I love being on vacation, but with all that we have going on at home, I am missing home. Home is where my husband is right now too. It may be mushy but, when we are apart, I always feel unbalanced a bit. I think this week it may be a little worse since I just recently finished a week-long business trip in Atlanta right before we left for Puerto Rico.
I am however enjoying the time with my family. As we walked around Old San Juan yesterday looking at all of the architecture, my creativity motor started revving up. The colors of the buildings are inspirational right now while I am still in the mode of picking out paint colors for the "The Suite."
For the walls, we will be going for more neutral paint colors than the vibrant pinks and blues of the Caribbean. I will be getting color pops from rugs and pillows for the sofa. In a small space like this, the subtle pops will be enough.
Sherwin-Williams is our go-to paint choice. We have tried lots of brands in the past, but none compare. They also have great monthly sales, like right now it's 30% off until July 9th. We use the Cashmere line. It is like an eggshell in traditional paint language, has a nice finish texture, coats well, wears nice and is easy to clean.
I also love their Pro Series trim paint and ceiling paint, because they always make the wall color pop. The trim paint has a gloss finish that highlights the painted walls. We never paint walls without taking the time to paint the trim and ceiling too.
Right now the contenders for us fall somewhere between Dorian, Mindful or Repose Gray. These are all near the perfect greige color, and they pair nicely with other gray colors. When picking the color, we will be comparing it against the kitchen cabinets and the flooring. Again, being that it is an apartment we will keep the same color throughout. It will also probably be the color that Dakota will use
throughout all of the units. It will be important to get it right.
I have also been looking at temporary wallpaper to add another element of texture, and that might make an appearance. I will keep you posted on that.
I would love to hear your thoughts on my color ideas.
Borrowing a line from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, "Why, then, the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.' Act II, Scene II."
I love this line. It's the perfect way to describe how we are starting to live small. Admittedly, we have a long way to go and lots of work ahead of us, but we know what is waiting for us at the end. FREEDOM.
The question that I get the most when asked about our plans is "Aren't you going to miss your views?". Especially ones like this, in a photo that Dan took just the other morning.
I must be honest and answer YES. The part that saddens me is that even though we had it, we never really got to enjoy it. Our life has always been full, and it was too much for us to keep up with on a daily basis.
So in looking at our life as an Oyster, we have so many backyards that we can go and visit. Relax, unwind, enjoy and the real beauty is that we do not even have to maintain them. So we will wield our sword through life, enjoying the views that are around us, because they are vast and many.
We can do this without the drudgery of having to go home and mow the lawn or clean the garage because there will be none.
This week's view is from Puerto Rico. I traveled down here with my Mom to help bring my daughter-in-law Janna, and granddaughter, Adeline, home. This our son, Dakota's last duty station. While Dan and Zack stay home and tend the shop, we are out doing a little adventuring in a place that we as a family have enjoyed these past three years. Getting to show my Mom the beauty that this island has to offer is fun, as well as sharing with all of you.
With Dakota and Janna living here, they have first hand got to experience the island as natives. They have shared with us some breathtaking views and beaches, along with food and drink worthy of one's palate.
Yesterday's adventure was an adventure in just getting there. Evidenced in this picture of Dakota's truck and a ride that Adeline and Great Grandma enjoyed.
Then all of a sudden we were immersed in a postcard beach scene. With this, I leave you with a few photos of our secret backyard for the day.
Enjoy! I promise to share more this week of our time here in Puerto Rico.
Here's to living the best life!
As I eluded in my last blog post, we are doing this apartment remodel on a tight budget and with a small space, we can grab a few higher end finishes. The cabinets are a great example of this.
For those of you that remember the old farmhouse that Dan and I lived in about 5 or 6 years ago they had drawer cabinets and I loved them! There was no stacking pots and pans to the point that every time you opened the cupboard that they either fell on your toes or you had to take them all out to get the one that you wanted. Of course, that pan is always on the bottom. Right?
So from there on out and four homes later we are finally getting drawer cabinets. One of our go-to places for when we are looking for home remodeling is Menards. It's the mecca of home repair. It's a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday date night. We just aimlessly wander the aisles dreaming of all the projects.
We use to, but not quite so anymore. We did, however, go there first looking for cabinets and other items when we decided to kick in this door of downsizing. They recently came out with a new line of cupboards. The neat thing is that they have the look and feel of custom cabinets.
They have drawer options and flip up upper cabinets, soft closing hinges and drawer glides too. Another great thing for us was the fact that if a tenant in the future damages something we can get it replaced. Eliminates the worry of having to replace all the cabinets for Dakota.
They are called KLËARVŪE Cabinetry® sold exclusively at Menards®. The exclusive line gives the look and feel of custom cabinetry without the high price tag. The wall cabinets are 14" deep and are 16% deeper than industry standards. They also have drawers for the sink cabinet too.
For this space, we decided to go with the grey cabinets. It's a color that is more traditional than trendy. Here is an image from Menards website.
They have a place on their website where you can build out the kitchen design. It's called UCreate and is simple to use. Input your room dimensions and place your appliances and cabinets to your liking. It will also compute estimated pricing.
Here is a screenshot of our kitchen design.
The space to the left as you walk in will be the washer dryer area. We are making this space 30" wide in the event that the owner (our son) would like to remove the washer dryer and replace with a stove. The area to the right looks empty, but it will be holding another piece that I will elaborate on later.
But what is missing? Anyone care to guess how we are going to do our cooking? That's right we are not placing a stove in the area. We will be using our Cuisinart Air Fryer, that does like triple duty and an induction plate or two for stovetop cooking. Told you I was serious about all this downsizing. More on another blog post I promise.
The next time I write it will be from Puerto Rico. I will be assisting in bringing our girls home, along with cats, Hank and Cash. Dan and Zack are staying stateside and will keep the remodel moving forward. I hope to have an HGTV moment when I get home to a completely remodeled space. Nah, I don't see that happening. Geez, a girl can wish?
The first room that we are starting off remodeling at "The Suite" is the kitchen. One of the most important rooms but usually the last to get tackled at least in our world. This entire remodel has to be approached in a different way, for a few reasons.
The first being that I refuse to move in till it is COMPLETED! Yes this is a first for us. No more a work in progress home. It also has to do with how we are downsizing. That's another post.
Ultimately, we know that it is not our forever home, but we want some nice amenities and finishes. Remember it is going to be used as our Suite. No more leaving for vacation because we will be a living life it was meant to be ENJOYED! That is our goal.
Last weekend, Demo Dan, along with Zack started tearing out the kitchen. Here is a before photo of the space.
Just like this photo, there will be light at the end of the tunnel and no the green walls and yellow vinyl does not do it for me. Let's not even talk about the cabinets, because they are not even paint-worthy.
Here are a few nice photos of the demo in process. In a space this small, it does not take like to wipe it out.
We have been or should I say that I have been spending an extreme amount of time on Pinterest and Instagram. Time just spent scrolling for the perfect items for the kitchen, keeping in mind though, that ultimately it will be turned back over into rental apartment.
Not that my son doesn't want a nice unit, but he knows that his Momma, has a certain quality and decor taste, and we are on a tight budget. I can handle the budget because normally we are on one. But we must be realistic and realize that not everyone will love our design taste.
I don't know about all of you but I cannot be without a washer and dryer. Even when on vacation our place usually has one. This apartment did not have a washer and dryer and that was our first challenge. Luckily, I found a lot of neat images with laundry units in the kitchen. Like this one from Apartment Therapy.
While strolling through the Menards looking at cabinets, we spotted one of the small stackables like in the picture below from Apartment Therapy. WOW! My eyes bugged out on the price. I could not believe that these little things were $1,200.00. So what does one do when on a budget? Turn to Craigslist, Facebook Market, or spread the word that you are looking for something on Social Media.
Dakota, who is still in Puerto Rico found one about an hour from our house on Facebook Market. It was grandma owned and shortly after she bought it moved to another apartment. This thing still had the blue plastic over the knobs and there was no lint in the trap or in the pipe. We snagged this thing up for $500.00. Can you say Cha-Ching?
I do have a Pinterest board started for the kitchen with some of our ideas. Once I get more items finalized and posted I will share the link.
Stay tuned for next time the cabinets will be front and center.
Those of you who follow me on social media and Pinterest may have read a few of my posts about decluttering and leading a simpler life. I have also blogged about it, especially at the beginning of the New Year.
To say that our life is full is a HUGE understatement because our cups are definitely running over. I do concede that we may be people that like to stay busy, but we are ready to slow down and lead an active and enjoyable life. There is a difference. We want one, where on a Saturday afternoon can mean taking off to enjoy a day at the winery, without sitting there thinking of the 10 million things that we should be doing at home.
One of my boys kindly pointed out one day that I basically have like four full-time jobs. I love the path that Dan and I have taken with the business and its growing. Growing to the point that our middle son, Zack has come home to help us and will one day take on a major role in the business.
With Zack comes Buddy the Bernese, along with all of Zack's household belongings. For now, he is living in the basement but we have a plan for his future living situation. That's another blog post, but the point here is it's more "STUFF".
How many of you when trying to unplug to read a book or sit on your front porch, mentally build a to-do list? Raise your hand, go ahead. That is your "stuff" holding you hostage. To me, it's like a noose around my neck and its been
getting tighter the older I get.
We have this beautiful setting here at the cottage, but for me to go outside it is mentally exhausting. I cannot just sit, I have the porch cleaned and the weeds pulled, well mentally anyways, before I am up and off doing laundry again.
See my problem.
It's an issue because my craziness bleeds into Dan's world. Poor guy and he is great at just letting shit go, unlike his batshit crazy wife. It drives me crazy that the basement is a mess, after 3 floods, with "stuff" that we don't need obviously, because I never venture down there. The garages are overflowing with "stuff" that we have moved like 5 times. Sad to say that I have never been able to
park my car in the garage.
The door gets kicked in here and now with an opportunity to downsize, OK not like a little, but a major. Think of it like a full Swedish Death Cleaning,
while living and at a young age.
Our youngest son is leaving the US Coastguard and is moving back home too. Attention friends who are saddened that their kids are leaving the nest after high school graduation, no worries because they come back home.
It's a great feeling knowing that they want to be close to you too.
It means that you did something right as parents.
Dakota and Janna purchased an apartment house here in Ohio, after the hurricane in Puerto Rico where they are stationed. This is a four unit old house with a nice little one story unit on the back. Basically, we are trading spaces when they come home in July. He and Janna need more space with a family, and we need less
space and stuff to enjoy life.
The beauty is that we are doing a small renovation and we will move in when it is COMPLETELY done. Yes, I said COMPLETELY. Then when we move on to the next chapter, which I am hoping involves a beach, Dakota will have an upscale unit to rent and we will have much less"stuff" to transport.
Do not be afraid for us I cannot emphasize enough how ready we are. Dan and I have discussed this at great length, and we are beyond ready to PURGE. Folks, I caution you this is not a decluttering.
Our plan is to bring you along on this journey. The first part of the journey is checking out our new digs. Keep in mind we have the knack to turn shit into roses as they say. Not that this is shit, it is just a little tired. Sort of like us.
Allow me to introduce to you the "The Suite".
800 SQ Ft of HAPPINESS!
This name choose us because many times we have been in a hotel or cabin and have said, yes we could live in a space like this. Here is our chance.
Stay tuned because I will be sharing with you all the twists and turns, along with all the materials that we will be using throughout the project,
and of course our DIY tips.
No pun intended with the Government shutdown happening. Don't you wish we could all be like the political babies and just stomp our feet and say no we are not doing it and then BOOM nothing gets done. It's not that easy in life, unfortunately. Enough about politics, I am not getting into a political rant today.
My "Saturday Shutdown" is taking the day off, well off from the "day job" I am focusing on our household chores and our little, Adeline is coming to play with Gigi while her Mom gets a much needed day off!
So the reality of how much I get done will probably really not be as much as I have on my mental list. That's OK because I know it will all be here tomorrow and the many days after.
This morning I have bee scrolling through Pinterest. Looking for recipes for some pantry stock. This all plays in to my "less is more" theory. I am trying to cook with some creative things that we already have and only spend on a few necessities that we need. Like coffee and creamer. Priorities right!
But seriously, I have enough orzo to feed a small village. This week's menu will be featuring a soup and a main orzo dish with some orzo. I will supply you with the recipes and photos on social media this week.
The other idea that I have is going through our endless bottles of lotions and beauty supplies. YES, I know you know what I am talking about. Look under that bathroom sink of all the gifts from Christmas past or even the bottles that have just a few bit left but you had to switch because the shampoo and conditioner need to be the same brand. GOT YA! We are going through them one bottle at a time.
We are even giving up toothpaste too! Dan and I both agree that we like regular, plain old baking soda with our Phillips SoniCare toothbrushes. We absolutely love how our teeth feel and as you know there are other things that you can use baking soda for. Here is a link to Dr. Axe and 33 remedies that you can use with baking soda.
Like the government right now, we are on a spending freeze on so many items. With our business just getting off the ground we have a lot of expenses going out for that, especially with the new shop. I am looking for creative ways to downsize and earn extra cash to help pay down debt that we have incurred as a result.
I am packing my Poshmark Closet full and I have discovered a few new selling sites on FaceBook which I will share with you on our page. Every day I am trying to list a few things. All of this comes from reading ideas on the Pennyhoarder.
I recently sold this Indiana Carnival Glass Candy Dish on This and That Vintage FaceBook Group.
Well, I think I hear my girls coming up the lane. It's gonna be a heat wave in Ohio today. A high of 48 and that will turn our life here on the ridge a "Muddy Mess".
Enjoy the day!
Till next time!
Happy Monday All! It's only the 15th of January and I am already two blog posts behind. Please forgive me for this, as you all already know our life is full.
I have been giving some presentations on QuickBooks with our local area chambers, my last one for this month is this week plus we are on the cusp of busy season. Poor Dan is running around like a madman working and piecing the shop together all alone. For some reason my four days a week job has morphed into five or six.
With all of this in our lives, not to mention our children, family, and friends, I have made a decision that I will no longer do work on the weekends, I will also take a day for self-care. Whether it's a mental or a physical break to just be and enjoy the moment that I am in because busy is not a badge of honor I have declared.
I have over the last few weeks came across some really awesome FaceBook pages and blogs about all of this. A lot of our stress in life comes from "stuff", the materialistic weight of all the things that we do not need. Along with our mental mindset of how we are choosing to lead our lives. I really recommend following the pages of Life Simplified and Becoming UnBusy. Here are a few of their posts that have struck me and I have had to share.
This past Friday evening at 6:15, Dan walked down to our basement and discovered 6" of water yet again. This is the third time in less than two years. The sump pump gave out and the majority of the stuff that was down there is now drying out again. The funny thing is I really can't tell you the last time I was down in our basement. So my conclusion is I must not really need the stuff that it holds.
Yet again, this basement is going to suck up more of our precious time because now we have to clean it all up again, but this time we are DISPOSING of the stuff. It will either go to the dumpster at the end of the lane, sold or donated. As far as I am concerned the basement can be emptied and when the kids come for a visit they can use the air mattress. Obviously, nothing down there is an everyday need for us if we go down there so little.
In the five wonderful years that Dan and I have been married, we have moved five times. Our garage is still full of boxes from our past lives and things that we have accumulated from our short time together. Needless to stay I still can't park in our garage.
I think about all the wasted energy from us packing up and moving the same stuff over and over. Then we have the money that we have used renting a storage building. All of that energy, time and money WASTED, that we could have used to share a real adventure together and made a memory for the books.
We are done! Finished! Finto! I don't care if it is just one box, one drawer or one item but every day I am clearing out and eliminating something from our house. Yesterday I cleaned out two drawers, today I listed some vintage glassware online. Tomorrow will be just the same.
To say that we are going to become minimalist, perhaps not, but I would say that we are "cutting the clutter" MAJORLY.
Till next time!
It's Memory Monday and I want to share a family memory with you from this past year. This memory caused a lot of craziness and worry in our family but we got through it. That's what families do.
As you all know we had quite a few hurricanes last year. Our youngest son, Dakota, his wife and our little Adeline happened to be in the path of two of them. Dakota was and still is stationed with the United States Coast Guard, in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the time the two that impacted the Caribbean in September.
The first one they rode it out pretty easily since it did not have a direct hit on Puerto Rico. The second one not quite so much. Erma took a direct hit to the island. Luckily for us, Janna and Adeline were evacuated the day before it hit Puerto Rico.
I am sure that Janna, will never forget this past year, but I only wish that our Adeline, would have been old enough to remember her ride out of Puerto Rico on the C-130 US Coast Guard Cargo Plane. The orders were given early that morning and they could only pack one suitcase for each and at the time we had no idea where they were flying into.
They landed in Tampa that afternoon to much chaos with everything be so short notice. Luckily for our girls, they only had to spend one night and then we had them on a plane bound for Ohio. We were so thrilled to be able to hug them when they arrived at the airport and Dan and I were so relieved to have them home safely.
We all worried and prayed for Dakota and his shipmates and the families that where left behind, but as Dakota reminded me on a regular basis, this is what they train and prepare for everyday. Then of course I reminded him, that "Worry" is what Momma's do.
Our girls are still here in Ohio with us and unfortunately they will not be able to be reunited with Dakota full time for quite some time. He has been home twice and I know that every time he leaves them it is harder and harder. We all do our best to keep them busy and to make the time fly. Luckily, children are resilient and at this stage, the impact is not as great.
Adeline keeps Janna hopping, as well as her handmade soap business, Sailor Suds. She and Dakota started this in Puerto Rico and she has kept it going. I am looking forward to watching where she takes the business into the coming year.
I am quite proud of our girl, Janna and the strong mother that she is. She might night be mine by birth, but I love and admire her the same.
Till next time.
P.S. If you would like to purchase any of Janna's natural handmade soap, I have linked the images below to her etsy page.
And just like that, it's Friday. I am now truly believing what my grandparents use to say about how time just goes faster the older that we get.
Dan has been running around handling the day to day business of No Pressure Services. This means, chasing down parts, picking up repairs and making hoses. With all that, he has been moving bits and pieces into our new shop.
My goal for him is to be all moved in and comfy cozy by the end of the month. I hope for his sake that we can make that happen. I hate him having his inventory spread out over three places. He spends more time hunting than he does making hoses and repairs.
Right now we are basically a one-man band with me at my day job at the accounting firm, as a QuickBooks Advisor. I try hard to keep the paper work end of the business going on the weekend and handle all the marketing. Luckily, I know a thing or two about bookkeeping, and together we are building the business, one day at a time.
I give business advice to my clients everyday. I am always telling them that a business does not happen overnight and not to stress the small stuff. The big one is to have patience and let the business take its natural course.
I will tell you this and Dan will wholeheartedly agree with me, I am better at giving the advice to soothe my clients, than taking the advice myself. This is something that I am always working on. Life as I just explained is too short to sweat the small stuff and not to savor the moments. When you are building a business, you really need to savor the BIG moments.
So for 2018, I am on the path of savoring life and with that, I would like you to savor with me our new shop.
Dan and I, as most of you already know or can tell, have a love of the old. This space at the "Old Lodge" building, is part of a revitalization that is going on in our small river town, in Malta, Ohio. When I stumbled into it, I knew for sure it was the perfect spot for No Pressure Services. I had to persuade my husband a little tho.
Our original plan for our business was not to have a brick and mortar location but in small towns and areas like ours we have quickly found that a brick and mortar is a must. Especially, since we are serving the local agricultural community.
These images that I am sharing with you are a lot of before and a few pictures of the pieces that will be going into the space. I promise to update you once we get all moved in over the next few months and things are looking really pretty.
Happy Friday and till next time!
Happy Wine Down Wednesday! I am into this short week like no other, but so ready for it to be over. What about all of you?
We are crazy busy with life and our new shop for No Pressure Services! (Which I will be sharing pics of soon.) Dan is working like a madman, while I am off tending to my small business clients getting them and their QuickBooks up and running for the New Year. Oh let's not forget that awful "T" word, TAX Season is now upon us.
When it is crazy like this, I am always looking for quick and easy meals. Especially, when it's cold outside. The last thing that I want to do is leave the ridge after I am in for the night. Especially, after I have my comfy clothes on. Yes, ladies, you know what that means, yoga pants and NO BRA!
One of our easy go-to meals is a charcuterie-board or if you are from the hills like us, a meat and cheese board. Some evenings we will even pair it with a bottle of wine. Pinterest has some great ideas on these easy to make boards and I have started a collection for you to look at.
The can be as easy as this one is-no need for complicating life, just go with what you have on hand.
Oh, don't think these are just for adults either. Our, Adeline, loves a good board too!
Like this one with pretzels and her favorite, PICKLES. The wine in the background was an adult only glass. No worries.
For me, grapes or berries are a must, but it's really up to you. We love a hard salami and sometimes it's just a simple turkey pepperoni because that is all that's in the fridge. Crackers or no crackers, again a lot is just based on the pantry stockings. Oh, and Daniel's must-have is an olive of some sort. If you have a Trader Joe's & Aldi's close by, they are a great grab for some of these items.
Have a great rest of your Wednesday and "Cheers" to sliding into the weekend like no other. Well almost.
P.S. Here are a few ideas for serving your board!
Hello there! We are Daniel & Amy Smith of Triple "R" Creations. Together we are creating a crazy re-fined life, be it re-creating, re-modeling, traveling, enjoying fine food or just enjoying life with our family and friends. All from our crazy cottage by the pond along the banks of the Muskingum River, in Southeastern Ohio. Come in sit a spell and read all about our latest adventure.