Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 30, 1905

"Found a wren's nest built entirely of straw in the ivy growing up an ash-tree.  At the end of this month changed residence to Olton 5 miles further North."

The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady Edith Holden

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sweat Equity Instead

After many talks between hubby and I, we decided to not sell our house and move into a travel trailer.  Instead, we plan on staying in our little cottage for at least another year and using this year to build equity in the house where we can and making it more appealing for buyers.  Let's face it.  The market for 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom houses under 1000 square feet is limited.  For now, I'm purging what I can to make the house appear more spacious.  Having a family of 6 in such a small house can appear to be a turn off to buyers as the clutter of daily living overwhelms. 

There are other factors to consider, too.  My outdated kitchen, for one.  No dishwasher and an apartment-sized stove aren't very appealing to many modern buyers.  The original 1950's countertops and white enamel cabinets has limited appeal.  I've made lemonade out of my lemon of a kitchen by playing up the retro look and while it is cute for me, I would understand if a buyer gags at the kitchy sight of it.  I'm living it as is, but I think to make it a bit more appealing, I would have to continue with the retro theme rather than just hinting at it....and keep the kitchen spotless. 

The bathroom is in need of a facelift, too.  6 people using 1 bathroom equals a redo.  While we most likely won't be able to afford to change out major fixtures, all new paint, some new accessories and a good grout bleaching should bring it back to attractive.

The dining room walls need some new paint.  Since the dining room is in the dead center of the house and every room is off of it, it gets a LOT of traffic and the walls show the bumps, dings, chips and stains of small children running through.

The living room would benefit from getting rid of hubby's old, worn recliner.  While for now, it adds seating, really, it's an eyesore and lowers the property value of the living room, so to speak. Vacating baby toys will help.

The children's room needs painting and new curtains.  I wanted to do a Lorax theme on the walls, but since we're looking at selling, I think a buttery cream color on the walls will do.  Themed curtains are charming for a house that's being lived in, but for selling, I think basics will have to do.  I'd like organized consistency in their furnishings, but that's not a top priority.

Hubby and I's room, which used to be the children's room, is VERY small and still painted in the farm scene.  We plan on giving it a facelift and I'd like to remove clutter and open it up.  Granted a buyer would use the children's current room as the master bedroom, it certainly doesn't benefit our selling efforts to have the master bedroom look like an after thought.

I'm wondering if I should eliminate the homeschool room, which is actually our 3 seasons porch.  It's a great selling point and cluttering it up with homeschool stuff isn't conducive to selling.  Perhaps when we put the house on the market I will convert it to a comfy porch once again.

The exterior could use some paint touch-ups and I'd love to paint the foundation a sandy brown rather than the dingy gray it is right now.  If we can afford it, we'd like to replace some windows.  The breezeway deck needs redoing and I the stairs to the kitchen need a good coat of paint.

Landscaping went untouched last year what with pregnancy bedrest and a new baby, so I'm looking forward to tackling that.  Just cutting back overgrowth and eliminating weeds will help a LOT.

We've decided to not have ducks again this year.  Turning the duck pond back into an ornamental pond will be a bigger equity builder than having a fenced in duck area.  Brush piles will be eliminated.  The garage and shed will need cleaning out.

We're praying the Lord provides what we need to do these projects.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Cropped Curls

Several years ago, I tried an online virtual make-over where I could try out different celebrities' hairstyles.  I tried a curly cropped style (it was blond, though) and it actually looked pretty good on me!  Since then, I've wanted to try it and even recently considered purchasing a wig to see if I liked it, but I didn't want to spend the money.  I'm also wary about cutting my waist-length hair!  Well, if the Downton Abbey girls can pin up their long hair into finger-weaved bobs, I can curl and crop my long hair, too!  So, here it is!

Hubby says its sassy and he likes it, though he's glad I didn't cut my hair. :)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

DIY Retro Kitchen Kitsch

Ribbon Memo Board Before

Ribbon Memo Board After!

Since I painted my kitchen that retro blue color, my old ribbon memo board no longer matched at all.  It was old, too, and looked dingy.  A trip to the fabric store and about 15-20 minutes of work and my ribbon memo board now matches my vintage-y kitchen perfectly!  

Monday, March 04, 2013

My Vacation to Barnes & Noble

I was given a rare opportunity over the weekend.  Hubby was feeling under the weather, but needed to attend a meeting out of town.  I volunteered to drive him to and from the meeting and my parents volunteered to care for the older 3 children.  So, while hubby was at the meeting, I was able to put the baby in a stroller and leisurely browse the Barnes & Noble near by.

My visits to Barnes & Noble are very few and far between, but one of my favorite things to do there is browse the bargin shelves.

I bought:

Thomas Paine's Common Sense (for me and for homeschooling)
Sun Tzu's Art of War (for hubby)
A book on Reflexology
A Boynton book for the baby
"Duck Dynasty" Season One on DVD (for hubby and I....c'mon, it was on sale!)

3 books on 1940's fashion they did not have.
Several other books on my list were a little overpriced for my taste.

However, I did see this coffee table book:

It was way too pricey for my pocket book that day, but it is definitely on my wish list!  I am a fan of Dale Chihuly and his work.

*While a locally owned bookstore is definitely preferable, the only "locally owned" ones where I was had "adult" in front of the title, so my default was Barnes & Noble.