365 Days of Blue Cottage.

Nothing jolts you into adulthood faster than signing your name on a loan worth more than all of your other possessions…combined.  Yet, here I am, one year in to ownership of this little gem:

The teeny-tiny little Blue Cottage, perfectly sized for myself and the two fur balls. It’s been incredible to actually call somewhere “home.” To have a space that I can host friends. To have some sense of permanence and establishment (two things I’ve been craving since college.)

One of my favorite benefits is being able to work on projects around the house anytime I want. You’d be surprised how much trouble a little lady armed with a power drill can get into. This year I tackled some pretty big interior projects, including:

Painting the main room and drapes that my momma made.

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THE KITCHEN. Holy cow. In one week. Never again.

And my bedroom. This was a much easier job. Just a little paint and more drapes from mom!

And of course I have more ideas I want to do, including finally finishing (or starting…) the office/spare bedroom and updating the bathroom. New year, new projects!

Like any new phase of life, there are a million lessons to learn. I thought I’d take a little look back at some of the big ones from the past 365 days…

There is always something to work on. Everybody told me this. And though I didn’t doubt it, I didn’t actually grasp the concept. But there really is always something else to work on. Always. My list never ends. Money, however, does.

The beauty is in the imperfections. My house is roughly 60 years old and it still has all the original woodwork and TONS of closets with original wood doors. While they’re showing their age; scratches, dents and discoloration, I can’t bring myself to paint them or replace them. There’s part of me that feels like I would be betraying the house and its history by changing something so unique to its character.

Patience. I have none. Moving on…

It is actually possible to have zero trees in your yard and yet have more leaves to rake than your neighbors. The science behind this still boggles my mind.

There is no greater feeling than welcoming friends into your home. Making dinner. Having coffee. Sitting outside on late, summer evenings. When I bought I house, I wanted a space that I could share with other people. And that’s just what I got.

Here’s to the next year…happy housing, friends!

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The Peppermint Mocha Chronicles: First Snow.

So happy that today is not only the first day or winter but our first real snow of the season! I love snow at Christmas time. It’s also my first time enjoying snow from inside my new house 🙂 Happy to see it through the window but not really looking forward to future snows and shoveling…

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How is your holiday prep coming along?

My Spontaneous Bedroom Update.

Once upon a time…about eight months ago…I bought a little house. And at first, I was an uber nester. Painting, decorating, organizing, you name it. And then…life got back to normal and got busy. And my settling in sort of came to a halt. And I continued to spend my nights sleeping in the peach bedroom with leftover curtains from the previous owners. Not terrible, just not…me.

This is where Thanksgiving vacation saves the day! I took the whole week off work and decided that before I traveled to visit my mom, I would complete my much-anticipated bedroom project. And 24 hours later, it was done! I purposely told everyone I talked to that I was going to paint my room, that way I knew I had no choice (major key to persuasion…if you claim something publicly, you are far more likely to stick with it whether you want to or not!) I had been collecting wall art and my mom was finishing my drapes, so I knew that painting was the key to get everything moving.

I don’t really have a good before picture but use your imagination: Peach walls and mismatched brown curtains.

I still have a few more pieces to add; a new hamper and some final wall pieces, but overall I LOVE how it came out! It’s incredible how great a little white paint can feel.

I already had my bedding from my apartment, so everything was designed off of that. A great buy from Target!

Drapes that my awesome momma made…after months (and months) of searching for curtains, I finally found this green and white striped fabric. These are incredible, they’re my favorite part!

I’m still trying to decide how to finish this wall over the dresser…any suggestions?

Close-up of the collage over my bed. I made some of the pictures by framing random fabrics. I bought the prints, both are Proverbs 31 verses, from Rachel Jasper Design and Amen Designs on Etsy. And my sweet friend Shannon made me the framed picture with my name (she’s made them for all of us through the years.)

My DIY project! My $1 picture frame from a garage sale this summer turned necklace holder.

What have you been working on lately? Anything fun?

Operation Kitchen: The Seven Day Upgrade.

It’s done!!! At least for now. People keep telling me that there’s always something to work on in a house, and I officially believe it. I think I could always come up with a new project or something to replace. But, I think this week satisfied my home renovation bug for QUITE a while.

If you’ll recall, last week I wrote this post about the plan for the kitchen. At the time, the kitchen looked like this:

It was “fine.” But, it was nothing to get excited about. I love being in the kitchen, so it needs to be fun. So, without further delay, I give you my kitchen seven days later…

 

 

 

 

It’s so light! I feel like I’m walking into an entirely new house. I am beside myself with how well it came out. Here’s what we did:

-Removed cabinet from above the refrigerator
-Painted walls light blue
-Made and hung roman shades on both windows (my momma made these herself!)
-Painted cabinets white, replaced hinges and installed pulls.
-Hung spice racks (which are really picture ledges from Ikea for under $10!!)

Projects still to be worked on in the kitchen someday:
-I have two sets of Elfa shelves from the Container store to hang; one between the door and window (for canisters and baking goods) and one over the fridge to replace the large cabinet. I’m a little worried about how they’ll mount on walls (which seem to be really thin) but I REALLY want the storage space.
-Replace light fixture over the sink
-Make shade to cover window on the back door
-Replace kitchen faucet

BIG THANKS to my mom who worked diligently for a week, both on this project and my backyard. And to Daisy, who had to endure hours of being shut in the bedroom while we worked.

That was my week (exhausting but fulfilling)…how was your week??

Operation Kitchen Phase 1: The Kitchen Cart

While I was on staycation a couple of weeks ago, I decided to start working on my kitchen. I had been looking for a kitchen cart to replace the current stand left by the sellers. I was incredibly grateful they let me keep what was here, but I really wanted something that was a) on wheels so I could use it when cooking and b) had a cabinet component so I could store appliances in it. So after a pretty thorough search online, I found just what I wanted! And i came home to two VERY large boxes on my back porch…

Right? Well, I obviously got them inside, but trust me, it was a site to be seen. Anyway, after opening both boxes and laying out the pieces, I had this…

Oh my. I actually LOVE putting furniture together. It’s like a puzzle. And this was a pretty good buy; the directions were simple to follow and most of the pieces went together well. However, it did get serious a time or two…

After an hour or so of work {almost} all the screws went into place and I had a free-standing, rolling cart complete with cabinet, drawers and towel racks. I’m thrilled! Take a look at the before and after…

And to top it all off…I put the old shelf out in the front yard and it was gone in 15 minutes! My new favorite hobby is to see how long it takes giveaways to be picked up from the curb. Oh the small joys of living in the city!

Operation Kitchen.

This week begins Operation Get Rid of the Pink Kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong…I LOVE pink. Just not in my kitchen which is themed around this pretty little thing…

My baby.

Currently, my kitchen looks like this…

And here’s a little bit of the plan…

I’m most worried about painting the cabinets…but I’ve done my research so here’s hoping it goes better than I expect! Luckily my mom is coming to visit for the week and I’ll be keeping her busy 🙂 Updates to come for sure!

Happy week, friends!

Adventures in Owning a House.

It’s official. As of April 9, I became a homeowner. In my entire life, I’ve never wondered if I’m this crazy. But so far, so good. One thing’s for sure, I couldn’t have done it without my FABulous realtor, Gloria. If you’re in the market to buy a house in Columbus, call her! Trust me, you won’t regret it.

So here it is, my own little blue house…

The past few weeks have been a pretty consistent game of “what’s that?” and “what do I do with this?” and my personal favorite “it’s not going to fit there.” One big trip to the Container Store and several deliveries from Amazon later…I still haven’t figured out how to settle everything. But, it will happen. I’m confident. And that’s kind of the fun in this journey…discovering the home in the house.

One of my favorite moments was discovering this little guys…(ignore the painter’s tape.)

Guess on what it is? The most popular has been an old mail slot. Or the door to Narnia. Clearly, the latter would be the greatest option.

I’m still recovering from getting a house and an MBA in the same week. I’m not sure I’ve quite wrapped my brain around all the new adventures waiting ahead of me. But I know they are coming and I know I’m ready to take them on. So here we go!