Archive of ‘Bedroom’ category

Hardwood floors and why we had them professionally finished.

As you know, we are very into DIY around here. (As is evidenced by the blog title around here, of course) 🙂


Professionally finished  hardwood floors at

However, we are also into real life.  And right now, where we are at in life…

*With one house we need to get ready for move-in.

*Another house we need to get ready for renting.

*A move from the latter to the first.

*A baby due 3 weeks after my target move-in date.

*And the Kid’s Conference that Handsome Man and I heavily involved with 2 weeks after the aforementioned mister is due to make his arrival.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at


Suffice to say, we are about maxed on the to-do list.  That’s why when we got the name of a local hardwood floor finisher from two separate people (Handsome Man’s Sister was one of them) who had used him, we decided we might as well just get a bid to see where we were at.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at

When the guy showed up, I’m not going to lie… I fell in love with him!  He’s an older guy who has done wood floor refinishing his entire life.  And he sincerely seems to love his business!  He was totally awesome!


Professionally finished  hardwood floors at


Anyway… When he came back with a final bid of just over $1500.00 we weighed the pros and cons.  I mean, it killed us just a bit to pay that much for something we *could* do ourselves. But when it came down to it:

*While I could pitch in for some of the sanding of the floors in the bedrooms, Handsome Man would need to do the entire finishing procedure alone due to the pretty intense fumes when staining and sealing.  Normally I’d throw on a respirator and go at it, but being 30 weeks pregnant we thought that wouldn’t be the best of ideas.

*With the 3 bedrooms needing to be totally sanded down, (2 of which were slathered in carpet glue) we appreciated the thought that they would use massive commercial sanders instead of the rental sander from Menards.

*With everything on our to-do list, it was definitely an attractive thought to have the floors being done while we weren’t even there.

*And to a degree… Since this is our home that we will be living in more permanently a small part of me liked the thought of a super professional finish that we would enjoy ourselves for years.


Finally… When you break it down, the cost for us to do it would be:

$150.00 – 1-day Sander Rentals

$75.00 – Stain

$120.00 – Poly Sealer

$105.00 – Misc. Sanding/Staining/Sealing Products (Sanding pads/Tack cloth/Applicators/etc…)

TOTAL: 450.00

Not to mention one full day of sanding and at least 3 evenings in labor finishing the project.

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at

So all in all, we opted to just have them done for us this time.   And it also helped a bit knowing we saved a TON on installation of the hardwoods in the hallway/living room/dining room/kitchen. 🙂


Now that it’s all done I have absolutely no regrets! (although…. I still need to write the check.  Ha!)

Professionally finished  hardwood floors at


Sometimes DIY in real life is a matter of weighing your needs at the time and opting NOT to do it yourself. After all… Next time we have hardwood floors to do, in all probability we will resume our DIY floor moves! 🙂

Wood floors installed? Check!

Well folks.  It’s official.  The wood floors are installed and ready to be finished thanks to *this* guy!  Three cheers for Handsome Man!!!!


Installed hardwood floors at

He seriously killed these floors.  I mean we are talking a lot of sq. footage and it’s DONE! Whoop whoop!!!


Installed hardwood floors at

I gather from this look that he is a bit on the ready-to-be-done-with-floors side. 😉

Installed hardwood floors at

In addition to Handsome Man… His brother, came an entire afternoon and evening to pitch in on the detail work in the hallway! (THANKS MATTHEW!!!)  And sorry I didn’t think to get any pictures of you hard at work!

Installed hardwood floors at

 Also… Some of my family came and totally knocked out clean up for us!  Three cheers for mom and her mad sweeping abilities!

Installed hardwood floors at

And three cheers for little brother Caleb and Step-dad Scott (Who I also neglected to get pictures of!!!! YEASH!) Who were TOTAL rock stars cleaning up and hauling out trash, tools and all the other clutter we’d accumulated upstairs!  They seriously saved this pregnant lady’s hips with all the trips up and down and up and down.

Installed hardwood floors at

Last night we finished the last of the clean-up/put up plastic to keep the insulation up and out of the way/etc…

Installed hardwood floors at

Hence the dark nighttime pictures.  lol!

Installed hardwood floors at

This munchkin like to think of herself as an awesome helper… Occasionally that’s true.  😉

Installed hardwood floors at

Really though…. She’s been a trooper!

Anyway…. We are just heading out *now!* to go to the house and approve a stain color for the professionals that are going to sand, stain, and seal our previously finished floors in the bedrooms as well as the unfinished ones we just finished.  Crossing fingers it works and the floors are relatively matching when it’s all said and done!

Post to follow on why we chose to have the pros finish this house’s floors instead of our usual DIY method! 😉

Gotta go!!!!  I’m totally psyched for this!!!!!

Beam me up Scotty!

Yeah. That title should put me in a few nerdy Google searches.  😉


Anyway…. We’ve been gone much of this week because we have an awesome boss who also happens to be even better friends.  They took the whole company and all their families to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City and we had an awesome time!


Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

We are quite certain this munchkin adores the water.

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

Cutest thing ever!

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

She’s also addicted to water slides of all sorts!  She would tootle to the top all by herself and the look of sheer joy on her face every time she slid down was priceless!

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

After all… Daddy (AKA: Handsome Man) was always at the bottom to catch her and that’s just pretty cool! 😉

Hanging at Great Wolf Lodge!

She did these over.  and over. and over.

She was soon exhausted!  Yay for wearing out the kiddos!  We basically had to pry her away from the slides when it was time to leave.  lol!

Anyway…. The day before we left for Great Wolf Lodge, we actually got the BEAM installed and our wall GONE!!! Whoop whoop! (Ahhhh…. Now the title makes more sense….)

Beam installation at the new house at

Finally after all the rigamarole that getting the correct sized beams entailed, we went with Menards to get the laminated beam.

(They were the ones who gave us the smallest number for necessary beams. lol!  And it still seemed like overkill.  I mean really? We aren’t talking another floor above or anything… Just the roof.  But I suppose overkill is better than a saggy roof, right? 🙂  )

Beam installation at the new house at

First… Handsome Man built a temporary wall directly next to the first one.  (It pretty much looks like the old one.  lol!)

Beam installation at the new house at www.diyinreallife.com1 of 4 beams installed! Whoop whoop!

Beam installation at the new house at

More of the black poodle hair insulation.  So ready to be done with that stuff! Ick!

Beam installation at the new house at

After all 4 beams were up, we installed the cross beams on the other wall.  (It supports one end of the massive beams on the load bearing wall)

Beam installation at the new house at

Then we REMOVED the wall!!!  Have you ever seen anything so amazing??!  The place is huge now!!!!!

Beam installation at the new house at

After that, it’s on to finishing the wood floors… Getting closer!!!!

New House Renovations!!

So we didn’t have a whole lotta chance to work on the new house after closing on Monday with Christmas family stuff and all.  Mostly ordered stuff from Menards to have delivered tomorrow, etc…  However all that changed over the weekend.  Yesterday and today was chock full of progress!  And when I say progress, I mean chaos!!!  It’s awesome!  lol!

I just keep telling myself it has to get worse before it gets better!  Ha!

Yesterday morning we left Emma with our niece Ella (whom she absolutely adores!) and  our nephews came along to the house for some serious ripping out.

New house at

For some strange reason they seem to enjoy it and goodness sakes!  We love having their help!

New house at

They’re like the spectacular tornados of demolition and can rip out carpet and pull up carpet tacks like nobody’s business!  That morning they managed to clear the upstairs of all carpet, carpet pad, and much of the carpet tacks.  They pretty much rock.

New house at

Handsome Man’s dad also came over to remove all our upper cabinets and let me tell you what…. It felt so much more open after that!!! Whoohoo for phase 1!

 New house at

After the nephews left we (and by we, I mostly mean Handsome Man) tore out the remainder of the lower cabinets.

New house at

Including our built-in tiny avacado green stove… *Rawr!*

New house at

We took her and her matching stove hood buddy out to the curb and with a craigslist ad under the free section they had made some scrapper very happy by the next morning! 😉

New house at

So after the cabinets met their demise, Sam went to work on above where the upper cabinets used to reside.

New house at

 (Handsome Man and I differ in what exactly they are called.  Help us out and weigh in on this!  He refers to them as a soffit and I maintain that the Property Brothers call them bulkheads.  I am convinced I am right.  ….But am I? 🙂 )

 New house at www.diyinreallife.comAll I know is that as we ripped each section down, lots of black insulation fell like an avalanche.  And it was nasty. It was as if someone shaved 100 black poodles then shoved all the hair up in our ceiling.  I’ll spare you the pictures.  This was after we swept up.

Also… You’ll notice there are no pictures of me.  I like to think it’s because I’m the one taking pictures! 😉 Ha!

But really…. I kept busy too.  I removed a bajillion staples out of the floors in all three bedrooms.  It took a while.

Then…. As if yesterday wasn’t enough… The nephews were down for MORE destruction.  I know, they rock.

New house at

Check out their wicked wall demolition moves!

New house at

Look at ’em go!

New house at

And the wall came a tumbling’ down!

New house at

Three very hardworking dudes!

New house at

And as if that weren’t enough, they went to town on the kitchen floor ripping up the linoleum and the underlayment.  Not. An. Easy. Task.

New house at

Wicked-tough stuff to get out!

New house at

Finally working on the last piece.  It took like 10 times longer to do the floor than rip out the wall and looked a lot less fun! lol!

All in all, I’m giddy with excitement at how the house has changed in a matter of two days!  Well… I’m sore and can barely walk…. But still giddy!  (Yay for a chiropractor visit tomorrow! Ha!  Remodeling when 27 weeks pregnant is going to be harder than I anticipated!  Even MORE reason why I am so VERY grateful for the nephews’ amazing help!  They are saving me! Ha!)

This next week will mostly involve getting the beam for the wall we will finish tearing out.  (Boo on load-bearing walls. Sniff)

Get our various fellas to come take a look at what needs done.  Construction guy for help on the beam installation…. Electrician for rewiring the new layout and recessed lighting…  Plumbing guy for moving the sink and dishwasher… Etc…

Our Menards delivery of cabinets, wood flooring, car siding, etc. comes in tomorrow afternoon…

And the subfloor needs to come out of the kitchen yet.  (We want the wood flooring to be level between the living room and the dining room/kitchen so we are ripping the uneven subfloor in the dining room/kitchen out.  Also… There are so many of the longest, most wicked staples, you have ever seen in the subfloor.  It’ll be easier to pull up the old and install new than to pull them all out by hand.  Several times over.  It’s craZy!

Absolutely cannot wait for this week!  I’ll keep you posted on the progress… In the meantime, envision me doing a happy dance. Tomorrow.  When I can walk again! 😉

New Year Goals: Free Printables

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

So this morning I worked on a list of goals for the house this year.  We have most of the “big” projects done here on our little previously-forclosured home, but sometimes it’s a little too easy to skip the little odds and ends.

You know…. The little trim here… The caulking there… Things that really don’t take that long, but over the weekend we could take an hour or two to complete.

Here’s what I came up with:




Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

Obviously there are things I’ll want to add to this list as the year progresses, but this was the list I came up with for now.

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

Then I split those projects up by month.

I put the more important things in earlier months…

Outdoor things in the Spring/Summer…

And left the later months open as I add more things to the list.

I made it super attainable and didn’t go overboard.  You’ll notice the winter months have more projects… That’s because we have a wee bit more time in January than July since Handsome Man is a roofer! 🙂

I also color coded the to-do list.

RED=Handsome Man



Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

I thought I was exceptionally witty due to the fact that together red and blue make purple…

But maybe that’s just because the munchkin has decided to forgo sleeping at night lately and I’m merely sleep deprived.

That’s quite possible.

ANYWAY! Handsome Man and I really do best with lists and deadlines so I think this will be super helpful!!

If you are a deadline operator like us, I made a couple free printables just for you!

Go crazy and get some goals organized!!

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

 {Click here to get this House To-Do PRINTABLE!}

Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year!  How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!

{Click here to get this House To-Do PRINTABLE!}



Good luck with projects in the upcoming year!!   Let me know if you try this and how it goes!!


Tips on creating a Home Improvement to-do list for the new year! How plans on keeping motivation on track to finish the odds and ends!




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Got these ‘lil babies yesterday!

Bought these guys plus the matching chest of drawers yesterday on a facebook group version of craigslist!  CANNOT wait to get started on them!!!!   And showing off the AFTER look!!!  Whoop whoop!!!





I’m already busy scrubbing and de-glossing…. (Mostly because I want them OUT of my living room and where they BELONG!! lol!!)  Pictures to follow!

Refinishing Wood Floors…

Let’s go back to the very beginning… It’s a very good place to star-r-r-r-t…



I now have that good ‘ol Sound of Music song stuck in my head.  If it’s stuck in yours now too…  You’re welcome.  😉



As to why I picked the title…  We’re going to go back to the first project we really started with in our new house.  The FLOORS!!!


One of the things I loved MOST about this house were the hardwood floors throughout





Yes people… Original hardwood floors e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

Have I mentioned I LURVE hardwood flooring?  I really really do.


Granted they were in rough shape… Not bad, just very very worn.  And since I’ve actually done the whole refinishing-wood-flooring-thing, I wasn’t too worried.


We did our whole house in about 2-3 days, so it’s a good long weekend project.  We wanted to get it done before we moved in so that we wouldn’t have to more furniture from room to room and so that we wouldn’t have to live with the fumes.  The poly sealer can get really strong, so if you’re trying this yourself, you might consider staying at a hotel overnight or something.



DIY in Real Life: Wood Floors


Step 1:  Somehow rope your awesome nephew into coming over and help you pull 246,000 carpet staples (Not exaggerating… much.)  out of the stairs. He pretty much rocked!!!   (In other big questions…. WHO puts carpet on a gorgeous staircase like this??!


DIY in Real Life: Wood Floors


Step 2:  Rent one of these bad boys.  We rented ours from Menards.  (We like Menards.  A lot. Lots better than any of the other Home Improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot.  And as much as we go to aforementioned Menards, they probably like us too! lol!)  Anyway…  Rent one of these bad boys and get a man to run it.

Preferably a very sexy man…

A sexy man wearing Crocs is optional.  😉


Plan on it taking longer than you thought and get a BOATLOAD of the sander pads.  Way more than you think you’ll use.  You can always take them back after the project is done, and then you won’t be making repeated trips to get more.


Not that we made repeated trips.  *cough cough*



DIY in Real Life: Wood Floors


Step 3:  Yes… I’m filthy.   You have no idea.

If you have stairs, this is the lousy part.  I think Sam did 3 bedrooms, a hallway, a laaarge living room and a dining room in about the same time it took me to sand the stairs with orbital sanders.  This is me working on the laaaaaaaast stair tread.  Very very late at night.





Step 4: Sweep up all the sawdust… There will be A LOT.  Then vacuum.

And vacuum…

And vacuum….

And vacuum…

Annnnnnd VACUUME.


I always hate this part.  I’m way to anxious to get to the next step.  But it’s soooooo worth is to go for perfection when it comes to getting ALL the dust.  That’s where Handsome Man is so good for me.  He is really good at going the extra mile and doing it right, whereas I tend to get in a hurry.  A lot of my projects would look a lot better if I just took the extra time!

After vacuuming, go over EVERYTHING with tack cloths getting the last of ALL the dust.


Finally LATE that night… Ummm… Morning actually…  We started staining.  LOVE that step!   Admittedly I freaked out a little because it almost looked PINK!!!!  WHAAAAAT??  3 a.m. in the morning and I’m panicking because the floors looked PINK!  (In the end, once we top-coated with poly, it was perfect! lol!)


DIY in Real Life: Wood Floors



Step 5: YES!!!!!   The rewarding part!  Finally you’ll see what your floors are going to look like!  GORGEOUS!!!!   I always love this part.

A coat of poly…

And another…

And another…

I like a looooot of coats of poly for protection!


DIY in Real Life: Wood Floors





Overall….  although refinishing hardwood floors is one of the most labor intensive projects you can do in your house, I also think it’s one of the most rewarding.  The cost isn’t great if you do it yourself and you’ll have be-YOU-tiful floors when you’re done.  I highly recommend you just try it!!!

What’s the worst that could happen???!  😉

This Old House…

I was just sitting here going through pictures from over a year ago.  Last August when 2 nearlyweds bought a house.  An over 100 year old house.  A house that was foreclosed on and had been vacant for quite a while.  A house that had once-frozen pipes that had burst causing mold in the basement and making it necessary to replace all the plumbing.  A house that had been on the market for quite some time.  In short, it was the house no one wanted.

But we saw something very different when we walked in the side door that had no glass and was instead all boarded up.


We saw a solid house with good bones.


We saw a house with wood floors throughout.    ….Even if they did need refinished.


We looked past the nasty plaster walls covered in numerous layers of paper bag-like wallpaper.  (Who does that??!)


And saw what could be an adorable breakfast nook.



A spacious kitchen if we re-arranged…


… And tore out walls and plaster encasing the brick chimney.   😉


It could be an incredibly functional space….


With a guest bedroom…

A master bedroom….

And an office….


If only we could trim all the trees and bushes and pull all the vines that were smothering the old girl….

Then we could have a house.  Not just a house….  A HOME.  Our home.   And slowly…. Very slooooowly….  We come closer and closer to that vision that no one else had for the house no one else wanted.

Ooooh! A Blue Painted Dresser Before and After!


The Before and After of a blue painted dresser acquired on Craigslist!


Because a little paint and distressing is awesome.



Complete with sugar and a coffee cup.  At that time, we didn’t have a kitchen and we kept the coffee maker in our bedroom.  Newlyweds!!!! Ha!

Can’t knock it though until YOU’VE had a coffee maker with a timer sitting on your side table and woke up to the sounds and smells of COFFEE!!!!!  🙂