home and garden, use what you have

Have a seat!

I can’t tell you how much I love this photo. When we replaced our old toilet I really wanted to do this very thing with it. We have an old sink that I was thinking of turning into a planter as well (it’s being donated to the Habitat ReStore soon though). So of course I just had to share this photo of someone with enough courage and sense of fun to actually do what I wanted to do!!

toilet planter

Turns out they also have an awesome bathtub planter in their yard as well. Bravo!!

food, kitchen adventures, use what you have

Whippy Pies

Lately I have been seeing “Whoopie Pies” all over the web. They look delicious, but honestly I have never tried to make one. I even found this adorable cookbook, Whoopie Pies, that I put on my Christmas wishlist. Even though I never made one, they kept coming to my mind over and over again. Enter the Cool Whip, and my own little creation, the “Whippy Pie”!

Whippy Pie Makings

Easy, easy! We already had some great chocolate chip cookies made up, and of course, a nice big tub of Cool Whip left over from the Thanksgiving holiday. Two cookies, some whip for the inside, and there you have it! A “Whippy Pie”! And it was very tasty! And probably a lot less calories as well!!

Whippy Pie

Always fun to use what is already in the kitchen to make something new and tasty! What about you, have you made Whoppie Pies?

DIY, use what you have

Project Basement

It’s a three day weekend here thanks to a state holiday! So, this means it’s a perfect time to work on “Project Basement”! With hubby home from work, and access to the truck, we can finally clear out the basement. Over the years it had become quiet the dumping ground for all homeless and unusable items in the house. That’s not what we wanted for our basement! We wanted it to be a great workout room.

In a dream world, we would be finishing the basement. However, since our budget is zero, we can’t hire an electrician to wire the basement. We’ll make something good happen though, even if we have to leave it unfinished! Here is the horrid before, where you can see just how packed full of “stuff” our poor basement had become. What is it about unfinished basements and their amazing stuff magnet powers?

Before 5

Before 4

It also turns out that it’s a hard room to photograph well. You can see that we have shelves for storage, and there is a work bench that was also here when we moved in. We might remove the shelves and put things on the other side of the basement (there is a second room, also unfinished), so we can gain the extra 3 feet that the shelves take up. Of course, that would mean dealing with all the stored items in those shelves too, which after spending all day clearing out the main part of the room, doesn’t sound all the appealing.

Today will bring a run to the thrift shop to donate all the things we are letting go of. And hopefully not much more than that since today is a holiday and we will be spending time with family and lighting fireworks. More photos to come though!

book club, home and garden, use what you have

Right-Sizing Your Home

I recently got the chance to check out the new book, by Gale Steves, called Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle. I totally love it, and have been reading and rereading since it arrived! Not only does it have an amazing amount of inspiration photos for home design and organization, but the content of the book is top notch. Too often you find great photos, but not much content, but this book is not your usual design book! It’s a guide that helps you define how you really live, and then fit your current home to fit those needs.

What I loved most was that not only is the book full of great ideas, but unlike many, there is an actual resource guide in the book! When I first started reading and saw the following images of a crafting/laundry space, the first thing I wanted to know was where the organization system on the wall came from. Luckily, all I had to do was go to the back section, and find the page number, and there it was! The systems came from Omni Track.

All throughout the book I found myself referring to the resource section, jotting down ideas. In fact, the laundry really caught my eye because that is a room of contention in our home. Check out the multiple ways the same space was used, one focused on crafting activities, the other turned to a laundry station (you can click to see the images full size).

Great use of space, right? I really love the whole concept since our laundry room is large enough to do what is seen in both photos! Oh what a dream that would be.

The book is really great, I love the way Gale approaches her writing, it’s much like talking with a friend. She has included a section on clutter clearing, handy tips and tricks for measuring rooms (make sure things fit before you move them around physically), worksheets to help you realize how you really want and need to use your spaces, and so much more. It’s been so fun to go through our spaces and see what new ideas we can implement. Since we live in a home that is spread between 4 levels, making each space somewhat small, figuring out smart ways to use our current space is a priority. Right-Sizing Your Home has given me loads of new ideas to try in our spaces. If you love books, and your house isn’t totally working for you, this book is one to check out for sure!

Thanks Gale for writing it, and especially for letting me read it!

Now for the really fun part! One lucky reader will get their very own copy of Right-Sizing Your Home ! If you want a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post before midnight on July 17th!

*this giveaway is now closed, congrats to Kerri*