Iced Coffee Done Right

I love coffee. My body NEEDS coffee. Iced coffee is my favorite. It’s just the perfect afternoon pick-me-up I need after running after my toddler all day, and especially when she decides she doesn’t need a nap that day.

I have tried several times to make my own iced coffee at home (Living out here on the farm with no Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, I have to fend for myself!), but only got ‘meh’ results.  I finally stumbled on the Pioneer Woman’s iced coffee recipe, and I gotta say, girlfriend knows what she’s doing. The process takes a little time, but it’s delicious and totally worth it. So I’m just going to leave her recipe here to share with any other iced coffee lovers out there 🙂

Iced Coffee Done Right // thegoldbrickroad.com

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo Continued

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comIt’s only been a few days, but I’m already really happy with the way the closet turned out. I still have a few more things to do, but it’s definitely feeling close to being done!

I really debated whether or not to paint the interior of the closet. Ultimately, I knew it was now or never, so I just bit the bullet and did it. I’m glad I did, it just feels much brighter and cleaner now. I will say however, painting the closet took waaaaay longer than actually installing the Closetmaid system.

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com After all the paint dried, I hung the first support bracket.

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comNext, the other two support brackets went up and got screwed into the wall. Easy peasy.

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comThe next step is a little bit trickier because I had to cut my shelves down to size. Still super easy, I just have an irrational fear of slicing my fingers off with the saw. Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comAfter my shelves were hung, I added the rods. They also needed to be cut down to size. Once I put them up, I just hung an item of clothing to check and see if they were hung where I wanted them. Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comOnce my side was complete, I took my measurements and started on Brian’s side. The whole thing took about 45 min start to finish. Not including painting, which I managed to drag out for a couple of days. Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com My next goal was to go through the giant mass of clothes that I had taken out of the closet and spewed all over the guest room, and purge what I no longer needed. It went surprisingly well. I got rid of things I had been holding onto (and not wearing) for years. I decided to just start by picking out the clothes that I actually do wear on a regular basis and hang them up in the new closet, and then rummage through what was left over to figure out what to donate. It made the process a lot easier for me. It also made me realize that I wear a LOT of black and white….specifically black and white stripes. I promise I do wear color, but most of my colorful things are t-shirts and dresses (which don’t go in this closet). For me, keeping my go-to, staple items neutral is just easier for me to come up with an outfit and feel put together quickly.Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.comThe hubs still needs to go through his clothes, but he’s been busy with hay the last few days, so he gets a pass. I also still need to add his shoes, I think they are just going to go under our clothes on both sides. I was hoping to have room for some shelves or a shoe rack in the middle of the back wall, but I haven’t found anything that fits right. I also need to fix the light in our closet, it has a pull switch that is missing the pull. Right now we turn it on/off by screwing/unscrewing the bulb. Not the safest thing to do and is really hard for short people like me.

Now I just have to figure out the other closet….and all those shoes!

Sharing Is Caring: Closet Redo // thegoldbrickroad.com

Sharing Is Caring: His and Hers Closet

Lately I’m finding myself focusing less on design projects and more on practical projects that make our everyday lives easier. I’ve been organizing left and right trying to simplify as much as possible. Our bedroom closets need the most organizing, but I’ve been putting them off for a couple of reasons. 1. We have a lot of crap. 2. One of the closets is an odd shape and I have no idea how to make it more functional.

I’ve decided to just suck it up and get started on them anyway. We have one closet that my hubby and I have been sharing. It’s not a huge closet, but it is nice and deep and with a little reconfiguring, we should both be able to have about 6′ of hanging space each. The other closet sits under the attic stairs, so it’s a bit trickier to layout. Right now I’ve been using it for my shoes, long dresses, and purses. I know with the right design, it could be a lot more useful, I just have to figure out what that design is. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way!

0708152030bI really should have taken this pic before I removed all the clothes, but my brain was clearly in organizing mode and not in blogging mode, so I apologize. I actually thought about putting all the clothes back on the rack and taking a proper pic, but that thought only lasted about 2.5 seconds before I came to my senses. Just imagine it packed with clothes.

0708152030So since we moved here, Brian and I have went halvsies on this closet. (Yes, he has just as many clothes as I do….) We did really good sharing this one rod for over a year, but I’ve noticed the last couple of months that we started playing a fun little game where we shove the other ones clothes as far over to their side as possible while searching for clothes on our own side. And as much fun as that game is, we agreed it’s time for our own separate areas. My first thought was to just re-hang this rod higher and add a second rod lower so we each have our own. But Brian suggested instead, since the closet is fairly deep (3′), we could rotate the rods the other way under the shelves and each have 2 rods on each side of the closet. It will be sort of a mini walk-in closet that way…..he’s a smart one. This way we both get 6′ of hanging space and no more clothes shoving.

The plan:

  • demo out the old shelves and rod
  • patch any holes
  • paint a nice bright white
  • hang our new Closetmaid closet system
  • purge, purge, purge! I want to really simplify my stuff (hopefully my hubby will do the same) before hanging it back in the closet
  • find shoe storage (if there’s room)

0720151856aHere is the other closet. Clearly what’s happening in here is not working. I may need to recruit help on this one. My dream would be to ditch my dresser, and add shelves and drawers in here instead. I’d also still like to store my purses and possibly longer dresses and shoes in here if I can’t fit them in the other closet. My other option would be to make this more of a seasonal closet and store clothes and shoes that we don’t need all the time. So like I said, if anyone has any suggestions on what to do in this little angled closet, please share!

*Update*

I finally got around to emptying out the second closet…except for my shoes :/. So here are some pics of it (mostly) empty. I’m hoping it will be a little easier for you all to see what I’m dealing with, and to see if you have any ideas or suggestion!

0722151253 0722151254a0722151253a 0722151254

 

 

Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won’t Die

I’ve been holding on to this old, cheap, laminate armoire that I’ve had since I was about 15. It’s moved from place to place with me and I always seem to find a place and use for it. When we moved to the farmhouse, I had nowhere to put it and it has been sitting in the shed for a year now, probably making a really nice home for spiders and other creepy crawly things. I had every intention of throwing it away, when I discovered yet another use for it in the new guest room.

I have a linen closet, but it is in the bathroom downstairs. It’s a great closet, but all of the bedrooms are upstairs and it would be so much handier if the sheets and extra blankets could also reside upstairs. Unfortunately all of the closets upstairs are already spoken for. If only I had an extra piece of furniture that could double as a tiny closet…..oh, wait I do!

This armoire had doors on it, but I got so excited about this project that I went ahead and removed them before I got any pics. I would have liked to keep the doors, but after years of moving this little guy around, the doors weren’t quite hanging right anymore and one would not stay shut. It would just randomly swing open by itself and scare the bejeezus out of me.

Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.com I wiped the whole thing down with a water and vinegar mixture to remove all of the dirt and grime and also any musty smells from sitting in storage for a year.  After wiping everything down, I used Rustoleum Spray Primer and gave it a good coat. I hate priming, but using a spray primer makes the whole process quick and painless. Laminate furniture like this, really needs a good primer for the paint to stick to.

Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.comI decided on a fun, coral color for this piece. I love coral. I really wanted to paint a whole room this color, but the hubby wasn’t too crazy about the idea, so I compromised and used it for this instead. I like how it pops in the green guest room. It took about three good coats to get everything covered well.

Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.comHollis decided to add her own artistic twist and put a footprint on one of my shelves while it was drying. She’s lucky it is such a sweet little footprint. Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.comUpcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.com Upcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.comUpcycle: The Armoire That Just Won't Die // thegoldbrickroad.com The drawer on the bottom holds our extra sheets and pillow cases. I love that guests can easily see and access extra blankets as they need. If I ever find a nicer armoire for a good deal, I will probably replace this one. For now though, I’m really liking this one and being able to give it purpose for a little bit longer. I feel like I definitely got my $40 worth that I paid 18 years ago!

Be Our Guest

I finally finished painting the guest room. My family came to visit during harvest a couple of weeks ago, and I am so glad that the guest room was all ready for visitors. I’ve said before, nothing lights a fire under my bum more than company coming.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The color is Valspar Woodland Promise Land. We’ve been living with it for a little while and we are really loving it. But, before I could call the room ‘done’, I still had to stain the built-in shelves and desk, as well as the closet doors. They were originally more honey-colored, but I wanted to match them as closely as possible to the baseboards, trim, and door. I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out, or if it was going to be a huge undertaking, but it ended up being fairly easy and totally worth it.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com My original plan was to remove everything, use a stripping agent to remove sealer, sand everything down, and then stain them the darker color. Only problem was, the stripper never worked….not even a little bit. So I went on to plan B. Which was to sand everything as best as I could, then apply a stain and hope to God that it darkened to the shade I want. I tried Minwax Polyshade in American Chestnut, and it worked better than expected. I’ve never used it before, but would use it again in a heartbeat. It was really easy to apply and I was able to layer it on top of the existing color to get to the shade I wanted.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com Here is a side by side comparison so you can see how dark I went.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The decor in the room is nothing special, except for the quilt at the end of the bed that I pulled out of my grandma’s attic, the rest is just sort of a hodgepodge of things I’ve picked up at garage sales and flea markets. It’s nice to actually have them arranged on a shelf or the wall instead of piled up on the floor in a closet.

Be Our Guest // thegoldbrickroad.com The guest room is at the top of the stairs and it’s so nice to have this cheery, green room welcoming you. It’s crazy how you can become sort of oblivious to certain eyesores and when you finally take care of them, it’s like “What the heck to me so long to fix that?!”

Wheat Harvest 2015

I can’t believe harvest has already come and gone. It is such a crazy whirlwind. As if cutting ALL the wheat (there’s a lot of it) wasn’t enough, there is also hay to be swathed, raked, and bailed, plus all the every day farm things that need to get done. There is a lot going on in a short amount of time. Needless to say, Brian is a very busy guy during harvest and the only time we get to see him is while he is at work. So that’s what we do!

Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com Harvest // thegoldbrickroad.com