31 December 2013

Season's Eatings 2013


We tried some very nice recipes this season and some might be keepers, others were just good for the moment.   Some of our keepers were:

Christmas Sangria
Refreshing, needs chilled wine to be perfect!

Brie Bites
Melt the brie more, make a sauce of the butter, brown sugar and walnuts

Peanut Butter balls, a type of rocky road thing made with marshmallows and rice krispies

Gingerbread Trifle

I don't think our Christmas breakfast was much of a keeper.  It is simple and delicious but all I could think about was that I was eating 4 cinnamon rolls!!

Already collecting recipes for next year's Christmas and Christmas Eve! 

30 December 2013

Christmas on the Inside 2013

Holiday decorating in a new space can be interesting and challenging.  Whew, in a way I am glad the first Christmas is over.  Next year will be all that more fun!

Living Room

Our living room is small and cozy.  We really like it that way!

Kitchen and Dining Area


Mizzou Tree

Jingle Bell Tree in Ashley's room

GLU tree of handmade ornaments

There were a few more decorations here and there, of things that we have had in our homes wherever we might have been.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus have lived with the Oliver and the Steffes families over the years.
Already thinking about what I will do different next year...

16 December 2013

Christmas on the Outside 2013

(Update:  We won!)
Our house was nominated for a neighborhood lights contest this year!  I am just so excited to have a house to decorate!  Really missed owning my home.  

Our decisions for this year's outdoor decorating were made for convenience and yes, elegance.  I wanted to make sure that we weren't going over-the-top (Ashley says, don't make it look like someone puked Christmas on your house, mom) and Bob wanted the convenience.  

We chose real roping, the kind Bob's dad always did at the house when he was growing up.  Bob says he remembers helping with the roping and how much he loved the smell!  We also went with a real wreath and I am so glad we did.  The wreath smells so good when we are at the front door, clean and crisp and cold!

The infamous Santa, the one that took a dive in the front lake last year, is on the porch beside two matching evergreen trees.  The trees light up, and are circled with plaid ribbons.  The pots on the front porch are filled with greens, gold ornaments and red plaid ribbon.  The yellow chairs on the west porch are filled with greens and gold ornaments and a cute sign that points to the North Pole.

Between the two andriondack chairs is a red sign advertising skating at the pond...but really, the lake isn't ready for skaters yet! 

We recently had a lovely tree planted out front, so I decked the trunk with plaid ribbon, and added a touch of ribbon to the end of our handrail.  

But my favorite favorite favorite piece is the Santa and sleigh made for me by Diane at Simplymade Marceline.  She is a master vinyl cutter!  It is placed in the glass above my front door and is simply the most fun thing to look at!  

In the square windows by the fireplace, the four windows upstairs, and the three north windows we have single branch candles glowing in the dark. We placed three full sized trees in various windows of the house.  You can see the living room tree down stairs to the left, the upstairs tree is in the window in Ashley and Eric's room and the third tree is in the dining area, facing west.  These are intentionally part of our outdoor decorating plan, helping illuminate the inside as well as the outside! 

Hope you enjoyed our tour of the house for Christmas!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

29 September 2013

Day 83

Since the last post, we have been pretty much out of the loop for the house... kinda like when the Property Brothers kick you out at the last minute so you will be surprised at the end.  Lots of things have been happening on the inside but we can only give you a little glimpse, since we haven't been in much either.

We close on Friday, with our pre walk-through visit on Wednesday.  At this time, we will look carefully at all the little details, looking for things to be corrected by Friday.  On Friday, we will be able to just look for those corrections and make it to the title company to sign all the papers! 

So this is what I am going to leave you with, a bit of a teaser, before we do a big reveal later on.  It won't be Friday, because we have painters coming and other odds and ends that we wanted done before we move in.  So, around October 17, we should be completely moved in, and we'll be sharing pictures at that time!

Until then....

14 September 2013

Day 68

Thirteen days have past since my last post.  Since then the house was locked and it was harder to see what progress has been made.  Some of it was very visible, such as the Thomas Hardie siding getting put on!  The garage is finished and the house is 3/4 done.  For some reason the front of the house is still not finished, even though the last piece was put on the east side several days ago.

James Hardie siding, Boothbay Blue

The sheet rock is completely done, and painted with construction grade paint.  My favorite painter will be coming from Jefferson City to paint the entire house.  Our color pallet is yet to be determined, but it will have shades of sand, gray and blue in it.

The wood flooring, the ceramic flooring and the linoleum have all been laid.  It looks so nice!  The construction workers have cardboard over all of it so I was only able to snap a few pics of the floors.  The upstairs bathrooms have cabinets. 

Ceramic in master bath and closet

Linoleum in laundry room and two bathrooms upstairs

Wood floors in LR, DR, and powder room
 Downstairs the fireplace mantel and the marble have been put into place, and the bannister is in place.  The square slats are not in yet but we saw them in a wrapped package.  It will be so pretty!

Beginnings of the bannister with a lovely model behind it!

Fireplace with Newton mantle and baltic brown marble.  LOVE the marble!!
We saw some mechanical things done, boring stuff, but necessary!

Cabinets in all bathrooms and kitchen!

We have about three weeks until closing!  The next post will most likely be about our walk throughs but hopefully when the lighting gets in, I will be able to get a few preview pics!  I am getting very eager to move in and enjoy our house.

02 September 2013

Day 55

I think I am going through mid-construction crisis.  With the sheetrock nearly finished (all but the nails are covered), I can see design flaws that I should have thought out and corrected before it was too late, as it is now.  There is nothing that I can't live with, and I still haven't submitted any change orders (at $250 a pop) so I am feeling good about that.  Maybe when the fun pieces start to be put into place, I won't see all the "mistakes".

Part of the siding is up!  I think the contractor was excited to see a different color come into the neighborhood.  We chose James Hardie Boothbay Blue and we are the first to use it.  I am hoping others will like it and start using it, too.  Bob calls it a steel blue.

I do love the amount of natural lighting that is in the house. The living room and kitchen and dining room feel bright and airy.  The bedroom, which is in the opposite corner of the dining room is quiet and dark.  Love it!

We have four cans, four pendant lights and a chandelier for overhead lighting in the kitchen/dining area.  I think Bob will find it bright enough to read a new recipe or two when he cooks.  That was my thinking when we started adding lights!

I am very happy about the nine foot ceilings, too.  That really adds to the feeling of spaciousness in the living room, which is fairly small and cozy. 

My next excitement will come with seeing the house fully sided.  I think by then I will be over my mid construction crisis and ready for the final stages of home building.

01 September 2013

Fifteen Years

It is hard to believe that the book club I helped start in 1998 is still alive and going strong.  Four women, Barb Kuebler, Karlene Diekroeger, Azalene Evans and myself were having lunch at the Jefferson City Country Club when we started discussing books.  The lunch extended well beyond a regular lunch time as we consumed bottles of wine and discussed book after book.

Azalene, Karlene, Terri and Barb
 The purpose of our luncheon was to celebrate Barb's turning in of her National Board Teacher's portfolio.  She had worked so hard to put it together and we had been her main readers for the project. 

As we were discussing book after book, it came out that we needed to formalize a book club.  We started with a name, BBL, and our first book and set a date.  And, for fifteen years, continued to meet to discuss a book a month of various genres and interests.  I know that this book club made me a better reader.

Karlene, whom I am sure is a Blue by Kolbe, organized the sheets that follow of all the books we have read since 1998.  Many of these books became foundational, meaning, we told new members to read these since we refer back to them often.

Since moving to St. Charles has made going to book club a little difficult, our first trip back was to the 15th anniversary celebration at Karlene's home.  It was a perfect summer feast of grilled hot dogs, Lutz's homemade potato chips, Sue's baked beans, a wonderful salad and deviled eggs.  Karlene made hot fudge sundaes with her homemade fudge topping.  After eating, we discussed the book, I am Forbidden and enjoyed every minute of it!

As we left, I felt sad at what we had given up by leaving Jefferson City.  Friends with a lifelong commitment to learning, who love you no matter what, and who are happy for you even if you move 100 miles away.  I know that St. Charles will someday feel the same.

18 August 2013

Day 41

With school starting this week, all I really had time to do was drive by and wave at the workers.  That just means there aren't a lot of pictures, but there were some significant changes this week!

Mainly, the roof!

Roof lines of house and garage

You can really see the pitch of the roof now!
In addition, HVAC was in putting in all the different ducts and vents through the house.  We chose a pretty traditional heating system with a Tyvek house wrap and R30 insulation.  We are using natural gas.  We had an all electric home in Jefferson City, and most of the time that was fine.  There were just a few times when the power was off in the middle of winter that was not fun at all. 

New Town requires a certain shingle and color, so that wasn't an option for us.  It is a architectural fiberglass shingle with a 30 year warranty and that's all I know about that.  I will need to find out the brand name for future reference.

One little thing was bothering me... have you noticed that the door in the garage that leads to the house is so much shorter than the window?  It's been bothering me like crazy.  I went inside the garage and guess what???  They didn't cut the plywood all the way to the top of the door for some reason.  The door and the window will be the same height.  Whew!

10 August 2013

Day 33

Since our last post, the homebuilders have made so much progress!  Here is where we are on Day 33.  The house has four walls, the second story is framed in, windows are in, the back door is in and the fireplace has been framed in.  The porch floor is built and the back side of the house has the roofing plywood done.

Below you can see the dining area.  The kitchen and dining area are combined.  We've had a formal dining room and even though I loved it, it wasn't used except for holidays.  Our first house in Jefferson City had the kitchen/dining area combined and we used it much more.  I chose to have a lot of windows in this area.  The back windows will look into our courtyard, which we have designed and will be beautiful.  The side windows will have views of our side garden and sunsets. 

The fireplace has been framed up.  We have chosen marble to around it and we will sheet rock the top since the TV will be placed above it.  You can see the spaces created by the framing that will be perfect for built in shelving.  We want the shelving and the mantle to be at similar heights.

Here are the first shots of the porch.  We love how deep it is and it will be covered with a roof.  The poles will be replaced with columns like these.  The columns really shape up the craftsman style feel.

The steps going upstairs are going to be covered in carpet.  At Lakewood in Jefferson City, we had hardwood stairs and they were loud!  We have carpeted stairs in our apartment and really like them.  There's Bob, eager to see for the first time what the upstairs is going to look like!

This is my office/blogging room/craft room/guest room.  Doubled the windows in this room for the light when working.  We will set up a hide a bed sofa in this room to be able to accommodate more people. 

This is Ashley and Eric's room.  It has a gorgeous view!  We decided on crank out style windows.  We had these at our apartment in Kirksville and always loved the retro feel of them.  This is designed as a second master suite, with a walk in closet and its own bathroom.  Now Ash can leave her favorite shampoos and soaps, an extra hair dryer, etc, so coming to visit will be a piece of cake!

This is Bob's loft.  It has a 1/2 wall coming up the steps so there is plenty of light, even with just one window.  There will be a loveseat, TV, exercise equipment, and probably all with a sports theme.

To round up the upstairs, there is a hallway bathroom and a laundry room.  Ashley and Eric like to do their laundry before they leave and this will give them that opportunity.  The hallway bathroom will be for other guests when they come.  

It is fun to see it all come together after doing so much planning this past year!  So far we haven't made any changes to our plan.  Bob's OCD thoughtfulness ahead of the game has made that possible!!