Painting the Fall

It felt a lot like summer today …75 degrees!  WOW!  The Sheriff and I spent quite a bit of time outdoors playing today, but, I also set up a craft project for him that I saw on Pinterest.  The project was painting leaves with chalk markers.  Chalk markers?  I’ve never heard of them and since we have plenty of washable paint, I thought painting outside would be so much fun and no need to worry about paint everywhere!  So.....we gathered up our paint and headed outside to enjoy this absolutely gorgeous day!
We started out by gathering some leaves from the ground; we wanted leaves that still had some life in them and weren’t too brittle. 
I set up our little table (perfect size for the sheriff) and divided the paint into little single serve applesauce containers.  The Sheriff loves applesauce and from time to time, I will buy these little cups as a treat.  I started collecting the empty containers because I knew at one point they would be good for something like this!  I poured a little in each cup this way if the Sheriff decided to mix, he wouldn't mix full bottle of paint.  

Let the fun & creativity begin…

Painting his leaves….

Once we ran out of leaves, we took a walk to find more and discovered some other little treasures that we could paint.  We found rocks, pine cones and even tree bark!  Here he is painting a really cool stick he found with all sorts of burrows in it.

Here are the finished projects.  These leaves are going to look fantastic in our home! I might even put magnets on the back of the tree bark--he will love seeing this on the fridge.  

Happy Fall Y’all…….. The Lewis’

Sharing at the Simple Saturday Blog Hop

Homemade Ice-Cream ...Finally!

Well, I finally did it--I bought an ice-cream maker!  I have always wanted to have one of my own, but never did the research to see how difficult it was to make homemade ice-cream!  Turns out, it’s very easy to make and did I mention…delicious!
I started out by looking at the various models, their cost and the reviews on Amazon.  I had a few favorites picked out, but still wasn’t sure.  I decided to ask a homesteading group on Facebook what their favorite model was.  Come to find out, one of the models that I selected was also a favorite of three ladies in the community, so I decided to go with that one. 

For those of you who don’t me, I love a good bargain!  I also don't mind purchasing used items as long as they are in good, working condition.  Personally, I think that you can find so many great deals at places like second hand stores, Ebay, Craigslist or even Amazon’s community.  I decided on a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice-Cream and Sorbet maker from Ebay.  The maker had been used twice and came in the box with the instructions and recipe book.  In addition, this little gem came with an extra freezer bowl which many Amazon reviewers suggested purchasing.  Woohooo.  Now I’m not going to lie, the extra freezer bowl was a HUGE bonus, but the color of this ice cream maker screams FUN and also won my heart because it goes with my matching turquoise cow butter dish and cow creamer!!!  You can check them out by clicking here

Here’s my maker…..

So far I have made strawberry and chocolate ice cream right from recipe book that came with the machine and they are FANTASTIC!  All you need is milk, heavy cream, sugar, pure vanilla, strawberries and you have delicious, homemade strawberry ice-cream!   Want chocolate ice cream?  Same recipe but use unsweetened cocoa powder in place of the strawberries and viola!  While the chocolate was mixing, I couldn’t  help myself so I got a spoon and dug right in.  The flavor and texture reminded me of a Wendy’s© Frosty!!!  YUM. 

Here’s my machine working hard making my first batch of strawberry which tasted fresh and creamy!  Isn’t it pretty?

Once the ice-cream is finished mixing, it has to be stored in a freezer friendly container.   I still have my old fashioned ice-cream keeper/saver from Tupperware© do you?  I really like this container and it works perfectly for storing fresh homemade ice cream. 

 And here’s the finished product for the Mayor. 

The second time I made chocolate ice-cream, the Sheriff wanted to help.  He mixed everything together by hand and even turned on the machine for me.  He did an AWESOME job and reaped all the benefits of his hard work.  His favorite treat, a cup of coffee milk with a scoop of chocolate ice-cream and a straw (can’t forget the straw) he loves it!   Here he is below, watching his chocolate ice-cream go round and round.

Have you made homemade ice-cream before?  If so, what is your favorite flavor?  And how do you store  your ice-cream?  I would love to hear from you!

Until next time y’all……it’s summertime….don’t forget the ice-cream!


Patriotic Bandanna Wreath

Is there anything more country & farm-ish than bandannas?  I love bandannas and Old Glory, so when I saw this wreath on Pinterest, I just knew I had to make it.  It’s super easy too, but I do want to warn you that this can be costly (at least in my opinion) if you do not purchase the bandannas on sale.  AC Moore sells the bandannas for $2.00 a piece, and if you make the same exact wreath as mine, it will cost you $24.00 for the bandannas unless you buy them on sale.  I was able to pick mine up on sale at AC Moore for 2/$3.00 and save a few bucks. 
The first tutorial I found used an 18 inch wreath that used 7 of each color for a total of 21 bandannas.  So I bought what I needed, but after I made it, I just didn’t like it; it was too big for me (see below). 

I returned the 18 inch and bought a 10 inch as that size worked much better for me; but feel free to use whatever size works for your home.  If you decide to use a different size wreath, I would suggest cutting the bandannas as you go along so you can return the extra, or use the extra for cloth napkins like we do!  YAY!
I followed an easy tutorial; you can click on the link below:

If you plan on making a 10 inch wreath like mine, here is what you’ll need:
10 inch wire wreath
4 bandannas of each color- so 12 in total
Wooden stars (I’ve seen other wreaths with felt stars, paper stars or metal stars) - I could not find white stars, so I had to buy them natural and paint them white.
Glue gun

I also preferred this tutorial because you use bandannas that are cut in half whereas other wreaths use a full bandanna which will cost even more money.  Please note, if you are planning on making a 10 inch wreath, you will have a ½ piece of bandanna of each color left over.  That ½ piece is great for the Sheriff to keep in his pocket to wipe his brown on hot sweaty days!! 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me or leave me a comment.  If you do make the wreath, please post a picture below, I would love to see it! 

Happy Memorial Day to everyone….
let us not forget those who have given their lives so that we can live ours.....

Till next time y'all....

Sacrifices & the cost of living simple

Sacrifices, we’ve all done them; some are easy and some, not so easy.  In an effort to move closer to our dream of living on our farm, we had to sacrifice.  The first sacrifice was selling our home that my husband and I built together.  It took us 10 years to finish the home and then in the 10th year, we sold the house.  While we are extremely excited about moving to the farm, the decision to sell the house was bitter sweet.  We dreamed that house together, worked endlessly on it (through the rain, snow and the heat!) and made some wonderful memories there.  Did I forget to mention that I left my dream kitchen behind…..that was no easy task!

Now 10 years later, our dream home has been sold and we are one step closer to our farm dream (you can read about our dream by clicking on the “about us” button).  But, before we can move into the farmhouse, there are some changes that need to take place.  Currently the farmhouse is being rented so we had to give the tenants a notice to quit and allow them the time they needed to find suitable housing.  In the meantime, we needed a place to go!  Where would we go?  We had to find a place to stay, somewhere safe, affordable and enjoyable for the Sherriff.  We wanted something out in the country, but what could we afford while juggling the bills for repairs at the farmhouse?  Let me introduce you to my new/temporary home, aka- the love shack.  My husband, being the thrifty man he is, found us a little piece of “heaven”!!!  And yes, you are seeing correctly, I’ve got my own little mobile home.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Now back to sacrificing, I signed the purchase and sales on this home without ever seeing the inside of it because I was at home with a brand new baby and put my complete trust in my husband.  My husband is extremely handy and I knew that he would make this house safe and clean for us.  However, I must admit, I was still extremely skeptical, nervous and not to mention a tad embarrassed about moving into this mobile home.  My concerns lie with the fact that most of our society today judges by what’s on the outside; what kind of car they drive, how big their home is, what brand of clothes they wear, etc, etc.  I also live in area where mobile homes aren’t really accepted and most people (if the truth be known) would not be caught living in a mobile home.  What would my family/co-workers think?   How about the neighbors?  Would they welcome us?  But I had to keep the end goal in mind- the farm and our new life with the Sherriff.  I was quickly reminded that God is in control of every area of my life and that brought me comfort.  Now that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t secretly praying that we would be able to somehow move straight into the farmhouse and avoid the mobile home entirely- after all God can do anything, right?  But that my friends, was not part of God’s Plan; and for that I am thankful because this little love shack has taught me some very valuable life lessons.  I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned by living here. 
·         I have gained more time because I’m not cleaning, organizing & maintaining a large house.  And, because I am not spending all this time on a house, I’m able to spend more time with my husband and little boy!
·         I have learned simple is better.  Our yard is just simply grass now; perfect for the Sherriff to play in.  We no longer have to worry about him damaging the manicured lawn that we once had.  In fact, the Mayor built us an outdoor fire pit which we have enjoyed eating several dinners by…it’s great!  All these things equal simple fun in our household!
·         I have learned to live with less.  Living in this small space has forced me to get rid of clutter and things I was not using.  It’s amazing how very little we need to survive, and how much clutter one can accumulate over the years!  Living with less is also less stressful, except when it comes to kitchen counter space.  However, having less counter space has helped me to be more creative in using other things to help me get the job done.  For example, using the Sherriff’s highchair or putting a cookie sheet over the top of my stove has given me extra counter space.  One thing is for sure, I will certainly have a greater appreciation for my kitchen at the farm after living in this small kitchen.  When you are passionate about cooking and baking like I am, counter space is a must!
·         I have learned to be frugal.  I now think twice about what I am purchasing because I don’t have the extra room and don’t want clutter.  Please note I am not a person who purchases unnecessarily or even on impulse, but I now ask myself, “Do I really need this? Can I find something else that I already own to do the job at hand?”  Now don’t get me wrong, I still purchase things I want, after all, the farmhouse does need a turquoise cow shaped butter dish & creamer (see below)—I just couldn’t resist—how cute!

·         Living here has also saved us money.  The cost of heating and cooling the “love shack” is significantly less than our old home which also keeps us more comfortable throughout the season and easier on our wallets.
·         Living here has truly been a very humbling experience for me.  For example, the Sheriff’s daycare is literally across the street, and it only took a few days for the entire staff to learn that we are the family that now occupies the eyesore across the street!  Or how about the daycare parents that see me pulling in the driveway or fetching my mail while they are driving by??  And how about this past Christmas, the mailman tooted his horn informing me that he had a package for me, so I went running out of the “love shack” only to come face to face with a former employee, who did a double take, but did not say a word.  Due to these humbling experiences, I am reminded daily not to judge as none of us really knows what someone else may be going through, for we all have our own struggles.  Be compassionate the next time you see someone who may not be living as you think they should be.  For God’s Word says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:1-2    
·         Lastly, I am learning a whole new side of me when I step out in faith and trust God with all areas of my life.  It’s amazing how much a life can be transformed and how much one can learn when they step out in faith. 

As I gaze out the back window of my love shack, I can see the extremely large house that is located behind me.  I am quickly reminded of the house I left behind and it is with a grateful heart not regret, that I can look at the love shack and breathe a sigh of relief.  I turn my attention from the window and into my 647 sq foot house and see my little boy playing with his cars on the floor; healthy and happy because his Mama is able to spend more time with him.  

In conclusion, I thank God daily for my beautiful, cozy, “love shack” as well as teaching me to appreciate and to be content with what He has given to me. 

In case you are wondering what my family thought about the “love shack”…..they love us regardless of where we live.  My co-workers…..well, not all of them know, but they will after reading this post!  And the neighbors—well, it’s been 8 months and nobody has even looked our way, let alone introduce themselves.  I too am wondering what they think……    

Until till next time y'all.....