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before and after: my 50 cent chairs

| before and after makeovers | DIY projects

you know me, if we ever move (which we've been doing a lot of lately) i'll have several projects on my to-do-list to accomplish. since we've arrived at our new home, i've been a frequent yardsaler and regular at the hardware store. while on one of my rummage expeditions i found these chairs. i snatched them up for 50¢ each- and though they were good and sturdy, they needed a thorough cleaning up.

and that's exactly what the got! after removing the spider webs, hosing them off and peeling back what seemed to be several years of disgusting chair covers (gross), i got down to the gold.

and voila! going for that old-beachy kind of feel, i gave them a solid sanding all over and then a good white wash (following these instructions from d*s). i recovered the chairs using some brand new batting and some of my favorite prints.

before and after

before and after

what do you think? i feel pretty good about this $1.50 spent.

twamies

| handmade

twamies

at first glance, i fell in love with TWAMIES. bright colors and sharp shapes pop out at your from every angle, while the occasional bird and do good saying soften things up a bit. after looking a little closer, it makes total sense that it is a collaboration between medusawolf and crystal bat. i think they paired up brilliantly!

knekkebrod, crisp bread

| seasonal recipes

knekkebrød - crisp bread

happy monday, sweets! today i have the most delicious recipe for you! it comes to you from some friends we had the absolute pleasure of dining with, lauren and alan semple. when she served us this delicious knekkebrød i had to have the recipe. though i call these crackers, they are from scotland and call it knekkebrød, or crisp bread. i think that has a much more lovely ring to it than cracker. right?

 

knekkebrød - crisp bread

i served them with some local honey comb one day, and homemade hummus the next day. both were completely satisfying in totally different ways. here's how to make them!

ingredients:

 
- 1 veggie bouillon melted in 1 cup of water (or 1 cup of veggie stalk)

-2 cups water

-1 cup dark rye flour

-1/2 cup oats - whole grain

-1/2 cup oat bran

-1/2 cup wheat bran

-1/4 cup flaxseeds

-1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

-1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

-1/2 cup sesame seeds

sea salt

knekkebrød - crisp bread

directions:

mix all of the ingredients accept the salt in a large bowl and stir thoroughly. it will be a messy wet dough. spread a thin even coat on a pan- using parchment paper is very helpful. use the back of a spoon to get it even and thin, it should make 2 or 3 pans full.  sprinkle with salt.

bake for about 10 min at 400°f. remove from the oven and slice with a pizza cutter. return them to the oven and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes. check on them towards the end to prevent burning, but a little browning is desired. lay them out on cooling racks until completely cool, then store in an airtight container.

knekkebrød - crisp bread

i think i made my first batch a little too thick, so don't hesitate to spread it thin! you can also substitute several things in and out, especially for the various kinds of seeds. i have a feeling i'll be making these often, so don't hesitate to ask any questions! xox

decoupage a glass bottle into a vase

| DIY projects

 diy

One of the easiest ways to decorate on a budget and turn trash into treasure is by decoupaging. Vases in particular are a great thing to make because they look great and they're functional. In this DIY, I take a used glass bottle, and turn it into a charming bud vase that matches my home decor.

materials

glass or plastic container

mod podge

paint brush or sponge

scissors

colored or patterned paper

directions

Wash and dry the container you will be repurposing. Take your favorite paper (the thinner, the better), and cut it into 1/2 inch to one inch strips or squares.

Place the paper face down on a place mat or other surface that you don't mind getting glue on. Use your paint brush or sponge to cover the back of the paper with Mod Podge.

Apply each strip, one-by-one, to the container. It helps to start at the bottom and work your way up, and smooth out creases and bubbles as you go.

After the entire container is covered with paper, you may choose to do another layer, or if it is opaque enough, begin the outer coating process. With your paint brush, apply a top coat of Mod Podge to seal and protect the paper. Let dry.

And that is it! If you want to get really creative, You could also: tie off the finished vase with a ribbon; apply another color of paper to add trim; cut out letters to create a monogram silhouette; or, use acrylic paint to add additional details.

Have you ever decoupaged before? What interesting objects have you created?

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

glimpses of our new home

| bonnie forkner | home decor

hi sweets! before logging off for the weekend, i wanted to share with you some quick glimpses of our new home! everything is not quite ready yet for a big reveal, but i've got some areas that i wanted to go ahead and show you. :)

glimpses of our new home

this is looking through our kitchen nook. i just got this chalkboard wall decal in the mail this week, i love it so much!

glimpses of our new home

one of my favorite finds has been this old trunk. i use it to stow guest linens in and place my beachy collections on top of.

glimpses of our new home

the very beginnings of my sewing nook- the rest of it has a long way to go still. ;)

glimpses of our new home

remember my thrift find?

glimpses of our new home

a few garden greens in my 'green house' corner.

glimpses of our new home

this is my work spot, in fact i'm sittin' here now!

glimpses of our new home

more thrifted finds that i dolled up with some fabric from my mom.

glimpses of our new home

oh, and this is my new favorite plant! it's a succulent called 'string of pearls'.

glimpses of our new home

and our favorite spot to relax outdoors. i'm working on an eating area and grill for out here as well, but for now these will do.

glimpses of our new home

so that's a sneak peak, loves! have a lovely weekend!

fire escape farms

| organic gardening

fire escape farms

happy friday friends! boy was i excited to get an email earlier this week from naya peterson introducing me to fire escape farms! she just opened this online gardening store for folks who live in apartments and don't have the space to culitvate a large garden. brilliant! they believe even if you live in an urban space, you can still grow your own food. live in san francisco? they'll even deliver to your door via a bio-diesel wagon.

fire escape farms

with the help of fire escape farms, you can turn even the smallest patch of sunlight into a farm and be eating home-grown food in no time! i especially love the sky planter and the wally one. with everything from seeds and soil to books and planters, you city folk can now get your hands dirty, no problem!

and just to make your friday a little sweeter, she's offering a special discount to ghtr readers! enter the coupon code "homegrown" at checkout to receive 10% off through may 25th!

LABELS. what do they all mean? part 2.

| simple living

    today i wanted to do a follow up to our first labels post last week and talk about a few of the more specific labels that we tend to run across nearly every time we go to the store. what do they all really mean? hopefully, this will help clear up some of the confusion between what's misleading and what's good information.

    free range. the “free range” food label can be found on meat, dairy and eggs, but this progressive way of farming is not always as it seems. what consumers may not know and won’t see on their “free range” foods is that the USDA regulations only apply to poultry. therefore, “free range” beef, pork and other non-poultry animals were fed grass and allowed to live outdoors, but their products are not regulated by the USDA. another misconception consumers have about “free range” is that these products are also organic. unless it’s labeled free range AND organic, free range animals may be fed non-organic feed that could contain animal byproducts and hormones.

    fresh. the “fresh” food label can be very misleading to consumers, by making them think their chicken was killed the day before, or their “freshly squeezed” orange juice was prepared that day. the label “fresh” simply means that it was not frozen or is uncooked, but many of these products are allowed to be chilled, kept on ice or in modified atmospheres to keep them from spoiling.

    cow

    white calf

    all natural. the “all natural” stamp is one of the most abused and misleading food labels used by food manufacturers today. many of these so-called “all natural” products use citric acid, high-fructose corn syrup and other unnatural additives, but still get to bear that positive label. always check the ingredients list to know exactly what’s in your food.

    whole grains. chances are you’ve seen the label, “made with whole grains,” pop up on bread, crackers or rice products now more than ever. the reality is that many of these whole grain products are actually made with refined wheat flour and maybe a small percentage of whole grains. in order to check the validity of the whole grains label, check out the listed ingredients. unless “whole grains” is one of the first ingredients on the list or if you see “enriched wheat flour,” it’s likely that your product contains a small percentage of whole grains.

    farm fresh eggs

    cage free: the label "cage free" does not mean there are any standards or auditing mechanisms behind it. As the term implies, hens laying eggs labeled as "cage free" are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but generally do not have access to the outdoors. They have the ability to engage in some of their natural behaviors such as walking and nesting. there is no information regarding what the birds can be fed. forced molting through starvation is permitted, and there is no third-party auditing.

    free range: while the USDA has defined the meaning of "free range" for some poultry products, there are no standards in "free range" egg production. typically, free range egg-laying hens are uncaged inside barns or warehouses and have outdoor access. They can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. however, there is no information on stocking density, the frequency or duration of outdoor access, or the quality of the land accessible to the birds. there is no information regarding what the birds can be fed. forced molting through starvation is permitted, and there is no third-party auditing.

    apples

    apples with peanut butter and granola

    certified organic: the animals must be allowed outdoor access, with ruminants—cows, sheep and goats—given access to pasture, but the amount, duration and quality of outdoor access is undefined. animals must be provided with bedding materials. though the use of hormones and antibiotics is prohibited, surgical mutilations without any pain relief are permitted. these are requirements under the national organic program regulations, and compliance is verified through third-party auditing. currently, there are no federal or state programs to certify aquatic animals, including fish, as organic.

    certified humane: the animals must be kept in conditions that allow for exercise and freedom of movement. as such, crates, cages and tethers are prohibited. outdoor access is not required for poultry or pigs, but is required for other species. stocking densities are specified to prevent the overcrowding of animals. all animals must be provided with bedding materials. hormone and non-therapeutic antibiotic use is prohibited, while surgical mutilations without any pain relief are permitted. compliance is verified through third-party auditing. 

    were you familiar with the meaning behind these labels? i knew many of them, but still learned quite a bit about the specifics while doing research for this post. to me, this is a great testament to eating local if at all possible. talk to your farmers, ask for a visit, and see what the animals are like and what the growing conditions are like for your fruits and veggies. it's easy to have fun getting to know where your food comes from, and if you have children, what a fun lesson for them to learn!

    resources: eggindustry, meat and dairy labels