Kitchen Renovations are Complete!

We took the plunge and renovated our kitchen this summer. Our old kitchen was dated, having been around since the ’70’s, and not very user friendly. So, we fixed it. Having never undertaken a major renovation before (it turned into more of a whole main floor update), I learned a few things.

Renovations are not fun while you’re living through them, but when you see everything come together the memory of months of disorder magically disappear and you start to wonder what the rest of the house would look like with a little TLC.

I have been a stay-at-home Mom for nineteen years. I spend large parts of my day in the house. It’s very weird to have people who don’t live here coming and going. And what do you do when they’re coming and going all day every day? When you can’t do the things you normally do every day? Like write, or cook or generally putz around? You thank your lucky stars these renovations happened during the summer months. Much easier to be outside somewhere. Any place other than your house. Which is under seige.

We were right to hire a contractor to manage the project. I’m the kind of person who is happy when people like me. This way it wasn’t my job to harass the tradespeople. It was someone else’s. We just stayed out of their way. Someone else was tasked with dealing with the problems. It’s the only way to go.

If you are thinking about getting rid of the dated dirty popcorn stipple on your ceiling? Do it. Even though that was the part of the process that caused the most disruption and proved costly it was so worth it. Do it. You will love the results. I promise.




We love it and that makes the whole experience worth it. It’s open and airy and light. The window coverings are ordered and next we’ll need to start thinking about more artwork for the walls. Then sometime down the road we’ll have to tackle the second floor…

Love renovations? Hate ’em? Have some on the go?

As We Shift Towards Another Season

I won’t be tiresome and asked the obvious, like how can it be Friday already. It’s been a productive week renovation wise. Our kitchen transformation is finally on the upswing so the place now has the cupboards, minus the door fronts. Layers of ugly wallpaper have now been removed and they’re starting on the baseboards and window casings. New windows are in and the new flooring is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Yay.

But it’s also August 10th. Days are getting shorter. Back-to-school ads are everywhere. Harvest has started. Fall is just around the corner. Here is my corner of the world, the school years ends at the very end of June and students don’t go back to school until after the long weekend in September. Going by the glass is half full approach, there’s still almost a month of summer left.

There are market gardens to visit, campfires and hot chocolate to enjoy, and books yet to be read. A sense of gathering has started in the harvesting of grains, readying all those garden vegetables, or putting together supplies for school. Our purpose is shifting and we’re preparing for a new season.

I love fall. I’m just not ready to let go of summer yet.

My Playlist For This Sunny Summer August Day:

Drunk on You by Luke Bryan

Come Over by Kenny Chesney

I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen

Goodbye Girl by Rumer

The Cave by Mumford and Sons

On My eReader:

Still plugging away at Jane Eyre!

On the Menu


What are you listening to, reading, or eating this weekend?

Decorating Genius or Desperate Decorating


I’ve been picking paint colors. The most interesting thing about paint? The inventive names, kind of like crayon colours, with things like purple rain, apple lime cocktail, cocoa sand. I wonder what my critique partners would have to say if I used these color descriptors in my writing.

 They were saved from the worst of it. Dry and safe under the awning while purple rain poured down around them.

Because obviously they’re caught in some kind of chemical downpour. Ha. I can picture the circles of red ink. But cocoa colored sand has possibilities, although I’m not sure it exists in nature. I also found pink polka dot and butterfly wing which I thought were cute. And newborn baby which I thought was downright creepy. And guess what!?! There really are fifty shades of grey.

This is currently our kitchen area. Anyway, I decided to start with the kitchen and chose Natural Linen. Okay, Jordan, who’s in charge of the renos, picked it for me. So, fingers crossed. From there I went on to ignore the whole goes-best-with list. Because that’s the way I roll and why make things easier. I came up with meditation, spa, and lapland – all variations on an earthy-type greenish color. Safe to say my career as a namer of paint is stalled in it’s tracks. Also safe to say, I feel the need to relax within the bounds of a monochromatic color scheme.

But what do you do with the freshly painted walls? Soon I’m going to have to hang up some artwork. And isn’t that a terrifying notion? As in how many nail holes does it take to hang a picture properly? What size? How to space them out? How far up the wall? I’ve got a couple of huge walls.

As in match the artwork to the wall size. Don’t hang a dinky little picture on a huge wall. And likewise, don’t cram some huge monstrosity into an itty bitty space, that sort of thing.  I found a blog that had some crazy notion I should multiply something by some crazy number to come up with the perfect sized artwork for the wall. Not going to happen. Most reasonable advice: 12 inches above the couch; a palm’s width spacing between paintings, or trace out the size of the canvases on butcher paper and tape to wall as a test drive visual. Those ideas I can manage with my feeble decorator’s brain.


However, I did come across this idea for cheap artwork and I’m going to give it a try. You take painting canvases and cover them with fabric. Brilliant. At least, I thought so. Maybe you’ve already heard of this idea. Here’s another example. If it’s works and I’m successful (aka I’ll ask my Mom to help) I’ll post pictures.


If you have ideas for cheap and wonderful art I’d love to hear them! Seriously, I’m begging you. I need help. And ideas. Just keep them simple.

Catching Up!

A little housecleaning before things get back to something that resembles normal next week! With the release of my romantic suspense, BACKLASH, things have been a little crazy around here. Add in the beginning of the long awaited summer and a complete kitchen renovation that extended into a total main floor update and all regular scheduled programming goes out the window. Crazy can be a good thing, but it’s always reassuring to get back into a sort-of-routine. Consider this my first attempt.

Carnivalesque: The Travelling Blog Show is on hiatus for the summer! BUT some of us are getting ready for our Carnivalesque Summer Reading Challenge: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you’re interested in following along and checking in for our thoughts as we read through you can go here. And if you’d like to join the challenge, feel free! We’d love to read along with you! Either way, please know we love to hear your comments!

Lucky for me, Jane Eyre came free with my Kobo ereader! So, I’m ready to read. I have to admit to never making it through one of the classics so I’m super excited for this challenge. As a longtime book club member I love reading books in the company of others. For me, it’s the only way to read books you might be hesitant about but really want to try. Looking forward to talking it out ups the chances of success.



Congratulations to Janet who’s my June contest winner for a $10 Gift Certificate to Amazon.




Also, you can win a copy of BACKLASH tomorrow at The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Contest. You do have to be registered with Romance Reviews but I hear it’s painless. You will need to answer a little scavenger hunt question but that will be pain-free as well! There are over 400 prizes available with the Grand Prize being a $100 gift certificate!



Have a great weekend! My husband and son return from a bike trip to Holland on Saturday after a ten day absence! That’s going to the highlight of my weekend! I can’t wait to hear all about their adventure. Until then the sun is shining and the lounge chair by the pool is beckoning! Jane Eyre is waiting. And my in-laws have offered to cook us supper. Again. Life is good!