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Over the weekend, my girls and I found a garage sale that seemed as if it was created just for us.  It was awesome.  That is why we went back three separate times.  (Yes, this is true.  Three. Times.)  First off, the sale was located on a beautiful property housing a barn, several out-buildings and a cute little home.  The expansive lawn was dotted with gorgeous antiques throughout it’s beautiful flower gardens.  Very Victorian.  I loved it.  Then as we neared the selling area, we discovered it was filled with two main categories of items:  teaching materials and antiques.  Oh boy.  The three of us Fagan girls were in heaven.

We ended up carting home some beautiful vintage towels and clothes pins,  several cookbooks and gardening books dating as far back as 1952, and we outfitted our entire homeschool operation with books and other school supplies.  I would say it was a huge success.

What were you up to this weekend?  I would love to hear.  Enjoy your week, friends.

Reclaimed Love

We are blessed.  We are blessed with family who understand my craziness and are willing to help us out when that craziness gets a bit…carried away.  Last winter, I drew the line with the nasty carpet in our dining room.  It was the only room in our house with carpet and it needed to go.  The smell of smoke, animal, dust, and all other sorts of loveliness was just too much for me.  So, on a random snowy winter afternoon, I tore out all the carpet.

Since then, we have had lovely plywood subfloor acting as a perfect complement to our dining room decor.  (Ahem.)

As I said earlier, thank goodness for my wonderful family.  My father-in-law, a fabulous wood worker, had been collecting a variety of reclaimed lumber for some time now.  Some of the lumber even came from the world’s largest wooden grain elevator in Deluth, Minnesota, circa 1887.  He was generous enough to share some of this wood with us, have it milled, and then install it for us.  So, with all hands on deck, this beautiful flooring was installed.

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It then came to finishing the floor so that its true beauty could be revealed.  My dad and mom, both of whom are completely aware of my craziness, knew I would not be able to handle breathing in dust and fumes, so they also very generously helped us to have a green certified wood refinishing company come in and finish up the floor.  The girls and I were able to stay in the house while the floor was sanded and finished, never breathing in a single particle of dust or any nasty fumes.

I am not sure what I was expecting, but let me tell you, this floor exceeded every expectation I ever could imagine.  This floor, coupled with a fabulous antique light fixture from this wonderful shop, has quickly become my favorite space in the house.  We are truly blessed for all the generosity of our family.

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What I’m In To

As I move throughout this week, I find my mind wandering to a few special things in my life.  Today I bring you those lovelies I’m in to this week…


The Bela Lugosi lilies in bloom in my garden.  Who doesn’t love a day lily named after the actor who played Dracula?

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These vintage dishes my mom found for me at Salvaged by Sonya, a fabulous antique shop in downtown Rockford.


The Pioneer Woman’s Pots de Creme.  There are no words.


My new yogurt incubator.  I purchased my kit at this store, but you can also order the exact same one from this website.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I have been purposefully taking my time in reading this book because quite honestly, I don’t want it to end.  You know those pieces that you are so sad once they are completed because you feel like you have just lost a friend?  That is how I feel about this book.  It is truly just a lovely tale.

What I’m Into This Week


Whew.  It has been one of those weeks.  I know you all understand what I’m talking about…One of those weeks where all of a sudden you look at the calendar and realize multiple days have gone by without your noticing.  Yes.  That has been my week.

I think one reason for the craziness is I seem to have had my hand in a bit of everything this week.  So, with that said, here is what I’m into this week…

  • My girls had a few friends over and they made some Valentine’s Day ornaments using the “Salt Dough” recipe from Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook.
  • I just finished reading Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes, and let me tell you, it is a fabulous book!  It gave me a whole new perspective on homemaking as a means of ushering in social change.  Amazing.
  • I also just picked up another book by Shannon Hayes, Long Way On A Little.  It contains great insight into the world of eating closer to the source, and also has a ton of great recipes and project ideas.  Hopefully you will see some of this in action in upcoming posts.
  • It’s not only non-fiction on my reading list this week, I also just started reading Gone Girl for my next book club gathering.  It is a bit on the creepy side, but it is definitely a page-turner.
  • A dear friend of mine just passed along this link to a great homemade fruit snack recipe.  My youngest and I made four batches already this week and they are being gobbled up as fast as we can make them.
  • I started a crocheting project with wool from this farm.  It is working up nicely, and  rest assured there will be a picture of the finished project coming soon.
  • I’ve been perusing this thrift store and this one, and this antique mall lately for some new dishes.  I’ve come home with a lot of cute sweaters…and not so many dishes…ha.
  • My oldest daughter and I are looking forward to making quite a bit of cheese today with our kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.
  • I want to redecorate our main bathroom, and I’ve been looking to make this project as the focal point of the room.
  • And last but certainly not least, I plan to try out two more pie recipes from A Year of Pies, my new favorite cookbook.IMG_0610

A Place Of Their Own


I’m sure all of you mamas out there know how this goes.  The holidays are now over, and space needs to be created for all those gifts that the little ones found under the tree Christmas morning.  Our biggest issue this year was that both girls received a lot of project materials (which is amazing…don’t get me wrong), but the problem arose when each girl wanted her own space to create, discover, and “just be in peace.” (That was my oldest…always wanting her “peace” 🙂 )


So, I ventured to my parents’ basement, where I can always find a few trinkets that I need, and emerged with an antique desk that my sister and I used when we played “school” all those years ago.  I then went to the thrift store and picked up a table.  I painted both these pieces to match our existing decor in our basement.  It must, of course, all coordinate right?

And yes, that is a sewing machine…for my three year old.  That was the one item she asked for for Christmas.  She never wavered, never faltered.  Each and every time someone asked her what she wanted for Christmas, her response was, “A real sewing machine.”  Oh my.


I also let my oldest paint the trim on her table, to add a bit of personal pizzazz, and then covered it with a water-based finish to avoid any chipping.


Now each girl has a bit of space, all her own, where she can get lost in her creative world.  More on the projects created in these spaces later this week.


In a few posts (here and here), I have mentioned my love of antiques and this past week I obtained a few new acquisitions that I am just thrilled to share with you.  I was on my way to pick up my eldest daughter from school when I saw a yard sale sign.  I don’t know what made me follow this particular sign, as opposed to any of the other twenty I had passed throughout the day, but I am so very glad that I did!  When I pulled up, the front yard was filled, literally brimming, with antiques.  Everything from a wooden four poster bed, to an iron cook stove, to a kid’s gardening table were strewn across the grass on this beautiful afternoon.

I immediately parked my car, grabbed my two-year old shopping partner and started perusing.  I have been looking for an antique work table for almost two years now.  I wanted to put it on my deck to use for a space to prep food outside since we entertain out there so often.  I had been unable to find a match to the picture in my mind…until now.  Sitting there beneath century old irons, crystal and tools was the table I had been envisioning.

Needless to say, I walked away with the table, and an awesome chair.  I made some repairs to the chair, added a coat of paint and now it is a bright new feature in our backyard.  The table of my dreams…Well, I just washed that baby down and left her as is.  I love the “oldness” of it. The cracks, the splatters of paint, the remnants of tape that can be found along the back edge.  Love it.

As you can see, we broke the “new” table in this past Friday on pizza night.  Yes, she will suit our needs just fine 🙂

Organization Station

When we moved into our house, the room that I missed most from our previous home was our mud room.  Our mud room had been the catch-all of our house, and without one in our current home, it seemed that our kitchen had become the place where everything was dropped:  coats, shoes, bags, papers, purses, keys, the works.

Well, after nearly four years I finally have my own make shift mud room!  Last summer my husband’s grandmother gave me an antique mirror and I had been desperately trying to find a home for it with no luck whatsoever.  Finally I came up with the idea to create a “mud room wall” in our garage, featuring the mirror as the focal point.  After a bit of carpentry work by my hubby, a little paint, and a quick visit to an antique mall, the project is complete.

I kept some existing hooks because they were so well fastened to the wall studs, but I needed some extra places to hang all of those coats that seem to accumulate so I used some antique pull-knobs, cabinet latches, a door knob and even a door stop to create a few more “hooks.”

I call my new creation my “Organization Station” 🙂