Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Where have I been?

Not sure if any of you have noticed that my posts have significantly dropped in the last few months. Well, I do have a very good reason for that....and that reason is that I am pregnant! Yes! We found out at the end of August.We wanted to get everything major done on our house and after we did we decided to start trying and it happened right away! So the home improvement projects have come to a stop. We have had a few things done here and there but hired a contractor to do them all. So now that we are expecting. I am not sure where this blog is going to turn. I think it will be more of a family blog and photos of our munchkin etc. I am sure we will still continue to have home improvement projects...we will just not be pounding them out every week non-stop like before!

Everyone is always asking how I am feeling. In the beginning I was nauseous in the mornings when I got up and on my way into work. Thankfully my wonderful husband would cook me breakfast and have a glass of OJ ready for me to head into work in the mornings. Surprisingly the OJ helped take away a lot of the nausea for me. That instant sugar rush was just what I needed I guess. Unlike a lot of pregnant people I was not hungry for much. Nothing really sounded good to me and I really struggled with meat. I didn't want anything to do with it. It really had to be cooked in with something and in very small pieces to get me to eat much of it. Something might taste really good to me one night for dinner and the next day the sound of leftovers would make me ill. Thankfully, Terry is really awesome about eating my leftovers and is not picky at all. Gotta love that man! The closer and closer I got to the end of my first trimester the less nauseous I was. Thankfully!!! I did however and still do have to pee what seems like every 5 minutes! Seems like our walks with Cooper have to be cut short a lot because of this...but what can ya do?

Now that I have reached my half way point- 20 weeks as of Monday-I am not as picky about eating food and have not got nauseous at all. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I still have had no real cravings. Kind of wish I had something crazy I craved to tell people but nothing yet! Or a funny story about me having Terry run to the grocery store at 2am to get some pickles and peanut butter...but nothing yet.

We did find out early in November that we are having a little girl! We are very excited for her upcoming arrival on or around April, 29th.  We have also decided on her name and it will be Addison Grace. Thankfully we only argued it out for a week and came to a decision. :)

I have also started taking photos of my progress. Here I am at 18 weeks along.

I am going to continue to try to remember to take photos of my monthly progress. I also hope to add some upcoming projects before Addison arrives. Like I want to redo out bathroom floors, build a head board for our bed and of course redoing the guest bedroom and making it a nursery for Addison. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our deck is finally fixed!

Our lovely dog Cooper...he is still in his puppy stage. He just turned one year old this month...but he still loves to chew and destroy things. He thinks that everything is his to chew on! We are trying to break this habit because it is now costing us a lot of money. Before we had a carpeted deck. We liked it and it was nice to be able to go out there and vacuum it off. Yes, it was old school and a little grampa-ish but we had no plans of changing it in the near future. See below:

Well last month Terry was packing up for a work trip and he put Cooper out on the deck. Well Cooper saw him packing up and normally we bring Cooper with us where ever we go. Well Terry left for his work trip around noon that day. I come home from work around 4pm and Cooper has decided to tear all of the indoor out door carpet off the deck in front of the screen door all the way back to the furniture....

As you can see Cooper completely destroyed the carpet and even though he looks sad and remorseful in this photo he sure was HAPPY to have me come home and find this mess...I on the other hand was NOT happy. In fact I was furious! But since we didn't catch him doing it their was not much we could do about scolding him for it- since it would do no good.
We did lots of research on what we should do to fix it. We could of spend around $50 and got more indoor/outdoor carpet just to have him destroy it again. We also thought about getting a paint on sealant product but thought that the deck would not be able to breath underneath and it also takes days to dry in warm weather...which we don't get in Seattle in November. So after a weekly trip to Costco we came across these 12x12 deck tiles that just lock into each other. They were certainly not cheap ($400) but we thought they were the easiest to install and would allow the deck to breath and we figured that Cooper would not be able to destroy them since they are made out of this synthetic hard plastic material.
So Terry ripped off the old indoor/outdoor carpet and then pulled up all the old (somewhat moldy) plywood off the deck and we were glad that we found a pretty decent wood deck below. We were able to put the tiles right over the wood deck. We are really happy with the new more modern look of our new deck. Its unfortunate that we had to spend so much to get it fixed but in the end it does look a lot better.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A little fixin'

We have not been at all fond of our big black microwave above our stove. One because its black and doesn't match the rest of the white appliances we have in our kitchen and two because the cabinets were not installed with a built in microwave in mind. I think it was originally set up to have just an oven vent there. So it drove us nutz-o trying to cook but not really being able to see the stove controls in the back. Plus the microwave was totally old and crusty and didn't even suck up the exhaust when we were cooking! Shown below is our old microwave and cabinet.

So in August we decided to do something about this! We purchased a new white microwave and after talking with our trusted handy man friend- Randy! He told us to buy a new shorter cabinet for above the stove and he would help us install it all. So we did! It took a few months for our schedules to align but when they did Terry and Randy were able to pound this out in one Saturday afternoon! I was SOOOOO happy to finally have this done and to FINALLY be able to see the controls on the stove and to be able to cook and have it feel like normal with out a big hunky microwave hanging down in your face. You couldn't even tell that we had taken out the old cabinet and installed a new one in there. It is perfecto! Plus the kitchen looks bigger to me know that you don't have this HUGE black box sticking out of the cabinets! Here is how it looks now!


Another amazing thing about this microwave it it has a HUGE amount of suction. It even has a turbo speed for the fan!!! Sucks all the heat and steam right up! Also the other thing I am completely shocked about is when you turn the microwave on to reheat something you cant even hear it running!!!! It is so quiet! I had to ask Terry if it was working right. I just love my new microwave and the space we gained above the stove. I am one happy chica!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Anna's Hummingbirds

Ever since we bought our house last October we have noticed a family of hummingbirds living around our yard and greenbelt. After doing some research we found out they are called Anna's Hummingbirds. They do not fly south in the winter months and actually stay and live here all year long. We have spent countless days and evenings watching these little guys. I am not sure exactly how many we have living in our greenbelt but I am pretty sure its about 4-8. All day long the make their little screeching grinding sounds and dive bomb each other....and sometimes myself.

Recently we recently purchased an automatic wireless remote shutter release for my SLR camera and set it up on my tripod to get some good shots of the humming birds. I absolutely love this automatic shutter release. It will trigger the shutter up to 100 feet away. So its great for shots like this and say family portraits. Much easier than hitting the auto timer button on your camera then running back to make the shot in time.

Here are the shots we got on Saturday evening of a few of our hummingbirds. From the looks of them I believe that most of these are females. The males are really bright and colorful their entire head is colored.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

DIY Stepping Stones

A while back I saw a cool idea on Pinterest on making your own step stones. I quickly read through it (aka-looked at the photos) and sent it onto the hubby and told him I wanted to do this at some point. So while we were rebuilding our fence a few weeks back Terry remembered that I wanted to do this and purchased an extra Sonotube to use as our mold.

 In case you have no clue what a Sonotube is, they use them for putting concrete into for fence posts and such. Anyways, he cut out some rings from it with a saw to make them perfect for little stepping stones.

We laid out some tarp because I really didn't want to slop any concrete on the grass or patio. Then put a layer of garbage bags over the rings.

 I had to add some stones to make them all pretty and special. Then we added the concrete...

....but since I didn't read the directions from pinterest and was just wingin' it....they didn't turn out right. The weight of the concrete sucked the stones into the mold.

Good thing we only did one tester because I forgot the part where you don't put the stones on the bottom first. You first pour the concrete into the mold... then wait about 20-30 minutes (depending on how runny your concrete is) then place the stones on TOP! At that point you can do fun little hand prints...or dog prints like we did.

Here they are dried and placed in our walk way. It takes about 24 hours for them to cure out so you can step on them. They are a bit smaller than I wanted but they get the job done! I just need to make about 6 more and they will go all the way to the gate.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A new Cozy Couch and Couch Confusion!

Recently we have been looking around for a sectional couch for our family room. In the past it was always harder when we had guests over with our old set up because it we really only had room for four people on the furniture. One in the chair and three tightly fit on the couch. Then we would have to bring out folding chairs or bar stools etc. And the other thing we didn't like is you couldn't cuddle side by side and watch a movie on our old couch!

So the other day our wonderful Costco had a ton of furniture in and we found the perfect couch for our family room. It came in three HUGE boxes and we loaded up two of the boxes in our old grandpa truck and the other fit in our car. It was quite hilarious leaving Costco and going up the huge hill to our house. Our truck looked like that Volkeswagon in from the IKEA commercial...

but we did make it home just fine, unpacked it and here is how it looks now!

We ended up getting a seven piece sectional. Its soooo wonderful we can move the two ottomans around and push them all together to make this huge cuddle like bed. It will be great for over night guests too. We love that we have room for a bunch of people now! The cool thing is that all the pieces can unhook and you can move the couch around in like 15 different positions. (Which is good for my OCD self since I am always rearranging things).

So after we got this new furniture we had to find places for our old furniture. We decided to move it into our living room area...and make it more guest seating friendly as well. BUT for the last few weeks its been driving me nuts. It was not fitting right and the room felt sooo small! Here is how the room looked before. It was open and didn't feel cluttered.

Here is how it looked after we moved the couch over. Sorry for the bad photos they were taken with my phone! It also doesn help I had all the blinds closed to keep out the heat last weekend too!

The little wing wall at the entry way was driving me crazy and having that extra love seat there. It really just closed off the room too much. Then my couch covers were driving me nutzo too. I like that all the furniture is a close match but it just felt cramped. So last night I ended up moving the couch further into the living room and pushing the love seats in closer to the window and ripped off my couch covers to make it look like this.

It does feel more open and I do feel a little better about it but it doesn't flow quite right to me. I think what I am going to have to do is get rid of the love seat closest to the front door and move our reclining brown chair (use to be in the family room, now in our guest bedroom) into that position. It will for sure open up the area so much more and hopefully complete the room and we will still have adequate room for lots of people to sit in this room as well.

What do you think? Am I crazy or does this not look right? If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions please let me know. :)

Other than figuring out the living room furniture we sure have been enjoying our new family room furniture and are very happy that we got it. Now we just need to start inviting people over now that we can entertain more easily.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our New Vinyl Fence

Our side fence was in desperate need of repair and looked like this! You cant see it from the photo but it was leaning into our yard and about to fall over.

Over the past month we have been doing research on who had the best deal on vinyl fencing and our lovely local Costco won! We were able to get a box of 3 panels for $199 a box and each box covered about 24' and needed two to get the entire fence done.  So our crazy behinds ended up scheduling our fence rebuild with our neighbor on the hottest weekend of the summer. We took off Friday from work and were done by Sunday morning. It was so hot that we were only able to work in the mornings and evenings! I felt so bad for Terry. He had sweat pouring off of him! He is such a hard worker.

The old fence was so rotten that it only took about 20 minutes to get all of the old wood panels down. The pressure treated posts that were cemented into the ground we just kicked over. It indeed was time for a new fence!

The reason it took us almost 3 days to complete is becuase you had to set each post in concreate and let it dry for 6 hours before you set your next post. Thankfully the heat was on our side for that process and we were able to set 3 posts in the first day.

Each hole had to be dug down 30". We had tons of left over dirt to fill in all the holes Cooper digs in our yard looking for moles :)


And finally on Sunday morning we were able to put in the final panels and this is the final product!

We are so happy with our new fence! It just looks SO much better and cleaner. We are happy that we dont really have to do a bunch of maintence like a wood fence. We dont have to paint or stain it. Just maybe pressure wash it every few years and it will last a very very long time! We are very happy with it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Greenbelt...green fence

We have been going back and forth on whether or not we wanted to tear down our 4ft chain link fence and rebuild it with a 6ft vinyl fence. Since later on this month we will be replacing one of our side fences with vinyl and it would be nice to have it matching.

After looking at the cost to rebuild the fence ($900+) and the amount of labor it would involve (digging out old cement posts, and redoing them all also working around rock wall) we decided to just go with the green privacy slats ($360). The other thing we didn't like was the rust on top of the fence. So we cleaned it all up and added some rust stopping spray paint then a coat of silver spray paint to the bar. So it would look nice and new!

The greenbelt is just awesome in the summer time. Everything is blooming and its so lush and pretty but in the winter it doesn't look as glorious. So we figured adding in the green privacy slats would help make it look nicer all year long. This project took us most of the afternoon on Sunday and was really easy to do. We are loving the new look. The yard and fence look much cleaner. Here is our new green fence!

Up next on our project list is to replace this fence!

We got some nice vinyl fencing from Costco the other day and will be starting that project here soon! Did I say that we were going to relax for the rest of the summer?? ha ha yeah right ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dull to Delightful!

So I am so happy to say that we are finally finished with not only the interior painting of our home but now the exterior and we could not be happier with the transformation. It is incredible how much a little yard work and some paint can transform your house and really add major curb appeal.

Now for the photos!

Our home when we purchased it in October 2011:

Here is our newly painted home now!!!

Does it look a little different? Just a bit!  Hopefully in a good way :) Here are just a few of the changes we made to the front of the house over the last few weeks!

Our previous entryway- October 2011

Entryway now:

Back of our house before:

And her it is now- LOVE the windows trimmed out it makes it look so much bigger!

Side of house before:
 And now:

Other Side before:

and after:

Terry and could not be happier about the new paint job on our house. It really does make it stand out in the neighborhood now and you actually notice it when you drive through. We are just so pleased with the new look. If anyone is interested our painter used Sherwin Williams Duration paint and the main blue color is called Distance- SW6243 and and the trim is called Classic Light Buff- SW0050.

Now its time for some much needed R&R! I think we will spend the rest of our summer kicking back out on our porch enjoying a few bottels of wine and hopefully some warmer weather!
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