Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

Cottage Details

My last post about the cottage was the tour of how we are almost done with the interior! We are so in love with our favorite spot and love to go there to get away. If you missed that post you can read it all here and see what we have done with the place!

I thought I would get a little more in depth and talk a bit more about decor and pieces that I have picked up along the way that I love. The feel of the cottage that I am going for is acquired. I don’t want a feel that we went and bought everything new but rather I am going with a collection of pieces and momentos that we love, that bring us joy, and that will give the place a curated feel like it’s been in our family for generations rather than a few years. To do this I look for pieces everywhere: at thrift stores, flea markets, my grandma’s house, and things that we have at our house.

I will also say that by doing it this was it is such a neat experience to see how God provides. For example, this summer we have been getting serious about stocking our kitchen with more gadgets that we need while not going overboard. After all I don’t want a ton of items to have to take care of, put away, and weed through when I am looking for something. Not cool. However necessities like a pizza cutter and an ice cream scoop have proven to be missing items that are desperately needed, especially when you have kiddos. Well, I didn’t want to go and spend a ton of money on buying a bunch of stuff. I wanted this to be a thing of collecting items. It was hard to go without but I knew the pieces would come. Sure enough, last week I was at my moms and she was giving a bunch of kitchen gadgets away. She pretty much had everything that we needed for the cottage.

All of that to say, we are going slow with filling in the gaps of needed items, knowing that we have all the time in the world and that God will provide in His time.

All that to say I am thrilled to be able to show you a few of my favorite details of the place:

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

Nick built these shelves next to the kids bunk beds (they are a total mess in this photo but you get the idea) and we love them! He built them out of salvaged lumber from a bookshelf that was in the office of my childhood pastor. How cool is that? The biggest obstacle we’ve had to face with having a tiny place is the lack of storage. There just isn’t room for furniture to store things so we’ve had to be really creative. The shelves have really helped to keep all of the kids things at bay and provide them a solid sense of belonging in their bedroom.

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

Hello my name is Lindsay and I am sucker for fun towels. Seriously, give me all of the towels. It’s a real problem, folks. I love this one I picked up in Middlebury, Indiana.

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

I picked this pillow up at an antiques store in Nappanee, Indiana. The color scheme for our cottage is gray, blue, white, and a teeny bit of green. So this fits in great. I love it because my Grandpa was in the Navy at Great Lakes. This is totally something he would have sent home to my Grandma. It is so special to me because of that.

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

Does anyone else love old boxes for storage or is it just me? This box holds a lot of the kids toys and books…and a shirt apparently.

We found this cold brew coffee press at Bloomingdales and love, love, love it! It works so well, the coffee tastes great, and there have been no grounds in the coffee. This has been perfect for super hot days. Also, I love these cute cups we found at Homegoods and gifted ourselves at Christmas (does anyone else do this???). Sorry guys but I scoured the internet for ours and can’t find them, but I adore these and think they would be a great gift idea!

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

This fan was a Goodwill find but was a really ugly taupey kind of brown color. Nick spray painted it and now it is so fun. All of the windows that face the lake are in our kitchen so sometimes it gets toasty over there while cooking. The fan helps provide just a touch of a breeze.

Our favorite details about our tiny lake cottage! It's all in the details, right?

I adore our dishes. They are vintage Corelle and they belonged to my late Grandma Wannie. They are one of my most treasured possessions. They make me think of her every time we use them.

The blue dishes on the right were a gift from the sweetest Mother-in-Law ever and I just love them. They were a wedding gift they received and I love using them. They are fun for desserts with friends and other snackys.

Our indoor/outdoor rug was the most expensive decoration we bought for the cottage ($60!) but it has been perfect. It helps it is indoor/outdoor because it can be scrubbed or even thrown into the washing machine. I found one that is pretty darn close here if you like ours.


So those are some of my favorite little details of the cottage! I am always looking for tiny house storage ideas so if you have any pointers or tips for how we can keep clutter at bay, I’d love some ideas!

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A Cottage Update

You guys, we are almost there.

Two and a half years ago we purchased our lake cottage and we’ve been working on it like turtles…slowly and steady we are getting there.
Pretty much like with every older home remodel nothing has gone as it was planned. Nothing is square or perfect but it is heaven on earth to us because I get to lay in bed every morning and watch the sunrise over the lake.

So many of you have been writing in to ask if we even have the cottage still because it has been crickets on the site about the place. For a long time we were at a stand still with really exciting things like electrical and hot water issues but those have been fixed and we are almost done.

The only large project inside we still have is to paint the floor. It’s a gray color right now so while it isn’t bad it is pretty scuffed up and just not what I want. I want to go with a midnight blue color or something like a Kelley Green and knock everyone’s socks off. Which do you guys prefer?

Until I decide we have that project on the back burner. That and the fact that we are painting it with marina grade paint which has a ton of fumes and needs to cure…both of those factors mean we’ll probably stack the furniture high in one half of the cottage and then paint the other half before we leave the for winter.

Other than that we are done with all of the big projects. We have the details and the fine tuning to work on but the nuts and bolts are in!

Other projects outside include installing a railing on the front porch and putting in a deck out back that overlooks the lake.

I wanted to show you some photos of how the place is looking…

Enjoy!

Here is the view we get to wake up to every morning. I think this alone is worth all of the headache, blood, sweat, and tears we’ve poured into this place. I should also mention that literally, this is what we wake up to. This is what we can see from our bed!

Here is the view we get to wake up to every morning. I think this alone is worth all of the headache, blood, sweat, and tears we’ve poured into this place. I should also mention that literally, this is what we wake up to. This is what we can see from our bed!

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This Ikea coatrack is perfect for the cottage…cute and functional while being simple. That gorgeous wrap is from Evy’s Tree and my Magnolia hat is there too.

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This corner in the bathroom is one of my faves…the original cupboard and the lake house sign are precious.

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I found this old container at a Habitat for Humanity Restore. Its quirky and works really well as a hamper in our bathroom. I can’t bring myself to scrape off the letters yet but I might one day.

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Using hardware from Amazon Nick put together these double barn doors that cross each other in the middle. The door on the right leads to the bathroom and the door on the left is a set of double doors that leads to the kids sleeping area. All the doors we salvaged from a house being torn down next door to our primary residence. Nick cut them to fit the area but they work perfectly!

I’m still on the hunt for a large lampshade that will work for the lamp and will help to hide the electrical panel on the wall. Anyone have any favorite places for lampshades? I am horrible at shopping for them. This antique bed belongs to Nick’s parents and I just love it! The bedding is actually from the 1890’s and goes really well with the cottage. I’m trying to keep everything as neutral and light as possible to keep your eye drawn to the outdoors. We have a Casper memory foam matress that we love!

I’m still on the hunt for a large lampshade that will work for the lamp and will help to hide the electrical panel on the wall. Anyone have any favorite places for lampshades? I am horrible at shopping for them. This antique bed belongs to Nick’s parents and I just love it! The bedding is actually from the 1890’s and goes really well with the cottage. I’m trying to keep everything as neutral and light as possible to keep your eye drawn to the outdoors. We have a Casper memory foam matress that we love!

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Everything here was put together. The hutch belonged to my Grandma Jean. It is an old Coppes Kitchen piece. The velvet chair belonged to Nick’s parents and is in desperate need of reupholstering. Anyone have any ideas for what to do it in? I am really tempted to go with a navy velvet but we are trying to make everything “lake friendly” and I don’t know how sandy, wet bathingsuit bottoms would do on velvet. The “W” was a gift from my parents, the lamp came with the cottage. We keep a space heater tucked away there for those cold nights in the spring and fall.

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This is the kids bunk area. I found their bedding at a resale and was over the moon that 1 I found nautical themed bedding and 2! that I found two of them together. I bought their striped long pillows at Costco. It helps them both to use their beds as loungers and they like to sleep with them.

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Emma has a little ladder up to her area. Nick covered the ceiling in planks. I was bummed he couldn’t find enough reclaimed to finish it so we’ll probably end up painting it because the contrast is so stark. Before it was just the original ceiling boards which were cool but the roofing nails were hanging down…not cool when you wake up in the middle of the night and take a nail to the head.

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I think I will forever spend my days trying to figure out if I like this chair or not. It came from Habitat for Humanity Restore. Some days I find it neat and eccentric. Other times I find it offputting and garish. It is comfortable though so it will stay…

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Here’s the cottage when you are standing by the bathroom and looking in. As you can see I didn’t tidy for these pictures so excuse the mess. I love the kitchen chandelier, we found it on amazon. The fridge works great and we bought it off Craigslist for $50. The couch folds down into a bed and is an authentic mid-century couch. It came with the cottage but was owned by a friend (there’s a story there somewhere folks). The red cooler on the fridge is the only big pop of color. It was my Grandpa’s and my Grandma gifted it to us. I adore it because of that. I really love how the kitchen counter turned out with the chairs and the bar. It’s one of my favorite features of the cottage.

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As you can see we have an active puzzle going on our puzzle table. The table came with the cottage and we knew we had to find a place for it. It works really well for puzzles and will work for board games or if we have a lot of food and/or people. Really, the possibilities are endless!

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So we have had this fan for almost as long as we’ve been married. It is vintage and neat. So we brought it to the cottage and introduced it to it’s new home. The dishes in the photo belonged to my late Grandma Wannie. They are one of my prized possessions. I spent countless hours having tea with Grandma Wannie with those dishes and I am so tickled to have them. I miss her so much.

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Here’s a shot of our kitchen. We bought our Jenn-Aire range for $60 again from Restore. I am in love with how Nick got it to fit. The seam on our counter just popped up. Actually the counter is what popped up and the bar area is where it is supposed to be. Weird, I know. We have to reglue it and hope that fixes it. We knew something like this might happen with how humid it is at the lake.

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You can see things are unfinished but they are coming along. We are having a drawer specially made that will fit around the stove parts. We need trim and outlet covers but the main parts are there. The sink is the original sink. We bought the faucet handles on amazon. It’s a bit weird having hot and cold so far apart but I insisted because that’s the way it was.

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Nick salvaged as much wood as he could from the original kitchen before he tore it down and I just love how this wall came out. We aren’t going to paint this wall but will leave it like it is. It has so much character. We have this convection oven because we don’t have an oven but really, we don’t need one save for a pizza which cooks just fine in this. Perfect!

And I think that is everything! I’ll be going around and showing you some of my favorite details. If you have any questions please let us know!

Last Minute Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids

Let me guess…you’re like me and suddenly you’ve blinked and it’s Valentine’s Day.

Gulp.

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Your wreath might still be up on the front door.

Or is that just me?

This is a no-judgement zone people!

I’m here to share with you some quick easy ways you can celebrate Valentine’s day with your kids.

Here goes…

Red Food Coloring

I promise. this makes you look super fancy. Milk becomes pink milk as seen above… Mashed potatoes look super festive. Just play around with it and use your imagination.

Cookie Cutter

Last year I forgot to do anything for Valentine’s (which is the picture from last year) so I cut a heart out of two pieces of bread. Jelly went on the cut bread, peanut butter on the heart, done.

Heart Plate

Putting anything on a heart plate makes it look more festive. Ours are melamine from Target. Super cheap but the kids love them. If you are short on time look around for anything. Pink plates or bowls are fun, anything red leftover from Christmas would work.

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Sprinkles

You’ve heard me talk about these before but my kids LOVE muffin tin lunches. I purchased the 6-cup muffin tins from The Dollar Tree and use them for different foods. For this lunch I put things together that had red or pink. For things that didn’t have color, I added color, like to the milk. To the yogurt I added sprinkles. Strawberries, tomatoes, done. Oh and don’t think I am super fancy schmancy…that whole thing is sitting on a dish cloth.


My point here is you don’t need to spend a lot of money and you don’t have to freak out if you don’t have a lot of stuff to celebrate Valentine’s with your kids. We just like to show we remembered and we look for ways to show love to one another. Be creative, have fun, and enjoy!



Planning our Trip to Georgia

I shared before how I plan our family roadtrips in order to get the most out of them for the least amount of money.

I wanted to share with you now how I am planning our next trip to Georgia.

I chart our route and looked for larger cities that we will be passing through.

I see that we are going through Lexington, Kentucky and Knoxville, Tennessee. I have nothing relatable in my head about either one of those places (do you guys? Do I just live too sheltered of a life?) so I Pinterest them to see what there is to do.

It looks like in Lexington there are some horse race type parks to check out but nothing that is screaming “us” so I’m moving on. I will also point out Lexington is about 4 hours from our house. I want to make sure we cover some distance in the first day of our trip so Lexington is about the closest place I would be willing to go to. Otherwise we’ll have too much traveling to do the next day as we make our way to Georgia.

So the next place I’m going to look up is Knoxville.

There look to be some things but I am not sure if that is where I want to be for very long. We are after all driving through so we don’t have a lot of time to spend.

I now check out our memberships’ reciprocal programs. We have memberships through the ASTC and the AZA. I see that there is a zoo in Knoxville that looks promising but we still have to pay 50%. That’s a great deal, don’t get me wrong, but I just want to make sure that that is something we commit to do with our time. After all, a zoo takes a large chunk of time to go through.

I check out the National Parks website and, duh! I see that Knoxville is just a hop, skip and a jump a way from the Smoky Mountains National Park. BINGO!

I think we might go that way. We love hiking and exploring so going that route ensures lots of fresh air, exercise, and it’s darn near free.

Do you ever wish someone would show you how to plan a road trip?  I am walking you through how I planned our trip to Georgia through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It's a Step by Step Guide you can use to plan your next getaway!

In case you’ve never been to the Smoky Mountains, it is near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. This is a really neat area but a huge tourist area that makes it really hard to stay on budget. I am sure we will do some things there but we try to steer clear of this area. An example of the area is when we went mini golfing. We went to a scabby kind of place with flaking paint and it was $60 for the four of us. Seriously. That is why we try to plan carefully what we do in the area and we look for budet friendly items.

The Smoky Mountains park spans over 800 square acres over North Carolina and Tennessee. While it is technically one park there are several sections and areas of the park including Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Clingmans Dome, and more. While there are lots of things to do I think we are going to be focusing on the Cades Cove area.

Do you ever wish someone would show you how to plan a road trip?  I am walking you through how I planned our trip to Georgia through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It's a Step by Step Guide you can use to plan your next getaway!

Cades Cove offers some of the best opportunities to spot wildlife. When we’ve been through the Smokies before we have spotted deer, bears, elk, and coyotes. We like Cades Cove because of the settlement you can explore as well as the nature. We’ve never had a lot of time to explore the area though, so I think that will be a perfect option for us.

Do you ever wish someone would show you how to plan a road trip?  I am walking you through how I planned our trip to Georgia through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It's a Step by Step Guide you can use to plan your next getaway!

We are so excited for our trip and can’t wait to get to the mountains!!!


I hope this kind of “me talking outloud to you helps you to see the madness behind my method for planning our trips. I can try to do this with another trip if it helps you! Let me know, friends!