Craftsman Front Porch Posts

Happy Friday, friends!  Today I would like to chat a bit about front porches since the warmer weather has FINALLY visited Southern Ontario and I’m itching to get our front porch all cleaned up and styled for summer living and porch sittin’!

Our current front porch–there she is in all her post-build glory.  Womp womp!  Besides the fact that we are in need of a long and thorough power washing session, I would like to direct your attention to the posts.  I’m so happy with our stone choice and we decided to carry that over to the bottom of the porch posts as you see here.  The top portion of the posts will be in a craftsman style and are currently in progress by my super talented husband.  Our inspiration for the craftsman style porch posts is here:

We hope the top of our posts will look similar to this except without the taper.  You can see at the very back of the top photo that one post already had the trim finished when I took the picture.   Since then Doug has squeezed in some more sessions and now only has one and 1/2 to finish before we break out the caulk and paint to brighten those babies up.  After the posts are finished we hope to add black shutters like this to two of our front exterior windows:

Here is a shot of the front exterior of our house from a while ago–although sadly not much has changed…:

We plan to add the the shutters and window boxes to the windows on the very left (mudroom) and right (master bathroom) similar to this:

window box inspiration

I LOVE generously sized window boxes so they will definitely be deeper than the above, but I do like the look of black shutters and black window boxes on our stone and gray siding so that is the plan for now.

We had plenty of showers in April and early May so decided to harrow the front yard and scatter some grass seed:

It is not coming in as thick as we had hoped but we’re not giving up just yet.  We’ll harrow and over-seed one more time and see if we can get a luscious lawn going before the scorching summer sun arrives…  I’ll keep you posted!

For now we’ll be happy with the little pocket of green I installed on the front porch to help it look a little less brown around here ;-)!  Oh, also I just ordered this rug from Amazon and am so excited to get my hands on that package so we can better welcome guests into our home!

welcome mat

Isn’t it the cutest?!?  I’m so exited for that package to arrive!  I’ll leave you with a few more front porch inspiration photos that I am working with and we’ll see if I can get some welcoming style similar to these set up by the end of the summer…

I love all of the herbs and other plants that brighten up this porch!

The ferns are such a perfect touch here with all of the black and white.

The planters, lanterns and rug–all to die for!

This just invites you to sit and sip some lemonade, doesn’t it?

Loving this simple style for the upper part of the columns.

Again with lanterns and planters to die for!

Lovely and welcoming aspirations…  What is on your front porch?  Comment below and let me know what you think should be on the “perfect front porch”.  Or, do you have an “unfinished” front porch like me and need a little push to add some personality and warmth?  Let’s work on our porches together, shall we?  Keep me posted with your progress on my facebook page: (also to your right in the sidebar menu).

In the meantime, you are welcome to stop by the blog anytime and I hope you feel welcomed and right at home ;-)!  Happy weekend and happy home making!  ♥ Tina


Farmhouse Style Mudroom

Hello, friends!  Today we FINALLY have the mudroom corner pre-reveal for your viewing pleasure.  Although, no one else can be gathering more pleasure from this mostly completed project than I am ;-)!  With six sets of shoes, coats and various other outerwear items needing a spot to land, we were well overdue for this cute yet practical solution.  Here we were a few weeks back at the BEFORE:

This little corner is located on the wall that you face as you enter our home from the garage.  The laundry is to your right and a wall that has a great solution for all those car and house keys is to your left (I’ll post about that soon).  This corner is small but needs to contain all. the. things. if you know what I mean!  One obstacle, other than the size of this corner, that needed a creative design solution was that lovely window which lets in so much light.  After studying the inspiration photos (you can see them all here in this post) we decided that the best solution would be to have the top shelf of our storage unit rest on top of the window trim.  This would also help the room seem more open and take advantage of the 9 foot ceiling height.

Here is the partial install of the mdf we used and you can see the shelf up there, happily resting on the window trim.  Trust me, hubby was also happy with that decision as no extra cutting was needed to shape the shelf edge around the trim.  Despite all of the home improvement projects I throw his way, I do have his best interests in mind at all times ;-).

There he is working away… love it!  Also note the dirty hockey jersey in the foreground…. which means the end of hockey season – yay…and the emptying of hockey bags with stinky equipment – boo!  As you can see our laundry sink, washer and dryer also share the window wall.  This is the only entrance into our home that our sons are allowed to use.  With no grass on our front yard yet, the mud must be contained somehow–mudroom to the rescue!  Although our amazing slate tile-look vinyl flooring helps to hide lots of dirt and grime:



My smart husband purchased side panels for the cubbies with pre-drilled holes for the shelving from Home Depot to make his life a bit easier.  Also, if our needs or basket sizes change in the future, the shelves are easy to adjust.

So that brought us to the point where trim was needed to bulk up the edges of the shelf and bench to make it look more substantial.  AND we decided to shiplap the back wall of the coat hook portion:

And no, we don’t wait for a project to be completed before we start to use it for storage in case you were wondering… 😉  Then it was time to paint and install the hooks.  I used Simply White by Benjamin Moore to coordinate with the trim throughout our entire home.

I love the way the white really makes the shiplap look crisp and clean!  The hooks are from Canadian Tire (here in Canada) and were around $7CAD each.  Here they are at Home Depot for $5.55 each in the United States.  I think that is an amazing price for such a large and expensive-looking hook.  I measured the hook area, made a cardboard template for the screw holes and we were ready to hang those hooks:

I had forgotten this fun little detail but there obviously must have been a Maple Leafs hockey game on tv and my husband obviously didn’t think I would be posting this picture on the blog.  Gotcha!  😉

Oops, back to the store for one more hook.  Since I purchased the hooks before we built the unit, we decided the final coat hook configuration after the unit was built.  Thank goodness the store still had them in stock and we grabbed one more and then voila:

This is not the final reveal as I am waiting for a sunny day 🙁 and I want to sew or find cushions for the bench.  The baskets on the top shelf I already owned and used to sit on top of our mudroom cubbies in our last house.  I need to dig up some pictures of those as they worked so well for our family (each one of us had our own 2′ x 2′ locker with shoe storage below and the basket sitting on a shelf above).  The other four square baskets are from Ikea a long time ago–like 18 years ago– and I am amazed they are still intact as they have held everything from toys, to shoes to hand-me-down clothes.  Definitely worth the initial investment ;-).  Anyway, they fit so perfectly they might just stay here and then I don’t have the added financial and time costs of having to find new ones.  The basket on the floor has always been in our “mudroom” wherever we have lived for the past 11 years and holds an assortment of soccer shin pads, ice skate blade covers, whistles, balls, gloves and general mudroom paraphernalia–don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about ;-).

Our family (OK, maybe it’s just me) is so relieved to finally have somewhere organized to hang our jackets and put our shoes!  One more project we can cross off THE LIST!  Speaking of “The List”, I have an exciting reveal coming up of our stairway to the basement, stay tuned but here is a sneak peek:

stairway sneak peek

Have a wonderful Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!  I hope you come again real soon! ♥ Tina


Bunnies and Brackets and Bread, Oh My!

folded bunny ears napkin

Random, I know.  With such a random title, please expect a random post to follow…. but also project updates and a Pinterest non-fail thrown in for good measure.  Happy Easter, y-all!  I hope your Easter was filled with great family time, food and celebrating our risen Savior!  We celebrated with my side of the family in Michigan with food, games, food, basketball, tv sports watchin’, food, church, food, shopping, food and guns, and oh yeah, some more food…

melted plastic plant on BBQ

As you can see from the above, my good old dad was trying his hardest to get some greens in our meals, even if it had to be of the melted plastic variety stuck to the BBQ…  😉  Dad also bravely allowed a couple of my sons to accompany him on his first morning of turkey hunting season–and they bagged one!  This was no small feat as one of his companions is notoriously chatty.  😉  Way to go, Grandpa!  And no, we did not eat the turkey for Easter dinner…

folded bunny ears napkin

So my mom was super impressed with the bunny ear folded napkins my sister and I managed to whip up for Easter dinner while she was finishing up her integral role in the church choir that none of us ever tease her about…  😉  I must thank Kris from Driven by Decor for the bunny napkin idea (click here for tutorial).  Although, we used fabric napkins instead of paper so had to improvise a bit and use paperclips to hold the bunnies together.  Anywho, obviously Easter dinner was saved by these amazing table decor masterpieces cause if you know my mom at all, you are aware of her mild obsession with table settings and dishes…  You are welcome, Mother.

And in other news here was our deck not too many days ago.  Yes, snow.  Boo.

And then here were a couple of my boys (hubs and the youngest) on the same deck not too many days ago, contemplating life, no snow in sight.  Love.  This covered deck now has furniture set up and we are enjoying the added living space off of our great room and also the spring weather when it decides to cooperate.  I’ll do a spring deck post for you soon to show you how we have that set up.

nail polish favors

Hey I made something off of Pinterest!  And it turned out totally cute!

nail polish treats

I made these nail polish candy/marshmallow treats for a recent fundraiser my son’s school held and they turned out sooooooo cute!  Click here for the recipe/tutorial.

artisan bread

So I make homemade bread quite often, and then I regret it.  Not because it doesn’t turn out (it is freakin awesome, people!)…. but because I want to eat the entire thing still warm from the oven and slathered in butter (even with the weird wart things this loaf had on it).  Years ago I bought this book:

artisan bread in five minutes a day

It makes the occurrence of homemade bread quite attainable for a busy, working mom like me.  And my boys love it when I make fresh homemade bread.  And it is very yummy and full of carbs and hard to resist for me.  But I make it for the family because I am self-sacrificing like that.  And no one notices when I sneak a slice or five.  😉  Click here to find the book on Amazon.

nhl playoff brackets

So we have a little contest going on at our house.  If you live in Canada, you already know that hockey = life’s sole purpose.  The hubs came up with the fun idea for each of us to fill in an NHL playoff bracket and the winner will get their choice of a large container of whatever they want from Costco (ok, within reason, people… we’re not talking a case of motorcycles or anything–just a bucket of sour keys or a large carton of Goldfish crackers–whatever the winner’s poison may be).  Then the losers pay for the said Costco treat.  I’ll keep you posted on how this all goes down but don’t expect my bracket to rack up any large number of points… because when it comes to hockey, I am not caring ;-).  This is why we designed our home with a great room so I can be puttering in the kitchen, still hanging out with the fam, but not forced to actually focus my eyeballs on the copious amounts of hockey our tv displays at all times.  Hey, I just participated in this crazy contest on the off chance I would win a case of Snickers ;-).

mudroom carpenter

This is a picture of PROGRESS in our mudroom – yay!  Hubs is a busy bee looking at my Pinterest mudroom pictures and trying to decipher the “style” I am going for…  Sort of cottage, craftsman, with some shiplap thrown in of course…  Click here for the post with my ideas for this area.  He is doing an amazing job!  Here is where we were at on Friday:

mudroom progress

I’m actually getting very excited to have a designated, somewhat organized spot for our jackets and shoes.  This has been a bit of a struggle for me as our last home had amazing “lockers” for each person to put all of their junk things in.  The lockers would definitely get cluttered and become great hiding spots for discarded school lunch sandwiches and the like, but at least it was somewhat contained.  The past four months have seen this little corner full on bombarded with coats, boots, shoes, hats, mitts, hockey sticks, skates, lacrosse sticks, etc.  We are definitely ready for some hooks, and cubbies and containment at this juncture.  I think this will work just fine.  And if there happen to be any stray lunch cast offs, the boys’ rooms are just across the hall from this little spot.  A quick toss and all is where it is supposed to be ;-).  Another great house design tip from Building House|Making Home – “if you have messy teenage and pre-teen boys, put their bedrooms close to the garage, laundry room and mudroom to facilitate stinky and or stray clothing item triage sessions”.  I know I am a genius already but you may type any glowing comments below if you so desire ;-).

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come again real soon!  ♥ Tina

Five No-Fail Appetizers

Five No Fail Appetizers

Five No Fail Appetizers

Hey friends!  We’re taking a break from the regularly scheduled home decor programming and venturing into vittles territory today.  Partly because this is my life right now…  I volunteer at my son’s school on the catering team and we have so many events that we have recently catered or are in the works that my brain is on all things food and appetizers.  Not such great timing as I am also trying to eat healthier and lose some winter weight right now…. actually when am I not trying to eat healthier and lose some weight?!? #thestruggleisreal   And partly because we are working on finishing up an exciting home DIY project but I don’t have any “reveal” photos just yet…  Stay tuned!

So today I wanted to share with you five of our most popular, no-fail appetizers that always get rave reviews and are so super simple to make it is almost embarrassing.  Drumroll please…..

     And here they are, the five most fabulous, no-fail, you-will-be-the-hostess-with-the-mostess, super simple appetizers:

#1.  Shrimp Taco Bites

Shrimp Taco Bites

Aren’t they adorable?!  Click here for full recipe and tutorial.

*** Just a note that our catering team used frozen mini shrimp instead so that they were already cooked and tails removed – we put two mini shrimp on each bite.

#2.  Apple Bacon Cheddar Crostini

apple bacon cheddar crostini

Oh. My. Goodness.  #baconmakeseverythingbetter  Click here for the delicious recipe.  Thanks, Betty Crocker!  Yum!

#3.  Party Picks

Party Picks

Yep.  Pretty much just as easy to assemble as they are delicious.  Click here for the recipe.

#4.  Parmesan Ranch Stuffed Mushrooms

parmesan ranch stuffed mushrooms

Warning:  You may not be able to stop at just one!  Click here for recipe from Six Sisters.  Thanks, Six Sisters!

And finally #5.  Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Cucumber Bites

smoked salmon and cream cheese cucumber bites

So so elegant and so so yum!  Thanks, Baker By Nature!  Click here for recipe.

Our team is loving how easy these five classics are to assemble and yet how elegant they look and their utter deliciousness!  We have a couple of weddings and anniversaries coming up so these will be on repeat for a while and I guess shrinking my waistline will be on hold for now…  🙁

Five No Fail Appetizers

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon!  ♥ Tina

April Showers bring Greenhouse Flowers

DIY Window Greenhouse

Building House Making Home Greenhouse Dreaming

Happy April, everyone!  Although it has been a rainy April for us so far, I can’t help but see the silver lining as I look forward to all the planting we get to do in our blank slate yard:

Building House Making Home Front Yard
Our front yard – view from the front door taken today – yikes!

Um yeah, lots to do…  just how we like it ;-)!  #notoverwhelmingatall    So as I contemplate our landscaping and vegetable garden plans I have been thinking it would be so nice to have a greenhouse to start all my little seedlings in and that’s when I spotted this cutie on Liz Marie’s blog:

DIY Window Greenhouse

Isn’t it a beauty!?!  I love the quaint, eclectic look and of course, the white exterior and teal accents inside.

DIY Window Greenhouse

DIY Window Greenhouse

Exactly what my greenhouse dreams are made of!!!  Also, I love it because it reminds me of Joanna’s amazing greenhouse in Texas:

Fixer Upper Greenhouse Exterio

Fixer Upper Greenhouse Interior

Major swoon!  That brick cobblestone floor, the white lanterns, the trees in terracotta pots… I’ll take it all, please!  😉  Good thing my husband can build almost anything I set my mind to and also that his thumb is way greener than mine ;-)!

Maybe my fascination with greenhouses began when I was a young girl in Kansas, playing store in my parents’ greenhouse that was situated down by our vegetable garden.  My dad didn’t really use it for a “greenhouse” but more for garden supply storage.  We sure had fun playing in and around that greenhouse and every time I think about those days I can still taste the raw rhubarb we used “sell” in our store and chew on – ewww!

Even though the above two greenhouses are my inspiration, the following may be our future reality:


Ikea Greenhouse
IKEA Greenhouse


Ana White DIY Greenhouse

Because  #practical…   It feels like we JUST moved in and there is so much to do both inside and out.  But it sure is fun to dream… and while the above two options aren’t totally terrible, I am still dreaming of an all white greenhouse with a brick floor and a vintage chandelier ;-).  You can head on over to my Veggie Garden Pinterest Board for even more garden and greenhouse inspiration by clicking the below:

BHMH Veggie Garden Pinterest Board

And leaving you with a few more inspirational greenhouse images for your April Shower Dreaming…

BHMH Greenhouse Inspiration


Does anyone else dream of their future garden and greenhouses during April showers or is it just me?  Do you have a greenhouse?  Did you buy it and assemble it or is it your own design?  Tell me what you did!  Tell me what you are growing!

Building House Making Home Greenhouse Dreaming

Thanks for stopping by and come again real soon!  ♥ Tina



Spring Has Sprung–Mrs. Meyer’s Spring Scents are Here!

Mrs. Meyer's Spring Scents Lilac Peony

Happy Friday, everyone!  The weekend is just around the corner and I don’t know about you but my weekends generally involve cleaning my house at different levels of thoroughness depending on my other weekend plans ;-).  Since I only have evening plans this weekend, it leaves my Saturday open for some serious dust bunny hunting.  Today I’m so excited to share my favie fave cleaning products with you and also the news that Mrs. Meyer’s Limited Edition Spring Scents have arrived!

Mrs. Meyer's Peony and Lilac Spring Scents

I received the Lilac and Peony Multi-Surface sprays with my last order from Grove Collaborative (more on that in a minute) and am LOVING cleaning my house with these lovely, fresh spring scents!  I gifted the Lilac Multi-Surface spray to a co-worker the other day after we had a short discussion on spring cleaning–she was dreading it but I was looking forward to using my new Spring Scents from Mrs. Meyer’s.  Anything that motivates me to clean house is a good thing in my book!

During our recent March Break I organized our front foyer closet and made it functional as not only coat storage, but storage for all of my cleaning supplies:

Building House Making Home Cleaning Closet

I’m excited to have all of my cleaning supplies in the center of the house now and easily accessible whenever the need (very often) or urge (less often) arises ;-).  I order all of my Mrs. Meyer’s products from Grove Collaborative (click here to check it out), a company that offers amazing, affordable and effective natural products online that ship right to your door (an amazing time-saver for busy, work-outside-the-home people like myself).

Grove Collaborative

The Grove Collaborative website allows you to order as a guest OR I recommend the VIP membership for a very low cost that allows you to receive monthly shipments (or more often if you want) of only the products you want with free shipping on everything you buy!  Love that!  I get an email reminder about a week ahead of the scheduled shipping date to remind me to check my “cart” to make sure it has only the items I want that month and I am free to add or subtract anything or cancel that month’s shipment all together.  There are free gifts for VIP members every so often and this month I am receiving a free glass spray bottle:

Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle

This will be perfect to use with another of my favorite products from Grove–

Caldrea Pear Blossom Agave All Purpose Cleaner

Oh. my. goodness.  I am obsessed with the Pear Blossom Agave scent from Caldrea!  I use the All Purpose Cleaner and dilute it to put in a spray bottle or splash some in my mop water.  This scent is perfect for homes with more males than females–it is a bit less sweet and a bit more spicy smelling if that makes sense.  But it still has the under notes of pear and agave–it smells so amazing that I leave the used mop water bucket in my laundry room sink and it makes the whole laundry/mud room smell amazing for days….   Let me tell you, that is no small feat for a laundry room that services a family of six (including five males)!

So another of my favorites is the limited time offers of seasonal scents from Mrs. Meyer’s.  Last fall I loved the Mum and Apple Cider scents but I think I may love the Lilac and Peony spring limited edition scents even more!

Mrs. Meyer's Spring Scents Lilac Peony

Grove not only offers the singles of these scents in dish soap, hand soap and multi-surface spray but also these cute TRIOS and SINK SETS:

Mrs. Meyer's Peony Sink Set Grove CollaborativeMrs. Meyer's Lilac Trio Grove Collaborative

I am looking forward to my day tomorrow, ready to tackle a few Spring Cleaning tasks armed with my Mrs. Meyer’s Spring Scents!  Click here to check out Grove Collaborative for yourself–I’m sure you will find something you would love to have delivered right to your door whether it be cleaning products, toiletries, toilet paper or paper towels.

Grove Collaborative Glass Spray Bottle

Happy Spring and happy cleaning hunting if you plan to join me tomorrow on the dust bunny hunt ;-)!

♥ Tina

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