Sunday, February 22, 2015

Big Bro's 4th Birthday

Big Bro's 4th birthday was at the beginning of February. This year he chose to have a Ninja Turtle Birthday party. Mommy made these adorable invitations. He chose to invite EVERYONE in his class!
We had just moved out of our house, so we planned to have the party at Dick Nichols Park. We rented out the pavilion and kept our fingers crossed that the weather was nice. The weather ended up being nice, but was really windy in the pavilion, so we decided to forgo all the cute decorations I planned to put up.
We had Ninja Turtle masks and homemade turtle shells for all the kids to wear.
And red, blue, purple and orange foods!
Big Bro chose to have Rice Krispie treats instead of cupcakes. We made them into Ninja Turtles.
This is the best picture I got of the pizza, but what Ninja Turtle party would be complete without pizza? As a compromise to my healthy food beliefs, I found some Naan at Costco and made homemade pizza. We warmed the pizza up on the grill at the park. It was a big hit!
The kids enjoyed playing on the playground and in the sand volleyball pit with trucks and sand toys.
The piece de resistance was the homemade Ninja Turtle pinata that Nicholas and Big Bro made together. It was VERY strong, so all the kids got 3-4 hits! 
We took our time cleaning up and enjoyed some family time in the park.
Then we came home for Big Bro to open his gaggle of gifts! What a blessed boy!
We had Big Bro's birthday dinner at Phil's Icehouse and Amy's Ice Cream for dessert. Big Bro had a great day!
The day after Big Bro's birthday party, we enjoyed this Ninja Turtle watermelon didn't make it to Big Bro's birthday party.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Nicholas turned 34 on February 2nd. His birthday was quiet after a crazy week of moving out of our house, selling our house, moving in with Nicholas' parents, and buying a new house. I picked Big Bro up from school, and we stopped by a bakery to pick out some cupcakes for Daddy.
Then we had dinner at Jack Allen's Kitchen. Lil' Bro's first time! 
Nicholas loved his free birthday dessert. Key Lime Pie a limited edition!

Friday, February 13, 2015


We officially bought our second home together on January 30, 2015. First we visited the house to take one final walk-through. It was interesting to see how much "staged" furniture was used! 
Then we headed to our closing! It took about an hour to sign all the paperwork. Then we had a little celebration with our realtor and our mortgage broker.
We won't actually be moving in until March, so for now we are landlords itching to get into our new house!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


On January 28th, we sold our first house!
In 10 short minutes, we signed all our paperwork and officially became homeless! 
After selling our house, Mommy, Daddy and Lil' Bro went to lunch at Mangieri's. 
Nicholas' parents graciously watched the boys in the evening so Nicholas and Dana could have a date night for the first time in forever! What a wonderful celebration.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kitchen Reveal

Looking back at my chronicling of our Kitchen Renovations, it seems we started working on the kitchen March of 2013 when we did a little demo work! Oh my! We officially sold our house last week, so it is about time I present the kitchen reveal! But first, some history. When we first moved into our house, our kitchen had white Formica counter tops, oak colored cabinets, wood laminate floors and grey walls. One of the first things we did was paint the walls Spring Green. It was refreshing! As I mentioned, we began our kitchen renovations in May of 2013. In Kitchen Renovations, Part I, I described the demolition of the bar above the kitchen sink. That remained in a state of demolition for many months until we were able to tackle the counter tops. In August 2013, we finally got our act together to really start working on the kitchen, just in time for both Nicholas and I to start new jobs. In Kitchen Renovations, Part II, we painted our upper cabinets and raised them up on the wall. I also removed the flooring in the kitchen that had been damaged by the leaking dishwasher. We lived with the concrete floor until December 2014! By November 2013, we installed a new dishwasher and finished painting the upper cabinet doors! Paint cabinets takes forever! That is all detailed in Kitchen Renovations, Part III. December 2013, we started working on redoing the kitchen counter tops. Another thing that took forever! We had originally planned to do the counter tops in solid wood butcher block from IKEA, but they were out of stock for many months when we went to buy it, and pregnant Dana was not interested in waiting until right when we were about to have a baby to finish the counters. We came up with an alternative plan and found large black granite tiles for a reasonable cost. Tiling the counters was about 3 times the work of doing a solid counter top, but in the end, was definitely the right choice! In Kitchen Renovations, Part IV, we removed the old counter tops and put down plywood. We lived with the plywood through Christmas. We extended the counter, and Nicholas built a beautiful brace out of (free) pallet wood that he planed and refinished. It was a beautiful custom touch to the kitchen! The kitchen and dining room also went from a Spring Green color to a beautiful blue color. Things started to move along pretty quickly in January 2014 as we rushed to finish up all the heavy construction before Big Bro's 3rd birthday party at the beginning of February. In Kitchen Renovations, Part V, we finished the main counter tops by laying mortar board, tiling, grouting the tile and adding a stainless steel strip around the edge of the counter top. Also, the new farmhouse sink was added! My favorite part of the kitchen! Kitchen Renovations, Part VI was my last update on the kitchen in March of 2014. We finished the countertops by the refridgerator, mortared and grouted the backsplash and added open shelving under the upper cabinets. That was pretty much the extent of our kitchen redo. Then we had a baby.
Fast forward to December 2014 when we finished our kitchen so we could sell the house. Here is a before picture:
And the big reveal--
We did a lot of work in the month of December!
1. Mortared, tiled, grouted and finished counters by the stove.
2. Backsplash trim--Design, cut, sand, affix, prime and paint.
3. Paint bead board.
4. Trim around bead board.
5. Affix wall next to dishwasher and apply trim.
6. Lay flooring!!!
7. Paint lower cabinets, doors and drawers (2 coats of primer, 1 coat of finish)
8. Paint Kitchen and Dining Room grey that the Stager picked to match the the backspalsh.
9. Lay trim and paint.
10. Paint garage door.
11. Trim and caulk behind the sink.