DIY Coca Cola Bottle Opener

Coca Cola is the drink of choice in our home brought to you by Robert West.  There’s something enjoyable about the taste of lime as it fizzles to the top and refreshes.  For the last 20 some years I take the time to enjoy an iced cold Coca Cola especially when it’s blistering hot outside. It could even be said that I like to have a few Coca Cola gadgets on display in the kitchen.

I decided to put together a little challenge with some blog friends to see if others had the same enjoyment for this tasty goodness that can also inspire creativity.

Make your own Coca Cola Bottle Opener in minutes

I made this Coca Cola bottle opener for Robert because I know there will be work days at the new property where an ice cold Mexican coke (made with real sugar cane) will be his grab to go drink.  This project is so simple and it came together after a little shopping trip at Hobby Lobby.

Supplies From Hobby Lobby and Hardware Store

  • Unstained board
  • Mason Jar (any jar with a rim would work)
  • Coca Cola Bottle Opener
  • Three Screws and a bolt
  • Wood Stain
  • A drill and screw driver is also necessary

Staining the Wood

This project came together at different times beginning with staining the wood first.  I used Minwax natural oak stain by applying with a rag.  This was so easy and I made sure to let it dry overnight.

Adding the Jar

  • Mark the metal rim on the back with a pen because we’re going to drill a hole so it’s easy to attach it to the board.
  • Then drill a pilot hole at the center of the board.
  • Attach the rim using a screw, and take a bolt so it comes between the wood/rim and connect with a screw driver.

The bolt allows the jar to lay against the wood so it’s flat and once the rim is attached you can screw the jar in place. This step is a little tedious but it’s also super easy.

Attach the Bottle Opener

This bottle opener piece from Hobby Lobby; it comes attaches to the base so the first thing is to remove those screws.  Then drill two pilot holes into the wood and attach the red base and opener at the same time to the wood using a screw driver.

Finishing Touches

There is also another hole at the top of that red base.  This can be used to attach the entire project to the wall with a screw so it’s secure, just remember to drill a pilot hole first prior to connecting.  Wasn’t that easy?  Seriously I think it took me longer to take the photos than it did to actually make this project.

When we finally move onto our new property I think this Bottle opener will be placed in our workshop right next to a little fridge that will be filled with good old, Mexican coke… because Coca Cola made from real sugar cane is simply the best.

Make your own Coca Cola Bottle Opener in minutes

Step over and see these Ideas inspired by Coca Cola

Little Green Farmhouse

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To Work With My Hands

Farmhouse 40

DIY Coca Cola Ideas for the Home or Garden

Making Room for a Tiny House

Making Room for a tiny house

It’s been 2.5 months since our last work day at the property; with beautiful weather and some free time we decided to put on our work clothes and make room for our arrival.

On that last visit, we cleared space for a new road which will go over the creek down the center of the entire property. This area is completely filled with trees so the clearing seems to never end and where to begin can also be a challenge.  When we left last time, we had three burn piles so we started this work day with smoky flames.

Take note of the two cedar trees that make the shape of a “V” this is where I’m going to make a neat sign that says, “Welcome to Quail Run.”

Like I mentioned and normally repeat quite often where to begin is overwhelming. We started by tripping over broken branches and trimming limbs to keep from getting tree attacked.  Before long the burn piles were shrinking and there was finally room to breathe.  Robert was busy cutting down trees and we both hauled the mess into these burn piles one at a time.

Some trees were kept for fence posts while many were burned. This picture shows what things looked like when we arrived; the skinny tree in the middle marks the center of our road.  Eventually that marker will be removed and gravel will define the road.

There was a lot of cedar and look at the wood, isn’t it beautiful?  It’s my hope to take down a cedar tree and turn it into a bench. Imagine this, cedar benches at the front of every property so neighbors can visit one another.   This place is going to be amazing!

During lunch Robert sat beside me with such peace. He mentioned, “I’ve been working my whole life for this.”  and my response went something like this… “Babe this isn’t even the icing on the cake.”  It’s true though we have made many sacrifices in the last 27 years, made mistakes and lessons learned but always had a vision, a focus that inspires purpose.  The most important part, we never gave up on our dreams.

By not giving up and allowing God to guide our path we found this amazing peace within; if we’ve learned anything about life it’s this…  It’s not about us, it’s about what God wants for us.  It’s intense and exciting to comprehend and at the same time, it takes me back to the heart and soul of all things good.

After lunch the clearing continued.  Robert pretty much marked our spot and just behind that burn pile is our creek.  It’s empty but we plan to change that so I can have ducks again.  Instead of digging a pond we’re going to utilize the creek in a way most overlook.

While the work continued the reality surfaced that our property is going to be the example for the entire community, knowing this inspires and the ideas roaming in both of our minds is incredible.

Quail Run will be an experience like no other, a place where dreams come true and the desire to do more is encouraged.  The vision is simply amazing and I’m blessed to be Robert’s side kick as we make this happen.  Of course it will be a lot of work but you know what we’re up for the challenge.

He cut a total of 20 trees, which is a drop in the bucket.  But as my Grandma use to say, a drop in the bucket here and there and eventually it’s full. Thankfully the rest of the property isn’t covered in trees like this area.  This happens to be my favorite spot because it really ignites creativity.

The before and after pictures are pretty amazing, this little visit was a great way to kick off spring and make room for a tiny house.  I have a strong feeling that it won’t be long before we’re living here full time and the progress will be massive.

If you missed some of our previous Tiny House posts they can be found here.  Follow along as this journey unfolds because Quail Run is happening and it’s exciting!  Subscribe here!


The Startle Garden Challenge

We’ve got something fun happening at Garden Up Green.  This project will inspire doing more for everyone establishing their own Startle Garden. From June 1st – September 1st, 2017 there’s an opportunity to share your Startle Garden here at Garden Up Green and with the world!

The Startle Garden Challenge

I’m putting together a Startle Garden Challenge that will allow participants the opportunity to have their garden featured here on the blog. The winners of this challenge will have their garden featured in my new book.  This book I’m writing takes the best of the Startle Garden concept and applies it to everyone seeking to be more self-sufficient, you’re going to love it.

Startle Garden can be Purchase here or Subscribe here for our Friday discount opportunity now – May 1st.

Perks for Participating

  • Book Discounts for Subscribers begin now through May 1st – Discount Offer is available in our Friday email.
  • Participants share their Garden Space with Carole via email.
  • The 1st of each Summer Month (June – Sept.)  I’ll share your garden in a feature blog post.
  • Readers who comment in each post will help decide the winning Startle Garden of each feature blog post.
  • The winner of each post will be announced in my Monthly Newsletter and featured in my new book scheduled to publish later in 2017.
  • There will be 4 winners total.

Challenge Rules

  • Purchase the Startle Garden book and create a space as directed from the workbook.
  • Email 2 high resolution images of your Startle Garden – Due dates are below.
  • Email should include your name and state.
  • Write a short paragraph about your Startle Garden journey that can be included in the post.  (optional)
  • Disclaimer: By sending in your entry/photo you agree to have it used on this blog and in the new book without restrictions.

Featured Post Due Dates

  • June 1st, 2017 – Due date to enter May 18, 2017
  • July 1st, 2017 – Due date to enter June 17, 2017
  • August 1st, 2017 – Due date to enter July 17, 2017
  • September 1st, 2017 – Due date to enter August 17, 2017

The Flavor of Sage offers many benefits

Additional Challenge Information

  • Email for Carole –
  • Subscribe Here for Discount and challenge reminder details

This fun journey will allow everyone to be inspired and share a peak at some amazing gardens.  If this challenge exceeds expectations and I may have to do more than one post a month so everyone gets a chance to be featured. Let’s get rolling – who’s up for the Startle Garden challenge?

Are you Ready to Garden but Need Inspiration? Join the Startle Garden Challenge.

DIY Decoupage Birdfeeder Planter

The spring challenge is here and this was truly a test of discovery to see if I have the gift of crafting.  Susan from Momcrieff was our leader and she did a fantastic job organizing everything.

The main elements were Mod Podge and fabric which are two things I rarely have around the house and my first thought was, this could be interesting. I settled on a decoupage bird feeder planter but let me say arriving at the finish line was a huge challenge.

My focus became content with the idea Mod Podge and fabric, I forgot Susan also mentioned to incorporate something recycled.  This is where things fell apart because we’ve been downsizing and I’ve gotten rid of well…. just about everything and I didn’t want to go rummaging through thrift stores for inspiration.

For weeks, I kept walking through the house finding nothing to recycle and I didn’t think Robert’s empty coke cans would work with fabric or mod podge.  So a couple weeks ago when I decided to Spring into Gardening  I noticed this sad clay pot and then remembered I had additional pieces of terra cotta near the front of the house.

I found some hope and a couple days later decided to pull everything together in the form of a bird feeder for the garden.

Cutting Pieces of Fabric

I started outside by cutting pieces of fabric in square and rectangle shapes.  It was cold and windy so I ended up bringing the project indoors while complaining about the cold.

Robert was inside and said, “What Cha doing?”  I just kind of glared at him and said oh it’s a mod podge thing… ending with.. I really don’t know what I’m doing. He said, well here let me cut the fabric before you hurt yourself.  Apparently, I was cutting with the force; who knew messing with pieces of fabric could be so tedious?


Mod Podge the Planter

With Mod Podge simply apply with a paint brush, place your fabric on a clean surface and brush more over the top.  Mod Podge is like a glue and when it dries it shines offering a sealed crafty presentation and did you know it was a 1960’s invention from a woman’s garage?

As you can see my pot really didn’t have a plan and sanding would have been a smart first step that I skipped.  Instead one swatch was attached after the other incorporating a bit of this and that.  It was a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of plan, a favorite quote from Pretty Women.

My focus was more on the bird feeder part of the project so I was trying to get the planter finished so I go to the workshop and cut wood.

Adding the Feeder Pots

This is when I got excited because there is just something about drilling wood and power tools that I enjoy way more than crafting.  This part of the project involved recycled wood, hardware and two clay pots.  I broke the bottom out of one pot which freaked me out because then I had to go with plan B… oh wait….  there was no plan B.

  1. Choose a couple pieces of wood, the bottom piece should fit tight inside the pot.  Later we’ll secure that with small rocks and dirt.
  2. I took the second piece of wood and drilled them together in the shape of a T.
  3. The small pot was drilled to the top piece of wood using a screw and a bolt.
  4. Because I broke the bottom of the second pot I decided to stack them and fill with bird seed before heading to the garden.

Adding Details like Flowers and Sticks

Finishing touches included small plants tucked around the edges using additional dirt to secure everything. I found a broken saucer on the potting bench so I glued it back together and placed it under the planter.

Something was still missing and as I looked at my finished project I thought to myself…. I’m not a crafty…. this is not me….  Which means I almost chucked the whole thing.  But something stopped me as I looked into the pasture noticing our row of trees beginning to sprout new shades of green.

I grabbed my clippers and headed to the pasture where I cut a few branches for detail that was desperately necessary.   I thought… this project may not be my kind of thing but decided that was okay.  Sometimes it’s good to create out of your comfort zone and I think we can all agree I’m not crafty. But you know what?  The birds don’t care, they’ve been enjoying this new garden prop and that makes me smile.

The important thing is I didn’t give up and I let my surroundings bring it all together.  I’d like to invite you to check out my awesome blog friends and see what they did for Spring with Mod Podge, fabric and something recycled.

Create a DIY Decoupage Planter Birdfeeder for your garden


To Work with My Hands

Hearth and Vine

At Home with Jemma

Farmhouse 40

The Kitchen Garten

Not a Trophy Wife

Spring Blogger Challenge. Mod Podge and fabric

The Beauty of Bear Grass

Twenty some years ago, I found myself working in an industry that allowed my creativity to run wild, I was a floral designer and it was a great experience. When I became a mom, it was more important to be at home for my family so I walked away from hourly pay.

One of my favorite designing elements was bear grass because it offered simplicity and freedom to almost every arrangement.  Have you heard of it or maybe you’ve already had the opportunity to work with it?

Displaying a bunch of bear grass by itself in a vase or mason jar is something that makes me smile. When Robert and I got married I designed my own flowers and each table had these simple bear grass centerpieces in clear vases. The stems were cut low so they didn’t take away from table conversation and it was pretty to look out and see something different and very Carole.

The Cost of Bear Grass

Finding fresh bear grass can be difficult if you purchase flowers at the supermarket. This bunch of grass came from a local flower shop where I live. Here’s the kicker, one of the gals didn’t know what it was and the other said it was a specialty item.  Right there I knew placing an order was going to cost me and it did, $25 for that bunch of grass.  I should have walked out but instead I smiled after choking a little and paid their price because I was curious how large this bunch would be.

That was another disappointment, it wasn’t even a full bunch. The third was when I called the wholesalers in Dallas to find out the cost price is $4.99 a bunch.  I thought to myself wow a 5-time mark -up. You can guess I won’t be going back to that shop because in reality this product should have never retailed for more than $15.00 for the entire bunch. I’m sharing this part of the journey because I don’t want to see this happen to others.

Adding Flair to Alstromeria

I decided to add some flair to this bouquet of alstromeria because it was a little dull by itself.  I took a few bear grass stems from the mason jar and made loops for a wisp of flair.  What do you think?  I use to do this all the time in my florist days and one of my co – workers who’s a dear friend called it the, “Carole Do!”  All my arrangements were one of a kind designed to impress and it drove the other designers crazy.

Can you tell I may miss it just a little bit?  Well I do miss designing but not working in a shop.  I often thought about owning a floral shop but realized that wasn’t the place for me anymore.

Making Bear Grass Loops

Making bear grass loops is very easy all you need is thin (16) gauge floral wire and cutters. Take 3 or 4 stems and place them into a loop and lightly tie off with 4 or 5 wire wraps. The final step is to place them in the arrangement.   I made three loop sets for this small arrangement and offset each one.

If you’re designing with floral oasis (wet foam) then carefully insert deep into the foam so it stays put.  Eye your destination first prior to placement because pulling and re poking the foam will cause it to break and become mush.

Other Bear Grass Ideas and can you grow it?

This grass can also be styled in the form of braids which is really neat depending on the type of arrangement.  Swirling it around and tying off into a knot is also fun.  The possibilities are endless but my true favorite is when you dry it because back in the day I was also a huge fan of dried flowers and even had my own side business for a while.  In a couple weeks, I’m going to share dried bear grass so keep a look out, it’s in the process of drying now.

Can you grow bear grass?  Of course, you can and it blooms a beautiful flower but I didn’t want to go into the planting details so I found a fantastic link for those of you further north like, Washington, BC, Montana and Wyoming because bear grass is native to the northern hemisphere. To grow read here.  This grass would look amazing in a backyard garden and so easy to incorporate.

Hope you enjoyed my little journey with bear grass. It’s a real beauty and something you may want to experiment with, bear grass with tulips wouldn’t that be fabulous?


Discover how real Bear Grass adds beauty to the home

Spring into Gardening

Our weather was pretty amazing last week so my goal was to plant the garden. Our last freeze is scheduled for March 16th and after reviewing the weather forecast I knew incorporating direct seed wouldn’t be a problem.  Temperatures in North Texas won’t be dropping below 35 until next Fall which is music to my ears. With that kind of news, I had this get up and go attitude wanting to spring into gardening so that’s what I did.


With my garden caddy in one hand and the seed box in the other I was destined to begin.  But then something happened I remembered it was just a few months ago that I decided to vacate the garden.  It almost felt like I forgot about this space and then this sudden urge to expand and move dirt filled the air, so that’s what I did.

Seeds did get planted but it was rather sporadic between bursts of energy. It felt wonderful to be so active and I’m thrilled I reacted on this urge. Springing into gardening even if I may not get to see the results felt amazing.

During the process, new ideas were bouncing all over the place and all I could think about was our land just a little further north of here.  Which made me realize I needed to plant this garden to impress and that’s what happened next, I was planting with a startle focus.

This space was created by using pieces of landscaping that were left in the quail sanctuary, I sure do miss those little birds…  I stacked them two high and filled the bed with natural elements and dirt. You can get all my fun dirt tips here. This rich soil came from the farm because when you have 4 acres you just don’t go out and buy more.

There were also these tires left over from an upcycled project a few years back.  You may think they appear tacky?  At  one time they were painted as adorable lady bugs so I’m thinking they may return to lady bugs once again.  I like to use tires for my zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers because they provide additional support keeping them from falling over during heavy winds.

You’ll notice these beds feed off one another which allowed for a fun pattern.  Everything is placed so it fits tight and when the grass grows back they will be very secure and easy to move if someone else isn’t interested in a garden of this size because the farm is up for sale.

In these beds, I planted sunflowers, cosmos and zinnias.  Those smaller perennials in front were transplants because they needed more space.

Over to the left was another area of inspiration that sprouted off the herb bed.  If you have the space to connect beds do this, it’s so much fun and it looks interesting instead lining up beds in rows. Connecting raised beds can also keep material expenses to a minimum which is helpful when beginning from scratch or expanding new spaces.

I planted zinnias, transplanted peppermint and added some purple basil and cucumbers.   I still have more planting to do and I’m pretty sure that will happen later this week. This space is going to be fun and full of startle in just a couple months and next week I’m taking that sad white pot and giving it new life.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to begin your spring gardening don’t worry because you have plenty of time to begin and if you’re stuck for ideas let me recommend my new book, Startle Garden.  This is a great book and will honestly help you grow your best garden.  Get it here. 

Spring into Gardening by expanding your space with new raised beds. Get these tips!



Easy Build $10 Bird Feeders

This month on the ten for 10 challenge I decided to use scrap wood and create extremely easy to build bird feeders.  I’m serious y’all this project includes steps that are lightning fast allowing you to create duplicate bird feeders for under $10 even if you don’t have scrap wood available.  Within minutes you’ll be hanging feeders outside and the best part the birds absolutely love them.

Supplies + Tools

To build new purchase the following items from any home improvement store.  Ribbon comes from your favorite craft store and make sure it’s something that makes you smile.  I went with a green shimmer because it reminded me of spring and the edibles can be purchased at any grocery store.

  • One 8 ft. 2 x 2 board = $1.82 (untreated pine)
  • One 6 ft. Cedar Fence Board = $1.85
  • Screws = .10 each
  • Ribbon = will vary, mine was on sale for $2.00
  • Peanut Butter and Bird Seed = Prices vary depending on container size
  • A Saw, drill and scissors is necessary

Getting Started

  1. Cut the 2 x 2 into different lengths, space from 1.5 ft. and under.
  2. Drill holes through one end for ribbon hanger.
  3. Cut cedar fence board into 5 inch pieces
  4. Connect the cedar to the 2 x 2 with a screw – first insert pilot holes, tutorial can be found here.
  5. Cut the ribbon and insert through the hole and tie off in a bow or knot for hanging.

Add Peanut Butter

When the feeder is assembled use a table knife to spread peanut butter around the base.  It’s kind of like frosting a cake but you don’t have to be detailed and if you like peanut butter make sure to have a spoon handy because that scent may crave a little hunger within.

Don’t forget Bird Seed

A few weeks ago, Home Depot was giving away bird seed so I used this sunflower seed blend for my project.  Any natural bird seed would work but I have to tell you the birds love this one. Simply sprinkle the seed onto the peanut butter and watch it stick or fall all over the place. Which means make sure to have a dish to catch the pieces that miss their destination.

When the feeders are finished display next to your favorite birdhouse or hang from a tree.  My plan was to sell mine at our farm stand but I failed to wrap them in plastic and the birds came by and ate them all up in no time.  I’m thinking I just may hang them in the garden because they’re just so cute!  These feeders would also make fun gifts for those friends who have everything.  We’re just keeping it simple and having fun!

Let’s see what these Other Blogs shared for $10

To Work With My Hands

At Home With Jemma

Bluesky Kitchen

Cottage at the Crossroads

Patina and Paint

Poofing the Pillows

The Purple Hydrangea

The Queen in Between

DIY Easy to Build Bird Feeders

Are You Growing Thyme?

Are you growing Thyme - this herb is an easy addition.

Thyme is one of those herbs I love to grow because it’s delicate by appearance, easy to grow, easy to propagate and has the ability to turn a meal into something amazing. Each leaf is small and hardy by comparison to other herbs.  It’s curled shape measures about one eighth of an inch long; this can make harvesting a bit tedious.

The taste is light and almost penetrating if prepared correctly and I bet if you have it growing in your garden you would agree. I enjoy adding fresh thyme in omelets and scrambled eggs.  On occasion, I’ve also included thyme into cooked beans, many soups and my favorite pasta.

The Plant

Thyme is a perennial, a member of the mint family and it blooms a wonderful flower in the summer and fall.  This plant would be beautiful to any landscape layout because it’s low to the ground and presents a nice statement year- round.

I planted a small 4- inch plant several seasons back with my other herbs.  Because it grows out there have been many times where propagating this beauty became necessary to keep it from taking over the raised bed.  This wasn’t a bad thing because it allowed the opportunity to expand planting without the additional expense.

Possible Growing Problems

There can be some growing problems to be aware of, one would be spider mites during the dry months.  To prevent this, make sure you don’t forget to water. Humid climates can also offer root rot and fungus disease, when choosing where to plant offer direct sunlight, good soil drainage and air circulation.

To help the plant reach its full potential remember to implement feeding the soil, my favorites would be direct compost and use manure fertilizer.  Mulch is necessary year- round as the root system is close to the surface.


Harvesting is a matter of cutting stems with sheers, washing each one and removing the green leaves from the stem; this can be time consuming.  I harvest and prep before cooking begins because I enjoy this herb fresh from the garden.

If you want to harvest thyme for drying cut long stems in bunches, wash and air dry by hanging a group upside down.  It’s a simple process and keeps you from having to run the garden during the cold winter months.

Here’s an idea how about just planting a herb garden outdoors near the kitchen?  This is something I may need to consider for later.  Any thoughts?

Are you growing Thyme - this herb is an easy addition.

Thyme Health Benefits

With herbs, there is always a list of benefits that compliment good health.  This is one of the reasons why I recommend growing them, not just because they’re easy to maintain and taste fantastic but they offer many positive incentives to our health.

Thyme can help with chest and respiratory problems, this includes coughs, bronchitis and chest congestion.  If you suffer from upper respiratory you may enjoy thyme added in a cup of tea to help relieve some of that pain.

My favorite tea is a mint, honey and thyme blend, especially on those cold damp mornings.  It just warms the soul.

This herb is also a good source of vitamin A and C. If you’re not growing thyme, ask yourself why not?  When I say herbs are the easiest of plants to grow it’s really true. Thyme can triple its size in one season if cared for correctly. Today might just be the day to add this delicate green beauty to your garden.  Spice up your life a little by growing some thyme.

Adding Thyme to your herb garden is easy with these tips

Meet the Brighten Team + Giveaway

Here we are Jemma and Carole, the Brighten Team.  Today we’re sharing who we are and we’re offering a Brighten Workshop Ticket giveaway.  If you already purchased a ticket this is your opportunity to enter and bring a friend.  If you haven’t purchased and plan to attend well then today is your lucky day.

Entry Giveaway Guidelines

  • Must be 18 years or older to participate.
  • Leave a comment at the end of this post sharing your favorite cupcake flavor.
  • Winner will be notified March 6th.
  • There will be one winner between both blog posts, Garden Up Green & At Home With Jemma

 How Brighten Became Real

We’re 25 days from the Brighten Workshop and we wanted to share a little bit about the journey and who we are.  Last year I attended a similar workshop at Jemma’s home; it was a lot of fun. This year Jemma and I have been meeting in Royse City periodically for lunch or coffee to discuss the vision in bringing the Brighten workshop to you.

It’s an event with a lot of heart and beautiful success for everyone attending who blogs.  Our theme is universal, being the best we can be by uplifting one another. Today we’re sharing our stories, beginning with Carole followed by Jemma who is the awesome founder of Brighten.

Meet Carole from Garden Up Green

Hello Everyone!  I’m Carole founder of Garden Up Green.  I’m a wife, author, simplified gardener, and entrepreneur who enjoys life in the country. I live a simple lifestyle with a passion for doing more.

I started my blog in 2014 with the focus to help others do more. I share effective, natural gardening techniques introduced by my Italian Grandmother who was an amazing woman. I spent a large portion of my life with her prior to 1999 when we moved our family to Texas, my husband’s home state.  She always encouraged doing more and our time together influenced my outlook.

My blog is also a fun place for DIY home and garden projects in addition to raising quail and a tiny house project my husband and I are beginning. There’s never a dull moment at Garden Up Green.

Outside the Blog

I was fortunate my first year of blogging to team up with Texas Home and Garden.  That experience brought my heart to the surface; it was a fantastic opportunity.   I led live workshops and wrote monthly articles for their website. In the fall of 2016 I stepped down to focus on the future of Garden Up Green.

You see I had this dream that was becoming a reality and it revolved around freelance writing. In the beginning I thought this was a pipe dream until it happened.  Freelance Writing has been amazing and a nice supplement income. It’s also possible to turn it into something more with the right energy and determination.

At the Brighten Workshop I will be sharing my Freelance experience and how I stepped into the marketplace after a year of blogging.  I’m currently in Backyard Poultry, Grit and Hobby Farms Magazine for spring.  Additional publications can be found here.

I’m looking forward to sharing my freelance journey and showing others how to get published, it begins with you!


Meet Jemma from At Home with Jemma

I am Jemma, a wife, mother and grandmother.  I have a big passion for this life. I strive to live my life fully, gratefully while creating a home that is warm, welcoming and authentic.

Blogging has been part of my life since 2013 and I been enjoying it!  I have met many precious people and made new friendships. I even took a trip to Atlanta to The Haven Blog Conference last year with my friend Stacey from Poofing the Pillows

Well, I came home from that conference very inspired and wanted to create a similar experience for bloggers right here in Texas. I also enjoyed the friendships that were made and all of the positive energy and inspiration.

Through blogging I have discovered things about myself that I never knew.  I found out I can take photos!  I enjoy sharing my photography, recipes and gardening tips while find tuning my writing.

Along the way I have also had the opportunity to work with several national brands.  As one of the presenters at Brighten I’ll be sharing valuable and honest tips on working with brands and using your authentic voice.  Listed below are a few of the brands I have been fortunate to work with.

You will find some of my photography Here, on the Darren Gygi web page.

I went live on Hometalk with the help of a very kind friend, Eilis from My Heart Lives Here.


Carole and I are also working like busy elves putting together some super cute swags, for you to take home after the workshop. Aren’t these Fabric Rosettes from Papirvendage adorable?  

– Now Enter To Win Your Free Ticket Below –

 Thanks so much for stopping by today and giving us the privilege of sharing our hopes, dreams and visions of the future with you! Good luck with your entry and we hope to see you at Brighten!