Monday, August 3, 2015

When the Weather Gets HOT, I Redesign!

Well, if I'm perfectly honest, when I get bored, after I'm done deep cleaning and organizing...I redesign. It's not just the HEAT.

I have been going from closet to closet, drawer to drawer, reorganizing and purging. Yesterday, I finished load after load of laundry, and started looking around our living room...that's never good.

My husband says he can never go blind, because I change the house too much!

The next thing, I knew, I had every surface emptied and was dusting and redesigning.

My boys just started laughing..."There you go again Mom! You can never just rest!".

This may be a true statement, but at least I enjoy redesign and our spaces never get old and boring.



I moved the chalkboard from the kitchen, (that had the pig on it), erased the pig, and put a "Thistle Hill Ranch" banner on it. I also moved the calf head from the kitchen here. I think you notice it more here. I needed more light "visually", so this works better for me, with the white table cloth.


Not sure why this is so darn blurry...oh well, you get the idea.

I can't find before pictures of the kitchen...typical...I always forget before pictures.

I like the change...the boys said it feels bigger. The lighting was terrible for photos, but again, I think you can get a feel for the space...I really shy away from color, but I love this scarf, and the colors, I couldn't resist putting it here.

I put the table runner, I normally have in the dining room, here to cover the glass.

It warmed it up, and lightened the room. It literally looked that! Below, I placed our napkins in a metal basket with a mouse paper weight. This is also where the chalkboard used to be. I put the mirror from above the chest here to reflect more light.

I like the peanut jars here much better. This was blurry too...I think it was the sunlight...ugh!

This is where the mirror over the sideboard came from. And this is the mirror from the dining room...I think it looks much better here. It also made the room seem taller. I brought back the lamp, from another room, (the family that owned this property actually gave its lamp to me. I adore it!), and put it back here at our back door. It's nice at night pretty.

And last but not least...

I moved the knick knacks off of the living room ottoman tray and started over.

I will take more pictures of the living room for another post. I put slipcovers back on the chairs, and redesigned the bookcase for all books. I needed more space in the big bookcase for homeschooling. I Can't Believe Summer is almost over! Where did the time go.

So much more to do before school starts. And we have a new ranch puppy coming Wednesday! We are so excited! Lots and lots to come, so check back soon.

Have a Great Monday and a Fabulous Week!

Remember, you can always use what you already have, to get a whole new feel to your home. The use non-traditional items in a new way is always a fun, easy, and inexpensive cure, to the "I'm bored with my space" disease.

The best way to get a new feel is empty the space and shop your home. It really can be a lot of fun, and your room gets really clean too :-) It makes you get all those pesky dust bunnies.

I know, I know, I'm always cleaning...

Happy Decorating!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's a HOT Summer at Thistle Hill Ranch!

I found this on Pinterest and thought it summed up Living in the "SOUTH"!
My Pinterest and Instagram accounts have links here on my blog.

I love the idea of living in the South!

Southern living, sounds like porch swings, nice weather, ice tea sipping on porches, and long lovely summer days.



And I feel like Bonnie..."Nooooooo, not 100*+ Heat and Heat Index! I can't take it!"

The heat is almost unbareable!

I try to make myself get up early to enjoy the 80* weather... Yes, I said 80 DEGREES in the EARLY morning! Can you say YUK? I like 80's but not at 7 AM. I know some people Love this weather. I personally would love a high of 80.

I try my hardest to think FALL, late October, will be here soon!

I've learned to think of Summer as project time. Get everything that I need to get accomplished before Fall & Winter weather hits, finished over the summer.

So what do I do over Summer?

1. Clean and Organize

This includes closets, drawers, under "things" (ie. deep dusting and cleaning), & purge, purge, purge!

2. Get Organized for the Upcoming School Year

The older they get, the more planning that's involved with school curriculums, electives, and extracurricular activities. I'm a Nervous Nelly, Worry Wart, whatever you want to call me...I get stressed about making sure all the i's are dotted, and t's are crossed, where their education is concerned. They both have very different goals, and that takes planning.

3. Get Ranch Clean-Up Done, & Ranch Projects Planned

Because "ranching" is still so new to us, there is a lot I'm still learning. There is also a lot to plan. We now know that we NEED a new barn, we NEED an arena and a round pen, and we NEED to get going on the new house. Now, that the current home we are in, is all dish washer, new washing machine,new toilets, new tile in the master bathroom...well, new subfloor and tile replaced, house painted, old shrubs taken out, trees trimmed, deck fixed and repainted, kitchen sink re-reinforced....

WOW, that IS a lot!

It's time now to get started on the new Farmhouse!


It's a long road from plans, to breaking ground. With a husband whose super busy with work, and ME, with an A Type personality that wants to get things done, this is a frustratingly long road. The biggest struggle is I can't help get the house started. I have to be patient. Patience for me, is a learned behavior...I'm still learning....deep breath. Everything happens for a reason.

The house will get done when it's meant to get done.

I enjoy being outside a lot. But in the spirit of not melting, I'm embracing Inside Summer Project Time, and Early Morning Outside Project Time. I'm enjoying my kids, and enjoying my animals even if it is only in short spurts in the AM and PM!


All the horses came up to the house around lunch time.
I had to say a quick hi and get in a few hugs around their necks.



Bonnie & Darby enjoying the air conditioning!
Aren't they adorable?
I just adore them!


Patience keeping cool!


Stay Cool and Enjoy Your Summer!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The House Update is Finished!

The painting took longer than usual, but It was worth the wait!

Here is a reminder of what it looked like before.

BEFORE of the Front {Colonial}

AFTER of the Front {Southern Cottage}
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't cooperating for better pictures.
We even painted the swing!

BEFORE of the Back


AFTER of the Back

It's SO Relaxing! Funny how a color change, can change the whole mood.

We were hoping for a Southern Cottage feel to the house. I think we got it! It feels fresh, clean, and cozy. Now the house blends in with the rest of the property.

We were also really happy with the side effects of painting it a light color...the brick is cooler and so is the house. The back patio/deck is cooler too.

Now on to the next project...getting the new house built!

Have a Great Week!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thistle Hill Ranch Improvements Coming Soon!

The House Update is Almost DONE!

I can't wait to share the new look of the Thistle Hill Ranch's house!

We wanted it to look like a southern country home. It's not technically small enough to be called a cottage, but we wanted a "cottage" look. This is the first home/ building you see, when you enter our ranch. We wanted continuity with all the buildings, that way when we build the new home, it will all flow as if everything was built about the same time.

Check Back on Monday. The renovation should be complete Sunday. I'm really excited!

See You Soon!


Have a Great Weekend!

*Checkout the Instagram Account @goosebumpfactor and #thistlehillranch for pictures of our daily life here at Thistle Hill Ranch.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Summer Projects at Thistle Hill Ranch

Our first year at the Thistle Hill Ranch has just passed. It's been an amazing year here. There's so much we've accomplished, and so many projects we've finished. I'm so happy we made the desicion to move here, even though we've had so much to learn, in a short amount of time. My Grandpa used to say, "If you Love the Place, It Doesn't Feel Like Work"!

The before and after of the property is shocking!

Here are a few before and after photos...

The House~

I love this little '80's ranch home, but being on "the ranch", it doesn't quite fit in with the overall plan we have for Thistle Hill.
The plan is to have this home, and the new home blend. Not to mention, all of the out buildings too.
Let's Start With the House...
The brick, and black shutters, (shutters on the large window also, not being quite to scale), give a colonial feel to the home.
Here are some before pictures of the house.
{Side Note:My Father-in-law helped us with tree trimming, fan installations and shutter removal and building new ones! Poor guy came for a visit and we put him to work!}
I couldn't get over all the mud robber nests behind the shutters...YUK!
We capped the black turned posts with cedar. We will clear coat them to protect them from the elements, but keep the color.
You can see a glimpse of the new shutters.
You will also notice in the before picture the large bushes in the right front corner, are . It really made the house seem larger.
Our new umbrella on the back patio, to cut out the intense sun and heat. The patio deck will be getting a paint makeover too.
The painting of the brick, shutters, door, and deck start tomorrow...if it doesn't rain. It's like Christmas! I'm so excited!
The Pond~
This was the pond last year. Overgrown plants draining the water, an old dock, and a several year drought, took its toll on this 1/4 acre pond.
What a difference a year makes!
Look at the fence line in comparison. The water is almost to the top!
We have plans for a small dock, and fishing shack for fishing tack, and a little more shade. Maybe in a year...
The Barn & Corral~
It was full of snakes, and bunnies!
Recently, as of a week ago, barn fans installed!
Don't judge the mess, HA! This is also part of our storage until the house is built.
The end result...Sandy & Baby Koa enjoying the breeze!
I sure loved seeing the new barn sign in the winter too...Goose Bumps!

Next was Tree Trimmming...
We now understand, that this ranch chore is never really finished.

The picture below is showing the overgrown juniper bush, ivy, and other bushes. From what we could see, it had railroad ties on one side. We later discovered, they were all the way around.

Three hours later, all 4 of us, a tractor and a chainsaw later, it was all gone! Glad the boys are old enough to sure went by fast with them.

Inside Our Home~

Not the greatest lighting in the pictures, but it's a peek inside.

If you follow me, you know I'm compelled to change in my decor. So this is the latest change. I moved the shedding plant to my patio. I was tired of cleaning up leaves. You can catch a glimpse of the before, in the above photo.

Dining Room


Preston's Bedroom

Landen's Bedroom

Not a fan of ceiling fans, but it's staying. Notice the printer in the corner, that's on my desk/ side table. We were really pleased at the size of this master bedroom. It's very comfortable and has an ensuite bathroom.

So what's next?

There is just so much on the list! New house, arena, and barn to build. Not necessarily in that order, but that is on the top 5 of the triage list. We just keep plugging away!

The Summer includes homeschooling a bit this summer with Math, and workbooks to keep their minds going. Horseback riding lessons continued, and fishing, fishing, fishing.

This was during Grandpa Ralph's visit...can you say "Boy Heaven"?
My Favorite!

Hope you had a great 4th of July! Last year we celebrated at The Whitesboro Rodeo. This year at home, at Thistle Hill Ranch.

Check back soon for the pictures of the AFTER on the house!

Have a Great Week!