Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Currently ~ August 2020

Hi! I hope the week is going well.  I know even as we begin this month of August, school presents a lot of new challenges, whether our kids will have in person classes, virtual, homeschooling or new college routines.  Even those not in that stage of life are close to someone who is.  I hope we can all support one another as we face a new set of adjustments.  I know I need the reminders to stay hopeful and be an encouragement to others.

Today, I am linking up Anne in Residence for the Currently series.  Today's topics are:
Choosing, Consuming, Enjoying, Ordering, and Remembering

I am choosing to be thankful in the midst of the ups and downs of 2020.  I don't always do this well, but I have been choosing thankfulness through the sudden changes this year.  I am thankful for my unemployment which has allowed me to be home this summer to spend time with family.  I have enjoyed being a housewife, grocery shopping during the week, being able to drive my daughter when she has needed to go somewhere (usually a church event), spending time with my parents, siblings, and greats. 

I am consuming more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and processed foods.  I did just the opposite the first few months of quarantine, but have tried to eat healthier over the summer months.  50 is approaching fast and I would like to be a little healthier.  

I am enjoying time with family.  I have enjoyed the time this summer with my family.   We have had some fun together, yet I have also enjoyed the times when we have been under the same roof but still have done our separate things. I enjoyed the past 2 days being able to see my brother, sister-in-law and niece again.  Next week, I will enjoy seeing all my in-laws. 

I am ordering random things these days.  Most of my orders seem to be random things for our bathroom for a window, sink drain stoppers, ceiling fan, interior door locks, mirrors..all that exciting stuff :).  After an unsuccessful trip to Target last week to complete my shopping list, I made an online order for Target for household/beauty goods that I was able to pick up at another store.

I am remembering when going back to school was so different last year.  It was announced the public schools would all begin virtually here.  My youngest daughter has only spent 2 years in public school (she was homeschooled until 9th grade).  Doing school at home will be very similar to doing homeschool again!  

Happy Wednesday friends!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Monthly Musings ~ July 2020

Today I am linking up with Good, Better, Best, Food blog for monthly musings on the topic of vacations.  This is a fun topic since I love to travel and I am going on vacation in a few weeks.  
1.  Top 5 Items to pack for vacation:  
Depending on the location, things I pack could look a little different, however, my top 5 for any trip would be snacks (whether it be for the car or never know when there will be a delay), water bottle, rain jacket, phone & charger & headphones (counting all that as 1:)), and a backpack (usually it is easier to tote more things in a backpack than a regular purse).

2.  Packing Cubes: 
 This is a strong yes for me.  We discovered these about 5 years ago and love these.  I have even given some as gifts.  We have used them for so many things.  Sometimes it is for those essentials I mentioned above, but mostly I use them for packing clothes.  I have arranged the cubes by category, such as shirts, pants, pajamas, etc. or have also packed them by each day of the trip.  I use them for dirty clothes at the end of the trip.  I have always ordered from Ebags & they have many varieties and colors to choose here.

3.  Do you prefer warm or cold destinations?  
If left to choose between warm or cold, I would probably go warm.  I am not a fan of extreme heat, but it is hard to do much outside if it is too cold.

4. Favorite vacation location of all time?  
I have loved my 2 trips to Montana....once when I got married and then on our 20 year anniversary.  It is truly the most beautiful state.
Glacier National Park 1998
Same spot...20 years later, 2018

5. Given our state of affairs, what are your staycation tips? 
 Check out your local zoo, museums, parks and trails, botanical gardens and local restaurants!  

6.  Camping? Glamping?
 Depends on how you define camping!  We had a travel trailer for about 5 years when our girls were younger and we really loved it.  I have tent camped a few times with my husband before, but those days are behind me.  My camping these days is a Holiday Inn!

7.  How many states have you traveled? 
42 states!!  I am still missing Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

8.  Have you ever traveled by RV?  
As mentioned above, we traveled with our travel trailer and it was perfect for that stage of life for our family.  We would pack up groceries and drive to state parks most of the time.  It was always fun to camp with friends too.  I loved that we had a little kitchen and bathroom inside.  Our girls had bunkbeds and we had a queen size bed.  Such fun memories! This picture below was not our actual camper, but it looked just like this one:

9.  Most random place you have traveled? 
 As a person who grew up in a traveling family and also being a travel agent, I have been fortunate to travel in my lifetime.  However, there are many, many places in the USA or international I have never visited.  The furthest I have ever traveled is to Hong Kong and Singapore.  The most unique place I have traveled is to Machu Picchu, Peru.  It is truly one of the wonders of the world.

10.  What is the first place to travel after the pandemic?
  I am going to a beach in a few weeks, so that is exciting, but yet certainly not post pandemic.   I would love to visit New York City again when I go see a broadway play again!
From 2016

Happy Thursday friends!

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What's Up Wednesday ~ July 2020

It is time to for What's Up Wednesday!  We are almost to August, which means another month closer to fall :).  Bring on the warm colors, fall smells and pumpkins!
What we're eating this week....
I have been eating a little healthier the last 2 months, so here is this weeks menu:
Monday - air fryer chicken, corn, salad, green beans
Tuesday - Stouffers lasagna (&leftover homemade lasagna for me made a little healthier)
Wednesday - salmon and veggies/Chick-Fil-A for the daughter
Thursday - homemade pizza
Friday - ?

What I'm reminiscing about...
Two years ago I took my girls to a Harry Styles concert. It was such a fun night! We had tickets for another concert this week, but it has been postponed until 2021.  

What I'm loving...
I am still loving my time at home every day.  I am thankful for this time I have had this summer before looking for a new job this fall.

What I'm listening to....
I am listening to podcasts.....The Office Ladies, Boo Mama, Proverbs 31 and a few random others.  On weekends, I hear the sound of power tools :)  Last weekend we did the demo on our old shower.  I took no less than 50 trips from the shower to the dumpster.  We will eventually turn this old shower into a closet.  (a link to our other renovations are at the bottom of the post)
We had already removed the door at the time I took this photo. 

What I'm working on....
I am painting my daughters bathroom this week.  My other projects are typical cleaning and organizing around the house.  There is always something!

What I'm excited about....
Vacation!  I will go on vacation next month so I have also begun to make all the lists of packing and researching a few things in the area.

What I'm watching /reading.....
I am still watching Hart of Dixie.  It is a hard habit to break y'all.  I also started watching All Rise and of course The Office.  I have also enjoyed the Hallmark movie series "Signed, Sealed, Delivered".  

What I'm wearing....
I am wearing the usual summer outfit for me.....jeans and short sleeve shirt.  I am not a big shorts person, but I do occasionally.  I am so ready for fall weather.  

What I'm doing this weekend....
I don't have any plans for the weekend....Probably laundry and more work on the house.

What I'm looking forward to next month.........
Vacation!!  I am thankful we got in a fun trip to San Antonio the end of January, but it's been a while now and I am ready to take a vacation.  So excited!

What else is new........
We have been doing renovations around our house.  Check out this blog post for lots of before and after photos!  Also, a few weeks ago, we had a swim date my greats, which is always a highlight.

 Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow for Monthly Musings!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday Favorites ~ July 2020

Just checking in to share a few Friday Favorites from the week.  Like for most, these weeks do seem to fly by quickly!  

Monday night we went to watch a friend's son play in a Little League baseball game.  It was so fun to watch live baseball again and sit outside to visit with friends we had not seen in months.

I used some Restor a Finish and Beesewax on our dining room chairs to buff out some scratches and bring the finish back to life.  This was an easy, quick project for an afternoon. 

 On an evening walk, we saw tons of mallard ducks land in this cove (we do live in a neighborhood with a lake).  The nearby yard puts out feed where we usually see deer, but I think the ducks are eating it first these days!

I went to dinner with my husband this week for a little date night.   
I had delicious brisket stew, which is served with a cornbread waffle (basically cornbread made in a waffle maker). 
Afterwards, we went on a little walk. I was in a dress and wedges, so completely over dressed, but it was still nice to get in a walk. 
Clearly, not ideal shoes for me:) 
We drove and saw a beautiful sunset. 
Speaking of sunsets, this is another  spectacular view I saw this week.  Thank you God for your beauty in your creation!
Another favorite was spending some time with a friend face to face this week and a phone call with a friend who I had not talked with in a long time.  These moments are sweet reminders we are not alone in this life. 

Have a great Friday and weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Tuesday Talk ~ Home Renovation Update

Today I am linking up for Tuesday Talk talking about our current home renovations.  We bought our home 3 1/2 years ago and I love it even more today than I did then.  I am so thankful for our home.  I have always loved the layout of the house and it was great that it was very liveable at time of move-in, even though it had not been updated in about 35 years.

When we first moved in, the first big project we did was the kitchen, and by we, I mean my 99% my husband :).  Here are some before and afters of that work:
Here, we took out the carpet, removed the step up (which including 2 days of getting sand out of our kitchen which had been used as the foundation of this), replaced the light, built the window seat and added the column.
Here is a view from the old dining room table into the kitchen.
And that same view today!  We opened up the wall a little more between the kitchen and den, added new kitchen cabinets, installed a gas cooktop, a microwave and backsplash.
Here is another before view of looking from the breakfast area into the kitchen:
You can see we removed the island and made the peninsula shorter so we would have a wider walkway with the new cabinet.  We also replaced the lighting, removed the soffit, painted the cabinets and got a new refrigerator.
And last kitchen before view from the kitchen into the breakfast area:
And after.... 

The next big project we planned on doing was our master bath.  We started that project, along with some others in June.  We are doing most of the work ourselves, which means most work gets done on the weekends, so this will take some time.  I am hoping to have 99% of it completed by the fall season.
This is our bathroom vanity before the renovations.  I had painted these oak cabinets a few years ago.  Again, this was very functional, but just not updated.  I was just happy to have two sinks!
Here is another view towards our shower.  We are going to take out that shower and turn it into a storage/linen closet.
We removed the mirror and will replace the lights.  We have a friend who is building us new vanity cabinets.  The first pieces have been installed and we are waiting on the rest.  We will pick up 2 new mirrors this week.
Here is the same view but with a new countertop and sinks.  We really like it!
Across from the original vanity was a jacuzzi tub.  This tub had never been used, except for storage :). We decided to turn this into a shower.  
After taking out the old window and tub, we busted up the floor to make it tile ready, did plumbing, and framed the new outside wall, which will be covered in sheetrock.  We are waiting on glass for the new window.  Below is how it looks now.  We are still waiting on a few accessories before the shower will be grouted.  Thankfully, we have been using our guest bath during this renovation time. 
Here is a before (with some work done) and after of a new vanity we have for our guest bathroom.

 We have also done some upgrades to our daughters bathroom. 
This is the carpet that runs between bedrooms.  It wasn't in great shape when we bought the house, but has just gotten worse, so it was time to go. 
This is the new flooring (which I shared on a previous blog too).  The only think lacking for the floor is some base shoe trim which will have to be added since it was previously carpet. 
This is their vanity.  I had painted the cabinet shortly after moving in because it was originally oak. 
This is their new countertop and sink and it changes the look so much.  I still need to paint the walls, we are re-hanging the mirror, installing a new light and new towel racks.  

I shared these before pictures last week of our den, but here they are again with some after shots.  But first, the picture below is what this space looked like from the realtor pictures before we bought the house.
We took out the carpet, the window to the left of the fireplace and our furniture is arranged differently.
We got countertops for the bookshelves and fireplace.  The bottom white part of the fireplace will be painted gray to match the cabinets.  This area also needs touch up flooring and trim.   

Thanks for following along with a lot of pictures in this post!  I will put some finished pictures ,when that happens, in a future post.  I recommend if you buy a house or do any projects in your home, take before and after pictures.  I am glad I have our realtor pictures to look back on and see the progress.  So thankful for our home.

Have a great week!

Currently ~ August 2020

Hi! I hope the week is going well.  I know even as we begin this month of August, school presents a lot of new challenges, whether our kids ...