Painting with a Toddler

We had the keys to our new home since Wednesday evening, and we’ve been hard at work. We have the luxury of having a few weeks before we have to move out of our rental, so we’re getting stuff done before we move in.

First on my list was painting the kitchen cabinets. They are nice cabinets, but in the ugly honey builder grade standard. I am so, so, so excited about these white cabinets. I’m also a complete monkey when it comes to home improvements. Heigh challenged be damned!

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We also got to work painting over the avocado green and banana yellow in the living rooms, not to mention the burnt orangey-red color in the master bathroom. Again, I didn’t let my shortness get in my way. Here’s my solution when a ladder just wasn’t cutting it.

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The pictures of the house paint don’t really do the color justice. It’s a light gray, and after the second coat I think the true color will come out. Right now it kind of looks white, but I promise in person it isn’t.

Piglet has been incredible during our weekend of DIY and home renovating. Here he is being absolutely adorable. Wouldn’t this be a great ad for paint? Just saying.

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Our secret to getting him to cooperate was a combination of lots of toys available, some extra video time, scheduled play date breaks, and just having an awesome kid. We also brought all his stuff (bed, stuffed animals, sound machine, monitor, the works) for nap time, and used those 2 hours to our full advantage each day. But we are also lucky that Piglet is a really good self entertainer, and not a destructive toddler.

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We still have so much to do, but I’m amazed at how much we were able to finish in just a few days. We are hoping to move next weekend! Ack, I can’t wait to be in our new home!

2013 To Do List Update-Finish the Backyard

So each year I write up a to do list of things I’d like to get done. I always end up crossing off a lot of the items, but more often than not, I end up just adding new projects to the list and crossing those off.  Either way, the list helps motivate me! I’m happy to report that we completed an item on the list. Originally I’d written it as plant a garden, but we realized our yard doesn’t get the right amount of afternoon sun, and because of our hot summers, this idea made more sense.

Here’s the before shots:

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Our grass died out when we had some trouble with our irrigation system last summer.

Here’s what it looks like now:

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I also managed to save up more of my Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks, and bought the rest of our patio furniture.  I love the way our firepit area looks!

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We still have some work left to do. We will be reseeding the grass, and getting rid of the mounds of dirt and weeds we dug up.

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Do you see that bare spot towards the back of the stones? We will be planting a Japanese maple in that spot. Right now the maples are saplings Match’s parents gave us from their yard, so it will be awhile before we plant. I love how the yard is coming together, and it looks so much better than it did.

I love working on projects around the house with Match. There is something so satisfying about a DIY project, and knowing we’ve done something to make our home our own. Now I just can’t wait to save up the extra cash to get the outside of the house painted!

Here’s a look at where I’m at with my to do list. I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this list before the year is up. I have to learn to stop doing that and focus on what’s already there!

2013 Goals/To Do List:

  • Decide on a name for Piglet
  • Pay off new upstairs windows
  • Finance new downstairs windows (thank you 0% financing offers!)
  • Pay off at least one of our student loans, pay down Jeep
  • Start savings fund for Piglet
  • Roll over old 401K to IRA-been meaning to do this for years now
  • Write our wills
  • Take infant CPR class
  • Take prenatal classes, including birth and nursing classes at Kaiser
  • Organize garage-install pegboard and built in shelving storage
  • Replace kitchen lighting with recessed lighting
  • Buy hallway light fixture.
  • Buy ceiling fan in the master bedroom.
  • Buy new dining room and front entry light fixtures.
  • Save up for an electrician to come install all of these fancy light fixtures (got a quote…ouch! This could take awhile)
  • Install a custom closet organizer.
  • Buy sideboard for dining room using Amazon coupons
  • Take maternity pictures with Match (scheduled for April 29th!)
  • Make DIY invitations for Piglet’s baby shower
  • Send Thank You cards for shower
  • Finish nursery decor by no later than April
  • Take family photos when Piglet arrives
  • Send out Piglet’s birth announcements
  • Take Piglet Camping
  • Do something fun for our 3rd wedding anniversary
  • Do something special for my 30th birthday
  • Come up with family Halloween costumes, hopefully DIY
  • Take Piglet to the pumpkin patch
  • Send out our first family Christmas cards
  • Make Piglet a baby book and keep track of milestones (in progress, will be done on his birthday)
  • Take Piglet to the Christmas tree farm
  • Take our first trip to Oregon as a family of 3
  • Have a date night at least once a month with Match, hopefully more frequently
  • Lose baby weight and get in pre-baby shape by the end of the year. (5 pounds to go!)
  • Go back to the gym-should help with above goal
  • Take Piglet to at least one Mommy & me class
  • Keep up with blogging even after Piglet gets here (Goal is at least 1 time a week check in, keeping up with it so far!)
  • Meet a blog friend in real life
  • Finish backyard
  • Have outside of house painted
  • Re-stain deck
  • Buy the rest of our patio furniture with Amazon coupons
  • Buy a digital SLR to capture all of Piglet’s antics
  • Start writing a book
  • Make mirror frame for Master Bathroom
  • Build window seat in the downstairs great room
  • Order new window seat cushion for nursery (made one instead!)
  • Read at least 50 Books this year (41 read so far)

TTUT-#17 on the 2013 To Do List: New Sideboard

with Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn

Grandad: Waste of money if you ask me, come all this way and all.
Del: What do you mean a waste of money? They’re beautiful! Not only are they exquisite ornaments, guaranteed to brighten any sideboard, they are also a revolving musical box!
Rodney: They are China cats that play “How Much Is That Doggy In The Window.” -Only Fools and Horses

It’s not even the end of January and I’ve already completed a few 2013 goals! Last week we crossed off #17. Buy a sideboard for the dining room. I think it updates the room and makes it feel less like a college room and more like an actual dining room. This is a big deal for me because I’ve been wanting this sideboard since the day we moved in, and I finally got it. Yay!

Here’s the before. We were using an old cutting board as our bar area and napkin/place mat area. I hate how cluttered it looked, and how much it clashed with the dining room table.

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You have ignore our hideous light fixture over the dining room table. That’s on the list for this year too. I can’t wait to replace it! I’d also really like to reupholster the dining room chairs with a latte colored fabric to match the love seat.

And here it is now. I love the clean crisp look, and how much storage it has. I was able to fit all of our wine glasses, our serving bowls and trays, nice silverware, tablecloth, napkins and place mats.

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We also rearranged the furniture to open up the space more. I wish I’d remembered to take a before picture, but the love seat was right next to the dining room table, and the rocking chair was under the window.

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Eventually I’d love to have a window seat under that bay window. I’d also move the family room couch into this room, and have a conversation area. Maybe someday!

Show Us Your Find-Mirror Frame

Carla: J.D., you have to get out! This place is tiny and I’m sick of seeing your man-panties hanging all over the bathroom.
J.D.: They’re called boxers, Carla.
Carla: They’re satin, J.D.
J.D.: With a breathable cotton crotch panel. [voiceover] King me!-Scrubs


I have three huge 1980s mirrors in my house that overwhelm the space. I’ve been searching for what to do about them, and found several different tutorials on Pinterest for framing your bathroom mirror.  Each pinner did things a little differently, and I took advice from each one. I followed this tutorial, and this one, and gleaned wisdom from each.

I purchased my boards at Home Depot, and found the cheapest baseboards I could find. Then my sweet hubby cut them at an angle for me, because my brain can’t compute angles. I followed one blogger’s advice and made sure to paint both sides of my boards, because they do show up in the reflection of the mirror.

I put my frame together at first, and tried to leave it overnight. However, I didn’t use enough liquid nails, and it fell apart. At that point I decided it would be easier to just put the frame together on the mirror, and that worked a lot better for me.

I had to use painter’s tape to hold the mirror in place overnight.

Before:

After:

I’m so in love with the look. What do you think?

PS I also hung up those blinds, by myself! I know it seems minor but I was very proud of myself.

This project only cost me $12 for the boards, and I think $2 for the liquid nails, which I have tons leftover for the next project. I already had the paint on hand, so for $14 I have this gorgeous frame. I can’t wait to tackle the other two mirrors!

I can officially say the downstairs bathroom is DONE. It’s a great feeling!

Don’t forget about the other FIND of the week-The giveaway over at The Red Carpet Ladies. If you haven’t entered already, go check it out!

Mr. & Mrs. Match-The Electricians

Dr. House[To Dr. Kutner] You’ve electrocuted yourself and set a patient on fire. I like the dedication.
Dr. Kutner: Thank you. –House

On Match’s days off this week we decided to tackle our lighting problem. You see, our house was built in the early 80s, and florescent lights were all the rage. I guess they didn’t realize that florescent lighting makes you look TERRIBLE which is exactly what a person wants when putting on their makeup in the bathroom mirror.  The other problem is the bulbs tend to flicker and give the illusion of a murder room. Again, not something a person wants in their bathroom, let alone the rest of their house.

I forgot to get a good close up of the one in the guest bathroom, but here’s what it looks like in the downstairs bath. We have the same setup in our master bedroom. Eventually we’ll have to replace those too, but we’re doing things room by room. I’m trying to convince Match that we don’t need wireless security cameras and instead to focus on the rest of the lighting in the house. Though a security system woulnd’t be so bad eventually.

While we were at it, we tackled these two hideous lights in our upstairs hallway.

Those two tiny dome fixtures turned out to be the biggest pain in the ass! The outlet box crumbled and Match had to put in a new one, only the way they’d installed the previous one made it almost impossible to put a new one in. We both had insulation falling all over us and it was not pretty. But after they were installed I’d say it was completely worth the effort!

And, we got rid of the terrible ceiling fan in the family room. It was a bit too Grandma for us. It even had a hummingbird on the fan pull. Really?

I have to admit that for this project Match did most of the work. I did help hold things and there were many times where it was a two person project. But I have to give all of the credit to Match. I know nothing about electrical work and Match was able to get the wires to work and the lights to turn on. He even installed new outlet boxes! I’m so proud of my handy hubby. He also sacrified most of his weekend to working on these home improvements. He didn’t even play video games!

Now if I can just convince him to repeat this procedure next week so we can finish the rest of the lighting in the house. I’d better stock up on steaks and beer as a bribe. 😉