Ode to Fall & the dread of Winter

Fall is fading fast around these parts- the trees are almost totally bare and I’ve been raking for four weekends in a row now.

One of the best parts about living in Massachusetts is definitely the fall foliage and the crisp chill that starts to set in right around October, so I went out a few weekends ago and played around with my camera a bit.new england landscape

It was nice to get outside for a little nature walk before the bitter cold really set in. These days I’m up at 5:50am and out the door by 6am with our new pup to get in his morning walk- half of which is done completely in the dark and all of which is done in 40* and below temperatures.

As much as I love the changing of the leaves and the Halloweeness of fall, I really dread what comes next. Not the snow and the cold so much, but the short, dark days. They really do me in and bum me out.

New England autumn- ducks on a pond

Blogland gets so super pumped about Christmas before Thanksgiving ever really gets started, but I totally do not. This change of season leaves me feeling anxious, sluggish, and unsettled.

So I guess this post is just a bit of rambling, and not so much with the DIY, but I thought it was important to pause for a second and get a little real. I don’t often do holiday decorating posts, I think I’ve only even put up our tree once, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

New England Foliage- mirror lake

I love all the time with friends and family this next season brings, and I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I do think it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling- and frankly, not everyone loves Christmas. And it’s ok if you do. And it’s ok if you don’t. And it’s ok if you want to fake sick and stay under the covers for a weekend.

Massachusetts leaves changing- coggshall park

Get outside when you can, breathe in some fresh air, and take in all the positives you can get. And if that doesn’t include making your own napkin rings and setting place cards out at dinner then so be it. Plastic plates and paper napkins don’t change the taste of your family dinner, so you do you and power through the winter drearies if you’ve got ’em!

red yellow green fall leaves





It’s A….. ‘nother dog! (And tips on keeping a clean, animal filled house)

Listen friends, I know as a married gal of (gulp) 30 you might expect me to start making some babies. But I’m totally not doing that and we just went ahead and got another dog instead.

So now we have 3 cats and 2 dogs. And maybe we have lost our minds. But we freaking love animals, and how could you possibly resist this face?

Ichabod- Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption

Meet Ichabod, formerly Banjo, the newest addition to Little Green House! We adopted him through Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, the same place our other dog came from four years ago.

two adopted dogs- LLR

Ichabod is a bundle of energy, a huge difference from Dutch The Laziest Dog Ever, and we are having so much fun with him! Everyone is settling in, getting a long, and relearning their place in the pack- including us humans! :)


With 5 animals in the house I am now more cautious then ever to make sure our house is odor and clutter free. I prefer that when people say “You have 5 pets? Really?” it’s because they are genuinely surprised, and not thinking “Obviously. It stinks in here.”

Ichabod and Dutch- rescue dogs

So, here’s a few tips:

  • Store all  pet supplies in a piece of actual furniture, so everything (including leashes) is hidden away at all times but still easy to get to. The cats get a shelf, the dogs get a shelf and a drawer (and the bottom drawer stores vases/accessories I use on the first floor).

striped wall room with painted furniture

  • Hide the litter box, whenever possible. Check out my DIY solution here. We keep the DIY version in the living room, then a litter box in Matt’s office, and one in the guest room (rooms generally not used when we have people over).

secret litter box in an old end table

  • Keep bowls and dishes clean and stylish. I built Dutch’s pet stand (here), we got Ichabod a nice metal one, and PetSafe® sent us this amazing 100oz Drinkwell® Sedona Pet Fountain.

Pet Safe Drinkwell Pet Fountain

Sidenote: This founatin is awesome, especially with the amount of pets we have. It blends in, holds a ton of water, and is even filtered. These pets live better than me!  Read more and buy your own here.

PicMonkey Collage

  • Tuck the pet food away in a closet. I keep the cat food in rolling tupperware in the coat closet, and the dog food in a large tupperware in my closet- so it’s not out in the open (THIS one for the cats, THIS one for the dogs)*
  • Sweep daily, vacuum 2-3 times a week, and steam mop once every 1-2 weeks (THIS steam mop is the bomb dot com)*. I know this is a lot, but there are 7 mammals in our house now and that is a LOT of hair and allergens.

rescue pets- cats and dogs

How many pets do you have? And how do you keep everything clean and organized?


PetSafe provided me with the water dish free of charge, but I opted to include it in this post because it really is amazing and well made. As always, I only endorse products I love and use myself.

*denotes affiliate link

Zipper Face Make Up Tutorial: A Halloween Costume Recap

We love, love, love Halloween around here so even though it’s over I thought I’d throw up a quick tutorial on how I put together my costume- this year I dressed up at the worst ballerina you’ll ever meet.

I didn’t intend to do this post so these are all cell phone pics from our party- if anything is unclear just leave your questions in the comments. :)

Zipper face ballerina and Zombies Ate My Neighbors Zeke- Halloween Costume

I wanted to try my hand at some special effects make up so I decided to unzip my face. Originally I was going to wear a hospital gown and be some sort of mental institution patient, but then I remembered the creepy ballerina from Cabin in the Woods and thought that was totally the way to go.

My cute husband dressed up as Zeke from the Zombies At My Neighbors video game- he likes to keep it easy and comfortable!

So… should you ever want to unzip your own face, it’s actually easier than you may think!

zipper face halloween make up tutorial - step 1

Adhering the zipper to your face is easily the most difficult part of this costume. I used a real zipper (purchased on Amazon) and adhered it with A LOT of spirit gum. You really need to load on the glue and give it the appropriate amount of time to try- especially because you need to be able to open and close your mouth. I adhered it with my mouth open so it’d have some give.

To use spirit glue, paint it on your zipper and on your face then give it 30-60 seconds to get tacky, place the zipper on your face and hold it on tight for another 1-2 minutes. Do this in small 2-3 inch sections slowly working your way from the top of your forehead down to the bottom of your neck. You can either cut it off there, or just tuck it in to your shirt.

scary bloody halloween face make up- step 2

I wanted to go with a sort of burned/charred look, so I used my eye shadow brush and dabbed on a layer of grey eye shadow. I then used a make up wedge to apply matte red lipstick on top of it. Finally, I used a glossy red lipstick to add some depth and shiny spots. None of this was Halloween costume make up, just stuff I have on hand and use on a daily basis.

zipperface make up tutorial - after

After I had the eye shadow and 2 red lipsticks on, I caked on some dried blood make-up I got at one of those pop up Halloween stores. I just sort of smashed it onto random spots on my face, and it dries almost instantly- especially with the stickiness of the lip gloss.

And that’s it! You’re ready to creep your friends out!

zipperface and wolf attack little red riding hood

My friend Kelly went as a wolf attached Little Red Riding hood and her make up was so much more amazing than mine, I wish I had a closer picture of it.  It took me about an hour to do my make up, and a good 20 minutes of that was just slowly adhering the zipper. Kelly’s took about an hour and a half- she had much more intricate shading.

What do you dress up as??

DIY Wedding Guest Book Alternative

This past week two of my loveliest most awesomest friends got married in a small ceremony in their beachy hometown. Instead of a wedding guest book, they opted for a piece of art. Made by yours truly!

plywood and wood canvas art  Originally, they outlined an idea for a frame with a suspended canvas in the middle of it but that would have required maybe a grommet maker or a lot of hook and eyes and honestly I just wasn’t that confident I could do it- I can build anything, but I’m not so much a crafter. So I took some artistic liberties and this is what I came up with:

rustic wood and rope guest book art

The frame is made of 1×2’s  mounted on a half inch thick sheet of 24x24in plywood. I glued the 1×2’s onto the frame with Gorilla Wood Glue and since there was a little overhang I added some staples to the seams (from the back) as well. I adhered the canvas with Gorilla Super Glue and it worked great- I just put some weights on it overnight to make sure it set well.

gorilla glue- wood and super

The frame and plywood is stained with Minwax Special Walnut. Depending on the type of wood the stain might go on with a little bit of a greenish undertone, but that totally fades once it dries. On the 1×2’s it had the undertone, but on the plywood it didn’t- it must be how quickly it absorbs or how it looks wet. I’m not sure.

Once all the glue was dry I cut and hot glued about a million strips of rope onto it- just about 2 full packs of this rope. I could get the curves sharp enough, which is why I glued individual strips.

DIY wedding guest book - close up

I love how it came out! Very rustic and a great looking piece of art while still being sentimental and full of meaning.

**Gorilla Glue supplied me with the wood and super glue, but honestly I would have used it anyway because it’s a go to product for me. 

Landscaping the front yard

One of the problems caused by the freak accident at our house was damage to the front lawn. To access the pipes that needed repair, a portion of the lawn was bulldozed. Insurance gave us money to use towards adding new sod, but we felt like new sod in only one area of the yard would look a little weird so we decided to take the opportunity to landscape.

dug up front lawn

Our front lawn is not level with the street because we’re on such a big hill, but it is a spot we use when we entertain and an area that really wasn’t very pretty. The grass was in rough shape, it was covered with weeds, and it wasn’t doing us any favors.

before landscaping

Matt & I spent HOURS digging up old grass, leveling the land, and putting in a whole bunch of new stuff. We added:

  • A stone and mulch walkway from the front door to the bed you see all the way on the left above (6 bags of mulch just for the walkway!)
  • 2 hydrangea bushes (twist and shout variety) & 1 hydrangea tree (pinky winky variety)
  • 4 juniper shrubs
  • rock border (because holy cow we dug up a lot of rocks)

We bought a huge roll of weed blocker and put that down under the entire walkway and as much of the landscaped bed as possible, so hopefully that’ll help everything stay nice.

Even though no one ever uses the front door, aesthetically this is just nice to have. I think it helps make everything look a bit more polished. Note: we’re going to bury the drainage pipe, the store was just out of a part we need to make it happen.image

The windows in the foundation are for our basement movie room, which was also seriously damaged in the accident. I didn’t want to block out all the light form that room, so I planted the hydrangea bushes about 4 feet out from the windows. In that left corner there’s already bleeding heart plants, so I let them stay- they’re hideous once they’re done for the season but I think eventually the hydrangeas will grow to cover them more and they’ll all end up blooming at different times.

The bees found the tree almost immediately, which I’m pumped about because my garden is on the other side of the fence and I think that’ll really help things grow well next year.

Our backs are going to hurt for at least 92 years, but it’s totally worth it!

Four Years In

This past Sunday marked my 4 year “blogiversary.” I can’t believe the leaps and bounds this little journal has hopped in the past few years– from less than a hundred views per month to over 10,000 regularly. Wow!

diy blogger

I’ve had a lot of fun chronicling our home and watching it change and grow on in these posts. And I’ve had some amazing opportunities too… working with some of my favorite companies like Minwax and Gorilla Glue. Being featured in This Old House magazine. Attending a HGTV Magazine party last summer (and again in a few weeks). Meeting some of my favorite people, fellow bloggers that love all the same stuff as I do.

home made stretched canvas art

Life has changed drastically in the past four years too- I got engaged, then married. We added a fourth pet (and had 3 foster dogs along the way too). I have 2 new nephews, and I’ve lost some friends and family members along the way too. I went from working 32 hours a week to over 50, which is both good and bad.

take your pleasure seriously charles eames quote

All this to say… in case you haven’t noticed yet… things need to slow down here on the ol’ blog. There’s so much more to focus on in my life, and this will never be a full time career (nor did I ever intend it to be). I went from posting 5 days a week, to 3, to 2, to one, to now maybe once every other week. And it’s not that nothing’s happening around the house, in fact so much is happening. But between the doing, and the pausing to take pictures, and the editing the pictures, and the writing the posts, and the running of the social media, and the unstoppable desire to refresh my stats— oof. It’s got to give a little.

I’m still going to check in once or twice a month for sure, and I have hundreds of posts in the archives to dig through. I’m so happy so many of you have stopped by, and continue to stop by. So I’ll catch ya at the next check in… and if you want to be notified when that is just follow along via Bloglovin or pop your email in the box on the right hand side of this page. I’m also mildly obsessed with Instagram, so you’ll always find that regularly updated. :)

xo. Stephanie.

Freak Accident Update

The past few weeks have been a little insane around here. I alluded to some house trouble in my last post (here), then a few days after it all went down we left for vacation, then we came back from vacation and are back to working with the insurance company to get our house back in order.

To better explain what happened- basically, a distracted driver hit a telephone pole outside our house so hard that it caused a surge of electricity into our home. It knocked out half our power, fried some of our electronics, then made it’s way into our ground wire. The ground wire was connected to our plumbing, and the surge burned a whole in our pipes which then flooded our basement. WHEW! It was an intense few hours while we waited for the water to be shut off to our house. Luckily, we live on a hill and have a drainage pipe in our basement we were able to open up pretty quickly so we ended up with about 5 inches of water at the highest point (and had we not had the pipe, there would have easily been over a foot). Also, the driver walked away perfectly fine (though I suspect the car is totaled)

We filled our dry vac 4 times once power was restored.

Also luckily, everyone we have been working with on this has been amazing. The night of the accident we had 2 firemen, 2 water department employees, and our plumber all in our house. The next day a clean up crew, electrician, and construction crew all came. Within 48 hours we had electricity and water restored.

You may wonder why we needed a construction crew. Wellllll…. the pipe burst outside the house, underground on our front lawn. So a regular plumber could not repair it. Our front lawn got dug up to replace the pipes.

water being restored

What you’re seeing above is a bulldozer thing digging up the lawn, one crew member in the hole repairing the outside pipes, one crew member in our house jack hammering through our sub-floor to get to more pipes, and the spot where the pipes busted.

This has been an insane mess.

On Monday this week, the insurance company came out (Liberty Mutual) and I have to say- they have been so amazing to work with. I have uploaded about a million pictures to the claim site, as well as the police report for the incident and all of my invoices. Because the cause of the flooding was so complicated, I also had my electrician write a statement explaining what happened and I uploaded that as well. Having done all that in advance really helped the process go smoothly and the adjuster was able to assess the damage and start the process of reimbursing our money right away.

So! The good news– we have some really nice electronics that were all ok because they were on high end surge protector power strips. All those power strips took the brunt of the surge and burned out, but have now been replaced. Our computer has now been replaced and the data transfer from the fried computer was successful. We have a new stove arriving on Friday. And we bought a new rug last night.


Still to come: all of our basement walls need to be redone. We have 3 built in closets that need to be sanded and retextured and all of our wood work (which includes paneling, chair rail, casings, and molding) needs to be sanded down and restained.  Stay tuned!

… I think that’s a long enough post for now. :)