Hello, and welcome to our little house by the lake…so happy you’ve stopped by! If you’re new here you might want to come visit our Lake Tours page, grab a cup of coffee, take a look around and enjoy this beautiful lake we get to call home. Or you can subscribe to our RSS feed for OurLakeLife updates. Welcome to our Lake House!

Good morning, Good morning I trust that everyone’s been keeping busy with the Holidays fast approaching.

We’ve been a whirlwind of activity in our lovely little house by the lake lately, with a lot of in-progress projects but not a lot of completing yet. With the mad dash to Christmas day nipping at our heels, there’s so much to do with so little time.

We’ve been working hard to complete our new fireplace mantel before Christmas while trying our best not to wreck havoc on the rest of the house in the form of sawdust coating every surface.  We even went so far as to wrap the whole fireplace in plastic to contain the dust while Bryan sanded and sanded to a buttery smooth surface to prep for the stain.

Plastic Wrapped Bryan

He was a sight to behold walking out from behind the plastic sheeting, respirator still on.

Respirator Bryan

The odd mix of Pig Pen with the cloud of dust trailing behind him and Darth Vader breathing heavily through the mask “Nik I am your Father.” Too bad Star Wars references are lost on 1 1/2 year olds.

Tack Cloth

After we managed to pull ourselves together from the humor of the moment and let the dust settle so to speak, we carefully removed the plastic, vacuumed everything up and wiped down all of the wood to make sure all of the dust was removed. Much to my dismay, many of those aforementioned dust particles made it around the house creeping into every crack and crevice imaginable. They’re wilily creatures those dust particles. But I’m sure the effect would have been much worse if we hadn’t contained Bryan to his plastic walled room while he sanded away.


We decided to stain it in the Minwax White Wash Pickling stain.. We love that pickling will give the fireplace a cozy lake house cottage vibe that we’re dreaming of and really like the idea of seeing the rustic knots show through while still maintaining and airy vibe.

But in inevitable Bryan and Maria fashion we’d thought it would look awesome if we stained the mantle top and trim pieces in Minwax Red Mahogany stain to match the floors. Sort of tying the two together and making it seem like we had planned it all out from the very beginning.

It proved to add a bit of prep work since we now had to tape off the areas we didn’t want white washed so we could stain them later, but hopefully it’ll be totally worth it in the end.

White Wash

Although it has spurred a flurry of cleaning on my part due to the dust that made it’s way into every crack and crevice, including washing and ironing 12 curtain panels. Will the fun never stop? Fortunately for me, Bryan has been doing most of the work on this project while I baked Christmas Cookies and strung lights on the Christmas tree with my favorite little helper. Who was way more interested in standing on the step stool watching Christmas cartoons then helping Mom string lights.

Nikolas Christmas Tree 2

We still need to finish decorating the tree but for now Nik is content adding his own flair in the form of trucks and toys placed lovingly in the tree

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