Counter Top Cleaning Solutions

The 5 Types of Kitchen Countertops and Their Homemade Cleaning Solutions Aside from the living room, your kitchen is the most important part of your home. You probably spend most of your time cooking in it, preparing food on the kitchen island, and enjoying your food at the farmhouse table. Since food is prepared and cooked in the kitchen, it’s essential that you keep this space in your home clean and sanitized. People come and go in the kitchen and, because of this, there’s a great chance that it will become a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. The most critical part of the kitchen for bacteria growth is your kitchen countertop. As such, you should know about the various natural cleaning solutions for different types of kitchen countertop materials. You can read on below for that purpose. Granite Countertops You should avoid using lemon, vinegar, acidic cleaners, and any … Read more

Homemade Apple Pie Filling and Applesauce

HOMEMADE APPLE PIE FILLING   This is an oldie but goodie – I’ve brought it back since fall is here and it’s time to do some canning…   Apples. Apples. AAAppples!!!! I mentioned in a recent post that I was spending hours cutting up apples a neighbor gave us for applesauce and apple pie filling to put in our freezer. Here’s a quick recap in case you are looking at two or three bags of apples and don’t know what to do with them. First I cut up a bunch into cubes with skins on and threw them into sandwich baggies for the freezer. Rather than using lemon juice to keep them from browning, I soaked them in salt water as I cut them up instead. I had read on Pinterest that someone had tried it and it worked so I tried it – besides, it was cheaper and easier. … Read more

DIY Tomato Cages and Gardening Tips {Love My DIY Home}

DIY Tomato Cages – Save the Maters!

It’s TOMATO GROWING TIME!   We made our own tomato cages …because those tomato cages you buy at Menards are so stinkin’ expensive! We started out with the skinny wire ones that were left in the garden by the previous owners. FAIL. Then we graduated on to the heavy duty ones – but only bought two – $8 each is crazy, don’t you think? In my uber-frugal mind that is a FAIL. When you have 50+ tomato plants there is no way you can justify $400 for cages. No way. We’d already put a grand into our new garden so there was no way we would put out another $400 for cages. So we made our own…out of concrete reinforcing mesh. We cut up a big roll of the mesh and made about 35 of them.     We attempted to spray paint them, but decided not to use up … Read more

A Furniture Artisan and Videographer in the Making – 12 Year Old Isaac

A Furniture Artisan in the Making – 12 Year Old Isaac Does that sound like a title full of hype? It's all true and I'm as amazed as I promise you will be. Just keep reading…   My 12 year old grandson, Isaac, helped me put together a furniture re-design video course for kids, Creative Kids Furniture Art, by demonstrating each step – all by himself – and he did a mighty fine job to boot.   Let's Start at the Very Beginning, a Very Nice Place to Start… We set up my tripod, added my IPhone to record, and I told him what to do and he did it – start to finish.   What did he do? I had a set of matching accent tables that we bought off a FB BST site. I told him how to prep, paint and create art on the top to flip … Read more

Wicker File Cabinet Re-purposed to a Paint Cart

Here is a quick example of how you can re-purpose those garage sale finds inexpensively and easily. No muss. No fuss. Just a can of spray paint, black glaze and a sponge paint brush turned this wicker file cabinet into something useful. Wicker isn’t very popular any more and you will find wicker everything out in garage sales for just a dollar or two. I bought this one at a garage sale for $2 this summer. STEP #1 Spray with Rustoleum Painters Touch spray paint. Pick a color, any color. STEP #2 Dab, wipe or brush on glaze – all over, including the metal bars. I used Wise Owl black glaze using a sponge brush. You can use a regular sponge, brush or even a paper towel. Just use what you have on hand. No need to be particular, just have at it! I took about 30 seconds to brush … Read more

Gardening Tip – Mulching the Garden with Straw

We got a very late start in gardening – when we were in Michigan and raising kids, we tried raising a garden. I still remember that photo that we took of the one lone ear of corn. The ground was apparently empty of neutrients because nothing grew – N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Of course, it didn’t help that we had no idea what we were doing. But three years ago we bought a house on an acre of land in Wisconsin that had an old overgrown fenced in garden with grape vines along one side. We tripled it in size last year and have been working on improving the soil.  Why Mulch With Straw? 1. The straw helps keep the moisture from evaporating rapidly from the soil in the heat. 2. The straw helps keep the weeds at bay by limiting the sun exposure to the weed seeds. 3. When the straw decomposes, … Read more

DIY Pot Rack – Pendant Lights or Industrial Wood?

Caution: This is a really looonnng post – first the background story of a win/loss/win, 2 sets of before and afters and a detailed description of the final DIY project! It all started with a giveaway… I Won a Pendant Light! Back in January C.D. Loken at CD’s Country Living had a giveaway and I won: “In honor of CD’s Country Living’s blogging anniversary, Parrot Uncle generously agreed to send one lucky winner this LARGE (18.11 x 9.06) Retro-Industrial Light with Pot cover shade ($45 value)!” Best Laid Plans Today I can finally tell you about it. It was a long time in coming… Parrot Uncle asked me if I’d like to have a second pendant light for my kitchen to go along with the one I won in CD’s giveaway. After a few back and forth emails, we settled on the pair of lights that were just like C.D.s … Read more

Direct Composting {Love My DIY Home}

Direct Composting – Improving Garden Soil

No Bin No Way We considered buying a rotating compost bin for our garden to use scraps from the kitchen to improve our garden soil, but they were all pricey and I didn’t like the idea of having to dump our scraps into a stinky bin and having to turn it to keep it aerated. You may call it lazy, but I call it efficient. My schedule is so tight, I’m all about quick and easy with few steps in between. Plus, we have a lot of winter here in Wisconsin and I don’t like tromping through the snow! I did a search (naturally!) and came up with the term “direct composting,” or “trench composting.” Basically you just dig a trench in your garden and dump in your scraps and bury them. Easy peasey! We tried it last year and it WAS easy and this year when we dug the … Read more

Keep Your Lettuce Sweet – It’s all in the timing

Keep It Sweet – Lettuce Last year’s lettuce was fabulous. My mom had told me a couple of years ago that I shouldn’t plant my own lettuce because it becomes bitter. Her experience left a bitter taste in her mouth (pun intended) So, as always, I wanted to find out why and did a little research and experimenting. This is what I discovered: If you are having problems with your lettuce tasting bitter, pick it in the morning, wash and dry it and put it in the fridge for a day. It should sweeten up. The hot sun of the day can dry it out and make it bitter. It usually recoups over night in the dew. Be sure to water the lettuce in the morning – the water helps the lettuce survive the hot sun later in the day that can strip it of its sweetness. We also added … Read more

Hoarder's Renovated Home {Love My DIY Home}

Before and After House Flip – A Look at the Hoarding Disorder

A House Flip You Never Know What is on the Inside Looking at a home from the outside can be very deceiving – just like the outside of a person often doesn’t reveal what is inside of their heart. Join me for a look at a hoarder disorder as seen through the eyes of their family. Definition of Hoarding from Mayo Clinic: “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.   Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some people also collect animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets in unsanitary conditions because they can’t care for them … Read more