If you're like us, you love a good scent consuming your home, no matter the season. This season, we're trying our hand at stovetop potpourri and are confident we'll receive great results. And the best part? It's all natural.
The key to Stovetop Potpourri
is finding a good recipe.
The concept is simple. Throw a few ingredients into simmering water on your stovetop, and continue on about your day. You'll only need to check back to add water when necessary.
This list of stovetop potpourri for Fall should be all the inspiration you need to get started.
Pine cones, apples and cinnamon
You're three ingredients away from every room in your home smelling like you're baking an apple pie. Can it get any simpler?
Recipe from abeautifulmess.com
Lemons, apples, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla
Put this stovetop potpourri on about 30 minutes before guests arrive and you'll definitely be the hostess with the mostest.
Recipe from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
Lemons, rosemary, and vanilla
Write this one down right now. This is our go-to for any season.
Recipe from Rachel Schultz
Oranges, an apple, cinnamon, and a few spices
This one has the longest ingredient list we've seen. But it sounds so worth it!
Recipe from How Sweet Eats
Apple peels, orange peels, cinnamon, bay leaves, and star anise
The bay leaves and star anise are optional, but why not? Bonus: this recipe also includes slow cooker directions!
Recipe from Mommy Potamus
Be sure to follow us over on Instagram @dresdenavenue to follow along as we try each of these amazing recipes!
A few weekends ago, Dane and I started the build of our DIY compost bin from wood. To be completely truthful, he has been trying to talk me into composting for years. He’s got a little country running through his blood, so homesteading excites him quite a lot. He's done a ton of research about how to start composting at home.
I personally was just really turned off by the possible smells and rodents it could bring. And I'm not only talking about the smell of the compost bins, I'm talking about the food bin I'd have to add to my already tiny countertop space too.
He explained that if done right, smells wouldn’t occur, but I still wasn’t having it. So we compromised and decided that our homemade compost would be yard waste only. We have so much of it!
Why we're composting
Our yard at Dresden was pretty tiny compared to our yard now. We went from about 800 SF to 18,000 SF. With so much space, I see so much potential back there! Especially with my vegetable garden layout idea. But with potential comes cost. For what I have imagined it to look like in the end, it’s going to be costly. So what better way to cut costs than making your yard work for you?
We are probably no where near where we need to be when it comes to quantity of compost bins, but we put together two so far. I wanted to make sure we could stick with it before we went crazy. Now, the raised bed vegetable garden layout I’m planning? It’s crazy. There’s no denying it. The compost bin is actually placed about where I want the vegetable garden to end.
In total, I’m planning on the vegetable garden measuring about 18x43. If my math is correct, we should max out at (14) 4x8 beds. That also allows for 2 feet of walking space between each bed.
The plan is to start the compost now, so that it’s ready to use in the Spring. If we can collect enough, I’d like to fill the vegetable garden beds with our compost. From there, I plan to use it in place of topsoil when we add new plants to either planters or the landscape.
If you’re looking to compost your yard
waste as well, we’ve read that the correct
ratio is 3 parts browns to 1 part greens.
Browns are high in carbon, and include things like dead leaves, dead grass and/or plant trimmings, saw dust, or wood chips. Greens are high in nitrogen and include things like fresh grass clippings, fresh prunings, spent annual plants, and weeds. We definitely won't lack browns, but I am a little worried about collecting enough green before the winter. I may be calling on family for extra help there.
Compost Bin Design
To build our compost bins, we used a really simple design of 2x4 Pine and exterior screws. Nothing fancy here. Not even a miter cut. We then stapled chicken wire to the backside of each panel using a nail gun. Traditional compost bins typically have 3 sides, but no top or front. But I wanted ours to look more like a piece of furniture.
With our backyard design, I want to go for a little more of a formal look. I just really love when things look nice and tidy. I'm even planning on a cute fence to go around the vegetable garden space. It'll serve as a nice way to keep the dogs, kids, and bunnies from our crop.
So while designing our bins, I decided on a gate in front with a diagonal gate brace that would book match the other door. The doors are a necessity for keeping both Lenna and our dogs out. But with all of the things I wanted in this build, it was a two weekend project. Mostly because we're working only during nap times.
While the first weekend was all about building the structure, this past weekend was all about the details. Dane built the door frames, I added the chicken wire, we added the hinges and locks, and I got to staining. At first, I liked the contrast of the raw wood color against the patina’d fence. But this weekend, I really just wanted the bins to disappear. As much as they could anyway. I don't want them to become a focal point.
When we start building our vegetable garden this Spring, I think I’ll stain the vegetable garden fence the same Varathane Classic Grey. And I love the chicken wire, so I’ll carry the same concept there as well. We bought matte black hardware for the bins and didn’t end up using them. I may use them for the vegetable garden. Or maybe an outdoor garden storage bin? I’m taking suggestions.
Yesterday was a day for the books. After Lenna’s first nap, we headed off to the pumpkin patch..because, Fall. But also because I’ve challenged myself to complete a Fall Bucketlist. It’s a list I created myself of all the things that make Fall my favorite season of all.
When we first arrived at Stuckmeyers Farms, Lenna was very observant. She stood quietly and took it all in. It only lasted a few minutes and then she was ready to explore! We first headed over to the animals, where she saw her first live turkey and little chickens. Then we headed inside to the ‘already picked’ pumpkins, where she saw her first giant pumpkin.
We walked the pumpkin patch, explored the field of sunflowers, and waved at the people on the hayride. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw Lenna trip over a pumpkin vine and then hit the pumpkin’s leaves in frustration. It was adorable.
Lenna and I each came home with a white pumpkin. I knew I wanted her to decorate her own pumpkin this year, and white would be the perfect canvas for the vibrant paint I bought. I didn’t quite make it to mine, but I’ll get there.
How do you decorate a pumpkin without carving it?
My daughter is 15 months and hasn’t quite uncovered her fullest potential of artistic abilities. Naturally. So I thought painting would be something she could absolutely do. The biggest challenge was to make sure she didn’t eat it. And to my surprise, she didn’t try even once! Once she found out that she could make a mess of it all over her body without getting in trouble, she was all about it.
What kind of paint do you use on pumpkins for kids?
I opted for finger paint because I wanted to avoid any paints more harsh in case of a skin irritation. Of course kids can react differently to all things, but I specifically have sensitive skin. And since we’re still learning about Lenna and the way her body reacts, I thought we’d be better safe than sorry.
Will finger paint work on pumpkins?
I feel the better question may be, ‘Will painted fingers work on pumpkins?’. Once Lenna discovered the freedom she had during our art project, her fingers painted more of her body than the pumpkin. So while she didn’t exactly decorate the pumpkin as I had hoped, the experience made for some pretty great photos!
Can you use washable paints on pumpkins?
I used washable finger paint on my daughter’s pumpkin for many reasons. I didn’t want it staining her skin was a big one. And I wanted to be able to quickly remove it, should he have a reaction to it. But will it stick? My answer is yes, finger paint definitely sticks to pumpkins. And to my surprise, it dries pretty quickly too! I haven’t gotten it wet yet, so I’m not sure exactly how it’ll hold up in a rainstorm, but I do plan to bring it to shelter when we’re expecting storms, just in case.
Will paint on pumpkins last?
It will last a decent amount, but to help it last longer, I would seal it with a spray on polycrylic, or mix your paint 50/50 with glue so that it doesn’t begin to flake when it dries. Lenna’s doesn’t seem to be flaking yet, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on it.