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Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Basement (aka - my favorite space for the children!!!!)

Other other main living space is in the basement.  It is HUGE!  Although it is not a true daylight basement, it is 1/2 above ground at the back and has great light through 2 big windows.  This is the bottom the stirs looking to the right.  There is a family room space and tons of toy space behind the sectional.  The first door is a full bathroom and the second door is Tater's bedroom.  Not pictured is a huge unfinished storage space, equal in size to this space!!  There is also a ledge that runs all along the wall to the left and the back wall, adding even more storage space.

Look back toward the stairs, the door on the left is the storage room - so much space!  Straight ahead to the right side is an area we have set up for homework and arts and crafts - but it is plumbed to added in a wet bar and we hope to add cabinets and counters in the future.  It has the makings of a great teen hangout space!

If you look carefully at that center of the picture there is a mini-fridge and a wine cooler on top of it.  To the left of that is a large doorway that leads into our guest room.  Right now it's an open space but we have plans to make a sliding barn door to add privacy.

This is that guest space!

We've also combined it into the video game space so it's a little separate from the playroom area.

Here are more shots of the homework and craft area.  You can see all the outlets that are at countertop height - that's where we hope to add cabinets and counters to wrap around.

Here you can see the doorway into the guest room...

 And here are a few closer shots of the toy space...


 The kids love it and love being in their own space!  And I love that I can close the door on the mess!!!  The only time it is a slight issue is when we have guests and I expect the space to be picked up perfectly :)

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Living Room

At our previous house we had one family and then a roughly finished basement space for the kids' playroom.  This house has a living room space and then the entire basement is finished for a family room and playroom.  That translates to grown-up space and kid space!!

So here is the grown up space!!!  I'm in love with it!
There are very high ceilings and it is open to the entry, dining room space, and kitchen.  The wood floors were here and go throughout.

See that fireplace?  It's a gas fireplace that turns on with the flip of a switch (or does now that we had it repaired...sigh...)  We have already been enjoying it here in the chilly tundra!

So open!  Those stairs lead up to our loft space - which is my office and our workout space.  Pictures of that will come later :)

So let's see - the rug is BEAUTIFUL and BOLD - it's blues and teals and greens and reds.  And it's from Walmart!  I have found the best selection and great quality at a great price there of all places!  So since I went with a bold rug, we added in 2 beige club chairs that we've owned for years - and somehow managed to keep clean even with 4 kids!  The sofa is IKEA and has a removable washable slipcover.  It's really comfortable for the price!  

Funny story - since the IKEA closest to our new house is over 2 hours away, I purposely made all my purchases in RI (well, really over the border in MA) and just had the movers move the boxed items.  My best friend and I went to get this sofa all by ourselves - carted it, loaded and unloaded it.  We drug it into the storage container at the old house that we used while showing our house and then we drug it into the old house when the house sold and we could get rid of the container.  We were so proud of ourselves because this is no light sofa!!!

Anyway, the pillows are a mix of Homegoods, TJMaxx, and Amazon covers over IKEA pillow.  I went with teal to pull from the rug and then added red furniture to accent - also influenced from the rug.  The hardest thing was buying everything and then having to wait several months to see if it all pulled together - which it luckily did!!!

This little area is right off the entry space.  The dresser is IKEA and was part of Bubba's nursery (it matched his crib) but is now great for Dady to drop his stuff and now houses all the much-needed winter hats, gloves, and scarves!!!  And we love the IKEA egg chair - although it has been moved around the house since these pictures :)

The red cabinet is Target and the shelf is off Amazon.  Once I unpacked all the kids' chapter books, we discovered we needed another book shelf and I needed another red accent piece :)

This is shelf is one of my favorite possessions.  Daddy built it for me shortly after we got married and I fill it with so many treasures and family pictures.  This spot is visible when you come in the front door and I love seeing it :).  

This table was a gift from my in-laws for the new house.  It's perfect behind the new sofa!  And it was off Amazon :)

Here's a shot of the entryway.  There is a great closet to the left and a hallway to the right that leads to the garage and laundry and basement stairs.

This looking down from the loft.  The coffee and end tables are from Pier One and we got them from my in-laws for our wedding gift 17 years ago.  Shortly after these pictures I decided they needed a little refreshing (although they were not in bad shape at all for all those years of use!) and painted them with gray chalk paint and now we LOVE them!

This leads into the bedroom hallway.  That red grain bin is from Homegoods YEARS ago!  It is the only place we allow toys in this space and mainly for Bubba since he's still so young :)

The blue frame is a frame my dad made out of barn wood from my grandparents' homestead a long time ago.  It used to have a picture of me as a little girl in it.  I spray painted the frame and added chalkboard paint to the glass.  It has out "Michigan Bucket List" written on it...and we have been excitedly crossing off new sights we've seen.  We hope to tackle a bunch of the Upper Peninsula sights early next summer :)

Of course, since I took these picture mid-summer, many things have been rearranged :).  One crazy fact about me is that I love to move things around!!!  Daddy never knows what he'll come home to!  And when I was teaching my children learned to be flexible because I constantly rearranged the classroom :)

So as I start to decorate for Christmas, I'll post more pictures with the new layout.  I "think" I've figured out what works best - at least for this!  And speaking of Christmas - I can't wait to decorate the new space!!!!  I've already addressed the outside (before it gets to bitterly cold!!) but I', waiting for my best friend's visit next week to tackle the inside! 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Peek into the Kids' Rooms

So our move to Michigan was BIG...big house, big family, big truck, big distance, big adjustment.  And we worked hard to make it an adventure and ensure that the children adjusted as best as could be.  A major goal was to choose a neighborhood for them, hopefully with other children.  And we did!  We're on a private cul-de-sac road and the children run loose!  There are several families for them to play with and we've already had sleepovers and play dates and impromptu visits as new friends are walking by.  Out kids are safe, have room to ride bikes and scooters, and have been exploring the joys of living near the woods!

So with that goal met, I also wanted to make the new house THEIR house.  So we kept most of what they already had and added in some fun new accessories, allowing the kids to each pick their own theme for their rooms.

One of the biggest changes was that the girls were going to each have their own rooms - Tater, being almost a teenager, was thrilled while Sassy is still missing her sister (although she will never really admit that!!!).  The boys are still sharing but they still had the chance for separate interests to fit in their room!

So Miss Sass is up first.  And in all her girly-ness, she picked a Paris theme!  The room was already painted the periwinkle color and we picked bedding in soft pink and white to tone it down a bit :).  Her window is so pretty and has dark-out blinds AND curtains (in the summer it is light until almost 10:00pm and this momma needs these kids to SLEEP!!!).   We had wood floors installed in all three main floor bedrooms (ugh- allergies!) and Sassy's rug is from Walmart.  Her furniture is IKEA and her bedding and artwork is from Homegoods and TJMaxx.  Since I took these pictures, we have upgraded her bed to white bunkbeds (from Walmart!) so I'll have to post a picture soon - it was her 9th birthday request :)

Her closet came with an organization system installed and it easily holds all her hanging clothes and shoes as well as some small toys she's allowed to keep in her room.  The pink wall-mounted doll house is from Target and she uses it for her Shopkins.  The wooden doll house is IKEA and she has several mixed sets of wooden furniture and dolls that she uses in it.

Here you can see a glimpse of her vaulted ceiling - it all works together to make it just the cutest little girl's room :)

This rocker was an antique find that I couldn't resist!  And she just had to have that mirror!

And on to the boys' room!  The bunkbeds are from Walmart and we had them at the old house.  They are metal but look like wood - we love them!  The biggest difference between the two houses is that in the old house, Bruiser couldn't even sit up in the top bunk because of low ceilings - here he can't even touch the ceiling!!!

Because of the bunkbeds, the boys could each pick their theme and we decorated around their beds.  Bruiser, of course, went with Star Wars - which was perfect because he already had most of the things!  His comforter and sheets are from Amazon.  The framed subway art was printed off Pinterest.  Not shown is the giant picture periodic table of the elements - it was in Daddy's old office and Bruiser decided to claim it at the new house.  

Bubba picked dinosaurs!  His bedding also came from Amazon and his art work is from Hobby Lobby.  I loved that I was able give each boy their own touch on the room but still make it all look put together!

(See the wreath hanging on the right side?  That's the wreath my mom had made for the baptismal font for Bruiser and then all the other boys (cousins too!) used for their baptisms.  It's so special to me - and them!)

This room was lime green with monkey decals on the walls when we bought the house - I think it was their son's nursery.  We immediately changed it to gray (can't remember the SW color) and I added neutral striped black-out curtains to tie their themes together.  That corner shelf was a curbside find in our old neighborhood and holds treasures and memories.  The green shelf is from IKEA and holds Bruiser's books.  The frames are the front page from my dad's newspaper (he's the editor) on the day each boy was born - frames are from Target.  The bin of stuffed animals (ugh- I hate them!) is from Amazon.  

The shelves Daddy made off and I'm sure can guess where that chair is from :)

The dresser and shelf are from IKEA...and we've now added a hamster to that shelf :)

And this little desk and chair are an antique store find - so cute!

And finally, the big girl's room :).  This room was a rusty color that we also painted gray.  Her room is separated from the others and definitely gives the vibe of teenager!  She went with a color scheme more than a theme, although her bedding, from Homegoods, has butterflies.  Her furniture is also all IKEA.  The wall art is a mix of Homegoods, Hobby Lobby, and homemade.

You can see her framed newspaper from her birth day here!

And right by the star light you can see her baptism wreath :)

You'll see in a future post that we have a very large rec room/playroom, so we tried to keep most toys out of their bedrooms.  There are plenty of books, a few small toys that are special or favorite to them - but the rest of the INSANE amount of toys we own are in the basement playroom!  Each child had their own way of making the space their own and we had so much fun setting them up and seeing it all unfold after several months of planning.  The very first things we set up were the kids' bedrooms - it gave them a safe space to go while the rest of the house was in shambles and nothing was familiar.  

The biggest focus for us during the move was making sure the kids adjusted well and settled in - and they amazed us!!!  The school year has been great for all four of them.  Friends have been made, they know expectations and routines, and they are happy!  The first day was a little rough for the 7th grader and she broke hearts when she shared that she ate lunch alone (and not just Mommy and Daddy's - her aunt and uncle were so upset for her!).  But on day #2 she was invited into a group and is already planning sleepovers and getting invites to birthday and holiday parties.  We hear all the time how kind and respectful our children are and it is so rewarding to hear how our hard work has paid if Bubba would only just fall into step with his big!

We've been here for just 4 months but it's hard to remember our old life.  We miss all our friends and the familiarity of "home" but the transition could not have been better!  We learning the small town life - especially in summer resort town that becomes that much closer knit in the off season...oh, and how to stay warm in this frigid tundra!!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hello, again...

Well, blog world, it's been a while!  The big went smoothly, we settled into our new house and neighborhood...and then life fell apart (or so it seemed!)!  So much has happened and so much to recap.  I plan to back up and return to sharing the new house and then fill in all the details!

Bare with me :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

A fun summer link-up...
since we are still settling and the kids are still not in school and I have NO time!!!

1. Pool, lake or ocean? The ocean all the way!  I'm really struggling with our move from RI to MI - the lake just isn't the ocean!!!
2. Camping, cottage, or hotel?  Hotel, please!
3. Favorite ice cream flavor?  Chocolate chip cookie dough :)
4. PJs, nightgown, tshirt/shorts or birthday suit?  t-shirt
5. Fave summer beverage? Wine :)
6. Would you rather be hot or cold?  Definitely cold since I can always add layers.  
7. Sandals with heels or flats?  Flip-flops!
8. Shorts or skirts?  Dresses!
9. Sit in the sun or the shade?  Both!  The shade after I get hot 😂
10. Water, tea, or soda coke?  Water always
11. Fave summer fruit/vegetable?  Celery and dip 
12. Sunrise or sunset?  Sunset...over the lake...amazing!
13. Bike ride or walk?  Walk 
14. Winery or brewery?  Winery
15. Garden or no garden?  A garden (with a!)
16. Big summer concert or music in the park?  Big summer concert!
17. Fave cookout food?  steak
18. Dine indoors or patio?  Outdoor dining 
19. Fave summer destination  OCNJ
20. Big theme park or local carnival?  Small family run park - Knoebels
21. Drinks blended or on the rocks?  On the rocks, please :)
22. Popsicle or freeze flavor of choice?  Root beer 
23. Hot dog or hamburger?  Hot dog!

Monday, July 24, 2017

We've Moved!

It's been 2 weeks since we've made the 14 hour drive and filled a 53' tractor trailer (with an extension platform off the back and storage underneath!).  The boxes in the house drove me crazy so I worked my behind off and we were hanging things on the walls within 4 days and finished organizing the garage this weekend.  The moving company picked up the boxes this past Friday and we are feeling settled - in the house anyway!  

Here are the shots of the outside...

Thanks to Papa for the rockers on the front porch - it has been a wish list item for me for a long time!

Even the Suburban fits in this garage :)

Daddy will be building a table for the deck and re-staining it in the next few weeks.  We left a beautiful outdoor space in RI and are happy that it won't take too much to make the new space compare!  

So much space!

This is another project - we're going to box this out and mulch it so it's easier for Daddy to cut around with the mower.

More house pictures to come!  Wait until you see the inside :)

Meanwhile we are preparing for our first houseguest this weekend and getting to know our new town and state!