STOCK TANK POOL || our backyard pool

We sure have been enjoying some beautiful summer weather (finally!!)  With the lovely weather comes a long list of outside projects we want to tackle!  One of those projects is the back yard. The last few weekends have been spent moving dirt, gravel, adding pathways and rock and I am so excited to finish this space up.  We have been spending so much time out back and it is a super fun space for entertaining too!

The girls are 4 and 6 now and we thought a little pool would be a fun addition to the back yard.  After a little research, we thought a stock tank would be the perfect fit.  No worrying about holes, rips and it's a lot cuter (to me anyways) than a bright blue pool!

We still have a couple of weekends left before we get the back yard finished.  But, I thought I would share a few pictures and some details on our pool in case you were interested in using a stock tank for a pool too ;)

We purchased a 2'deep x 8'diameter galvanized stock tank from Coastal Farm and Ranch.  Matt was able to tie it down and bring it home in the back of his truck, but it's a biggie!  I scoured the internet, so I will save you the trouble!  If you live in Oregon, your best bet is Coastal Farm and Ranch!

We purchased a sand filter pump from Amazon.  It's kept it super clean, it has a timer and it was easy for Matt to install.  We have also been using some pool chemicals from Lowes, but the filter has definitely been the major contributor to crystal clear water!  Matt plans to build a cover/step/deck area to cover the filter and give the girls an easy way to climb in and out.

We are adding borders and 1/4 minus gravel in the back yard, but around the pool we added river rock.  It's nice under bare feet and grass, dirt and leaves don't get tracked into the pool!  We bought a solar cover to keep pine needles out of the water and help trap some of the heat.  I made the mistake of buying a 8' diameter cover, only to find out that's the diameter at the bottom of a typical above ground pool.  Who knew they actually taper in?!?  I ended up buying a 12' round cover and we cut it down to fit, it works great!   


The girls have so enjoyed swimming in their new pool!  We had friends over Saturday night and their two girls swam in it too!  The four of them had so much fun in there together!  It's really the perfect size for littles, and fun for bigger kids and adults too!  I love the depth because the girls feel comfortable in it, it's not too deep but just deep enough that they can still float and swim.  They even had me laying on a floaty with them the other day ;).

It really was a fairly simple project, but I am more than happy to answer any questions!!  Hope you are enjoying your long summer days!


sea salt hand scrub || home made

I am absolutely loving this Spring weather!  The warm sunny days have me itching to work outside!  The girls are now 5 and 3 and they are at a fun age where I feel we can actually do (and for the most part) enjoy activities together.  One we all enjoy, is working/playing in the garden! IMG_6692

My lavender is just starting to bloom.  This year I want to be intentional about using more herbs and flowers from the garden.  One way to do that is to make home made scrubs!





Sea Salt Hand Scrub


1 cup coarse sea salt 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil 5 to 7 drops lavender essential oil

Equipment Dry measuring cups 10-ounce glass container (I used a canning jar) Fork


  1. Grab your supplies. You'll need 1 cup coarse sea salt, 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil, 5 to 7 drops of lavender essential oil, and a 10-ounce glass container.
  2. Add the salt. Pour 1 cup of salt into the empty glass container.
  3. Add the oil. Pour 1/2 cup of coconut oil over the salt.
  4. Add essential oil. Add 5 to 7 drops of essential oil to mixture.
  5. Stir the mixture. Stir all ingredients until well combined.
  6. Seal and gift. Seal the jar and affix a label or gift tag to the top.

Recipe Notes

  • Use scrub sparingly — about once or twice a week — by spooning a small amount into your hands, gently rubbing it in, rinsing it off with warm water, and drying your hands thoroughly.
  • This makes a sweet gift, especially with Mother's Day right around the corner.  You can easily affix a label, add a tea towel and you have a sweet, hand made Mother's Day gift that any lady in your life would like!
  • I adapted this "recipe" from

outside || our home

Oh I know it's been a while since I last posted!  Since summer is upon us in all of it's sunny, warm glory, I thought I would post a few pictures of little projects I have been working on outside.  Matt has been so busy with work (like he wakes up at 3:30am to start working, comes home for dinner around 6/6:30, and then some evenings even goes back to work in the barn!) that we haven't done any projects around our house.  But our 'to-do' list continues to grow, so hopefully this winter we can start back up on some of our own projects! IMG_5599

Our 'back yard' is were the girls play ride bikes and kick the soccer ball around.  We had this long stretch of artificial turf from when the previous owners had a batting cage.  I have been stumped as to what to do with this space!  We thought about a big play structure, but we couldn't find one that would fit right.  We thought about a soccer field, trampoline, the list goes on and on.  I finally figured an herb garden could be great there and go with our overall outdoor plan!  Plus, with artificial turf, I wouldn't have to mow the grass or worry about weeds ;-)


We measured and laid out the beds.  I started cutting holes into the artificial turf and filling it with compost and soil, it took a while!





I still have a lot of work to do, and eventually Matt will build a fence around it.  But for now, I enjoy having my herbs so close and a pretty view out my kitchen window.



We still have a lot of work to do on the barn this Fall!  Matt needs to build a barn door for the front entrance.


He also needs to build a large barn door for the bottom entrance.  You can also see we need to get the retaining walls and gravel in before the rain starts!


The girls and I have been enjoying the garden this year!  The girls wanted their own cutting garden so they could have fresh flowers in their bedrooms.  These girls crack me up!  Anyways, the zinnias and sunflowers are just starting to bloom...




The girls and I just made our first batch of home made cucumbers!  Can't wait to try them!!  Have a lovely weekend!

SUMMER GARDENING || favorite garden recipes

I starting my hand at gardening the first year Matt and I were married.  I was so happy to have my own little house.  A place where I could create a home, love on people and try my hand at 'domestic' things'.  My first attempt at gardening wasn't too successful!  But, once I realized that I was over-complicating it, things seemed to grow!  You put a seed in the dirt, water it and watch it grow.  AMAZING.





For the past 10 years, I have been gardening out of raised beds.  I am learning how I need to approach things a bit differently when gardening on a large, flat plot of dirt.

 The weeds are killing me!  Definitely using ALOT more mulch next year.  But what a sense of accomplishment to enjoy the fruits of our labor!




Most Saturday mornings, Addilyn helps me in the garden while Savanna naps.  What a joy to listen to her chat, build mud pies, look for worms, pick fruits and veggies and just get dirty in the garden.  It takes 10 times longer to pull weeds and work when she is with me, but it is a special time for us.

I thought I would share a few of our favorite summer recipes, so far this summer.  I am trying to be creative with food we typically don't eat, but are growing in the garden {kale, cabbage, leeks, etc}.  We do a lot of grilling in the summer, and a lot of 'winging it' when it comes to summer meal planning.  I love having a few favorite recipes and then tweaking them a bit according to what I have on hand.


warm kale salad


kale salad with warm garlic and raisin vinaigrette 


grilled roasted corn salad


lemon basil pizza with spinach and mozzarella


pizza with summer squash and feta


Mediterranean baked chicken


THE GARDEN IS PLANTED || and some garden fresh recipes

The weather has been gorgeous for the last 4-5 days!  Oh it makes me super excited for summer!!  On Mother's Day, my sweet hubby and girls treated me to a trip to the garden center {Kreamers-for you local ladies.  They are soooo helpful and knowledgable and the girls love it there because of the fish.}  And after a day of being spoiled, Matt spent all afternoon roto-tilling the garden for me….such a gem!


At our old house, I had an entire raised bed full of strawberries.  We will miss those this year!  But, my mom gave me a box of strawberry starts and I got those planted a few weeks ago.


The terraced and fence garden {that was already built when we bought the property} is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  And, it has automatic sparklers!  For 11 summers of my married life, I have hand watered my gardens.  This little gardener was doing the happy dance the first morning the sprinklers turned on-by themselves-while I was still sleeping!


I planted most of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables.  Below I will link to some of my favorite 'garden fresh' recipes.


Last summer, Matt welded together these great tomato cages.  He used rebar so they are super sturdy, and I love the way they look.


And, as soon as you walk out of the garden, you see this.  I am trying to tackle the blackberries.  I never understood how crazy blackberries were until I have now clipped and sprayed them, only to see them still grow back in a matter of weeks!  Next summer we are getting some goats for sure!


And then there is this view from the garden as well.  Pretty awesome, right?

Here are a few of my favorite summer salads and veggie dishes….

















All the recipes are here.

Happy gardening!!


What I am reading now :: gardening and canning resources

Things are busy here at the Haney household as I try to wrap up last minute design projects, stock the shop and prepare for baby #2!  I thought I would just pop in to share what I am reading.  I know you would love these books, especially if you love gardening and cooking!!


FOOD IN JARS is a fabulous read/cookbook if you want to learn more about, and experiment with canning.


ORGANIC GARDENER'S COMPANION is a wonderful resource for planning, planting and tending to your organic garden.


ORGANIC GARDEN BASICS is great for the beginning gardener and the seasoned gardener!

With the temperature warming and the sun shining a bit more here in the Pacific NW, I am anxious to get outside and start working in the garden.

SPRING PLANTING :: what's happening in the garden {zone 8}

The last couple of days have been beautiful here in the Willamette Valley.  I am itching to get outside and work in the garden!!  Yesterday was beautiful, I worked some of my raised beds and got a few seeds into the ground.


Over the years I have done a lot of research for vegetable gardening.  I am by no means an expert, or a master gardener!  But, I thought I would share the few things I am doing in my garden, in hopes that it might inspire others to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs this year.

This beautiful little corner of Oregon is a zone 8b for gardening.  Knowing the zone definitely makes it easier to know when to plant seeds and starts!

We have raised beds so they heat up and dry out {from the rain} a bit faster than just planting straight into the ground.  After tilling the beds, I planted.....


swiss chard ::

I use swiss chard in egg dishes, soups and pasta dishes.


kale ::

I am not a huge kale fan.  I know it's so good for me, but still.  Anyways, I will add it to soups and smoothies.  I will also juice it.....


lettuce & mesclun ::

I {obviously ;-} use this in salads.  I usually plant a new row of lettuce and/or mesclun every 2-3 weeks so we always have fresh greens growing.  Once it gets too hot {June/July}, these little darlings will bolt and be of no use but to feed the chickens!


sugar snap peas ::

I love sugar snap peas!  I will eat them straight off of the vine and forget to pick any for dinner!!  We usually eat sugar snap peas in salads and Chinese food/stir fry dishes.

I sure hope that helps to inspire you to plant a few spring vegetables.  They are so easy to care for!  Really, you just plant, water and let the rain do the rest!

Happy gardening!