Monday, February 22, 2016

Impatiently waiting for Spring to arrive


I took this photo later in the day after the temps had risen to 60 and snow was melting.

Last Friday morning, I got my car stuck in our driveway trying to get to the end for M to grab the bus. I was wearing flip flops. With 50+mph winds that day, there was a couple of spots that were at least 2 feet deep. The car stayed here until the snow MELTED later that day. MELTED. After I spent 2 hours trying to shovel it out and gave up, ended up having to meet my friend and her son in town so they didn't get stuck in the drive.

Then we saw this:

A John Deere hauling THREE rail cars in Marlette.

Interesting morning.

I am IMPATIENTLY waiting for Spring to arrive.

The day before, I got a bit bored, found a sampler of turquoise paint and made my pantry door happy.

First dry brushed coat:

I sat and stared at the door at this point for quite a just didn't look right with the oak trim. So I dug out the painter's tape:

Perfect!  Happy door.

The happy door MADE me start Pinning outdoor landscaping, patio and fire pit ideas. Oh and red barns...the Booger, as I lovingly call it, needs some red paint DESPERATELY. (BTW, all of the junk and weeds have been cleared away, just saying.)

Like this:

Swoon. One of our neighbors to the back has a gorgeous red horse barn and it makes me giddy to see it lit by the sunset every night (or when we see the sun that is).

I have plans, BIG plans (sorry Hubs) for the yard as soon as it's soft enough to dig in (and I invest in a good back brace).

16x16 patio block area at the base of the sunroom steps:

Love this system!

Lights of course:

Fire pit area out by garden shed, pea gravel will be perfect:

The fire pit needs to sit back away from the patio block area outside of the sunroom due to the propane tank location...plan on getting a nice piece of 4ft fencing to block the view of the "pig" as the patio block area will extend right up to it.

Speaking of the garden shed:

How flipping cute is that?!  I do have one window I can fancy up and of course a white door begging for red paint perhaps. Currently my garden shed is looking a bit bare but won't take much to brighten her up:

Cannot forget the front of the house...have plans for this huge pile of field stones behind The Booger:

Along the lines of this:

So many ideas...hopefully the back will hold out. And my BIL lets me borrow his skid loader to move all of that rock.


Before I sign off, I have to give a shout out to one of our new favorite local restaurants, The Mulefoot Gastropub in Imlay City. Their online reservation system rocks as well as the place itself. We had a date night Friday the 12th for that lovely Hallmark holiday Valentine's Day (in a raging blizzard of course) and what a gastro experience it was!

Swoony barn doors

Owner raises the Mulefoot hogs

Best lentil soup I've ever had

The tomahawk cut with sage potato latke and apple reduction

apple danish with bourbon vanilla ice cream Check the place out if you'd like to make the journey...and give us a shout as we may just want to join you. Farm to table experience you will love plus only Michigan beers served. They will be moving sometime this spring to a historic building downtown Imlay City so excited to see it when it's finished.  Happy eating!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover, Part Deux

Like many in our state, the view out my front door Monday afternoon looked like this:

Two days with no school.  TWO DAYS.

I was FINALLY able to leave the house yesterday (10-12" of snow + no snow plow = snowed in) so decided to head north a few miles to the best Mennonite store Country View ( for some groceries.  This was basically the entire drive after I left the comfort of my dirt roads:

I made it there and back, top speed of 25 mph!  And spent $80. Don't cellphone has voice command, only one finger used, the thumb, during the taking of this photo and the eyes never left the road.

Let's get back to the title of this post...

...I just couldn't leave well enough alone.  The pristine state of these newly painted white cabinets were driving me a bit nutty.  Constantly looking at them for scratches or tiny missing patches of paint.  I knew I had a bag of super fine steel wool in the basement mess, so I went digging.  And found it.

I couldn't let these cabinets age gracefully...I had to help them along.  To keep my sanity, what little is left.  Not sure who I was trying to kid with these cabinets looking so perfect anyways...that's NOT me nor is it my shabby farmhouse junky look I seem to be achieving.  Plus my OCD just wasn't having it.

I lightly distressed, hit all of the edges and a few random spots on the faces of the doors and drawer fronts. A couple of spots I got a bit over zealous with the steel wool, took off a bit too much paint, but will see if it bothers me enough to paint over them. So far it doesn't.

Still haven't decided exactly what treatment I am going to give the peninsula beyond the off black paint job...thinking it needs a multi-color distress treatment.  I have a spare laminate shelf I took out of one of the cabinets I will get to experimenting on SOON.

And very big THANK YOU to our neighbor who took care of us Tuesday night as the boys were dealing with the snow that had drifted back over the drive...that I had spent 2.5 hours shoveling the day before. Angel with a plow on his truck!

Next year: better snow removal beyond a SHOVEL and snow fencing. Priorities.

For now I will sit back and enjoy my stress-free slightly shabby kitchen cabinets.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My best friends Purdy and RePurpose before and afters

Purdy and RePurpose are my favorite paint brush and paint.  Have felt like this brush was surgically attached to my hand this past week.  But for good reason!

When we moved into the house, I told myself I would live with the oak cabinets in the kitchen for a few months...I made it to the 3 month mark.

Before-Before (before we moved in):

New Before (old after):

New After:

Here is how this project started...I walked into the Oak Cave (its nickname I gave it) on January 27th and couldn't take it anymore.  Now, I've had comments about how could I paint over those beautiful cabinets, but they weren't really that beautiful up close.  They are in fantastic shape BUT the finish was worn on just about every door AND it was just too much for me with the oak flooring AND oak trim throughout the house, with the exception of the sunroom and its white trim.

So I found the cabinet door I had taken off previously next to the range, got out my sampler of RePurpose Chroma Color Paint in Crisp Linen White, and painted it up.

Stared at the painted door for a while, working up my courage to take on this huge project.  34 doors/drawer fronts plus the boxes and peninsula. That's a lot of Purdy strokes.

I bit that bullet the next morning, opened up a new quart of Crisp Linen White and began.  I took one bank of cabinets a day, since I was using the peninsula counter top for my door painting station.  I didn't take the drawer fronts off, just opened the drawers slightly and painted the faces.  I also only painted the face of the cabinets except for the one door-less cabinet (that I painted the inside of); the insides are basically only seen when opened and even new white cabinets tend to be wood tone on the inside.  Plus I did NOT want to put myself Purdy through all of that extra work...painting the inside of that one small cabinet was a feat in itself.

Looks like Michigan

The peninsula backside was a big question mark of what to do with it. Originally I wanted to put some of the old barn wood off of my BIL's farm on it, but then thought of all of the knee skin that would be left behind by those that chose to sit on the stools.  I am still playing with the idea of cladding it in corrugated metal.  But for now I opened up a can of Cast Iron Kettle Black and painted 1 coat.  You can see a bit of the oak peeking through in some spots and I may distress it even further with a wash of Flannel Grey.

This morning as the sun was rising and the boys were still sleeping, I got out the camera to take some shots of the finished kitchen...before it got messy again.  Forgive the lighting...the sun was just coming up after all.

Love the sun reflecting off of the white!

I used 2.5 quarts total of the white and barely any of the kettle black quart.  As for paint prep, I basically just washed the cabinets down good to remove any stuck on food or grease.  These cabinets did not have a glossy finish at all or I may have roughed them up a bit with some sandpaper.  I did not prime...not necessary with this paint.  I don't mind the grain of the oak showing through....if you do, then you need to prime.  This paint has a matte finish so the way it took on the oak reminds me of an opaque stain.  And I love it!  I also did not add a sealer...I may in the future, will see how it goes.  This paint dries like an acrylic, very hard, but I also have 2 lazy susan doors without handles that I can see getting distressed pretty quickly if SOME PEOPLE in this house do not use the pads of their fingers instead of their FINGERNAILS to open them (cough-cough).

If you are interested in finding out more about the RePurpose Paint line sold in Cari's shop RePurpose in Holly, MI (and online), visit her website at  Her shop is super cute too, so visit if you are out that way!

This room is so bright and fresh now, now more Oak Cave.  Now, if I can just convince Hubs to change out all of the fugly cream colored electrical outlets.

Thank you Purdy, my BBF!