Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy July!!

Happy July!!  We have been busy, busy bees lately!  I was lamenting to Brian the other day about the fact that we've been so busy with fun stuff that we haven't had time to do anything productive.  I guess it's worth it, but I've been itching to tackle some things around here.  Some are things that I just can't do without Brian, others are things that I'm just lacking inspiration for, and others are thing that I can't justify spending the money on just yet.


We finally had a Saturday free of sports, parties, and such, so we buckled down and got to work!  Brian focused on the boys' bathroom.  Things on his list were to finish the light fixture, frame out the mirror, and replace the shower fixtures.  After all of those things are finished, I just have 2 tiny spots of paint to touch up, a towel holder to DIY, and a few art pieces to hang, and we can call that room done.  But it drove me a bit crazy to work on those things without light in the room, so Brian's jobs were first on the list.  I'll write up a post on the light fixture, but for now, I'm loving the fact that I can see when I turn on the light in that room!


While Brian was working in the boys' bathroom, I was working in the laundry room.  This room has made me crazy for awhile now.  It's ugly.  It's dysfunctional.  And it's completely torn up by the dogs.  I spent Friday cleaning everything out of the cabinets and scrubbing all surfaces, and then Saturday I got to work.  I painted almost every surface in the room.  Is it putting lipstick on a pig?  Absolutely.  But that lipstick sure makes the pig easier to live with.  Still on the to-do list in there is a valance, cabinet door refresher, replacing the floor, and figuring out a space to store a laundry basket.  


And then, there's our room.  You may remember that I painted the room (Naval by Sherwin-Williams).  I painted the nightstands too, but then stalled out.  I was just out of ideas for awhile, so it has just sat as is and continued to accumulate Brian's dirty clothes all over the floor.  But ... I finally have a plan!!   We made a promise to ourselves that we will "finish" one room before starting another.  While that doesn't 100% work because, for instance, we can't both work in the boys' bathroom or the laundry room, we agreed that we'll work on 2 rooms at a time.  So once either of those rooms are done, I'm moving on to the master!


While I work on our room, Brian will be busy in the family room.  I've done almost everything that I can do in this room, but he has a ton of things to finish.  The list includes installing baseboards, removing the mirror above the fireplace and replacing it with planks, building a fireplace surround, building/installing a mantle, and mounting the TV above the mantle.  Whew.  I'm tired and depressed over my bank account just talking about it.  Luckily, because this summer will be so busy, the work will be stretched out, so hopefully not so stressful on the budget or our time!

Anyway, that's the latest around here.  I suppose this means that I'll have lots and lots to write about in the coming months, amidst all of the summer fun of course!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Project 365: Week 14

Soccer, teeball, boating, birthdays ... all signs of SUMMER!  We have been insanely busy the last few weeks, but the good kind of busy.  Soccer is over now, and we only have a few more weeks left of teeball, but the parties and fun won't stop for awhile!  

June 20 - Soccer star.

June 21 - It's a Beckett on a boat.

June 22 - Snuggles on my birthday.

June 23 - Ice cream after dental work.

June 24 - Trouble.  Cute trouble.

June 25 - Sweet sunset.

June 26 - Boys and dirt.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Project 365: Week 13

June 13 - Soccer superstar.

June 14 - This is boys.

June 15 - Daddy explanations involve sketches.

June 16 - First base.

June 17 - Daisy.

June 18 - Rainy day baseball spectator.
June 19 - Sleepy boy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Project 365: Week 12

The last week of school was packed with fun for our little family!  

Cooper, our oldest "baby", turned 10 years old and we celebrated with party hats, a peanut butter cake, and a cookout.  Coop was treated to a hot dog and even a piece of cake.  I contemplated making him a doggie-friendly cake, but considering he steals the boys' food daily, we decided that he could just eat what I made for all of us.  

And Friday was Brennan's very last day of Young Fives.  He is now officially a Kindergartner!  It's unreal how much he has changed in the last year.  I love him to pieces.  

June 6

June 7

June 8

June 9

June 10



June 11

June 12

Monday, June 15, 2015

Budget Closet Remodel {tackling the boys' closet}.



Our family is not an organized one by nature.  In order for a space to stay orderly, it has to be easy to do so.  Really, really easy.  If it's not, it ends up a big fat disaster.  The boys' closet was the perfect example of such a disaster.  


The boys have a great wardrobe, thanks to my wonderful relatives.  And their closet is more than big enough to accommodate clothing for 3 little boys.  But the way the closet was set up wasn't at all conducive to keeping it neat.


There was just one wire shelf set at a standard-ish height, leaving lots of wasted space both above and below it.  We also put the dresser in here to leave a little more floor space in their room for wrestling.  While I'm not a giant fan of wire shelving and would have loved to have taken it out completely, I also needed this makeover to cost very little money.  So reusing the shelving needed to happen!


Step one was to clean out the whole closet and start from scratch.  All of the clothes came out, and the shelving.  After patching the holes and repainting the closet, I started by re-installing the old shelving about a foot below the ceiling.  


I put the dresser on the other wall and installed the wire shelf that I had leftover from the coat closet remodel in it's place.  After adding 3 more shelves below the wire shelf, it was time to start adding clothes back in.


The dresser houses pajamas, t-shirts, and shorts - little boys' stuff on the left side of the drawers and Brennan's stuff on the right side.  There is room for a laundry basket to be tucked under the Brothers' shirts that are hanging next to the shelves.


Brennan's clothes are hanging on the back wall and the Brothers' on the left wall.  Polos, button-down shirts, and colored jeans and pants are all hung.  


Sweatshirts are in baskets on top of the dresser, because of course in Michigan it can be sweatshirt weather at the drop of a hat.  



Underwear, socks, and bathing suits are all in baskets on the very easy-to-reach shelves.  Jeans, sweatpants, and long sleeve t-shirts are all tucked into baskets that are a little easier for adults to reach.



Labels make it easy for the boys to find their clothes ... and for Daddy to find where to put clean laundry away.  Teehee.


This system is worlds easier to maintain.  The boys can reach the clothes that they most frequently need to dress themselves, and the clothes that they don't wear as often as still easy for Brian and I to get to.  There's even room for storage at the very top.  


And it was all very cheap!  We already had the paint, baskets, and wire shelving.  All we bought were the shelves and shelf brackets.  The project took roughly 2 days to complete, but honestly could have been completed in a day.  But you know, I have these little people running around my house who require a little bit of attention throughout the day.  It was well worth it for a closet that actually works!

Project list:
Wire shelves & accessories - already had
Paint - already had
6 ft laminate shelf - 12.98 (cut in half)
6 shelf brackets - 1.88 each

Total spent - $31.74

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dreaming of ... planked fireplace walls.

I've been sailing through a few little projects here and there.  Accomplishing something always makes me feel ... accomplished.  Ha.  But I can't help but feel that by finishing the small fun things, I'm putting the bigger ones on the back-burner.  And it turns out, Brian was feeling the same way.

So we decided to sit down and make a list of everything we need and/or want to do in each room in the house.  From there, we'll try to focus on finishing one room at a time.  We are both dying to do the kitchen, but that's going to be expensive so it's going to be last on the list.  To perk ourselves up a bit, we decided to focus on a room that's already come a long way, and that will pack a big punch without too much expense.  

And that room is the family room.  



We spend a lot of time in this room.  And we have already made a decent amount of improvements - Painted walls, new flooring, updated fireplace, curtains.  



But that mirror has been driving us both crazy since Day 1.  And I hate that TV stand with the fire of 1000 suns.  It's huge and has sharp corners and we're itchin' to get rid of it and mount the TV on the wall.  



While we're making plans, I've been gathering inspiration photos from around the web.  Here's what I know - we're definitely doing some kind of white planking where the mirror currently is hanging, we'll definitely mount the TV, and we'll definitely do some kind of box beam mantle.  


gray fireplace with built ins

IMG_2013

Mantal redo 1

fall fireplace

So much eye candy!  It makes me drooley.  I'm currently working on some mockups in Photoshop to show to Bri so that we can make a grand plan.  And then comes figuring out how to get that beast of a mirror off of the wall.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Project 365: Week 11

I'm 6 for 7 with big-girl camera photos this week!  Between sporting events and blooming flowers, I have had plenty of things to photograph.  

The Brothers are playing soccer, Brennan is playing teeball, and Daddy is coaching both sports.  To say that they're all having fun would be an understatement.  

Have you ever seen 3-year-olds play soccer?  It's like herding cats.  But they are just so, so cute.  And sometimes they actually run after the ball.  

And then there's teeball.  Ohhhhh teeball.  There are a bunch of rowdy boys on the team who would rather wrestle in the gravel than learn how to play teeball, soooooo it's interesting.  Brennan isn't naturally athletic, but he has a really great attitude, and for that I am grateful!  

May 30 - Juggling Daddy.


May 31 - Rainy Sunday activity.

June 1 - Caught.

June 2 - Keeping his eye on the ball.

June 3 - Budding.

June 4 - Shoe-tying lessons

June 5 - Perfect petunias.