Friday, May 20, 2011

And On the Third Day, There was Primer.

Hey guys!  Just popping in to give another update.  You saw what we started on Monday, and here’s what’s done as of last night.  (We took Wednesday off to give Luke a normal night at home with us, so this is really after our 3rd day of working on the house). 

The dining room wall is now completely down.  Whoo hoo!!

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Here it is, with its 3 different looks this week:

 haircut and house day 1 063    haircut and house day 1 093                         house day 3 020                                      

Obviously, there is a lot of trim work that needs to be done, and my handy husband is going to run the wire through the attic so we can actually have lights again (definitely a perk of a one-level ranch!).  We are totally loving the great space that it will be now and how much light it adds to the kitchen (and vice versa). 

Besides unpacking lots of our stuff and starting to organize the most pressing kitchen and bathroom items, we’ve mostly been priming…and priming….and more priming.  Yuck.  It’s a necessary evil, but that doesn’t make it any more fun. 

Our master bedroom started out with royal blue trim around the door, windows, and baseboards.  After 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of “Swiss Coffee”* later, we are finished with the trim and the bedroom is ready to get paint on the walls tonight!  Sweeeet. 

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Here were my choices of paint: 

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I’m actually going with the one allll the way on the far right (sorry the picture is so dark!).  It’s called “Crisp Linen” by Sherwin Williams (color-matched at Lowe’s). 

In the living room we’ve also been busy priming the yellow walls:

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I knew the kind of blue I wanted, and got 4 choices to decide.  I may or may not have gone crazy looking at the ridiculously similar choices finally picked two that I liked!

The 2nd one from the left is “Palladian Blue” by Benjamin Moore.  It will be the living room color.  The 2nd one from the right is “Sea Salt” by Sherwin Williams” and it will be used for the hallway and bathroom.  I think they look super complimentary, so I hope they look good together.  I totally have to give a shout-out to the site Favorite Paint Colors.  It’s what gave me every single one of my color choices!  You can search by room and by color.  It’s fabulous!  

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Again, sorry it’s so dark (I took these pictures right before we left and we’d already turned some lights off).  Taking pictures was actually what helped me to seal the deal with the colors – maybe it will work for you, too, next time you can’t decide!

So, that’s where we’re at for now!  Tonight we paint the master and possibly get started on the living room if there’s time.  Tomorrow our friends and family are movin’ us in!  So excited! :) 

Have an awesome weekend!

*Swiss Coffee is in the white family and it’s a Valspar (Lowe’s) color.  We used it in our last house on all the ceilings and trim.  It’s a nice, sliiiiightly off-white white.  We like using the Olympic Low-Odor paint (also Lowe’s), so all of our paints are color-matched to that brand. 

P.S. My sponsor, Darlene, is having a giveaway on her blog! One person will be picked to receive their choice of the latest Prima Marketing flowers (Whisper or Regent Collection). It ends at midnight TONIGHT so go hurry! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Day in Pictures

So this morning started out like this:

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And ended like this:

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That’s right, the demo on OUR NEW HOUSE has finally begun! It has been a loooooooong nine months and one day of waiting, but God has been faithful and He brought us to this house and this day.  We closed on the house this morning and it still feels surreal to be homeowners again.  Chris and I kept saying to each other, “I can’t believe it finally happened.”

Posting will be a little sporadic over the next few weeks as we get our lives and house in order.  I hope you stick around, because I’m hoping for some great before- and-afters to show you!

Whoo hooo!! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Light and Springy Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

Hey everybody!  I am back from the cornfields of Ohio. My sister graduated, and I am so proud of her and so happy I was able to be there for her big day.  However, I am SO thankful to be back safe and sound with Chris and Luke again! I missed them like crazy.  Luke gave me a solid 5-minute hug when I got home.  He wouldn’t let go.  It was awesome. :)

Anyway, on to the food for today!

I recently had a raspberry-lemon muffin from a coffee shop in Westerly, RI.  It was amazing and one of those treats I just couldn’t get out of my mind (um, that happens a lot, in case you were wondering).  So, I did what any desperate normal person would do and typed “world’s best raspberry lemon muffins” into my Google search bar.  Go big or go home, baby. 

Well, a lot of different ones popped up, but many of them were using over a cup of sugar.  Now that I’ve changed my diet, low sugar in recipes is really something I look for.  I definitely keep Michael Pollan’s mantra of “Treat treats as treats” in mind, but I also don’t see any reason not to keep treats as nourishing as possible while also still being yummy. 

I decided to go with the Williams-Sonoma recipe, which I adapted slightly.  I think it came out really well, it got good reviews from my family, and it definitely satisfied my craving. :)

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Easy Raspberry-Lemon Mini-Muffins
{Adapted from Williams-Sonoma}


  • 1 C unbleached white flour
  • 1 C white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax and 3 T water)
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/6 C milk* (I prefer skim or 1% when baking)
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • brown sugar for topping muffins (optional)


Preheat an oven to 425°F. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray. 

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk, butter and lemon zest. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just evenly moistened. Gently fold in the raspberries until just evenly distributed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full.  Top each with a pinch of brown sugar, if desired.  Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 7 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack. Let cool briefly and serve. Makes about 55 mini-muffins.

*About the weird milk measurement: whole-wheat flour and flax seed tend to make recipes a little dry.  I have been experimenting with adding a tiny bit more of whatever liquid is actually called for (to make up for the dryness), and it’s been coming out well for me.  Basically, I just poured in my cup of milk and then added a little bit more to the bowl. 

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).

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I hope you enjoy these light and springy muffins! They would be perfect for an upcoming baby shower, bridal shower or brunch over the next few months!

Linked to these food parties:

Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed With Grace
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Web Links to Share

Hey everybody!  Well, good news, I went the gym and lived to tell about it!  Hallelujah! :)  I know you were all on the edge of your virtual seats.  In fact, I have gone twice more since then and plan to go again tomorrow.  Crazy!! Me and the elliptical machine are quickly becoming enemies bffs.  I have a TON of big life events coming up this summer, so thankfully my workout motivation is still high and I hope to keep it that way! 

Anyway, this weekend I will be traveling to my alma mater, Cedarville University, to see my baby sister *sniff sniff* graduate from college.  And by see her graduate, I mean that I get to take 2 incredibly boring 12-hour car rides in which I can’t read any books or magazines because I get terribly car sick, followed by a 3-hour ceremony in which my sister is involved for approximately 13.5 seconds.  The things you do for family!  Chris will be staying home with Luke for obvious reasons.  I’ve only ever left Luke overnight before, so honestly, being away from him for three and a half days will be the hardest part of the trip.  It seriously makes me tear up when I think about leaving him….so I just try not to think about it at all!  I hope the time moves quickly!

Since I won’t be around for a bit, I thought it might be fun to leave you with some fun links, recipes, etc. that I’ve found recently.  I love when people do this – I have found some of my favorite websites this way! So, here they are, in no particular order:

{1} The Handmade Home is offering free alphabet prints from their site.  How cute are these???!! I’ve died and gone to playroom heaven. 


{2} Loving the red and aqua colors used in this playroom from Remodeling this Life.  Can you tell that playrooms are on my mind right now? :)


{3} Speaking of rooms I’m obsessed with, I’m totally in love with Emily’s kitchen.  Like, get me a pillow and I’ll just live on the countertops.  She recently posted pictures of her living room.  Is it bad if you can’t stop thinking about a room in someone else’s home?!  lol 

kitchen 2  from stairs 2

I definitely love traditional homes with neutral and muted colors.  But I’m also starting to love bright colors and rooms with a vintage-y feel.  I have seriously no idea how I am going to decorate this new house.  No idea. 

{4} And speaking of kitchens, these crackers from Oh She Glows are totally on my list of things to make when I get back from Ohio.  Yum. 



{5} Clover Lane is quickly becoming one of my MOST favorite blogs.  She (I can’t find her real name anywhere on the site!) is so, so insightful, especially her posts on parenting.  I always leave feeling challenged in my faith, home, and mothering.  One of my favorite posts of hers deals with house contentment.  After you read it, stay and browse a while – you won’t be sorry you did!

{6} Melissa from 320 Sycamore is another one of my favorite bloggers, and last year before Mother’s Day she had a whole bunch of guest posts on motherhood.  She is doing it again this year and just started.  Check it out here.

{7} Lastly, if you’re moving like me or just want to freshen up a room, you should totally check out Melissa’s sister’s blog, Favorite Paint Colors.  It is a total treasure-trove of paint ideas, and you get to see them in real homes with real furniture and sunlight coming through the windows.  It has been such a great resource for me as we prepare to move in TWO WEEKS :).  I’m thinking of painting my kitchen gray with a hint of green like this one:

Hope you enjoyed browsing the links!  Have a wonderful week and weekend, everyone!  See you sometime next week! :)

{all pictures are owned by their respective websites}