Tag Archive | home improvement

Hello April!

It has been a week and quite a week it has been.  Busy days seem to go faster so the past week has been light speed.img_2342

Last week I had an ‘unplanned’ Friday.  There were things to do but nothing HAD to get done that day until a 3:30 start at school for a major setup and I was ready for a great day of finishing things.  I was still considering my copious options when the phone rang and that was the end of unplanned.  Thus is the life of multi-home ownership, sometimes the washer just dies and because friends live there I moved heaven and earth to get them a washer that day.  Technically I just moved a washer up and down a set of stairs (with help) but in between was a bunch of calls to find a washer and the drive to go get it.  The set up for the carnival went well but ate up the evening and I did finally get a call into my dad to celebrate his 26th birthday.



he is over 6’…

The weekend was a social blur with the school carnival, great weather, friends stopping over, an impromptu backyard fire where we burned the Christmas tree is spectacular 12 ft flames (only for about 2 minutes).  General peace and happiness for all.



Monday the kids had off for no apparent reason.  So, we did things around the house but none of the things I needed to get done.  On the other hand, Niamh exercised her creative side with a sewing machine gifted to us by a friend who appreciates little kids learning to sew.  I was amazed that she really could do it.  I know, I personally taught her and she


has seen me do it, but her fingers and brain just worked together and she really really did the sewing herself this time.  I have grand visions of her sewing with me now, hopefully getting things done faster.

Tuesday with only one child was still a dervish of activity.  We had our vent hood put in and that went really really well.  We were lucky that there was nothing structural in the way (besides the roof).  There was a crazy moment of fire when the drop cloth used to protect the brand new stove kinda caught on fire because the installer was leaning against the burner dials.  It was seen promptly and nobody was hurt and everyone laughed including the installer.  I also had the over-scheduled day that included a conference for Fiona (she is doing very well), swim lessons for Fiona (also doing well and can even swim somewhat and can actually float on her back!), swim lessons for Niamh and Zoe (they have been good for a while, this is refinement) and finally home for dinner where I tag Lars who has an aerobic class at 6:45.  Quite a day.



it needs trim, I’m working on that…


Wednesday I have no blog excuse except I spent all day working on work and my computer was being a pain.  So were many other programs and I was just done with the computer by the time I got the things done for people who pay me.

Today I did 3 under dresses and the end is in sight for the 3 over dresses – hand sewing only that I like to do while I watch TV.  I ‘wasted’ some time chilling with Fiona in bed because she really needed a nap.  I got a nap at least and in the end, she did too, so I’m stealing some time here to document how not working can end up being very very busy.

The weather is totally helping things not feel too crazy because we can go outside and the kids play after dinner.  It might not do great things for our schedule but they are less cranky overall and while they play I can do things.

Tomorrow is Niamh’s birthday so all the while we have been counting down.  We have done shopping, there are plenty of gifts even though 9 is a really hard age to shop for.  Breakfast is planned and tonight after my school board meeting I’ll be getting the traditional balloons ready for breakfast.  The day will have to be shared with a road trip because we are off to an event for the weekend.  In her honor, we got a fun hotel with a pool with slides and there is a plan for cake by the pool at 9 pm CST (parents and sisters note for calling in)

Now I have just a few minutes before they come home and we need to scoot to a friends house for a final fitting and then to my ‘date’ core conditioning class.  If I want to add pictures and maybe spell check I need to leave things here semi unfinished (just like my life!)

The check marks


Weather – gray

nap – watching a show, good-nuff, she is actually in an excellent mood today 

House – getting party ready

Countdown to Zoe day; T-4


I don’t know about anyone else out there but sometimes my life feels like a “give a mouse a cookie” book.  There is even a mom version “If you give a mom a coffee” … but for those who don’t know the format it is a chain of activity type of book that one activity leads to another and another and none of them seem to get qute done on the way but they always resolve with “and then the mom will need a coffee”.  I am quite fine with multitasking – I put in the laundry and on the way back up take the dishes and while I’m in the kitchen I start the coffee and while the coffee drips I serve the breakfast and while they are pinned down with breakfast I brush their hair etc.  The not so good part is when it involves starting and finishing a project because between those two ends are a million other actions and only a fraction have to do with the project…

However!  The fun side to often being in the middle of many things is there are rare days when you actually finish a whole bunch of them.  The stars align and finishing happens!  Today is that day 🙂

  • I finally got 2 pieces of art hung
  • I finished this jewerly project where I reused an old mirror frame (gift from my grandparents) to hold a bunch of my jewerly in a pretty way
  • Got the curtains done (enough) – this project had me finding fabric, bending pipe to make the rod, and mounting the whole thing to the celing and than sewing the curtains and putting the all together and up.

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I also did a ton of other things today, no day is whithout a ton of things, but those make me happy to have them done!


I’ve also decided that Zoe’s birthday can’t be outside this weekend.  It will be sunny but cool so a few games outside but most inside.  Works for me, just turns my decorating decisions in a different direction and I’m fine with NOT hauling out all the chairs etc to the lawn for a garden party!


Thats today so far.  I’m hopeful to get a few other projects started and finished today (Ha!) but since the house was ‘party ready’ 2 weeks ago I don’t have too much to tackle this week.

Three things Thursday

Woo hoo!  Another good day in a great week!  I mostly count days because all the nights still have someone(s) waking me up so focus on the positive 🙂

#1 in addition to all the normal cleaning etc I can’t help but get wrapped into Halloween too.  It is October after all.  This year we added throw pillow covers made from 18m Halloween shirts.  There are 2 on the couch and one on my bed and I love the little extra touch.  Super easy to do, I hand sewed them shut top and bottom with easy to remove stitches and for the top I wrapped the arms up ‘artfully’ to cover the neck hole.  I have a few covers for these pillows but for a dollar each from Ikea you could make the covers permanent if you have the storage space.


#2 – Fiona’s room has FINALLY transitioned.  The crib is upcycled to her walls making cool rails for hanging things and the toys are rationalized.  This took way longer than I hoped, but it did include minor construction and furniture purchases.  I think she needs a new picture in the middle, or, at least for me to re-center that one but I was just excited that I can walk in there now and all the toys have HOMES so clean up is actually possible and even easy.


#3 Nerdcon check in complete!  We have a best case scenario of missing the first 20 min tomorrow just for school timing so I drove down today and checked us in so we don’t loose time.  It was a fun mini-adventure with Fiona and she charmed the people working.  We even actually saw Hank Green but I didn’t say anything because I’m sure that is annoying.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!


We are also busy with little things like sign and costume making, but none of those are actually done yet…  Time to get kids settled and move on to the next to-do list 🙂IMG_6696 IMG_6693 IMG_6694

P – is for a Plethora of P

I have been thinking of P things all week, it is one popular letter in my life.


P – “Painting in a private collection” – that is how this painting is labeled on the artist’s site.  It is in MY collection!  This piece of art was created by a friends father, I’ve been collecting and sending him landscapes, barns, interesting clouds for a couple years and so he Presented me with a Painting.  Ironically, no part of this particular painting is from material I sent him.


P – Plated – this was actually a surprise add for today, we finally broke down after all the target marketing and got a box.  It is Pre-Portioned ingredients for higher end meals.  That appeals to us since we don’t get to go out much and Lars is much more into cooking.  We do live within range of very good markets so we can get most odd ingredients but not having to treasure hunt, or, deal with the leftover bit or whatever seems like a good idea.  I actually like the look of Blue Apron a bit more but they are not in our area yet.  When they are I’ll give it a look.

IMG_5090 IMG_5092

P – poison and Play – as in I accidently poisoned myself yesterday at a play!  I am intolerant/allergic to cranberries and boy do I sympathise with all the allergy moms out there because the all natural dried fruitbit gummies have zero mention of cran but I ate one single gummy and had an instant piercing puking migraine.  I happened to be out with the girls at a Play, put on by the facility of the district, and Niamh’s teachers act was last.  Overall it was a good show, really not a play but a collection of short pieces so good for short attention spans.  A few were painful, a few were really good, the other in the middle.  It was cool to sit up front and Fiona really get into the dancing


P – projects – A never ending string in my world but right now I finally got my ‘custom’ curtain rod up and the curtains are on deck to be sewn.  Yes, that is electrical conduit – For $8 I got a 12f long bay window rod – just had a little DIY time.  I actually don’t have many big Party projects cooking  but I still have a week.  I’m also eyeing the garage and yard for projects that had to wait for decent weather.  I’m going to hold back until after the parties but I have plans~


P – Pantry – I don’t know if I ever put a decent picture up, it is really hard to take a decent picture of the inside of a 7×14 room…  This is what I can do 🙂


P – Party!  2 for 1 party weekend is in 7 days and I need to get the house in party order.  I really really wish that RSVP etiquette was a bit more on people mind – I have no idea if I have 4 or 20 kids coming to Niamh’s or 2 or 10 to Zoe’s.  Bright side is that their best friends already replied yes so I’m sure they will be happy.  PS. Pray for good weather Please

P – Potty – checking in on the status of my littlest.  She is getting there but I would say just needs to mentally get on board 100%.  Being sick every other week isn’t helping but it is a positive that she tells me when she has to go (sometimes).

That is Plenty of P things.  I am sure I’m forgetting a few that were on my mind, I should probably make a list for things like this.  Hope you have a fun weekend and see you Monday with Q (a letter I need to give some thought to…).

3rd wall

Sweet shelving!

Typed lovingly with my thumbs


Knock on wood, there has been no blood, sweat or tears.  No sweat only because I was in between the warm room and the frigid   garage.  No tears because mistakes, while numerous and annoying, have not been unsurmountable and I have no witnesses.  No blood – probably luck, and, those 5 million hours spent in safety training at work did sink in.

So far I’ve spent just under 1k in round numbers and that includes the structure, floor, paint and hardware so far.  I think I still have about $150 left in my ‘budget’.  I’m not counting that we bought a new drill set because that was my birthday present and I’m not counting labor…  I’m officially at the point where I really need to figure out just what shelf configuration I honestly want because that is the next step.  The two big (2ft deep) tote shelves are up!!!!


big high up tote shelf. Don’t mind that hoodie hanging on a rogue bracket that got put in at a totally wrong spot and the screw is stripped so I’m SOL. It makes a good, very very strong, coat hook.


tote, on shelf, AWESOME


floor, trim, paint… ta da! ps. the only real perk of doing construction just after christmas is the plethora of large sheets of cardboard.

While doing all this I realized that all the working out I do has actually made me stronger.  I know!  NASA here I come!  All the time I work out I don’t ever count on results, I don’t even really think about them, I just do the exercises for random vanity/ amorphous ‘health reasons’.  In my head I have a vague goal of being a size 6, I want to be a good example for the girls, I like feeling healthy but I was honestly amazed that I could take a 7ft x 2ft 1/2in sheet of plywood, lift it over my head, climb a ladder, and then place it onto the brackets 18in from the ceiling WELL over my head.  I’m quite pleased that my body cashed the checks my brain wrote.  Also, putting big fat screws into studs is hard but I did it, lots of times.

The big question right now is do we leave the freezer in the pantry or not.  It takes up a chunk of real estate, but, it is nice to get my chicken nuggets in relative comfort not hopping in a freezing garage using my phone as a flashlight because it is too cold for light to travel through air….  Thinking thinking.

Ps. thank goodness for nap time.  Today I had Zoe to help, she put on the light switch cover solo and handed me tools.  Since I was perched on top of the freezer it was nice to have someone handing me things.  She does NOT like the compressor but she does like the air-nailer.  We might have 4x the number of nails strictly necessary but it was fun.