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New Mulch


I know I am getting older when getting mulch excites me! Our poor beds needed it though. We didn’t do it last year, so it was running majorly thin. As always we went with the dark black. I feel like it makes the green pop.


Did I mention, I love having this SUV? It was hard for me to give up my car, but this SUV comes in handy.


It was about to rain (which it never did) and it started to get pretty chilly out, so this was the fastest we’ve ever laid mulch! We had to bring the crew in. Alexa was at a friends house, so she lucked out at not doing the manual labor part.


Now what to do with these huge pots? I am trying to decide if I want to keep them in front of the house or move them around back. I can’t put it next to the front door since it would block my mailbox. Any ideas???


1 Year Anniversary

It is our 1 Year Anniversary since we moved into the house. October 1st is when we finally took back possession.

I remember that our first few nights felt odd, because we still had some house construction going on and we couldn’t move in all of our items. Plus I was over 8 months pregnant and about to pop.

This year flew by and I am excited to spend many more years here. We still do not regret the rebuild and we absolutely love our new house.

House 1 year anniversary

Dining Room :: 2014

I realized that it’s been awhile since I have shown updates of the house. One room that hasn’t changed much is the Dining Room. The only thing I would like to add is some art on the only bare wall. Besides that, this room is pretty much finished for at least now.

This room is one of the most lived in rooms. Right now it’s at its finest, but usually it has a splat mat and a highchair and whatever project that Maren, Alexa or I am working on is usually covering all the cabinets. We do get a lot of use from the built in hutch. It is so nice to have that area when (which is rare) we have guests over for dinner.

Dining Room

Dining Room 3

Dining Room 4

Dining Room 5

Dining Room 2

Getting Through All the Blue Tape

All this blue tape around the house can only mean one thing… more repairs. ALL newly remodeled houses go through this in the first year, where the house needs some love after it settles a little and we are not excluded in this. We gradually built a list that had a few minor items that needed attention. It will be nice when it is all finalized.

Most of them that we tagged with the blue tape is actually just paint or wall touch-ups. Only a few areas go into the extreme area of needing new sheetrock.
Dining Room Tag

Master Bathroom Tag 2

Master Bathroom Tag

Or some are more severe where the floor guys had to come and shave down where it dipped a little. We also had a little bubbling under the oven.

Kitchen Floor Redo

This bring me back to the old days of when we first moved in and right after I had Coen. Fresh paint smell is the best.


Unfortunately, I am on military leave all next week so the patches are going to be throughout our house for a while.


Happy Tree in PV

Right across from our house is a little triangle where all the streets intersect nicknamed “the fountain.” Prairie Village made it a nice place by decorating it with trees, benches and a fountain the kids can play in. On a typical day you can see tons of children running around on the triangle with their parents relaxing on a bench after a long day of work. (usually with a beer or wine in hand to help relax – no judging going on here)

The other day my daughters came home from the fountain after playing with their friends. They were excited to tell me about the happy tree that someone made on our special island. The happy tree had a bag of tags, a sharpie and a sign instructing everyone to write what makes them happy:

Village Cape Cod - Happy Tree 00001

Village Cape Cod - Happy Tree 00002

Our girls wrote their special message. Maren wrote that she was happy for World’s of Fun while Alexa put that she was happy for her brother and sister. Our favorite silly one came from one of Alexa’s BFFs:

Village Cape Cod - Happy Tree 00003

This happy little tree made the

Plus we woke up this morning to see the KMBC news van parked at the island too. Kansas City news:

Nobody knows who created this happy tree still today. This just goes to show how special our little neighborhood is and another strong reason why we rebuilt instead of moved.

forgive the iPhone pics

The New Front of the Cape Cod

Two times this week I was asked what color my outside paint on my house was. What a compliment! It’s everyone’s reaction to say that they won’t copy it, but I honestly don’t mind at all.

Village Cape Cod - Benjamin Moore Storm 00010
My Benjamin Moore Storm house.

It’s very similar to our old house color, but not quite the same. Here is a shot of our old house prior to the renovation.
Old House Front

We talked about our outside house colors in these blog posts:

  • Exterior PaintBody and Trim – Benjamin Moore Storm Cloud Grey and Winter White

    Front Door Paint ColorFront Door – Caliente AF-290 (Benjamin Moore)

    It’s been awhile since I shot the outside of my house. To be honest I was hoping to shoot when I had a beautiful green lawn. I have a feeling it won’t happen until next year though. So much so, we decided to forego flowers this year, which hurts a little. I love going flower shopping. I always stop the oldest lady at Lowe’s and ask her what flowers they would recommend. I figured they’ve been doing flowers every year at their house and they would know a thing or two about them. It never fails and they help me select the best ones possible.

    I did “sneak” some perennial jade flowers in the house though. I used them as my Easter center pieces and I am going to plant them in the side yard one of these days.

    Village Cape Cod - Benjamin Moore Storm 00012

    Village Cape Cod - Benjamin Moore Storm 00016

    Freedom from a Fence

    Our fence is going in today. It seems like such a small thing to have happen, but when you have a pain in the butt dog – it matters. It matter big time! We now have the freedom to open our back door without our dog squeezing around us and playing catch me if you can throughout the neighborhood. And we all know this happens when your hands are completely full with a baby and soccer gear, you are already 10 minutes late and nobody is around to help. I’ve even done it in the middle of the night wearing only my pajamas and no shoes after a fresh snow. It’s not fun and this fence is worth every penny!

    Awww… Freedom

    Before Fence

    Village Cape Cod - New Fence00001

    After Fence

    Village Cape Cod - New Fence00002

    Let me mention the time I tried it myself. When we first moved in this side of the fence was falling down, so I thought “How hard would it be to stretch the existing fence and add a pole to reinforce it?” There is a reason why there are professionals out there!
    You have to have the following tools:
    Fence 2


    Let’s just say it was majorly uneven and didn’t look quite right. At least I know a little about fences now. Mainly that I can never mend one myself. I will just stick to sewing (which I don’t claim to be a pro at by any means.)

    Enjoying the Outside

    We have insane weather in the Midwest. Once second we will have short sleeve, flip-flop weather and then the next day we are wearing our coats. Last year on the day we broke ground, it was May 2nd and of course it snowed. See the blog post here: This weekend it was no different. We heard Saturday would hit 70 degrees and by that next morning we would have a light snow on the ground. We didn’t want to miss the chance to tackle the shed and garage.

    Before Shed

    A ton of our furniture in here is going on Craigslist. I will miss my porch swing, but our new porch doesn’t have room for it.
    Village Cape Cod-Outside Cleanup00002

    Before Garage

    Everything had to go out to get this place cleaned and swept, but our bag of mortar. I don’t know how we are going to move it to our basement!
    Village Cape Cod-Outside Cleanup00003

    The entire family chipped in, some of use complaining the whole time, but we got it cleaned out and organized. Note to self: Never leave grass seed in the shed. The outcome is not nice. The ground squirrels and mice lived in it. We found a ton of evidence they left for us.

    After Shed

    This shed has an upstairs too. You can see the stairs in the picture. I did climb up to store my shutters and flower boxes up there. I cherish these items, because a good friend that has passed made them for our house. I think they will be pretty protected up there, so if we ever decided to put them back on the house we will have them. Eventually, I will clean the upstairs of the sheet out. It has a bunch of old wood and blinds that the person before us put up there. I just haven’t had the time to do it yet.
    Village Cape Cod-Outside Cleanup00006

    After Garage

    Some of this stuff is going on Craigslist; the rest will stay in the garage. I want to organize it like I had before with pegboards to hang everything on. Originally we didn’t have sheet rock on the walls, but we had to put it up to pass inspection. We thought about tearing it down, but I am sure it would be more of a mess then it is worth.
    Village Cape Cod-Outside Cleanup00004

    Once summer hits, I am going to power wash the shed and garage to get it really cleaned out. Even with the nice weather, I didn’t want to attempt to do that. It’s a good thing we got to it on Saturday, because this is what we woke up to this morning:

    Village Cape Cod-Outside Cleanup00001

    It hasn’t been all fun and games

    If you have ever remodeled or built a house then you probably already know some of the areas we will cover in this post. Major lessons I had to learn. Below are some of our lessons.

    You want everything to stay mint condition. It took us a little while before we hung anything. We had these beautiful brand new walls and neither of us wanted to put a hole in them or accidentally mess up and drill wrong. It was stressful hanging those first few pictures. I also feel sorry for anyone that came over after the floors were done. I followed them around to make sure that they didn’t scratch the floors.

    You notice EVERYTHING. From a slight shoe scruff on your wood floors to something that was missed during painting that only by hanging upside down you would notice. One person said to scratch something just to get over it. Gradually you do get over it, but it takes a few weeks to a few months before you settle in and aren’t as worried.

    You will have regrets. Nobody ever gets it right the first time. There are things I wish that I had thought of. Like my washer and dryer. I hate how it sticks out. Eventually, I will build a shelf to go over it to hide it. I also wished that I had all the locks brought to a locksmith prior to them hanging so that they were on the same key, was the best time to call Access Locksmiths. Right now I have a million keys to the different doors. That is something I will have to do later on.

    Washer Dryer Gap

    Even new things break. Lucky for us we have a good contractor and he helps us with anything. Our first week in our alarm to our front door broke, our tankless water heater kept freezing and our soft close on our doors popped off. Maren’s ceiling around the chimney leaked even (which they quickly fixed that day.)


    Cracks will pop up. The house settles, cracks show. Not humongous or anything, but at the new house settles, the paint will tend to crack. The nice part is that our painters will come up to a year to fix any of these things.

    Overall we have had a pretty easy experience.