3 Steps to Super Cute Storage: Adding Rustic Style to Glass Jars in Just 2 Minutes

Ribbon Jars 3 FinalMy mantra over the last few years has been “Simplify.” Each time the New Year rolls around, I renew my dedication to this principle – and this year is no exception.  This journey is very much a work in progress, though the more I get down this road, the more I realize that the key to simplifying successfully is to find just a few things that work in my home and life for a number of different purposes.

Using up and whittling down the excess starts to get more clear and a whole lot easier this way. As I identify the hard-core multi-taskers of daily life, it’s helping me have to manage less, buy less, and be able to do the things I enjoy a lot more.  This concept seems to apply well across the board, whether it’s wardrobe, cleaning products, cooking ingredients, or what have you.  I’ve found that one of the most effective tools to rise to the top of my utility scale are glass jars.   Continue reading

The Time-Space Continuum and Savory Vegetarian 15-Bean Slow Cooker Soup

15 Bean Soup BowlWe eat whole foods as much as possible, in the European slow-cooking, slow-eating countryside style, preparing most meals from scratch with a minimum of packaged convenience items, and a sprinkling of favorite indulgences.  Dinner is when this really comes to bear, since we have a real chance to sit down, share, and *linger* – my main term for all things “slow living.”

I make heavy use of my slow cooker year-round in the process… so much so, I’m considering just keeping that gargantuan beast on my counter at all times as a practical measure. ;) Continue reading

Quick & Easy Fall Wreath

Fall Wreath Final w OwlAs Fall has descended upon us these past few weeks, beautiful autumn wreaths are everywhere to spruce up homes for the season.  However, my taste is pretty simple, and even on the most basic of wreaths, I have not been admiring the price tags starting around $40 and up – and that’s even at my favorite discount stores.  So I began to wonder if I could create a cute Fall wreath with a few basic supplies and  the stash of craft goodies I have around the house. Continue reading

Quickest Update for an Outdated Fireplace

Family Room Fireplace Work Set UpIt seems too obvious now, but in all my DIY-ing about the house, this quick and easy fireplace update took quite a lot of consideration to figure out.  What was it?  Painting the old, outdated shiny ’80s brass fireplace door surround – fast, cheap, and looks SO much better!

We started out with this giant built-in bookshelf/wall surrounding the family room fireplace in that go-to late-1980s/early ’90s builder-grade honey oak cabinetry and shelving.  The wood is in great shape, and solid, though it strikes me why such a significant wall unit would be custom-made in a builder-standard style like this.  I never remember this finish being “all the rage” – it just seemed like what every builder put in every new kitchen and bathroom at the time…  it was everywhere.  Oy vey.   Continue reading