Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hardwood Floors Upstairs: Part 2 (Bonus Room Demo)

Demo has begun! Tonight Tal and I ripped out the carpet in our bonus room, pulled out staples, and prepped the room for hardwood floors. We have lived with dirty, stained carpet for the last 5.5 years, and we are looking forward to having updated flooring!

Tonight Tal used his chainsaw to cut up our black leather couch in order to get it out of our bonus room. We are grateful to Tal's brother Benny who gave us this black leather couch several years ago. It has served us well and gotten a lot of use over the years. Over the next few weeks, Tal and I are going to move our current living room couch into the bonus room. Our new living room sectional will be delivered at the end of June.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Hardwood Floors Upstairs: Part 1 (The Plan)

Today Tal picked up some materials for our next project...
installing 1,000 square feet of hardwood floors in the upstairs of our house!

Originally, we were going to install carpet in Savannah's bedroom, Hadley's bedroom, our bonus room, and guest bedroom. However, after collecting carpet samples and price quotes from a couple stores, Tal and I discovered that we could install hardwood floors for the about same price as carpet. However, Tal has to rip out and haul away the carpet, prep the floors, and install the hardwoods himself.

Removing the old carpet and laying new hardwoods will require more time and energy than getting carpet installed. However, Tal and I are excited about having hardwood floors (Classic Gunstock from Lumber Liquidators) throughout our entire house (except our bathrooms and laundry room).

Tal and I think that hardwood floors are a great choice for our family, especially since we have young children. With hardwood floors, we can wipe up spills and vacuum dirt easily. We can replace dirty or stained area rugs every few years (instead of living with stained carpet for 10-15 years).  Plus, hardwood floors will reduce the dust in our house, which will be better for Tal's allergies.

Today Tal picked up 15 cases of hardwoods for our bonus room. This week he is going to move out the furniture and rip out the carpet in the bonus room, so he can start prepping the floors for hardwoods. Stay tuned!

2016 Outdoor Updates: Part 7 (Phase 1 Reveal!)

Phase 1 of our 2016 landscaping makeover is done! When Tal started this project a couple months ago, our side yards were a mess. Some of the shrubs and trees were dead, dying, or overgrown. Some were prickly and hateful to maintain. Some trees were 10-20 feet tall, touched our house, and were challenging to prune. 


We decided to start over...just like we have done in our front and back yards over the last few years. To begin, Tal cut down the shrubs and trees, as well as dug up the stumps. Then, he put down landscape fabric for weed control. Next, he spread 3 truckloads of mulch in the landscaped areas around our house. Finally, Tal installed metal edging to contain the mulch and define the landscaped areas. 

Left Side Yard After
(Just ignore our trash cans and HVAC in the pics below. 
They're not attractive, but this is real life, y'all.)

The good news is that our new landscaped areas are low-maintenance and kid-friendly. Tal and I won't have to worry about prickly bushes hurting Savannah and Hadley. Also, our new bushes will grow to be 3-4 feet tall and will be easy for Tal to trim without using a ladder.

Right Side Yard After

Phase 1 of our landscaping makeover cost around $750, including 15 shrubs, landscaping fabric, 3 truckloads of mulch, and 160 feet of metal landscaping edging. 

Backyard After

Later this summer Tal is going to work on Phase 2 of our 2016 landscaping makeover. It includes building a 3-foot tall brick retaining wall in the back corner of our property (by the the play area) that will address some erosion and drainage issues that we have in that area. Stay tuned! 

Backyard After

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mother's Day Weekend: Part 1 (Silly Harper)

Our family celebrated Mother's Day with Tal's family in Salter Path. Savannah and Harper spread out their blankets and pillows on Grandma Barbara's living room carpet and watched a movie. My niece Harper (3) entertained me with her roars and silly faces!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Happy Hadley

Now that Hadley (19 months) can say around 15 words, she has started communicating her needs and wants. For example, today Hadley let me know that she wanted to go outside by saying "bye" and by bringing me her shoes and my shoes from our mudroom baskets.When we got outside, Hadley took my hand and led me to the playset in our backyard. Hadley was a happy girl while she was swinging in our backyard this afternoon:

This is the expression that Hadley makes when she says "Hooo"

2016 Outdoor Updates: Part 6 ( Metal Landscape Border)

Today Tal spent several hours installing 160 feet of landscape edging around our house! He used the metal border below from Home Depot. On Memorial Day, Tal plans to fill in the landscaped areas with a truckload of mulch (which I picked up today)...and then our yard makeover will be done!

Left Side Yard


Right Side Yard

Friday, May 27, 2016

2016 Outdoor Updates: Part 5 (Right Side Yard)

Tal worked his tail off this afternoon! After work, he got a truckload of mulch and spruced up our right side yard. Tal laid landscape fabric, planted 5 new shrubs, and spread some mulch. If the rain stays away this weekend, then Tal is going to install a landscape border on the left and right sides of our house...and then our side yard makeovers will be done! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2016 Outdoor Updates: Part 4 (Mulch)

Earlier this week, Tal planted 10 shrubs on our left side yard:

After work today, Tal got a truckload of mulch...

...and dumped and spread it around our new bushes:

Savannah helped Tal water our new bushes:

Tal still needs to install the landscape border, and then our left side yard makeover will be done!