Thursday, February 28, 2013

Our Bedroom

Up the stairs and to the right is our bedroom. There really isn't much in our bedroom so there isn't much to write about it. Mostly just a picture tour today. One thing unique about the room is that is attaches to another room making a master suite. The other room used to be a 4th bedroom but somewhere in history the owners made a doorway connecting the 2 rooms. The main room has our bed, armoire with TV, and night stands. The other room has our closets, dresser, bathroom, and all of our clothes. I made one corner of the room into a little craft area for my sewing machine, knitting things, and everything crafty. This is the view from the doorway at the top of the stairs. You'll notice the doorway in the far upper right corner. That leads to the other half of our room, we refer to that room as the dressing room. Sounds so rich and snobby! Haha

And this is leading from our bedroom into the dressing room. The sewing table is on the left and straight ahead is an open closet. There is also a closet in that room that has a door on it. We have thought about enclosing this open closet with some cabinet doors but just have never gotten around to doing it.

This is obviously our bed. Our aunt Kathy got us a bedroom suit for our wedding. I wanted to pick out something that we would still like in 50 years. So far after 8.5, so good! The 4 framed pictures on the wall are from a yard sale at neighbors house. Got all 4 for $10. I noticed that they were all signed my the artist and so I googled her and found out that although these paintings are far from valuable, they are definitely worth more than $2.50 each. This artist actually sells her work for upwards of $1600!

And one last view of the room from the dressing room door. The door leads to the hall and stairs.

This is just the window right outside our bedroom at the top of the stairs.

And this is a look down the stairs and to the front door. I painted it with black chalkboard paint awhile ago and love how it looks. Before it was just the same color as the trim. The mat in the little entryway is a Water Hog from LLBean. It's awesome.
So that about wraps it up for today. Tomorrow I'll post about the girls' room but if you've been reading this blog for awhile you will have already seen it when it was features on I'll link to that tomorrow to in case you missed it!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Playroom

There is a small room off of our living room that we use as a playroom for the kids.  It used to be an office and before that a sunroom/ sitting room.  It basically can be used for anything you need it to be used for.  There are built in shelves on one whole wall and a built in cabinet on part of the big wall.  The floors in this room are parquet and not in that great of shape.  I have wanted to paint the floor in there for years but could never decide on a color! Ha. Now that we are going to be moving, I'll probably never do it.

This is the built in cabinet.  When we moved in it was basically just a big hole in the wall with some unattractive rickety shelves.  We had a cabinet maker build this for us.  It holds all of our games, movies and kids books.

This is the wall of built in shelves that was already done when we moved in. When Magnolia was just starting to crawl around and pull things off tables and shelves, we had the glass doors put on around the bottom. She used to pull every book off of entire shelves. Now the books on the shelves on the right and left are mine and Dan's and in the middle behind the doors are the girls toys and games that Henry shouldn't be playing with.

And here is the view of the other side of the room. We make the most of a small space!

Here is the cabinet shelf that holds the kids books. The ones on the top are chapter books that Magnolia can't read yet. They are mostly mine from when I was young and a few from garage sales by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume, etc. the next shelf are the chapter books Magnolia reads. Ill post about her favorite chapter books next week. And the bottom 2 shelves are just an assortment of kids books.

I had to include this picture just because of Boothe's face. I see this face at least 20 times a day.

Their play kitchen.

Shelves of toys that the girls and Henry all enjoy playing with. This room is obnoxiously colorful, isn't it?

Dirtiest mirror ever. Yuck! The floor mirror is in the toy room because right next to it is a chest of dress up clothes. The girls dress up as princesses or whatever and then can twirl and look at themselves in the mirror. I have often secretly seen Boothe talking to herself in the mirror! Ha

My little rascals.
So now we have pretty much covered the first floor. Tomorrow we will move upstairs to the bedrooms.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Kitchen

Next up on the house tour is our kitchen.  This room has changed the most since we moved in.  We painted the yellow walls a light blue color.  We painted the oak colored caninets linen white.  We replaced the cracked white floor tiles that had black-from-age grout with natural slate tiles.  And we changed up the ceiling light to add so so so much more light into the kitchen.  I think the kitchen needs to be the best lit room of the whole house.  Don't skimp there.

Two big double windows add lots of natural daytime light into the kitchen.  And we have been spoiled by the stainless steel counter tops.  They were here when we moved in but didn't look nearly as striking with the old kitchen colors/design.  They are basically indestructible and I would definitely consider them again in a new house someday for at least a portion of the kitchen countertops.

This is going from the dining room into the kitchen.

Our mismatched kitchen chairs were picked up at different garage sales and all painted linen white to match. We are quickly out growing this table though. Once Henry is out of a high chair we won't use this table as often as we do now. The old window I picked up at a flea market sale and I hung a simple burlap wreath on it. The sign I made a few months ago and blogged a bit about how I made that. The doorway leads to the back hallway and living room.

This is the back hallway leading to the backyard. Off the hallway are 2 closets (cleaning and coat) and a full bath. This part of the house was added on later and is a great addition to the home. The closets are essential and before this addition, there was no bathroom downstairs. Although I don't think that bathroom needs to have a shower, it has been used a ton in the summertime as the kids come in dirty and march right around the corner and into the shower.
And that is our kitchen. Small but mighty.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Living Room

This week I'm going to take you on a tour of our house in honor of us putting our house on the market. Once we move, Henry will definitely have no memories of this house, Boothe may have just a vague memory or 2, and Magnolia might remember bits and pieces; so I wanted to capture a detailed view of the inside of our house to show the kids later what their first home looked like.

It's also fun to take a peek into someone else's house.  I love house and remodel/redo posts on other blogs that I read.

Today I will post about our living room, tomorrow the kitchen, then the toy room, our bedroom, and each of the kids' bedrooms.

When you walk in the front door of our house, in front of you is the stairway, to the left is the dining room, and to the right is our living room.  This is the view you see from the entryway.  I absolutely love our fireplace.  I may have to have someone recreate the wood facade someday in our new house.  The French doors on either side of the fireplace lead into the kids' toy room.  It was an office way back before we had kids and they took over our house.

This mirror on our mantle came from Dan's grandma, GG's house.  I love how our house is a collection of things from so many different people and places, old and new.  Things we picked out ourselves and things given to us.

This is the room view from the front of the house. I'm standing in front of the window, behind the rocking chair. The secretary to the left of the window came from dan's dad's family. I'm not sure exactly how far back it goes in generations. I'll have to check on that and find out the history.

This piano came from an old church, was in my grandparent's house when my mom was growing up, was in my parent's house when I was growing up, and now is in our house as my kids are growing up. I practiced my piano lessons on the same piano Magnolia is using for her lessons.

Here is our couch. I love our couch. As with about every big purchase we make, I hope we never have to buy a new for the rest of our lives. We spent hours and hours at the furniture store deciding on this couch. It is a lifetime couch.

This wall hanging came from Africa but was discovered at a store in Evansville by Dan's mom. It has hung on this wall since a couple months after we moved in 8 years ago.

And this is the view from the other side of the room, in front of the piano. The door leads to the entryway, stairs, and dining room.

This rocking horse has been a part of our family for 5.5 years now. Dan's dad built this for our kids when we had Magnolia. W had no idea he was making it until he brought it over when Magnolia came home from the hospital. The kids like to ride it and look out the window...even Henry!

I keep all of our extra throw blankets in this old steamer trunk. The blankets themselves tell a little story of us. Quilts made by grandmas and great-grandmas, blankets from high school cheerleading, quilts that I have made, and IU throws from college.

The CORY doily was given to us as a wedding gift from my great aunt, Lolly, who crocheted it just for us.

And these old suitcases came for a neighbors garage sale.
And that is our living room. What speacial things do you keep around your house?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

House For Sale

We have been talking about trying to sell our house for awhile and today we finally listed it for sale by owner.  We will see how we do with this approach before listing it with an agent.  We have been dragging our feet a bit about actually putting our house on the market because selling our house is bittersweet for us.  This is our first home and we have brought all 3 of our kids home to this house.  Our lives have changed so much in the past 8.5 years and this house has seen us through all of those changes.  We also haven't found a new house yet and if our house happens to sell quickly we would need to make some temporary plans for the mean time.  With 3 young kids, that just doesn't sound very pleasant.  So that's why we have been talking about selling but not doing much to try and sell...until today!

Here is the link to our listing.  If you are local and hear of anyone house hunting, please share this link with them.  Thanks!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Storing Food for the Winter

Every summer we preserve food from our garden, the farmers market, and local fruit farms to eat during the winter. We try to eat seasonally, so no fresh strawberries in February for us, but we still enjoy the nutrients of strawberries throughout the winter in smoothies and over oatmeal.

Each summer it's always a guess at how much of each fruit and vegetable to put up. Keeping a record of the previous year helps by giving me a place to start from and then I either do more or less of the food based on if we ran out early or had extra left over at the beginning of the next season. This coming summer I am planning on doing more of about everything...little boys eat a lot...A LOT!

Here is our 2012 pantry.

Asparagus - 10 quarts frozen

Strawberries - 34 pints frozen

Blueberries - (2) 10# boxes frozen

Tart cherries - 5 pints frozen

Peaches - 25 pints plus 3 quarts canned and 1 quart frozen

Peach Jam - 11.5 jelly jars canned

Raspberry Jam - 5 jelly jars + 1 pint canned

Pears - 18 pints canned

Corn - 30 pints frozen

Apples - 1 pint + 4 jelly jars of apple butter and 8 quarts crock pot applesauce canned

Tomatoes - Whole, 40 quarts + 1 pint canned

Dill Pickles - 7 pints canned

Sweet Pickles- 4 pints canned

Relish - 7 pints canned

Carrots - Lots and lots and lots stored in a cool dry place

Salsa - 30 pints canned

Peppers - 14 pints green peppers frozen + 7 quarts colored peppers frozen

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Homemade Spice Mixes

For the past few years I have been making my own seasoning blends and keeping them on hand for when I need them in recipes. I make a large quantity at once and use a small amount so it lasts quite a long time. This way it becomes just as much of a convenience item as a packet of Lipton onion soup mix or Ortega taco seasoning mix; which is what I had used in the past. These blends also leave out all the MSG and other yucky ingredients, and I'm sure they are much lower in sodium.

Here are the 3 blends I make and use. All of them fit nicely in a pint sized mason jar for storage.

Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 12 T Chili Powder
  • 1 T Garlic Powder
  • 1 T Onion Powder
  • 1 T Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 T Dried Oregano
  • 2 T Paprika
  • 6 T Cumin
  • 2 T Sea Salt
  • 3 T Black Pepper

Use 2 Tablespoons/1 pound of ground beef.

Onion Soup Mix

  • 1 1/3 cup Dried Minced Onion
  • 2 T Parsley Flakes
  • 4 t Onion Powder
  • 4 t Turmeric
  • 2 t Sea Salt
  • 2 t Sucanat
  • 1 t Black Pepper

Use 2-4 Tablespoons per recipe.

Chili Seasoning

  • 20 T Chili Powder
  • 5 t Paprika
  • 5 t Oregano
  • 5 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 t Cumin
  • 5 t Sea Salt
  • 5 t Black Pepper

Use 3 Tablespoons/1 pound of ground beef.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Family Movie Night

Since last January (2012) our family has been doing a family movie night on Sunday nights.  Why Sundays?  Because we can get in an earlier dinner, watch a movie, and still get the kids into bed at a decent time.  Since they are all still so young this works the best for us right now.  As they get older we will still have a family night once a week, but the night may change if it needs to.  There were only a couple Sundays throughout the whole year that we weren't able to have our movie night so we fit in quite a long list of movies. 

 There are movies from every decade since the 1940s on our watch list.  There are cartoons new and old as well as non-cartoons new and old.  For the most part we try and find movies that everyone will a Dora the Explorer movie will never make our list.  

A treat of some sort like popcorn, movie candy, or homemade goodies are also always part of the night too.

Here is our list of 2012 movies:

American Tale
Incredible Journey
Swiss Family Robinson
Shaggy Dog
The Cat From Outer Space
Because of Winn Dixie
The Littles
The Little Princess
Pete's Dragon
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
The Parent Trap
Lady and The Tramp
The Incredible Mr. Limpet
Peter Pan
Stuart Little 1,2,& 3
Winnie the Pooh
Beauty and the Beast
That Darn Cat
The Ugly Dachshund
Toy Story
The Trouble with Angels
Yours, Mine, and Ours
How to Train Your Dragon
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Turtle Story
Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween
Wizard of oz
Muppets Christmas Carol
Polar Express
The Muppets
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
The Sword and The Stone
The Rescuers
Daffys Quack Busters

Monday, February 18, 2013

Daddy Daughter Dance 2013

Dan and the girls had another fun date night this year at the annual daddy-daughter dance. They talk about it for weeks in advance and remember things from the previous year. It's always fun to send them out for a special night with daddy. The house is so quiet without those 2 around. They got home and were absolutely exhausted. It was hard to get them out of their dresses and into some pajamas! Our friends, Jeremy, and his daughter, Kaelyn, joined us first at our house and then they all left for the dance. I think Jeremy and Kaelyn have gone to the daddy daughter dance with Dan and the girls every year. It's such a wonderful tradition for our family. I love the memories this night out creates and the relationship it develops between Dan and the girls.