Big Red Kitchen to Manderley 2014


There have been countless starts and stops in writing this post. I mean, how do I put down on paper that we just made the decision of a lifetime, one that even rivals the decision to marry or have children? Because once this decision is penned, all the  words spoken about it, hovering invisibly around us like little guesses, hopes, and dreams becomes instantaneously real, and tangible, and absolute.  Therefore it comes to this, simply blurting it out in the same way a teen would blurt out, “I wrecked the car!,” doing an about-face, and running from the room before anyone has time to react.


Manderley Cottage

Himself and I are selling Big Red Kitchen, our home not the company, and will be moving to Manderley Cottage this summer with our three children and 4 nocturnal-bark-their-heads-off-all-night wee pets. We are downsizing from a 4100 square foot, 5 bedroom contemporary home to our cozy and simple 1100 square foot, 1940 bungalow. We are downsizing our lifestyle from a traffic raged, politically charged, densely populated, high-stressed area to the tiny village of Colonial Williamsburg that ebbs and flows with tourists, William & Mary students,  and kindly Southern folk who call me Miss Robin.  We are taking a huge leap of faith, along with a few hundred risks to live out our Life Plan, our dreams, and our vision which has become…

Living the Simple, Generous, Active, and Relaxed life.

This is where I about-face and run.

If you would like to follow along on this journey with me, please follow me on…


  1. kelgirl105
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations Miss Robin! And best of luck on living your dream, I am sure it will be fantastic. 🙂

    On a selfish note, so glad to see you post again, I have been missing them!!!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

      Thank you! It feels good to be back!

  2. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Wow! Congratulations! Williamsburg is a beautiful place ~ I can’t imagine being there all the time. Have fun in that awesome living History Museum!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Donna, we are so excited, but I have so much to do to downsize into this little house. Weeeeeeee!

  3. Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Miss Robin…it feels good, doesn’t it, albeit a little scary? Good luck. Since you first mentioned Manderley Cottage, I have been more and more intrigued. Blessings to you all. Susan

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Susan! Yes it is scary and a ton of work has to be done along with several bazillion decisions. But we will get there, and once there, really enjoy a simpler life!

  4. Stephanie
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    I’m so excited for you all! May The Lord go before and prepare a way. May he bless you, protect you and guide you every step of the way!
    Williamsburg is one of our favorite destinations.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Stephanie! We covet your prayers!

  5. bobby
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations, Robin. Well planned change is always good and progressive. you are moving to our favourite city, Shelly was accepted in Willam and Marry it was very hard decision to make choice and let W&M go. Summer of 2014 seems like a moving season, we will be moving in few months to the another oldest city St. Augustine FL. I wish you all the happiness and success. stay blessed.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      Good luck to you Bobby, I will miss you. But we do have nice places to visit each other in now!!

  6. jenn in GA
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    you’ll never be sad you downsized because by doing so you’ll be making space in your life for things OUTSIDE your home! i do admit i sucked my breath in when i read that 9 beings will inhabit 1200 sq. ft., but if anyone can make it work, you can!

    i’m not on FB, instagram, or twitter, so i hope you’ll post about this journey HERE from time to time.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Jenn, it will be an adventure! Especially with the little pets who are in a cage but still take up space with their own special scent. Ugh! I will keep everyone posted here on BRK.

  7. Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    Huge decision — wishing you much good luck!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Joan!

  8. Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I love all parts of Virginia, but Williamsburg is one of my favorites – almost played field hockey there for college back in the day! Best wishes!! And how the hell am I not following you on Instagram?!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

      ME too! I just followed you tonight:) How do I miss these things?

  9. Posted May 19, 2014 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    God’s speed and blessings in your wonderful God adventure! Represent us Jersey Girls well down there!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

      Jersey Girl Power 1699 style;)

  10. Posted May 19, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    That’s awesome!!!! Great decision!!!!

  11. T.J. Holland
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    A Williamsburger at heart since my days at W&M, believe me, I understand the draw. Good for you for following that life-plan with your Beloveds. Godspeed and many blessings, but you’ll all be missed, and the neighborhood will be the poorer for your absence. Congratulations! (You may now come back into the room.)

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

      Thanks TJ! If you all ever get down to the ‘Burg, give us a call and pop in!

  12. Erin
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    How exciting! Congratulations to you and your family on making the decision to take this step, and good luck to you as you distill your lives down to the essentials. Do keep us posted on your progress.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 19, 2014 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

      We will keep you posted!

  13. Suellen Lee
    Posted May 19, 2014 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations! My daughter and her family have Down- sized twice in the last couple of years and what I’ve learned from their experience is that you really learn to prioritize everything! And being in such a beautiful place will be a great benefit! Blessings in your new adventure. Remember that God is already there, making the way for you and yours!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Suellen! It’s good to know God is helping us!

  14. Posted May 20, 2014 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    Good for you guys!! I honestly don’t know how anyone can survive in NOVA. Williamsburg is not exactly dead, but it definitely moves at a much slower pace than NOVA. The cottage is adorable! Are you familiar with the Assortment blog? The couple and their three boys are living in a cabin that’s 665 square feet. No, that’s not a typo. It might be worth checking out her blog if you’re not already familiar with it to get some inspiration on the downsizing and creating individual “retreat” spaces for family members while living in a small space.

    All the best for your next adventure, dear! xoxo,

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Shirley, I will have to check out that blog! And if you are ever in W’burg, do drop by!

  15. Posted May 20, 2014 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    Lucky you! (I too have been missing your posts.) 🙂 Enjoy!

  16. Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations! Yes, it’s a big leap of faith but worth it 🙂 We also made the decision to buy a smaller home and focus on simpler living. And oddly enough, we live in Williamsburg, too, after moving here from overseas in September 2013. There have been a few moments when I’ve wondered if we made the right decision, but God opened so many doors for us to be here that it’s pretty clear that this was where He was leading us. Hopefully you’ll have a smooth transition and will love it just as much as we do 🙂 All the best!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

      Jenny, I would love to meet you as you can show me a few pointers of living in the Burg!

    • Posted May 23, 2014 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

      Hey Robin – Sounds good 🙂 Just drop me an email once you’re here. I have 2 little boys and we’re always out on walks, visiting the library, or exploring CW especially now that the nice summer weather is here!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 23, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

      Great! I will:)

  17. Posted May 20, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS! How exciting. I adore that home – so jealous. 🙂

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Kelly! If you are ever in Williamsburg, you’ll have to stop by for a cuppa!

    • Posted May 22, 2014 at 1:19 PM | Permalink


  18. Sharon
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    I think this is AWESOME! From what I’ve learned about you from your blog, you do not make hasty decisions. I’m sure you reached this decision after much prayer, family discussions, and wise counsel. Less is more. It’s about appreciating what you do have, as you clearly demonstrate. Praying you would have great peace with your decision. Blessings, Sharon

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Sharon, I really could use plenty of prayer:)

  19. Posted May 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Oh, my. All I can do is cry. Very bitter but sweet.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

      Me too. Lots of tears

  20. Anita
    Posted June 12, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    I think that’s awesome! I’m jealous. I don’t live in a “traffic raged, politically charged, densely populated, high-stressed area” but I still dream of a quieter, simpler life. Good luck to you and yours.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Anita!

  21. Paula L.
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    You will be soooo happy. My husband and I sold our 5000 sq. ft. home in the mountains of Utah and moved to the gulf coast to live in a 1300 sq. ft. home. Best decision we ever made. Everyday we wake up and say how much we love our simple lives and that you really have way more stuff then you ever would need. Welcome to the world of downsizing! Yes, you’ll miss your BRK, but you will also love your new home. Good luck!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

      Thank you Paula, it takes some getting used to but we will get there! It’s nice to know others are ahead of us and lived to tell about it!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. All posts are moderated.


  • 10,080 Minutes - BRK Book The story of our dramatic lifestyle makeover and journey for living what matters.

    10,080 Minutes - Daniel and Robin Joss