The Project House – For Sale / Virtual Tour

February 22nd, 2013

After 2 great years of working on this great house, we’ve decided to put her up for sale and move on to the next project house. I will definitely miss living here and I’ll especially miss my lovely kitchen and laundry room.  In 2 years we were able to renovate the house in its entirety, renovate the shed, and get a little landscaping done too. Onto the house tour!

ETA – here is the listing: House Listing


4 Bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, large bonus room – 2380 Sq Ft and a pool. All of this on more than 1/3rd of an acre in lovely El Dorado Hills, California.  (I’ll link the listing soon)

(Pass this along if you know anyone who’s buying!)

Leo is 3 months (and 2 weeks… but who’s counting?)

February 14th, 2013

As part of my blog slacking, I haven’t been recording too much info about our cute little #2 He finally had his “2 month”checkup this week and his stats were

15 weeks:

Weight: 14 lbs 3 oz (nearly 2x his birth weight!)

Height: 23.5″

(When he was born: Weight: 7 lbs 2 oz Height: 19″)

So those are the details, lets see what he’s up to these days…

Lots of squeeling, He sounds like a very excited guinea pig most afternoons

Lots of sleeping – He’s been doing 9 hours straight (8-5) for almost a week now, and prior to that 10-4:30

Lots of eating  – my boys love to eat – he does a few cluster feeds in the morning after his long stretch and before he goes to bed to prep for his long stretch. He seems to be a great self-regulator.

Lots of growing – we just put away all the newborn clothes and so he’s wearing mainly 3 month sizes with a few 6 months sizes mixed in (though they are baggy still). He’s got the chubbiest little thighs and rolls on his arms. And we can’t forget his thick neck, chubby cheeks and double chin. He’s just so squishy I want to nibble on him all the time.

Lots and lots of smiling – He is so so so smiley. Ollie never was big into hamming it up, but this kid will charm your socks off. he just loves to smile and give everyone big grins. He especially loves when his brother comes over to say hi.

Lots of brotherly love – Ollie adores his little brother and loves to give hugs and kisses and say “hold” when he wants to hold him. Leo just loves seeing his big brother and smiles so big for him.

It’s interesting how child 2 is so different from child 1. Not just in personality, but also in the way you approach parenting, the amount of time/energy/attention you have etc. It’s just a completely different experience. There is definitely more “vying for the parents attention” from both of the boys. More of “just wear whatever is clean!”  Nothing has to be perfect or scheduled or planned out like with a first child. I wouldn’t change how I was a parent with one child, I think both are just a situation based on different circumstances.

Adding a second has been quite a challenge – changing our schedule, the way we think, how we fit things in, what rolls we all fill etc. I would say the learning curve has been a good 3 months in the making. Just barely are we starting to feel like we’ve got this, and even then there are days (and nights) that you want to end and get a do-over. But thats a big improvement over the first few weeks when I was convinced that we were not having anymore children because it was just too hard to get through the day (and especially night). So it does get better, and quicker than you think. And now, of course, we can’t imagine our life without our little squishy.

Here’s a few (phone) pics from the last month or so ( looking through pics I just realized that I take TONS of shots while he’s sleeping):

I love all my boys!

Project House Mantel* Reveal

February 14th, 2013

Okay okay, I know I’ve been a major blog slacker. We did so many many projects in 2012 and I just didn’t have the time or gumption to get them posted. I’m feeling bloggy this week so I am going to hopefully do a bunch of quick updates so you can see what we did and a little about how we did it.

If this is the first time you’ve stumbled upon my blog, Mr. Project, my husband builds all our cabinets/furniture/built-ins. I dream it up, and he makes it happen,and somewhere during the process we work through all the design issues together and come up with a final product thats even better than my vision.

Okay back to the Mantle… this house was old, old and ugly when we got our hands on it. This is what the family room looked like before (brace yourselves):

We took out the old stove, and painted the brick charcoal gray, and thats how it was for a solid year. You can read a little bit more about that on my Mantle Plans post.

Mr. Project and I went through a lot of design ideas with this one. Should we build the fireplace surround out of the wall more? What about book-cases up to the ceiling? Doors or drawers or just shelves? etc etc. After a lot of discussions, we came up with this vision:

Once we had dimensions down, Mr. Project started the build (in our garage shop):

In the mean time we hired a contractor to come and chip out the mantle brick and the footer brick (took about an hour or so):

We decided to leave the existing brick (it was in great shape) to add depth instead of chipping it out and then having to build out the depth with steel studs and cement board.

Our tile guy came and installed cement board everywhere the tile would be and sealed off all the old brick with some sort of mortar stuff. Note the blue tape where we finalized the measurements/placement on the mantle beam. There’s nothing like actually seeing a representation of what you’re making to help with crucial decisions.

Mr. Project installed the cabinets and shelves:

Then he built the mantle, legs, and details.

Here you can see the elevation:

And then we had it painted:

Once it was painted we had to wait a few weeks for the tile to come in. We ordered a small 3/8″ stacked mosaic tile made of a natural stone… I am totally pulling a blank on the material – maybe lavastone??? I’ll come back and update when I remember.

We liked this because it wasn’t your run of the mill brick, rock, or large tile. On the floor we had  larger tiles of the same material flush-mounted.

A closeup of the mantle details:

Here it is all finished:

And finally with books & decorations I gathered mostly from around the house:

Never underestimate the potential of an old drab fireplace! Or as Mr. Project always says “There is always a fix”

I think we spent about $1400 on this re-do that includes, wood, tile, paint & labor.

*The ever-knowlegable Mr. Project just informed me that in this instance mantle is spelled mantel. So now we all know :p