Sunday, March 31, 2013

Third Tri

Rob completed his third triathlon recently!   The kids and I had so much fun watching and cheering. 
It was a sprint distance so the swimming portion was actually in a pool. 

Running to his bike transition. Yup, he's cute.  

Munching and waiting.  And falling into a muddy creek... that was traumatizing.  Hence the Huckleberry look.

Daddy finishes!

I hope this doesn't embarrass him but I am so proud of my husband.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

She Walks!

Ella has decided that walking just might be the way to go.  She's been taking a step here, three steps there.  But in the past few days she has voluntarily been walking from place to place! 

Interesting outfit, I know.  But we were playing outside in the dirt.  I took this next picture and had crazy deja-vu. 

Almost exactly two years ago, here's Wyatt the day he walked. And then he made a mud pie to celebrate.  
I guess it's tradition!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Great Kitchen Remodel

Over Thanksgiving, we had our friend/handyman remodel the kitchen.  It was like being on HGTV except without the stylist. 

Reader beware, this post is picture and link intensive.

The 'before' is a shot we hastily took on our first walk-through of the house before we even bought it.

There was faux butcher block laminate.  There was shiny blonde laminate flooring.  It was pretty much a 1970's ad for Formica.  The sink was maybe 6" deep with the very cheapest faucet available from Lowe's.  

Not any more!!

After much (MUCH) debate, we went with Formica's Calacatta Marble 180fx laminate countertop. Yes, I replaced Formica with Formica.  And I couldn't be happier with it!  I had a hard time finding reviews of real people who actually installed it and lived with it so it was a bit of a leap of faith.  Especially on my husband and our handyman's part.  They were a tad on the unconvinced side.  

I loved the look of white on white with pops of color.  And I was able to skirt the annoying problem of our little 1600sqft-er not being able to uphold the value of real marble, or any stone, quartz, or composite.  Not to mention the, ahem, budget. 

It's been installed for 4 months so far and I've set hot pots on it, cut veggies on it and generally abused it with two small children climbing on it and trying their best to stain it.  But it has held up perfectly.

The light fixture came from Barrett Lighting and Appliance. If you live in the area, I highly recommend them.  Their prices were comparable if not better than Lowe's and their selection vast.  What you didn't see in the before pic is the miniature white ceiling fan that the previous owner's had installed.  Strange, yes?  It did come in handy a few times when I scorched something but that didn't make up for the tax it took on my eyes. 

Our handyman also installed under the cabinet lighting as a last minute request.  It has made all the difference in the world.  He had to do a bit of re-wiring and we almost said forget it but I'm SO glad we didn't!

In my dreams, I would have a Shaw apron front sink.  But for now $1,000 can go toward many other causes like oh... say, a car payment!  

So instead, we purchased this sink from Lowe's.  And a Kohler Bellera faucet.  I love the extra large compartment on the left side of the sink and small one on the right.  But unfortunately, it has scratched very easily and is my only regret in the entire remodel. I completely agree with the one reviewer who gave 1 star.  

This picture is after borax, steel wool, and several types of scrubbers.  Our Calphalon pan handles make a mark on the rim of the sink if you aren't careful when setting them down.  

UPDATE: A friend suggested I use a cleaning product called Bar Keeper's Friend.  She said it has worked wonders on her white cast iron sink!  

UPDATE 2:  Bar Keeper's Friend is the bomb.  It works like a charm!

The pelmet box on the other hand... fabulous.  If I do say so.  I followed this tutorial from Life on Mars as well as the one from Little Green Notebook.  I took a cue from the shape of Danielle's pelmet.

The ikat fabric is Robert Allen off of Etsy from Green Apple Fabrics.  At $23 per yard it is on the more expensive side of my fabric purchases but it's exactly what I imagined for the space.  And I only needed one yard even though the window is 60" wide. 

The print above the sink is from French Press Mornings.  She posted it as a free download the other day on Facebook.  She also has an Etsy shop with a lot of really pretty Scriptures.  We chose gray grout instead of white to play up the streaks in the farble.  (That's faux-marble.)

A few of my favorite little tidbits here and there...

A pie bird from my Mom.  I read a fun article on antique pie birds, or pie whistles, in a magazine a while ago.  I didn't even know what they were.  Then we saw one at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  By the way, a pie bird vents steam out of the middle of a pie so it doesn't get soggy.  Now you know.

One last time...

Oh, and my helpers!  They were very helpful in the scootching of the tripod, leaving toys in the outskirts of pictures, etc.  I can't do without them!

Update:  I had a commenter ask about seams and the standard brown Formica line... Here are a couple of pics showing you both.  

The edge does have a line but it isn't obvious since the Calacatta isn't one solid color.  This could be eliminated but doing an ogee edge or something similar, which is an option with Formica.

There's only one seam in our kitchen since the Formica comes in 4'x8' sheets.  It's in the corner and doesn't bother me at all. 

Linking up here:

five days five ways | feature friday free for all

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's A Small World

Now that everyone is humming the same tune in their heads...

It truly is a small world.  Want to know how small?  

I started following a blog a while back.  I'm thinking it was while we still lived in west Texas.  Fast forward two years and we've moved across the state and I join a gym.  I discover that the author of that blog lives in the same town I do.  Then I go to a group fitness class at my new gym and she IS the class teacher.  Twilight zone, yes. 

But it doesn't stop there.  Another woman in the class introduces herself and I realize that I just saw her twins' nursery featured on The Nester.  

I'm thinking by this time that I read too many blogs and need to pick up another hobby.

So the second woman, Abbie, posted a picture on her blog of she and I in matching workout clothes from that day we met.  Slightly embarrassing because it's like my own personal version of 'who wore it best' only there's no question as to who wore it better.  

Let's call it a 'before' shot on my workout journey, shall we?  

And now I feel famous.  

The end.