Feb 27, 2013

My Little Herb Garden for the Kitchen Window

So unlike last year where we planted a nice big garden, I think this year we'll be a bit limited. Since we'll be in Colorado for most of the summer, it doesn't quite make sense to plant tons of tomato plants here in Texas to make tomatoes we won't be here to eat... right? But we'll see what happens... for now, I made a small indoor kitchen garden!

I'd seen a few things on Pinterest about herb gardens indoors, or re-growing green onions right from the grocery store. I pinned a few things and didn't do much. But then when motivated by those fancy-pants bloggers I love at Young House Love with their seasonal "get up and do something you've pinned on Pinterest" Pinterest Challenge, I figured no time was better.

And if you want to be inspired too...here are quick links to the ladies responsible for the Pinterest Challenge and their projects this go around!
      Young House Love: Board & Batten Baby!
      Bower Power:
      The Remodeled Life: A Fabric Ottoman
      Decor and the Dog: Button Wall Art

Here's what I had pinned for this particular project. (If you click the picture, you be linked to the pin's original website, in case you want to check them out.)

I got the info from Pinterest and figured I'd set this little garden up right on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. That way it pretty's up the sink area, gets plenty of light... and let's be honest, I'll see it every day and not forget to water it. With the sink so close, I'd have to be super-lazy not to water these plants, right?

Anyways, so I grabbed the green onions right out of the produce section at the grocery store. I chose organic for this project, because I figure I might as well grow organic green onions for about 10 cents more than the regular ones.

I also stopped by and got a few little seed packets. I chose coriander/cilantro (coriander's the cilantro seed), oregano, and thyme. I picked those because I heard they were easy to grow from seeds and they are herbs I use often. If I get a generous crop I may even break out my dehydrator and make my own dried herbs.

Anyways, then I gathered supplies from around the house. I had a half-used bag of potting soil in the garage and I have a very generous collection of old glass jars... (like this is 1/10th of them...)

I arranged them on the windowsill and made sure I had a variety of shapes and sizes in jars. I tried to stick with larger, but I liked the small ones too. 

First I opened the green onions and just popped then right in the jar and added water up to the green part of the stem. Like the Pinterest link said, they can grow right in the water in the jar. I should be able to cut off the green tops and the stalks should grow back again and again. I did read somewhere thought that planting the onions in dirt may yield better results, so we'll see.

Then one by one I filled the jars/glasses with potting soil.

Dropped the seeds in.

And covered lightly with a layer of potting soil.

I thought about labeling the jars, but I liked the simplicity of the glass. So I just planted the seeds in alphabetical order (not including the green onions). #organizationnerd So from the left to the right we have 1. green onions (hiding behind the left curtain), 2. green onions, 3. green onions, 4. coriander/cilantro, 5. coriander/cilantro, 6. oregano, 7. oregano, 8. green onions, 9. thyme. 

So far, looks fresh :)

Aren't they so pretty all lined up right there in the kitchen window? It's like they're yelling "cook me, I'm so fresh and flavorful!" ...or...maybe not... Can't wait to see what they look like in 8-15 days (you know, when they start to sprout)! I'm hoping the windowsill stays warm enough for them to sprout if I keep them moist. If not, we'll have to figure something out...

What about you, any gardening indoors this year? Planning a big garden outside this year? Actually doing anything you pinned on pinterest?

Note: This Pinterest Challenge isn't a contest or anything, but just motivation to get projects done! But I did find out that East Coast Creative's Creating with the Stars Challenge (which is an actual contest I entered) is doing votes differently than I thought. Only now are they starting to count the 'clicks' on my little link picture from last Monday's post for that 12th spot in the contest. So if you can, swing by the contest page, scroll way,way down to the little pictures and click on mine #249 "As-Is Ikea Door Turned Office Board!" Once it's clicked it gives me a "vote"...crazy, first contest I've entered like this one!

Feb 25, 2013

Hess House Garage Sale

We had a garage sale this weekend! Actually, we hosted a garage sale for six different families; it was kind of incredible. Of course, like the crazy self that I am, I didn't get a picture of the garage sale sign or any of the people at the garage sale...

But I did get pictures of our friends' kids...

And then I let the kiddos take a few pics with the camera (on Auto), showing them how to point and click. Pretty impressive if you ask me... (but I'm sure they are pros at iphone photography by now so it's not much different right?)

We really did have a great time at the garage sale. We weren't ready to throw a lot of pic furniture or home decor items into the garage sale just yet, so mostly for the Hesses we had clothes, t-shirts, sneakers, a semi-functional sewing machine, some of Kyle's extra disc golf discs, our trusty old-fashioned lawn mower, and a semi-broken large glass table that conveniently came with the house because it was too heavy to move...

And the kiln, but the kiln didn't sell at the garage sale. So it doesn't really count. I'm going to try craigslist, but I figured we could take a chance at the garage sale. (For all of you how are wondering why I have a kiln, click here for the full story... For all of you wondering why I'm selling it, well, because I'm way too scared to plug it in and then not watch it for the entire 8 hours it needs to 'cook' pottery... I can barely leave my crock-pot on at home without worrying it will burn the house down...)

Anyways, luckily our friends had TONS of great stuff. I'm convinced it was their stuff and our great location that made the garage sale so successful. See we started with everything in our shop... it was stuffed.

Then the morning of the garage sale we moved all the big furniture outside.

Still though, no pictures of 'the grown-ups" or the crazy yummy barbecue chicken I made for us all to eat for lunch that day. I used my dad's barbecuing tips and my mom's potato salad recipe and the people were happy (happy tummies...).

Love living in a city that loves garage sales. Especially in a city that doesn't require us to purchase a permit for garage sales... which means there's no risk and all reward :)

And let's be honest, I just played with the kids all day and made lunch. And got a sweet desk chair that one of our friends was going to sell... Couldn't be more excited about the desk chair. (But more on that later I'm sure).

But anyways, you should have a garage sale this spring. Who knows what kind of money you could make on  the stuff you don't really even want anymore... or what kind of storage space you may gain :) Post it on craigslist, put up good signs (no one wants to get lost), and price everything (most people are afraid to say 'how much is this?').  And do it with friends, it was like a long fun hangout ending with profits and barbecue for us... #whocouldaskforanythingmore

Happy Monday.

Feb 22, 2013

the Guestbook

Here at the Hess House we love to have visitors. I often think we should have our house ready at all times so we can have people over at the drop of a hat... but in reality it's the motivation of having people over that usually gets us to run around and clean the house (or taking pictures for the blog...). I'm convinced that my husband suggested hosting a Super Bowl party just so we'd finally clean the after-Christmas clutter...

Anyways, I had been thinking about making a unique little guestbook for our guest room. I wanted a place to have people sign and leave little notes when they come stay with us. And I was at Michael's (the craft store) a while back getting who-knows-what and I saw this cool little notebook section. It's called a Smash Book and the Smash company sells little fun things to put in it... I instantly thought of our guestbook.

So I snagged a book and a few little pads of paper (that I also used for the office board) and I headed home.

Then I waited six months...

And then we were having people over last weekend so I figured it was time to put this plan into action. We got the table setup best we could and this is what we've got. The book, the pads of paper, the camera, and the handy dandy printer all on our little nightstand. (Yep, I know the nightstand needs a paint job...)

Here they are all up close and fancy...

So when we have a guest stay over... there are a few steps. STEP ONE: They take a picture with our little easy-to-use camera. We prefer is the guests are in the pic, but I guess they could take a picture of whatever they want...

STEP TWO: Print the pic. Just slip out the memory card from the camera and stick it into this handy machine. We had one of these printers at camp last summer and it's easy to use, easy to refill, and the cost for prints is about the same as the store... Let's see, I looked it up, it's a Canon Selphy and they sell for about $80-$100 online.

So then STEP THREE: Use the cool pen with a glue stick on the end (yep I said glue stick!)...

...to glue the picture in the guestbook. 

Add the cute little paper and a few notes...

And then all done. See how cute? :)

And the book itself is pretty neat too. It's got different patterns on each page. This is the first page of the book: 

But remember when I said I had the supplies for like six months? So I needed to catch up on our guest list for those who missed their chance to sign their own names. I plan to add a small picture or two from some of the guests, but I did add the names and a little note one of the guests left me this summer :)

And then of course we had the family camp reunion last December. ...still need to print that picture...

Either way, I think it'll be a neat little book as the years go by. Something fun to look back at and see all the 'old' pictures of everyone :) Just a little bit of craftiness I'd been procrastinating for way too long...

What about you? Any projects on your to-do list? Maybe a weekend project? Happy Friday.

Oh, and don't forget: I entered a little DIY contest using the project from Monday's post! Twelve little bloggers will get picked to pair up with the professional bloggers in the contest... so I entered! One of the bloggers picked is due to the amount of "clicks" they get from the contest's main page. So if you have time this weekend, check it out! Scroll down, down, down and I'm number 249 called "As-Is Ikea Door Turned Office Board." Thanks!

Feb 20, 2013

A Little More Yard Work

Note: So I entered a little DIY contest using the project from Monday's post! It's crazy, I've never done anything like this before!! Twelve little bloggers will get picked to pair up with the professional bloggers and so I entered! One of the bloggers picked is due to the amount of  "clicks" they get from the contest's main page here. So if you can find me at the bottom of that page (I'm project number 249 called "As-Is Ikea Door Turned Office Board." Thanks!

So we were busy this weekend with the office board project and having like 40 people over for dinner on Friday night. It was a bit busy. BUT we also decided to do a little more yard work. You know, rake the entire yard into strange patterns, chainsaw the old dead apple tree... that kind of thing.

There was a method to our my raking madness...

My hero (bats her eyelashes and sighs...)

The creepy old tree is gone... #stillgivesmenightmares

And then I had to include a picture of my fancy professional yard-working boots... aside their good new friend the broadcast spreader. Now that we got all the pecans picked up, I finished spreading the pre-emergent in the pecan tree area. Feels good to be done with all those chemicals...

And then it was like God gave us a little prize for all our hard work... Just popped right up.

Is that not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. So perfect sitting right there smiling at us :)

I think I could stare at it all day... maybe I'll put the picture on the gallery wall??

Anyways, I guess we're committed to having a nice yard this year? At least maybe we've prevented the dreaded sandburs... Although I didn't prevent the muscle soreness from a few long days of yard word :( Guess I aught to workout more... Maybe?

Feb 17, 2013

DIY Office Board

I've been talking about updating the desk area for a good while now. I'm anxiously awaiting the warmer weather so I can spray paint the desk a nice peacock blue. But I've also been staring at an Ikea As-Is find for about a year now... and then it occurred to me that I could kill two birds with one stone and make an organization dry erase board for my office area!

I was a little motivated by this Ikea door sitting in my living room...

But I was even more motivated by this little contest I found out about called Creating with the Stars. They're picking 12 little ole bloggers (like me) to pair up with 12 fancy professional bloggers for a DIY contest! The entry requires submitting one of my little projects and I thought this would be the perfect thing! Figured I'd enter and we'll just see what happens... never done anything like this before...

So here we go. I started with what I think was a door to a cabinet or entertainment center from Ikea. We were in the "As Is" section at Ikea one day a few months back and found this gem for only $5. I knew I could do something with it for just $5 so I picked one up and it's been just sitting in the living room ever since.

I brought the door over to the office area of the living room. Yep, needs a little color right?

And I liked the way it seemed to line up.

I figured we could turn the door sideways and hang it on the wall above the desk to use as a dry erase board of sorts. But I had a few challenges:
 - The door's not light. It weighed in at 18 pounds!
 - I wanted the board to be pretty secure so it wouldn't wobble when I tried to write on it.
 - I needed to be able to easily access the back of the door so I could change out the calendar and backgrounds as needed (you'll see later).

So we bought these 2-inch narrow hinges from the hardware store. If the door was hanging on hinges I could 'open' the door and change out anything behind it whenever I wanted. It did make for a complicated process though... Multiple times during this process Kyle and I were asking each other, "are you sure we're not crazy for trying this?!?"

We bought 4 hinges for about $5 total and I lined them up on the backside of the door. I put them on what was to be the 'top' of the board once hung.

Drilled some pilot holes making sure to not go through the front of the door (and staying away from the glass).

We used the screws that came with the hinges to attach the hinges to the door. They were the perfect length (not too long... didn't want them to come through the front of the door).

We made sure to check out our stud situation using a handy stud finder. We marked the studs on painter's tape and made sure to mark any electrical wires that the stud finder picked up (don't want to hit any electric current).

Like we figured, our studs didn't quite line up with where we wanted to hang the hinges. So I watched a little Ron Hazelton video online, and decided to use these molly bolt-type anchors. 

They required we drill a 1/4 inch hole for each anchor... made me so nervous when Kyle was drilling. He's a total pro, but we were drilling holes in our walls...

We followed the instructions like the rule followers that we are...

But then we ran into a little problem once we attached the door to the wall. See how the screws that came with the anchors are round on top? They wouldn't let the hinges close flat... oops.

So I ran and got these. These wood screws were the closest thing to the screws that came with the anchors but they had a flat head that would sink into the hinge so it could lay flat.

Then I added some bumpers to balance things out on the bottom half... Aren't they pretty?

And so they even things out. See the top with the hinge on the left and the bottom with the bumper on the right?

And then I stood back and admired my work! Woo hoo! ... then I realized it looked crooked?! Do you see that?

So I re-checked it with a level. And it was very level...

So I checked the desk. Turns out the desk wasn't quite level. That should be an easier fix later. I checked the baseboards though and it seems the floor is level (no major probs).

So then it was time to make this thing cute and functional.  I started with the calendar. I had planned on printing out a nice calendar for the center glass panel, but at the last minute I thought to simply cut out a page from my yummy-chicken-chain calendar. :)

I pulled out a few pieces of scrap paper and some fun little pages from a Smash Book we have for our guest book...

First panel is for notes of any kind. I had no way of taking a picture of this one without being in it... :)

Second is the calendar. I think I'd like one a little bigger for next month maybe?

And I just put a fun piece of paper in the third panel just because I liked it. Maybe I'll put pictures behind it later or make a place to write the dinner menu for the week or something...

Isn't it great? I just love it :)

Here they are with a little dry erase magic...

(Can you see the secret note I left for Kyle? Gotta go in order...)

I'll be staring at this corner a little more than before...

There it is. Just because something started out as a door in the "As Is" section of Ikea doesn't mean it can't be an organization dry erase board that brings lots of life and color to your home office. Why did I wait so long to do this?

What are you making this week? What are you putting off making? You should do it. Maybe you can enter it in the contest too? Or maybe you can simply go visit my link (I should be #249 "As-Is Ikea Door turned Office Board") on the contest page. And I think I get votes or something if you click on my little link on their page! Check it out!

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