Friday, July 25, 2014

Captain's Log, Week 222


Hi everyone! I'm having a hard time writing this blog post today - my brain is just kind of scattered for some reason. So I'll try to just do my best and get down what we did this week.

First off, in case you didn't see them - I posted about our little bathroom redo and also all the pictures of our house this week.

Last Saturday we went to the beach. Some people from our ward invited us, and we were like, sure! So we did the drive down to Surf City (it's about a 2 or 2 1/2 hour drive) and hung out with them at the beach. It was really fun - it was both me and Jason's first times at an east coast beach. It was overcast all day, but it was still nice and warm and the water was warm, too. Ellie had a really fun time collecting sea shells (there were a ton) and digging in the sand with all of the other little kids. Jason and I had a fun time socializing with everyone from our ward. Zelda had fun trying to eat sand.


Something else cool about going to the beach: We have now officially driven from coast to coast. Whew!

One of my big projects this week has been cooking. I got the book "Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer," and it's great! And I made seven of the recipes - Buttermilk Chicken, Colorado White Chili, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Enchiladas, Lemon Glazed Chicken, Cranberry Chicken, and Cheesy Chicken Bundles - and divided them up and froze them, so we have about a month's worth of dinners made right now. I'm been super excited to get more into cooking and dinner planning once we got to North Carolina, and it feels great to get started on that! I did all these recipes on two different days, and I'm excited to do even more.

Zelda does this hand thing all the time, especially to point at people.
Other than that, our week's been pretty uneventful. We went to church on Sunday, did the grocery shopping/cooking on some other days, went to one of the libraries and got library cards, and just hung out at home.

Ellie running around the church lawn
We got a big box in the mail, and the girls have been playing with it for days. On the first day, Ellie filled it with all the books from her room and climbed inside on top of them.

We have had a problem with our dryer this week. It's stopped heating up. I've been looking up a bunch of stuff online and watched some youtube videos, and have learned the problem is probably one of three things: the thermal fuse, the thermostat/thermal cutoff, or the heating element. We ordered a new thermal fuse this week (it was only $4) and I put that in yesterday, but still no heat. So now we've ordered a new thermostat & thermal cutoff kit ($5), and hopefully that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, the problem is with the heating element, and that's a bigger deal. So fingers crossed!

We finally had enough dry weather to stain & seal the main part of our deck this week. Then yesterday we had thunderstorms, and got to see our sealant totally working! It was so cool!


Some Ellie quotes from today and yesterday: Ellie was watching Snow White for the first time. When she saw all the dwarves for the first time, she said, "Lots of Santas!"

Ellie woke up in the middle of the night one night this week. We're not sure why - we're thinking maybe her molars are coming in? - but she was really funny until she went back to sleep. First she asked for a piece of bread, which I went to the kitchen and got her. When I got back to her room and gave it to her, she said sleepily, "Thanks. Bye, guys." and rolled over. A couple minutes later she woke up more, and eventually we brought her into our bed because she was talking pretty loud, we wanted to go to sleep, and we didn't want her to wake up Zelda. And then she had a super long, funny, sleepy conversation with us.

And, lastly, here's a video of Ellie drinking the rainwater off of our deck today:



Annnnnd that was our week!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our New House - a Picture Tour

Okay, here are the pictures of our house!

Here's what you see when you walk in the front door - our family room.

Looking the other way - the playroom is on the left and the dining area's on the right. The kitchen's in between them, behind that middle wall.
Our picture wall, all complete!
Our movies and games center. All our dvds are in the green fabric drawers, our playstation games are up on the right, and the rest of the shelves are filled with our board games. We have some more board games - all our versions of Ticket to Ride - that didn't fit on this shelf, and are stored in the TV stand.

When you walk in, if you look to your right, you're looking down the hall towards the bedrooms.


 One of the bedrooms we're using as an office/library:


We have four bookshelves in the office, one in the girls' room, and one in our room. Our books, most of which have been in storage, finally all get to be out on the shelves. They only all fit because we got rid of literally (and I'm using that word correctly) half of our books before we moved. This is the cream of the crop.

Yay for books! That blank shelf is for Jason's textbooks.
The top of the bookshelves have some of Jason's stuff from Russia.
The other bookshelf and more fun stuff. :)
This is the girls' room:

It's so fun to have them both together!
Zelda loves to pull all these books off the shelf, and Ellie loves to shove them behind her bed.
In case you wanted to see inside their closet, here it is!

And here's their bathroom, which got its own post yesterday:


And then there's our bedroom. I'd say this is the least "done" room in the house, because we don't have anything up on the walls yet. Jason's artwork will be going up there soon, but right now it's pretty much a blank canvas:

There's another window to the right, next to the blue nighstand.
And our closet! I really like our closet.
Looking towards our bathroom.

We actually did some work in this bathroom too (I'll do a little before and after post next week). We stained the built-in cabinet a darker color than it orginially was. It was that same honey okay color you can see the other bathroom's cabinet is, but it was kind of sunfaded and beat up. We stained it much darker, and I love it.

It was also kind of challenging to find a shower curtain for this room, too. I was looking online and just couldn't find anything I liked. We finally went to Target, and one of the curtains I had thought was just okay online actually looked way better in person, and we got it! And we got floor mats to go with it. And I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Another picture of our newly-stained cabinet.

Okay, so if you go back down the hallway to the front entrance, you reach the playroom! I was so happy when I found out we had an extra room in this house. It's technically a formal dining room, but making it a playroom works so much better for us!

Here's the girls' playroom:

The green and blue plastic bins are from the dollar store. The organizers on top (including the picnic basket) are full of art supplies.
Their play kitchen (stocked with fun play food)
 Here's the and crafts table, which is from Ikea and which I love:

Eventually, we'll get another chair for this table for Zelda. When we got this one from Ikea, they only had one blue chair in stock. But there will eventually be two, one for each of the girls!
I put this picture in here because it shows the chandelier on the ceiling. We replaced the chandelier lamp shades last week. Before, they were black faux alligator shades. The whole room looks muuuch better now that they're white.

Moving on, here's the kitchen (you can see the playroom through the door in the back of the picture. That's towards the front of the house.):

Here's our little dining area. The windows look out on the backyard. Through the right door is our family room (from the first picture) and to the left is the laundry room.

This is the table we're using right now. It doesn't really work for the space - it's a weird, elliptical shape (you can see it even better in person), so the ends stick out really far and with the leg placement it's hard to figure out where to sit around it. If two people are both on the same side, you're too close together, and if one sits at the end (where it pokes out really far) and one sits on the side you're kind of too far apart. So, we're trying to figure something out. This isn't really working for us.


Our laundry room, and a door out to the front:


That door (on the side of the front of our house), and the steps down to the backyard:

Our backyard, and the steps up to our deck.
At the back by the treeline, looking up towards the house.
And that's our house! We really really love it. It's so perfect for us and I feel like we were really blessed by Heavenly Father and guided by him to find it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Small Bathroom Redo

Okay, so  you know all those pictures of the house I've been promising? Well, they're finally coming. I took them yesterday, and they'll be posting today and tomorrow. So you can finally see our new house. :)

The first thing I wanted to show you, before the whole rest of the house (which will be in one post tomorrow) is the bathroom that we repainted when we moved in. This is that bathroom on move-in day:


It's the girls' bathroom, and it's across from their bedroom.

The walls were yellow, just like the rest of the house. But whereas in the rest of the house the yellow is pretty and nice, in this bathroom it just looked kind of sickly. (Also, the shower curtain in the picture was left by the previous homeowner, and isn't our style.)

Additionally, the bathroom had this cheapy particle-board cabinet above the toilet, which I hated. It doesn't look too bad in the picture, but it made the room feel really small by sticking out of the wall so far, and it just looked really cheap. The part in between its bottom shelf and its cupboards was backed by this cardboard-type stuff that had a line across it, and the doors didn't close all the way, and I just hated the whole thing.

After debating with myself for a little bit, I decided to take the cabinet down. I knew that if I did, we would have to repaint (you could tell just by looking at it that they didn't paint behind the cabinet). And I am so glad we took it down and repainted. This is the bathroom now:


It's so much better!!! I love it. It makes me happy every time I walk into it.

I chose the color for the room by going on my pinterest "House Idea" board to see what kind of bathrooms I liked. It might sound silly, but my pinterest boards know my style better than I know my style. Whenever I see something on pinterest I like, I pin it on one of my boards. Then, later, if I need to figure out what I like, I go to that board and see if there's a pattern. That's how I figured out I like white kitchens - I was looking at my board one day, and realized that every single kitchen I had pinned had white cupboards. And this time, when I looked at the bathrooms I had pinned, I saw a pattern too - fresh blue or teal walls. Several of the bathrooms (and laundry rooms) I had pinned had lovely, fresh blue walls.

So now that I knew I wanted some type of blue or teal, I put the shower curtain up (it's one that we've since we got married, but never got to use until now because we had two and used the other one), saw that it had blue in it, and got a ton of paint chips from Home Depot that I thought might match. By comparing them to the shower curtain once we got home, I narrowed it down to just a couple colors that went really well with it, and Jason and I together decided on Behr color #510A-2 "Salty Tear." (And now that it's up, I looove how the color looks in the bathroom.)

After another trip to Home Depot to get the paint and all supplies we needed, my mom and I prepped the room and painted it the next day. My mom was incredibly helpful - she's painted so many rooms in her life she's pretty much a professional, and she knew everything we needed and what to do. Thank you Mom! :D

Here's another before and after:


So that's the glamour shot. Here's what it looks like as a functional bathroom for a toddler and a baby:


This is our bath toy set-up:


I got the idea from here. It was really convenient because our bathtub already had a bar in it, and we had extra shower rings and a little tub for the toys. We already had everything we needed, and just put it together. It works great!

And here's Ellie's potty:


She's been potty trained for a while, but everything got thrown off with the road trip and the move, so these last couple weeks have kind of been re-potty training for her. Jason printed off and colored this awesome "Potty Progress" chart for her:


and she loves it. She gets a sticker every time she goes potty in her toilet or the big toilet. There are little boxes for the stickers to go in, and I think you're supposed to line them up, but she started putting them in boxes all over the chart and if it makes her happy then that's what we'll do.

Another thing we did, that's not visible in the before or after pictures but really makes a difference, is replace the cover to the bathroom vent fan on the ceiling.


This is the new one. The old vent cover was really yellowed with age, and looked very dated. We got this new cover for like $8, swapped it out, and now everything looks new and up to date. We switched out the old gunky metal doorstop for a clean new white one as well.

Oh yeah! One last thing. We put a new toilet seat on. The old one was so cheap and flimsy - it was made of this floppy plastic. If you sat down on it when the lid was closed, it would bend underneath you. It was so cheap they don't even sell that kind at Home Depot or Lowes as the "cheap" lid. I have no idea where the previous homeowners got it.

Anyway, we bought a new one of Amazon for like $15 and switched the old one out for the new one. And it's so much better. Way sturdier and looks nice.

So those are all the things we did to our bathroom!