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6/20/2012

Summer Gardens

Early summer is by far my favorite time of year!  I absolutely love it!  And who could blame me when I get to sit out under the pergola, enjoy the wonderful weather, and see the “fruits” of my gardening labors!

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It makes all of the afternoons I’ve spent stooped over in the garden with dirt caked under my nails totally worth it!  Oh, how I love this time of year!

6/18/2012

Another Built-In Progress Report

I realize that it’s be a really long time since my last built-in desk/entertainment area update.  Please don’t think that the lack of posts on the subject is due to a lack of progress though.  Tremendous progress has definitely been made!  I’ve just been too slack busy to blog about it.  I apologize!

Anyway, here is a reminder of how things looked before we ever started this built-in project.

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And here’s a picture from when we last left off.

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And here’s how things look now!

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Still not complete, but definitely much further along than the picture from before.  So, what exactly have we (and by we I totally mean Craig) been up to?

Well… first Craig installed electrical outlets, cable jacks, and internet jacks in the back of the entertainment and desk cabinets.  Thankfully, we knew when we renovated and rewired the kitchen/family room that we planned to later install built-ins, so we made sure to run the necessary wires in the walls before our new drywall went up.  Honestly, I don’t know how he does it, but Craig really makes this kind of stuff look easy!  After cutting a rather large hole in the drywall behind the cabinets, he simply fished out the wires, marked and cut holes in the backs of the cabinets, and installed the electrical boxes.  Then he slid the cabinets back into place and secured them. 

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After all of the electrical work was done, it was time to start planning for the shelves.  We discussed a few different layouts for the shelves before we finally settled on our final design.  Then Craig got to work installing the supports that would hold the shelves. 

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Once all of the supports were installed over both the desk and entertainment area, his focus turned to building the shelves and countertops.  We decided to use MDF as the main material for this part of the project.  Craig built the shelves by taking two pieces of MDF and sandwiching a piece of wood that had been cut down to size in between.  He made sure to leave a gap on the sides and back to allow for the shelves to slide back onto the supports he had secured to the walls.  The countertops he made by securing two pieces of MDF together and then trimming out the front edge.

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When the shelves and countertops were all built it was then time to begin painting.  After doing a little research we chose to use an alkyd paint to help the shelves and countertops hold up better over time.  Craig applied a nice, solid coat of Sherwin William’s Multi Purpose Latex Primer which he then followed with a few coats of Sherwin William’s Pro Classic Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd in extra white.  To help eliminate brush/roller marks he added a little Floetrol Latex Paint Additive to the paint.  This also helped to extend the dry time of the paint, which was a huge help since alkyd paint tends to dry so quickly.

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After everything was painted and dried it was time for the fun part… assembly!  Craig very carefully secured the countertops in place and then slid in all of the shelves.  I guess all of his planning paid off because all of the pieces fit together perfectly, just like a jigsaw puzzle!  It really was a beautiful thing! 

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Now all that’s left to do is caulk the cracks where the brick meets the shelves and countertops, add all of the trim (including crown, baseboards, and toe kick), and accessorize the shelves.  Can’t wait for it all to be done! 

6/17/2012

Happy Father’s Day!

I’m not sure who was more excited about Craig’s Father’s Day gift this year… Bailey or Craig?

All I know is that they were so excited that they had to test it out first thing this morning… even before getting dressed for the day.

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Oh… did I mention that it’s a two-seater?  Well, it is!  And fortunately for Bailey, it won’t be long before we have a little co-passenger for her to enjoy the ride with!

6/10/2012

Pirate P-argh-ty Fun!

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Bailey’s best little friend, Maelen, at a pirate themed pool p-argh-ty (sorry… couldn’t help but throw the “Argh” in there)!

As with any good pirate party, hats and eye patches were handed out to each guest as they arrived and the decorations certainly fit the theme!

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The birthday girl was as sweet at the ice cream and cupcakes that were served!

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In fact, the cupcakes were so good that Bailey (my cake-hater child) ate TWO!

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Activities at the party included digging for buried treasure

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walking the plank as you entered the pool…

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…and plenty of fun on the high seas playing in the pool!

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Although Bailey wasn’t quite brave enough to get in the pool she did enjoy sitting on the edge, splashing her feet and squirting other party-goers with her little water cannon. 

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What a great party!  And what a special birthday girl!  Thanks Maelen for giving us an excuse to p-argh-ty!