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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Project 365: Week 26

5 out of 7 cell phone snaps this week.  I realllllly need to get back on the wagon with my DSLR.  I'm doing too much dreaming about an upgrade and not enough actual using the one I have!

 September 12 - New hair selfie!

September 13 - Cornbread.

September 14 - Raspberry harvest.

September 15 - Brothers' first day of school.

September 16 - Dinner when Daddy's meeting runs late and he's supposed to grill and bedtime needs to happen on time.  

September 17 - Celebrating Brothers' birthday at school!

September 18 - Halloween, done and done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Painted Sink & Countertop {One Year Update!}.

Well, it's officially been one year since we originally painted our integral sink and countertop, and we're still thrilled with the results!  I still get lots of compliments on it, along with questions about how it's holding up, so I thought I'd write an update and share some photos.

As I said in the original post, this bathroom gets a lot of foot traffic, so I was originally a bit worried about wear and tear.  But I could not be more pleased with the condition of the countertop and sink.  It honestly looks just as good as it did on the day we finished!  

There is not a single scratch or spot of peeling paint on the entire countertop and sink.  The only "flaw" is a small, very faint orange circle from water sitting under the orange candle jar.  I tried to photograph it, but it was too faint to capture.  I've been too chicken to try scrubbing it with a Magic Eraser or anything like that, as I'd rather live with a barely noticeable ring than mess up the smooth finish!

On the topic of cleaning, I use a gentle bathroom cleaner, like Seventh Generation, for weekly cleaning.  But with 3 little boys, Clorox wipes also get used on the regular.  I was worried at first that Clorox wipes might be too harsh, but a couple each week for the last year have been just fine!

The faucet is still in perfect condition.  I was a little worried about the candles being hard to keep clean, but they're very easy to wipe up.  The fact that the C is sideways when the faucet is off drives me a little batty, but that is at the very bottom of Brian's to-do list.

In the above photo, you can see a little part where I couldn't get rid of the texture of the roller in the paint.  It's the only spot on the counter that isn't smooth, it's only noticeable from a certain angle, and it's been that way since the beginning, so it doesn't bother me!  Also, let's talk about the fact that we ran out of soap and only had ugly bottles left, so I decided to leave it out of the photos.  Fear not, we do, in fact, keep soap in the bathroom!

Are you thinking of painting your integral sink and countertop?  I have a few words of wisdom for you!

First, I definitely recommend it for sinks and counters, but I would be hesitant to do a shower or tub.  Most of the negative reviews of Rustoleum Tub & Tile paint that I've seen are from people who have painted tubs or showers.  I'm just not sure if the paint is designed to withstand the amount of water in a tub or shower.  We tried something similar in the boys' bathroom shower, but that is a completely different post for another day!  

Second, I cannot stress this enough ... follow the directions!!  I get it, they seem insanely redundant.  But I have to believe that they're there for a reason.  We sanded and Comet-ed and Lime-Away-ed til our heads were about to explode.  Here we are though, one year later with a fantastic looking countertop, so the work paid off!

I'm super insanely happy that we undertook this project.  The entire look of the bathroom, and makes it not only livable, but actually enjoyable until we have the cash flow to do a bigger remodel!  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Project 365: Week 25

The Brothers turned 4 and Brennan started school and our lives have been crazy, crazy, crazy...

September 5 - Sleepy Lou. 

September 6 - Our little family.

September 7 - Sometimes, checking your bun with your cell phone camera counts as a photo of the day.  

September 8 - First day of school!

September 9 - New year, new school ...

September 10 - ... new teacher!

September 11 - Cell phone snap!  Bus stop line :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Project 365: Week 24

 Wow, it's been awhile, huh?  Life has been really, really busy the last few weeks!  When the end of summer and the beginning of school collide, chaos ensues.  At least it's the good kind of chaos!

August 29 - Girls' Weekend with 4/5 of our College friends group!

August 30 - Pure Michigan.

August 31 - Loungin'.

September 1 - Ch-ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch.

September 2 - Big Lou.

September 3 - Hail.

September 4 - Big Lou.  Again.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hiking Hogsback Mountain - Marquette, Michigan.

A few weeks ago, while vacationing in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Brian and I headed to Marquette to do some hiking with my sister Michelle and her boyfriend Andrew.  Last summer, we hiked nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.  The views from the top were beautiful, and while the climb wasn't exactly a walk in the park, there were stairs to climb and wide paths to travel.

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

This year, when Andrew suggested hiking Hogsback Mountain, my sister was skeptical.  She suggested that Brian and Andrew hike the mountain while she and I hike something a little more manageable.  She's hiked it before and thought it was kinda brutal ... and she knows that she's in way better shape than I am!  The boys were insistent that we join them though, so I suggested that we give it a try.  The boys would go their pace, Michelle and I would go at my pace, and we'd see how close we could get to the top!

Hiking Hogsback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

We took occasional breaks, and I took that time to snap some photos of the beautiful surroundings.  The way the light came through the trees was gorgeous.

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

The paths are sandy in some places, with lots of stones and tree roots scattered throughout.  It's funny to see Brian and Andrew just float across all of the obstacles, while I struggle not to trip on anything.  I'm definitely not as graceful at these things!

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Of course, the sandy trails eventually gave way to pure rock.  While it was actually easier to climb up the rock than some of the sandy paths, all I kept thinking was ... how in the world am I going to get back down??

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Then the rock became smoother and more vertical and my focus was back on the 'getting up' part.  Holy steep.  I am not a rock climber, but I managed!

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

It was a pretty cool feeling to make it to the top.  Brian jumped down to grab the camera so that he could take photos of me reaching the top.  To say that he was excited that I tried, and succeeded, was an understatement.  

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

The views from the top are a breathtaking mix of blues and greens for as far as the eye can see.  There were even some fall colors peeking through at the top of the mountain.

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Brian had fun running around taking photos while we took a break before the trip back down the mountain.

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

I love how flippin' happy he is in this photo!

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

When it was time to climb back down the mountain, I did a lot of sitting and scooting like a toddler learning to navigate the stairs.  Ha!  But hey, I made it!

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

Do you see those people sitting on the top of the mountain?  Brian snapped this when we were just a small way down the mountain.  I think it's the last spot where you can actually see people before continuing the hike down.  

Hiking Hogback Mountain - Marquette Michigan

If you ever get the chance to hike Hogsback, I highly recommend it.  It was hard, but so worth it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Project 365: Week 23

Fun photos this week!  We're trying to squeeze as much fun as possible into the last few weeks of summer!

August 22 - Smug little swimmer.

 August 23 - Robot Kiernan.

August 24 - TT snuggles.

August 25 - Sleepyhead.

 August 26 - Berry harvest.

August 27 - Stoplight selfie .... heading to Girls' Weekend!

August 28 - Gorgeous.