Midwest Girl

I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


07 August 2015

When Beauty is Right Outside Your Backdoor

I have a sever case of wanderlust at the moment. I am itching for an exotic trip somewhere - anywhere - that is different and pretty and adventurous. All that time living overseas spoiled me and has me wanting to live overseas again, or at least take fun trips. Sometimes we are so used to our surroundings it's easy to forget how lucky we have it, or how beautiful our own backyard truly is. Last night was one of those nights I was reminded.

I had curtains, a cool dresser, and a few others things to deliver to the shed and on my way realized what a gorgeous gorgeous summer night in the country it was. The perfect temperature and beautiful skies. The corn is high and green, the yard and trees look amazing, it was peaceful. Such a way of God saying hello you don't have to travel thousands of miles for beauty or relaxation. It is right here in your backyard if you just take the time to stop and appreciate it.


 It would have been the perfect night to sit on the porch and read a book. Just soaking in the fresh air and sun setting. Sadly I had errands to run but I am forcing myself to go spend a night or two in the shed quite soon. I need to learn to relax more, allow myself more downtime at home not only on vacation.

04 August 2015

Quick Country Unwind

This weekend was a quick trip to Niobrara to relax with my parents and get my fix of fresh country air and small town life. We had an amazing meal of super fresh sweet corn (gifted by our farmer), herbed butter from our garden, and steaks from another local farmer in the area.

Took the dog out to the land for lots of exercise and some pond swimming.

Spent time on the river during the day enjoying the sun and then again that evening watching the sunset while out riding the ranger. One of those things lately I realize I don't do enough - enjoy the sunrise and sunsets.

We stalked old barns for a possible barnwood wall in my brother's kitchen.

 Even the super early drive home was pretty and relaxing. Views like this and very little traffic always make me feel at peace.

29 July 2015

Justin's House Before and After

I figured it would be fun to show some before and after shot's of Justin's house before all the furniture and that is moved in. I will show bathroom and kitchen as well as both those rooms also got a renovation. It truly amazes me what hard work, paint, stain, and a vision can do to transform a space.

I will say the before pictures actually look better than the true room did in person. The floors were pretty banged up, dirty, and gross. The woodwork was a mix of blue, pink, or wallpaper....The walls were dirty and crazy colors. I was in charge of stripping all the woodwork, sanding, painting and staining woodwork, painting ceilings (least favorite job of all), and painting walls. I am obviously a messy painter.... The boys did the hard stuff like tearing down walls, redoing the bathroom, new lights. The floors were hired out. 

The bedroom had horrible wallpaper, like several layers of wallpaper and then paint on top of it. 

 Here it is after wallpaper before we painted and all that.

After with no wallpaper, fresh coat of paint on the windows, refreshed woodwork, new light, and refinished floors.

Realized we forgot to strip paint off the closet door - ooops. Although a good picture to show just how bad the paint/woodwork situation was prior to us starting.

Dinning room before. It was closed off from the kitchen, several shades of pink, to include floral wallpaper on the woodwork.

After. The boys opened up a wall so now the kitchen and dinning room flow together and seem bigger. New light fixture, new window paint, remainder of woodwork was stripped and re stained, refinished floors.

Living room before. A whole lot of blue paint, yucky old light, bad floors.

 After. Fresh new paint, new window paint, rest of woodwork stripped and re stained, new light, and refisnihed floors.

This is a bonus room of sorts right off the living room. I think he is going to use it as a gym as we have a cool old sliding door that can open and close. it must have been an office before as had lots and lots of outlets and more blue paint.

After. No more blue, new paint everywhere, re stained woodwork, new light, and refinished floors.

Hallway before wasn't awful but the floors were in bad shape and all the woodwork was a beige color.

Refinished floors that look amazing, fresh paint (it is more white just bad lighting I think in this picture) and the railing/banister has been stripped and re stained. Clean and fresh.

Obviously there will always be things that can be improved. The ceilings are still textured, a few rooms still need finished, and I keep questioning if we should have stripped the paint of all the windows and stained that woodwork as well. Overall though it looks amazing I think. It's so cute now and truly looks so much nicer than the day he purchased it. Once he moves in art, furniture, rugs it will be even better.

Would love feedback!

23 July 2015

A few Summer Snaps

Summer is flying by. I don't like this one bit as it's my favorite time of year. Luckily it's been a mostly great one so far. Lots of pretty flowers and tasty veggies.

A great backyard concert with the amazingly talented Jeremy McComb

Convertible weather.

Picnics and music in the park.

And lots and lots of outdoor runs and walks.

30 June 2015

Patio Sprucing and Table Refinishing

Here are a few before pictures of my back patio, it's looked like this for probably 8 years or so. I need to paint that garage wall and add something pretty to help camouflage the brick.
Not awful and use able, I just didn't love it anymore. Especially as the cushions had seen better days and some of the paint was peeling. I found a few sets I "liked" but didn't love and I wasn't ready to spend $1,000's on new stuff I wasn't head over heels for. I decided on a whim to see what I could find at my favorite goodwill and I hit the jackpot. For less than $50 I walked away with six chairs and a way sturdy table.

I threw on the trusty painter/project clothes and set to work cleaning, polying like crazy, painting, and refinishing.

 I also finally tacked the cute potting bench that was also a thrift find a few years ago. It is now party ready. I have since added a few extra flowers for color and still need to figure out what I want for a new top.

I actually really liked the natural stain on the chairs so just added outdoor poly and recovered the seats with outdoor fabric.

The table received several coats of white outdoor paint. It is already chipping a little as the weather just wasn't cooperating when I painted it. But I'm letting it go as I want it to look somewhat worn and weathered. I will re-evaluate and touch up as needed at the end of the summer.

A few candles, pots, and a fun galvanized tray and I'm ready for dinner parties.


Last year the neighbors almost threw these gorgeous chairs away. I rescued them from the curb and love the weathered/worn look. This is how I want the table eventually. A few fun SAMs pillows, a thrifted afghan, and it's ready for s'more making.

I wish I would have taken more pictures of the whole patio blooming with flowers and herbs but this is as good as it gets for now. Amazing what a small investment and a lot of elbow grease can do to warm up a space and make it feel fun and new again. I for sure spent less than $150 total on the table project. Excited to set the table and host a dinner party.