Archive of ‘Dining Room’ category

Workin’ hard on the New House Remodel:

So we’re still plugging away over at the new house remodel. About all I have time for are my weekly (or so) updates on what we’ve accomplished. ¬†I am looking forward to more detailed posts later after we get moved in and settled that have more instructions on “How to Build a Refrigerator Enclosure” and all that! ūüôā


Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

Speaking of refrigerator enclosures…. ¬†Handsome Man totally rocked ours one evening last week!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

Excuse the dark pictures… We are like raccoons… All of our best work is done at night. ¬†Although hopefully we aren’t as cranky and mean as raccoons. ¬†Ha!

I will say though… It’s amazing though how a basic construction enclosure SO finishes off an area like this! Totally can’t wait to get that refrigerator in baby!!!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

We also spent the last couple evenings working on the few places that needed drywall replaced. ¬†This area we had to tear into to do electrical. And yes we could have patched the couple of holes we punched in the wall…. But the rest of the wall had wallpaper. ¬†So I batted my eyes at Handsome Man… Said pretty please… And he opted to rip it out and just replace the drywall on this short wall altogether. ¬†My anti-wallpaper-removal-instincts thank you babe! ūüėČ

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

And really the space just took one full piece of drywall and another few small pieces… ¬†It’s not that bad, right hon? lol!

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

We’ve also been plugging away on these bad boys.



Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

While yes…. They look spectacular installed and I love them with my whole heart… The process of installing them is a total drag! ¬†We saved money using the thinner planks from Lowes rather than the car siding from Menards, but because they are thinner they are a lot trickier to install. ¬†You obviously can’t just *WHACK* them into place like you can car siding. ¬†If I weren’t pregnant, they might drive me into becoming a drinking woman. ¬†They’re that bad.

Workin' hard on the New House Remodel at

But I just keep reminding myself that they look spectacular when they’re done.

Just keep planking.  Just keep planking.

Also in other news… When I went to IKEA for the FIRST TIME, I got one of these lights for the entryway. ¬†And folks? ¬†I LOVE it installed there! ¬†And it was seriously a cheap fixture. ¬†Especially for how large this thing is. ¬†I kind of really love it.

Anyway…. That’s what we’ve been up to this last week. ¬†Anxious to see what we complete this week!

I think we are close to turning a corner on doing all the really dirty stuff and nearly to the finishing stage of trim and painting and stuff. ¬†I can’t wait for that!!!! Eep!!!

New happenings at the New House Remodel:

So it’s been hopping at the new house¬†since the wood floors were finished… ¬†Here’s what’s up around the new house!



New house Remodel at

The framing inspection cleared yesterday! ¬†Yay for being legal and all that! ūüėČ


New house Remodel at

The peninsula is well on it’s way to becoming a finished reality! ¬†And it’s looking spectacular!



New house Remodel at

*Sidenote: ¬†Every awesome thing you’ve ever heard about a Kreg Jig? ¬†It’s all true. So true!

Color me impressed!!!!



New house Remodel at

Pantry walls are in and even have the car siding installed on one of the exteriors! Whoop whoop!



New house Remodel at

It’s hard to tell from the pictures but I’m super excited about how usable all this pantry space is going to be!

Also… We spent




installing plank ceiling.

Who woulda guessed that installing plank ceiling would make your fingertips hurt so stinking bad!  Yeash!

So with that I’m signing off. ¬†It seriously hurts to type. lol!

More details and fun pictures to follow.

You know… When my fingers recover.

(I’m aware that sounds ridiculous… But this is real.)


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) ūüôā


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. ūüôā


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! ūüôā

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. ūüėČ

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. ¬†ūüėČ

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! ūüėČ

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

Beam me up Scotty!

Yeah. That title should put me in a few nerdy Google searches. ¬†ūüėČ


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! ūüėČ

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? ūüôā ¬†)

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! ūüėČ

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? ūüôā )

¬†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! ūüėČ 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! ūüėČ

Installing a door = HAPPINESS!

Door install by

Since this adorable munchkin is crawling everywhere, it’s become quite evident that we needed to install a door in the hallway with stairs that go to the basement and outside.

Handsome Man was going to be at Menards, so I mentioned he should look in the bargain door area for an interior door that might fit.

Door install by

And whatdoyaknow they had one!  Exactly what I would have picked.

And *drumroll* it was only 10 bucks people! ¬†That’s what I’m talking’ about!!!

Door install by

¬†We <3 you Menards. ¬†ūüėČ

Door install by

Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate that Handsome Man is so good at this kind of stuff? ¬†It’s just plain fantastic!

Door install by

Slid right in there and fit nearly perfectly!

Door install by

It’s still not pretty yet as I just finished caulking it.

But TODAY I think I’ll paint it!

Door install by

And it will be gorgeous!

It really does finish off the space!

And best of all, I can keep the munchkin away from the tools.

She really makes a beeline for tools.  Especially sharp ones.  Yeash!

It’s like she takes after her parents of something.

Super Cute and Ridiculously Easy Striped Table Refashion…

Realizing I never posted about this table…



Super cute and ridiculously easy striped  table refashion at

This table… (Also given to me by ANOTHER friend) I gave the striped treatment!

Super cute and ridiculously easy striped  table refashion at

Evidently I have a weakness for free tables! ūüėČ

Super cute and ridiculously easy striped  table refashion at

Done in my traditional gray and white… What can I say? It’s versatile!

Super cute and ridiculously easy striped  table refashion at

It couldn’t have been easier…

I painted the base coat white…

Then taped off lines with blue painters tape in completely random widths…

(I love me some stripes!)

Then painted the gray using this method.


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! ūüôā

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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How to work with faux fur

Yes… I covered something with faux fur. ¬†Maybe it doesn’t make any sense? ¬†Maybe it’s not even in style?


I don’t care! ¬†It’s quirky. ¬†And fun. ¬†And it makes me smile!!!


Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

And as quirky as faux fur is, it’s just as quirky to work with! ¬†If you don’t follow these simple tips, you. will. have. fur. everywhere.



So I have this hope chest that Mom gave my when I was like 17 or so. ¬†It’s handmade by a guy in Falls City who makes these amazing cedar chests. ¬†It smells so good!!

Unfortunately, Kaydee (My rather large boxer) did a number on the top and something needed to be done.


Entrance: Faux Fur



Okay… Let’s get started! ¬†Never cut fur with a scissors. ¬†That’s rule number one, Jack!


Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

Instead, use a razor or X-acto knife. ¬†I used the latter. ¬†Simply flip the fur over and cut the backing. ¬†Don’t cut too hard or you’ll end up with that “shaved” look and a crazy furry mess.



Also….Make sure your fur is running the correct direction! ¬†I forgot that step and got verrrrrrry lucky! ¬†I did happen to have it in the right direction, but almost suffered a heart attack when I happened to think of it mid-way through cutting! ¬†*WHEW!*



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

Excuse the blurry photo… It’s all I had for this step in the process. ¬† ¬†I simply covered the top of this hope chest like you would recover any chair seat. ¬†This tutorial by Southern Hospitality is a good explanation! Although I just used a hand stapler as opposed to a air stapler.



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

A little fur… A few staples… And WAH-LAH! ¬†Quirkyness! ¬†Makes me smile!



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

It’s also perfect for storing all my blankets in. Since it’s a cedar chest (Thanks for giving this chest to me all those years ago, Mom!!!) it makes them smell goooooood!




Now I didn’t sew this fur as I was just covering the top of my chest. ¬†(Wow. ¬†That might bring me up on some awkward Google searches.)

But if you are sewing it, brush the fur in the opposite direction and put the 2 edges together like usual and sew them.  If any fur happens to get caught in the seam it can usually be brushed out with a comb.


Above all, if covering a hope chest top with fur is what makes you smile, then go for it!!! ¬†There’s nothing better than a home full of things that make you happy!



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

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