Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thrifting Birthday Gifts

A couple years ago Andy and I made it a point to always try to make sure we bought things used vs. new.  And really it has been quite easy, considering I love thrift shopping.  But we have always struggled when it came to buying things for other people.  Some people might be offended if we bought used items for their gift and others may understand and realize that it's okay if something doesn't have all that unnecessary packaging.

Finley has been invited to a birthday party coming up tomorrow and tonight we needed to get her friend, Hope, a birthday present.  I thought about just going to a big box store and finding something, but I was really personally against it.  So to the thrift store Finley and I went.  Quite frankly, I think we hit the jackpot.  Here is everything we found:

A Tangled art set.  Hope is kinda in love with Tangled and I found this quite fitting.  $2.50

I have no idea if Hope likes Fancy Nancy, but what 4 year old girl doesn't like being fancy??  $1.25 for the book and $4.99 for the crafty book (it includes things like a fancy handkerchief, crown, and cateye glasses).

I got the tank top for $2.00 and I had the applique in my craft supplies... so it took me only a minute to iron that sucker on.  The shorts were $2.00 as well.

Littlest Pet Shop Go Fish $1.50 and a tie-dye pig that moves and oinks (awesome!)- $3.99.

I had the gift bag at home that I saved from Finley's birthday back in December.  Mostly, I'm excited that Hope will be getting a large assortment of things vs. just one item due to the fact that it was all thrifted.  The Fancy Nancy book alone retails new for $12.00!  That just seems silly.

 Total damage:  $19.00 with taxes.  Pretty awesome, right?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harvest Re-Do

As you read yesterday, my plans for a post about our first strawberry harvest went down the tubes when I lost all the pictures.  BUT yesterday we had opportunity for a harvest re-do (and I triple checked the camera to make sure I got it this time).  Our small strawberry patch which started out with three small strawberry plants has now become a web of lush green foliage and a bountiful amount of strawberries.  Yesterday 3 strawberries were red, juicy, and screaming at us "Eat me!".  Unlike the first harvest where we had to split 1 delicious strawberry into 3, we each got our own this time!

Finley examining the strawberry.  Medium sized, bright red, no bruising... so far so good.

The first bite.

Juicy and sweet...

Finley approves (trust me, she is an expert at strawberries).  We just may have the perfect strawberry!

We have a lot of strawberries coming our way this year, but we plan on planting double if not triple what we have now to keep us in steady supply of these things for many years to come.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh... strawberries.  What a perfect harvest for the start of the season.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Homesteaders Daughter: Toddler Gardening

I was going to do a post on our first strawberry of the season; however, the pictures I took seem to be forever lost.  All I can say though was that our first strawberry was the most delicious strawberry I have ever EVER eaten.  Yummmmm!

Since strawberry pictures are lost, I will do a post about Finley.  Last week (or was it 2... or maybe even 3) I found this garden craft at the thrift store.

I could have easily done this activity with all the seed starting stuff I have downstairs.  I'm pretty sure I will go that route next time, I just happened to see this at the thrift store and Finley thought it was pretty special.

The seed pods were already place in their spots; however, Finley found it necessary (fun) to take them all out and put them back in.

She watered them with help from daddy.

She watered them solo.  She was quite good at this.

We planted the seeds.  It came with Marigolds.  Perfect!  Marigolds are great, the deter mosquito's and other nasty pests.

The kit came with a plastic dome.

Place in sunshine.  It was a bit cloudy that day, so we opted to put it under our AeroGarden's grow lights.

The seeds have sprouted and are now growing nicely.  Unfortunately, Mama and Daddy have nearly killed them a couple of times already.  We forgot to water them and they also got blown over outside in the wind and fell a good distance.  Yet, they have survived.  I guess Finley is a great gardener because Andy and I have attempted (2 times!) to grow Marigolds.  2 out of 20 have sprouted.  2 out of 2 have now died.  Who knew a 2 year old could have such a green thumb?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Door to our Homestead

This weekend was absolutely beautiful.  85 degrees and sunshine?  Yes please!  Friday evening I wrote our weekend To Do List.  I MUST do this because simply there is too much to do that I'll forget it all in 10 minutes. 

I am proud to say that I crossed off nearly every item on my list!  One item in particular was painting our front door.  The color?  Big Easy- a bright turquoise/robins egg blue.  I love it!


As you can see the door must have been burnt by the sun creating that ugly dark brown square in the middle.

After:  (4 coats of paint later)

The brown square is still there even after 4 coats of paint.  I guess I should have primed the darn thing!  But after the 4th coat I gave up and called it a day.  It's still a beaut and 100% better than a half burnt front door.

*** Please excuse the spider webs and rusty screened door.  We refuse to use pesticide and apparently refuse to replace our 55+ year old screened door :)  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Project: Buy Local- Results

As most of you know, Project: Buy Local was this past Saturday (May 12th).  Andy and I went there the moment they opened up at 9:00am.  Obviously at that time we were the only ones there.  We definitely showed our support by buying almost $100 worth of stuff! 

Andy and I, unfortunately had a very busy day.  We spent the rest of the morning helping move a family member.  We did have a chance though to drive past Pansies at 10:30am and it was fairly busy.  Nothing too out of the ordinary.  At 12:30 we came home to grab a few things to head south to Andy's parents to celebrate Mother's Day.  The street was loaded with cars.  I mean lined up both sides.  So this was a very good sign.  In fact, Thursday and Friday had this "cars lining the street" situation too.  I sometimes see Pansies get busy, but to see this many cars was definitely not normal.  I was excited to see this!

Since I wasn't able to see how the rest of the day went, I was really eager to hear how things went.  So I sent the owner an email asking how things went.  I asked if she noticed a rise in customers or a rise in sales.  A couples day past... no response.  I saw she was at the shop one day, so I went over to speak to her... she had just left.  Man, the anxiousness of knowing the results was killing me.  I decided to send another email and I finally got a response this morning:

Good morning Lindsay!

I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  This is a very busy time for us!!  I do not know how Project: Buy Local affected our sales last Saturday.  It was a very busy day and I am sure that Project: Buy Local helped!

I am sorry I missed you when you stopped in!  I hope to get to talk with you the next time you stop in!

Thank you Lindsay!


Hmmmm...  I don't know how you all read this email, but I was seriously disappointed.  Honestly, I don't even know how to read this.

So this is how it ends.  These are the results.  I saw lots of cars (great!), I saw promising signs (great!).  I knew lots of friends of mine went to spend at least $20 when they wouldn't have gone to Pansies otherwise (great!).  I greatly appreciate the support from all those who did!  But to not have any verification that sales were better or they saw a better outcome than typical for this time of year has been, just sucks (not so great). 

So after everything, I'm not sure if I should keep Project: Buy Local as a yearly event based on the flat results of this one.  What do you guys think?

Monday, May 14, 2012


Today I saw a side of me that I am not proud of.  I lost my cool with Finley.  It was another rough day with Finley and it was only amplified when we went to watch the other 2 year old boy.  When they consistently chose to not listen to me today I lost it (really lost it) and instead of using words calmly and positively guiding her to do right, I screamed and yelled.  Even as I did it, I cringed from hearing myself.  And her eyes as I yelled at her were full of fear-fear of her own mother-it broke my heart.  What makes me even angrier with myself is that fact that I continued to yell even as I heard the ridiculous way I was acting.  The way I talked to her was unacceptable.  After I yelled at her, she looked so small, all her baby characteristics shined... those chubby cheeks, her tiny hands and fingers and I realized I was yelling irrationally at a 2 year old.  She is 2 years old!  My heart broke again.  Sure children have the wonderful ability to forgive, but honestly she shouldn't.  I swore up and down I would never be a mother like that, yet here I am.  And I would be lying if I said that this is the first time something like this has happened.

There are days I'm not proud of the mother I am and clearly today was one of those days.  Also not so great is the fact that it immediately follows the day that celebrates the greatness of Mothers.

I'm struggling to be patient.  I'm struggling to be calm.  I'm struggling to be the Mom I want to be.  Really, I'm struggling with a lot of things lately that extend past motherhood.  I'm struggling to be a good wife.  I'm also struggling to be kind to myself. 

How do you fight through those struggles?  How do you forgive yourself for the way you treated your own child?  How do you look into your child's eyes and not remember the fear that was once there?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

1 Year Dread Anniversary!- vlog style

It took soooooooo long to upload this and than I couldn't edit it... ugh!  So please excuse the loud noises, the time where I went to go put my dog inside, and pretty much the whole 18 minutes!

Happy 1 year dreadiversary!


<iframe width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Project: Buy Local- 4 more days!

4 more days!!!!

4 more days and Project: Buy local will be underway.  Today I officially ended the task of handing out 500 flyers.  I was worried I wouldn't get them all handed out.  It had rained here almost everyday this past week thus putting a hold on my delivering the flyers.  But I made it! 

I'm really excited and curious to see how this all goes down.  Do people really care about buying local?  Did anyone even read the flyers I handed out?  Will Pansies be swarmed with support and love this coming Saturday?  Only time will tell and I am so nervous but excited to find out.

Today I went all the way (across the street) to Pansies to get some pictures. The store is just busting at the seams with flowers, plants and gardening needs.  Sometimes I find myself just starting at the store from my front window drooling over all the things I could buy to put in my garden.  I'm already eyeballing my $20+ worth of stuff.

Store Front

You might even be greeted by one of the two shop cats.  They are SUPER sweet.

Frugal buyer like me?? Pansies is having a great sale going on!

This is what I see from my front window... aren't I lucky?

hint hint... it is Mothers Day this weekend.  I'm sure your mom would love these!

In the green house: Vegetables and flowers.

Honestly, these hanging baskets are stunning.  And I'm not a big hanging basket person.

Pretty flowers.

Long rows of beautiful flowers.

Want to plant wisconsin natives, they have a section so you don't have to do the guess work.

Oh, and if you are hungry while shopping, Pansies has a brat fry going on that day too. 

So come on, people, lets make this Project: Buy Local event awesome! Saturday, May 12th... Tell your friends!  Tell your neighbors!  Heck, tell complete strangers!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Homesteaders Daughter: Bed Head

I just had to post these!  Yesterday Finley woke up with the craziest bed head I've ever seen.  It almost looked like she was starting her own set of dreads! :)

Note to self: keep these pictures on file for future use when attempting to scare off the boys.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pinterest In Action

This is yet another Pinterest inspired project.

It's not out of character for me to do a bit of dumpster diving.  So it should be no surprise to you to hear the wood for this craft was found hanging out of someones trash.  I took it home (with a few stares from people passing by) with the perfect project for it in mind.

Wood, Paper printed with what you want to write in the font you like, pen, paint, polyurethane.

Step 1:
Place the word on your peice of wood and tape in place.

Step 2:
Trace the letters with a pen, pushing hard so that it indents into the wood.

Step 3:
Paint in the letter outlines on your piece of wood.  My paint of choice?  Caribbean Blue.

Step 4:
Do 2-3 layers of polyurethane to protect the paint from the elements outside.

Step 5:
Have a strong handsome man screw the signs onto whatever you want.  For me, it was my garden beds.  I would do this myself, but my skills with a drill are really quite pathetic.

Step 6:
Stand back and enjoy!  Since putting these signs up, Andy and I have noticed that it turns peoples heads more.  I hope they aren't staring because they are thinking about stealing my raspberries!

Please don't mind the weeds and lack of landscaping... I'm getting to it!
Warning: this project can become addictive and you will want to write and paint words on everything!  I have already made a blackberry sign and I'm looking for more!