Archives for November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

free-thanksgiving-banner-printable-decorationsIf you’re looking for some quick printable activities to occupy the kiddos while the cooking happens, check out the neat ones here at   Have a wonderful holiday celebration with the ones you love!

How can it be almost Thanksgiving?

I wanted to show you a sample of the granite we chose for our current house’s kitchen remodel.  Our cabinets will not be quite so grand looking.  But they are a white shaker style cabinet fairly similar to the photo, and we are reusing dark drawer and door pulls very much like the ones shown, so the overall effect will be similar, I think, with the exception of the backsplash being white instead of what’s shown here.

The granite I chose




We are set to get the kitchen installed near the end of December, so I will take photos and show it to you when it is all pulled together.  It is definitely bittersweet planning a kitchen that I won’t be using, but I am hoping it will help some lucky family fall completely in love with the house, and and they will go on to enjoy it as much as we have.

We’re gaining ground on other projects around here too. We currently have an electrician in the kitchen, installing an outlet in the pantry, which will allow the microwave to be plugged in there instead of needing a dedicated cabinet in the main kitchen space.  I think that will be a nice upgrade, and a nice look, to have unbroken kitchen cabinets be facing the great room, instead of the hole in the cabinet where the microwave lives.  It also would allow the pantry to be used maybe as a baking space, where we could let the Kitchenaid live and be used right there instead of dragging it over to the other counter, or perhaps as a dedicated coffee station.  It will be a fun spot to stage for sale, because it is a sweet, appealing little space, and adds working space to the kitchen layout.

I’ve got the garage emptied and the family room bookshelves emptied. My pantry, laundry room, and master closet aren’t empty yet, but they’re much less densely filled than usual. And each day we are bringing more things to the awesome Greenhurst Mini-storage mobile unit that my dad so kindly provided us.  So nice to be getting a jump on packing, and to have a unit right at our house to fill.

I’ve been puzzling lately over Christmas, with our move scheduled to begin on December 18th. I think we will have the vast majority of our possessions delivered to the new house that weekend, and probably we will be sleeping there very soon after that point.

But in thinking about leaving this home, at Christmas time no less, I’m feeling nostalgic, as are some of the kids. We have talked about one last Christmas here, just to say goodbye to the house. Honoring that wish feels important to me. But I am also envisioning how lovely the new house will be at holidays– all that wonderful gracious entertaining space!! And if we’re already truly living at the new place, by Christmas, it might feel odd to drive back here just for the Christmas celebration.  It could work.  I am noodling around a variety of ways we could handle it…maybe an early bit of celebrating at the old house, and the main party at the new?  Just not sure what to do there….

The new house is quite fun to contemplate– the main living area is really, really big and will be wonderful for big parties.  Just for fun, here are a few photos of the front, and of the main rooms of the house.  The land is a big downsize for us– hooray for fewer weeds!!– but the house itself is good sized.

Here’s the view of the living room toward the front door which is actually only the front half of a mega-living room.

Then here’s the back half of the living room. The full length of the room is 43 feet. Crazy, huh?  But wonderful for having a couple dozen of your nearest and dearest over for dinner!




Here’s a view toward the dining room and kitchen. Fairly utilitarian, but spacious.


Then here’s the teensy tiny back yard.  I am imagining trees and little sitting areas and a whole variety of ways that others have made tiny yards, of course with much inspiration from Pinterest.


It is definitely going to be a big switch, but we are looking forward to the change and the challenge. Do look at that pinterest board if you have a minute. I never knew there were so many ways to make a tiny yard look lovely!


Now I’m off! It is my baby-girl’s 11th birthday today and there are friends to be picked up, and cake to be made, and partying to be done! Hope you are well and that you enjoy preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We have carpet!

The crazy thing about having the same carpet for 22 years is that when you get new carpet, it looks decidedly odd for awhile.  But I suspect that those of you who have NOT spent years and years looking at my living room will more immediately see the great improvement that it is.

For comparison purposes, this first picture is one from a few years back, with different furniture.  But it shows the green carpet and the yellow paint that we just replaced.

Towards the living room



Then here’s the new paint, different furniture, but still the same old carpet.

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And here’s the whole room all done, complete with the new paint and (hooray!) the new carpet!

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It’s a much more neutral look than my yellow paint and green carpet, but I think it will be more pleasing to the average buyer, and (now that my eyes are getting used to it) it looks lovely and clean and serene to me as well. 
From the stairs

As you can see, I couldn’t resist adding new throw pillows for just a little pop of color though!  I love the orange for fall, and am thinking some cranberry red pillows would be a nice color for the Christmas season.

Did you spot my new floral chairs in the corner of the photo above? They were a $120 Craigslist find– truthfully a little crowded in the current space, but the living room in our new house is huge, and will fit the new furniture nicely.

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What do you think of the chair rail painted white? A terrible thing to do to solid oak, according to my woodworker hubby, but I like the contrast it makes to the grey.

Doing ALL the things

Credit: Hyperbole and a Half

This cartoon so aptly describes my current frame of mind that I just had to share it with you.  I am bopping madly from task to task to task, seemingly adding things to the list as fast as I am checking them off.  Here are a few highlights from the week

  • Did an hour-long interview with Faith Radio talking about Forever Mom: What to Expect When You’re Adopting | Listen here or pick up the e-book for 99 cents!
  • Worked on clearing out the garage so we can paint it soon.  We actually have some empty shelves now, so I must be making progress.
  • Sold extra canning jars.  I still have at least 150 in the pantry full of fruits and veggies.  I’m pretty sure that will be more than enough at our new house where we are likely to only have a few tomatoes and peppers, and maybe a few (purchased) bushels of apples to sauce in the fall.
  • Brought two loads of clothes to the thrift store.  The kids are really getting into the decluttering spirit, and most of them have spent time weeding out what they don’t need.
  • Set lots of trash out for the trash man.  Crazy how much old stuff a garage can hold without you even being aware of it.
  • Delivered some of the more useful items to my married daughters.
  • Sorted through books in bookshelves, giving some away, bringing some to the bookstore for credit, and boxing some up to go on to the new house.  Our bookshelves cover most of the walls in the upstairs family, and since the family room really needs to be painted, the books and shelves need to be some of the first things boxed up.
  • Did senior pix for our three seniors, something that did not thrill them but that I think will gain some nice additions to our wall.
  • Installed new lights in various halls and closet.  I found some amazingly good-looking lights for just $8 each.  Definitely an upgrade from the old gold fixtures.
  • Installed new smoke detectors, not because they were broken but because they were old and yellowed and looked terrible against the new grey paint on the walls.  It is really hard to decide how much fixing up is essential, and how much won’t matter a bit to a buyer. That $45 purchase is a perfect example of ‘maybe not necessary, but it looks so much better.’  Problem is, the budget will buckle under too much of that, so I’m trying not to get too carried away.
  • FINALLY finished repainting all the doors in the house.  Wow, that job went on and on.
  • Fixed the tracks on three closet doors.  What a wrestling match that was!  I have sore shoulder muscles today to prove it.
  • Spent the week bummed that I lost my fitbit charger, because I have been a perpetual ball of activity, and didn’t get fitibit ‘credit’ for any of it.   But the new charger came today–hooray!
  • Last but not least we chose kitchen cabinets and counters.  I went with white shaker style cabinets and a mid-tone granite containing white, grey, black and just a little of the red-brown of our floor. The granite has some motion and patterning, but is not hugely busy.  Backsplash is subway tile with a thin line of accent tiles.  All the choices were moderate in cost but should combine to make a nice upscale, neutral, clean look.  I am excited to see it all come together!

That’s all I have time for today– I am off to do battle with the garage today!  Hope your week is going well!

Cartoon credit to Hyperbole and a Half. (Language warning)