Unsolicited Recs | Sept 18

 

Hi, everyone! It’s been a hectic few weeks around here, but have no fear…I’m back.

I don’t really have much by way of house projects to share. But! I do have a great HOUSE to share with you, before getting to a series of random things. If you live in the Champaign-Douglas-Piatt County area and are looking for an amazing house with a big yard and outbuildings, look no further! And put the open house on your calendar!

https://mobile.kw.com/kwMobile/getProperty.action?listingId=10598589

๐Ÿ–คI am so very late to the Schitt’s Creek party, but thank goodness I’ve finally arrived. Season 1-4 are on Netflix now. Season 5 is coming to Netflix next month. And Season 6 in 2020. It’s the most binge-worthy show of all time, actually. Do you watch?? Who is your favorite???๐Ÿ–ค

๐ŸŽถ STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN TO THIS. ๐ŸŽถ

๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Um excuse me? Can I please have a lot of money and a one-way ticket to Paris? Which one would you buy??? I’d go with #1 in a hot second ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

10 Quirky Parisian Dream Pads For Sale, Just Because

๐Ÿ›Ok I just actually love this and watch it constantly.๐Ÿ›

โ˜•๏ธ I love Friends. Aaron loves LEGOs. It’s a no brainer. โ˜•๏ธ

https://mymodernmet.com/friends-central-perk-lego-set/

๐Ÿ˜ทI love plague books. Like, show me a future where a bunch of people have been wiped out by a crazy disease and I am IN. This twitter thread accomplishes two things:

1. It shows me I’m not alone in my love

2. It gives me a great reading list!

By the way, my personal favorite is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. And….I’ve never read Stephen King’s The Stand. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ท

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Unsolicited Recs | Aug 22

So I realize I just did one of these posts. But I’ve been finding so many fun things to share as I scroll through the internet every night that I couldn’t resist posting again. PLUS today is a very special day…

Today, my niece Annie turns ONE. She lives so very far away from me, but I plan on smothering my phone in kisses when I birthday FaceTime with her today or tomorrow. JUST LOOK AT HER. Happy birthday, sweet girl!

Also, I am heading to Cleveland, OH in a couple weeks for a conference. I’ll get in on a Monday afternoon and will leave on Friday afternoon. That’s a lot of evenings to explore! The conference has an opening night party thing at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, so that will be checked off the list. And the Indians are at home at least part of the time I’m there, so I’ll probably try to get to a game. What else should I make sure to do while there? And more importantly, where do I need to be sure to eat & drink? ๐Ÿ™‚


Some links and things for you

This article includes 7 books (all by female authors) that are supposed to be great! And all of which have now been added to my Goodreads list. In news surprising to no one, the one I’m most excited to read isย Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan.


Oh I will watch the heck out of both of these! Netflix, you are really killing it these days. And Tony & Traci, thanks for letting us log in to your account to watch all these things. haha


OH MY GOSH THIS KITCHEN. That arched storage cabinet makes my heart happy. It’s so gorgeous.

Photo from Chris Loves Julia (https://www.chrislovesjulia.com/our-modern-cottage-kitchen-makeover-on-the-cheap/)

Speaking of Chris Loves Julia, they’re doing a room makeover giveaway! More than $10,000 in furniture, decor, design, etc. All you have to do is post a pic of the room you want made over on Instagram with a specific hashtag, and they’ll pick a winner (on Wed 8/28) based on the room’s potential, quality/creativity, and likes on Instagram. No bathroom or kitchens can be submitted. They’ve got a whole blog post with all the details, so head over to check it out! Be sure to tag me on IG (@ginamarsh4) because I will like like like your post to help increase your chances of winning!!! Here’s the full scoop.


Last year, Mom and I went to the Minnesota State Fair (on a record-breaking attendance day, I might add) and I had a giant eggroll on a stick. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Related: I love this article so much…ย ย What 2020 Democratic candidates ate at the Iowa State Fair.ย 

Yes, you are.ย This is America, we are very hungry, we have access to fryers, and we have trouble making decisions! If you want to be president, you have to eat your way to Washington. It’s what the founders intended. FOOD FOOD TEETH TEETH YES WE CAN!


One of my fave Instagram accounts is @fromwhereidrone. Their feed is gorgeous and full of amazing places and photos. Go follow them!

Alright, that’s probably enough for now. I will hopefully have some house stuff to show you next time — I have Harry Potter prints to hang up and probably other projects that I just am not thinking of. And at some point, hopefully in the next…oh, say 20 years or so…I hope to have some landscaping pics to show you. For now, I hope everyone has a great day! And send some celebratory wishes out into the universe for Annie J on her first birthday!

Unsolicited Recs | Aug 19

Another week of things no one cares about but me! Settle in. Here’s some stuff. First of all, yay for gorgeous August skies!

I just got back from a fun semi-spontaneous trip to Washington DC. Saw monuments. Saw museums. Visited wineries. The whole shebang. Highly recommend.

This is logistical fun and also, pretty sure QE is immortal. But, this is the plan for if she does die.

This is an article about ketchup. Yes. Ketchup.

What??! But I love water.

This article is from 2015. I love disaster movies…but this isn’t one I want to see!

Take your hands and hold them palms down, middle fingertips touching. Your right hand represents the North American tectonic plate, which bears on its back, among other things, our entire continent, from One World Trade Center to the Space Needle, in Seattle. Your left hand represents an oceanic plate called Juan de Fuca, ninety thousand square miles in size. The place where they meet is the Cascadia subduction zone. Now slide your left hand under your right one. That is what the Juan de Fuca plate is doing: slipping steadily beneath North America.

Have a fun week everyone. We’re watching Succession on HBO – have you guys watched it??? It’s so good. Sometimes I don’t know wtf they’re saying. But it’s over the top and really enjoyable.

Unsolicited Recs |August 6

Hi, everyoneeeeeee. Here are some things.

After 3 years living here (I know! I can’t believe it’s been 3 years either!), we finally have installed blinds to west-facing windows in the kitchen & master bedroom. The sun is bright. Did you know that? And when it comes beating through the kitchen windows while we’re trying to cook dinner in the evenings, it is quite annoying. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I bring home dinner so often?? Yeah, that’s gotta be it.

ANYWAY. We did a bunch of research and decided we had to go with cellular shades, because the design & measurements of the window casing made installing anything else impossible (the hardware for like every other option was way too big). So we got all amped up, went to Menards because a) we live there and b) we have rebates there and c) they had blinds/shades 40% off. So the sale price for shades for 4 measly windows was like $800. Maybe that’s a reasonable price? But it was more than we were willing to pay. So — we took to the internet! Ultimately found ourselves on affordableblinds.com. We ordered some free samples to gauge quality and colors, and were pleasantly surprised. We ordered cordless cellular shades for the kitchen and cordless blackout cellular shades for the master bedroom. 4 shades, free shipping, total cost was $266.32. And they’re nice!! Now, to get them to fit right in the casings, we had to cut, prime, paint, and install some wood strips to the upper part of each window. So that was fun. But now they’re up and they are game. changers. Oh! I almost forgot. I was impressed with Affordable Blinds’ customer service, too. One of the kitchen blinds arrived the wrong measurement (long by about 1″). I sent them an email, took a picture of the error, and boom. New one arrived today. Lickety split!

We also got a couple things hung on the walls in the master bedroom. We had talked about doing a picture ledge above the bed, but ultimately decided to hang this mirror thing we salvaged from the property, cleaned up, and painted. Like 2 years ago. Better late than never!

Don’t judge my bed making skills. We are two people who sleep with 6 pillows between the two of us and literally never make our bed. It’s hard to get good at it when you only do it for photos once every 2 years. Sorry Mom!

Anyway. We also hung our life mantra in our bedroom as well. We think it’s important to stay centered.

In other news:

How to use envy as a tool — I love this approach to figuring out what you want in life! This is a quick 4-ish minute blog read, and I highly recommend!

I just started listening to a new podcast. Well, new to me. It’s actually from about a year ago, but I’m just now getting around to it. It’s Uncover: Escaping NXIVM and is about what turned out to be a sex cult masquerading as leadership development community. Or something. Here’s the thing – there are about 7 minutes in episode 1 that are ROUGH to listen to. But I’m now on ep4 and it’s bonkers (in a good way). It’s fascinating and terrifying and I have a feeling I’m going to really enjoy the rest is it. You can read more about what the podcast entails and/or listen here.

You guys, I think this movie looks delightful. Don’t you???

Hope you all have a great week!

Unsolicited Recs | July 29

Hi, everyone. Happy (????) Monday!

The only house-related thing I want to show you this week is this EPIC butterfly! Isn’t it the prettiest of all time? And it was a giant.

IMG_4872

Other than that, I have been keeping track of some fun internet things I wanted to share with you.

These articles are about the American Airlines unlimited ticket and the people who bought it in the late 80s and how they used it. Sometimes for good, rarely for evil (although AA disagreed and has revoked some of the tickets recently). Both the articles are so good and so interesting! Where would you go first (and second and third…)if you had unlimited first class travel???ย Article 1 here and Article 2 here.

Interesting and fascinating article on how the “Markle Sparkle” (I know, that moniker is barf-worthy. I didn’t make it up) affected one clothing brand. If I had all the money and thought that buying what Meghan Markle was wearing would make me look like her, not gonna lie…I’d go for it.

A super important read for all of us about disabled parking spots. An Open Letter to the Guy at Target

A Q&A about life insurance. I found it really informative and interesting (despite the subject matter). Do you have life insurance??? We all should!

This article from Texas Monthly about the life of Edward Ates and his wrongful conviction is fantastically written and will make you mad. It was thanks in large part to the work of one podcast host he was freed. I haven’t listened to this particular podcast and was still absorbed for this entire story.

Am I the last person on earth to see this? It’s SO FUN.

This whole thread is a blast, but the Metallica – Saturday Night Fever is THE BEST.

Unsolicited Recs | July 22

I follow a lot of blogs. Guys, a LOT. And no matter the type, my favorite thing many of them do each week is a roundup of sorts. They share links to things that caught their eye (or ear) the week prior. Seriously, my favorite. So while I’m not a prolific blogger like many that I follow, that’s why I’m going for this link list approach. I love them and I hope you will too!

First up, a couple things around the house:

We finally added sweet little shelves to the random nook in our downstairs bathroom. We just bought a sheet of aspen from Menards, stained it Minwax Dark Walnut (that we stole from Mom), and voila! The decor is very much a work in progress — the red vase won’t be staying there, for example – but I’m loving it so far!

We (Mom, Cat, Traci, and I) took an amazing little class at Paint Like Me Party in Mahomet on how to do macrame. Macrame!!! It was a blast and I’m obsessed with the plant hanger. It’s found a good home in the master bathroom.

some things from around the internet:

Advice columns are my jam. Doesn’t matter what the subject matter, I will read it. Captain Awkward did a nice little discussion on handling birthday expectations as an adult. It’s great.

One of the best blogs on the internet is Yes & Yes. She’s blogging on an irregular schedule these days, but just did one the other day on our tendency to “reward” ourselves after a crummy day/week/situation.ย Your mind is fried and your spirit is crumpled. Clearly the answer is Target. Except should it be??

Another Yes & Yes plug — I just downloaded her guide to figuring out what makes me happy so I can do more of whatever that is. Want to go through it with me? Download it here!

There’s no one like Missy. No one. I โค๏ธ Missy Elliott. Don’t you?

My lil bro was a guest on a podcast! I mostly don’t understand what they’re talking about, but being a guest on a podcast is basically a dream (give me all the podcasts), so I gotta shout him out for doing it! Check out Episode 10.

Speaking of podcasts, I just finished up another great series! It’s called The RFK Tapes and looks at the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. It veered into tinfoil hat territory, but that was by design as it explored what happened and the various theories surrounding it. Highly recommend!

Kitchn has started a fun series called The Way We Eat, where they interview different people about….the way they eat. Duh. I love little slice of life things like this! The most recent one was a delight. (Except she snacks on dried dates…dipped in tahini…and flaked salt. Otherwise, the interview is totally normal and relatable and interesting. I swear!!)

Prince George turned 6. These pics are adorable.

Roughly 4 years ago, this is where we were at on this house process. YIKES.

IMG_4290

And finally, may this earworm stay in your head for weeks, as it has for me.

Unsolicited Recs| July 16, 2019

So it’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve blogged. It’s funny how once you finish the process of building/remodeling your house, it’s suddenly just… your house. In the best possible way, of course.

In these past couple years, we’ve done things like clear out TONS of scrub and trees from the east side of the house. It makes a difference when you’re sitting on the porch, but is basically unphotographable. We’ve added some decor items. We’ve added a barn-style shed where the old barn used to be. We’ve taken baby steps into landscaping (but talk to me in 30 years to see how that’s going). We’ve got a circle drive in the front of the house. But basically, we’ve been living our life in our dream farmhouse, sometimes being lazy, sometimes working our tails off, sometimes going on vacation, and sometimes blinking and thinking “where did the last 4 months go!?”

All that being said, I miss blogging! And while I don’t foresee us doing projects on a regular basis that anyone will be interested in, I do like having a spot to say hey, share what we’ve been up to, and maybe even share some completely unrelated things.

So here we are, at what I hope will be a regular post of unsolicited recommendations. From podcasts to projects, from ideas to articles — I will post the random things I want other people to know about! I don’t guarantee that any thing will be interesting to anyone but me, but maybe someone will enjoy something I post and that will be super duper.

Without further ado, my first list of random, unsolicited recs:

  • Hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot — I was skeptical about this, not gonna lie. I’ve got doing hard-boiled eggs on the stove top down prettttttty pat. But we finally tried hard-boiling eggs in the Instant Pot and HOLY SMOKES IT’S A GAME CHANGER. The shells! They peel off! So easily! It’s honestly miraculous. We followed this recipe, and next time I will maybe try having them in there for just a teensy bit less time because they were a little bit dryer than we like. But I won’t go back to stove top hard-boiling and having my peeled eggs look like tiny white death stars.

hard-boiled-eggs-1129698_960_720

  • White Lies Podcast – This NPR podcast looks at the 1965 unsolved murder of Reverend Jim Reeb in Selma, Alabama just a few days after Bloody Sunday. It’s fascinating and terrible and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It also really made me want to watch the movie ‘Selma,’ which I plan to do ASAP!

white lies

  • Speaking of podcasts, this episode of ‘This is Love’ is straight up podcasting perfection. Just listen to Anna & Massimo’s story (it’s less than 30 minutes long) and enjoy.

this is love

  • When we were in Ixtapa earlier this year with Mom & Dad, we bought this gorgeous wool rug that was made in Oaxaca, and hung it on the landing of our stairwell. It makes me happy every time I walk by. Which is like 300 times per day (more on the weekends).

 

  • Aaron loves his Big Green Egg. Aaron loves cooking on his Big Green Egg. Aaron doesn’t love hauling things back and forth from the kitchen to the porch. Gina doesn’t love all the grilling/smoking stuff being a hot mess all over the pantry. SO. We finally invested in some great modular pieces to have a bit of an “outdoor kitchen” situation. But here’s the thing – to buy shelves for these things was outrageously expensive ($100+ per shelf). So Aaron turned his brain on to “builder” mode and MADE shelves out of gorgeous leftover Cumaru porch wood. LOOK AT THEM. They are so pretty and sturdy and functional and cost us zero extra dollars. Plop some totes (bought at Menards with rebate money, i.e. also free-ish) on the shelves and voila! Functional, sturdy, good-looking outdoor kitchen space.

 

  • My friend Theresa told me about this skort from Athleta and I became SO obsessed with it. It’s the perfect length, the shorts part is the perfect material and snugness level, it has pockets for your cell phone, it looks put together even when you’re not…I keep singing its praises to so many people; I know of 3 or 4 who have bought it recently. The best part? It’s final sale right now, so is a great price. BUY BUY BUY.

skort

That’s a long enough (and random enough) list for this first go round, I’d say. What do you think?

Don’t stair at me

So remember when I asked for opinions on what to do about our stairs? (here, here, and here)

We ultimately decided to leave them au naturale for the time being, i.e. original dark trim, spindles, and newel post; Kendall Charcoal baseboards; white risers; and refinished/stained treads.

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We talked about if we should do a runner up the entire length of the stairs, but we worried it would look out of place with no other carpet anywhere in the house (aside from above the garage), and we didn’t know how to treat the landing (the stairs do a 90 degree turn at the landing). We also talked about just getting carpeted or even clear treads, but just couldn’t find one we loved. So again, “as-is” was the name of the game. And so far, we’re really loving them this way!

And then I read this blog post today on Bower Power blog. Do you guys follow that one? Tons of DIY posts, sweet family posts (they have 4 young boys…and she’s super pregnant with her first girl), etc. It’s a great one to follow, if you don’t already.

ANYWAY, today she posted that she wallpapered her stairs. Say whaaaaaa? The picture below is from her website (i.e. it is not my picture…it belongs to Bower Power…and she is awesome…go visit her site…)

Wallpaper-stairs-DIY-Bower-Power-15
Bower Power Blog — their finished staircase. Don’t ย you love it???

Obviously this decor option would in no way affect the slipperiness of the stairs, which is why we were considering the other options. But…it’s so pretty. It’s so cute. It’s so funky. It’s so not permanent. I’m not actually suggesting we’ll do it (I haven’t even shown Aaron. I bet we can all guess what his opinion will be). But I wanted to share, because it had never even crossed my mind as an option! And y’all were so helpful when we were exploring our stairs options, I thought you might like to see it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So there you have it! What do you think?? Yay or Nay on wallpapering the stairs? And if you fall into the Yay camp — what pattern of wallpaper???

Summer time

Howdy, y’all! Long time no talk. If you’ve been wondering what’s been going on down this long lane of ours, the answer is not much / a lot. Not much is truly photo worthy, but a lot of work has been going on nonetheless!

In the last post, you saw how Aaron had been working on cleaning out the remains of the old barn. Well, since then, he and his friend Matt (and Matt’s crew) have done some concrete-cutting and concrete-pouring to prepare for the new barn (which will actually be more of a shed). 

Putting in floor drain

Aaron and his dad also spent a ton of time moving dirt and grading all around the house, and we got some grass planted. It’s coming up in funny little patches, as per usual with planting grass in the summer. But I’m sure we’ll have a yard around our house someday. The rest of the property is another story. It’s like The Jungle Book out there. Minus Baloo and Mowgli and friends. 

As you can see, the grass is growing better in some places than others…

Other than that, we’ve been on the lookout for furniture for our wrap around porch. I picked up a sweet bench at a flea market a few weeks ago, that works really well by the front door. 


The main things we’re noticing with the porch are 

A) it gets real real dirty and we’re going to need to invest in a power washer asap 

B) we aren’t loving the cumaru product we put down for the floor. Despite following all acclimation and installation instructions, its separating and curling and shrinking and expanding in all kinds of not awesome ways 

C) we need heavy duty furniture that can stand up to the wind out here. But we don’t want to spend a fortune. These two things are very much in opposition. 

So that’s a quick lil update. We still have a lot of finish work to do inside, which I’m afraid will take years for us to actually do. ๐Ÿ™„ And getting the outside in order will probably be on our to do list for the next 20 years, at least. But we are loving our home and are so thankful to be here!