Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer Bucket List Bingo Update #3

We're slowly making our way through our bucket list!

Over the past week or so we've crossed off:

Dinner at Five Guys! This was Nate's biggest wish for the bucket list this summer, so it made perfect sense to have it double as his birthday dinner! The kids absolutely loved it and are begging to go back.

Pretending to be sleepy :-P



Dewitt Park and walk to Blondie's for ice cream with our friends! It was a great afternoon hanging out with our friends Jess and Aaron. We don't get to see them outside of church that often, and we really enjoyed catching up with them. We haven't really explored this park before, and I can definitely see us coming back to explore more, especially now that we know the secret path to Blondie's!!!!




Proof that Ry will talk to Jess!!! He loves pretending to be shy around her.

Aaron playing with the kids

Family baseball! Okay, so I wasn't feeling well and while I technically didn't play, but I was umpire, so that counts for something, right? Pete and Ryan were on a team against Paige and Nate, and while we didn't officially keep score, it was a really close game. We're really looking forward to our bigger yard so we're not playing around our vehicles anymore :)



While we probably won't be crossing everything off of our list this summer (yet again), I have to remember to cut us some slack. We've been so busy with house things, but I'm loving how intentional we've been about taking time to fit in some fun things along with the chaos as well!!!

What fun things have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New House Inspiration: Current Kitchen

When we were trying to figure out the logistics for moving the kitchen around in the new house, we had no idea whatsoever what we would do with the old kitchen space. We couldn't expand the dining room into the new space as the table would go through the walking path to get to from the kitchen to the rest of the house, and that would make the room feel awkward. We didn't necessarily need a bigger dining room, either; our table, even when full expanded, can fit in the dining room just fine. The room also isn't big enough for a play space, and I already had an office space downstairs.

So what were we going to do with this room?


While we had been going over house plans when we were considering building, a lot of the houses had breakfast nooks. Every single time we said that it was unnecessary to have that space (we eat at our dining room table for every meal), it was a waste of a room for us, and we would transform it into another room (usually my office) if we built.

But for this house, it wasn't a super bad idea.

While this isn't necessarily a traditional "breakfast nook", we really liked the idea of putting in another table here. With a bench under the window with a smaller table and a few chairs, it is perfect for extra seating for parties and gatherings, a homework and school project space, crafting, playing games or doing puzzles, playing on the computer (we have laptops)....the possibilities are endless!


Right now all of our board games and puzzles are stored in the basement playroom, but they are all played upstairs. They don't always make it back down to their proper location, so I need a way to store them that makes it really easy to put them away. Because I don't want the bench to go across the entire back wall (it would just look and feel awkward with a small table), I really like the idea of putting a bookcase or cupboard in each corner on either side of the window:


However, I would want doors on it to avoid visual clutter:


The left wall (behind the current kitchen's oven) would be the pass through....


...and the right wall (behind the current fridge) would probably just be an artwork wall.

The flooring will be getting an update, but we'll probably keep it a linoleum type floor for easy clean up from paint/water/glue spills. I like the idea of having it the same flooring as the kitchen for continuity, but am open to other ideas.

For the table and chairs, I really like the idea of having a smaller version of our current dining room table (it comes in various sizes, all expandable) and a similar, less formal version of our current chairs. While the nook is not exactly the same room as the dining room, they are open to each other. Keeping everything the same color and at least similar design will hopefully keep it less busy and visually cluttered!

What would you use this room for?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New House Inspiration: Sunroom

Can I just begin by saying how excited I was about having a sunroom?

One corner of the sunroom

I loooove the sunshine. During the cloudy and cold winter months, I definitely get depressed and don't feel well without the sun around. Having a room where I could enjoy the sun for most of the year without getting rained on just seemed like a perfect situation to me.

However, Pete wasn't as excited about a sunroom as I was, and he was thinking about turning it back into a covered deck. The room isn't insulated, so we wouldn't really be able to use it any longer than a deck would be, so it's just a wasted space in the winter. To turn it back into a deck, we'd pull out all the sliding glass doors that make up the windows in the sunroom, add some supports to hold up the roof, and put in a wood deck floor above the current concrete floor. I definitely saw the potential in this as we'd have an outdoor eating space and a place for grilling (as we didn't know where the grills would go), and thought this would be just as great of a space as a sunroom would be.

I looked up some inspiration, and thought some of these ideas would be amazing!

I really liked the curtains around the deck sides for privacy as well as the lights strung along the ceiling for mood lighting:


I liked the lighting for this one as well, as well as the privacy screen created by the trees. The dining area as well as a seating and relaxing area is really really nice, too!


While I was a little sad about possibly giving up my sunroom, it made sense to turn it into a deck. The grill would be right outside the future kitchen, it's less work than updating the sunroom would be, and we really like having an outdoor hang out space.

Buuuuut, my husband is full of surprises. He mentioned that keeping the sunroom might not be such a horrible idea, that with a little work, we could definitely transform it into a four season room (it's currently a three season space), and even have part of it be a greenhouse area for growing some things during the winter.

Genius.

So, you know what came next, I turned to Pinterest and looked up more inspiration!!!!

While this look is a little too messy for my taste, I really love the idea of a hammock chair by the plants. We are obsessed with our hammock, and getting to sit in a hammock during the winter while being surrounded by plants? Bye bye depression!!!!


I thought this was really cute for a corner of the sunroom! I can see herbs being grown like this:


This was my favorite idea: shelves installed in front of some of the windows! The big wall of the sunroom faces south, and I can see even one set of the sliding doors having plant shelves in front of them. Spinach, green onions, and lettuce would be happy here!


For the rest of the room, I'd love to take some of the deck ideas and bring them inside, like having the lights still hung on the ceiling and some indoor/outdoor furniture for eating and relaxing:


I also loved the idea of curtains being hung! It would be great for privacy, more insulation, and just giving it a more finished and homey feel.



The main problem with keeping the space as a sunroom is that we still don't have a space for grilling. We have two grills (propane and charcoal) as well as a smoker.

We looooove grilling.

Yes, they can live in the garage and be pulled out into the driveway to be used, but we like grilling year round. Having to pull them out into the garage without a roof to protect from the elements is not an ideal situation, so I wanted to find something that would work without turning into a super big project.

While this isn't completely perfect, I really liked adding a deck space attached to the sunroom space. I love the pergola idea (and the lights! oh the lights!!!! must get lights!), but that doesn't really help with the grilling while being protected issue. Adding a little roof (or a clear roof like in the top deck idea picture) could easily remedy that, though!


The next reveal is the current kitchen space, which will come out on Tuesday. What would you like to see after that? We have two bathrooms, dining room, living room, kid's play space, office, laundry room and (I forgot this before, oops!) the entrance/mudroom left! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New House Inspiration: Kitchen

Now that all of the bedrooms are planned and revealed, the kitchen was the next room requested.

Let me just warn you: this post is going to be interesting. And probably confusing, too. But please bear with me!

The kitchen was THE #1 REASON why we didn't want to go look at this house. Yes, we don't particularly like the outside, but that's easily fixable. But when you look at the pictures online, see a tiny kitchen, and have a family of 5 that loves to help cook? Yeah, it's not going to work out.


But we looked and loved the house so very very much we wanted to work something out.

While Pete was thinking about visiting the house a second time, I was spending so much time (while I wasn't finishing prepping this house to sell) researching how to make tiny kitchens workable. I stumbled across one pin (because Pinterest is always my go to for anything!) showing one woman who converted her garage into a kitchen, and I thought that was just plain silly. I commented about it to Pete, and as soon as the words left my mouth, we had a light bulb moment.

One of the garage bays was already converted into living space.

Living space we weren't sure what we were going to do with.

And it's right next to the current kitchen.


We started brainstorming ideas on how to move the kitchen from it's current space to the next room over. How would we run the water pipes and gas line? Is it even possible? What would we do with the old kitchen space? HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?!??!!!?

We were able to check it out more on our second showing. The family room space (hopeful future home of kitchen) is elevated to match the rest of the house's flooring, and the entryway mudroom is not. Behind the mudroom paneling is an access point to get under the flooring in the family room and run the lines! YAY!

During our inspection we asked our inspector what he thought about it, and he thought it was a great idea as well. The structure will work nicely for a kitchen, and he even helped us figure out a couple things while he was there!

The wall that is between the current kitchen and family room is going to get opened up a little bit like this. We're so used to more of an open floor plan, and that will help keep it open. The counter at the window will also help for parties (able to get food from either side) or holiday, when not all the food will be able to fit on the table:


We want to do the same counters as we just put in our current kitchen. We love them, and we have a ton of pieces left. We'd be able to save money by probably just buying one more piece of laminate and building the counters ourselves rather than buy premade counters. We've always wanted dark counters and gray floors (to help hide dirt), but us agreeing on cabinet color has always been a bit of a struggle. We actually both really like these cupboards, and it's almost exactly what we're looking for in terms of counters and flooring colors:


I really really really wanted a buttercream yellow kitchen and dining room for our current house. However, our rock wall around our coal stove clashed with the cream color, so I had to choose something else. I think this color would be perfect, keep the room nice and light, and really give you a hug as you walked it (it's the first room you'd walk into from the mudroom):


Having a big family who love to eat and cook means a lot of food and dishes/pots/pans/small appliances that need to be stored. Having a house closer to school and being by friends means more mouths to feed, too. I really want a pantry, and I found a corner one like this that would work out amazing in the space:



I like the lower shelves of this pantry being deeper for more storage and for the appliances to have almost a counter to sit on:


 Now, I really really really want an island in my kitchen. I'm so used to having a peninsula (and we loooove it!), but the kitchen really isn't going to be big enough to have one. There's a certain amount of space you need for walking space in a kitchen, and having an island is just not feasible in the new space. Buuuut, IKEA to the rescue! I love this little cart! The side with the shelves would go towards the oven for things like cast iron pots or even our regular pans, and then the two stools on the other side are great for the kids to sit at while helping prep dinner. It's the perfect size for what we have space for AND it's movable, so if for some reason we need more floor space, we can move it. I'd probably recover the top to match the counters, though, just for continuity:


When you enter the kitchen, the fridge will be immediately to the left of the door. I like the idea of building a wall there to keep it in it's place and having a family command center there:


A lot of this room may change depending on the budget. We will hire someone to run lines for the water and gas, but we can probably do everything else ourselves, allowing us to keep the costs low. This is definitely one of the bigger projects (if not THE biggest) that we have planned for the house. The one great thing about doing this is that we can keep the other kitchen up and running for most of the project.

Four rooms down, so many to go! What would you like to see next? We have two bathrooms, dining room, living room, kid's play space, my office, laundry room, current kitchen space, and sun room left! Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nate's Percy Jackson Party

On Saturday we had Nate's family birthday get together! He had chosen Percy Jackson as his theme over a year ago, so he was super excited to finally have this day come.

Choosing food to have was actually really challenging. There really isn't a lot of blue food that you can make healthy, and there really wasn't any food that was super significant in the books that would be easy to make for a party. We did pretty good though! We had:

Cheeseburgers (not pictured). In one of the books, Percy is climbing and struggling...and his stomach is BEGGING for a cheeseburger!

Percy's Pasta Salad! When I was boiling the pasta, I put in blue food coloring (it turned out greenish, though), and made a Greek pasta salad. Nate thought it was so great that it was blue pasta and honored the Greek-ness of the books.


Ambrosia, the food of the gods. Okay, so it's just fruit salad with vanilla yogurt, but it worked and was super yummy.


Medusa's Cheese Ball. I needed another food for the party, but was really struggling. I ended up seeing a Medusa ice cream sundae on Pinterest (mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate snakes coming out of the top), and thought it could be easily adapted as a cheese ball! I cut up a cucumber that was in a "c" shape for the snakes.


Nectar, drink of the gods. Better known as lemonade for us mortals!


I apologize in advance for the grainy and blurry present pictures; I was on the other side of the room and the glare from the door didn't help very much. Our boy received:

Hand weights! He's very into being active and getting stronger.


Settlers of Catan Seafarer's expansion board game. He played this expansion at his aunt and uncle's, and has been begging for it ever since! Settlers of Catan is definitely one of our favorite games.


A new target for archery! He can't wait to try it out.


Ear buds for his school computer. And they're BLUE! Percy Jackson would approve.


A Tim Horton's gift card. Donuts? Yes please! 


He also got a couple Lego sets, his favorite body wash (how is my boy old enough to be using Old Spice?!??), and swim goggles.

For his cake, I dyed the cake mix blue and then did an almost ombre blue cake to look like water. I did a yellow frosted trident on top in honor of Poseidon, and then had his 10 candles around the cake. We could not find a '1' and '0' candle that matched anywhere! Stores either had the '1' or the '0', but not both, and none of the candles in any store we visited matched the style at another store. Thankfully Wegmans had one set of all blue candles!


It was a really nice time with all of the family! The cousins had a great time playing together, some of the adults and kids played a board game, and there was a lot of visiting between all the families as well. We were really bummed, though: we actually had the back all weeded and gorgeous and the pool all ready for swimming, and it was cold and rainy all day! I think there's only been one or maaayyybe two years since we've been in the house that the weather has been nice for his party. It was also a bittersweet day as it's the last birthday party (and maybe formal get together) at this house.

Nate is already counting down to next year's birthday party as he'll get his very own Harry Potter party (Paige had one when she turned 11 as well), but I think the next year can go by nice and slow, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

New House Inspiration: Master Bedroom

Our next new house room inspiration is our master bedroom!

This room might not be as exciting as the other bedroom reveals. We're basically just taking our current bedroom and mostly reproducing it with a few slight changes.

Our bedroom has two windows, one faces south and the other west. It's smaller than our current bedroom at 11' x 12' (instead of 12' x 13'), which isn't horrible but will take some getting used to. It's very similar to Paige's new room in size and pretty much the mirror image of it. I think the biggest change that we're going to have to get used to is no attached master bathroom :(

We absolutely love the wall color we have now. I was a little nervous about going dark again as my research with small bedrooms usually has lighter colored walls. I didn't want the room to look super tiny because it's so small, so I kept looking and looking...


...until I found this image! I love how cozy it is, even with the really dark walls. The white accents really help keep it bright, so I'm hoping our lighter bedspread will help with that.


Our bed is going to go in front of a window (our only option), and I wasn't sure about that until I found this image. I'll hang the curtains above and wider than the window to make it more grand feeling. Not sure if we'll keep the curtain color as dark brown or do something lighter, though. Thoughts?


I really liked the mirrors behind the lamps to help distribute the light. We don't have a ceiling light in our room (we'll add a fan/light at some point), so the more light we can get the better!


The carpet is also getting ripped up in our room, but I'm loving the idea of having an area rug! I think most of my master bedroom Pinterest board had area rugs. I'd like something with some length to it. I've been crushing on a sheepskin one at IKEA, but I don't know if it'd be big enough.


I may have to get a new dresser because mine is short and wide, and I'm not sure how well it will fit in the room. I told Pete that getting matching medium height ones would be nice like this with at least one table lamp and maybe a computer monitor/small tv for when we watch movies or tv in bed. I liked this set up a lot!


Our closet is still going to be a nice size, but it's definitely smaller than our current one. I'm totally going to have shelves be put up in one end (if not both!) again. They're so helpful and make better use of the dead space in the closet! Plus my shoes need a home ;)


It's kind of nice knowing that our bedroom is going to be the same. We absolutely love our current room, so why change what isn't broken? We just have to decide on curtains and an area rug!

What color curtains or rug would you do for a dark teal room?