More Prettiness!!

Hello to everyone, things have been very hectic at Cloches and Lavender.

Thank you to everyone for your support when I wasn’t feeling well there for few days.  MS is a scary disease and when something changes and I don’t feel well, I worry. Will I go back to the way I was or is this the way things are going to be.  It is very much, the fear of the unknown.  I know many of us in life go through these trials and tribulations.  I don’t know what came over me that day.  I try to keep my health to myself, John and my parents.  Panic hit me that day and I blurted it out on FB.

Now, on to the prettiness; when John and I went to the house last weekend the hardwood floors were installed.  They are wider planks then we anticipated, BONUS!!!  Since the floors run throughout most of the house,  I know I will not want any red highlights whatsoever in our stain.  I was leaning towards a cabinet color sample that I saw when choosing the kitchen.  The name was Chestnut so I may ask our kitchen man, Rich, if I can borrow the sample when they are ready to stain.  I thought it would help get me the color I want to achieve.

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One more item has been installed finally, the garage door!!!  Say it isn’t so Sam, LOL.  Now that things are locked up…on to kitchen install!!


With such nice weather this past weekend (what happened today with the frigid temps!!) we noticed some nice things when  we were in the new neighborhood; children riding their bikes and couples out strolling around.   This was the thing John and I were missing in our neighborhood because of the hilliness and the size of the lots, not many children were out and about.  This will be a change for Peanut and Reeses, who are afraid of everything.  We feel this will be really good for them.  They are sort of glued to Mama’s hip, LOL.  We wouldn’t change them for the world but it is time for them to learn to be PUPPIES!!! 

This weekend we are going to introduce them to their new home.  It is very clean and safe for them to be inside now.  We thought we would let them get used to the smells and know this is their new home.  Yes, we treat them as children, I can imagine what some of you may be thinking.  We decided that when we brought them home they were going to be spoiled beyond belief, that is why we got them to love and spoil.  Not to sound snotty, we don’t much care what people think, they are our puppies and yes they are going to be four soon and we still call them puppies, LOL.  Maybe there will be some pictures???

Next week, to give you a hint, I will have positive news on the MS front.  Some good changes are taking place.  I don’t want to speak about them until everything is finished.  So early next week will be big doings for me!!!  

Happy Easter and Passover to everyone and your families and friends.

An Update

It is still not feeling as if spring has even thought about arriving.  It must be rather close though, since the birds are chirping and we hear a woodpecker taking care of a tree in the woods near by.  Rain is coming down rather hard today and it is gray and just a plain messy weekend.  Some better weather is on the horizon for the week.

On the house front there are more things taking place.  Our front stairs have been covered with stone and goes lovely with the siding.  Take a peak.


In our new backyard, our deck has taken shape.  It is a great size for us to barbecue and site with our fur babies.


Our kitchen cabinets should be getting delivered and installed in the next two weeks.  John will have to get our farmhouse sink down to the house for fitting and installation.   I can’t wait to see everything take shape and really see our large sink being placed in the kitchen.

Look what was a feature in HGTV Magazine……our front door style is the door of the month.  Too cool!

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Can’t Stop Us Now!!!!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is doing well.  We are finally going to get a few warmer days this weekend!!

Now that the snow is hopefully gone forever, LOL; things are moving so quickly with our home it is amazing and so EXCITING!!!!  Gerry wasn’t kidding about getting things moving once the outside siding and concrete were finished. 

I have so many things to report and today I am going to let everyone know that we had insulation installed and are you ready, sheet rock!!  They started taping yesterday.  OMG this is insane and we are just beside ourselves with excitement, take a look at the transformation, is this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen??

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The small issue we have now is: John and I decided to put the TV over the fireplace at the last-minute. The reason being was my concern with glare and the fact that the TV would be competing with the fireplace right next to it. So here’s my dilemma…the areas on either side of the fireplace aren’t symmetrical (one was bigger to accommodate the original TV plan). Take a look…


Ladies this where your opinions may help me.

On the larger side to the right, I was thinking of putting two large gates (wall hangings) that we have in storage, high on the wall with an antique trunk we purchased years ago below on the floor. This we have always used to store some firewood.

The one on the left will be a bookcase with doors on the bottom to store DVD’s.

Now that you have heard the idea, what d o you think??? What suggestions would you have????

Tune in tomorrow for more progress updates.



Surprise – Surprise

Hello everyone, I hope all is good.  Well, we had a gorgeous day yesterday in Northern NJ, in the 50′s. Today rain and tomorrow very windy and cold.   The weekend is expected to be nice, so that’s good.

I have been seeing all the spring beauty on all my favorite blogs this week.   It has been so nice to see.

So what has been going on at Cloches and Lavender and what is the surprise???  LOOK, can you believe it, we can’t!!!! The weather warmed enough to pour the garage floor and the front stair base.

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The other news we received was that the completion of our home is estimated for mid-May.  Wow - in time for gardening and let the decorating and ideas begin!!!

Tile has been ordered for the bathrooms and laundry room floor today and the stone for our front steps.

All of the electrical is finished with many over head lights, can anyone say CHANDELIERS!!!  Yes, there will be many, love my chandeliers and some bling but what girl doesn’t.

Alarm wiring as well as TV and computer wiring was done today.

Our footings for the deck in back have been poured also.

All the siding is done too! Columns coming soon.


More Pictures soon! I have to leave some element of surprise here. LOL

Not So Pretty to Pretty!!

Thanks so much for all of your comments about Wolfgang.  Audrey is healing and we are moving along.

The weather is still very cold and we dodged a bullet today, Monday, with a huge storm.  It went out to sea.  I knew we loved our Atlantic Ocean for a reason, besides for the fact it is beautiful.

First, let’s get the not so pretty over with, such a tease, LOL.  Although this is not pretty to look at, it is necessary for a home to function.  You will notice  that all of our rough plumbing and heating is finished.  Some of the air-conditioning is complete as well as electrical.

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When we visited the site over the weekend this surprise was waiting for us.  Totally unexpected, our fireplace was installed.  We decided we would miss a real fire so we decided to go with wood burning.  The tub in the guest bath was too!


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We had one or two problems to work out and luckily we have Gerry our builder.  John and I are pretty savvy too, I must say.  We are using pocket doors in some areas of the house to save on space.  What we didn’t realize, by using pocket doors, was that you lose the ability to do electrical and plumbing in the wall in which the door slides. In our other home we didn’t use them because I was young and I must admit stubborn.  I wouldn’t use pocket doors anywhere, MISTAKE!!

The master bath had a similar issue, as we are using a pocket door there as well.  Gerry mentioned that the double sink vanity that is in the master bath, we are unable to use separate lights, because part of the vanity is on the pocket door wall.  That was totally unacceptable for me, from a decorating standpoint that would look so odd.  So, I looked up and it hit me.  Put ceiling lights over each sink.  I am looking for flush mount chandeliers and I  have been having some great results in my search.

Internet shopping for lighting is just fabulous, ATG Stores, Lighting Universe, superb.  I am planning on getting all of our lighting for the house from their site.  I’m so excited typing this because I have found so many pretty chandeliers and lights.

Now on to the pretty, look what else has taken place!!!  Siding installation is pretty well along, YES, everything I thought it would be on the house.  LOVE the color!!!  Hopefully finished this week.

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When the weather warms up this baby will be stained a walnut color to match our garage door, can’t wait!! 


The weather and Mother Nature better not be toying with us???  It better start getting warmer.  I mean, come on, we only want it in the upper 30′s and 40′s and we will be cruising.

My Heart Hangs Heavy

I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for their thoughts and prayers for Wolfgang. 

Unfortunately, he has lost the battle and we had to put him down yesterday.  It was not fair to him anymore.  He was not eating anything and his numbers got much worse again.

This truly was a heart wrenching decision for Audrey.  I am so sorry that she has had to go through another large loss in her life.   She is my sister through and through  and it was one of the hardest things to see happen.  She really is such a great person and doesn’t deserve heartache. 

Wolfgang will be missed so much around here.  Our dogs are our children and we treat each others as if they are our own.


Please say an extra prayer for Audrey during this difficult time.  

Updates – BUMMER and NOT!!!!

Let’s see, who is so SICK of this winter???  We are in for another big snowstorm Thursday.  I hope that everyone in the southeast is safe.  Let me tell you one thing is for sure, I am so over this it isn’t even funny.  I would be rolling with this a little more if our home hasn’t been put on hold due to this weather.  Gerry our builder spoke to John the other day and told him they were able to get the basement floor poured but they can’t pour the garage floor or front steps do to t he cold temperatures. It is too cold to put on the siding.  The one good thing is they are able to start the rough for the HVAC and the plumbing.  We are ready to pull our hair out.  John not too much with the hair, he has only a bit left, sorry HONEY.  I love you very much my handsome man of 25 years!!

So, we are on hold with important items to be finished until the temperatures get into the 30′s. Yes, 30′s we can’t even get to that number, except when it snows every other minute.  How sad  is that??

Another topic I spoke about last time was Wolfgang.  It is amazing what has happened with him.  Audrey thought she was going to have to put him down.  He wasn’t eating at all and he was very fussy.  His stool was blood-red and she decided this was not fair for him anymore, he couldn’t starve to death.

But lo and behold:


We went to the vet last week and the doctor did a thorough check on him and didn’t see any more issues.  He also took some blood samples for tests and this is the amazing part.  His liver function numbers were even better than they were months ago.  The vet said he thought maybe his tummy was bothering him and gave him two injections.  This dog is a fighter big time but we have to remember no matter what he is still very sick.  Kidney failure doesn’t go away.

Here he is after a nice post vet bath and spa:


I make turkey meatloaf with brown sugar in it to add some sweetness and flavor.  Well, we gave that to Wolfgang that evening and he ate it like crazy.  This doxie loves food.  All of them do but Wolfgang could eat his way out of a dog food bag if he was inside, LOL!!!  He just keeps eating that every morning, noon and night.  I told him, Aunt Cindy will make you the meatloaf so you keep eating and that is what I have been doing.  He even has a bit of a kick in his step.  He is back to his stubborn ways and fussing only as Wolfgang does but we would have it no other way.  Someone up there knows it is not his time.  His daddy, grandpa, cousin or, and sister.  I know they all must be watching over him.  I will keep you updated on his health

A group hideout for Wolfe, Bend and Sprout:


Finally a picture of our man Reeses comfortably resting his chin on the sink during his shower/bath:


And Peanut lounging:


As you may notice we love our pups like they are our children.   Those of you out there that have animals know what I am talking about!!

So, please say prayers for Wolfgang to stay strong and prayers that this winter ends for us all and our home can get going again. Thanks so!!!  Everyone stay warm!

One more thing, look what I bought when I saw them on FB.  Love the green and was hoping they would bring back the vintage green.

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It’s Getting Exciting!!!!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well. We are getting more snow for tomorrow in NJ and then it is going to turn colder again.  I know that many of you have been getting hit so hard with the weather, I feel guilty complaining, but ENOUGH!!!  The older I get 48, the less I like the cold and that wind that just goes right through your bones.

I am very behind in answering emails.  I apologize but there has been a lot of decision-making and Audrey’s dog Wolfgang has been very sick.  He is 16, 17 in July and has heart and liver failure.  He is such a fighter, he keeps doing all he can to stay with us.  There is no way I won’t make that a priority.  Besides loving Audrey her dogs are like my babies.  We have known her two pups since they were brought home and Wolfie as we call him, is just a lover.   

Now for the excitement.  Well, we have all our windows in except for two which are on backorder.  The grilles that snap in are in the house in boxes.  I am not sure at what phase they are snapped in place.

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This is a shot of our front door which will be stained walnut to match the garage door, it is a two car garage with one large door.

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They are getting ready to pour our basement and garage floor.  That will be good and may make it easier to get in the house for me.


The other exciting piece of information is that I picked out our kitchen!!!  Appliances are ordered and I think we got a great deal.  We just placed our order for the cabinets and the countertops.  Sample is below, the are Maple and the door is inset.

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We are going to meet with the plumbing supply company as soon as the man we are supposed to me with is better from being sick.  Our builder, Gerry, really wants to get moving on roughing out the house.  I will give you a sneak peek at our kitchen faucet I chose.  I wanted to go with a single handle so it would be easier to regulate the water when washing things in the sink and speaking of sinks, I chose a beautiful farmhouse sink.  Fergusson had a great price for a Kohler on their website for a Kohler.  If the plumbing supply person can’t match the prices the internet will be my source.

Kitchen Faucet

Everyone in these cold areas stay warm and safe.  More updates will come.

Excitement and Decisions

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  I can’t believe another year has gone by, where does time go??  I think the older we get, the faster time seems to slip away.

It has been exciting for us around here with the house.  Our home is fully framed.  Here’s the front and back (we wanted it to like a two story, but it’s all on one level) :

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As of today, our shingles are nearly finished on the roof too!!  (we selected “weathered wood” from GAF).  The back side should be all done by tomorrow.



Our builder Gerry, is trying to get the house closed up as fast as possible.  Being this is NJ and it is winter we are working with weather and you know what that means, SNOW!!!

Our windows are supposed too arrive tomorrow and they will be installed along with the house wrap after New Year’s day.  Now remember I said we are working with the weather, of course , it is supposed to snow on Thursday, so if it snows then hopefully Friday.  Gerry has told us many times, we have no time to stop.  If it snows we shovel and work.  He is such a great guy.

Decisions, the kitchen has started getting planned.  The man we are dealing with is Rich and what a great guy.  He gave us some great ideas and tweaked things a bit in the plan.  We may have another meeting Saturday. 

Many of you know I have been chomping at the bit to get started with the décor and it is HERE and HAPPENING!!!!  I will give you more news on the kitchen when the plan is final.  Let me just say, so EXCITED!!!

I want to wish everyone a very Happy, healthy and safe New Year!  To everyone that follows me religiously, thank you so much for hanging in there with me.  I have learned many things during some of this down time. 2014 will be a GREAT year so stay tuned!!!!

Just Gorgeous and Merry Christmas

I just would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  My hope for everyone is to have much joy, love and laughter with all your families and friends.  


Sonya from Beyond the Screen Door was having a Cyber sale in her Shop last week.  I saw this crown and just feel in love.  I knew I wanted it for our new  home.  I jumped on the chance and I figured it is 10% off, right???  This is me rationalizing spending money on our new home, to my hubby.  Believe me he is the easiest man going so there isn’t much explaining needed.

I know I will use this for sure just not sure where yet since they are just finishing the framing.  It is so nice to see everything moving along and being able to visualize where things may go.



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