Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow pictures part 1 of 2

DIY kid's growth chart

I decided to make growth charts for all the kids in our extended family, and also for our own little unit. We have a lot of old barn wood out in our buildings, so I picked several of the best and cleaned them up with some water and a rag. Then, after they dried I cut them to size (about five feet is all you need), and then I gave each plank a thorough soak of lemon oil. Starting at one foot, I worked my way up with tick marks writing out only the feet measurements so there is room for future height recordings. I wrote the increments out in black sharpie marker, and printed the numbers out beforehand in a font I liked for a calligraphy reference. I attached a picture hanger on the back and hung our board a foot off the ground synced with the one foot mark on the growth chart. The beauty is, even if we move, we will always have a physical record of our kids height (and my husband and I's-we joined in and marked off ours too lol).

My reading nook

Every girl needs one!

New products I am trying

Adam and I started a diet. It's based off the book The Maker's Diet (, which is a Bible based meal plan. We could stand to lose a few pounds, but mainly we just want to feel good again. Adam still struggles with not feeling healthy, and if you recall from some of my previous posts we have never found answers as to why he has been achy and tired. But hopefully this diet will help, because I am definitely a big believer in fueling your body and not just feeding it. It's not always easy to practice, however.

As a result, I have come across some new products through my own research and a few offered by the author of The Maker's Diet. The idea is to try and maintain as much of a natural lifestyle as possible. Here are the current staples in our cupboards:

-Ezekiel Bread: usually in the freezer section of the health food aisle (I have not found it at Walmart). It is a sprouted, protein packed bread that comes in loaves, buns, pita pockets, cereal, etc.
-All natural 100% yogurt, honey, maple syrup, salad dressings
-Chia Seed: order from Amazon or buy from a health food store (not carried by many groceries); great for baking breads or put it in your favorite liquid for a pudding consistency
-All natural frozen yogurt. Our favorite is Caramel Praline Crunch by Blue Bunny which I have only found at Walmart
-Frozen coconut milk ice cream
-Locally grown meats or venison bought from friends during deer season
-Fresh fruit and vegetables; every meal we try to eat one fruit, one veg, and a meat
-Coconut oil and olive oil for cooking; coconut oil is also a great weekly hair treatment
-White Distilled Vinegar-I use this for hair conditioner (1:4 vinegar to water ratio), fabric softener (measured out of a recycled softener bottle with a few drops of essential oil), Fabric softener "sheets" (a reusable sponge soaked in vinegar and thrown in the dryer)
-Best beverages: raw milk (goat and cow), WATER, all natural smoothies, hot green tea, any hot naturally decaffeinated all natural tea, whole milk, all natural half and half
-Natural sweeteners (i.e. stevia, monk fruit, etc.)
-Raw nut butters
-Grass-fed cow's butter (Sam's Club)
-Nuts and seeds
-All natural cottage cheese, sour cream, salsa, and block cheese (good for slicing and grating)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

DIY Stenciling

In my 'moving in' post, I had some similar pictures of our stenciled walls. I wanted to revisit the pictures of our walls because I am in love with the whole-wall stencils that I used. It is a large stencil that you roll over with a roller brush instead of using the smaller flat brushes that take forever. It goes so fast with a roller brush, and the effect is awesome! Check out the stencils from which is where I bought mine. They are also on Amazon. These pictures are the birch tree stencil and paisley stencil.

DIY bookshelf out of old ladders

These rustic bookshelves are so easy to 'make' and can be free (or at least fairly cheap) if you have an old wood ladder holed up in your garage.

One set I used was a very tall, straight pair that extended rather than fold up. I also used one single, flat ladder that was a bit shorter. The tall pair was too tall to fit in my bedroom, so I cut them down, and then leaned them against the wall. Voila! Bookshelf. Now, some of the books leaned against the wall, causing the ladder to push away making it unsteady. My solution for this was to tack a wide ribbon to the backside of the ladder from one end of the books to the other, and this held the books in place and off the wall.

The short cut pieces and the single ladder I used for shelves off our living room. I drilled in some screws at various intervals (sure to find a stud or use those plastic holders made for drywall) and using a tape measure made it all level by finding the same distance for each screw from the ceiling. Then, I hung the ladders by placing the screws directly under the top side of the ladder. VHS tapes stayed on really well, but the DVD's and a lot of books had to shelved tightly so they would not fall off. But these are all items we do not use very often, so I was not worried about the awkwardness of removing things from the shelves.

Long time no see!

It's been awhile!

As I write this, my little girl is curled up on the couch beside me (how I wrangled the iPad from her, I'm still not sure) and we are watching one of our new blue-rays from Christmas (the latest Bourne installment) with daddy while Bub sleeps upstairs. I love the snuggle nights of winter.

I posted sometime back that we were 'moving' into our remodeled part of the house, but I can now say that the bedrooms are settled, organized, and the nesting has subsided. It feels more like home than ever before! I am so grateful for this house, even though it has been a long journey and admittedly at times I have not been as thankful lol. But the state it is in now-yes, I can deal with this!

Big news on the book front-I guess I can now say I am a published author! I self-published my book, The Fire Fox Tablet, a week ago. If you want to check it out it is located at Its under my pen name Zaidey Cooper. I currently have it priced at $0.99 but you can also download the first few chapters for free! I started a blog for my writing hobby at so that I would not have to share my personal blog with random people. That is also why my profile is not visible at the moment, but I am working on that.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vacation is almost over

After this week it's back to the ol' schedule. But the kids will definitely need the next few days to recoup. They are wiped after all the family get togethers!

Some snow pictures

A few shots of our fun in the snow.