Thursday, April 14, 2011


For a few months now, Brian and I have been throwing around the idea of purchasing a cabin.  After we took our house off the market, we realized just how much money we would be losing to actually sell in this ridiculous market.  But the idea of lakeshore living still nagged at us.  It was something we didn't want to give up.  So the thought of a cabin began to surface on our radar.  It was an idea that was incredibly intriguing at the very least.

If you would have asked me 6 months ago if I wanted to own a cabin I would have laughed at you and come up with 100 different reasons as to why that was a really stupid idea.  For starters, first off all, we are really busy.  I mean, really busy, all of the time.  2nd of all, cabins are really far away!  I hate driving so far for just a weekend.  3rd, my business requires my time on the weekends.  4th cabins are a lot of work and money.  Those are just a few reasons.

With some time, the idea of a cabin really started to grow on me.  I have very fond memories from my time at our cabin as a child.  And by cabin, I mean a tiny trailer at a campground.  We didn't care it was tiny.  We spent all of our time by the lake, on the boat and having fires at night.  If it was rainy, we played cards as a family for hours.  It was awesome and I truly enjoyed it.  I really want those memories for our little family.  I want my kids to grow up going to the cabin, bringing friends up there, playing cards on rainy days and just being together as a family. 

At ECFE last week we discussed the best way we can foster great relationships among our children in adulthood.  It's a really deep question that has many facets and no number one right answer.  But research shows that creating fun times and great memories as a family is the number one factor in creating great adult relationship amongst siblings.  I really believe it's true.  I think the more fun and family oriented activities we can create for our kids today, will not only instill friendships and lifelong relationships with these munchkins, but will also help impart our morals and values in their core beings. 

I know this got very deep, especially for a Thursday evening but I'm so consumed with this process I needed to share with the world (or the 20 some readers I have here).  I am really excited about this and hope that our 2nd showing tomorrow goes well.  I am hoping we can put an offer in on this and be in before summertime.  I want these good times to start rolling as soon as possible.  If we make a purchase, look out for an Evite to an awesome housewarming party come this summer!  Everyone's invited to christen our lake home!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A big girl room

I have 2 redecorating projects on my mind right now, of course you already know about my living room redo, but I've been pondering Annika's room for quite some time now.  I think I've finally decided what I want to do.  I found my inspiration in this room:

You see, Annika loves gardening, flowers and bugs.  She is so curious about all living things and this room screamed Annika when I saw it.  For the most part, the bed is what I'm hoping to replicate.  I don't care much for the bird feeders but I love the picket fence headboard and footboard, and how easy would that be?  So, I'll be making that for her.  

Next up was the task of finding the perfect bedding set.  I searched and searched and nothing really did it for me, until I saw this:
I know some people may think I'm crazy, but I think this is just so darling.  Do you remember Sunbonnet Sue?  I do, I remember her from my childhood.  This is just so innocent and sweet and so totally Annika.  We both agreed on this set too so that was a bonus!  I bought a cute white ruffled eyelet bedskirt as well that will complete the set.  

Next up I have a really cute vintage bench that my grandma gave me.  I am going to recover the cushion on it in some sort of coordinating fabric and use that same fabric to make (or have my mother in law make) some girly roman shades with ties. 

She has a flower table in there already, but I think I am going to paint it to match.  Either red, or white, not sure yet.  Right now it's just kinda cheesy and ugly but will look cute when painted.  I also am going to paint a dresser that we already have and put up a mirror above it so that she can have a big girl type vanity to look into.

Currently she has a white toy chest to store all her toys and while it really doesn't fit with the theme in there, I think I need to find a way to keep it since she has so many polly pockets, barbies and littlest petshops that need to be stored there!  

Lastly I am going to paint the walls.  I would love your opinions on color, etc.  I would love to put up some wainscoting and then paint the upper portion a red, but not sure I want to tackle that at this time.  I like what a fellow blogger (Nicole) recently did in her son's room with a stripe up top of a different color so maybe I can do that.  Just not sure what colors to do!  Help me!  

So, what do you think?  Do you think my little girly girl Annika who loves bugs, dirt and flowers will love her new place?


Thanks for all your tips and ideas.  Here is what I have in mind for that space.  

First of all, the couch will be staying.  Everything else (and there's not much there) will most likely be going, besides the tv of course!  

Here is my inspiration.  

This is the layout I'm aiming for.  Of course I don't have the windows on the side of the fireplace but you get the picture.  I really LOVE the colors, of course my couch is a chocolate color, but I'm hoping to find some chairs in either an orange, or a light cream color (like the couch in the picture) to accent it.  I have a friend searching for chairs of this variety:

I want two of them.  I would like to find either a square coffee table in a chocolate colored wood, or a trunk that can double as a coffee table/storage space.  I will also need a small side table for in between the chairs.  

I am searching for some curtains but am waiting until I figure out what color chairs I will be getting.  What I'd really like is plantation shutters, but we'll see if that's an option right now.  The best part of this redo is that if I go with some deep oranges or a similar color, I won't have to repaint at all.  

I haven't decided yet if I should paint the mantel, we'll see.  If I do, I will be going with white built-ins of some variety.  I would really like a small storage bench on part of the built ins with a nice comfy pillow/pad in a coordinating color.  

I will add some fun pillows here and there in coordinating colors as well.  I am going to repaint an old frame I have and get a picture of the kids put in it for above the couch.  I love my Organic Bloom frame but sadly it's not quite large enough.  I'm sure I won't have any trouble finding another place for it! 

I know that most of this is in my head, but I hope it makes sense.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Good evening folks, my name is Michelle and I'm hopeless in the decorating department.  I have so many "wants" for my home and everywhere I look nothing fits the bill around here.  Of course I don't hate every aspect of the design and decorating here, but for the most part, it's pretty sad.  I am asking you my dear, dear readers for some help.  I am scouring the web for ideas and inspiration but I thought of asking you, my wonderful readers for some ideas as well! 

I'm starting with my living room.  Right now it consists of a wall of windows with some pretty drab Ikea drapes, a leather reclining chair that is on its last leg, a large couch I'm not willing to give up (so comfy and fairly new, plus I like it), a flat screen t.v. above the mantel and 2 ugly ass bookshelves that were cheap and a quick fill in for now type of thing.   

Here are some pictures (quality sucks, oh well): 

This is the view from my kitchen.  We used to have a nice chocolate color in there but repainted to sell.  Boo.  As you can see, on the left is a full wall (with a door in the corner to our laundry/mudroom).  On the left is a full wall of windows. 

 Couch area, the wall is gigantic and so is the couch.  I don't care for the couch there, but I don't know where else to put it!  The frame will be staying.

 One corner, ugh.
 Other corner.  Ideally I want built-ins, and someday we will get them, just not sure when.  In my mind I want a nice little bench with some storage underneath it then some shelves up top for pictures/books/etc.  Now it just houses some ugly ass black shelves. 
 Fireplace.  The cords need to be hidden, hate them!  I kind of want to paint the mantel white, or ditch it altogether.  Then put up some fun stone or tile on that wall.  We'll see what the hubs agrees to!
 Wall of windows.  I am soooo not attached to those curtains.  Ewww.  It's just really hard to find curtains to fit that window.  I would really like some plantation shutters to keep the super duper hot sun out in the afternoon!
 And the chair.  The chair I rocked the babies in, the chair that the said babies have busted.  It isn't the prettiest chair, but it's super comfy and holds some good memories.

So, ideas?  I'll share mine once you do!  I'm completely open to color, furniture and placement, etc.  I have ideas in my head and I hope to bring them to reality very soon!  YAY!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies {Yum}

Can I just say that these are some of the best cookies I've ever had? I should preface this by saying that I have a slight obsession with sea salt. I just find it to be the most divine thing ever created in the cooking universe (that may be exaggerating a bit but so true). Not only is it a healthier alternative to table salt, it has such a better flavor and adds so much more to food than iodized table salt. Just my opinion of course!

So this recipe had me at sea salt for sure. Of course the fact that it involved oatmeal and chocolate chips helped a bit too. I love that this recipe is a somewhat healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie.  Even my picky, picky 5 year old enjoyed these and she's not a fan of oatmeal cookies!  

I got this recipe from Weelicious and might I say I love her?!?!  Instead of using just plain old semi-sweet chocolate chips, I had to go for the Ghiradelli 60% Cocao, and I really think it makes all the difference.  The combination of bitter chocolate and sea salt is divine.  I just know you will love them! 

I will be bringing this to my food and booze club meeting tomorrow night with some frozen yogurt to accompany it.  It will be a hit!

I'm baaaack!

I know, I know, it's been a while.  Life has gotten in the way of blogging, what can I say?  I have so many things I want to blog about too, I just can't find the time to sit down and write a well thought out post. 

We recently returned from a family vacation in Arizona.  It was a wonderful time spent with my beautiful family and we made some great memories.  We also spent a lot of time eating terribly.  I know most people do that on vacation, but it really got me thinking about my families eating habits.  I don't know what crawled up my butt this week, but I have been really focused and very aware of every little thing that goes in our mouths.  For some time I have been eating healthy on my own, but my family can not say the same. 

Yesterday, I made a grocery list, cleaned out or fridge and cupboards and went on a mission to a healthier "us".  I really made a solid effort at the store to buy more natural items for us to eat.  The kids eat a lot of processed snacks on a daily basis and while it is the easy alternative, I am no longer ok with it.  So I ditched the snack aisle almost completely (save for a few healthier options) and went fresh.  My new rule is this: only 2 snacks a day, the morning snack can be from the cupboard (I only have it stocked with less processed and baked snacks now) and the afternoon snack must be something fresh (cheese, yogurt, fruit, veggies).  I tried to make wiser decisions in the bread department looking for breads with low sodium and no added high fructose corn syrup.  I bought a "healthier" juice, but am really looking into making my own juice since your average apple juice out there has so much sugar and literally no nutritional value.  On that note, they only get 1 water bottle of juice a day (and that is only 1/2 juice too).  The rest is either milk or water. 

Man, I sound like a mean mom.  It's not that I want bully my kids into eating healthier, I want them to start thinking about how the food they eat effects their bodies.  I want them to grow up knowing the right way to eat.  I read a statistic yesterday that was incredibly disturbing.  1 in 3 children born after the year 2000 will develop type II diabetes by the time they are 50.  Based on that statistic alone, at least one of my kids will develop the disease.  I don't know about you, but that is enough to scare me into ditching all refined sugars and processed snacks.  As the mother, I am responsible for changing that statistic.  My kids are not old enough nor do they know enough to take action, so it is my job to do it for them and raise them to be healthy people. 

Here are a few sites I have stumbled upon that have been incredibly inspiring and helpful:

Weelicious : Tons and tons of awesome recipes.  This lady is superwoman!

This Lunch Rox: Can I just say amazing?!?!  Wow, talk about talent and dedication.

Maria's Food and Nutrition Journal: Great recipes that are easy and very family friendly. 

I can't wait to get menu planning.  Last night I got the kids involved in making fresh guacamole.  The kids had a blast smashing the avocados, adding the fresh ingredients and 2/3 of the clan taste tested it too.  I'm hoping the other 1/3 will come around soon!  We enjoyed our guac with our awesome chicken and veggie fajitas (on low carb tortillas of course) with baked tortilla chips.  Eating healthy and natural really can be tasty, it just involves a little more planning but in the end it's totally worth it.

Would you consider your family healthy?  If so, do you have any ideas or tips for me and the other readers?  I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wine in a box, that's how I roll!

2 weeks ago I was forced to drink wine out of a box.  Sacrilege I know!  What would have been worse would have been to drink this out of a keg glass too!  No such offense was made, thank goodness but I have to say, I didn't hate the boxed wine.  I'm not sure what brand it was, nor what type but it wasn't bad.  So when I was hosting a rather large party last weekend I ran to the liquor store and not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on wine I asked the wine guy at our local store what his best boxed wine was and he pointed me in the direction of Big House Red.   At only $16.99 for the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine, I was hesitantly sold.  

I really wasn't expecting much more than alcoholic grape juice, but after the day I had I was ready and willing to drink whatever you were going to pour for me.  So, I gave it a go.  I was pleasantly surprised!  And by pleasantly surprised, I mean really, really surprised.  It wasn't bad, in fact dare I say it was pretty good?  It is very fruity and light so I think most people could drink it and appreciate wine.  No wine snobbiness here, so if that's your thing, back away from the box, NOW!  

I wouldn't pair this wine with your fabulous filet mignon but this would definitely be right for a nice burger on a warm evening, or a hearty spaghetti or even your darn Hamburger Helper.  Doesn't matter to me.  I actually think it's a great wine to just enjoy for a light happy hour in the evening.  And the best part?  This box of wine can last up to 6 weeks!  Amazing.  Especially at the rate SOME people enjoy their wine :)  

Needless to say, I broke out of my snobbiness for a moment and tasted something different and I actually didn't mind it :)  I dare ya, go buy a box of wine tonight!