Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Friday, September 30, 2011

Our Prairie Home Tour

Since this week's Friday's Finds was a little blah, I've decided to share a tour with you of our home.  Of course we've made some changes over the years - these pictures were taken shortly after we moved in, but its all pretty much still the same...  Okay, I'll be honest.  Most All of the rooms have some DIY project going on in them in some shape or form that makes current photos not fit for sharing.  BLAH!  I think the only room I'm missing a picture of is the kitchen.  Probably because at the time I took the pictures I had dirty dishes piled in the sink.  LOL

Anyway...  Welcome to Our Prairie Home.

The Living Room

What's changed?  The built in hutch on the kitchen side has been ripped out (what was I thinking????) to allow a view from the kitchen into the living room.  The glass doors are still there.  And new windows have been installed in the bottom picture.

Look how small the diva is!  Awwwwww!

There's a little Noah!  I think he was 5 in this picture.
 The Parlor

What's changed?  The parlor is now our dining room.  The floors have been refinished to a light natural stain (more on that kaphuffle at a later time).  The wallpaper in the stairwell has been removed, but we haven't repainted after choosing a hideous mustard color yellow.  Believe me, its too ugly to show.  The tacky 1980s era country wall paper is actually prettier.  Ugh.  And of course, new windows.

The Dining Room

What's changed?  The dining room is now our office.  There is the mantle that I just repainted HERE.  The paint has been stripped off the floors and the floor has been stained a light natural pine.  And of course...  The windows.

The Boys' Room

What's changed?  After our surprise of the little man, we switched the boys room with the girls room.  At the time, they were ages 8, 7, and 5 and no matter that we had bunk beds, they always wound up all sleeping in the same bed together.  So, I put this double bed in their room.  If they were all going to sleep in one bed, they could at least stretch out!  LOL

This room is currently in the midst of a huge re-do that you can find HERE.  Are we still waiting on the room to cure?  Yes.  Are we going to wait forever?  No.  In fact, I was just telling the hubs today that I couldn't stand the chaos anymore and we had to do something about it soon.  The carpet has been ripped out because the kids being kids totally wreaked havoc on the white carpet.  Not to mention, the dogs and the cats.  Why do I bother to have animals???  And oh yeah...  New windows.  :P

Can you tell I've lived most of my life near the coast?
The nautical themed stuff had to go.

The Girls' Room

What's changed?  At the time, I figured even though we had less girls than boys, girls needed more space for their "stuff".  This room is twice, if not 3x as big as the boys' room, so we switched them when we learned boy #4 was on the way.  The walls are now a glaring shade of Iowa Hawkeye Gold on top and Black on the bottom.  The windows are in.  Its gone from extremely feminine to a man boy cave complete with a 46 inch LCD flat screen.  What a life, huh?  As soon as we get the bunk beds completed, I'll post the "after" pics.  Its probably the closest room in the house to being completed.

Our Room

What's changed?  Not a whole lot.  In fact, I've done pretty much absolutely nothing to this room.  The walls are still white.  I have nothing hanging on the walls.  Our wedding picture is now in the living room, so we literally have nothing.  I know, I know.  Our bedroom should be a haven.  Well, we'll get around to it eventually.  Oh yeah...  We do have NEW WINDOWS!  HA!

Don't you just love our master bedroom "closet" in the corner?  Errrrrr...

Sorry this picture is blurry, but I didn't have another one.
 Check out that wood furniture though...  Totally painting and distressing each piece.  AH!  There is so much I wish I could just snap my fingers and do!!  At least we don't have window a/c units anymore!  :P

Shoot!  I just realized that I don't have any pictures of the mudroom or either of the bathrooms, but that's just as well.  We haven't gotten around to doing anything with them, either.  If you're new to this blog and want to check out the hideous wallpaper/curtain combo in the upstairs bathroom, as well as pics of the kitchen, the guest bathroom and mudroom, you can go HERE.

Gosh!  Just looking at these pictures I'm overwhelmed with everything we've got half-completed (our house looks like a demolition site) and all the things we still need to do.  I am bound and determined to get on this stuff and git 'er done!  If anything, this is further motivation!

Hope y'all have enjoyed the tour and I look forward to surprising you with each of our reveals as they come along.  

Have a great weekend!

Friday's Finds... #03

Friday already!  I tell ya, the older I get the faster time goes!  Being I'm only mid-thirty, I can't imagine how much faster its going to get, since my momma says its gets worse the older you are.

So, now for this week's installment of Friday's Finds, in which I share things I've found either locally, in my home, or around the net that I plan to either revamp, make mine, or create myself.

I didn't have a whole lot of time out and about this week due to our little water heater issue, but I did manage to pick up a few things on Monday.

So, I picked up these cuties...

Gotcha!  I just wanted to show off how cute my boys are in their football pics this year.  LOL Of course, Ian's coach wanted them to practice before pictures, so they could get the most out of practice.  Result:  Sweaty looking kid.  Nice.


I went to our local thrift store, Trinkets and Togs and found these few things:

 $2.00 and is going to get a spray painting.

 $7.00 Brass and super heavy.  Desperately needs spray paint.  
Brass is so 80s.

I was drawn to the femininity and the colors.

 6 @ $0.50 each
You've already seen what I did to these HERE.

 $4.00 Grapevine wreath with Fall and Winter decorations.  LOL
I've have so got plans for you!

$7.50 Large woven basket
To spray paint or not to spray paint.
That is the question.

Then, the one find I was super, super excited about...

Craiglist, I <3 you!
Barnwood coffee table.

The plum colored legs have got to go, as does the pen and markered-up to top.  Nothing a little paint can't fix!

And another super-steal from Craigslist.  I got this Cotton Duck One Piece Sofa Slipcover in Natural, regularly priced  $69.99 from Sure Fit for...

Now I can cover up that ugly brown sofa!

Then I ordered this poster from Vintage Junky via her Etsy shop. 

You like?  Go HERE to buy one for your home.
Now to find the perfect frame.

My latest find from around the home is this mirror...  (Please ignore the horrible 1980s baby blue/pink border that is reflected.  Just one more thing around here that I ignore, but has to go.)

That I'm currently transforming.  Hopefully, I'll have that done and ready to show for you on Monday.

I also found some sweet stuff up in our attic that I had forgotten I had stashed up there.  I swear, I nearly danced a jig when I saw them and realized what I could do to them.  If you want to change something up, half the time all you have to do is look no further than what you already have!  I'll save those because I'm too lazy to walk up two flights of stairs and lug them down and if I have one more piece of furniture that has no where to go for me to redo stuck in the dining room or living room the hubs is going to kill me for next Friday.

And then, a few ideas via Pinterest that I'm definitely going to try next week...

I absolutely adore this paper rosette wreath from Lovely Crafty Home.

And then this fabric flower garland...

Very vintage.
Don't you love?

Well, that's all for this week's Friday's Finds.  What have you found lately that totally rocks?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuna What?!

First off, let me enter this disclaimer:

I am not a cook.
I am not a great cook.
I am not even a good cook.
I am a mediocre cook.
I admit it.

Occasionally, I do prepare things that causes my husband to ask, "You made this?"  Yeah.  I'm that poor of a cook.  I have my staples...  Spaghetti, Chili, ummmm...  Pot Roast, ummmm...  Having a hard time even thinking of my staples.  Pretty much if its easy and quick, I cook it.  Most kids get excited about pizza.  The little man gets excited about pizza.  Its only because he's only 4 and hasn't had to put up with 13 or more years of, "Guess what, kids?!  Pizza for dinner!"  The others just groan and say, "Awwww, Mom!  Pizza again!"  I'm ashamed of it.  I truly am.

I promised that this year I wouldn't let the hustle and bustle of school, sports practices, games, and tournaments get in the way of having good home-cooked meals.  The first week of school, I was on a roll.  I was throwing dinner in the crock pot each morning and dinner was ready to go before we left for all the evening activities.  The second week I was still at it.  By the end of the third...  "Pizza anyone?"  Oh well, this blog isn't about how perfect I am, but about how IMPERFECT I am.  Hopefully, some of you find that candor refreshing.  Or not.  :P

One thing I've been amazed with since I've become an adult/mom is that I will eat anything.  Gone are the days that I turn my nose up at a pop that's flat because it sat beside my bed all night.  Is it wet?  Okay.  Works for me.  Cottage Cheese is my new go-to.  Cheese has a little mold on it?  Cut it off.  It's all good.

So today I was starving and since I haven't left the house since Monday, quick food is in short supply.  I desperately need to go grocery shopping.  With the hot water heater out and the new one not due in until tomorrow, it'll just have to wait one more day.  I have enough pride to not want anyone to see this yucky hair.  Errrrr....

Anyway, I looked in the fridge to see what I could scrounge up for me and the little man and this is what I came up with. . . 

Tuna Tortillas
Unorthodox, yes.
Weird combo, yes.
Food...  Yep, so it'll do.

Okay, now I love me some tuna fish.  I'll drain it and eat it straight out of the can with a fork - but its got to be packaged in spring water.  None of that packaged in oil stuff for me.  Yuck.  I'll pretty much eat tuna any which way - on a sandwich, rolled up in lettuce, or with saltine crackers.

Just in case it turned out pretty good, I decided I would take pictures of the process since after being up half the night I'm sorely lacking any blog-worthy material.

First I mixed up my tuna fish.  I like my tuna with mayo and onion. Some people like egg in it.  Some like sweet relish.  I'm pretty simple, so I just go mayo and onions.  Easy-peasy.

Plus, with my handy-dandy manual food processor from Pampered Chef, onion is super easy to chop up.  Best $50 I've ever spent.  If you don't have one, you should get one!  With all their cool items, the Chef might make a cook of me yet.

Then I threw a flour tortilla in a skillet and put deli cheddar slices on it in pieces.

I quickly topped it with the tuna and then covered it with another tortilla.

When the bottom wide was crispy and a light brown, I flipped it...

And that's all there was to it.  And you know what?  If you like tuna fish, this was awesome!  Not too bad for the dredges of the kitchen and from a self-confessed non-cook!  ;)

Blog Facelift

Change is GOOD!

So, I decided to give my blog a little facelift.  She was in desperate need, was she not?

I should be in bed, as it is now...  Ummmmm... 1:30 a.m.  Ouch.
  I'm going to be hurting in the morning!  

Little Man took a late nap today (5 pm -7:30 pm) and is still going wide open.  In my defense, I was helping the Diva with her homework and didn't realize he had snuggled up in our bed and crashed.  And there was noooooo rousing him.  AND he woke up ill as a snake.  Nice.  My first thought, "Great."  My second thought, "Awwww.  He looks so precious."  My second thought, "YAY!  I can work on my blog since he'll be up late."  Yep.  There's priorities for ya.

Have I ever shared a picture of my little guy on here?  Actually, I don't think I have.  Here's my little sweetie:

He was looking up at me through the bleachers at one of Greyson's football games.  My little man has since had the haircut that he so desperately needed, but he's still a cutie-patootie.  :)

Anyhoo...  Got a little distracted there.  He is cute though, right?  ;)

I'm sure the biggest change that y'all may (or may not) have noticed is I've changed the name.  "Little Big House On The Prairie" was just too much of a mouthful and frankly, a pain to type when I was filling out comment forms.  I'm all about quick and easy, peeps.  Seriously.  Because that's how I roll.

While I still have the same blog address (since I didn't want to have to COMPLETELY start all over because I chose a dorky name to begin with), the blog name has changed.  "Our Prairie Home"  Short, sweet, and to the point.  I hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes and accidentally copied another blog name.  I did google it first and none came up, so...  Fingers crossed!

As you can see, I've got a new easier to read font, a new background (Give my pretty polka-dots some love!), and a new header.  I luh-ove my header!

One, its actually centered.  That other one screamed at me to center it every time I logged on.  I couldn't stand it anymore.  I had to silence the little voice in my head that said, "Your header isn't centered.  It looks unprofessional.  It looks juvenile.  Center the header.  Center the header. Now."  My Type A personality sometimes rears its ugly head and its impossible to silence it with "There's perfection in imperfection."  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn't.  That off-centered header was REALLY getting to me.

Two, it's totally me.  It consists of a vintage picture of our home (Boy, do I wish she still looked like that!), a flowering Hosta, the view down our gravel road, and the diva and the little man running in the backyard.  Pretty well sums up the loves in my life.  My home, my huge yard, my country-living, and my children.  Technically its missing the hubs, but I'm sure he'll understand (and will probably be really glad!) that I didn't include him in the header.  Just a little time few hours between creating it on Picnik and trying to figure out grumbling name-calling blogger for being difficult and not centering several different pictures I uploaded. . . FINALLY, I got it right.  YAY!

Then came the fun of creating a new blog button, which I was dreading. . .

Not necessarily the CREATING the blog button part.  That's a cinch.  It was creating the grab button link.  Fun times - and about 2 hours searching the net for tutorials I could actually understand and then typing one after the other in until I eventually found one that worked.    Too bad I didn't pay attention to the blog I used that worked  because I could have should have linked it here.  She made it super easy. But at that point I was cross-eyed from entering in all that &#34lr:// crap.  I am fully convinced that HTML codes (if that's even what they're called) were created by the devil.  :P

So here's my thanks to her anyway:

"Thank you unknown blogger, who is a heck of a lot smarter than I am.  You made the impossible, possible with your super easy tutorial.  YOU ROCK!"

Please help yourself to my new and improved shiny new button on the right.  And if it doesn't work, please let me know.  I promise I will not shoot the messenger.  I think.  ;)  

Not that I have a lot to recommend me at this point that would make you want to take a button, but I will.  Oh, yes.  I will.  Hopefully.  Yes.  Most definitely.  Maybe.  (Still struggling with the power of positive thinking.) :)

So anyway, I'm super pleased with how it turned out and really feel this design and layout totally speaks to who I am.  I finally feel at blogger-home (and that voice isn't screaming at me anymore either).  Its a great place to be. 

And on that note...

Good night, y'all!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

DIY. . . Changing Seasons Placemats & Tutorial

A huge reason why I don't change my decor with each season is because it seems like a waste of money to change things every couple of months.  Don't get me wrong ,I used to have decorations for each season - Summer, Fall, Halloween, Christmas, Winter, Easter, Spring, 4th of July. . .  That was six kids and what seems like a lifetime ago.  Now, I pretty much stick with Christmas.  Its just more budget-friendly that way.

Looking all over blogland, I see tons of way cute ideas to dress up your home for Autumn.  And I'm jealous.  Being there is so much work to be done on this little big house, I can't really justify going out and purchasing items to decorate my home for two and a half months.  And since its been YEARS since I've really bought anything Fall-ish, my seasonal decor is sorely depleted.

So last night, while I was trying to figure out a DIY craft I could blog about today, I hit on this idea.  What if I made something that not only would work for Fall, but also for every other season too?  That way, I wouldn't feel so guilty about spending money that could be better spent on home improvement projects!

This is what I came up with. . .

Changing Season Placemats.

And better yet, it cost me $2.00.  Woo-hoo!  I found the placemats at a local thrift store for $0.50 each.


4 Placemats
Chalkboard Paint
Painter's Tape
Burlap Fabric
Cotton Fabric
Glue Gun
Seasonal Decorations 

First, I taped off all the edges of the placemats.

Then I coated it well with black Chalkboard paint.

To speed up the drying process, I hung them on the line to dry.

While waiting for them to dry, I made fabric rosettes out of some burlap that I bought for another project, as well as an old white bedskirt.

When the paint had dried, I attached the rosettes to the placemat on the upper left-hand corner.

And in the spirit of the season, I tucked some faux Autumn leaves in amongst the rosettes.  Instant Fall placemat!

The thing I love about this craft is that you can change out the wording and the seasonal decoration that you tuck into with the rosettes.  Just don't glue them down and change the word that you write in chalk.

So now you have placemats for Fall. . .

For Christmas . . .

For Spring . . .

and for Summer .

Now, I can have my dining room decked out for Fall and not feel a bit of guilt over any money that I've spent.  :)

Each placemat says a different word - Fall, Autumn, Leaves, and Harvest.

In the interest of full disclosure, the only thing I would probably do differently is use either a tighter weave or attach a thin, flat board to the top of the placemat and paint that instead of painting directly on the mat.  One, the weave absorbs a lot of the chalkboard paint and that stuff ain't cheap.  Plus, this particular weave makes it difficult to write on with the chalk.  But oh well, I used what I had and I think it turned out pretty swell!

Speaking of harvest, its getting to be that time again.  Here's a couple of pictures I took from the upper deck on the back of our house.  There's nothing prettier than Fall in the heartland (except maybe summer in the heartland).  What a view, huh?

Its almost enough to make me forget that the plumbing guy delivered the news today that we have to get a new hot water heater...  Yeah, the one we just bought brand new four years ago.  So, no hot water for tonight.  Errrrr...  Five kids, no bath.  Grrrrreat.
At least Marathon carries a lifetime warranty, so its just an inconvenience until it can be replaced.  Hopefully, soon!

Until then, I'll just enjoy my DIY Fall Decor.  And that makes me happy!

 I'm linking this craft up to:
The Vintage Farmhouse: Creative Things Thursday