Archive for April, 2012

two-year anniversary: the house now

Two years into living in the little farmhouse, a lot has changed. You can see the whole transformation here… but for those of you who have been following the transformation all along, here is an up-to-date tour of the house, top to bottom!

Dining Room

Living Room


Yellow Bedroom

Blue Bedroom
Master Bedroom



Front Porch

how-to: spring cleaning in minutes a day

Spring cleaning seems like something that requires entire weekends devoted to (gasp) cleaning. But, tackling small projects can make as much of a difference as big projects. If you have 5, 10 or 15 minutes to spare, try one of these:

Polish leather boots and shoes: 15 minutes (or 3 minutes per pair)
Supplies: polish (black and/or brown, depending on your shoes), buffing brick, polish brush, soft cloth, leather lotion

Clean windowsills and baseboards: 5 minutes per room
Supplies: sponge, soap, hot water

Clean those makeup brushes!: 10 minutes
Supplies: mild shampoo, warm water, clean towel

If you spend more than $1 on a makeup brush, and if it touches your face every day, then you owe it to yourself (and your pocket book) to wash them at least twice a year (I’ve heard that once a month is optimal). It’s easy: fill your sink or a big bowl with warm water and mild shampoo or soap, and soak your brushes. Clean and rinse them individually, and lay on a clean towel to dry (flipping after a few hours). I find that eyeshadow brushes take about 30 seconds apiece, while blush and powder brushes take a few minutes each because they collect so much build-up from daily use. Although I procrastinate on this project every year, I never regret it when I’m done.

Change out your wardrobe: 5-15 minutes

Part 1: scarves!

I keep seasonal scarves within easy reach on a rack between my closet and bedroom door. And I keep more in a basket next to the chaise lounge. And … ok … more in the trunk at the end of my bed 🙂 Can you tell this girl has a scarf addiction? But you can do the same, and it makes for an easy change every season:

before: fall/winter arrangement

after: spring/summer arrangement

Part 2: closet capers
I spied a neat trick on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and decided to give it a go this year in my own closet. The idea is to turn all of your hangers backward at the beginning of the season. Then, as you wear clothes, you put hangers back on the rack the normal way. At the end of the season, you’ll know which clothes you haven’t worn recently. Seems easy enough … so when I unpacked a box of spring/summer clothes today, I gave it a try. We’ll see what stays and what goes six months from now 🙂

front garden: doubled!

My major accomplishment this weekend: doubling the size of the garden in the front yard. I’ve never loved the front garden the way I love the side and back gardens. I’ve thought about building a raised flower bed to fill the space better, but it wasn’t a project I was ready to tackle this year (and then I went and bought a whisky barrel…)

This weekend, while spreading mulch on the flower beds in the side yard, I noticed that the grass wasn’t growing back very well near the front yard flower bed. After 10 minutes of digging out grass clumps and another 10 minutes of dumping garden soil and mulch on the newly cleared area… I had a curvaceous, beautiful garden bed that matches the style of the rest of the garden 🙂

To be honest, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. It was so easy, and completely transformed the look of the front yard. At some point, I plan to fill in the space with some shade-loving perennials. For now, it looks at least 100% better than it did 72 hours ago 🙂

In lesser news, I also spread some funny-looking grass seed in the backyard to fill in a bald patch:

And we’ve been getting some cra-zy storms since I finished my yardwork yesterday. Hopefully they won’t strip my tulips to shreds 🙁

With love from the farmhouse….