Midwest is Best

A midwestern guide to all things homemaking

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Relaxation (Finally)

Well… Aaron and I made it to the finish line.  As many of you know, we were refinishing our kitchen for the last few weeks.  From everything to new flooring, new paint, and a few new appliances we sure had our work cut out for us.  Our deadline was this past Saturday.  We had planned to have a little get-together with some friends and family so we figured that would be our inspiration to finish up the kitchen projects.  And man, we finished right under the gun.  I was still painting trim pieces on Saturday morning and, of course, our vacuum broke that morning as I was trying to get some cleaning done! (Doesn’t something like that always happen when you’re hurrying because guests are coming over?) But everything got done and we had a blast just hanging out on Saturday!  We haven’t had ANY downtime since starting in on the kitchen project so a much-needed lazy day on Sunday was in order.Here are a few pictures that will catch you up on the last few days.

We tired our hand at smoking some pork for our get together.  Here is a picture of the pork roasts after they’ve been rubbed and wrapped and awaiting their fate. (Thursday)

Pork Roast - Yum!







We borrowed a smoker from my brother-in-law, Bob, and this is the before picture.  I would like to tell you there is an after picture but I wasn’t that quick thinking and most of it is in my belly now 🙂 (Friday)

Smoker Heaven










Can I just say… if you haven’t smoked anything before I would urge you to try it! Not only is it actually super simple to do but the smell that will surround your house is AMAZING and the flavor of the meat can’t be beat!

Saturday finally had come and so had our western themed party.  The 1st Annual Halsne-Spellman Hoe-down! Boots and spurs were strongly encouraged! (Saturday)

Halsne-Spellman Hoe-down










This pretty much sums up our Sunday. (Sunday)

Lazy Day!










And since I wasn’t lazy enough on Sunday, I really relaxed on Monday by doing a little retail therapy with my sister, Julie. (Monday)








Finally back to the grind today.  Aaron and I are catching up on some work and I am finally tackling the laundry that I’ve ignored for nearly two full weeks.  However, I managed to peak my head outside this afternoon and caught a glimpse of this cute little birdie.  I’m currently trying to track down the woodpecker that has taken up residence outside our living room but that little bugger is fast and sneaky.  I can hear him but can’t ever find him!  This fat, little bird however sat and posed very nicely for my picture.  (Tuesday)











I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and good start to the week.  Besides catching up on work (and laundry) we are headed to the State Fair later this week.  Where I WILL.NOT. EAT. 1.2.3. CORNDOGS. (Somebody please hold me to that statement!)


Rain, Rain come this way…

This morning I looked outside and I was so excited!  It had apparently rained during the early morning.  “Yeah!” I thought.  “Just what my plants needed!”

I guess I was wrong though… As I walked around our house, I came to realize it did not rain.  We somehow got a teeny, tiny shower that just sprinkled my front flower bed (and no where else in my yard).  How that I happened – I’ll never know. So here is my picture for the day.  The tiny water droplets are all that I got last night, but at least it made for a pretty picture.








Also, here is a snapshot of my kale.  Still going strong…. Definitely will be planting this variety again next year!








Let’s all cross our fingers and hope for some rain showers to come our way soon!

Weekend in Review

Well in keeping up with my 365 Challenge I thought I’d share a few pictures that I was able to snag this weekend.  We had a lot of family fun over the weekend.  We celebrated my dad’s birthday on Friday and then the annual Halsne Steakfry on Sunday!  Man, we were stuffed!  Hitting the green smoothies pretty hard the next few days to undo some of the damage (I hope).

Dinner at Julie and Bob’s on Friday.  (Friday)


Hello kitty! I figured I couldn’t feature Leala and not feature one of our adorable kittens! (Saturday)








Bob was passed down a family treasure at the steakfry.  (Sunday)


And today’s picture… here is the mess we are currently living in as we rush to finish our kitchen by this weekend.  Paint, sanding, new flooring, and cleaning the house top to bottom… This week might do me in!   IMG_4711

Project 365

Project 365… Many of you have probably heard of this before.  Some of you may have even participated in this before (if you have please comment and let me know your thoughts)! This is not something I came up with but is a movement amongst professional and amateur photographers to take a picture every day for an entire year.  Sounds easy and daunting at the same time!  I had seen a photographer friend post about this project in the past and recently decided I was in a bit of a rut.  I want to make sure I’m capturing life’s moments as they happen and very rarely do I ever take pictures of myself or Aaron.  So I decided to give this project a shot and see what new techniques I will learn, experiment with new lenses, and continue my never-ending education in Photoshop!

I thought August 1st would be a great date to start!  Easy to remember and hopefully by this time next year I will look back at these early pictures and see how far I have come.  If this sounds like something fun, you should join me!

To kick off the project, I picked my favorite subject – Leala.  She is beautiful and I couldn’t choose between the b/w and color so I’m just going to post both.  This (not-so) little girl is completely spoiled by Aaron and I.  Some folks call dogs that you treat as children “fur babies” and that name definitely fits her.  Here she is enjoying a rawhide at sunset.

Leala b/w


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