Farmhouse Decor on a Budget

*the following post contains affiliate links to Amazon – I may receive compensation if purchases are made*

FarmHouse Decor

If you have been following me for a while, or have been to my house, you know that I absolutely adore both modern and rustic decor.  I love clean lines, light colors and anything with a vintage flair.  One of my favorite things to do is to go to Vintage shops and find new decor for my house!   Things that are one of a kind.  Handmade. And Local.  But if traveling around to 100s of small towns with kids in tow isn’t your thing, I have put together a bunch of awesome finds on Amazon that would be great in any home! (Click on any of the pictures to shop!)

Galvanized Salt and Pepper Shaker Holder (and at those cute salt and pepper shakers!)  Super sleek and perfectly vintage/farmhouse/industrial with the galvanized metal. 2. Farm House Gather Sign.  Perfect for any room of your house! Display it on a mantle, hang it on the wall.



3.  Galvanized Mail Sorter.  I love anything that looks like it organizes!  Totally vintage with the metal, add labels and    you could use this for many different things in any room of your house (add flowers for decoration vs functional!).


4. Canisters.  Who didn’t have these growing up?  Every time I see canisters I’m brought back to baking as a child. These are so sweet and would look great on any counter!

5.  Milk Jug Vase.  This is a replica and smaller version of a Milk Jug. I’m going to say, don’t buy the big version online – go find one local!  A lot of these have history and character that I think you should have the real deal vs a replica!



6. Anything Mason Jar.  (You’ll see this again) – but how adorable is this tea towel?  Super easy and really no thought to actually having to find a place for it.

7. Bread Box.  This is on my list of must haves (Christmas gift anyone?)  I love the idea of a bread box! But not really for bread, my love of bread would never fit in this box. However, you could use it as a charging station (drill a hole in the back, pull the cords through) and you can use it for any type of storage. While I would love a true vintage bread box, they aren’t the easiest to find!



8. Wire baskets. Another favorite of mine! (See my right side bar as I have this one pinned!) Great for organizing and decorating.

9. Pillows. Pillows. Pillows.  An EASY update to any room/couch.  These are pillow covers (even cheaper!).  I’ve sewn pillow covers in the past, but for the time and cost of fabric the $6 you’d pay for these are SO worth it!!



10.  Wooden Pig Cutting Board.  This to me is perfectly vintage and perfectly farmhouse.  We had one of these growing up and I WISH we still had it.  You could also use this as a wall decoration in your kitchen (or other rooms) too!



11. Mason Jar Wall Sconces. I promised more Mason Jars 🙂 These are adorable and while you could make these yourself, do you really have the time?   That’s me. I always see stuff, think I will make it and it never happens.



12. Mason Jar Drink Dispenser.  I have one of these and when it’s filled up it looks fabulous!  Super handy for any type of get together or even decor.



13.  Chalkboard with Hooks.  Chalkboards are fairly inexpensive and are a great way to update a room.  Super fun for kids if you let them draw on it, or if you’re crafty you can update the wording each week or monthly.


These are some of my current finds that I’m loving on Amazon.  Again, I am definitely a local shopper but with winter coming, I know that I’ll be shopping mostly online!  You can find great little decor ideas and products right on Amazon and mostly those that will help you stay within budget.  What are your favorite farmhouse/vintage/industrial decor ideas??




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August Goals

I always admire other bloggers who post their “goals” for the month. I did the ONCE. Yes. one time and it was like 2 years ago – and who knows if I even remotely came close to accomplishing them. Let’s just go with probably not.  I’ve been really trying to push myself with writing so why not set some goals, right? 

My goals.. For August… 

This is the dirt pile in our front yard… 

1. Landscaping.   We have been working on this landscaping since we moved in.  Last summer I pulled a ton of pavers out of the front yard with the hopes to plant grass by fall.  That never happened and this is what our front yard looks like now.  (I cannot wait for another year to show the ENTIRE progression of start to finish!).  Didn’t quite get to this but are starting THIS weekend!

2.  Running.  My running has been so limited because of my back injury. However, I can start running again (slowly) by adding some biking and other low impact activities.  I only have 1 race scheduled for August and it’s a 5K this weekend (Gopher to Badger).  Last year I was in top shape and ran a great 1/2. This year I’ll be cheering on all the runners looking forward to my next one! (Which I swore last year was my last… but hoping to do Grandma’s in 2018 and MAYBE gopher to badger 2017?!)  Ran Gopher to Badger 5K and didn’t have my best run 🙁 

3.  Cleaning/Organizing/eBaying. I am a clothes hoarder.  This has been a bit of a revelation as I’ve gained and lost (and gained) weight. I cover up with new clothes.  So I’m slowly paring down my closet and selling my shit high quality clothes (several with tags) that I couldn’t live without and have never worn 🙂  Typical, right?   DID it.  Got rid of a ton of stuff!

4. Weddings.  Not mine. HA HA HA.  Two of them.  One which happens to be on my favorite weekend of the year.  Adam is in one so we’ll be doing wedding festivities all weekend the last weekend in August.  They will both be fun 🙂  handled.  One I spent two days recovering from.

5.  Pub Crawling.  Erin Adams’s Hargrove’s 10th Annual Polar Pub Crawl (North St Paul, MN) is this upcoming weekend.  I can’t even handle that it’s been 10 years since she started her pub crawl.  There have been a lot of fun memories, and some not so fun memories (headstands and card cheaters) okay that fits in both columns 🙂   We haven’t made it to all 10 but are really excited about making it this year.  See Instagram. Had a blast!!

6.  Pepper Fest See #4.  My favorite weekend of the ENTIRE year is in North Hudson, WI.  I grew up down the street from Pepper Fest and L-O-V-E going every single year!!  This year will be cut short by a wedding …ahem… please be considerate and check a calendar next year folks… j/k.  Parades, Italian Food, Beer, Music, and old friends!  What more could you ask for?  (Pepper Eating Contest, Spaghetti eating contest, a 5k/10K race, rides for the kids, bags tournaments… ) Seriously, one of the best summer get togethers around!!  Only made it to the parade this year.

7. Help Dad.  Dad is having knee replacement surgery August 15th.. So while he’s pretty humble about his health and what’s going on, he is going to need his army behind him for this one!  While I’ll be covering most days and a few nights, the rest of the family will be helping as well.  So grateful for all that he has done for us and am so happy to be able to give back and help him 🙂    Did this!  He is recovering like a champ!

Grandpa and George taking Sam for a walk

8. Unpack.  Seriously.  We STILL have boxes at Adam’s parents… and we STILL have several unpacked boxes in our basement.  I think until we actually paint and get each room the way we like it, we will have boxes of stuff just waiting to make its debut!  I tackled TWO WHOLE boxes this month.  Hoping for more next month!

9. Go to Church.  I am baptized and confirmed Catholic but have never felt as connected as I once was in Arizona (99-01).  I recently went to a funeral (good time to think about your Faith) and admired how connected the Pastor is to the community.  The following Sunday George and I went to service and the minute we sat down, the pastor walked over and introduced himself. I felt welcomed and knew that was where I needed to be.  George and I have been going to church the past few weekends there and plan to continue going.   This one sadly fell by the wayside.

10.  Be in the moment.  That was last week’s church message.  Just appreciate where you are when you are there.  Put the phone down. Put your tablet down.  Put any and all distractions aside and simply live in that moment.  How often do we meet a friend for coffee, or take our kids to the park only to find ourselves with our heads buried in our phones or thinking about something else?  I AM SO GUILTY!!!   I am trying to simply put my phone down and enjoy a few minutes of whatever it is I’m doing. Simply be.  Oh how I need to remember this one.

11. Live in front of the Camera.  I read a blog post another woman wrote, where she recognized that she was capturing all of her children’s milestone moments but was never visible in any of them. She was behind the camera.  There was nothing to show that while the child blew out his birthday candles and opened presents she was there.  She was taking the pictures.  This hit home with me. I was looking for a recent picture of myself with George and my storage is maxed out but none of them have me in them.  So when I stumbled upon this it truly spoke to me. My goal is to post one picture a day for the next 365 on my Instagram Account.   Go check out my Instagram (shameless plug) @upnorthmama1 for my daily post of in front of the camera!  While I didn’t get a post in every day, I am definitely better about being in front of the camera now!

Dinner selfie – no filter, unedited. 





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Exploring: Downtown Hastings, MN

I had so much fun with last week’s post about Hudson, WI that I thought i would try to make this a weekly series where I explore a small town and share some of the great adventures I have along the way.

Last Thanksgiving my friend Vicki asked me to run the Thanksgiving Gobble Gait 8K with her in Hastings.  I had never spent much time there and just figured it would be like any run.  Let me say, it was one of the most beautiful runs I have done!  All of the money from the race is donated to the Hastings Family Service which serves the local community.  What started as a small run has now grown to over 2000 runners.

Post Race Photo with Vicki (right) and her friend Stacie (center)

Although it was cold and went, it was SO WORTH it!  Just being able to say I did it and knowing my race fee went to someone in need felt pretty darn good!

The race started and finished on Main Street in Hastings and although it was cold and wet, I fell madly in love with Main Street!  There are tons of cute little shops and restaurants.  Its very quaint and a nice little day trip. From the Downtown Business Association of Hastings, MN, ” The Historic Downtown Business District of Hastings, Minnesota. You’ll find charming shops that feature; Antiques, Collectibles, Gifts, Fashion, Imports, Toys, Pottery, Jewelry and many one of a kind specialty items and services. Most of our shops are located in preserved historic buildings dating back to the 1800’s.”

Right now they are redoing some sections of Main Street so my photos may be a little limited in the angles as I was simply trying to photo without all the yellow tape and orange cones.   However, even though it was under construction we were still able to navigate to all the shops with no trouble.

My friend Jayme has super awesome taste and had told me about Eye Candy Refind, so I HAD to check it out.  (If you’ve ever been in the Loft at Viva Voce Salon in Hudson, they have several stunning pieces from Eye Candy!!) After a quick trip to their shop in Hastings, I was sold!!  First of all I LOVE the owners.  Super bad ass ladies who run a great shop with gorgeous pieces!  They are SUPER friendly and totally willing to help you with anything.  (and I mean anything, I’m still looking for my card catalog and they are too!).   I ended up buying a gorgeous buffet my first trip there and continue to get inspiration every time I go to their shop!

My buffet table from Eye Candy

I absolutely adore the signs, furniture and decor in Eye Candy Refind. They also do painting classes in the Hastings Store as well if you want to learn how to chalk paint.  Additionally they share TONS of new pieces on their Instagram (eye_candy_refind) and Facebook Pages.  If you’re looking for a one of a kind, quality piece at an affordable price, check out Eye Candy!!!

If you’re someone who wants to DIY your own furniture pieces then stop into one of the many antique shops in town!

A few others:

Second Street Antique Mall

If home decor isn’t your thing, they also have cute little clothing shops as well!  One that is always a stop when we are there is Lah-Tee-Dah Boutique.  They have adorable clothes at very reasonable prices!  You will also find that unique piece you wouldn’t find online or at a mall.  That’s what makes small town shopping so special.  You don’t look like everyone else and you’re supporting a local business.

Other shopping locations for gifts and goodies:

Mississippi Clayworks

Let’s be honest, after all that shopping I’m usually starving and (in my opinion) the BEST place in town is the Busted Nut.  We completely stumbled into the Busted Nut on a whim when we were picking up my buffet from Eye Candy.  It was the best decision ever!!  Fresh peanuts when you sit down and cold beers!  But better than that is the food.  I have been there several times now and I am never disappointed.  Last time we were there, a friend said “This is the best mushroom swiss burger I have ever had!”  I typically order the Chicken, Bacon Ranch Wrap with waffle fries and season sour cream and it’s AMAZING!!!  (See below)

Although the Busted Nut happens to be my favorite, there are lots of other choices while in the downtown area.


The Onion Grille (I’ve heard this place is awesome too!)

Karl’s Red Rock Cafe (Breakfast and Lunch)

Spiral Pizza

While I was walking around taking photos, I saw the sweetest scene in Reissner’s Meat and Grocery. I was transported back 50 years. (or what I imagine life to be like 50 years ago).  Two older gentlemen were standing in the business enjoying a conversation and a coke.  It was the most refreshing, simple moment they were sharing.  They didn’t have cell phones out, they weren’t distracted by anything but what the other person was saying.  It truly warmed my heart.

One thing that always catches my eye when I’m in town is the Meyer Company Sign (Carhartt, Levis, shopping).  It again, takes me back to a time before modern technology.  And while I don’t know the history, I imagine it was put up in the early years of Jc Penney, Montgomery Wards, Sears Roebuck Co.  Just the lettering takes me back to flipping through catalogs at grandmas house.


As you find your way out of town, take a minute to see the beautiful new bridge that was built in 2014.  It’s stunning at night and beautiful during the day.

Hastings is only a short drive from the Twin Cities on Highway 61 South, and about 45 minutes from Western, WI.  I love any excuse to get down here to shop and eat!  (and there may or may not be a casino stop or a stop at Ellsworth Creamery on the way! Pretty sure we’ll be checking out Ellsworth in the near future so I can go back for more fresh cheese curds!)

I hope you are able to seek out new adventures in Hastings or any of the towns I mention along the way.  It’s such a fun journey for me to check out new places and bring friends along for the ride!



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Bulletin Board Makeover

Board Cover

Before we moved to the new house our bulletin board (similar here) was the center of everything. We kept family photos, important dates, invitations as well as any other important paper we could tack up on it.  Then last July we moved and our HUGE bulletin board simply didn’t really “fit” anywhere.

In our kitchen the previous owners had a large TV that they simply painted around.  Since they weren’t keen on the idea of leaving the TV behind, we get to stare at a lovely outline of a tv and it’s cords.

Easiest option would be simply to repaint the wall.  Unfortunately out of all the gallons of paint they left, they didn’t leave this one behind.  So I either have to repaint my entire kitchen or just this one wall something entirely different (which I’m thinking I could do a chalk board wall OR do a wall of shiplap).  It simply hasn’t happened yet with all of the other projects we’ve had.

Since we had our bulletin board and it hadn’t found a home yet, I figured this would be an excellent (temporary) home for it.  Unfortunately, it is hard to reach and really not something that I can easily update since it’s right above our kitchen table.  Except George thought it could use an update and decided to color on it.  I grew tired of looking at it and finally googled “Painting a cork board.”  To my surprise, there were a ton of ideas.


Before: Faded and Crayon

I bought a can of spray paint from Target (similar here) and since we had only one small piece of newspaper, I used that and cut the rest of my masking from boxes in the recycling.  I masked off the frame (that Adam made using chair rail) and went to work!

This was super easy to paint! I did need to apply a few coats to get it even.  You could get super creative and make different areas and could have done multiple colors, lines, or even chevrons.  Its really endless. I just wanted to brighten and clean up the board to make our kitchen a little more cheery.

I’m sure I will add more to the board as the summer goes on.  I am pretty happy with the way that it turned out and am glad I did it!

Bulletin Board

(Look at all these super cute pics!!) But until then I just added a cute little $4 banner from target (because I’m too lazy to cut this out myself) and some pics I quickly printed off an app (Free Prints) that gives you up to 100 prints for free (per month, you pay shipping).

Happy Summer!!



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