Rain Day

This weekend the forecast is predicting rain, rain, and more rain so any outside work like a new deck or new landscaping isn’t happening this weekend.  Instead it looks like a good weekend to get some painting done.  However, if you know me I can’t be rushed into making a decision.  It has to convey the right feeling and mood.  And it has to meet hubby’s approval.  Even better if I can convince him the color was his idea.

So I’ve done what any crafty, DIY decorator would do.  I’ve turned to Pinterest.  I really want something that feels beachy or cottage like.  So I pinned this:

Source:Her New Tribe Tumblr

However all hubby can see is that it’s a picture of some boards.  “Probably a fence”.

I tried explaining that it’s the color inspiration, not the fence I want but he couldn’t envision it.  Honestly, it’s kind of weird that he couldn’t since he usually is good as seeing things that way.  Maybe it’s his way of saying no, but I’m persistent.  And I pinned some more:


This is (obviously) the Benjamin Moore 2017 paint trend forecast, but I copied the image from Provident Home Design. Usually I feel like I’m ahead of the trends, however this time I seem to be on point because this is jam packed with colors I love!

I want to paint the bathroom “Gentleman’s Gray” and the master bedroom “Sea Star”.  Iceberg would be lovely in the dining room, front living room and kitchen as well as the halls.  Then I can accent with pops of coral or teal.  I’m getting all excited just thinking about it!

I took screenshots of the colors and sent Hubby some text messages.  Apparently he can’t tell what they look like in a text so I’ll have to do my sales pitch in person.




In the meantime, you can check out all my color ideas on Pinterest and let me know what you think!

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Crazy Week

It’s been a crazy, busy week at the Femali house.  We’ve had two track meets, gymnastics classes and just the general chaos that goes with being a family of 4 plus a crazy dog. (Seriously, he’s nuts.  But that’s another story!)

A lot of things have started, but nothing has been completed this week.  However I was very happy to find that not only do I have 3 lilac trees along my driveway, but I also have two more along the backyard fence. IMG_3184

And then we have a tree that has the largest buds on it I’ve ever seen! Anyone know what this is?  Could it possibly be my longed for Magnolia tree?





Yesterday, K decided to take her teachers some flowers.  She cut some tulips and daffodils from the yard and took them to school.  They were nearing their end, but she’s so sweet that she had to share and brighten her teacher’s day. When you reach high school kids quit doing that for their teachers, so I decided to do that for myself today.  A little bit of sweetness on my desk.IMG_3309

Nothing reminds me of childhood more than lilacs in springtime.  There was a huge lilac bush that grows on my grandparents farm.  My cousins now own the farm and I just moved further away from the farm, so it’s been many years since I’ve cut from that bush.  Instead each year I bring a mason jar of lilacs in from my own tree and little bit of being a kid on the farm in the spring comes in with them.


I’ll leave you with that bit of my childhood right there! Happy Thursday!

The Little Things

This weekend has been all about unpacking, setting up and putting away.  Right now my youngest is mad because I won’t let her go play with her friends until she finishes unpacking.  We finally reached a compromise when she was down to the last four boxes.  If she did two she could go.

Yesterday she told me she couldn’t unpack until I put the contact paper on her shelves for her.  I hate contact paper.  It is an evil, sticky thing that always has wrinkles and is never quite the right size.  So, when she was riding her bike with her friends I set about making her life easier (or at least more fashionable) with chevron contact paper.

These are the “befores” of the shelves in her room.  I must admit they are kinda gross looking although clean. They could use a coat of paint, but that will have to wait for summer vacation.

It did go easier than I expected.  here are the “after” photos with the contact paper.  Each shelf has a wrinkle, but no one’s perfect, right?

Now if it will only help with this….IMG_3180

K wasn’t the only one who needed to unpack and organize.  I’ve gotten the kitchen, dining room, TV room and living rooms mostly done.  It’s down to the important decisions, like what to put over the fireplace….

Do I go with the clock?  The painting from my Busia’s house?  The mirror that the hubby made me before we were married?   Eventually we will paint the room and plan to put white brick up rather than the wood facade.  The brick will go to the ceiling. I’m excited for that.  So whatever goes here will eventually hang on white brick. What to do?

Any thoughts?

Treasure Hunt

We’ve been in the new house three days and every day is a bit like Christmas.  I never know what I’m going to find whether it’s in a box I packed, a cupboard that wasn’t emptied or behind a closet door!  My first morning here it was a frantic hunt for shoes to wear to work.  Then with the gift of “jean days” at work all week the hunt was on to figure out which box labeled “Angie” had my jeans in it–still don’t know.  I had to settle for denim capris today.  Probably tomorrow too!

As I was unloading boxes into a drawer tonight I found German coins.IMG_3117

Meanwhile outside the hubby was cutting down overgrown evergreen trees when he found a water spigot on the house.  The trees were so dense we’d have never even known it was there if he hadn’t cut those suckers down!




Then there’s the extra half foot of sidewalk we gained when he edged the walkway and removed the overgrown grass.  You can kind of see the “stripe” where the grass had been on the walkway.

Tomorrow is the driveway.  Can’t wait to see how wide the driveway really is.





But not all the treasures were a surprise.  There are beautiful old touches in the house that I knew about when we bought it.  Every door has glass knobs–Be still my heart!  Most cabinet pulls are glass as well.  Alas, the kitchen is not but I’ll be remedying that problem soon.  IMG_3113

We have a laundry chute that provides endless entertainment potential for the kids right now.  I’m sure that will wear off soon, but in the meantime the dirty laundry is not carpeting their rooms!

Some of the “treasures” were not so precious.  I’ve found crumbs and Q-tips and “old man shaving stuff” as my son called it.  The previous owner’s final cleaning of the house left a bit to be desired. But in all honesty, I’d have cleaned it again anyway so whatever, I guess.  All I can say is if you’re selling your home, give a good once over before turning the lock a final time! Your new homeowners will love you for it.

Last Night

We got it! We got the house after putting in another offer. Six weeks after the first rejection, we reached a mutually agreeable price with the seller.  Then it seems the universe clicked.  There was a buyer for our house, inspections, a 30 day closing date, a last minute appraisal that almost cancelled the deal and finally the “You’re clear to close” message we had been waiting for.

Now, it’s the last night in our house.  I thought I’d be more melancholy or nostalgic.  Instead I’m just exhausted.  I”m sure that will translate to tears or the blues in the next few days, but right now I just want to collapse into bed.  But, we don’t have abed here to collapse into! instead its air mattresses in the living room shared with the kids.

But before I can collapse I need to finish cleaning the kitchen and getting a little grading done.  I wish there were time to reflect.  After all, this was the first house my husband and I bought.  Our son was just 6 months old when we moved in.  Our daughter has never lived anywhere else.

J celebrated every birthday he’s had here. This was the first. (By the way, don’t ever paint your walls red! It never looked solid and was hell to cover when we changed it!)






K came home here to a proud big brother a couple years later.




I fell in love with the porch and the swing we could have on it.


And J was forever helping his Daddy build something.






Eventually we added a swing set for the kids.  From Day 1 K always adored it.












And, of course, there were first day and last day of school pictures on that porch.  This one is one of my favorites.  Don’t they look like they love each other?  It reminds me that sometimes they get along.

All of that brings us to this moment.  The last night and everyone in the house is feeling the love and memories.  But there’s the excitement in the air too.  Right now, I just need to finish cleaning the kitchen!


The next morning–Moving Day!

Getting Closer

The garage did increase the value of the property, but that means the price increased as well. After a misunderstanding about a showing that I thought was taking place at 8:00 AM on a Sunday morning, but that actually never happened at all (I didn’t know that a confirmation call had to come from the central office! No one told me!) our listing expired in mid November and we didn’t renew it.

But by late December I had hung out in my classroom for an extra hour to ninety minutes every night for four months of my son’s after school sports practices and was fed up. So I pushed to have the house back on the market. I had been watching a local realtor’s facebook page and was impressed with what appeared to be her aggressive marketing and high sales rate for the properties her agency took on. So we met with her on January 2 and by January 16 we were back on the market.

In the meantime I’d fallen for another house. It was “perfect”. Located just 3 blocks from school my son could walk home after practice. A good friend lived just one block away and I knew many of the families in the neighborhood. They are all great people. The icing on the cake? It was situated on 4 city lots which meant my husband could build his garage (again) and have the space he needed to store his equipment for his business.

How freakin’ adorable is this?!

The problem? The seller was asking too much. It needs new windows. It has wood siding, which means it is not maintenance free. It has a swimming pool in the backyard, but the power lines go directly over the pool! Can you say electrocution?! Still we put in what we thought was a fair and negotiable offer. The seller countered, but was high. So, we countered back. That’s how negotiation works, right? Our offer was a decent offer with no strings attached as far as credits or inspections. All that it hinged on was the sale of our home. And, it was a “bumpable” offer meaning that if the seller had another better offer and that buyer was able to close before our house sold we could be bumped. That would give us 72 hours to find away to finance the sale or lose out.

But, the seller flat out rejected our counter offer breaking my heart. So now I wait for something to happen again. I’m not sure I can take it!

Fast Forward

Ugh. This house selling/house hunting gig is an emotional rollercoaster! I don’t know if I can take it!

Let me catch you up. Since the last time I posted it has been 7 months. We had another showing on our house, which resulted in a lot of praise for our “gorgeous” home and big fat BUT because the floors slope in the dining room. Of course they slope– the house is 150+ years old. Everything sags after 150 years!

We built a garage to increase the potential for a sale. The old garage was not usable for anything beyond storage and housing our boat. It was not even big enough to hold both a car and the fishing boat. Plus my husband had been nagging me for 10 years to build a new garage, but I had resisted. It seemed to me where he was talking about putting the garage (which sounded like it was going to be enormous) was going to consume most of the front lawn. I didn’t want that, but I do want to move so I finally agreed.

This photo shows the old garage in the background (ignore my laundry on the line!). You can see that it was an eyesore and in need of replacing. What can I say? Sometimes my hubby is right (but don’t tell him!).





It’s hard to see but that’s my car in there! First time parking in a garage in 20 years. After 2 snowstorms and an ice storm this winter all I can think is, why did I resist? What was I thinking!? I hope that siding and a garage door plus a bit of marketing sells the house.  If nothing else, it was nice to not scrape ice!