Thursday, November 18, 2010

sneak peek

The kitchen has waved farewell to its demolition phase and reconstruction is underway. Here's a sneak peek. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010



Before I begin, sorry for the poor quality of this photo... iPhone. :)

OK. So I need your opinion. Based on all of the "potential move" of kitchen appliances I shared with you in my previous post, a few nights ago we were inspired I was inspired (so Rob was pretty much forced to help) to start demo-ing our kitchen. I like to call it test-demo. We took the countertop off of the small cabinet next to the stove in the photo above. Easy as pie. It was only held on with L-brackets and screws. I also peeled off the plastic toe-kick on the bottom of that cabinet, because that will eventually go before we repaint the cabinets. See the teal? That's what color the cabinets ORIGINALLY were before the cream color they are currently. Then we tried moving the stove over to the corner because the upper cabinet is higher and more equally proportioned to the dimensions of modern day stoves/ovens. We plan to purchase a new one. You can see why. (PS - don't look to closely at the dirt that was where the stove used to me or your gag reflex might kick in if you are anything like me). You can also see what the wall looks like underneath the laminate backsplash. Dark brown glue goop that is impossible to remove.

Oh, did I mention we're having house guests next weekend?

I guess we'll be eating out. I hope they don't mind.

So... we can't decide about the stove. Corner or back in the original location? HELP!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Fresh Start

This weekend, we were able to find the time to FINALLY start a bunch of projects that we have been meaning to start for months. I am so glad that they are underway, and can't wait to share the progress with you as they go. First up is our kitchen. It looks like we've either just moved in, or are getting ready to move out. The displaced kitchen items have found homes in the living room (where we're currently testing out a conjoined dining room/living room to see how we feel about it), basement, and even office/guest room. I'm an "a place for everything and everything in its place" kind of gal, and so we'll see how long it takes before the chaos gets to me. But so far it's been 2.5 days, and I am holding up okay. Check back on me in a week.
Above are a few shots of the displacement, and below, the dining room/living room conjoinment... What do you think?
Anyway, we knew that in order to get actually started on the project and not just thinking about starting, we would have to empty out the room so that we could again see what we were working with. We'd have to do this to start, and although we're still trying to figure a few things out first, we feel like we've started and clearly can't go on living like this forever. 

Our plans for the kitchen "renovations" have changed about 17 times, and we are still undecided about just how we want to work the layout. We have solid wood cabinets, which we've talked about replacing, but the truth is that right now, we think we'd regret tearing them all out (both sentimentally and budget-wise). Our plans are to sand them down, patch up the holes, and paint them a coat of crisp, clean white. We're deciding whether or not to move the stove from the middle to the corner of one wall, to remedy the "original stove was larger than current 30" stove and vent" problem with the cabinet above, as you can see in the following shots.
We've also got to figure out how to remove the laminate backsplash that is currently the same as the laminate countertops without damaging the countertops in case we don't redo the counters and sink right away. We know we want to tile the backsplash with subway tile close together and gray grout... it's just a matter of doing things in the right order, which currently we're thinking is: 1) remove old backsplash; 2) paint cabinets; 3) tile.

Our second big project is working on the outside. We have beds the whole way around our rancher, and a few large trees, so lately we've been tree pruning like crazy and this weekend, we cut down all of the flowers in the back beds in preparation for some major work this spring with the rototiller. We have some regrading to do (still working on our inspection checklist) and plan on installing new walkways to the front and back leading to a new stone or brick patio outside of our screened-in porch.  We also have a decent amount of leaves, and filled up 9 compost bags full of leaves and the clippings from our back beds. 
Last weekend, Rob (with the help of our uncle who was visiting from Boston for the weekend) built this ramp into the shed so that we can easily store our tractor and lawnmower in there. It looks great and is SO functional!
With the leftover board from the ramp project last weekend, this weekend we installed a swing from the huge oak tree in our front yard. It adds a little charm, and is fun too!

So, that was our weekend. Have you started any projects lately?

Monday, November 1, 2010

seasons series | fall | giving thanks


Happy November! I love that the holidays are right around the corner... my favorite time of year because of the occasions to celebrate with family and friends. There is a time of slowing down and focusing on those things that are really important in life. Not that we can't do this at other times of the year, of course. But Thanksgiving, in particular, is a time when I am reminded of all that I am blessed with in life, and that even in the midst of difficult times, God is good.

And as cliche as it might sound, I am really going to try to make a list, one day at a time, of things that I am thankful for this month. I am not much of a journaler... more of a list-maker, so that's what I will do. And just before Thanksgiving, I will share them with you. I think this exercise will put things back in perspective for me. It's so easy to lose perspective, isn't it?

What are you thankful for? Will you join me in this little challenge this month? Make it a family activity. If you have children, teach them to be thankful at a young age.  Display the list somewhere in your house so everyone is reminded throughout the month of the things they mentioned.

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