Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend recap

We had a great weekend!  It was pretty monumental in that we left Hadley with a non-family, non-friend babysitter for the first time!  I mean...the little girl that watched her is a friend :)  We did know her.  But she's a high school student, so it was one of "those" babysitting situations.  I was actually totally comfortable with it, mainly because I really trusted her.  We left Hadley with a sitter so that we could go out with Brad's family to dinner, and afterwards we hit up our favorite local live music bar for some drinks and dancing.  I didn't get any pictures unfortunately - seriously, will I EVER get better at that, I doubt it - but it was a super fun night.

Hadley's grandpa sent her a potty chair this last week!  It's a little too early for it but now that she's walking she loves to try and sit on things.  It's the cutest thing to watch her find random shelves/objects, turn herself around and try to fit her little butt on it :)


Proof she loves it!  And how cute are those little moccasin booties??

Sunday morning we had an "off" week at church (our church only meets every other Sunday, we attend small group meetings once a week) so the three of us went for a walk down to the coffee shop and then took Hadley to the park.  The weather here has been GORGEOUS lately - the sun is warm and the breeze is cool, so it's just about perfect.  As you can see, Hadley loves the swing -


Sunday afternoon I made a meal for some friends that just had a baby girl - I made a copy cat recipe of the Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi soup.  I told my friend that it's a "special occasion" soup because it's definitely NOT low-calorie!  But it has carrots and spinach in it so that makes it healthy, right ;)

Today I'm working on re-arranging Hadley's room.  We never had a crib bumper in her crib, and though I would now be totally fine with one, I really don't feel like spending money on one if we don't need it.  But anyway, because of not having a bumper she recently discovered the electric outlet right next to her crib.  It has cords plugged into it and after her nap I would come in to find her fan off because she had unplugged the cord.  Yeah, not a good situation, so for about a week I had a blanket tied around the slats so that she couldn't get to it, so today I'm moving her crib to a different wall.  I'm also moving our rocking armchair into her room, it had been in our room up until today and it was always a pain to have to take her out of the room to rock her if she woke up at night.  Her room is TEENY TINY so it's all going to be pretty crammed in there!

I'm looking forward to the week - the weather's supposed to be nice, I think we're going to go to a new play group and our poor little puppy is getting fixed.  I feel bad for him, but also hoping it calms him down some - we can only hope, the little guy is a ball of energy these days!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Home...With Pictures!

Last year I wrote about how we purchased a foreclosure in our downtown area for dirt cheap.  DIRT cheap.  It was actually pretty surprising how cheap we got the house for considering the shape it was in.  As far as "big" fixes, we put on a new roof and installed a new furnace.  All of the difference in the home was made in our little fixes, like painting the kitchen cabinets, installing new kitchen and bathroom floors, opening up a bar area in the kitchen, wrapping the existing (ugly) beams in the living room, and so on.  Oh, and paint on literally every.single.surface and trim piece.  To be honest I missed out on a lot of the work that was involved because we had a newborn during that time, so I really have to hand ALL of the credit for this beautiful home to my husband.  He worked so tirelessly and so hard to make it exactly what we wanted.



So this is the outside when we had just purchased it.  We actually painted the trim in this picture, I think prior to us moving in it was a hunter green color.  Here is the finished house today:


We added a window box to the front window and did a little bit of landscaping.  Otherwise, we didn't do much besides put on the new roof.

Onto the inside!




Sorry for the bad photos, they're all from my phone.  But anyway, the picture above is the view from the front door - it looked into the foyer (not sure what else to call this little room at the front??) and the below picture is the living room.

Here it is now:


First, Brad opened up the wall that divided the living room from the kitchen.  It suddenly made the house seem much larger!  He built a "bar" type area and added paneling to give it its own separation (really did it just to cover up some holes from something, but it looks good!)  Here is an "in process" photo:


And here's an "After" photo of this bar:


We debated staining the big beams around the bar but ended up painting them white as we really wanted the ceiling beams to "pop."  Sorry for the clutter on the counter top, I had just had a Bible study at my house (which is why it was clean enough to photograph, haha).  As far as the ceiling beams, in the "Before" and "In Process" pictures you can see that they were pre-existing, but they looked as though the prior owners had just slapped up three boards and called it a day.  So what Brad did was "wrap" them (which is a pretty common technique in building, I think?).  He took better quality wood and ran them through some machine that roughs them up, and then attached them to the existing boards, then stained them.  We also took the cheap white wall paneling that you can buy at any home improvement store and put it on the ceiling.  Not sure if it's too obvious in the photos but it's very noticeable in person.  

Okay, onto the foyer!  We didn't get any great "Before" photos of cause it wasn't really much to photograph. We also didn't do much in this room, it just got a new light fixture added (the barn light below) and also a good coat of paint :)  I am starting to think about how I want to decorate the desk nook, I love the simplicity of the barn light against the stark wall but I'm also thinking that some pictures or something below it would look nice?  Not sure.  



And my favorite, beloved room in the whole house - the kitchen!  Here's the "Before":


This is Brad's uncle, checking out the house with us :)  Also the only "Before" picture I have, sorry it's so dark!  But as you can see, it was just a dark ugly room.  The cabinetry is nothing special at all, though it's fairly decent quality.  They also had the walls painted a hideous green color that made the room feel claustrophobic.

Here's the "After":


As you can see, we did a lot in this room.  We put in new flooring, painted all the cabinetry, added new hardware, all new appliances and kitchen sink, added subway tiling and wood countertops.

Brad also built a pseudo-exhaust box (what are those called?!?) over the stove and a pantry.  We also added beadboard trim onto the edges of the cabinets.




There was also kind of an odd area at the back of the kitchen, kind of like a breakfast nook.  You can see it in the "Before" picture of the kitchen.  Here is an "In Process" photo below -


What we did here was to add storage benches since the house only came with one closet (drives me nuts).  Brad was working on them in this photo.  There was also a big heater you can see in the right corner of the picture, our fridge is in that spot now.

Here's an "After" photo of this room -


Nothing special, but it definitely helps this tiny house to feel a little bigger!  I also want to add some kind of shade to these windows...just haven't done it yet ;)

Okay, the bathroom.  Here's the "Before" -


So ugly.  So, so ugly.  The ceiling was collapsing, by the way.

Here's the "After" -


Don't mind my diaper sprayer there, ha.  In this room we did new flooring and added wainscoting with a deeper chair-railing trim.  We painted the entire room as well as the existing vanity and did a white basic vanity counter.  Here's a better photo of it -


We added a new light fixture that we bought for $20 at Menards and painted black - and as you can see, have yet to fix the big hole in the wall.  My "fix" idea was to build a bigger mirror frame to cover it up but it's a tricky spot due to the light being right there.  Anyway!  We also put in a small row of large subway tile above the vanity to cover up some holes, but I think it adds to it.


And one last shot of the bathroom.  We also tiled the back wall with the large subway tile, as well as the inside ceiling of the shower.

Alright, that's it! I didn't show the bedrooms because ours is still a work in progress, decor-wise, and I've already got pictures of Hadley's room somewhere, I just have to find them, haha.  One of these days!

 We love this house so much and honestly, it's easy to be content when you're in a home that has been crafted to reflect exactly who you are and the things you love.  I could stay here forever - except that we bought it as an investment property and it would never hold more than the 3 of us, plus the dog!  At this point we're planning to live here for another year and ideally sell it in order to do another "flip" - but who knows with the housing market turning around!

Hope you've enjoyed it!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Goodbye Summer...

Around these parts....summer has officially said ended, even though the calendar says it doesn't end for another few weeks.  The weather has actually been really beautiful lately - cool in the mornings and warming up to a nice mid-70's temp by late afternoon.  In some ways it's always sad to see summer go - mainly because I know what I'm facing in the loooong months ahead - but I'm always SO excited to see fall get here!

Anyway, we had a great Labor Day weekend.  On Saturday I spent the morning freezing sweet corn.  It was pretty easy - shuck, boil, blanch and cut (scrape?).  I only did two dozen, I didn't have a huge boiling pot so I had to do them 5 ears at a time.  But I ended up getting 8 bags of corn out of it, so I was happy with it.






While I was working on the corn Brad was out putting up our privacy fence - pictures of that when it's done!  (Which could be a while, ha).  After we wrapped those projects up we headed out to our favorite Resort beach!



I've spent quite a bit of time out here this summer.  The lodge has a super fun bar that always brings in really good bands, and one of the best things about this place is that they don't run just for the tourists but for the locals.  So many places up here just shut down in the winter, or do all of their fun stuff in the summers when the tourists are up.  This resort brings in bands every single weekend all year long.  But anyway, they have a great beach with a playground and volleyball net right next to it so they're always something to do.  We went out there with Brad's family on Saturday and had a great time just catching up, having a drink or two and getting some last-minute sun!



Hadley had a blast playing in her diaper, ha.  Yes, I am definitely that mom that lets her child run in a diaper at a beach :)  Much easier to clean up that way!  I also managed to get a makeup-free picture with Brad.  Don't judge.  I have to take what I get!

Monday was pretty uneventful - Brad worked on the fence some more (which included hacking at a gas line he didn't know was there, thankfully it turned out to be an old line...which we discovered after the emergency gas guy had to come out on Labor Day. Oops), I dealt with Hadley's...bathroom...crisis of the year.  Let's just say that she usually gets lots of fruit and fiber to balance the milk and the last few days she hadn't been getting as much fiber, but just as much milk.  It was actually heart-wrenching listening to her scream in anguish at trying to push out what must've felt like a watermelon.  It was a good lesson for Momma - I've got lots of fruit on hand along with prune juice as a backup!

We're taking it easy this week as we have another busy weekend coming up.  Happy Wednesday!