Friday, December 5, 2014

Rental House Reno

Remember when we bought a house, lived in it for 9 months, then moved and now have renters in it?!
Gosh that seemed to all happen in a blink of an eye. But one thing I never got around to posting was how the upstairs reno turned out! So first things first, the before pictures....
This little space had a lot of wood. 
It certainly wasn't awful, but not a place that screamed warm and inviting. 
Immediately when we moved in, we painted the walls white with Kilz primer which certainly helped lighten up the space, but it also made us realize how ugly the trim was. It felt a little bit like we were living in a gingerbread house. 
This space was also our holding area for all of our crap, and and all of my clothes. The closet in the master was itty bitty, so Brian stored all of his clothes in there, and I took all mine upstairs.
Brian hung some rods and built a fabulous shoe organizer, so majority of my clothes were able to fit.
Then came the reno portion. While the original plan was to completely knock out the wall, during the demo portion we soon discovered there was a big old pipe hiding in the wall that was certainly not going anywhere. Womp womp. So instead of our very open floor plan like we had hoped for, we had to get creative.
Oh and mid you all of this was going on when I was about 7 months pregnant. The goal was to get this space done before baby, and we did not even get close. I'd like to blame Oliver for coming a few weeks early, but even if he would have waited it out the 3 more weeks like he was supposed to, I have a feeling it still wouldn't have gotten done. 
So we had Oliver in February, and I don't think it was until May, when we already had a signed lease agreement in hand, that we picked up another tool and got to work. And my dad greatly came to the rescue. For almost a week straight he helped us cut and hang new trim, take old flooring out of the closet and weave into the gap where he wall used to be, build a railing, build the column and book case, move all the electrical, and about 100 other little projects that kept popping up. But in the end, we loved how it turned out.
We had always envisioned us using this space as the master bedroom, and if we ever move back, maybe we will get the chance, but for now we are more than happy that we actually finished it, and that we have wonderful renters using the space!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

November Photo Recap

Now that it is December, I figured I should probably get around to posting these pictures from November, because if it doesn't happen now, it might never happen! We are now in full blown Christmas mode so it's fun to look back on these pics when it wasn't so chilly and our house wasn't decked out in all things red and flashy. November was busy, and it wasn't. Brian's younger brother got married, so lots of wedding festivities kept us going, but we also spent a decent amount of time at home playing in the loft, and going to weekly bible study. We watched 1 too many episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, baked and cooked a lot, and even made it out to play in the snow. Brian's beard and not so nice mustache took center stage, and in the nick of time he cut it off for wedding pictures. Large amount of Halloween candy was consumed, and thanks to that we are now all doing a sugar detox. Oliver learned how to pull himself up on everything, and a big part of me wants to pull him down and tell him to stop growing. Play dates with old and new friends were had. A certain big boy jumped out of his crib, and now sleeps in his "big boy bed" on the floor.  Family visited. I prepped for one intimidating 3 hour long interview. And dinner out with girlfriends is always a highlight. I would say it was a mighty fine month.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We did it. After 4 years of marriage (and 1 year of dating) we finally got to have Thanksgiving in the motherland of Minnesota!  And it did not disappoint.
Of course in true Minnesotan fashion, we got some snow the day before, so the morning was spent clearing off the driveway. 

This year we spent Thanksgiving with Brian’s family, and we were lucky enough to have everyone come to us, which worked out perfectly! Everyone showed up by 1pm, we put the boys down for naps, cooked up some delicious food, and even got to eat our meal in peace as they both took nearly 3 hours naps!
I might be the worst American around, but the traditional Thanksgiving meal doesn’t do a whole lot for me. Such a shame, I’m well aware. So this year I made a couple new dishes that turned out great and had people coming back for seconds.

1. Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole. This one is gluten free dairy free!
3.  Maple ginger carrots (who knew carrots could be so good?!)

We also had the traditional turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberries (which my mother-in-law made all of so I really got off the hook!) I am going to hold off on making the turkey for as long as I can.
To change things up for the meal, I had tucked questions into everyone’s napkin, so when they opened them up everyone was in for a surprise. We all went around the table answering our questions, and it was so fun to hear about everyone’s favorite memories, or traditions, or what they were thankful for. Tears we even shed at one point, and I think this might have been my favorite part of the whole day.

Somehow the women got off of cleaning duty, so while the men did the dishes, the ladies got to sit around and chat which was a nice change. It was also fun to have the newlyweds join us (Brian’s brother Tim and new wife Cassie) and hear all about their honeymoon they had just returned from.
The rest of the night was pretty low key, spent playing board games, eating pie, watching football, and just hanging out. A wonderful day with so much to be thankful for!
And a short 1 minute video of the day. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Falling In Love

I think I might be one of the few holding out for Christmas. While it is my favorite Holiday, I am holding out till after Thanksgiving. Come the day after Thanksgiving you can bet the Christmas music will be playing and the tree will be going up, but for now I am still soaking in Fall and trying to be more mindful of everything I have to be thankful for.

That being said, this weekend is Brian's brother's wedding, and a little over a month ago I threw the bride to be a "falling in love" shower. One of my favorite things about the house we are living in, is how great it is for hosting a decent crowd of people, so we used it to its full advantage and invited a house full of women over.

A couple nights before the shower, I made these tissue pom bouquets, and while the picture really doesn't do it justice, this was such a fun piece over the dining room table.
Believe it or not, these hydrangeas are about 2 months old! They have kept their color and their shape so well that I keep rearranging them and using them all over the house.
 The drink station in the living room.
 This strawberry basil lemon water was a huge hit! So much so that we ran out, however I just poured more water in, and within an hour or so we had more diffused water. If you are looking for the recipe, here ya go!
 A few pictures of the bride and groom.
 The night before the shower as Brian an I were watching The Blacklist, we threw together this banner. I took an old book that wasn't worthy of anyone else reading, tore out some pages, free handed the letters, then strung them on some twine. Easy peasy!
 I do have to give Brian 100% credit for the strings of leaves. He cut and hung them all!
 I found this great printable here, however when I went to print it off, my color cartridge was all out of orange.... bummer. However that didn't stop me from using an overly yellow print!
 And lastly some more hydrangea's, because why not.
We can't wait to celebrate with the newest Devane's this Sunday, and I'll hopefully have some pictures of the cutest little ring bearer, fingers crossed, making it down the aisle!
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