8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

small house living

I always used to feel like I had to defend my little farmhouse…

… when people would first walk through the door. No one ever seemed to notice all the neat things about my home; the hand-painted signs adorning the walls, the farmhouse antiques I had salvaged from yard sales, or my creative furniture arrangements…

They only seemed to want to talk about the size.

“Wow… this is… small.”

“So, are you going to build an addition soon?”

“How are you going to have more kids?”

Now honestly? Our house isn’t that small. It’s around 1100 square feet. I know of much larger families living in much smaller spaces.

But it is very representative of the houses built 100 years ago out here on the high plains of Wyoming. Resources were scarce, so the rooms are small and choppy and the stairs are so narrow that if you have big feet (like me) you kinda have to turn your foot sideways when you walk down the steps.

small space living

Is it functional? Absolutely. But my boxy little farmhouse is a far cry from many modern-day homes with sweeping living rooms and a bathroom attached to each bedroom.

But what started out five years ago as “I guess we’ll just make it work,” has turned into, “Hey… I actually kinda like this!

My insecurities have melted away and this quirky little 96-year old farm house has grown on me… A lot.

As of right now, I can confidently say that, not only am I content with living in a small space, but I’ve actually come to prefer it. Here’s why:

8 Reasons I Love Life in a Small House

1. Little houses are more budget-friendly. 

Small spaces are cheaper to heat and cool, and usually have smaller electric bills as well.… [Continue Reading]

No Diffuser Required! 5 Room Spritzer Recipes (w/ Free Printable!)

homemade air fresheners

Ya’ll, I love my essential oils.

I really do consider them life-changing, and I use them all.the.time in my home.

Being a recovering candle-aholic (well, I still appreciate a good candle on a snowy winter night…), I especially love using my diffusers to spread the benefits of the oils all over my house.

The cool thing about essential oils is, not only do they smell pretty, but they can also have medicinal benefits as well. (Like being anti-bacterial or helping to clear congestion.)

However, if you are just starting out with oils, then purchasing a diffuser right away might not be in your budget. (Although I have this one that Amazon sells and it’s a little workhorse for a reasonable price!)

These five simple room spritzers are a wonderful way to quickly freshen up a room, even if you don’t own a diffuser. Just mix up and spray to your heart’s content!

5 Easy Room Spritzer Recipes

A few guidelines:

  • I am a stickler for quality essential oils. The cheapie ones at the health food store just won’t cut it for me. That’s why I use and love doTERRA- you can read more about them here, or find out how to purchase them for yourself.
  • These recipes are for small batches. Feel free to double or triple if you find a mix you really like!
  • You can use whatever type of water you have available- I just use our plain tap water.
  • Not only does the addition of the vanilla extract in some of these recipes make the blend smell fabulous, but the alcohol in the extract actually helps the mixture to not clog up the spray nozzle. (Just make sure you are using the real stuff– the fake “vanilla” isn’t the same. Here is how to make your own vanilla extract.)
  • Because some essential oils have the tendency to break down plastic, if I am going to consume a blend, I always, always keep it in a glass container.
[Continue Reading]

8 Tips for Adding Farmhouse-Charm to a Builder-Grade Kitchen

how to add farmhouse charm to a builder-grade kitchen

Our little prairie farmhouse has quite the history…

Originally built in 1918, its walls have seen many families come and go. Every once and a while, a former resident will pull into the driveway and want to reminisce. I absolutely love hearing the stories of the folks who loved this piece of land before I did.

I’ve learned that the original family who built the house raised four girls in the tiny upstairs bedrooms. And how their uncle would pay them for every rattlesnake they killed on the property (which apparently was quite a few…). And how the family that lived here in the 1940s and 1950s would candle their eggs in the basement and how this place was their pride and joy.

Unfortunately, I’ve also heard how the house fell on hard times in later years. It became a rental at one point, and was severely neglected. In fact, there was even a horse (it was either a pony or a foal) living IN MY LIVING ROOM at one point…

Thankfully, the man who we purchased the property from completely remodeled the inside before we bought it. Out of necessity, he put in all new sheet rock, flooring, fixtures, and appliances. It was literally like a brand-new home in the inside. (You’d never know that a horse had ever seen the inside of these walls– promise!)

Unfortunately, in doing some of the necessary remodels, some of the original old-house charm was lost. I am so thankful that my kitchen came with all new appliances, counter tops, and cabinets, but it just seemed to lack some of the character it should have had as a old homestead house.

As you know, I recently undertook the massive task of repainting my kitchen cabinets, and during that process, we also added a few extra touches to increase the farmhouse charm-ability.… [Continue Reading]

How to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

how to repaint kitchen cabinets

Ever get half-way through a project and wonder if you had to be half-crazy to have started it in the first place?

Yeah… That was me about a month ago.

My road to crazy was a gradual one… Thanks to too much time spent on Pinterest, I’ve had my eye on white kitchen cabinets for about a year…

The problem was that I couldn’t exactly justify ripping out my current cabinets and springing for brand new ones. Although I wasn’t a fan of the builder-grade orange oak, they were still in good shape and I didn’t exactly have a couple thousand bucks hanging around for a full kitchen remodel.

Lovely orange and red...

Lovely orange and red…

So there I was– with orange cabinets… and a whole bunch of paint brushes in my basement.

You can see where this is going, right?

Hubby wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea at first– but after I showed him pictures of crisp, farmhouse kitchens with creamy white cabinets, he started to “feel” my vision…

There are a lot of cabinet painting shortcuts online, and although I was tempted by them at first, I decided to avoid them. My kitchen is the most-used room in my home,  and I couldn’t risk having paint that would rub off it a year or two…

I decided to follow the process that Young House Love outlined in their cabinet-painting tutorial. They have multiple in-depth posts on the subject- I definitely recommend checking them out. (I think I read the series about 582 times before I started…)

I originally figured that the project would take about two weeks…. *cue hysterical laughing*

Another "before" shot

Another “before” shot

It actually ended up taking over two months… I somehow failed to include the fact that I have two small children, a homestead to run, and a blog to maintain into my initial time estimate.… [Continue Reading]