Firehouse Bedroom

I just completed another big build here on our little homestead and couldn't be happier with it. About 6 months ago, I realized that my favorite little firefighter was likely going to grow out of his custom toddler sized fire truck sometime in the next year and I sure didn't want to have to do the build in our cold rainy winter so I knew it would have to be done this summer. This summer has been a very busy one though so I just sat on the plans looking for my opportunity to pounce on the project.

Then it happened.

Last week I got my hands on a coupon to apply to my total purchase at my favorite local home improvement store so I finalized my blueprints and headed off to pick up the materials. They then sat on the front porch for a couple of days while I dreamed of busting out the tools. And then I saw my big opening - two different friends offered to take the kiddos out for some fun to give me some time to myself so I had 1.5 days without kids and boy did I make the best of them.

Please allow me to introduce to you the little guy's new Firehouse Bedroom:

Firehouse - Pano

And now a section-by-section tour with better pictures (the only way to take panoramic pics is with my phone, boo).

First of all, the ladder is accessible from outside the firehouse. This gives him more room to play inside. The door wall had to be set back from the main firehouse front due to the bedroom closet placement.

Firehouse - 9

If you peek in the window, you'll see all his firefighter costumes illuminated by the light big brother and I made for him before he was even born.

Firehouse - 7

His toddler bed sized firetruck fits perfectly in the garage, always ready to go out on a call.

Firehouse - 8

The little guy was all too happy to abandon the fire truck bed so he could start sleeping up top. I found this gorgeous quilt at a local thrift shop. I love the Americana color theme.

Firehouse - 13

His station emblem features the flaming F logo I created for his toddler bed.

Firehouse - 18

The door wall is hinged so that adults can get into the firehouse without having to go through the little door. It also gives us a way to help kiddos down the fire pole. Yes, the fire pole!

Firehouse - 6

I'd say my little firefighter is pretty happy with his new digs.

Firehouse Bedroom by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap

Thank you for reading,

DIY Queen Sized Storage Bed

Believe it or not, my lack of blogging has nothing to do with the fact that I've had nothing to show, it's that I've been SUPER busy and can't seem to both take on all the projects I want to do AND take the pictures and post the projects. It weighs on my mind as I want to keep a log of my projects and I love sharing my ideas but it's been a struggle.

But, leaving all that behind, I have to share that I built a bed and I'm totally in love with it. We've been sleeping on a foam mattress sitting on plywood on top of a box springs foundation in a frame and not only is that not ideal support for the foam mattress but it's a ton of wasted storage space since the box springs are unnecessary.

I took inspiration from all of Pinterest as well as a few google images searches but have kept this Ana-White page open for weeks. I haven't had many big blocks of time to work on the project which really turned out for the best because I was able to change and adapt my original plan to create what I'm now so totally thrilled with.

So, without further rambling, here's my new bed:

Storage Bed - 6

There's a lot of great storage along each side of the bed. My biggest issue to solve was the shoe explosion and nowhere to put them in our small bedroom. Mr. BSR and I share a small closet and there's just not room for shoes unless I want my clothing dragging on them as I have a low hanging bar. So, now that problem is solved:

Storage Bed - 7

The headboard and footboards are built with 4x4 supports, pre-cut MDF trim in various sizes, and some beautifully weathered fence boards I recycled from a local mom's garden. I love how they're a bit wonky.

Storage Bed - 8

Storage Bed - 9

BUT WAIT! It gets better!

When I designed the side storage units, I didn't want them to be so deep that we'd be constantly losing stuff to the back of the cubbies so there's still a ton of space up the middle of the bed.

Storage Bed - 12

I have one large size storage box shoved in there for this picture (it caught the flash from the camera) so you can see that it's really deep and actually quite wide. I plan to stash a bunch of out of season clothing in there but for easy access to some storage, I built a drawer on wheels.

Storage Bed - 4

What a surprise, my cat is in the drawer. That boy was ALL UP IN MY BUSINESS throughout the build and I kept having to retrieve him from the center storage area. This gives you an idea of how big the drawer is though, that's a 150lb cat. Ok, just kidding, he's about 12lbs though, not a petite kitty.

I built a basic box out of some scrap wood then I added casters and attached it to the center panel of the footboard.

Storage Bed - 11

Also, I didn't finish the back of the headboard or the footboard because I love seeing the natural wood when I peek behind.

The whole drawer slides in and out from the outer frame of the footboard.

Storage Bed - 2

I'm so madly in love with my new bed.

Storage Bed - 1

Have you ever built a bed? I'd love to see your creations via a link in the comments on this post or on Facebook.

Thank you for reading,

Black bean and corn salad with cilantro lime dressing

This has quickly become one of our favorite salads and it's super easy to make. Here's the catch though - I use doTERRA essential oils in the dressing. I do NOT recommend you use any other brand of essential oils as most advise against consuming since they can't vouch for the purity. I rarely have fresh limes or cilantro on hand so I use the essential oils in their place and it works great. As a bonus, when you eat this salad, you won't get bits of green cilantro leaves stuck in your teeth.

Black bean and corn salad by Julie @ Build, Sew, Reap

While I think I have the dressing pretty well figured out, the salad ingredients list here is merely a guideline. I tend to just open the fridge and start chopping and dumping stuff in. I add whatever I have on hand but the black beans and corn are always the foundation.

Black bean and corn salad - serves 6

1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn (no need to cook this, it'll actually make the whole salad nice and cold)
1/4 cup chopped carrots or shredded carrots
6 bunching onions sliced thin
1 cucumber cut into bite-sized pieces
10 grape tomatoes cut in half
1 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper diced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
5 drops doTERRA cilantro essential oil
5 drops doTERRA lime essential oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all the non-dressing ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing in a measuring cup or separate bowl then pour over and mix well. It's important that you pre-mix the dressing as the essential oils should be allowed to blend together with the olive oil so there aren't any super concentrated drops of essential oils on your vegetables. The flavor won't be as nice if you don't pre-blend.

Serve cold. I try to wait until the corn is thawed which is usually the case once I have everything else chopped up.

Thank you for reading,

Life Interview Series Gift

My dad just celebrated a major birthday a couple of weeks ago. To celebrate, we flew back 'home' to spend 4 fabulous days with him (and my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces). I wanted to get him something super special for this big birthday and really racked my brain trying to combine many ideas I had knocking around. As I was wandering around a local bookstore, an idea hit me ... not at all once but it sort of seeped into my brain in pieces and the idea of the Life Interview Series was born.
Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
What I ended up doing was purchasing a basic printable note card kit, a pretty box, and a pack of pens from the office supply store. I eagerly took my purchases home and scoured the internet for a jumping off point to create a list of questions I wanted to ask my dad about his life. Things like:

Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
  • What's the best thing about being a parent? A grandparent?
  • What have been the three biggest news events during your lifetime and why?
  • Do you have any hobbies or special interests?
  • Do you enjoy any particular sports?
  • If you could go back to any age, what age would it be and why?
But also some questions prying into his childhood:

Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap
  • What were you like as a child? What did you like to eat? What did you do for fun? What were your favorite toys or games? Did you ever have a secret place or favorite hiding spot?
  • When were you born? What day of the week was it? Where were you born? Did your parents tell you anything about that day? Why were you given the first and middle names that you have?
  • How did your family earn money? What kinds of things did your family spend money on?
  • How many brothers and sisters do you have? When were they born? What memories do you have of each of them from when you were growing up?
Naturally, I know the answers to some of these but many of the cards dive into his hopes and dreams as well as earliest memories of his childhood. My kids haven't heard these stories and as time goes on, I get more and more worried they won't be passed on and they'll be lost. I got most of my inspiration for the questions from a pdf I found online through Legacy Project. I worded the questions in a way that would bring out answers my 4 and 7 year old boys would love to read so I skipped many of the ones I thought would be over their heads. 

Along with these note cards, I printed up 40 envelopes with my children's names and our address as well as my dad's return address then each envelope received a stamp. I created dividers for the lovely box I purchased and I packed it all up nicely in the box with a set of pens.

Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap

Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap

Life Interview Boxed Set by Julie at Build, Sew, Reap

My hope is that when my dad has some free time here and there, he'll reach into his treasure box to grab a question. He can take as much or as little time as he has to answer then drop the card into the envelope and send it off to our house where his grandsons will be eagerly waiting by the mailbox to read all about their PawPaw.

Have you done anything like this for someone in your life? I'd love it if you'd link up a blog post if you have.

Thank you for reading,

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