Lots of painting and big thrift store decorating this weekend. Delicious vegan chili recipe.

While some spend the weekends in leisure, it seems to be our busiest and most productive time. Bali has been on a mission to get the house and yards in order before the winter rains arrive. I’ve been into clearing out the old and ugly stuff and hand picking pieces to redecorate our old house in the vision I have for this old home. I’m thrilled with what we have done in the last month. I’m also jumping for joy that the thrift stores are open again.

I visited my favorite thrift store two days in a row. I really had to show some restraint and not buy the place out. It helps to have ideas in your head about what it is you want to create at home. I’ve gotten fun ideas from other blogs and since we are working toward being more natural, I chose baskets over plastic containers to do some organizing work. I will need many more baskets.

So, I will show you all the work we did. I finished organizing the pantry with a push from Bali (sometimes it is hard getting motivated or finishing a project). Bali painted the “man” bathroom off the laundry room and finished the main bathroom. I found some great pieces to complete the home.

From white walls to classic blues. I’ve never lived in so much blue but I have to say, it is quite calming. In the last house we had a lot of pumpkin, toasted butternut, yellows…

Here are the wonderful new pieces.

Love my new kitchen cabinet to warm up that empty space by the fridge and this little dresser with the coziest lamp for our living room. Now we don’t have to suffer the overhead lighting.

Had to have this old trunk! It even has the old wallpaper inside. I use it to store all our blankets and comforters and the boys winter clothes.

Now here is my pantry organized and using some of the baskets you saw in the beginning. And some great cookbooks Arjan and I found.

Bali started cleaning this up and it motivated me to finish the job a week after it was first started.

Arjan, Sam and I love going through cookbooks.

Also, here is the porch after Bali sanded, washed and painted it a thick brown paint that will protect it and prevent future splinters.

Now, for my delicious, vegan chili recipe I’ve been promising for days.

First I saute up some Beyond plant based ground faux beef and Soyrizo. You can find a really good Soyrizo at Trader Joes and the Beyond ground beef at health food stores and now it’s fairly easy to find this stuff everywhere. I saute really well with a little olive oil and onions.

Boil a big pot of dried pintos. Add the faux beef and Soyrizo. Here I added what ever I had in the freezer. It’s just like if you made a meat chili, you’d find some ground turkey or beef in the freezer…same thing here but plant based. I used what I had but I much prefer the Beyond ground and Soyrizo.

Add lots of seasoning. I have no measurements. I can say I add a lot! and keep tasting and adding.

We have here salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder (not shown), oregano, ground cumin. You can add fresh chilis and tomatoes if you like. I simmer for an hour after cooked and just sample and add if needs be.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


  1. Oh wow Kate. You really did well thrifting this week. The shelf next to the fridge is just perfect, fits there so well. I love baskets too, I use them in almost every room to keep things. They add so much warmth to a home. And that trunk is a winner. The porch looks lovely with all those lush, healthy plants. You and Bali are really good at fixing things. Love the way Arthur looks now. Enjoy. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kate, I keep turning your message about creating our own reality around in my head. It was definitely a message I needed to hear. I’ve managed to keep the news off for the past two days.

    I started reading the book Seedfolk to my 12 year old yesterday, and I was telling him that it was written by the same author of Westlandia (Paul Fleishman) which is one of my favorite picture books. My adult son was wandering by and commented that he remembers being obsessed with that book when he was a kid. He thinks it’s part of the reason he decided to major in video game design, so he could create his own worlds. In the book, a kid refuses to follow the crowd and instead creates his own world. I had such an ah-ha moment that I thought I’d mention the book in case you wanted to see if your library had a copy. Maybe you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.


  3. Your house looks so warm and inviting. The porch with all those plants, I would be in heaven!!! You and Bali must be super proud of what you two have Accomplished. I took inspiration from you and painted our Living Room. I’m in the process of decluttering and really looking at things I want to keep and what I want to get rid of. Thank You for the Inspiration and THANK YOU for Being YOU!!! Many Blessings to you and your family!!!


  4. Beautiful, beautiful!! I’ve always loved your plants and use of color on walls. Did the bathroom have another vanity at one time where you have the drying rack? The lighting above on the wall makes it looks like it. Remember if you have too many baskets they can be hung from ceiling or wall for decor!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful. I love the warm lighting in the family room and all the baskets. So charming. The new piece next to the frig is perfect! It is absolutely meant to be there 🙂 Wow, great finds. You guys are doing such a wonderful job with your home.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is looking great! One tip that has worked for me with wicker and rattan that were VERY VERY old. I took regular mineral oil (clear, $2 in the pharmacy section), and painted it on my wicker inside and out and left it empty for a couple of weeks to absorb. It it still looked dried out and fragile, I did it again. I have a tall laundry basket that i bought 40 years ago, that I just loved. I saved with mineral oil. It needs mineral oil painted on about every five years – cheap and effective. It quit cracking and splitting and has not deteriorated further. ** This will not work on painted wicker, unless the underside is unpainted – the paint should have preserved it pretty well. If you can tell the paint did not go all the way in, you could use a utility syringe and squirt some mineral oil in the spaces, and it might do the trick.. I love natural elements in my home, as well. It changes the ambiance to one of peace. And, may you have peace, Kate and family! Much affection.


  7. Everything looks beautiful! I love the rug you had in the living room for the porch. You have such great style and creativity. I’m making chili tonight for supper because it’s Fall here suddenly. 😁🍁🍂🌒

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Kate and family!! Love all your thrift store finds! I especially like the bookshelf next to the fridge and your cute lamp!! Love the work Bali did on the porch, it looks great and will last for a long time, have a great day Kate!!


  9. Hi Kate! This is not the subject for today but have you ever heard of a book called MY FOLK’S DEPRESSION DAYS ? I picked it up from the library. It is full of multiple stories about families during the depression. I can’t find an author it just says home service stacks, capper press, I thinks it was put out by the magazine called CAPPER’S FARMER ‘S (practical advice for the homemade life) which a great magazine with a lot of information in it. If you can find that book I think you would enjoy it and also the magazine. Thanks so much for your blog and you tube. Have been with you for years. Take care


  10. You and Bali have done a wonderful redecoration of your home. It all looks colorful, cozy and inviting! Congrats on the thrift store finds!!


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