8.20.2014

Cabinets

Thanks for all the emails and texts and excitement from you all about my kitchen!!
I really appreciate the support!!

I thought I would try to break down a few informative posts about cabinets, counters and "the process" so I don't have to write one huge giant posts....

So, Cabinets!
I went to Lowes with a very crude drawing and measurements of my kitchen and a few iPhone photos. Once I made my way back to the kitchen department I sat down with Ashley- the cabinet specialist; I told her I had a very limited budget and I wanted the cheapest, white, shaker style cabinets you can get.

I learned a lot about cabinets on this trip:
-White painted wood cabinets are more expensive than stained (who knew?) but now I know why so many new builder homes have stained cabinets instead of white... it all makes sense now... they are cheaper-- duh!
-I asked about just some standard-off-the-shelf-cabinets that I could paint, and she talked me out of those because with the size and age of our kitchen, I wouldn't be able to make all the sizes fit and I would have some wasted space, which we can't really afford, so never mind.

-I learned that the "cheapest" (which still aren't cheap!) white shaker cabinets Lowes offers is in the Diamond brand.... They have a new "Prelude" cabinet that has a wood frame but a MDF center.
The cabinets come in "white" or "cream".  The perfect color would be in between the two, but when you are dealing with the cheapest option, you naturally have limited options :-)
At first I thought I wanted cream because that matched our floors better (new floors are not in the budget), but then decided to go with "white" because even though the white is brand-new-ikea-modern-bright-ass-white, I think it will be safer down the road than the cream, which I could see looking a bit yellow or dated??

I am envisioning them looking similar to these (minus the glass fronts):
 I love the look of white dishes behind glass, and even though I do have plenty of white dishes, I also have bottles and will soon have plastic sippy cups and limited space, so we will cover all that up!
Plus, that is an extra cost, of course :-0
Hope that is a good choice!?!

-I learned about "overlay"..... I have looked at probably thousands of kitchens, and I know what I like and what I don't, and I know what obviously looks expensive and what doesn't, but I didn't know "terms".... Yes, I love cabinets that have a full overlay, like the image above or like this below, 
What exactly am I showing you, you ask?

Both photos above show cabinets were the drawers and doors meet up together, there isn't space in between like in this photo below, that doesn't have a "full overlay"
In this photo there is space between each drawer and door.
This style of cabinet is cheaper.
When you compare the two, yeah, I can tell that the photos of the white cabinets look more expensive,  more custom made, but I think the photo of the gray cabinets is well styled and looks amazing so unless I was comparing the two, I didn't see the need in spending HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of dollars more to have my drawers and doors meet up... Who cares.
Moving on....

-I learned that adding a little crown molding to the top of cabinets to make them look much more custom actually doesn't cost that much money, and in my opinion this is something that makes the cabinets look much more custom made.
Sign me up for some moulding! 

So after two hours of working with Ashley, I had this design worked up that would involve switching the placement of the stove and fridge and getting the microwave up above the stove and off of the kitchen cart (i.e the floor).



I proposed the idea to Evan and he was on board!!! YAY!!!
We then asked Lowes to price out how much it would cost to take down the wall between the dining room and kitchen, just to see how much more it would be.....

Tick-tock, tick-tock

We then got other bids on the work.....

Tick-tock, tick-tock......

Then we went back to the original idea.
:-) 

We are meeting with Lowes tonight to discuss when they are going to get started.

Hip-Hip-Hooray for the New Kitchen!!

8.15.2014

Big, BIG news!

No, I am not pregnant again like Kate on the small things blog.... 
When she announced that she just completed her first trimester with baby number TWO,
her site was unavailable because she had so much traffic.... wowza! 
Congrats Kate! 

Anyway, I DO have BIG news to share..... 
If you have followed my blog for a while you know that I have wanted a dishwasher/
kitchen update/remodel since I first stepped foot in our house back in 2011. 
Well ladies and gentlemen, I am getting a dishwasher AND a kitchen update!
I am SOOO excited!
Like all new and unfamiliar things, I am excited and also nervous.

I have been redesigning our kitchen in my head, using various budgets since we moved in; 
Actually sitting down and working out the details with someone is a different story.
There is A LOT involved! I will try to share the process/progress with you on the blog. 

So first things first...
How did this come about? What made me sit down and plan this out with someone? 
Well you see, back in April when we got our tax return, it was a pretty good chunk of change, so
this got my wheels spinning thinking, Hmmm.... How much would it take to redo the kitchen??
Based on my own estimates of cabinets, appliances, and what I knew other people paid for their kitchen, and of course what all my HGTV friends pay for a kitchen, I was guessing around $20K.
Um, NO, we didn't get that much back in taxes, not even close.
But I started thinking.... what would it actually cost? What would it take to make the kitchen functional and get a dishwasher?
Since we had to pay for Sam to go to daycare over spring break whether he was there or not,
I decided to take him for a few hours one day and I headed to Lowes.

After several different designs, several conversations with Evan, several different estimates, we have a design nailed down and ready to go!
YAY!
(Sorry I don't have any pictures). 

But the other BIG news around the Frey Household is that Sam started crawling!!!
It was perfect, the Sunday before I went back to work Evan yelled for me to come into the living room because Sam had just crawled. And just like that, he figured it out and is on the move!


Life will never be the same!





8.06.2014

Engagement photos

From time to time I have taken photos for a few friends. 
I am by no means a photographer. 
Actually, taking photos for people gives me anxiety and I could never be an actual photographer for this reason. But, I will acknowledge that taking pictures of people is a really good thing for me, it helps me as an artist and as a teacher. 

My good friend Jamie asked me to take some engagement photos for her Save the Date.
Here are a few of my favorites. 






Congrats Jamie and Mark!

8.05.2014

What IS this stuff??

The other night Sam was getting sleepy but I was afraid to put him to bed yet because it was a little early still, but I needed something new to do with him... We had kinda exhausted his toys inside. 
When this happens, I usually take him outside, he really loves nature. 
While outside, I noticed how pretty the light was. so on a whim I grabbed the quilt he had been spitting up on all day (needed washed anyway) and my camera and I decided to have a little photo shoot. 
 Sam would NOT look up at me, he was amazed at the grass!
 He crawled over to that grass and was pulling it up in handfuls at a time, he was SO interested in it!
It was so cute. 



8.04.2014

Joy

Back before Sam was born, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and send out his birth announcement as our Christmas card. My friend Sarah knitted this hat for me and I had browsed the TinyPrints website and picked out this card.... I just needed to insert Sam's pictures and stats and we were good to go. 
Like the card states, I knew that Sam would be a "pure joy" and would change my life and heart forever, but I don't think you can really understand how much until after your child is born. 
This summer has been pure joy. 
I am so, so thankful that I am able to be home with Sam in the summer and I will be able to be home from school with him on breaks. It is so nice to be able to not be on a tight schedule and enjoy the day. It has been so nice to give him a bottle and let him fall asleep in my arms and not have to worry about rushing out the door, instead  I have been able to just enjoy the snuggle session. We spent the summer having play dates, going for car rides and walks in the stroller. Sam spent time with family and played in several different pools. We visited the zoo and each evening as Sam was getting sleepy we would go outside and he would look up at marvel at the big huge trees blowing. It's those little things that I have really enjoyed watching Sam delight in... Like when I feed him in his highchair he likes to watch the flag blowing outside and his little sparkly eyes light up and he talks and pounds his fists at the sight of the flag blowing. 
Each day Sam experiences something new and it is such a joy getting to watch him and his excitement for life! He LOVES new experiences! His eyes light up, he smiles from ear to ear, he bounces up and down and squeals in delight!! It is so precious. I just want to bottle that innocence, and the joy he has for life, and each new experience, and keep his happy sweet little nature safe forever. My heart aches with emotion just thinking about it.
Oh, such joy.
I love you so much Sam. You are such a blessing. 

 

8.01.2014

Summer Stuff

It's August 1st..... That means summer is wrapping up and it is getting close to school starting once again....

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that  I typically do projects over the summer.... Obviously this summer was a little different because of Sam, but I did manage to get a few little things done around the house (I just didn't have time to blog about each one or take very good photos, sorry!)... haha! 

First I had AT&T come out and rewire the way the U-verse was installed. Oh, how I wish I had a before and after picture of this..... You see when we first moved in, whoever the lazy installation guy was---grrr!, he decided that he would set up the "box" and connect it to the existing phone line in our sun porch and then drape the cords into our living room to connect to the TV.  Ugly. I cannot tell you how annoying this has been to me. Obviously it looked junky and it would be a pain to clean around and so I finally had enough of it because I started fearing that these cords could be bad news once Sam is mobile. So I called and asked for a service guy to come out and fix the situation. I was thinking, I don't care if he has to rewire the entire house I am so sick of these cords! I don't care how much this costs, I want these cords out of sight!!
So a very nice AT&T man came and moved everything to fit nicely behind the TV in no time, and for no charge! YAY! It looks SOOOO much better! So why in the world did I not do this earlier?? And why in the world did ALL the technicians we have had come out over the past 3 years not say, "Would you like me to hide your cords, or do you like having them drape from room to room? I can easily fix that for you?" This improvement was one of those little things that made a BIG difference to me. And it was a great example of how you should always just ask!

When we moved in the previous owner said we should have our fireplace checked before we ever build a fire. Since we have never had the desire to build a fire, we keep our house super cold, so why would we ever want a fire? Lol... So we never had the fireplace checked. But from time to time when I would be near the fireplace I would smell gas... I would ask other people if they could smell it and I got a variety of answers over the past several years, but because it wasn't a super strong smell, it was one of those things that got pushed further down the list... and I didn't really know who to call to come check it? The gas company? A fireplace company? A heating company?
Again, I wish I had a before and after picture of this...
My cousin recommended that I call O'malias in Carmel. The older lady who answered the phone was super nice and after we talked for a few minutes she concluded that what we currently have isn't up to proper safety codes (no shocker there). So a super nice, little guy came and took out the big HOMEMADE (ekk- scary!) gas line that had been installed in our wood burning fireplace and he fixed the small gas leak that we had. Which also concludes that, No I am not crazy, I just have a really keen sense of smell... I have now smelled an electrical fire and a gas leak... I am basically a hound dog :-)  
So now the fireplace is safe and leak free, it is easier to clean and I am hoping that my Dad will be able to help me construct something to make a little bit of storage in there :-0
I am sure I have a better picture of the fireplace and the original contraption, but I gave up looking for it... In this photo you can see the logs that I had decorating the fireplace trying to hide the gas line. 

With the big gas line gone, I just have a basket covering the smaller pipe.
I still want to paint the inside of the fireplace black, but I haven't gotten to that yet :-)

I did a little bit of furniture moving this summer..... 
After getting my sisters couch, I needed a taller end table.
This guy hadn't sold in the shop so I decided to bring it home... perfect! 

I also moved this (notice the arrow) bookshelf from the kitchen into the living room to help hold some of Sam's stuff. 

And in preparation for "mobile Sam" I decided that my leaning bookcase of decorative items needed to go. So I moved the desk into the living room in its place. Then I moved the console behind the couch, I really like this because I can now sit on the couch and reach up and grab nail clippers for example and trim Sam's nails-- perfect! I don't think this is the most attractive arrangement, but for now it is more functional with Sammy Sam. 

I switched out the dining room light. 
My friend Marcia made slip covers for the dining room chairs, which are amazing! 

We did the bathroom updates.

And in the guest bedroom, in my desire for my floor space, I moved the bed up against the other wall and decided to sell my vanity because nowadays I rarely get ready in that room, so it didn't seem necessary. Then my wonderful sister had picked up this super cute dresser at a garage sale for $10-- no joke, ten dollars!! She finds the best stuff!! I thought I would have to paint it (and considered trying to get it painted before moving it upstairs), but after realizing I have limited "painting time" I moved it upstairs to get stuff off my floor, and what do you know, I think it looks okay as is :-0 

Here it is before:

And here it is now:
 And I found this rug that I think ties it all together.

I also did a little "quilt designing"....
I decided that because I have Marcia do the actual quilting, and I am not that great at sewing, but I love "designing" quilts, that I should call myself a quilt designer not really say that I "made" a quilt- haha! 
Sam is at the developmental stage where he starts to cry when I would leave the room, so I tried to find things to do IN the living room while he is playing, and I found that doing a little hand sewing was perfect. It made me feel like I was accomplishing something, but I could still give my full attention to Sam. Funny how during the day I found time to sew, but it was hard to find time to run into the other room to wash bottles or to run down to the basement to do laundry. 
Time is such a crazy thing when you are a mom.
Like actually putting laundry away in his room never seems to get done--- When I have time to do that, he is asleep in there! 

Then the real "accomplishment" of the summer would be the little painting project I did at my sisters house. At the top of her stairs she a large cedar closet that she's always wanted painted.... but it's never happened....
I hurt my back this summer picking up Sam, so my mom helped me watch/lift him, and it was actually easier on my back to paint Lora's closet, than it was to pick up squirmy Sam all day long....
Sooo, at Lora's Mom watched Sam and I painted. Then Lora came home (with Puertos of course) and had a painted closet!
It was a win-win-win!

Before:

After:
And this picture doesn't even really demonstrate how much better it looks! 
Similar to my situation with the AT&T cords, I think after it was done Lora thought, 
Why have I waited so long to do that?!

So those would be my summer house projects! 
My time was mostly consumed with being with my Sammy, and I wouldn't have had it any other way! We had tons of fun: Play dates, walks, trips to Lowes, lot of playing on the floor with toys, swimming and lots of cuddling! And because of that it has been the best summer break I've ever had!

And after all the fun we have during the day, we need a bath each night!
Happy Summer!

7.31.2014

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

No, this isn't a post about the Brady Bunch, it is a post about my friend Marcia- the most talented person I know! She can do anything and everything! I admire her so much.
 She can quickly and single-handily move HUGE pieces of furniture without making a scratch on the floor (while babysitting her three grand-babes of course).....

She can fix my "hot mess" of a quilt and make it into a beautiful work of art......

For my wedding, Marcia altered my dress to perfectly fit me, and then was willing to come and literally sew me into my dress on my wedding day to help with my ever fluctuating figure- ha! 
She color coordinated the bustle so it would be easy to do, and it looked soo amazing.
 I think my bustle was my favorite part of my dress.
Thank you Marcia! 

The bunting in Sam's room was created by Marcia.... 

She and Abby made this quilt for Sam. 
Sam and I both love feeling the texture when I rock him to sleep each night. 
Such a special gift to cherish forever.

And in recent news, Marcia has outdone herself once again, and I am so grateful.
She made the most beautiful slip covers for the parson's chairs in my dining room. 
They are absolutely stunning. 
They have these beautiful little pleats...
I love the back...
(They are fully lined and fit perfectly of course)... 
These Value City chairs have never.looked.better! (I think Lora wants them back now-lol!)

The chair covers are simply amazing and totally make the room.
They make the room look so light and elegant. 

When Lora and I switched dining room tables, I thought I either needed to paint the table, even though I liked the dark wood color and didn't really have time to paint it, or I needed to lighten up the chairs somehow..... I searched online for chair covers but the chairs Lora had given me were wider than a standard parson's chair (guess that's what makes them so comfortable)- ha!
So then I thought, hmm.... I wonder if Marcia would be willing to make me some chair covers? 
And of course she was up for the challenge. 
I gave Marcia a chair and two packages of IKEA drapes and she got to work. 
The fabric has these ever so subtle vertical lines that I love. 
Don't you just love them?! 
I am swooning! 
Thank you so much Marcia! 
I admire all of your talents and feel so blessed to have my "Farmland Family" in my life! 
Love you guys!