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Improving My Home, One Project At A Time

As my little one drifted off to sleep, during the holiest of hours – naptime, I cozied up with my laptop – ready to write Chapter 6 of “My Story.” For those of you out there who, before this moment, were under the impression that I had already written my story, but was utilizing some sort of “teaser” tactic… think again. I wish I was that on top of my game, but alas… I’m writing as I go. (If you haven’t caught My Story yet, go check it out.) For some reason though, I’m having a bit of writer’s block. (If I can call myself “a writer,” which still remains to be seen.) So my mind started to wander towards other things, as it often does when I have these rare and beautiful moments to myself. This is what I thought of: AAAAAALLLLLLL the things in my house that are not done yet. AAAAALLLLLL the many projects that we still want (and need) to do here. So, until Chapter 6 starts formulating, and instead of actually getting up and working on one of said projects, we’ll go ahead and write about it.

Home Improvement

If you know me, then you know we built and moved into a new (and bigger) home back in September. If you don’t know me yet, well… now you know too. We moved here exactly 5 months ago and it would be much quicker for me to tell you about the projects we have completed, than the ones we are still planning. So I’ll start with some “before” pictures.

First, was the “paint decision period.” A terrible time in which we lived in total disarray. Not because painting has to tear apart your whole house, but because we started other projects at the same time and were in way over our heads. And when I say “in over our heads” I mean the “call Tim crying because I can’t get it all done and then fight with him in the evenings when he’s not willing to dedicate every waking second of his day to my projects” type of thing. I got real tired, real fast of my house looking like this:


 But to be fair, I was trying to get the house ready for his brother and sister-in-law to come visit. Which he knew nothing about, because it was a surprise. So he thought I was losing it. And I refused to give in and tell him why I wanted it all done by a certain time. To me, it’s better for him to think I’m crazy, than ruin a surprise. Am I right? So, what you see there is not just mess… I mean it is… but we also had boxes of the furniture that we oh-so-bravely bought from IKEA, couch pillows, blankets and other potential design items, and of course baby toys. I thought I was going to freak out. We had paint samples coming out of our ears and I couldn’t pick a color.


Of course, our 18 year old nephew was living with us at the time (Hi Michael!) and he loves art – so our entire house was like one big blank canvas to him and he painted all over the place, which we kinda loved. By the time I had taken these pictures, though, most of them had been covered up. Sidenote: You see my cat, Andy, over there by the door? He’s 13 years old and I’ve had him since before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. We’ve been through a lot together. :o)


I think you get the drift: I was ready for a project – any project – to be finished. So we went with paint. As you can tell, I was deciding between some greens and blues. Initially though, I had wanted a very subtle blue-ish grey. I am still shocked to this day, how difficult it was for me to find one that I liked. Finally, I just accepted that either 1) Even though I liked it on Pinterest, I didn’t like it in my house. Or 2) I was physically incapable of putting what I saw in my head, into a paint sample that I liked. I think it was probably the latter, so I finally gave up… Plus, we bought dark couches, which I love… and I was kinda liking the way the green looked with it, better than the blue. So here’s where we landed.


What do you think? Can’t decide, because you’re distracted by my disgusting floors? Yeah… me too. I hated the floors anyway, and never intended to keep them… but putting that light colored green on the walls just made me despise them with the fire of a thousand hells. Is that a thing? I think so… Anyway, one more note about this picture – you see that we started putting Air Stone on the back of the bar? We’re really excited about how this will look, but at the moment, it’s still unfinished. We found ourselves stuck at a point where we had to decide if we wanted the outlets pulled forward and set flush with the stone… or leave them there so they were sunken in. We decided we want them pulled forward to sit flush, so Tim is buying the stuff we need and then we’ll finish that. (…supposedly, cross your fingers.)

Next thing we tackled? FLOORS!!! We’ve never done our own flooring before, but after the builder wanted to charge us over $10/square foot, we decided now was as good a time as any to give it a go. I mean, Tim has laid tile before, so it’s not like we were going in blind. Still though, it was a huge job, and next time – we may re-think just how cheap we want/need to be. This was a TON of work. It still hasn’t been grouted. And I’m not posting this just to give my husband a kick in the pants motivation… but if it has that effect, then yay for me. :o)

Anyway, I haven’t taken pictures of the finished product yet, but I do have one in progress:


 I will post more on this as soon as we get the floors grouted. Also, will share details of exactly what we chose and why. :o)

In the meantime, I hope you’re having a fabulous day and getting a delicious “naptime” to yourself as well. Home Design & Home Improvement are among my very, very favorite things in the world, so I imagine you’ll be seeing many posts like this one from me in the future. Hopefully, with much cuter stuff – once we get past the basics. So if you’re into this kinda thing, like I am – Stay tuned! Tomorrow: Guest Room!

** Leah **

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2 comments… add one
  • Teri Jones February 20, 2014, 5:45 am

    Leah….. ok that’s still sounds weird to me….. Nikki, you are a treasure. don’t ever stop doing what you’re doing. You are one big tribute to all survivors.
    what do they say? “just pull up your boot straps and walk right in” (well some’n like that) you are doing just that. Hey, we all get yanked from one end to another, good days/bad days, one situation to another, but our endurance is what matters. The finality of it all is the prize.
    Thank you for letting us tag along on your journey. Love you
    love one very proud aunt

    • Leah Sannar February 20, 2014, 6:00 am

      Aw, thank you Teri! I’m hoping that someday my blog will reach someone who is struggling and see that life can return to normal. :o)

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