Have I told you guys that I like to bake? Actually, I LOVE to bake. Once upon a time a younger, more risk taking version of myself started a cupcake business. I did several weddings, large events and small orders as well! It was fun at first. Then my nerves got shot. Trying to bake hundreds of cupcakes by yourself, packaging and delivering them can be quite scary! Not to mention doing it all while being a stay at home Mom to very small children. My husband was a great help and encourager during those days. But eventually, I just wore out. I didn’t want to bake for a business anymore. I wanted to bake for fun! So I spent many afternoons in the kitchen developing recipes. These delicious cookies are from one of those times.
They are buttery, chewy, with just the right amount of sweetness. Okay lets get started!
The ingredients are simple. Just a little flour, sugar, butter, egg, and plenty of white chocolate chips and pecans!
Drop that delicious dough by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake away!
Little bits of heaven!
They have the perfect texture! The pecans add a nice crunch.
Let me know if you bake these. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I do!
Okay, I’ve been promising to sit down and write this blog post for a long time! I’ve been hesitating because…well I want to be sure to capture it all. It was such a big project. It really did turn out just as I dreamed. So as silly as it sounds, I want to make sure to do it justice!
Let me give you a brief backstory before I get too far into the details. My husband and I flew to Tennessee for about 16 hours to house hunt. We arrived early one morning and flew out the same night! It was a crazy, whirlwind of being awake for 24 hours and exciting at the same time! We made an offer on our house after only seeing it ONCE for about 30 minutes. When it comes to houses, I pretty darn decisive. I just “know”. And typically I know within moments of walking in the front door. The one challenge of this house was the kitchen. The cabinets, flooring, paint…basically everything…wasn’t my style and I knew we could change that. But the BIGGER challenge was the sink facing the wall. It felt claustrophobic to me. I really wanted to take full advantage of the big windows in the kitchen and turn the sink that way. I knew it was possible. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be for my Hubby to execute. As it turned out, it wasn’t very hard at all!
Since I documented all this on Instagram stories (if you want to see real time renovation and more details, EVERYTHING is saved on my IG @babbfarmlife) I didn’t get very good before pictures. I snapped a few with my phone, but you get an idea! That sink was so closed in before.
We decided instead of a sink on this wall, we would use the space for a refrigerator. Prior to this the fridge sat on the back wall, making this kitchen layout very awkward to work in. With the water source already on the wall, this was a very easy transition. We also switched the cabinets around to fit the space better. I’ll expand on that more in a minute!
This is the old refrigerator layout. We decided to take everything off this back wall. It is a main walkway from the garage, laundry room, guest bath and bedroom. It gets a lot of use! The thought of opening it up made a lot of sense. It also worked in our favor because we needed those extra cabinets elsewhere in the kitchen. The old sink area I showed above had a hole for the dishwasher. Since we were changing the layout of the sink/dishwasher anyway, we were able to move the bottom cabinet over to the new refrigerator area! It worked perfectly to fill that hole.
This is what the back wall looks like now! I scored this awesome antique cabinet off of Facebook marketplace for $75. I will do a separate blog post of the transformation of these piece. To say it was rough before, is a gross understatement! This cabinet is probably the most used item in our kitchen. It houses all our shoes, vacuums, and mops. It has a shelf for our keys and my purse. It’s a hard working piece of furniture!
So where did the sink go? We made a peninsula to for it and the dishwasher, right smack dab in the middle of the two beautiful windows in the kitchen! This kitchen used to have an eat in breakfast area in front of the windows. Since we have a dining room right next to the kitchen, I decided the second eating area was unnecessary. The kitchen came with the small island that floated anywhere you wanted to move it. It wasn’t anchored to the floor in any way. The previous owners had it sitting in the middle of the main kitchen area which seriously impeded your ability to walk. To save money, my husband modified that island for our new sink area. He expanded it considerably, anchored it to the wall and floor. He also built bead board panels to shroud the back and sides.
This old island makes a lot more sense in the kitchen now!
By removing the eat in kitchen option, it gave me a space to put my sweet buffet and open shelving to highlight some of my favorite décor pieces!
We didn’t change the stove side of the kitchen too much layout wise. We did add some very fun design elements. The one I’m most in love with is the backsplash. It’s made to look like antique tin ceiling tiles! We also took down the microwave and built a vent hood. Underneath all the cabinets we mounted corbels that my Hubby cut out of pine. They make the cabinets feel more substantial and custom.
Let’s talk details for a minute. The entire kitchen was transformed by 6 inch tongue and groove shiplap. I opted to hang it vertically instead of horizontally. I feel like it makes the ceilings look taller. We painted all the walls Natural Choice by Sherwin. We also painted the cabinets, trim and ceiling Alabaster by Sherwin. The old tile floor was replaced for Pergo Outlast flooring from Home Depot. The style is called Haley Oak. We opted for quartzite counter tops. I absolutely love them! They mimic the look of marble but are more durable then granite. Again, don’t forget all of the details of the reno process is saved to my highlight buttons called “kitchen” on Instagram. I have a month worth of kitchen renovation videos over there!
This kitchen was truly a labor of love. It took a little over a month of time for us to DIY the entire thing. My husband was truly the one who created the space. I picked out the finishes and shared my vision but he’s the one who made it come to life. My goal was to create a kitchen that felt like an extension of the home, another room to relax or hang out in. Not one that’s only meant for service. This kitchen embodies that feeling perfectly now! And if you know me, you know that this kitchen renovation was done on a budget. We reused everything we could, even the garbage disposal! Minus appliances, which we bought all new, our total spending was right around $7,000. That includes flooring, counter tops, lighting, paint, hardware, sink, faucet, wallpaper, shiplap, and all construction materials. I’m sure I missed a million details, and will kick myself later for it. So please ask if you have any questions about this renovation!
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I saw a tiny thumbnail of what looked like concrete pumpkins. I clicked on the link but there was no descriptions or instructions on how to make them. In true Amanda fashion, I didn’t bother to search further. Instead I dove head first into the project. Later I found out that these pumpkins are a pretty popular idea!
Here are the supplies I used for this project. Any concrete mix should work. Just be aware these bags are HEAVY and cumbersome. You might need help moving them around!
I mixed half the bag of concrete at a time so it’s easier to work with. You could do even less if mixing by hand. Just add a little bit of water, mix, and add more water as needed. Ideally, you want the concrete to be pancake batter consistency. My husband has this neat concrete mixing tool for our drill, but you can definitely mix it by hand! It will give you a good arm workout . 🙂
Using a trowel, I filled each pumpkin with concrete. This is a tedious process. You might find another tool (a big serving spoon?) to make this go a little faster!
I also collected a few sticks from the yard to work as stems for the pumpkins. I wanted them long enough to push down into the concrete but still have 3-4 inches sticking out of the top.
This is what my first filled pumpkin looks like! Only a few more to go.
So I was a little ambitious on my pumpkin buying. One 80 lb bag of concrete mix was only able to fill 3 pumpkins completely. I also filled a 4th pumpkin… only half way though before I ran out of concrete. It will be interesting to see how that one looks!
When the concrete dries (mine took about 8 hours), you basically have a pumpkin shaped bowling ball! Getting them out proved to be a bit of a challenge. The method that worked the best for me was to score the sides of the plastic from top to bottom with a pocked knife in several places around the pumpkin. You will eventually be able to peel the plastic back like layers of an onion. Be careful not to cut yourself!
What emerged were these AMAZING, heavy statues! I absolutely love them! You see that little half pumpkin…the one I was worried about? That one might be my favorite. If I was to do this project over again (which I might!) I would fill the pumpkins to random heights so I could have a fun variety of sizes.
Now is where your creativity begins. There are so many possibilities for these pumpkins. You could paint them. You could add moss to the top by the stem. You use sandpaper to smooth out all the rough edges. Or you could chose to leave them completely au naturel! The sky’s the limit! I chose to use liming wax. I didn’t want them white, but I was hoping for a lighter hue then the plain concrete. The liming wax will also wear really well outdoors which is important when you live in a rainy, humid state like we do!
Alas, these cuties are ready for porch duty!
I think for the month of September I will keep the plain side facing out. For October, I might turn them around to show the jack-o-lantern!
Ahh little half pumpkin, you have my heart! It’s just so darn sweet! If you haven’t seen this DIY before, I hope you guys will try it out. It’s such a cost effective way to decorate outdoors for fall. And the best part, these pumpkins will last for years to come!
Our house is only 14 years old, but it felt more like it was built in the late 90s. We have one of those really old intercom systems that go from room to room. Secretly, I love it! It reminds me of my childhood. What I don’t love is how the fixtures and color choices had dated the house. Our master bedroom was a prime example of that. It has an amazing double tray ceiling, and an adjoining sitting room. It also gets beautiful light from the windows and French doors that lead to the deck. The finishing touches that were chosen really minimized the natural beauty of the room. The first thing we did was paint! Boy, it needed a lot of paint!
The green color really hid the extensive crown molding and trim work.
By painting the walls and trim a bright color, the details really have a chance to shine!
The ceiling fan also felt very heavy for this space. The green color on the tray ceiling brought the ceiling height down instead of lifting it up.
A new coastal inspired chandelier gave the space a fun whimsical feel that I love. We painted the walls Natural Choice and the trim Alabaster. Both of those colors are by Sherwin. The ceilings feel SO much higher now!
The last thing we did in here was to rip out all of the carpets. My husband has become quite adept at laying laminate flooring. He finished this giant room in a matter of hours! There was nothing wrong with the carpet choice except it was very dirty and in bad condition. I also feel like it absorbed a lot color, making the room feel a bit darker.
Because we were budget conscious with this whole house reno, we really couldn’t be too picky with our flooring. I’ve gotta say, I love what we found! It’s super easy to install and gives the feel of real hardwood flooring. Because it’s a tight fit, the joint seams are not visible. The flooring is from home depot . (I linked it here for you to check out) It cost $1.99 a square foot, and has an attached underlayment backer! The price is almost unbeatable for this quality.
I added a little bit of farmhouse Colorado in our sitting room…literally! The wood on either side of the french doors back here are actually old garage door panels! They were taken off a 1900s era farmhouse from the Eastern plains of Colorado. I love that I could bring a piece of history with us to Tennessee.
This bed is another fun story. When we were still living in Colorado I found it only Facebook marketplace for $100. At that time, I knew we were moving and would eventually have a king size mattress, so I was on the hunt for a new bed. What I didn’t realize was the bed we were about to buy was 7 FEET tall! I kid you not. The headboard stood an imposing 7 feet tall. Ironically it broke on the way home and the height we were left with was perfect! A little bit of DIY fixing and chalk paint later, we have a pretty amazing (and huge!) solid piece of furniture for very cheap!
My vision for this space was a room that felt both bright and calming. When I wake up in the morning, it makes me smile! With only paint, 2 light fixtures and flooring we were able to accomplish it all! It truly is a retreat that went from out of date to modern day.
It’s been awhile. I’m not the best at blogging. I find myself drawn to the quick, video type posts of Instagram. But with all the changes lately, I’m determined to sit down and capture them here!
First off, we moved! And not just to a new city. We moved across the country. We now live in Tennessee and I have to say, we love it here. It’s warm, green, and so pretty!
When we were house hunting we fell in love with a specific little town. Well I’m not sure you can classify it as a town. It’s 3 churches and a post office. That’s it! The homes around here are a beautiful mixture of old and new. Everyone is on acreage. We have just over 5 acres but some of our neighbors have 90 acres or more! The house we found wasn’t my ideal house on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty. But it’s not the style I generally gravitate to. The inside had a great layout and so much potential!
I planned a budget to facelift the entire interior of this home. I’m hoping to share each room as we get them finished with a breakdown of where the money went. The budget isn’t very large for the scale of the work we plan to do. Let’s get started with one update #1- The upstairs full bathroom!
Besides being dark and dated, this little bathroom was just plain dirty.
I set at budget for this bathroom at $500. I knew it needed paint, both on the walls and vanity. Since we planned to paint the entire interior of the house, I made a separate budget line for ALL paint, which is why you won’t see that on the price list.
Here’s a breakdown of where it all went:
$273.30 Vanity Lights and other lighting
$127.43 Faucets and Curved Shower Rod
$74.00 Rugs and Hand Towels
$19 Trash Can
$11 Soap Pumps
All for a grand total of $504.73! So alright, I’m almost 5 bucks over budget but I’m pretty thrilled with the results!
My goal for this house was to incorporate a more coastal feel. I love the airy blues and greens you see with that style. I also happen to LOVE the beach, so it just makes me happy!
Here she is in all her glory! I started by painting the walls and trim Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. I also painted the vanity and mirrors Contented by Sherwin. I love the sweet little lampshades on the vanity lights.
My daughter picked out the faucets. She did a pretty good job!
Thankfully I already had the decor, so I didn’t have to spend anything to decorate.
The little shower closet feels so much bigger now with the bright paint and shower curtain!
All in all, I’m THRILLED with how this space came out. I had really hoped to tile behind the mirrors with a beautiful sea glass mosaic that I found. I still have plans to do that down the road, but for now this little facelift has done a great job!
One of my favorite things to do is share- especially when I’m sharing a good deal! Whenever I post our master bedroom on instagram , I get many request to share where items are from, particularly the bedding. So I thought it would be a fun idea to round up all the master bedroom details in one post!
Is there such a thing as too many pillows? I think not! They add a big bang for your buck. People are always suprised when they find out that my white pillows are from Amazon! The ruffled euro shams come in a two pack as do the small ruffled pillow covers. I like the change out the front bolster pillow depending on the season. This partiular XOXO pillow is from Kirklands.
One of my very favroite Amazon finds is our drop skirt bedspread. Years ago I saw Joanna Gaines use a similar one in the house she was decorating on fixer upper. Ever since then, I’ve been on the hunt to find it! I bought ours in gray, but it comes in many other colors and the price is SO good! It’s a very lightweight spread, so you won’t get too hot in the summertime.
The buffalo plaid duvet cover was a slurge for me. I wanted a duvet cover that would last years. When I found this one at Ballard Design, I knew the quality would be perfect. The price tag might not work well for all budgets so I found a similar one with rave reviews on Amazon. It’s about half the price as the Ballard Design duvet, so you can get the same look for less!
The last thing I wanted to share in this post is the wall decor hanging behind our bed. I found all of these pieces from Hobby Lobby. The secret to Hobby Lobby is patience. If an item you want isn’t on sale, wait a week. More than likely it will be on sale when you go back!
I love good quality decor and I really try to source out the best price possible. It’s amazing what I can find on Amazon. I’m hoping to share more inexpensive decor ideas in the future. That’s where my passion lies. I don’t believe a beautfiul home needs to break the bank, and I hope to show you some of my secrets!
Wow! So this post has been about two months in the making. My hubby took a much needed/wanted break from all things home related for a little bit. This past weekend we got into our daughters room to finish her closet barn door.
While we were making this door, we were talking about how much we enjoyed the wood working process. It’s funny how we put off something enjoyable just because it’s labeled a project or work!
Here’s a little reminder picture of our lovely garage beforehand.
Now for the “afters”…
From toddler years, our 10 year old daughter was never your typical girly girl. Sadly (for me), she never loved Disney princesses no matter how hard I tried to force it! The color pink has always been her least favorite. So when she told me she wanted a navy and teal bedroom that’s beach themed, I thought it would fit her perfectly! I did however wonder how I would make it fit within our little farmhouse, decor wise. The compromise of styles came when I found her this gorgeous antique bed. It was more me than her but she loved the nautical feel it had. And hello…it’s gorgeous! They knew how to make furniture back then.
The rest of the room were pieces we already owned, some of which I chalk painted to match the bed. She received a bunch of nautical decor for her birthday. And since this project took us 10 months to complete, we had plenty of time to search out the right bedding and curtains that pleased us both.
I loved working with her on this. She’s quite a little artist and has a great eye for colors. I wasn’t sure about her style in the beginning but now it’s one of my favorite rooms!
Disclaimer: Please excuse the pinned up skeleton. Today is Halloween. That is not her normal “style”.
I completed a project today that I have been putting off for years! I have a tendancy to only tackle projects I know I can finish in a day. There is nothing that gets me riled up more then an unfinished project and/or mess from a project that sits around for awhile. (My poor husband can vouch for this bad trait!) Hence the reason this project has taken me so long to start. I was sure it would be a bear to complete.
We bought our daughter this antique dresser off Craigslist for $80, about 3 years ago. She used it for awhile but I quickly noticed the paint job the lady did when refinishing it wasn’t too great. The top began to peel as well as the drawers. Also, my daughter was 7/8 at the time. She spilled quite a few art projects on the top that left stains and piles of who knows what? …Some type of rock hard goo!
This old dresser was moved to the basement with plans on refinishing it one day. I went online and bought paintable wall paper. I figured I would paper the drawer fronts, and possibly the top. Then I would chalk paint the whole thing! Well two years and one move later, I tackled the ugly dresser and guess what? The project took less than a day!
Here is a before of the dresser in all its glory. Ain’t she a beaut? She’s been well loved, that’s for sure!
It was so long ago when I bought the wallpaper, I can’t remember what possessed me to think this would work. After a little trial and error I got the paper to stick. I had to make an 8am Home Depot run for wall paper paste (I’m fairly certain pre pasted wall paper is a lie, no matter what the label says!)
Once I got the darn stuff to stick, it was easy! I spread wall paper paste on the drawer front, then I would lay the paper down. I had to work it a bit to try and remove all the air bubbles. I knew the top would have some bubbles, considering the rock hard goo that was present. But I’m okay with imperfect! I actually prefer it…perfection generally takes a lot of time!
And here she is now! All papered and chalk painted up. The paper/knobs/paint combo turned out a bit fancier than I was envisioning but I still love her! I also love that this project was essentially free! I had the dresser. The chalk paint I bought weeks ago to paint some tables. I tried a new brand from Lowes (https://m.lowes.com/pd/Valspar-Tintable-Chalky-Paint-Actual-Net-Contents-29-oz/50372914) and after thinning it with water, it works great! Of course, I’ve had the wallpaper for years.
I love this church picture I found at Kirklands. It reminds me so much of the church I was raised in. I knew I had to buy it the second I saw it!
The embroidery hoops were a fun DIY I just completed after seeing the ones on Erin from Cottonstem’s Instagram (https://www.instagramv.com/p/BZd0vGQF52i/). They are so cheap to make and add a pretty, natural element.
I hope you all enjoy the post and get inspired to finish those pesky projects around your house!
I’m trying hard to stick to one blog post a week. Pretty soon I’ll be scratching my head for material but for now, I have a lot in reserves! We moved into our farmhouse about 11 months ago. I can’t believe the transformation that has occurred in those short months! I mentioned in my last post that this house was a flip. The interior was jazzed up pretty nicely. The exterior on the other hand was a different story! I don’t think it was touched in over 40 years. In some areas, the brick had taken on an orangish hue. The mortar was a lovely shade of dirty tan.
It was not a pretty sight!
I had big plans for this little house. Besides the house itself having no curb appeal, there were no plants around the exterior. There was however a large amount of bindweed, old carpet, debris etc. It took quite awhile to clean it up well enough to plant some flower beds.
When we bought the house, the siding was all white. Once we took down the garage doors and enclosed that wall, I painted all the siding a greenish-gray color. It looked so lovely with the red brick!
I researched lime washing and decided that’s the route I would go for the brick. From what I read, limewashed brick should be virtually maintenance free for 50 years, whereas exterior brick that was painted could possibly peel depending on conditions. Also, it is a CHEAP and easy process. With the garage reno taking up so much of my husband’s time, I needed to be able to do it completely on my own.
On a whim one day in June, I started the limewashing. A friend of mine from church limewashed her brick. Knowing someone in real life who successful did it gave me the confidence I needed to begin!
I went to Home Depot and picked up a $12 bag of “hydrated S lime”, a bucket and a stiff bristled paint brush. I used an old plastic cup to measure my lime into the bucket. (When working with the lime I highly suggest wearing glasses, paper respirator, and gloves) I was never very precise with my measurements. I would scoop enough lime for the area I wanted to work on that day. Then I would add water until it was the consistency of skim milk.
After your lime is mixed, it’s time to paint! I used the jet setting on my garden hose nozzle to quickly clean the brick of dirt and debris, also limewash goes on much nicer when the brick is wet. I would work in small sections at a time, cleaning and wetting the brick then limewashing.
Imagine my husband’s face when he came home from work one day to see his house white! He knows by now, when I get a whim to do something RIGHT NOW, it’s hard to stop me!
Speaking of his opinions, he didn’t love the fact that the limewash was drying opaque white. My vision was definitely a more distressed brick look than a painted brick, but I wasn’t sure how to achieve that. He had the great idea to hook a wire wheel up to his drill to scrape some of the limewash off the brick. It worked like a charm!
My new process was to clean/wet the brick, limewash, then randomly distress bricks with the drill. It was tedious but I made sure to do small sections at a time so I didn’t wear myself out. It took about a month to finish the entire house working a few days a week. I have to admit, I was pretty proud with what I accomplished. Besides the intital help figuring out how to distress the brick, my hubby didn’t lift a finger with this project!
Here are some after pictures of our finished house! My sweet father in law built and installed the shutters for us. We also installed some new farmhouse style lights that I scored at Sams Club for $20 each!
If you add the cost of the bucket, paintbrush and bag of lime, this project comes in right around $20…and I still have half a bag of lime leftover! Besides being so affordable and easy, the results were better than I imagined.
Ahh I don’t even know where to begin! I’ve been dreaming up this blog post in my mind for close to 10 months now. When we bought our farmhouse last October, it was a flip. The entire house had been redone. New kitchen, bathrooms, carpet you name it. We soon discovered it wasn’t a complete flip. It was pretty to look at but major things like the windows, boiler, exterior etc were all original. We knew when we first saw this house, we would need to either finish the basement or turn the garage into living space. We were downsizing considerably moving here…about 800 finished sq feet! We were okay with that knowing we gained much desired acreage.
Fast forward to January of this year. We finally decided to start the enormous undertaking of a garage renovation. This is our lovely garage when we moved in.
Amist the cobwebs and distictively unpleasant smell, I saw 500 sq feet of potential! Our house is 3 bedroom and I wanted a 4th bedroom since we have company frequently. I also wanted a space to watch TV and a place for our office. We began designing the layout. Over the early days of the reno, our layout change a bit but in the end we were able to fit all our wishes into this rectangular box!
My ingenious husband decided to build the floor of the garage higher to match the rest of the house. The garage floor was a couple steps lower then the entry way. At the time I didn’t think this amount of lumber and work was worth it, but I’m so happy he insisted on it! Our #1 goal was to make this area look like had always been, and have it flow seamlessly with the rest of the house. I should add my sweet hubby is NOT a house builder. He actually owns an auto repair shop so he’s used to fixing things, just on a smaller scale. Most of this reno consisted of him researching and learning along the way. After 10 months of hard work, I think he could tackle pretty much anything house related!
This is the new entry way into what used to be our garage! His floor building abilities are top notch!
On my last blog post you can get the details of our DIY fireplace. I love our new family room! The color scheme turned out a bit warmer than I had imagined but the homey feel of the natural wood and jute rug make me happy.
Originally we planned to have the office take up one corner of the living room. Then I realized my computer desk fit the area I planned for our pantry! Once you enter that little area there is a bump out to the left that’s quite large. We are going to build shelves for that space so we will be able to use this little closet for storage as well as an office!
These barn doors are killing me! I’m so in love. We used a popular $40 barn door tutorial on YouTube to make them. Fair warning: they do NOT cost $40 to make. We bought inexpensive wood and the total cost around $260 for both doors. Granted, that’s cheaper then buying barn doors and we were able to customize the height to fit our space.
If you noticed, I left out the bedroom part of this reno. We still have a few small touches to add in there so I will save it for another post. It would be too lengthily to write about the specifics of the renovation on this post but I would be happy to answer any of your questions! Also a HUGE shout out to my wonderful husband. I dream up these crazy ideas and he makes them happen! I can’t believe how talented he is.