White and Bright Kitchen!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The final big house update we've recently finished is taking our kitchen cabinets from dark, dark brown to bright white! Oh, how I love it! When we were house shopping I had to accept that a white kitchen simply did not exist in my price range! I didn't necessarily hate the dark, espresso brown cabinets, but white kitchens have, and will forever be, my favorite. 

Well 3 years later it finally came to life! I have my good friend, Kali, to thank. She paints cabinets as a side business and does such a good job at it. She was able to spray our kitchen while we were in San Diego in July and coming home to a white kitchen was the best welcome-home-present ever! I had read and researched painting cabinets for a long time, but was so scared to actually attempt it. I just didn't feel like I could have made them look professional! Kali used a lacquer paint (which gives it the smoothest, professional feel) and a matte finish. I'm so glad we deferred to someone who knew paint a lot more than I did. And quite honestly, our floor project about did us in! We were not in the mood to attempt another huge overhaul project. 

Needless to say, I'm in love! It's so bright and cheery and ties the island we added into the original cabinets so much better than before. It's like a whole new house! I can now honestly tell Russ that we are "DONE" with the kitchen. (Those are words he has been wanting to hear for a long time!)

From the back door

As I mentioned earlier, I think painting the rest of the cabinets white really helps the island look more original to the kitchen!

Oh, and just for effect, here is a before picture. This was after we installed the island, but you can see the white tile that was there before we redid the floors:

Finally, this is the view from coming in from the garage/laundry room

For more info on some of the details in the kitchen:

Gallery Wall 3.0

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

While working on our floors I was getting antsy to change up our gallery wall (seen HERE). I like to change things up or move things around, just to keep it fresh. I took advantage of a huge frame sale from West Elm back in May and stocked up on some gold leaf frames and a few white gallery frames as well. After we had some family pictures taken, it was time to take everything down and re-organize that wall! Creating a gallery walls is like a puzzle. I arrange, rearrange, and do it all over a million times. I ended up with fewer and bigger frames to keep it cleaner.

  Another small change that made a huge difference was getting rid of our coffee table at a recent garage sale. Now that our surface area of carpet was significantly reduced with the wood floor, I didn't want a large table to take up all of that space. I'm loving how open the room has become. And, for the record, that bucket of toys is usually dispersed all over the rug. :)

Now all I need is a new light fixture to get rid of the final boob light left on our main floor! Hooray!

The Floor Project

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When we bought our house over 3 years ago, the very first thing I wanted to change about the house was the floors. The people who built the house had tile in the kitchen and really poor quality carpet in the entry way and living room (by the way, who puts carpet in the entry way?!). We very much disliked that carpet as it would roll, we would have it stretched, it would roll again, etc. It was matted down and had stains. Yep, we hated it. We finally got the courage to tackle this huge project around Memorial Day. Some called us crazy for doing this project with twins, and although it would have been easier to have done it before they were born, at least we got it done before they were moving around! 

Honestly, doing floors is totally doable - really, anyone could do it. The worst part, by far, was the demolition of the existing tile. I have never sanded so much in my life. It took about a week from start to finish, and I am just so in love with the final product. We found the laminate wood during some crazy 50% off sale at Lumber Liquidators, and doing the project ourselves saved a ton of money. It has made the house look so much bigger and more open.

Ok, now for some pictures.

Here is a poor quality BEFORE picture from the front door point of view. This was before a few winters had their effect on this carpet. 

A close-up of the floors. We went with a lighter wood after a lot of people told us to avoid super dark floors, especially with little kids. Apparently they are next to impossible to keep clean! Also, since we were used to a "lighter" floor with light tile and carpet, we were hesitant to all the sudden bring in really dark colors. It's definitely a "cooler" tone, but that works with the rest of my house. I'm totally in love.

View of the front door

And because I always love seeing a few "during" pictures, here they are. Like I said, the demo of the tile was the worst part of the project. We used a crazy drill to get the tile up, and then had to sand all of the grout away. Ugh! 

Laying the floors in our front room (sorry for the poor quality phone picture). Once we figured out how the system works, it went pretty fast. We definitely had to do some areas 2-3 times. Live and learn.

Finally, I just have to quickly mention our lovely, plush, oh-so-comfortable rug that I am in love with. We had a thin flat-weave rug there before that I knew would need to be replaced with something more plush for the babies to play on. I had seen a rug from one of my favorite bloggers that she had in her home and loved. Two years later I still couldn't get that rug out of my mind! Thanks to a Memorial Day sale at Rugs USA, that rug is now mine! We love it.

And I couldn't finish a post about our floor project without publicly thanking my dad for his incredible DIY wisdom and free time and Russ's dad for giving up so much of his Memorial Day weekend and helping us out. Oh, and my mom and Mother-in-law for helping watch the babies! Couldn't have done it without them! 

We have a few more house updates that I've been excited to share. So stay tuned!

Hello, We're 10 Months!

What?! My babies are getting so big! They have little individual personalities and quirks and are rearing to get moving. Clara figured out crawling about 3 days after these pictures were taken, and Max will be moving any day. Both Max and Clara have two little bottom teeth, and I can tell some top teeth are coming soon. We hear lots of baby talk and giggles between the two, as well as twice the amount of melt downs. :) But truly, they are really good babies who love sticking to their schedule. Sleep schedules are bittersweet - super sweet when you are able to stick to them, a little bitter when "life" gets in the way. 

I am loving each new month - it's so fun to get to hang out with my little buddies every day. They crack me up, and I could not love them any more! 

On a side note, my favorite sweatshirt for the last few years has been from Hello Apparel. So when I saw they were having a huge sale a few months ago I couldn't resist picking up some matching onesies. And now for a picture overload!

I wish Clara was in focus, because I totally love this picture. 

Baby feet. mmmm mmmm.

I love those two little teeth!

Her eyes melt me every time!

And pretty much every photo session ends up with one of them falling over. :)

Sunny San Diego

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Last week we packed Russ's truck full with baby gear and luggage and drove the 11 hours west to San Diego. We spent a lovely week with Russ's extended family - 51 people at one house! Luckily it was a huge mansion that could accommodate everyone. It really was such a great week seeing family from near and far. It's amazing how everyone from the entire Lewis side of the family comes to the reunion (one family even came from Thailand!). It was a blast. 
We tried out taking the twins to the beach. It was fun to see them get excited about the waves and the sand, but other than the 15-20 minutes where those two things were enjoyed, the rest of the affair was incredibly exhausting and, needless to say, we did not go back. :) Maybe next year when they will actually be excited about being there. Luckily the house we were at had a beautiful pool (which the babies love) so even if we stayed put we still had fun. 

I sure love those chubby beach babies.

Like I mentioned, the pool was a hit. Those babies could have floated around in there all day, every day. Too bad our house doesn't have a pool in the backyard. :)

Russ is absolutely obsessed with the beach. I mean, look at that happy face!

We even brought our new bike trailer out to go for some family bike rides. The babies are still getting used to being in there. We have yet to have a ride where one of them doesn't end in tears. Hopefully they get used to it soon!!

This picture is deceiving, because usually Clara is the bully. :)

... and swings. They love swings. 

All in all, it was a great week in Sunny San Diego with family!

National Twin Day?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Apparently yesterday was National Twin Day? I'm not sure who decided that, but to me everyday is twin day! These little babies seem to rule my life, and I'm okay with that. However, in honor of celebrating twins, here is my new favorite picture of these two little crazies.

We were fortunate enough to have the talented Arash Armin come out to our house and take a few pictures of our little family. This is behind our backyard (and our view daily). I love that we have our normal view in these pictures. I have a feeling Max and Clara will have a lot of pictures taken from that bench in their lives. :)

Here are a few of my other favorites.

This is on our back patio below our kitchen window

Clara had just figured out how to smack her lips and consequently looks like she is sucking her top lip in every. single. picture. Ha. Such is life. Either way, I love my family and am so grateful to be a mom to two babies - whether it's National Twin Day or not. :)