Thursday, October 20, 2016

House Update: Paint and Dust

I figure at this point you either enjoy these frequent updates or you are totally rolling your eyes...haha.  Not sure what camp I would fall in if it weren't my home but each day I get so excited for the progress I see.  Half because we are one day closer to moving back in and half because I didn't think ANY of these updates would happen for years.  Plus who doesn't love before and afters?  Or in this case before and durings.  Things are still far from finished....and it will still be weeks before things are completely finished but at least we can move back in before the final touches are completed.

Instead of boring you with a bunch of details and updates let's look at some before and favorite.  The biggest transformation is of course tearing out the existing laundry room and opening up the kitchen and family room.

View from family room/fireplace.  The laundry room was on the other side of that wall.

 View from dining room of kitchen with a glimpse of the family room beyond the laundry room wall.

View of the eating area with the original desk area now opened up and made into more cabinets and a pantry.  

On the other side of the pantry/cabinet wall is the laundry room.  Accessed through the hall on the left which also leads to our garage.  I mentioned before my husband let me take more than half of his office to make this possible.  I am so excited to have a larger laundry space and mudroom.

The tile flooring is in, the first coat of paint (Benjamin Moore, Gray Owl) is on the walls and the cabinets are installed.  As soon as the drywallers finish patching, and the painters finish their work the washer/dryer can be moved.  It will still be a few weeks before the countertops (butcher block), sink, faucet, and cabinet doors and tile backsplash are installed but we can still move in and have a working laundry room in the meantime.  Someday "lockers" will be built along the right wall but for now I am hanging hooks and putting a bench underneath.  To be honest, this is a tight space so I may never want to add "lockers"  We have enough space in our garage to add them out there so I am thinking I may add it out there someday and just keep the hooks in here.  Lastly, a barn door is being installed in this opening to keep the flow.  

This is the garage entrance (pre-painting) with the laundry room entrance shown just on the inside.  With a standard door I think there would be a lot of congestion.  Hopefully the barn door will allow the entrance to be open most of the time so people can easily get inside the laundry/mudroom or go straight into the house.

To the right of the pantry/cabinets is the foyer with a powder room (getting a complete overhaul too) and the entrance to the hubby's now tiny office.

The office


The basement walls have been painted and the ceiling replaced.  I told the contractor this is the last priority since we don't need this space to move back in.  Still to do are the entertainment cabinets, kitchenette cabinets, trim and major cleaning.

Also on my own personal To Do list is painting the trim and doors down here.

And this is what every other room of our house is like....packed full of crap and dust.

All of which somehow needs to be "put back"/cleaned by the time the baby two weeks.  Yikes!  And I didn't even take a pick of our bathroom which is torn up due to the re-tiling of our shower because it was leaking into our dining room.  I never want to see water again after this.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

House Update: Floors

Are you sick of these little updates?  I can't help myself, I'm just so excited.  The floors are in and stained and beautiful!  It is definitely not close to being finished but I can start to see the vision come to life and so far I am liking it.  Can't wait till we move back in - with our new baby!

The kitchen/family room space has under gone a huge transformation  but it is mostly architectural and not as much design.  Taking out the old laundry room and opening up these two spaces is the greatest thing that came from flooding my house.  I still wish that day/weekend never happened but this is a pretty great perk that came from it.  The actual kitchen wasn't touched by water (boo!) so the cabinets, appliances and counters are staying but we were able to take out the kitchen desk which was  located on the right side of this picture and expand that space to add half a wall of cabinets.  Of course it will look different from the rest of the kitchen but hopefully in a good way.  Next to that is a very large pantry which my kitchen before was completely missing.  Here is a little sneak peek at the materials I chose for this space.

The walls throughout the kitchen and family room are getting painted a light grey.  The built-ins around the fireplace are getting painted a creamy white.  Now that we have wood floors I ordered a large rug to add some color and will fill the rest of the space in with all our original furniture.  

The new cabinets next to the new pantry will get simple white cabinets with glass doors for the uppers and dark butcher block counters.  I am most excited though about the cement tiles I chose for the backsplash.  I kept ALL my other material choices super affordable and economical so that I could splurge on these for the kitchen and laundry room.  And lastly, there will be french doors on the pantry - just need to pick those out.  

Here is a view of the full kitchen with my orange cabinets.  Once we are settled back in the house and figure out the rhythm of life with a newborn and three kids I think my first project will be painting those cabinets.......I think.  

Cream cabinets just might look funny with yellow appliances....and those are not changing anytime soon.  Ok, yellow may be an exaggeration but once the cabinets are cream they will really look yellow!

We can't forget about the brand new laundry/mudroom.  Since we took out the entire laundry room and hall closet we had to move these somewhere so my wonderful hubby gave me more than half of his large office.  In order to work the doorways and make everything flow right we also had to bump into the garage a few feet for an extended entrance.

When you enter in through the garage the laundry mudroom is directly on your left.  And here is also a view of the hallway to the garage and laundry/mudroom with the family room on the left and the pantry on the right.  To save space and avoid so many doors opening and closing we are adding a sliding barn door along the right side of the hallway to cover the laundry/mudroom opening.  I plan on it usually being open so we can easily get our soon to be family of five in a out of the mudroom but on days when I am running laundry I can close it to muffle the noise.  The barn door idea has been giving me a hard time.  Those things are very pricey.  I originally wanted something like this:

But the door alone would have cost me about $1,000! Ouch.  Definitely not in our budget at the moment.  So now I am trying to find an old, salvaged door like one of these below.  Or I may just have to buy a slab from a big box store, paint it a fun color and call it a day.  

The laundry/mudroom space has been hard to photograph since the electrician hasn't gotten the overhead lighting in yet but the tilers were still somehow able to finish the floor.  And the cabinets are in and waiting to be installed.

The vision for this space is to have the washer and dryer installed in the left, lower corner of the above photo with a large bar installed above for hanging clothes.  Then there will be a wall of cabinets with upper and lowers and a sink with butcher block counters.  On the right side of this room we will eventually build "lockers" of some sort but for now we will just throw up some hooks on the wall and a bench below.  I'm a little sad that this space has no natural light but it is a small price to pay to have a larger laundry room and more designated mudroom (instead of the tiny hallway I had before) and we can't forget that giant open space between the kitchen and family room.  

I chose a large 12x24" tile for the floor in a medium grey color and fun cement tiles for the backsplash (part of my splurge).  The cabinets are the same creamy white color with lighter butcher block counters.  The walls will be the same light gray color as the rest of the main floor.  I hope the space isn't too dark....eek.  Electrician please finish!

There is suppose to be a lot happening at the house this week...drywall finishing, painting, cabinets and hopefully the electrician.  And once again I am failing to mention anything about the basement.  Someday I will do an update on that.  Right now it is a mess but it is painted and the ceiling is in.

Almost there....I think.  I hope.
2.5 weeks until baby #3's big arrival.  2.5 weeks to get it all done.

Friday, October 7, 2016

House Update: Things are finally moving

Things are finally moving on the Wakeman Reno and I'm feeling hopeful that we may just get in by the time this baby arrives, which is November 3rd for anyone who cares.  It may not look like much to you since it is just framing but things are starting to move fast.

Here is the new entrance in the garage.  We bumped out into the garage a few feet to get better flow in and out of the new laundry/mudroom. 

When you enter the house from the garage you can now either enter straight into the kitchen area or you can turn left into the laundry/mudroom.  We are installing a sliding barn door there so that it can remain open most of the time for easy access with little kids and all their stuff but when I am actually doing laundry I can shut the door and not hear the machines going.  I hope it is as practical and functional as I imagine.  Below is looking into the house from the garage entrance with the laundry/mudroom opening on the left and the newly opened up kitchen area straight ahead.

The new laundry/mudroom will be one long space with the washer/dryer, upper and lower cabinets and a sink going in along the left wall where the studs are now and hooks and lockers along the right wall (not pictured).  I can't wait to see this room come together and have a space for laundry, storage and kid's coats, shoes etc.  Of course, the clean, organized, beautiful space I am envisioning won't last long and it will probably become a total dumping ground and I will want to have the barn door shut all the time to hide the dirty laundry piling up, the stinky shoes thrown about and the coats falling of the hooks and smashed in corners because well that's what our life really looks like haha.  But for a  day, maybe a week, it should be beautiful!

Did I mention that I took over more than half of Bran's office for this laundry/mudroom?  He so generously gave up his giant office so that we could re-locate the laundry room from the middle of the kitchen and family room and open up that space.  I think we made the right decision.  He still has an office, while not spacious, it is enough for a desk, chair and bookshelf.  He also gets to keep his big, bay window which makes it feel more spacious.  But the best part of re-locating the laundry room and the reason why I know we made the right choice is in these two photos below......


So much more space and light.
Hardwood is going in throughout these two spaces, the walls and built-ins are getting painted a light, fresh color and I am getting a big pantry and butler's pantry on the wall to the right.  It isn't fully framed out but a pantry is going in on the left and then upper and lower cabinets are going in on the right for a little "butler's pantry".  The cabinets won't match the rest of the kitchen since nothing in there is changing but hopefully it will be different enough where it looks like it's own thing.  But most importantly I will have SO much more storage which is definitely my top priority in all of these changes.

So much happening and I am not even mentioning all the work coming along in the basement.  Since not much is changing down there it is a little more boring but the drywall is up, new ceiling tiles being installed and soon there will be a fresh coat of paint and new cabinets in the bar area and new built-ins for the entertainment area but other than that not much else is changing.  The cabinets are the last thing to be installed so I won't do a basement update until the very end - most likely.

So there you have it - PROGRESS!  Which makes me happy and hopeful.  Can't wait to move back into our home!  We miss it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Knitting Pattern - Lacey Eyelet Baby Bonnet

There's a new pattern in the shop and I think it is my favorite one!  The Lacey Eyelet Baby Bonnet is a sweet, simple bonnet more decorative than practical.  Perfect for those newborn photos and introductions.  Or for those warm weather babies who don't need a hat but look so darn cute in one.  Either way, I can't wait for our own little one to arrive and start modeling it.

Each pregnancy brings on a new knitting frenzy and a whole bunch of new hats and patterns.  So enjoy the first of many new patterns coming this fall and be sure to check out some of the others.  Like this sweet bonnet perfect for keeping little ears warm as the weather cools.

And to make the scallop baby hat pictured above you can use this pattern.  It is easily adjustable, just knit one scallop instead of three.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Gnome Mosaic Baby Bonnet

Oh I still have a blog?
Sorry for the VERY long absence.  I could blame a million different things like life with two under two (although that just changed as my oldest just turned 3) but the truth is I think I was just running out of steam and things to say.   And if I am being completely honest, for the most part, I didn't miss blogging.   It was a nice break but there are some fun things in our future and I feel my creative side stirring and I am ready and excited to share what's ahead.

First on the list, a new baby hat pattern.  It's been a fun summer but I've spent a good portion of it in the car traveling so I've had some time to knit and work on new things.  The first is this super cute gnome mosaic baby hat.  I learned about mosaic knitting this summer and I'm hooked.  Done are my days of stranding and intarsia.....this is the way to do fun patterns and colors.  It looks hard but it is really so easy.  All you need to know is how to knit, purl and slip stitch.  Really, that's it!

This is my new favorite baby hat.  A classic bonnet with a modern twist.

You can find it at my Etsy Shop: Little + Lovely Knits

Thanks to my very adorable baby model Adley, who also happens to be my niece!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two Ingredient Fruit Roll-Ups

This girl loves her sugar.  (I have no idea where she gets it.)
I am always looking for ways I can give her some sweetness without the intense sugar high.  So when I came across a two ingredient fruit roll-up recipe on my aunt's feed I had to try it - immediately.  Seriously, I grabbed Ella and we got right down to making some fruit roll-ups.  

All you need are two ingredients.  

Fruit & Honey (or some other sweetener)

We used strawberries and blueberries with a tablespoon of agave nectar sweetener.  Tossed it in the blender till it was a nice puree and then poured it out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  FYI - the parchment paper is kind of necessary.  Set the oven for 225 degrees and bake for 3 hours.  
Yes, 3 HOURS.

One nap and one outfit change later we were enjoying our fruit roll-ups. 

Leaving it on the parchment paper, cut them into strips and roll them up to enjoy now or later.

We chose now.

(Ella has started a new fashion statement - underwear as outerwear.  Yes, she does wear this out of the house.)

The official review:  great flavor but we need to master the texture.  I've heard these referred to as fruit leathers and it makes sense.  These were a tad tough nothing too bad.  Next time I will pour the mixture a little thicker and more even.  Or if I can't get the mixture to pour thicker, I will bake it a little less.  I'm not sure this will be a common go-to snack for us.  They were yummy and a fun change but I have no issue getting Ella to eat fresh fruit so I probably won't go through the effort (although small) to make these very often.

Bottom line:  Fun, tasty and super easy but not a new obsession.  
We will definitely make them again though.  

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