Friday, January 29, 2010

DIY Friday!

Maybe I'll make this a weekly thing, maybe I won't. We shall see.

Here are 2 GREAT and EASY DIY ideas for you.

The first one is a beautiful way to add a chic look to your book collection.

I first saw these beauties on Apartment Therapy, and thought...those would be so easy to make!
First, ask for some paper grocery bags at the store.
Second, cut it out to the size of the book you are wanting to use (remember extra room for the flaps!)
Third, print off some words you want to use in a fancy font
Fourth, either use those fancy words as a stencil or modge podge them to the book cover.

The second idea would be a perfect Valentine's Day idea.

I saw this idea via The Lettered Cottage
All you need to do is visit: Card Catalog Generator and enter the information you want printed on your vintage library card, then print it off!
A collection of these with memorable dates and stories would make a thoughtful, free Valentine's Day gift!

I plan to try this out this weekend, so we'll see how it goes! Let me know if any of you try them out!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


It's cold at the Free House. Not just because of the weather.....

we are on a spending freeze.

Mr. Free and I have been INCREDIBLY blessed throughout our 2.5 years of marriage. We look back and see the many ways God has provided for us when we couldn't see how that could happen.
Mr. Free and I have decided that we need to temporarily live more simply and learn to do with out.
That is hard for me.
That means, no more:

We are even avoiding:

and trying to cook from the things already in our freezer and pantry.

This requires creativity, people!!!

But that's OK.

Through this experience so far, I've learned:
* to make my own latte's at home
* how to make homemade bread
* Mr. Free and I have been cooking from scratch together
* to shop from my own home: moving decor from one room to another can dramatically change the look...for FREE!
* that entertainment is everywhere and doesn't always cost $$$
* that spending an evening at home just spending time together can be a wonderful gift
* sometimes you have to make your own FUN

So far I've really enjoyed the challenge. Old habits are hard to break (running by Starbucks after a sleepless night, swinging by Target to peruse the sales, going out to eat on the weekends with friends...)

Does anyone have any living simply, money saving tips??? Please send them my way!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Head's in the Basement....

At our little home, we have 900 square feet. Finished. We have another 900 square feet in the basement, unfinished. Well, semi-finished. We have white paneled walls, but unfinished floors.
For the time being, our basement has been our junk/storage/Mr. Free's studio space. (He is an artist after all...MUST have his studio space).
I feel like this area is TOTALLY wasted. I mean....that could DOUBLE our usable space!
But....our current project budget: $0.
Really? It's less than $0....but I'm being generous.

I am creative though. Ask anyone...I AM creative. I'm not organized or particularly smart, but I *am* creative, darn it.

So...I have all these beautiful visions of what could be in our beloved basement, but most of those visions come with a price tag.

In my quest for inspiration I stumbled upon 2 insiprations that I hope to use to help spruce up the place.

Inspiration no. 1:

This is Viv's basement studio space. Isn't it great?!
Mr. Free still needs studio space, so that must stay. We'd also like a lounge area in addition, so we can do a bit of informal entertaining down there.
I love her mix of "basement-y" features, as well as home-y accents, like her beautiful side board.

Inspiration no. 2:

This credenza comes from Little Green Notebook's home office. I LOVE this pop of BOLD color! The upstairs of our home is pretty mellow...mainly neutrals. We stuck with that kinda boring theme since is our house is so small. The basement however is where I want to play with color. Downstairs is where we feature Mr. Free's *amazing* art work. (How blessed am I to live with an artist?!!) I want FUN color!!!
Last year Mr. Free and I bought a sewing table at a thrift store that is about the size of a credenza. It is off-white and kinda dingy.
A couple of months ago, Valspar was giving away free samples of paint. I got a quart of mint green.
I'm thinking our sewing table needs some COLOR!

I'll post some pics of our ever-in-progress basement soon. Anybody have any other ideas or inspirational pictures??? PLEASE pass them along!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear Kansas City,

Please bring us an:

and a

I'd really like to buy:

and for our new neice(s)/nephew(s)

and I'd LOVE to roam these aisles, picking out specialty, gourmet, organic food that is REASONABLE


Jenny Free

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Fresh Look at Food....

Over Christmas Break, Mr. Free and I watched this documentary...and we HIGHLY recommend everyone watch this. Americans are in the middle of an obesity crisis and we as a culture have NO clue where our food is really coming from... Mr. Free and I realized we NEED to pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies.

After watching this, the meat at the supermarket really grosses me out. Thinking that over 1,000 cows are in each hamburger is disgusting. The fact that feces gets into that meat regularly? Disgusting.

Mr. Free and I contacted a local farm to join a Meat and Egg CSA. This meat is all grass-fed, free range and organic. The prices are wonderful considering the quality of the product. We are hoping to join next month....after payday of course.

Mr. Free and I have also been discussing our dairy habits and the use of hormones. Being an individual with two hormonal diseases, I feel that putting even more hormones into my body is probably not the BEST idea... Most companies are not producing milk with artificial growth hormones. Which is great. Mr. Free and I are starting to compromise our milk...Costco Hormone-Free and Shatto Milk.

Shatto milk is more expensive, but if you can afford it, it is well worth it. Plus it is important to our family to be supporting PEOPLE and not companies. Shatto milk is owned by the Shatto family in Osborne, MO. You can visit their farm. That's important to us.

I also highly recommend their root beer milk as a 'sometimes treat'. It's yummy.

Last summer I tried to make it to the Farmer's Market frequently. This next season, I plan to be there weekly and really take advantage of the fresh produce available to us in the Midwest.

Alright, I'll stop rambling. Watch this documentary, think about what you're putting into your body, and support local farmers.

A Fresh Start.

Time to kick this thing in year, new start. (Though, it's 20 days into the new year, and I'm just now starting..... oh well, I digress...)
I hope everyone had a good, snowy holiday. Mine was fabulous, but returning back to normalcy is a great thing too

Today I got to use one of my gift cards from Christmas and ordered this amazing sweater from Ruche

I got the very last one too!!!
Thank you Katie for the thoughtful Christmas gift!!!

I got another great Christmas present from my Mom that I'd like to share. I'm a latte' junkie, and like everyone knows, those things sure add up! So my mom got me this awesome stovetop espresso maker. After looking at reviews, this seemed like the best bang for its money. My kitchen is TINY so an actual espresso MACHINE did not make sense for me. This little beauty makes wonderful espresso and is perfect in our tiny kitchen!

To use it, you just fill the bottom with water:

Then the next section with coarsely ground espresso (of course I use Benetti's.....keep it local!)

Then just screw on the top, set it on the stovetop on low heat and about 10 minutes later, you have fresh espresso!!!

I like my latte's iced, so my current recipe is as follows:
* Fill a cup with a bit of Shatto Chocolate Milk
* Pour in a little vanilla syrup
* Pour in fresh espresso
* Stir and combine
* Pour ice over liquid and enjoy!!!

Hopefully I'll get better with this whole blogging thing and have more to contribute more frequently. : ) Happy Wednesday!