Cottage: Bath Reveal

Between being on vacation and trying to get caught up after being on vacation…I have slacked on my updates, but I am here today to remedy that.

We were able to use our shower for the first time!  To refresh your memory, we had some unexpected issues that had to be addressed before our plumbing could fully function.  Now all is WELL.  See what I did there? 🙂  Moving on…

Here we are once again, looking back at how far our little cottage has come:



another closer look 

Given the small size of the cottage, we ended up pleasantly surprised at the amount of space we were able to get in the bathroom.  I kept the blue/grey/natural color palette that goes through the rest of the cottage with the addition of few orange accents.

One of my favorite features of the bathroom are the cabinet knobs (pictured above) that are a near perfect match to the colors/pattern of the shower curtain.  I purchased the shower curtain about 2 1/2 years ago on clearance at BB&B.  I found the knobs on Amazon about 2 months ago.  This may seem like no big deal to you, but details like this make me giddy.  Different brands, stores, etc….and yet they look like they belong together.  Coincidence or meant to be?

Have a great weekend!



Cottage: Well…shoot (UPDATE)

WellThis photo may not be pretty but it is very exciting for us…

If you remember from this post we received the unfortunate news in March that the well for our cottage needed to be replaced.   After the permits were squared away we were added to the list of a local well drilling service.  We have been waiting ever since for the weather to cooperate long enough for a solid date.  As a temporary solution when we were up to visit, Dad rigged a hose system from their house to the cottage so we could at least use the toilet and faucets (not enough pressure to shower). Don’t worry , we showered at Mom & Dad’s.

Yesterday afternoon they started drilling. Once complete our cottage will be fully functional…just typing that makes me smile.





Cottage: Kitchen Reveal

Why does it always feel like long/holiday weekends seem to go too fast and the “short” work week after seems to drag on? Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way…

Anyway, over Memorial Day weekend we were back in Michigan enjoying time with family and in our little cottage.  Since it was a relatively short trip, the only work we did was hang a few things on the walls and clean/organize.  Most of the previous progress pics of the kitchen have highlighted the butcher block or shelves , so I figured it was time for a full reveal…





The kitchen isn’g quite 100% complete yet, but it is getting close (note the tape and stickers still on the oven). There are a few minor items including hardware, we have yet to pick out, that we will take care of when we are back in July.

Before I end, let me take a quick moment to zoom in on this adorable wine rack we found at a flea market.  We are now officially stocked and ready for an evening glass of wine on the deck this summer…priorities right?



Cottage: Shelves

Earlier this week I mentioned I’d be back with another Cottage update so here it is!

From the day we decided to purchase the cottage, I started collecting things to decorate.  I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise. Early on I had my heart set on open shelves in the kitchen to display some of the items I had found, and planned to find.

We kept the design of the shelves simple, a blank slate

I compiled an assortment of old and new items, which is what I’m always drawn to when it comes to decor.  I wanted the shelves to be appealing to the eye but also functional.

Once I started styling I had to move things around “several” times to get it “just right”

“fruition: the state of having successfully completed an activity or plan”

-Cambridge Dictionary


One more thing checked off the list.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Cottage: Living Area

As promised, I have a progress update to share with you! Despite our bad news about the well last week we thoroughly enjoyed a long overdue visit to our cottage and time with family.  We had time to discuss a game plan to take care of the well, checked a few small items off the to-do list, also cleaned and organized the living area….

To jog your memory…this is where we started


then it got “worse” before we could make it better

And now…

A couple of my favorite features not shown in the views above

As you can probably tell…we both love the color blue

My uncle found the oars for us and with a couple of cans of spray paint we were able to add  some pops of color on our wood wall.  The mirrors came from Hobby Lobby (1/2 off!) and those are heavy-duty Command Hooks.  It is a small space so we want to keep the decor simple but to add interest we focused on using different shades of blue, patterns & textures.

There are still some finishing touches, but for the most part that space is DONE and it feels so good. We are still on the hunt for the “perfect” recliner for Mark to add to the space, it will have to be just right as far as size & scale…I know it is out there somewhere.

I have more to share later this week so make sure to check back!


Cottage: Well…shoot

Earlier this week I mentioned I wouldn’t be posting again until next week (which I didn’t plan on)…but since then we received some less than ideal news…we will have to put in a new well at our cottage.  There have been some issues with the running water over the last few months that got progressively worse. We were hoping for the best, that it would be an easy fix, but alas that’s not the case.  There are some potential temporary workarounds that will buy us a little time until we get it figured out.

I’m sharing this because unexpected expenses and setbacks are part of the game when it comes to remodels & renovations, and they can happen at any point.  As discouraging as it can be, you have to learn to roll with the punches…not something that comes naturally to but I’m working on it.

This doesn’t take away from our excitement, or our satisfaction in the amazing progress that has been made.  We’ll be heading North early tomorrow morning and will be able to discuss a game plan over the weekend.   Onward!






Cottage: We Miss You

Quick post today…It has been nearly 3 months since we’ve been back to our little cottage (insert sad face here) We miss it, along with everything that comes with it…seeing family & friends in MI, the progress, the relaxation that comes with being near the lake.  BUT…we’ll be heading back at the end of this week for short weekend trip.  If you remember from this post we reached the milestone of sleeping there for the first time and haven’t been back since.

We hope to make some progress on our punch list while we are there, along with decorating and organizing.  Our main goal this trip will be to get the cottage ready to use and enjoy for the summer.  I honestly can’t convey how exciting it is to be at this point.

Since we’ll be traveling, this will be my only post for this week.  I promise I’ll catch you up on our progress when we get back.

In the meantime, you can check out my IG (@by.the.poole) for some sneak peeks over the weekend. Also, you can catch up on our progress under “the cottage” menu tab.

I wish you all a Happy Easter!




Cottage: Butcher Block

It’s been a minute since my last cottage update. No cause for alarm, we haven’t been Up North since early January and we’re down to miscellaneous punch list items to complete.  We will be back for a quick weekend at the end of end of March, after which I will hopefully have some exciting “reveals” to share with you.

So in the meantime…I’m going to backtrack and share a little about the countertops we selected for the kitchen.

Here are a few reasons why we decided on butcher block

  1. I/We like they way they look (most important)
  2. Affordability (almost most important)
  3. Cohesive with our other natural elements (cork floors, pine plank walls, etc)
  4. Easy install (thanks Pop!)

We purchased birch butcher block slabs & backsplash from Lowes, conditioned with 4 coats of food grade mineral oil/natural wax, cut down to size, cut out sink hole, installed countertops then backsplash.

The total cost was around $500 which is very reasonable compared to other countertop options.  The butcher block is a perfect complement to the floors and walls and I love the variations in the grain and colors.

Disclaimer: butcher block must be conditioned periodically to prevent it from drying out and cracking, and you have to be cautions with scratches and spills, but we don’t mind.

Interested in butcher block? Here is some information I found helpful:

7 Things to Know Before Installing Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher Block and Wood Countertops

All About Wood Countertops
















Goals Revisited

We are officially one full month into 2018 (which is CRAZY)  I’ve been thinking it is about time for me to briefly recap/revisit my 2017 GOALS with you…

1.Finish Cottage Remodel

We have made AMAZING progress on the cottage! It is now in living condition and ready for final inspection. We are looking forward it to enjoying it fully this summer.  However, I don’t know when the cottage will ever truly be “finished”, and we’re 100% ok with that. With the interior nearly done we can space out projects over the next few years…replace the roof, work on the basement, landscaping, etc.  

2.Explore Cooking

Before Mark switched shifts at work we came a long way in our culinary skills with the help of Plated.  I shared several posts under my food/travel category if you’re interested in our experience.  I have also been focusing on healthier recipes and also plan on going back and recreating some of our favorite meals from Plated.

3.Refresh Living Room

We planned on changing our entire living room around…but did a trial run rearranging all of the furniture and it just didn’t work.   Our current arrangement is the most practical for functionality and appearance.  So we went ahead with a refresh including new lamps, side tables, ottoman & accents.  It is surprising how much those small changes made a big difference.  I plan on posting about that very topic soon…

5.Simplify & Organize

This is definitely a continuous WORK IN PROGRESS.  I have made countless trips to Goodwill over the past year, and I keep a box at all times to put new items to donate in.  I  start the process by asking myself a couple of simple questions…do I NEED this? and/or do I LOVE this? If not, its probably time to let go.

I’ve been using the “1 in 1 out” rule in my wardrobe…for every new piece I add I have to pull out one I haven’t worn in over a year to donate. Focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to new purchases is also making a big difference.  As a starting point, I tried several of the clothing delivery services including: StitchFix, Trendsend, Wantable and Trunk Club.  Anyone interested in hearing more about my experiences with those services? I’d be happy to share.

Overall I am very pleased with all of the progress in 2017 and will continue to work on the same goals in 2018. I look forward to sharing with you this year!

What about you…any big or exciting goals for 2018?




Cottage: Slept In

We ended 2017 with quite a momentous occasion for our little cottage, we slept in it for the VERY FIRST TIME.

It happened somewhat suddenly as frozen pipes discovered in a neighboring cottage and extra room needed at my parents led to this decision at about 11:00 last Saturday night. The bedroom was already 98% done and the bathroom was usable. I had the sheets, blankets and pillows stored away for when we were ready for them so all I had to do was make the bed.

Remaining to do: Find headboard, wall art, finishing touches

The main purpose of this trip was for a family Christmas, but we also hoped to get a little work done. Unfortuntately, Mark ended up getting a nasty cold and was down for the count most of the weekend.  Thankfully, Dad had been working on the bathroom the week prior, so between he and I we finished painting and hung the mirror. Have I mentioned recently how awesome he and my mom are?

Remaining bathroom to-do: Install shelves & hardware, decorate

Dad also helped install a couple of our favorite finds.   First, “The Lake Cottage” weathered metal signs which will be a focal point when you walk in.  Second, this adorable chicken-coop inspired wine rack that we found at a flea market…fun and functional 🙂

Last, but not least, we ended up having a larger propane tank put in a few weeks ago.


Just a few months shy of 2 years since we decided to buy the cottage, and we’re almost ready for our final inspection.