Monday, July 9, 2012

One Voice

Well, if there is anyone still out there, you will know that posting here has been pretty slow this year. It seems like our house work has come to a screeching halt as our lives have become busier with work (and play). New jobs, new adventures, going back to school, spending time with family and friends, and trying to live in the moment have moved to the top of our priority list lately! 

Don't worry, our house will continue to get some love, it is just taking a little while longer to find the time nowadays. Slowly, over time, though, changes will come. We have a lot of ideas in mind for changes we want to make in our little abode! 

Since I can barely find the time to post on one of my blogs (I also have my photo blog - I have decided that it will be much easier for me to have a single blog, where I post about everything. A single voice, instead of trying to keep up with my personal and photo business blog. 

So, for now, I will only be posting over on I hope that you'll join me over there! 

This won't be the end of Hurst at Home (don't worry Mom). I will keep this blog, but not really post here anymore (unless something changes and I can find a lot of extra time stored away somewhere on a daily basis). I may be back here to blog someday in the future, but for now, I am really looking forward to having one cohesive space online where I can blog about home, family, travel, photography, and much more! 

Hop on over to to keep up with our adventures, and thanks for reading! 

And, because every post is better with a photo, we decided mulch was definitely needed around our new mailbox flowers! I looks much, much better don't you think? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

How are you celebrating? 

I worked this morning, then headed to Lowe's for some plants to finally add around our mailbox. Everything I have tried planting in the past hasn't survived in the hot sun, so I am trying again, with some full-sun Lantana. 

I'm crossing my fingers, watering daily, fertilizing weekly (like the little card said to do), and praying I can turn my black thumb into a green one. Baby steps. Baby steps. I am determined to have a beautiful flower and plant-filled yard! 

I am undecided about whether to make an actual flower bed, with mulch. Since Lantana is a mounding plant, I am hoping once they grow more and fill in the whole area, a defined bed won't really be needed. Only time will tell. I will keep you posted on the progress (barring any plant fatalities).  

This afternoon I caught myself admiring the pretty little wreath I whipped up over the weekend! 

I was inspired by a wreath that I found on Pinterest. Mine turned out a bit different since I had two colors, used outdoor ribbon, instead of grosgrain, and decided to cut the ribbon a tad differently.
I simply tied lengths of ribbon to a metal clothes hanger (bent into a circle). It took about an hour and half to make. 

It definitely wasn't very patriotic until I hung it on our bright red door!

I hope everyone has enjoyed some downtime today and taken some time to thank those that serve! 

I am honored to come from a military family and truly proud to be an American! 

Happy Fourth of July Everyone! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

DIY: Recycled Wine Bottle Torches

I have had a ton of DIY projects collected on my Pinterest boards for a while. After getting bitten by many a mosquito recently in our backyard, Alan decided to make our own "tiki-bug-repelling-torches". I showed him this inspiration idea that I liked, and he agreed that they would be pretty simple to make.

Off to Lowe's he went for all of the supplies. We already had some spare wine bottles hanging around waiting to be recycled. 

We decided to make four torches, one for each post on our back patio area. Since the bug repellent fluid was a little pricey, we decided to make two bug repellent torches, and two plain citronella torches to keep this project relatively inexpensive.

Next, Alan drilled holes into bottle caps and we threaded the wicks through. 

To mount them, we used ceiling flanges, 1" split ring hangers, and a length of all thread. 

The ceiling flanges were mounted to the posts and the all thread was cut down to 5" pieces with a dremel. 

Next, the all thread pieces were screwed to the split ring hangers, then both were screwed into the mounted ceiling flanges. We filled the bottles with torch fuel, inserted the wicks, and hung them from the split rings. 

Finally, we lit them and enjoyed dinner on the patio with only a few mosquito visitors. 
We can definitely tell a difference in the amount of bugs around, so we both agree this really easy afternoon project was a successful one! 

Project pricing breakdown:
4 wine bottles:                         FREE
64oz bottle of bitefighter fuel:       10.44
100oz bottle of citronella fuel:        9.98
4 1" copper split ring hangers:         6.68
4 3/8" ceiling flanges:                 5.68
3/8" all thread:                        2.81
2 2-pk tiki replacement wicks:          4.92

TOTAL:                                $40.51

Monday, February 27, 2012

Homemade Detergent

I came across this blog post and was intrigued.  I am always looking for ways to DIY things around the house in order to save money or make our home a little more green.  I decided as expensive as laundry detergent is, it would be worth trying to make my own! 

So, I pulled out the cheese grater and got to work. 

I mixed everything together, did a load of laundry and have been using this detergent recipe ever since! 

It only takes one scoop per load (I used a spare coffee scoop, about 2 tablespoons), so this large batch I made recently may last us forever!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


 Lately, there haven't been any major projects happening at the Hurst household. I have spruced up a few small things and tried to keep with my "simple" theme for 2012. So far, life in 2012 has been pretty simple for the most part. Pretty GOOD actually. We have nothing to complain about and are feeling really blessed.   

I made this moss "H" to hang on our front door for the Christmas holidays and recently moved it inside to add some greenery to our front entry area.  It's just leaning against the wall. Super simple little spruce, and I really love it. 

I found this beautiful frame at HomeGoods (or TJMaxx, I think) and it houses one of my favorite pictures of Alan and I from our first anniversary trip to NYC. If you can't tell, we're in Central Park. (I'm thankful for my husband's long arms and a wide angle lens in times like these. They come in handy on trips).

I am always seeking out plants to add to our house plant collection. They aid in cleaning the air within our home and allow me a good reason to bring a little outside in! This is a snake plant that I have wanted for a while. I finally found the perfect pot and decided it was time to bring one home! I really love it, and better yet, it needs very little attention. Only a little water every now and then. 

Another little spot in our home that I adore.  (Go figure, there's another plant. And, Marley and Me, of course). 

We installed curtains in our great room (living and dining areas). 

I found a few pillow covers, handmade in India, that add just a little pop of color to our living room. I wasn't sure if they were really our style, but they were on sale, and I took a chance. I really like them! Their details are beautiful and they are from a beautiful local fair trade shop, EarthLover, in downtown Thomasville. Check out their online store!

My Mom made us the BEST anniversary gift ever. She explored my Pinterest page and decided on this sweet map idea! It's hanging in our back entryway (our main entry) and we get to see it everyday! It's really one of my favorite things in our home.  Handmade gifts are the greatest. Hands down. (Thank you Mom)!

The furballs are still holding down the fort here too.  Sweet Baxter....

And Harley, who got a new bed for the living room, so we moved her old bed to the office, where she likes to spend time with me (and chew on peanut butter bones) while I'm working.

How has your year been?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Little Word in 2012

Sometimes I come across a blog that really inspires me. 
Some blogs inspire me to be creative, while others give me inspiration for making our house a home, and then some just simply inspire me.  Elise's blog inspires me in the simplest of ways. I don't really know how to describe it, but it just does. I discovered it a short while ago and can't wait to read what she has to say.  

After reading this entry of Elise's, I was especially inspired to pick one little word to carry throughout my life in the new year. 

The first word that came to mind almost immediately was 

I came across this quote a while back (I believe it's from Mother Teresa)
"Live simply so that others can simply live." 

This quote really struck a cord with me and I have been aspiring to live that way ever since.  Well, I think 2012 is the year I am going to really and truly make it happen! 

There are so many physical "things" in our lives that we can live without, sure they're nice to have, but they're not necessary to our survival. I really want to rid our lives of so many "things" and just get back to the basics.  

I want to buy less and give more. 
I want to own fewer things and free up our time to give to others. 

All of these "things" are really just that, "things" that clutter our home and our minds. I want to leave more space for relationships and simplify our lives and our home. 

I want to free myself from all of those physical "things" that I once thought were important in my life and concentrate on what is really important in life: quality time with family and friends, achieving dreams, living a healthy lifestyle, being content with the few things we do have, and helping others! 

2012 is for realizing how blessed my life is. We have a roof over our heads, food in our fridge, stable jobs, families that love us, friends that make us laugh..and the list goes on (all of which we are not nearly deserving of, I might add). We are healthy and happy and have everything we need. 

I am hoping in this new year I (and if my husband is reading this, I mean WE) can learn to live with what we have (and hopefully less), and that our long list of "things" we want will dwindle down drastically. 

I really want to hang this where we can see it everyday.

Have you made any resolutions for this new year?  Instead of a formal list of resolutions, I opted to choose a word.  It's a lot less daunting than a long list of things I feel obligated to check off throughout the year...feel free to give it a try too! 

We hope your new year has started off well!