Friday, March 29, 2019

Grace's Bathroom Redo

While Grace was away in England, Bryce and I decided to surprise her by redoing her bathroom!  Grace's bathroom is tiny, but darling, and she knew she wanted her room, with this bathroom, from the moment she saw the house.  The bathroom was in need of freshening up but was also totally usable so we made some instant updates (new medicine cabinet and shower curtain) but the bigger redo kept getting pushed back as bigger projects took precedence.  Finally, we thought that if we didn't update her bathroom she would be off to college without having gotten to enjoy it.  We started the day after she left and worked right up until we had to pick her up.  We felt like Chip and Joanna Gaines working on a deadline for a reveal!

Interestingly, Grace's room and bathroom weren't ever finished like the rest of the house.  The moulding isn't as large, the wood floor isn't as nice and the windows aren't as large.  The back staircase leads up to her room and the most likely explanation is that this room was for a nanny or help (the kitchen used to be where the stair comes out).  In fact, the stairwell and Grace's bathroom had bare bulbs for lights!

For the most part, Grace's bathroom was in decent order as far as plumbing and electrical (we had already added an outlet which she originally didn't have) so the changes were mostly cosmetic.  Our biggest decision was what to do about the floor.  It was linoleum and had seen better days.  We thought the easiest thing to do would be to just replace the linoleum with new linoleum but after getting a quote for $1200, I convinced Bryce that I thought we could tile it ourselves!  And that is how the project mushroomed from the get go!

Fortunately, the demo went fairly smoothly and we were ready to tile pretty quickly.  We picked up penny tile in sheets (for $147!) and Bryce went to work laying the tile.  Our only issue came with the grouting.  For some reason, the grout dried a bit blotchy even though it was from the same batch.  As it's continued to cure and dry, it's gotten a bit better but we are still not sure what went wrong.  At any rate, the tile looks so, so much better than the linoleum and while more labor intensive on our part, it was way less expensive.  Adding the tile, helped the bathroom fit in with the rest of the house instead of seeming like an afterthought.

We switched out Grace's pedestal sink for a darling pink one!  This sink was in my friend Kristin's home and she wasn't able to use it after her renovation so we took it!  I had the legs re-chromed since they were in rather poor shape.  The shelf on top of the sink is definitely useful for our girl who really likes her skincare products!  We also unexpectedly had to replace the toilet as Bryce discovered when he took it out to demo the floor, that the entire back of the toilet had been shattered and glued back together!  Sometimes we just shake our heads at some of the things that were done here.  Smoke and mirrors...

Grace never wanted to get rid of the fun tile in the shower.  It's dated but not in an avocado green type of way.  It's a very pretty aqua/green that she wanted to keep, which made things so much easier!

My very favorite thing in the room is the wallpaper which brought everything together!  It helps to unite the pink sink and the tile color perfectly, plus it's just so pretty and fresh!  As always, Gretchen helped me to wallpaper and it's always an adventure.

My Mom made the sweet cafe curtain, we added a plant, in a beautiful pot, and spray painted an old metal shelf for some more storage. All in all, it came together so beautifully and she was so surprised when she got home!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Flowers For Grace

Last night, the students that went to England performed Henry the Fifth so that friends and family could see the effort of the students and teachers.  They did such a great job!  I"m hoping that I'll have some pictures to share soon.  However, today I wanted to share this sweet gesture that Grace was the recipient of.  A boy that Grace has gone on a date with came to see the show and brought her flowers.  And aren't they the sweetest, most appropriate flowers?  Teens can get such a bad rap for being self involved and social media obsessed (both of which can be true!) but they can also be so awesome and thoughtful!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Grace Goes To England

Over Grace's spring break she had an amazing opportunity to travel with her school's drama department to England!  She wanted to go on this trip from the moment she heard about it and was thrilled when she was picked (they had so many applicants they had to do a lottery).  From there, she auditioned for a part in Henry V since part of the trip was performing the play at Kent.  To her surprise, and delight, she got to play one of the Henrys (they had three).

These are her pictures, taken on her phone...

They were gone 11 days and I seriously believe that she was sad to come home.  She simply loves it there.  A bonus was that some of her dear friends were also on the trip so it was extra fun.

While in the London, the group saw a total of 6 shows, did several workshops and tours of theaters and lots and lots of walking and touring.

At the very end of the trip, they traveled to Canterbury where they performed Henry V and stayed with host families.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Sugar Season

Our sugaring season is over.  This year, we were better prepared, with better supplies, so while it still took a lot of time and effort, the process did get smoother!  I suspect, and hope, it will get easier and more efficient every year.

We only tapped half of the trees this year and still got way more syrup than we did last year since we were better prepared to handle the volume.  It takes so much time and effort that this stuff is like liquid gold and so wasting any of it is heartbreaking!

Bryce made improvements to his "sugar stack" with plans of rebuilding it next year.  

Also, we went all official and made labels for our syrup.  It was a family effort as I came up with the concept, Bryce drew it and Grace lettered it (watched from afar :)).  While certainly not anything fancy I think it's simplicity has a certain charm.  I included the date and batch number at the bottom.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Winter at Frog's Hollow

As spring approaches I wanted to take a moment to document our winter here on the farm.  We didn't get a dump of snow, much to the children's disappointment, but we did get several snows that delayed school!  Most of those snows didn't last long as this seemed to be the year that they were, more often than not, followed by rain.

Our home seems to be particularly suited to winter as it's a very cozy place to be sitting by a roaring fire as the radiators clang and bang around us.  While we never have as many fires as I would like, we certainly had our fair share and during Grace's midterms Bryce made a fire everyday for her to study by.

We had some beautiful pink sunsets!  

Rosie got to go on a walk in the woods almost everyday, much to her delight.  I like taking her in the woods during the winter because she can freely run around without briars and multiflora getting her and there is not as much worry about ticks.  As much as we enjoyed winter, we are now ready to welcome spring with open arms (and hopefully not as much rain!)!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A New (old) Chandelier

Our foyer didn't need much in the way of renovations besides a few cosmetic changes; a fresh coat of paint, refinished floors and a new chandelier.  I found an antique chandelier that I loved on first dibs.  It wasn't an easy install and Bryce did tell me to only buy new from now on, but I love everything about it.

The green crystals tie it to the green walls in the library and the very top of it is a bow!  You know I cannot resist a pretty bow.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

An Egg Holder Made By Harris

I don't think I ever posted about my Christmas gift from Harris this year.  I don't want to forget as it's one of my very favorite things!  He, with the help of his Dad, made me an egg holder and it's so beautiful!  The inspiration was from the kitchen in Downton Abbey and vintage egg holders.

I just love having it on my counter filled with beautiful eggs from our ladies.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Two Unfortunate Things

It's been an interesting couple of weeks around here.  A week and a half ago, while snowboarding, Harris broke his collar bone.  You guys, this kid.  The really unfortunate part is that he's out of all activities for 6 weeks and he's so bored it's silly.  No trampoline, no diving, no baseball, no anything!  The days stretch out pretty far when you get home at 3:30 and go to bed at 10:00 and have nothing to do in between but read, watch tv and and play on the computer.

Also, we had crazy wind last week and I pulled into our driveway to discover a tree had succumbed to too wet soil and the wind.  We hate to lose trees but at least it could have been a scraggly one.  Instead it was this nicely formed and leafed spruce.  Amazingly, Bryce took it down by himself!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Grace's Carrot Cake

We celebrated Grace's birthday with family, dinner and cake (we also took her and some of her friends out for brunch this weekend!).  Per her request, I served Grace's favorite pork tacos and made a carrot cake.

I just love the way the carrot cake turned out.  Being a naked cake, I think its charm is in its rustic appeal (for me at least).  Also, I was quite pleased with my idea to use the carrot's greenery around the base of the cake.  It's the little things, right?

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