2014 – The Year That Took Us Where We Didn’t Expect To Go

And just like that it’s over.  2014.  Well…almost.


This past year was filled with changes and challenges.  Big ones and small ones. Some welcome and some not.  The year started off innocently enough, but I had no idea what was looming on the horizon for Pookie and I – more on that later.




I had been straining at the bit for a long, long time to break away from my green, gold and red decorating that was so popular in the 90’s.  The problem was twofold:  #1 being $$$ and #2 why waste any of those $$$ to make changes to a house that I didn’t love and hoped we wouldn’t be in a more than a couple of years longer.  So for 2014, I decided to see what kind of changes I could make on a very tight budget, all the while keeping an eye toward resale.


In January, I decided to add some farmhouse style to my kitchen.  I didn’t think that painting the cabinets was a good idea (thinking about that resale!) and I wasn’t going to spend thousands to change the granite and backsplash.  But I could change my kitchen table (for less than $300) and I could paint and reupholster my chairs and I could change out accessories too.  So I came up with a farmhouse style mood board and was actually pretty proud of myself for sticking to it as time went by.


A Farmhouse Facelift For My Kitchen

Farmhouse style kitchen mood boardPin

In February between the Valentine’s crafts and tummy warming food like my weeknight chicken pot pie, I managed to replace the window treatment above my kitchen sink with a no-sew faux roman shade and to spend 5 whole minutes turning the can light above the sink into a pendant.  Oh yeah, you can get the tutorial to make your own no-sew faux roman shade HERE.

DIY No-Sew Faux Roman Shade 

DIY No-Sew Faux Roman ShadePin

March brought a bad case of spring fever and found me adding spring touches all over the house.

Easy and Simple Spring Decor

Easy spring decorationsPin

By April I was resigned to staying in our house longer than I wanted to, so I finally gave in and bought some new furniture and started making changes in the family room.  For Easter, I made one of my fave crafts ever!

Easter Centerpiece With A Fun Craft Using Coffee Filters

Easter centerpiece on a tiered stand with diy coffee filter heads of lettucePin

May started off like any other month.  I continued adding some new furniture and accessories to my family room.  But, BAM!  Two weeks later this had happened…

We’re Under Contract For A New {To Us} House!

Front of housePin

Whoa…slam on the brakes!  Didn’t I just say that it would be at least a couple of more years before we moved???  Well, things just sort of lined up and we found just the right house for us a lot sooner than we expected to.  I was over the moon excited! Y’all this house is SO ME – at least it will be once we’re finished will all of the renovations and updating.

New updates to the original house pretty much stopped in June as we prepped it to go on the market by the end of the month.  But, I did have some projects that I had already completed to share with you.  I updated my a huge piece of art on a dime and gave my mantel and whole new look.  I figured out a cool way to hide the blank and ugly side of my refrigerator as part of my farmhouse kitchen facelift. And I shared an easy, beachy craft too.

How To Make Glass Fishing Floats Using Clear Glass Christmas Ornaments

How to make glass fishing floats using clear glass Christmas ornaments. An easy and fun project!Pin

In July, I got together with a friend and showed you how to make napkin rings and bracelets with wine corks.  They turned out so cute!  And even though our house was up for sale, I finally did a reveal for our second guest room.

Neutral And Aqua Bedroom Reveal

Neutral and aqua bedroomPin

By August, I managed to finally show you my new kitchen table and how I transformed the chairs that I already owned with spray paint and a couple of yards of fabric.  By then we had closed on our new house and our lives were consumed with renovations.  I was spending all day, every day there.  And can I just say, “Wow”.  I considered myself a savvy, knowledgeable person when it came to renovating, but boy have I been surprised.  One day I’ll write a post about what NOT to do when embarking on a home reno.

The Kitchen Reno Plan


And then the bottom sort of fell out.  Maybe it’s more appropriate to say that the wind was knocked out of our sails.  My dear, sweet mother-in-law, who is 92 years young, had a stroke.  She survived the stroke, but all of a sudden our priorities were rearranged.  Thankfully, our other house had already sold, so the concern over having to make two mortgage payments was off of us.  And thankfully, the renovations were able to continue without missing a beat.  All of that pales in comparison when a family member is struggling though.

We moved into the new house toward the end of September, with no kitchen and no master bath.  It wasn’t too bad, but it isn’t something that I would want to do if I still had children living at home.  My own projects pretty much ground to a halt, but I was able to share the beyond fabulous before and afters of my friend’s remodeled kitchen.

A Gorgeous Remodeled Kitchen

Gorgeous kitchen remodel with before and aftersPin

I took you on a tour of a local designer showhouse in October and then shared how the designers got their look on a budget.

Tour Of The Chic Chateau Showhouse

Chic Chateau showhouse tourPin

By the middle of November, we had been living in the new house for about six weeks. I hadn’t shown you very much about it because I didn’t figure you’d be interested in looking at a lot of dust and debris.  But, I finally gave you a mini tour of the main floor so that you could get an idea of what was going on.

It Isn’t Pretty {Yet}, But Here’s A Peek At Our New House


By the time that December rolled around, the major renovations had been completed. There are still a ton of smaller things to complete, but I finally felt like I was in a position to start doing some fun projects here and there.  In my breakfast area, I added a bench and a great free printable that I had enlarged and hung above it.  I wasn’t able to do very much Christmas decorating, but I did manage to put up a rustic Christmas tree and come up with a super easy and affordable, no fuss-no muss Christmas wrap project.  Oh – and I showed you that dressers aren’t just for bedrooms anymore.

A Farmhouse Vignette And A Place To Store Linens

A farmhouse vignette on a dresser used in the kitchen to store linensPin

That’s my year in a nutshell.  A year filled with changes and challenges and some sadness too.  The health of my mother-in-law continues to decline.  As hard as it will be to say goodbye to her, we have faith that God is still in control and remind ourselves that her suffering will be at an end and we will see her in heaven again one day.

I’m eagerly awaiting 2015 and all of the hope that a new year brings with it.

I’m eternally thankful for each of you and your continued friendship.  Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Ashley. This past year was crazy – that’s for sure. I’m sure you were just as busy! I hope you have a Happy New Year too!

  1. Hey Suzy, I’ve loved going through your posts on your new house renovation. You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time. It’s all beautiful, great job! Have a blessed New Year!

    1. Awww…you’re so sweet, Debra. Thank you! I hope you have a very blessed year as well.

  2. You did have a tough year, my friend! I’ve been exactly where you are (minus the house crazies!) but you are so strong and such a precious soul. Love you!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, my friend. They mean more than you know! And you know that I love you too!

  3. Oh Suzy, that is a lot to have on your mind at one time! I do hope that your 2015 is better and I look forward to seeing your new home when you get a chance to share it with us!

    1. Hi Pat. I don’t think that my life is any crazier than anyone else’s. LOL I hope you have a wonderful 2015!

  4. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says:

    You certainly had a banner year..and I am sure 2015 will be a great one for you….Happy New Year!!!,….and hope that your mother in law is getting better!!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, sweet Shirley!

  5. I haven’t checked your blog in a while – your new home is beautful! It really had “great bones” and your updates are fantastic! Looks like a lot of the hard work is done and now it’s on to the more fun stuff! Congratulations and Happy New Year!

  6. P.S. Just finished reading the post and I feel remiss not commenting on your mother-in-law’s situation. We’ve been there and it is difficult but faith does help.

    1. Thank you, Cathy. I’m more than ready to focus on the fun stuff! And thank you for your comment regarding my MIL.

  7. Suzy,
    Yes, sometimes a year takes us where we don’t want to go. I am saddened to hear about your mother-in-law’s declining health, I know it is difficult to endure. My MIL lives with us and she has good days and bad days, but our God is great and fills us with strength! Your house is lovely – thank you for taking us along on your new journey and I can’t wait to see what else you’ll do in 2015! I love the wall color in the dining room, it’s so soothing. Could you possibly share the brand, color, and sheen you used? We have a small cottage in Carolina Beach (our summer refuge!) and I would love to use it in our bedroom.

    1. Hi Terri. The paint is Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige in the regular finish – not eggshell or satin. We have a condo at N. Topsail Beach, so we’re close! Thank you for your encouraging words about my MIL.

  8. Wow, that really is a lot for one year. Your new house – kitchen- looks amazing. I can’t wait to see more. I will continue to keep you MIL in prayer. God Bless for a very Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Marty. They mean so much. God bless you in 2015 as well!

  9. Happy New Year! Congrats on your new beautiful home! I bet 2015 will be a fun new year decorating and making it a home for you!

    @Seeking Lavender Lane

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Deb!

  10. It was certainly a whirlwind year for you this past year! I hope that this new year will be a quieter an much slower on for you Suzy! Thank you for sharing your year in review over at THT and I look forward to all you do in your new home. It looks dreamy!

    1. Ha ha – I would LOVE a quieter and slower year, Pamela! I bet all of us bloggers would. Happy New Year!

  11. Yes! Congrats on your new home. We moved about the same time and are in the process (probably will take years, sigh) of our remodel. I am trying to pick paint colors and I love the color you chose for your kitchen and family room. Could you share the color? Happy new year!!

    1. Hi Jennifer. We used Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige throughout our home. Have fun with your remodel!