Family Time at the Oregon Coast

A couple weeks ago we went to the Oregon coast with my parents and siblings for my dad's 50th birthday :) We stayed at this little town called Yachats (Yaw-hawts) that my parent's always like to stay in, just a little bit south of Newport, Oregon. I intended to share some pictures from the trip last week, but those post-vacation-blues got to me (and things got busy) and I wasn't able to get it done.

It was one of those weeks where Monday seemed to stretch into more than one day, and everything I touched I made a big mess! I over-flowed my sink, I spilled everything I touched, and then I was under the weather while also being super busy. It was actually kind of funny, but this Monday is turning out to be much better haha.

The trip was a lot of fun though, and it was great to have a whole week of hanging out with my family at the beach. And the weather! It was perfect, kind of chilly some days, and definitely sweater weather! I'm always happy when it's sweater weather, haha!

One day was pretty warm and we lucked out and had almost no wind, so we went swimming in the ocean that day. The hotel we stayed at was right on a wide, flat part of the beach, and you can go out really far into the water and it doesn't get very deep. It's a great swimming beach when the weather is good.

We also were nearby the Oregon Coast Aquarium and so we spent one afternoon walking around there. It was more fun than I thought it was going to be (I don't know why I thought it wouldn't be, but things like that just aren't usually my first choice), and it had been so long since I'd been to an aquarium, it was pretty cool to see.

My favorites were the jelly fish and the harbor seals (which I didn't get a good picture of) and the sea anemones :)

I also convinced my parents to come hike up to the lookout at Cape Perpetua, even though it was so foggy/smoky that day that you couldn't really see down to the coast. I just love how that area is both woods and coast, and I wanted to go enjoy some of the trees :) even though we couldn't see down, it was still fun!

I had a lot of fun, my sisters and I played nertz almost every night, and it was nice to spend some time with my parents since I hadn't seen them since June. There was a lot of silliness, and good times, and lots of photo evidence ;) haha!

I just love my little sisters! :)

In other news, I also have a house update to share with you this week, so it's a good week on the blog, haha! I thought I would have one way sooner than this, but that is house building as I'm finding out, so stay tuned for that.

I hope your Monday is treating you well, and thanks for stopping by!

Neat Stuff Friday | 1

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, and I may receive some compensation from purchases made through them.

Today I thought I'd do something a little new. I have done different 'currently' and 'lately' type posts but I was thinking it might be nice to do something once in a while on Fridays to share some things I think are neat. 

It might be products I'm using, articles I've read, music I'm listening to. So basically it's just like previous 'currently' posts, but these will hopefully happen every Friday haha!

Neat Stuff

  1. To start, that photo above was inspired by this article. I really struggle with being in the here and now and not focusing on the future all the time, so it was a nice reminder to focus on the grass I have now. I've been practicing my brush lettering a lot and literally writing anything that catches my attention, and I was particularly happy with how that turned out.
  2. Chris Loves Julia had a great post the other day about tips on maintaining and cleaning your cookware. A lot of it I knew, but some things I didn't, so maybe some of you will find it helpful also!
  3. I just bought this new Whitelines sketchbook (I bought the gridded notebook) and so far I'm loving it. The idea is that you get the grids and lines you need to keep everything straight, but when you digitize, the white lines fade away into the background vs black lines that would take time to get rid of. I've used it for a couple of things and it works great! I can't wait to fill it up :)
  4. I also just bought a bunch of multi-colored foam beads for putting into homemade slime. You know, the stuff that all those kids are obsessed with, and you probably made for a science project when you were in middle school. I intended to make it with my nieces, but I had to make some practice batches first to make sure I knew what I was doing....Here's a slime recipe I used. 
  5. I can't stop pinning beautiful pictures of mountains and forests lately! And Pinterest won't stop recommending them to me, haha! They're so beautiful, I couldn't pick just one, so check out my board here

So that's it for the neat stuff this week! It's been a busy one, but this weekend we're headed out of town to the beach with my family for my dad's birthday. I'm kind of glad the Oregon coast tends to be a little cooler, because I get to bust out some sweaters and escape the triple digit weather that's hitting our area next week!

I hope you guys have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

The Forever Cottage Inspo: The Kitchen

We're trucking along and making somewhat slowish, but steady progress on the house. If things go as planned, I should have an exciting update on it next week! But for today I thought I'd share some of my kitchen inspiration. 

One thing that we've already bought (because they were on sale!) is our windows. I really wanted black windows, and so after some research, I found the best budget friendly option for them out there! We went with Andersen 100 Series windows, and we ordered them last spring during Home Depot's windows and doors sale. But, since we were no where near ready to install them, they've been in storage ever since. 

This picture is a big one on my list of inspiration. I looked at a ton of pictures of kitchens with black windows, but this one is my favorite. I love the white walls, and the way they make the windows really pop. And it has all of my favorite things, black+white, warm wood, brass hardware, and greenery!

Here are some other things I'm looking at.

I love inserted hood ranges, and I think it's necessary anyway because I'm not planning on doing any upper cabinets at all! Call me crazy, but I just love the look of open shelving, and there will be plenty of storage without them. Dane loves the idea because it's cheaper haha ;)

There are several cabinet color options that I really like (I love those wood ones), but I always keep coming back to black. It's always been a favorite of mine, and I feel like you can't go wrong with such a solid neutral color. But, I have tossed around the idea of a dark olive green, so I could surprise myself and choose that when it comes down to it!

Right now I'm planning on medium brown wood floors, white counters (maybe concrete) and a subway tiled backsplash. I've been hearing rumors that subway tile is out, and I get it. When something dominates as much as subway tile has, people get tired of looking at it. But, we used it in our last two remodels and didn't get to enjoy it at all! Literally weeks after tile went up, we moved out :( I may decide to try a different tile layout, but I still do love the classic.  I also thought about some pretty patterned cement-like tiles, but honestly, I think I would get tired of that really fast, in spite of how pretty it is. So, tried and true it is.

The layout of our house is a little different than most people are probably used to, like I mentioned in a previous post. You walk right into our dining room/kitchen, so I want it to make a really good first impression. Something cozy and welcoming, with lots of character. And our dining table is going to float in the center of the room, so I'm picturing something old, rustic, and warm. These pictures above  are really pulling that off!

Some of these pictures might not seem that similar, but they all have colors and details that I really love. Plus, I'm focusing more on the mood and feel I get from them, and trying to incorporate that into the plans than trying to copy every exact thing. There's a particular feel that I have always loved in houses, no matter what's currently trendy or popular, so I think if I focus on that, maybe I won't get tired of things quickly as trends start to change. 

And, let's be honest, some of these places (like so much of Pinterest) are much higher end and extravagant than our house is going to be! So my goal is to focus on the things that I know I like (warm wood, black+white, olive green, a touch of rustic, a touch of traditional, a touch mid-century) and make it work for our home :)

There you have it, our new kitchen inspiration! What do you think? Should I continue to do these posts for some of the other rooms in our house? Let me know!

Happy Wednesday folks, and thanks for stopping by!

Camping at the Lake

Over the fourth of July weekend, we got to go camping at a lake a couple hours away. It was such a relaxing trip, and we got to be there for 5 days, which is longer than we usually get to camp for!

Now, I'm not as much of a "lake" person as I am just a camping lover, so as long as I get my campfire, I don't mind too much where we go ;) But my husband's family loves the lake, so we all packed up, took the boat and kayaks, and off we went!

The lake we camped at is called Howard Prairie, and it's a great place to go (we usually end up there once every summer) but another nearby lake is where the party was for watching fireworks!

We drove over to Lake of the Woods Resort, which was only about a 15 minute drive away, and I have to admit, I think I liked it a little better. It has more of a rustic "resort" feel to it though, with a lodge, restaurants, live music, and cabin rentals.

We brought some snacks and lawn chairs with us and parked ourselves near the beach area and watched the fireworks show once the sun went down.

It was a fun long-weekend, and a great way to spend the holiday :) Even Lemon had an especially good time, when I wasn't making her work on her "hold," haha!

What about you? Have you had any great camping trips this summer? I'd love to hear about it!

Thanks for stopping by!

7 Tips for Downsizing Your Living Space

As many of you read in my last post (or knew already from social media) we're living in a 5th wheel camper trailer while we remodel/rebuild our new house. It seems like the last few years have seen us downsizing several times, and each time was smaller than the last!

I feel like every time we had to go smaller, I made some mistakes, learned some tips, and got a little better about getting rid of stuff to live with less. Even though this time is only temporary, it's also the most extreme we've gone. So, since I'm on downsize number three, I thought I'd share some of my tips on how to comfortably downsize, whether you're doing it temporarily or for the long haul! 

1 | Only Bring What You Need

This one can arguably be the hardest, or the easiest, depending on who you are. This time around, I feel like this was the easiest. We've lived the last two years with half of our stuff in boxes (which helped me get rid of so much stuff when we moved back to Oregon), and it was pretty easy to see what stuff we used on a day to day basis and what we didn't.

If you're moving somewhere temporarily like we are, sort through everything and take stock. What do you know you need and use daily, weekly, monthly? Go from there, figure out what you know you'll use and pack the rest up for storage. Now is a good time to get rid of things that you realize you don't use at all! 

Next, comes storage. We're fortunate enough to have a shop/garage on our property and all of our extra stuff is stored in there. Maybe you have a similar option, or you know someone else who does and would be willing to let you use/rent space from them. You could rent a storage unit (climate controlled if you're worried about/have valuable or fragile things!) or you could rent a storage container to be brought to your property. 

If you're downsizing for long term, you probably want to get rid of extra stuff for good, instead of storing it. Have a yard sale, donate to charity, and or let friends and family come shop your stuff! Be strict with yourself. Don't hang on to things that you never use, even if they're sentimental. With a couple of exceptions, we try to only keep what keepsakes will fit in one tote box each. If you don't LOVE it, and it never gets used/sees the light of day, sell, toss, or donate.

2 | Think Seasonally 

If you know you're only going to be living small for the summer, you probably won't be needing your winter coat and boots, right? Or if it's winter, maybe all of your grilling utensils don't need to be taking up usable space in your kitchen.

If your move is temporary, sort out only the things you use during the season(s) you know you'll be using. Now, sometimes plans change (like ours) and you may find that your one season turned into two or more, but if that's the case you can just swap out from your storage as needed. We thought we'd only be living in our trailer for the summer, and so our winter clothes got packed away. Now that our stay looks like it'll be stretching into fall, I know we will have to rotate things out as the weather changes.

This tip works even with a more permanent move too. If you downsized and know you only have limited closet space in your bedroom, only keep one seasonal wardrobe in there at a time. Store alternate seasonal items in totes in the garage, attic, hall closet, or under your bed! Wherever you have the room.

3 | Make Sure Everything Has a Home

When you're living in a smaller space, the last thing you want to see all the time is a lot of clutter! Make sure that everything you keep has a home. Don't keep five throw blankets if there's only room for three in your basket. If you only have space for a small tote of cleaning supplies, thin them out and only bring what you absolutely need.

We were fortunate that our trailer has quite a bit of storage, so even things like my craft items have a spot to go. For things that we don't have room for (like laundry baskets and detergent), I keep in a spot in the shop or in my car for when I go to the laundromat. They don't stay inside the trailer because they don't have a home!

4 | Tidy as You Go

Nothing makes a small space seem smaller than when it's messy.  

Small spaces might clean up faster, but they also get dirty faster! This is probably the biggest struggle I have with living in a smaller space. If the dishes don't get done one day, or the mail gets brought in and set on the table and the shoes kicked off by the door, get the picture. It's really easy for things to get overwhelming very quickly.  

And even though the space might clean up faster, it's so much less stressful to tidy and clean up as you go. If you have less stuff, and you tidy up after yourselves during the day, your home will feel bigger and more relaxing. 

5 | Make it Feel Like Home 

So, maybe you're downsizing because you have to, and not because you want to. Maybe you're renting and can't do much to improve the space. Maybe you're like us, and living in a 90s trailer, with pink carpet and a pink and teal floral motif throughout, haha! Even if you love where you live, you can still do little things to make it more homey. 

Burn your favorite candle, or use a yummy room spray! Bring in house plants, or fresh cut flowers to brighten things up. Turn on your favorite album or playlist, or make your favorite meal. These are all things that take little to no space and really make your house (or trailer) feel like home. 

6 | Socialize 

Just because you live in a small space, doesn't mean you can't play hostess. Maybe you can only invite one couple over at a time. Or host outdoor gatherings during warmer months. Invite your mom over for coffee or your bff to watch a movie! Spending time with those closest to you doesn't always require a ton of space.

7 | Get Outside 

Getting out of your tiny space can be a good thing sometimes too. Go to the famer's market on the weekend, go out to dinner with friends, take a hike, or go swimming at the river. One upside to downsizing is that it gives you the excuse to get outside and explore the world around you! 

And there you have it, my tips for downsizing! Have any of you moved into a smaller space? Was it a temporary move, or a permanent life change? What are any tips you would add to this list? Let me know! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

The Forever Cottage: Demo and Where We Are Currently

Today I thought I'd bring everything up to date on our progress with our new home. It seems crazy that we've already lived here for almost four months! But while it seems like it's been slow going, a lot has actually been accomplished. But, first we had to come across some major changes to the plans. So here are some progress pictures of what we've done so far.

Right off the bat after we moved onto the property, we started on demo. Things were going along pretty well, and most of the stuff we came across was pretty much expected. There was wood panelling in every room, and cardboard ceiling tiles, and it all had to come down. We found lots of bug nests in the walls and ceilings, which is what all of that grey dirt looking stuff is! We knew whole place needed re-wiring and new plumbing, and while trying to maybe salvage the kitchen, it became obvious pretty quickly that we would need to get all new cabinetry (which was fine by me!).

One fun thing we came across that we weren't expecting were the stacked 2x4 walls! I guess that's pretty common with older houses in timber products areas, because of all of the lumber mills. Mill workers could get free scraps and seconds, but they were so short that the only way to use them in building was to stack and nail them, one on top of the other! All in all, it wouldn't have been too bad to keep that, and we were planning on keeping some exposed as a statement wall.

We had the place pretty much completely gutted in a few weeks, and since so much of what we were tearing out was wood based products, we just chucked them out of the living room window and eventually got it all burned before fire season started in our area. The pile was huge! It was pretty validating to see that proof of what we were accomplishing.

Then we got to the foundation. Like I said in my last post, we knew it was bad. We just weren't sure how bad. When we figured it out, after the house was almost completely gutted, we knew it needed a new one. It became a matter of either jacking the house up and pouring a new foundation, or tearing the older, original half (built in the 40s) down and starting from scratch there.

What it came down to was the fact that besides the roof (which was still in great shape, and only about 10 years old), we were literally replacing everything of value in that part of the house. The stacked walls were ok, but they weren't really worth salvaging or trying to work around. So when it came down to it, we decided to tear the front down and start fresh, with a new foundation and traditionally framed walls.

So, down she came. My father-in-law is an excavator, and he brought his equipment over and went to work! There was a quick, scary moment when the house started twisting away, and almost hit our trailer! I was live streaming on instagram stories, so if you tuned in, you got to see us all collectively almost have a heart attack, haha.

But, my father-in-law's a pro and he got a hold of it at the last second, and it came down without any more drama :) It was a very exciting day, especially after weeks of slow going, then BOOM! Big progress!

The front came down about a month ago, and we just finished up our new foundation. Things seemed to drag on for a while waiting on our permits, but now we're finally on a roll. My parents were here a couple of weeks ago, and my dad helped cut down and remove a couple of trees that were planted awkwardly close to the house. And then we had both of our dads and a couple of friends come help pour our foundation footing. Then came the block (that my f-i-l also helped with), and it's slowly but surely been moving along.

The next step is framing and rough plumbing. It's just so exciting to be in the process of building it back up instead of tearing things apart! The updates will probably be a little slower coming at this point, because now we're caught up, but in the meantime I'll be sharing some inspiration and plans for the design that I've been coming up with over the last few months. My goal is to be better about sharing things during this renovation in real time than with our last one, haha!

Thanks for stopping by!

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