Cottage: “Moving Day”

One week ago we loaded up a uhaul with things for the cottage and headed North. Most importantly, THE COUCH made the trip.  I say that with emphasis because I fell in love with this couch the first time I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for the cottage.  We purchased it through a warehouse sale at Lazy Boy, it took about 6 weeks to arrive, and has been sitting at our local store for about 6 weeks because we had nowhere to put it.  Mark picked up the trailer then the couch.  I was unreasonably excited to finally have it in our possession.  I know, it is just a couch, but did I mention that its perfect?  Then we packed in some other furniture, accessories, etc. that I had been accumulating in our spare room over the last several months…luckily everything fit perfectly!

We made the trip Michigan without incident, unloaded everything and still had enough time to enjoy dinner out with Mom & Dad….AND made it to Lowe’s to pick up appliances, butcher block for the countertops and a kitchen sink…it was quite the productive day.

Friday was mostly assembly day.  The main project Mark & Dad worked on was our wardrobe for the bedroom.  It came in approximately 374 pieces, I mostly supervised.  However, I did manage to put together the lamp for the living room and help with the dining table. Once the wardrobe was assembled, I was able to configure the bedroom.  I can measure a space 20 times and try to visualize, but I needed to lay it out in person.

Above are a few sneak peeks.  It was so exciting to see “our stuff” inside the cottage instead of just tools & building materials.  There were several times Mark & I caught ourselves looking around in awe of how far the cottage has come and how good everything has turned out.

Just for fun, below are a couple of scenic pictures from the weekend and one of our current deck furniture.  This little set up may end up being temporary, but it certainly brightens up the front of the cottage and only cost about $20…can’t beat that!



Fall To-Do

desk-notebook-office-greyToday is the first day of fall and it is 90 degrees…IN INDIANA.  This is nonsense.  I am attempting to console myself by focusing on the fact the cooler weather will be here in no time…right? The changing of the seasons usually entails some sort of “to-do” list for me, fall being no exception.  Even though it doesn’t feel like fall today, here are a few things I intend to do in the near future to welcome my favorite season:

  • Fertilize the lawn: When we purchased our house in 2015, the yard was in need of some serious TLC.  It has been a work in progress. Last year fall we appliedScotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall pexels-photo-289613Weed & Feed and it seemed to make a big difference with weeds in the Spring, especially dandelions.  The Scotts website has also been very helpful in advising what products to use, when to apply, etc.  (No promo here-just sharing what has worked for us)
  • Prune Bushes: I am still learning how to care for rose bushes, and somehow they are still alive.  Last year I trimmed ALL of our bushes way back and hoped for the best.  Luckily, everything survived, and maybe even thrived? Here’s hoping I have the same luck this time around.
  • Fall cleaning : Pretty much the exact same thing as spring cleaning…a really good, deep-down, whole-house clean that isn’t part of my weekly
  • Switch out wardrobe: I have been making a concentrated effort year-round to pare down my wardrobe, but I am especially focused on this when the seasons change.  I have a few roll-away totes that fit under our bed where I store off-season clothes.  Each time I change them out I sort out any pieces I no longer love or haven’t worn in over a year and set those aside to donate.  The remaining clothes get swapped out between the totes and my closet/dresser.

Lastly, and most importantly…

  • ENJOY THE SEASON: Slow down, be present & soak it in. I want to do all of the “clichéd” fall activities I love…drink hot apple cider while eating a fresh donut, sit by a bonfire in a sweatshirt & jeans, snuggle under a blanket on the couch with Mark & Ruby, take a drive for no other purpose than viewing the changing leaves

    What’s going on at your house this fall? What are your favorite fall activities?


Spotlight: “Side Table” 

You may be wondering…why the quotations in the title? Because this post isn’t actually about a table at all. HOWEVER, this is about the ingenious alternative my mom shared with me last night.  She sent me the pictures below and my first question was, “Can I please share this on my blog?” to which she agreed.

Mom has been on a mission trying to find the perfect side tables to fit in their bedroom. They have a king size bed that is centered under the window and she wanted to have some sort of side table on each side, but there wasn’t much leftover space to work with.  So she came up with this solution…

Two wood & metal storage crates (Meijer) turned sideways & two swing arm lamps & shades (Menards) mounted to the wall on each side of the bed. The shades were plain white so she used paint to match them to their bedroom decor. The crates provide a table surface and storage, while the lamps provide adjustable and individual lighting for reading, etc.

The whole project (including paint) came in just under $150, which is easily less than she may have spent on 2 traditional side tables & lamps.  Can you see where my creativity comes from?  I have already warned her that there is a very good chance I will be copying this idea for our cottage bedroom 🙂


Spotlight Series

spotlight 1It’s time to share the love!  In addition to my regular topics, I will be posting a series that will showcase the interests, ideas and projects of my family and friends.  Do you remember this post from my Mom? There will be more to come from her and others. I’m fortunate to know so many creative and talented people.

Keep an eye out for these over the next few months!



Patio Progress

To put it simply, our patio was pitiful.  Our last house had a beautiful paver patio with a stone border & custom cedar pergola that we installed over a long weekend with my parents…We LOVED it.  I wanted to bring it all with us somehow when we moved…but we bought a bigger house with a smaller patio.  To no avail, I tried convincing Mark & Dad to at least take the pergola.   The only thing that made the trip was the furniture.  The table & chairs barely fit on the concrete slab, and were rarely used.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with the set, it was just too big for our little patio.  We did put forth an effort at one point to make it look nice…but as you can see below, we gave up.

This summer was the time for change. There were two key factors for us to consider:

  1. Function:  We decided we wanted to use the patio as more of a conversation space than a dedicated dining area.
  2. Scale: We needed furniture that would fit the area comfortably without looking oversized or crowded.

It was also important to incorporate some color to brighten the patio up.  We ended up with a loveseat, 2 armchairs, coffee table & accessories.  We’ve already spent more time this summer enjoying the patio than the last two years combined.  Eventually we may consider installing some type of pergola or sun-sail but for now it is perfect for us to relax, enjoy glass of wine and watch Ruby chase birds.

Furniture & accessories: Lowes ~ Indoor/outdoor rug: Target

Ruby also enjoys relaxing on the patio

Cottage: Lights, cabinets, action! 

We passed our final electrical inspection!  Not that there were any doubts but it is still nice to have out of the way.Mom & Pop have been keeping things moving since our vacation.  The cabinets arrived about a week behind schedule so they didn’t make it in before we left town,  but we knew that was a possibility…better late than never right? They still need to be permanently mounted but just seeing them in place makes a big difference.

We have light! The electrician came last week before the final inspection to install all of the light fixtures.  It is amazing (and incredibly exciting) how quickly things are coming together.  When selecting the lights I had three things in mind: Simple, clean & modern.  All of the natural pine makes for a rustic look and I wanted the lights to help balance that out.

That is all for now…short & sweet. 

 Thanks for stopping by!

TC Treasures

Earlier this week I mentioned that when we were in Michigan for our vacation, we took a break from working on the cottage to visit Traverse City. for a few days  It was somewhat of a do-over for us because the last time we went to Traverse City (first time for Mark) was a few years ago and it wasn’t great.  It had nothing to do with TC per se, but it was cold and rainy for the duration of our stay, we were about 2 weeks too early for the fall color, and our beloved pup Emma was in the early states of kidney failure.

Needless to say we were ready to try again and we were not disappointed in the least.  It was warm, but not humid, with clear blue skies and sunshine  (PERFECT).  Also, since the National Cherry Festival was the week before, and we visited during the week, it wasn’t overly crowded (ALSO PERFECT).  We walked through downtown, visited a few wineries, found some neat antique shops, and ate EVERYTHING.  We had no set schedule or timeline.  It was glorious.

Here are a few favorite pics from our mini vacay

Canal/bay view from downtown shop

Mission Point lighthouse

Bay view @ Hawthorne Winery

Chandeliers @ Jolly Pumpkin

Marina view @ Apache Trout Grill

View of us @ Apache Trout Grill
Now back to the shopping…we are always on the lookout for antiques or other items both for our house and/or the cottage.  And we lucked out with a few unique finds…

Handmade juggling pins from Paris-for our house

Antique golf cart-for our house

Bucket -for the cottage-perfect for bathroom waste bin
What I love the most is that these items all have the memory of our trip to TC tied to them.  So many cool places, and plenty more to check out next time.

Our favorite stops:

Black Star Farms

Wilson Antique Stores (2 TC locations)

Jolly Pumpkin

Apache Trout Grill

Milk & Honey  (so good we had to stop here twice)


Can we go back now?

Have a great weekend!



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