Monday, June 30, 2008

Such good memories!

Our children have done so much of their growing up in this house we call home. Our youngest was a baby when we moved here, and now she just finished kindergarten! I can't believe that our son will be in 5th grade this fall~ he was in preschool when we bought this house! And, of course, I will not leave out our oldest daughter, especially since she is "stuck" in the middle of our other two! She was three when we moved here, and guess what? Fourth grade will be her class come September!

Sometimes living in a house that needs a lot of work can be overwhelming with all there is to be done! The to-do list is long, and you get tired of looking at your half-finished house. You long for the day when it's completed! :)

Well, I have been feeling this way lately, and then I was looking at some old pictures and realized something...we have such good memories here! Memories that were made even before we took out the avocado colored bathtub or took out any old carpet. There are so many times we shared as a family that had nothing at all to do with the state of our house, and when it all comes down to it, that is really the most important thing.

So as we continue to work on our house, I am going to try really hard to remember that even though our house isn't at all perfect or finished yet, it holds all of the memories of special times, memories of the way they were when they were little, and that in itself should be enough to add a little love into this love/hate relationship I have going with our house! :)

P.S. Does anyone know how it get your signature back when you inadvertently delete it? I keep doing that! :)

A belated thank you...

Sometimes when I pull up my blog page I still can't believe I have my very own blog! And I want to say a great big thank you to Amber at Shabbee Chick Designs for all of her hard work designing it for me! She did such a great job, don't you think? Anyway, I am really and truly pleased with how it if you have been contemplating a fresh new look for your blog or even starting a new one, head on over to Amber and check out her website! You'll be glad you did! ( Her logo is at the bottom of the screen, on the left side.)
Thanks again, Amber! :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Too many options!

Well, as I mentioned the last time I wrote, we are wrapping up our master bedroom...finally. We need to replace two more new doors and I have a little touch-up painting on the new moulding and chair rail we finished installing.

So now our thoughts are turning toward one of our next big projects, which is our kitchen.

I have painted the cabinets~ inside and out~ but it's been a while, and they need to be repainted/touched-up. Our countertops, sink, faucet, floor, and stove need to be replaced! That much I know...but what kind of floor? Should we use beadboard for the walls under the cabinets or a tile backsplash? I have even been contemplating using brick pavers on the walls between the cabinet and countertop ( like Kim from One Woman's Cottage Life) . I saw the pictures of their kitchen and the painted brick adds such a touch of old world charm! It kind of reminded me of a very old kitchen in a house from the 1700's pictured in a recent edition of Romantic Homes. The kitchen still had the original stone walls, and the new owners painted them romantic!
When we started talking about what we would use for a "backsplash", I really only knew of two options~ tile or laminate (which we know we don't want) ...but now the more I read, the less decisive I am...there are just too many options!

Okay, and flooring~ I have fallen in love with the idea of using brick pavers for our kitchen floor, and just lay them right over the subfloor, painted glossy white of course! But my common sense is prevailing and I am not sure it is the smartest plan with three children! But in our master THAT I know I am going to do! It would be so charming, don't you think? :)
But back to the kitchen, even if we eliminate the option of brick, that still leaves tile and vinyl. Vinyl definitely has its advantages, one of which is easy maintenance. That is a great thing with kids, I think. But tell me how it is that a woman who can delve into the midst of a raging battle between her three children can quake at the thought of making these simple decisions? :)

However, I DO know I want the kitchen to be sage green and red, along with the soft yellow walls I painted last spring. That much I'm sure of...I think. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The fun part

I thought before I jumped right into the bad and the ugly of our fixer-upper (which abound), I would show you a little of the good...Now by saying this, I am not saying it is perfect, the most beautiful, or that I am completely done with's just one little part of our house that, when I look at it, captures just a bit of what we are trying so hard to do~ to turn a house that hadn't been loved for a very long time into a romantic cottage! And so, in celebration of our home's 40th birthday, I will show you a few of of the prettier pictures...and save the more unsightly, daunting, somewhat frightening views for a later post!

So much of owning our house so far has been about removing walls, replacing subfloors, flooring, sinks, toilets, countertops (pretty much everything actually)... it's pure joy to be able to decorate! And since our master bedroom is in its final stages of "repair", the fun part has begun! Although I have to say, the funnest part is enjoying it! :)
Try to ignore the popcorn ceiling if you can, as well as the ugly roller shade and the end table beside the bed that isn't quite finished...

This was part fun and part frustration! The headboard slipcover was the most difficult thing I had ever sewn! I think it was supposed to be easy, but I had never done ruffles before! But I am so happy I didn't give up!

Putting the canopy together was fun work! Painting walls is one of my creative outlets, but even I was glad when, after several different color combinations, we found this robin's egg blue...and it worked. The room is happy with it, and so am I!

Soon, our bedroom will be finished with its restoration and I will show you full-room pictures, but for now this is all I dare show! :)


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's the small things...

Guess what I found? The latest copy of my favorite magazine, Romantic Country. It is published quarterly, so it's always so, so exciting when it finally comes out! It just made my day! ( I have almost no luck finding it anywhere but Barnes and Noble.) I snagged a copy for myself and one for my sister, of course, because who knows if it will even be there the next time I go? All afternoon it's made me happy, just knowing what a treat it would be to read it! :)
See? I tell my husband. I really DO try to be content. But at least when I want to be happy, it only takes $ 6.95 ! Sometimes it really is the small things that count. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Hi everyone! I know I said I would be posting on my blog over a week ago... let's just say I over-anticipated what I could get done before we left for our four day vacation to Orcas Island. Oh, but we had so much fun and I have pictures! I admit that it's a little strange to start a blog about your fixer-upper and the first thing you write about is taking a vacation, but please bear with me! We HAVE been working on our house~ I promise!~ but this first blog is about our trip to one of our favorite places to go as a family.
We stay in a rustic cabin on right on North Beach. The kids have so much fun digging in the sand and playing in the water! (It's a little rustic for me, but it doesn't really matter because we're just outside the whole time anyway.) It was so nice to take a break from our routine and relax a while!

We love eating at the Sunflower Cafe for breakfast, so one of the mornings we took the short drive to Eastsound. This time our girls ordered pancakes, and I just had to have a bite. They were thin like crepes, folded in half with powdered sugar sprinkled on top! They looked as good as they tasted! I asked for the recipe and the owners were kind enough to not only give it to me, but say I could share it with you! It is a family recipe, with just 5 ingredients. We just made them tonight, and they were delicious! There is a trick to them, though, and it took me a while to figure it least I think I did anyway!

Sunflower Bavarian Pancakes

(can double)

2 cups flour
1 pinch salt
1 large pinch of sugar (according to preference; I put
in about 4 tsp.)
1 tsp. cinnamon (I added this)
2 cups milk
6 eggs
vanilla extract ( I used one Tbsp.)

Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the milk, vanilla extract,
and eggs. Stir well, but don't over mix. The batter should not be
frothy. Using a flat- bottomed ladle or measuring cup, measure
approximately one-half cup and pour into a hot frying pan. Using the bottom of the measuring cup or ladle, carefully smooth out the
batter, flattening it out evenly.

Some quick tips: Use butter or non-stick cooking spray sparingly, and keep the heat down low. Because they cook quickly, keep watch and when the batter start to look less shiny around the edges~ the middle will still be shiny~ carefully flip to the other side. Remove from heat once it looses the shininess. They should not be browned, and you may wonder if they are done, but this is how they should look. This is the hard part, and I think it will just take practice. I am going to keep working on it until I do it how they served it! But, browned or not, they still taste great!
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful day!
~ Jenni