In my last post I made mention of BIG THINGS happening soon at the cottage, and that time has come! 

We have been back in Indiana for the last couple weeks but in the meantime my parents have been absolutely rocking it.  Have I mentioned before how awesome they are?  Mark and I couldn’t imagine doing this without them. 

So what about the BIG THINGS? First, framing.  We have walls people! And the ceiling has been vaulted, this is going to make it feel much more open.    

Also, everything is in order for our electrical to be converted from overhead to underground next week.  The electrician is scheduled to begin rewiring the entire cottage on Monday.  

These are the photos of what mom & dad have been up to this past week…

How great is this? We’re excited to go back up there next weekend to see all of their hard work in person and get our hands dirty again.

Cottage: Jitterbug

We are almost finished  with the exterior of the cottage and will soon be moving on to the interior.  This weekend I took some time to paint the front door.  This may seem illogical to some given everything yet to be done but I simply don’t care.  I picked this color out over a month ago and have been anxiously waiting to see what it would look like…have I ever previously mentioned my lack of patience? 🙂

The color I fell in love with: Jitterbug


The sample photo above does not do it justice.  This green is fresh & bright without being overwhelming and pops against the grey siding and white trim.

I am looking forward to posting about BIG THINGS coming soon including electrical and framing.    Happy Monday!

Etsy Obsession 2.0

I previously posted HERE about my fondness (Obsession?) for Etsy and the wonderful things I have purchased on their website.  I am sure it comes as no surprise I have found more great stuff on Etsy since then.  Maybe I need become an Etsy advocate? or spokeswoman?  Something worth looking into…

In the meantime, here is a sampling of more recent Etsy finds since my last post (2.0)

Custom order pillow cover, I was able to select Michigan for the State and red for the font but they have nearly any combination available. 

Found here: ShamShack


I found this as a gift for a coworker.  She is a wine enthusiast and I wanted to find something unique that was pretty and useful.  

Found here: dancelady55


Although our cottage renovations are far from complete, I couldn’t resist this hand painted sign.  I already have the perfect spot in mind.

Found here: NineArrowDesigns


Last but not least, another purchase for the cottage is this cute carved wood loon.  It is special to me because there are several loons that inhabit the lake our cottage is on.

Found here: BlackBearAntiques215



Do you ever shop on Etsy? Tell me about some of your favorite finds

Southwest Stuffed Peppers

I love stuffed peppers.  My normal recipe involves spicy italian sausage, parmesan & mozzarella cheeses, rice & tomato sauce.  If I may pat myself on the back for a moment, they are pretty dang tasty.  However, I recently decided to try making a somewhat lighter version of which is perfect for Summer…here are my Southwest Stuffed Peppers


  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I use hot & spicy)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes w/chiles (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • A few pinches of cheddar jack cheese-this just couldn’t be omitted

The process was similar to making my usual stuffed peppers, I just made some substitutions as far as ingredients.

  • Cut tops off of peppers, dice (excluding stems) & remove insides, set aside
  • Brown turkey, add taco seasoning (just as if you were preparing for tacos)
  • Add in beans, corn, tomatos & diced peppers and warm through
  • Fill peppers with combined mixture
  • Add a little water at the bottom of the pan, cover with foil
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, remove foil
  • Add cheese on top & bake for another 10 until cheese is melted
  • EAT






Cottage: Bees, a snake & a deck

Over July 4th weekend we were back in Michigan working on the cottage.  In addition to making great progress, we had the chance to visit with some of my extended family.  We were able to share some wonderful meals & conversations with family we do not get to see often.  This also meant we had some extra help on the cottage which was appreciated.  It was a great weekend all around.

We finished the remaining siding up until the peaks when we ran to a problem with bees…angry, stubborn bees that did not want to leave.  This caused a little bit of a delay and change of plans.  We also encountered a water snake nestled right under the front door that had to be relocated.   This is what you get when you renovate a cottage in a remote location…near a lake…surrounded by woods, we’ll just call it ambiance.

We decided to switch gears to tackle the deck.  It was time to tear down the old deck & start over.  Dad is a rock star on his Kubota so that was a huge help.  Before heading back to Indiana Monday afternoon, we were able to finish everything on the deck except the steps & extra screws for reinforcement.  We are so pleased!





This was Ruby telling me to stop working & start playing.  I happily obliged.

Cottage: Kickoff

Last week we traded in sunglasses for safety glasses for our vacation in Michigan as we officially kicked off work on the cottage! Waiting since March to get started was definitely a practice in patience for me, as someone who is not naturally patient (you can even ask my Mom or Mark on that).   As with any good project, there were a few minor snags , but we managed to make great progress in a short amount of time:

  • Interior & exterior demo
  • New OSB on exterior
  • Framed & installed new windows & doors
  • House wrap
  • Siding (almost done)
  • Planned electrical layout

Of course there were the inevitable trips to various home improvement stores, clearing & hauling off debris, and everything in between.


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A few quick special shout-outs:  Dad for working even on Father’s Day, Mom for feeding us all week, and my brother Seth for lending an extra set of hands.  We are grateful.

Seeing the transformation thus far and knowing what is to come is exhilarating. We’ll be heading back to Michigan on the 30th for a long holiday weekend to do more work, planning, etc.  In the meantime Mom & Dad are keeping the ball rolling.







Treasure Hunting


This is a few days late, but Saturday we decided to take a little road trip to Indianapolis to check out the Woodruff Place Flea Market for the first time, and I am so glad that we did!  Here is a little background info from their website…

“Every year, during the first weekend of June, the Woodruff Place Flea Market promises two days of treasure-hunting and treasure-finding, combined with food, fun, and terrific people-watching!  The Flea Market began as a neighborhood fundraiser in 1977, and has grown from neighbors selling stuff in their yards to 80 acres and over 200 yards filled with stuff for sale.”

“Even if you don’t buy a thing, you will enjoy the Woodruff Place Flea Market.  Woodruff Place is one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods.  Early June is a perfect time to walk along the sidewalks, sit on front porches, and enjoy the grassy esplanades, tall shade trees and sparkling fountains.  Whether you’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades or months, and whether you are a veteran flea market treasure-finder or a first time visitor, you will love it.”

It truly was a one of a kind experience.  Seeing the neighborhood and houses was worth the trip.  Each house was unique, some were modernized while others remained classically Victorian.  Lush landscaping decorated each yard and common space, there were fountains and statues in the medians.  It was hard to believe that we were so close to downtown Indianapolis and felt a world away!   We were even able to tour one house that was midway through extensive renovation.  Custom shaped windows, stained glass, hex tile, stunning woodwork throughout…I think I was drooling.

We spent hours walking up and down each block and checking everything out.  There was such a friendly vibe throughout the neighborhood, it was very apparent these people love being a part of this community.  Some houses had your typical yard sale stuff like baby clothes & toys, while others had antiques and handmade items.  An added bonus was the entire  block of food trucks in the middle of the neighborhood.  There were trucks for just about everything…beer, pizza, hot dogs, vegan, wine, donuts & more.

The only downside was that the weather was not exactly ideal (that is what I am blaming the poor photo quality on).  Most of the day was gray & rainy, but luckily it wasn’t cold and the thick trees helped block the rain. img_7132

Oddly enough our only purchase (other than food) was this little blue lantern…it is in need of a little TLC but I think I’ll find the perfect spot for it at the cottage.

If you are ever interested in finding out more about Woodruff Place you can check out their website here:  Woodruff Place








Cottage: Planning in Progress

Today marks exactly 3 weeks until Mark & I will be back in Michigan, and we will officially be able to start work on the cottage.  We are fortunate that Mom & Dad already got a head start with cleaning & demo.  In the meantime, my planning is in full force.  I have been hunting for everything you can imagine from flooring to light fixtures and paint colors to window coverings.  There have been multiple texts/calls/photos sent back and forth discussing layouts, materials, prices, etc.  It is all very exciting!


Since the cottage is at the lake, I want the overall design to reflect that.  There won’t necessarily be a theme but I am planning on using colors & elements that mimic the surroundings.  I’ve been focusing on sandy tans, soft greys & blues, whitewashed wood & some pops of bright blue.  I want the cottage to be peaceful & casual, perfect for long relaxing weekends we look forward to spending there.


The Cottage



Mark and I are excited to announce that we are purchasing and remodeling a cottage in Michigan  with the help of my parents.  We are buying the cottage from a relative.  This has been in the works since early March, but we wanted to wait until the right time and the paperwork was signed before we shared the news.

There are so many reasons that we are excited about this.  The cottage is right across the road from my parents.  It will be our “own place” close to our family and friends in Michigan and will free up extra space at my parents for more family when we are visiting.  Since we live in Indiana, the opportunity to have this home in Michigan makes my heart happy.  The cottage is already the perfect, cozy size to be exactly what we need.  It was built by a relative about 50 years ago and has stood the test of time, but  of a little TLC.  We are so grateful for the opportunity to give it exactly that, while working right alongside my parents.  I am already in love with this little beauty.


The remodel will include updating & personalizing so we can enjoy the cottage with family & friends for many years to come.  My head has been spinning with so many design and decorating ideas that I am thrilled to be able to put into place here.  We will be in Michigan in June to officially “kick-off” the remodeling.  There will be many updates & photos to come so please feel free to follow along with our progress!

Auction Find: Copper Kettles

Saturday is auction day around here, and yesterday we went to one of our favorites in town.  They had a really nice variety of items for sale from several estates.  There  were a few things we bid on but did not  win.  However,  we were able to score these beauties: 

I love how unique they all are.  Each one has a different patina, style, and imperfections that give it character. Even before bidding, we already had a purpose in mind: 

They are now nestled on top of our kitchen cabinets, right under the spotlights, and we think they are perfect.  These  copper kettles are a prime example of why we love going to auctions, you never know what you’ll find and what you’ll go home with. 

What is your favorite auction find? 

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