Enjoy Life

New Year, Same Crap

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Ooh 2016. How did you get here so fast?

Last year sort of flew by in a blur. We had some fun times, and some rock bottom lows, but I am so ready for a fresh start.

We had a really nice Christmas this year even though we all felt a little hole in our hearts. My grandma would of been 87 years old. She always loved Christmas. I can’t imagine her birthday being any other day. Christmas just suited her. She was never upset that she had to share it with a big holiday. It was always such a celebration that she loved to share. Her cake always said “Happy Birthday Jesus and Grandma!” The day was beautiful, the sun was shining, and it was so warm outside. I know she was watching over us as we celebrated the day.

New Years eve was also pretty good. We all stayed up, watched some Netflix and just relaxed. Quinn stayed up until “4 something” and was only slightly crabby the next day. We watched fireworks from our bedroom window, they were going off all around us.

Im hoping this year will be better then the last. Im ready for some fun family time and just want to get back to the fun filled life I feel like we once had. I don’t have any resolutions, I just want to enjoy our time together and live life to its fullest.

I will be back on Monday, hopefully with a good room from hell laundry room update. Fingers crossed!

Plainfield House

The Laundry Room

I finally kinda came up with a plan for the laundry room. The room really hasn’t changed at all since I last talked about it. Half the floor is still ripped up, and theres still no washer or dryer. I haven’t had to go to the laundromat since we lived in LA, so these last few weeks have been rough. First world problems, I know. As of 5 seconds ago, this is what the laundry room currently looks like. Yikes. I just kinda closed the door and forgot about this room.

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I want to take down the cabinets over the washer and dryer. I think the space will open up once they are gone, plus I’m short average height and I can’t reach anything in them. There are cabinets on another wall, so these will not be missed. The light needs to go, the walls and ceiling need to be painted, the floor needs to be changed. I need to patch the holes from when we updated the electrical panel, pipes need to be changed, and a bunch of other things I can’t remember right now.

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This is the plan for now. I have been dying for a shiny black penny tile floor, I love this light from West Elm, front loading washer and dryer, and all the other goodies. I still need to find new cabinet pulls, a new utility stink and who knows what other surprises we will find. Hopefully this week we can get the rest of the floor ripped up and the holes patched up. The plan is to attack this room over Christmas break.

Enjoy Life, Plainfield House

Let’s Be Real Honest

I’m gonna be real honest here. My house looks like an episode of hoarders right now.  It’s a little chaotic, I can’t find anything, there’s shit all over this house. The laundry room floor is still half ripped up, and I don’t even have a plan for it yet. But, I love it here. I always knew there was something special about this house, and neighborhood but I could never put my finger on it. I think I finally figured it out.

This place is a little bit country, a little bit city. It is what we always dreamed of, but never thought it existed. Several years ago, we made a dream list of what we wanted in a home. We dreamed of a Mid Century home with a ton of windows, a private patio area, and attic space that could be turned into a studio. We thought about location, it has to be in an urban setting. We like to be close to everything but want to feel secluded to. Kinda an oxymoron.

We have lived here for a few weeks now, and every day that goes by I realize how much this house fits into our dream. This house and neighborhood check off everything that was on our list. We are about half a mile from anything you can think of, yet I can go the whole day without seeing anyone. We found our perfect mix of an urban / country lifestyle. And to top it all off, it is my grandma’s house. This house holds her presence. I feel like she is here, watching over me.

There is a long way to go on the inside of this house, but it’m ok with that. This morning I took a long walk around the neighborhood and just explored. Every house here is different, most of them are Mid Century homes with a few older ones here and there. The trees stretch far up into the sky, towering over homes, and every block you can smell the wonderful scent of pine trees. I am so excited to grow here as a family. I think we are really gonna love it around here.

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Plainfield House

Project 1: The Laundry / Utility Room

With our new discovery of the leaking washing machine, we will be starting our first real project in the house. The laundry / utility room. Not exactly the room I was expecting, but since we have already opened the can of worms we have no choice. So.. yay! We have already removed the washer, dryer and started ripping up the floor. We have to replace the subfloor in the whole room, rip out the plumbing and install a new electrical panel while were in there making a mess. Ugh. Such a headache. In the mean time I have been trying to figure out flooring, we need new lighting, and basically everything else. I really want a cute little laundry room, but with the furnace, water heater, and water softener in the room there is just no way. Im trying to keep it a practical room, but seriously how boring is that?

For now, I will leave you all with a few cute laundry rooms. I really need to figure out all this crap. Saturday we will be ripping it all out. So i need to get this back to a useable room as soon as possible. I have been going back to Naperville for laundry and that has already turned into a pain in the ass. The goal is to be back on Monday to share the plan for the room. Wish me luck!

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Enjoy Life

8 Years Old

Friday will make one week since my baby boy turned 8 years old. I can’t believe how big he is getting. It feels like he turned 4 yesterday. Everything has been so crazy with moving, cleaning out houses, and everything in between that his birthday kinda snuck up on us. We told Quinn instead of having a big birthday party he could pick a night in a hotel somewhere, go to the Legoland Discovery Center, or whatever special thing he wanted to do. So what does he pick? He wanted to go to Vermont. Thats not exactly in the budget right now, so instead we flew Keith’s mom out for a surprise weekend visit.

For the last month I have had to keep my mouth shut she was coming so we could surprise him. When Quinn was in school, I drove up to O’hare to pick her up. Quinn saw me and walked over as soon as school was out. He got a little closer and his eyes got wide and his mouth dropped open and he just froze. He was so surprised and excited, it was such a great feeling.

I can’t believe how fast he is growing up. He is such a kind, caring little boy. I am so excited that I have a front row seat to his life. I can’t wait to watch all the amazing things he will do with his life. I know I’m partial, but he is such a special little boy 🙂

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Enjoy Life, Plainfield House

Stressed Out

Today I should be writing about Quinn’s birthday and his huge surprise on Friday. But I can’t. My stress level is at an all time high and I need to vent. Since my grandma passed away in August I have felt my stress level rising every day. I have been going through all of her things, getting stuff ready for donation and trying to get rid of as much garbage as possible. At the same time I have been packing up our Naperville house, getting stuff ready for donation, throwing away stuff, packing up stuff for storage, and all the fun things that come associated with moving. In Plainfield we took care of the mold problem, got new insulation and drywall, added more vents in the attic, filled a hole in the foundation, caulked some cracks in the brick, caulked a few windows, I know theres more that I can’t even think of right now. We started moving in Saturday (Nov 7th), and I have been getting up early and driving Quinn to school in Naperville. My 3 min drive to school has turned into 30 min with the traffic.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I feel very lucky that I stay home and I can work on all of this during the day when Keith is at work. I just feel like I have a lot on my plate right now and it can be a little difficult at times. We have been unpacking, cleaning up, changing water filters and random stuff. Then last night around 9 I was throwing the laundry in the dryer and it was dripping wet. I realized all the laundry I have done here has been coming out of the washer a little too wet. We put the washer on spin and figured it would do the trick. But it didn’t. We tried it again. The damn thing won’t freaking spin and started to smell really hot. We unplugged the washer and Keith pulled it out so he could open up the back of the washing machine and hopefully figure out what was going on. Not only is the inside of the machine rusted out, he discovered the floor under the washer is totally rotted out. This washing machine has been leaking for who knows how long and has completely ruined the floor. Thankfully the washer didn’t fall through to the crawl space, but seriously..

I know none of this is really that big of a deal. No one got hurt, and it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. This just kinda set me over my stress limit and it was really the last thing we wanted to be dealing with at 10:30 on a Sunday night. Now it looks like we will be temporarily moving back to Naperville so we can rip apart the laundry room and fix the plumbing and all that lovely stuff.

But for real, this is my anthem today. Its on repeat all damn day. Ugh.

Plainfield House

Surprises That Rip Your Heart Out

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A few weeks ago while we were removing old paneling from the office, we discovered original wood flooring under the carpet. I have this huge beef with carpet, I hate it. It’s nasty. Finding this hardwood was amazing. It looks 10 times better in person too, these photos don’t do it justice.

Our excitement grew with every inch of carpet we ripped up. This was better then either of us expected. We had alway planned on installing new floors, but original mid century floors? Way better. We went room by room until we made it down the hall. We started ripping up the carpet in the living room where we spotted old linoleum flooring. And thats when the surprise ripped my heart out. THE WOOD STOPS AT THE DAMN LIVING ROOM. Seriously, what the fuck. So here we are. No longer excited.

I picked out some hardwood flooring a month ago, before we knew this was under part of the carpet. Do I scrap all of this and put in brand new stuff? Agh. I really wanted to keep this original flooring. Maybe I will have some luck and find some salvaged? I got the name of a flooring guy who can “copy it”, but who knows how much that would cost. Or maybe we DIY it ourselves? At least I have time to look. For now we are stuck with wood, linoleum, and then some neon green carpet in the front room. But that room is a whole other story for a different day.

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Enjoy Life

Halloween

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Hope everyone had an awesome halloween! Our day started off pretty crappy. It was wet, windy and cold. Luckily the weather cleared up right in time for trick or treating. Keith had a wedding to shoot so me and Quinn were on our own. We decided to head down to my sisters so he could go with Olivia. Quinn was Jack Sparrow and Olivia was Elsa. They had so much fun walking around town. Both filled their pumpkins to the top with candy.

I loved walking around and looking at all of the different homes. I have this thing with old houses, and this town is full of them. I think I took more photos of the houses then the kids trick or treating, oops!

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Enjoy Life, Naperville House

My Submission for AT’s Big Reveal Contest

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Here it is! My submission for Apartment Therapy Big Reveal Contest. I was looking around online a few days ago and noticed the deadline for this contest was ending later that night. Since I never made it around to actually posting the after photos of my kitchen I figured why not! Voting ends tomorrow and while I know I won’t win, I still appreciate all the votes!

Before & After: Melissa’s Bright and Airy Kitchen

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How To, Plainfield House

Easy Wallpaper Removal

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Im gonna let you all in on a little secret I just discovered. Today. Like, 7 hours ago. Easy wallpaper removal. I bet your thinking total oxymoron. No way removing wallpaper can be easy. Welp, it is.

We got a few walls worth of drywall at the new house over the weekend. Most of the new drywall areas are next to old wallpaper areas, and I don’t mean old as in 5 year old wallpaper, but more like 25+ year old wallpaper. So I have a ton of scraping to do so the drywall guys can tape and mud, and whatever else they do. I bought a wallpaper scraper, a scoring tool, and wasted way too much money on removal sprays and gels on Sunday. It was all working ok, but there was way to much repeating the process then I would of really liked. I just want to peel it, score it, spray it, and scrape it.

Sunday evening we went over to Ace so Keith could get some clamp things, and I browsed around for something that might actually work when taking this freaking wallpaper down. And there it was. At the end of the isle. In this random everything’s a dollar section. LA’s Totally Awesome All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner. It says right on the bottle it removes glue. So this morning I went back to the new house to scrap this wallpaper, hoping this would work.

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First thing I did was peel off the wallpaper. The top layer peeled right off in nice, big sections and left behind the terrible glue. I then used the scoring tool on the glue paper. Make sure you don’t press very hard. You want it to score the glue paper, but not damage the wall. I feel like the more holes you make the better. The holes help the cleaner get into both sides of the paper, so all the glue will come off nice and easy. Next, spray LA’s Totally Awesome all over. I like to really soak the wall then wait 5-10 minutes for the cleaner to work it’s magic. Grab your scraper and go to town! Most of the glue will scrape right off. Occasionally you get a stubborn little piece of the glue that the cleaner didn’t reach, so just grab the bottle and spray. After the paper is peeled, grab your 3M heavy duty stripping pad and lightly go over the wall. This will pick up any little glue piece that are clinging to the wall. I usually wipe the wall down with a rag after so it picks up any cleaner left on the wall, but it’s up to you if you do or don’t. I wont yell atcha.

I do recommend that you wear some protective wear while doing this. A face mask, gloves and some protective eyewear might not be a bad idea.