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Category: Glendalough

Guest Room

Guest Room

Chuck’s grandparents made a trip up from Omaha a couple months ago and decided to stay with us. We knew that we had to get an actual bed for them to sleep on because 90+ year old grandparents shouldn’t have to sleep on an air mattress. Smile

So Chuck headed to Ikea to pick up a bed, some tables, a couple lamps and some bedding and he and his dad (with a little help from Alex), got to work building.



I’m really happy with how the roomed turned out. I’ll fully admit that it’s a huge mess right now with toys thrown all over the room and stuffed bears occupying the bed. But, it would only take a couple minutes to get it back in order.





I just took this picture a couple minutes ago. I couldn’t have you believing I lived in some pristine castle all the time or something. The room IS part of the kids’ playroom and occupies many of their toys.


So, if you were hankering to come stay at our zoo house, you now have a comfortable little place to sleep. There’s your own little bathroom down in the basement, too. AND, in even bigger news (if you know me), I have a coffee pot and coffee. So there’s a pretty good chance I’ll even let you make some (or make some for you if I’m feeling really nice). Winking smile


The Basement

The Basement

This past winter, Chuck started the project of finishing our basement. He loves having a project and this was the next big one on our wish list of To-Dos.

I can’t believe I haven’t done a post about the basement yet. I have tossed in a couple pictures here and there, but I am long overdue to tell you what’s been going on down there.

Here is a picture of the floor plan for the basement. The space on the right is unfinished, utility room/storage space. The large section on the bottom right will be the family room. There’s a bathroom and then a bedroom with a large closet at the top of the picture.


First, HERE is the gallery on Facebook with all of the photos we have taken. (Obviously, there are more than this, but these are the good ones.)

It took us quite a while to clear out the space. But once it was cleared out, Chuck built a ramp to get the wood down to the basement.


Then, like most suburban people, Chuck took the snow blower to the yard and cleared a path to get the wood to the basement window.


Once the wood was downstairs (this was only the first half of it), Chuck started framing the walls





We hired a company to spray insulation on the exterior walls. I thought it was pretty cool when it was all done!


The spot for the shower in the basement wasn’t flat, so Chuck needed to cut out a portion of the floor and put down new concrete to make it level.


We filled in the interior walls with insulation for a sound barrier in the rooms. Not so much for heat since Chuck gave the basement it’s own heating zone so it can be controlled on its own.


We had some storage shelves in the back corner of the basement (which is now the bedroom closet. Well, since we needed to work in there, the shelves needed to be moved. So Chuck made them a bit narrower to fit into another space. They worked out great there. (Granted, it doesn’t look this clean anymore since we have lots of other stuff piled in front of it right now.)


Here’s a view standing in the bedroom looking at the stairs into the family room. This was just before we had the drywall installed.


Here is the bedroom after the drywall went up. The guys hung all the drywall and had the first coat of mud up on the first day. I was very impressed.


Here’s a view of the family room. The boarded up window is the same one we had the ramp through for the wood. We ended up taking out that window (and have a new one to replace it with at the end of the project) and needed to keep out the snow/rain so the board has stayed there for now.


The view of the rest of the family room looking straight into the bathroom with the bedroom to the left and the stairs and utility/storage room on the right.


Here’s the same view with the grey painted in the bathroom, the first coat of yellow in the stairway, and Chuck had rolled the first coat of green downstairs. Later that night I went down and did the trim while he rolled the first coat of blue in the bedroom.

*Update* I forgot to mention that my mom came over to help me paint. She did the first coat in the stairs and helped get the second coat of green done. And I am already bribing her to come over and help finish up the stairway. Smile


These are the cabinets for the basement. We plan to mount a TV above this row of cabinets. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.


We also have the tile done in the bathroom, all the outlets finished, the lights and vents completed, the cabinet, shower, and toilet installed in the bathroom, and all the painting done except for one more coat in the stairs (which I am dreading because I hate ladders…my mom did the first coat for me).

What’s left? Well, we picked out a shower door, but while we were loading it into the car, the bag of screws fell out along with a bunch of loose screws, so we returned that and still need to pick up another one. We also need to get the trim and stain it all then hang it. We have the doors and those need to be installed. And we also need to pick out flooring and get that installed.

It’s really coming along. I can’t believe how close we are to having it finished! It’s going to be such a great addition. My plan is to take back my dining room. Not because we eat in there often, but because it is currently my playroom and it will be nice to not have toys all over the main floor. The bedroom in the basement will be the new playroom and hold the toys. I am so excited to have them all in the basement and not feel like I need to have them picked up all the time. And I can’t wait to wait movies down there with the girls! It’s so fun to see the end in sight!

In full disclosure, I said “we” many times in this post, but nothing was really “we”. Chuck did it all. We did hire companies for the spraying of the insulation and the drywall to be done. Literally, my only contribution has been painting. I did help pick things out, but Chuck has been the amazingly dedicated and hard working, one man show in the basement. And he does all this after he gets home from work and on the weekends. Wow. I married one great guy!

So there you have it. That’s where we are in the basement project. We are hoping to be done fairly soon because we have other projects outside that we want to get started on before too long here.

Do you have any projects going on in your house? Anything as big as what we have going on? Any future plans for projects?




Last weekend, we started cleaning out my craft room. Which has really turned into the room I throw anything I don’t want to deal with at the moment. So I lovingly call it my “Crap Room.” Before too long, we would like to move Maddie into that room. She hasn’t slept over night anywhere but her bed since she was born. And we have a couple multiple night stays out of town this year. So we thought it wouldn’t hurt to do it sooner rather than later. And this room tends to be a little cooler, so we don’t want the next baby sleeping in this room.

So, all that nonsense to show some pictures of the progress!

This is what the room looks like now. The big blank wall was where my big shelf from Ikea was.

It doesn’t look like we made much progress, but taking stuff off the shelf was a long process. And Chuck has also cleaned out the closet, which was another huge task. The biggest thing left will be to sort through all my craft stuff stacked on the shelf in the corner.

So we moved the Ikea shelf into the playroom just outside this room. I love the shelf out there!

That’s what we’ve been working on. Any big projects going on at your house? Any projects you have been avoiding tackling (like I have been avoiding this room!)? Smile

Porch Furniture

Porch Furniture

We finally found some porch furniture that we liked. A couple weekends ago, Chuck took multiple trip to the store to pick the pieces up and then put them all together. I couldn’t be happier with how it looks!

We got a loveseat, two chairs, a chaise lounge, end table and eating table. I got a few pillows and a couple little lanterns for the table. All we have left to purchase is a rug. We just haven’t found on that we like yet. I also bought a little wind chime to have out back. I have it hanging on a plant stand right now. I haven’t found the perfect spot for it yet, but I love having it out there.

Chuck is still deciding how he wants to screen in the porch and the porch will need to be stained at some point. But we spend a lot of time out there already. Maddie loves it out there, too! We are looking forward to getting lots of use out of the porch this summer!

Random Picture

Random Picture

I set my camera on the counter the other day and when I came back, I saw that this was on the screen. I decided to take the picture. After I looked at it on a screen larger than my camera, I thought it was kind of pretty with the reflection of the tree in the granite and the “love” in the background. Just a random photo I thought I would share.



I realized I never did an update on the finished porch project. Or many updates at all of the porch. I looked through my old posts and the last entry I found on the porch was in JULY. How terrible is that?

Well, we got the roof finished, the porch finished, the deck finished….it turned out great!

First, one of the biggest parts of the whole project was replacing a big window with a sliding door. I was most impressed by this process. We had some helpers and got the old window out and the door in all in one day. It was impressive. Chuck did the finishing work over the next couple days, but man, what a difference. I love how it turned out. And man, is it huge!

Here are a few finished pictures I took the other day. Yes, the end of December and NO SNOW!

And currently, the porch is housing some ladders and the grill. The grill’s real home is on the deck portion. But it was snowing when we wanted to grill, so we moved it into the porch. Not really the furniture look we are going for, though. Smile

Over the Winter, we are going to have someone build the screens for us. Then we need to do some staining of the wood. It’s best to let it weather for a while before staining it (so I am told). So other than that, it is all done. It is so nice to have it done and be able to walk on it out the new door, and have a deck with fancy stairs. I love it! Chuck did a fabulous job. We were so thankful to have help from family and friends during the whole process. So thank you to all of you!

HERE are all the photos I took during the project. I’ll have to add some in the Spring when we get it stained and get the screens put in. Oh yeah…and get some furniture! Smile

Garden Update

Garden Update

My garden is flourishing! I am quite surprised I made anything edible at all. I don’t consider myself much of a green thumb.

I was talking to my brother about gardens and he told me I should probably pull my potatoes. I pulled one to see how it was and before I knew it, I had yanked them all up! I grew lots of potatoes!

I wasn’t sure how many potatoes I was going to get. I got between 1 and 4 potatoes from every plant I pulled. Most were fairly small…good cooking size, but a couple were about the size of my fist.

The bowl I brought outside to collect them was too small!

Here they are all cleaned up. Well, minus the ones that were already in the oven cooking for dinner.

I even had a couple funny looking ones….can you spot them from the above picture?

I grew a duck.

And a penguin. Or bear. Or snowman. Or something.

I made some roasted potatoes for dinner that night. I put them in a bowl and mixed them with some olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary…which was also from my garden!

Then spread them out on a baking pan and cooked them right up! When they were done cooking, I sprinkled some parmesan cheese over the top of them. Chuck loved them!

I made some chicken from Let’s Dish and it was one tasty little dinner!

I even had enough for leftovers for the following day.

The next night, I made Crash Hot Potatoes. These are basically boiled potatoes, smashed, put on a pan and baked until crunchy. I also got to use my rosemary for these little guys. Then I served them with an Apple Bourbon Pork Tenderloin I had in the freezer. Yum.

Night three, I made Cheeseburger Meatloaf (note, I added some Worcestershire sauce to the meatloaf and to the ketchup topping…because I love Worcestershire sauce) and mashed potatoes. I didn’t take a picture of this meal, but I promise you…it was delicious! And I have some leftovers to eat!

I still have a couple potatoes left to eat, but I think I’ll have those for lunch…just a little baked potato.

Now, because I know you haven’t had enough of my garden yet….here’s a few more pictures.

My hot peppers are starting to look yummy. I planted a hot pepper variety, so I don’t know what I am going to get. My dad says these are Banana Peppers. I think it’s funny that they grow straight up!

My green peppers are starting to look cute! I have just a couple so far, but a lot more flowers ready to grow some peppers for me!

My tomato plants have tons of tomatoes on them. I’m just waiting for them to ripen up so I can give lots of them away and make some salsa!

My carrots are about ready to be picked. I let the neighbor boys pick a couple of the little ones and try them. They thought they were tasty!

And my onions are getting close to being ready to pick, too!

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with my garden. The majority of the things I planted, I grew from seeds. That is just amazing to me! But, if nothing else works, I am so excited that I grew potatoes….and they tasted good! Next year I may add in some red potatoes, too. I haven’t had those in a while!

Chuck builds things

Chuck builds things

Chuck is a builder. He can build anything! He is currently building us a porch/deck in the back yard. Here is a rendering of what it will look like when it’s done.

The porch will be screened in and the grill will be on the deck. We will also replace the window in the porch with a sliding door at some point. It is looking amazing so far! Chuck did a fabulous job laying all the deck boards.

We have had a bit of help from my brother, my dad, Chuck’s sister and her husband. I am sure I will be calling on people to help again when we get to the roof part!

HERE is a link to the gallery of photos I have been taking throughout the process. I’ll be adding more as I take more.

Chuck has been working so hard and I am so thankful he is so handy. Have you done any home renovations/remodeling lately? Do you like to do things yourself or hire out your projects?

UPDATE: When I came home today, Chuck and my dad, with the help of our neighbor, had made a ton of progress! Check it out!

That is the start of the roof! It’s going to look AMAZING when it’s all done!

I actually grew things….

I actually grew things….

A while back, I posted about a little garden I was planting. I started with some seeds. You can read about it HERE.

Then Chuck cut out grass in an area of our yard and made way for my garden. We decided to make it a nice shape in case I hated gardening, the area could be turned into landscaping.

I planted my seeds and hoped that some of them would take.

They did.

Then, what felt like over night, my garden looked like this:

From left to right: onions, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, carrots, cilantro, (behind the tree) spinach and a raspberry plant, yukon gold potatoes (there are LOTS), then on the far right, rosemary and garlic.

Onions and green peppers…they are just starting to flower.


Cherry tomatoes…I fear I am going to have a TON of tomatoes.

The hot peppers I planted were a mixture. I am not sure what I am going to get when they grow.

Carrots. I pulled one because I thought it was going to be huge, but it was just tiny, so I put it back in the ground.

Cilantro. I didn’t know cilantro would flower after a while. I have to pick some of the ones that haven’t flowered yet and make myself some cilantro-lime rice like they make at Chipotle.

Spinach. I have never grown this before. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. But it turns out I needed to pull some of the leaves earlier than now, because most of them are sprouted and there aren’t many green leaves left. A lesson learned for next year.

Raspberry plant. I was hoping that this would do something. Turns out that it never did anything. I just have a stick in the ground.

Potatoes. I planted one bag of potatoes I got from the garden store. I had no idea one bag would make so many plants. But I have potatoes popping up out of the ground.



So, I am quite proud of myself. I’ll do another update when I actually pull some of them when they are ripe!

I think I might like this gardening thing!



We now have our new dining room furniture in our dining room all set up. I love the way it looks and I am looking forward to meals on it over the holidays (because really, who uses their dining room other than during the holidays or for big family gatherings?).




I love the bench and I love that we got two different types of chairs. I think it looks really cool. I got two different ones because I couldn’t decide which one I liked more and Chuck and I liked different chairs. Problem solved!

So there you have it. The new dining room furniture. I would still like to do something on the wall opposite the buffet, but I don’t know what that is yet. And I am planning to get rid of what I have displayed on the shelf over the buffet. And I would like to paint this room someday, too. Who knew that getting new furniture would spark so many other changes in the dining room!

Today we are headed for lunch with all the people from our baby class. This should be interesting….8 couples, 8 babies….our apologies to Old Chicago and all the customers hoping for a nice, quiet Sunday meal! 🙂