Monthly Archives: December 2012

Before and Afters: Prairie Rose

Originally, I was going to keep a personal blog for family and friends, and then a separate blog for house and decor stuff.  I decided that I better get really good at one before trying two.  This was a post that I had posted on that blog.  I named it Gypsy Cottage because I thought that suited us and the way we are living.  However, with the peace I feel over finding this new home and Hubby’s new job, I don’t want to be a gypsy anymore.  So, I’m just gonna post everything right here for everyone to see.


Originally posted March 24, 2012 on Gypsy Cottage

I promised some B&A’s so here we go.  Nothing too fancy except some paint, tile and crown moulding.  That doesn’t include finishing the basement.  Please keep in mind that I did not take these pictures with the intent to share with the world.  I will do better from now on, I promise.  We are selling this house and I thought I would leave the new homeowner pictures of what it looked like when we bought it.  A small scrapbook that includes the pics I am going to post here.  Does that sound corny?  I would love to have something like that, especially if it was an older house.  I will probably do it anyway.  I’ll never know if they thought it was corny or not.  What do you think?

P.S. I realized as I was going through my pictures of the house that I really did not do a good job of taking “after” pics.  For some of them, I ended up using the ones from when we put the house on the market.  Keep in mind that a lot of “fluff” had been removed to de-personalize.

Original kitchen
Kitchen – added backsplash and under cabinet lighting
dining room/kitchen
painted hallway – BM Stone House. Although I love this color, in this house and with the lighting it became too yellow-y.  I ended up repainting it Valspar Ivory Brown.
fireplace wall – wall color BM Atmospheric
replacing tile surround
Fireplace after we added mosaic tile to the surround and shelves for tv and components

Painted BM Atmospheric in living room and (at this point) hallway is Valspar Ivory Brown

In the master bath we painted BM Carolina Gull and added trim around the mirror
Master Bedroom
Master bedroom
kids rooms
Baby A’s room
Boy’s room.  This was a bunk bed, but we separated it for showings.


This was our homeschool area of the basement.  It was great having a dedicated area to school at.

Things I love about Prairie Rose:

His/hers closets in master


Larger front porch


Big master suite

Dedicated homeschool space

Things I hope to have in next home:

Larger dining space (to seat 10)

Mostly one level living

More property

Larger secondary bedrooms

Less builder “character”

Wrap around porch (one can dream can’t she?)


I haven’t looked at this list since I wrote it the first time, but the cool thing is that the home we are buying has mostly everything on both lists…yay!


Busy times…

What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been!  Hubby started his new job in Georgia on November 19th.  We weren’t very fond of the idea of him going down to stay in a hotel and the rest of us here, so we loaded up the kids and the car and headed down.  What an adventure it is to stay in a hotel with five people with four of them having nothing in particular to do while the other is at work.  Not to mention, one of those five is an almost two-year-old that is used to being in her own bed for naps and bedtime.  I’m just thankful we could all be together.

To prepare for the trip, I decided to cook a few meals to help save money.  This worked out really well.  Here is a pic of everything packed up for the first trip:


The first thing I made was Pioneer Woman’s Best Lasagna Ever.  This has been a family favorite since I made it after buying her first cookbook.  The only thing I do differently is use Italian Seasoning instead of fresh herbs.  I do this because…well, because I’m too lazy to buy the herbs and chop them up.  It still turns out pretty darn good.


The next thing I made is something called Easy Santa Fe Skillet.  I found this in a magazine a while back and I’m sorry to say I don’t remember which one.  It is similar to what I grew up calling goulash, but I use Velveeta in this.  Maybe not the healthiest thing, but tastes really good after sitting for a few days and then being reheated.  I also love that you only use one skillet to cook everything, including the pasta.


Next, I made Easy Beef & Rice.  I really like this because I can add celery and onions and no one complains about it.  Of course, I have to cook them down first so that they are really tender, but it makes me feel better knowing they are in there.


I also made a Breakfast Casserole.  This keeps pretty well too for a few days.  I usually use regular sandwich bread, but this time I used some Italian bread we had left over and it was AWESOME!


I wanted to try to save on snacks as well.  I made a Chex mix and bought a few large bags of Cheez-its and carrots and separated everything in snack size baggies.

We were supposed to be in Georgia until the day before Thanksgiving and then come back to Tennessee.  However, my mom called me on the Tuesday before and “suggested” that since we were already half-way there, we might as well come home for Thanksgiving (to Florida).  I’m sure it’s this way in other parts of the country too, but when a Southern mama “suggests” something, it’s really no suggestion at all.  The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds because our Lola-dog was being boarded and we had only booked her through Wednesday.  Well, it worked out that she could stay longer and we headed to Florida.

I’m SO glad we did!  We had the best time.  It was a tough Thanksgiving for my family due to it being the first since my Granny and my cousin passed, but I felt like everyone lingered just a little longer.  Everyone seemed to pay attention just a little more to what was going on in each other’s lives.  The kids played hard (and so did some adults).  We also had a chance to celebrate our oldest son’s 11th birthday with all the fam.  I can’t believe he is 11 already.  He *wink-wink* is getting so old.  Here are a few pics (I have more, but they are on my sister’s camera and I’m waiting on her to share):


We went on a hay ride (I promise there’s hay, just under the sleeping bags).


That’s our girl – riding the trike with coozies on her arms.


Baby A and Cousin G on the tractor.

the girls and Grandpa

This is me (on the left) and my absolutely beautiful sisters with our 91-year-old Grandpa on Thanksgiving Day.

After hanging in Florida for the weekend, we had to go back to the hotel in Georgia for a few days.  Our Lola-dog was very excited to see us when we went to pick her up and has been my side ever since.  I keep telling her not to worry, that we’ll always come back for her, but that we don’t plan on leaving her for that long again.  I’m sure she understands.

It looks like it will be the end of this coming week before we close on the house.  I can’t wait to share the pictures and details and plans with everyone!

See ya on the flip side,