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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to Landscape a Corner Lot

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Today I'm sharing my solution to landscaping for privacy on a corner lot.  If you follow Serendipity Refined on Instagram, you know that over the last ten days I decided to do some landscaping in the front yard at the farmhouse.  I designed a 60 foot long berm that is roughly the shape of a boomerang and contains several varieties of evergreens as well as some flowering ornamental trees and shrubs as well as shrub roses and perennials that will not only provide privacy but will add a focal point to our front yard.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How To Build A DIY Rustic Cedar Window Flower Box

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It's true. I chose mid-July to build a cedar window flower box for the farmhouse. I know that may sound crazy but I was bored...and local nurseries are closing out their summer flowers. At 50% off, the cost of filling the nearly seven foot long flower box wasn't bad. Rather than purchasing a bunch of individual flowers, I simply filled the box with four hanging baskets!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Farmhouse Essentials: Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Products Peony Scent {element}

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It has been awhile since I've shared some of the products and items that I consider to be essential elements here at the farmhouse. These are short, sweet, non-sponsored posts about products that I use and love. Today I'm sharing my 2015 Summer Crush: Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products in PEONY! If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I'm stocking up for summer!

 I've used Mrs. Meyers products in my home for several years.  They're eco-friendly cleaning products made from essential oils from flowers and herbs that not only smell wonderful but do a great job of cleaning, too! I also love the fact that they're easy on my budget with most items are under $4.00 and the fragrances are so yummy that I sometimes think that I should wear them as perfume....or eat them!

This summer, my favorite fragrance is Peony.  I'm on my second bottle of the hand soap and multi surface cleaner and it's not even July! I use it in the kitchen as well as the bathroom. It makes my whole house smell like a summer garden.  My only regret is that they didn't make a home fragrance spray in this line. Oh well, maybe next time.

I purchase my Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products at Target but they're also available online at Mrs Meyers, at Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and other stores. Just beware...Peony is a limited edition so grab it while you can!

Do you use Mrs. Meyers? What's your favorite scent?

 Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rustic French Country Milk & Chalk Paint Grandfather's Clock Makeover

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Today I'm sharing a rustic French country painted Grandfather's clock that I made over using both Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.  I love using both types of paint on the same piece and have been doing it for a couple of years because I really like the crusty, rustic, layered effect that I can achieve by layering ASCP and MMS (with bonding agent).

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

French Farmhouse Update: Learning to Cha-Cha

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Sometimes life requires a little "cha-cha".  It's been awhile since I've updated you on progress here at the farmhouse.  That's mainly because there has been none.  After approximately nine months of working with a builder who we thought was going to do this project for us, he stopped returning calls....he simply disappeared.  Don't get me wrong, this is a big project...a HUGE project and we don't have unlimited funds so I can understand if he changed his mind. I just wish that he would have let us know six months ago.

I have interviewed five other builders and the cost estimates to complete this project have come back over twice our budget.  Not at all like what I saw last weekend when I watched the Property Brothers marathon as I was stenciling Sadie's bedroom.  The Property Brothers rehabbed eight or nine different homes each of which took eight weeks or less to complete and none of which cost more than $175,000.  Clearly, I'm doing something wrong.

The estimates that I've received to rehab our 1800 square foot red brick ranch in the Chicago suburbs (with us doing all of the landscaping, exterior painting, and interior finish work ourselves) have been far more than any rehab that I've seen on television with time estimates of six to eight months  to complete the project. I'm pretty sure that I could build a new house for less money than a couple of the quotes that I've received.
So, I'm waiting to hear back from two remaining builders before I take a step back, scrap the plans that I spent a year developing,  and go back to the drawing board to start over to redesign a rehab for the farmhouse that we can afford to build.  

In the mean time, I'm making the best of living in a house with walls torn out, windows painted closed, and no air conditioning.  I'm painting a little furniture, doing a little landscaping and helping  friends with projects that they're working on. We're living in three rooms and have never been closer as a family.  I'm thankful for that...and the fact that everyone is keeping their sense of far.

I know that there's a reason that this project has been delayed and I also know that we'll move forward with the renovation of the farmhouse when the time is right. In the mean time, I'm learning a lot about patience...and faith...and perspective. After all, in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing more than an inconvenience...just a little plot twist in the story of my life....a story that is far from over. 

Thanks for reading.