Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mudroom Makeover: Stage Four

I have finally finished painting my mudroom cabinets, and I am so glad it's done! Not only because I am so tired of the room being in complete disarray, but because I really like how it turned out.

Let's revisit how my mudroom/laundry room looked when we first moved into our home.

And here is how it looks today...

Here is the completed checklist so far:

Learn from my mistake: If you are replacing cabinet hardware and already have perfectly drilled holes in place, do not get all fancy, fill the holes, and move the hardware just slightly lower than the original holes. For the love of Pete, just put the new knobs in the already perfectly drilled holes. You'll thank me for this.

A note to the good people at Anthropologie:  Your knobs are soooooo cute. Really. They are unique and interesting and great to look at. But, for the love of Pete, could you make them a tiny bit easier to install?  My fingers are killing me from twisting those puppies into the cabinet and then twisting and tightening the nuts to secure them in place.

We've I've still got a few items on my agenda to really finish off this space. I need to replace the faucet, patch and paint the ceiling, add crown molding, get a new window treatment, add a fabric skirt under the countertop, accessorize and organize. 

Then I will be perfectly content to do laundry all day long. Or, at least, hide out in there and pretend I'm doing laundry all day ;)

Partying at...


Good Life Wednesdays at A Beach Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday


A Little Knick Knack

Monday, July 25, 2011

Winning and The Nut House

No. This isn't a post about Charlie Sheen. Although we apparently have a few things in common. 

Duh... winning! I have rarely won a giveaway or drawing in my life. In fact, I can count the number of times on two fingers. So, I was thrilled when Chania at Razmataz informed me that I had won her blog giveaway, a house number sign from Ramsign.

Here is a photo of how my side entry looked before last Thursday.

And, here is how it looks with my prize on display.

Here's a closer shot...

Isn't that cute? I'd like to thank Chania, Ramsign,, the academy, all my family and friends, and all of you. I couldn't have won this without you. Sorry. Like I said, I don't win things very often. This may be the only acceptance speech I ever get to make.

This leads me to the next thing I have in common with Charlie. The Nut House. He needs to  live in one. I already do. Or so my parents think.

My birthday was yesterday, and this is one of the gifts I received from my mom and dad.

They said when they saw it, they knew it would be perfect for me. Ummmm.... thanks?

So, what's new with you? Are you feeling like a winner, or are you ready to check into the nut house?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A French Market in Farm Country

I have to admit that I often experience pangs of jealousy when reading my favorite blogs. It seems so many bloggers have wonderful little antique markets right in their backyards. Not literally in their backyards but, you know, really close to where they live. (Which is usually some place sunny and beautiful like California). I mean, is it fair that they get perfect weather, the ocean, and all the great flea markets? I think not.

A few weeks ago I discovered a blog written by a sweet lady named Donna. She posted about an upcoming French flea market, and I was beyond excited to see that it was taking place in a small town not far from me! 

So I don't have the perfect weather (there's currently a heat index of 110 degrees with stifling humidity), and I don't have the ocean but, by george, I've got a French flea market! 

My partner in treasure-hunting, Valerie, joined me for the market. We weren't sure how much shopping we'd accomplish, as we had five children in tow. However, the kids came up with a list of "scavenger hunt" items to look for at the market, and that (and some slushies) kept them quite content.

Here are some photos of what we saw at the market...

All the vendors did such a nice job of turning their booths into mini-store fronts. 

This adorable couple runs Hot House Market. You can check out their blog here. They had some really fun pieces.

This cute basket came home with me. (So did the cute kid!)

The scavenger hunting slushie drinkers.

We had a great time and look forward to next year's market. To learn more about this fun event, stop by Donna's blog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Little Slice of Heaven in an Unexpected Place

If you read my Spring Break vacation recap, you may have gotten the impression that we wouldn't be setting foot in another theme park for at least 10 more years. Apparently, we're gluttons for punishment because less than 3 months later we were back at it.

We took the kids on a mini-vacation last weekend. (I'm using the word "vacation" very loosely here). We headed to the popular destination location of Santa Claus, Indiana. C'mon... isn't that already sounding like so much fun?

Santa Claus is home to the family-friendly theme park, Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, so our kids had their fill of rollercoasters and waterslides. But, when we took a break from the chaos, we retreated to this peaceful spot...

We stayed at Santa's Cottages. (Are you getting a feel for the theme here?) Our family of 6 shared a one-bedroom cottage and lived to tell about it. In fact, it was rather refreshing to be in a small, intimate place without video games and computers. Our friends, who also have 4 kids, stayed in the cabin next to us. 

In the morning, the kids would gather on the deck and throw fish food into the lake. They had the best time finding giant catfish, turtles and a snake.

(Do not adjust your computer screen. You are seeing this correctly. There are 7 little boys. The only girl, little one-year-old Molly, missed the photo shoot.) 

Across the lake is a little play area. How adorable is this cottage?

Recycled tire "horse" swings were lots of fun...

My oldest enjoyed some hammock-time...

and the view it provided ...

In those moments, lying in the hammock, surrounded by nature, listening to the sounds of my children's laughter, I felt that all was right in the world. That this is the way life should be. Enjoying simple pleasures. Slowing down. Being still.  

(Of course an hour later we were crammed in the car for 3 hours listening to an unhappy toddler screaming his head off... but let's not go there...)

Let's go back here...

Here are a few interior shots if you're interested...

A little slice of heaven in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Who knew?

(Oh, and a little side note here:  Ladies, if you need a self-esteem boost, go to Holiday World in your bathing suit. Trust me, you will feel like a real beauty queen.) If you've been there, you know I speak the truth.