Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

xmas scene

Love came down at Christmas;
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Stars and angels gave the sign.

Christina Rossetti

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekend Fun

Thank you for your comments on our new family room! Yes, we are enjoying it very much. We are having a family of five over this evening and thanks to a couple of table leaves (and a piano bench for extra seats) we have room for everyone at the table. I'm making roast chicken, potatoes and carrots.

For dessert I made Mrs. H's Cream Filled Cinnamon Coffee Cake. I made a few changes: I left out the pecans, only swirled the topping on the bottom cake and made half a recipe of cream cheese frosting for the filling.

We have some Christmas baking planned for tomorrow, along with our church's Christmas Carol service and potluck. I'm most excited about my parents and brother arriving early next week. It will be our first Christmas together since 1995!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Garage Conversion Family Room

Good morning! I'm finally sharing pictures of our garage conversion project. It is now our new family room!

My favorite parts are the tray ceiling.

And the large closet for shoes, coats, and extra storage.

There is a small reading corner behind the couches.

We have our second fridge and snack area tucked in the other corner.


Thank you for taking a look a our new room!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Night Fun

An old fashioned style popcorn popper (thank you, Target!) and fun containers (thank you, dollar section!) make a Friday evening extra enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

December 8, 2009

The first dinner on our new kitchen table. A hot bowl of chili and apple cider.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

I like having a daughter who can bake all by herself. Grace made these delicious Peanut Butter Blossoms for a Christmas party this evening. I hope they last until then!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

New Living Room Bookshelf

Hello! I've been so busy since my last post, I hardly know where to begin. Our new family room is finished and we all love it. New couches arrive on Tuesday and I will be sure to share pictures. I got the kitchen painted and in the process of starting one project, 10 more seemed to pop up. Phillip had a week off around Thanksgiving and we have cleaned, decluttered, and organized the whole house.
Some of you may remember the wet bar area in our living room that I needed help with.

We were able to find an unfinished bookshelf that covered it perfectly. Phillip stained it to match the wood walls and we are very happy with it.

Now that the TV is out of this room, it's the perfect spot for relaxing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Busy Days

Hello! Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions on our wet bar area! We are still going over some options and can hopefully try out a few things during Phillip's Thanksgiving vacation.
I can't believe it's only two weeks away. I haven't been blogging as much, because things are so busy around here...
Thanks to insurance, we are getting a new roof this week. The hail storm that knocked down our tree did quite a bit of damage to the roof, as well.

This is an older picture of the garage conversion project. The work team has already begun putting up drywall.

The carpet has been ordered and we are finalizing wall colors. I think I will paint the kitchen a shade lighter and start working on that next week.

I've also been trying out a few new recipes, including Jaden's Beef with Broccoli. It was delicious!

This is my favorite time of year for baking with banana and pumpkin. This week I made mini banana loaves with a streusel topping.

I'm sure we will still be in the middle of our house projects once Thanksgiving arrives, but we will take some time to relax, get together with family and friends, and give thanks for our many blessings.

I will be back in a few weeks with hopefully some news of finished projects. Talk to you then!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Creative Help Needed!

Hello! We've had a busy week here as you can probably tell by the lack of posts. :0) I had a few questions about what will our current living room will be used for once our garage is finished being converted into a family room. The TV won't be in the room anymore, so the focal point will be the fireplace, along with some comfy chairs (where the TV is now) and lots of books. So, it won't be a formal living room, just a nice room to sit and relax in and the extra space will be great for entertaining.

I'd love some help about another spot in the living room though. The picture shows our 1980's style wet bar that is being used to store DVD's. They will be moved to the new family room and I'm trying to figure out what to do with the space. I really don't want to put glasses or knick-knacks up there because it gets so dusty. Here are some other options:

1. Put a bookshelf in front of the whole thing and nail it completely flush against the wall.

2. Have bookshelves custom built inside the opening.

We had a quote of $2,000+ for the custom built shelves and I'm guessing since it's such a large area we'd have to get a bookshelf custom built, as well.

These options are way too expensive, so now I'm thinking of staining the wood shelves holding the DVD's to match the walls as closely as possible, and space them out better. Display books and greenery. Take out the sink and lay another stained board on top of the marble counter. Add a basket for mail, a small lamp, and a few knick-knacks.

Phillip's idea is for him to build a simple bookshelf on top of the marble, close to the front and stain it to match the wood.

Help! What would you do?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Monday, November 2, 09

Good morning! We managed to get our garage completely cleaned out and in 4-6 weeks this will be our new family room. Construction started this morning and the same company that built our shed is also doing the conversion work.  I will share progress pictures as they go along.

These shelves are on the opposite garage wall, so I took all of my tea things down since there will be a lot of banging around. I've also decided to paint the kitchen the same color as the new room, which will be a creamy beige. The walls look harsh yellow in pictures, but it's not so bad in person.

Either way, Phillip isn't a fan, so he will be very happy to see a different color, and I think the two rooms will flow together better. It's my goal to have the kitchen painted by Thanksgiving, but the work crew won't have the family room finished until early December.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, we are hoping to have dinner at our house, but it will depend on whether our new table and chairs are ready. We ordered them from the Amish Furniture Warehouse and chose a stain to match our current hutch. My parents gave us their dining room table when we got married and Phillip's parents gave us one a few years ago, so this will be our first new set. We have many blessings to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

Well, that is what is going on at our house. I hope you have a wonderful first week of November!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Celebrating October

Hello! I just realized because of my blogging break earlier this month, I didn't get a chance to share some of my favorite things about October. There are four days left in the month, which is plenty of time to squeeze in a few simple pleasures, right? Click on the links for instructions and recipes.

Apple fritters
Apple Fritters ~2007

Warm candlelight.

Autumn gift
Handmade Cloth Napkins ~ 2007

A hot cup of tea.

Caramel Apple Cards
Caramel Apple Cards ~ 2008

Mini pumpkins.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies ~ 2008

Jar of candy corn
Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I hope you have had a wonderful October, so far!

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
George Cooper, October's Party

Monday, October 26, 2009

Giveaway Winner!


Good morning! Thank you to all who joined in my giveaway and especially for your sweet comments!

Melanie from Candle by Night is the winner. Congratulations, Melanie!

There is one more week in my favorite month of the year. Has this month flown by for anyone else? We need to finish cleaning the garage. Hillary and Debbi asked how I managed to fit all of my decorations into two totes. The totes are large and are just for seasonal decorations. Christmas decorations are up in the attic.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Construction Zone!

Construction has begun on our new backyard shed and garage conversion. They completed the floor on Day 1.

Day 2.

Day 3.

This is our future family room. We spent all day cleaning and organizing. Phillip's brother and a neighbor boy helped. We took two van loads to the dump and another two to Goodwill, and we still have too much stuff for the shed! At this point it's mostly camping and gardening supplies. I downsized my decorations into two large totes. We need to have everything cleared out by next week!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and don't forget about my giveaway down below!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Handmade Card Tutorial and a *GIVEAWAY!*

Hello! I am enjoying this Autumn season, so I'm sharing another acorn themed card, but you can use any kind of paper, rubber stamps, stickers, etc. that you have.

Gather your supplies. My 10 Top Card Making Essentials list is HERE.

Cut a 5 3/8" x 3 7/8" rectangle of scrapbook paper or cardstock. Glue to front of 5 1/2" x 4" blank notecard.

Cut a 5" x 2 1/2" rectangle of scrapbook paper. Cut an approx. 3" x 2" rectangle of cardstock. The exact size will depend on the rubber stamped image or stickers that you use.

Glue cardstock to front of scrapbook rectangle. Tie a length of ribbon around bottom, tie a knot, and trim ends.

Add a rubber stamped quote or write with a pen along edge of card, as shown. Glue scrapbook paper to front of card.

Send to a friend! You can see more card tutorials HERE.

Christmas version.

A few more things I've made recently...
Snowman gift tags.

Thanksgiving gift tags.

Christmas gift tags.

Everything can be found in my Etsy Shop. Today is my 1 year Etsy anniversary and I'm having a giveaway to celebrate!

Leave a comment between now and Sunday evening (Oct. 25, 10:00pm EST) and I will use to pick a winner. The prize is a $25.00 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop! You don't have to have a blog to join in, just leave an email address. International participants are welcome.   Also, any orders placed this weekend will receive free shipping; just mention this giveaway!

Good luck and thank you for stopping by for a visit!