Green Bluff 2014

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am to have my hometown traditions back, including one of my all-time favorites for Autumn…Green Bluff farms! Maybe you remember last year’s search for a pumpkin patch while living in Denver. It didn’t go so well, and I was left without a pumpkin or caramel apple and really without any kind of experience at all. Since moving back, I have been looking forward to this day to revisit my favorite farms on the bluff, Siemer’s and Harvest House. How I missed the expansive rolling hills that look out to the mountains and over the valleys, the live music and people-watching, the sweet smells of warm pumpkin donuts and caramel apples. Autumn never feels complete without a trip to Green Bluff with out family. In fact, I feel like our family photos taken there each year show our growth the best from little kids to adults.

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Soon we will be carving our pumpkins and this year we will be trying to use the pumpkin seeds to bake and eat as a snack! It seems crazy that we have never tried that, but it will be a new and fun experience to actually use all of those pumpkin guts. :)

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

Green Bluff 2014 | The Urban Pig

 

Harvesting Lavender

Harvesting Lavender | The Urban Pig

It has been a HOT summer! The days have all quickly warmed up to high 90’s and even 100 degrees! One morning I was scrolling through my Facebook and saw a post from Green Bluff, my favorite place to go, especially in the fall. They do harvests all year round, though, for things like cherries, apples, and even lavender. Their post mentioned a fun place called Fleur de Provence Lavender Farm (check out their website as they have great tips for growing lavender as well as recipes!), where you can cut your own handfuls and even buckets full of lavender! It sounded like an amazing way to spend the morning, even in the hot hot hot weather.

So we got out of the car and were quickly greeted by a lady who, from the look of her dark tanned skin, ran the business and did all of the care-taking of the lavender. She told us about the different kinds of lavender growing in her field, taught us the best way to test the smells (running your hands up a bundle of their stems), and showed us how to cut the lavender. Because lavender attracts bees which swarm around the plants, you use your foot to shake the plant a bit until the bees fly away. Then you grab a handful of stems, and cut them near the base by the leaves. We were able to mix and match the different kinds, although we had no idea what we were using them for, so we just picked whatever we liked or smelled good! It didn’t take long before we had an entire bucket full.

Harvesting Lavender | The Urban Pig

Harvesting Lavender | The Urban Pig

Harvesting Lavender | The Urban Pig

Harvesting Lavender | The Urban Pig

It was so peaceful out on the lavender farm. Because the weather was literally melting people, there weren’t many others braving the heat, so we had the farm basically to ourselves. When we stopped talking, all you could hear was the humming of thousands and thousands of bees. Although I am quite terrified of bees (they like to sting me for literally no reason), it was actually a soothing sound to hear all of them buzzing away doing their natural work. But you couldn’t quite frolic through the fields like I always imagined doing, without getting stung hundreds of times. And the smells…it was by far the best. To breathe in the air and get a sweet lavender scent filling your nose was very calming. It filled the air, but I was happy to take home even just a bag!

Take your chance to harvest some lavender yourself, unlike me, the lavender loves the summer heat!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table

P.S. Delay of this post is directly related to my dear husband cutting the cord to the circular saw in half and setting us back in schedule of building our table the last two days. :)

We are so close to completing our dining table, and it is funny how excited I am to finally have a dining set! It may sound silly, but it makes me feel a little more grown up. Connor and I have been eating dinner on the stairs or on the couch for the last two years of living together (except a short period of time of living with our friends). Before the table was even complete, a few nights ago, we had our first dinner at our home-made table.

This project has lasted a few months now because as we worked, we were designing and figuring out the steps as we went along. Although it still isn’t complete, it is much closer, and besides the final details, it is pretty close to being done, so I wanted to share.

The idea first came when I found these 2×4 furniture tutorials, and I was shocked by how much money you can save with some simple handiwork. I started looking for dining tables, and then different versions of different styles. I finally came across Ana White’s tutorial for a farmhouse table, and that’s when I began my own, with Connor’s help of course. I used her tutorial as a guide, but changed some things, such as the sizes, our plan for the tabletop, and the breadboard ends, mainly because I was planning on having a table with an extendable leaf. However, after building our version of the table base, we struggled with coming up with a solution to do the leaf, and in the end, we decided we would rather have a sturdy table then a table that is a hassle to change around. Anyway, here are a few pictures from the process of building the table base.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigOne of my main goals for building our own table was because I wanted to do something special for the tabletop, and what I had in mind, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford if I didn’t build it myself. After doing some research on how to do this pattern, I came across this tutorial from Wit and Whistle, and again, I altered the instructions to fit our project. For a project like a dining table, I wanted to use a material for the table top that would be easy to clean. I knew that using actual wood would be a lot of work getting the stain and colors right, and it would have to be sealed or I would need a glass piece on top. Neither of these ideas appealed to me and gave me the look I was wanting. After a lot of debate, we found a click and lock laminate flooring from Lowes that was really inexpensive. We cut the pieces at an angle and put them together like a puzzle.

Doing the chevron pattern was NOT an easy task, especially with the tools available to us. It’s not a project for a perfectionist, and even though I will admit to being one, early on in this project I decided I would be okay with it not being perfect. There are gaps where the ends of the wood meet, but this table still feels special to me, despite its imperfections.

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigThe last steps that remain for us is staining or painting the base (I am thinking white!), securing the table top, and finishing the edges where the laminate meets the plywood. We plan on getting metal (maybe a powder-coated black steel) to hide the unfinished edges. Although this table ended up costing more than expected (from the original 2×4 tutorial), I feel like it has been well worth it. Not only can I say I built my own table, it is a special design that would have cost so much more if I had simply bought something like it. Although, I can’t say I have seen anything like it in the furniture stores!

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban Pig

DIY Chevron Wood Dining Table | The Urban PigSo, what is my next 2×4 project I will do? I am thinking this outdoor sectional so we can enjoy our little backyard patio this spring and summer!

Since Last Sunday

Since Last Sunday | The Urban PigA visit to the pumpkin patch was definitely in order for the weekend. It’s a family tradition, I think, for many people to go to the farms, pick pumpkins from the field, drink cider and hot cocoa, eat caramel apples, run through corn mazes, take a tractor ride; all of that autumn harvest stuff. Greenbluff in Spokane, my hometown, has some of the most amazing sprawling farms, and they continue to grow and add events each year. It’s by far the best. Being new to Colorado, I haven’t found the local “greenbluff” comparison, but I’m definitely going to try! I sort of refuse to buy pumpkins from the grocery store, or ones that have already been picked from the farms. I want to be the one picking it from the farm!

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of the year. Wearing scarves, hats, and mittens, and bundling up in layers of jackets, and still needing Connor to warm up my nose is just the best. It’s already snowed here once in Colorado, and that was the strangest thing. I was worried that the fall season was going to get skipped, but I thought wrong. In the last few weeks, the colors of the trees and bushes have all changed. The oranges and reds cover the ground, and it is absolutely beautiful with a backdrop of blue and purple mountains. I now know why it is called “Colorful Colorado,” despite the plain green and white license plates. I’m hoping to get out this week and take some pictures and spend some time taking in the beauty of nature here! Stay tuned.

Since Last Sunday

Goodbye, Little Town | The Urban Pig

The day has finally come! Our apartment lease ends today, so this week Connor and I headed back to Pullman to box up all of our junk, clean like maniacs, then get outta there! Pullman has been a good little home for us over the last year, but we are so ready for a change, and hopefully a big one is in store for us. One thing I will always love and remember about Pullman is the landscape. Acres and acres of farmland that change every inch of your surroundings through the seasons, it is absolutely beautiful and never gets old to see. As much as I will appreciate our last drive to and from, I am so excited to move forward and on to the next place.

Now, Connor and I are really going to work on planning our next steps. The last few weeks have probably been the most “free” as I have ever been, in a really long time. Many of you know how much of a planner I am. We joke that Connor “goes with the flow” and I “plan his flow.” At least we are balanced. However, recently we have just been all over the place sort of scrambling for our future plans. We have lots of ideas but we just need some execution and final decision making at this point. I have confidence that whatever is meant to be will work itself out, but we also need to make a good effort.

It has been pretty hard to be patient during this time because I have anticipated this milestone for so long and I am ready to see it all come together. I am calming my anxiousness with some big projects that we finally have the time and space to complete them, so in the coming weeks, check back for some fun diy stuff!

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