Tour the Town!

During a recent hangout with my BFF Amber, we decided we wanted to inspire something a little different for 2019. We were talking about some of the Instagram pages that really strike us, how the imagery makes us want to do more, and travel more, and eat more, and figure out internet fame! We cracked up over how popular some pages are and for such simple content. This discussion became a rabbit hole of ideas and before we new what was happening we were starting something pretty awesome!

We have decided to take 2019 and discover everything we can about our own hometown, and any other place that we might travel too or stumble upon along the way! And whilst exploring we’ll share these adventures with all of you here, along with pictorial reviews on Instagram! You can follow us @Tour_the_Town

Amber and I met 7 years ago when she and her husband moved back to Michigan from South Carolina. Her husband and I went to high school together, he and my husband grew up playing baseball together, and we had one other rather sad connection…. Her son was a cancer survivor and my late son was at the time a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Not something you expect to bond over but there was an empathy there that I needed, and 7 years later I don’t know what I would do without her!

We live a block away from each other in a small Michigan town that we both grew up in. We have thrown parties, held fundraisers, gone to community and school events, and even vacationed together! Our families often feel like one big family and we love that! So now that we are starting Tour the Town we hope you’ll have fun with us, laugh with us, and get to know us a little better.

Since we are so close to our little district of Vandercook Lake we plan to start there! There are a couple of awesome little restaurants right around the corner from us, and we plan to highlight these locations each week, or as often as our schedules allow! This week we visit Klavon’s pizzeria and pub in Vandercook Lake! This locally owned restaurant and sports bar has quite a story to share and we can’t wait to get to it! More soon, until then enjoy some memories from Amber and I. Thanks for following along!

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…

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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!

 

Fantastic Fall Cookies for the WIN!

So after polling my various social media outlets, email subscribers, and getting some feedback right here on WordPress.com, it looks like this fall I will be hosting a blog series on Fabulous Fall Cookies!

Fall cookies

I’ve already started to compile a list of favorites, and can’t wait to get in the kitchen and get things started! I will include a couple of sugar free options as well, so stay tuned! I promise there will be a little something for every taste… Happy Fall Baking Y’all!

 

Cheers to 20 Years!

Cheers

Today my husband Andy and I celebrate 20 years of marriage. It’s quite a milestone, and I’m both glad and sometimes a little surprised we made it this far lol. One thing they don’t tell you when your young and in love is that marriage is HARD! You have to be willing to work at it, and understand that not every moment of your life is a family picture… Christmas card…pumpkin spiced latte…perfect date kind of day with your spouse.

In twenty years we’ve lived together in three different homes, our first was a tiny two bedroom bungalow with dated blue carpet… but it was perfect for us then. We’ve lived through the births of three beautiful babies, and survived the devastating loss of our Logan.  We’ve collectively held 8 different jobs, and now live in the challenge of working together. We’ve made countless friends, enjoyed hours of fun together, and have done a bit of travelling.

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In twenty years we have learned how to both communicate effectively, and shut each other out… not a proud moment usually. We’ve laughed, cried, screamed, sulked, joked, surprised, and most of the time loved each other. On less of a becoming note I will say though that we have also hurt each others feelings, forgotten to be the most responsible people we know, called each other terrible names, and yes even contemplated a divorce. What you come to realize after 20 years though is that all of it is normal, and sometimes expected and although not always fun, it’s part of life.

I’ve enjoyed the last 20 years.  There are things I would have done differently but I would never change the person that I have spent those 20 years with.  So, Cheers to 20 years Andrew Richard Bailey. I love you.

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Sunday Side Dish

Happy summer Sunday everyone! This is the first Sunday Since March that the garden center has-been closed so I’m taking advantage of a nice quiet day at home. And you know what that means!  I’m cooking!!

Tonight’s dinner consisted of applewood bacon seasoned pork roast, and a side dish of Swiss chard with wild rice! For dessert I utilized my new Pampered Chef ice cream maker and prepared homemade strawberry ice-cream! Everything has been so delicious. Thought I would share my recipe for the Swiss Chard side dish with you all it light flavorful and delicious, and you could pair it with a number if main dish recipes.

The chard I am using I grew myself! I added a small veggie garden as a demo station at the garden center and my first harvest was yesterday! So it’s nice to see fresh veggies straight from my own garden!

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Swiss chard is a beautiful leafy vegetable with colorful stems, I liken it to collard greens, you can cook the stems and leaves they have a light balanced flavor and absorb seasoning well.

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Here’s what you need for today’s recipe.

1 bunch Swiss chard chopped

2c. Long grain rice cooked according to package directions

1/4c. Butter

3 cloves garlic

1/4 tap onion powder

Black pepper to taste

Optional pan drippings from main course protein. I used the bits of bacon and juice from the pork tenderloin tonight and it was awesome!

In a large sauce pan melt butter add garlic, and Swiss chard. Cooking until chard is crisp tender. Add the rice and additional seasoning. Heat through and serve with your choice of main dish! Enjoy!

 

 

Introducing the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year! ~ Ultra Violet

I love when the Pantone color of the year is introduced and my style feeds start to fill up with inspiring uses of the new trend setting colors!

This years Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra- Violet and I am loving it!

Color of the Year

This color could be viewed as a seemingly difficult color to introduce but it’s actually really fun and easy! You can go for the gusto and introduce it as a primary wall or accent wall color.  I utilized a very similar color when redecorating a medical office that I worked for at one time. Needless to say it met some skepticism until it was on the wall, and wow what an impact. This color has a soothing effect, and has an unexpected appeal.

Ultra Violet Wall

Not sure about painting an entire room purple? No problem! Try adding accent pieces, a vase, a chair, maybe just a picture frame. You’ll be amazed!

Ultra Violet Furniture

Is you’re interior not ready for a splash of color try your garden! Ultra-violet is a prevalent floral color! Go for a classic Nikko Blue Hydrangea, or purple campanula in your perennial gardens and purple verbena, and night sky petunias in your patio pots and hanging baskets!

There are a ton of ways to make this year’s Ultra-violet influence part of your indoor and outdoor decor. How will you use it?

Color of the Year 2

My blog in update format…

I hate when I fall behind and have to blog in updates… I haven’t posted in a couple months as things have been crazy as usual so here it is the big update.

We hosted our annual Halloween party and it was a blast! We had a steampunk carnival theme and I was the ring master. A lot of fun was had by all and next year’s theme…drumroll…masquerade! I can’t wait! Here are a few pics from this year’s party! 

Once past Halloween, my bff Amber and I had a couple of bff craft nights, we made college football themed door wreaths and in gearing up for Christmas we made gingerbread houses! 

The garden center has been busy too! We hand make a huge selection of holiday wreaths and decorations! It’s my favorite season because the creative limitations are lifted! 

I’m now in full blown Christmas panic trying to get everything finished before Christmas next Monday! Hope you’ve all had a fantastic holiday season! Here is a picture of the front porch decor, our visit to the community Christmas tree lighting, Nite Lights, and of course my Christmas tree. I’ll be posting more over the next several months! Happy Holidays everyone!