Done with Wallpaper; Done with Diapers

Now that the twins are potty trained (THAT’S RIGHT!) (well mostly) and all the wallpaper is down in the house,I’ve been wondering about changing the name of the blog. Some front runners are:

There’s Jamison in my Mug

Padded Walls and Clorox wipes

Mystery Smells

How To Survive Toddlers (wait, that was my Google History)

Can Anybody Hear Me? ANYBODY?

What’s This Puddle?

Thank God For Grandmas

The Yard Post

You know how you completely hate part of your home but it would take a TON of work to change it so you just close your eyes when you’re near it? That’s how I felt about our front yard.  Which is quite dangerous because it’s not safe to have my eyes closed as I pull in the driveway or play in the front yard.  So we did something about it.

BEFORE: Jungle, overgrown, messy, over-designed.

AFTER: Clean. Simple.

That sums it up!  Pics? I suppose:

From 2 different angles- and this doesn’t even do the Jungle justice.  These were taken in October (2013) and a lot of the plants were already dying off.  Plus, this year we had a ton of rain and all the plants really took off.

Some progress:

We did all the removal ourselves.  It was really hard work.  I didn’t get many pictures.  Throughout the summer, I dug most of the bulbs and small plants (we had irises, hostas, peonies, lavender, and hydrangeas).  My brother in law came one day with his skid loader to pull out the trees and scoop as much of the rock as he could.  That was a HUGE help, but we still had to rake and shovel a lot of rocks.  Enough that it was hard to be alive the next few days.  When we had the landscaping company come over afterwards, he said we saved about $3K by doing the work ourselves- that was worth it!

We hired a company to lay the sod and do the edge work.  I would do that again in a heartbeat- they knocked it out in one day, did a great job, and cleaned up after themselves.

I mean, the kids helped.  Obviously.  

And the (almost) final:

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Who knew there was a house behind all that?!

See those orange flags? Those will be white hydrangeas.  I asked for 6 across the front and they brought me 2 plus some other kind of red-leafed edging bush.  I said no thanks.  They said they’ll order more hydrangeas today.  So sometime in the next few weeks those will be planted.  You know I love hydrangeas, and the kids do too!

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It was hard to tear this out, but it was kind of necessary.

I didn’t get any pictures of the sides- there’s about 2 1/2′ of landscaping along the east side of the house that was literally 100% weeds.  I had always left them alone because it’s really steep and I figured having weeds would prevent a little more washout than having it bare.  Now its clean and simple- we scattered cobblestones to help keep the foundation protected and filled in the same river rock as the front of the house.  No holes, no room for weeds.

The only thing that stayed is that tree- and we cut it way back too. It’s so nice to have this project (almost) done! After 4 years of cringing every time I come home I can finally admire our front yard.

One final before and after:

On to the next project.

My recent Google Search History:

How to remove crayon from marble

Not boring chicken

Halloween costumes

Halloween costumes for kids

Halloween costumes for kids NOT sexy

Easy chicken

How to bake chicken

How much coffee is too much?

5+ cups of Coffee daily is good for you (proof that you can find anything you Google)

 

Ch-Ch-Changes

There has been a HUGE development in our home. I have finally taken down the last of the wallpaper. That’s right friends, our house is officially wallpaper free.

 

Lovely detail work around the door frame because…who doesn’t looooove a good cut-out?!  And a close-up.  Unfortunately I was in such a hurry to get it out of my life I didn’t get a shot of the full wall beauty.  Use your imagination.

It makes me wonder if I need to change the name of the blog to Just Diapers. Which is even more true than ever these days as I have officially left the office and am a stay at home mom (SAHM to those in the biz).

J

J started preschool! On the bus! At the school! My exclamation points are masking the tears and agony this has caused me!  

Having one at school has left me a lot of time with the twins.  And I’ve realized how weird they really are. 

Both developments have left me much happier than I was anticipating.

The Pictures Post

Apparently the last post didn’t include enough pictures. Here you go!

 

Let’s start with the old (so much oak!):


The 2 peninsulas came out from the wall that separates the kitchen from the sun room, creating 3 rooms: the dining area, the kitchen, and the room that we never used and didn’t really know what to do with so it filled with toys. 

Here are some progress shots of the cabinet install:

And then the countertop:

!!!!!

Then came the finishing of the appliances, final touches, etc.  That all happened on a Friday, and Seth and I stayed up practically all night (until like 12, which for us is the same thing) cleaning and moving everything back up from the basement!  We can’t really do this half-a’ed here with the 3 little ones so we needed things to be set and ready for the storm when they woke up. Which was not long after we finished.

Then I decided to paint a chalkboard detail where the coffee/wine bar area was:

J has been obsessed with all the work we’ve been doing and all the “fixer men” we’ve had in the house. Obsessed.  He can’t sleep if he knows we’re working.  So sometimes we just throw him a bone and let him “help.”  I’m not a big tape user, but thought for this project it might be a good idea. I was wrong. It bled SO bad I had to go over all the edges with the chalkboard and white paint to even it out. So frustrating!! Maybe user error… it was getting pretty late. Anyway- it turned out great:

And yesterday when I ran home the Fixer Man was there putting up the shelves!

IMG_2855This is a preliminary layout. I’ll change it about 500 times. I think I’m already at change 362.

 

Hello.

Hey there. I’m Willow, what’s your name? It’s been a while. So long, in fact, that when I typed the web address in my browser it didn’t even pop up. I had to type all the way to the .com. It was all Wallpaper and huh?

Things have been happening here. I would love to say we are busier than we’ve ever been, but I feel like I’ve been saying that for the past (fill in the blank) years. So at some point that statement loses merit. Plus I’m trying not to be one of those people who throws my busi-ness in yo face. Which is hard, because apparently I am one of those people. But I digress.

Let’s catch up: winter. Ew. That sums it up! Shall we move on?

So we are currently DOING SOMETHING BIG at our house (this leans more towards Wallpaper and less towards Diapers). Our kitchen is GONE. Seriously. She gone. Sold on the Craigslist. To a very nice family might I add. On a farm. And no, this isn’t just a story my mom made up to keep me happy. My beautiful cabinets are on a farm in a beautiful house with really nice owners. And my stove is in another home with newlyweds. And my dishwasher is still pimping herself on CL.

Here’s what started it all. Our countertops were tile. Remember the 90’s? So does my house. I always hated them- unsanitary, hideous, and weird. So when they started falling apart, I very much encouraged them to continue. We agreed to have someone come in and talk with us about three levels of reno: 1- replace countertops, 2- replace countertops and paint cabinets (SO much oak) & 3- the whole shebang. I was satisfied with #2 (go ahead and giggle). But S said he’d rather spend the money to get exactly what we wanted than spend still a lot of money and want to scratch it all in a few years.

So we started to brainstorm. I almost blew Pinterest up. Side note- anyone watch Modern Family and see Claire’s bookmark for Pinterest? Hilarious. The folks who built our house did not cook. We do! So we were more than excited to come up with layouts that increased workspace and made the flow a little better. Plus we get to add some barstools, which is super cool for kiddos. I’ll save you the back and forths, but in the end I think we came up with a great plan.

We also decided to switch from electric to gas for the stove top and go with a convection/microwave combo instead of a microwave and/or double wall oven. Anyone have one of these? I would love to hear how you use it! I’m very intimidated by convection ovens.

Anyway, this post is long enough. I’m going to try and be a little better about staying up to date here. The cabinets are mostly set and I just finished priming the new drywall, so there will be a lot coming! And Seth is currently wiring the basement for surround sound, so I know we are all Super excited to hear more about that. Not!

I’ve been listening to 90’s mix on Pandora all night.

Talk soon!