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4/24/2011

Happy Easter!

This Easter we stayed in Tennessee and didn’t have any family in town.  It was a little strange not having family extended around, but at the same time it was kind of nice to have a holiday just to ourselves.  We spent a big chunk of the weekend working on the kitchen renovation (read more about that here)… however, we did manage to squeeze in a little Easter fun for Bailey! 

We received an invitation to stop by a friend’s house to do a little egg hunting in the afternoon which we just couldn’t say “no” to.  Thanks again Brenda and Sarah for letting us come by and play!

Bailey did amazingly well considering this was her first egg hunt!  She knew exactly what it was that she was supposed to do!  And she was just too cute toddling around the yard with her basket handle over her arm searching for the next hidden treasure!

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Towards the end of the hunt she tripped face first into the concrete sidewalk.  Thankfully, neither she nor the sidewalk were hurt too badly… who knew that egg hunting was a full-contact sport!  Anyway, she cried for literally ten seconds and shed a couple of tears before getting back to the fun.  That’s my girl… rough and tumble! She ended up with a scraped forehead, but was definitely no worse for wear!

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Once back at the house we played in the yard and Craig snapped a few more 60 or so pictures of her in her little Easter dress!  I know… crazy!  He definitely loves his little girl!  And she most certainly has him wrapped around her little finger!  Anyway, I won’t overload you with all of the pictures he took… but I will share just a few of our favorites!

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We hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and spent plenty of time with the people that make your heart smile!  I know we certainly did!

Busy… Busy… Busy!

That’s exactly what this weekend was.  Craig and I tried to take advantage of the long weekend to get a few more projects done in the kitchen.  The kitchen countertops were installed on Friday which meant we had the green light to begin on some of the following tasks…

  • Installing the faucet
  • Installing the garbage disposal
  • Hooking up the plumbing under the sink
  • Installing the vent for the downdraft on the cooktop

We also hoped to install the recessed lighting in both the kitchen and family room.  We had BIG plans for the weekend!

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get everything done as we had hoped, but we did manage finish a few things… like installing the faucet…

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…installing the garbage disposal…

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…and hooking up the rest of the plumbing under the sink!

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We also managed to begin working on our recessed lighting!  Craig first drew out a plan for where to place the lights.  Then he taped paper circles to the ceiling to help visualize things and make sure that the spacing looked right.

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After that he started drilling holes, inserting the cans, and connecting the wiring.  We’re still not finished with this one, but we’re getting there. 

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We didn’t quite finish the recessed lighting project as we had hoped, but we’re off to a decent start.  The weekend just seemed to fly by a lot faster than expected.  In the end we managed to get a lot done… but there’s still a lot left to do.  Oh the joy of renovating!

4/23/2011

The Most Exciting Part of Any Renovation Project…

…is playing with the large boxes that are left over…

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…especially when it involves a friend!

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The Countertops Are In…

…and they sure do look amazing!  As I mentioned when we ordered them we went with Giallo Ornamental.  We love the pattern and color!  We think it helps to keep things light and bright in the room, yet still has lots of interest.  Here are a few shots of the completed granite! 

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Here is our new, amazing peninsula that opens up from the kitchen to the family room!  We are in absolute love with it!  The new cooktop hasn’t been secured in place yet… just set in its spot after the hole was cut.  We hope to get it all hooked up this weekend.  As you can see though we still have to complete the wiring to it and install the vent for the built-in downdraft.  Hopefully the hubby can figure that out!

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Here is our new stainless steel, under-mounted sink which we plan to finish the plumbing on this weekend!  I can’t wait to have a working sink in the kitchen again… washing dishes in a basin in the bathtub is getting really old really fast!

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And here’s a little, last minute splurge (which the granite people didn’t charge us for!) in the laundry room!  I asked the installer last week if they could use the remnant pieces to make a countertop and backsplash for the base cabinet we installed a couple months ago. So glad I threw that out there… just goes to show that it never hurts to ask!  We plan to add hardware that will match the kitchen to help tie the two rooms together even more.

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I am so glad to get the countertops checked off of the list… because this means we are now one HUGE step closer to having a usable kitchen (perhaps in another week?!?)

4/15/2011

They’re Done!

We have been eagerly awaiting the installation of our new cabinets since the day they were delivered to our house over a month ago.  And we’ve certainly been more than patient through the whole cabinet installer mess.  So, given all of this, I am extremely excited to be writing this post. 

The installation of the cabinets is done (except for the toe kick and the crown molding which we plan to do ourselves)!  And look how pretty they are!

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I love how bright and fresh everything looks… especially compared to our old, nasty cave of a kitchen!  I can’t wait to see it with the new countertops and flooring!

Just to give you all a refresher on what things looked like before here are some before and after views!

Before and after #1

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Before and after #2

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Before and after #3

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Before and after #4

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We’ve made a lot of changes, but we are still far from done as you can tell.  We’ll keep you posted as things unfold!

4/13/2011

Another Bump in the Road

As far as I’m concerned we’ve been very lucky in our renovation thus far… especially since we’re tackling the majority of the work ourselves (thanks to losing our contractor last minute).  Until today the only real snafu was hitting a water line in the attic while hanging drywall.  As I hinted at during my last post, we hit another snag while trying to have our sink base cabinet installed.

Here’s the play by play.  Before installing the sink base the guys had to drill holes in the cabinet for the water supply lines and the drain line.  Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG!

They drilled the first two holes without any trouble.  Then they started on hole #3 (shown below).

They quickly realized by watching the inside of the cabinet that this just wouldn’t work… the drill bit was coming through the bottom of the cabinet!

So what was the solution?  The installers left the sink base cabinet unattached for the evening to allow Craig time to move the water line (which he had already moved during renovation week one).  What a bummer!

But Craig was up to the challenge… he’s such a trooper!  Thankfully we already had the necessary plumbing supplies lying around the house, so Craig got right to work. 

He turned off the water and then cut off the problem pipe. 

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Then he soldered a few more angles in the pipe and put it back in place (only this time the end of the pipe was much higher).

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Next he soldered the connection to make sure everything was water tight.

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And “ta-dah”!  There you have it… a moved water line that shouldn’t cause problems with the new cabinet!

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Craig’s final touch was to repair the drywall.  He screwed a couple 2 x 4’s in place, attached pieces of drywall to the boards, and then applied joint compound to cover the cracks (just like we did in the laundry room).   

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We’ll let it dry over night and give it a quick sanding in the morning before the cabinet installers come back to finish the job. 

And there you have it!  Another impromptu plumbing repair done without having to call in a professional!  I’ll take that any day!  And I’ve just got to give a big shout out to Craig for another job well done!  I tell ya… I really lucked out when I found him!  He’s turned out to be quite the handy honey-doer!