Around here things feel like they are finally moving forward! It seems projects we have been waiting to start are finally underway and we couldn’t be more excited!
After several cold days, and then a few late, late, late frosts (May 4th, seriously?!!) I “think” it’s safe to say that spring is officially here!
We planted 40 tomato plants! I had to put Cale’s eyeballs back in their sockets when I told him how many plants I wanted to plant this year. Since I won’t be eight months pregnant (like last summer) I plan on canning my little heart out and stocking up good for the winter. Look for our “Canning with… Series” starting back up in June!
Remember our refrigerator that had to be held shut by a bungee cord? We’ll it’s moved to “The Shop” and been replaced by this beauty! We had some friends actually give us this one for FREE! What an amazing and totally unexpected blessing (Thanks Williamson Family)!
At 8 months old Little James is scooting/army crawling around and loving being outside. We’ve given up on trying to get him to stop eating the grass. After all, a little dirt is good for ya right?!
For Oklahoma the Irises are always a sign that spring is here! We planted these a few years ago from extra bulbs Cale’s Grandpa was splitting. They have gotten so tall that I can see them above the windows in our kitchen! Makes my heart happy and I love filling our home with fresh cut flowers from around the yard.
I think I have finally perfected one of our favorite breakfast dishes, a crustless quiche (based off of this recipe)! Gotta get in all the oven goodies I can before the summer heat sets in.
After five years of marriage we are repainting/updating our bedroom! I was super excited about this until the gray/purple color I picked out was actually lavender! Our house is so small that all the wall colors need to gel together otherwise things can get really out of hand. The new gray/purple choice, alongside the other rooms, is starting to make our home feel like a rainbow! Looks like I”ll be choosing a a new color direction (and starting over)!
Anyone wanna come over for a painting party?!
We had our first play date in the water on the front lawn! What started as a fun way for the kids to cool off ended with our little niece running around butt naked and James completely soaked and muddy. I’m not gonna lie, I definitely felt like ” The Cool Mom”!
And finally, the chicken coop is completed! This used to be the old hen house where they would raise baby chicks. Cale cut a door in the back end and created a little run for our chickens. After loosing one chick to a big snake we’ve already had to face the good and the bad side of having real animals on The Farm. Cale reminded me that I need to get used to it since I’ve already made plans for owning bees, pigs, etc. Becoming a mom has definitely made me a softy so I’m gonna have to put on my big girl
panties boots if I want to be a legit country girl!
What spring projects have you accomplished thus far? Are you feeling caught up yet or still falling behind?
From The Farm
I get inspired by people who enjoy the process. There is something fun and beautiful about making something with your hands. Sometimes we let a lack of resources stop us from enjoying the creative process, but often times, if we actually slow down, we will notice that the tools we need are all around us.
“…a directing team working in film, art, community building, and agriculture …their unorthodox, hands-on working style often includes direct creation in all aspects of production – writing, designing, painting, sculpting, animating, photographing, directing, editing, composition, and scoring.” – Encyclopedia Pictura
“They are passionate about gardening, farming, construction, villages, augmented reality, science visualization, social ecology, technological empowerment, adventure, and country living.” - Encyclopedia Pictura
Sounds like the kind of people we’d like to be friends with!
Number two, “Camping Rafts”, is my personal favorite. There is something very quaint and magical about chilling on the water with a good friend and tasty snacks.
What’s your favorite Fortrait in the series? What about it inspires you?
From The Farm
You know it’s wedding season when your mail box is full of wedding and shower invites. Some of our dear friends are getting married in May and recently bought their first home. We wanted to do something special to help them celebrate so we threw them a DIY Around the House Couple’s Shower. We really tried to think through the decor and made sure that everything we created for the decorations was something the couple could turn around and use in their new home.
Of course what new home isn’t full of paint swatches, brushes, paint cans, stir sticks, and messy floors? We loved the paint chip garland tutorial found here but instead of getting out the sewing machine we just used a glue stick.
For an afternoon Sunday shower we wanted to keep the food simple and sweet. We decided to do a cookie bar (complete with cold whole milk of course!) and asked a few close guests to share a batch of homemade cookies.
The large paint swatches (found for FREE at your local paint store) worked great as simple ways to label each platter and table activities.
Each table was furnished with a house plant and brown kraft paper painted with teal and purple smudges. We wanted to come up with a fun way to encourage guest interaction. Each table was assigned a different activity and guests were encouraged to move from table to table throughout the shower.
HIM Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a man” on blue paint swatches for the wife to be.
- HER Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a woman” on purple paint swatches for the husband to be.
DATEGAME NIGHT Table: Guests were asked to choose a month out of the couples first year of marriage to host the newlyweds. Mickey and Reagan love spending time with their friends and playing games. This was a fun way to keep in touch with friends and a creative solution for inexpensive date nights throughout their first year of marriage. We printed this lovely 8.5 x11 2013 calendar here and had guests write down what month they would host the newlyweds.
- BLESSINGS Table: Guests were asked to write marriage advice and/or prayers for the couple.
Notice the handmade burlap pillows? One of them says “lets make…” while the other pillow says “pie” on one side and “whoopie” on the other. I’ve seen this done with “coffee” and “love” before as well. Either way, it’s a really cute way to customize a gift that relates to the couple’s since of humor. Find a basic tutorial here.
Overall it was a wonderful afternoon and we enjoyed blessing our friends with love and good things for their life together as a married couple. The shower was perfectly simple and definitely made for easy cleanup.
From The Farm
* Review more work like this and others by visiting our graphic design portfolio at Green Couch Design.
This is the third year we’ve hosted a birthday for our good friend Scott. I don’t know why it takes people asking us before we actually slow down and “plan” something at our place (we need to work on that) but it was a blast! Instead of the typical burgers and dogs we wanted to switch things up a bit. We knew there would be meat eaters and vegetarians attending the party so we decided a grilled cheese bar would do just the trick! I found 9 fancy grilled cheese recipes here and based my toppings off of the ones that looked good to me. Even though everyone had to wait some for their sandwiches they were well worth the wait! Everyone LOVED the entire process and kept coming back for seconds (and thirds!).
Our top favorite toppings from the night included:
- Banana Peppers & Jalapenos
- Provolone & Swiss Cheese
- Summer Sausage (sliced thin)
- Bacon (of course)
- Green Apples (sliced thin)
Our Grilled Cheese Grill Party was definitely a family friendly way to create something for everyone’s taste buds! Plus, if our guests didn’t like their sandwiches we could blame it on the fact that they got to choose their own dang toppings!
cheese everyone! Spring is here.
From The Farm
We spent our Saturday morning enjoying homemade quiche, cantaloupe, and time with good friends. This is the third time this year we’ve enjoyed a day of inspiration and creativity by simply being together. Last time we shared our definition of home, this meetup we defined family.
What does it look like? How does it breath? Move? Believe?
Friends come and go, but family is forever. It’s bigger than the community you are born into, family is the people you choose to be in a relationship with on a heart level. Family is where you can be vulnerable and celebrate your truest self. Around family you can let your hair down, be quirky, free, you can be 100% you without having to hedge your bets, or worry about “offending” others by what you say.
Family is when you love and are loved “whether you like it or not”. - To The Wonder (shot in Oklahoma!)
This past weekend we talked about family and how that interacts with business.
We were encouraged by businesses that celebrate community in a family type atmosphere.
We found inspiration from a family of creative entrepreneurs.
We learned that some families are complicated no matter how you look at it.
And we found tools and resources that help organize businesses regardless of their history.
Ultimately family is a safe space. It doesn’t come with a set of hidden agendas, it’s where you belong, you have a since of ownership, you can assimilate into smoothly regardless of how messy or pretty it is. In family there is no pressure to entertain, just “being” together is reason to gather.
For us, family is the place we go to start over.
It’s our re-set button.
What does family look like to you? We all come from different backgrounds and experiences but in an ideal world what type of picture would you paint? Do you believe that family and business can work together as one?
From The Farm
We are excited to announce that our guest bedroom has been hosting some very special farm guests. Every morning I wake up hearing them chirping away and think there are birds in my house!? Oh, wait! Cale has been talking about having chickens FOREVER and once we officially decided to make the jump I swear it’s all he has talked about (and thought about) for the last three weeks.
About a week ago we made the trip to our local feed store to purchase our new baby chickens. You know you are in the right place when the parking lot is full of pickups!
We invited our little niece (to ensure our status as her favorite Aunt and Uncle of course!) who happily tagged along. It was a really fun family-friendly outing. I would totally recommend taking the kids even if you don’t plan on purchasing any. It’s like a mini petting zoo for FREE (as long as the employees don’t mind)!
She was a little shy at first but by the time we got them home she had opened RIGHT up (and everyday asks her mom if she can come by and see them!).
Cale had to have a good “talkin to” with Josie (our dog) to make sure she understood that the baby chicks, although cute and cuddly, were not to be used as her chew toys.
And before we knew it we were the proud parents of 10 little baby chicks (starting to feel a little out numbered).
I’m not gonna lie, with the recent release of Jurassic Park 3D all I can think about is how much they look like baby Pterodactyls. They definitely have some kind of mutant powers cause they have already grown 2x their size! We’re gonna have to keep an eye on these little guys and get their coop finished ASAP.
Wish us luck in our newest farm adventure. Time to add another chore to the list!
Anyone out there have chickens too? What’s your best egg-laying chicken advice?!
From The Farm
If you are on Pinterest at all I’m sure you’ve seen the DIY Mug Art craze. I’ve been pinning a few ideas and decided to give it a try for a special wedding gift. I found the white mugs at a thirft shop for $0.48 cents! Spring is always full of weddings so if you are looking for an inexpensive, quick (takes about an hour to create and about three hours to bake and completely cool), handmade gift look no further! This is definitely my new “go to” gift if I’m wanting to do something a little special.
- Cup(s): Can be different shapes, sizes, and colors
- Paper: To practice illustrating your design(s)
- Sharpie: Can be black or try a colored sharpie on a white cup
- Dish soap and Paper Towel: To erase mistakes before you bake
- X-Acto Knife: For possible mistakes after you bake
- Practice illustrating the front and back designs on a piece of paper. Feel free to do a scripture or fun quote that relates to the couple. Look for ideas on Pinterest, the couple’s Facebook Page(s), their Wedding Invite, or visit their Wedding Website. Make sure you double check the correct spelling of the couple’s name(s) and wedding date. For mistakes (before you bake) wet a paper towel with dish soap and the sharpie should wipe off.
- Pre-heat oven to 425
- Place cups upside down on the rack and bake for 30 minutes.
- DO NOT REMOVE. Turn off oven and let the cups stand and cool completely in the oven. If you find a mistake (after you bake) take an X-Acto and scrape the sharpie off. Re-do the sharpie and bake again for the full 30 minutes. There might be a slight smudge where you scrape the marker off but you should be able to wipe this off after it is baked. This method works best if you catch any mistakes while the cup is still hot!
Let us know how your mug designs come out! I’m already taking notes on ideas for other upcoming holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. It’s definitely a fun way to personalize a gift for someone you love.
From The Farm
For us Easter is more than just egg hunts and fancy clothes. It’s about the freedom we’ve received through Jesus. It was more than just dying for our sins, it was about coming back from the dead. Jesus didn’t just restore our old self, He gave us a brand new life.
A new beginning.
A fresh start.
Thank you Lord for giving us victory. For on that day, when you left the tomb you gave us the keys to overcome every dead situation in our own lives. We may not always see the how, or know the when, but in time, you use everything for good.
“Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” - Matthew 6:10
In heaven. You came to make earth like it is in heaven.
Let’s make earth more like heaven. No pain. No suffering.
Just hope, peace, love, patience, kindness, and gentleness.
Happy Easter friends.
From The Farm
We have a friend who recently sold us several pounds of pecans for a really great price! When I asked how he managed to get such a good deal his wife informed me that he’s developed quite a new hobby. In the early morning hours he walks around Oklahoma City and hunts down the local pecan trees. He knows where all the best trees are and has slowly gathered gallon buckets full of pecans! Apparently there is quite a sub-culture of people that do this because he’s even made some friends along the way.
And it got me thinking… how many people walk by these pecan trees everyday and have no idea what they are missing out on?
As I was sifting through my stash of pecans I started thinking about Cale and I and this season we are in. Lately life’s been asking us to crack open some of the deepest issues within our hearts. With the death of Cale’s dad, job changes, new baby, business changes, grandparents being sick… it’s been a long season of just “surviving”. For to long we’ve just walked by those feelings not wanting to feel them or say what we truly felt so they just stayed tossed on the ground.
A few nights ago we finally slowed down enough to notice some of the deeper issues and it was a really great moment in our marriage. We have been trying so hard to just do life that we were not aware of how truly unhappy we were. I guess we just thought if we kept going, ignore all those annoying shells on the ground, that eventually things would just get better. But typically things don’t just “get better”. There is not a magic wand that will automatically crack open pecan shells.
I can’t enjoy my pecans without some work invovled.
Pecans are sweet nuts and unless you are allergic I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like pecans?! But before you can get to the nutty goodness you have to get past the rough and tough shell. It takes time, attention to detail, and patience to pry open each shell and find the yummyness hiding inside. But when you sift through each shell not only do you find one pecan… you find a stash of pecans!
Of course you’ll always find some bad nuts along the way but you have to sift through the bad ones to get to the really good stuff.
And then what do you do?
You make pecan pie of course!
Or put em on your ice cream.
Coffee Cake (Yum!).
Finally, after a not so fun conversation Cale and I are getting to the real core issues. Some of them hold truths that are still hard to swallow but when you face them life becomes so much more than just survival and hoping that you don’t get stepped on.
Instead life is something you can open up and enjoy.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get crackin! Even if you find some painful nuts along the way you’ll eventually get to the good stuff.
Can anyone else relate to being in this season? What has helped you “get crackin” (wine, good friends that make you laugh, baby giggles, etc.)?
From The Farm
Spring is in the air! Can you feel it?
We felt it this past week when we had some friends and their three kids come stay with us. It was a week full of adventure and outdoor fun. A sorta mini spring break in our 1,000 square foot farm house. It was a bit crazy, but I think the best memories are made when you simply enjoy living life together. Especially when you are a kid, vacations don’t have to be fancy! Sometimes just changing up your day-to-day routine can feel like a little getaway.
What are some of your favorite childhood spring break memories?
Happy Spring Break everyone! Now, get outside!
From the Farm