26 November 2015

Hudson's Bay Blanket Inspired Pillows: A Simple Knitting Pattern for Total Beginners

by Robin

So we went and bought 2 acres in the country.  And it came complete with a really dumpy mobile home!  Does that exclamation point seem out of place?

Maybe for some, but for us this two-bedroom disaster is a DIY lovers dream come true.  Plus, it came fully stocked with so many things.  All the things.  No really.  ALL the things - there's a windmill that's a pig in overalls riding a tractor.  Clearly, some of the stuff is not worth keeping.

Some stuff we're hanging onto, though.  The couch and chairs in the living room, for example.  The couch is red, not something that I'd choose myself, but it's good quality and it's the BEST couch for cuddling.  The chairs are dark blue lazy boys.  The colour isn't bad, and we figure, where else can you lounge in lazy boys if not in your mobile home in the woods?

My dilemma was this - how do I decorate with a red couch and navy blue chairs?  If we were American this would be immediately clear: red, white and blue!  Stars!  Stripes!  Uncle Sams!  But, we're Canadians and that palette doesn't naturally speak to us.

The look I'm going for our vacation home is "vintage cabin in the woods".  (You can check out my Mobile Home Makeover Pinterest Board to get the idea.)  I was a little baffled, what could I use to tie the blue chairs and red couch together with a vintage cabin theme?  I really thought about this longer than anyone ever should.  Then it dawned on me!

Hudson's Bay Blankets!  Vintage.  Cabin-y. With red and blue (and other colours to play with).  And truly Canadian!  But, real Hudson's Bay Blankets are dang expensive.  Even used they are way too much for me, besides being nearly impossible to find.

So here's how I knit some Hudson's Bay blanket inspired Pillows.  And I'm pretty sure you can too because they are a true beginner project.

23 November 2015

Hack Your Kitchen for an Over the Range Microwave (Kitchen Update for Way Less Cash)

by Robin and Ed

Have you ever wanted to put an over-the-range microwave over your range (of all places!), but thought you didn't have enough space?  We thought that too.  But, like us, you might be mistaken - we were able to install one of these space saving dynamos in our kitchen without too much hassle or expense.

Here's how we hacked our kitchen cupboard to make an over-the-range microwave fit...

13 November 2015

We went and did it. We let the debt zombies right back in!!!

by Robin

Sometimes our decision plays in my mind like a bad horror movie.  You know the scene: the couple innocently walks through the woods - you, the viewer, know that being there is a terrible idea - but they are smiling and naively stroll hand in hand into the quiet forest.

"This looks like a really nice place,"  he says with a grin and a nod.  She smiles up at him.

She squeezes his hand in hers, "Yes, we could be really happy here".

Then the zombies (that you the viewer knew where there) come staggering out of the forest.  Frightened the couple turns and runs.  They sprint straight into the old, rusted trailer on the other side of the river.  The zombies are unrelenting.  They advance.  As an arm falls off a couple of them, they moan in unison, "Moneeeey.  Moneeeey."

The couple runs into the trailer.  As they lean against the now closed door they pant with relief.  They escaped.  They're safe.

Or are they?

As the zombies scrape against the flimsy door and push their rotted faces up against the broken windows - the couple looks at each other - they smile and say in unison, "This place is great.  Let's buy it!"  They turn and open the door wide.

They let the zombies - debt zombies - right back in!

At my worst moments, this is how I see our decision to buy our property in the country.  After running from debt for years and finally getting away from it - we  were debt free damnit! - we went and invited debt right back into our lives!

At my best moments, though, I smile as I watch the kids and their friends tear around the woods climbing trees and building forts.  I see them scooping unsuspecting fish into nets.  I see them dragging shovels to dig holes in the back meadow to make a mini-golf course.

Then I know the debt zombies can be tamed.  They can be dealt with.  This is a place where our kids can be wild.

Besides, you know how Ed and I like a good DIY makeover!  Ready for some BEFORE pictures?

03 November 2015

How to Cook with Kids - Without Losing Your Cool

by Robin  

Cooking with your kids is a truly valuable activity - but it's not for the faint of heart or the under prepared.  It can feel perilous and the messes - oh the messes!  Don't fear - there are ways to make it manageable.  Recently, in my work as a Community Registered Dietitian, I gave talks to a couple of parenting groups about the why's and how's of cooking with kids.

What follows - in particular - is how to make this important learning activity work better for you.

First off, get yourself into a good mindset.  Keeping the goal in mind can motivate us to do what it takes to get our kids into the kitchen.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Want more ideas to save money and make time? Subscribe below!