More Dining Room Updates

The dining room continues to see more progress.   With the wall down, there was painting to be done, a chuck of flooring that needed to be patched/repaired, and other repairs to come.  We really wanted to do a happy dance when we went to Home Depot and they still had the flooring in stock.  We don’t necessarily love the flooring, but it saved us a ton of money to just fill in the gap instead of replacing all the flooring.  IMG_1237

This is the progress of the paint and furniture placement.  Still have to do the trim painting around the ceiling (not my forte!).


I had no clue what the process would be to fix the floor, but it was way more detailed than I thought it would be.  First Ryan had to put a layer of plywood down.


Then he found some cheap peel and stick tile to get the floor level because of all the layers of old linoleum under the current floor.IMG_1258

Then he had to remove the cut out tiles, and put in the new tile.IMG_1323IMG_1321 (1)Can’t even tell the difference at all!  We still have wall patching to do and some beam work that we are going to add for detail.

IMG_1246 IMG_1245It is a slow process, but super exciting!  I can now have a family Thanksgiving in my new dining room with room for a good 20 people if we get cozy.  I will do another update with lighting soon.  I am so thrilled about my new pendant lights…old style Edison light bulbs.  Exciting!!FullSizeRender




Turkey: It’s Not Just for Thanksgiving

While on Pinterest (I may still be slightly addicted to it), I found a recipe that made me feel like eating turkey and cranberries. Even more so when I found out that the recipe was a Crock-pot meal.  Between working a full time job, taking classes for my master’s degree, family time, and other various things (like home remodeling), I often don’t really care to cook.  It feels stressful to plan and prepare meals.  My Crock-pot saves the day more days than not!

The recipe is super easy and uses very few ingredients.  It can be found on Jamie Cooks it Up.  Are you ready to see the recipe for Turkey Breast of Wonder?  I did not name it, but the name does crack me up!!

Turkey in CrockpotTurkey Breast of Wonder

Time: 5 min. prep + 8-9 hours cooking
Yield: 12 servings
***NOTE: Make sure you buy a turkey breast small enough to fit in your crock pot.***
1 (5-6 pound) turkey breast
1/2 C orange juice (you could also substitute chicken broth)
1 (14 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (1 ounce) package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
salt and pepper
Place thawed turkey breast in crockpot.  Mix together all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over turkey.  I put mine in the crockpot at 7:30 am and left it in until 5:00 on the low setting.  As long as it gets to 180 degrees, you are good.
For gravy, I strained the juice from the crockpot and put them in a saucepan.  I added about 4 T of cornstarch to 1/2 cup of cold water and stirred it together.  Then I poured it into the juices.  Bring it to a boil and let it thicken.  The recipe called for adding a 1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup, but I didn’t do this.  It would make it creamier, though.
IMG_1333Not the most fabulous picture, but you get the idea.  It was very good!  I will be adding it to my go to list of recipes.  I always love finding a good, easy recipe that we can all eat with me having to make changes to make it gluten free.


Doubling the Dining Room

The dining space in our house was more of a nook.  It fit a 4 seat dining table, but that was about it.  With Thanksgiving coming up, we decided we needed more space.  On the other side of the dining room wall was a mud room, which seemed like a waste of space when it could be used for something more.  These pictures are from when we bought the house.  I really love the built in hutch, but for the sake of a larger room, it needed to be removed.  By the way, how do you like the salmon colored walls?

House 4 House 6

The first step was to knock the wall down.

IMG_1177 IMG_1179 IMG_1181 IMG_1183 IMG_1192

Then came the realization that the process was not going to be as simple as it seemed.  Beside tearing out plaster and knocking down stud walls, there was going to be flooring and walls to patch, lights to change out, trim to replace,  a gas line to move, electrical to take out, and walls to paint.  Of course, Ryan realized all that, but I was a little clueless!

IMG_1198 IMG_1205 IMG_1209 IMG_1210 IMG_1235 IMG_1243 IMG_1245

Quite the process, but it looks so much bigger and a whole lot more open!  Want to see the next steps of the process?  You might just have to wait a little while.  How do you like that for suspense?  Stay tuned for the next update very soon!

Summer in Review-Part 3 (and some freezer meals!)

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I had made some freezer meals and several people wanted recipes so I thought in addition to my summer in review post, I would add some recipes.

At the end of June, we made a short trip to historic Medora, ND for a little getaway.  We did some site seeing, went on a trail ride, ate ice cream, shopped, saw the Medora Musical, and had an all around good time.

photo 1(6) photo 2(6) photo 3(6)photo 1(8) photo 4(6)

After Medora, we had a family reunion  in Bottineau.  Unfortunately, the rain was the main event of the weekend, but we still had a fun time visiting with family and eating way too much food!  The kids braved the cold, rainy day and went for a ride on the inflatable couch on Lake Metigoshe.

photo 4(8) photo 1(7)

As is my norm, I had to take some pics of the North Dakota scenery including a calf at my brother’s farm and some North Dakota landscapes.  More iPhone pics!

photo 2(8) photo 3(8)

The rest of June was rounded out with bonfires and setting up the new pool in the back yard.

photo 1(5) photo 3(7)

Phew!  We made it through June with the updates.  July coming soon, but now to some recipes.  I am including 2 freezer recipes that I found on All Things Katie Marie.  I made these freezer meals yesterday, but have yet to eat either one.  They sure sound good, though!


Chicken Taco Chili

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. can black beans
  • 1 16 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chili peppers (optional)

Cook in slow cooker on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste


BBQ Chicken and Veggies

  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 6 red potatoes, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce

Split ingredients into two bags (yay for two meals!). Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Recipe adapted from Mama And Baby Love

Make sure when you make these that you label the freezer bags with the instructions so that you know what to do when it comes time to cook them.  I just wrote thaw and the amount of time that they need to be in the slow cooker on each freezer bag.

freezer meals

Summer in Review-Part 2

Day 2 of the summer update…

The beginning of June was filled with painting.  My mom came and helped me paint the kitchen, dining area, and front entry.  The place was in desperate need of color!  These pictures are of the kitchen and dining area before we bought it.  Lots and lots of pinkish tan!  Let’s call it salmon.

House 2 House 3 House 4

After much indecision, I finally came up with this color scheme…

photo 1(4) photo 2(4)

You can still see the salmon color in the living room (haven’t gotten to that yet).  What a difference a little paint and our decor made!  Sorry the pics aren’t the greatest.  They are just from my phone :)  We are hoping in the future to reface the cabinets to update the kitchen a little more, but it is all a work in progress!

The entry was also salmon, but now it is Sea Mist.  I really love the color.  A soothing aqua that feels very welcoming.  My mom bought me the owls for above the door as a late birthday present.  I love their vintage look!

photo 3(4)

We had our first thunderstorm in June, which proved to be interesting.  The gutters were so full of gunk that Ryan had to get up on the roof in the heavy rain and hail to clean them out.  We were lucky to have NO water in the basement during the downpour!

photo 4(4) photo 5(4)

The picture hallway is coming along quite nicely as well.  It needs a few more pictures added to it, but the progress is coming along nicely.  I am hoping these can hang here for a few years!!

photo 5(6)

That’s it for today, but I will be back.


Summer in Review: Part 1

This summer has flown by.  I can’t seem to remember what we have been doing for the last months because it has just been one big blur.  Guess that is what happens when you move across the state yet again.  As I was looking back on pictures on my phone I realized that I have not done an update on our crazy lives lately.  I am going to have to do this in segments because there has been a lot going on!  So here is part 1 of many!

The summer started with an across the state move back to the homeland of Minot.  While we really enjoyed the Fargo-Moorhead area, we realized that Minot is home and with the booming economy of the area, it made sense to come back to where the architecture work is for Ryan.

We said goodbye to our Moorhead home of 1 year….

photo 2

photo 4(1)

And hello to a new (old) house in Minot!

photo 1This picture was taken before summer clearly since there was still snow on the ground!!

In the middle of the move, we spent several weeks at Ryan’s parent’s house in the country, which was a nice respite from the craziness of packing and moving.  There was rock skipping in the ponds, walks on gravel roads, drives through the countryside, and even a late year snow complete with snowman making.

photo 4photo 5photo 3

photo 1(2)

photo 2(2) photo 3(2)

Because of timing of this move, Luke had a few months of school left and we decided to enroll him in an online school for the final 2 months of the school year.  There were many days of school at Barnes and Noble Cafe!  No complaints on that one!

photo 5(1)

Moving into a new house brought with it the joys of unpacking boxes and decorating (yet again!).  We still have a lot to do and many projects in the works, but have gotten a few things done.

photo 1(3)This was our first night in the new house and Luke’s first night in his new bed

Every room of the new house is painted some shade of tan or brown with a hint of reddish pink undertones.  Not my favorite, but since I really hate painting (have done a few too many rooms!), I am going slow with the painting projects.  The living room still needs to be painted, but I decided to put up some decor in the meantime to make it feel more home-y.

photo 2(3) photo 3(3)

When June rolls around, my dad comes for a visit and so I set to work getting the spare room ready for him to stay.  Over the past 5 years, he has stayed in a new room in a new house every year.  Because the flood and the multiple moves since, our spare bedroom furniture has seen a lot of new homes!

photo 5(3)I hadn’t hung the pictures on the wall above the bed when I took this picture, but they are on the wall now.

The yard at the new house is really a complete blank slate.  It wasn’t kept up very well and needs some love.  I do not have much of a green thumb (I am trying!), but Ryan has a patience and love of plants and shrubs that I will never have.  I took this picture of him and call it, “Ryan dreaming in flowers”!  He was not that impressed, but it is the truth.  He is in heaven when he can pick out new plants and shrubs for our yard.

photo 4(3)Anyway, that is part 1 of our Summer 2014.  Stay tuned tomorrow for more pictures of our summer.  And then probably more to come the following day :)  Guess I better stay a little more up to date with the updates!

Sewing Class Projects

I am taking a sewing class this summer and one of my assignments was to make two projects of my choice to share with the class through our online discussion board. I decided to make a little girl’s dress and matching headband for a friend’s daughter.  I am so excited about how it turned out!  I was actually able to follow the pattern like I have been learning and the pattern didn’t seem like a foreign language like they have when I have tried to create something in the past.

For the dress, I followed McCalls M6944 pattern and used B.  I bought the fabric at Hobby Lobby.  I love paisley print!



After many hours of sewing, here is the final result!

Make and Share 1 Make and Share 2 Make and Share 3 Make and Share 4 Make and Share 5 Make and Share 6 Make and Share 7 Make and Share 8

The pattern had little bows on the front and the back, but I decided to make little roses out of matching fabric instead because I love them!!

For the headband, I found an online tutorial.   I also made a matching rose for the headband.  I cannot wait for Little Miss A to try on her dress and headband!

M and S 1 M and S 2 M and S 3

I forgot how much fun sewing is especially now that I actually know what I am doing (a little bit!) :)