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Glimpses

September 8, 2014

House Tour 2014 Main Floor

This year was supposed to be the year of all years, when I was finally gonna be able to rip out the discolored old carpet in our living room and install wood floors. But then the furnace started acting up and that’s where the money went. So, next year it’s gonna be.

 

Foyer

Before:

Foyer

Between:

Foyer Between

Now:

Foyer

Alright, the perspective is not the same, but this area is still mid makeover (since April) and I’ll show more details soon. So far I got to re-paint the walls, molding, install a board with coat hooks, and shuffle some storage solutions around. And these things are gonna get done before the end of this year:

  • Finish wall of board and batten on the left. Like this.
  • Install new pendant light fixture

(more…)

August 23, 2014

Housetour 2014 Upstairs

It’s been over 3 years that we lived in our beloved home. Much has changed, much will still change, and we are happy to be in this cozy place that has become truly ours. It is still constantly transforming and adapting to our ever changing needs. At this point we are planning to stay in this house roughly until Milo is done with elementary school, so another 5-6 years. The neighborhood and the community is just too great to leave and the elementary school is right across the street. Eventually however, we would like to move into a single family house with a garage and our own yard. With that in mind we are trying to make mostly cosmetic changes that take the house from old country to fresh contemporary on a low budget, so that it will sell easily and hopefully for a profit.

Some of the updates we are making throughout the house are:

  • Paint all trim bright white instead of cream color
  • Change all brass light fixtures to white, black, or silver
  • Swap out all brassy wobbly door hardware to brushed nickel
  • Remove nasty old carpet from main level and basement and replace with wood floors and new darker carpet
  • Repaint rooms to a more gray based coordinated palette instead of tan and red.

Other than that it’s really just some major decorating. Look at this evolution of a home.

(more…)

August 13, 2014

Milo Chats July 2014

Holy crap, it’s been a while since anyone’s been seen on this lonely old blog. Aside from busy life, I have been trying to be more lazy on my evenings and have taken on reading books again and going to bed early. Not such a bad thing I have to say. But every now and then I should still try to throw in a few of these shorties. Here is an example of Milo’s logic.

“Mommy, Felix wants to take my money, but I don’t want him to have it because he will put it in his mouth and die. And that would be sad, then we wouldn’t have any baby anymore. Like my friend, he doesn’t have any baby brothers. Maybe they all died.”

After I explained to him that sometimes people stop making babies and babies all grow up to be big kids he suggested: “So maybe when Felix is 10 you can put him back in your belly and have a big baby.”

April 27, 2014

You’ve Been Served

So, about 3 months ago I had written up that long post about how I made over our old dining room buffet and then it didn’t save and all was lost and I never wanted to write again. Not really. But then I decided to start on our staircase renovation, so instead of typing everything up again I started scraping off caulk hours and hours on end. A full post on that coming soon. Maybe.

So now without any patience to go into the buffet details again, let me just throw these picture at you:

BuffetBefore

I know, I know, doesn’t look too bad from far. But when you look closer it was really obvious cheap laminate, not actual wood. And said plastic foil started to peel off on one side, so it had to be done.

BuffetSide

I used chalk paint (color “French Linen”) for the first time and while it’s not as magical as some DIY people out there make it look like (you still need to sand and multiple coats), it really creates a thick solid cover that should last for another couple of decades.

DetailsComparison

BuffetAfter

And then it was Christmas.

BuffetScene

Happy Spring!

April 27, 2014

Milo Chats Spring 2014

Hello again. As Milo is approaching the big 4, his language skills and reasoning improves drastically, so these gems are getting rarer and are replaced with amazingly logical and knowledgeable statements. We’ll get to those too. In the mean time, here are some of the recent out takes:

 

Imagine this with Milo singing in the bath tub: “I don’t have a car wash. But I will. Have one. I will have a car wash. Yahoo.”

 

Nic: “Milo, don’t pull that shower hose out of the wall.”

Milo: “But please can I do it? I will say sorry.”

 

Milo: “This is my pillow store.”

Linc” “How much does this pillow cost?”

Milo: “5 million Dollars.”

Linc: “I don’t have that much money. How much is the other one?”

Milo: “This one costs 1 inches.”

February 7, 2014

Milo Chats January 2014

Apparently this winter’s theme was getting quantities figured out and little dude is developing some attitude. Enjoy these:

Milo: “Mommy, we only have threety-three minutes.”

Milo: “Tony stark has a lot of money. But I have a lot of money too. I even have a lotter than him. A million and ten.”

Milo: “I have 96 toys. No, I even have 5, because that’s a lot.”

Milo: “I have a lotter yogurt than you.”

Milo: “I have dark eyes because I can see in the dark.”

Milo pretending not to hear me.
Linc: “Milo, did you just hear what Mommy said?”
Milo: “Yes.”
Linc: “What did she say?”
Milo: “I just know what she said, just trust me.”

December 20, 2013

Milo’s New Advent Calendar

A few years ago, I got this sparkly advent calendar for 3 dollars at a yard sale. It was really nice and doing it’s job, the only problem was that the compartments behind the doors were so tiny, that really nothing but a piece of chocolate or other unhealthy candy would fit in them. But what I really wanted to sweeten the wait for Christmas, were some small little gifts that wouldn’t disappear in one bite. Especially now that Milo is getting into Legos, the possibilities are endless to make each day of December special.

So I went on Pinterest for the usual inspiration and found this link. It also helped that my friend Kathleen did a similar one last year. Overall this was not a cheap and quick project, but it will hopefully last through Milo’s childhood and pay off in durability and joy. I probably paid about $40 total for all 25 boxes, paint, and decoration supplies. The project took about three evenings to complete = 6 hours. And here it goes.

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First I laid out the 25 boxes on a board that I had left over from a different project so that they would spread out nicely and not repeat too much. Then I marked each one for which base color it was to receive, also making sure not to have too many of the same color in the same neighborhood.

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The next step was to paint all boxes with craft paints. Milo actually helped with this step. We painted one at a time and then put it right back into its place on the board to keep everything in order.

IMG_3013

The main idea of this project was to have Milo involved in decorating the boxes, so I bought a bunch of stickers for easy decorating. But after glueing on 3 stars, he was “getting tired of stickers”. So, most of the decorating was left to me. Lincoln jumped in to create the most elaborate box (guess which one), and I just free-styled all the other ones. I used some glittery scrapbook paper, felt snowflake stickers, star stickers, white puffy paint, and a glitter marker. To keep things cohesive it probably helps sticking to 4-5 colors. And I made sure to use at least two of those colors on each box and sticking with winter motives like snowflakes, pine trees, snowmen, stars, etc.

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Next, I whitewashed the wooden board. Whitewashing or any color washing is soo easy I can’t believe I ever bought wood stain. Just water down any existing paint (I do around 1:1 ratio, but you can water it down further to have it more transparent) and then brush on the wood. It gives the wood a soft tint while still showing the grain. After it all dried, I sealed the board with Polycrylic – another recent discovery of mine. Somehow I always thought that Polyurethane is the number one top coat to use. But Polycrylic is much less smelly, dries faster, smoother, and cleans up easily with water. It also won’t yellow over time.

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Finally, it was time to attach the boxes to the board. Because I have had some incidents with hot glue losing its power from one Christmas season to the next from being exposed to all sorts of temperatures while stored in the attic, I wanted to be safe and not only used hot glue, but also drilled one small screw through the back of each box. I screwed a string picture hook in the back and hung the final product out of Felix’s reach on a wall.

Next year, it’s Felix’s turn to get one of these.