Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

 As always, I feel so thankful for so many things this year.  One of those things is you - who still read this blog despite it being so neglected!  Thanks for all your encouragement over the years!  I hope you and your families had a very happy Thanksgiving! 

This year we had the privilege of hosting Thanksgiving for our families, our first Thanksgiving in this home.  This past month I enjoyed every minute of Thanksgiving preparations and yesterday, welcoming our families into our home to make new memories, was so special.  

 Having Thanksgiving here was also a huge motivator for me... I have done hardly any decorating in our home, afraid to commit to hanging anything on the walls.  This gave me the incentive I needed to get some things done around here (smile)! 

It was so fun to set the table... it's been a while since I've dragged out my china and tablecloths.  My mom made the adorable place cards that wrap around the napkins. 

The kids table was so cute... Target had this adorable paper tablecloth for coloring and games.  

 My mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law all pitched in and helped cook the meal.  As most Thanksgivings, we had an overwhelming amount of delicious food (all which I failed to capture except for this lone picture).  I tried a few new recipes this year... some so delicious they'll be making a comeback.  You must try this green bean and brussels sprout casserole; this corn pudding; and these candied yams. I tried a new pumpkin pie recipe, but wished I had used my tried and true recipe here.  

 Jillian somehow had the idea of a photo booth in her head for Thanksgiving and went to her crafty Grammy about it.  (She knew who would be able to put together something this adorable!)  So my mom made this photo booth and the girls took pictures all day of everyone.  It was pretty fun and entertaining when I downloaded the pictures this morning (smile). 

Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

An End of Summer Vacation

 {A post for my memories}

This is our second year taking a beach vacation at the end of the summer and both times it has been the perfect ending to our summer break.  We (along with my parents) booked the condo several months ago, knowing that we likely wouldn't make the trip if we booked it closer to the time our house was being finished.  Before we left, I felt guilty and regretful spending the additional money on top of all our house expenses, but now I'm so glad we planned this ahead of time. There's just nothing as calming and relaxing as the sunshine, white sandy beach and ocean waves crashing.  We needed this - a little break from work and worries and the busyness of life.  And just as it's nice taking a break, it's nice to come home feeling refreshed, thankful, and ready for a new season ahead. 

 Our so sweet nine year old... helpful, conscientious, always wanting to be by my side, talking, laughing, and growing up oh so quickly.

 Perfect weather every day we were there, some days with a calm sea and some with huge waves that we all (young and old) enjoyed playing in. 

 Our six year old full of personality... funny, smiling, constantly moving, cute as a button and always ready for a cuddle.  I'm having a hard time thinking about her not always being at this stage! 

As I post this, I'm looking back at a previous post three years  ago at this same beach when our girls were much smaller, life was much different, and I'm reminded again why I'm so grateful to have this space to document my memories.  

Warm water and quiet mornings.  Sweet sisters.  And a mama's heart bursting with thankfulness for her precious family and another summer's worth of sweet memories.  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New Home Tour: Guest Bathroom

The guest bathroom may seem a strange place to begin showing you around our new home, but it is, in fact, the only room in the house completely finished (smile). This was the first room in the house we started hanging hardware and decor, as it sits near the living room and is easily accessible to any visitors.  

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Building a House and Moving In

 The day finally arrived and we moved into our house!  It's been exactly a month now and we are so happy to be here.  I took these snapshots a few days before we moved in and although they have been sitting on my computer since, I've been enjoying getting unpacked and settled into our new home and the days have just flown by.  I wasn't exactly sure how it would feel moving into a brand new house, but the truth is it almost immediately felt like home and wonderfully us.     

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bathroom Planning, Designs and Resources

We are so very close to moving into our new home (just one more week!) and I'm sure you can imagine how excited we are.  There was a lot of planning involved while building and I thought today it would be fun to share a little of my bathroom planning and resources!

We have three bathrooms in our house and as I began selecting materials, my overall goal was to create three unique rooms that also complemented one another.  I wanted each room to have its own personality, yet if the three rooms were viewed at once, they would obviously belong together.  So I began to think of ways that I could incorporate different materials that would also fit together.

The floor tile was the first thing that I selected and it really set the tone for each room's design.  My goal with our entire house was to create something beautiful, timeless and thoughtful.  I didn't want anything in our house to feel too "new", modern or trendy, but really wanted to try and bring in some of those classic elements that bring so much character to a home and yet never go out of style.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

House and Spring Updates!

Hi friends! 

Recently Rosetta asked me if it was summer yet.  When I responded not quite yet, she told me she was glad, because she didn't want summer to end.  That's exactly how I feel!  I'm so, so excited we will get to enjoy summer in our new house and hopefully be somewhat settled by the time school starts back up.  I love everything about summer, and even though it's not officially summer, we sure have been enjoying many of the things that come with it!  

Our new home is almost finished... we are hoping to be moving in in two weeks, BUT I have not gotten out the moving boxes yet... meaning, I know there are plenty of things that can still push that date out.  ;-)  We are still spending weeks in the city, where we enjoy swimming at the pool every chance we get, and weekends with my parents, where we mostly make about a hundred trips to our house to see if anything has changed - ha!   


There's  been a lot of porch sitting with all this warm weather...

Baby calves, ducks, and chicks...

 Time at the flower garden preparing for a hopefully busy flower season (and as you can tell from the grass, lots of mowing for the boys)...

(My first bouquet of the season... nothing says cheerful like a bouquet of sunflowers!)

 And lot of ranger rides around the farm... or just down to our house (haha). 

 Since I last posted, there has been a lot of activity at our house.  In the above photo, the brick was (finally) finished and Justus was working on bringing power and water all the way to the house.

 Once the brick was finished, concrete was poured on the two porches, columns were built, and the hardie siding went up. 

  After months of staring into a deep, empty front porch, it was pretty exciting to actually be able to walk out the front door! 

 Just yesterday the hardie siding and columns were painted and this week the HVAC system was installed.  Natural gas was also brought to the house, which we're using for everything we can (heat in the winter, stove, fireplace, and grill). 

 Other than painting the open rafter tails and doors, all that's left for the exterior is the porch railing and brackets we're having installed on some of the gables!  I was so excited to see the siding painted!  All these little touches just continue to bring the house together and as I told Justus yesterday, it's such a huge relief.  There have been an unbelievable amount of decisions to make, and I have worried so much about making decisions we'll be unhappy with.  The exterior paint color is Shoji White by Sherwin Williams, and I LOVE it.  We really wanted a white front porch, but it couldn't be a stark white, and this color turned out to be the perfect amount of creamy, especially when paired with the brick.  

As I'm sure you can imagine, there have been packages arriving and arriving and arriving... lights, faucets, more lights (will they ever end?!).  

My favorite room in the house is the kitchen!  We had carrara marble installed for the perimeter cabinets.  Choosing a countertop material was so hard... I really wanted marble but was afraid to commit.  In the end, it was Justus who pushed me to get it (get what you love!) and once I saw it in the kitchen, it just brought everything together.  I'll let you know how I feel after living with it, but we did choose a honed slab and had our fabricator apply a sealer with a 15 yr. warranty for stains.  However, I'm preparing myself for the inevitable etching... (and any tips are welcomed). 

 In some ways, you could say I planned the entire kitchen around this backsplash tile.  Our contractor's wife told me about it and I loved it the minute I saw it and knew it was perfect.  It's a soft white tile and I chose a very light gray grout for a soft contrast.  

 Also, here's the built in cabinet I asked our cabinet maker to build!  Oh my goodness, a picture can't even capture the beauty of this piece!  He was really able to create this piece based on all the descriptions I gave him and make it even better than I ever dreamed.  Can't you just hear me... "At my previous house, I had this gorgeous old built in cabinet in my dining room... I want it to look old... Can you add some drawers on the bottom?... It needs to have latches..."   Haha!  And getting the proportions right too... this piece is 9' tall!

My sweet father-in-law (who made our gorgeous countertops in our previous house) made us our island countertop out of old reclaimed oak and he and Justus just installed it!  This wood adds so much warmth to our kitchen, which otherwise has a lot of cool colors.  He spent hours working on this countertop for us and it is so beautiful and has so much character.   It means the world to me to have something so special and beautiful in our new house. I'll show you a close up soon! 

In other areas of the house, we have toilets, bathroom countertops, faucets, lights and the trim was recently finished too (we have real stairs now!).  There's not much left to finish in the interior... just painting the walls and a little more trim work.   Oh, and a TON of clean up! 

 Hope you are having a wonderful June!  Do you have any fun summer plans???  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

House Update: Cabinets, Flooring and Brick!

 Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I thought I'd sit down and do a quick post tonight with some of the pictures I took over the weekend of our house building progress.  :-)  It's so exciting to be at the stage of seeing what our new home will actually look and feel like. 

Inside, the majority of the cabinets are set.  It feels a bit like a dream every time I set foot into the kitchen footprint.  I'm so happy with how the shaker cabinets turned out.  I'll keep this short and simple tonight, but once the kitchen is complete, I'll do a detailed post!  

 The island isn't quite finished yet, but I was relieved to see the gray paint was what I had hoped it would be.  :-)  My father-in-law has been spending hours making us an island countertop out of reclaimed wood and I can't wait to see it installed!  If there's one thing I could have taken with me from our previous home, it would have been the countertops he made, so I'm ecstatic I'll have something as special and beautiful in this house. 

 The perimeter cabinet color is Alabaster and the island is Cityscape (both Sherwin Williams).  I LOVE the Alabaster... I had read some great things about the color and I can vouch for how beautiful it is in person. 

 The wood floors are also installed throughout the house.  I've only had glimpses where the paper isn't covering them, so I'm anxious to see the full effect once they're uncovered! 

 Bathroom vanity cabinets are also installed... (master bath)

(guest bath)

 (girls bath)

 The brick also has started to go up and we are so excited!  The exterior of our home had a slow start, so it's equally exciting to see it come alive. 

 There will be brick on the side of the house as well, but the dormer you see here and the back wall will have 4" hardie lap siding. 

 As I mentioned in my last post, we really felt anxious about selecting the brick.  I had no idea how much even a mortar color or style could affect the color of the brick.  We are SO relieved that the brick turned out to be everything we hoped.  I can't pretend though... I had some majorly anxious moments as pictures started coming in when it was first going up and when I had to make a mortar decision on the spot.  :-)  Who knew building a house could be so stressful?!  ;-) 

 We wanted a brick that had plenty of character, looked old and yet was subtle in color.  We also wanted to select a brick that would complement the hardie lap siding, which will be painted a creamy white, of course.  ;-)  Hopefully the end result will be exterior choices that feel authentic to the style of the home.  

Also, Justus and I are SUPER excited to have a low maintenance material on the majority of the house!!!  ;-D  

(For anybody interested, the brick is St. Louis by Columbus Brick and the mortar color is Light Buff with a messy mortar finish.)

 As I was snapping these pictures, I kept getting distracted with the view.  Everything here is green now and so beautiful.  This is our back yard view, which I can hardly take in. 

 Although nothing quite beats the view on my parent's hilltop... ;-)  Especially a view you enjoy while eating fresh strawberries as the sun sets... the best!  

Happy (almost) May!  

Copyright @ Keeping It Cozy. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign