Friday, August 15, 2014

The Little Things

When we moved in eight weeks ago everything was plucked from the old house and thrown placed into “appropriate” spots in the new house.  We are still figuring out how we want things to function and working on organizing everything.  But one area has bothered me since moving – the master closet. 

I’m grateful the closet is about three times the size of our old one and we have lots of unused space.  I’d love in the future to get rid of the wire shelving and install custom built ins, but that’s for another post.  For now, the problem is the unused space.

WHAT?!?  Extra space is a PROBLEM?!?  Are you NUTS?!?

Yeah, that sounded like I was off my rocker, didn’t it? Let me explain.  Because our clothes and such were just placed in the closet without much thought things don’t function the best.  The biggest culprit is the dirty clothes hamper.  Although it lived in our old master bath our new bath didn’t have an obvious place to store the hamper so it wound up in the closet.  I have three main issues with it:  1. It’s always in the way.  2. It’s always full (or overflowing).  3.  I really don’t like having it in there. 

One day while in the bathroom (don’t ask!) an idea popped into my head.  There is a tall two door cabinet that had to be added as an afterthought because the finish/style doesn’t match the vanity.  It’s not my favorite piece and I’d love to get rid of it but it does provide really good storage.  Again, because things were just placed in the master bath when we moved this cabinet certainly wasn’t living up to its full potential.  I wondered if by moving the shelf in the lower section to its highest point if the hamper would fit under the shelf?

No time like the present to find out! I began by emptying the lower section.  Removed the shelf and supporting brackets.  Reinstalled the brackets at the highest point and replaced the shelf.  Grabbing the hamper form the closet I held my breath as I started placing it in the cabinet.  It fit!  Even with the handle fully extended, it fit! Insert here a slap to the forehead with the comment “why didn’t I thinking of this sooner?” coming from my mouth!

It’s been a few days since this update and let me tell you it has been great!  I’m not bumping into the hamper in the morning when getting ready for work.  I don’t have to look at it overflowing onto the closet floor anymore.  It’s much more functional to have it back in the bathroom.  Sometimes the quick, little updates make things so much better that you wonder why you didn’t do them sooner. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The New House {Before}

Earlier this spring, we purchased a newhouse and now we’re working on making it home.  Things are moving slower than we want merely because both my husband and I work full time jobs and for some weird reason the clock moves faster between the hours of 5 and 10 p.m. than it does from 8 to 5.  Has anyone else noticed that phenomenon? 

But we have made some progress.  The house was pretty much move in ready although my brain has been spinning with ideas about flooring and knocking down walls!  My husband says I need to find a new contractor because he’s retiring from house projects.  We’ll see about that one! J

So here’s a quick photo tour of the house pre-move. 

Outside Before:

Living Room Before:

Living Room Toward Dining Room and Kitchen Before:

Kitchen Before:

Living Room view from Dining Room Before:

Hallway Before:
 Hall Bath Before:

First Bedroom Before:

 Second Bedroom Before:

Master Bedroom Before:

Master Bath Before:

And here’s what we’ve done.  Before moving in I got the carpets cleaned (previous owners had 2 big dogs and a cat in the house) and painted the walls.  The only rooms not touched by paint were the two baths since I’ll be replacing light fixtures and moving towel bars. Oh, and did I mention clean?  Anything and everything got cleaned.  I think it took an entire week! 

Living Room into Dining Room After:

 Master Bedroom After:

First Bedroom After:

Second Bedroom After:

We’ve also made a few changes outside now that we’ve moved in.  Namely chopping down the holly bushes planted too close to the porch and that were a haven for various flying bugs and removing the rotting window flower boxes.  There’s still lots left to do with the landscaping but just those couple of projects has made it feel much better.

The next step in getting things in order is removing all the clutter and unwanted items that we’ve been purging the last few weeks.  Which translates to YARD SALE and it’s happening this weekend!  Our yard sale goal is to make enough to get two rocking chairs and dinner!  Keeping our fingers crossed it goes well. 

And because we all love before and afters side by side......

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Dollhouse

With the move to our new house lots of things have come out of storage that haven’t seen the light of day in years.  The move has given us the opportunity to go through all the bins and boxes that got pushed to the I’ll-get-it-it-later part of the attic.  The benefit of getting to see all this stuff again (and being ruthless in my purging)?  I’m going to have a really, really good yard sale this weekend!    

But one thing that will not be heading for the yard sale pile is this….

This is the dollhouse that my Dad made for me when I was 8 or 10 years old.  It’s sized for Barbie dolls and stands over 6 feet tall with working lights and “glass” windows. It’s been kept in the outside shed for the last 20 plus years and I rarely got to see it.  So when my husband had it waiting for me at our new house I couldn’t stop smiling.  Ah, the memories!

But as happy as the memories are the truth is the dollhouse is showing its age.  The wallpaper is pulling away from the walls.  The vinyl flooring is curling up.  The décor is dated to say the least.  There’s one spot of damage to the trim.  But other than those things this dollhouse is still in great condition! 

Although I don’t have any little girls that will be playing with the dollhouse I’ve decided that a makeover is in order.  The décor is what Mom put in (including making all the curtains) so it will be sad to see the colorful carpet and the wallpaper gone but I can only think about how happy Mom and Dad would be to see that I still was having fun, even after all these years, revamping the dollhouse they made!

As much as I’m exciting about this project it won’t begin for some time since we are still working on getting settled in our new house, school starts next week, and we have an upcoming wedding to attend. Like I told my husband – redoing {this} house is going to be a lot cheaper and easier than redoing {our} house! 

And, dear husband, don’t think that gets you off the hook for house projects!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

50 Things I Want My Teenage Sons To Know

1. Never ask a woman if it’s her “time of the month”. Ever.

2. Go easy on the cologne.

3. Women can smell dishonesty a mile away, so unless you’re trying to protect our feelings, never lie to us.

4. Remember that winning isn’t everything.

5. Find work that makes you happy. If you can change the world in the process all the better.

6. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself, but don’t be a bully.

7. Embrace the future but do not give up tradition.

8. Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness.

9. Women may want to be treated like equals, but a little chivalry goes a long way. Trust me on this one.

10. Think for yourself. Do what you know is right.

11. Learn how to cook. And not just things in the microwave.

12. Never have unprotected sex unless you’re married. And never trust the words, “but I’m on the pill…”

13. Always look people in the eye when you’re talking to them.

14. Send me flowers on my birthday. And on Mother’s Day.

15. A little confidence goes a long way. Even if you have to fake it.

16. Finish what you start. Make a commitment and stick to your word.

17. Do the things that need to be done, even if you don't want to do them.  Remember you were raised in the House of Suck It Up.

18. When it comes to love, wait for the one you can’t live without.

19. Remember that trust is EARNED, and once it’s broken, it’s really hard to get it back.

20. Not everyone is well off, so be thankful for what you have.

21. Take time to do something for someone who has less than you.

22. Everyone is your equal, regardless of their race, religion, size, shape, or sexual orientation. Treat them accordingly.

23. Don’t rush a relationship – take things slow. There’s no hurry.

24. Never raise a hand to a woman. Or a child.

25. Find a hobby you’re passionate about, and make time for it.

26. Don’t be afraid to tell people you love them.

27. Be nice to your mother.  And your future mother-in-law.

28. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

29. Learn how to compliment a woman.

30. Spend time with the people you love. You never know when they’ll be taken away from you.

31. Drugs are very much overrated.  So is drinking.

32. Learn how to say, “I’m sorry” and mean it.

33. Be kind and respectful to people.

34. Don’t let fear dictate your actions.

35. Your family is always there for you and you should always be there for your family.

36. Never kiss and tell.

37. No matter how old you are, or how late it is, promise you’ll call when you and your friends have been drinking so I can get all of you home safely (and alive).

38. Believe in yourself.

39. Learn the art of killing with kindness.

40. Don’t be late.

41. Be kind to animals.

42.  Always call if you're going to be late.  See #40 above.

43.  Don't give up on something because it's hard.  Remember the beginning is always the hardest.

44. Before you propose to a woman, always ask her dad’s permission first.

45. Don’t swear in front of women. Except me. I’m not that uptight.

46. Never scratch or re-arrange yourself in public. 

47. Never kiss a girl on the first date.

48. When a woman says “I’m fine”, chances are she’s not.

49. Life isn’t always fair.

50. Always remember I love you, no matter what happens. You cannot lose me. I will always have your back.

Life Lately

I have so much catching up to do on here it's not even funny!  Life over the last year has been C-R-A-Z-Y!  So much has been going on and the time has flown by.  I was hoping to do some dedicated posts to each of the major events that have happened but life lately is spinning faster than ever.  So here's a snippet of where life has taken me the past few months.........

The kitchen is done!  Well, about 95% done.  There's still some caulking left to do and a few touch up details but good enough to give her the old thumbs up!

The laundry closet is done!  I absolutely love love love this area.  The dark color is amazing with the white cabinets and appliances.  And my clothespin mirror looks awesome!

I FINALLY got rid of the pedestal sink in the half bath that I've hated since the moment I moved in.  Installation had a couple of hitches but nothing that Mr. Handy (aka boyfriend) couldn't handle.

My first airplane ride happened last fall.  Not a fan of flying but happy that I've now marked that off my bucket list.  I had such a good time on my trip to New York.  And so far, I've been keeping up with the hair coloring (although I'm seriously considering letting it go gray again!).

Not too long after being back from New York I got to make another trip.  This time it was back home for my 25th high school reunion.  I rarely, if ever, head back to my hometown since both of my parents passed away when I was 20.  This was also my first reunion to attend.  Although the turnout was light I got to catch up with some of my best buds.

Last summer my oldest son was at Basic Training in Missouri.  When that was done, he shipped immediately to Fort Gordon, Georgia to do his AIT training. He wasn't scheduled to complete training until the first of December but his training was fast tracked and we picked him up at the airport the day before Thanksgiving!  He made me promise that I wouldn't cry when I saw him (which I did hold it together only getting misty eyed one time). 

He may or may not have been completely embarassed that mom made the sign but I know he was happy to be home.   Right now he's off at Camp Dodge, Iowa doing his two week summer training and in the fall he'll be back full time at college. 

November was a busy month for us. Not just for having my oldest home for the holiday but because there was not only one but two weddings that month!  The first wedding was MINE!  Yep, the boyfriend is now the husband and I couldn't be happier.  I was hoping to do a seperate post last year on this one but it took forever to get our pictures.  But I promise to get one done with all the details!

The second wedding occured the very next day after ours.  My new step-son and his girlfriend were hitched.  It was a lovely  outdoor ceremony and reception.  I'll spill the beans soon on some of the crafty decorations we did for their big day!

And who can find time around the holidays to get anything done?  I certainly can't.  All the crafty gifts were fun to make and really deserve their own posts.  Maybe by this coming Christmas I'll get to it?!?!

The first couple of months of this year were somewhat quiet but baseball conditioning was in full swing the entire time.  Then the season started in March.  In case you didn't know it, life comes to a complete stop during baseball season. 

I did try to tackle the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge during ball season.  I did really good at the start but fizzled out half way through because I had another major project in the works. 

Why do I always pick baseball season to start major projects?  I did it with the flooring and kitchen update last year.  This spring was no different except the "project" was buying a new house! 

Seems like all the blogs I like to read were buying/moving houses ~ not that these blogs had anything to do with my move.  My current home was comfortable for me and the boys but wasn't so perfect for a new family of four.  My poor husband who moved from out of state only brought with him tolietries, clothing, and his truck.  Everything else was put in storage. 

Also, during our move we added a new family member.  Meet Isabella Faith.  She's my husband's first grandchild.  Pretty sure he's head over heels for her. 

That's pretty much life lately here.  We've been moved in to our new place for a little over a month, school's just around the corner for both of my boys, and the craziness shows no signs of letting up.

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