Welcome to One Room Challenge Week 2 Link-Up!


 It has been a very productive week here at the Red Cottage.  Panic has already set in but there is no turning back now!!

If this is your first week visiting the link party, you can see the before photos here.

It was all about the floors this week.  I don’t think I will rest until they are done.  And while we have made great progress, the scariest part is yet to come.  Committing to a stain color, and of course there is the task of applying six to eight coats of varethane!

First task.  Buy the plywood.  Although it was a bit more costly, we went with good one side to eliminate the extra sanding required.  When I factor in the cost of our time (and how little of it we have) it was the right choice for us.  We had it cut to 6″ planks at the Rona store.  Another time saving decision since we don’t have a table saw.

week 2 1

I was lucky to get a 15% off coupon by email from Rona the morning we were going to buy the lumber.  Yeah!!

week 2 2

Tim loaded it all into the car.  That’s me up front doing my best “Wilson” impression from Home Improvement!!  Truth is, I was pretty much wedged in there.

week 2 3

 By the time we got home from the lumber store, Sam was itching to get that old flooring up.  I don’t know what Tim would have done without her.  She set to work and there was no stopping her!  Between her and Tim the old floor was up and out in about 3 hours!  Tim will admit it was way more Sam than him!

week 2 4

A first glimpse of what we found underneath.  I am sure that old wood was beautiful back in its day!  I even toyed with the idea of refinishing it but the more we uncovered the more I knew it just wasn’t possible.

week 2 5

Being a tiny house there was really nowhere we could put the furniture, so we just moved it around as we went.  My job was clean up, taking the old boards outside and loading them up to be taken away.  I was falling a bit behind!

week 2 6

The last board coming out!  All smiles :)  Sam let Tim in on the photo just to make it look like he worked as hard as she did!

So it is out with the old……..

And in with the new……..

week 2 7

We chose wood with lots of character.  There are not a lot of knots, which is okay with me, I just love the natural random pattern on the wood that will be enhanced with the stain.  Using a sanding block I gave each edge a quick sand to provide a very slight bevel.  Took me only about 20 seconds a board.

week 2 9

 Since we are running the new floor straight through the living room and the dining room we started the first row well out from the wall as this would be the first row to run the length of both rooms.  We first made a level chalk line the length of the room and checked it twice to make sure it was straight and an even distance from the outside wall all along the entire length.  Using an air nail gun 1 1/2 inch 18 gauge finishing nails are nailed 2 on either side of the board every 6 inches.  Tim made sure to hold the nail gun to a slight angle towards the outside edge.  After this first row was in place, he worked back towards the front wall, and then went back to the first row and is working is way across the rooms.  The total length of both rooms is 24 feet, and the width is 12 feet.

Week 2

When I look at how it looks now and wonder what was I thinking taking on this challenge I am reminded of my early teen years, when my mom would give me a home perm. (It was the late 70′s, everybody was rocking a curly home perm, weren’t they!)  Looking like a dork with tiny rollers and cotton all over my head, she tried to make me feel better by saying “sometimes you just have to go through looking ugly to be beautiful”!!  This room is looking pretty ugly right now.

I hope to be staining the floor by the weekend.  It is supposed to be warm and sunny and I can keep the dogs outside for the entire day, allowing lots of dry time.  Then cover it back up with plastic until the verathane goes on next weekend.

I bought sample pots of three different stains that we all kind of liked at the store.

week 2 8

This is with one coat of stain and 3 coats of verathane.  The verethane was hastily applied with a cheap craft sponge and I was too impatient to wait 2 hours between each coat, so it has a bit of a texture to it but it gives us an idea of the depth of color for each sample.  I am leaning towards the last sample.  It is Minwax special walnut.  Not totally sure though yet.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I thought I would like the first one, Early American.  It is even orangier in person than it is in the picture.  I also thought about maybe a whitewash finish but I think a darker floor is a more suitable option in our household.

Again, the wall color we are going with is East Coast Blue from the Rona Collection in a satin finish.

east coast blue

We have already painted the dining room in this color.  I love it on our walls because depending on the light in the room and how you look it, it is more of a grey than blue which is exactly what I was going for.

Besides completing the floor through to the stain process this weekend, and painting the walls,  I am working on restyling an old lamp (which I scored for free) to look like the one in the photo below from Pottery Barn!  I will share that next week.


So much more to do!  What do you think so far?!

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Welcome back to Tasty Tuesdays

Life is getting very busy as I take on other projects, like this one.  Red Cottage Chronicles will not be going away, but this will be my last week as co-host of this amazing link party.  The good news.  This gives an opportunity for other bloggers to become a co-host!!  Visit www.anyonita-nibbles.com to apply…….

……..And continue to come back here to visit often as I get back into the kitchen and bake up all sorts of tasty treats!

Not to worry though!  Link up here this week and still have your link pinned, and a chance to be featured by one the other fabulous bloggers who co-host Tasty Tuesdays!

Each week, our team of 10 amazing bloggers hosts this fabulous party! We’re so glad that you’ve stopped by to party with us!

Without you, we wouldn’t have a party at all. So we think you’re pretty special and deserve to benefit from linking up with us each week. Here’s how:

Before we get to the party, we have a couple of ground rules to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable time:

So many awesome recipes to choose from! In an effort to start eating healthier, I am featuring some healthier fare! Plus a cheesecake that is making my mouth water! Because it is all about balance :)


Sugar Free Banana Bread - Pickled Okra by Charlie


Mango Orange Smoothie - Memories By The Miles


Paleo Lemon Ginger Asparagus Soup - Nibbles and Noshes


Apple Cranberry Gluten-Free Crisp - Cataldolife

Strawberry Cheesecake[1]

Strawberry-Vanilla Cheesecake - The Homestead in the Hills of Tennessee

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Spring is finally, slowing starting to show its face.  Mind you, it is still mixing it up with a bit of what feels like winter but still the right side of zero degrees!!

raspberry tart 5

To celebrate I decided to make this raspberry mascarpone tart!  The original recipe calls for rhubarb, but it is a bit too early to find it fresh in stores and no matter how I tried, I could not find any frozen either.  I am sure next week, when I don’t need any, I will see it in every store.  That’s just my luck.

raspberry tart 1

Thankfully I always have lots of frozen raspberries in the freezer.  Always have them in my daily smoothie!

Raspberry Tart

The sweetness of the sugar and mascarpone cheese blended with the slightly tart raspberries make a perfect pairing.

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a brochure promoting Ontario grown fruits and vegetables.

I really can’t wait to try it with the rhubarb, another tart fruit!  I remember when I was a youngster, our neighbour had a huge rhubarb patch in her back yard.  We would cut it fresh and dip into a bowl of sugar one bite at a time.  We would even share the sugar bowl and double dip!  Gasp!  But, we all lived to tell about it!!

raspberry tart 3

I love how pretty this tart is.  All swirly and creamy and incredibly decadent!

Why not make it for your Easter table!

raspberry tart 4


Raspberry Mascarpone Tart
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. confectioners sugar
  • ⅔ cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3½ cups frozen raspberries
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • ½ sour cream
  • ¼ tsp grated lemon zest
  1. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour and icing sugar. Add butter and rub in until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Press evenly into bottom and up sides of 9 inch flan pan with removable bottom. Dock the dough by pricking with a fork in several places. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely before filling.
  3. While tart shell is cooling combine raspberries, ½ cup of the granulated sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan, stirring and cooking over medium low heat until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until raspberries are tender. Cool to room temperature and then chill.
  4. In a large bowl combine mascarpone chest, sour cream and remaining ¼ cup sugar. Stir in grated lemon cyst.
  5. Spoon cheese mixture into flan shell and alternately with half the raspberry sauce. Swirl gently with a knife to create rippled effect.
  6. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Top with reserved raspberry sauce and a few fresh berries before serving.

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I was so glad to have come across this One Room Challenge  via My Sweet Savannah!  I love Melanie’s house and adore her neutral, comfortable style and would love to have those views of the lake that she has!

But instead I have a tiny little cottage.  And the nearest water is the Welland Canal that connects Lakes Erie and Ontario!

I have a love\hate relationship with my little home.  I love the big yard that we have, and that we have park space directly behind our home where no one can build!  I hate that the main floor is less than 500 square feet.  I love that we do have a big screen porch on the back that extends our living space in the summer!  I hate that it is impossible to find a quiet spot away from everything.  I love that maintenance is fairly inexpensive because of the size.  I hate that I can’t host a party for more than about 10 people comfortably (although Christmas Eve Brunch draws a bit of a crowd – its a good thing we are all close family and friends!)

I cannot change the size of my home and I am so blessed to have a roof over my head, central heating and a family to love on!

I am tackling our living over the next six weeks.  The floors are badly in need of replacing.  The walls need to be painted and the décor needs to be refreshed to more reflect my coastal casual living style!

I will be linking up each Thursday at Calling It Home

Some before pictures…

One room 2 week 1

This is the view from just inside the front door.  You can see how worn the floors are.  That is the kitchen just through the door at the upper left.

One Room 1 week 1

Stepping over about 5 paces, this is the view from near our bedroom door!  I really think it is time to fix that blind!!  Although it doesn’t show in this picture, the windows are actually two separate 6 over 6 pane windows.  They do allow a lot of light into the room.

One Room 4 week 1

Standing just inside the kitchen door and looking towards the front door (yup, time to actually commit to a window covering on that front door!) and the dining room, which have just recently painted.  I am longing for a wide plank wood floor, so that is the first order of business!

One Room 3 week 1

And finally, a view from the front corner near the window.  You can see a sliver of the kitchen to the right.  The door at the top of the picture is our bedroom door.  Just to the right of that, just out of view, is the one and only bathroom!  My husband built the tv stand to match this one he made for the dining room.  I think it is time for some cord control!

One room 5 week 1

The fireplace my husband built for me a couple of years ago and I love it!  Not sure if I am keeping the shelving on either side though!  May replace it with some free standing pieces instead.  Will have to see!

So their you have it.  The sad and tired before!

I am kind of a fly by the seat of my pants girl when it comes to decorating so I will make many choices as I go.

What I know for sure is the floors are changing.  We are DIYing it by laying 6″ plywood planks.  The wall color we have chosen is East Coast Blue from Rona Collection paints.  The slip covers will stay white and I hope to achieve a casual beachy vibe.

Oh, the budget.  $500.00! And the work begins now!

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Its been a long stretch since I felt like baking, but today I was feeling like some peanut butter cookies.  I pulled out my go-to recipe and set to work.

Somehow, between creaming the butters and the sugar, and sifting the dry ingredients I had to stop and wash the floor.  It could have had something to do with the long awaited arrival of above zero temperatures…..and this beast!

peanut butter cookies 4

With the paws cleaned, the floor cleaned and me cleaned it was back to the cookies.

I sifted the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl and beat it until the dough came together.  Rolled it into 1 inch balls and it wasn’t until I had gotten to this step….

peanut butter cookies 1

…….that I realized I forgot to add the two eggs!

I was not about to start over, so I just went ahead and baked as usual, and hoped for the best.  I figured if the first tray didn’t turn out I could just eat the cookie dough since it had no eggs!  I was pleasantly surprised at the result.  A soft, moist, chewy peanut butter cookie!

peanut butter cookies 2

The recipe below includes the eggs, but I will be making them again without them.  They were that good!  In fact no-one has even noticed the difference!

peanut butter cookies

Perfect with a cold glass of milk.

Looking outside now, it is snowing again and temps have dropped closer to zero!  I think it is safe to let Tripper out again without having to wash to floor when he comes in!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 36
  • 250 grams butter
  • 250 grams smooth peanut butter
  • 175 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 350 grams all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment
  2. Cream butter, peanut butter and sugar and salt in the bowl of mixer.
  3. If you are using, add eggs one at a time beating between each addition. (Trust me, you won’t miss them!
  4. Sift remaining ingredients into the creamed mixture and beat until dough comes together somewhat.
  5. Form into one inch balls, place on prepared baking sheets and press with a fork. Dipping the fork into warm water between each cookie will prevent it from sticking.
  6. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Just until bottoms are golden. The may appear undercooked on top.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on rack before storing in airtight container.
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