Category Archives: Gypsy Cottage

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!


Making a house a home…

In our various adventures, I have set out to do just that…make a house a home.  No matter where it is or how long we will live there, I desire to make it as comfortable and “homey” as possible.  I have failed in this department.  I have gotten sidetracked by my desires to live in my own space.  It doesn’t help that our leases have been for three and six months.  By the time we have gotten good and settled, it is time to pack up again.  I’m tired of moving.  I’m tired of unpacking and packing boxes.

I’m having an overwhelming desire to knock down a wall or put up some moulding or paint the kitchen cabinets – none of which I can do while living in someone else’s home.

Don’t mind me, I’ve having my own little pity party.

I feel better now.

We are searching for our next (and hopefully, final) home.  I LOVE looking at houses online.  I REALLY love driving all over God’s creation seeing homes in person.  I immediately see the potential, or lack thereof, in each home I see.  Hot pink walls with light blue trim?  No problem.  I envision what it would look like with board and batten trim and crown moulding and the furniture just so.  1980’s oak kitchen cabinets?  Can’t you just see them painted the creamiest soft gray and white.  I know my fellow DIYers out there get what I’m sayin’.

I think I’m just feeling down and funky because everyone in my little family has had a sickness of some kind in the last couple of weeks.  We’ve been cooped up, stuffed up, coughed up, curled up, and spit up (on).  We’re not quite out of the woods, but are on the mend for sure.

One thing that always makes a house a home is making sure the heart of the home – the kitchen – is in full working order.  The rental we are in now has a smaller kitchen than I had in my first little two-bedroom apartment.  There is one drawer, very little counter space, no pantry, and I have to keep most of my pots and pans down in the basement.  However, I have done my best at organizing it and cleaning it up.  We have also done our best to eat at home only, especially for dinner, for the better part of a year now.  I recently signed up with eMeals and I tell you, I LOVE IT!  What a fantastic idea!  I haven’t put pen-to-paper yet, but I know it is saving us money.  And I KNOW it is saving me time.  To us, it has been well worth the cost of subscription.  Check them out:

eMeals - Dinner Done

So, I will continue striving to make our house “homey” and more us (even with its weird yellow-y, kinda beige walls; yuck).  I do have some things in mind to help with that.  Here is my short list that I’ve just thought of while typing this:

  • Start doing our Table Talkers again
  • Reinstate a set night for Family Game Night
  • Bake from scratch more
  • Find a new lamp and side table/stand for the boy’s room so they can read at night
  • Start using my homemade cleaning products again
  • Finish sewing dining room chair covers
  • Make a duvet cover for our bed

I’m sure there are many more things I will think of as we get into the groove of things again.

So, tell me, what things or traditions make your house a home?

Poll: Good accent color with navy?

Thanks for you input!

And we’re off again!

So, I mentioned before that Hubby had a couple of interviews in Knoxville last week.  They went really well and he was offered one of the jobs at a great facility.  The other facility liked him as well, but he interviewed for a full-time position and as it turns out, the person whose spot he was applying for is no longer transferring, so the position turned into PRN.  We are so excited about the move!

Let me clarify, we are excited about getting to TN, but not excited about the moving process.  Not to mention he begins working there one week after his assignment ends here.  But, “it will all work out.”  Or so people keep telling me.  It may not seem that way right now, but I’m sure it will.

I’m really over moving.  Doing the travelling thing was fine when the companies provided furnished housing, but moving all of us plus our stuff is for the birds.  We have a whole storage unit full of stuff that it is very tempting to just put a garage sale sign in front of or tell the owners to do one of those storage auctions.  Every time we go to put more stuff in, I say to Hubby, “Are you sure we really need this stuff?”  He says we do, and we can’t replace it for the cost of moving it, and it’s really nice, and blah, blah, blah.  This is where I turn into a two-year-old and start throwing myself on the ground and kicking my feet and screaming while holding my hands over my ears.

Well, not really, but I feel like it.

So, we will move it all again, but hopefully, for the last time.  We have been looking for a home to buy, but will probably rent for a few months until we can get a feel for the area and pick something we love.  There are many available that would “work”, but I don’t want to settle and then be unhappy in three years (it’s been known to happen…I’m just saying is all).  The kids are  demanding requesting a place with enough big trees for a tree house and a creek or pond.  I mean, yeah, those are part of my conditions too.  I want a tree house.

One like this would be nice:



Tennessee, here we come.  Let the next chapter begin!


Our humble abode…

We moved into our new (temporary) home in the middle of April.  It is a cute and comfortable place.  It is so green and lush around us.  We are living on Lake Monticello in Virginia.  Not ON the lake, but within the lake community.  It is a smaller house than are use to, but the rooms are a good size and the layout is good.  Also, less for me to clean.  We have less stuff here.  It’s amazing what you realize you don’t need when there isn’t room for it.  We have been purging all kinds of things.  Luckily, there is a thrift store near the lake that I am able to donate it all to without holding on to it for too long.


There is a creek that runs along the back of the house, about 15 feet from the house actually, and the boys love to play in it.  They have spent a number of hours already catching crawdads and tadpoles.


Overall, we are getting into the groove of things.  We began doing our schooling again yesterday.  The boys gave me the “ugh, we HAVE to do school???” attitude, but got over it after a few minutes…well, like 45 minutes, but once they saw it was getting them no where, they straightened up.

See ya tomorrow!

P.S. Now that we are back on schedule, I will try to start posting again regularly.