Giveaway Winner and Home and Garden Update


Hello Cottage Friends,

Today's one of my days off, so I've got time to update you on what's been going on in my garden and home. But first I must announce the winner of the Biblical Minimalist book giveaway. The winner is


 

Congratulations Debbie! Please email your mailing address to me and I'll arrange for Cheryl to send you a copy of her book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. It had been awhile since I'd done a giveaway and I'd forgotten how much fun they are.

Now on to my garden and home updates. 

First the garden, which in my case is a patio garden. This is the last photo I posted.


 

And this is how the patio looks this morning.


Can you see the changes? I've moved plants around, and added some decorative items. I was surprised to find out how much sun my patio actually gets throughout the day. Because I work from 5:00 AM to 2:00 PM, I didn't get a real feel for the hours of direct sun this spot gets. So when I was home for a full day and took note of the sunlight. . .well, I realized I needed to make some changes to benefit my flowers.

As I said, I also added decorative items, which I think enhances the patio. I'm partial to fleur-de-lis, so when I found this one in the outdoor decorations at At Home for 50% off, I snatched it up.



This little sign was 50% off, as well.



I found this willow art piece at a thrift store for a couple of dollars. It was au naturale when I purchased it, so I gave it a white chalk paint treatment for a shabby chic look.



These all were inexpensive purchases that for me add a homey touch to my little retreat.

Several of you commented that I needed a little table between my wicker chairs, which I agreed was a necessity to hold a drink. The space is pretty small, so it took me awhile to find something that would work there, and also wouldn't break the bank. One day on my way home from work I stopped in at Goodwill and Eureka! I found my little table for $3.99. 




When I have the time I'll spray paint it a new color, but for now it's fine.



I found this sweet birdhouse sitting on the ground outside my patio fence (left behind by the previous owners) where it was hidden from sight, so I brought it inside the patio to enjoy.


Another change I made was to add some in-ground planting. There's only a smidgen of hard clay soil in my patio area, just below the porch railing. Now anyone who knows anything about clay soil knows that it's nearly impossible to grow anything in its natural state. You have to amend the soil so it will drain properly. I'll do another post sometime on how I accomplished this in a super easy way, but for now here's the result of less than two hours work.



I'm pretty excited about this little patch of what eventually will be my mini cottage garden. The Foxglove (rear left), and the groundcover Spotted Dead Nettle on the left and Ajuga on the right are perennials. I planted the pink geraniums, which I already had on hand, to keep within my budget. I'll add more perennials later, and this will become a low maintenance beautiful addition to my patio.

Hanging above this area are my wrought iron planters. Another Goodwill find at $5.99 for the small one, and $6.99 for the larger planter. 



These like-new, sturdy planters were an incredible bargain. I had decided that I would just have to wait until next year to do this project because there was no way I could pay retail for planters like these. I couldn't find anything under $25, and that's for something small and cheaply made.  Did you catch the little fleur de lis at the top of the planters. How could I resist?

I feel like I've done enough with my patio this year. Next year I plan to do the lattice wall I wrote about here. And maybe some other things. But for now I'm turning my attention to the inside of my home.



Come inside and we'll chat about my plans for the kitchen. This is a big project on a tiny budget, and I'll do as much of the work myself as I can muster. Here are some recent photos. (Excuse the messy appearance; I didn't plan on using these for the blog, but they actually make the room look better than if I took photos in its current even messier state.) 





I've already begun this project by removing the batten strips on the walls, and caulking the resulting gaps. I've deep cleaned the inside of the stove hood and above the cabinets (which was an amazingly hideous job because obviously the previous owner hadn't bothered to clean for years), and washed down the walls. I've removed all the backsplash. A local custom countertop company has measured for new countertops. Here's a sample of the laminate I'm using, Formica 180 fx Calacatta Marble in Satin Touch.



You're probably wondering why I would use a custom countertop company rather than Home Depot or some other big box store. Well, I had Home Depot price it out, and it was a lot more expensive. Plus, my local guy will remove the old countertops and dispose of them and the sink, something Home Depot would not do. So, if I went with Home Depot I would have had to pay a handyman or contractor to do that for me, which would have added to the cost. So, although we often think we can't afford a small business as compared to a national retailer, I say, "do your homework". You may be surprised at how much money you'll save by using that small local business to do your work.

I'll have the sink and faucet replaced, too. These are tasks I'll need a plumber to complete. What I will do myself is texture and paint the walls, and paint the cabinets. Praise the Lord for Youtube! I learned how to remove the battens, and now I'm learning how to texture walls. It's never too late to learn how to DIY. 

I'll be sharing a lot more about this in the days ahead, so stay tuned.

One more thing before I go. Please forgive me for not replying to your comments and/or visiting your blog. The past few months have been an exercise in adjusting to this new life of mine. It's a huge change for me and my energy level at the end of a work day is pretty low. Any work I do on my home and garden is done on the two days I have off. Having said all that, I am working on resolving this issue, and making the changes needed to reconnect with all of you. You are so gracious to visit and leave kind comments. I don't want you to think I take that for granted. I don't. There are plenty of other blogs that you could visit, and I know that. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making time for me. I will work to do the same for you. God bless you.

Hugs,






Comments

  1. I love what you've done, Nancy, and I can't wait to see more! Please don't worry about replying to comments. I'm not going anywhere!
    Hugs,
    Sue.

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  2. Nancy - you have had a lot of changes in a short amount of time. I'm sure your energy level is low when you get home. Just happy to see you blogging again.

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  3. Hi Nancy, I was excited when I saw that you had posted. Your new place is coming along so nicely and by the time you're done it's going to be perfect. The fact that you didn't know that your patio got so much sun makes me think that it must be nice and shady there in the afternoons when you need it. I love that you're finding so many wonderful items and at budget prices. You're a girl after my own heart, I love a good deal.
    God bless you dear friend,
    Connie:)

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  4. Your outdoor spaces are so lovely! I'm in the process of planning a small re-do of a tiny kitchen in our retirement home, and I really like your countertop choice, so I'm going to "borrow" it from you. ;) May God continue to bless your life!

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    1. Thank you, Pam. God is so good to me. I constantly am amazed at His love. I wish you all the best with your kitchen re-do, and hope the countertop works out well for you. Mine is being built right now and I can hardly wait for installation. Have a great week!

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  5. Good morning Nancy! Great changes in your garden space! I know you are enjoying your summer in your new space; you have always been good about decorating!

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  6. No worries Nancy. You certainly must be exhausted with your schedule. Can't wait to see your countertops and other home improvements. Be safe and well and enjoy your new journey♥

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  7. Lots of work, but will be totally worth it!

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  8. Nancy, your garden patio is a lovely space. I love hearing how God provided the things that give you joy. He's good.

    Your kitchen is going to look lovely. I have formica counters in our kitchen and they need to be replaced. I like wood, but your formica choice caught my eye. Its really lovely.

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  9. I love seeing your patio come together!! Your house is going to be great as you make it your own. Hugs,

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  10. Nancy, I just found your blog a couple of days ago through Junk Chic Cottage! I am so sorry you have been through so much. But, you sound like a woman that can handle whatever comes your way! Now, you have a new adorable cottage you can design and decorate exactly like you want! We live in North Texas, and I would move to Colorado in a heart beat if we could! The Summers are just too hot here. I have read most of your back posts, but was wondering why you stopped the LLISS series? I love it! We are looking at going smaller than our current 1600 sq ft. Can’t wait to see more pics of your new cottage! Take care. -Pam

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  11. what beautiful alterations/additions in your 'secret garden' space, nancy! it's all so very welcoming .. would love to one day sit with you and sip some iced water or morning coffee, and talk 'life.' :) your kitchen countertops will add so much in making your home your very own with your personal stamp firmly imprinted. so happy for you!

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  12. Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations to the winner, and we will get her book out to her as soon as we have her mailing address! And, your patio! Oh, it is SOOOO pretty! I LOVE the new additions, and the best part is the amazing bargains you are finding!!! Everything looks so homey and inviting, and I can only imagine how peaceful it is to go out there and pray. And, your kitchen! SO, so pretty - even as it is, and I can't wait to see all the wonderful changes you make. You have such a knack and gift for making all things around you beautiful. May God bless you richly in your new life and give you strength to get all your projects done. The great thing is that there is no pressure or hurry, and seeing the results is so gratifying. Sending much love to you today and also much gratitude for sharing about our book and helping us get the word out. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

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  13. Beautiful, beautiful work, my sweet friend! Just looking at what you've done already makes ME so tired! You put me to shame for sure!

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  14. Wow girl you are moving on things. Your garden area is beautiful. Love the new puppy. xoxo Kris

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  15. You are making it into a real home and space of comfort. Your home must make you so happy. I know mine does, small and economical as it is.

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  16. I too am happy to see your blogging. I can imagine how tiring this has all been, though fun too (??? I hope!). I love the counter tops you picked. I too want to use laminate on ours but Lowe's won't even do it anymore! They carry the laminate but have no one to install it. I prefer laminate to the granite, etc. Your little gardens are looking so pretty. Nothing like surrounding ourselves with flowers to "up" our good feelings and feelings of contentment. I hope we get a tutorial on how to paint those cupboards! I've been wanting to paint ours (or have them painted but can't afford it)... for the 5 years we've been here! I've watched many YouTube videos but it all seems so overwhelming to me.. and you need the room and very time consuming. Oh.. and I'm also anxious to see what you did to your soil. Our back yard soil is awful.. no nutrients and must be clay too as nothing drains and everything just seems to dry out, no matter how much we water. Take care... Marilyn

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  17. Life happens and we all know it. Like Carla, I'm just happy you are blogging. It will be fun to see how your new to you home comes together.

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  18. Nancy, I realized I hadn't connected with you in a long time. I have been blogging off and on as I can because hubby's health is not all that great right now-lots of tests.
    I didn't realize you had purchased a manufactured home. Good for you! I think they offer so much for the price. We ended up selling our home on the bay also and rented for a year and a half before purchasing a condo. Big changes for us at this age-but I know this is where we are supposed to be in this journey we are on. It sounds like you feel the same way. God's plans are not always our plans but I believe everything happens for a purpose.
    Take good care of yourself. Love to you, Nancy- Diana

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  19. So excited I won the book. Thank you for having this give away. My address is 1449 Primrose lane, Daytona Beach Fl 32117. Love your wee garden, so cozy. I finally have my forever home/cottage but still getting it organized. It was redone when I bought it so not much major to do but curtains and art on the walls. Looking forward to watching your redo on the kitchen. Take care of yourself and take time to enjoy your little garden area. Praying for you my friend. Debbie

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  20. I enjoy your blog so much and enjoy your everyday life. You are a strong woman and I admire you!

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    1. You’re so sweet. I appreciate your words, and have to say that any strength I have comes from the grace of God. The Lord is my rock, and He is my hero! Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to leave such an encouraging comment. Hugs.

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  21. Be patient with yourself! Rome wasn't built in a day...😂. The kitchen is and will be charming.

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  22. Hi Nancy,
    I like how the patio looks. Well done. I appreciate your tips regarding using a small business. We have learned this over the years too.
    Looking forward to your future posts.
    Carla

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  23. Oh, my gosh! How exciting to see the changes in the patio area. The extras you've
    added just add to the homey-ness of it all. Amazing how a bit or moving about
    will make the plants show better. Glad it gets enough sun for them to grow so
    well. Can't wait to see the table after it is painted. But you certainly got it right
    for size and usefulness.

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  24. Hey long lost friend. Thought you forgot me? Your lil patio is so cozy and sweet and those amazing prices keep it even more sweet. Love the new counter choice and know once you put in all that hard work that kitchen is going to be awesome. God Bless You.

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  25. Nancy, you energy level might be low but your enthusiasm level is sky high. Your patio is looking lovely, you have found some wonderful items, I love the bird house. That's a very good tip about handyman versus big store, well done. Please don't worry about not replying, we know you would never take anyone for granted. I'm glad you're blogging and look forward to seeing your progress. Take care x

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  26. Good for you. The garden/patio area looks great. I only have a balcony now so I know that making the best use of a small area takes a lot of moving things around. I love the wicker chairs so much. When I lived in the garage apartment and had all of the backyard, I found so many cute things at the thrift store for my yard. I'm glad you are doing so well and your new place is really becoming your very own home.

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  27. What a precious retreat! Even the shadows add to it's personality.

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  28. Oh Nancy, how I always enjoy your posts... your little patio area is just full of charm and color! I love it all, and know that as time goes on, you will have so much fun with this space. I know you have been through so many changes, and completely understand the difficulty in blogging, and visiting. So much to do, and so little time to do it all in :) Many blessings to you dear friend! Thankful you are in this happy little place, and pray that the Lord continues to bring sweet and wonderful things into your life :)

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  29. You've made so much progress, dear friend. I love how your little patio looks. What a sweet, peaceful place to relax. Can't wait to see your progress on your kitchen, and your choice for your new countertops? Well, would you believe that's exactly what I've been looking at to replace mine. Great minds think alike, they say, but I think we both have very good taste. Take care of yourself, my friend.
    ~Adrienne~

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  30. Being at work at 5 a.m. must take a lot of getting used to! And being in bed very early. There's an amazing difference in your pretty garden. I love fleur de lis too! I believe that God often has just the right thing waiting at a thrift store for me. I've seen it happen too many times, times when it saved me a lot of money. He is the most magnificent designer of all so why shouldn't He be interested in the nests we make for ourselves, right? I know your kitchen will turn out so pretty, I've seen the magic you bring about in the past. I love your choice of countertop!

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