DIY Season

My husband’s work is very seasonal.  He is both an agricultural accountant and a farmer.  This means there are 3 critical seasons in our family life: Tax season, quickly followed (hopefully) by Seeding, and in the fall is Harvest.

My least favourite of the 3 is tax season.  Maybe because Sean is just so darn happy when he’s out farming (he likes doing taxes, but looooves driving a combine.)  Maybe it’s because seeding and harvest can have the occasional rain day for a break.  Maybe it’s  because he just looks so hot in jeans and a ball cap fresh off the tractor.  Whatever the reason, tax season is my least favourite.  But this year I’ve felt it hasn’t been so bad.  Maybe because we’re used to it now, or maybe because we’re doing better at carving out family time. Or maybe because I’ve decided that Sean’s tax season = my DIY season.  If he comes home later (in the evening) then I have more time to make a mess with my projects and clean it up by the time he’s home.  If he’s working Saturdays then I can use those days for projects.  So here are a few of the things I’ve done in the last week…

…the pieces of paper mapping out the location for an art arrangement were finally replaced with actual frames…  (You can see some good picture wall techniques here and here.)

…the sad little phone table finally got a new outfit with a glossy black paint job…

…and I finally sewed a bench cushion to bring some “doneness” to our entryway!  (though we still need to find the black hooks I hid from Little M… or he hid from me… and hang those on the wall!)

I also decided to take on our poor “flood pant” drapes.  They were the first I sewed, and were unfortunately crooked and too short.  I added a band to the bottom to bring them to floor length and even them out:

Unfortunately I was insistent on using fabric already in my stash for this project.  So I used a white bed sheet, which, even beforehand, I knew wasn’t the best idea.  Here’s why: as the edge of the drapes it’ll get dirty.  Also the sheet material is more “true” white while the drapery stripes are more off-white.  Not to mention if you’d asked me advice on what colour to use I’d have recommended a darker colour to “ground” the drapes.  And the final reason the white sheet was a bad idea?  As you can see, the bottom of the striped fabric is visible through the white fabric.  But I’m stubborn and forged ahead because I already had my sewing machine out.  I don’t hate it, but I’ll probably change it when the right fabric comes along.  Until then, however, the drapes look far less nerdy than before.

And here’s the project I’m working on tonight:

My wonderful dad built the frame for Little M’s new bed this weekend, and I’m working on upholstering it and creating a headboard!  (Based on this tutorial from Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom)  I’ll show you more when I’m all done.  

But the best part?  The cutest “helper” in the world.

DIY Ironing Board Cover

I’ve had about a bazillion DIY projects buzzing around in my brain lately - so I thought I’d share one that actually came to fruition! A super easy-peasy ironing board cover. I’ve had this little mini tabletop ironing board since my mom bought it for me when I left home for university.  It’s served me well in all of the little places I’ve lived in… but the fabric’s always been ugly and had become stained over the years.  

So I bought some fun and fresh Amy Butler fabric, and created a new cover!

And here’s how I did it…

And that’s how it’s done!  So if you have an ugly ironing board, some pretty fabric, and 30 minutes lying around you can do it too! 

A long time ago I posted about my meal planning methods.  It works super well for me, except that now it’s summer and I feel like fresh, delicious food should just magically appear in front of me with no effort whatsoever.  For some reason that doesn’t happen though.
If you want a super cute meal planner you could download this one from Ollibird! You could even laminate it and reuse it over and over again.  Nice.
(Found via howaboutorange)

A long time ago I posted about my meal planning methods.  It works super well for me, except that now it’s summer and I feel like fresh, delicious food should just magically appear in front of me with no effort whatsoever.  For some reason that doesn’t happen though.

If you want a super cute meal planner you could download this one from Ollibird! You could even laminate it and reuse it over and over again.  Nice.

(Found via howaboutorange)

blogbattical

…sabblogical… sabbatablog… Um… trying to find a way to make a hybrid word out of “Blog” and “Sabbatical”.  Not working.  The point is, I’m taking a break for a while.  You see, we’ve had nothing but rain these days, which means my husband, whom I adore, has been home a lot.  And somehow that results in me geting nothing done around the house.  Couple that with a surge in busy stuff at work, and you get this:

That is, “the biggest, freakin’ most ridiculousest to do list of all time. ever.”

So, this is “adios” for a week, maybe two, until I get a few things crossed off of that monster list.

who wants ugly stuff when you can have pretty stuff? (Alice Supply Co.)
via Arren Williams Design Lab

who wants ugly stuff when you can have pretty stuff? (Alice Supply Co.)

via Arren Williams Design Lab

It’s here!  It’s here!  Hooray!!!
(But I’ve made a rule for myself: can’t play with my new toy until my house is clean.  sheesh.)

It’s here!  It’s here!  Hooray!!!

(But I’ve made a rule for myself: can’t play with my new toy until my house is clean.  sheesh.)

Mad Hungry

Truth be told, I think I’m one of the few women out there who is OK if I never have a daughter.  Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to have a little girl - someone to take to the ballet, to french braid her hair, to buy a new Easter dress for…  But the idea of having a gaggle of boys also seems like a lot of fun to me.  When Sean and I first found out that Little M would be a boy, we were both ecstatic.

Furthermore, I have a husband who is a guy’s guy.  And that is definitely true when we’re talking about food.

So, with one baby boy (who already has a voracious appetite), and a husband who likes all things bacon, my attention was piqued when I saw Lucinda Scala Quinn on the Martha Stewart Show discussing her new book, “Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys”.  And as she talked about bacon and hot sauce I could tell she knew what she was talking about, and this might be a very good thing.

So off to Chapters, where Sean actually went and found the book for me!  I dove right in, and found myself reading it page by page.  (For a skimmer like me to read a cookbook page by page is crazy!)  I was impressed by the ideas, inspired by the recipes, and encouraged by the approach.  To be honest, I’ve never gotten into the home cooking on a regular basis.  There are a lot of reasons for this, aside from the fact I’ve been working full time, but I found a lot of those issues addressed by the book:

…like how some guys (*ahem* my husband)  tend to not be hungry, and then BAM!  I’m hungry! (“mad hungry”).  So by that point I have nothing prepared and we end up going to Wendy’s.  Again.  After reading this book I’ve resolved to the mantra “make it, and they will eat.”  Instead of trying to gauge his mood and hunger, I’ll simply make supper.  You know what?  He’s usually hungry by the time it’s ready.

…or like how thankless cooking on a regular basis can be.  Some meals are smash hits that are followed by plenty of praise.  Others not so much.  But aside from the obvious disasters (like the chicken cordon bleu I blew last week),  a lack of praise doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile to make a homemade meal for my man!  The simple facts that I worked hard, was thoughtful about what my husband might like, am trying to be prudent with our money, and tried something new… whether the meal is praised or not, it’s a good thing.  So just keep cooking.

…or sometimes I don’t have everything I need for what I want to make.  The book is full of tips on how to prepare one thing for a variety of meals, encouragement to be flexible with the ingredients, and advice on planning ahead.  Hmmm… planning.  I like that.

Now I’ve been cooking more regularly than ever before.  I’m not necessarily using recipes from the book (though the first thing I made was the Chicken Parmesan, and that was a hit!), but I am using the inspiration I gleaned from its pages, and I’m excited about cooking!  And I do feel proud about it.  Plus it made me wish more than ever that I have a house full of boys one day!

So… Long story short: I recommend this book!  Hmmm… now I should go get some meat out of the freezer for tonight’s supper…