Thursday, October 19, 2017

(Re)Organized Household Notebook

About 6 years ago,
I revamped our household notebook.
You can read about that here.

In case you don't know what a household notebook is,
it's a centrally located binder 
that contains lots of information about your household.
It's a place to keep appliance manuals and receipts,
contact information for neighbors, doctors and service people,
as well as family schedules and calendars.
I guess a lot of folks keep this kind of information now on their phones
or other tech devices,
but I'm not too keen on that idea.
I don't own a Smartphone (don't want one),
and it kind of feels better to me to be able to get my hands on these things,
should I need them.
Besides, I always wonder, 
what do people do if something happens to their device?
All that information could be lost forever.
Call me old-school, but I don't happen to think 
that there's anything wrong 
with using pen and paper and writing things down.

Our notebook needed a bit of streamlining.
After the initial moving in to the new house,
we've been tweaking our spaces
and making them as efficient as possible.
This house is smaller than our last,
and so a few things needed reorganizing.
I took a few hours and purged what wasn't needed anymore
and made labels for the new (and improved) version of our binder.


I was able to slim it down quite a bit
because I kept only what was absolutely necessary in here.

I made a separate binder for our household manuals.
I had done this for the new owners of our last house in Florida
and left it with them.
This binder contains all of the manuals for our smaller appliances,
outdoor equipment, and personal things (like cameras and phones).


We usually write the date of purchase on the front of the manual,
as well as the price and where the item was purchased. 
It's just a good idea because it's sometimes difficult to remember where things came from.
As you can see, we have quite a few manuals to keep track of.

Sections were created for the individual manuals.
The kitchen, miscellaneous indoor machines
and outdoor equipment all have their own portion of the binder.
The kitchen has its own designated section
because there are so many little appliances and tools there.

Everything from blenders to waffle irons have a manual
and it's a good idea to keep them handy.
You never know when you might need to look something up
regarding the warranty information or what to do if the item stops working.
If you should ever want to sell the item in the future,
it's always a good idea to sell it with the manual
for the next owner.

A separate binder was created for the larger appliances
like the stove, washer and dryer, A/C unit, etc.

In the past, we have referenced these manuals,
as Big K is the best handyman on the planet,
and often fixes things himself,
saving us megabucks.
I know this stuff can probably be found online,
but it's nice to have it right in front of you in black and white.
Besides, what if the internet is down for some reason?
You can't always count on looking things up when it's needed.

This reorganized system has been working well.
I like that each binder is specific and helps us easily and quickly find what we need.

Another organizing project down!

Other Organizing Posts:
Finally File Storage
Size Matters 
Linens, Organized 
Feed Sacks, Organized 
Kitchen Organizing Ideas

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Going Local-Maiden Fall Festival

We recently participated in the Maiden Fall Festival.
It's a yearly event that takes place at the Maiden Community Center. 
Maiden is a small town between Hickory and Mooresville 
in the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

The weather was cool and overcast
and we set up our daisy tote booth along with about 20 other vendors.
The outdoor event was from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., rain or shine.
A number of craft and food vendors displayed their wares.

This was one of the more unique handmade items being showcased.
Pops Cornhole Boards and Bags is a family-owned business.
This game is quite popular up here and these boards were works of art!
What a great idea for the holidays!
If you are looking for a special gift, 
you can reach them at
Tell 'em daisy sent you!

An array of vintage cars and trucks came out to strut their stuff.

The men swarmed around these beauties like bees to honey.

 A large play area for kids was available and at no charge.

 Something akin to a tractor-pull,
this event used lawn tractors to do the heavy work.

 There was no shortage of spectators enjoying the action.

We're hoping to do a few more craft shows before the season winds down.
We did well at this festival,
despite the intermittent rain and eventual downpour
that had us packing up an hour earlier than anticipated.

When you are doing what you love, nothing can dampen your spirits.

Going Local Posts:
 New Library
Hardware Upgrade
Memory Lane Museum
Troutman Farmers' Market
Mooresville Farmers' Market
The Mundy House
The Davidson Farmers' Market
Mount Holly Farmers' Market 
Mount Holly Community Garden
Grier Truck Museum

Friday, October 13, 2017

Garden Friday

It's Garden Friday once again.
The weather has been summer-like and we even got a dose of much needed rain this week!
Here's what's going on in the garden in this second week of October.

The peppers are turning red,
so I will harvest them and make red pepper flakes.
I'll be using this method.
I don't use a lot of peppers,
but red pepper flakes are used in my homemade gravy 
and other dishes to give them a little kick.

The Brussels Sprouts are doing well.
This looks so much like broccoli at this stage
that it could easily be mistaken for it.
I'm hoping the cooler weather coming next week
will give this a boost.

The broccoli really seemed to enjoy the rain.
I had fertilized all the pots on this side of the garden last week,
and it seems they appreciated it.

Another 6-pack of broccoli is doing well (5/6 germinated)
and will be transplanted into pots in a few weeks.

The Vates kale continues to thrive.
I'm letting it get a bit bigger before I start harvesting.
The dino kale hasn't fared so well.
It will be reseeded once again over the weekend,
along with some of the crops in the straw bale garden that never came up.

The leeks are nestled in for the duration of the season.
These take upwards of 9 months to reach full size,
but they are well worth the wait.

The straw bale garden has a lot of kale germinating,
as well as some sugar snap peas.
A couple of the bales show no growth,
and I think that the seeds may have been displaced
because I had to water using a watering can.
I've rectified the situation by lengthening the watering hose,
so that now I can give each bale a gentle shower with the wand.
I'll be reseeding anything that hasn't yet come up.
I'm thinking I might want to add lettuce seeds to the sides of the bales,
just to see if it'll grow there.

My order of shallets from Sow True Seed
should be here anyday now.
Those will be going in ASAP.
I'm also planning on buying some organic garlic
from the grocery store tomorrow and planting that.
It's the perfect time for sowing all those crops
that add so much flavor to our dishes.

We still have ample color in the garden.
The butterflies and other pollinators are out in droves.

This bush is always covered with bees.
It's going to be relocated to another part of the garden in the spring,
as it is too tall for the front of the house.
Placing it closer to the veggie garden would ensure lots of helpful activity.

 Who doesn't love a Gerbera daisy?
They are so cheerful.
The color screams autumn, but the memory of summer still lingers.

Yes, the bees are still busy here in mid-October.
We appreciate all they do
and hope to incorporate more food sources for them in the near future.
What a blessing Mother Nature is.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Desk Top Project

It seems like there is always another project
when one moves into a new house.
We have been working on our home,
one room at a time.
The office has been the object of our attention 
for the past couple of months.
It was first painted to match the living area,
 then beadboard was added to the space.
 This project was relatively quick and made a big difference in the feel of the room.

Sister had left these boards here, knowing we could do something with them.
She was right.
As soon as I saw them, I knew they could be repurposed into a table top for our computer.

I like the natural elements of the wood and steel together.
A work space was set up out on the driveway and I got to it.

Knowing that I wanted to do some kind of finish,
a good sanding was in order,
making sure to go with the grain.
After sanding, I simply wiped down the boards,
to eliminate any leftover dust.

Within 10 minutes, I had both boards completed.

The grain of the wood was too sweet to cover,
so I decided to white wash the boards instead.
I used some leftover interior white paint,
and mixed it half-and-half with water.
A small paintbrush was used to apply it,
again, being sure to work with the grain.

As I applied the paint, I periodically wiped it off with a rag.
This step was necessary to make sure that the paint wasn't covering the wood too much.

The paint dried fairly quickly, so it was imperative to work in a small area at a time.

After applying one coat,
I decided I wanted it a bit darker,
so I used an additional coat of the same ratio of white wash.
If you know from the outset how dark you want it,
you could add less water to your paint before beginning the project to make it darker.
Since this is the first time I've ever white washed,
it was best to err on the side of caution.

I'm glad I did.
The second coat was exactly what I was looking for.
I then used a water-based sealer to give it a glossy sheen.

Big K went to pick up what we needed for the legs.
He found all of the materials in the hardware department.
These pieces were screwed in to the underside of the board.

Buying the correct depth screw is important,
so that they don't come up through the top of the wood.

He bought several galvanized pipes from the plumbing department,
and had the store cut them to the proper length.
We found plastic feet with cork bottoms to ensure the floor stays scratch-free.

It's made a fabulous work space.
Everything we need fits on the desk
and the tower for the computer tucks nicely underneath.

We're really happy with the way the finish turned out.
You can be sure white washing will be repeated.
I'm already thinking about doing some picture frames.

These curtains really helped bring the room together.
It was one long panel that I split in two,
and they fit the window perfectly. 
The simple pattern keeps the desired sleek look in mind.

It's a bit more streamlined than before,
which is exactly what we were going for.
Our final alteration to this room
is to find a simple eating table,
as the one we have is a bit too bulky for the space.
A few more pictures on the wall,
and this room will be complete!
We've had to adapt to this smaller nest house,
but it feels good knowing that we can make it work using what we have.

New House Series:
Moving Toward Bliss 
A Fresh Look 
Under the Spell of IKEA 
Closet Project 
Bad to the Bone Beadboard

What projects are you working on?