welcome home & playroom update

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, I’m staying with the little punkins at my parents house while they are away and for the life of me, couldn’t figure out their wireless password.  But we’re up and going now!

So as I said last week, by some minor miracle I made it to San Francisco for the BlogHer Food Conference.  And to my family’s sheer joy, I came home, Sunday night, and was quickly told how much I was loved and missed….AND

“We think you’re CRAZY to do what you do all day long”,

AND from hubs,

“As much as I love you, you can’t go away for that long again, not until they kids are at least 10. Seriously, I love you. But, No.”

Haaaa!  You gotta giggle a little…

Except that it wasn’t just my hubs, it was my mother & father-in-law, and my sister-in-law too.  I think they have all dubbed me certifiable, which of course I’ve been telling them for quite some time now…

Anyhoo, my hat is truly off to all of them, as the 4 days ended up having a few extenuating circumstances that made it extra “fun” for everyone.  So a huge thank you is in order!

This was my last shot of peace as I was landing in Orange County (don’t be too critical, the photo above and this one were taken with my phone…)

This welcomed me at the front door.  Apparently, Addie went a little nutty with a broom…

And somehow we turned into the hillbillies of the neighborhood with all the toys from the shelves in the family room now on our front porch, along with the bookshelves that aren’t pictured.  Maybe we just keep em there and let everyone leave their shoes on them?? Kind of like an outside coat rack?? Could be a thought (I kid, I kid!)

Piper pretty much told me, “Ohhhh Mommy, just to keep your eyes closed!”

This is our kitchen floor…hubs and his dad by some twist of ill fate, ended up having to sand it themselves on Sunday so that it could be refinished this week.

And our front room…is that our sofa and dining table and who knows what else in our backyard??

When we orginally moved into this house, it was pretty much falling apart.  With the help of friends and family we put it all back together.  (I’m in the process of writing that series for you now…).  But one of the nice things was that it originally had hardwood floors under the super nasty carpet (whoohoo!). But since the house had also had a few plumbing and roof leaks, the floors were not in the best shape.  We chose to add on the same floor where we tore up the beautiful, peeling linoleum and stain all the floors dark so you wouldn’t see anything on the original floors, nor notice the new areas..  Those of you that have, or have had dark floors, knows what this actually means..

“You will not see anything under the stain, but you will see EVERYTHING on top of the floor, E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.” Needless to say, I LOVE the look of dark floors…

…but NEVER again. (is it safe to say never??)

When we added on the playroom, hubs felt we needed to continue with the same flooring in the bedroom/playroom for consistency, so for a brief moment I was able to see the beautiful light colored wood.  I’ve been told that as I type this, that it’s already gone….


This, by the way, is why we are staying at Grandma and Grandpas right now, although it can be walked on, no furniture can be on it for quite a few more days.

Oh look!  More of our furniture in the garage!

But the fun thing to see when I got home was that things were coming together.  The painting was completed last week and Monday morning the plumbing fixtures were all installed along with the final sealer for the tile & grout.  All this means that we are soooooo close to being complete!  I love this bathroom floor!  If I could do it over, I would use this in our master and kids bath too.  Cheap (at $2+ a square foot), practical, and versatile.

This is the paint color, it’s kinda of a light smoky blue.  It’s the same color we used in the nursery (which I say with a smile, aren’t ALL bedrooms in our home a nursery??? But in actuality, last year Addie had her own room and we called Hay’s room “The Nursery”, now that Addie and Hay share a room, it’s still “The Nursery” for Piper.  I love, love, love this paint color.

And this is the entry to the mudroom/laundry room.  I LOVE the floor, and the dark walls.  It’s easy to do a dark wall when you have light accents, and this is a paint color I brought over from our first place we lived.  We had a photo wall in our front room painted this color and then filled with black picture frames and large white mattes. It was a fabulous photo wall and so perfect on the dark color paint!  This color is like a deep gray/brown.  Can’t wait to get those shoe drawers in, and for those cubbies to be what they are supposed to be!  Stay tuned because I’ve picked up a few fun finds at Ikea for this room to give it some character too!

Do any of you have favorite things you’ve done in your playrooms and mudrooms??  I would love to hear about it!

i know a guy, whose gotta guy

I know this guy.

I might be married to him.

And he might have a little black book.

(Which you would think would make a wife a little upset that he would own such a book)

We in fact might fight a little over this little black book.  But not for the reasons you might think.

We might fight over the fact I want the numbers in that little black book

(Which you would think might make other husbands kinda smile…).

But before you picture a black book filled with blondes, brunettes and a fancy 5 star rating system…this book is filled with guys.

And now you’re all a little nervous….

Explanation = This black book has electricians, painters, finish carpenters, plumbers, framers, HVAC guys….

(Not that hubs isn’t unbelievably HANDY & AWESOME, but for some dumb reason he has his own weekend lists sometimes…as if!)

Ohhhhhhh the names & numbers….the 5 star system!

Oh the projects one could get done!!

The shelves one could hang, the rooms one could build, the lights one could add…

Hubs doesn’t let me near that book.

He doesn’t let me near it because there’s guys like Tony in there…

Who install things like these ~ love me a row of dimmers!

And switches.

And bathroom light fixtures.

And who is great when my kids are around.

Who has fun body art…

…that my kids can relate to.

Who wears a tool belt that says”Yes, mam.” to any project I might dream up.

And I’ve given him a few.

Who doesn’t really like to have his picture taken.

But who is a pretty good sport about it.

If you live in the Orange County area, this guy can fulfill your electrical dreams.  He’s awesome to work with, has reasonable quotes, shows up, gets the job done, and leaves without a trace.  Big jobs and small, we just love him! And if you’re really lucky, he might even share his own secret kitchen recipes from his little black book…little fresh tomato bruschetta sauce, maybe a scrumptious marinated grilled T-bone….

Oh did I mention he’s single too?

And used to be a pro baseball player?

Give him a call…he can light things up for ya! And isn’t it nice to get those projects crossed off the list??

Tony Martinez ~ Phase 3 Electric
Email ~ tony.martinez.17@hotmail.com
Phone ~ 714.357.3259

(Disclosure: Nothing to really disclose.  Tony is awesome!  He’s helped us a bunch on the “hole in the wall” project.  Just kinda thought some of you might like a contact for a good OC electrician…I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a Favorite! Tony didn’t ask me to write about him, I just wanted to share a great contact!)

Want to know about that hole in the wall?

So I kinda hinted to that hole in my wall a few posts ago.  It’s been fun.

Yep, fun.

Poor hubs, he really has tried to get this project completed and tied up in a neat little bow, but there’s this thing called life, and well, he has just not been able to give it all the time he had hoped he could. Bizarre to think this all started last Fall.

But now.

Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Could we really be within weeks of completion???

Because we are nearing the end, I thought I would give you a little teaser and show you a few favorite things we like to do.

This by the way has NOT been one of my favorite things. The floor is my worst enemy

But this is.

I like to put loads of electrical anywhere I think I may need it. In this case I DESPISE cords.  DESPISE is a kind word for what I actually feel.  LOATHE may be closer to the truth.  In our family room you only see a TV.  Hubs has all the equipment hidden in a hall closet and we connect to it with an RF remote control (Radio Frequency).  It’s a GREAT remote (it’s in the fave gallery), hubs installed it himself.  If you or your other half, brother, 10 year old child, or dad have any gadget love, you will be able to get this installed.  All this to mean no wires or cable for me.  In the new room, we are planning on hiding everything on the top shelf of the closet. So those 2 black holes? They are for 2 quad outlets for the equipment.

That black hole on the bottom right?  That’s a duplex outlet.  That is because hubs let Addie sing on a Karaoke machine at Costco, that she fell IN LOVE with.  So we thought it might make a fun Christmas present for the girls and a good addition to the room.  But the room is not large and the machine, well it’s not my favorite looking “toy”.  After we saw it, I immediately made a request to add an outlet in the closet thinking it was a PERFECT place to hide it, even in use. (Besides, the bathroom door will also have a mirror facing into the room, so what better place to perform???)

There are 2 more black holes on the left hand side of the closet. Thought behind this is games and batteries will most likely sit on a shelf in the closet to be charged, and/or a dust buster might be a helpful friend to have close by…you will NEVER regret having a plug nearby.  You will only regret not adding enough.

This was a LOW budget project.  Trust me, no major cash flow going on here. Thank the world for a handy hubs!  But even on a tight budget simple things can make a huge difference. We used Home Depot/DalTile ordinary white subway tile (About $2/sq ft).  But I chose to have it installed vertically.  The floor is from Home Depot/DalTile as well (About $3/sq ft) black and white (my whole life is black and white, which I supposed means I’m an easy book to read, but it also means my home has a neutral background that I can put ANYTHING with – any color, any pattern, I can change my mind at a moments notice.  And I do.)

Addie has been our little helper with this project.  I think she can name ever tool in the tool box….

With this room came a much need hallway addition that actually connects our house to the garage.  For the first time in my life, I have a sorta mudroom!!  WhooHoo!!  We added cubbies here for each person along with a couple drawers for Mom & Dad.

But my favorite part about this??

The shoe drawers!

I asked for something at the bottem of the cubbies because I didn’t want everyone tripping all over shoes all of the time.  By using “tray like drawers” we are able to see all the shoes (nothing lost in back) and it’s open and ventilated.  Who wants to get hit with stinky shoe smell??? I love these drawers!

My other most favorite part of the cubbies is having an electrical outlet in each one.  Told ya I love adding electricty! We considered doing a charging station within the cubbies, but in the end, we liked the simplicity of giving each person their own outlet to charge what each person needs – for me camera battery, phone.  For the kids, their games, etc.

Down the same hall/mudroom area is where the washer and dryer are moving.  (So sad about this, I’ve really enjoyed sharing the office/current laundry room with them – note sarcasm…). BUT I will give my mom and mother-in-law credit, as they were right.

When we first moved in and decided to make the then current laundry room into a home office, we had planned on moving the washer and dryer to the garage.  I think both women nearly “chained themselves to the tree”.  With an “absolutely NOT!”  As both very wise women said, “You’ve got young kids and lots of laundry.  You do not want to be trekking out to the garage all day long.  Keep the washer and dryer close by.”

I have to agree, it has been nice not having my shirts mixed up with hubs tool room!!  And it’s much easier to get it all done having it near by.  Thanks ladies!!

But now it’s time for them to have their own space.  This is also the entry from the garage, and even though the hallway is very wide.  I wanted to have the laundry baskets up and out of the way.  Luckily, once we measured for the machines themselves, and then measured our leftover space, there was just enough for shelving to accomodate a 19″ square laundry basket.  Therefore each shelf holds a laundry basket (3 total), with one pull out drawer for detergent and laundry supplies.  Addie has LOVED playing hide and seek in here…..she is on a constant search for monsters in the cabinets!

The laundry area is just inside from the garage.  Hubs has a utility sink (that is OBVIOUSLY getting LOTS of use at the moment). Thought behind this is it gives us a sink close by for the laundry /mudroom, as well as for kids projects, washing paint brushes, etc.

Do you have any favorite tips or things you wish you had done during a remodel or new build project??  I learn something on every job. I never stop learning.  Even on this one.  I should write a post about all the things I WISH I had done when we built our house…hmmmm.

Stay tuned, I can see the light!!!

what have we gotten into this time??

I know you all probably don’t want to hear all this, but sometimes I just have to laugh at my life and then I feel like I need to share it with someone…so here goes…

I was reading a post from one of my favorite OC Mom Bloggers, Peace, Love and Momminess, who wrote a post for OC Family this week and I had to chuckle at the irony.  She was describing how a simple, inexpensive “Honey Do” task for her husband leads to no good and a much BIGGER more expensive project in the end.  I have the opposite issue.

My husband GETS THINGS DONE.  (Obviously, I’ve been pregnant 3 straight years…).  If I so much as breathe the thought that I think we should add a baby lock to a drawer, he is out the door for the drill before I’ve finished the sentence.  Maybe we could add a shelf to this antique pine cabinet, he is in the car to Home Depot, cut, stained and installed it before the cabinet knew what hit it – and it LOOKS GOOD!

And if you don’t already know me, we bought a home (definitely the worst house on the block scenario) last year when I was 5 months pregnant, completed a do it yourself remodel (Addie was in a backpack for most of this, Home Depot knew me by name) with tons of family and friends helping out in 11 weeks – so I’m now 8 months pregnant, we move in, while I was also project managing the installation of a resort, and served Thanksgiving for my family and in-laws.  We then had the typical moving in issues, finishing up the work on the outside of the house (great for nap schedules), the holidays,  Hayden was born,  Addie’s 1st Birthday…..and the super traveling circuit began all before I headed back to my office job.  It was a lot. But that’s what we do, we take on a lot, we don’t say no, we try to do it all.

Back to this week.

Hubby and I had been discussing building on a playroom, and then we found out we were pregnant, again.  Hubby decided we needed to add the room, pronto.  Love that.

I’ve also learned that being the fact that we are both project managers, best NOT TO PROJECT MANAGE each other.  So I have not asked any questions, just done what I was asked to do with it all, when I was asked.

(I should note that Hubby has a tendency to ask for things quickly however.  I’m going to pour concrete this weekend.  OK.  I need a plan tomorrow of where all the plants will go plus the BBQ area with tap outs for grill, fire pit, fridge, etc. OKKKKK)

For this current project Hubbys says, “It’s not really going to be a big deal to build this room.  We have a lot of the materials left over from the house, so really it’s just the labor”.  (OK – Don’t say, “It’s just the labor“to someone who is in her 3rd pregnancy in 3 years –  I bit my tongue, I was getting a playroom after all).

Fast forward to this week. Hayden is going through a teething/eating/not sleeping issue at the moment.  So between late nights working on this blog and the VERY early mornings with a screaming “because SURELY someone is pulling-all-her-finger-nails-out baby”…I’m a little tired and slower than usual.

Hubby looks up and says, “Oh the guys are coming to do some stuff around the house today”.

Me: “OK, what are they doing”.

Hubby: “Tearing apart the garage, adding insulation, putting up drywall, working on the plumbing, adding rain gutters.  Just some prep work before the room is added on.  They wont be in the house, maybe once or twice, just a bit of noise and mess outside.”

Me: “OK, for how long?”

Hubby: “Probably until the end of the week, maybe part of next week too.  Oh and what day will you not be using your desk?”

Me: “Why?”

Hubby: “I’m going to have them demo the old water heater cabinet and add the shelves you asked for”.

Me: “Thursday, I’ll be gone all day at a consulting job. Does this mean you need me to design the interior of the cabinet before then?” (Told ya – Remember the side note above…)

Hubby: “Yep.  Oh and do you need your car that day?”

Me: “Not sure how else I get to the job??  Why?”

Hubby: “I’m going to have the dent removal guy come and work on that back bumper, it would be better if you could get there another way.”

Me: “OKKK.”

Construction ConcreteConstruction Shower

Construction Garage

My husband proceeds to go in and out of the house talking to “his guys” and I’m using the time the kids are happy playing to make a brisket for Wednesday night, and Chicken Pot Pies for Tuesday night – what that means is A LOT OF CHOPPED ONIONS.  So by the time hubby heads off to the office, I’m BAWLING from onion tears.  I’ve wiped my eyes (that I have not take my makeup off from yesterday) no less than 100 times.

Thankfully our nanny arrives (yipee – it’s a day I have help!!!) and takes Addie out for some play time.  Hayden goes down for her morning nap.  I decided to grab a couple minutes on the computer (why change out of my PJs or take a shower yet??)  Just as I do, one of Hubby’s guys comes to ask me a question about the garage.  I apologize for the PJs (OK truth, old sweats) give them the answers they need and decide to come in and get dressed.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!  I LOOK LIKE A CLOWN! I am in old sweats, hugely pregnant, have not washed my hair in oh maybe 3 days, and have black mascara all over my face from the onion tears!  I look like I’ve been in a bar fight!!  AAAGGHHHH!

OK – I get through this, carry on with the rest of the day (the one where Addie climbs on the table and “feeds” Hayden lunch while I’m not looking.  Note the chairs that have to sit ON the table to try and stop this fun game)

Construction Feed Construction Hay

I pick up the conversation with Hubby again that night.

Me: “So do you think the playroom will be done for Christmas?  I thought that could be the girls present, to fill it with fun toys?”

Hubby: “Not a chance. We need the plans to get through the city first, and then…., and then…., and then.” (I can’t even remember it all).

Me: “OK, so do you think it will be done for their birthday party in February.  Plus it would be good to have the backyard out of the construction zone again.”

Hubby: “Nope, we’ll probably just be starting it the first week of March, the same week #3 is born.”

(Did you hear the record screeched to a halt???)

Hubby: “I was thinking the baby will sleep with us, the girls stay where they are at and we just grin and bear it for a month or so with a few knocked out walls. BTW, I asked them to make the garage stuff  that’s in the backyard safe for the kids, they are building a giant playpen for it, and I think I’m going to demo the garage wall and put plywood up on the side of the house until the new room is built.”

Consruction Playpen

WOW.  This is going to be fun.  What have we gotten into, again.

Glad I made the brisket already.  I think I’ll even drink a glass of wine tonight.

Thanks for hanging in for my long story of the week. Stay tuned for updates…..Be sure to check out next week’s menu and shopping list.

Lastly, don’t forget to enter to win the Sarah + Abraham gift card!!

Happy Friday!