General update


Is this thing on? Hello? Hello?

I know I’ve been a little radio silent these days. The thing is, we’re just kind of trucking along. With the nice weather, we’ve been working on some outdoor cleanup around the house. We’ve gotten some new furniture, which is mega exciting. We still need to finish unpacking some rooms (I KNOW). So not a ton of blog-worthy stuff, especially compared to a year ago when major things were happening all the time (for reference, here and here is what was happening around the same time last year).

Anyway. I thought I’d share just a  few pictures of what’s going on down our long lane, in case anyone was wondering. 🙂

So, first of all, this picture was clearly taken before the weather turned spring-like. So pretty, right??

Aaron did all kinds of work cleaning up around the fallen-down barn. When we bought the property, half the barn was still standing(ish). On one windy day in 2016, she blew the rest of the way down. The next few pictures show then and now shots of the barn remains.


After it fell down more…


Action shot of Aaron hauling off some of the cleared out trees

With this nice weather, I’ve also been spending some time digging through all the sheds/barns out on the property. There is lots of trash-to-me/treasure-to-other-people. LOTS. It’s actually been really fun posting a lot of this for sale on various local sites and having people come out and do some “picking.” For fun, I’ve included pics of some of the stuff we’ve found…

I mean, this wasn’t “found.” We’ve always known it’s there. But still.

This was tucked back behind the barn, with trees growing up through it. It’s a torture device and/or farm equipment.
We also did more clean up on the South side of the house to ultimately prepare for changing up the driveway. The pic below is taken from the driveway now; there used to be tons of bushes/brush all up in the way. So much better now!

For fun, I thought I’d do a little before and after of the Big Teal Monster. For a refresher on this bad boy, see Week 18 post. So the first pic below shows the built-in on the right side of the photo, in the old kitchen (in what is now our dining room). And the next two show her in all her teal glory in our upstairs laundry room. It’s so fun to see befores and afters, right???

kitchen 1


And last but certainly not least, we got new living room furniture! It’s not all in yet, but I couldn’t resist showing you how pretty is. The pictures below show the progression of the living room, ending on the latest, prettiest version.

Living Room — Before we bought the house

Living Room 1
Living Room -After we bought the house but before we started demolition

Living Room – mid-construction

Living Room – later-mid-construction

Living Room – with old furniture in it

Living Room – after old furniture out but before new furniture in

Living Room – with pretty new furniture!!!!

So that about does it for now. Hopefully we’ll continue to have fun exterior updates for you as we get serious about cleaning up the craziness. There are so many beautiful trees surrounded by little ugly scrub trees and brush. We’re going to focus on getting that ugly outta there to highlight the pretty!!

The Porch and The Cow

Well, apparently I cannot be trusted to blog with any regularity when I’m not tied to a weekly schedule. I don’t have tons of updates for you, but I’ll give you what I’ve got!

The porch has been our main (read: only) project these days. It takes a looooooooooooooooooong time to get 1100 square feet of porch level, particularly when that involves planing it down with a hand planer, board by board, inch by inch. But — the porch is officially level and ready to have the Cumaru wood reinstalled. We have yet to start installing, however, because we had to order more material from the company, which took time to come in….and it was all damaged….so then we had to wait for them to ship new and schedule a time to pick up the old….and now the wood has to acclimate for 1-2 weeks. So, in the nearish future, we’ll be ready to start installing some porch floor again.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten started on the steps. There are 4 sets of stairs off the porch — 3 on the wraparound front porch, and 1 set on the small back porch. Guys, stairs are hard. There’s been lots of math and planning and then staking things out and digging holes and pouring concrete and measuring and cutting stringers…it’s a big friggin’ deal. This had better be the best porch ever.

Oh, another thing we did on the porch was to go through and fill in the columns.The structure of the porch includes lots of big support columns (the outer ones are bricked) and we didn’t want critters building nests or anything under there. So we used mortar to fill in the gaps/holes to hopefully discourage any unwanted visitors. We all know that our property is like jumanji, so…

Them is some holes.
Mixing concrete was surprisingly fun
Preparing for the stairs
The ground over here on the north side is lowwww so the stair columns look reallllly high
First stringer cut and ready!
If you use your imagination, you can pretend there are stairs here

Literally the only other thing of note is that we finally hung the first thing on the walls! The rest can wait, but I bought this cow like a year ago and have been DYING to get it hung up pretty much since we started the project. Do you love it like I do??? I bought it from These Four Walls in Monticello. It’s huge and so adorable.

I mean, come onnnnnn

A few random things:

Harvest has started!! They got the end rows out near our house.


So beautiful
The yard looks a little barren, but picture stairs coming down from that red front door! Won’t it be fun to have STAIRS!?
I’ve had this rug for years (thanks, Grandma), but I just seriously love it in front of the kitchen sink!

Insert title here

Guys, I see now why I named all my blog posts with Week XX Update. It was so much easier than coming up with actual titles!!

Anyway, just dropping by to show you some fun and exciting updates happening down our long lane!

We have uncovered the stairs (which I think I told/showed you in a previous blog post), and we are really loving them just the way they are. They are this funky old-and-new multi-tone thing, and we are really loving them. And the treads are MUCH less slippery than they were back when they were first done, so….we’re going to live with them for awhile and see what we want to do as our “final” decision. I got some samples of the sticky gripper things, and they are hideous on the stairs. So we’re thinking if we do anything, it’ll likely be a runner. Stay tuned!

FYI, the banister, newel post, and spindles are the original color. We haven’t so much as cleaned them up yet. The treads were refinished at the same time as the rest of the floors, and are stained with Minwax cherry. The risers are painted Benjamin Moore ballet white, just like the walls. And the trim was painted to match the rest of our trim, which is Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal.

I got a super fun little stool for my vanity area. It’s cushy and comfy, and is light and slides easily. Very perfect for that area! I got it on sale at Target.

The shelves downstairs got some major TLC from Aunt Anne, Grandma, and Mom last week. They surprised us with arranging everything, and words can’t describe how much I lovelovelove! I’m sure we’ll do some editing over time, but at this point, I can’t even imagine what we would edit! Doesn’t everything look just awesome??


They couldn’t help but put up this adorable picture of Emily and me. We’re probably still this cute, right Em???

As I mentioned in a previous post, the big wraparound porch is giving us fits. We spent this past weekend (with lots of help – thanks everyone!) taking up all the Cumaru tongue & groove boards so we can level out the structure before re-installing the floor. So in this instance, we sort of went back a couple steps by going back to just the frame of the porch. But – it’s progress towards an end goal, so here it goes in the blog! 🙂



South side of the porch
Oops, how did this picture of our pretty front door get up here!?!?
East side of the porch
Dad, hard at work
And now the South side of the porch is the home for all the porch boards

We also spent some time outside over the weekend trying to get a handle on the weed situation. No, we are not getting into the medical marijuana business; I legit mean giant weeds. Button weeds, mare’s tale, ragweed, and probably thousands others with names I don’t remember. Now, it’s still wildly overgrown. BUT we made a pretty awesome dent into things yesterday. You probably have to see it in person to appreciate, but we’ll see if some photos can do it justice….



Before – notice how you can kind of see a stack of wood in the brush there??
Here is part of that stack of wood, uncovered


And another part of the stack of wood, uncovered. So much better, right???






Ladies and Gents…

…it’s the end of an era. No more “Week XX Updates” (for what it’s worth, this one would’ve been Week 45 Update). This DOES NOT mean no more updates ever. You can’t get rid of me that easily. It just means that we are at the point where the type of things we need to finish up in the house are purely aesthetic, and will take some time — like figuring out how to decorate my many built-in shelves, where and what to hang on the walls, etc. I already have some fun ideas – I can’t wait to show you guys!

The other big thing we’re still working on is re-laying the porch. It’s a slow-moving work in progress. And the “good news,” if you choose to see it as such, is that we have roughly 27 years worth of work on the yard to do, so there will always be something to talk about!

So here is what I vow: I will continue to update y’all, whenever there are things to tell you about. I will share pictures of fun and wonderful things inside and outside the house. I will invite you all to one or more parties at the house, once we are ready to have something.

Speaking of a party – we are mega focusing on this porch situation at the moment, which is the final (known) piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is closing on our house. But we really and truly cannot wait to show the house off and invite every last one of you over to see it!! I’m thinking our open house/party won’t be until probably October?? But stay tuned!

The other thing to stay tuned for is an updated House Tour. Right now, that page is full of “before” photos of the house. It’s already kind of crazy to go look at that page, if you’ve been following along at all, because things are SO different now! And as our house gets more done, we’ll get updated photos up there, so you can really see the befores and afters side-by-side. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about seeing!

So for today, I’ll sign off and leave with you with a picture of our house. Still not done (I mean, stairs up to the front door are probably necessary), but….it’s home.


You guys. I get to live here.


Week 43 Update

We spent many many hours unpacking and attempting to get settled-ish. We still have a long way to go, but it feels good to be making progress.

Before we get to the few pictures I snapped, a general update: We aren’t officially DONE done with the house until the porch is done. Unfortunately, there’s an issue with the porch. Somewhere between delivery and installation of the Cumaru wood, something went wrong. There are gaps and humps and general not-awesomeness with the porch currently. So this means that what has been installed already needs pulled back up and redone. Which delays the whole end of this house remodel process. Until the porch is done, we can’t install steps. Until steps are installed, we can’t have the appraiser come back out for inspection. And until that day comes, we can’t close. So…. send positive thoughts our way as we figure out how to navigate this (hopefully last) road block between us and happily ever after down a long lane!

On to the pictures!


Every kitchen has to have a junk drawer, right!??!
Shower curtain installed downstairs! I love the blue in there.
We ordered an 84″ one from Bed Bath & Beyond
And we also got the one hung in the upstairs hall bath!
I couldn’t really get a good angle of this one (obviously). But it also came from Bed Bath & Beyond.
My side of the closet
And Aaron’s. Somehow his isn’t as full as mine?? And somehow the only thing of mine that spilled over to his side are a few pair of boots!
Guest Bedroom #1 – we just need some slats to finish putting this thing together (the box spring wouldn’t fit up the stairs)
Office, i.e. raccoon room, i.e. room with attic access, i.e. maybe someday nursery so that child can be taught to not fear scary attic monsters from an early age
Guest Bedroom #2 – This bed does actually have a headboard, but I apparently want you to imagine what it looks like. And we need a comforter…
We did a fun little craft project!
Spice drawer! It’s so pretty. Sometimes I just open it up to look at the pretty.
I mean, come on.
Amazeballs FLW trivet that will never actually be used as such because it’s so gorgeous
Quick glance into the pantry. Not exactly organized yet, but somehow very full already. Shocking!
We got all boxes unpacked but I didn’t get anything actually set up in its new home. Except for Hedwig & Errol and the HP books. Because of course.
One of many items I need to find a home for. But how brilliant is this?? I get to change the calendar every. single. day.
At the end of a busy weekend, time to watch some GoT. And notice that sheepskin?? It’s so soft and Brenda wins the prize for animal-themed housewarming gifts from foreign locales. (Sidenote: It’s not actually a blanket. But it’ll do when your feet are freezing)

So there we are. We also got the risers on the stairs painted again, so will hopefully be pulling up paper tonight and making an ultimate final decision on how to proceed with the stairs (treads, runner, nothing, etc). Stay tuned!


Week 41 Update


We have moved!

Now, we still have just a couple things we need to do before actually start living there. Our goal is to be sleeping there by this Thursday, July 21. We need to fire up the water heaters, do a little more cleaning, test out the stove & dishwasher…. things like that. Oh, and get shower curtain rods & curtains hung so we can actually USE one of our showers. But generally speaking, this house of ours is ready for us!

So today’s post will include a couple photos of things we got done at the house, but mostly will be some general “hey, we have stuff in our house!” pictures. We haven’t remotely arranged furniture, and quite frankly, we’d really like to get new furniture. But….baby steps. 🙂 So here are a few photos, in no apparent order.


Kohler faucet installed
Is it weird to L-O-V-E a sink???
Maybe I’ll actually want to do dishes??

Sink and faucet for the win
Here’s a view from the east (front) side of the house.
Someday there will be actual stairs, not a ladder. For now, just imagine!
It’s actually starting to look like a dining room!
Close-up of the soapstone countertops. I just can’t even.
Our “mud room” bench (which will not have lamp shades on it full time, don’t worry)
How perfect are these crates for underneath??
Would you like to come over? Aaron will cook you all the things on this pretty stove.
This red squishy furniture looks so weird in the living room. But still…we have couches! In our house!
I bet you can guess what Aaron’s first response was to seeing the TV there….
A view from the dining room/kitchen hallway into the entry way. Gott love that bookshelf — a stellar find from the Habitat ReStore many years ago!
Would you like to come over? Gina will cook you all the things in the microwave.
Close-up of the stove

Kitchen beauty

What’s your favorite part?? I think mine is legit the kitchen. I can’t get over how much I love it!


Week 40 Update

Painted doors. Mirrors. Door handles. Master closet shelving. Uncovered hardwood floors. Countertops. Bar stools. A look back in time.

This. Post. Has. Everything.


Am I the only one out there who misses Stefon on SNL? I mean, we haven’t had TV in 9 months, so it’s not like I actually watch SNL these days. But still. I would find a way if Bill Hader as Stefon was still a regular on Weekend Update.


First off, thank you oh so much to all of you who weighed in on what we should do on our stairs. We still haven’t reached a decision. The stairs will remained covered for at least the next week or two, so we have a wee bit more time to figure it out. If you have any additional brilliant comments or suggestions on what we should do, I am all ears!

So, on to what got done this week. It’s some REALLY good stuff, y’all!

The rest of the exterior doors got painted, and the front & back doors got their amazing handles installed. In addition, we got the handle put on the sliding glass door. Doors completed? CHECK.

Front door hardware. It’s so cool in person!
A view of the back door (also with cool hardware)
Don’t you just want to come over??
Behr Allure (red) on the inside, too! (terrible photo, sorrrrrry)
Another view of the back door
Handle on the slider

Brad and co spent all kinds of quality time at the house the last half of last week and chugged through a list of stuff. They were machines! I couldn’t even tell you now what it all was, but trust me, it was a lot of stuff that’s not glamorous but needed done before we could really plan on moving in.

We finally found the right light bulbs to go in the globe light fixture in the dining room. Annnnnnd we found a dining room table and chairs! I went to an estate/moving sale on Friday and saw a beautiful solid wood table with 6 chairs and 2 leaves and I snagged it for a great price. We are going to spend some time cleaning it before deciding if we want to strip it and stain it a darker color. For now, we’ll use it as-is.

Don’t those bulbs totally work in the that fixture?
China not included. 😉

Aaron and I (with an assist from Brent, and then Mark & Mary Kay) got the master closet shelving put together over the weekend. We ended up going with John Louis brand solid wood closet organizers, and we are so glad we did! They were an upgrade from standard wire shelving, but very reasonably priced for a custom-ish closet. I will give an update on how we like them once we move some clothes in.

It’s really difficult to snap a compelling photo of a closet
I think we’re going to be really happy with the system!
An attempt to get both sides of the long & narrow closet. Unsuccessful attempt.

The most exciting part of this past week is that we got the protective paper ripped up off the floors. I get to see my beautiful refinished hardwood floors again! We did leave paper in the main hallways and on the stairs, but pulled it up everywhere else for cleaning. Want to know why? Because we are moving in this coming weekend!!  (aaaand I probably just jinxed myself by typing that out….)

FLOORS! (Southeast bedroom)
Hex tile exposed!
Master bedroom!
Master closet again, this time with the pretty floors showing
Living room. Pretend the big ugly radio isn’t sitting there….

We also pulled up paper off the countertops in the kitchen, so the soapstone if visible again. Ugh, I love it so much. It’s so pretty! We need to get it cleaned and oiled up, but for now, it’s just so nice to be able to SEE it again!

Kitchen, with floors & countertops showing
I want to go to there.

The last couple things we did yesterday, after getting all the paper ripped up (by the way, Mark & Mary Kay get 1000% credit for that task being completed), was to hang a mirror in the downstairs bathroom and to get my HobNob Market bar stools in the house and placed under the island. Fun fact about the bar stools: the bottoms are steel, and the feet are these weird cups with jagged edges. So we needed to do something to minimize the risk of them scratching the heck out of the hardwood floors. Our solution was to flip them over, fill the “cups” with hot glue, let it dry, then put heavy duty felt pads on the feet. Time will tell if this solution will last, but it seems to be working okay so far. Regardless, aren’t they so cool??? I loooooooooooooooooove them.

How great is this mirror? Thank you, Mary Kay (and Kohl’s)
Bar stools!!!!
There are 4 of them, and they are adjustable, and they all have unique funky reclaimed wood tops.

So there you go. Things are a’happening. As I mentioned before, the plan is to clean this week (and we have a few odds and ends, like installing the faucet in the kitchen) and then to move in our furniture this weekend. Let me repeat that: THIS WEEKEND. There are no words.

If you follow me in Instagram, you may have seen a little photo collage of the living room. I thought it’d be fun to see the evolution of the living room in a larger size. So, behold:


Before we ever started
With carpet removed
With lathe, plaster, and old blown-in insulation removed.
And then with foam insulation
Floor refinishing in progress
Floors sanded down, starting to decide on stain color
Aaaaaand current.

And now, just in case you are unfamiliar with Stefon OR are looking for a laugh on this fine Monday:

Need opinions, please!

So we have a staircase. As you know. We had the treads refinished when all the hardwood floors were redone, and literally my first time walking down them…I fell. All the way down. And I am not the only one who has fallen down, because these suckers are SLICK. 

We have had them covered up with protective paper stuff for ages now, but we are obviously (yay!) getting closer to ripping paper up to start cleaning in here. And we are facing a dilemma. This is where I need your help. 

Because of the slipperiness of the stairs, we are considering putting stair tread rug things on them, or putting a runner up the length of the stairs. Some things to consider: 

  • The baseboard is gray. 
  • The risers of the stairs will be ballet white (same as the walls).
  •  The banister is original dark hardwood. 
  • The treads of the stairs are the same lighter, cherry-ish color as the hardwood floors. 
  • And there is no carpet in the house other than the bonus room above the garage (i.e. nowhere near the stairs). We will have rugs through the house. 

So here are a few views of the stairs, currently covered with ugly dirty paper & blue painters tape (so use your imagination a little bit)

from downstairs entry up to landing
90 degree turn at landing and up the rest of the stairs
a view from the upstaurs back down to the landing

So. What do you prefer?

Option 1:

Runner up the stairs

I snagged this picture from Dear Lillie’s Instagram feed (you should follow her blog, btw). We wouldn’t necessarily go with a print this big, but it gives a good visual. Again, ours has a landing and a turn, which also makes a runner a little more complicated. But I like this option because it’s a more finished look and we could have a little fun with the pattern. 

Option 2:

Stair tread rugs

This is just an image I snagged from Google. We would (hopefully obviously) look for something prettier than these, but you get the idea. The appeal of this option is that it lets more of the stairs show, and is also a little bit more temporary than a big runner. 

Option 3:

Leave them rugless. I like this option because it shows off the natural wood. But I also don’t exactly feel like falling down the stairs is the best way to start my morning on a daily basis. 

this shows the treads refinished

So. What’s your vote?? Which option do you think is best for us?? And regardless, if you have a favorite place to get rugs, tell me please!!

Week 38 Update

Time for another update. First and foremost:


We have a wine sink!! Woo hoo!! Okay, that’s obviously not true. A girl can dream, right?!

So what actually happened at the house this week? Let me tell you.

If you recall, last week Aaron and his dad got the mailbox post set. And then we got the mailbox put in place! Look how sweet it is!! Mom & Dad (with painting assist from Tony) got it for us for Christmas.

Cutest mailbox ever, right??

Aaron’s friend Rod helped us out by painting the windows. We got all the trim taped off, and then Rod went through and did his painting magic. But you guys, it’s legit magic. He first used this stuff call Masking Liquid H20, which gets sprayed over the wood AND the glass. And then the color (Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal, just like the trim) went on top. So after it’s all dry, the paint and stuff legit just peels off the glass. It. Peels. Off. I can’t wait to show you a video. Next week.

So the weird haze on the glass is the liquid masking stuff.

A little glimpse of how it peels off.

Carpet is installed in the rooms above the garage. I love it!

I can’t wait to move stuff in here!

Rise Broadband came out and got internet hooked up. So we have internet! #priorities

It kind of looks like an alien basketball hoop, but it’s the satellite for internet!

The first phase of our master shower glass is in place, as of today. The door will come next. I can’t wait!

Door coming soon

Oh, that’s not shower glass. But we did get the other light hung in the master bathroom.

We are getting ready to fire up all our Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. They are cray balls. They talk. And light up. And all the things.

Just waiting to be activated. And take over our home.

The under cabinet lighting is so amazing! It’ll look even better at night. At some point, I will be there late enough for it to be truly dark out to see them in all their glory.

So in last week’s post, I ended by saying that we were maybe going to start moving stuff in. That did not happen. Sadly. So I am not going to end this post by saying that, although I am hopeful…

Week 37 Update

It’s Monday, so you know what that means — time for a blog post with some updates on what’s been going on down our long lane this past week!

We actually got some stuff done at the start of the long lane yesterday. We had asked the Township to widen the entrance to the lane a little bit, which they did a couple weeks ago. We had pulled out the mailbox (which was huge and awesome but full of holes from people shooting it. I don’t know why.) to make room for them to do their work, and as of yesterday, got the new mailbox post in. Aaron and his dad did some awesome work at the end of the driveway to prepare for the mailbox, dug the hole, etc. The mailbox itself will be set tonight, but for now, here’s a picture of the pretty new post!


I know they’ll hate that I post this pictures with them in it, but how amazing are those clouds behind them??
That there is good-lookin mailbox post, y’all

We also got other stuff done outside yesterday. Because we apparently are incapable of doing outside work on days that aren’t 92+ degrees and 7000% humidity. I mowed the  yard, which seems like it shouldn’t take long since the bulk of the property is trees…but somehow it takes 2+ hours. #workingonmytan Aaron and his dad trenched out a line from the house to the west edge of the property and set a 10 foot pole out there for mounting internet & satellite stuff to. So maybe by this weekend, we’ll have internet out there. Obviously, that is a priority. I don’t have any photos, because a) I was too sweaty and gross to even think about it and b) it would literally be pictures of dirt. And a pole. Use your imagination.


Aaron and Sparky Marky (HA!) got the pendant lights hung over the island and I could die. I love them so much. So beautiful!

Pretend that ugly ladder isn’t there
Much better. And swoonworthy.
Unrelated to lights, but Aaron and I did get the microwave set this weekend, too. And no, it shall not be remaining blue.

In addition, Mark got the ceiling fan up on the porch, which has already been put to good use. Even with a breeze, that fan really helps keep it manageable out there on hot days. And Mark got the exterior light up on the east side of the house. Oh! And I don’t have a photo of this part, but he also spent a lot of time last week getting our under-cabinet lighting up. I think the plan is to get it ready to turn on this week, so at that point, I’ll snap a picture. 🙂

Action shot!



The exterior door still needs painted. But you get the idea.

Brad got handles put on the interior doors and I dig them! We’ve been going for “modern farmhouse” and I think these paired with the craftsman-style doors hits the nail on the head! Brad has also been busy painting the trim in place, including the trim along the stairwell. It’s looking so so great!


It’s a bronze lever. Kind of hard to capture in photos.
But I think it gives a nice contrast.

Hard to tell, but trim on stairs is painted.

In the master bathroom, Aaron and I got our Kohler digital valve all up and running. It involved drilling through the tile to install, which will never not be terrifying. But it all went off without a hitch, and we have an awesome master shower now!

Plate: in place
I just realized I should’ve snapped a picture of the valve itself, which lives inside Aaron’s cabinet. It’s so cool!
Here’s the entire shower. The only thing missing is the glass, which is coming soon!
The blue tape marks where the glass is going to go. It’s not a design statement.

We also got the drain and everything hooked up on the clawfoot tub, so it’s now functional also! And you guys, it’s comfortable. I haven’t actually bathed in it yet or anything, but I mean… if we move in and can’t set the bed up right away, I might be able to sleep in that tub. It’s so comfortable. Not to mention pretty!

I just love it so much!



I snapped this pic out the window above the tub. Not a bad view.

So if all goes as planned, the insides of the windows will be painted in the next couple days. And we’ll then rip up all the protective floor cover (NO MORE SHOES IN THE HOUSE PEOPLE) and clean and omg maybe move all our stuff in. Holy smokes!!!!!