How to pick and freeze strawberries! A local farm u-pick win


I've blogged before about how I love berry picking, how I didn't do it as a kid but have discovered it as an adult, and how it really says SUMMER to me! But I never had made it early enough in the season for strawberry picking until last year. We had an amazing experience last summer and did it again this past weekend! Here are our tips for how to do a u-pick strawberry trip, and how to freeze all those delicate, fresh berries!

Being out in a quiet, open space, feeling the sun on your back, being surrounded by the sweet smell of homemade strawberry jam... what a fantastic summer experience!

Blue stripe circle ruffle tie neck sundress


I've participated in Melly Sews's Sundressing series for several years now! I LOVE kicking off summer sundress season with a DIY. This sundress is definitely the summeriest thing I've made this year!

I usually modify old favorite patterns, and this time was no different. I used Simplicity 1355, which I've made several times before (see them all here), with several changes... you'll see below.

Why we chose to install our own flooring (and how we did it!)


When we were shopping for our current home, and looking at houses from dirty fixer-uppers to recently updated nicer homes, one thing I was hopeful we'd get was a chance to redo the floors.

It's crazy, and it sounds like a lot of work, but I really wanted to be able to give our new home consistent floors throughout. I am not a fan of carpet and really wanted to do click hardwood or laminate in every room! (Unless we ended up with a home with original hardwoods.) Well, lucky for me, the #Stanley90sreno needed new floors everywhere, and I got my chance.

We installed 1,574 SF of Select Surfaces click laminate flooring by ourselves in this home--sharing how and why in this post!!

Jason and I had installed laminate flooring in my parents' rental units twice before. Different brands and rooms, but both products from the big box store. One had an underlayment attached; the other didn't. Both times were small rooms, which took a while, but got faster as we went on. We learned it was definitely doable, but hard work. We looked at the cost of installation and it's usually about $2-3/SF, which may be even more than the cost of the flooring. Our reno has been a serious DIY effort, and we've been able to do more to our home faster by doing the work ourselves. We did the math and committed to laying the flooring on our own.

For the brand, though, we went back and forth on varieties, brands, and underlayment-attached vs. separate underlayment. But then Select Surfaces provided the flooring for our home--and turns out it is WAY better than either of the other two we used, and thankfully went so much faster!

I shared here how I was torn on the color, and how we decided on the dark one we went with. We did Vintage Walnut (you can buy Select Surfaces at Sam's Club, here's our color), rather than a hand-scraped; I find the "hand-scraped" look has uniform dips that make it look like laminate.

DIY laminate flooring install

We removed all of the carpet at our fixer upper on weekend 1. (See the before photos here--yikes.) The flooring is the brand new line by Select Surfaces and didn't arrive till 2+ months after we got the keys, so we painted the subfloors and lived on those for a while. Oh, also, it was delayed a week by a snow storm right before Christmas, so frustrating!

The flooring arrived on two big pallets, which were REALLY heavy!

Swingy black floral open shoulder flutter sleeve dress


That's a lot of words!! You can see I tried to cover as much as possible in naming this one.

Feels like almost every Friday night the past few months, getting dressed for dinner out, I've found myself saying, "man, I need more cute flirty date night tops!" Now that we've finally had some nice weather, it's been instead, "man, I need some more date night dresses!" I have lots of cute cotton ones, white and blue and gingham, but not a lot of summer-ey night out-ey ones. So I made this!

I had some of this black knit, the ultimate pretty floral, from this project, and turns out it was just enough to make a short, swingy dress with open shoulder fluttery sleeves.

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