Saturday, June 4, 2011

What I've been doing

Ryan's Office!

The company my husband works for recently closed their local office. They offered us a relocation package and things for their Fremont, California office, which we declined after much thought and prayer. Then they offered him an opportunity to work from home. We were hesitant but so far we are really liking it!

We will definitely like it more when he has a finished office. Right now he is working in the family room in the basement. It is so hard for him to focus and not be too interrupted. It is the kids family room/playroom so it has been hard, for everybody!

But he should be moving into his finished office really soon! I need to do some caulking & painting and then he is a go!



We have never done any project like this. No clue how to hang drywall or anything. We had a good friend give up some Saturdays to help Ryan do the electrical, hang drywall, tape, mud and all that fun stuff.

Then Ryan and I textured the ceiling and primed the room (Thanks for the ceiling texture how-to, You Tube!). Then we laid a wood floor (probably my favorite part of the room!).

Then my friend came over and helped us get started on trim. She taught us a few of her tricks and we were off and running! We had all the trim done in an evening.

Should be done really soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Break

It is cold. It is not as cold as Winter Break, but it is not as warm as Spring Break should be. I wish we were going somewhere very warm and tropical, I would even settled for hot and sweaty and not tropical at all, but alas we are here. Where it is still not awesome weather. It is better than it was a few weeks ago, but not great.

So we spent the first few days of Spring Break playing a lot of Halo and Angry Birds. After my bum was falling asleep from all the unproductive sitting (Unless you consider achieving a new rank on my Halo game productive...) I decided we needed to make a plan.

So we sat down and thought of all the things we would like to try to do for Spring Break. We make a similar list for Summer time and the kids always love it. I could have made it cute and crafty, but that didn't make the list.

Hope you have a great week! From the looks of our list, I think I will.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jobs I will leave to the Professionals.

I am a Do-it-yourself-er, that is for certain. But there are a few jobs that although I can do myself, I likely won't ever again.

Like, moving. When we made our move from Arizona to Utah (on freezing cold springy days like today I am questioning said move...) the company that hired Ryan spoiled us rotten in our move. I am not sure I can ever move again unless some company is footing the bill.

Last spring when Ryan crashed his bike, my plate was full. He had a very broken clavicle, among other things, and so mowing the lawn got bumped right off my list and a new line appeared in the budget titled "Landscaper".

This leads me to my current DIY job. The one I have learned I am completely capable of, I just don't wanna. We started construction on the last unfinished room in our house. It is in the basement and will soon be Ryan's Home Office. I have always wanted to learn how to finish a room. I learned how to hang drywall. I learned how to tape drywall. I learned how to mud drywall. I learned how to sand drywall. Mud again. Sand again. Mud again. Sand again.

Just because I learned how doesn't mean I will do it ever again. It isn't a fun DIY job, in my opinion. It is messy. My back is sore. My hair looks gray all the time from all the dust. I have a suspicious looking white powdery dust in my nose at all times, I have a layer of dust all over my house. And I just plain old do not like the job.

I have learned how to do it. And now I have learned that next time I will hire someone to do this part. Hopefully very soon I will post pictures of a finished office.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

According to my 5 year old, this kitchen make-over was EPIC

Just to recap:

I decided to redo my kitchen. I had the "No surface gets left behind" philosophy.

The Cabinets: Structurally okay. The previous owner (who thought he'd update and flip) slapped some stain on. No sanding or other prep work. Okay from a distance, hideous up close. Painted them a very close to white cream.

The Countertops: Concrete. The "Flipper" did them himself and did a HORRIBLE job. Theisland is bowed, they are cracked and awful. I filled in cracks with Magic Putty and it worked fabulously. I sanded, primed, primed, stained, stained, stained, stained, stained and applied a wet finish top coat. I love the look. But the countertops are still crappy concrete. Eventually they must be replaced but these will give us more time.

The Hardware: The cabinets had handles. They were fine for me. The hinges, because they were double overlay or something like that, needed to be special ordered. The hinges alone would have cost more to order then my entire kitchen make-over cost me. So I spray painted them with the oil rubber bronze. They have peeled a little where they open, but it isn't terribly noticeable. They'll be fine for now.

The Backsplash: This is EASILY my absolute favorite detail in the kitchen. It was also EASILY the most tedious part. I hand painted each and every little tile. It required patience (I am impatient) and a lot of time. But it was so worth it. It is definitely the part of the kitchen that makes it very unique and fabulous to me.

The Table: I restained the table. The chairs and table were bought separately and never matched. Turned out to be a horrible project. A nightmare. But I did not want to paint it, I wanted to have some natural wood left in the kitchen. The chairs were already black with a wood seat. I just painted the seat part. I love it. I should have taken the vinyl off for the pictures, but I was lazy. Forgive me? I always said I would never do vinyl on my table. Until my 5 kids destroyed it so easily. So vinyl it is.

A new light fixture, a few new decorations, a curtain. And Voila. It is love.

Let me also recap: This took a LONG time. I did one section and then put my life back together for a few weeks. Then repeated. During the time I was doing this we took several vacations, My husband had a bike crash that required 2 surgeries, months apart, and normal life. I knew it would take a long time. I planned about 9 months, pre-bike crash. I wasn't in a hurry because I didn't want to completely disrupt my family. It took about 10 months. There were several weeks (sometimes even 3 months at a time) that the kitchen went untouch. Specifically during the broken clavicle and post-op times. So technically it didn't take too long, but still.

I spent about $350 total. That included a few new tools. Seriously BARGAIN make-over.

Oh, wait. You wanted pictures???


But, for the record, I have told you before I am NO photographer. I wish I was, but alas, not a gift of mine...


Not horrible in a picture... from a good distance...

The Countertop before we bought:


Bad Photo, taken right after I finished this section, but I forgot to get one from this angle..

Even the old calendar holder thingy got a makeover... cutest bread holder, tray thing-a-ma-jig I've ever had.

This is a bad photo, but it is what you see when you walk from the entry/living room into my Family room/kitchen area. Do you see that? Do you see how bright and cheery and welcoming it looks? I love it it really is so bright and open. The kitchen looks bigger and more comfortable. Which is my goal in my home, I like cute and pretty and all that, but what I love is comfortable and inviting. Somewhere you can just gather with people you love and enjoy each other.

If you want any detailed posts on how I did certain things, let me know, I'll be happy to accommodate.

Linking Up:

Transformation Thursday

Furniture Feature Fridays

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Designer Garden

Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

99 Bottles of {insert drink of choice here} on the wall

I was at a garage sale forever ago... definitely not recently because it is too cold and snowy here for year round garage sales... something I loved abut Arizona... What was I saying??? Oh, right, garage sale. This guy had a ton of glass bottles. I said I would take 10 for like, a dollar and he said I could only take all of them for a dollar. Um, deal!

I actually did this project about 9 months ago (edited to add: I wrote this post about 8 weeks ago but blogger wouldn't upload photos that day.... and I am just now getting back to it...blast.) You may have notice I haven't blogged lately. Anyway, I took a handful of the bottles and let Sunny help spray paint them. She chose good colors and went for it. Then we decorated them with scrap-booking paper or other pictures printed off the internet. The Blue bottle with stamps all over it belongs to Sunny. She keeps 1 single fresh flower in it most of the time. She said the stamps mean "All the places I'll go someday". She keeps a fresh flower in her room and has already made extensive European travel plans. Is she my daughter or what?!

By the way, I am blogging my kitchen. Now. It'll be up within the next few days.