Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kitchen Mudroom: Part 1

I love our house, but I have always wished it had a mudroom. We don't have a designated spot for jackets or backpacks. As a result, our kitchen counters and bar stools have become dumping grounds for bags and coats. 

The good news is that this weekend Tal started building a mudroom in our kitchen! 
In August, Tal and Uncle Kenny ripped out the built-in desk/office area in our kitchen 
to make way for our new hardwood floors: 

Tal offered to build me a mudroom with beadboard, coat hooks, and shoe cubbies: 

This week Tal is going to put the finishing touches on the mudroom by 
caulking the seams, puttying the nails, and installing the corner molding:

Then, I am going to stain and poly the top of the top of the bench ebony black
and then paint everything else white before Tal installs the coat hooks:

Tal and I are looking forward to having an organized spot for our coats, bags, and shoes! 
Stay tuned!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Santa Visit

Tonight Tal and I took Savannah and Hadley to the mall to visit Santa. For weeks, Savannah has been asking to go see Santa, and tonight she told him that she wanted make-up, a password journal, and a stopwatch for Christmas. Ha! Hadley was scared of Santa and cried when she sat on his lap. However, we managed to get this picture of her looking at the camera with a pleasant expression on her face. Visiting Santa was a great way to kick off the holiday season!

Hadley was only 6 weeks old when she visited Santa last year!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Hardwood Floors: Second Floor Reveal!

Today Tal finished installing
oak hardwood floors in our upstairs loft area and hallway!

About 10 days ago, Tal ripped out the carpet that was dirty, stained, and 15 years old:

After throwing the carpet over the railing and into our entry, 
Tal removed all the staples on the sub floor:

Last Saturday, Tal's mom drove 3 hours to help Tal start laying the hardwoods:

It was tedious and time consuming installing the bullnose and hardwoods at the top of the stairs
Tal was grateful for his mom's help and expertise!

After 5 days and about 25 hours, Tal finished laying the hardwoods this week
...and we love the results!

Loft Area


Linen Closet

I painted 64 feet of molding, 
and then Tal spent a couple hours installing it yesterday:

Our hardwoods are Bruce Gunstock in Dundee:

Originally,Tal and I were going install new carpet upstairs next spring. However, after Tal and Uncle Kenny finished installing hardwoods on our first floor last month, we had 8.5 boxes leftover. Instead of wasting money and flooring, Tal and I decided to put hardwoods upstairs.
We used all of the leftover flooring plus three more boxes!

After waiting 5 years, 
Tal and I are excited to have updated flooring throughout our house!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

New Hardwood Floors: First Floor Reveal!

After living with stained carpet and outdated tile for the last 5 years...

...Tal and I finally have new oak hardwood floors on the first floor of our house!  
About 3 weeks ago, Tal and Uncle Kenny finished laying 800 sq ft of hardwood
 in our living room, kitchen, and master bedroom.

Living Room


View from Kitchen Eating Area

Master Bedroom

 Tal and Uncle Kenny worked hard and fast and finished installing the floors in 4 days. They worked 8-10 hours a day and were sore and exhausted at the end of each day.

A big thanks to Tal's brother and mom who drove 3 hours on October 16-18 to help us with the demo. While Tal and Uncle Kenny were laying hardwoods, Barbara and Benny ripped out the carpet, took it to the dump, and prepped the floors for hardwoods.

Also, thanks to our family friend Craig who loaned us his pneumatic tools, including his compressor and hardwood nailer...which made the hardwood installation so much faster, easier, and cheaper.

Tal and Uncle Kenny set-up the miter saw and other tools on our screened porch:

Our hardwoods are Bruce Gunstock Oak in Dundee. On our first floor, we already have hardwoods in our entry, hallway, gym, and formal dining room. To save money, Tal and I decided to use the same flooring in our kitchen, living room, and master bedroom. We are so excited to have updated flooring on our first floor! 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tanners Orchard

During our stay in IL in October, the girls and I spent a beautiful fall day at Tanners Orchard with my mom, Duane, Mya, and my lifelong friend Sarah.

Sarah and I have been friends for 20 years and went to high school and college together:

I am grateful for Sarah and her friendship!

Savannah, Hadley, and Mya

Hadley (12 months) and Savannah (6.5)

Mya and Hadley

There were lots of apple varieties to sample..

...and buy:

Savannah enjoyed driving this combine:

Here is Hadley looking through the combine window:

Tanners had many play areas, including a school bus, ark, and fire engine:

Cousins Savannah and Mya

Sarah and Hadley on the slide:

The 3 pictures below are proof that I don't have a perfect life OR perfect children. When it was time to take the pics below, Savannah had reached her limit. She was tired and hungry and refused to smile: