Friday, July 31, 2015

Current Kitchen- Super in Transition!

Caution, mostly amateur and terrible pictures ahead!  Some from my kindle which are super blurry, the rest from my camera with the sun at the height of the day and thus overexposed.  As bad as it all looks, it does look better in "real" life.

Here was the original kitchen from the previous homeowners.  Gotta love that border....

And then I ripped the fruit border off, and if you look carefully back by the sliding glass doors you can see under the windows where I ripped off the green wallpaper like on the right, only to discover they put the wallpaper on unfinished sheetrock. :(  Now we have to skim coat the walls to fix it...something we don't really know how to do.

We still haven't figured out how to get that tv platform thing off the wall in the upper right.  It's drying some herbs for me right now.

This is how it currently looks below.  I got desperate and painted the green wallpaper on the right.  You can see the difference in white shades.  The whole upstairs will be painted the white below the chair rail.  I decided to paint it because we still haven't fixed the other walls, and this paper is also adhered to unfinished sheetrock.  When we fix the other two walls I'll tear it off.  In the meantime I couldn't handle the green.  We also got new kitchen knobs which helps a lot, but not enough.  And we only got them on half the cupboards because it was too expensive to buy all of them at the same time.  Next month we'll finish that up.

So much orange my eyes are twitching!

Here's a shot where you can see straight on to the wallpaper.  From these pictures you can't tell at all, but in reality, the wallpaper is textured so it looks a little wonky and you can see the seams, but it is still loads better than the before.

Another view with the new knobs and the fruit border gone.  This shot also brings out that lovely green (please pick up my sarcasm here!) border around the countertops.  You can also see the wallpaper both below and above the chair rail in the mudroom.  And I kid you not, the upper border is scarecrows.  

One more before and after, although my after doesn't capture as much.

Here's the other side of the kitchen.  Original knobs, same on the island, gone next month thank goodness!  This side would be painted white as well.

My ultimate plans are to paint the bottom half of the cupboards black, the top white, although possibly have some open cupboards around the window, redo the countertops with Ardex cement finish- it's cheap and looks awesome.  And rip that ugly chair rail off the wall.  Plus new light fixtures for both kitchen areas.

All in good time.  But hopefully time that passes by really, really quick.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Craze- Adult Coloring Books

Pictures of the kitchen are still coming. It's just that we got 2.5 inches of rain yesterday before 9 AM, so it was not working for pictures very well.  Florescent lights without some type of natural light just don't take well!

In lieu of that, I decided to post about what apparently is the new adult craze.

Coloring books.

Stress Relieving Patterns.  I wonder how that works.

I like this one.

What I need more of in my life- Balance.

And I'd use these markers, because they seem awesome, and Modern Mrs. Darcy loves them.

STD334SB20A6 - Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens

The only thing about these coloring books for adults is that they are going to cost you.  About $11 on average for one book, and $20 for the markers.  Kind of an expensive coloring book!  Still, I'm a little tempted.  I love coloring and I especially love buying school supply type things at this time of year!

Monday, July 27, 2015

New House- Kitchen

The kitchen.  So much oak.  And brass.  And weird, crazy green vinyl wallpaper.  All of the following pictures are from the previous homeowners.

Why yes, that is a cardtable in the kitchen dining space.  And also a box tv adhered to the wall.  And a fluorescent light above the island.  With a fruit wallpaper border just for fun.  Also, if you look closely, you can see that the countertop has a green border on the edge.  Someone actually picked that.  I guess that's 1997 for you.

A nice view from the sliding glass doors.  We have a formal dining room that you can kind of see in the way back of this shot.

Don't get me wrong.  I know this kitchen has a lot of potential.  And compared to our last kitchen, this one is amazingly awesome.  It just needs some slight updating.  Which normally isn't that big a deal, but there are 44 kitchen knobs here.  So just to replace them with modest dollar ones that I like will cost about $300.

And I kind of said I wouldn't paint cupboards again because it is so much work.  But I lied.  I can't handle the oak.  I don't mind it everywhere else because it's tempered with lots of white and space, but in the kitchen it is just full on too much.

I'll post the current kitchen later this week.  Slowly but surely!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Crockpot Bread

It's seems like a million degrees here with the humidity.  The last thing I want to do is use the oven. But I also don't want to eat bread with a bunch of preservatives in it.

Thank goodness for pinterest and crockpot bread.

Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread!  That's right, this bread is actually made in the slow cooker, and it comes out so tender and flavorful!  It's become one of my most popular recipes of all time! |

Doesn't that look yummy?  It's from the blog Host The Toast.  And it was good, and it didn't heat up my house.

I didn't quite use the amount of Rosemary because my plant is not doing so great hiding behind massive amounts of mint.  Chris thought it was maybe a little oily.  It calls for 3T of olive oil, so maybe next time I will only use 2.  Make the olive oil dip, it's amazing.

Now my only issue is that I may need a second crockpot.  One for meals one for bread.

Monday, July 20, 2015


I've been contemplating putting a ginormous jute rug in our living room to help keep the white carpet from being destroyed.  Something like this.

A super honest review of jute rugs, where to buy them, where to get the best deal, & the pros & cons! A must pin!

Only bigger because our living room is huge.  The problem we have is that our living room is so big, I don't know if I can get a big enough rug.  I am thinking 9 X 12 but they do sell a 10 X 14.

The Maui loop rug by Rugs USA is what I am looking at (in the pic above from the blog Liz Marie).  They have a 70% off sale all the time.  But I hesitate to pull the trigger because even through shipping is free, return shipping isn't, and if you are buying a rug that big it is going to weigh a lot and I can't imagine the cost to send back a 75 pound rug.

Here's World Market's take on rug placements.

 Choose the Right Rug for Your Space - Discover, a blog by World Market

Monday, July 13, 2015

Homeschool- American Literature Program

Ava is doing American Literature for English this year.  We are using it as 9th grade English combined with a writing course as well as grammar.

Here is an awesome link that breaks down the periods in American Literature and gives you the highlights of what those were, along with book examples and what was happening in the States. We'll be using this to discuss the different books and give them some context. She'll also at some point have a test on describing the different periods and correctly place books there.

Here is her book list:

1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. Rip Van Winkle
3. Call of the Wild
4. Bonfire of the Vanities
5. For Whom the Bell Tolls
6. The Catcher in the Rye
7. The Scarlet Letter
8. Of Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath
9. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
10. The Great Gatsby
11. The Oz books
12. Cat's Cradle
13. Catch 22
14. Slaughterhouse 5
15.Fahrenheit 451
16. Poems by Emily Dickingson
17. Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
18. Little Women ( a fluffier one and the one we are starting with to ease into it all!)

It's pretty heavy.  So as long as she spends at least 20 minutes a day reading her current book for the time period, she can read anything else she wants.  We are aiming for two of the above books per month, along with a paper for each.

Friday, July 10, 2015

New House- Living Room

Here's a couple of shots of part of the living room with my kindle so you can see the white bird of paradise plant I showed before.

We have a strict socks on feet policy for the living room.  Socks or their indoor flip flops.  All the white carpet in this house....

The plant fills up what would have been an awkward corner quite nicely.  Not bad for $23 at Costco!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What I'm Reading (Pride & Prejudice from Mary's perspective and other goodies)

Our new library is loads better than our last one.  Here's what I have going on right now.

The only issue I am running into is that our new library only lets you keep books for 2 weeks, and our old one let us do it for 3.  So I find myself reading more than one book at at time to make it in the weeks.  I usually do that anyway, but right now I have all 4 of these going and it's a bit much.

I also read The Forgotten Sister.

It's Pride and Prejudice from Mary Bennett's perspective.  I really, really enjoyed it.  Although it paints Elizabeth in not the greatest light, and since I happen to love Elizabeth it kind of rubbed me the wrong way.  I highly recommend it anyways.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our School Year Just Started!

Monday was our first day of the 2015/16 school year.

Kembia officially started Kindergarten, Owen is in the middle of his third grade year, and Ava is in 8th/9th grade.  So the following cartoons totally fits us!

When People Ask Your Homeschoolers Grade; Had this happen just last week.

I can't tell you how many times I've said that. Respond, "It depends. Which subject are you inquiring about?"

We do a 6 week on, 1 week off rotation with two weeks at Christmas and ending in May.  Moyz and Truitt will be doing a very informal preschool.

And just for fun, some homeschool humor.

well, i am a weirdo......but not friendless. But that's fine by me!!! I'd rather me a weirdo than be like everyone else.           homeschool harold meme - Google Search

Google Image Result for

I am so sad to say (not really) that I am completely guilty of this as I spent about 2 hours last night pinning kindergarten things for Kembia only to print off one of them!


Not that I would ever do this....

Monday, July 6, 2015

Blue Room Inspiration

I've been stalking Pinterest for all rooms blue.  Inspiration for my possible bedroom makeover.  It's a good thing Chris doesn't read my blog!

Ava room idea
                                Chez V

Ava room idea
                                   Chez V
This is the same room as above, just a different angle.

naval blue walls pottery barn gallery

                                       Pottery Barn

                        don't know source

his & hers gorgeous living room- not generally a wood trim fan, but LOVE it here!  she made it look amazing!
                 Here for blog.

The only issue I have is that our trim is oak.  Sad face.  But they put in such high quality trim and doors everywhere that I feel it would be almost impossible to paint/replace them.  So the oak stays for now.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Amber for the Kitchen

Living much closer to a large-ish metro, I can finally get to stores that were just too far away before. Homegoods is 20 minutes from my house.  I was there just to look... you know how that goes.

I found the coolest amber bottle of 33 oz. of lemon verbena dish detergent.  Not my favorite smell, but I really just bought it for the bottle.  It's next to a gear the kids found in the woods at our old house and a plant I bought when we were showing the old house to add some more green things to the home.

That's the crappiest part of a new house- finding a home for all the things you brought with you. We're still dealing with all sorts of little things 5 weeks after moving in.  Not to mention all the things in the man garage that are still in boxes.  But I feel better about those because they're not mine and I don't see them!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New House- Front and Back

Our new house is a lot bigger than our old house.  And it's completely finished which is super fantastic.

It's fairly nondescript from the front.  A calm, gray color with a bunch of wild flowers landscaped. I'm thinking about painting the front door red. 

We also have a detached two car garage which has become Chris' man cave.  I  love it because it keeps all his crap out of sight.  He loves it because I am not harping on him to put it away like I did when it was all in the house.

We have a walkout which is so much better than a full basement.  Although there are 6 entrance and exits into this house.  It  makes keeping track of kids and locking up at night a much longer process.  We also have that not-awesome, ginormous antennae on the roof even though we don't watch tv.  

I've read so many blogs about people who have downsized and absolutely loved it.  And while I am all for it, with as many kids as we have, downsizing just wasn't an option!  For what it's worth, our electric bill for this house is about $130 less  than our previous much smaller house.  We just spoke with the propane guy (bummer that it's propane and not natural gas) who was friends with the previous owner and he said it is a very economical house.  That makes us feel good.  And our wallets too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Garden (the best we've ever had)

We quick put in a garden when we moved in (about a month behind).  First we had to dig out a spot with a sod cutter, till it, and then find out we probably put the garden on part of an old foundation.  Oops.  We'll be rock picking for the next several years.

Here's a shot off our deck.  It's kind of far away, but it's by far the best garden we've ever had.  Which is both depressing and exciting.  Depressing because we tried for 8 years at our last house and never got anything good, and exciting, because, well hello, we want our own fresh, organic veggies cheaper!  

The previous owners put in that fantastic fire pit, we contributed the stumps around it drying for chairs after cutting down the tree to the right of the garden for a little more sunlight.   We haven't been able to use it all that much because it's either been pouring rain or so hot that the idea of a fire just makes you melt.  But I see a lot of use in the fall when the temps cool down.