The Mudroom Reveal

Tuesday, March 24

Can’t believe that it took me 5 months to reveal another room in the house, since the kitchen. I’m going to blame it on Thanksgiving, Christmas, sickness, kids, and pregnancy…sounds good, right? Our old mudroom functioned for both mud and laundry, but barely. There was not much room for storage or anything else, and coats always seemed to be piled up on the floor or washing machine. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

It was a general mess that always entailed quite a bit of time hanging things on hangers. The one nice thing about the old mudroom was it was very bright! Between a window and a door, there was always light in this room.

While we had really wanted to make the room bigger, there was only so much that we could do with the space we had allotted the room. We spent a lot of time figuring out the best layouts, whether there should be a window, and a lot of other things.  Originally, I had wanted an actual closet with a mud bench, the washer and dryer and sink behind the door, a big window, and a lot more things that just didn’t fit in the reality.

I did really want a bench with hooks and a shelf, and that is part of why this post took so long to get up. Matt and I spent a considerable amount of time looking on pinterest trying to figure out just what we wanted it to look like and how we could fit it in the space that we had. Then Matt spent a considerable amount of time building the thing in place, and I spent a considerable amount of time sanding, caulking, and painting the thing {and the trim and door}. Also, a trip to Ikea was necessary to get the hooks that I wanted, as well as some baskets.

Here it is:

The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

The door is Behr’s Scotland Isle {same as the kitchen} and the walls are Behr’s Midnight Dream, the bench is Behr’s Ultra Pure White.

The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

From the outside doorway.

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

A close up of the bench {I’m still waiting on one more basket in green to show up}. We had approximately 66” of space to work with, in order for the door to still open and have room for the vacuums and mops. After scouring the internet we determined the appropriate space between each hook and how many hooks we could fit. Conveniently, we could fit 7, which just happens to be the number of people in this house {or will be}. The baskets hold the dress up clothes, the hats, scarves, and mittens, and stuff I haven’t decided on yet.

And lest you think my mudroom is empty all the time {haha…just to take the picture a ton of things were thrown in the kitchen temporarily}, here it is with everything back in:

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

We use a big rubbermaid bucket for shoes. I find it to be the easiest way to keep track of the kids stuff. I try and keep it limited to shoes they need now and only a few pairs. The fact that it’s a bucket makes it very easy to just spray out with the house when it gets nasty. Matt’s shoes go on one side and mine on the other.Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

The cleaning tools all have their own place, tucked nicely behind the door, and the we have additional hooks on the back of the door, which allows a lot of the bags and heavier things to be out of the way too. I find that heavy bags on hooks doesn’t usually work too well; hooks seem to break or get ripped out of the wall.

Mudroom bench for 7 with hooks, board and batten, and shelving. The Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

The curtains opposite of the bench cover up the pantry and the washer/dryer/sink/shelves. I intentionally did not want people to walk in here and feel like they were walking through the laundry room and pantry. Most of the time they’re open, but it’s nice to have the convenient option to just shut it.Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

And for all the instagram’ers I did hang up the mirror, just not where I was asking about. It’s there for those that need to primp a bit before walking out, but it isn’t a distraction. I wasn’t too worried about the room appearing bigger or smaller and we didn’t need a place to hang keys or anything, since that happens in the kitchen hallway.

Cleaning supply storage in a small space, approximately 3.5' by 2.5'  Mudroom/Laundry Room/Pantry Reveal @LifeintheWhiteHouse.com #WhiteHouseReno2014

So, there it is. What do you think?

My Life is Chaos…and that’s ok.

Monday, March 23

It can be crazy around here. I’m sure you can imagine. That chaos though, has taught me a few things over the years….you can read my FIRST GUEST POST with RaisingGenerationsToday.com over on their site! I can’t even tell you Dandelion clock in morning sunhow excited I am to be guest writing for them! Given the caliber of writers they have for the blog, I felt {and still feel} extremely out of my league.

But, I love their hearts desire for families and motherhood, to glorify God in it all.

You can read my post about Embracing the Chaos HERE.

Sugar Snow

Friday, March 20

It’s the first day of Spring: YAY! Although it’s not looking ANY different to me out there. There was a bit of melting, then 4” of snow in the night the other day and another dusting today, but the temperatures rising! Instead of a high in the low teens most days, we’re sometimes seeing low 30s {really low 30s}.

The kids are just chompin’ at the bit to get outside! Normally I would just bundle them up and throw them off the back deck, but with the yard not really fenced in all the way and the mountain of snow in the front yard…I’m not trusting them to stay in the back yard where it’s safe. Which means mommy has to go outside too, all the time, and frankly all the ice makes me nervous. I do not want to fall.

One of the sweet perks of the warmer weather means that the sap is starting to flow! We have several maple trees on our little strip of land, but have never had the time to invest in tapping them. This year a neighbor asked if he could…By all means! Go for it! Of course, we did demand some small reparations for the use of our trees.

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This is an entirely new experience for me. I hated maple syrup growing up; the smell reminded me of sticky, dirty kids. No idea why. It’s another food that I’ve acquired a taste for only in the past few years, and now I love it {particularly rich, thick, grade B}. Of course the first thing I did once the buckets were up was check them out. On the first sunny afternoon I ran out to see if the sap was flowing. It was, although it was more of a slow drip.

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Now, I’ve accidentally licked pitch or sap off my hand before while out in the woods, thinking it would taste sweet and it tasted horrible. I tentatively reached under that little tin roof and caught a drip on my finger: Lightly sweetened sugar water. That’s what it tastes like. Nothing like maple syrup and nothing like what I thought.

The buckets have been out a few weeks, getting dumped and boiled as they start to fill. Then one sunny, if cold, morning, someone was traipsing around the front yard and banged on the front door. A glass bottle brimming with golden liquid in hand. Our rewards for having maple trees on our property: Maple Syrup. The kids and I each anxiously dipped our fingers in the narrow bottleneck, excited to taste OUR maple syrup. It did not disappoint.

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**If you want to check out a fun book about a sugar snow, this one is Avie and
my favorite {My First Little House Book “Sugar Snow”}!

A Weekend Away

Wednesday, March 18

This past weekend Matt and I headed out of town, for the first time since October 2007…and it was without the kids! Everyone survived; even the kids. Of course by about Saturday afternoon Matt and I were starting to get homesick and missing the kids. It’s a good thing we’d booked the room for 3 nights, other wise we’d have been driving home the next day.

I really wanted to get away for a few days before Thing #5 arrives, and it’s also 15 years of being together next week. We’re also throwing in our 10 year anniversary in November, because I doubt we’ll be going anywhere. It was good to get away.

So, where did we go? The only place to go this time of year…south. I would love to say that we headed to the Caribbean for a long weekend or some other equally sunny and exotic locale, but we didn’t. We headed to Williamsburg, VA. I’ve wanted to go for a long time, particularly without kids {there are a lot of places I want to go as a family, but want to visit without kids first}.

We left first thing on Friday morning and drove to Fairfax, Virginia, where we met a loooong time friend of mine {whom I’ve never met before} at an Uncle Julio’s {never heard of it before, but it was really good!}. Katie and I were trying to figure out just how long we’ve “known” each other and we think at the very least 6 years, but now I’m thinking it’s more like 7 or 8 years.

We had to take the obligatory I-met-an-internet-friend-in-real-life-and-didn’t-die picture.

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Back in the car it was to drive the last 3 hours to Williamsburg, which really took another 5 hours, because we hit traffic. We arrived, checked in to our hotel, and headed back out to find food. Fortunately, Cracker Barrel was still open for a bit longer.

The next morning we woke up to a lovely mizzle {Scotch for a misting-drizzle}, just enough to be miserable. Fortunately one of the things I really wanted to do at Colonial Williamsburg was visit the art museum’s quilts and dollhouses exhibits. There was a 1 hour talk about quilts in the 1700s which was very neat {they’re not quite the same as what you think of as a quilt today}.

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The precipitation let up a bit after that and we walked along the main street of Colonial Williamsburg, heading to the King’s Arms for lunch. Matt had a roast beef au jus sandwich, I had a turkey sandwich and a slice of pecan pie for lunch….it was good. Not as “oh my goodness” good as  I expected, but we didn’t want to pay the $33/plate for dinner {we’re cheap}.

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King's Arms Food

Afterwards we decided to walk around a bit more, head back to the room to rest, and go out to a movie that evening.

We visited a Movie Tavern, which was a new experience. It’s a regular movie theater, but you can order full out meals at the concession stand along with a bar. You sit down in the theater and they bring you your food: I had a pecan raspberry salad and Matt had a chicken sandwich of some sort. It was a neat experience, but I much prefer not eating my food in a darkened room. I said to Matt “So much for first dates of dinner and a movie, being a way to get to know someone…you can’t talk while you eat”.

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We saw The Kingsman, which was good. It could’ve been better if they did away with some of the graphic violence and crude sex. {I will warn you, a couple of scenes were worse than zombie movies.}

Sunday was beautiful; weather 68*, sunny, but a bit breezy. We had a leisurely morning, then headed back to Colonial Williamsburg, to walk around and see the things we missed due to weather the day before. It was quite empty and very pleasant to just meander around and enjoy the sunshine.

Governor's Palace Colonial Williamsburg

Afterward we chilled out for a bit and then headed to Food for Thought for dinner…which was VERY good, definitely recommend it to anyone. I had the Farmer’s Harvest salad and the Eggplant Marinara, Matt had the Crababella {stuffed portabella mushroom}, we took dessert to go. We watched the last episode of Outlander, before it was bed and hitting the road home early.

Food For Thought

It was a good time away, albeit too short {reality} and too long {kids}.