Wednesday, August 22, 2018

House Renovation!

We (and by "we" I mean mainly me) have had all kinds of things we wanted to do to the house for awhile. We had plans to do a built in desk in the corner, but before that I wanted to get new floors (because the carpet was GROSS!!!), and once we did the floors then the cabinets wouldn't match, and the fireplace wouldn't match, and the paint...it is like dominoes. We put up the patio cover a few years ago, and while I love it so much it makes our family room and kitchen SO DARK. We really wanted to lighten it up We were saving for awhile, then our tax return was really amazing this year so we decided to pull the trigger! Before you can see nasty brown carpet with brown paint and brown curtains and a really ugly desk in the corner. Time for a change!
The front room also had brown carpet and brown tile. The paint was supposed to be beige but came out a lot more yellow, by the time it was up there I had invested too much work to change it lol so I just endured it for a long time!
 AND...I kind of failed when it came to before pictures. Here is the fireplace and stairs from before we moved in back in 2012 (there was SO MUCH GREEN....everywhere....we kept it for the first couple months until I got tired of living inside an avocado. That may be why I overcompensated with so much brown ha!).
 Our kitchen was also painted brown (and it was MUCH DARKER with the patio cover up).
I knew I wanted gray paint, but it was WAY harder than I anticipated to pick a color. I saw so many shades on Pinterest that I loved, but when I put the samples up on my wall they looked totally different. I actually ended up with 2 more when all was said in done, I had them up in several places downstairs for probably 6-7 weeks
 The wood guys started at the beginning of May. We put wainscoting in the front room, and added crown molding.
We also got rid of the old tile on the fireplace and updated the mantle/hearth.
 
Once they finished with that, our floor guy came to demo out the old floors and put in new vinyl. Not going to lie, the tile demo was pretty horrible. We had a good amount of tile downstairs, and when they ripped it up it made SO. MUCH. DUST. We were banished upstairs for a few days, with no kitchen or anything, trying to stay in rooms with doors closed because there was a cloud of dust everywhere. 

Everything was covered in plastic.
 
Vinyl just sounds horrible, but they new stuff is pretty nice and we LOVED this particular floor! It is called Hang 10 from Provenza. 
 So pretty!!!
 We got rid of the HORRIBLE couch in the loft (that I have maybe sat on twice in the 6 years we've lived here because it's so uncomfortable). We put our old brown sectional upstairs, and got a new gray one for the family room! 
 I hired my friend Meagan to paint my piano. The first coat we did a pretty mint color, but it looked pretty horrible with our couches so we ended up going a different direction.
They started building our corner desk (this was one thing that Rich actually had a strong opinion on, so a corner desk it is!)
We did have a big hiccup when it came to our backsplash. The counters that we had came with a 6 inch granite backsplash that matched the existing counter. Our plan was to rip that out and put in a new tile backsplash. Well...it didn't quite work out like that. They started taking it out, and apparently the people who built the house used the wrong glue (TOO STRONG) and it didn't come out easily. In fact, it left our counter with giant cracks that weren't fixable. Oh no :<(  New counters were not in our plan (or budget!). And it was stressing me out. I liked our counters, and I wanted black counters with white cabinets to go with the backsplash we already had. Plus, we could get prefabricated counters for a reasonable amount, but if we got a new island that would get a lot more expensive. 
Rich took a chunk of the granite to an enormous granite place in Anaheim that our contractor worked with. He found out that the name of that particular color was verde ubatuba (weird, I know!)but he wanted me to go look at it. I drove down that weekend, and the granite chunk was a perfect match to the sample on the wall. Relief! I put my hard hat on to go look at the prefabricated counters in the yard, and they looked a lot more brown to me. The sales guy seemed pretty convinced that a lot of the difference was just due to the lighting in the warehouse, so I tagged them for my contractor to purchase. I felt a little iffy, but I let the sales guy's confidence buoy me up. The next week the guys came and demo'd out our counters and made the template, and that Saturday the brought the counters over. I saw them in the truck outside, and my heart dropped. They looked really brown. I hoped and hoped, but when they brought one in and I saw it in my lighting with my island they still looked really brown. I did NOT want brown counters, and I kind of freaked out! They were fortunately very patient with me while I had my little meltdown, then I went back to the granite yard and picked out some black pearl (which is also not an exact match, but was a lot closer). I talked to the sales guy when I went back, he seemed to think I was a little nuts for picking a different product BUT I am so much happier (to be honest, I would be WAY happier if the counters didn't break in the first place and we kept our original counters, but it is what it is). I don't think it's really noticeable that the counters are different from the island unless you really look close. The black pearl pieces were 9 feet (whereas the verde ubatuba were 10'), which means we have an extra seam, but I don't even care!
We had these plywood counters for close to 2 weeks while this all got straightened out (so no sink or stove), but I'm SO GLAD we didn't just install what they brought. To have to pay that much $$ for something I hated would have been horrible! Then they put the backsplash in, and it started to look great!
 
Next I painted the walls (cause I ran out of money to have the painters do it ha!). I ended up picking Tinsmith for the front room (there's more light in the front room, and there will be a lot of white with the wainscoting so I wanted a bit darker color). I did Passive for the rest of the downstairs/stairway. They looked pretty different in samples next to each other, but in reality they look pretty similar on my walls. If you didn't know they were 2 different colors I doubt you would realize it, but oh well! Then I had to pick a white for all the woodwork and cabinets, and that was seriously just as hard as the gray. I just want WHITE, it shouldn't be that complicated!!! Eventually we picked snowbound (tinted 50% darker, cause that color as it felt a LITTLE stark)
Even after I did the walls, the rest of the painting was a BIG project! The guys we hired took 9 days to finish. We timed it so we were in Sequoia for the first half, which was good! Everything downstairs was taped off and covered in plastic, and they sanded the cabinets and stair rail like crazy and there was dust EVERYWHERE! When we got home our brown couch upstairs was white from all of it.
I am so happy with how it all turned out though! The kitchen looks SO much brighter.
 
I love the fireplace SO SO much.
We had the banister painted a darker gray, which I love.
Everything looks so fresh and clean! And I still have a lot of decorating to do :>)
The piano turned out beautiful in this lovely blue color.
The desk turned out great as well.
Overall, this was a long and stressful project that was kind of a pain to live through. Honestly, I am not very good at decorating either so it will probably be a long time before all the walls are full and the shelves have stuff on them. BUT, I am so happy we did it! I love our house now!

Monday, August 20, 2018

First Day of School

Brendan
He is in 7th grade! And he gets taller every day. He is starting marching band this year, and still enjoys the trumpet. He says every day that he "hates school," but I don't think he dislikes it as much as he says :>) He's in the advanced math class this year (they will get through all the 8th grade math by the end of the year), so that will be a challenge but he's a smart kid! He likes swim team, and says his favorite stroke is butterfly (to WATCH, not DO he says. Watching him swim fly is still a bit painful lol). He works hard!


Here is his annual questionnaire:
1. What is your favorite food? Ice cream
2. What is your favorite sport? water polo
3. What is your favorite tv show? The Flash
4. Who is the coolest person on earth? Mom and Dad
5. What is your favorite thing about school? lunch break
6. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to: Hawaii
7. What is your favorite color? green
8. When I grow up I want to be a: software engineer 
9. What is your favorite song? Radioactive-Imagine Dragons
10. What is your favorite book? anything by Brandon Mull
11. What food do you NOT like? broccoli
12. Who is your best friend? Hunter
13. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Halloween
14. What is your favorite game? Street Fighter and Wheel of Fortune against Mom and Dad
15. What is your favorite toy? Legos
16. What is your favorite breakfast? cinnamon waffles with whipped cream and boysenberry syrup
17. If I had one wish, it would be: we would be octillionaires
18. What do you do best? play video games
19. When I was little I used to: sit down and play and watch Star Wars with my family before Disney ruined the last episode
20. What is your favorite memory? watching and playing Star Wars with my family
21. What is your favorite movie? Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars episode III
height: 5'5 1/2"
weight: 119 lbs
shoe size: 9 1/2

Carson
This kid! He can be my sweetest child and then just as quickly swing to the brattiest one. We do love him though :>) He is in 5th grade, and it's his last year of elementary school! He is excited to start band this year, and is pretty sure he wants to play the saxophone. He also enjoys swim team, and has improved a ton since he started. He was really hoping for Brendan's 5th grade teacher (mainly because he is famous for not giving homework ha!), but the teacher he DID get seems really nice. I keep waiting for him to hit a growth spurt, he has tiny little feet (he and Sabrina currently wear the same size!) and it will be interesting to see where he ends up.



Here are his questions:
1. What is your favorite food? Pazookies
2. What is your favorite sport? baseball
3. What is your favorite tv show? The Flash
4. Who is the coolest person on earth? Dad
5. What is your favorite thing about school? recess
6. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to: Hawaii
7. What is your favorite color? Dodger blue
8. When I grow up I want to be a: baseball player
9. What is your favorite song? U Can't Touch This
10. What is your favorite book? Percy Jackson series
11. What food do you NOT like? tomtoes
12. Who is your best friend? Matthew
13. What is your favorite holiday?Christmas
14. What is your favorite game? Battlefront
15. What is your favorite toy? Legos
16. What is your favorite breakfast? pancakes with extra chocolate chips
17. If I had one wish, it would be: to get a bunch of Lego boxes
18. What do you do best? play Battlefront on Xbox
19. When I was little I used to: sit on Indy and Samantha
20. What is your favorite memory? when we went to Hawaii
21. What is your favorite movie? Amazing Spiderman I
height: 4'9"
weight: 70 lbs
shoe size: 3

Sabrina
This sweet girl is really excited for second grade! She gets bossed around a lot by her siblings (especially Whitney), and she will take it to a certain point and then she completely loses her mind. She is a great reader, and is knocking out chapter books left and right. She is funny at swim, there are certain things she does that need a lot of help but if we say anything she will reply, "I KNOW" and then continue to do it exactly the same way. She is the tallest kid in her class and has legs that go for days.


Here are her questions:
1. What is your favorite food? Mom's breadsticks
2. What is your favorite sport? soccer
3. What is your favorite tv show? Liv and Maddie
4. Who is the coolest person on earth? Dad
5. What is your favorite thing about school? reading
6. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to: Hawaii
7. What is your favorite color? teal
8. When I grow up I want to be a: pastry chef
9. What is your favorite song? Party in the USA
10. What is your favorite book? books about animals
11. What food do you NOT like? gnocchi
12. Who is your best friend? Kailey
13. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
14. What is your favorite game? Pie Face
15. What is your favorite toy? karaoke machine
16. What is your favorite breakfast? doughnuts
17. If I had one wish, it would be: to live in Hawaii with my family
18. What do you do best? reading
19. When I was little I used to: take naps
20. What is your favorite memory? tidepools in Hawaii
21. What is your favorite movie? Avengers Infinity War
height: 4'5 1/2"
weight: 60 lbs
shoe size: 3

Whitney
This spunky girl is really looking forward to second grade! She likes to be the boss, which hopefully will make her a good leader one day ha ha. She likes to snuggle next to me on the couch, and if someone else is sitting there she will just climb over them to get closer to me (even if it means sitting on top of me). She is a smart cookie, and picks things up quickly. She has a competitive streak to her, and always tries to keep up with Carson in the pool.


Here are her questions:
1. What is your favorite food? red velvet cake
2. What is your favorite sport? gymnastics
3. What is your favorite tv show? Liv and Maddie
4. Who is the coolest person on earth? Dad
5. What is your favorite thing about school? global school play day
6. If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to: Hawaii
7. What is your favorite color? pink
8. When I grow up I want to be a: teacher
9. What is your favorite song? What Does the Fox Say?
10. What is your favorite book? Magic Puppy
11. What food do you NOT like? onions
12. Who is your best friend? Hayden
13. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
14. What is your favorite game? Star Wars Monopoly
15. What is your favorite toy? my rainbow baby
16. What is your favorite breakfast? pancakes and sausage
17. If I had one wish, it would be: to live in Hawaii with my family
18. What do you do best? giving hugs
19. When I was little I used to: have a funy laugh
20. What is your favorite memory? bowling at my birthday last year
21. What is your favorite movie? Kicking and Screaming
height: 4'4 1/2"
weight: 61 lbs
shoe size: 2

Brendan left before the younger kids were ready, but I do LOVE these kids of mine!