Monday, October 29, 2012

The Laundry Room


It was cold and windy here today, but I was so thankful for sunny skies.  My thoughts all day have been with those affected by the hurricane and I hope this finds everyone safe and well.  

After I finished giving our laundry room a deep cleaning today, I thought I'd take some photos.  I realized that I've never shared our laundry room with you, most likely because it's not technically finished... we still have some trim work and switch covers to change out... all those little things that can so easily get put aside.  However, I thought I'd better dig up some old photos to show that we actually have done something in this room.  And then I had to laugh, because I had forgotten how awful this room used to look!  We really have done some work here and I was too taken up with the little things that still need to be finished to realize it. So I have a fresh appreciation for our little laundry room today (smile).  

BEFORE:


 I think this picture was taken the same week we moved in.  Probably the biggest eyesore for me was the styrafoam ceiling.  Not only was it unattractive, but it also lowered the ceiling significantly and made the room look even smaller. 


 We removed the tiles in this room the same time we removed them in the kitchen (and here you can see a glimpse of what our kitchen looked like before too).  Underneath was a bright teal and it was in a sad condition, probably since this was originally a porch before they enclosed it.  Actually, I shouldn't take any credit for this ceiling job... it was all my husband.  He worked on this all himself, from making repairs to painting.

AFTER:


 Although the kitchen ceiling is painted white, we painted the ceiling here a subtle light blue.  Since this was originally the porch, I liked the idea of the old tradition of painting in a shade of blue.  Then I painted everything else white.  The combination of these two things really brightened the room and made it appear larger. 


The laundry room is located between the bathroom and the kitchen.  We kept the same shelving unit that was already here but simply painted it white. 


Since we do not have much storage in this room, I use buckets and baskets to store odds and ends.  The old egg basket here stores dish towels and the top shelf holds some canned goods from the summer.

By the way, do you notice all those fabulous mason jars?  Those just recently came from my brother's, where he found them in buckets underneath their old farmhouse.


 The door is the original and one of my favorite things about this room are the two small windows located on either side of the door.  They flood the room with light and cheerfulness. 


We have a tall cabinet on the opposite side of the room next to the dryer.  I guess you could say it serves as our "junk drawer"... it's full of cleaning supplies, canning items and some of my husband's frequently used tools.  

Note: I do admit to removing at least three John Deere hats of my husband's that are always hanging here (smile). 


The washer and dryer sit opposite of each other, which is not my ideal setup, but it works.  And now I have a confession... we just fixed our dryer this very evening.  Remember the clothesline we hung back in August when it broke?  Well, I've been hanging clothes every day since then but I'm happy to report that it's back up and running now just in time for cool days!


In the background you can see a full length curtain which is made out of the same fabric as the curtain hanging on the door.  It serves as a cover to our water heater. 


 Here you can see a final view into the kitchen.  This is always a high traffic area so I try to keep it as uncluttered as possible.  I realized that I didn't take a photo of the wall as you come into the house from the back deck, but all you will see is a family sign on a white wall (smile).     


 P.S.  Although totally unrelated to this post, I had to share a photo of our furry friend.  We have three squirrels that live in our yard, which we always refer to as "our fox squirrels".  Today as I was taking these photos, I happened to step outside and saw one of the squirrels perched here on the top of this ladder just beside the house.  I was able to get several pictures of him and he never budged.  I guess he's as used to us as we are to him! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Leaves and a Craft


 I'm not sure I've ever appreciated or enjoyed the changing seasons as much as I have this year. I'm not sure if it's because I have a four year old and we talk about the different characteristics of each season, or if it's just because I've taken the time to notice the little details.  I notice the leaves as they fall to the ground, the butterflies as they dance around, the crisp air when I step outside in the morning, and all the glorious colors of autumn.



 In the evening, when the sun goes down, the light seems to transform the landscape into something magical, even in our own yard. There are so many colors I want to capture in a photo... I never seem to be able to, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. 


With the fall foliage at its peak, we picked up colorful leaves we saw during our daily walks this week.  Then we pressed our collection while I looked for a kids craft project to use them in.  There are a lot of fun fall crafts out there using leaves, but I fell in love with this project from Martha Stewart.  I know ideally the leaves should be pressed for a week, but since I was impatient eager to start, we just pressed them overnight and they worked just fine. 


Obviously all the cutting was done by me, but Jillian helped give input on which leaves to use and then she glued and drew the little details.  


We spelled the word "fall" and chose to create leaf animals for each of those letters.  I really had no intention of blogging about it, but it was such a fun craft project and turned out so cute.  Once we finished, the girls went down for naps and I strung the letters up on the mantel to surprise Jillian when she woke up. 


She spent a long while looking at her work that afternoon and honestly so did I.  (smile)  I plan on laminating these this week so I'll always have them as a reminder of the fun morning we had together learning more about the season.

"Ohhh, look at Rosetta hugging me, Mommy!"
Happy Fall!

Sharing at Savvy Southern Style

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Fall Visit in the Dining Room


Now that summer is over and I have thoughts of spending cooler days inside, I've been feeling the urge to do some fall cleaning.  First stop last week was our dining room and once I had the room organized and put back together, I thought I'd attempt to take a few photos.  

I think I've mentioned before that I find our dining room the most difficult room in our house to photograph and because of that I have not taken many photos in this room since I first started writing my blog.  Since then I've discovered that I have a real love of photography, but I'm still learning, especially when it comes to interior room shots. 


Seasonal cleaning always leads to a few seasonal decorating changes for me.  Remember those branches I collected from the dogwood trees?  When my Country Living magazine came this month with an article about decorating with branches, I was so excited because I finally knew what to do with them.  While the girls played outside one afternoon, I took all the leaves off and left the berries intact.  I am thrilled with how the branches look now and I'm hoping the berries will last throughout the winter.  


 I placed the branches in an ironstone pitcher and displayed them on the table with a couple pumpkins.  The built in cabinet you see on the far wall is original to the house (see the wavy glass?).  It's one of my favorite features in our home, but lately I've been unable to completely shut the doors (one of the many quirks of living in an old house).


I also moved the table around for a little change.  (Do you move your furniture around frequently too?)


 Speaking of changes, I realized I forgot to share a small update I made to our dining room a while back.  I finally reupholstered the seat covers on our chairs with a nice linen I found.  Although it's a simple fabric, I felt that a neutral, clean look paired best.  I will say that reupholstering with linen is not the easiest... I recruited my mom's help one evening and when she finished three covers in the amount of time it took me to attempt one, I let the expert finish.  (smile)


Out of all the projects we've done in our home so far, returning the beadboard dining room ceiling to its original state, as difficult as it was, is still one of my favorite things.  After the damage we saw to the original ceiling in the living room, I'm so thankful for the near perfect condition here. 


 Because our house is a foursquare style, the dining room is located between the kitchen and the living room and therefore is one of our most used rooms.  I have kept the palette very neutral since it is the "center" of our house and connects so many rooms.
 

The room is large; in fact, because of the foursquare design, it's the same size as our living room.  I still have one wall in this room that is almost entirely bare... but I do have plans for it.  (My poor husband.) 


The dining room also has one of four fireplaces in our house, but sadly none of them work (the chimneys were cut off by the previous owners), although the fireplace here does have gas logs.  I love the look of the brick inside showing all its wear.  I can only imagine a time when this would have been their source of heat.  I sometimes wonder if this room would also have served as their kitchen in the beginning.  The back of our house, where the kitchen is located, was actually originally a porch and was enclosed later on.  I'm not sure about a lot of details, but it is always fascinating to me to think back on the years when our house was built and what it would have been like then.

It's nice to take a little break every now and then and reflect on improvements that have been made.  Thanks for always sharing in my reflections, thoughts and dreams too.

Have a wonderful week!

Sharing at Cozy Little House 
Common Ground 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall is in the Kitchen


Little bits of fall have come to the kitchen...


 I know I've shown you my little kitchen cabinet before.  But I couldn't resist taking some photos of it again this fall... it's one of my favorite things.  I remember taking three separate trips to the antique store before actually purchasing it because I wasn't sure it was the right piece for this spot. (smile)


I don't usually have anything displayed on my scale, but it was the perfect place for this little pumpkin.


 This is still one of my favorite patterns and although I have these displayed all the time, the colors really are perfect for fall. 


 Scents of fall have also come to the kitchen.  When my blogging friend, Julia, over at Blissfully Content posted a recipe for these ginger cookies this week, I knew cookie making was going to be a part of our day!


Whenever I mention baking cookies to Jillian, she nearly jumps up and down with excitement.  She loves helping in the kitchen.  


Yes, it means it takes quite a bit longer to cook something, but it makes me so happy that she takes such an interest in wanting to help. 


These cookies were so delicious I could not help but want to share the recipe with you.  I love ginger cookies, and these are (and I'm not just saying this because I like Julia and her blog so much) the best I have ever had.  The only thing I did different was omitting the raisins, but you can find her recipe here


P.S.  Rosetta was also around and fortunately Daddy came home from work just in time to share some batter with her.  (smile)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Days in the Backyard


 It's days like these I'm reminded why I consider fall in the south to be the perfect season.  The evenings are cool but the days are warm.  The sun is shining and the leaves are turning. 


 We've been spending a good portion of our afternoons outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  This weekend my husband and I worked outside on our back deck.  He pressure washed while I tidied up and cleaned the windows... it felt nice to do some fall cleaning.


The past couple days I've been simply enjoying these perfect fall days and counting my blessings while the girls run around and play.


 I know I say this often, but I'm thankful for our little place in the country.  It just fits us.


The two little windows beside the back door are something I have loved since day one.  The back door leads into the laundry room, and the light streaming in always makes doing laundry a little more enjoyable.  (smile)


 Have I ever showed you our old well? We do have city water, but I often like to think of the days when this would have been their source of water. 


 One thing I had hoped to do this year was plant a line of hydrangeas all along the side of the deck.  We planted two this spring, one on each side of the steps, when we fixed our deck.  You can't even see them in this photo, but with the heat we had this summer, I'm just thankful they are still alive.  Since I never got around to it... what do you think, should I plant hydrangeas there or something else? 


 I love the huge trees on our lot... sometimes I wonder if they've been there longer than our house. 


And just down the road there's a little fall color as the leaves continue to change.  Every morning I love to look out the window and see if there's a little more color there than the day before.


 Jillian has been raking the leaves lately on the deck and then immediately Rosetta rushes over to mess them up.  (smile) 


We've still much landscaping to be done, but this is the first fall we've had a nice grassy backyard to play in and a fixed up deck.  It's a little progress and we are enjoying it so much!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Barn Sale



I hope you have had a nice weekend!  With all that we have had going on lately, I realized this week that I forgot to post pictures from my first barn sale experience.  

Last month I saw an ad in a magazine for the Bella Rustica barn sale at a farm fairly close to us.  My mom and I made plans to go, marked it on our calendars and that very night Donna from Funky Junk Interiors wrote a post that she would be there as their guest.  After that I started hearing about Bella Rustica all over the web, so we were really looking forward to it.


 The farm was beautiful and it was a gorgeous day out.  The minute we drove up and saw the entrance, we knew it was going to be a blast.  (I will say that the entrance did not look like this when we arrived though... it was a traffic jam on an old country road!)


Vendors selling all kinds of fabulous goods filled up the inside of the barn.  There was so much to look at even beyond everything that was for sale... this is just a little picture of how creative some of the displays were.


 There were also booths outside the barn on the grass and under a tent.  It was a warm day so it felt good to be outside of the dusty, hot barn, especially with two little girls along (smile). 


Everywhere I looked I saw awesome fall displays...  I think this one was my favorite. 


 My highlight of the day though?  Getting to meet Donna from Funky Junk.  I have read her blog for a long time, so it was a lot of fun to meet her in person.  We knew she would be there but weren't sure if we would have the opportunity to meet her.  But we saw her within the first 15 minutes of being there, and fortunately I did not inherit my shyness from my mom... she had no problem introducing us right away, whereas it would have taken me much longer to work up my nerve. 

(I didn't notice until I downloaded these photos that there was a little hand reaching for her phone... phew, was I relieved that she didn't actually pick it up!)


 Not only did we have a chance to meet, but Donna also sat with us during lunch.  It was so neat to visit under a huge old shady tree eating barbecue.  I always knew Donna was talented and creative, but I also found out that she's incredibly sweet, warm and friendly too. 


 And I hope she doesn't mind that I'm borrowing a photo she took of us all on her phone. Not the best photo, but I'll never forget laughing as we all tried to cram in together.  

I've only had the chance to meet two bloggers in person, but what I've noticed is that their posts become extra special to read because you feel like you're visiting an old friend. 


 While I could have brought home just about everything I saw, I only came home with one treasure (yes, sadly, I went with a budget and actually stuck to it).  I asked my mom to be my model so you could see just how huge this basket is. I knew the minute I saw it that it would be a perfect laundry basket.


 Hopefully I'll see you next year, Bella Rustica!

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