar, new $7.99- 

I thought of this, cute with the nests on top, might paint it-

Dave and I really miss the Oregon coast and we've actually been to this lighthouse, at Heceta Head. These kinds of things are SO expensive in gift stores there, $1.99 here! I'll hang it somewhere-

New table runner, $2.89, reversible-

New soap dispenser for my bathroom, $3.00 to get rid of my ugly Costco bottle-

Speaking Of Decorating-
I just LOVED this display at the local Kneader's bakery and sandwich shop! We had dinner there last week when I was too exhausted to cook. I never would have thought of decorating with ferns. Great combo for St. Patrick's day, Spring and just for fun. They always do a great job with their decor, all for sale of course! So cute. Ironically I have the exact same green edged light wood frame at home already. 

Feb 17, 2018

Winter Is Back! Independence Days Challenge

Winter Is Back!
So now, according to legend, we're in for six more weeks of winter because Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. Here in Boise he's spot on. The temps have plummeted, back into the 40's during the day, 20/30's at night. The forecast for this next week in highs in the 20's/30's, in the teens at night-

We were blessed with some good snow fall in the mountains and foothills this week, with more on the way tonite. We REALLY need more snow pack up there. On the news last night we're at 65% of normal right now, not good. A good snow pack keeps things greener longer = a shorter fire season, adds more water to the reservoirs for the public and agribusiness. I had put away some heavy sweaters and gotten out some lighter spring work clothes. Good thing I have a spare closet, since sweaters are coming back out! I'm hoping these temperatures won't hurt the garden since some bulbs were just starting to come up, way too early. Oh well, what can you do? Everything is well mulched, so we should be good, hopefully.

Independence days Challenge-
Here's a little wrap up of recent things going on here-
1. Plant Something- I found a sweet little thrift store pot, with tray, for $1.50, for transplanting my holiday gift from a work buddy, a spider plant, perfect in the kitchen! 

 2. Harvest Something- Eggs, that's it.

3. Preserve/Store Something- Shopping this week, see below, freezing foods.

4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- Our freezer is almost 1/2 empty so time to stock up. I designated some tax refund money to "fill the freezer". I'm going shopping for meat basically to add. I'll be looking for good deals on beef roasts and chicken primarily. Most of what's in there now is fruits, veggies, breads, cheese/butter- 

Hole to fill-

 5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe- I thawed some frozen pesto to day to use on some big chicken breast. For diner tonite! Last week I bought this at Cost Plus World Market for Mardi Gras/Valentine's Day dinners-

Last year I used it with shrimp and veggies, this year I did chunks of chicken breast, peas and fresh spinach-

 Great served with warm french bread, spicy and tons of flavor!!! 

6. Build Community Food Systems- Nothing

7. Recycle/Re-Use- I just sold another item on Etsy, what fun! Nice Asian items that I don't need, at a great deal, to someone who wants them. Win-win. 

At Goodwill last week found thrift store pot, $1.50, great pair of Eddie Bauer like-new khaki slacks, $4.00. Found some great shoes on for work, cheap and free shipping.

Dave gave me this Japanese style stoneware vase years ago, made by a Portland potter. I really loved it, but it didn't really go with anything so it just sat in my china cabinet. I wanted to re-do it, but make it reversible if I hated it. Here's the before- 

I decided to cover just the script (some on the other side too) and leave the rest alone. I wanted to use hot glue and jute. I found this at Joann's-

Basically I started at the top back of the white clay and worked to the bottom-


It's not perfect, but I really like it! I may add some flowers or branches, but I love the texture and the still-exposed blue glaze. Dave did give his approval before hand.

8. Skill Up- I learned how to cover a vase. Dave and I are actively working on an Etsy craft/storage item, sneak peek-

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- Painting commences tomorrow on our master bedroom, peach, going to white/gray-

Anya had to get in on the photo-

Feb 4, 2018

Record High Temps, Thrifting & More, Bedroom Paint Soon

What's wrong with this picture?
Record High Temps- 
It's 60 degrees today with a little rain. It feels like April instead of early February! I was looking at the cold frame today and did a double take, the collard greens that wintered over have new leaves!

I opened up the upper coop window all the way to get some fresh air, and had our sliding glass door open in the kitchen. With the rain it feels like it cooling off a bit. This make me REALLY nervous for fire season if this continues. I hope we get more snow in the mountains or things could get really UGLY. When you live in high desert GREEN is a good thing. You don't want dry foothills and mountains too early, sigh. Here's hoping for either more snow for a while or LOTS of rain!

Thrifting & More-
I did some shopping this weekend and found some great goodies! I got the vase above for $1.25 at a thrift store, perfect for Valentine's Day! I put my Valentine's Day things out almost all thrifted-

I added red faux flowers to the vase on the R after I took the photo

My vintage jar full of sparkly hearts and apples, blocks from Target, $1.00

80% off one summer

Another cheap find

I broke down and bought some NEW jeans this weekend, after not finding any for a while at thrift stores. I will say it's nice to go to a rack pull some new ones, try them on, buy and leave. Easy.

I bought a new Target $10.00 front door mat, as ours was falling apart, goes great with the entry way. Nice and bright-

 After doing our taxes, and finding out we're getting a refund this year, I splurged on a piece of wall art at Joann's Fabrics, perfect for spring and summer over a side table I use in the living room-

Wood frame, metal background, love it! 

I'm also going to a new bathroom faucet for my little bathroom, since the finish is shot and wearing out. We bought a cheap brand ten years ago, but that's what we bought. Now I'm looking for a good deal on a good brand, something like this-

Before shot
Bedroom Painting Soon
Next on the list of projects will be painting our master bedroom this month. I'm taking a couple vacation days off work to do the bedroom and touch up some other areas.  I was going to do it last summer, but with Dave's layoff I didn't want to spend the $. It's currently peach, but I'm going to paint it the same as our master bath, a very white gray. It looks very crisp and clean with white trim. Dave photo shopped this for me, but it's a little darker gray, but what a difference!!!

Photoshopped after shot

I'm was thinking about doing an accent wall behind the headboard with board and batten. I just don't know if it will work well with the existing furniture? I'm leaning towards a no. For the same price of materials, or less, I could buy a new medicine cabinet for our little bathroom. It's getting pretty funky, so I'm leaning towards that. Time will tell. Our "little bathroom" is actually a 1/2 bath "master bath" with the way our house is set up. The big bathroom is down the hall. We gutted it a few years ago when the floor was rotting from an old water leak. "My bathroom" is the little one. Dave uses the big bathroom primarily since we get up for work at the same time. Works great! I re-did the back splash and decorated, since the paint is in good shape. Now just a new faucet, maybe medicine cabinet and it will be "done" for now. Someday I'd like new flooring and counter, but it's good for now.

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