Kitchen organization

During our impromptu house tour on Tuesday, I was able to figure out how many kitchen cabinets we actually have.  The answer is 12 cabinets, which is double what we had in our last house, believe it or not.

Pardon the large box in the way of this picture. That is our dishwasher waiting to be installed:

Kitchen Organization Plan

I’d like to get some pull out organizers for the two drawers that will hold pans and baking supplies for easier access.  I’ll also probably pick up a new divider for the flatware and maybe an organizer for the spatulas. But where do I put my cutting boards?  Decisions, decisions.

Is this how you would organize your kitchen?  What am I missing?

House-in-progress tour

Today my husband surprised me by coming home from work on his lunch break, so that we could take a tour of our new house.  Yay! For the first time, we actually got to see the work-in-progress.

I took a ton of measurements so we can make sure our appliances will fit and to start thinking about window treatments. Before you scroll through the following photos, you may want to check out our floor plan to get your bearings straight.

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So, what do you think- will they be finished before December 20th?  I sure hope so…

Cranky day

Today has been a cranky day. I am putting myself to bed early. But before I do there is an update to share on the house. We have a new estimated completion date of December 20, which is the Friday before Christmas. The baseboards have been installed and they are starting the interior paint on Wednesday. Next Monday, the kitchen countertops will be installed. From there, we have less than 2 weeks for final details and inspection. Getting a certificate of occupancy so close to Christmas might not happen. Crossing my fingers and toes… Goodnight!

Siding is going up…

After the drama on Wednesday, I was thrilled to see a crew working on our house when I drove by on Thursday morning after dropping Lucas off at daycare.  I made a quick drive-by again this morning and they have made some progress on the siding.  Here’s a sneak peek:

22 Nov 2013 Siding

Here’s a view from the back of the house.  They poured the driveway earlier this week as well so that is curing right now:

22 Nov 2013 Siding 2

It is raining this morning, so I am not expecting much work to get done today. But maybe I’ll be surprised next time I check in.

Have a great weekend everyone!


I did not want to write this post for fear of sounding negative.  Overall this whole house-building process has been pretty easy.  The small renovation we did on our old house was way more stressful.

However, we have hit a speed bump and I don’t want it to go undocumented.  My house still looks like this- exactly as it was on November 1st.

House Bricks

The builder’s office called today to let me know the close date will be the week of January 6th.  What?!?! We were supposed to close the week of Thanksgiving, but now we are closing 45 days after Thanksgiving? I have no idea what is going on.  After some back and forth with the rep from the builder’s office, they are now understanding this is not acceptable and are working to get us a new closing date.

The man in charge is on vacation right now, but he gets back next week so hopefully we can sit down and iron this whole thing out. I drove by today and a crew was pouring the driveway, so that is good. Still trying to determine where the breakdown has happened.  My gut feeling is that communication is getting confused between the different contractors and the builder.  I don’t know much about this but it seems like they are pretty close to finishing so I can’t imagine what would take 45 days unless I am missing something.

So, I thought I would be cooking a Thanksgiving turkey in my new house and now I’ll be lucky if I get to put up a Christmas tee. Sigh…stay tuned for more!

Blue Christmas List

We draw names for Christmas on both sides of the family. On my husband’s side, the giftee is supposed to supply a list to the gifter to help give some shopping hints.  Here are some items going on my list this year. This was not planned, but apparently I am into blue! I only noticed after I created the collage:

Christmas List

teapot $35/cookbook $25/pillow $39/queen sheet set $35/brass planter $12/bed skirt $16/french oven $175 via homegoods or le creuset outlet/any candle from anthropologie

I posted the teapot because it is available right now, but any piece would be amazing.  I really want to start collecting the Arabia of Finland “Anemone” pattern in blue. I am on the hunt for it all- sugar bowl, creamer, a pair of tea cups, etc. Why?  First, I adore it, but also because it comes from Finland (Fun Fact: I am 25% Finnish). We can pretend it got passed down from one of my Finnish relatives and I will love it like it actually was a family heirloom.

The cookbook pictured is Pioneer Woman’s Holiday Cookbook.  I frequently make her recipes, but I usually just go to her website.  Having a cookbook would be really helpful as I am terrible at keeping electronic devices charged.  Some of my favorites recipes are her sour cream enchiladas, roasted red pepper pasta, white chili, and the list goes on and on. Every recipe I’ve tried has been amazing.

Candles from Anthropologie are my favorite.  I could get lost in that store all day just smelling candles.  Capri Blue Volcano seems to be their signature scent, but there are so many other amazing ones too.

We are moving into our new house soon. There are a few household items on the list. Fresh white sheets and a new bed skirt.  Nothing fancy, just crisp and white. IKEA has surprisingly soft sheets. Deep blues, greens, teals are some of the colors want to use as an accent in the living room.  This West Elm pillow would tie it all together and it is so pretty. And silky. And dreamy…

Speaking of dreams, having a Le Creuset french oven is a dream of mine. I am dropping a not-so-subtle hint to my husband right now. Please pause and help me mentally will him to read this post. Oh hello, you’re here, I can’t believe it worked! Yes, honey they are expensive. But, I have seen some at least 50% off at Homegoods and at the Le Creuset outlet at Birch Run. You can practically walk to Homegoods from our house. I am just trying to make this holiday season easier on YOU.

And last is the gold hanging planter from Urban Outfitters.  It is just $12 and I have big plans for these planters.  I want to use them in the kitchen and outside to store some plants, fruits, veggies, etc.  There is a larger vision going on that I might just need to show rather than explain.  I’ll work on that later this week…

So, what is on your Christmas list(s) this year?

Black Friday: Televisions under $600

My husband wants a TV for the basement for Christmas.  I am going to brave the Black Friday crowds to try to get him one of these great deals.  Right now, I am leaning towards the Target deal because it is such a great price.  The timing overlaps with Best Buy and I just really hate Best Buy on Black Friday.  We’ll see, he may have a different opinion because LG is a better brand than Element.  If I do not get either of those two TVs, then I’ll try for the Vizio at Sam’s Club the following morning. Wish me luck!!

Element 50″ 1080p LED HDTV $229 (reg $599), Target (8pm on Thanksgiving)

BF Target Element TV

LG 55″ 1080p 120HZ LED HDTV $499 (reg $999), Best Buy (6pm on Thanksgiving, but tickets given out for doorbusters at 4pm)

BF Best Buy LG TV

Vizio 55″ LED Smart TV, Sam’s Club $548 (7am on Black Friday)

BF Sams Club Vizio TV

Black Friday: Washer & Dryer

I love shopping and it has been tradition to go out on Black Friday each year. The ads are starting to come out and I have my eye on a couple of deals.  We are looking for a washer & dryer for the new house so that is priority number one.  Here is what has caught my eye this year:

Option #1: Sears Kenmore Front Load Washer & Dryer, 8pm on Thanksgiving $799 for the pair (reg $1,799). There are just 5 per store, but it looks like both Sears and Sears Outlet are running the same deal (Sears Outlet an hour earlier at 7pm)

BF Kenmore 3.7 cu ft washer 7 cu ft dryer white

Option #2 Sears Outlet Whirlpool Cabrio Top Load Washer & Dryer, 7PM on Thanksgiving $899 for the pair. Exact model is discontinued, but similar products are in the $1,600-range.

BF Whirpool Cabrio Top Load Washer Dryer

Option #3-Home Depot Samsung Dryer $549, no washer.  We already have a washer, and this deal goes on through December 5th. If we do not get either of the Black Friday deals above, we’ll probably just go to Home Depot to buy this dryer. I’ve heard that Lowe’s has a 110% price-match policy, so anything you see at Home Depot that is also carried at Lowe’s can be purchased at a 10% discount. I’ve never tried this before, so maybe we would go for the matching pair, we’ll see what happens:

BF Samsung Dryer

I’ll be posting some other Thanksgiving Day/Black Friday deals that I am looking at in other categories.  My husband wants a TV for the basement, so we’ll see if his Christmas wish can come true next…

Opening Day Buffalo Check

November 15 is a holiday here in the state of Michigan- opening day for firearm hunting season.  Or “Christmas with guns” as they say in the movie Escanaba in Da Moonlight. I’ve been informed by our builder that construction on our house will stop during this two week hunting season (Nov 15-30).  So I guess I will not be cooking my Thanksgiving turkey in our new house. Only in Michigan does the world stop so 750,000 hunters can go out and shoot deer. Or wolves, this year at least.  My mom was at Meijer last night in Brighton and she said there was a line of hunters waiting to get their limited-availability wolf hunting licenses for the season.

Hunting is not really my thing.  As a former vegetarian, I just can’t see myself actually shooting a deer.  Shopping is my sport of choice! Buffalo check is a trend I’ve seen in fashion and home decor this year.  In honor of Opening Day, here are some of my favorite buffalo check finds:

Buffalo Check Collage

clockwise, from upper left

women’s red coat/buffalo check chair/infinity scarf/women’s vest/girls’ coat/kids bedroom

PS- you can watch Escanaba in Da Moonlight for free on Hulu right now to get in the spirit of Opening Day