Play & Learn

I am so excited we pulled this room together just in time for the start of our homeschool year. It's so fun and fresh in here we don't want to leave. You can find some of my inspiration on my 'Learning' Pinterest Board.
We made these blue cubby units from Ana White plans that we modified for a custom fit.

This was a barren wasteland before.

Now it's a comfortable, fun, organized space.

This is the sunniest room in the house.
What started out as Big Brother's room, turned toy dumping ground, after a bad dinosaur dream. Big brother was very frightened by the big window with the huge view of mountains. This IS dinosaur country and dreams of dinos sticking their head through the window, caused too many wakeful nights.

This window seat is one of my favorite places.

When I saw this fabric, I fell in love and went a little overboard.  Grandpa came for a visit, and was so kind to sew this cushion cover, using some leftover foam we had from a different project
Please disregard the chipped paint, there used to be a desk area here, now it's a window seat (for safety reasons it is lower than the window) I will touch up the paint soon! 

We use this map with Story of the World everyday! Big Brother, my little map fanatic.

This bower we made is just magical. Little Sister hides and plays in here, Big Brother prefers to read quietly, it's easy to escape to far off places. All the fabric absorbs some sound and the light airy feel inside all the white is so neat!

We love the rain gutter shelves, too.

This is the best crayon storage, EVER!

Artwork display (@Pottery Barn Kids $80) my knock off version saved $60!

There are still some unfinished details and will update with some more pictures as soon as they are finished. 

*Update* for some reason all the photos are blurry after uploading, nothing changed...hmmmm
need to fix.

Taking part in the "not back to school blog hop"

Sneak peek

We have been SO busy this summer...
Here are some sneak peeks and a few "befores" from a few different projects that close to completion.

I just love these fabrics...

(ahem) pink, orange, blue...

some gutting...

some puzzles...

some drawers...

a playroom...


We have several projects going on at once; Indoor projects when the weather isn't cooperating and outdoor for when it is. I am so excited that we are wrapping up three of these so we can start enjoying the fruits of our labor! Yay! Working on the reveal posts...can't wait to share.

Have a Super Successful Yard Sale

We just had a yard sale
 and attendance reached epic proportions -
300+ people!
We are not career sellers or anything, this is only our third sale in the past decade.

We sold almost everything, our pockets are full and we're pleased as punch ;)

There are a few simple things you can do to maximize your efforts and profit.

#1 drafting
We discovered that the a nearby fancy-schmancy neighborhood has an annual subdivision wide yard sale every May. Apparently it's kinda famous.
Pro yard sale goers will travel for big events, (This was the single most important thing we did!)
Ask around, scan newspaper listings, make a note on your calendar for next year.
Ride the coattails of the big guys! We started at 7 am and the big deal started at 8 am, folks came by ours on the way to the other guy.

#2 stand out from the crowd
Go above and beyond the cheesy fluorescent poster board and black sharpie sign. I made my sign out of 2 precut 2'X4' MDF panels from Home Depot and a hinge, then hand painted it. 
I will stow this flat folding cafe style sign for future sales.
 No one will pass this baby by and the extra effort will pay off!

#3 clean and tidy 
Wipe down, hose off, run through the dishwasher, washer and dryer, dust or vacuum.
You will get a fair price for your things if they are clean and well cared for.

#4 the price is right
Put a price on every item. You stand to lose out on sales while negotiating with one person, another buyer may be too impatient to wait to speak to you. 
Now everyone knows what you'd like to get for it but they stand a chance to make a deal, 
it's all part of the fun ;-)

#5 tasteful display
Don't spread your things out all over the ground or in boxes. Be creative if  you don't have folding tables. It is a much more enjoyable experience to browse at waist height. I know I wouldn't want to bend over and rummage through stuff on the ground. If you have to pull out the patio table or other furniture from your home, by all means make the effort.

#6 something for everyone
I was skeptical when I saw my husband pulling out his bins of unopened "chemicals" like 2 stroke motor oil (for the snowmobiles we no longer own) or  RV antifreeze, wasp spray... 
but the husbands snatched this stuff up!
outerwear, sports equipment, hand tools, kid stuff in good condition, camping supplies. If you only have a few knick-knacks and some clothes, hold onto them and wait until you have enough stuff to warrant going to so much trouble.

#7 free advertising
I listed our sale on Craigslist a week before highlighting some of the items we were selling.

Happy sales to you and
Thanks for stopping by

Great places 

Trash to Treasure Remodel

This is the third and final post on the complete renovation of our first home.

Lots of Drama...

If you missed the first post, the interior remodel, you can find it HERE.

The second installment, the addition, can be found HERE.

This place was a total gut, if it hadn't been built out of concrete block and poured concrete, it would have been easier to tear it down and start over.

We purchased this house for $82K (900sqft) in 2003 and sold it for $242K (~1500sqft) in 2010!

I know, home and land prices in CO are ridiculously expensive.

(That explains some of the already outdated decor)

The best part was it wasn't even listed for sale when a realtor contacted us and told us he had someone interested in purchasing our home! In the midst of a HUGE bubble burst. 
What could we say but, come on in!

The fence is also concrete formed and poured with embedded t-posts and wire fencing. 
Super reinforced = Seemingly impossible to remove.

Below I am painting any chipped paint since it's pre- 1978 (lead paint) so it will pass the inspection.

Before we closed ( before we owned it ) we painted, replaced broken windows and hammer drilled crawl space vents through the concrete. 

We sure worked our butts off for this dump ;-)

Never thought we'd see the day... Saying goodbye to the fence!

Thanks to the son of the neighbor across the street, he was excavating an old building foundation behind his father's house, and took care of the fence for a tidy fee. He even hauled the debris away for clean fill to be used on his property. It doesn't get much better than that!!!

Ahhhh, so much better.

The city kindly allowed us to form and pour and pay for our sidewalk!
We left our mark  ;-)
This local newspaper clipping shows the house (on the left) possibly during the late 50's, early 60's.
It doesn't look so bad. What ever happened??? The house next door still looks exactly the same.

Hubby re-framed the entire existing roof, lifted the porch roof, and added a gable over the garage to stop snow from sliding and piling up in front of the garage door. A thorough pressure wash, new windows, garage door, paint and stain. 

The corugated metal on the foundation isn't rusted yet, rusted metal is very 'in' in Colorado.

I'll share my secret to almost instant rusty goodness later...

Well that concludes the long journey from trash to treasure of our first home.
It makes my kind of sad and we miss it a bit.

These are a couple before and afters from the first post on the interior, found HERE

It was quite an adventure and we have now moved on to the second phase of our 3-step-debt-free-home-ownership plan!

I can't wait to start sharing what we are doing with our *new* home.

Thanks for joining me.