A Petite Pantry

One of the things that I find a source of pride in our home’s remodel is that we have made do with what we have from start to finish. We’ve never added on, only using what we had when we started. I don’t want to say it wasn’t much, because I am so grateful for every inch of this home, in all of it’s rattiness because it provided us with so much more these past 6 years than just a roof over our heads. The limited, awkward space has been enough to make me grateful and appreciative for having any space at all. I have all but forgotten that there are homes with basements, attics, coat closets and garages. Our storage space here is limited to say the least and for that I, truly, am grateful. I have learned to only keep what we need and use, and to remove all else from our lives so as to live as clutterless as a family with two small children who love legos and other assorted smaller than should be allowed toys.

All of that to lead you in to the excitement I have discovered now that my husband built me a pantry. I know, he’s a keeper, don’t you think?

My kids’ bedrooms are right off of our kitchen and when my hubby remodeled them, my daughter’s room was our room and my son was only a few months old. He built the room with an opening, a hallway of sorts, but really it was left open because we are parents who love being near our babies when they sleep and we liked the idea of connected rooms so I could swoop in there during the night to nurse the little sweetie pie when he cried. Turns out the kid slept like a log as an infant and I’d get 10 straight hours of sleep most nights and we never really “needed” the opening space. But soon, we moved out of that bedroom and my daughter moved in. The kids *loved* having their rooms connected. They could play together and it was just – neat. But, my daughter is almost 8 now and my son just turned 5. Turns out there comes a point in every person’s life when they find the need for privacy. My daughter complained when she’d go to her room to read or play and he’d come bother her. The time was coming for the “hallway” to be closed off.

These pictures are terrible, but I will try to show you what we started with. See if you can follow along.

This is taken from me standing in my daughter’s room, looking into my son’s room. See the mess? I thought about cleaning it up first, but then thought how he’d just mess it up again 5 minutes later and you’d just think “wow, her kid’s room is clean!” and that is so not true.

This is from his room looking into her’s.

And this is the wall in the kitchen

So, basically, he put up two walls – one in each bedroom – and took down the wall in the kitchen. See?

I am afraid this isn’t making any sense and perhaps I should have just shown you the pantry to begin with and forgotten all about showing the process. But, it was a long process, drawn out and complicated, so I didn’t want to just show – “Look! A pantry!” and not give my hubby the credit he deserves for all the hard work he puts into my crazy ideas.

Here it is after

because the last thing we needed was another door opening into the kitchen to drive us batty, he bought a door panel and put it on a sliding rail thingy. I am pretty sure that is what the package called it.

(Now you know…one thing my hubby cannot do well is paint walls without getting paint on the ceiling. It is like this all over my house. But I don’t care. I love him anyway. )

This is the teensiest little pantry ever. It is annoying me that every time I type pantry, I type panty first and then have to backspace and fix it. Panty is my least favorite word in the english language. Maybe I can arrange to have a pantry called something else. Food closet? Hmmm.

Anyway, the pantry is only 18″ wide, but hey, 8 feet tall and 18 inches wide is a lot of space when you are going from no food closet to one. I love it. And I love that my hubby puts up with such crazy requests of mine.

The kids got new paint in their rooms because of this project, too, because of their new sections of wall.

My daughter’s room doubles as our guest room when we have company. Who wants to come stay in her very pink room?!?!

More soon.


DIY Dollhouse

Back at Christmastime, I was shopping for my kids and became incredibly discouraged to find so many cheaply made but expensive toys. I know, I should not be surprised by this anymore. After doing a lot of searching in stores and online for a well-made but not $300 dollhouse for my daughter, I gave up. I asked my hubby if he thought that maybe he could make one and I gave him some inspiration photos of ones I’d found online but, again, didn’t want to spend $300 on.

He said yes. Yes!

We went to the store to get the wood for it and spent a whopping $27. I can’t get a “cool” plastic piece of junk toy that was made in China for that at Target. I was a happy mama.

Then I did something that I never ever ever do and I didn’t boss hubby around on the project. I let him do it all himself without saying “oh, do it this way! Make more rooms! Make less rooms! Put stairs in! Put windows in!” I let him hide away in the shed and build his daughter a dollhouse. With the wood we bought, a scrap piece of beaded board we already had for the back and two small cans of oops paint for $2, we surprised our little girl with something she had no idea she even wanted but instantly fell in love with.

I don’t have a step-by-step tutorial and I do know that more went into it than just slapping wood together. I am trying to talk hubby into making another one so I can detail the process. And then he can sell it for $300. ;)

The best part is that when she outgrows the dollhouse part, it can just be a bookshelf. We hope she gets many years of use out of it!

2011: A Look Back

With all the excitement about Christmas, there is no big day that sneaks up on me more each year than the last day of it. I woke up this morning to my 4 year old’s face pressed up to mine and he said in a very concerned and serious voice, “Mommy! Wake up! You have 4 eyes!!” And so began the last day of this year – a “year of dreams” we’ve called it around this house. A year that like all others was full of hard stuff, sad stuff, but lots of good stuff too. This year, my kids turned 4 and 7, I hit the big 33 and hubs is now on the downhill slide to 40. He doesn’t like when I say that.

As 2011 began, I set my sights on some long put off goals and now that the year is over, I’m happy to look back and say I completed them.

I signed up for and ran my first half marathon back in February while my hubby and kids stood in the cold for 2 hours to cheer for me for the 15 seconds it took me to go past them. I still get choked up thinking back to that moment of running past my daughter with her “Go Mommy” sign.

I also signed up for and finished my final class for my bachelor’s degree and am officially a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate. Woo!

My two big goals for the year complete. What next? Probably a full marathon, maybe more school.

Around the house, we painted the kitchen a new blue.

We turned our guest room into a playroom.

We did a quickie little makeover at our entryway.

And added a beadboard headboard in our bedroom that just celebrated it’s first birthday.

In the rest of our not picture perfect ready for it’s closeup just everyday living life:

I spent a month cooking all new to me meals.

We spent another glorious summer at the cottage.

Back in January of this year, I wrote this post about The me I want to be and the struggle I was having with blogging, sharing, writing, taking pretty pictures and the pressure that I felt from all of it. I think that this year brought big changes to this blog. I stepped back a lot more. I didn’t share just to share. I took time off when I needed it. I enjoyed the moments and began to really live what is in my heart more than just talking about it. I think it’s safe to say now that the year has passed that I really did become the me I wanted to be this time last year. What a wonderful thing for anyone.

I thank you all for being here over the past year or years. I appreciate all of you and wish you all the best in the coming year.

Happy New Year!!

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