Is it possible to take on DIY projects both inside and outside the home? After all, DIY projects can get relatively time consuming, right? Well great news- it is absolutely possible to take on all types of DIY projects, and still balance work and family life! It all boils down to time management.

Lynn Spencer of Nourish and Nestle does a fabulous job balancing her DIY’s for the home and garden. She is a frequent contributor on Hometalk, and we realized that the world needs to know more of Lynn, her projects, her story, and of course how she manages to do it all!


How long have you been DIYing? What inspired you to start?

Truthfully, I have been DIY-ing as long as I can remember. Both my mother and grandmother (who lived with us) were first class DIYers. My grandmother baked all the bread products our home consumed, as well as pies, cakes, cookies and pastries. My father was in the Navy and as soon as we arrived at a new duty station my mom and grandmother would start a vegetable garden . Grandma embroidered all of our pillowcases and sheets and many of the tablecloths and napkins that they made. We were a paperless kitchen long before it was the environmental thing to do. My mom was an accomplished seamstress and made many of our clothes and home décor items.

They taught me to embroider and sew early on and encouraged my interest in painting and drawing. Once I became a homeowner, I picked up what they taught me and began to create own home furnishings.

Do you typically DIY solo, or with someone else? If with anyone else, how do you split responsibilities?

I typically work solo, but if I’m working with my husband we will divide and conquer based on our skills, especially if it is time sensitive.

Do you mostly DIY for yourself? Gifts for others?

Probably 50/50. Most of the knitting I do now is for others, but I still do many projects for our home. I always need to have a project going, so that helps me create a ‘stash’ of gifts that I have on hand to gift as needed. This also saves me the time and stress of running out at the last minute for a gift.

What are your favorite types of DIY projects for the home? 

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. I have just completed my first ‘furniture build’ and am really anxious to do another build.

You claim your decorating style is eclectic. Please explain in which way. 

I don’t have one style or one color that I use in my home. My den is rather bright and bold and our master is soft and soothing. I don’t buy decorations off the shelf typically, but instead use family hand me downs, heirlooms, things I make or findings from our travels to decorate our home. My home decor philosophy is that a home is never really done… it evolves over time as tastes change or new items are discovered.

What are some basic fundamentals you keep in mind before embarking on a home decor project? 

Well, it depends. If I am trying a new skill, I make sure I have the time to educate myself with videos or books before I begin. I do consider how long this new project will take and how it will fit in to my schedule. If I am going to need my husband’s help, I make sure to get it on his schedule. I am not one to wake up in the morning and plan a project for that day, typically I have been mulling it over for a couple of days…figuring out the material I will need, how I am going to do it, etc… By planning ahead, I don’t waste time once I get going on the actual project.

What do you find most enjoyable about organic gardening?

There’s not just one thing truthfully…we enjoy the harvest as much as we enjoy knowing that our produce is completely pesticide free. Plus, there is NOTHING that compares to a just picked, sun-ripened tomato. Gardening, especially organic gardening, is equal parts frustration and satisfaction. By avoiding harmful pesticides and fertilizers, we have to be more active and proactive. It’s a bit of a competition between us and the diseases/insects that might harm our crops. It’s a real challenge to us.

How can someone who doesn’t have a green thumb get started on organic gardening?

Before you dive in, educate yourself. There are countless resources in your library and on the web.

Organic gardening is all about having healthy, vibrant and living soil. Without that soil, your plants will be much more prone to disease and insects. So, invest in good, organic soil right from the start. That way you won’t be wasting time and money trying to amend it before you can grow healthy crops.

And right off the bat, get your soil tested. Most extension services will do this for free or a very small fee.  If your soil is off in one critical element, you will waste your time trying to grow healthy plants.  You need your soil to be balanced and there are organic ways to accomplish that balance.

I am interested in trying this weed control project in my yard.

How do you balance family, life, and your many DIY projects inside and outside the home?

It’s all about having priorities. My children are older and less dependent on me (one in college and one in high school), but my family is still my number one priority. When something comes up with them, I don’t hesitate to drop my projects. My projects, for the most part, aren’t time sensitive.

What would be some of your dream DIY projects, if time and cost were not factors?

I really want to build a large farmhouse style kitchen table and I am definitely getting closer to being able to do that. My skills are developing and I am slowly acquiring the tools I need to successfully complete this project. I’d also love to expand my list of faux projects like this.


Feel free to connect with Lynn on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.