The Porch Redo

I think I’ve finally finished the front porch redo.  Ok, as with a long-held, and borrowed, motto about not letting excellent get in the way of good enough — I’m considering it ready for prime time.

We purchased a foreclosed home so I’ve been slowly trying to revamp the front of the house.  I live on a corner and was tired of  ducking every time someone drove by.  I have a nice sized porch, but it was rather blah looking with no character, except for the overgrown bushes!  Not the image I want.

IMG_2301

The trellis and bench

I wanted to add some height to the porch, so I started with an old, rather rusty trellis.  Then I pulled in a wrought iron bench that was also in need of a redo.   This was great, as neither cost me anything, they were items I already had so I think of it as recycling them.   Next came deciding on colors.   In keeping with my frugal nature, I have a good amount of paint from previous projects.   While I could reuse one or two for an accent color, I did discover that a trip to the local home improvement store was in order.  Out I came with 3 quarts of paint.  Two for the current project and one for a future project (hey, I was there and I consider it gas and time saved).  I also purchased some throw-away brushes.   Total cost was about $18.00.

porch redo2

I painted the trellis a metallic aged copper, it looks great, but I’ll talk more about my thoughts on that in a minute.   On to deciding the colors for the bench.   I decided on an almond for the bench seat and trim, with an orange for the back inset.  I pulled in the copper to tie the two together.  When I got done and took a look at the porch, the front door was screaming for help.  You can see it in the corner of the photo above – it was really faded and yucky.  So I gave that a redo with the copper and I think it looks great.

porch redo photo

pull it together

The finished project:

IMG_2350

Now, about that copper trellis — I can’t help but notice that it fades into the brick a little too much.  I’m at a loss as to what to do, so I thought I’d open it up for suggestions.   Any thoughts on improving the trellis?  Use the comments box to let me know.

Oh, and by the way, the wooden chair is slated for a redo in the near future.  I plan to make it match the mailbox.

This was a great project.  It had a few too many rain delays, but I got to involve my daughter (who loves to paint), I got to recycle some hardscape items as well as old paint and the whole (porch) project probably cost me about $12.00.   And I’m so much happier with how my porch looks.

Now to speed up getting the bushes tamed!

Suzan

In keeping with my blog linking party — I party here!  www.ablossominglife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy Week!

I hope everyone enjoyed the 4th and the weekend festivities continue to be fun.   It’s been a busy week for us.   My daughter learned to ride her two-wheeler, so we’ve been going on lots of bike rides.  If you followed my last post on inexpensive summer activity ideas, you’ll remember that this was one of the suggestions.  We’ve been having a great time exploring the neighborhood.  And another benefit?  Exercise for us.

We’ve also been working on redoing our front porch furniture. With all the rain in SE Michigan the past week or so, the project has encountered several rain delays.

Porch Redo Project

Sneak Peak Porch Preview

We are giving a rather rusty trellis, a metal bench and an old side table or two a new lease on life while giving our front porch some character.   The whole project is costing under $20 and is providing recreation and activity for my daughter as well.   I’ve given a sneak peek of before in the photo above.   We haven’t lived here for long, so another, longer-term project is to tame the overgrown bushes too.

The business is going well.  We had to make a new batch of laundry soap this week to keep up with orders.  A big thank you to all our friends who are helping to spread the word about our new little business.

Our Facebook page is now live – check it out at www.facebook.com/greenleafinspirations.  I’m excited to have that completed.   And, I created the page for the hot/cold packs!  CheckGreen Leaf Hot/Cold Pack it out under the “products” menu.  If you hover over the menu item, you’ll see both the laundry soap and hot/cold pack pages to choose from.  Now to get the Pay Pal button working for the new items.  Please bear with me in the meantime and use the contact us link to email us for orders.

With cleaning up after the rain, trying to finish the porch project, keeping up with the bike riding fascination, getting Facebook live, launching the new product page and all the other things that come with daily life, I think the next post will focus on ways to stay organized!  I’m feeling a bit challenged in that area lately.

How about you?  How do you stay organized when it gets busy?  What summer projects are you working on?   Use our comments link to let us know!

 

 

Inexpensive Summer Fun Ideas – Part II

In my last post, I talked about low cost summer fun ideas — things like a membership to The Henry Ford.  We’ve been taking full advantage of ours.   I think our average this year so far is once per week.

We are also planning to visit the last day of the Trenton Mid-Summer Festival today.  Lots of things for the kids to do.  http://wyandotte.patch.com/groups/arts-and-entertainment/p/trenton-mid-summer-festival-is-this-weekend.

Other summer fun ideas include:

Greeen Leaf Inspirations- nail painting

Lady bugs!

Learn a fun new skill – we took up nail painting.  Ok, I took it up but my daughter is thrilled.  Another idea is face-painting.

With all the rain we’ve been having – go stomping in some puddles – or ride the bike through them – that was good for at least an hour this week!

Speaking of bikes, take a bike ride.

Sidewalk chalk.  Need I say more?

Have the kids help with a DIY project – paint the fence, redo the look of the porch.  It doesn’t really have to be perfect, they think it is fun, it builds their skills, is a perfect time for good ol fashioned conversation and you get a project off the list.

Summer reading (or other program) at the local library.

Scavenger hunt anyone?  Great way to teach the little ones about geography and their surroundings.

Came across a site on Pinterest the other day — really simple, fun ideas for science projects for kids — easy too.  Check them out here: http://spoonful.com/family-fun/10-silly-science-experiments-kids.

We arGreen Leaf Inspirations - Fireworkse also looking at the local fireworks displays.  Where is your favorite display?

All the fun summer activity has pushed the need for our homemade cold/hot packs to be pushed to the forefront. My little one likes to use them for booboos and mosquito bites.  She is right – the cold stops the itch.

Look for them as a new product soon.  I’m thinking extra small, small and medium sizes.  What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts – use the comments link at the top of the post.

Suzan

PS — Check out the blog party that I’m participating in.  I’ve been following Amy at A Blossoming Life for a little while now — great posts and ideas I think you’ll like.   www.ablossominglife.com

 

 

 

Inexpensive Summer Fun Ideas – Part I

Today’s post will be short.  It is going to be a hot one today and we have some outside things to do before it gets too hot.   The kids are now out of school and I find that us parents are still looking for inexpensive summer fun ideas.  Today I thought I’d compile a few.  Not necessarily free, mind you, but inexpensive over the course of the summer.

We alternate years and get a membership at The Henry Ford (http://www.thehenryford.com/) or the Zoo (either Detroit or Toledo, http://detroitzoo.org/).  Of the two, I personally think The Henry Ford is the better value of the two as the museum is open all year and Greenfield Village is open from April to December.  Tons of activities and learning opportunities for the kids.  I’m not really a winter kind of gal, so the Zoo in the Winter isn’t happening for me.

Going every other year at one place means you get more value out of the membership, as you use that as your main summer entertainment source.  The other advantage is that you can usually end up with a discount offer to join again – up to 15% in my experience.  This also helps me to upgrade my membership to maybe bring guests or ride passes.  To get any real value, you really do need to go more than once, though.

One of the mom’s at school shared another great idea — a state parks pass.  She spends $11 for the year and alternates what parks to visit over the summer.  Pack a picnic, visit the beach, visit the playscapes, take the trails.  Makes for a very inexpensive summer.

Check out your local parks and rec department for free or low cost activities.   You can also check out Metro Parent, http://www.metroparent.com/ – they compile all kinds of lists of things to do in Southeast Michigan, with a good number of them being free.   In part two, I’ll try to focus on free activities.

What kind of free or low cost things do you do over the summer?

Suzan

Check out these links:

http://www.thehenryford.com/

http://detroitzoo.org/

http://www.metroparent.com/  — check out the local stuff link in the navigation.

Inaugural Blog Post

Welcome to the inaugural blog post of Green Leaf Inspirations. I invite you to come along on our journey.

I’ll be sharing tips for living a greener, simpler, chemical free life. I’ll be offering products to make life a little easier too. I’ll also be talking a little about family, life’s funny moments, life’s challenges and the journey along the way.

By trade, I’m a marketer. Internet marketing. My alter ego loves medicine and health care. And my passion is making green products to live by. As chemical free and green as possible. And reducing the expenses in my life. Why? Because one day I’d like to retire and enjoy it. It would be even better if I could aim for food higher on the rung than the premium dog food!

And all of it just a little at a time.

In future posts, I’ll share some frugal examples and recipes. Are they new? Probably not. Can they be found on any number of internet sites? Let’s get real, you can find almost anything on the internet these days. Are they mine? If they aren’t I’ll tell you and share the link. Otherwise, yes, 100% my creation or my twist to better fit my needs. What makes me so different? I’ll show you how I implemented them in my life along with hopefully some cost comparisons for you. So, my twist is how I actually apply them. Advice is just hollow unless you can show the good (or not so good) of how it was used.

I know that a lot of my friends and followers are creative and resourceful too. My hope is that we can exchange ideas here too.

Where to start? Hop on over to my product page to check out our first product — laundry soap. I’ve been making it for years. It doesn’t bother my sensitive nose, or my sensitive skin. (here is where the lawyers would say I have to tell you I make no claims, I’m not a doctor and your results may vary!) It gets my laundry clean – even the dirty and kid stained stuff. Friends and family like it and the stuff is fabulous. Oh, and the cost is so very reasonable.

Please sign up for new blog notifications sent to your email. I plan to write one to two posts per week. And then visit me and share your stories…

Till next time.

Suzan