Posts Tagged With: Things to Do

Sheltering Space

I adore spring! I love to get outside and play int he dirt and watch my plants come alive. But here in Iowa, it also brings on the start of severe weather season. Well, here in Iowa it is also Severe Weather Awareness Week. Do you know what you would do in severe weather? We’re fortunate to have a basement in our house so, that’s where we would head to. Today, the sirens sounded, just like they do the first Wednesday of every month just to make sure they work. I’m glad they test them, but every time the sirens wail I have to stop and think what day of the week it is and what the date is to see if I really need to be concerned. I am so glad that we have them though!

So this spring and summer if you hear about tornadoes in Eastern Iowa, you can imagine we will be in our basement. But how can you imagine us chilling in the basement unless you know what our basement looks like? I will tell you a couple things. 1- It’s the typical early 20th century dark and gross basement. 2- We have done next to nothing to the space…just enough for the hubs to use it to work on electronics at the bench that was already there. As long as you remember those two things, I’m willing to show you our basement.

If you’ve read the “Tour – From the Beginning” you’ve seen a picture of our laundry room/mudroom. Here’s another one

Well, it doesn’t look like that anymore, but this is from the beginning right? That’s how you get to the basement. Walk to the window and there are a couple stairs to the right that take you to the back door. Remember, it’s not that door anymore

Another turn and a few more stairs and you are in the basement. Check out those walls that wave like bacon in a pan. The reason that happened is because of what you see in the top right. It’s a dryer vent. The walls are just pressed “board” and the washer and dryer are on the other side of that wall, so every time the previous owners would run the dryer, the hot wet air would vent into this little hallway. Not. Smart. As a side note, we also had to run the electrical to where the washer and dryer were supposed to go, so we’re pretty certain they were running the washer and dryer off an extension cord. Also. Not. Smart.

Then when you go to the basement and turn to the left you see the future game room with that table I love. You also saw little bits of this room in my cabinet reno post. You probably just didn’t know it.

To the right of that room is the room where our wood furnace, water heater and gas furnace are. It also stores some stuff that we just need to get rid of. I don’t have any pictures of that room. Not sure why. But that’s just boring boy stuff anyway so we’ll go back to the bottom of the stairs and look to the right. There’s a “bathroom” there.

Can it really be a bathroom if it’s just a “shower” a toilet and a dirty nasty vanity stuck in a room where the only door is the door to the outside? I think my favorite part is the ocean scene shower curtains.

Are you wondering what was on the other side of this wall?

It’s the bench where Michael works on electronics. In the beginning, it looked like this

Yes, that’s mold on the wall. No, it doesn’t still look like that. We took down that pegboard, scrubbed the studs with bleach and put up new pegboard. We also scoped out the island of misfit toys misfit bin at Menards and found a piece of plywood that fit the top of the bench and put that down. So before you think I’m mean wife, he’s not breathing mold spores while he’s working.

Also in the basement is our water softener which makes me super happy. That mirror on the vanity is just gross though

There is so much to do in the basement that it stresses me out to think about it. Maybe if I made a list it would be better…maybe not. I have started planning on Olioboard though. Have y’all tried this yet? I’m completely in love with it! It’s like combining Pinterest with visions in my head. It’s totally bare right now, but It works in my head

See, bare. It’s a chair that hubs already has, cork floor he picked out and I think a couple of expedits would be great for storage. Plus, I might be looking for an excuse to make a road trip to Ikea (hallelujah).

Do you have a space that is embarrassing to show people? Are you creating Olioboards and loving it?

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Possibilities, Tour | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

2,478 Miles Revisited

In yesterday’s post I told you about our trip down south to see Michael’s sister and brother-in-law. I also (perhaps cruelly) made you wait until today to find out some of the great treasures we got. Well, here’s the first thing I got for Michael

You guessed it. It was sitting outside our hotel so I snapped a picture for the hubs. Wait, you didn’t think I got him the actual car did you? Y’all know me better than that…I’d rather buy paint…and this cute car we saw one day (minus the Tink decals on the window)

Don’t worry, I’d buy Michael his 1970 Chevelle that he really wants too. Seriously? How did this turn into a post about cars. Let’s get back to the important things.

Like I said yesterday, we were living out of a hotel for a week that was 10 minutes from the hospital where Michele was at. The hospital had visiting hours (didn’t know that still happened) that were an hour long three times a day and 90 minutes for the last one of the day. In between were 2-3 hour breaks for us to sit and watch tv, eat or just plain worry and be bored. A few times when I couldn’t stand it anymore I went shopping and sometimes I drug Meagan with me. Michele knows I love a good deal, so it gave me something to talk to her about too…that and Bella getting stuck in walls…and drawers. Meagan and I took a little trip to Marshall’s one afternoon and spent about an hour there. She got some clothes and walking sticks for when her and Dennis go Geo-caching. I found a great deal for Ashley in the form of chevron

A full set of queen sheets for $5! I think she might try a little bit of Rit dye on them so they aren’t so peachy, but they are chevron! I got a bottle of water which doesn’t sound great, but it came in a blue bottle! One more for the tree! I also got some great little boxes that are going to go in our entry room. There are three of them, so smaller and one larger. Sorry, this is the best picture I have of them right now. Once they are in their permanent home, I promise a better picture

One day, I took a trip to Pier 1 – oh I love that place! I have some great inspiration for at least one project.

Looks a lot like some wreaths I’ve see on Pinterest. It’s circles of felt that have been folded and rolled and hot glued. I can do that!

Another night, between the 5pm-6pm visiting hour and the 8-9:30 visiting 90 minutes we found an Applebees to eat at. Turns out they were remodeling and selling pretty much everything in the place! The money went to St. Jude’s so it was really a win-win. Jeremi and Meagan bought pictures off the wall which was way cool. Michael and I didn’t want a picture, but we did have our eye on something else. Everything was being sold as “make an offer” so we bought a light. Do you know which ones I’m talking about? The Tiffany ones that hang over the tables! We bought one to haul all the way back to Iowa with us.

Who buys a big light in Alabama just to haul it back to Iowa? People who pay $10 for said light, that’s who. You read that right – I didn’t forget a 0. This light set us back only $10! I know it’s not some people’s jive, but we kinda love it. Our house is a traditional folk Victorian and we mix a little bit of classic style in with it and I can’t wait to get this hung in our dining room and get a little bit of Amy touch in that room. It was on a track so now the big dilemma is how we’re going to hang it in our house. Enter, stage left, my electronic guru husband.

After a week in Alabama, we had to make the decision to leave there and come home. With Michele still in the hospital, the decision was not an easy one. We went back to Mississippi for a night to pick up some stuff we had left there. Early the next morning while Bella and Bristol spent some quality time on the three seasons porch, I packed the car. Any champion packers out there? I was totally worried about not having enough room for the light and all of our stuff, but I tackled it like a puzzle. I love puzzles (Michael – not so much) so I’m the packer in our family. Here is the back seat. What you can find here:

  1. the glass part of our Tiffany light
  2. the snack bag
  3. my jacket
  4. my coupon binder -never leave home without it and never let it be too far away
  5. my purse
  6. bed for one of the kids to lay in
  7. lunch bag with an icepack
  8. my laptop

You’ll notice the back seat is down and that’s because it has to be. When we travel with the kids, we don’t put them in carriers and don’t want to stop for them to go to the bathroom. Instead we put their bathroom in the trunk and put the seat down so they can easily get to it if need be. It’s usually not a problem, but with Bristol, well I have no idea how so much stink comes out of such a sweet little boy so we did find ourselves pulling over a couple times to…well, you know. If you kids are not of the feline variety, I recommend that you not try this at home.

Then there is the trunk…are you ready for this list?

  1. cat’s bathroom
  2. my suitcase (it’s the pink one)
  3. Michael’s suitcase
  4. snack bag
  5. 9 picture frames from the garage sale Michele and I went to
  6. gift wrap bows and curly ribbons that I found for 18 cents
  7. pillow
  8. bathroom bag
  9. the other cat bed
  10. scratching post
  11. cat carrier – just in case we needed it
  12. kitty crinkle tunnel
  13. the structure of the Tiffany light – this part was wrought iron and barely fit
  14. our Halloween s’more treats – worked on those in downtime
  15. three bottles of Listerine because I got them for 65 cents each
  16. Ashley’s chevron sheets
  17. my blue bottle of water
  18. Michael’s bag o’ tools…just in case
  19. a little bitty air pump….just in case
  20. the three green boxes for the entry room
  21. two pairs of cute shoes
  22. Michael’s laptop
  23. an Amy’s coffee mug that I got at Caribou on the way down (how cute is this?)
  24. other stuff I know I’m forgetting!

That’s how you get the car packed. Gotta say, I felt like a superstar. One last picture and we said goodbye to Mississippi. There’s just something about pictures of the flag and I love this one because it’s on the house of our favorite military family

We decided to break up the trip home into two days so we stopped at Michael’s parents house. We stayed the night and took off the next morning but not before getting some BBQ to bring home with us. Bristol slept most of the way home…occasionally something like this

He makes us laugh, that’s for sure. Whenever we are traveling home, I love timing the trip so we are in Iowa when the sun sets. I have been a lot of places, but I completely adore an Iowa sunset. When I see the sky painted orange, yellow, blue and purple, I know I’m home. I’m an Iowa girl (forgive the blurred trees – it’s a Blackberry picture taken at 70 miles an hour)

Someday I will do a post for you all about Iowa sunsets. Trust me, it will be worth it!

Categories: It's Our Life, Let's shop!, Living Frugal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Goin’ on an Apple Hunt

Do you have a favorite thing to do in the fall? Picking apples and pumpkins are among my favorite things to do. Saturday morning I got a call from my mom “Jenna, Evalee and me are going to Wilson’s Orchard today. Want to go with?” Um yeah…silly mommy. So we packed up the car and headed south.

The apple crop wasn’t great around here so as we were walking through the orchard, it wasn’t easy to find apples that were ripe and still on the tree. We were goin’ on a lion hunt an apple hunt. Oh look, we found one

We found more than just one apple, but not a whole lot. There was, however, a pumpkin patch full of pumpkins

Sure they had pumpkins at the store. Little baby pie pumpkins

and great big ones that were perfect little seats while we were waiting to get into the store

But there is something about picking your own pumpkin from the patch. It was a long walk up a big hill with a pumpkin, but it was worth it to get to the store where there were caramel apples, apple turnovers (that’s my mom holding what was left of hers)

I dropped the last bite of my turnover and I fully abided by the 5 second rule. Then there was my new love, apple cider slushies

Jenna and Evalee couldn’t stop slurping long enough to get a picture. Okay, maybe that’s not true and maybe this picture is posed for the purpose of using it in a blog post – maybe. I seriously must find out how to make those things. Oh…my…word! It was like a little piece of heaven in a cup! Enough about the slushies…for now. It was such a great day! But even cute shoes…

…can’t help with a sugar crash or a long walk

Have you made your trip to the apple orchard yet this fall? If not, I highly recommend getting there this weekend. Fresh apples are so much better than apples in the store. What a great family time! And similar to our April Ikea trip, you can probably tell that Evalee was the star of this show.

Categories: It's Our Life | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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