The Heart of the Home is Finished!

(except for a few "little" details!)

Here is a little reminder of the "Before"
Yes, we had our work cut out for us!

 AND.......Here she is After!
Yes, I am in love :)

I promise it's the same house....walls removed, wood ceiling installed, new cabinets, appliances, windows flooring, lighting, plank back splash, paint....worth. it. all!

Another "Before"  shot looking from the small doorway that separated the dining and kitchen....the bi-fold doors lead into the laundry room...

 The left side of the kitchen is where the door for the master bedroom originally opened up to....we "rearranged" a little bit....

Here is the After of the left side of the kitchen...

Behind this wall....

is a "little nook" that we made into my desk area.....My Dad gave me this table a few years ago and Grant refinished it for me. It is the perfect addition to the kitchen area and it makes a great spot for my morning coffee, reading, emailing, grocery list making....and everything else!

One of the "little details" left to do is a free standing island...I was hesitant to commit to something with our cabinet builder until I was sure that it would not be too congested but, there is plenty of room! I have some plans for it and hopefully it won't be too long until I can share that with you, but for now I am enjoying every minute in my "cottage kitchen" just as it is. 

I loved designing, planning and making the choices for the renovation...and thankfully, my husband is an AMAZING guy who was able to make it all happen!  Would we do it again?....ask us in a few months. :)

I have LOTS more to share...it's just been a little busy getting settled and starting school, but I can't wait to show you my "barn door!"  Let me know what you think.

Off to fix dinner...



Luke's birthday

We celebrated Luke's 5th birthday last week. It's hard to believe that we have a 5 year old. He's  very hands on type of kid. His favorite thing to do is take apart stuff. My Dad gave he and Mac tool belts with hammers the last time he was up. Needless to say, he wears them all the time. He loves building things and is always looking for a" job" to do.  He likes to figure out how things work. I went out the other day and he was taking apart the lawnmower. When I ask him what he could have possibly been thinking, his answer, he just wanted to see what was in the engine. He thought it would be okay because he knew how to put it back. It took him awhile but he got it and it still worked. He is turning into quite the little gentlemen. He opens the door for me getting into the car, and always runs to open doors for us going into places. He even steps into the aisle at church if I need to get out. Most importantly though he has a tender heart for the Lord and the things of the Lord.

Luke, we love you and pray that you always follow the Lord's will for your life.

 He finally got his .22. He was beyond excited.

Jax had to get in on the action.
Luke was one happy birthday boy that night.



sweet and sour chicken { homemade }

I love good chinese food. There are few place around here that have it though, unfortunately, so I suppose it is just as well that we rarely eat out. When I saw this recipe over at The Recipe Critic I just had to try it. Good chinese food at home? Yes, please!!

It was so simple and easy to make. I had it ready in about 45 minutes.....I changed a few things. Imagine that!!

I used my large cast iron skillet and cooked it on top of the stove because I didn't want to wait for it to bake in the oven. I used butter and basically fried it and it was easier to make sure all the chicken was coated in the sauce, which is the best part!

( by the way, if you don't have a cast iron skillet you need to get one! I don't know what I would do without my cast iron skillets and pots...you can check some out here. They are very inexpensive and if you take care of them right they last forever!! )

I served the chicken with rice. I almost always cook my rice with more chicken broth than water. It gives it so much more flavor! This was so, so good. Better than any sweet and sour chicken I have had at a restaurant!

sweet and sour chicken
recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil ( I used butter )
1 cup sugar
4 tbls ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325. Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Whisk the eggs together and then in a separate bowl place the cornstarch. Coat chicken in cornstarch and then in the eggs. ( I did dipped it back into the cornstarch again after the egg before placing in the skillet ).

Heat oil ( or butter ) in large skillet and brown chicken. Place into a 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl mix together the sugar, ketchup, both vinegar's, soy sauce and garlic salt. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour. Stir chicken every 15 minutes to evenly coat in sauce.

Note: After browning the chicken in the cast iron skillet I just left it in there and poured the sauce over it. Turned the chicken every few minutes to keep it coated in the sauce. It only took about 15 minutes to cook on top of the stove.


Mary Elizabeth


August Desktop Wallpaper

I saw this at Sarah Hearts this morning and thought I would share it. It's a really cute desktop wallpaper for August. There also downloads for the iPhone. I put it on our laptop. Will see how long it last. My husband isn't really into the "cute" wallpapers.

August 2013 Calendar Wallpaper | Sarah Hearts

If you like it here's the link. Check her blog out Sarah has some other cute downloads.

Have a great week. We are off to Valdez for a couple if days. Here are some pictures if your not from here and want to see how beautiful it is.



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