Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 2

In case you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. I have a few free minutes this Saturday morning while Dan works on moving our hot water tank (reorganizing the laundry/utility room) so I thought I would write up another post on our kitchen renovation.

Let's see, where did I leave off. Oh yes, how my kitchen looked and what I functioned with from June until October.

This set up got moved around quite a bit as we worked in the kitchen but it always got put back together when we were finished. The fortunate thing about having a plumber husband is that I could have a functioning kitchen laundry sink that was easy to move out and in as needed.

We tore down more drywall so that the electrician could put in more outlets and light switches and then we shrunk the window and door opening. We needed to shut off the openness factor to the sunroom, since it was a huge heat loss in the winter, and the only way to do that was to put an actual window and door in. We picked up a window from Home Depot and made the opening fit that, plus we wanted it centered over the sink and the current opening was too big. The door opening had to shrink considerably because no door was wide enough for it and it couldn't fit two. Plus, we wanted to put a dog door in for Mia, so we shrunk it to 30". The following two pictures show the size difference a little better.

Okay, so maybe not the best. But you can see how the dog door is right beside the main door and it shows how much we shrunk it down. Once the openings were the size we needed and the insulation and vapour barrier was up, we could drywall! This felt like such a huge step and made the kitchen feel a little more put together.

It felt brighter too. And in case you are wondering what the rest of our house looked like while all this was going down, it wasn't pretty. I could barely move and I may have lost my mind more times than I can count. Lots of meltdowns.

Who needs a kitchen table right? Sigh.

Once the drywall was done, we moved on to priming and painting. It felt so nice to get all the walls the same colour and to get rid of that horrible yellow behind the fridge that they never bothered to paint. Because you know, moving a fridge out is sooooo hard. <--- sarcasm

Beautiful grey walls! What an improvement eh? Things were really starting to come together at this point and it felt good.

Next up, a window and door! We tried to choose a door that still let in as much light as possible because I'm all about natural light. It definitely isn't as bright as it was with a big opening and no door, but it works.

This was a big step, because by this point it was starting to get colder out and we needed to keep the heat in. It was very noticeable once they went in that the cold drafts were no longer coming from the sunroom.

Once the walls were painted, we had a friend come in and install the cupboards for us. It was so exciting to see them go in!

What a difference cabinets make to a kitchen right? The only downside was I had no kitchen sink for a while. Bathroom sinks suck to wash dishes in.

I'm leaving off here for today, since there are already enough pictures and it will probably take a whole post for me to complain about how horrible it is to paint cabinets. So stay tuned for part 3!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kitchen Renovation - Part 1

So remember back over a year ago now, before we moved, and I was super excited about our new house full of renovations and how great it would be to blog about all the excitement? Hahaha! Oh if only I knew then what I know now. Here's what I have learned: 1) renovations take over your life, 2) renovations depress you and don't inspire you to write, and 3) renovations take forever and you lose pictures and motivation to write. But since I know you all are very invested in the outcome of our house and really do care about how things are progressing, I thought I would finally take the time to sit down tonight and write a post about our kitchen renovation.

Once again, here is something that I have learned. When a renovation takes over 6 months, you take lots of pictures. And when you have over 70 pictures of kitchen progress to share, you kind of can't write only one post. So folks, here is part one of a who knows how many part series! Exciting right?

Now, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (are you singing yet?). Remember when we first moved in? Do you remember what the kitchen looked like? Here's a refresher.

Okay, so looking at those above pictures, it doesn't look so bad. But admit it, it doesn't look so great either. Kind of dated and dark and not enough wow factor. Or counter space. Or open space. Oh it really is amazing to look back at these pictures and compare it to how it looks today. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

First thing we did to help out our kitchen is take down that wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. Dan handled it for us.

It opened things right up and let in so much more natural light. Woohoo! I'm all about the natural light.

We lived with our kitchen still in tact but surrounded by other renovations for quite a few months, something like 4-5 months to be exact. It worked and we were focusing on other things, like bathrooms and bedrooms.

But in May of 2016, we decided it was time to tear up the floor in the dining room and kitchen. And so we did. In super super hot weather too.

But to truly take up all the floor and lay new floor, we had to remove our lower cabinets. So out they came and up came the floor. All five layers of it!

Super fun that was. But once the floor was up, the 5,000,000,000,000,000 nails/staples were removed and the sub floor was screwed down to reduce squeaking, we were ready to lay new floor! Fortunately it went down fast and made everything look 100x better.

Isn't it gorgeous? Nothing looks quite as nice as a freshly laid floor.

Dan then super kindly installed my temporary sink and I set up a fun little washing dish washing station.

I thought it was cute and made for a great story, so I happily showed everyone. Little did I know how long this dish washing station would be a part of my life for...

Next step was removing the upper cabinets! And then tearing out the old back splash.

We were super excited for progress and were feeling good at how fast everything was going. But we were so so hot. We had no central air and it was a brutally hot summer. See faces below for proof.

Once the cabinets were out and the back splash removed, we brought in our new (to us) base cabinets to figure out what layout we wanted. It took some shuffling but we finally made it work.

We upgraded the cardboard to a plywood counter and we put the "kitchen sink" back in, to finish off our temporary set up. Our next steps were to be electrical, before we could patch the walls and paint. Except for remember how it was a crazy hot summer? Ya, that put a damper on our motivation and it also put a damper on getting an electrician in, since the attic was so hot. So my "temporary" kitchen ended up being my kitchen for 4+ months.

Yup, that above photo is what I lived with from June until October. So.many.months.

That's the thing about renovations, they always take longer than planned and life almost always gets in the way. Fortunately I did have a working sink, fridge, stove and counter, so I wasn't that put out. Having all the kitchen stuff in boxes spread around the house made things trickier, but I made do and it really wasn't that bad for the interim. It's when the dust started flying again that things got more complicated, but that is for another day.

I'm leaving you here, since this is what I was left with for months. I will try and get part 2 up soon, but until then, just keep scrolling through this post and be amazed at what we took on this year.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

17 Goals for 2017

New year, new goals! I can't believe that it is already 2017, I feel like this last year flew by. I'm hoping for good things in this upcoming year and am trying to keep an upbeat positive attitude! I love the feeling of a fresh new start and there's something very special about the first day of a new year. Just breathe it in.

I'm trying to keep this years goals a little more realistic, since I think I overshot last year. But then again, visiting the ocean is a pretty lofty goal...

1. Read 12 books
2. Renovate basement
3. Run my fifth 5k
4. Set up a nursery
5. Blog at least twice a month
6. Take a pottery class with Dan
7. Visit the ocean
8. Go on a weekend camping trip
9. Clear backyard and bring in fill
10. Make a budget
11. Go on a date once a month with Dan
12. Buy new windows for the basement
13. Start a couples infertility support group
14. Colour more often
15. Start organizing photos on the computer
16. Attend a dance workshop
17. Do bookkeeping at least once a month

How are my fellow goal setters doing with their yearly goals?Anyone else making any? Feel free to share, I love hearing what other people are up to!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

16 Goals for 2016 - Progress Report #4

It's the last day of 2016 so I am sharing how I did on my goals this past year. Not so great really, but I guess some years are like that.

1. Run my 4th 5k Done!
2. Read 35 books I only read 12 books, how sad.
3. Learn to knit a baby sweater Done! I just need to add buttons to it and it is ready for a baby.
4. Renovate main floor of house While there are still a few last minute things to finish off, the big messy part of renovating the main floor is done so I am crossing this baby off!
5. Journal at least 5 times a month This goal only lasted a few months...
6. Take a photography class Nope
7. Try 12 new recipes Done!
8. Start one good habit a month I started good habits the first 4 months of the year and then quit. Oops.
9. Build a big chicken run It still needs the mesh roof but I'm calling it done.
10. Take a weekend getaway with Dan Didn't happen, although we did go camping together a few times.
11. Make a monthly budget Total epic fail.
12. Reach goal weight of 117 lbs TOTALLY COMPLETED!!!! Although I have since gone back down, but I'm still counting it as a success because I got there.
13. Try container/raised bed vegetable gardening I did this but it only sort of worked, due to the super hot dry summer we had.
14. Go to the gym at least 8 times a month Another epic fail.
15. Complete a French exercise book I started the book but never finished it.
16. Find a new go to hairstyle I found an awesome new hairstyle that I loved. And then I cut my hair and am back at square one. Oops!

I completed 8 out of 16 goals, so 50%. How about you? How did you do on your goals?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

My House is in Shambles

For those of you who have been asking for some updated pics of our house, here you go. Basically, this just shows everything a mess because that is what it looks like. I'll hopefully be able to take nice finished pictures of rooms before too long but for now, this is all you get. And because I am in such an overwhelmed state right now, you aren't going to get very much writing. I really should be cleaning or painting or something instead of blogging...

Guestroom with precarious pile of books/games

Office which serves as a part of our kitchen

My beautifully made bed!

Ugh, mess.

Living room and crazy plant lady window

More mess

Our "pantry"

Dining room table


My brink of a stressed out breakdown face
There you have it, my life right now. Now off to do something useful!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Little Blue

The Christmas season is upon us and this is the time of year where my emotions are all over the place. One minute I am happy and excited to get our tree and continue on the traditions we have started the last few years and the next minute all I want to do is curl up in a ball and hide from the world. Here's the thing of it folks, Christmas when dealing with infertility is hard. So so hard. It's a time of the year that is so focused on kids and the joy that they bring you and everyone tells you "just wait until you have kids and this time of the year will be even more magical". :::punch to the gut::: 

We so desperately want a family, to be able to share our traditions with them, to see the wonder of Christmas through a child's eyes. We want all of that and have wanted it for years, and yet, we don't have it. This is our seventh Christmas since we started trying and it stings. Each Christmas that comes and goes is like a giant mark on a giant failure list. It's another reminder that we don't have what we have been aiming for, what we have been working towards for over 6 years. Not having kids is extra hard this time of year.

It also doesn't help that my house is a complete disaster zone. It is messy and dusty and dirty and cluttered and I just can't handle it anymore. Seriously, I can't. I want to run away and hide and not deal with the mess because I honestly don't know where to start with it all. I got through last Christmas thinking how it was just one bad year and next year we would be settled and could fully decorate. Not so. If we are even able to find room for a tree I will be surprised. It's overwhelming me and I am having almost daily meltdowns over it. Renovations are not for the faint of heart and folks, I am feeling very faint hearted lately.

To top it all off, I think that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter is hard for me and always has been, but I feel the sadness coming on earlier this year. I do have a lot of triggers right now though, so maybe I should go easy on myself.

Triggers for the melancholy mood:
1) infertility/loss
2) crazy messy house
3) no room for decorations
4) the anniversary of my Dad's death is coming up
5) work is hard right now

Blah. Sorry to not post in forever and then just come on here and spew such sadness. Just keeping it real for you guys. I will try and be back in the not too distant future to share house update pics. And by that I mean share pictures of my cluttered space. Sigh.

How is everyone else doing? How do you feel about the holidays?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Simple Pleasures - October 2016

It has been forever since I shared some photos of things that have been making me smile, so I thought it was high time I did. It's also been forever since I've blogged. Time has just flown by this year and I haven't dedicated as much time as I wanted into blogging.

Our new Osprey day pack that we scored for an awesome price second hand!

My cute hair and cute dress that I wore to work

Out for a walk in the fall rain

Cutie patootie that I got to babysit for a whole day

I like to call this "staff bonding" (we may have too much fun at work)

KITCHEN PROGRESS!!!! Feel lucky because this is a total sneak peek. 
These are just a few highlights from this past month, things that have brought a smile to my face. What has been making you smile lately?