Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Renovations Round II

This July it will be six years since starting renovations on our little house. That blows my mind. 6 years!

Anyways, about two years ago our air conditioner broke, it never worked that well to begin with, but it stopped working completely. We went out and bought a few window units and a few portable units and they did the job. We stayed cool in the 100+ degree heat. But it was loud and still often uncomfortable in our house. So this winter we decided we had had enough. We needed a new air conditioner. Around that same time we decided that we officially needed a second bathroom. With the kids getting older and morning routines getting longer, the one bathroom just wasn't cutting it any longer. We thought about adding on to the downstairs, but we settled on adding a bathroom/master suite upstairs.

This is what the current floor plan upstairs looks like:

And here is our vision for the new space:

I cannot tell you how excited I am to have my own bathroom, separate from the kids and any guests that come over. I am excited to fully utilize the space upstairs, which until now has just been a storage pile. And I am excited to get my washer and dryer out of my kitchen and into a space of its own. Let's just hope we can all survive the overwhelming amount of dust that has settled on every inch of our house.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Backyard: Before and After

I was going through my pictures, trying to get them organized, when I came across a picture of our backyard from the very beginning. Sometimes when projects take years you forget how far you've really come. The fact that the picture on the left was taken in winter and the other in spring adds to the dramatic effect, but still, major upgrade.

We have also done a few projects on the side of the house. We removed the chain link fence and built a wooden one. New concrete. Pea gravel. I can't tell you how nice it is to not have a dirt driveway any more, especially when it rains.

It's good to see these pictures side by side, even though we have been in this house for 4.5 years and still have so much to do, we have definitely made some serious progress.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Kitchen Update.

So, apparently 1 post a year is all I can handle. Good grief that is pathetic. But, when things move at a snails pace around here what do you expect. Let's get down to business shall we.

With Nick working out of town these days we have been trying to get in at least one good project when he is home. In December we decided to tackle the kitchen. Here is a before shot...way before...just to refresh your memory.

We gutted it, replaced some things and got it just functional enough. Then it sat for the past couple of years. Just. Like. This.

First thing on the list was cabinet doors. These were made by Nick and his dad and I can't tell you how nice it is to have everything closed off. We still need hardware and two of the doors were cut a bit short. But, it's getting there.

The island serves as our pantry and it is so nice and so frustrating, especially now that it's Amos' favorite place to play/tear apart. We are still mulling around with a few re-configurations to create an actual pantry and get the laundry out of the kitchen. But, it will probably be another couple of years before those come to fruition.

These open shelves were built by Nick and his dad and I am in love with them. LOVE. It's so nice to be able to reach up and grab a dish off the shelf, plus it's fun to decorate. We still plan on tiling the walls and replacing the light above the kitchen sink. Baby steps.

There are still so many things we want to do in this space, but for now it feels good to have a few things crossed off the list.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A few backyard projects thus far...

Oh how I wish projects around here could move along a lot quicker than they are. Unfortunately that is just not the case. As I try to come to terms with the fact that this house is one never ending project, I am here to report on the few we have finished.

First up the play set.
As Nick and I were debating what to get the kids for Christmas I threw out the idea to buy them a small slide or play house of some sort. You know the plastic Fisher Price variety. However Nick had much larger plans in mind, so he took that idea and ran with it. I have to admit it started to stress me out and whenever he would talk about it my eyes would glaze over. I tried to talk him out of it multiple times, but in the end he pulled it off and the kids and myself could not be more happy about it.


Next, the shed.
We poured the cement pad for this shed last May then shortly after Nick had me out in the backyard helping him stand up the walls and getting it ready for trusses. Then it sat. For 8 months. Not a single thing was done until last month when we finally stopped stalling and started doing. Within the next few weeks the trusses were up and the entire thing was sheet-ed with plywood. Soon the door was on. We even added an awning on the side to be able to work on future building projects out side. Now we need to lath(the process of putting paper and wire up before stucco), finish the roof with metal sheeting, add insulation and drywall to the interior and stucco the entire thing. We are so close and yet here it is almost an entire year later and it's still not done. Soon. Soon.


When I look around all I see are things that need to be done, it's frustrating. I really need to stop. Stop being so negative. I love this little house with all it's charm. The street we live on with all it's trees and wonderful neighbors. But, man it's exhausting fixing up a house.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

curly hair don't care.

 Recently I decided that I am too harsh on my hair. I have naturally curly hair and for a long time I was using a blow dryer and flat iron on it almost everyday. Finally I decided enough was enough, it was time to get back to my natural texture and be okay with it. Here's the thing about my hair, it's really curly, like crazy and unruly curly. So choosing the right products is a must. Up until about a month ago I had been trying out a few different curl creams only to be disappointed each time. Then one day I stumbled upon  "Not Your Mother's Kinky Curl Cream".

You guys this stuff has changed my life. Seriously. It gives my curls just enough definition and shine without weighing them down. Plus it smells amazing and you can find it at Walmart for under $5, doesn't get better than that.

First up in my curly hair routine: Shampoo and Conditioner. Now I just use the Tresemme Curl Hydration line and I have liked it fine so far. I have also heard rave reviews about Wen, but have yet to try it out. When I am putting conditioner in my hair I make sure to run my fingers through my hair thoroughly because I don't brush my hair again after that.

Once out of the shower I rub a dime size amount of Organix Moroccan Argan Oil on my hair from root to tip. I love this stuff, it's lightweight, smells good and doesn't leave my hands feeling greasy. I have noticed a huge difference in my hair since using it too.

Next I let my hair part naturally in the center and rub a quarter size amount of the NYM curl cream through my hair, scrunching as I go. Then I just let it air dry. Once it's dry I take a curling wand and touch-up a few of the pieces around my face and any other that didn't curl enough.

That's it easy peasy. Here's to embracing your natural hair.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The start of something new.

And by new I mean a project not a new house or anything like that. We have done absolutely nothing around here since September when we put our front lawn in. We had run out of money, time and energy to start anything new. But with the spring came a refinance and a bit of money saved up to get started on a whole new batch of projects around here. It just never ends.

This time around we are focusing on the back yard, a shed to be exact. While I would really rather spend the money finishing the kitchen, this is actually the most logical next step in this crazy process of our home re-model. Why is that you ask?
Well, because of this: massive tools in the office/catch-all room.

This: Which also happens to be one of the first things you see when you walk into the house.

And let's not forget this: just a bunch of random camping gear, food storage and such.

You see this house has zero storage space. No extra closets, no garage, no nothing. So we are creating a little space in the backyard to house not only a lawnmower and tools, but holiday decor, camping gear... well, you get the idea. Once all the extra crap is out of the house it might actually start feeling all cozy and organized instead of cluttered and dirty all the time. I can't wait.

Now on to the shed. First things first, a cement pad. We got her formed up pretty quickly one night and then instead of going the Quikrete bag route we brought the big guns in.

And boy was I happy about that, I don't think this back of mine could have handled another concrete session. We are blessed with great friends and family who are willing to lend a hand on some of the larger projects around here. The best part was that all I had to do was take a few photos and pick-up some breakfast.

The pour went super smooth and even included the cement truck performing a 3-point turn in the backyard. It was seriously impressive. Along with the shed pad, we also poured a sidewalk from the kitchen door to the backyard. We will eventually pour a back porch which the sidewalk will connect to. I'm pretty sure I have never posted a pic of our backyard and I am here to rectify that error. So without further ado....

I am standing in the driveway looking back. It's quite a large space and we can't wait to turn it into our own little oasis. The following are a few of the things on our ever growing to do list:

- pour a patio
- cut a hole in the wall for a back door
- build a pergola over the patio
- dig a hole for a trampoline
- fix the fence along the far right side
- plant lots of bushes and such along the back fence for privacy
- grass, grass, grass
- prune the trees
- edging of some sort
- gravel

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure there is a lot I've forgotten. Up next, framing the shed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

yard update: sod.

This post has been almost 7 months in the making, way back in March we decided to start working on our yard. So we tore up some cement, dug trenches for sprinklers, put in pipe for sprinklers, brought in more dirt, poured new cement on 1, 2 and 3 separate occasions, put in railroad ties, even more dirt, lots of shoveling and raking, put the sprinkler heads on and now finally it was time to lay some sod.

These 2 beautiful pallets were delivered yesterday morning around 8:30 a.m., then I had to sit and stare at them all day until Nick got off work. It was torture, but I figured I had waited 7 months, I could wait a few more hours. Finally it was time. We have some amazing neighbors who just showed up and started working, so grateful. Rick was here as well and Hayden and Archie made him work a little bit harder than everyone else.

Travis (the one on the right) knocked on my door at 4:30 and asked if he could get started, of course I said yes. He got to work spreading sod starter fertilizer and wetting down the dirt. Park(the one on the left, who happens to be in his 90's) walked over as well and just got right to work, he was very meticulous and put down a good portion of the sod for us. So grateful to live on a street with such incredible neighbors.

I'm not sure who was more excited me or the kids. I saw Archie rolling around in the grass at one point and Hayden kept telling me how excited and happy she was for our new grass. I think we are going to have some good times out there.

And now lets take a look back shall we... This picture was taken in the midst of cement removal and trench digging. I thought it would look this way forever.

And now the after........ I can't stop staring at it. I love it so much!

It is so nice to not be the eyesore on the street anymore. It's amazing the instant gratification laying sod brings. I can't wait to sit and relax on the grass this fall.