My name is Jen. I am a generally and energetic, cheerful person made all the more so from marrying my wonderful husband last summer. We recently celebrated our first anniversary and look forward to many more together.
While he enjoys playing his computer games, as do I, we also enjoy trying all the new activities I find for us to do. Sometimes that could be a project on our home, and sometimes it may be a trip out to try a new restaurant or activity. In our down time we’ll watch shows in our Netflix and Amazon Prime queues or play a board game as well.
Ballroom dancing is one activity I picked up years ago and my husband agreed to try it after we had been dating for a little bit. The fantastic part is that he also enjoys it (He’s also pretty good at it and I think he is finally beginning to believe it when people tell him so.) and our first dance as husband and wife was so much more fun as a result. We danced a mix of Fox Trot, East Coast Swing, and Rumba to “Good Day, Sunshine” by the Beatles. (I know that was your next question 😉.)
My entire family is handy and I grew up surrounded by crafts and projects. Dad and Mom were always busy, as were my grandparents. Dad still can’t keep still. He even picked up rowing crew after he retired. Dad always has a few irons in the fire, so to speak, and Mom is right there along with him on his adventures. My two siblings and I all inherited this trait. We are a busy bunch! When Mom and Dad come to visit many of my latent projects get started, as well as many others I had not thought of doing. My husband’s family busies themselves with creative and crafty endeavors as well, and my husband has picked that up himself, helping me to kick-start projects on my list and tackling some of the little ones I am reluctant to do. I am definitely lucky to have such a considerate, contributing partner.
My whole family had a hand in helping me build my, ahem, our house. (We have been married a year, but I owned the property for seven years and lived in the house for two before I even met my husband, so I still use the incorrect pronoun on occasion out of habit.) The intent was to find me a fixer-upper. Dad had always maintained his home himself, whether it was my grandmother’s house he grew up in, or the homes he has owned with my mom. They also owned rental properties when I was young and I learned a great deal about fixing things myself from time spent on those houses. I very much dislike them (the rental houses), but also appreciate all I learned to do because of them.
Well, the location of our house was right and the fixer-upper turned into a tear-down-and-start-over. Four years after breaking ground I earned the occupancy permit and four years later my husband and I began really making it a home together. Building up some cash to really make it a home from just merely habitable took a little time though.
Last summer was the first since I was a teenager that I did not have to have a summer job. I am a middle school teacher and do get the summer breaks, but until last year I usually needed to work during the “off” time. After the wedding dust settled we were able to do a bunch of projects on the house I had been meaning to get to for years, but either have not had the time, or the weather was not cooperating when I did have the time, or I did not have the funds saved to complete. Even though I am a fan of upcycling, some projects still need money to be done. Some projects were completed, and some were contemplated. More got done this year. As I soon head back into another year of teaching/coaching/officiating/etc… I can plan during the commute what to pick away at on the weekends and what big jobs we’ll do the following summer!
All of those little picks, new tries, and the steps along those big jobs are what I plan to share with you here on the blog. My hope is that the successes and blunders from our adventures will help you choose what to try next or at least brighten your day with a chuckle.
What I would really like to share are steps you can take to make items for yourself and your home, on your own, and have exactly what you want. I wouldn’t say that I’m picky, but maybe a little particular. If I am going to purchase a tool or item for our home, I want it to do everything I need it to do. I am a big fan of items that have multiple uses and do them well. “Quality over quantity” was my third grade teacher’s class motto and it has certainly stuck with me. Clutter is a nuisance and so is spending lots of money and then needing to spend more on something else so all of your needs for a task are met. Of course, there are times when this cannot be avoided, but wherever possible I will try to find another use for something we already have.
Sometimes I am just not satisfied with the quality of product at the price point I am willing to pay, or can afford. For example, I have wanted to utilize the deck more this summer and enjoy the cooling breezes and views from the back of the house. That is what it was built for after all. Since I moved in I wanted to build an outdoor couch and my Mom and sister advised I get the cushions first building around them to be sure they fit. Great idea, but anything good was ridiculously expensive. I thought, “I can make them.” So I did. I took a while to get it together, but I’m editing this note from that+ spot right now. Was it worth the extra time. Yaaass!
You can do this too, save a bunch of money while doing so, AND have a higher quality result. Check out the post about how we went about it here. That’s the essence of what I want to share. Click around. See what I’m working on, where I got the idea, and what you want to try yourself. Send suggestions my way. We may use it. Any day is a good time to try something new. After all, Why Not Now? Go do it and make it your own. (Yes, now! Haha, I guess not if you’re reading this at midnight, but tomorrow then. 😏)