Friday, October 29, 2010


Today we’re headed to Kentucky. KY is our most frequented vacation spot. Why? you ask?

Remember them?
Chris and Sarah Clark.  They’re why.

 And Jansen too.

I have lost count as to how many times we have visited Kentucky. Sarah probably knows; she’s good at numbers.

Chris…more commonly known, just as Clark. Is basically our travel agent. Check out the itinerary he sent us. (this is something we can come to expect from Clark every time we visit. He usually gets quite excited and starts planning the itinerary a month before the visit. We like it that way.)

Friday 10/29
deRoo’s arrive.
7:00pm Clark-deRoo Oktoberfest!
-Dinner, drinks, tricks, treats, and crafts

Saturday 10/30
7:00am Clark’s café opens.
-Special of the month: Country biscuits and gravy.
10:30am Depart for Lexington
11:30pm ZAX ATTACK
12:30pm Keenland.
4:00pm Need to be at home to prepare for Halloween.
5:00pm Hogge family arrives for BBQ, drinks, and pre-game trick or treating.
6:00pm Trick or Treating officially starts
7:00pm Kentucky vs Miss.State ESPNU
8:00pm Michigan vs. Penn State ESPN
8:00pm Ohio State vs. Minnesota ABC

Sunday 10/31
8:00am Clark’s café’ opens.
-Sunday Special: Flapjacks and Bacon
9:30am Taylor/Chris depart for Arlington. (10:10 tee-time with Brian and Brother)
9:30am Gilmore Girls and craft for the girls and Jansen.
2:30pm Home from Arlington.
5:00pm Giovanni’s Pizza (take out) or Casa Café’ (dine in)

Monday 11/1
6:00am Clark’s café opens.
-deRoo’s pack car to depart then realize they are staying another day.

Here are a few sneak peaks of Keenland.  Put it on your list of things to do.  It's beautiful. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

100 years old and she still looks great!

me, T, Gonz, VD, & Rach
(a small showing from the class of 2004)

Last weekend I ventured back to campus for the Hope College Homecoming festivities. You see, this was a special year for me and my sisters in blue because Delta Phi celebrated her 100th birthday!! We are so.very.grateful for our beloved sorority where we learned important life skills like love and loyalty, how to accessorize a navy blue suit, booklore and wisdom not found in books, the proper use for a backpack, the importance of calisthenics, all forms of social activity that truly enrich the lives of those who participate, how to handle a canoe and STRONG ENTHUSIASM!

T, Gonz, me, VD & Rach.

We were well-rounded girls who knew our way around a Toolshed and the Country Club.

We celebrated the beginning of the weekend with a very special tribute to four o’clock on Fridays and were especially fond of the colors Lincoln Green and Pearl White.

Delphis somehow were immune to the rule that navy and black don’t match. On any given day you could find 93% of Delphis sporting a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black boots. We were so.very.stylish.

There were times when we may have thought that perhaps Delphi wouldn’t make it; that something tarnished her reputation beyond repair. But we should have known better. Delphi = strength and unity and tradition and she’s not going anywhere. So here’s a toast to the Delphis young and old!

(And I want to give a shout out to the Delphis of the 80’s. Thanks for being BIG and inventing everything cool.) Oh brother. :)

Congratulations Delphi! You’re still as hot as ever!

**Disclaimer. The Delta Phi Sorority is a local sorority found on the campus of Hope College and is not affiliated with any national greek organizations. What does this mean? Well, basically our rules are different (better) and our bond is stronger (also better.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

couch potato.

I take couch shopping very seriously. Must be because I have inherited the couch potato gene from both my parents. That’s right; they got me from both sides. There’s no escaping it. Thanks mom and dad. Some might not think this is a big deal, but you see, Taylor is not a couch potato. In fact, if you lined up every single person in this world and rank them by the degree in which they are a couch potato, Taylor would be at the very end of the line.

(Many a days I try my best to fight back against my natural couch potato syndrome. Taylor loves me best on these days. But some days I just give in….usually when there is a Law and Order marathon on TNT or something.)

But anyway, this isn’t about me and my bad habits. It’s actually about my couch.

Taylor and I found this couch:

at East Town Antiques in Grand Rapids back in January 2009 right after we started our house remodel project.  Immediately we liked the shape and scale.  We knew we needed a petite couch because the rooms of our 1865 downtown farmhouse are quite small.  We liked the idea of having this lonely girl reupholstered and turn her into something that reflects us; something that could set the tone for our house and that could be a conversation piece.  So, we tested the cushions (she was solid but not cozy), picked out some fabric (this took forever) and brought her home to east central.  (ahh.)

This couch in this position served us well for just over a year. But…realistically, we decided that our living room couch needed to be something that could withstand two dirty Airedales, smeared mascara from my Sunday afternoon naps, the clumsiness of Taylor’s football-watching man-friends, and the sticky fingers and drool from the mini downtown farm children that will someday inhabit our downtown farmhouse.

So, to preserve the custom couch that we spent so much effort on (I know I summed it up pretty quickly above but it actually took a lot of energy) and to regain comfort in our living room….we played a little game of switcharoo.  The funky orange antique couch got bumped to the "parlor" where she will only be used by fancy ladies drinking english tea (in other words, never.) and we found a more durable player to take one for the team in our living room...

Meet Ikea’s Ektorp Sofa. Svanby gray.
Decently comfortable. (more comfortable than our antique couch but I wouldn’t say she’s the most comfortable couch I have ever sat on. But let’s be honest, comfort is not our style.)
Love the color… and
L.O.V.E. the scale.

And now all is right with the world.  Bring on the naps!

BTW...for those of you who are new to the world of blogging and are only reading my blog to support me (thank you, keep on keeping on.) anyway, you may not be familiar with link parties!  This is when a blogger invites other bloggers to post a relevant picture and link to their own blog.  I am sure it happens in all types of blogs but I see it most in craft and home decor blogs.  (my fave.)  For instance, I just partied by heart out at Primitive and Proper's Link Party.  (Thanks for the invitation!)  The theme was furniture remodels -- I posted a link of the antique couch that you all just met.  Now all of the blog stalkers from Primitive and Proper get to meet my couch.  It's a great way to swap ideas!!  I am not advanced enough to host my own link party yet (plus I don't have enough followers yet.)  Maybe someday.

Linked to:
House of Hepworths
miss mustard seed

Monday, October 25, 2010

who wants to be a millionaire?

Remember the millionaire bars that I talked about here?  Remember how I told you the recipe was given to me by my friend Beth and how Google didn't seem to have the right recipe?  Well, I thought I'd better hook you up with the good stuff before you make Google's version and get the wrong idea.

Millionaire Bars


1 package of mini marshmallows
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 cup peanut butter plus 2 TBS. divided
1.5 cups chocolate chips
1 cup peanuts
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups rice krispies
1 package of butterscotch chips


Place marshmallows, butter, 1 cup peanut butter, and chocolate chips in a large bowl that has been lightly sprayed with pam. Heat in microwave for 2.5 minutes. Stir until smooth and mix in peanuts, oats and cereal until incorporated (work quickly as marshmallows will begin to set up quickly making it difficult to mix). Spray a 9x13 pan and spread mix in pan. (Spraying your hands with Pam before pressing in 9x13 will be easier). Place butterscotch chips and 2 TBS of peanut butter in dish and microwave on high for 90 seconds. Mix and spread over bars. Cool until firm in fridge or room temp. Enjoy!

P.S. I forgot the peanuts once on accident.  Another time I added coconut to the very top.  Both were delicious.  You really can't screw these up.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the language inside a downtown farmhouse {part 1}

Ok, we’re getting personal. Are you ready? We’re all friends here, right?

I thought I would provide for you with a glossary of terms that may pop up in my blog from time to time. Otherwise known as nairisms. Wondering what a naire is? Some of you already know, but I haven’t quite decided if I will tell the rest of you or not. But bear with me….maybe I will come around. For now just understand that a nairism is the same thing as a deRooism (but for the Taylor and Abby branch of the deRoo family tree only. Not that we are shunning the other branches (or other DeRoo trees that aren’t part of our forest: Amy DeRoo, that’s you!)…actually I was only being super specific to shield our other deRoo family members from embarrassment, since this has nothing to do with them.)

Ok, let’s get started.

Scoop ya.
Definition: pick you up.
Used in a sentence: “I will plan to scoop ya for lunch today.”

Boogie Woog.
Definition: Let’s go.
Used in a sentence: Clark: “We have a tee time at Battlefield in 10 minutes.” Taylor: “Well, let’s boogie woog!”

Scrum de la scrum.
Abbreviations: Srum Money. Scrum.
Definition: #1. delicious. #2. eat.
Used in a sentence: Taylor: “Abby, your pumpkin roll cake was scrum.” Or “What do you want to scrum on for lunch?”

Oh B.
Definition: Oh Brother.
Used in a sentence: just say this phrase in combination with anything that deserves an eye roll:  Abby: “I’ve got really good news! Anthropologie is moving into Breton Village!” Taylor: “Oh B.”

Busters. Busties. Busterballs. Bballs. Bballers. Busterloves.
Definition: York and Finn.
Used in a sentence: “I am going to take those busters to the field when I get home.” or “How did those bballers do at the vet?”

Definition: Kissing.
Used in a sentence: “Finn, you’re so sweet, thank you for that smoochfest!”

D Queen.
Definition: Drama Queen.
Used in a sentence: (one of the dogs lets out a big sigh as he plops down on the floor) “York, stop being such a D Queen!"

Definition: Pizza. Obviously.
Used in a sentence: “Should we have some za tonight?"

Definition: Ice Cream. Obviously.
Used in a sentence: “Want to have some scream with me?”

 Here are some visuals:

Taylor just scrummed on his dinner.



 Two tired busties.

Taylor and Clark on a ceramic horse.  Oh B.

Taylor being a weirdo.  An even bigger OH B!

York being a D Queen.

York hiding in the bathtub and being a D Queen again.  Oh B!  That buster!
See how I did that?  (above)  I wanted to show you how you can combine several nairisms into a single phrase.

So, that’s enough for today. I think I will hold off on telling you the story behind naire. It’s kind of a lot to handle and I just don’t think we’re quite there yet, you and me. It’s just too soon.

But at least now you know how to translate some of the language that goes on inside our downtown farmhouse. Please stay up to speed; I was getting a little tired of censoring my blog. thank you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

halloween party for grown ups.

Want to throw a little pre-game Halloween Party for the big kids in your life? Read on..

All it takes is:

A handful of thirsty neighbors.

An Extra-Scary Bloody Mary Buffet. (actually it’s only extra scary for the hostess who is trying to disguise her anxiety attack hoping nobody spills tomato juice all over her new couch!)

Spicy Shredded ‘don’t-be-a-chicken’ BBQ Sliders. (basically pulled pork sandwiches. 84 pork, add chicken.)

A Haunted Tower of Millionaire Bars. combine every delicious ingredient you have ever had in a bar…and you’ve got yourself a Millionaire Bar: rice krispies, oats, peanut butter, chocolate, marshmallows, butterscotch, peanuts, coconut. Oh my! Thanks for the recipe, Beth! (BTW, the glass cover on my cake plate rattles when you open and close it…hence the “haunted” part.)


A Basket of Treats for Tricks.  Now this is pretty cute, if I am allowed to say so myself. I have this adorable long wire basket that I filled with mason jars (one of my obsessions.) Each jar was filled with old fashioned Halloween candy & fall colored treats: candy corn, little pumpkins, black licorice, Reeses Pieces and Milkduds.   (I didn't actually make anyone do tricks but I did write "trick or treat" on a little chalkboard tile.)

Ok, I know the Halloween Theme is a bit of a stretch since I just made up all of those food titles about 3 minutes ago.  This Halloween Party Tutorial is a little make-shift because I didn’t actually host a Halloween Party.  I hosted a Pumpkinfest Parade tailgate (inside my house) Party.  Just a spur of the moment little way for my neighbors to enjoy  some yummy fall flavors while watching Zeeland’s annual Pumpkinfest Parade (which marches right past our house.)  Well, the girls & kids watched the parade.  The boys watched football on TV.


You see, I have to admit that I am not really a fan of Halloween. Not yet anyway. No kids = I can still get away with being a Halloween Scrooge. Taylor and I actually have a little tradition where we skip town for Halloween. First of all, we’re not into costume parties. And our other option is to stay home and hand out candy but I can only imagine how much of a hassle it would be to restrain two overly friendly airedales from personally greeting the 2,884,749,091 trick-or-treaters that climb their way up and down Central Avenue. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

So, instead we just ship the dogs off to The Dog House Resort, pack our bags and cruise control our way down to the bluegrass state to see some of our favorite people.

chris and sarah clark.

and now this little guy too….jansen clark. so.very.precious.
Moral of the story: the menu is perfect for any fall party...only it’s been 3 weeks since I took these pictures so I tried fake you out like it was a good idea for Halloween.  That’s all.

p.s. i just tried to get you a link to the recipe for millionaire bars but it seems google's version and my version are quite different.  ignore google and i will post my recipe soon!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a ruffle what?

have you ever heard of a ruffaletta?  me neither.  but my most very talented facebook friend, dawn joldersma introduced me to it on her blog.  it's basically right up my alley.  i am a big fan of anything with ruffles.  especially when they are plastered all over my clothes.  honest.  in fact, dawn was so kind as to call me out in her blog just so i wouldn't miss this fabulous new fashion concept. 

thanks dawn, it's breathtaking.  however, i can't sew.  but here's an could make me one and mail it to me at my downtown farmhouse.  i could take pictures of myself wearing it and post it on my blog for all 11 of my readers to see!  then you could link to it on your blog so all 4 of your readers can see!  together we could show the world!!

you see, i am trying to grow my blog and that means increase the number of followers.  so, dawn we could go on this reader-gathering-mission together.  but maybe it won't work because we would just be swapping readers back and forth and not actually venturing out into the greater blogmosphere.  hmm...maybe we need a new strategy. 

here's the thing people, i have been decently diligent about blogging over the past week-ish.  have you been enjoying my chatter?  i get my motivation from my people (yes, you.) and if you want me to keep blogging about the nonsense in my life that i find important...than subscribe to my blog so i know you care.  remember how i said my hobbies have the tendency to go in phases?  well, this little phase is likely to fizzle right out if no one follows my blog. 

consider this your friendly warning. 

read dawn's closet theory fashion blog here

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

for marcus

it was pointed out to me that i left marcus out of my post yesterday.  marcus is megan's boyfriend.  and he is #1 in my book.  (well, probably actually #1.5 because taylor is #1 in my book...but you get my point.)  marcus stayed in all weekend to entertain us girls and put up with our crafting--tv watching--junk food eating--beyonce drooling--gossiping bad habits all weekend!  he was a really good sport because we were probably really annoying.  marcus even crafted with us.  he helped us prep a whole bunch of projects.  he was basically the crafting version of a sous chef.

i wish i could introduce you to marcus but i really was a deadbeat photographer this weekend so i don't have any great pictures to share.  so here is the only picture i took of marcus.

(do you like the clock collage?  i have nominated myself as megan & marcus' decorator and i ordered them to hang those clocks.  i am a bossy decorator.  marcus calls me Dear Genevieve (not implying that she is bossy...but just that she is a decorator.)  the clocks were one of our projects the trip before last.  i will show you our other projects from megan & marcus' townhouse makeover another time.)

oh wait, i just found these stored on my computer.  here is a better picture so you can meet marcus. 
(it's 4 years old, taken at my wedding.)

megan & marcus.  beautiful couple.

i love these people!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stella and Dot wannabe weekend in Chicagoland

I spent this past weekend in Chicagoland with my friends Megan, Bethany & Emily.  (We can paint this Chicagoland weekend as glamorous as you'd like...but actually when I say "Chicagoland" I really mean Huntley...a burb west of the City.  We spent the weekend at Megan's townhouse, visiting, shopping, watching a dvr concert of Beyonce, eating Hot & Ready pizzas, complaining about Sister Wives, and crafting in our sweatpants.  Fancy, I know.)

I wanted to show you the results of one of our crafts.  We were all quite fond of the look of this lovely Stella and Dot necklace -- but due to budget constraints, otherwise known as Dave Ramsey, we could not afford the originals.  So we took matters into our own hands and crafted a new version of these beaded beauties.


Thanks to the generous bead supply at JoAnn's & Michael's, some handy 50% off one item coupons, and some coordinating ribbon, we managed to update our jewelry collection for less than $9 a necklace (and that's talking full price...if you're thrifty enough to use a coupon, you can shave a few extra pennies off!)  We made both coral and turquoise necklaces.  I would love a cute mustardy yellow one...but I couldn't find any beads the right color.


I actually swapped out my choice of ribbon after I took these pictures.  I ended up using something a bit thicker and sheer so the beads would stay put when I untie the necklace to put it around my neck.  I will try to post an updated picture soon. 

*note: we did not fill our entire ribbon with beads like Stella and Dot does...
# 1. I thought that would be a bit heavy on my neck.
# 2. We were crafting on a budget and more beads equals more money.

Stella's necklace is likely more impressive but we were perfectly happy with our results!  The other girls made bracelets too. (I didn't.  I stuck to necklaces.)
One more thing....Sunday I rushed back for a deRoo dinner with my inlaws. Ingrid, my super-fab sister-in-law who is an amazing chef made this:

Oh my, it was amazing.  And I am not just saying that because the only thing I had eaten all weekend was salt infused fast food covered in grease-- this dish was seriously so good.  Ingrid thought it was good too but not something she would make all the time, but seriously, Taylor and I devoured it.  We would eat it every day! You should try it!  Ingrid hasn't blogged about it yet, but I think she should!  :)   It's Looking Like a Beautiful Day.

Linked to:

Blue Cricket Design
House of Hepworths
katies nesting spot

Friday, October 15, 2010

you found this at Meijer....really?

who knew? 

I was killing some time the other week at the grocery store and stumbled across Katie Brown's new line.  I didn't really know Katie Brown but I remembered my friend Shawna wearing a cute pair of gardening gloves that she said were Katie Brown brand and that she got them at Meijer.  So I was intrigued.  As I looked around I saw all sorts of cute things that I wanted!!  I was so excited to find such cute items at Meijer, right in my own backyard.  (isn't that part of their marketing campaign?)  Meijer isn't really in my backyard.  That would be horrible.  But you get my point.  Anyway, I resisted buying anything that day, but last weekend when I was in Mt. Pleasant visiting my family, my mom, Aunt Suzy and I were grocery shopping and I just had to show them the Katie Brown line that I had stumbled upon the week earlier.  We all thought it was pretty great and pretty affordable, and then, just like that, I a little red clearance sticker caught my eye.  Ah ha, looky here, what I found for $11.98!!  A dark wooden pedestal. 

So, here's the thing, cake plates and I are pretty much best friends.  I have a little collection of, well, like 8 or so...and growing.  They're all glass, clear, white or robbin's egg blue...and I have been wanting some that are pewter and dark wood.  So when I saw this one and saw that it was on sale...I knew that it would be coming home with me.  (I rarely make cakes so my cake plates get used primarily for display on my shelves...and secondly to serve hors d'oeuvres and other cute little nibblers when I  have company.)

Meet Katie Brown. I don't know her real well yet but now that I know about her I plan to stalk her product line at Meijer.  I hear she has a TV show.  I don't know if I can commit to watching it...(my DVR is already booked and I am not sure I am comfortable cheating on my relationship with Law & Order yet.)  But I do plan to get better acquainted with Katie soon.  I just love her Kitchen & Dining Orchard Collection.

Here's the Orchard Glass Dome & Wood Pedestal that I bought.  (I only bought the pedestal.  the dome is cute but not quite my style.)  It came in 2 or 3 different sizes.  I bought it on clearance for $11.98.  Score!

 And this cute little number is on my wish list. 

It's a pretty massive bowl...I am not exactly sure what I would do with it, except keep it on a shelf.  (I have a tendency to shop for my shelves rather than shopping for function.)  But I just love the cut out handles!  I am also waiting for it to go on sale.  Even though it is only $24.99 I am trying to be less of an impulse shopper and be more price conscious and would like to hold out for a good deal.  (thanks a lot, Zeeland.)  My husband is so proud and my mom must be so ashamed!  (my mom is the kind of customer that retailers like...the kind that shops for quality and style and doesn't mind paying full price when she finds the perfect item...whereas my husband (and without over generalizing tooooo much) along with a few other west michiganders, shops for bargains, period.  No matter the quality or style.  If it has a sale sticker on it it must be a good deal (whether you need it...or even like it or not!)  I hope to be a balance between the two shopping philosophies.  Usually it depends on the store I am in.  I am proud to say that I have gotten pretty good and saying "No" when I don't need to buy something.  Did I need the wooden pedestal.  Well, no, not really.  So maybe need is the wrong word.  More like, I have gotten good at saying no to something if I don't have a spot for it in my house.  I don't like clutter and I don't like junk (whether it's homegoods, bulk size groceries, clothes that I never wear or whathaveyou..if it's not going to get used or doesn't have a spot to be stored/ will not be allowed in the house.)  This is my best attempt to not become a pack rat. cute big bowl, you...I am not sure if we will ever be together.  First I must find a spot for you.

This one I really don't need, but I still wanted to show you how cute it was...just in case you might need it! :)  Becky...if you're reading...I think this has your name all over it!

This wooden baby is another piece on my wish list.  This is also a future shelf item for my home.  I like wooden bowls -- a primitive touch, learned from my MIL, who actually has given me a few beautiful antique wooden bread and dough bowls.  Love them.  Thanks Rox!

You can kind of see my huge wooden antique dough bowl, from Rox, on the kitchen island.  It is filled with white pumpkins in this picture.  I generally keep fruit or seasonal naturals in it. It's one of my favorite antiques! 

But...back to the Katie Brown bowl, let's get one thing straight...I am in no way opposed to faux antiques...or reproductions. I shop for the overall look, not the overall value. So although the Katie Brown bowl is not an antique I am pretty much convinced it would compliment my other wood bowls nicely.

Good job, Meijer.  Good job.