Gardening and Such…

This year we expanded our garden as I showed in an earlier post. This last two weeks we finished up planting the whole thing. Every bit of it was used, and hopefully, every bit of it grows and doesn’t get eaten. Cross your fingers and toes for me. 

This year our garden includes: 

  • Pumpkin (jack-o-lantern)–these were “volunteers” from our tilled in halloween pumpkins from last year–I thinned them out a TON, leaving the strongest and will pick two to three plants in the end to stay and produce our crop for the fall.IMG_8815
  • Brussel Sprouts–one of the first things I planted–planted about 5 of these spots and will thin them out soonIMG_8816
  • Broccoli–one of the first things I planted–Planted about 7 spots and only one wasn’t totally eaten or trampled by the dog so I re-planted the 6 in hopes they will growIMG_8817
  • Carrots–one of the first things I planted–I did an entire bed of these and the dog trampled it immediately but, they came up in most of the bed anyway–They will be heavily thinned laterIMG_8818
  • Spinach–one of the first things I planted–another spot that gets trampled by the dog–replanted in some spots in hopes they will work out betterIMG_8819
  • Beets–one of the first things I planted–I planted two spots of these and they are popping up fairly sparselyIMG_8820
  • sweet red pepper
  • jalepeno
  • romaine
  • dill
  • basil
  • zucchini
  • watermelon
  • canteloup
  • german heirloom tomato
  • globe tomato
  • cherry tomato
  • early boy tomato
  • “volunteer” tomato plants (likely early girl)
  • cucumber
  • egg plant
  • mini pumpkins
  • sage
  • …I may be forgetting something…hmm…

Other foods growing in our yard/garden: 

  • blueberries (added this year–so they won’t produce for a while)
  • fuji apples
  • peaches
  • blackberries
  • grapes
  • raspberries
  • mint

I’m super excited about this garden!   [I’ll post pictures along the way.]

—————————

Easy Storage solution:

My craft room is overflowing from the tiny area (basically under and on my desk and a small table) and I needed more space to organize and feel less cluttered. My bedroom door is right next to all my crafting supplies. So…I decided to utilize it.

Shoe holder = ribbon, tape, etc organizer 

IMG_8669

—————————-

I also did haircuts for the boys the other day:IMG_8779 IMG_8802IMG_8804IMG_8787my first tapered cut on a squirmy kiddo :)

————————

Some of my photography of the sky in Utah these last few weeks:

IMG_8742 IMG_8773 Mother’s Day gifts from the kiddos:IMG_8847

I also started a job driving for Lyft. It’s a fun job. I really enjoy it and it brings in a little extra money while Deric is without a full-time job. I am always amazed at how things work out for us. We are never left desperate. Cross your fingers and toes that he finds a great full-time job soon. Thanks! 😉

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the kids, Gardening, Home Improvement Projects, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

Field Trips at School…

I went on River’s field trip to the Treehouse Museum with her. It was really quite fun. She had been so excited about it for weeks, reminding me every day, “You’re going on the field trip with me!” I loved her enthusiasm about spending time with me. Her teacher even knew how excited she was for me to go. IMG_8634{on frontrunner headed to ogden}
IMG_8636{River was the donkey in Puss and Boots in the Treehouse theater}IMG_8637 IMG_8640 IMG_8642The 20 minutes of play time wasn’t quite enough. But at least River got to see the China house. She is very much hoping to visit China someday.

It was a tiring day for me. Keeping track of 5 little girls was taxing. Especially since we walked to and from the train station from the elementary school. The treehouse museum was packed too…so, remembering what the four other girls looked like was always a challenge when trying to locate them. But, I never really lost any of them. haha!

—————-

IMG_8747 IMG_8750

I also went on Thomas’ field trip to the Kaysville Library and a nearby park. It was cute to see him so excited as well.

I am planning on spending plenty of time at this neat modern park and splash pad this summer. Free activities are always things I look for. I think I’ll enroll River in the reading program at the library for the summer too.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the kids | Leave a comment

The Upcycled Mud Kitchen (DIY)…

Kids love to play in the water outside. Kids love to play in the dirt outside. Kids love to mix the dirt and water outside. The hose seems to constantly be running ’round here.

Rather than fight it, I embraced it: I built them a “mud kitchen”.

Made entirely from materials I had on hand. I just said, “I want to make it” and an hour and a half later it was completed. This should cut down on the amount of water used by my kids at playtime.

Materials: plywood, flat top/bottom logs from the wood pile, my leftover splashes of spray paint in an assortment of colors, two plastic dish tubs, assortment of (leftover from other projects) nails with heads and finishing nails, giant lids from food containers (collected because they are always useful and colorful!), wipes box for storage, broken pieces of cinderblock gathered from around the yard, a giant cement slab doing nothing in particular, and assorted plastic recyclables.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC{I cut a jug with a handle into a scoop shape using an exacto knife. I plan on punching some holes in the lid of  another container with a handle to create a “watering can” of sorts.}

The kids played for hours out there! Particularly the boys. It made me very happy. River made “mac and cheese” using the dandelions from around the yard. Such wonderful imaginations on my kids.

I hope it will alleviate some of the “there’s nothing to do” blues this summer…

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in For the kids, Home Improvement Projects, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

Swatch Art and “Scrap Snack Mix”…

“Scrap Snack Mix”

So, we all have some things sitting around in our cupboards that, in theory, are “snacky”. But, when we look at them individually we kinda think aren’t really appealing. My kid’s snack cupboard was getting low…so, here was my 5 minute solution.

Mix #1: last 1/3 cup of pumpkin flavored “chocolate chips”, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/3 cup salted peanuts, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of the end of a box of cheerios no one was interested in.

Mix #2: 1/3 cup raisins, 1/4 (end of a bag) cup cherry flavored dried cranberries, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 cup cup of the same cheerios, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/3 cup homemade cinnamon apple chips that needed used up.

They taste pretty great when you get a little of everything in a bite. The sky is the limit!

IMG_8651

————————–

Fabric Swatch Art:

A friend of mine recently told me that Joybird.com sends out swatches of their high end fabric they use on their furniture for FREE. She grabbed up a set and is excited to dream and then create some sort of craft/art. I decided to do the same…

My friend also gave me this frame at the recent yard sale and I decided I would love to create some art for it. So, I grabbed the used yard sale sign poster-board and a glue gun and started creating. It was invigorating! Plus, it turned out awesome! (And, it was free!)

IMG_8652 IMG_8655 IMG_8657SONY DSCIt’s gonna look awesome hanging above my front door. :)

I also had a killer price match/couponing grocery trip today. (I got a dozen eggs for $.09 on top of great price matching on everything I needed.)

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in Deal Bragging, Home Decor by ME!, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

Easter and my Annual Neighborhood Yard Sale…

Surprise!

The pumpkins from halloween that we tilled into the garden had babies! 

We are keeping about a 3 foot diameter circle of the plants. Whichever survives best gets to stay in a month or so. So far so good!IMG_8539

————————–

—Easter—

Easter was a lovely day. In the morning the kids went on a scavenger hunt for their baskets of activities and toys. For dinner we grilled bruchetta chicken and had lovely sides. We had two lovely friends share the day with us. We had an egg hunt for the candy. We also went on a walk and played badminton with the kids. It was relaxing and happy.

IMG_8548Tip: When making deviled eggs use a sandwich bag to “pipe” the filling into the eggs. **Easiest way to fill the bag is to put it in a cup and spoon it in.IMG_8551 Deric bought me this lovely Easter bouquet. :) IMG_8553 We went on a walk and I got to bring home lots of fun vintage stickers. (WAY more than pictured too!)IMG_8554 Thomas used his Easter candy to match with my nail polish since I was painting my toe nails (I do it once a month). He came up with the idea and did it all on his own before I realized what he was doing. He’s such a puzzler smarty pants!IMG_8557————————

Annual “Neighborhood” Yard Sale: 

Every year for the past 7 years I have put together a sale where my neighbors and friends can bring what they would like to sell and put it on my lawn. I babysit everything and use a notebook to write everything they sell down. I then give them all the money they earned at the end of the sale.

Now, I’m sure you are wondering “Why would you do that? It seems like a lot of work!”  …Well, it is something I am extremely passionate about!

I believe in giving things the opportunity to have life again. I think donating is great, but, really a lot gets thrown out just because they have too much of something in the store.

Also, the prices are not as accessible to the people that may truly need the item. It’s a way for me to help the poor. I think they should be able to negotiate a price for used wares. I think it’s a service to the community to allow them the chance to live better given their means.  I know I have basically furnished my house and clothed my children by yard sales alone. I mean, how silly is it to buy new when your kids are going to destroy things and grow out of them quickly?

I also love helping my friends and neighbors earn a little money for the things they part with. My best friend and I are usually the ones that run the sale. We earn enough money each year to have a fund for yard sales through the summer!

Plus, we are decluttering our lives! This particular year my friend and I said hello to a new era…no more babies which meant no more storing baby things. :)
IMG_8560 IMG_8562 IMG_8564

This particular weekend was our BEST EVER! We sold over $520 worth of stuff! My take was just under $300!

Love it when everything comes together so nicely. :)

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, Bettering Myself, Deal Bragging, Home Improvement Projects, Lessons Learned, Up-cycling, Yard Sale Finds | Leave a comment

Spring Break = Kid’s Activities

The week before Easter was Spring Break for the kiddos. I finally felt up to the challenge of doing something every day with the kids. I mean, I pin a lot to Pinterest and don’t get around to as much as I would like to. But, I managed to do it that week very well!

 Day one–Silky Soft Playdough:

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCThis play dough was more messy than the average kind. But, it smelled nice and was extra soft on hands.

————————

Day 2Pom Pom Paintbrush Easter Egg Paintings:

We needed some Easter decorations and this was perfect for on our art display line.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC———————–

Day 4– Mya’s 2nd Birthday Party:

I made from scratch almond cupcakes and almond icing. Mya loved eating her own!

SONY DSC SONY DSC

————————-

Day 4–Kool Aid and Natural Dyed Easter Eggs:

SONY DSCUsing white crayon to make designs.SONY DSC

Kool Aid in the top 5 cups, red cabbage (left), black tea (middle), and beets (right)SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCThe blue tinted one is cabbage, the brown is tea,and the light pink was the beets. The rest were Kool Aid colored.

It was fun to use only what we had on hand to dye the eggs this year. :)

————————–

Day 5–Discovering Science books:

We pulled out the expensive science books I bought back when River was Thomas’ age finally. They were well loved that day. I hope to encourage more learning and exploring through the pictures and explanations.

SONY DSC~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the Foodies, For the kids, Kiddie Craftiness, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

Spring has Sprung…

This is what spring looks like in my neighborhood right now. I can’t get enough!IMG_8479

———————–

We have been working diligently on our garden and yard the last couple weeks. The gardens are completely prepped for veggies. I’ve planted carrots and spinach. (Hopefully they grow, since the dog and kids got into the beds after the fact.)

We decided to expand our garden this year. We have a bit of yard on the side of our house that just sits there and does nothing. We decided we would build three more raised square foot gardens there. We had already moved our raspberry patch there, so we created more of a bed around it, and I used some odds and ends (a couple pieces of vinyl lattice we’ve had forever, and some wooden stakes with some wire) to create a little fence to make a divide between the raspberries and the neighbor’s yard. It looks fabulous already. I even moved an old wooden rocking chair back there to add to the cute factor.

IMG_8378 IMG_8379 IMG_8457 IMG_8361{I even planted pansies and violas in the containers by the front door.}

This weekend is the beginning of Spring Break for the kids. I knew I needed to kick it up a notch in the “super mom” department. So, I went through my Pinterest pins and found a few springy activities to do over the next week.

Today’s activity: Build a Nest

We gathered all the cardboard boxes out of recycling, a bunch of sticks, some scrap fabric, and some rafia. With a glue gun and duct tape we created a nest for the kids to play in.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC——————————

Then we decided to check out the Bunny Bop at Station Park in Farmington. (A family activity day where most things are free!)

IMG_8489 IMG_8491 IMG_8494 IMG_8495 IMG_8499 IMG_8500 IMG_8504 IMG_8509 IMG_8511 IMG_8515

————————-

Last night River asked, “Can we talk? I like talking to you.” She need not say another word, because I couldn’t say no. Though, I admit…not long ago I might have for the sake of more sleep, or time by myself. No, I want to be more present as a parent.

We stayed up and talked until 9:30. We planned things like her Willie Wonka birthday party, we laughed, and we read part of her new book which is a book in the Willie Wonka series. It was a perfect evening. One like many more I hope to have with her. Can’t believe she is almost eight years old! It’s wonderful, and sad, all at the same time.IMG_8485 IMG_8484 IMG_8483 IMG_8481

{She made this shirt yesterday by herself. She sewed the heart on herself and everything. No guidance. She added straps of ribbon later. But, I thought it was pretty awesome that she took the initiative to do something like that.}

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, Bettering Myself, For the kids, Gardening, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

Science for Kids and Introducing our Art Cart…

What makes a happy kid? …SCIENCE!SONY DSCDollar Store Science Experiments (just add water): 

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC————————————–

A Visit to the Aquarium:

The whole family went and visited the aquarium. They enjoyed it quite a bit!

IMG_8383 IMG_8390These ducks liked to dive and splash the onlookers.
IMG_8398 IMG_8403 IMG_8406 IMG_8410 IMG_8411 IMG_8416 IMG_8419 IMG_8427 IMG_8435 IMG_8440 IMG_8442 IMG_8446 IMG_8449—————————

And when science doesn’t cut it we turn to art!

Introducing our new Art Cart:

It is full of things the kids can use for their art projects from scraps of colorful patterned paper to pom poms, scissors, and glue. It can be wheeled into my room when I don’t want to deal with a creative mess anymore, and out to the kitchen table when it is crafting time!

IMG_8476 IMG_8477Believe it or not…it was Deric’s idea! We saw the cart at Sam’s club for $27, and he encouraged me to get it. Way to go honey, I taught you well! 😉

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the kids, Home Improvement Projects, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

Been too long…

Yah….I know it’s been a while since I posted. But, I’ve been busy, busy, busy! 

I have such beautiful people in my life…SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSCIMG_2712IMG_8136IMG_7817IMG_7905IMG_8024IMG_8092

This winter has been a strange one…

IMG_7907

Sixty degree weather since January!IMG_7900{february}IMG_7911 IMG_7913 IMG_7922

{We even cleaned out under the carport one weekend in february.}IMG_7775

We’ve spent many days playing outside.

———————-

For Groundhog day we hosted a movie night and watched it with our friends. I made treats that went along with lines in the movie! (Yes, those are mini “flapjacks” with fruit on skewers, mini sticky buns, and fudge chocolate sandwich cookies.)

SONY DSC SONY DSC

——————–
River and Molly had an art night at the school. Their artwork was on display.

IMG_8111 IMG_8114River’s animal report was also on display in the library. She loved researching on the computer and in books, and making her display about jellyfish. That bottle holds a jellyfish we made to show how they move through water weightlessly. (it’s a plastic produce bag!)IMG_8116They did a few activities in the library including learning cake decorating.
IMG_8118This was the school’s big art display for the year. Each child decorated a plastic plate/cup and then they melted it and put it on this old candy machine that lit them up.

————————-

My brother and sister and brother-in-law came and visited for a thursday and friday before Valentines Day. We had a lovely family dinner and some nice bonding time.

IMG_7989 IMG_7990 IMG_7994Greatest selfie ever. :)

———————–

Then before Doug moved out to Pennsylvania again he and I went on a fun “date” to Sushi Burrito downtown and a fun adventure trying to find somewhere to dance. We ended up at a bar that had a live band. The drummer was from Air Supply! It was a great night. He then came up the next week to spend one last evening with the kiddos before he left.

IMG_8055 IMG_8103 IMG_8105 IMG_8109SONY DSCSONY DSC{And we danced together in the living room, one last time.}

———————–

Valentine’s Day looked like this:

IMG_7993{another doctor’s appointment}IMG_7995{Chocolates from a secret admirer!}SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC{treats and fun from mommy and daddy}IMG_7996 IMG_7998 IMG_8001An excellent date night at Boondocks bowling and go kart racing!IMG_8002And a magical sunset. :)

————————–

I got my carpets cleaned in the main areas of the house! (this was a christmas present from Deric) It looks amazing! It feels so clean and new!

IMG_8155{before}IMG_8156 IMG_8157{after}IMG_8158——————-

Another amazing package of handmade fun from my mom:

IMG_8160 IMG_8165 IMG_8166SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

———————-

We went to an art show with the family in salt lake. It was a blast for the kids. :)

IMG_8189 IMG_8191

—————————-

Today we tilled and prepared the garden for planting!

We continue to have lovely days in which to work and play.

I hope you are all doing well in your neck of the woods!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

 

Posted in About the Clan, Bettering Myself, For the kids, Gardening, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

These are a few of my Favorite Things…

To start my new year’s resolution (surround myself with what I love), I decided to redo my whole living space. I have been extremely happy with the results.

These are the finished sections of my home now. I hope you like them as much as I do!

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC{Framed postcard made in California}
SONY DSC SONY DSC{These two colorful prints were from Australia}

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC{I made this banner myself, without a pattern, and with fabric I had purchased because I just loved it, but didn’t have a purpose in mind…until now. This replaced the curtain rod/curtain in my living room.}
SONY DSCI wanted to surround us with inspiring quotes and ideas. That keep my kids thinking about life in the best ways. That keep me thinking positively about life’s ups and downs.SONY DSC SONY DSCThe easiest no-sew fabric valance ever. Just rip strips of fabric, tie on in cute knot.SONY DSC SONY DSCMy red collection corner. (painting done by me in high school)SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC{black and white print: by my best friend, Heidi and a little people picture print from her as a Christmas gift. Sketches by me, in high school. Deer is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Landscape is by me at about age 20. Geometric postcard from California. Plus, a really awesome quote.—I didn’t have to paint any frames, I had them already.}

I’m loving all the color and quirk in my space now. So me.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in Bettering Myself, Home Decor by ME!, Home Improvement Projects, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling | Leave a comment