Summer break

Is officially here! We had one of Natalie’s friends over yesterday and she’ll go to his house next week. It’s already hot, so tomorrow we’re setting up the pool. The yard projects are all sort of done for now, since the planting season is coming to an end and we are doing it in phases anyways. Looking forward, we’ll just mow and maintain and next year, we’ll see how things turned out! We will be replacing the front steps and walk this September. They pitch towards the house which encourages water to just sit there, and we spent last winter hoping no one would use the icy steps and icy sidewalk. (we decided to wait on ripping out the invasive bushes until we can do it all at once and afford to replace them with either a fence or other equally sized bushes and we feel that this is the best decision for right now)

So we’ll be back to indoor projects – finishing up the entry, the kitchen, the half bath, and the living room paint touch ups (those burgundy baseboards are killing me and summer is the time to paint them!). Our goal is to get the first floor completely done by September and then just enjoy the fall and winter and declutter and organize, so that come spring/summer we can finish the upstairs!

Speaking of the kitchen, how’s that going you might be asking yourself? Well, we’ve removed some uppers and we love it! I think I might be one of the few people in the world that hates uppers…..but since installing the hutch in our new pantry space, I was able to clear out 3 uppers, so out they came! I also scraped some more wallpaper and we decided to keep the kitchen table and put it against the wall as a workspace in the pantry area! It will need to be trimmed just a bit and then we’ll recenter the pedestal base. I’m really excited about the kitchen, it feels a lot more spacious and more functional. Good stuff!

However, we do have this weird hole….and it made us laugh (and the table in our pantry area which is housing countertop stuff):

The other side of this weird hole is a vent….and we’re not sure what it’s used for, but it seems to be for nothing anymore. Our plan is to patch it with drywall and eventually remove the soffit and the overhead microwave, because surprise! I don’t like those either, haha. However, things will have to be done in phases, because that’s just how it works sometimes.



It’s not so bad for $120! I’m thinking that eventually I’ll be painting it or staining it…haven’t decided for certain yet, so for now it’s on my ‘winter list’. My ‘winter list’, if you’re curious, is already quite long…..but is filled with little things that aren’t major things. Here are some better pictures of it:

I threw in a close up of the other side for kicks and giggles. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it in the end! Happy Tuesday!

Not too shabby!

I picked up an $18 brass chandelier, painted it oil rubbed bronze and voila! We have a dining room fixture for a cool $25! We just need to pick up a ceiling medallion and paint it to match the ceiling and James is planning on pulling up the cord so it isn’t so loosey goosey and then it will really look great! Oh and those lightbulbs have to go too…it’s so odd that they stick out past the globes, but they came with the chandelier and free lightbulbs are good!

Ignore the mess (which this is how it looks most of the time….art is messy)

We also moved in the new hutch in our new pantry space! The walls are ugly, but fear not, they will be repaired on the rainy days this week.


The cardboard protects our feet while we figure out what to do with all these awful tiny staples. On my agenda is to scrape all the rest of the wallpaper, patch all the holes, and prime away! We have a light fixture for this space (another Restore deal, $20!) and we will be building a radiator cover. It’s just really ugly over there….but it’s a lot of space and the extra storage comes in quite handy. We also finished up the front planting bed! I finished mulching it over the weekend and while it looks good, it’s hard to see the plants since they are very small still, haha. So, please pretend that our perennials are all their full size!


There are a whole gaggle of them in the foreground and because they are a small size (but affordable, so yay) you cannot really see them in the picture at all. There are 11 plants in the foreground though!! The obvious plants were a combination of ones we relocated from around our yard or a new anchor plant/bush. Next year, this should be a knock out! One of these days, I’ll just have a rest day though, because those are good too.

Last day!

Today is Natalie’s last day of first grade! It’s been a really good year and she’s grown in leaps and bounds. She’s happy at school, the staff and teachers are great and we’ve all been really pleased. We’re looking forward to summer – no more packing lunches or heading out the door in a rush, no more waking up Nat and urging her to hurry up and get dressed/ready/etc. Sleeping in, reading books, lounging outside and day trip adventures await!

This girl can do multiplication, read fourth grade chapter books, and is successfully navigating the sometimes prickly world of friends!


Way to go Nat!!!!!!!!

You win some, you lose some

I finally identified the shrub we have growing along our side lot and it isn’t good news. It is the highly invasive bush honeysuckle (we have two varieties: Tartarian and Morrow’s). I’m disappointed but also, I’m discouraged! Anyways, it was a popular shrub sold in the 1950’s and it is pretty, but since it’s invasive, it must go. It will take us time, but it doesn’t sit well with me to keep it.¬†We’re also yanking out garlic mustard (also invasive) but at least that is edible!

In other news, the yard is shaping up nicely and I’ve been working very hard at knocking things off my list. With this new knowledge, my list will have to shift slightly, but that’s ok. I’ll leave you with one of Conrad’s duplo animals to brighten things up!


Still here…

We’re plugging away slowly at the kitchen – sometimes we have to do other life things….like clean the rest of the house, so this project gets put on hold for a few days. The Restore had a sale and I picked up two chandeliers for $40 total and a hutch for our new pantry space for $120! It’s going to look awesome in there! Here it is so far….

We discovered that there is an outlet behind the radiator and we already knew that there was a hole in the floor (we can see it from the laundry room), so I had suspected that the radiator was moved and looks like it was! It works out for us though, since our long term plan is to plop in a back door where the window on the left is currently. We’ll just patch the original radiator hole and be thankful for previous owners moving the radiator! Things here are happening, but it’s Natalie’s last week of school and we are just super busy otherwise. Hopefully by next week, this space will be done! With the seating cleared out, I can actually reach all the wallpaper standing on the ladder, so I’ll be able to scrape it all away and prime and paint. Happy Tuesday!

Moving right along….

This space feels quite big actually, once you remove the built in! It’s the same square footage as our laundry room, but I suppose few of you have been down there…..haha.

Here is where we are so far!


I’m done for today…if only because it’s NOT raining today, so I want to get outside! Tomorrow, I’m sure the work will pick up again during the scheduled thunderstorm. We can’t wait to make this a pantry!