December 31, 2010

2010: A Year to Remember

I hope you have a few minutes on your hands because I want to take you on a journey back through last few months to see the transformation that has taken place at J&K Homestead since we bought this house at the end of May.

Our journey actually started in February 2010 when we came across this house online during the house hunting process. There was nothing special about it. From the outside, it looked like many others we had seen. We didn't even know what the inside looked like until the first day that we were able to see it in person. But there was something about it that drew us in...

After touring the inside, it was love at first sight. So, we signed on the dotted line and began what has been some of the busiest and most joyful months of our married life.

And on May 30th, I posted our first blog to "keep friends and family (particularly those who don't live in the area) up-to-date with all the changes happening in the 2-story brick house."

So, I want to take a quick tour through some of the rooms of our little house and remember the "before look" and the "after look" that has come about through hard work and much help from family and friends. Most of the "before" pictures were taken the day we first toured the house. And most of the rooms are still a work in progress. But it's exciting to see how far the place has come in just 7 months...









What a blessing this house has been to us in 2010! It was God's gift to us. And I'm looking forward to many memories we will share here in the years to come!

Happy New Year!

And stay tuned for a list of projects we hope to tackle in 2011!
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December 30, 2010

Tool Time

I was browsing around PW's website the other day, when I came across an article about this...

What is this you ask? Well, it is an all girl PINK tool kit.

I saw it.

I loved it.

I emailed the Amazon link to Joey.

He didn't respond. Boo.

Three days later a box was delivered to our address. Joey told me to open it. And guess what I found inside?

That's right, my very own Apollo Precision 135-Piece Household Pink Tool Kit. I guess my husband does love me after all...

It even has a pink drill. So, I can drill something...

...and many, many drill bits to fit every size/shape screw imaginable.

And I love this container of screws, nails, hooks, hangers etc. I know I will use these to hang pictures and shelves and all kinds of things.

And these itsy bitsy screwdrivers are a must have!

Maybe now I can get all the hardware screwed back into our newly painted windows and doors...

And I won't catch Joey using my pink tools! So, they will not be lost or stolen!

Best $35 spent in a while. Amen. Pin It

December 28, 2010

Lots of Loot

I don't know about you, but we were very blessed by our family this year and received many treasures beneath the Christmas tree. I honestly loved everything I received, and so, I thought I'd share with you just a few of the trinkets given to me.

I put my organizational skills to use and tried categorizing the gifts to make it a little easier for ya. Here we go...

A random assortment of items including a Santa mug, red kitchen towel, meat tenderizer, iron saucepan (can be used on the grill - YUM), some pretty recipe cards, and a food prep machine - great for chopping/shredding/mixing.

Always a great addition to my growing candle collection. I received some red and green candles, which I can use at Christmas time next year, but also some pretty candle holders, which I can use all year long.

This is one of my favorite categories! I got all kinds of decorative things to use throughout the house. The 2 baskets on the left came from Target. Can't wait to find good use for them. The chocolate and red pillows are from JCPenney and will probably be used in my bedroom (remember my red, green, brown theme for fall/winter?). The gray, paisley hand towels are for our 1/2 bath on the 1st floor (which is under renovation). And the woven table runner and ceramic bird jewelry dish are from PotteryBarn. Whew!

As you know by my Christmas tree, I love ornaments. So, I certainly couldn't let Christmas go by without receiving a few additions to my collection! Even our cat, Spike, got another personal little ornament for his collection.

This is the fun category! I received the Europe version of Ticket to Ride. I already own the US version of the game (highly recommended if you've never played it). I also received 3 books (I have a lot of reading to do), a Bing Crosby Christmas CD, and 6 DVDs (all musicals)... You won't find me bored in 2011!

...mostly in the form of a great variety of gift cards (and some cash too). Apparently I have some spending to do. Hopefully I can hit up the after-holiday-sales! I already spent a small amount of my PotteryBarn gift cards on 2 birch candles that were for sale.

Where does holiday weight-gain come from? Your Christmas stocking! Check out the sweets variety...

And can you believe there's even more that I didn't include?! Like I said, we are greatly blessed!

What did you receive as a gift that you especially liked this year? Do tell! Pin It

December 27, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

And we certainly had a white Christmas here in Kenosha! While driving home from our family gathering Saturday night, big white flakes began to grace us with their presence. Within the hour, there was an abundance of lake effect snow coming down. Only those within about 5-10 miles of Lake Michigan got blanketed with snow on Christmas night, and we were one of the lucky ones.

All in all, we got about 8 inches - most of which fell within about a 4 hour span. It was beautiful. And we a played in it like children (well, Joey shoveled and I took pictures).

The front of the house looked so pretty, with the Christmas tree shining through the front windows.

Here's a picture of the other street (since we're on a corner) and our driveway. You can't even see the road since it's covered in snow.

I took this picture through our living room window (hence you're looking through a screen). The picture includes one of the trees on the side of our property with the corner street light shining behind it.

Spike cried at the door to come out and join us in the fun. He took a look around and played it safe on the sidewalks for a bit...

...but I eventually threw him into a pile of snow to shake him up. He liked it for a while, but then just wanted to get back on dry ground again.

I sure wish the snow would stick around for a little while because I love my winter wonderland!

What a perfect way to end a Merry Christmas! Pin It

December 25, 2010

Ornament(s) of the Day: Pickles

According to the ornament tag: Long ago when parents decorated the Christmas tree they hung the pickle ornament last, hiding it in the green boughs. When the children were allowed to view the tree, they would begin searching for the pickle ornament because they knew they would receive an extra gift for being the most observant.

1. The Pickle

2. Miniature Gurken

See it hidden in there?

We hide the mini pickle deep in the tree for kids to find. So fun each year! Pin It

December 24, 2010

The Christmas Tree Room

It's Christmas Eve, and I'm savoring the last few days we'll have with our Christmas Tree and holiday decorations.

I added a few other festive touches to the den where the tree sits. And I wanted to post them for good measure.

I have some vintage keys I bought a while back at PotteryBarn. Eventually they will probably hang on the wall or in shadow boxes or something. But for now, I hung them with ribbon in each of the windows in the den.

Each key is a slightly different shape and size. Some are bronze and some are sage green. It adds a vintage touch.

In addition, I decorated the piano in the room.

I put a little green bird candle in front of the lamp.

In the center, I took a bronze vase I owned and stuck some pine picks in it - the pine cones were attached to the picks. I surrounded the vase with pine as well.

Lastly, I took this glass hurricane I own and put some yummy potpourri in the bottom and a sparkly dark green candle on top.

It all adds to the festiveness of Christmas...

Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Psst... If you want to take a look back at our Christmas tree posts, click here and here.

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