“Best DIY Projects of September” Linky Party!

September 29, 2012 AT 3:11 pm 9 Comments

 

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Hey Friends!

I am going to start the party a day early since it falls on the weekend.

Have you had a busy September?

I feel like we have finally made it to the top of our “renovation” hill, and we are headed down the other side.  The bulk of the mess is over, and we can start working on the little details.  (Well, except for the boys’ rooms upstairs, but let’s not talk about that right now, K?)

My favorite project of September was definitely the dresser I painted with Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  I am still crazy about it!

You can read about that project HERE, or click on the picture.

How to turn a dresser into a vanity.

 

So what have you been up to?  I can’t wait to see it!

Please remember to follow the party guidelines:

        • Your project MUST be about DIY home decor or home improvement.
        • Only ONE project per blogger, please.
        • Your project needs to be from the month of September, 2012.
        • Please enjoy visiting other great projects by other bloggers and leave some comment love. 
        • Please link back to the my party somewhere in your post. (Only those with a link back to the party will be considered to be featured on my blog.)

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Thanks for coming to my party! Smile




Favorite “PINS” Friday!

September 28, 2012 AT 7:58 am 4 Comments

 

Well, hellooooo!

Have you had a good week?  Aren’t ya glad it’s Friday?!

I had a fun little trip this week to IKEA with my buddy, Sarah.  Here is what we texted each other before we met…

034We both share a love for the carbonated goodness from McDonald’s!  Aaaaah yeah, baby!

I found a rug for our kitchen, and Sarah got a few goodies too.  We both had to get back home in time to pick up our kiddos, so the trip was short, but sweet.  Smile

 

 

Cy and I have a ton of little projects we are trying to get finished around the house.  Our staircase is one of them.  Cy is working on them as I type.

We hope to get the stairs finished by next week.  Ladies, my house is finally starting to look like a home (instead of a construction zone)!

I am actually sitting on my couch, which is actually in the den where it belongs, right now.  It does my heart good to have some order around here.

 

Now for some of my favorite “pins” from Pinterest this week!

 

Enjoy!

 

(Click on the link below each picture to find the original source.)

traditional bathroom by Gabberts Design Studio

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Three Pixie Lane: Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins

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Collected Fall Mantel | MyBlessedLife.net

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Oreo Owl Cupcakes

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01bunks72709_rect540

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Quick tip: Easily "age" furniture with a coat of paint and a sanding block.     #bedroom #decorating

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A classically beautiful dining room.     #decorating

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upgrade door entryways

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Overhead Treatment

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simple entry way/mud room

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Honeywell WiFi Programmable Thermostat Giveaway! ($149 Value!)

September 26, 2012 AT 1:33 pm

Hello ladies!  (and Dad) Smile

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.

I have a great money-saving giveaway for you today!

Check this out…

Honeywell Wi-Fi Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat

• Offers energy savings of up to 33% when used as directed
• Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows for remote access via smartphone or computer
• Free smartphone app for iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems

HONEYWELL WI-FI PROGRAMMABLE TOUCHSCREEN THERMOSTAT

• Pre-programmed with energy savings schedule

and many MORE features!

 

How cool is that?!  I am very excited about using this programmable thermostat.  I think it will be nice in the winter to turn our heat on from my phone when returning from a trip.  Or if I forget to turn down the air before leaving the house for a few days, I can do it from my smartphone.  Love that!

 

This product was one of the many that I was introduced to during my trip with Home Depot and Stiggy’s Dogs last week.

We found out a lot of great ways to save money in our homes.

One being to change out our light bulbs with more energy efficient light bulbs.

 

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We can also replace the old filters in our heating and cooling system.

FILTRETE MICRO ALLERGEN REDUCTION AIR FILTER

 

And caulk our windows with sealant.

DAP 3.0 WINDOW DOOR SIDING AND TRIM PERFORMANCE SEALANT

We live in an older home, so I know a lot of these money saving tips will really help us out.

For more energy efficient tips and information, visit Home Depot’s Eco Options Program.

So would you like to win a new

Honeywell WiFi

Programmable Thermostat?!

($149 Value!)

All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me one way you are planning to “winterize” your home this year.  (Be sure to use Rafflecopter to enter.”)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

This giveaway will run from now until September 30 at 9:00pm EST.  I will randomly pick a winner and announce it on Monday, Oct. 1st.

You must be 18 years old or older to enter and a US resident.

The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.




“Best DIY Projects of August” Highlights!

September 25, 2012 AT 6:00 am 10 Comments

 

 

I am a very, very, happy girl today!

Our couch is out of our kitchen!!!  Can I get a “Whoop!  Whoop!?”

The couch is the only piece of furniture we have in our den right now, and that is fine by me.  I’m just soooo happy to have it in the right spot!   I cleaned my kitchen real good, and I feel like a new woman!

We are getting there, people.  Smile

 

Today, I wanted to take a moment to highlight just a few of the great projects that were linked up to my “Best DIY Projects of August” Linky party last month.

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

A beautiful laundry room makeover reveal

by Cheryl at From a New House to Home.

How to turn a Vase into a Lamp! by Mary from At Home on the Bay.

An adorable Faux Nail Head Letter by Nessa the Procrastinator.

Installing Hard Wood Floors by Kim from Sand and Sisal.

Installing Hardwood Floors by Sand and Sisal

Spray Painting Brass Lamps by Christina from The Frugal Homemaker

Spray painted brass lamps

How to Paint a Harlequin Pattern by Stacy from Not Just a Housewife

harlequin-pattern-ceiling

Thank you to everyone who linked up to my party!

I’ll see you on September 30th for my

Best DIY Projects of September linky party!




My Trip with Home Depot and Stiggy’s Dogs

September 24, 2012 AT 10:25 am 21 Comments

 

I can truly say that I am so excited to write this post.  Not because I took an amazing trip to Detroit last week with Home Depot (although that was great), but because I got to see first hand the goodness and kindness of so many people on my trip.

It is a HUGE honor to tell you about an amazing organization called Stiggy’s Dogs and Home Depot’s Celebration of Service program.

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Home Depot has generously given $80 million dollars to improve the lives of our Veterans.  I cannot say enough about how wonderful I think that is.  I have the highest respect for our service men and women, and I am so grateful for the sacrifices they and their families make each day.

One of the organizations dedicated to helping Veterans that Home Depot is helping is called Stiggy’s Dogs.

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Y’all this is one of the coolest organizations I have ever known!

Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, HM3 Benjamin Phillip (“Doc Stiggy”) Castiglione who lost his life at the age of 22 while serving our country.

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(Picture from Stiggy’s Dogs)

 

Here is what I love about this organization:

From the Stiggy’s Dogs’ website….

About Stiggy’s Dogs

Stiggy’s Dogs is a 501(c)(3) organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”).  The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran.

Stiggy’s Dogs all pass the Canine Good Citizen ® Certification test and then are paired with their handlers for further training.  Since each veteran has unique qualities and needs, each dog is individually trained to meet that veteran’s needs.  Stiggy’s Dogs offers the veteran and dog pairing a lifetime of support after deployment.

The Need for Stiggy’s Dogs

Studies have shown that 1 in 8 soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will have some symptoms of PTSD.  Feelings of anxiety, depression and detachment make returning to civilian life difficult for these veterans.  Those veterans living with TBI have their own unique needs.  Studies have also shown that 82% of patients with PTSD who were assigned a service dog had a decrease in symptoms.  This includes a decreased need for medication in 40% of the patients studied.

There are an estimated five million dogs sitting in shelters across America, many of whom will be euthanized.  Many of these dogs could make an excellent service dog for a veteran living with PTSD and/or TBI.  By uniting the two, we are Rescuing One to Rescue Another.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Isn’t that amazing?  I love their motto:

 “Rescuing One to Rescue Another.”

 

So Jennifer and her husband purchased a house on a piece of beautiful property to run their organization.  (It was actually her husband’s childhood home!)

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On this property sits a home that was in need of renovation.  It also needed some work to make it a place for Veterans to come and stay and train with their new dogs.

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So this is where Home Depot and their Celebration of Service program came in.

Over 200 Home Depot employees came together last week to volunteer their time (unpaid, that is!) to help renovate Stiggy’s Dogs.

 

They landscaped…

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Built fences…

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Tore down walls and built new ones…

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And much more!

Aaaaannnnnndddddd….guess who else was there?!

Frank Blake, Home Depot’s CEO!

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Yep!  I got to meet him and even sit right next to him at breakfast!

He is a super funny and down to earth guy.  We were going to ask him some questions, but he asked us bloggers way more!  He’s fascinated with the whole blogging world (and Pinterest!) Smile

In the opening ceremony, he presented Stiggy’s Dogs with a check from the Home Depot Foundation for $25,000!

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I know that money will go a long way in helping many Veterans through Stiggy’s Dogs.

One of my favorite moments was when one of the Veterans that has received a service dog from Stiggy’s Dogs held the America flag as we all sang the National Anthem.  My heart was swelling with pride!

(picture source: Gene Fleszar)

It was such a great experience to be there that day, but I wasn’t the only blogger in attendance.

 

There were 11 other great bloggers that were part of this event.

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Bloggers who attended: Ashley and Jamin(Handmade Home), Dan (Military Avenue), Kierstie (Brown Paper Packages), Emily (Decor Chick), Stacy, (Not Just a Housewife), Lori (Witty Little Secret), Gail (My Repurposed Life), Rachel (Lovely Crafty Home), Kris (The New Normal), Diane (In My Own Stlye) and Trisha (24/7 Moms).

About half of these bloggers I have met in real life before, and about half I hadn’t.

I LOVE meeting other bloggers!  It is an instant connection and camaraderie.  We laughed so much together, and then we worked hard at Stiggy’s Dogs together.

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Home Depot also told us about a lot of energy saving tips that they are using during Stiggy’s Dogs’ renovation.

Here are a few:

1.  Replacing old heating and cooling filters.

2.  Installing energy efficient light bulbs.

3.  Caulking the windows.

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I will be sharing more about these tips in a future post that will include an awesome giveaway for my readers!  Yeah!!!

 

The best part of the day for me was meeting and talking to one of the Veterans who suffers from PTSD and TBI and learning first hand  how much his beautiful service dog, Barrett, has improved his quality of life.

I couldn’t help but get emotional as his wife told about how her husband has suffered from flash back nightmares for 9 years, but now his service dog, Barrett, is trained to wake him up from his nightmares as soon as they start.  She tearfully shared with us how in just six short weeks of having his dog, her husband’s life has completely changed.

What a blessing!

However, there is  a two  year waiting list for our Veterans to be paired with a service dog.  I pray that  more can be done to help our Veterans receive a dog even sooner.  If you would like to help in some way, visit Stiggy’s Dogs for more information.

Thank you, Home Depot,

for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing event

honoring our Veterans who deserve it so much!

The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Celebration of Service Blog Network. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.




Dig, Drop, Done!

September 23, 2012 AT 5:00 am 3 Comments

 

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

We have been focusing on renovating the inside of our house so much this past year, that we haven’t been able to do much to the outside of our home, especially our landscaping.

We need to work on our landscaping so badly.

One thing that I have always wanted to do, but haven’t, is plant bulbs in the fall to bloom in the spring. Have you ever planted bulbs?

I have always wanted to plant bulbs to beautify my landscaping, but I would also love to be able to cut some fresh flowers in the Spring to decorate my home with.

There is a great online tool at Curbside Chaos called the “Garden Guru” that helps you figure out which bulb is perfect for your home depending on where you live.

All you have to do is follow these steps:

Step 1 – Pick your Country

Step 2 – Pick your location within that Country

Step 3 – Choose the type of bulb you want to grow

Step 4 – Check out the Planting Guide that shows you how to plant your bulbs.

So easy!

Garden Guru said I could plant daffodils, which is my favorite flower!  I plan on planting some daffodil bulbs this fall to help with my yard makeover.

Curbside Chaos announced the winner of their yard makeover contest.  Here is a video that shows the winner, Rachel, and some of the bulbs she wanted to plant in her yard makeover.

 

Wow!  I wish I could have that many people come to my house to makeover my yard, don’t you?

I would plant lots and lots of flowers!

If you want to find out what type of gardener you are, visit www.digdropdone.com to learn more.

They have these cute little videos about three different ladies.

I think I relate most to Marcy.  That girl cracks me up.  She is the busy mom of three and loves the simplicity of planting bulbs.    Visit www.digdropdone.com to watch videos of each of the ladies.

 

Lastly, wanna do something easy and good?

Every share on Twitter with the hashtag #CurbsideChaos, “Bulbs. Dig, Drop, Done.” will donate $1.00 to Rebuilding Together – the nation’s leading nonprofit, working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalize communities.

 

Have you planted bulbs before?  And if you have, which ones?

Visit Sponsor's Site

 

 

 

 

 




Dear Mom,

September 22, 2012 AT 12:58 pm 62 Comments

Dear Mom,

Three years ago today, I held your hand as you left your temporary home to live forever in the home your heart longed for, Heaven.

I think often about that day, Mom. I remember how our hearts were breaking as we stayed near your bed knowing our moments left with you were few.  I remember how your body was frail and how the cancer had taken its toll on you.  And yet, I remember you never looked so beautiful to me in all my life.

Even in your last moments on earth, you were such a witness to me.  In life and in death, Mom, you glorified Christ.  I still wanna be like you.

Mom, more than anything, I want you to know that your life continues to inspire and influence me.  In your passing, I have learned that a mother’s love never leaves her daughter’s heart.  I still hear you often giving me encouragement and words of wisdom.

I want you to know that all of those years that you poured your life into mine was not in vain.  It mattered, Mom.  Your love has left everlasting fingerprints on my heart.  So many times, I make decisions because I know “it’s what Mom would want me to do.”  So many times I make choices because I know “it’s what Mom would have done.”

You are not forgotten, Mom.

Every sacrifice you made, every tear you cried, every hug you gave, every shirt you folded, every meal you cooked, every prayer you prayed, every smile you smiled, every time you listened, every encouragement you shared…

Everything, Mom.

It all made a difference in my life.

And now as a mom of four, I think I truly understand the depth of a mother’s love.  And I often ask myself, “My mom loved me like this?!”

Sometimes I watch Eli as he naps, and I stare in wonder at his sweet little nose and long eye lashes.  And my heart wells up almost to the point of pain as I realize that I could never love anything more.

And then it hits me, “Mom loved me like this?!”

As I stress over how to make ends meet and provide for our boys, I wonder how you did it all, and I think to myself, “Mom loved me like this?!”

When I lay in bed and night and pray (and sometimes worry) about the future of my children.  How I wish I could shelter them from every pain in life and take away all their troubles.  And my heart aches because I know that I cannot do it all and I cry out to Jesus.  Then I wonder if you laid in bed at night and worried about me too?  And I can help but think, “My mom loved me like this?!”

Oh, Mom, I always loved you.  But as I get older and go through the stages as a wife and mother just like you did…I love you even more.

How truly amazing you were, Mom, and I “rise up and call you blessed.”

I know now why one of your favorite scriptures was “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

 

mom's pictures 042

 

I found a letter from you, Mom.

mom 001

You wrote it to me in 1983.  I was 13 years old, and you were only 39.  I know we were going through one of those “mother/daughter stages” where we didn’t quite see eye to eye at times.

My Jonathan turned 13 just a couple of months ago, and I am 41.  He is going through a “wanna grow up” stage, and I feel like one of those moms that is always harping on their children about everything.  I desperately want him to know how much I love him, and I’m not trying to be so hard on him.

That’s why this letter means so much to me.  You went through the same struggles I am going through.

 

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Mom, I am married and away from home.  I am happy and like myself. Smile

And guess what, I can look back over my life and say without a doubt,

“My Mother loved us kids with all her heart!”

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Thank you SO much, Mom!

I love you,

Traci




My “Old House Charm” Curator’s Collection is LIVE at Joss and Main!

September 21, 2012 AT 4:41 pm 1 Comment

 

Hey friends!  Happy, Happy Friday!

I had a wonderful time in Detroit during Home Depot’s Celebration of Service at Stiggy’s Dogs.  I will share all the details with you on Monday.

 

But for now, I have some exciting news!  Today, my curator’s collection, “Old House Charm” is being featured at Joss and Main. 

I am so thrilled!

 

There are many items for sale in my collection, and I would love for you to stop by and take a look.  And maybe even purchase something if you have a hankerin’.

All you have to do is sign up to see the sales, but it is quick and easy to do, so head on over there.  Click HERE to join.  I love getting my Joss and Main emails in my inbox because they are always full of great inspiration.

 

 

Joss and Main is a great site that offers high end furnishings at discounted prices.  I chose items for my collection that expressed my decorating style.  I hope you enjoy it.

I love that my collection is near Courtney Cox’s collection on the home page.  Makes me feel famous. {hee.hee.}  I’m sure she’ll be calling me soon to hang out.

 

 

Please feel free to share this event with your friends on facebook and pinterest.  My curator’s collection event only lasts for a few days, so hurry on over there now.

Thanks so much!




White Subway Tile Shower {Our Master Shower is Finished!}

September 19, 2012 AT 6:00 am 18 Comments

 

Guess where I am flying off to today?

Detroit, Michigan!

I have never been there before in my life until this year, and now I can say that I have been there TWICE in 3 months!  Crazy, I tell ya.

I went in July with GMC and Onstar, and now I am headed back there today to work with Home Depot and their Celebration of Service program.

I cannot wait to be a part of this wonderful program.  We ALL owe so much to our Veterans, and I am honored to give just a little bit of my service back to them.  What a blessing!

So please say a prayer for me for safe travels.  I will only be gone one day, so it is a super quick trip.

Watch for updates on my facebook page and twitter stream.

Before I head out, I wanted to show you our finished master bathroom shower.

subway tile shower

We haven’t used it yet because I still have to hang the white fabric shower liner, but I will “christen” it when I get back from my trip.

white subway tile shower

We chose to use white subway tile in our shower.  It is inexpensive and classic.

white subway tile shower

Cy finished the trim work to match the trim work around our windows and doorways.  Don’t the faux wood beams from AZ Faux Beams look awesome?!

white subway tile shower

Our shower faucet is by Bella Foret.

white subway tile shower

I love the little cross handle faucet!  Definitely adds that old house character that I love.

bella foret faucet

Our first faucet had a faulty valve, so Cy contacted Bella Foret, and they sent us a new one.  Whew!

We used grey grout on the walls and floor.  That is Carrera marble on the floor of the shower.

white subway tile shower

We went back and forth on whether to tile the foot step into the shower, but we decided on a oak wood foot step to match the floor.  It really does look beautiful, although I think it looks a little too much in these pictures.  I think it looks better in person.

I am so thrilled to finally have a working shower.  Now all I have to do is get the chandelier and some sconces for the vanity, and the bathroom will officially be finished.  (Well, except for a little décor of course.)

Yeah!

BTW, here is the chandelier that you loved most when I asked you last week.  Hands down, #2 won.

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Do you think it is my favorite? 

You’ll have to wait and see! Winking smile




We are soooo close, I can taste it!

September 18, 2012 AT 6:00 am 34 Comments

 

Oh, dear friends.

It’s been a long year.

A very, very long year.

We moved into our 1400 sq ft ranch in June of 2011, and began renovating a couple months later in August.

Renovating takes a lot more time when you are DIY’ers.   Since Cy has been doing most of the work himself, it’s been a slow process.  But one in which we are saving a lot of money instead of spending it by contracting the work out.

In the past 12 months we have added a 1400 sq foot two story addition to our home.  DSC_0889 (2)We have wrapped the new addition in hardy board siding and put new shingles on our entire roof.

exterior 001

We were hoping to have the exterior painted by now, but we have been so busy with the inside of the house that we have had to move that job lower on our priority list.  (And hopefully in a few years, we will have a gabled front porch on our house too!)

We have completely renovated our kitchen from floor to ceiling.

 

We installed pine wood flooring in the kitchen and den.  Then we ripped it up and installed utility grade oak in both rooms. (Yep.  We’re insane.)

floor 002

 

We have added a master bath, refinished on old claw foot tub,

tiled a shower, installed plank walls, painted all the walls and ceilings, and refinished old doors.bathroom 012

We also replaced our entire AC unit this past spring when the old original one finally died.  Sad smile

So basically what I am saying…We’ve been living in a construction zone for over a year.

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(I really didn’t think I would live through the kitchen renovation.)

My boys think this is just normal life, bless their souls.

However, as of tonight, the wood floors in our den are getting stained.

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Our couch is still in our kitchen…

sept 040(I cannot believe I just showed you that picture.)

 

 

 

But here is the good news!

I am FINALLY seeing a teeny tiny light at the end of the tunnel!

When our floors are finished this week, or entire downstairs will be “live-able.”

Notice I did NOT say “complete.”  Smile

We still have to renovate the downstairs “guest” bathroom and the boys’ rooms once they move upstairs, BUT the downstairs will no longer be a construction zone.

Just the upstairs will be a construction zone.

And I am totally down with that.  It will be out of sight, out of mind.

 

So will be able to move the couch back in the den, and the boys will have a tv they can finally watch.

And my den will look something like this…

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Aaaah, Come ON! 

Can’t ya let a girl dream a little! 

Sheesh!

Smile

Well, I just had to share the good news with you.

 

Is there a home project that you are almost finished with, and you are as excited as me?







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