The Guest Bathroom

This was the home’s main bathroom before we remodeled in 2003. Joe added wood paneling and tile to help cover the stubborn orange wallpaper and uneven sheet rock. He began the project in 1998 and is currently working on it in 2021. This year’s project is to install new light fixtures and plywood around the sink.

Standing at the door admiring the simple winter coziness.
Closer view of the sink in the guest bathroom. It gives a better understanding of the walls and door latch.

The bathroom had an ocean theme when the children were little. They painted their favorite animals and hand-printed “grass”. In order to keep the precious hand-prints, we are going to nail plywood over the decorative walls. The plan is to paint the plywood a cream color since the area does not have natural lighting. This should add brightness to the room.

Guests are initially bumfuzzled when trying to open the closed door.

All the doors were hand built by the original owners.

The doors have a very unique structure. The original owners pieced the doors together creating the “Z” design.

The door’s latch catches everyone by surprise when they first observe the different handle. It is similar to the older styles. I wanted you to have a precise look at the inside latch to notice that one must lift the anchor up and out in order for the latch to raise above its holder (shown in the previous sink picture). We do not have any reason to replace the door or its handle.

The bathroom’s hardware was updated this past year. The bronze accents the rustic style.

The shower head adds to the inviting warmth.

The bathroom will remain with the winter theme until we decorate for spring. An additional note, the decorations for this room are always the same: shower curtain, hand towels, toilet cover, and a light-up snowman. The simple decorations create an overall pleasant space.

I love this picture.

Needless to say, this room is always the warmest or coolest depending on the season. It is the center of the home—enclosed on all four walls.

Antique Dresser + Sewing Table= Coffee Bar and More

I love snowmen with red, green and white accents.

Two well-used pieces placed together creating one loved “HOT” bar!

We inherited both pieces of furniture. The dresser was missing its round mirror, so my sister added a stained dowel rod in the mirror’s place. It created a beautiful piece with touches of ornate tea towels. The sewing machine table belonged to my mother and served its purpose as my sewing table.

The coffee cups are from our first set of dishes. Only four saucers have survived the 27 years. The silver bowl is filled with Swiss Miss packets, peppermints, and reusable K- cups. Swiss Miss packets were emptied into the clear canister to allow measuring the right amount of cocoa for the desirable taste of hot chocolate or the perfect mocha latte. Marshmallows are hidden in the snowman teapot waiting to be plucked with tongs stored in the Christmas creamer. And of course, a coffee bar cannot be complete without sugar- located in its proper place while spoons rest in the matching creamer. Broken peppermint sticks add color to the mason jar. I placed snowmen and a green tree around the condiments to accent the winter theme.

Additional goodies are located inside the drawers. A variety of coffee, tea, and cocoa are in the two divided drawers. Overflowing coffee bags and marshmallows are also stored in the two lower drawers. Drinkware is housed in the middle and bottom drawers. Not all drinkware is suitable to the drawer’s heighth, so they are turned on their sides.

The sewing table provides ample room for the Keurig to create the savoring hot liquid.

I attempted a creme brulee latte recipe from Kailyn Cash’s YouTube channel to help warm my wintry bones. The recipe calls for simple ingredients: 1/2 cup choice of milk, 1 teaspoon caramel syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and a shot of coffee. Warm the first four ingredients- not overly bubbly- then froth before adding to the shot. I personally used oat milk and omitted the caramel due to not having. The latte was satisfying both in taste and warmth.

Do you have a specific area for your coffee or do you keep it on your countertops? We also have other methods for making coffee. There is nothing like a good steamed cup from a percolator or dripping in a chorreador. I believe we are spoiled by the instant gratification of the Keurig.

Loving My Outdated Kitchen

I love my kitchen!

Have you ever heard of the saying, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.”? I believe this statement is true. No matter the size- the kitchen is always filled with bustling bodies or food to feed the weary. The kitchen is a gathering area. It hears stories of the day, worries about tomorrows, and whispering prayers.

Our table has served us well over the years. There is nothing like having a meal or conversations with family and friends.

January is the beginning of a new year. My goal for this winter season is to declutter any unused items. With this decluttering goal, I am reminded of how much we have accumulated over the years and being fortunate in receiving an overabundance of household items when we married.

This house was built in 1985, and we purchased it in 1994. We remodeled the kitchen 18 years ago. Light oak cabinets were the style in the early 2000’s. Not much has changed since the remodeling except a new refrigerator and removing the dish washer.

The counter tops have faded to a lighter shade of the original darker burgundy. The color’s purpose was to mask future stains and shield against the hard well water. Surprisingly, the counter tops have held up quite well and continue to look in good condition for their age. I know they are not in style, but who can complain when they are doing a great job. My goal or wish is to replace the counter tops with butcher block, but this will be a project for another day.

The Keurig sat here previously before moving to the coffee bar in the sunroom.

I know, I know. The appliances are different colors. We started with the white theme but had a change of heart when the refrigerator had to be replaced. I love the black stainless look; it matches the microwave. We will go with the newer scheme as the appliances are needing replacing.

I cannot live without the magnet monthly calendar. It keeps me sane as well as the school calendar, cleaning schedule, and Bible verses.

Our stove top is unique. The top is divided with a grill on the left and two heating elements on the right. We keep a removable Lodge gridle on the grill. If needed, the grill can be used as two more elements allowing four pots to cook simultaneously. I love my stove top and the interchangeable grill element even though we never took advantage of purchasing additional parts.

The lighting for the stove top is hidden under the upper cabinet as well as the electrical strips concealed under the other cabinets. The light switch is for the newly converted sunroom.

This corner can feel overwhelming when I have to cook several dishes or have a multitude to wash.

Lastly, a trash can and other items are stashed in the dishwasher’s space. I never felt the need to replace it. What was the point in having a dishwasher if I was going to rinse beforehand? This way the overflowing trash can is not visible to the visiting eyes.

A door way between the stove top and microwave cabinets open into the sunroom. This was originally the side porch, which was utilized more often than the main porch off the living room. The sunroom is a dream come true; however, it is still under construction with only the small details left to be finished. I am eager to share the new room once I get the “go ahead” from my husband.

I would be telling a false statement if I said this is the kitchen’s normal state. Most days the counter tops are filled with items needing to return to their home. I have to give myself “grace” when it comes to cooking and cleaning in a timely manner.

As I was writing earlier, I love my outdated kitchen. It has been good to us. The kitchen brings me joy and happiness even if it is a little cluttered.

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Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmon Tree! Oh How I Love Thee!

Our Christmon tree will remain up till the end of January. We waited with decorating until the arrival of our son’s family, which was the week of Christmas.

The tree is adorned with crocheted pieces from our wedding 27 years ago. My aunt created patterns to crochet specific Christmon symbols. Every year, my husband reads the meaning of each symbol while a child (young adults now) places the symbol on the tree. It has been a tradition since the children were younger to read aloud the true reason for the Christmas season.

A Christmon tree holds symbols that represent Jesus, our Savior.
Five symbols are mixed among the angels, candy canes, and snowflakes.

The yearly tradition is completed when one child places the angel on top. This year we were graced with our 11th month old grandson-with the help of his dad and uncle- adding the final touch.

There is something special about a tree and its belongings. An ornament or other significant item representing memorable events, whether good or bad: birth, marriage, or a year’s highlights such as toilet paper and facial masks, but our tree gained an ornament announcing our grandson’s “first Christmas.”

I have not transitioned my tree with Valentine’s decorations, nor do I intend to do so at this time. I prefer to leave it as is in order to focus on the peace and calmness the tree brings with reflection and the Christmas story.

One side note- I took a picture of the tree and the outdoor waving flag and posted the scene on Instagram. At the time of the post, I was not aware of what was taking place outside of my home environment. Later, I learned of the events and thought of the irony of the perfect timing of my thoughts and feelings, “One Nation Under God.”

I hope this past Christmas tree brought you much joy and happiness as it did our family even with the multitude of 2020 hardships.

May you be filled with the jovial anticipation of decorating any tree for any occasion.

Winter Decorations


Featured Post

Using Christmas Decor for the Winter Season

My home is filled with overflowing boxes that contain seasonal items waiting to be displayed, for my collection has steadily grown during my 27 years of marriage. I have been blessed through the years to be gifted seasonal items as well as purchasing at the end of season sales and thrift stores, and of course, DIYs.

Even though I have other areas in my home decorated with the Christmas theme, the focal point centers on this butler’s buffet. The display is simple yet elegant in its own way. I believe several important elements are missing but will be added as they are found.

The butler’s buffet sits behind our sofa.

The Willow Tree figurines were purchased yearly and have slowly created the Nativity scene. However, we did not purchase any additional pieces this year. Our thoughts were trying our hands at building a stable from scrap wood even though Christmas is over.

Changing the seasonal greenery compliments the rustic appeal of our home. A touch of accents such as pinecones, berries and/or ribbon intertwined with the greenery brings out the different wooden tones.

In previous years, my home would be filled with nature’s offerings. But as the years have progressed, so have my allergies and now faux decor is the only option. I have learned to be creative with the purchased faux.

Thrifted finds interject the winter coziness throughout the different rooms. An old drawer sits on the master bed displaying a berry tree and two tea cups and saucers. I love the browns and reds that welcome the winter’s yearning for something warm to drink before settling in for the night. A snowman pail allows easy reach for my husband’s toiletry during his morning routine. Lastly, plates marked with familiar names greet the owners as he or she comes to the table for a home cooked meal.

These small pleasantries bring comfort and peace of a home that continues to be built with one stick at a time. Please join me in loving the home that you and I build.

The Pile of Sticks: Our Home’s Name

Our children named our home many years ago. They referred to it as a pile of sticks when asked about where they lived. The name stuck. How can one argue with a child’s perception of his or her home place? The children continue to reference it as a “Pile of Sticks” in their cell phone contacts.

No, we do not live in a pile of sticks; we live in a log home. A pieced together home with multiple remodelings to meet the needs at the time. However, it is home. A home where one will find much laughter, crying and instilled traditions that never grow old. It’s a home where anyone is welcomed to eat and stay the night. It’s a lived-in home where most days you will find the dishes still drying on a towel and “Stitch”, the dog, perched on the back of the couch. Yes, many have learned not to rub against the walls for a three-inch splinter will gladly join in the play. But the walls are filled with character of mementoes, pictures and stories.

Pile of Sticks is our home, and I am delighted to share what the days hold ahead in our family’s journey.

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