Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Progress Report - Framing the Coop...


We got quite a bit accomplished yesterday and the coop is looking good!

We ended up making a couple of modifications to our final plan once the 2x4's were in place.
Since we designed this little house ourselves, it is much easier to see how it will work when we're dealing with the actual structure, versus a drawing.

We've decided to use one of my old windows. It was most recently hanging in Ellison's room, but I love the rustic charm that it adds to the coop, so here it will stay!

And there's the carpenter himself...

He's going to hate it that I included this pic!
But, I'm the blogger, so I choose the pics, right?

Today is all about putting up the OSB on the inside, exterior siding on the outside, and stabilizing the roof. We'll see how far he gets. We've still got quite a ways to go before it's finished, but I'm thrilled with how it looks so far!

Yesterday was beautiful so he was able to set up in the driveway, but today is rainy and grey which creates a less-than-ideal situation. A buddy of his is coming over to help and I'm hoping they will be able to achieve all of the above and then some!

Unfortunately, I won't be here. I am off to paint my parents master bedroom and bath.
Can't wait to see what the coop looks like when I get back!

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Next Project...

Step #1. Build




image courtesy of GrowBetterVeggies.com

That's right!

Chickens!!

I wish I was there right now to see the faces of those that know us that are reading this. The reactions we get make us laugh! We've had mixed reviews on whether this is a good idea or not. Living in the middle of suburbia we get lots of "WHY???" questions. Only two people have been all for it from the start - my best friend, who thinks it's a fantastic idea (of course, she raises goats, so maybe that should have been expected) and my mother-in-law who seems genuinely excited about the whole thing! Maybe she's anticipating the fresh blue and green eggs just as much as I am! And I'm pretty sure that my dad has come around to the idea because he sent me a great link to lots of backyard chicken info!

We spent the past three days designing and re-designing the plans for our chicken coop. You'd think we were attempting to recreate the Taj Mahal with how much effort has gone into this! There is so much information out there about what a chicken coop should be like that it can make you dizzy! And we're not one's to do something half-way...if we're going to do this, then we're going to do it right! Hopefully our plan is good enough for the chickens!

All of the wood, hinges, roof tiles and wire is sitting in the garage waiting to be turned into something great! We're keeping our fingers crossed that our vision will come to life without much headache and stress!

Once the coop and run are built we will buy our chicks! Can't wait for this part! We already have names picked out, but I'll wait to share those when we introduce them to you! We want to find three Araucana chicks - also known as Easter Egg Chickens because of the gorgeous green and blue eggs that they lay.

Once the chickens are here and are old enough, we can start collecting our eggs! Can't wait for this part either!

Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited?

Wish us luck!
More importantly, wish my carpenter luck...the building part is all on him.

We'll take lots of progress pictures - that seemed to be the one thing that was lacking online. A really great and detailed "how to" would have been nice.

Oh! And if any of you have any advice to give on raising backyard chickens, we're all eggs....er, I mean ears!

Off to get started...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Miss Ellison!


Yesterday, our baby girl turned 3!

Incredible how fast three years can pass by!

Ellison Marie
April 24th, 2006


Today it's all about the party!

We're having a backyard BBQ with our family, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that the sun actually shows up today! I'm hoping we can all be out on the deck and get some good use out of the new bench!

And the piece de resistance...

A Dora cake homemade by the carpenter!
Yep, he bakes too!
He makes the kids' cakes each time they have a birthday and they always turn out awesome! I'll have to share pics of past cakes.
He's good!

Off to start getting ready!
Lots of cooking and baking and cleaning and wrapping and decorating needs to happen today...
Better get moving!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thank You, Dawn!

Yesterday I received a little note from Dawn over at Eventually Cottage to go check out her blog because she had a surprise for me...

She has passed on the "Attitude for Gratitude" Award to me!

Thanks, Dawn!!

The rules of the Award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude.
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award.
5. Link back to the post and person that nominated you for the award.
6. Tell how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude.



I am so grateful for all that I have!
I have an amazing and supportive husband who is my best friend! We've been together since I was 16 - and 16 years has passed since then - that's half my life! We've been through so much together! We have 3 kids that continually remind us just how fast life passes by. Today, our baby girl turns 3 years old! How did that happen?
Time flies when you're having fun!
We have many goals for the future and I know that together we will make them happen! Being married to a pilot keeps us aware of the time that we spend together. We don't take it for granted and we always try to make the most of it.
I will admit, sometimes we have to step back and put the projects on hold because they are consuming us (that darn DIY-bug!)! We try to keep a balance!
I am continually amazed by the people that I find (or that find me) out in blogland! There is so much talent out there!
Thanks to all of you who visit my blog! I feel like I know those of you that comment on a regular basis! I am so grateful for all of your kind words and continual encouragement - YOU inspire me!
THANK YOU!



And now for my 10 blogs:

1. Blondie 'N' SC
She's witty and funny and her posts are always a joy to read!

2. Design Ties
These girl's have got it going on!

3. Our Suburban Cottage
She finds "The Look For Less" which I love!

4. Reinvented
She's a ball of energy! And an inspiration!

5. Just Beachy
She wields a nail gun like none other!
Her trim work is gorgeous!

6. Restyled Home
Chock full of good stuff!

7. Completely Coastal
The name of her blog says it all! Love it!

8. Some of My Favorite Things
She's a do'er!
Makes up her mind and gets it done!

9. a beach cottage
Her pictures are beautiful and she has the
beach look down to a science!

10. The Chronicles of Windy Ridge
Her home is jaw dropping!
And anytime I feel like I have my hands full, all I have to do is think of her...


Thanks again to Dawn at Eventually Cottage for the award!
You're a sweetheart!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In The Cookie Jar - Week Nine...

This week I made

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

found on AllRecipes.com

I followed the directions exactly as they were written and I'd say they turned out ok. Not bad, still yummy, but not great. And definitely not what we had in mind when we went searching for this kind of cookie.

Until...

I accidentally made a mistake!

You can see the difference in the cookies here...

The recipe says to flatten, then bake.

It was getting late and towards the end of the double batch of dough, I forgot to flatten the rolled dough balls and they came out of the oven extremely puffed up. So I flattened them right before I took them off the cookie sheet to cool.

The result:

Perfection!

We will definitely be making these again. Except from now on, the cookies will always be flattened after we bake them. They turn out perfectly dense! Exactly as a ginger molasses cookie should be!

Enjoy!

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To see past In The Cookie Jar posts click here!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A New Life For A Tired, Old Headboard...

Remember the "Free Stuff" Headboard that I found on the side of the road?

My husband declared it a piece of junk and couldn't figure out why I would even bother wasting time on it...

But, persistence pays off!

Look at it now!

I love how it turned out!

My husband built onto it creating a very sturdy bench that spans nearly 5 & 1/2 feet!

Once he was done building, I painted it white and distressed the old and new wood. I stained the exposed new wood to make it look more uniform in the "worn" spots.

Then it got a couple coats of poly, so that it could sit outside on our deck...

I have wire bins that slide underneath holding beach towels for the kids...





I'm tempted to take a picture of it and leave it on the doorstep of the house that the headboard came from! Just so they can see that it didn't go to waste. You know, like that show Junk Brothers where the guys take "Free Stuff" junk, give it a makeover and then take it back the following night so the owner's can enjoy it again!

Except....I won't be giving this back.

I like it too much!

Once again, much love and thanks to my handy-carpenter-husband for making something great!

Do you know that once I got it painted he actually said "wow...it would have been a pretty headboard" to which I had to reply "See! I told you so!"

When will he learn?

So what about you? Find any good junk lately?

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Be sure to head over to Between Naps On The Porch to see even more makeovers in this week's Metamorphosis Monday! And if you feel so inclined, add one of your makeovers to the list!

Many thanks to Susan for hosting this weekly event!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Well, Hello Again!

Another week has passed without a single post.

I wish I could say that I was on a tropical vacation, soaking up the sun with my toes in the sand, having colorful drinks with umbrellas sticking out of them handed to me while I lay on a chaise by the pool...

Not so much.

I've been here at home.

But I do have a good excuse.

THE SUN CAME OUT!

Woohoo!
The gorgeous weather started last Thursday and has been going strong ever since. So, needless to say, we have been soaking up the sun right in our own backyard. We're outside from sun up until dinner time and then when we finally do come inside it's time to eat and begin the bedtime routine, which includes long baths for the kids because they are covered in sunscreen and dirt! By the time they're in bed it's time for me to try and tackle all of the chores that I have ignored while spending the day outside...
(You should see the mountain of dirty clothes inhabiting my laundry room right now!)
All of which leaves very little time for being on the computer.

My poor husband spent the past several days sick in bed. Poor guy. That's like torture for a guy living in the Pacific Northwest who has spent a very long winter waiting to see the sun.

Luckily, he's on the mend now though! Thank goodness!

Yesterday we finally planted our Sugar Snap Peas in our little garden in the backyard.

Last year we had more peas than we knew what to do with, but they were so good!

We feel like we've got a much better set up for them to climb this year, so we'll see!

It was a great day!

This kids decided to break out the camping chairs.

Can't wait to start camping again!


Another beautiful day for the mountain!

Today is supposed to be 72 degrees!

I love it that weeding is suddenly not such a chore when the sun is out! Any excuse to be out there works for me!

I'll be back to share this week's Cookie Recipe which includes a happy accident that resulted in even better cookies! And what became of that "Free Stuff" Headboard that I found on the side of the road! I love how it turned out and I can't wait to show you!

Have a Great day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In The Cookie Jar - Week Eight...


Can you guess what kind of cookies we made this week?

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I got the recipe straight from the Hershey's Kitchens website.

Owen has been asking to make these ever since he saw an ad in a magazine for them at Christmas time!

I decided it was time to give in...

They're super easy to make!

And yummy too!

Note: It took hours for the Hershey's Kisses to become solid again after adding them to the tops of the just baked cookies, which means that several hours passed before I was finally able to put them into the cookie jar! It proved slightly difficult to keep three sets of little hands away from the oh-so-tempting cookies!

However, they had a great time adding the Kisses to the top!
Lots of fun for them!

Enjoy!

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To see past In The Cookie Jar posts click here!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wishing You A Happy Easter...

We have already begun the Easter Celebration here at our house!

Yesterday Grandma held her yearly Easter Egg hunt in her backyard. The kids had a blast and were completely spoiled, as always!
Thank you, Grandma!

Today we are celebrating Easter with my side of the family and tomorrow the kids will wake up to small Easter baskets from us.

I came across these photos and thought they were worth sharing...

A bit of Easter inspiration!











Wherever this Easter weekend takes you, I wish you a great one!

Happy Easter!