Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Youngest Daughter's Bedroom

Hello Friends!

Yesterday was the final photoshoot of our youngest daughter's bedroom.

She'll be packing up the last of her things and moving into her own apartment this week about 30 minutes away.


This means we will have an empty nest; back to being just the two of us. It's been a quick/long 25 years. (our oldest just turned 25 and our youngest will turn 24 in a few months)

Our daughter's room was the first room painted...She and Mr. DIY wasted no time and started painting the day we moved in. The paint was still wet as the movers were bringing in the furniture!

If you remember, our daughter's bedroom was very similar to her bedroom at our last house. The windows are different and her current room is a little larger. If you'd like to see her room at our last house (post was before we found the Craigslist bookcases) , you can find that post HERE.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Family Room

Do you ever buy something a long time in advance and can't wait for the right time to set it out?

I found a couple of flag pillows almost a year ago on Target.com . I purchased them knowing I would have to wait a long time to set them out.
I couldn't wait for Memorial Day to arrive this year.

Remember last time I showed you the Family Room I had just made some new navy pillow covers.

Blue is probably my favorite color to decorate with, but it also made it an easy transition into Summer's patriotic days - Memorial Day, Flag Day, and of course, Independence Day on July 4th!

I may set these flag pillows out on the porch for Independence Day or I may order more covers!
I found the following on Amazon and some are available on Prime. 
How do you decorate for the Patriotic holidays?


These are affiliate links, which mean that if you purchase something through these links, I will make a small commission, but it doesn't affect the price you pay.
***tip...before you buy from Amazon, always read the reviews!***

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mountain Cottage Kitchen Reno - Building The Open Shelves

Mr. DIY wasn't so sure about building open shelving in the kitchen at the Mountain Cottage. I grew tired of him saying he didn't know how the shelves could be strong without having more studs to screw them into.
I never doubted he could build them.
I showed him multiple photos of other bloggers who had built them.

He still doubted.

I told them he could add shelf brackets for added support.

He still doubted.

Here's how he made them:

First, he cut 1 x 1s out of a piece of stock material he already had.

Frames for the shelves were made  out of 1 x 1s

Shelves were then attached to the wall with 3" deck screws with a washer. Right return wall was attached with a molly bolt. Blue tape marks the studs.

1/2" birch veneer plywood was attached top and bottom. They were glued and nailed with 1 1/4" brads. The stick makes sure it's level as the glue dries.

After wrapping the edges with 1/4' thick poplar, the joints and nail holes were filled with wood putty.

Finishing is usually my job, but Mr. DIY primed and painted the shelves. He used Valspar Signature Ultra White in Satin. 

Our not so secret weapon so insure shelves won't stick...We apply this to any horizontal surface where something will placed.

I think the shelves turned out beautifully, don't you?
The shelves are very sturdy and strong and don't move when Mr. DIY yanks on them...
and set heavy bowls, pitchers and cake stands.
He's finally a believer!

There are more photos HERE if you missed my post a few days ago.

Mr. DIY built the banquette this week. Here's a sneak peek...
He finished constructing and adding the detail to the fronts and sides.
He should finish up painting the next time we come up. 
Then I'll have to make some pillows and cushions.
The hood is our last building project in the kitchen. 
We've been working on the kitchen reno for a long time and it will be good to get it finished!

Hope you have a great week!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Kitchen Reno Open Shelves At The Mountain Cottage

The open shelves at the Mountain Cottage are finished and they turned out great!

Mr. DIY wasn't sure they'd hold much weight being floating shelves, but I was confident he would be able to build them strong.

Oh, we went back and forth; should they have shelf brackets or not. If so, what color? Painted white or iron. 

Oh, the choices!

I knew I wanted them to be white because 
one of our next projects is  a custom wood range hood and that was going to be stained wood.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What's For Dinner?

We make chicken at our house A LOT!
Chicken and rice, chicken and baked potatoes, chicken on a salad, chicken quesadillas or chicken sandwiches for lunch. 
We use the same recipe for all of the above, which makes things easy.

I like easy.
and of course, I like what I like.

I start with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil. Depending on how much marinade you want to make, just put in double the olive oil to the vinegar. So, if you use 1/4 cup vinegar, use 1/2 cup olive oil. I put these together in a bowl.

Next, I add about 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt. (any salt will do, that's just what we like)
I don't measure the other spices, (but it's about 1/4 tsp each), I add garlic powder, basil and Trader Joe's 21 Season Salute, which is a combination of spices.

I  add the spices until it looks right. In this bowl, I used less of the oil and vinegar because I'm only cooking 8 chicken tenders. You can use this "recipe" for salad dressing, as well.

Add the chicken to either a bowl, or the marinade mixture to the chicken in a Ziploc bag. Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.

We haven't gotten around to getting a grill at our new house, so we cook the chicken in a cast iron pan. I think it tastes just as good. 
If you're using a cast iron pan, set the burner on medium heat and let the pan warm up. I let the pan heat up until the handle is almost too hot to touch at about 1" from the pan ( on the handle).The chicken should sizzle a bit when you put it in the pan, but the pan is too hot if it smokes.

For these small chicken tenders, I cook them 4- 5 minutes on each side. You will have to cook them longer if the pieces of chicken are larger or if the chicken still has the bones in it. They're done when there's no pink in the middle.

When they turn a golden brown and not pink in the middle,  they're done!
If we cook enough for 2 nights, we have either chicken and rice and a vegetable the first night, and the next night we make either chicken quesadillas or a big salad with chicken on top. During the Winter, I use the leftovers to make chicken stew. Grilled or pan fried chicken also makes great chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day.

There you have it, our tasty (and easy) chicken recipe. 

What's your go to recipe that you make a lot and your family loves?


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Much Needed Stolen Space

Hello from the Mountain Cottage friends!

Every time we come up here, I'm grateful for little things. For one thing, a kitchen, still in the middle of a full reno, that has a faucet with running water. When you've had to walk to the other side of the house (which isn't that big) to get water from the laundry room, having a functioning sink and faucet is a BIG deal!
The bedroom and the world's smallest half bath upstairs are finished and I am grateful that it functions so well. We used every single inch of space that we could!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Place For Everything and Everything In It's Place- In The Kitchen

Is your Spring Cleaning finished yet?

Nope, mine's not finished either. 

I did wash a lot of pollen off the front porch today, but I think that's about it for me.
I do love to keep organized and clean things out, but I tend to do an area at a time, rather than 
the whole house. 
The kitchen is one area that I like to keep organized. Being organized helps you keep things clean and makes it easy to find things when you need them.

For being organized, my motto is " a place for everything, and everything in it's place"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Table For Two for Easter

This year it may be just the two of us- Mr. DIY and I. Our daughter made plans  to go to Charleston this weekend without realizing it was Easter. She may be back in time for dinner and than we'll add another place setting.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Mountain Cottage Reno - Kitchen Update

Renovating a kitchen takes a lot of time, especially if there are a lot of little projects in the design . That's definitely the case with our project. 

The kitchen at our Mountain Cottage has come a long way since it first look like this...
and the above photo was taken after work began! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How To Store Spices When You Have Open Shelves In Your Kitchen

Since we will have open shelves instead of cabinets on the range side of the kitchen at the Mountain Cottage, I needed to come up with a pretty solution to store spices.  I  thought cottage/farmhouse style tiered tray would be perfect, so I looked high and low for a tiered tray that would fit on the counter without taking up too much space and fit easily under the open shelves. Here's what I found...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Starting From Scratch In The Garden

January 1st of any year

Moving to a new city, apartment or house

Starting a new job

Beginning  a new school year

All these things have one thing in common...

They are new starts- filled with hope for good things to come. Of course you know there's some work ahead, but new beginnings are always exciting.

That's how I feel about the backyard at our new house.

It's raw and the previous owners didn't do anything to it.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Zhushing Up A Corner Of The Laundry Room

Can your laundry room use a little zhushing?

It has been a pleasure folding laundry in our laundry room ever since it was transformed from builder basic to pretty and functional. Lighting really made a difference too. This angle looked great, but there was a corner that still needed zhushing up...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Change Up Your Family Room With New Pillow Covers

Can you ever have enough pillows or pillow covers?

I don't think so, but maybe that's just me.
The biggest problem with buying pillows is that they take up too much space. 
The great thing about pillow covers is that they take up so little space when stored and they cost less to 
make (or buy) than if you buy a whole new pillow. For less $60 if you make pillow covers or $60-$100 if you purchase them, you can give your Family room a whole new look.

I probably have a couple/three dozen pillows and just change out the covers seasonally. 
In January, I ordered 3 different blue fabrics and some zippers from Fabric.com and made 8 pillow covers 
for the Family Room. I found the faux Mongolian fur pillow from TJMaxx.com

Monday, February 20, 2017

How We Store Our Stuff (Now)

How To Store Your Stuff is my number one post that is shared everywhere. It shows our storage room in the basement of our last home. A basement is great for storage and that house had no lack of it. Mr. DIY built 2 of these super easy and relatively inexpensive with OSB and 2 x 4s. You can find that post HERE.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Table For Two

Happy Valentine's Day Friends!

I get nostalgic around Valentine's Day and remember little things we did to make it special for our girls when they were little. I always made a heart shaped meatloaf with a red pasta sauce on top.
Simple and tasty- a winning combination for busy moms.
Of course there's always lots of red, flowers and hearts in the Foyer and on the table.
This year is no different, but the table is only set for two.

The chest in the Foyer is topped off with a Valentine's vignette. It's always fun to get out the Vintage Valentine Hearts. This year I added the wedding photos of the newly married group that graduated last year. The heart shaped candy dish was a gift from my sister and brother in law.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Laundry Room Makeover

I'm really happy to show you how far our laundry room has come since we've moved in. I was really excited to have a larger laundry room than our previous house, especially because this house is a lot smaller. Our current laundry room is also a separate room and we don't have to enter walk through it to get into house from the garage. The main problem was that it didn't have any cabinets to store things in, which was a BIG problem, but easy to solve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Coat Rack For The Laundry Room

I really liked the coat rack we had in our oldest daughter's room at the last house and it had some nice bronze hooks on it. Before we put our house on the market, we swapped it out with one that was made out of reclaimed wood from our mountain cottage and some inexpensive hooks. You can see that post HERE if you missed it. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Warmer Days Mean It's Time For Painting!

Hello friends!

We live in a community with an HOA, so we put in an ARC request to change the color of our front door back in October. We received the ok in November, but by then it was too cold  to paint outside. I like to paint when the temp is between 55 and 85 degrees and the humidity isn't too high, so I was resigned to the fact that this project wasn't going to get done until Spring.

Or so I thought!...

The weather was calling for a couple of 70+ degree days, so I got out the paint I purchased a few months ago and got to it. I took off the door handle and the wreath  hook and gave the door a good sanding.

The door was a rusty brown or brownish rust (haha) that I didn't like the minute I laid eyes on it. Whatever color it was, it really limited the wreaths I could put on the door. I had a green basket that looked great on the black door at our last house, but looked hideous on this door.

The color is Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, but I had Home Depot color it in the Behr Marquee line.

Here's the before again:

And the after:

I'm not sure if I should paint the transom and sidelights white, leaving the frame around them the taupe color. What do you think? I'd love to know your thoughts.

Hope you have a great day!


Thursday, January 5, 2017

'Tis The Season To Get Organized

Happy New Year Friends!

Now that the new year has begun, I'm working on getting things back in order and getting Christmas put away and organized.

It would be so much faster and easier to just throw things behind closed doors, but doing that would just come back to haunt me later when I'm looking for something.

If you've been following me for awhile, y'all know I love armoires. Now that TVs are so big and don't fit in armoires anymore, you can pick one up for a song (ok, maybe a few dollars more than that) on Craigslist and yard sales. 

Remember, we had 2 of these in our Great Room at our previous house and one held a TV and the other one held books, pillows, etc. They didn't look right in our new Great Room and we needed storage in our Office/Craft Room, so that's where we have it now. We originally purchased 1 full retail for about $800 and found one on Craigslist about 8 years later (the same one) for $350. I've seen them for as little as $150.

In the top of the armoire, we keep craft supplies and the printer and paper. The bottom is the perfect spot to hold most of our gift wrapping supplies. 
In the bin on the left side, top shelf there is curling ribbon, some misc ribbon and Christmas package tape. Center bin holds krinkle paper and cellophane bags. The right bin holds gift tags. 

There's space on the bottom shelf for boxes, bags, tissue paper...

The bin holds gift bags and tissue paper. Below the bin are a few priority boxes and envelopes and on top are new, folded boxes and a few padded envelopes.

The drawer on the bottom of the armoire holds wrapping paper. I keep the Christmas wrapping paper up in the attic since it takes up a lot of space and we only need it once a year.

Since the armoire is in the office/craft room, I also have lots of other ribbon to
choose from in the bookcases on the other side of the room.  Don't hate me.

Now that the gift wrapping supplies are put away neatly and organized, I can get on to the rest of the house where there's lots of organizing left to do.


If you'd like to see another Organized Armoire, click HERE.