Alterations, DIY, Farm, Home

Personal Evolution

First, I must show you this beautiful painting that I bought at the local thrift store. I really never buy paintings because it seems like you never really know if it’s actual art or possibly just somebody’s Saturday amusement. However, I saw this painting and it just fit. I live on a farm surrounded by mountains and I am in love with the soft colors and the beautiful scenery.

When deciding colors for my kitchen office and living room I was incomplete puzzlement. I simply could not decide and my brain did not see colors.  I had been so good at this before but my frazzled color chooser had a short in it.  Prior to a couple years ago color had been my thing. I love color and the brighter the better.  Case in point, my previous kitchen was egg yolk yellow, my bedroom purple and my living room teal. It. Was. Colorful. But in this painting I learned something of myself. I learned that I had changed. I was now seeking the serenity and the calming effect that simple palettes and soothing colors had on me and my home and my family. In other words, I was growing up and I wanted  more peaceful and calm surroundings. I could tackle whatever things that lay ahead for my day knowing that I would come home and what I would find there would be soothing.

This came somewhat as a shock to me. I thought I knew myself better. But apparently as we age we become new people. It is also been found that the human brain doesn’t fully grow up or make connections that are relevant to good choices until about the age of 30. Let’s just say I am a few years after that but not much. It’s been interesting to me to see how other things have changed in my life.

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Can you smell me now?

This for example is something new. It is my favorite perfume in all the world. ( Dolce & Gabanna I’m ready for my sponsorship now.)  Never in all my born days would I ever consider buying a luxury item such as a designer perfume. But I have discovered that I like to smell pretty. And in order to smell pretty I do not mind spending a little bit more if I know it is a quality item that I will every day.  And I bought it at Marshals at half price… so, yeah.

Same for the cut flowers I don’t get them very often but every now and then I do like to have a splash of color. That extra bit of nature that brings life into your space. And they’re so pretty. I used to think it was so selfish and frivolous to buy them.  Now I’m ok with it. It’s fine. It makes me happy.

I guess I should’ve known that my likes and tastes had taken a turn when I simply could not throw this rug out. For whatever reason I kept it and I did not even know why.  It was an inexpensive find and was totally replaceable. But I held onto it and as I look around I see that I have used the soft colors again and again throughout my home. I think it’s safe to say the bright and bold colors that I still love so dearly are not going to be finding their way onto my walls anymore. I’ve grown up just a little bit And now I’m seeking calm and comfort and simplicity. And I invited a friend over for dinner so I could borrow her color eyes and now I have a color plan for my downstairs.  *happy sigh*

I cannot wait to finish all of the painting on the lower floor and post pictures of its transformation. You will be sure to find a soothing color scheme throughout my house when I am done. I guess growing up isn’t so bad after all.

DIY, Farm, Frugal, Getting Girly, Home, Organize

My Pantry

Ok, confession time…. I actually posted this by complete accident.  I meant to just get the pictures and then go back and write the post but obviously I reversed the process. So here is the *actual* article.

Now, this room is shabby at best.  It’s basically shelves in a half sunken room off of my kitchen.  Nothing special.  Concrete, unfinished boards and canning supplies.  But I took a shine to this ratty little corner of my home.  It became a pleasure to see my canning jars lovingly lined up on the shelves.  Some bursting with past produce and some awaiting their turn to be filled up with home canned goodness.  Not only does it hold all my kitchen essentials it can serve as a shelter should we need it.  (We don’t get hurricanes or tornadoes here but you never know)

And so because this little room is near and dear to me I have a plan to give it a make over.  Of course. The first step was sealing all those pesky cracks because old saw dust insulation kept trickling down on me…. not fun…especially when there are spiders and one might accidentally mistake said sawdust for a spider running down one’s back…maybe.

Anyhow, that was a simple fix.  I DIYed a quick wall paper paste and used large sheets of white card stock to paste over the cracks. Ta-da! Take that tricky saw dust!

The next faze will be to white wash the whole shebang.  I am planning on going totally old school on this little jobby so  I am going to mix up another DIY for white wash.  This will be my first go with that and if it works well I plan on using it for the interior of the smaller outbuildings to brighten things up (so I can see when I go hunting in the large freezer).

Finally, I plan to use those awesome vintage wall papers to dress up those plain white shelves.  It’s going to be all granny blissed out I tell ya’!

I am super excited for this little make over and as soon as my little self is able I want to put some time into it.

Happy DIY!

 

 

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What awaits down the pantry steps?
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Shelves full of jars and totes full crafting supplies … these are a few of my favorite things!

 

 

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Though she be shabby- she be useful!
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Are you in love with these vintage papers?! Guilty!

What do you think?  I will put out a  completed “tour” once it is finished.  Until then, have a wonderful day!

DIY, Food, Frugal

Fun in the Kitchen

Here’s a fun little afternoon in the kitchen for you.  I had some oranges ready to be used up and it got my wheels turning.  I knew of at least three ways to use them up and I decided to make a video to show how we used each part of the orange for a kitchen project.  I always feel a bit like a depression era mama when I cook up these little DIYs but it makes me happy to use what I have to the fullest. What can I say, I’m an old soul!

 

DIY, Frugal, Home

Laundry Soap Video Tutorial

I love making everything I possibly can! And so I bring to you this humble video because I also want the rest of the world to fall in love with the DIY life.  A special thanks to my dear husband who helped me put this together. Also, thanks to all you MOPS ladies who introduced me to the amazing (and addictive) benefits of making your own household cleaners. I’m hooked for life. Thanks.

Hope you like it!

 

 

 

DIY

New Look

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Happy Saturday!

I have been messing around with themes and graphics last night and this morning.  It’s been fun but oh my! I think my eyes have been over dazzled with options.  Pardon the changes as I fiddle around!

We are fine honing our budget a bit more and I will share all of that later on.  For now, I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy this image.  Aahhh, one thing done and a million more to go! Hope you are enjoying a productive day (or just enjoying a nice relaxing one!)

DIY

Toothpaste DIY *Super Cloves*

I’m really bad about measuring ingredients. Like, terribly bad. I like to adjust recipes while I’m making them. This puts my more precise friends in a state of agitation so I usually keep up a stream of chatter as I cook to avoid scrutiny. But today for the sake of being able to replicate I am going to get exact (ish) measurements for my toothpaste recipe!
***I am not making any medical claims, use at your own discretion***

10-20180129_101941*Edit* for some reason the actual recipe and photo captions didn’t save so I am updating with the information that should have been here all along.


BASIC TOOTHPASTE RECIPE

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Ground Cloves

1/4 Cup Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Spirulina

1/8 Teaspoon Salt ( I used coarse salt and ground it in my coffee bean grinder)


*Back Story*>Why bother with toothpaste? Well, during my husband’s deployment I neglected my teeth. Bad, I know. But when you are single mommin’ it with three kids and you find yourself passed out on the couch after skyping half the night (because time zones don’t care if you’re tired) you’ll understand how these things happen.  Anyhow, I had painful, bleeding and receded gums. One tooth had turned an awful dark gray color and was fairly loose. Ugh, no. So I went to the dentist and they not so gently cleaned my aching mouth and sold me a $14 tube of toothpaste that was supposed to decrease sensitivity. No support for the receding gums or dying tooth though. I tried the gunk, I mean, toothpaste and it was awful. You basically rub a thick slime on your teeth at night and wash it off in the morning. Um, not gonna work.

I just decided to go back to what had helped before. I treated my bad tooth with clove oil in hopes to heal it. It actually has regained a more normal color and isn’t loose. Yes!

For my gums I did a quick search on oral health and saw that a lot of tooth powders contained minerals of some kind, usually in clay. I happen to have lots of odds and ends on hand and this is the recipe that I like best and use daily. My teeth feel stronger and are less sensitive with regular use. And no more bleeding gums ! Double yes! While travelling I decided not to fuss with my toothpaste and just bring a normal travel tube. ( I can just see me trying to explain that mess to TSA…ha!) But….my teeth started to ache again in just a few days. I could almost feel them weakening…weird. I’m no dentist but I know when I do/do not have pain. I’m taking this stuff with me on every trip!

An added bonus* that baking soda is nice and scrubby so you end up with a brighter smile! Another added benefit is that the coconut oil seems to have a little bit of the “oil pulling” effect and I have noticed more congestion issues when I am not using my DIY paste. This one is a win all the way around! I hope you try it as see how it works for yourself. (Best results are with regular use)

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Melt your coconut oil and add to a pint jar (or any other 1-2 cup container with a lid)
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Add 1/4 cup baking soda to the oil
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Add 1/4 cup cloves to your oil and soda
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Add 1/2 teaspoon spirulina (for minerals) to your mixture
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If using coarse salt you can grind it up before adding- this makes a nicer paste
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Add 1/8 cup salt and mix! That’s it!

If you prefer a more liquidy version, my friend Jackie makes this one. I’ve used it before and it does work well. (I just prefer the scrubby)

DIY, Getting Girly

Hair

I have been working on my hair for a while now. I have naturally thin hair and fine  strands.  While it is silky and quick to fix I began to worry that I may not have much to work with in my later years. I cut out sulfates a couple years ago.  I use heat sparingly.  My new tactics include using a WHOOOLE lot more oil. I now oil the last 6-8 inches before and after washing.  I have added a weekly hair mask to my routine.  It must be all those farm grown eggs that did the trick- my hair loves it!

 

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Here is my hair this fall. I wanted to test my hair improvement practices first before posting. I needed results.

 

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Now it is January and I can see a difference. A bit more thickness and lots more shine. Plus, the silkiness….oo-la-la!

The second picture may not be very obvious but I wound it a bit tighter and still had more thickness so I know there was an improvement.

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Here is the BEFORE on the hairline. This is the area that I notice the most. I have to be a bit creative at times when styling my hair because it can be pretty bare :/
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Same area a couple months later. I’m thinking I’ll keep the egg masks coming!

I have been cheating just a bit.  I am at heart a lazy girl and I totally skipped the prewashing and now I apply my mask to dry, unwashed hair.  I’m going to wash out the mask anyway so I saved myself the trouble.

I have been using an argan oil for my pre and post shower oil but you could easily use olive oil for a less expensive product.

The basic hair mask I use can be found here and it can be altered a million different ways.  Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or give yourself an extra treat by adding a fancier oil/conditioner to the mix.

Stay beautiful!

DIY, Frugal

DIY Extravaganza

Here area few of the things we like to DIY around Henneke Farm:

Laundry soap (you can find that post here)– super easy to make and very cheap so this one is a win.

Shampoo-  most homemade bar soaps (you can find that post here) work very well on hair *bonus* they are a hair/body bar in one.  My family still gets shampoo and I buy the sulfate free kind when it’s on sale but it ain’t cheap! Bar soap does the trick and keeps cost down. *extra bonus* They are totally customizable to your needs and taste.

Toothpaste-  don’t tell my dentist but my teeth feel way cleaner and stronger after trying the homemade tooth paste. *WARNING* it taste terrible (but it works)! My youngest daughter has some yellowing and loves that her teeth are cleaner with my paste.  The taste has kept the other family members away- they refuse to be converted!

Gatorade type drinks – We add some lemon/lime juice or other flavor enhancers (my watermelon jelly that didn’t set is my favorite) to plain old water.  My kids actually really like this. To kick things up a notch we add ACV and to sweeten we add stevia.  We do occasionally get a gatorade or similar drink for a treat but on regular days this is our main “flavored” drink.

Paper towels (except for camping, road trips and my cast iron cookware) I buy a $3 rag bag from the thrift store and use them as my messy towels.  When they get icky I wash them and when I can’t stand the looks of them anymore I give them to the boys to use when they are fixing machinery in the shop.

Sauces- Most can be recreated easily with minimal effort.  I do buy sauces but only if they are a steal.  Other wise my blender can puree tomatoes and a bit of butter and flour in a sauce pan can make a dandy base for creamier sauces.

Spice mixes – Kinda the same deal. If it’s a steal, sure. If not, I have my spices on hand to mix up most flavors that my family likes. Plus, you can usually find recipes for rubs and seasoning blends online.

Some clothing – I don’t sew a lot from scratch ( I HATE patterns!:/) but I do alter many of my things to fit my daughter when I am done with them.  I also add bits and pieces to outfits to make them more complete/modest.

Animal pens/feeders –  We were blessed to have a ready made farm to step into but there have been a few items that we have had to build for ourselves.  My husband made a simple hayloft in the goat barn.  My son made a feeder for the chickens.  With help from my son I made an enclosed chicken yard.  Yep, we are a DIY family!

Girly stuff- Hair masks,(you can find that post here) scrubs and simple beauty aids are easy and fun to mix up in the kitchen.  Recently my 8 yo made her own lip balms (you can see that post here) completely on her own! Nice 🙂

Gifts- Not all homemade gifts are a hit (can I get a witness?) but we really wanted to give something personal this Christmas so we set off on Craftpalooza (you can see that post here) this year and it was super fun as well as rewarding to give our handcrafted items to those we love.

Hope you are having a lovely Monday!

 

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DIY, Family, Frugal

Going Old School (again)

Ah, the budget. A thing ever one loves to hate. We, here at Henneke Farm, have put it off for a while. We were still in new house mode where everything needed repaired/updated ASAP.  Then we had a family vacation followed by 2 emergency trips out east. Now we were scrambling for financial air so it’s back to square one. Hello Dave Ramsey!

We have been debt free for several years now and I can’t tell you how awesome that is. Truly, you have to experience it to know. We pay cash for everything so no worries about credit card bills. We live on a modest amount (for all 5 of us & 25ish animals) so we aren’t doing terrible but there was a lot of room for improvement.

Here is a snapshot of the system we had during the “haze”

I go to store and call husband from parking lot-

Me: “I’m at the store, what can I spend?”

Husband: “not much”

Me: “so….like you wanna eat beans this week?”

Husband:”no, you can get real food just not much”

Me:”I need dollar figures, I’m not a mind reader”

Husband:”about $50″

*I go into store and buy half of aisle 9 because we are out of everything

Repeat that about 3x a week for 2-3 months. Fun, right?!

Yeah, not so much. So we sat down and wrote it all out. My husband, who is techy printed out the budget. I am hands on and I had to write mine….to make the numbers “real”, you know. Then came the debit card verses the cash system debate.

My argument : I can keep better tabs on spending if I have cash and I’ll spend less.

His argument : It’s better to use a card because all purchases are accounted for online.

This went on for a while. It was a nice cicular discussion that tends to flow around itself and arrive exactly back at the beginning everytime. *sigh*

We ended up settling on the cash system with a challenge. I could use the cash from a recent sale for all of the food/household/animal purchases this month. Here’s the challenge – the money I would have taken out stays in the bank and I have a about $300 less than I normally would have to work with. Challenge accepted!  One week down…3 more to go!

My homemade cash system. I just cut down tabbed dividers to fit my wallet and added a cover made from a plastic folder. On each category I wrote the total for the month and when to withdraw it. I’m an old fashioned girl living in a high tech world!
DIY, Home

New Year, New Projects

One thing I really wanted to do is to get organized this year. I’m sure many people have that on their list January 1st and as the days slip past and weeks turn into months it becomes more of a dream than a reality. I can relate to that! I started a full house purge and on my way through I noticed a few small, seemingly insignificant items that just REALLY  bugged me. Messy papers for one. I hate messy papers and yet I love paper crafts. The struggle is real folks!

So, as a task oriented individual I set out to find a solution. Behold mess paper exibit A:

A box. Full of notes. In alllll different sizes on so. many. scraps. of paper. The inconsistency of it all! (Insert dramatic music here)

The goal is to copy all pertinent information onto index cards and file by date. Why bother? Um, because there’s good stuff in them thar notes! (Use mountain man voice here)

So I have begun and I have to say I am very happy with my progress. True, it may take me more than 2018 to complete (I have notes from as far back as 2005-2006 ish) but I love being able to flip through them easily and remember/review what was preached.

My stack so far
Another card in progress
See what I mean? Scrappy paper mess into neat and tidy 🙂
My notes in their new home. No messy scraps and easy to look through. I’ll be taking notes on index cards from now on so no more copying for me!