fall door decor

I’m not much of a seasonal decor person (Christmas is an exception, of course) mostly because I don’t have a ton of storage space and I don’t know where to put all the extra festive stuff after the season is over. I did manage to make a fun fall wreath for this season. Here are a few photos of our welcoming front door. 

I covered a foam wreath with an old striped shirt that I cut into pieces. The other pieces of the wreath were leftovers from other projects. I stuck everything together with hot glue. It was a fun and quick project.

What are some of your best holiday decorating crafts?



settee beauty shots

I know I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, but I’ve been swamped with work. It’s wedding season and even though I only have 3 weddings I’m responsible for this month I’m completely overtaken with a million tasks.

But I did want to share a few beauty shots of my settee that I reupholstered over a month ago…Remember this?



Thanks to Nia of Summerland Style for the skills and Digs Showroom, my favorite local homegoods store, for hosting our class. I now have an adorable settee that completes my back carport area. The black and white fabric is indoor/outdoor fabric as I had planned for this piece to have a home under our carport.

I got some cute black, white and yellow floral melamine dishes from Liberty of London’s Target line to round out the space. I’m still looking for a table that doesn’t need to be covered with a table cloth, but other than that, it’s looking pretty cute out there. I promise there will be some shots of the full spread once it stops raining and the temperature raises above 70 degrees.

Happy Weekend!

the year of the yard.

Apparently this is the year of the yard. So there’s major ground leveling, moss killing and grass planting going on. Not to mention the stump extraction.

Fortunately, BJ now has the assistance of his 3 little hens anytime he is doing a backyard project. I’m sure they were particularly helpful as he was getting this stump out of the ground.

louws family garden

BJ and  I worked hard last weekend to get everything planted in our little garden. You may remember our garden from last year- it was basically us sticking a few vegetable plants in the ground to see if they would grow- which they did, sort of. Well this year we went big. We got an expert.

My fabulous friend Renee is a Master Gardener and lover of all things that grow (that is an understatement). She graciously sat down with me and helped me plan out our raised beds to get the maximum amount of vegetables possible in our small space. Renee is so fabulous, she brought graph paper to plan out our space and gave me insider information on how to make these plants flourish!

Renee works at Joe’s Garden so she helped me pick the best vegetable starts out of the bunch, loaded me up with compost and greenhouse soil and sent me on my way.

Here’s what we did:

BJ filled our beds with 4 Way Garden Mix.

We finished off the beds with 1 bag of Smitz Compost and 1 bag of Greenhouse mix.

I used the map from Renee and I made to place my veggies in their proper rows giving them enough space to grow.

Using a tape measure I placed the plants in their proper locations and then I planted away, removing the plant start from its container and sticking it in the ground. Here are the lettuces.

Onions, leeks and garlic.

All ready to grow, grow, grow!

My beds are 4 and a half feet by 6 and a half feet. Here are all of the things I have growing: kale, brussell sprouts, strawberries (2 kinds), red onion, leek, garlic, yellow onion, Walla Walla Sweet onions, raddichio, gourmet salad mix, spinach, French Crisp lettuce, Romaine lettuce and fennel. I planted artichokes by the shed. I also planted 2 small boxes with peppermint, spearmint, thyme and chives. I plan to add tomatoes, peppers, a zucchini, cucumber and basil when they get in season in a couple months. I’m here to prove that even if you have a small garden you can get a lot in it if you plan it out.

If you have questions about your garden let me know and I’ll ask my expert.

I have to get on my soapbox for a second and tell you why we’ve decided to plan a garden. I have never considered myself interesting in yard work or gardening (my parents can attest to this) but the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve learned about where our food comes from. It is so important for our health and the health of our planet that we eat food from sustainable sources. So here I am planting a garden and raising chickens!

One book and one movie that changed my life: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and Food Inc. (you can get it on Netflix or Blockbuster). I highly recommend getting informed on this issue, it will change your perspective dramatically.

chicks are here!

Our chicks have finally arrived!

Rachel is having me write this blog post because the chicks are my responsibility to take care of. She said “I don’t want to clean up chicken poop or anything”, but she did this morning and I didn’t even have to ask her.

Rachel and I have been working hard on their coop and tending to the chicks every day.  It has been a true show of my man skills, ranging from construction to meat production.  Yes these little girls are cute (see below), but after they stop laying eggs they will be dinner!

The chicks were born on Tuesday last week and we purchased the three of them on Wednesday.  If you want a cheap pet, get a chicken.  Not only are the inexpensive,  they also give you eggs.  We should get about a dozen eggs a week once they start laying.  We bought three chicks, a waterer, feeder and feed for less than $25!

I have taken up the last few weeks displaying my expert building skills in the form of coop construction.  I have some pictures of the progress so far and there will be more to come as I complete the coop.  I precut all of the prices from Hardie Board and also pre-painted them before construction began.  It took a lot of planning!

Watching Paint Dry

The coop is constructed from 2×2’s that are stained to be water repellent.

The walls fit!

I cut down some scrap lumber from work and made the trim.  The door to our shed will also be red, so the backyard will coordinate well.

Chickens need light in their coop for good egg production.  I made this custom window out of wood and freezer curtain.  It is removable for hot summer days.  I will have more pictures of the coop once it is completed.  There is still a wire mesh run that will be made for the chickens to hang out in during the day.

Now for the chicks!

The chick on the left is Milly, on the right is Opal and Lucille 2 is in the back.  This breed of chicken is a Gold Laced Wyandotte.  I will post a picture of what they will look like full grown on the next posting.

They crap a lot as you can see in their temporary box.

Here is an up close look.

That is all.  I will be posting periodically on the chicks.  Let me know if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer them.

– BJ  (Farmer John)

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