Tag Archives: A to Z Challenge 2013

R … Rest

Rest, of which I am not getting much of … until last night that is.

The ‘Little 1’ and I slept from 7 PM until 8 AM this morning.

Ahhh, what a difference rest will make on a body.


It helps to deal with another cloudy day here in Minnesota Winter Wonderland.


It helps when you are having a ‘Hot Flash’

(Check out the red face)


(the messy room where ‘Little 1’ stays)


It gives us energy to go shopping for indoor things to do,

like Walkie Talkies …

(Mr Man calls them 2 way radios)


or shopping for dress up dolls …


Reading to stuffed animal friends in the Reading Nook …

(More on Reading Nook HERE)


Playing with the dog who is really not at all interested in playing with them unless it is to chew on them. 🙂


Oh, the things we wouldn’t do for our ‘Littles’ LOL


Hope this has found you having had lots of REST and having a great day!

If you have sun please send it to Minnesota!




P … Playhouse

EEEE! I am so excited for this post because it is something that I have been kicking around in my head for a while now.

I love to dream about what it will look like, what materials I will use, how I will landscape around it …

As Mr Man so eloquently said …

When it comes to being creative, your “instructions” are the only ones that really matter.

That being said … let me show you a few photos of playhouses that I found that I think are cute.

Playhouse 8

Playhouse 1

Playhouse 7

Playhouse 2

Playhouse 8

Playhouse 3

Playhouse 6

Playhouse 4

Playhouse 5This last one is my favorite because of the fireplace 🙂

What I love about these playhouses …

1. Porch

2. Small front door but large adult door

3. Fake fireplace that makes it look so homey!

4. A loft to sleep in

5. Dormers


6. One dormer or window on top

The size will be dictated by my city code. I will begin sketching my idea soon. When Spring gets here … I will be ready to build!

I have other photos of playhouses on my Pinterest Playhouse board if you would like more ideas.

{Click here}

Any other ideas for a playhouse? Leave a comment and tell me!




O … Options

I love options …

Paint colors …

Paint colors

Materials …


Design …


I like to look for ideas on the internet and when I don’t see the images like the idea I have in my head … I create. Like the Playhouse that I am going to make in my back yard this summer. Tomorrow, I will be sharing some images that I found! And will show you the elements that I want to bring into the one I am going to make.

If it ever warms up,

and the snow melts,

and the ground is not muddy.


You get the idea 🙂 Using my imagination is the fun part … I hope you will join in my fun!




N … Network of Bloggers



Any of you who blog …

know and appreciate the hours we spend doing our best to make a project, how we take our photos in the best possible light and vantage point, spend time in photo editing and adding our water mark, and then of course writing it down and posting it to our blogs.

Those of you who don’t have a blog …

may not be aware that there are bloggers who have made friendships with each other along the way. They have become so precious to me in the past year and a half and sometimes when I have felt like quitting, they have been uplifting and supportive.

We have connected in so many ways. Using social media and privately.

Sharing each others joy and failures and even the unkind remarks that are left from someone who comments on a blog. These things are what bind the network of bloggers together. These are the ones who share in our day to day behind the lines that you don’t see when you read and look at the pictures we post. There have been times when I ask myself if it is worth it and then comes along a comment that makes it all worthwhile …

Today, I received one of those precious comments.


Thank you SO much for this. We just bought the same piano and bench (except in browns) and that 1980′s Naugahyde had to go! I’ve never upholstered anything before, but my husband just happened to have a rarely-used compressor that I’d been bugging him to re-home for months (thank goodness for procrastination!) with staple gun. I stumbled upon the same fabric as my couches in a remnant pile at Hancock and it was meant to be this weekend. The hardest part was just removing the screws and then finding those holes again. Entire project was scarcely an hour and made a huge improvement. Now I’ve got the bug and have been eyeing other furniture. LOL. I hope you got what you wanted for the piano. Thanks so much for giving me the courage. – Melanie


If I could suggest one thing to any of you reading this today … it would be …  Be kind in comments. I have been fortunate and have had such sweet and supportive people around me. Remember, your taste might not be the same as someone who worked so hard to bring you their idea. Hours,Days, (and in my case a couple times) Months have been spent working to have it appear on a blog.

A BIG thank you for my network of Bloggers … I couldn’t do this without you!



M … Mayhem at the Boston Marathon


How sad that an individual (or more), would do something so tragic as to hurt or kill someone that they don’t even know!

My heart is sad.

I will forgo my post today and ask that you pray instead for all of those involved and  their families,


J … Japanese Maple


J … Japanese Maple


I have wanted to buy one for my yard since I saw it in a garden at “The House on the Rock” in Wisconsin, last summer.

Have you seen one? Delicate, breezy looking, and red vibrant color.

I was in love at first look!


Hang on … I will find you a picture 🙂


Japanese Maple Tree

What I learned …

  1. I want the dwarf variety and think ‘Fireglow’ is the one I want.
  2. These trees thrive in warmer climates but you can find varieties that will do fine in colder climates. (I did see it in Wisconsin after all!)
  3. I want to plant it by Miss Precious playhouse (the one I am building her this summer)
  4. I need to research it more, before I buy one, to make sure it will survive our winters.


For those of you who are really into plants and their botanical names I am including the information below. Me? I read blah, blah, blah.

‘Fireglow ‘Japanese Maple is all I need to know 🙂


Hugs and a BIG thank you to Mr Man for covering for me yesterday while I took medicine and went to sleep!

I Love that man!!!


Bloodgood’ 5-7 meters, upright red palmatum
‘Chikumano’ 3-5 meters, wide spreading palmatum deep, rich dark purple red, orange in fall, medium sized tree of spreading habit
‘Fireglow’ 4-5 meters, upright red palmatum
‘Italy Red’ 3-4 meters, upright red palmatum, description: This plant is very similar to ‘Bloodgood’ in leaf and habit except that it is slower growing and only reaches half its size. ‘Italy Red’ is very sturdy, tolerates wind and sun, and eventually forms a small upright tree up to 3 meters tall. It is worth considering for gardens in which ‘Bloodgood’ would be too large. It is thought to have been received from an Italian source, hence its name. This cultivar has also been misspelled ‘Haly Red.’ 
(This one may best fit a dwarf ‘Bloodgood.’)
‘Curtis Strapleaf’ 3-4 meters upright red linearilobum
‘Ko murasaki’ 3-5 meters, upright red matsumurae
‘Nigrum’ 4-6 meters, upright red palmatum
‘O kagami’ 4-6 meters, upright red palmatum
‘Shojo’ 2-4 meters, upright red matsumurae
‘Sumi nagashi’ 4-6 meters, upright red matsumurae ‘The Bishop’ 4-6 meters, upright red palmatum
‘Tsukushi gata’ 4-6 meters, wide red amoenum
‘Vandermoss Red’ 4-6 meters, upright red matsumurae

I … Instructions

They say there’s no “I” in Team, but without a Team there would be no “I”.

Bj is under the weather so I get to “guest host” for just one day.

(She will be back for “J”)



I … Instructions:


Some people, when using a new product or tool for the first time, will do this one thing first. They actually read the instructions. People like Bj.  Then there are people like me. People who occasionally make the mistake of throwing the instructions out with the packaging before they realize they need them.


Bj will also keep receipts, manuals, and warranties on products that were purchased 20+ years ago. I know this because when I go through that rather large box it includes “instructions” on items we haven’t had for years, and more than likely on items that are no longer made. “Instructions first” is probably a good policy, but I must admit old habits are hard to break, so it’s a good thing I’m married to Bj.


She is also the “creative” one, and when she’s involved in that process she doesn’t always have instructions. She in fact, writes them down as she goes. On the floor, on the wall, on a 2×4 stud, on a napkin, on her hand, on her computer, or anywhere else that seems convenient. That’s part of the beauty of DIY projects. You get to do it the way you think it should be done. No (one else’s) instructions necessary.


So one of the lessons I’ve learned being married to Bj that last 7+ years, is that if in the beginning, you follow the instructions and learn how to use the tools of your trade, when it comes to being creative, your “instructions” are the only ones that really matter.


It’s just too bad I didn’t come with any.


Mr Man


H … is for HOME



There is nothing that I love talking about more than HOME!

It conjures up feelings of safety, warmth, family, relaxing (or not).

There is nothing that I love to do more than ride around with Mr Man and look at homes.

I love to look at the structure, the curb appeal (or lack thereof) and think, dream, create.

My most fun job ever (if I am allowed to dream for a moment) would be to add touches to a home to add to the beauty.

Nothing extravagant, that would break the bank of the homeowner … just inexpensive things and hard work that would make it more welcoming.

This is the type of home that I would love to help change …

Cute, cute home but could be ever so much cuter with some landscape, shutters, and different sidewalk. The door could be a different color too!

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.52.58 PM

Courtesy of Google Search

Do you see my vision?

I love the looks of these homes!!!

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.44.45 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.45.24 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.46.26 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.52.16 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.53.54 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.54.41 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 5.59.13 PM

Courtesy of Google Search images

I love brick, plants, defined spaces … the look of a completed home.

One that welcomes me and makes me want to come home!

Oh … my home?


Mr Man and I want to change out our front door and garage doors but as you know, you need to save money for those bigger purchases!

I understand that this is the way I look at homes. What I feel is appealing and not everyone will agree with the way that I look at things.

What sets us apart is our differences.

So having said that …

“What is your style”?



G … Home Gym completed!


I needed a place to work out … so I made the corner of my lower level into a Home Gym.


Let me show you where I started …

The color of my walls definitely had to go!



You know Mr Man loves to come home and see me into another project!

This time he came home to “Writing on the wall” 🙂



All sweet things come to an end …

at least I have the photo!


I have a shelf of dry wall but wanted to make it a place where beverages could be placed without worry. I purchased MDF and painted it black to match the color of the TV and Treadmills.


Finished and ready to use!! 🙂

It is also set up for Video/DVD and Wii (hence the seating area)

A fun space to play!


I finished the craft area next to it and hung blinds in the window.

There will be changes on this wall but until then … it is finished for NOW. 🙂





Between Naps on the Porch

F … Simply “FUN”


Sitting in Caribou

a coffee shop … think Starbucks

thinking of a word that starts with my letter for today

and drawing a blank!

Asked Mr Man to give me a word that I could write about today

He suggested … Fun!

He probably suggested FUN because what others think of as work … I think it is fun. Which is why I am probably a DIYer 🙂

I love to …

mow my lawn



take out the trash




grocery shop



projects in general!

If I can dream it … I want to create it!


My newest dream?

A playhouse


Ideas that I am kicking around in my head?

You can read when I get to the letter “P” 🙂

Hugs and have FUN today!!!