Monday, March 25, 2019

Our new house

When we were visiting Washington last October to help my sister move into the new home they built, we started keeping an eye out for something for my family. We knew we wanted to move late spring or early summer of 2019. This has been a while in the making.  My husband has been commuting to Seattle from Fairbanks since January 2018 and it was time for a better family existence. Commuting is rough! 

So anyway, while driving around in a rural area we’ve always loved, we came upon a for sale sign and drive down the driveway to find a sweet little craftsman style house on acreage. We looked it up and it was vacant, so we peeked in the windows and then discovered the doors were unlocked!!  Long story short, we fell in love with the house and were able to work out a deal with the seller to hold off closing until February. It’s all ours now and we’re working on some updates. More on that later. For now, check our out little place!  

It’s down a relatively steep driveway with the house set low on the hill. The drainage is well done and we shouldn’t struggle with mud a whole lot. We are going to work on the grade a bit to prep for horses and make the land function a bit better. Isn’t it gorgeous though?!  These photos were taken in the fall when we signed the offer. 

5 acres of mostly sloped land, but we can improve on that with some creativity and cat work 

Love the front porch!!

There is a lovely view. 😍

And wooded areas for my kids to play in and explore

My parents and sister have been hugely helpful in getting all the things done that have needed to be accomplished. Buying and updating a home when you’re not in the state is tricky. They’ve been a real blessing to me. 

My sister is seriously the best sister anyone could have. I can’t wait to live near her again. 

Stay tuned for more pictures and some before and after projects!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Change is coming...

So, it’s a little weird to step away from something and then pop back in like you were never gone. But I have been gone from blogging. For nearly 5 years!  I didn’t intend it, but life happened and blogging was one of the things I just stopped giving my time to. I’ve been focused on homeschooling and raising my kids well. And serving my community and the friends around me. The fact is that I don’t always do any of them well. But I try, and I guess there’s hope in that.

A lot has changed in 5 years.  My kids are growing up. My oldest will be 18 next month!   I have an almost 18 yr old, a 15 yr old, a 13 yr old, an almost 11 year old and a 7 yr old.

We have a dog. Pika is an Airedale lab mix and she’s 3. That super clean house I used to have? It now enjoys dog hair and floors have been licked by a canine (which is much more convenient than I thought it would be). I’m more relaxed in many ways thanks to this crazy girl.

And we own a horse. Sienna is Elsa's horse (my 15 yr old daughter) , but since I pay the bills and do a lot of the care, she’s mine too. She inspired me to learn how to ride and I’m hoping to acquire my own patient (hopefully saintly) horse later this year.   We’ve been boarding our horse at a fantastic barn for 2.5 years now, but will soon be on a little piece of land where they can live too.

The biggest change our family is going through is that we’re moving out of Alaska next month.
 Heading back to Washington state. Our extended family is there and as much as I love the culture and people of Alaska, I’m ready to be in a milder climate.

So, I will be blogging about our home again, and gardening, and horses and beauty. And maybe some homeschooling, cooking and good books.  I’m happy to be back.  Let’s see if I can give this the time it deserves. Facebook just doesn’t inspire the same way blogging does.

See you around!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Come see the new Countertops!

The new countertops went on without a hitch!  They are really beautiful and I'm super excited to have it done.

Let's just get to the good stuff, shall we?

As I talked about in my other post, the counters had a lot of flaws going on.  I also really wanted my dishwasher mounted in well.


 The mess that was my dining room during the day.  I had to empty the countertops and all the lower cabinetry

 The old tops are off!

Halfway there

Excited kids

Pure gorgeousness. 

We gained a few inches on the right side of the island area and about 6 inches on the left side.  This is SO much nicer for the kids that sit there.

I LOVE the Black Pearl solid surface by Hi-Macs and how it looks.  They did a matte finish, so it's not shiny at all.
 I'm also loving my new sink.  It fits so many dishes and you can't even see the mess from the living room!  It's a way cleaner look.

The new faucet is really awesome.  I love how elegant my kitchen feels now.
I didn't take a pic of the new dishwasher, but it is so nice to have one again!  It's a huge bonus that it is as quiet as they claimed.  Awesome.

Here is the tile we've chosen to do our backsplash in.  I think it's going to look amazing.  That project is one I'm tackling myself and getting as much advice from YouTube as possible. 

Hopefully I'll be able to show you my tile job by the end of the month! 

Overall, I'm super happy about how the kitchen looks.  


On to crazier things, we're also putting new carpet in all the bedrooms (yay!).  It happened to work out that they can come out this week, so I'm trying to keep the chaos to a minimum by having them do the rooms on separate days.  

The carpet installer will be here tomorrow to do the bonus room/boys' bedroom and the stairs, so today I we have to get all the furniture out of there.  Next Tuesday, they'll be back to do the 3 main floor bedrooms and closets.   My life will be nuts until next weekend, but my house is going to feel so awesome when it's done that I don't care about the crazy!  Bring it on!!

So, my schedule -

This week -   Countertops and boys room carpeting

Next week -   Main floor bedroom carpeting, kitchen electrical projects (new garbage disposal and undercabinet lighting),  and paint Elsa's bedroom to prepare for a redecorating project

Next weekend - finish Elsa's redecorated room

The week after - Tile backsplash in kitchen

The week after that?  Start preparing for salmon fishing season.

I've got this under control...right?

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm getting new countertops!

Getting new countertops is HUGE!  It's something I've wanted to do for a while.

  Dave and I decided to invest in a few upgrades on the house this year.  We've been here in Alaska 4 years and will be here at least 3 more, so it is time.  I want to enjoy some of the upgrade time!

I told you about liking the fact that my dishwasher was broken back in February.  That novelty has more than worn off.  I'm sick of doing dishes by hand, haha.

My kitchen has consistently looked like this for the last 5 months.  I obviously hate hand drying my dishes ;)

We currently have formica countertops.  They actually don't look that bad, but there are some ugly flaws.  We also have a leaky sink and broken faucet, as well as not being able to mount our dishwasher in correctly.

All that will be fixed tomorrow!

We're putting in a solid surface countertop in Black Pearl by Hi-Macs

Our sink is from the same company.  I would have loved a farmhouse sink like our old house had, but I don't want to cut into these hickory cabinets.  We went with a single bowl undermount sink (the one on the right).
 Lovello Stainless Steel Sinks and Bowls

Our new faucet is from Moen and is an attractive price with beautiful styling.  We got ours from Lowe's.

The new dishwasher is also from Lowe's.  We went with a mid-range, supposed-to-be-quiet Samsung dishwasher.  I got black instead of stainless steel to save a little $$ and that savings paid for the extended warranty so that I can get it repaired if it breaks after 15 months like our last one did.
 Samsung 24-in 48-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher with Hard Food Disposer and Stainless Steel Tub (Black) ENERGY STAR
For the backsplash...I want tile.  But I also want to save money, so that is something I'm planning to tackle myself.  I'll chat more about that huge project later.  For now, by tomorrow night, I will have a working sink, dishwasher and gorgeous countertops!  I am SO excited!  

(I want to apologize for being MIA for so long.  Things have been busy around here AND my computer was in the shop for 4 weeks.  I hope to be back in the swing of blogging so I can share our fun summer adventures!)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More changes in the Living Room

How does time get away from me so quickly?!  It's been a good month since I've blogged here and it feels like just days.  

I guess I may have been a little busy...since I blogged last, 2 of my kids have had birthdays, we had Dave's parents here for 2 weeks and I got to sneak away to Hawaii with Dave for 3 days (kid free)!  It's been eventful, but I do miss getting my posts in. 

How have you all been?

Since I'm getting ready to embark on my spring cleaning and rearranging time, I'll show you my current living room set up.  This is what it looked like before.


Now we have a wood stove and our living room is a little more functional than before.  I found this fabulous Fair Isle wool rug at Pier One.  It was a great value (with the coupon I used) and I love how it feels in this space.   The shape gives me more versatility than I had with the rectangle shaped carpet.

This precious little monkey didn't want to be out of the room when I took these, so I just went with it 

 The buffet has been relocated for the wood stove space and I really like having it in the Dining Room.  The light is reflected in the mirror and the dresser actually gets used here in this location.

 The view from the kitchen

 When I was ordering the Fair Isle rug at Pier 1, I happened to find this lovely striped rag rug on sale.  It was a match made in heaven for my kitchen!  The red stool is from Pier 1 as well since I needed a seat at the island for Lydia now that she's big enough.

A final look with no little one photo bombing

I hope you like the changes I made in here.  I know we're loving them. ♥

Monday, March 3, 2014

Best Veggie Soup Recipe!

Last night, I made vegetable soup.  Well, not purely just veggies, but it is vegetable heavy.  Normally everyone moans and groans around here when I tackle something like this and so I was worried none of them would eat dinner (cause I only make 1 meal a night, take it or leave it!).  

Instead of complaining after the first bite, every one of my kids devoured their serving and some of them asked for seconds.  Amazing!

I started with a recipe I've used in the past, back in my Weight Watchers days...this Recipe for zero point soup.

Then I made some changes to fit our family tastes and what I had in my pantry.  All of the ingredients I used are organic and that would be what I would recommend, but you can use whatever you have available.

2 pounds grass fed ground beef 
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 garlic gloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tbl pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 carrot (or 10 baby carrots), chopped
1 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 cup unpeeled zucchini, chopped
32 oz Beef Broth
32 oz Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (not the best soup in the world, but great as a base for this recipe)
2 6oz cans tomato paste

For toppings:
Fresh Parsley
Creme Fresh (you could also use plain yogurt or sour cream)
Grated Parmesan Cheese 

Combine the ground beef, all the spices, onion and garlic in a large stockpot until beef is no longer pink.  
Add carrot and saute for a few minutes until slightly softened. 
Add all the rest of the ingredients to the stockpot and bring to a simmer.  Leave uncovered and let simmer for about an hour or until zucchini is well cooked.

Serve with rustic bread and suggested toppings (or whatever else you like to have on your soup!).

This is a large recipe that fed my family of 7 with plenty leftover for lunch the next day.

For myself, since I'm avoiding wheat, dairy and most grains, I just put the parsley as a topping

The kids and my husband were all served this delicious version, with creme fresh and parmesan cheese along with crusty bread and butter.

I must admit, I was a little jealous of how yummy their bowls looked until I tasted mine.  It was awesome all by itself.  You will not regret trying out this meal.  It could likely be cooked in a crockpot as well. 

 If you try it, I'd love to know what you think. Now I'm off to do some cleaning.  I just got off the phone with Dyson's customer service and they helped me fix my vacuums suction issue!  Yay! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Party Weekend

Okay, so not that kind of "party".  More like a home party weekend.

I had a couple of vendors to my home on Saturday night.  It was a good night filled with yummy food and lovely ladies.  

We had Thirty-One bags.  
So much awesome organization to choose from! 

The "Deep" is especially enticing for me with all my Krav Maga soreness.  I ordered a goodly amount of natural healing stuff.

And my new personal love, Younique!

I completely forgot to take a picture of the food table!  There was lots of it, and everything was so good!

I had all the vendors do their Presentations while guests ate.  At the end, we did some ordering and played with the skin care and makeup.  I wish I would have gotten before and after photos of the makeovers, but suffice it to say, the women looked amazing and the products were a big hit.

I will be talking more about Younique in the weeks to come because I'll be doing a review and a giveaway!

How was your weekend?
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