Entries categorized "home"

deconstruct + reconstruct......

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

This summer we bought a fireplace insert for our living room. We had dreamed of purchasing a Jotul stove for years. The high efficiency design burns less wood and puts off more heat, not to mention Jotul's have a beautiful design too. Unfortunately we had to pull out the existing mantel and built in bookcases around the fireplace for the new one to pass code. Deconstruct. Bummer one.

Once we pulled out the built-ins, we realized the three quarter inch oak floors only went to the cabinets, not under them. So now we had two giant holes on either side that were just sub flooring. Bummer two.

One trip to Home Depot and we were a few hundred bucks lighter and a stack of slate stone heavier. Joe carefully cut more of the wood floor away in front of the fireplace so we could add enough non combustible on the front for code, oh that was sad cutting into that beautiful floor. Then he laid cement board down and we put in these really nice variegated stones and a small border, both natural slate. Maggie laid right in the middle of everything we did, as usual for her. It turned out really nice! We got so lucky and the cement board + the tile was the exact height of the wood floor. It makes it look like an on purpose inlay and we didn't have to add a transition piece between the new and old flooring. Major bonus! A few coats of stone sealer and grout and it was done. This of course took a week to complete.

We also had to pull out the huge mantel, and we had a big hole there as well with just cement and no bricks, so we did an inlaid border with the same small slate there. It pulled the project together nicely.... but I forgot to grab a photo of that part.

As I type this we're in the progress of de-glossing and sanding the paneling in the den so we can prime and paint the walls in there. I originally thought I would do a lovely sage green in the den...... but after a few months of living here I realize I want the lightest color possible in that room. So we're going with Lyndhurst Estate Cream. I'm hoping for warmth.... it seems like a nice warm color, and a perfect backdrop for lots of art and family photos. But first, there will be much sanding and cutting in all those edges and corners and windows. Lots of work to go in there.

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

deconstruct + reconstruct......

 

And now we arrive at the reconstruct part of this post. We couldn't bare to part with the solid wood cabinets & shelves. So they sat in the basement for several weeks until we figured out a plan. We have this really funky walkway that has a door to the main floor bathroom, a door to the apartment, and french doors to the kitchen. It's rather large, has a sky light and is not used often. Joe had the brilliant idea of reconstructing the bookshelf part of the cabinets in that space. They fit perfectly and he made some notches in the base so they were flush with the hall. He anchored them to the wall and now all we need is a top for the shelf. My huge stack of books that was occupying the floor in the apartment now have a home again! Have I told you I organize my books a bit like a book store? In categories. And I also kind of love doing this. Craft shelf here, cookbook shelf there, homestead shelf here...... oh books, I do love them so.

xo,

s

 


this is it......

The weekend was super full of good times with my cousin and we explored some great little shops in Providence. I'm still kind of blown away that I can buy scallops at the farmer's market. Of course, I didn't this trip because I'm waiting for a certain somebody to get here. We're down to about 11 days. It's really been a long couple of weeks.

And speaking of full things.... the hard drive on my computer is also full. Which means there are about a zillion pictures on there that I need to take off and put onto an external hard drive. Does anyone else loathe this process? I do. I really, really do.

But unless you're all okay with this becoming a words only blog, it's got to be done. 

I wish I had something else to tell you. Something exciting. But this is it.

Wait, I didn't show you the little kids room. Hold on....

Here are a few photos of the process. 

 

this is it......

 

this is it......

 

this is it......

 

this is it......

 

this is it......

 

this is it......

 

Fresh paint is so good, right? And Painting the ceiling is always worth the extra effort. Lucky for me they agreed the green was just as good as the dark blue they originally wanted. Phew~

Luke & Sophie are sharing a room for the time being. I imagine this will be short lived.... but it works really well for us now. The lamps, chair, curtains, and small bedside dresser were all left at the house. As I clear space I find at least three things to give away for each item we keep..... but I'm still grateful for the useful stuff. (especially the old stoneware bowls in mint condition.... that's another blog post!) The bedding is Ikea.... purchased in a overstimulated-rat-in-a-maze-with-too-much-fluorescent-lighting kind of moment. That place is intense. I can only handle it once every few years.

So.... do have any artwork suggestions? I was thinking of these. Or something like them. I love the look of something strung up on the wall like that....... if I could only find the alphabet in the form of mythical beasts and vikings. That would be so perfect for the little guy. I'm also considering one of those paper star lamps hung from the ceiling. Have you seen them?

Okay, I guess that really is it now.

I'll be back tomorrow with some outdoor adventure photos..... so long as this taking pictures off the computer thing goes well.

See you then~

xo,

s

 


welcome to the sunroom.....

Let's be honest.

Unpacking sucks stinks.

Add the regular tasks of full time mama, homemaker, homeschooler..... along with the added task of solo parenting make it even harder. For all you mamas (parents in general really) that do this solo full time, you have my utmost admiration. 

I hoped to finish a room a week while Joe was in Louisiana (go ahead, laugh.) However, I am not. And honestly, the little guy and I both ended up with colds. Again. Which is surely my body's way of letting me know I was over doing it. So I'm taking it much more slowly.... if I get a box or two a week unpacked from here on out, I'm okay with that. Painting the entire house can wait. Scuff marks add character. Dreams and plans are good.... but it all takes time.

This all came to me as I was unpacking our treasures and setting them up in the sunroom. Box of tissues and tea at my side. Sneezing. Sometimes being forced to slow down is good.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

welcome to the sunroom.....

 

Do you see all that light? And those green leaves? I really love it. 

Unpacking treasured bits is the nicest sort of unpacking. I lined them up in the windows and we used two glass bowls left at the house to display the shells and beach glass. I have more beach glass from last summer. Somewhere..... As it came together I commented to my big girl that it looked like someone had actually lived here awhile now.... she laughed and said well you have lived awhile.

I'll admit, I first set up this room completely toy free. But I quickly decided that toy clutter was in order. This means it looks like the above photo quite a lot too. Which is also good.

Today I plan to convince the youngest to drink copious amounts of tea while I rearrange boxes in the apartment space so I can get the sewing machines out of their boxes. Yes, I think that sort of unpacking is long overdue....

 


mostly about paint.....

I'm typing this up from the laundry mat down the street from our apartment.

While I do miss the ease of tossing a load of wash into my own washer, it's kind of nice to get things all done at once. Four loads of laundry in under two hours isn't so bad. Add free wifi, tea, and quiet..... it even sounds downright good.

I loved reading through your comments on the last post about leaving. It's taken me years to sift through my feelings about this.... and so many moves. I always hope to encourage my children to walk this journey with an open heart. Even though it is so hard sometimes. Of course, letters to friends and skype playdates to look forward to soothe a hurting heart a little. That and planning a treefort in the new yard if you're little or planning paint and decorating ideas if you're big (and getting your very long awaited and dreamed about own room, ahem.)

We're getting through this in between time. Each day is closer to the excitement of the new house, and to Joe finally making his way home to us. Yes... we're getting there.....

I have no internet at my apartment. So I've not been wandering the internet space as much as usual. When I do have a pocket of time it is usually taken up with corresponding to loved ones and filling out loan paperwork of some sort or another. My goodness, it does take an awful lot of signatures to purchase a home. 17 days until closing!! (that was said in a squealing excited tone, in case you were wondering)

I have been looking a little at some house ideas. Mostly painting right now. We've got a few paint jobs to do when we move in. Number one being the wood paneling in the den/living room area. It has a beautiful brick fireplace with built in bookshelves on each side. I'm hoping to stick with colonial colors.... this is mostly Joe's idea in truth (he's very creative, you know), but I love it. Do you have any suggestions? I found two links to colonial colors on pinterest.... I also somehow got distracted and stumbled onto this studio. Wow, right? But back to paint.... take a peek at these:

 

Martin003

 

D_179

 

These are both old colonial interior colors. I'm pretty smitten with the hues. For the fireplace room I'm looking for something warm + cozy + not too dark. What do you love??

I've been adding ideas to my homestead pinterest board for months and months and I am surprised to see many of them are things we can do and create in the next house. It's really like a bit of a dream coming true for us. I'm still holding my breath a bit, it seems a little too good. But we're getting closer to having keys in hand.... which will most definitely result in me crying happy tears. Because, that's just the way I am. Here I go getting off the the subject again..... I'm trying to write about paint, paint

Tell me what you love..... tell me the colors that make you smile in your own homes.

Happy, happy friday to you~

xo,

s

 


~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~

he did it.....

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you'd like to share yours.... please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

psssssst~ if you haven't enetered the lovely seed giveaway, please do. i'm drawing a winner this evening! 

 


everyday corners of home.....

everyday corners of home

 

everyday corners of home

 

everyday corners of home

 

everyday corners of home

 

everyday corners of home

 

everyday corners of home

 

~a little art supply station for the youngest, always with missing scissors

~this quilt folded or rumpled on our old couch

~tools always in the process of fixing

~library books stacked on the mantle, the mama has quietly tucked the holiday ones into the closet, and thankfully no one has noticed. after all, one can only read them aloud for so long....

~our  collection of most places we've ever been. stones, shells and sea glass...

~our most treasured toys, on shelves made by joe made. these mesmerize every child visitor (along with my own). i always thought i would put them up one day, but maybe not. maybe they will always be tucked into a corner. reminding me of my own little ones and ready for visitors.... there will always be visitors....

 

Some of these corners evolved and changed as our needs did.... most stayed the same the entire time we've called this house home. I usually walk into a house and feel this is where things go.... and because we move so often, I rarely feel the need to rearrange our home. We even put the Christmas Tree in the same spot each year. These little pockets of steadiness are held dear to me. I suppose a lot of this is my hope of creating strong memories for our children. Does this make sense? I don't know if they'll be visually wired like their mama.... but perhaps. Perhaps a photograph or piece of furniture will remind them that in Louisiana there were two living rooms. One was full of music instruments, a futon for guests, and the castle toys, and all of mama's cookbooks. The other living room had a fireplace. And sometimes we would roast marshmallows when it was cool enough outdoors to make a fire. Then maybe they'll remember the fig tree, the oak tree, the lizards. It seems to all fall together in our mind as we begin to remember. Like dominoes stacked up in a long twisting row, once the first is tumbled over, they all do. I often wonder which pieces of this life will be their most remembered, treasured. All of us together under one roof, yet experiencing life in our own way. Time will tell I suppose......

 


my whole foods pantry

Today I bring you......my pantry. 

My friend Amanda awhile back said to me, "you totally have to blog your pantry." And while that was like, forever ago, I finally pulled out the flash and took photos. So uhm, here it is.

I figured a good time to share was after a restocking trip....

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

The pull out drawers are my favorite. I love them. Those and the butcher block island are a must have in the someday-forever-house

I'm in the midst of this class. Week seven right now and still loving it. I've been looking at my pantry a little differently and with a little more gratitude. There are a lot more beans in there now compared to 6 weeks ago. I'm cooking up double batches of beans these days and freezing half of them for easy dinner night. Just toss the drained beans into a quart mason jar and freeze. Hello super easy dinner. I love this!

As you can see in the first picture, I buy a lot of pantry items in bulk. This is the bulk option at my health food store. They do offer a few bins.... but the majority of it is in pre-weighed packages. Bonus - I don't buy sandwich sized bags anymore.

For storage, I'm a glass jar girl all the way. Louisiana is known for bugs. Cockroaches in particular. When we moved here we were told you had to spray for them. We did. Twice. Outside only. (it's a monthly thing). I decided that I would rather keep a very clean pantry/kitchen with everything stored in jars of some sort before I would spray for the four years we live here. We're a few months shy of three years and guess what? No bugs.

Favorite glass jar tip : Sharpie markers to label. They come off with a gentle scrub from a sponge. I recently started labeling our drinking jars/glasses at the beginning of the morning too. Guess who is tired of washing 4 times as many glasses as there are people?

Also, Mandy just shared her genius idea of flipping the lid upside down for storing frozen/dried goods if you have old school canning lids that contain bpa. We're hoping to convert our stash this summer with bpa free lids & rings.

Just for fun, here are some favorite whole foods books with excellent pantry tips : 

Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents by Cynthia Lair

   (Feeding the Whole Family was my first whole foods cookbook.... it led the way for changing how we ate!)

~ Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington

Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

Eating whole foods is not cheap. Humanely raised, organically grown foods will always be more expensive. Sometimes I struggle with the amount we spend on food. ($200 most weeks to feed 5-6 people 3 meals a day) Heather shared something in class last week that really resonated with me, that helped me rest a little easier about this expense, this investment.

 

"Many of us who include high quality whole foods in our diet have found it important
enough to make sacrifices in other ares of the family budget to accommodate the
expense. Clothing is sought after second hand before purchasing new, dining out and
travel is limited, books/furniture/household goods are often purchased used, traded or
decided not really that important. Families seek entertainment by way of local parks,
libraries, free in-town music festivals, and nature activities as a way to go easy on the
budget and still have a life." ~Heather Bruggeman in the Whole Food Kitchen

 

This is so true for our family. Somehow when you know you have friends in this journey, it makes the road traveled all the more worthy.

 

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p.s. I'm over at Rhythm of the Home today too...... come visit!

 


Resolutions

Okay, so here is one resolution I stuck with...

1. Organize sewing supplies and create lovely sewing corner.


Have you visited Soulemama's flickr account? Her studio would make any sewer drool.... it certainly inspired my cleaning and organizing! I *wish* I had a room of my own for sewing, but our bedroom is where it's at for now..... and my sweet husband does not mind the mess that comes along with it at times. 


But over Christmas I quickly began to realize that, well, my stuff was a disaster! I needed to get it organized so I could find things easier and clean up quicker too...

and I needed to downsize my scrapbook stash, which I rarely use, 

and make more room for my sewing stuff, which I use all the time now!


Sound like a big project? It was.


Here are pictures of my sewing area right after Christmas. (remember I created lots of groovy stuff) Both sewing machine and serger were living on the desk top since my fabric had completely taken over their previous home on the bottom shelf of the big cabinet.... eek!



The embarrassing before photos:


IMG_6212


.



Compressed

*yes I am hanging my head in shame*


.........



And after the cleaning frenzy.....


SewingCorner

Who knew that corner was so big?


.


Martha?

Martha Stewart would be so proud! 

All my fabric is organized into these boxes.

Ribbon in Jars, Buttons in Jars oh I love it!


.


InaBox

I put the fabric in sideways so I could still see it all when I took the lid off the box.


.


Thread

I love this thread holder.... it's my personal little rainbow :)


.


GirlsHome

And look! My sewing friends have a place to live now!


.


DepressionGlass

I used some depression glass I had in storage to organize my little things,

so pretty to look at. And I'm happy they are no longer sitting in a box collecting dust.


----------------------------------------------------


Best of all, My daughter wanted me to make an apron like mine for her friend's birthday and I was able to get to everything SO much easier. The project was a breeze and clean up was too. Yeah-hoo for my little sewing corner :) And the apron was a big hit at the party. 


(Apron + kid cookbook = great gift)


I hope you all have a creative little spot in you home.