Wow…where is the time

Having a crazy life moment as I realize my first born…my BABY…is turning 21 tomorrow!!

Happiest of birthdays babe!

2018 Year in Review

2018 is almost complete and I have had a year of ups and downs I’d say. From the standpoint of the blog I’m please to say I have more followers and have enjoyed my blog so much this year! So thank you for making this a bright spot for me! Thousands of views and likes so I must be doing something right.

That being said, I went back to see what you all enjoyed the most this past year. It looks like the activity in my kitchen, and travel reviews are taking home top prizes for 2018!

Here ia a list of my top 10 post from 2018:

#10 Flamingo Hotel and Casino -review

#9 S’More Bites – Fall cookie series

#8 Fall Blog Series

#7 Chocolate Chip cookies take 3

#6 Cheers to 20 years

#5 Pumpkin Spice No-bake Cookies

#4Oatmeal Cream Pies with a Twist

#3 Kitchen Reveal

#2 Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum-Review

#1 Strawberry and Cream Jelly Roll

It looks like the Fall Cookie Series was a huge hit and we will definately be doing that again! I’m think about doing a series this winter on Soups, Stews, and Chili let me know if that sounds good to you guys too!

Another big announcement…my BFF Amber and I have started a new adventure you can find us on instagram @tour_the_town. We will be visiting local restaurants, attractions, and events and documenting everything for you all to enjoy along with us! My “Inspiring Finds” tab will be converted soon after the new year to “Tour the Town” so no need to subscribe to something new you’ll get all that content right here or watch our pictorial review on Instagram! I can’t wait to get started with it!

Tomorrow I will update you on how my resolutions came out for the year and let you know what I’m thinking for 2019! Happy New Year everyone and Thank you so much dor following along with me!

Kitchen reveal!

So…it’s been awhile sorry about that. We have been rushing to finish all of the details on the kitchen remodel that we have been doing on a budget and all on our own! I can’t wait for you all to see the transformation it’s amazing!

Our kitchen was original to the house built in the 1950’s by my husbands grandfather. Needless to say all of the changes have been made with a lot of thought and respect for this family home. It means a lot to us to be able to update the home that his family gathered in for so many wonderful years. I didn’t get a true before…my husband jumps right in! Lol but here is a before that shows a bit of the layout.

Once cabinets were removed and we started measuring for stock cabintry we realized the windows are oddly offset, and the previous cupboards had been built very big to fill that space. Our budget wasn’t flexible enough for custom cabinets so we opted for a trendy look without any upper cabinetry! Risky but worth it you guys I love the look and feel of the new kitchen!

We added a new peninsula workspace, a soffet for additional lighting, and corner shelving.

There are a few details left to tend to they include drawer pulls, roman shades on the windows and the microwave hood vent has to be installed over the stove, but with the holidays creeping up fast we’re choosing our battles. Lol!

I’d love to know your thoughts on our project! Thanks for following along!

Happy Halloween!

This time of year is one of my favorites! I thoroughly enjoy the changing weather, the beautiful fall colors in Michigan, and it’s the time of year when I throw one of my biggest celebrations of the season our annual Halloween Party!

This past weekend months of preparation and planning came together in a fun night full of dancing and laughter with some of my very best friends, and neighbors! Each year we choose a party theme, and decorate our pole barn accordingly. This years theme was Masquerade! I really thought this theme was going to be easier to plan for than what it was. I found it challenging to decorate for… I ended up with a gold black and purple color scheme, lots and lots of balloons… I’m still winded…, and a few decorative mask centerpieces. Oh and I found a fabulous 9ft wide mask on Amazon that was a perfect match to our colors and theme!

I cooked a big crock pot of chili, made apple crisp and some cobb salad dip with crackers, many of our friends brought along passing dishes, and we had plenty to share!

We held a costume/ mask contest this year for the first time… I have no idea how it is I hold an annual Halloween party and never had a costume contest but we remedied that situation this year! Our big winner was Kasey with her Adams Family inspired look! It really was impressive!

We danced the night away, and paid for it the next day witha bit of a headache…perhaps not so much from dancing as from jello shots but well worth this great time! Hope you’re enjoying the Fall season and spreading a little Halloween Cheer, Happy Halloween!

Kitchen Renovation

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you already know that we are in the process of renovating our kitchen.  Although quite  project we are doing all of the renovations on our own DIY style. Thankfully my husband is a licensed contractor and does amazing work.

So here’s the story… we moved into our home 13 years ago. When we moved in the kitchen was original to when the house was built in the 50’s.  We made cosmetic upgrades to get us by but the original cabinetry (handmade plywood) and chipped Formica counters stayed.

As much as I would like to go crazy and design and build my dream kitchen, this is not our forever home, and so we’re sticking to a $5000 budget. That’s $5000 to do EVERYTHING! Cabinets, Counter tops, Floors, Backsplash, Lighting… EVERYTHING! It’s kind of daunting to fit everything in that budget!

So Here is the plan…

BEFORE

Kitchen Before

We have already removed the upper cabinets, and the trim you see at the ceiling has now also been removed. We are keeping some of our appliances and since they are stainless steel this works out perfectly. We will invest in a new Microwave hood vent for over the stove.

We are making the risky decision not to re-install upper cabinets. This is a cost savings, and I feel like it’s kind of a trendy design choice. I also had a mini heart attack at the thought of losing all of that storage, but I think we came up with a way to resolve that and stay on budget… We’re incorporating some open shelving near the sink for glass ware and a few other dishes that we use a lot.

We are installing a stock cream colored cabinet from Lowe’s from the Caspian Collection… They look like this…

caspian-lower-cabinet.jpg

I like the fact that they aren’t super white… I was really afraid to go too stark white as this is a LARGE room. Once lowers are installed we found a stock black Formica counter top, stainless steel sink, beautiful stone back splash, and vinyl plank flooring. We’re installing a new soffit with can lighting, and pendants over the counter top. The finished project should look very similar to this… although this is a crude cut and paste rendering that I did myself lol!!

Kitchen After Rendering

I’m ready to see the finished project already, but we have a long way to go… it will be interesting to see how close we get to my conceptualized drawings! Wish us luck!!

Let me know your thoughts on our idea to eliminate uppers! I’m still nervous! Thanks for reading!

 

Labor Day at the Last Minute

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and although I had to work on Saturday, we still managed to fit in a brief get away.  My husband and I love to travel and frequently do quick weekend trips to some of our favorite hangouts. We seem to gravitate toward the water here in Michigan (maybe because there’s water everywhere lol) but this time we decided to try a new… or newer destination. We had both been here before but not in a very long time. I think I was in high school!! We visited none other that Frankenmuth MI.

Welkommen

Frankenmuth is a couple hours north east of us, and seemed like a good fit for a quick stop vacation. We however didn’t take into account that this was after all a holiday weekend in a tourist town. We didn’t make reservations ahead and upon arriving found that all of the hotels were fully booked except the Frankemuth Motel. Now, I’m not usually a fan of Motel’s but this was a surprise, a little dated but clean, spacious, and the staff was very friendly. It was a quick walk from there to the Main st. action.

Frankenmuth_Motel.jpg

Once checked in we traveled over to main street to see what was happening there are a tons of little shops and specialty stores.  We walked and walked, stopped by the Historical Museum, listened to the Glockenspiel, walked the historic covered bridge, and took in the sites…Did I mention that this place is literally coated in tons and tons and tons of gorgeous flowers!!

Frankenmuthflowers1

They had flowers everywhere lining the streets, hanging from the light poles, across all the building fronts, it was beautiful! In the evening we visited “the Tavern” a local hangout bar, it was OK. traveled from there to Tiffany’s there we had a couple of drinks and appetizers, and shared a dessert. It was a nice quiet laid back evening.

The next day we had lunch at Zehnder’s. They are famous for the chicken dinner served family style with all the delicious sides you can eat. We opted out of an all you can eat menu and order individual meals.

Zehnders-0a32c127

Now I usually order a pretty healthy entree’ I’m not overly picky but I don’t like a lot of heavy food especially early in the day.  So I thought I’ll play it safe and order a hot chicken sandwich… This was not an ordinary chicken  sandwich…

What I thought I was getting… Chicken on sandwich bread or bun with lettuce, tomato, etc… something like this…

Chicken sandwhich

What I actually got was a monotone plate covered in gravy! It was like drowning in gravy lol. Everything gravy…gravy…gravy…gravy…

Zehnders chick sand

Although not what I was expecting I ate it and it was delicious and I was super sleepy the rest of the day lol.

We let our food settle after that on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat tour, this is a nice relaxing tour of the river and the surrounding hotels and establishments there is an entertaining tour guide telling you about the boat, the covered bridge, and many of the area attractions that can be viewed from the river.

bavarian-belle-riverboat

We ended our quick visit to Frankenmuth with a trip to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, a huge holiday store with everything you could possibly think of that is holiday related. I remember it as a kid and it’s still that awesome.

Bronner's

So all in all a nice trip away and something a little different that our usual get away. If you’ve never visited Frankenmuth I highly recommend a visit. It has a lot of beautiful sites, shopping, attractions, and a little old world German/ Bavarian flare. Thanks for reading!