28 June 2017

Murphy Bed and Workout Room

A month before Jasper was born in February 2016 Albert built a Murphy bed in our guest room which made it possible for us to create a workout room!  It went from a room that rarely if ever got used to a room that is used daily.   It is so nice to have my own space to workout that is close to the boys, but still in another room.  Plus I don't have to keep all my equipment in a box!

Here is a picture of the room before we bought the house.  We never painted the room so it's still green.

The room had become our junk room so we had to KonMari all that stuff and put it elsewhere.  We used the same mattress in the Murphy bed. Albert bought a kit with the mechanism that brings the bed up and down and includes instructions to make the bed from Create-A-Bed.  It definitely is an intermediate-advanced level of woodworking, but Albert was able to do it as a beginner, it just took him a long time to figure it out.  Albert added cabinets we bought from Lowes where we put bedding we use for the bed and other stuff.

We bought a shelving unit to put all my equipment on and we bought a new TV and Roku so I can stream my Beachbody on Demand :)

It's easy enough for kids to lift up!

24 June 2017

Mud Room Hallway Revamp

This hallway is just connects the kitchen/bathroom area with the front door with no real purpose besides providing a nice flow.   Here's a photo from before we bought this house taken from the entry way.

I had the idea to put in a shoe storage/coat rack which has been awesome.  In late 2015 we bought four PORTIS coat racks from IKEA and Albert made the shoe rack.  It's adjustable so you can make the shelves taller for boots or smaller for shoes.  It's a working hallway now so it doesn't look this neat anymore :)

We also bought wooden crates from Home Depot that we filled with hats, scarves, and gloves.  I store shoes for the kids to grow into in a couple of the crates too.

17 June 2017

Master Bedroom Updates

This is what our bedroom looked like when we walked through it for the first time.  The previous owner is a super nice woman who is also a realtor and knows how to stage a house!  Her style was more southwestern than ours so we've made it more our own.

The biggest (and most expensive) change we made was enlarging the window.  We had two small, crappy windows and now we have a giant beautiful window.  We had Renewal by Andersen install a large tinted window and it is amazing.  It is so much better quality than our old builder-grade windows at keeping out the dirt, air, noise, and heat! 

From the outside it looks like a mirror  with the tint so it reflects the mountain view and also provides great privacy during the day while our blinds are open.  Albert took this picture with his drone and I was standing right by the window!

We also had giant blackout roller blinds installed by Budget Blinds. We didn't have any blinds on our big window for a month so we really appreciated them when they were finally hung. There was a little hole in them that they noticed when they installed them.  It took awhile but they finally reinstalled a new one that doesn't have any holes.  They are hard to pull up because they are so big, but they do the job and keep the room cool and dark.

They also make for a great movie screen for our projector!

Another update we finally did was putting in a new ceiling fan! The old one did not go with our look and it hung down super low and the kids liked to jump on the bed and hit it.  We have these fans in almost every room in the house and I really hate how low they are with our eight foot ceilings.  Plus we can control it with a remote, which is nice at night.

16 May 2017

Contractor Picked!

Good news! We finally made a decision about our bathroom remodel contractor! So I got back estimates from the contractors that we had already spoke with about making the scope of work smaller and staying in our budget and we got two more estimates from one of the contractors who works with Home Depot and Dreamstyle (who also works with Home Depot according to their business card.)  It's hard to compare estimates since they all include different things.  Some included the shower door, some included additional money for an extra electrical line to be installed, some big materials.

In the end it came down to All-American Design and Construction and Dreamstyle.  All-American had the cheapest labor, but since they only install material from local stores, which I assume are nicer and more expensive, I had no idea how much it would ultimately be.  Plus the hassle of going across town to pick out all of the materials and compare prices seemed like a pain, especially with the kids on summer break starting Monday.

Dreamstyle was right about the same price with my guesstimate of how much the materials with All-American would cost.  They will install anything we want, doesn't matter where it's from, and they will guarantee it as long as it's still in the box.  We have to order everything, which isn't a problem since I have everything picked out from Home Depot and I can get things on-line (plus Albert gets a military discount so that's helpful).  Also he said it will only take 3-4 DAYS to install everything except the shower door, which has to be special ordered after the shower is pretty much done, but it only takes 10-12 days to get.  Every other company said it would take 3-4 WEEKS to do!  It will come in right around our $18k max budget with everything included and installed by them.

We're getting double heat lamps instead of in-floor heating.  The part of Dreamstyle we're dealing with doesn't do in-floor heating and I'm a little worried about it breaking.  If a heat lamp breaks you can install another one really easily, but eventually in-floor heating will break and in order to fix it you have to take out all the tile! Hopefully that will take care of the cold bathroom!

We won't actually get it done for 6-8 weeks, but I want to start ordering the supplies soon in case we have to reorder anything that is broken in shipping.  We also want to get new window coverings get a teak stool for inside the shower and a Chinese garden stool for by the tub (well, I want one, I'm not sure what Albert thinks about that yet).

Hopefully our other contractor will finish up on fixing our patio cover and he can work on the side wall where we want to put our above ground pool!

11 May 2017

Zero Progress Made on Master Bathroom Remodel

So the master bathroom remodel dilemma continues.  We are still waiting for the last of the Home Depot affiliated contractors to get back to us.  The other one was still out of budget and his work didn't seem that great.  They are primarily a cleaning company but also do remodels that they don't advertise anywhere because they get so much business from Home Depot.  They sent some pictures of projects they've done and they weren't very impressive.  

We've been a little disheartened about the whole thing.  Should we just try and do it ourselves even though we don't have the time or expertise to do it or should we scrap the whole idea?   I've been watching HGTV nonstop and for some reason they can gut three bathrooms and a kitchen for $50k, but it costs that much just for one bathroom here New Mexico.  Crazy!

This morning I got a text from one of the contractors who gave us a quote awhile back and I replied back honestly that our budget is about half of what he estimated and we're still waiting back for other estimates.  He said that he would rework the estimate and get back to me, so that makes me really hopeful.  It's funny because I had a dream the other night that my husband told me one of the contractors wanted to revise the estimate he gave us and I was so excited! LOL! 

So I decided to contact a couple of the other contractors and told them the same thing - sorry I hadn't gotten back with them.  Our budget is a hard $18k and we're waiting for other estimates. I pulled back a lot on what we wanted done and told them we would be willing to purchase and install the vanity and toilet ourselves if they could come back with a $15k estimate for the rest of the jobs. We'll see what happens!  Who knew things would be so complicated!

We did stop in DreamStyle remodeling while we were at the mall the other day and set up an appointment with them for tomorrow.  I know they will come in high, but I'm hoping if I tell them straight out about our budget constraints they'll work with us.  I kept bringing up costs during the estimates, but never said what our budget was so we'll see what they say.  

I need to put up pictures of the things we did around the house during my two year hiatus from the blog.  Albert was really busy redoing the guest bedroom/workout room and made us a little mudroom area out of hallway.

01 May 2017

Master Bath Remodel Design

So we've been making cosmetic updates to our house slowly over the past almost four years.  We're finally ready to take the plunge and do a complete update of our master bathroom.  Right now it's just builder grade materials that are covered with hard water stains and everything is the wrong size. The shower is way too small and the tub is way too big. The vanity is very low, as is the toilet.  The grout is coming up on the cheap tiles, it's dark - there is only one light which is above the vanity, and cold in the winter and mornings. Also the blinds are all torn due to damage from the sun.  

We've talked to a couple designers and a few contractors and all of them quoted the job at $30-35k!  When we remodeled our whole condo (all new 1.5 bath, a kitchen refresh, torn down a wall, painted the whole thing, installed a new electrical panel, put up crown molding, and replaced all the outlets and put in dimmer switches, among other small jobs) it cost about $15k and that was just outside of Washington, DC.  We can't imagine paying twice that for just one bathroom in New Mexico.  Our house is not worth that much!

So we have picked out all the products we want to use from Home Depot and we are getting quotes from a couple of contractors who work with Home Depot on Wednesday and hopefully we can get that price down to something reasonable since the materials are so much less expensive there than the ones the contractors/designers we talked to wanted us to use at the more expensive local stores.  So far I'm estimating the cost of the big ticket items to be around $8k so I'm hoping the labor will be around $7k. A pricier contractor estimated the labor to be a little over $8k so it should be in the ballpark. 

We want to enlarge our shower, put in in-floor heating, 2-3 can lights, and replace everything.  Wish us luck! We aren't planning on moving anything (other than the shower and tub faucets and drains will probably have to be moved over a little bit to accommodate the new sizes) so hopefully that will save us some money.

The wall tile is a porcelain carrara marble and is very glossy.  The shower floor tile is a carrara marble in a herringbone pattern, and the floor tile is a rustic, driftwood looking tile which I think is a nice juxtaposition with the wall tile and the other finishes.  The vanity is modern, all wood and hangs from the wall with a carrara marble top.  The tub is a small, but pretty free-standing tub with a wall-mounted faucet.  

14 September 2015

First Trimester Outfits

Here are some of my favorite outfits I made during my first trimester.  This time around my belly really popped early!  That uterus is all stretched out :) I wore some maternity tops, but mostly flowy non-maternity tops.  I wore my bigger jeans with hair ties holding them closed and a belly band I bought on Amazon.

I have had a lot of fun coming up with creative outfits using Dressing Your Truth.  It's always hard gaining a bunch of weight and feeling crappy, but dressing in colors and styles that really work for your energy type is amazing.  I feel so much more confident this time around.  I can stay true to myself even though another person is taking over my body :)

I was pretty nauseous so I ate whatever sounded good all the time.  The only thing that helped me feel better was eating constantly and preggy pop drops.  I was also really tired so I cut back on my workouts.

07 September 2015

The Boys in August

The boys love going to Trader Joe's and pushing the mini shopping cart around.  It's on the other side of town so we don't get over there very often, but it is definitely something they look forward to :)

Quentin kept coming downstairs after he was supposed to be asleep in bed and instead of going back to bed as we asked him to, he fell asleep on the stairs.  I didn't know he was there and it scared me :)

They opened a new frozen yogurt place and gave out lots of coupons for free yogurt.  The boys had lots of fun eating and most of the time sharing a cup.

Our friends invited us over for s'mores.  The boys had never eaten one before and they were much more into eating just a roasted marshmallow than the whole s'more.  

This is my favorite picture of August :) We took Wyatt to get frozen yogurt after we dropped off Quentin at the bus stop (shhhh! don't tell him!) and he made sure he got every last drop of that yogurt!

Here is a video of the boys listening to the baby's heart beat at one of our appointments :)


24 August 2015

Quentin's First Day of Pre-K

There is one pre-school here that is public and is really great, but depending on funding the amount of students is limited.  Luckily this year they let in a lot more kids and Quentin was one of the lucky ones!  Albert took some pictures of the boys on August 17 (we couldn't take pictures of just Quentin because these boys are inseparable).  

He was so excited to ride the bus!  It was pretty much the only thing he talked about for the first month of school.  We would ask him what he was doing at school and how he liked it and he could only talk about what buildings and roads they passed on the way to and from the park we dropped him off at.  He gets to ride the bus with his good friend Ike from church and a friend in his class Javon.

His teachers are Miss Aubrey and Miss Nicole and they are really sweet.  He learns all kinds of new songs and new things all the time.  Quentin is sad when he doesn't get to go to school, which is awesome. Wyatt is always excited when Quentin comes home from school. 

09 August 2015

We're having a baby!

We found out that we were having baby #3 on June 29th!  We texted all our family members, but kept it under wraps until we confirmed it with an ultrasound.

These pictures are from our 9 week ultrasound that was done July 29th where we saw the little arms and legs moving around and heard a strong heart beat!

The baby is due Feb 27th, 6 days after Quentin's birthday and a month before Wyatt's! Plus it's a leap year so he/she could be born Feb 29th.  We're really excited :)


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