Sunday, July 22, 2012


My sister and her family came to NY a few days before the rest of my family got here. I went into NYC with them for the weekend. One of my older nieces watched my boys and Beth's youngest daughter Friday while Logan was at work and then Logan watched them Saturday and Sunday. When we got home Sunday night my brother and his family were there! It was a great start to a fun family reunion.

Since I didn't bring my camera along these pictures are from my phone. There are only a few of our trip. Fun nonetheless. :)
Here's the apartment we stayed in. It was a great place! 

Magnolia's Bakery. I'm not into cupcakes - give me a brownie any day - but we were in Grand Central Station and had to stop by. We ended up getting one. Who could resist?
Grand Central. What a beautiful building! I would have loved to see it right after it was built with busy train travelers walking about the station. Today is no different and with buses, subways, and trains the station is never asleep.

United Nations building. Grand Assembly Hall. We happened to go the day there was an international choir concert.

 Lady Liberty.

Ground Zero Memorial Fountains (only one of them in this picture obviously). We met some men who were on the clean up scene from September 2001 to January 2002. SWAT team, I believe? This was the first time back for both of them. Emotions were so high they couldn't bring themselves to come back until that day. It was pretty neat to hear their accounts. The one speaking most had goose bumps all over his skin. It was intense.

Central Park. This day was. so. HOT.  it was in the 90's with high humidity. My sister and her family live in California and are used to 100+ weather. The humidity mixed in was even hot for them! It was gross. We decided to take a joint into FAO Schwartz so we wouldn't die of heat exhaustion.

The famous large piano.

 Pretty awesome sculptures.

Logan was sweet enough to stay with these little ones. Thanks again Logan!

Niagara Falls

Brennan pressed the button to open the umbrella in the car on the way there. It was pretty hilarious when we turned around and he was trying to hide what he had done! We couldn't help but laugh out loud.
 Brennan on the US side.
My family came to visit for 3 weeks! Some stayed 5 days, some stayed 1.5 weeks and one sister stayed 3 weeks! We loved having everyone here. One day we visited Niagara Falls (with Beth and Edith's families).  Here's a quick run down of our trip. We drove three cars and parked in the same place. We headed straight to Maid of the Mist and then the overlook. We walked around a bit and then parted ways. We all left at separate times and met back at our house for the night and next few days.
 Walking down to ride Maid of the Mist. It was a hot day. We didn't want to put our ponchos on until the last minute. We were getting sweaty from the inside and the outside with those things on.
We were the very first people on our boat. We got an awesome spot in the front bow of the boat. There were even tiny cut outs for Brennan, Sierra, and Matthew to peak out!

 On the boat heading to the falls. We boarded from the US side. Because of the good look at Horseshoe falls from the boat, Logan and I decided not to drive over to the Canadian side. We have both been there before and didn't thing it was necessary.
 Leaving the boat.
Brennan loved being with his older cousins. He always wanted to be with them and do what they were doing.
 The guys (minus Trevor and Jared - who took the picture).

 Trevor, Matthew and Sierra checking out the telescope.
 Looking at Horseshoe falls from the US look out.
 Me and my boys. Trevor just wanted to get down and walk everywhere. It sure didn't bother him that there were hundreds of people walking around as well.

Holding Trevor back from going to chase a doggie! This boy would take a dog over anything!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kitchen wall color

We used BEHR Hazy Skies paint. I wanted something grey like with a tint of blue. This paint was the one!

I realize I still haven't taken any really after pictures of our kitchen. As soon as we were done with one part we began living in the kitchen again. That equals dishes and stuff all over. I'm currently working on the new curtains for the sliding glass door. When those are done perhaps I'll get around to taking a picture of the whole thing :) Right now I'm feeling pretty impressed that I blogged about the whole thing and it's only a month after the project happened.

Putting things back together. . .

I was so happy when we finally started putting things back together. I'm OCD when it comes to things being put away and in their place. I was truly ready to be done with our kitchen project and get things back to their home. I kept asking Logan all week if we could just push the fridge and stove back into their spots. Logan didn't comply because he said we'd just have to pull them out again. I guess he was right.

 The boys loved the commotion of the project.
 The stove that always stuck out :( But hey, the cupboard doors are ready to be hung with hardware and all.

Some cupboards up and the stove in it's home!! The microwave was also hung again. No more microwaving on the kitchen table.
The finished edge of the counter tops. The bull nosed edges are great.

New Kitchen Sink

Logan and I debated over and over if we should buy a new kitchen sink. We had to replace our old faucet because the old one leaked. It was getting so bad we couldn't even turn the water off without any drips. Not to mention when you turned the water all the way on it sprayed out the handle :(

We researched faucets a lot before deciding on a "Lindsey" Moen. It seemed to over power our small stainless steal sink we had. We didn't want to purchase a new sink if we didn't have to.  We kept going back and forth. We finally decided it would be nice to "complete" our project with a new sink. It would help give our kitchen the over all feel of updated. Once we decided on getting a new sink we had to decide on which one. I've always loved stainless steal. They clean up nicely and are quite durable. However, we couldn't find one in the right layout (depth and spacing) we wanted. I didn't want a cast iron sink because I've broken too many dishes in them (slipping out of my hand and landing on the hard surface). We found some nice Mont Blanc granite composite sinks at Home Depot. The one that fit our counter cut out dimensions wasn't my favorite. The color was too dark and the basins weren't as big and I wanted them. There was a larger sink that was perfect. There was a smaller basin and a larger basin. Yet the dimensions for our counter top were smaller than what the box stated. Logan and I talked at Home Depot one night for a while wondering if the larger sink would indeed fit in the counter top cut out we already had (the counter tops were done at this point). We decided to buy the larger sink (the one that was perfect!) and hope that it fit in our hole. If it didn't, we could always return it. We were amazing and excited to find that the larger sink fit into our opening!! The color also went well with the counter tops and the white cupboards.

 Logan installing our garbage disposal.
Logan also replaced all the plumbing under the sink. It was starting to get too old and corroded.
Since this picture was taken we have added another soap dispenser and a hole filler to the last two remaining holes on the sink. It's nice to have hand soap AND dish soap attached to the sink. I love to minimize any loose item I can.
It didn't take much to convince Logan to make our faux drawer under the sink into a hinging storage for our dish scrubbers and sink stoppers.

New Kitchen Counter Tops - Granite Tile

We knew when we purchased our home that we would be replacing the orange Formica counter tops. The old kitchen was so dark (orange walls, counter tops, and dark brown cupboards). We wanted light granite to brighten the kitchen up and reflect the natural light we have coming in the window and sliding glass door.
Logan did an excellent job in installing our granite counter tops.We used 18x18 tiles instead of 12x12.
Before we placed the tiles, we layed them all out making sure the small patterns in the granite matched the tile that would be placed next to it.
We used the smallest spacers available 1/16" to minimize grout space. Our grout was also an epoxy based grout and not sanded.
Here is part of our back splash drying. We started the back splash process at 10pm! Instead of setting the wet saw up on our deck, Logan put it down stairs in our basement. I guess that's one nice thing about having an unfinished basement. We worked on the back splash until 3am!! and we still didn't finish it completely. Out goal was to have it finished that night so we could grout it the following day. We were able to mostly accomplish the goal. I love the look of the white subway tiles. Simple and timeless.