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Favorites on Friday


I’m home with a sick kiddo today.  The big one has had a cough all week and finally ended up with a fever in the night.  I’m not surprised.  We’ve had a busy week – not exactly good for relaxing and recovering from a cold.

And, this happened:

The account language preference is correct.  The wii language preference is correct.  But every show is in Spanish, unless I change it specifically for that show.  So I guess that’s what I’ll do.

But anyway, back to favorites, not mysterious Netflix failures…

The Iowa State game Wednesday night was so fun – seats in Row 11, and an amazing game!  We took both boys, and I spent most of it chasing Isaac, but that’s the way it goes with my little hurricane!

iowa state game


And other favorites from the week include


someecards.com - Washing laundry - a must. Drying - understandable. But putting it all away is simply taking things a bit too far. 

This blog: I love Brooke’s light and airy, but still colorful, house.  Go and check it out!

Inside-Out Design

This contest: You MUST enter TODAY! (click on the image to enter.)

Giveaway Graphic

This list of books, which has given me some great ideas!

This article about eating meat.

and last but not least, all of the nice comments and new visitors after I shared my home tour at Primitive and Proper yesterday!  Thank you!


For the weekend, I’m planning on hibernating.  More cold and snow on the way.  Yuck!

Master Bedroom Design Comes to Life!

Before I share my bedroom photos, I want to let you know that my friend Cassie from Primitive and Proper is “hosting” me on her blog today – I’m showing some of my favorite areas from all over the house, so go check it out!


diy upholstered headboard

Do you remember, almost TWO YEARS ago when I posted this mood board for the master bedroom? 

master bedroom[3]

It’s been slowly coming together ever since!

DIY upholstered headboard

On this side of the room, the headboard that I upholstered is flanked by two antique pieces of furniture – an oak dresser that I refinished on Bart’s side of the bed, and a sewing machine cabinet on my side.

I will do a complete tutorial on the headboard someday.

The other side of the room is home to the recliner – it’s been up here since I got my turquoise chairs.  It may move to the basement someday, but I like having a quiet, comfy place to read or work.

starburst mirrors

The collection of starburst mirrors and metallic frames is a combination of antiques store and Hobby Lobby finds.

reading corner bedroombrass gold frame starburst mirror collection

And as usual, it’s the little details that are my favorite…

A collection of gorgeous, favorite books.

decorating with old books

Antique Roseville vases, one from my aunt, one from Bart’s grandma, and one was a garage sale find.

antique roseville vases

The art is reminiscent of our honeymoon in Charleston. A palmetto tree on my side of the bed, and a print of our favorite Charleston restaurant on Bart’s side.

navy raspberry bedroom

I still have plans for this room.  Someday, I want to paint the trim and doors white. I refinished the woodwork downstairs, but I’m planning to paint up here.

tall leaning mirror

I’d also like to replace the big recliner with a smaller, prettier chair.  But sometimes, practicality wins over aesthetics.

gold mirrors

And I’m actually thinking about painting the room navy, too.

DIY upholstered headboard

But for now, our bedroom is a cozy and comfortable retreat, and we love it!

starburst mirror collection

Shared at Thrifty Décor Chick’s March Before and After

Does antibiotic use on farms affect your health?


does antibiotic use on farms affect human health

Antibiotic use on farms is one of the most talked about and most misunderstood issues related to today’s agriculture. And I’ll admit, I lost some sleep over it for a while. It’s hard not to! Read an article about it or watch a documentary, and you’ll be scared out of your wits!

But animal welfare is a top priority for us, and if we didn’t use antibiotics, we would have birds suffering and dying from illnesses that are treatable with antibiotics.

So how do we make sure that our antibiotic use in turkeys is not harmful to humans? How do we balance animal health and human health? Luckily, we don’t have to, because all peer-reviewed risk assessments articles to date have shown no significant risk to public health from on farm use of antibiotics. (Dr. Scott Hurd, Hurd’s Health)

Here’s how it all works…

*First, antibiotics are approved by the FDA.

Antibiotic approval for animal use is actually more intensive than approval for human use because of these three aspects: (http://www.ahi.org/issues-advocacy/animal-antibiotics/fda-approval/)

1) If there are risks to humans, FDA will not approve the antibiotic for animals.

2) FDA requires a food safety assessment to ensure that meat is safe. (There are no antibiotic residues in the meat.)

3) FDA studies the pharmaceutical thoroughly to guarantee it does not increase the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria in food.

*Second, before turning to antibiotics, farmers work hard to prevent disease in other ways. We use vaccines to keep turkeys healthy. We limit exposure to germs by limiting visitors and changing clothes and showering between barns. We give them quality nutrition and clean water, and we also minimize stress on the birds by keeping them in a climate controlled barn.

*Third, we use antibiotics for the prevention, control and treatment of disease, as outlined by the FDA.

1. Prevention: Based on # birds raised every year in the United States, antibiotics are given to birds through the feed to prevent illness when we know it is likely to occur. There is a lot of research that goes into this, and it is done under the guidance of vets.

2. Control: If a disease outbreak occurs, we work with a vet to decide when and which antibiotics will be given to all birds in order to control the outbreak.

3. Treatment: If a bird is noticeably ill, it will be given antibiotics. Again, this is done under the guidance of a vet.

*When we use antibiotics, we follow strict dosing and withdrawal guidelines from the FDA. And we work with a veterinarian to determine when they should be used.

*Finally, every flock is tested by the USDA for antibiotic residues. Before a flock goes to market, we have to take fat samples from several birds and send those in for testing. The flock cannot go to market if residues are found.

What this means for you: ALL MEAT IS ANTIBIOTIC FREE!

“Okay, okay,” you say, “the meat is antibiotic free. But what about antibiotic resistance?”

I get it. No one wants to get sick because of antibiotic use on farms. But you needn’t worry, because as I said earlier, all peer-reviewed risk assessments articles to date have shown no significant risk to public health from on farm use of antibiotics. And that includes antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Here’s why:

*Most antibiotics used for prevention are not medically important to humans. And as I shared earlier in this post, the FDA takes that into account when approving medicines for animals. Food Dialogues has some really neat infographics showing which antibiotics are used in animals and which are used in humans.

*Most bacteria present in meat cause vomiting or diarrhea, and antibiotics are not generally prescribed for those illnesses. Most people get well within two days, with or without treatment. So even if you were to get sick from an antibiotic resistant bacteria, it wouldn’t affect your treatment or recovery. (More info at BestFoodFacts)

(By the way, the best way to avoid getting sick from bacteria in food is to follow safe handling guidelines and cook meat thoroughly.)

The decision to use antibiotics is never taken lightly. And it’s times like these that I’m thankful for the vast support network we have. Veterinarians, scientists, professors…they help us make these major decisions.

I know that there have been some major media stories vilifying the use of antibiotics on farms, but as usual, there is more than one side to every story. Unfortunately, the scary, sensationalized side grabs people’s attention more, so that’s the angle the media takes.

But as you can see, I’ve done extensive research to make sure that what we do on our farm does not harm human health. And I’m confident when I say that it doesn’t.

12 months later, the bookcases are painted!

but I don’t really like the color.
The original plan was to paint the bookcases white.  But after priming, and one coat of white, they were just too stark. (To see the “before” pictures, check out this post about the dinign room from a couple of weeks ago!)
So, I decided to use the leftover wall paint from Adam’s room.  It’s called Mercer Blue (Valspar) and it’s a beautiful color, but I’m not really digging it.
blue brass bookcases
Maybe there’s not enough contrast with the wall color?
painted blue furniture
Maybe it’s just “off” from the wall color? 
blue painted bookcase
Two different blues instead of two shades of the same blue?
blue and red dining room
I don’t know why I don’t like it, but I do know this…
blue and red dining room
It’s staying like this for awhile, because I’m tired of painting!
blue brass cabinetbookcase dining roomwhite painted mirror
What do you think?  Darker blue?  Maybe a dark gray to tie in with the kitchen countertop?
Shared at Thrifty Décor Chick’s March Before and After Party

If I were to get married again…

I’d marry Justin Timberlake.

Just kidding, sort of.

But this post isn’t about who I’d marry…It’s about the decorations!

There are five shops near me who are hosting “Think Wedding!” this weekend.  These shops all feature vintage, antiques, and “junk.”  And as you’ll see, those things can make for a beautiful wedding! (Read more about the event, and get a few more ideas on Antiques Iowa’s website.)
I’ve seen some beautiful weddings lately, decorated with HomeShed style “junk” and I’m sharing them with you today, in case you’re looking for inspiration for your special day!

One of those weddings was First Home Dreams’ Ashley’s.  Remember, I showed you her “new” house a few weeks ago?

Just as Ashley loves old houses, she loved using old things in her wedding décor, too…
“I had a brooch bouquet. Some were family pieces, some were tracked down by me and my mother in law, and some my mom and my grandma found when they were out and about.
vintage brooch bouquet 3
My mom is a collector of vintage kitchen tins, so we used a colourful Maxwell House coffee can she had for one of the flower arrangements.

maxwell coffee can
We decided not to do a traditional guest book, so we had little cards with prompts on them for people to fill out. Pens were held in a little ceramic marmalade jar, and filled out cards were put into a vintage candle box that my mom found at a second hand store. A footed milk glass bowl held another flower arrangement.”
guest book props

So beautiful and unique, Ashley!  I love these personal touches!

The 2nd wedding I want to share was my friend Nicole’s.  She and I worked together in college, and she bought this barn door from The HomeShed last spring:

barn door picture frame
Nicole says, “My husband, Ash and I were born and raised ‘country’ so even though we opted for a destination wedding in Jamaica, we knew we wanted a “rustic” reception back home… Okay so I knew I WANTED a “rustic” reception, Ash’s ideas for décor were a little more on the “redneck” side. We compromised (I won) and I couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out!
mason ball jar centerpiece
tool box drink holdervintage suitcase card holder
During the months leading up to the reception, my kitchen table turned into “craft central station”. We had a revolving door of friends and family members take their turn at my table, I couldn’t have done it without them! A few of my favorite creations were: firefly mason jars, a “Love is Sweet” banner, personalized mason jar mugs for favors, burlap and lace table runners (made by my mother-in-law), and decorated mason jars for floating candles. The “frosting on the cake” (pun intended), was our amazing cupcake stand. Not every fiancé will chop down a tree for the big day, this was a fun project for Ash and I to tackle together!
wedding dessert bartree slice cupcake standball jar wedding centerpiece
Finally the big day arrived! As I stood in the middle of the Freight House, I had no idea how it would all come together – with a lot of help from creative (and somewhat bossy) family members it exceeded my expectations. A family friend makes beautiful quilts and it was her fantastic idea to use them to hide the chair racks. This also provided a great backdrop to our wedding picture display. Luckily she also had vintage suitcases (used for cards) and old barn wood picture frames, perfect for adding the finishing touch to our centerpieces! In the end, everything was perfect!
quilts tablecloths weddingmason glass chalkboard wedding1689170_10101649313329830_1321142748_nburlap table runner

The third wedding I want to share is my friend, Carrie’s.  She was married at a local winery and the wedding was beautiful.  Some of her décor also came from The HomeShed.
Carrie’s notes on her décor… Old bound books: My late Grandpa Olson. He was a huge book lover and the books are to me, as part of his will.
emily post etiquetteThe lace, crocheted and other linens are antiques, my late Grandma Scott's or ones that my mom has collected from garage sales.
wedding antique doilies
wedding books fall acorns ball jars

Ball jars - collected from aunts, garage sales - but haha, the ones that were from my aunts needed to go back, as they are used for canning.

guestbook cd favors

A lot of the glassware and other stuff is my mom's - which she used to decorate the house. She has the largest store room I have ever seen for one house. My cousins go through it yearly for decorations.

wedding centerpiece acorns

What do you think?  Doesn’t it make you want to get married all over again?  Or at least go shopping and incorporate some of these ideas into your own décor?

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Baby #3


I think I just gave my husband a heart attack.

No, I am not announcing my pregnancy.  In fact, I am NOT PREGNANT.

We already have a 3rd child.  Our 3rd child requires around the clock care.  We consider its needs whenever we make a decision, and this child is never far from the front of our minds.  And, like our other two “real” children, this 3rd baby has brought us more joy than we ever thought possible.

Our 3rd child’s name is Squaw Creek Farm.

farm ultrasound

We’re not the only ones who feel this way about our farms.  Psychological research shows that to farmers, the farm is the equivalent of another spouse or another child.  It. is. THAT. important.

The farm is a source of joy and frustration.  Of risk and reward.  Of hard work and satisfaction.

It is such a part of who we are that we fall asleep thinking about it every night, and spend our days dedicated to it.

So when someone tells lies about our farm, or vilifies the decisions we have made, it hurts.  It hurts badly. 

The latest attack against my baby is from Chipotle.  Their new 4-part tv series on Hulu, Farmed and Dangerous, is a fictional comedy meant to make today’s farmers look bad, as if we have something to hide.

But those of you who read my blog know that my farm, considered a “factory farm” by many because of its size, has nothing to hide.  Through pictures, videos and descriptions, you’ve gotten a glimpse of almost every part of the turkey-growing process.

I blog about our farm not because we have something to hide or cover-up, but because we have so much to share!  Only 2% of Americans farm – I KNOW that you have questions about what goes on behind the closed doors of a large barn.

But my barn doors are not closed.  (Well, technically they are, because I don’t want you to track in an illness.)  But figuratively, here on the blog, they are WIDE OPEN!

(I’m including this video of our family, INSIDE our turkey barns, as a way of showing you that we have nothing to hide!  Want to do me a favor? Help me “defend” my baby by sharing this post with the hashtag #opendoors2openminds.  You can also follow me on twitter and join in the conversation there.)

How to Make a Fauxby Wrap and Why I’m Never Sewing Again

Maybe that’s an overstatement – I may sew again someday.  But not for a long, long time.

never sew againI know how to use a sewing machine.  I know how to thread it, wind the bobbin, and even insert the bobbin.  I know how to make it go.

bad sewing

But clearly, I do not know how to do it well.  I don’t know how to work the tension, can’t sew a straight line, break needles left and right, and generally have a mess on my hands when I’m finished.


For some projects, my skills are enough.  Hem a curtain?  I can probably do that.  Sew (myself) a pillow cover? I can do that, too.  Beyond that, however, and we’re in trouble.

That didn’t stop me from promising that I’d make a Fauxby (fake Moby) Wrap for my friend Karen and her baby.  I declared that I would do so somewhere in the middle of the pregnancy. 

The baby is 3 months old now.  And the Faux-by Wrap is finally done.

It wasn’t really that hard. 

Step 1: Purchase 3 yards stretchy jersey knit fabric.  I found this ADORABLE ruffly striped gray.  Neutral enough to use everyday, but feminine, too. Thank you, Hobby Lobby.

fake moby wrap

Step 2: Cut fabric down the middle length-wise.  If you leave it folded in half for a couple of months, there will be a nice line for you to follow.

DIY moby wrap

Step 3: Right sides together, sew the two long strips together on the short end.  Did that make sense?  When you’re done, you want one 6-yard-long piece of fabric.  I put two seams there, just for extra baby-carrying strength.

fauxby wrap

Step 4:  Watch videos on how to wrap up, without dropping the baby.

fabric baby carrier

Like I said, not a very hard project.  I only broke the bobbin thread once.  I had thread on hand that almost matched the fabric.  And the stretchy fabric didn’t give me too hard of a time.

But, this project has spurred me to pack up the sewing machine and put it away.  Technically, that’s where it was before making the Fauxby, but now I’m more determined than ever not to get it out again.

You see, there are things you CAN DIY, and then there are things you SHOULD DIY.  Sewing projects are not things that I should DIY.

In the case of this adorable Fauxby, I didn’t save a lot of money by making it myself.  Plus, I did not enjoy making it myself.    So next time, I won’t make it myself.  I’ll hire it out, and spend my time on the things that I enjoy!


Someday, I’ll sew again.  But I’d like to take a class, or at least spend a good amount of time teaching myself; practicing, learning about the different settings on the machine, the proper way to cut out a pattern, the different types of needles, attachments, and whatever else that I don’t even know I don’t know.

Is there something you’ve attempted to DIY that you really shouldn’t have?  Knitting? I failed that DIY.  Painting furniture? That’s not as easy as it looks, either. What have you decided to leave to the “experts?”