Build Your Own Grow Shelf!

Oh my gosh. I can FINALLY do a post on gardening.

Growing my own food is a huge passion of mine (albeit a somewhat recent one), but y’know…it’s been winter.

My grow shelf!

There is no gardening in the winter.

Well, unless you count “pick up fallen tree limbs from the ice storm(s)” as gardening. Which I don’t.

However, this year I DID start a semi-winter gardening project that I FINALLY get to share because…y’know, it’s working so far and there’s something to show to the Internet besides some bare dirt.

I decided to make a grow shelf. Continue reading “Build Your Own Grow Shelf!”

Kitchen Renovation Part 4: Cutting the Hole

[This is the 4th part of a kitchen renovation series. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, or keep going if you only care about the story behind our new breakfast bar]

One of the biggest design changes of our new kitchen was the breakfast bar.

The breakfast bar hole, as seen from the kitchen.
Here is the hole as seen from the kitchen side. You can see where the old wall cabinets used to be, and the old cassette tape cabinet I’ve used as a spice cabinet for many years. The red solo cups were being used for painting.

Our house is a typical 1950s dwelling, with a closed off layout. I really like the modern trend toward an open floor plan, and we decided to open up the house by adding a breakfast bar between the kitchen and living room. The bar stools will be on the living room side, helping to combine the two rooms and providing additional eating space. The eating space is actually pretty important, since we only have a small dining nook in our kitchen.

We determined that the wall was not a structural wall, which made our planning much easier. We wanted to reinforce the wall anyway, just in case we were wrong, and used this site to plan our actions.

[UNRELATED KITTEN UPDATE 3/19/2019, 5PM: I took the kittens (read about getting kittens here)  to the vet and they are NEGATIVE for nasty kitty viruses, like leukemia and aids! Yay! They do have an upper respiratory infection, so they came home with antibiotics. They also have coccidia, a type of parasite that isn’t treated with normal dewormer. Conveniently, the treatment is antibiotics, so there’s just one medicine for the little babes! The vet also gave us an immune boosting supplement (lysine), which they don’t seem to mind taking. Bella is a little underweight, but we are free feeding the little things as much kitten food as they want, and they’ve been going to town on it, which is great. The vet said we can introduce them to our adult kitties as soon as the URI clears up (no more than a week, probably). Expect a blog post soon!!!]

Continue reading “Kitchen Renovation Part 4: Cutting the Hole”

Kitchen Renovation Part 3: Painting & Lighting

[This is the 3rd part of a kitchen renovation series. Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, or keep going if you only care about painting and lights]

In the early winter of 2018 – approximately nine months after we put in the

Painted stairwell and appliance shelf.
Here is the stairwell area, located directly behind the dining space in the kitchen. We chose a bright red accent wall for the stairwell itself. The rest of the house (except bedrooms) is the pale blue color. You can also see our appliance shelf in the picture, which my husband built himself and is one of my favorite things in the world – it keeps all the appliances off the counters!

stove and vent hood – my husband and I decided to paint the kitchen. We didn’t paint the whole kitchen at this point – we figured we’d be damaging walls when we tore down cupboards and fixed electrical outlets so there was no point. However, we did want to paint the dining area of our kitchen. The eating space in the kitchen flows into the stairwell that heads to the basement, so there is a lot of surface area that would need a coat of paint that was totally separated from the main renovation area. We figured we’d paint that early to get it out of the way before we ripped everything apart. It also provided a nice motivator, since the dining area looked fantastic, while the rest of the kitchen began to look increasingly more dreadful.

Continue reading “Kitchen Renovation Part 3: Painting & Lighting”

Kitchen Renovation Part 2: New Stove & Vent Hood

[This is the 2nd part of a kitchen renovation series. Read Part 1 here or keep going if you only care about my opinions on stoves & vent hoods]

The very first thing that my husband and I did in our kitchen, was to install a new stove and vent hood. We did this back in March, 2018, nearly a year before we did the bulk of our kitchen renovation.

The Vent Hood

The biggest issue with the original vent hood was that…there wasn’t one. Without a vent hood, smoke, steam, and gunk from the stuff that you cook just shoots up at the ceiling. This creates grease on the ceiling, and that’s icky. It also causes smoke alarms to go off whenever you do something that creates a lot of smoke, like searing a steak or roasting veggies at high temperatures. I actually disconnected my smoke alarm shortly after moving into the house which is not safe. You shouldn’t disconnect your smoke alarm. 

Obviously, I wanted to get a vent hood installed as soon as I could, so as soon as we had finalized a layout for our kitchen design, I started researching. Continue reading “Kitchen Renovation Part 2: New Stove & Vent Hood”

DIY Cleaning Solutions – Toilets

Frugality has always been a big part of my life. I like to buy things used when I can, and I hate spending money on consumables. My family has some pretty ambitious homesteading goals that require us to save up as much money as we can, and it’s pretty bad for the environment to waste stuff – especially plastics. On top of that, I try to keep my home as chemical-free as possible, because chemicals are bad for you. I learned a whole bunch of tips and tricks from my mom, and more on my own as an adult, and I thought I’d share a few of them here.

Why Make DIY Toilet Cleaner?

Of all the parts of my house, my toilet is probably the thing I am most anal about cleaning because it’s where you poop. Guys, poop is gross. Like, actually gross with icky bacteria and stuff.

Heh. ANAL about keeping clean. POOP.

I’m funny.

Anyyyywwayyyy……. Continue reading “DIY Cleaning Solutions – Toilets”

Kitchen Renovation Part 1: Planning

I can’t start a story about our kitchen renovation without starting with the story of how we bought our house.

Well, how I bought our house. Matt and I weren’t married yet.

Wait, I’m Buying A House?

One rainy, crummy day in September, I was sitting in the living room of my apartment watching Netflix and wishing the rain would stop. Suddenly, I realized that there was water dripping down one of the walls. I called maintenance, but it was a Saturday, so they couldn’t help me until Monday and since it was an apartment, I couldn’t fix it myself. All I could do was put a pot under the leak and watch the wall get wet.

That night, I was hanging out with a friend watching a Detroit Lions pre-season game, and he was complaining about his apartment and we just got going on a mutual rant of why apartments suck.

And then we got to wondering – was it a crazy idea to think about buying a house? Continue reading “Kitchen Renovation Part 1: Planning”

Meet My (Fur) Babies & Check Out our DIY Scratching Post

Somebody drew attention to the fact that I have a cat picture on the homepage of my blog, and have shared cat pictures in my previous post (a meatloaf recipe), but never explained or introduced my cats to you guys.

So here goes.

Prepare for a fun post about cats, and little tutorial for a making a scratching post (since I didn’t want to give you guys a completely impractical post). It doesn’t really have anything to do homesteading…

Well, actually I think cats have a lot to do with “home” part of homesteading, but that’s just me. Continue reading “Meet My (Fur) Babies & Check Out our DIY Scratching Post”