If you’re a homeowner, you probably have some kind of outbuilding on your property. Many of us make use of a shed by storing our gardening and outdoor supplies there. However, as a detached outbuilding, it can be really difficult to keep it as an effective, usable space. Often, we allow it to fall into disrepair. Sometimes, it becomes an absolute eyesore that eventually houses nothing more than broken tools and lots of spiders.What to do with your shed


Here are some ideas for really putting that shed to use and making it a space that serves you and enriches your life!




As mentioned above, most of us use sheds to store our tools, especially in the winter when they’re not in use. However, few of us are really using the space to best effect.What to do with your shed


  • Install hooks for tall tools. Digging through tangled-up gardening tools is one of the most obnoxious things in the world, right? You can’t reach the hedge clippers until you disengage the hoe, apple-picker, and rake from each other, and get some old tarp out of the way. Instead, have everything displayed on the walls so that they have a clear place, and you can actually walk around on the floor.
  • Clean gardening supplies every year. Before you shut everything up at the end of the growing season, always take some time to clean your tools. Not only does this make your shed much cleaner and more functional, but it also keeps your supplies in better shape, preventing rust and and the frequent disrepair that requires you to replace them over and over again. If you properly clean and store your tools, you’ll be able to launch straight into the best parts of gardening when next spring comes!
  • Use creative organization. There are so many ways to make the most of a small space. This link has some great ideas.  




One of the best ways to really utilize the shed is to turn it into a space that’s perfect for your projects. Instead of just storing things there that you take out to use elsewhere, you can utilize the space as an active workzone. This means that if you’re redoing furniture, teaching yourself to paint, putting together a model airplane, or building a shelf, your shed could be the perfect place to have an in-progress work protected and put aside. There are just a few things that you can do to make this shed seem like a workable area.What to do with your shed


  • Do a bit of weatherproofing. Sheds are usually not very airtight, which makes it easy for dirt, pests, and cold to get in. In order to make the space more comfortable, you can add caulking to the cracks and spaces, put a carpet on the floor, and some weather stripping around the door.
  • Wire it for electricity. It’s hard to get things done out there if you can’t have overhead light, a charger, or a place to plug in electric tools. It’s easier than you think to wire an outbuilding for electricity. Running the wires through a rigid metal conduit (RMC) will protect the connection and prevent you from having to dig too far down. Just make sure that you get the proper permits, and hire an electrician to do the final connection to your central electrical panel.
  • Install some shelves and a work table. If you don’t want to do any extra technical work, you might just purchase sturdy, industrial-style shelves that you can easily assemble inside of the space. Once you have these work stations set up, it will be almost irresistible to get to work.


Get Away from It All


Have you heard about the she-shed revolution? Rebelling against the “man-cave,” women everywhere have found new freedom by claiming a space outside of the home just to be by themselves. It’s a place where you don’t have to be on call for all the questions and minor disasters that the family has inside. You’re not cleaning up after anyone, or moderating the inevitable arguments that children will have. Instead, you can set up this area with a comfortable couch, a shelf of your favorite books, perhaps some notebooks for writing and sketching. Take some time out here to work on something for yourself, and decompress after a busy day.

I am so excited to offer my readers another giveaway! I love the name of this giveaway as it reminds me of my daughter’s dog Riley. You may remember when she used to live with us! I’m sure Riley would prove of this Snoring Dog Giveaway!Boston Terrier, dogs


It’s time for a new giveaway at Katherines Corner and I’m joining Katherine and some of her bloggy friends to bring you the House and Home Giveaway sponsored by Snoring Dog Studio!

One winner will receive a $75 gift certificate to Snoring Dog Studio and $75 Cash or Amazon gift card ( winners choice)

Prizes are provided by Katherines Corner, Snoring Dog Studio and the giveaway hostesses.

PayPal and Amazon are not affiliated with this giveaway, but they are the means of cash or gift card distribution.

Please remember to follow Katherine, your giveaway Sponsor and ALL of the giveaway hostesses so you can get all of your entry opportunities.

Katherine-Katherines Corner

Lisa- Casa Bouquet

Marilyn-Marilyns Treats

Nina-Vintage Mamas Cottage

Laura- Not A Trophy Wife

Bev-Eclectic Red Barn

Nancy- Nancy on the Homefront

Marla-Marla Martenson

Diane- Mamal Diane Keeping Life Simple

Roz-La Bella Vita Cucina


Disclaimer from Katherines Corner-Some of Katherines giveaways have sponsors, Katherines Corner may receive compensation for reviews and advertising provided. However, no compensation will influence the outcome of any review or giveaway win. Katherines Corner provides reviews to readers in order to provide an informed decision before purchase. Katherines Corner and its affiliate Bobskatie Enterprises reserves the right to not publish a review of a product or products that do not meet the specified instructions provided to product submission companies or individuals. Reviews are posted in the appropriate section at Katherines Corner and also at Amazon.com ( subject to products availability) This in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

To enter please log into the entry form using your email address or facebook log in

Good Luck in the Giveaway!

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I’ve made a similar dish using the grain farro, and if you are not familiar with faro you should check out my post. Farro is a wonderful grain to cook with. In the winter I love soups and creamy comfort food. This Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots is an easy dinner that tastes very much like comfort food! You can enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day or use them to make a Chicken and Barley Soup. However you enjoy this Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots, it will warm you up on a chilly day. I like the fact that the whole meal only takes about 15 minutes of prep time and then 40 minutes of roasting/cooking time. The meal will be on the table in no time.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots


Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots




2 large carrots cut into ½ inch slices

2 medium parsnips cut into ½ inch slices

1 tsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ cup shallots, chopped

1 cup barley

½ cup white wine

3 cups homemade chicken broth

1 tsp. Ground coriander

2 cups baby spinach

4 Tbsp. grated Parmesan




Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the carrots and parsnips in a large rimmed baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer and roast, stirring once, until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the shallot s and cook, stirring often until softened, about two minutes. Add the barley and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir often. Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed, about to minutes.


Add the broth and the coriander to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the barley is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the roasted vegetables and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Transfer to the serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots Serve at once.Barley with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!


We’re so glad you’ve stopped by for a visit! Every week we get together here for another hop and I hope you’ll join us. The Hop runs from Thursday morning to Sunday evening. Have fun exploring all the great ideas that have been shared, and add your homesteading, homemaking and homeschooling posts with us if you’re a blogger. I’m sure you’ll be blessed and inspired by all these great ideas!

Meet Our Great Co-hosts

Kathi at Oak Hill HomesteadFacebookPinterestInstagram

Nancy at On the HomefrontFacebookTwitterPinterest

Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterestInstagram

Leah at Busy Gals Homestead and Leah’s Lovely LopsFacebook

Kelly at Gently SustainableFacebookPinterest

Dash at Bloom Where You’re PlantedFacebookInstagram

Featured Posts

Each week we’ll feature the most-viewed post from last week’s hop. Each host also features her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. Visit each of our blogs to see if you were featured this week.

This week’s featured post:
How To Homestead Where You Already Live


Our most-visited post from last week’s hop was:
Amish White Bread

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

If you were featured be sure to pick up your Simple Homestead blog hop button below. Just highlight all of the text in the box and paste into your blog sidebar; the button will show up automatically.

Nancy On The Home Front

The Rules

You are invited to share your original homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts. We have a few little rules:

  • Family friendly posts only!
  • No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Share up to 3 posts.
  • Please share posts that you haven’t linked up within the past six months to keep the hop fresh.
  • Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here.
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.
  • Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.
  • Please note: By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured; no additional permission is required.
  • Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted.

Let’s start hopping!



My first goal was to update my goal list each week.  I have to say having a post on goal setting has helped me to stay focused on what goals I want to accomplish this year.

The biggest drawback is to remind myself that I have the whole year to work on accomplishing these goals. Hopefully you , my faithful readers will remember this as well and not get tired of reading about my progress!goal-setting 3


  1. Find a new hosting site for my blog and make the site secure. Done!! The site is actually in transition. Everything seems to be running smoothly. Having a few issues this week! Still waiting for the site to be secure.
  2. Monetize my blog.  Still on my to do list. Waiting until the blog site is secure and without any transition issues!
    goal setting
  3. Create a cookbook! One step at a time, get the blog running smoothly, increase readership and then I’ll be working on the cookbook!
  4. Be diligent about getting 10 K steps in 5 out of 7 days each week.Still finding this goal to be very challenging. We had about a foot of snow this past week and I thought we’d get some snowshoeing in but then we got freezing rain. Not the kind of weather you want to walk in. I am really looking forward to spring at this point when the roads will be clear once again! so much easier to get in a daily walk!goal setting
  5. As we continue to prepare for an eventual house sale continue to de-clutter. Get rid of at least 250 items from the house this year! I’ve actually started a box in the garage for everything we are getting rid of. I also have a bag of clothes to go to Goodwill. May not look like much right now but I can guarantee we’ll be filling the box! 230 items to go!goal setting
  6. Read more books this year!  Still reading through an interesting novel called Under the Wide and Starry Sky Not a favorite but I’m this far into it so I want to finish it! More than halfway done.  I’ve also been reading through the book Seamless, which is a book we’re reading in our women’s Bible study. Such an excellent study. I did tell you that I usually have more than one book that I’m reading!goal setting
  7. Have a consistent meal plan each week and prepare ahead!  February starts birthday season around here. My husband’s having a big one this year and we’ll be having two celebrations which means lots of company and lots of planning! I have figured out the menus for each of our busy weekends, now to get cooking! I like to get the cooking down before the company arrives so I can enjoy the company!goal setting
  8. Finish 4 3 knitting projects.  First project completed, I made a hat for my daughter. Second project has begun. Over the holidays one of our neighbors was making the cutest little sweater ornaments. I took a look at the tiny sweater and figured I could make these. What a fun gift idea for the holidays! First attempt was a little rough as I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing nor had I ever knit with #2 needles! I should get the hang of it and be able to make several of these to give away next year at Christmas. I also made a cute little washcloth. I love the pattern and am wondering if I could make placemats using the same pattern??
  9. Clean out our freezer. Good thing I’ve been working on cleaning out the freezer as I am now going to fill it with food for our two busy weekends!
  10. Take a few road trips and visit family and friends on the east coast that we will not see so often once we make a move to the west coast. We came up with a list of three people that we would like to visit while we’re still living on the east coast. Now to take a hard look at the calendar and plan these trips. Probably won’t happen until April at the earliest.goal setting


So we’re now into February and I’m looking at my goals and working on them. Having this post has kept my goals in the forefront of my mind. I just have to remember the key is to keep looking forward!



In January National Geographic announced that 2018 would be the Year of the Bird. It would be a year-long effort dedicated to celebrating and protecting birds. I’m all for celebrating birds and am so happy that 2018 is considered the Year of the Bird.year of the bird


We have been long time bird watchers. In fact when I was growing up if we ever found a bird that had died hitting a window we would collect the bird and bring it to the Peabody Museum in New Haven, CT. As a result you often found frozen birds carefully wrapped in our freezer! Apparently the Peabody Museum encouraged this practice and I often had to explain to my friends why we had dead songbirds in our freezer!


There were songbird charts in our dining room and my mother fully expected my siblings and I to be able to identify every bid that came to our feeder. Luckily my husband is also an avid bird watcher and we went on many Audubon Bird Watches as a young married couple. We learned so much and it was a wonderful inexpensive outing.


Since moving to Vermont almost twenty years ago we have been feeding the birds.year of the bird They provide so much entertainment. It is also very interesting to see which birds come to the feeders each year. We now have a pair of cardinals that have been visiting our feeder all winter. Although we have had them visit in the past they have never stayed around.


The Barred Owl is a frequent visitor; I think they like to look for the mice as they run across the snow!year of the bird


Thomas Lovejoy, a famed biologist and conservationist says, “If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big problems in the world.” It’s important that we keep an eye on the birds, Thomas Lovejoy long predicted that by early 21st century, the Earth would start losing a dramatic number of species, a prediction, unfortunately, that is turning out to be spot-on.year of the bird


National Geographic is joining the National Audubon Society, Birdlife International and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to examine how our changing environment is leading to dramatic losses among bird species around the globe. They will also document what we can do about it.


This year we have noticed a big decrease in the number of chickadees we have at our feeder. In years past they have been frequenting the feeder in great number but this year we only have a few. I hope this is just a fluke and we will see an increase in the months to come.


It is good to celebrate the year of the bird. Read the essay “Why Birds Matter” written by Jonathan Franzen. Why do birds matter? Among his eloquent answers: “They are our last, best connection to a natural world that is otherwise receding.”year of the bird




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