Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 House Goals

Over the last 5 years, Tal and I have made a lot of progress in improving and decorating our project at a time. We are always working on projects. Even when we are not actually doing projects, Tal and I are brainstorming ideas, researching products, reading tutorials, shopping for supplies, etc.

Since Tal and I finished painting our stairs last week, we have been prioritizing our house goals and crafting our home improvement budget for 2016:


  • paint interior doors
  • paint trim upstairs
  • paint and begin decorating guest bedroom
  • replace door hardware (levers, strike plates, and hinges) throughout house
  • rip out carpet and staples in the 3 bedrooms and bonus room upstairs
  • get new carpet installed in the 3 bedrooms and bonus room upstairs
  • buy and install TV above fireplace in our living room
  • move living room TV and install it in our master bedroom
  • move master bedroom TV and install it in our home gym
  • hire electrician to replace outdated chandeliers in entry and formal dining room
  • hire electrician to fix broken lights in garage, master closet, and Hadley's closet
  • paint upstairs loft cabinets and add new hardware
  • paint kitchen cabinets and add new hardware
  • update downstairs gallery wall to include pictures of Hadley and recent family photos
  • restyle living room bookcases
  • paint dresser and nightstand in master bedroom and move them to the guest bedroom
  • buy king-size bed and begin decorating master bedroom (bedding, headboard, dresser, nightstands, area rug, lamps, and wall decor)
  • buy living room furniture (couch, end tables, console table, and lamps)
  • buy bonus room furniture (couch, end tables, and lamps)
  • buy porch furniture
  • buy freezer for garage
One of our top priorities is to get new carpet installed in the our upstairs bonus room and 3 bedrooms. However, before we get new carpet, it makes sense to get all of the painting done first. We don't want to get paint on our new carpet. 

For that reason, over the next couple months, Tal and I will be working on a few tasks to get ready for our new carpet installation. We will be painting the trim upstairs, the guest bedroom, and all of the our interior doors. We also will be installing new hardware (levers, strike plates, and hinges) on all 25 of our doors when we take them off their hinges to paint them. Then, Tal and I will be ready to rip out the old carpet and order our new carpet!

Tal and I are excited to get started on our projects!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kitchen Mudroom: Part 5

Our mudroom cushion arrived this week!

The fabric is Pursuit Aqua by Sunbrella. 
It is a durable indoor/outdoor fabric for our hardworking mudroom that gets a lot of wear and tear:

The small-scale stripe pattern coordinates beautifully 
with our large-scale living room rug (Company C's Adele Lake Rug):

Also, the cushion's colors of aqua, teal, light green, and dark blue 
tie in nicely with our entire home's color scheme:

I ordered our custom cushion online from Cushion Pros, which had over 1,900 fabrics to choose from. 
On their website, I entered our bench's dimensions and then designed a 2-inch deep cushion with striped fabric and contrasting green piping:

This year Tal and I are planning to paint the upper mudroom cabinets white, 
as well as add new oil-rubbed bronze knobs..and then our mudroom will be done!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Disney Vacation: Part 15 (Disney Recap)

This is my 15th (and final) post about Disney! I've finished editing all of the photos, but I forgot to include the ones below in previous posts:

Harper loves rubbing Hadley's bald head:

Harper and Savannah loved playing in their Mickey Mouse room:

To remember our Disney vacation, I created a collage below for each family, which I am going to print on canvases. To make the collages more meaningful, I personalized them for each family. For example, Benny and EJ's collage includes mostly pictures of Harper and their family.  

I hope the collage canvases bring happy memories of our Florida family vacation! Thanks again to Grandma Barbara for taking all 8 of us Disney!

 1. Benny and EJ

 2. Our Family

 3. Grandma Barbara

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Disney Vacation: Part 14 (Girls Day)

While Tal and Benny went golfing one day, us girls (Grandma Barbara, EJ, Savannah, Harper, Hadley, and I) had a girls day. We ate lunch and played at Chick-fil-a. Then, we had a great time shopping at Target, which was a treat for Barbara and EJ, who don't live near a Target at home. It was a fun day!

Savannah always asks to have her picture taken 
on the red balls in front of Target:


Cousinly Love

Savannah (6), Harper (2), and Hadley (14 months)

Savannah as a (blurry) Minnie Mouse

Hadley as Minnie Mouse

Disney Vacation: Part 13 (Sling Shot)

During our Disney vacation, our family celebrated New Year's Eve at Old Town in Kissimmee, FL. One of the highlights of the evening was riding the Sling Shot ride, which catapulted Tal and Savannah 300 feet into the air at 100 miles per hour:

Check out this hilarious video of Tal and Savannah on the Sling Shot ride.
They both are daredevils and were smiling when they finished the ride!

(If you are reading this post via email, you will need to click here 
to watch the Sling Shot videos on the blog.)

As a mom, I couldn't watch when Savannah was shot into the sky. 
She was so brave!

Benny and EJ's Sling Shot video is hysterical, too!

They were crazy enough to ride the Sling Shot two times!

After the Sling Shot ride, 
Harper and Savannah jumped 15 feet in the air on the trampolines:


Check out Harper, who is only 2.5 years old, doing a flip on the trampoline:

Harper definitely has gymnastics and dancing skills just like her mama (EJ)!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Refinishing Our Stairs: Reveal!

Tal and I are done refinishing our stairs!

A month ago, Tal ripped out the carpet and staples. Then, he puttied the nail holes and sanded the stairs:

Last weekend, I painted the risers Behr's Ultra Pure White (semi-gloss), 
and Tal painted the treads Behr Black (also in semi-gloss): 

Then, Tal applied two coats of poly (satin finish) with a foam brush. Tal mixed the final coat of poly with a few tablespoons of Clear Grip's nonskid additive to prevent anyone from slipping down our stairs:

A few days ago, I removed the blue painter's tape and used a couple of small art brushes to touch-up the paint on the stairs. Thanks to my mom and cousin Hanja for watching Savannah and Hadley for 3 hours, so I could finish our stair project:

Tal and I love our newly refinished stairs!

Over the last 6 months, Tal and I have made our entry more colorful and inviting by staining the banisters and painting the stairs, as well as by hanging coordinating artwork and updated family photos. This spring Tal and I plan to replace the outdated brass chandelier in our entry...and then our entry makeover will be done! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Disney Vacation: Part 12 (Animal Kingdom)

One of the highlights of our Disney vacation was spending a day at Animal Kingdom!

A picture of our entire family:

When we arrived at Animal Kingdom, we entered Africa through the village of Harambe: 

In Kilimanjaro, we boarded a safari truck:

Savannah thought it was cool that we traveled through 
100 acres of savanna (her name!) during our Africa safari adventure: 

Our family got to experience a realistic African safari as 
we rode through creeks and on muddy, bumpy roads:

We saw many animals, including the hippos below, on our tour:



Baby Giraffes





We also rode the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch, 
where we visited a petting zoo and met some Disney characters:

Tal, Hadley, and Savannah

Happy Hadley

EJ and Benny

We loved meeting Chip and Dale, who were playful and full of personality: 

Harper hugged one of the chipmunks:

Savannah was excited to get Chip and Dale to sign her autograph book:

Poor Hadley wasn't fond of Chip and Dale:

 Grandma Barbara hugged Rafiki from the Lion King:


Savannah, Harper, and Grandma Barbara