Happy Holidays

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Jenna Borst, and she captured a few simple decorating ideas in our home before the holidays!

I thought I would put together some of my favorite photos from the shoot in hopes to inspire some of you before the holiday season!

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I always say I am a minimalist in training.  And I hope the dining room table shows just that.  I gathered things we had from around the house, mixing old with new. The glasses were my mothers, and the antlers were from deer my husband has shot over the years as he hunts to provide meat for the year.  I added a few pillows from the living room to bring warmth and texture along with real napkins as I keep thinking I would love to use them daily instead of just around the holidays 🙂

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Someone had asked me what I do with my holiday decor when I am not using it.  And well you guys, this right here is why I try harder and harder every year to be a minimalist.  The pillow on the far left I have had out every season for one year now.  I try to be neutral and just add one thing the screams the season with a pop of color :). And one last tip- when it comes to pillows, I try SO hard to just buy fun pillow covers rather than whole new pillows.  Especially the ones from big department stores like Target because to be honest, there is NO way I am going to store a handful of pillows when the season is done.  Just over a year ago I stocked up pillow inserts form IKEA and have slowly started mixed IKEA covers with a few ETSY shop colors to bring in something handcrafted, made in the U.S. and above all WASHABLE.

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And I just had to add this photo she captured here as this couldn’t be anymore me.  A few month ago my friend Rachel Butcher sent me a text saying just this.  I was almost finished with the most dreadful kitchen remodel, and spent days, no weeks, nope more like MONTHS asking for her advice. From design, to color, to counters she was my go to gal.  Well, apparently she had had it and finally told me how she really feels 😛

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Lastly, I have a photo of our bedroom.  I added just a little faux garland, and that is all I think I am doing this year.  Before, I had spent hours and lets face it- all too much money on the “in” artificial trees and decor to scatter around the home.  The older I get, the more I realize more of what I truly love, and really all that doesn’t really matter.  This year I not only want to minimalize on decor, but on the gifts we get and receive.  Part of the added stress around the holidays, to me, is the stress we put on ourselves.  And every year we feel the need to do as much if not more than before.  Instead, I hope the husband finds time to spend with the kids making gifts for others and secretly making one thing special from him.  I also opted out of the Christmas name drawings with the families and hope to spend less time opening gifts, but instead spending time with one another.  As that to me is the most important part.  Well, that and the food of course ;P

Thank you again for those stopping by!  And Happy Holidays!!!

Love, The Fords

 

 

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My first clothing post eveerrrr

Hey guys!  So I thought I would share on here a few fun outfits before the holidays!  These are all from my favorite boutique Roolee!  You won’t believe how amazing these prices are.  AND to top it off, they are offering 15% off with code FARMHOUSE15!!  And I just used this code to place anothhhheerrrr order ;P!

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Soooo you guys, I wasn’t sure about this dress when I ordered it.  I’m so plain Jane most days, and this one is just a bit out of the “norm.” But you guys, I think this is my favorite one!!!  Click here for this dress!

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This cardigan is the perfect length and fit! I am about 5.5 ish??? And this is a size small.  Click here for the cardigan!

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Now cute tops aren’t usually my thing.  I’m a dress gal most of the time, but you guys, this top is dreammmyyy!!  Click here for my top. I am wearing a size small 🙂

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This dress is a little more fitted if you like that look to make you feel beautiful!  Click here for this dress.

And lastly this dress is perfect for Thanksgiving if you ask me!  Match this with the cardigan above and you have yourself the cutest comfiest outfit! Click here for the dress!

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As always thank you all for stopping by and you can check out more from Roolee HERE! 🙂

Who doesn’t like FREE stuff?!

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Hey guys!

If you’re new to Grove Collaborative click here for your FREE offer.

And if you signed up last time, don’t worry we didn’t forget about you! Click here for your FREE walnut scrubbers!

Soooo I did this a few months ago, but it was a HUGE hit so I wanted to write a little more again!

I am working with Grove Collaborative to bring you a free offer again for those who missed out before!

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Okay here it is-

  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday hand soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday dish soap
  • Mrs. Meyer’s holiday multi surface spray
  • Grove Collaborative apron

These are all FREE when you sign up for Grove Collaborative.  For the FREE offer click here.  And for more info keep reading!

Okay, so what in the world is Grove Collaborative, and why in the world are all these things free??

For those who are obsessed with the up and coming shipt going on with groceries delivered at your door, then you’re going to LOVE this.  Grove sends you household and beauty products, that you choose to receive, to your door with FREE shipping (with a purchase of 10$ of more and that’s sooo easy to do!)

They offer an amazing selection of the best natural household products from both their house brand and favorites like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Caldrea. Plus, they remember what you like and ship it to your doorstep, on your schedule. There’s no fee to join — you only pay for the products you buy (and the prices are always lower than my local grocery store).

I also get asked often about my scrub brushes by the sink. You guys!! They are from Grove Collaborative!  Check out their cleaning accessories and food storage.  Once again click here to see what I am talking about! Talk about dreeeammyyy!

Thanks again for stopping by!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

 

The White Woodstove

Hi you guys!!!

So this blog post is lonnnggg overdue.  But I wanted to answer some questions about our woodstove and add a little bit of details on design, function, and efficiency and to why we are so passionate about our Explorer II from Quadra-Fire.

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So for those wondering what my hubby does for a living, its heating and cooling!  And if a heating and cooling man will chose an indoor woodstove over any type of furnace, that should tell you something!  We love the hot heat an indoor woodstove provides, and we don’t mind cutting wood to clean up the woods and fallen trees out back for free energy!  The Explorer II  from Quadra-Fire has a 12 hour burn time and with 78.3% efficiency means you can heat your space with less fuel!  We go through about a quarter less of wood to any outdoor wood burner that I know of!  I couldn’t imagine the amount of work and wood an outdoor wood burner has….. And to believe we considered that route!

We burn our woodstove just about 24/7 once winter hits.  And yes, I say “we” because even though starting fires aren’t my number one skill, I can do it!  And I do load the stove during the day without much fuss.  I love that the larger  stove makes it so much easier to stack wood in, and especially love the andirons it has inside so a log can’t roll back out at you.  That is such a wonderful feature!  We let it go out about once a week or as needed to clean it and empty ashes, but it sure is our main source of heat and we love it!  Our previous woodstove was just a tad too small which led for the new stove upgrade.  With the last stove we would stay up as late as we could to fill it just before bed and would awake early the next morning hoping for any hot ashes left to restart the fire in the morning.  Soooo, you can imagine the excitement we have with this new woodstove and its longer burn time.  (Insert happy dance here!)

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Many have asked about the fan that sits on the top of the woodstove.  It runs off heat, so the hotter the woodstove is burning, the faster it spins to push that hot air off the top of the stove and across the room.  I have heard of others using blowers with their stove, but I love that this is silent and doesn’t cost a dime :P.  You can find this fan on amazon here.

When we bought our home it had a woodstove on the main floor, but with walls all around.  I swear that room could be 95 degrees, but the adjacent rooms 60. When we opened up the walls, we also moved our stairwell to the center of the home and added a ceiling fan in the room of the woodstove to help circulate the air.  That way when the hot air rises, it circulates up the stairwell and into the upstairs bedrooms 🙂

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I also wanted to quickly chat about the design of the hearth and mantel.  I remember looking at a million Pinterest photos and Google images of woodstoves, try to get ideas on what others had done, and trying to decide what would work best for us.  We worked on other projects in the house and continued to ponder what in the world to do with this area.  Finally one day while I was at work, my husband decided he knew what he wanted. He started to build the platform you see here with rebar and mesh to hold the concrete and provide strength to the platform that his woodstove sits on.  I remember coming home close to midnight after work in tears.  I thought to myself, what are you doing??  I had never seen a woodstove sit so high and thought to myself it stood out why too much and as nothing I had imagined.  Well, when Mr. Practical finally gave me his reasoning’s.  He said he didn’t want to be bending over filling a woodstove the rest of his life. And that someday when we have kids, I would appreciate the stove sitting high enough that they can’t touch it or fall onto it.  Plus, to be honest, he had spent all day getting the platform built and ready for concrete that it was just too late to change it.  And that was that.  Now, five years later, I am SO thankful for this woodstove that sits up high.  I love that we have storage underneath for a fire extinguisher on hand (that I hope we never use).   And lastly, I love the ambiance it brings to the room as I can sit and watch the rolling flames for hours.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for stopping by!

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Easy Granola

Hi you guys!  I know I don’t share on here nearly enough, but I’m working on it!  Today I made homemade granola.  And well, its soooo easy I had to share.

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Dry ingredients-

  • 3 cups Rolled oats
  • 1 cup Raw Almond slices
  • 1/2 cup coconut (if you like this)

Wet ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 table spoon raw brown sugar
  • and a little bit of cinnamon

Mix your dry ingredients together and place on a baking pan and bake for 10-15 min while stirring occasionally at 350 degrees.

Mix your wet ingredients together and pour over your dry ingredients when ready.  Put it back in the oven for a bit longer, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly brown.  But about 5-8 min.

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I hope this recipe works for you guys!  Feel free to add or change as you will.  I love dried cranberries, but not the hubby.  I keep it pretty plain for all three boys to love it too 🙂

My Love for Grove

Hiiii friends!!! If you are here to claim the free dish towel, fall scent dish and hand soap AND candle click HERE!!!!!

For more information about Grove, the offers, and my love for fall keep reading 🙂

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Ever since one evening below 50 degrees, I’ve been dreaming about boots and cozy sweaters and the sound of crunching leaves.

That means I’ve also been thinking about getting our home ready for fall — even if the weather outside is still sunny and warm!

I mentioned this offer at the beginning, but here it is again now- I’m getting a head start with this free seasonal set of Mrs. Meyer’s fall soaps + candle + pretty kitchen towel from Grove Collaborative!

Even if you’re not looking forward to fall as much as I am, Mrs. Meyer’s lovely Mum and Apple Cider scents will get you in the spirit.

I’ve been looking forward to their Mum scent all year (and love the beautiful purple bottle). In fact, I loved it so much I stockpiled several bottles of hand soap. I’m using them in my bathrooms right now, so I thought the FREE seasonal scent would be a great time to try out the Mum scent!

I’m so glad I did! The Mum scent smells like a walk through a crisp fall garden. Not to mention, I’m crushing on this beautiful packaging — it’s the same color as the mums on my front porch!

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When you place your first order of $20, you’ll get the fall set in your choice of scents — you can even mix and match if you like:

  • Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap
  • Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap
  • Free Fall Seasonal Mrs. Meyer’s candle
  • Free Grove kitchen towel
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

Click this link here to get this offer!!

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If you’re already a Grove customer we haven’t forgotten about you!  You’ll get a free set of Grove walnut scrubbers here!

The Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, dish soap, and candle come in matching scents so you can fill your entire home with your favorite fall scent. All the products are non-toxic and made with plant- derived ingredients, so I feel good about using them with my family.

The set also includes a lovely Grove Collaborative kitchen towel in my photos above! These are not your run-of-the-mill dish cloths — they’re thick, soft, and bigger than a standard kitchen towel. I always keep one nearby when I’m cooking for grabbing hot handles, wiping up spills, and drying dishes.

This set is a perfect example of why I love Grove: They offer an amazing selection of the best natural household products from both their house brand and favorites like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and Caldrea. Plus, they remember what you like and ship it to your doorstep, on your schedule. There’s no fee to join — you only pay for the products you buy (and the prices are always lower than my local grocery store).

If you’re on the fence about trying Grove Collaborative, this is your opportunity! When you sign up using my link, you’ll get the FREE fall set + free shipping + free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll get free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service.

What are you waiting for? Grab your FREE fall seasonal set now:

  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the fall seasonal set for free when you sign up!
  2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.
  3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order 🙂

Thank you all again for stopping by, and hoping you all have a lovely day and week!!

The couch continued..

Hi guys!

So if you read my post about the IKEA sofas, you know I chose the Farlov for its style and comfort, but HATED the fabric of the slip cover it came with!  (Sorry for the all cap locks, but seriously it was ugly.)  And then I found Bemz. They make custom IKEA slip covers for everrrythingggg IKEA!  Plus curtains, cushions, and bedroom textiles!  Not to overwhelm you, BUT they have 250+ fabric choices as well, so good luck with that one… ;-P

Anyways, I went ahead and purchased this couch, knowing that I would ultimately chose Bemz for a dream slip cover I had in mind!  Well friends, that day finally came!

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This is the Designers Guild, pure linen in Brera Lino Natural.  And this was a TOUGH choice let me tell you.  They have sooo many options from fabrics to fit, but I knew I wanted pure linen and from there I narrowed it down to neutral colors and went from there.  I still wonder if I would have been more happy with the Brera Lino Graphite because that too is pure linen, but in grey.  BUT sometimes I find it hard to match grey!  Therefore, I ultimately chose the natural as a more neutral pallet.. blah blah blah- really I’m just boring.

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And if you hadn’t already noticed, that bottom cushion is one biiigggg cushion without a seam.  Some say it looks funny, I say it feels and looks ammaazzzinggg.

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Here is just a close up of the linen fabric.  I love how it loosely hangs with all those mini wrinkles, give me all the heart eye emojis!!

Some have already asked me about the cost of this.  Well, this varies SO much depending on the sofa AND your choice in fabric.  Unfortunately, I am addicted to linen and well linen isn’t cheap.  Uggghhhhhh…

And if you are wondering how easy it is to wash and change the slip covers, let me add it is a capital E- Easy.  This sofa is much easier than the Erktop I own, but also the covers made by Bemz are so easy and well made!  Seriously, they are super easy and I love them 🙂

(On a side note- the coffee table is an old door from Haven Creek Flower and Finds in Rockford.  Its a cute little store with a husband and wife team and I love it!  And the rug is sisal from Rugs USA.  But just an FYI, sisal is messy!  I do NOT recommend sisal for a high traffic area, or for anywhere for that matter.  But I love the simplicity of it so here it still lies until I find something else… And lastly, the floral pillow cover is from Sew and Cloth.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I love her cute etsy shop!)

As always, thank you for stopping by, and let me know if you have any questions!!

Hydrangeas

Hi Friends!  So if you followed along my stories you saw my love for hydrangeas and all the varieties.  Now where to begin….?!  With what I know, ALL species of hydrangeas can handle full sun to part shade, but I do believe mine in the part shade do better than those in full sun.  Just an FYI!

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Lets start with the most basic one I know.  The Annabell Hydrangea.  Bloom- Late spring to early fall, and get about 5 feet tall.  I planted these when we first moved in, and I think I actually used Incredible’s and Annabell’s in this row. I bought the greenhouse out of their Incredibles and needed more! #imaddicted  (Also if you look close, the row of shrubs next to the sidewalk are bobo hydrangeas- I’ll talk more about these down below.)

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Next is the Incredible.  The leaves and size are so similar to the Annabell, but its blooms are SO much bigger.  These bloom all summer long as well, early spring to fall and get about 5 feet tall!  But I swear mine are taller… And again full sun to part shade.

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And if you followed my IG post and stories of the varieties I just planted this was it!  But in blush pink (Insert all the heart eyes here).

Limelights (Not pictured, sorry mine still aren’t in bloom!)- these are a tad larger than the hydrangeas per my research ranging 6-8 feet tall.  Currently at home, my Limelights are smaller than my Incredibles, so I am sure there are many contributing factors to this! They bloom late summer into fall, and I love having these with my Incredibles because I always have something blooming and to look forward too :).

The Pinky Winky-  It is coned shaped like the limelight in a beautiful blush pink.  This reminds me of the Limelight, and I am sure it must be in the same family because all their statistics are the same.

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The Bobo is a dwarf hydrangea. It gets 1-3 feet tall and bloom all summer/ fall.  I love that these are white in the summer, and get this.. they turn pink in the fall!!!  I’ll try to update this with a photo when it turns pink soon!

Thank you all again for stopping by and I hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

The Never Ending Sofa’s

Hi friends!

Soooo this blog post is to save you all a little hassle, and hear my opinion about sofas!  Plus, if I can be TOTALLY honest- I’ve owned four now…!

Our first sofa was a dark grey oversized sofa with a chaise lounge. I looked high and low for a photo, but we had chaise lounge before I started blogging.  Here I go with mistake number one- it was much too big for the space.  We had to walk around the coffee table just to sit down on it!  And it wasn’t welcoming at all.  I thought the thing to do was a huge couch that faced the obnoxious TV.  At least, that is what I thought the cool kids were doing.  But a few years later, I have grown, and have found what I think is important in life.  We no longer have the TV in the center of our home that was constantly on filling the home with chatter.  We have moved it to the back of the house in a “den” so to speak, and I couldn’t be more happy.  I couldn’t cook in the kitchen or eat at the table before without the constant chirp of the television in the background.  I never realized how much of a distraction it was.

Do you ever go somewhere and come home thinking, “oh my goodness I hate my house now.”  Because that happened to me.  I met a friend Rachel Butcher who had this beautiful old farmhouse.  They do not have television, and I’ve learned so much from her from motherhood to decorating.  One day we stopped at her sister in laws, Mary Miedema’s home, and I still remember the feeling after leaving her also all too perfect farmhouse.  I left with my jaw dropped to my knees, and my jaw still drops when I think of their homes and the feeling of welcoming they portrayed!  SO, what in the world am I getting at?  The point is, no matter what, I wanted our home to feel open and airy and welcoming just like theirs.  I want guests to feel comfortable walking in the door and not wanting to leave.  I want the focus to be family oriented, functional, and practical all while still looking pretty.   One thing I took from both of their homes was the living room.  It wasn’t stuffed with oversized furniture all faced towards some silly flat screen TV.  They both had a comfortable normal size sofas with two chairs somehow all facing each other.  Maybe a few family photos hanging on the walls, or a painting or picture, but moral of the story I felt like I could sit down and have a conversation with friends while feeling right a home. And that focus is my GOAL.

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Okay. So coming home I knew I had to make some changes.  It took a few months before I talked my husband into moving the TV into a secluded room in the house and away from the center of the home.  No, I can’t watch TV while making dinner anymore, but let me tell you- I don’t miss it! With the chaise lounge, you can’t move the sofa around like you can with a normal sofa. Before the TV was removed I tried out the Stocksund furniture from IKEA.  This is an old photo, but you can see it in here.  With the room facing the TV, it still doesn’t look that welcoming and you still have to walk around the coffee table to sit down!  Ugh.  But the lighter sofa made the room more open and airy.

The Stocksund

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Okay so I do love this couch.  Its beautiful.  I love the legs on this couch and the open and airy feel.  As far as comfort.. its okay!  I mean its not some plush oversized sofa that makes you feel like you are lying on a bed.  I will say the hubby wasn’t happy going from an oversized huge couch to this! (Sorry honey).  And it is totally slip covered.  So yes you can wash it, all of it!

The Farlov

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Lastly for this room, the Farlov.  Why the heck did I change from the Stocksund to this?!  One word for you- comfort.  This is wider and longer than the Stocksund.  And the solid cushion on the bottom is basically one big mattress. (Insert all the praise hands here!) Can you imagine a sofa with no crumbs stuck in the cushions?! Well folks, this is it.

The Erktop

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And the fourth couch I have owned is the Erktop.  I decided we needed two couches in the home so this could be in the playroom.  I debated this or the matching Pottery Barn one for weeks.  To tell you the truth, I actually ordered the Pottery Barn one and cancelled it!  I read a million blog posts and reviews comparing them, and thought the Pottery One would be more comfortable.  Why? I am not sure.  I think it is a few inches bigger, but ultimately my husband said “by the more expensive one because it’s probably nice.”  HA!  I don’t think that logic is always right?! Well you guys, if you didn’t know this know already, this sofa is 399$. (Well, technically 499$ if you get it in white like I did ((Insert eye rolling emoji here.)) But talk about a no brainer!  (No brainer on the price, not getting it in white because that was sort of dumb…)  And it is all slip covered as well.   Between chocolate, boogers, and you name it, I can wash it alllll out!  Yes- white is DUMB, but you can wash it… hello?! Cool right?! Plus with a couch so cheap- who cares?!  Plus it IS comfortable if you ask me.  Win, win, win.

Okay you guys, this is me adding this section in after this post, but I just learned something VITAL!  You can purchase IKEA couches without their slip cover!!! I’ve been a fan of BEMZ for a while now, and I knew I always wanted to purchase one of their covers down the road, but I had NO idea you could buy the sofa coverless and just order one of there’s!  Why did anyone tell me this?!  Anyways, do as I say and not as I do. Purchase an IKEA sofa and special order a beautiful cover from BEMZ.  The quality is amazing and you won’t be disappointed.  I pinky swear promise too :p

And last, but not least, if you live in Mid-West MI hit up my friend James from VIA IKEA for delivery or assembly. He’s the best. Seriously!

Thank you all so much for stopping by as always!  I hope I helped somehow with you decisions!  Have a good day!

The Stove

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Hi friends!

So I thought I would talk a little bit about the stove we chose in the recent kitchen remodel since so many of you have asked about it!  And, lets face it, its my favorite part of the kitchen!

Why I chose Verona is the first thing to consider.  For starters, it is the most used and important feature in the kitchen in my eyes!  Previously we had a cheap electric stove with the matching microwave on top, and I will NEVER do that again.  Our microwave died within the first few years, and the built-in vent hood was SO loud, we couldn’t talk to each other in the kitchen when it was running.   Talk about annoying!  And cooking on an electric stove top is just a nightmare.  I never knew how much I could enjoy cooking as much as I do now with our gas range.  Oh, and back to why we chose Verona, another important factor for me was the fact that parts are readily available.  I was worried that with this being an Italian stove would cause problems down the line if something went wrong, but Verona reassured me parts would be easy to get if ever needed. EuroChef USA is the exclusive importer for America and service can be dispatched to anywhere in the county.

DUAL FUEL

It took me MONTHS to decide IF we would be buying their stove, and even longer to decided WHICH stove to get.  We chose dual fuel and I found it to be most economical and functional.

DOUBLE OVEN

I (umm I mean we ;P) chose the double oven because I love the versitility of cooking desert and dinner at the same time.   And that I have the option of heating up a such smaller space when I want to  bake something quick and small like banana bread for the kids!  I worried the “larger” side would still be too small for those large dinner, but boy was I wrong.  The larger side can fit a 25 lb turkey, and still can fit my 9x13in pans! Talk about a win win!

If you can’t remember which stove I chose- here is the link!

WHITE WHITE WHITE

Okay, lastly- why in the world did I choose a white stove?  I asked my friends, my mom, everyone which color to chose and they allllll said stainless. Come on now?!  No one was adventurous like me I suppose?!  Yes stainless would have been the “safe” route, but I like to be different!  And truthfully, I have stainless appliances and hate them.  I had looked over and over at other kitchens I liked and inspirational photos galore, and the biggest thing I was drawn to was the stove.  It is the focus of attention and such a used and important decision!  So here she is, the white stove of my dreams!

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And these photos are just too cute by all talented Amy Carroll 🙂

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Now these kids are cute, but don’t tell me you weren’t eyeing that stove there in the back?! #showstopper

Thank you again for stopping by!  Email me with any questions you have as always 🙂

*This post was made in partnership with Verona Appliances, but all thoughts are my own.