Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Living room built ins

Here is a picture of our living room when we first walked through the house:

Here is what it looked like when we closed on our house:

Here are a couple in between pictures:

And here is what it looks like now:

For the most part, it is done!  Chad did all the building.  We purchased unfinished, Amish crafted bookshelves and cabinets.  He removed the bottoms of the bookshelves and stacked them on top of each cabinet and viola!  He added the plank wall behind the TV and added the molding to the top and along the floor.  He also removed the cabinet door fronts and cut decorative metal sheeting to fit so that the remotes work with the doors closed.  And all the components (Xbox, cable box, dvd player, dvds, etc.) are hidden.  I did all the painting.  Notice I used the same mustard color on the back bead board that we used in our Texas dining room?!  (It is actually that same paint.  We packed it and brought it with us...  insert maniacal laugh).  You can see how we built those here and styled them here.  We still need knobs... which my wonderful mother said she would look for next time she is at Hobby Lobby.  Thanks Mom!

The mantle is an antique that we found at an antique fair back when we were living in the corporate apartment!  We were told that it was over 150 years old.  It is heavy and covered with years of dirt and memories.  We stored it in the apartment garage and crossed our fingers that it would fit.  Thank goodness it did!  We cleaned the mantle up a bit and left it as is.   Chad bought old growth barn wood from a 200+ year old barn that was being taken down here in Ballston Spa that is going to be transported and rebuilt...  in Texas!  How's crazy is that?!  He cut the barn wood to fit behind and bump out the mantle a bit.

One last BEFORE:

And one last AFTER:

Quite a change.  I am so happy it is done!  The finished pictures were taken with my phone, hence the bad quality.   I plan to take pictures with my real camera and will then show the entire living room.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our new house

Hello!  Does anyone even check this blog anymore?  I started this post MONTHS ago.  We have officially lived in New York for just over a year now.   We moved into our house nine months ago. Time to get caught up, huh?!

After looking at approximately 40 houses, we finally found one.  Our original plan was to find an old farmhouse on land.  Land would allow us to have room for the kids to explore - and I could finally have the goats and chickens I have always wanted.  We didn't find the right farmhouse on the right land.  So we went back and looked again at the houses that would work.  This house is located on a long, quiet cul-de-sac which is perfect for our kids.  The kids can ride their bikes/scooters or rollerblade with no traffic.  They have neighbors to play with and also two acres to explore.  Our backyard is all woods - perfect for trails and a tree fort!  And, we can still have chickens - someday!

Time to show some pictures.  Here is our house when we bought it!

Chad and I both disliked the outside of this house.  The faded blue shutters looked dull and the matching blue door was just plain ugly.  But, we knew we could change all that.

As soon as Mom and Dad arrived from Texas, we got to work on replacing the faded blue shutters with brand new black shutters.  Already a huge change!  The black shutters are a much better contrast on the yellow house.

Caleb even helped Papa with the hard-to-reach shutters.

As much as I hated the blue shutters, I loathed the front door.  It made me angry.   We priced a new front door and it was over $2,000 - for a basic door.  We decided to try and paint the front door first and see if it would be okay.   Thanks to Mom (and approximately 6 coats of paint) our door looks fabulous!

I chose two red paint swatches and we let Caleb pick the winning color.  He picked Show Stopper red and it is a perfect pop of color!

We didn't stop there.  Our little front porch needed something.  A railing.

I adore this railing.  It makes the porch feel bigger.  The black coordinates with the black shutters. Our teal milk crate even works!

Here is a BEFORE of the house:

And here is the AFTER:

The front door BEFORE:

And the front door AFTER:

We also:
*replaced the old light fixtures with larger ones (must be a Texas thing!)
*removed shrubs

This job is best done by a 12 year old on his 4 wheeler, while wearing pajama pants.

With a supervising dog.

*removed small pebbles that surrounded the front walk and replaced with larger, more practical stones.  Thanks, Dad!!

Okay, that is enough for now.   

Next up, the inside and more projects.  And homeschool.  And birthdays.  And animals.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Secret laundry room redo - cabinets

I wrote this posts months ago.  Months.  As you are reading this, our house has been professionally packed up, loaded into a truck and transported to New York, where it will sit in storage until we find our new home.  Our house is scheduled to close tomorrow.

But, for now, let's go back and catch up on what has been going on over the past few months.

While Chad has been traveling for work, I have been decluttering the house and purging as much as I can.  My goal is to continue to purge and organize until I reach some sense of simplicity in this house.  Less is more.  Less is better.

While decluttering in the laundry room the other day, I decided it was time to hide those items that are stored on the shelves above the washer and dryer.  I texted Dad to see how much he thought unfinished cabinets would cost and he was on board to go look with me.  Blame him, Chad ;-)

We measured and shopped around and decided on four unfinished cabinets.  We (okay, just me) decided we needed to get this job done before Chad came home.  Sometimes Chad likes to research and shop and plan a little too much and I wanted this d-o-n-e DONE!

Here are a few pictures of what the laundry room tends to look like.  I am hanging my head in shame...

It is a big room, with lots of hanging space that is perfect for the kids clothes.  I don't want to lose that space, but I do want to hide the clutter and create a cleaner look in there.

This is the other side of the laundry room.  We will visit this area again.  Soon.

Dad and I set up shop in the garage and got to work prepping and painting the cabinets.   Remember, Chad is working in New York and doesn't yet know about this project.

Dad and I finished painting the cabinets and it was time for Chad to come home.  I picked Chad up from the airport and within minutes of being home, he turned and said, "Let's talk about those cabinets..."  Uh oh ;-)

After explaining my idea and convincing him that this would be great storage and would finally clean up our laundry room, he was on board.  Whew!

The next day we went to work on finishing installing them.  Dad and I had already started.  We used the wood shelf that was already there as a base to set the cabinets on.  That way we knew they would be secure and we would still be able to hang clothes from the rod.  Win, win!

After the cabinets were installed, Chad added the doors.

We added trim to clean up the edges and caulked along the edges and bottom to give it a nice, clean look.

The cabinets were installed and created a ton of hidden storage!

We found eight oil rubbed bronze knobs from our furniture stash to add to each cabinet door.  Free knobs.  Score!

Take a look back at the BEFORE laundry room:

And the AFTER:

Quite a difference!  It is just what I had in mind.  Thank you Dad for all your help!  Thank you Chad, for agreeing to the project!!

The laundry room looks so different now!  But, we didn't stop there...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

If we can make it there, we'll make it anywhere

If you haven't heard already, we are now living in upstate New York!

Chad has been working in New York since April and was offered a full time position and accepted. Within a couple weeks, we listed the house and have accepted an offer!  Fingers crossed all goes well and the new family will enjoy the house (and yard) as much as we did.

Although we are very sad leaving Gramma, Papa and Uncle Buncle (as well as our friends and all the house projects we did)... we are so excited for a new adventure!

I will do my best to get you caught up on this blog... from decluttering the house, to our long drive here, to cutting down our first real tree as a family!  Oh boy, there is so much to dew!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I sold a sign!

Right before we left for our summer in New York,  I sold my first sign on Etsy!!!  Can you believe it?!

Caleb was as excited as I was!  Here he is hugging the packaged sign ;-)

I was so happy/relieved/shocked that someone out there likes my work!  I am excited to get back to making - and hopefully selling - more signs!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New york - week 13, our last week

Summer is over and we are back in Texas.  Where, oh where, did summer go?!  Let's take a look at our last week spent in New York.

It rained the beginning of the week.  Rain, rain and more rain.  What to do when it rains?

Go see a movie!

This time we watched Guardians of the Galaxy... the boys liked it.  I was not impressed with the number of bad words and inappropriate jokes.  Also, the people behind us talked the entire time.  The adults.  Not the kids.  What is wrong with people?

After the movie, we went bowling!

We ate some cheesy pizza.

The kids played some games.

Then the kids played in this playscape area.  Like bosses.  They had so much fun in this play area, that we probably could have skipped the bowling part - and the pizza.

They were the only kids in there, so they could let their crazy flags fly!

Caleb is loading up ammo to shoot his sisters with ;-)

Caleb is aiming right at me... don't do it...

He shot me! 

They gathered and filled this tank full of balls and then pushed a button to make them explode and fly everywhere.

Can you see Caleb?

He shot Olivia!

We also went on another hike.  Since it had just rained, it was a bit muggy.

And muddy.

The trails were covered by these crazy roots.

We had to climb our way over and along the trails.

We crossed over water.

The water was as clear as can be.

Chad showed the kids how to carefully cut down small branches.

Caleb knocked down trees.

Olivia found a perfect rock to rest on.

Then, we found the waterfalls.  So pretty!

Poor Olivia has no luck on hikes.  Last time she smashed her finger with a brick.  This time, she bumped her head while climbing.

Caleb was an awesome big brother and helped her.

This picture is blurry, but worth seeing.  Caleb was carefully walking through the water and fell in.  

He was completely soaked from the waist down!  He was such champ, it didn't slow him down one bit.

He had fun just being a boy and throwing rocks into the water.

He carefully whittled away at this stick.  

The girls collected pretty rocks.

Ella climbed.

Apparently I need to work on my hiking skills.  How did I get mud all over my ankles?!

Then this happened and the kids were destroyed.

They closed our pool.  The day after Labor Day.  Boo!

Then this happened.

They closed the kids favorite ice cream place.

One day I took the kids to lunch.  This metal sign was huge!  Fancy, shmancy Applebee's!

Olivia was obsessed with cheese puffs while in New York.  She liked to keep them safe in the car.

Since the pool was closed, we headed to the park each day.  

Boca Bistro is an adorable restaurant in Saratoga Springs.  The decor is rustic farmhouse.  At the beginning of the summer we were walking around and passed Boca and I saw the food.  I had to go there.  We didn't go there - until the last day of our trip.  My BLT was worth the wait.  So good!   I was so excited to eat it, I didn't even think to take a picture.

We also visited the New York State Museum on our last day in New York.  The museum has a full size carousel that was built around 1912.

The kids love to reenact every exhibit we pass by.

This fly was enlarged 100 times and was disgusting.  I will spare you the facts they had listed about how dirty and gross flies truly are - and what they can carry.

We got to visit Sesame Street!

The kids (kind of ) rode the subway.

There was an amazing 9/11 exhibit that was truly moving.  We could have spent hours in this area reading over all the information and stories that were shared.  The kids had a lot of questions.  It is such a hard subject to try to explain to someone who truly doesn't understand evil.

I snapped this as they were announcing it was closing time.  It is the flag that was flying at the World Trade Center when it collapsed.  It was discovered in the debris at the recovery landfill as they sorted for human remains and personal objects.  The NYPD gave the flag to the museum in 2002.

And, before we knew it, the kids and I were back at the airport headed home.  

The kids are true traveling pros now!

I cannot say enough about this summer.  We were so lucky to be able to travel to New York for the entire summer.  Although we did not make it to New York City YET, we experienced so many other things!  And we will get there.  Soon hopefully!

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