Kitchen Counters and Backsplash

Our kitchen counters before were Formica with an oak trim. The backsplash was a white square tile with a few decorative tiles above our black range top. Our sink was cream colored and slightly oval. The cabinets show up a little too yellow/green in some of the above photos. The actual colors are more true in the following photos.

First order of business was removing all the old tile. The walls where the tile pulled off more than was desired were repaired and then given a primer coat of paint.

The night before the installers were to arrive with the new quartz counters, Dear pulled off the old counters and hauled them out of the house.

The installers came and made quick work of installing the counters plus our new stove top and stainless sink. After a day of letting the counter adhesive dry, Dear started in on installing the subway tile backsplash. We chose a grey grout and a 1/16th inch spacers  between the tiles. In the end because the subway tiles we chose were slightly beveled the grout looks to be closer to 1/8 inch. We like it.

A double stainless oven could be in our future, wink, wink.

Now here’s a real blast from the past showing this same kitchen in the year 2000! These counters weren’t new when we moved into this old house in 1998 so they got plenty of wear and tear and were ready to go. I never liked how dark the cabinets were and the effect they had on the whole kitchen/eating area and was happy when Dear painted them later and added the white square backsplash instead of blue wallpaper. The old black double oven was replaced with a new black double oven later in the 2000’s. Too bad I didn’t choose a stainless one when we replaced this old one. Sigh…

Here’s Dear and me in 2017 standing right where Dan was standing back in the year 2000 with his choo choo train cake.

I am thankful for our new quartz counter tops and subway backsplash. They brighten up our kitchen even more.

So my promise to show the before and after has now been kept. I’m starting off the New Year right. Hope all is well and you are warm and cozy in your neck of the woods.

Sneak Peek

So happy to announce that our counter tops were installed on Wednesday by noon. We are still miles away from a fully functioning kitchen. Our cook top is connected to gas and ready to go. Our sink and dishwasher still need some plumbing parts to get things running well. The new sink is deeper than the old one so we have to make adjustments. Dear started the layout and planning for the backsplash and as soon as the sink and dishwasher are up and running he’ll start on the subway tile. Last but not least will be the window trim. Good thing he’s retired!

When it’s all done I’ll do a full before and after post. We are pleased with the quartz! It’s called White Peppercorn.

I’m off to a Seattle Sounders Soccer game with my kids tonight that will determine if we go to the finals again this year. Go Sounders!


We won! The Seattle Sounders are Western Conference Champions again this year!

The Sounders will play Toronto in Toronto on December 9th.

These two booked their flight to the game and now all they need are tickets for the game!

What a fun time celebrating together and now we are looking forward to watching the final.

My Sister-in-law Kelly has been an educator for many years and she’s posting an Advent Series called Advent in Art. It’s free and you can sign up to receive the daily prompts by following the link. If you are homeschooling this will enrich your art history program.

The Advent Season has begun and it’s snowing on my blog again. Thankful!


When renovations begin I start looking for avenues of escape.

On Saturday I picked up my sister Lana and we headed to a Junk Trunk event in Monroe, Washington. Lots of vendors under one roof. I’m kicking myself for not picking up a business card at this booth where these sweet metal creations that you can attach to any frame were displayed. Some of the pieces were also on stakes that you could put in a planter. At other booths I bought a couple of nativity sets that I’ll share after I put up my Christmas decor. There were just too many people at this popular event which made it hard to see everything but easy to bump into each other. Thankfully Lana and I kept a smile on our faces.

Sunday after church I headed out again to do some shopping and successfully ticked some things off my list.

On my way from Kirkland Trader Joe’s to Woodinville Homegoods I pulled off the road to take these photos of the beautiful color we are still enjoying around these parts.

Speaking of lists my sister-in-law who has been a homeschool educator and former director of Grace Academy for years has a blog post up on 10 off the radar Christmas books with a good review of each book. Click here to see the books and her reviews.

We have a very busy week ahead before we head to Colville on Thursday for our early Thanksgiving celebration. We have to get snow tires on our vehicle and pick up chains just in case the pass gets too much snow. The weather is not cooperating with pass travel already this year. Our quartz counter tops might be ready to be installed this Wednesday or next Tuesday. Thankfully I’m not hosting a big Thanksgiving meal here this year especially since I keep needing to escape from this old house. We are headed to a friend’s home on Thanksgiving Thursday with a large casserole filled with candied yams.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year or if you are Canadian, did you host Thanksgiving last month?


We are getting down to the bare bones of our former small master bath so we can make a new footprint and expand the bathroom into unused space.

Here’s the space before he started ripping into the walls. A full before and after post will hopefully be ready by Christmas. That’s my “all I want for Christmas wish”.¬† The master bedroom is the only area up the stairs from our kitchen so at least it can be out of sight and out of mind. I still feel unhinged and not at the top of my game. We are also waiting to create total chaos in the kitchen area when the new counter tops are cut and ready to be installed.

Here’s a fun photo that our kids took last Friday night when Addy arrived for a couple of days.

Addy and Uncle Andrew. We are an eyebrow rich family!

Have a nice Tuesday everyone.

Moving Stuff Around

We’ve been doing some reorganizing at this old house and moving stuff around to better fit spaces. Before I could grab my camera for some before shots Dear was already moving stuff. The table that is under the mirror in these shots that used to hold the stereo equipment got moved up to our sitting area off our master bedroom to hold our printer that came out of the spare oom.

This is our living room. We put the matching black short bookshelves under the windows on either side of the fireplace. These cabinets were in two separate rooms in our house before. The large mirror got moved kitty corner from where it was before. The antique library table was moved under the mirror and now has our stereo equipment on top of it. The bookshelves remained in place as did the china secretary that you can almost see in this next photo.

Since our little crawler is arriving today we moved a lot of stuff out of the living room like the tea cart, coffee table and small side tables into the Blue room so Addy has more room to roam safely. We bought a safety gate to block off the stairs that lead down to the front door and the basement. These items will return after the weekend.

We put that antique white cabinet in the garage for now because it just didn’t make sense to have it in this spare bedroom. The two tall bookshelves were in two separate rooms before and we decided to put them in here on either side of the little desk. We also moved the big office chair out and brought in a small folding chair that fits the desk better. We call this room the Spare Oom. You can see the printer that got moved out of here next to the desk in the before photo.

The small bookcase that was between these two tall bookcases in our second guest room that we call Katie’s room or the Blue room is now in the living room with it’s match on either side of the fireplace. The black dresser was moved from our master suite to finish off the look in this bedroom.

We’re happy with the changes. If and when we decide to sell this old house there will be more changes to fake buyers into thinking there’s more room, I mean staging.

Right now the pilot lights are on again and we’ve even had the heat on for the last couple mornings. Fall has arrived a few days early. We are hearing we’ll have another warm spell next week, though.

I’ll be scarce around blog land the next few days. Hope you all have a good weekend. I’m off and running!

Usable Space-Before & After

pear-soup-001This empty space in our basement was not very usable and Dear had a plan to transform it from ugly to nice.

pear-soup-004Dear set his plan into motion. After taking measurements he built the sides and back and shelves to fit.

cupboard-in-basement-003After seeing if the pieces would actually fit he primed the wood and then painted the side and back pieces and stained the shelves. He set the pieces in using his fancy nail gun.


When the stain was totally dry he slid them in and they fit perfectly and firmly.

cupboard-in-basement-005His work was level but the existing walls weren’t so he added trim to cover up the crooked space.

cupboard-in-basement-009He primed the trim and installed it. He then gave the trim it’s final coat of paint.

2nd-t-day-008All finished and ready to load up the shelves.


These shelves are sturdy and can hold lots of weight. Now I have a very useful, usable space.

U is for Usable, Useful space. From Ugly to Nice.

Linking up to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger and the ABC Team!

Maybe in the future I’ll show you what I decided to fill these shelves with.

I’ll leave you with one of my first Christmas items that is now on the wall and let you find the 2 words starting with U!


Twenty Six more days and if you read this tomorrow it is Twenty Five days till Christmas!!


The Attic

13882504_10210295058761144_1181105195605208738_nWe have an attic that is easy to access with a drop down staircase. We keep holiday bins up there, luggage, old files, Katie’s stuff, and some of Dear’s parents memorabilia. We also have our kids old toys that we drag down when we have little ones visiting.

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Looking down from the attic to our main floor.

13879209_10210297015490061_2440112983852184676_nThe space has a very low ceiling and a wood floor that gives us splinters when we crawl around up there. We decided to organize and to put some inexpensive outdoor/indoor carpeting on the floor.

13901447_10210320701602199_4947315802862830364_nThe process begins. Wiring also needed to be moved and tucked away.


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The new carpeting installed and the bins organized.

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An inexpensive project that will make our lives easier every time we head up those attic stairs to access our seasonal stuff.

Do you have an attic? How do you access it? In the meantime Dear is busy on another outdoor project and he had some interesting company today.


Can you see the wild bunny?

Update on our attic space. Many of you suggested this would be a fun place for kids. Here’s the first kid to enjoy our newly carpeted attic space. She and Andrew are here today waiting for the arrival of our kids from the East.


Her Awana shirt still fits from her elementary days!

Happy Saturday everyone!