Welcome to Reinventing Eden, where I’m devoted to inspiring you to bring out the very best in yourself, your home and gardens, your food preserving, beekeeping and backyard chicken keeping, your cooking and entertaining, your travel, and your family and personal life.  I’m Denise Shideler and I am so happy you’re here!

If you’re like me, a quick visit to Pinterest can lead to many trips to the home improvement store or grocery store or gardening center and hours (days and weeks!) of messes while you work on your vision for your home, plate or garden.  I love the web, mostly because it’s an endless source of inspiration and a wealth of knowledge for how to get things done.  Here at Reinventing Eden, I’ll provide you with inspiration and how-tos for home improvement projects, flower and vegetable gardening, preserving the food you grow, tips for beekeeping, backyard chicken keeping, photography, tips for travel, and maybe even just give you something beautiful to look at or read because beauty in all things is what I’m all about.

34 years ago, I was a single mother of a one year old boy, living in a roach infested duplex in a tiny Southeast Texas town, while working three jobs.  I remember sleeping in the dining room on a twin bed with my son because there was an old gas heater in there and we kept warmer together.  Despite our circumstances, I strived to make our home at least somewhat “homey,” without taking food off the table.  We had a lot of (cheap) plants!  It was an unhappy and lonely life, to say the least, but I always held fast to my dreams of providing well for my son, having a happy family and a beautiful home and moving back to my beloved Virginia.  I just knew it was up to me to make it all happen; it was my job to create my own beautiful life.  It was an incredible, rewarding, and difficult journey.

Fast forward to today and here I am, living my dream the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley with my wonderful husband of almost fifteen years, Ed, in the home we always hoped to live in.  Though it all I never lost that strong desire to make our home and gardens more beautiful and productive.  I also have not lost my thriftiness to do it for the least cost possible, because keeping costs down means I can do more.  We are organic, small scale gardeners (I like to think we’re small scale farmers) who preserve our bounty for winter months.  We’re beekeepers, producing our own honey, and we also have three laying hens, Scarlett, Ginger and Ruby, who provide us with three beautiful eggs a day.  When it comes to design, I’m the one with vision, while Ed’s many talents bring my dreams and vision to life.  We’re truly a great team, not only because we create beauty, but because we have a lot of fun doing it.

Ed and I also love to travel and on the site we will give you the low-down on locations we visit, along with information on what to do and see.  We have big travel plans as we both recently retired from our day jobs, so expect to get the scoop on destinations you may love to visit as well.  Already on the site is our trip earlier this year to St. Lucia.  In November, we will be touring Italy for eleven dreamy days!  I cannot wait to see the legendary light in Venice and photograph it for you to see and share with us.

I want you to feel confident about moving forward with your dreams for a beautiful life, no matter what your current circumstances, and I hope to provide you with information, how-tos, and inspiration to make it a reality.  It’s never too late to create a beautiful life!

Best regards,