The Mudroom Part 2

Because the mudroom is a converted porch, it has always been kind of an awkward space. It is long and narrow. It had closets and cupboards on the entire north wall which was great for storage but contributed to an incredible amount of wasted floorspace. Or perhaps the issue was more that I was uncertain how to best utilize the space that was available.

We have taken the space and divided it into three spaces. A room that will eventually be at least a half bath but for the time being will be an office cubby. There will be a small walk-in pantry. And then the larger room for a more formal entry to our home. Because, although it is a side door, it is the only door anyone uses and the house needed a more welcoming and defined entry area.

The new wall dividing the office cubby and the pantry:

We chose laminate wood flooring for this space because of the durability and the abuse it will take. Fingers crossed that it was the right choice.

The entry area:
We would like to do some sort of bench with coat hooks or cubbies along this wall. Still discussing the best configuration and design.

Bead board on the ceiling and crown molding to echo some of the details found else where in our home. Here's a little closer look:

Remaining to-do list:
  • install the doors
  • purchase hardware for the doors
  • measure for trim and window casings
  • purchase supplies for trim and casings
  • paint and install trim and casings
  • paint front door
  • figure out configuration of bench/coat cubbies/cabinetry for north wall


My Little Birthday Boy

The Little Man,
One year, already? This year has been full of so many sweet moments. I love your smile, your belly laughs and that you are my snuggler. I love to watch you play with your sister and how quickly you are learning ways to pester her. Your little voice melts my heart. Your mushy kisses bring tears to my eyes. You are a precious blessing that has made me a better person. And I pray, a better mom.
I love you, Buddy.

The Mudroom Part 1-The Demo

I've been promising for awhile now that I would post some pictures of our mudroom/back entry remodel. I must preface this post by saying that this remodel has been long overdue. We've wanted to do something with it for a long time. Just never could figure out what so we waited. And waited. And waited. I can't believe that I don't have a full on "before" picture of it's former glory but here are a few. I am sure that you will quickly get the idea. Prepare yourself for a hideous display of faux wood paneling. Here we go:

Northwest corner:
Looking back toward the side/front door after the formerly "white" carpet was ripped out:

Northwest corner after demo-ing the closet, cabinets and paneling:I am certain that this was a former open back porch that was at some point in the mid 60's enclosed and converted into a more functional back entry. Needless to say when it was enclosed they did a lousy job of insulating and this room has always been freezing in the winter. I am glad we were able to take it all the down, insulate well and replace the drafty windows.

Fun thing about demo-ing all the way down is that occasionally you discover that doorways have been moved somewhere along the line.

The Little Man is waking up from his nap...I'll be back with more soon!


More Rambling...

I'm sorry.

I have no excuses. I really did not intend to leave that last post sitting out there so long. I apologize in advance for the bloggy whiplash you are about to endure.

Are there topics or things you'd like to see me blog about? Questions for me? A give-away? More recipes? More endless rambling? I'd like to know.

It's been an absolutely crazy couple of weeks with two consecutive weekends of birthday celebrations because The Little Man? He turned one last Friday. I can not believe how fast the year went! When I have a minute I will pull the pictures off the camera and post a few here. Promise.

Monday marked the beginning of a two week hiatus from preschool. This week was parent teacher conferences and next week is spring break. It may actually be a miracle if I survive this break. I have not been the mom I want to be lately. This week has only highlighted it. I've been short tempered. I've been unmotivated. I've been undisciplined. I've been struggling with some feelings of resentment and frustration.

I know that I have yet to post pictures on our mudroom. I will get to that as well. Some time soon. I hope.

I hope that the last couple of weeks have gone well for you. And that spring has sprung in your corner of the world. Ours not so much. Cold. Windy. Snow flurries. Ugh.


Open Letter to Local Business

Dear Local Business Owner,
I adore that you have hours posted that you don't keep. It thrills me to no end that I have made multiple trips uptown to give you business or complete our business transaction, only to find the lights off and the door locked. I truly appreciate that you agreed to complete some work for me, I paid you the small sum with the understanding that the work would be done by a certain date and it was not. It made my week that you asked me to come back when you failed to meet the timeline you set. I love that there is no way to leave a message for you as you apparently do not have voicemail or a machine. It is inspiring to me that apparently your customer base is so broad that you do not need my referrals or repeat business. I am grateful for reminder that my business or satisfaction as a customer is not important.
I am indebted to you.
The Mama


I Let Them Help

Ever wonder what the end result of having a three year old and a five year old grease bread pans would be? Wonder no longer:

LOVE it! Princess Pigtails and her friend JK helped me make banana bread yesterday. Oh, my word. Who knew so much fun could be had "mushing" the bananas and greasing the pans?!

We've already established that I have some control issues so aren't you proud of me for not being a control freak about this? It was tough, but those girlys had so much fun it was totally worth it!


Confessions of a Magazine Junkie

I have confessed here before that I am a bit of a magazine junkie. I am a sucker for the slick paper and beautiful pictures. It takes a great deal of will power to make it through the check out lane without purchasing one or five. Serious will power. It's not so much the celebrity gossip that gets me or the fashion mags that draw me close. It's the perfectly accessorized mantle. The deliciously glazed chicken and couscous. The vibrant photo spread of a Victorian rose garden. As I flip through the pages, I sit and soak up the inspiration and dream. Dream of how beautifully my mantle would be decorated if only I had a mantle. I savor the thought that some how, some time I will learn to be a more adventurous cook. And I can fixate on the rose garden of my dreams--you know one that will maintain itself! It is my escape. I love printed media for that reason. There is some thing dreamy about running your fingers over the slick paper. The intoxicating photo journalism and the creative journey that can be sparked by a single photo. It is transforming to me.
I have subscribed to many, many magazines over the years and Lord knows, drug many, many more home with me as stowaways in my grocery sacks. But there has been one magazine that I have always received or picked up nearly my entire adult life. Country Home. My favorite. The one magazine that I couldn't wait to flip through, time and time again. A standard go-to gift subscription. Last summer I finally parted with 10 years of back issues in my efforts to purge the clutter around here. I wish now that I hadn't.
I learned shortly after the February issue arrived that Meredith Corp would no longer be publishing my beloved magazine. The March issue would be the last. Did I mention that my subscription was paid through 2012. I think it would've been better not to know ahead that the March issue would be the last. Really. By the time that it actually arrived I had built up in my brain all that last issue would be that I was disappointed. And bitter. But mostly disappointed.
I know that there are thousands of decorating blogs and e-zines out there. I know that I could get transported to another place by a means other than printed media. And I do frequent many of those blogs. And while I am inspired by many--I often find myself feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. I want to create an inviting and warm place for my family and friends. I want my house to be beautiful and comfortable. Somehow the perfection or results are less intimidating to me when I am gazing at a photo spread that I know was done by professionals for a publication. I can reason with myself that real houses don't look like that. Then in a matter of clicks, I can see that many real houses DO in fact look like that. Sigh. The reality of my lack of talent in this area stings.
I have been notified that the duration of my subscription will be converted to Family Circle. I am sure that is a fine magazine. But Meredith Corp, if you are listening: Family Circle is not the same. It's not the same AT ALL. And I am annoyed. And I am wondering what is going to fill this void. But mostly I am annoyed.

**I promised Jill that I would post some pictures of our mudroom project and progress. So that is my goal for the week. Keep me accountable!!**


Questions for You

Things I am wondering about:
1. Why is it necessary to explain on the package of Cottonelle that 12 double rolls of toliet paper is equal to 24 single rolls?
2. Why is it that no matter how exhaustive my grocery list is I still get home and the very next meal I try to prepare--we are out of key ingredients? Why? Does this happen to anyone else?
3. Do you decorate above your kitchen cabinets? What do you have up there?

Just an update on the kiddos--The Little Man now has whatever virus Princess Pigtails had the beginning of last week. I thought Princess Pigtails was on the mend but she woke up this afternoon from her nap complaining that her ear hurts. Ugh.

Hope you had a great weekend!