Monday, May 3, 2021

Kitchen Reno 2021

 We finally decided to have our kitchen remodeled despite  so many hesitations.   At first, I really didn't want to do it because of the cost but my husband really want it done while he is still working.  So what we did was took out a loan out of his 401k  investment so we could pay this  costly renovation. 

I was busy packing all of our things from five rooms at our first floor because we also decided to have all the floorings done.  It feels like we were moving once again and in the process, I mashed one of my fingers with the cabinet shelf and man, it hurts like heck.
 Hubby and I polished all the wood floorings few years ago when we first bought this house.   Then we hired Empire Today  to do the floorings in the kitchen and family room but we didn't like how it turned out so even if I love what we did to the wood floorings, we had two types of flooring in the first floor.  My husband wanted to have just one type of flooring (see photo below) and also to level it all out so we added the flooring to the kitchen renovation project.
The company that we hired to do   this renovation is Kitchen Designs from Ohio.  They were supposed to start on the last week of February but they got held up  from another job so they did not get to start until March 15. 
Our house was built in 1968 and everything in it is still the original when it was built so it really need an upgrade.  We started  updating  it ever since we bought it but we could only do one by one since  home improvement in our area costs an arm and a leg.  We had new windows installed in 2017, a new front door, and built  a wooden fence  at the backyard.  
We upgraded the powder room in 2016 since the toilet there is the original 60s style with bright yellow color.  We put in new vanity and new toilet.  Hubby and I also renovated our main bath and master's bath last year, it was a heck of a job but glad we did it coz our bathrooms  looks great now compared to the old ones with colorful toilet and floorings.  
One thing I would say though about the old kitchen cabinet is that, it is heavy duty.   Although it was 53 years old, they are still in great condition.  I was gonna  save them and install it in the basement but my husband refused lol.

It's week 7th now and there's still more to do to complete the job. I am getting more anxious  because  the dust and unorganized  stuff around my house is driving me crazy.  I get migraines just by looking at our stuff in the basement.  
We put everything in the basement in order to  have the workers  space to move around.
There's dust in over  nooks and crannies of my house and it makes me feel so stressed out.  I tried to clean as much as I could but with it seems  useless since they do sanding it fills it back up.
When this is all done, I will need to clean everything/  The good thing is, we don't need to  worry about renovating again for a long time.  
I kind of sad covering the wood floorings because I really liked how it turned out when we re-polished it but hubby is right, having just one kind of flooring in the first floor is better.  I hope that this kind of flooring will last for a long time though, we will see how it goes.
Our dining room and kitchen used to be separated by a wall and there was a closet in the hallway, we decided to have an open conce3pt and  removed that wall.  They installed a beam  across where the wall used to be and underneath it, the new island was built.  I finally get an island in my kitchen yay.
the first two weeks of the renovation was mostly demolition of the wall, stripping off the tiles in the family and kitchen floors,  and removing the cabinets.  The father and son who was doing this was]]ere very hard workers, they never stop unless they have to eat.  They are very respectful and really nice to work with. What I like about them is that, they always clean before they leave after the days work.   Thanks Rod and Christian.
This was the  flooring that  Empire Today have installed five years ago.  The material has a very weird texture to it that if you are walking barefooted, it doesn't feel good.  It made me so upset that we spent more than  5 grand  for this to put in and we had to removed it since we didn't like it.  This was stripped off so that all the floor in the first floor will be leveled.
The Project  Manager, Mike is  very skillful.  He works with his wife Tanya, they are super nice people.   Him and his wife installed  the cabinets on the fourth week after the flooring was installed.  They also did the electricals for the lighting.  
On the fifth week, the counters were installed.  The company that did it was from Pittsburgh.
The crew that work on the  walls are different, they were also the ones doing the painting.  We decided to have the family room and staircase walls and ceiling painted.  This wasn't part of the project so we will be paying separate for this job.  
We are also hiring an electrician to replace the old box that we have.  I think by the end of this project, we will be spending nearly 70k including the new appliances and  furniture.  I am keeping a tab on all our expenses so that I'll know exactly how much it costs us.  
While this is going on, we also have the heating company fix our heating system.  "When it rain, it pours"  is exactly true when doing home renovations.  You find things that need fix so the expenses keep adding up.  Hopefully, this will increase the value of this home.
The good thing is,  everything is getting fixed now so we don't have to worry about it when we are old.  The problem is, we spent half of my husband's retirement fund  on this project.  Oh well, he  really want all of this done before he retire so I guess it is all good.
Funny how you never realized how much stuff you accumulate over the years until one you have to pack them and move somewhere else.  Our basement is packed right now, the good thing is, we have a very largenspace down there.
I was hoping that I can have my kitchen back on Mother's day but I don't think it will happen.
Hopefully, it will be done before my birthday so I can start cleaning up and  start putting things back together.  I am hopeful that it will be done by then, fingers crossed!  

This two-story  colonial house was built in 1968 on a 8,712 sqft lot.  We bought this in 2016 and in five years, we have upgraded pretty much all of the  things that need upgrade except the basement.  This house is way bigger than the first home we lived in Park Avenue but I miss my neighbors on our first home.  We're not  close with the neighbors we have in this  street.  Some are nice but some aren't and some don't care lol.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Spring Flowers in my Garden 2021



Spring finally showed up in my garden.   The weather is still semi-winter on most nights but I’m glad to see some flowers blooming in my yard.   That daffodils have more blooms this year, I’m hoping it will get thicker every Spring.   I noticed that there are some that grew back in my flower bed along the drive way so hopefully next year they will bloom.  I think the former owner planted them there because I did not plant any on that
I planted additional Spring plants this year including these beautiful crocuses.
I also created some mini gardens as focal point in some parts of the garden especially by the Mary Shrine.

The Judas tree also bloomed thicker this year, I’m hoping that all the branches will have flowers next year.

My husband picked this blue flower from the store so I planted it by the mailbox where there is white and pink phlox growing, I wish the pink one is red so we’ll have red, white and blue in there.   I will see if I can find a perennial with red flowers and I’ll replace the pink one.  If I’m not mistaken, this  plant is called lithodora.
This statue of Mary was from our first home, I decided to bring it here.   My daughter repainted it few years ago and we placed it by our back porch.  I made a bamboo arch around it last year and planted a chocolate vine, a birthday gift that my husband got me last year.  I can’t wait for it to grow thicker so it would cover the entire arch.  According to what I’ve read, the fruit of chocolate vine is edible.
We had a sudden snow in the winter and froze some of the Spring blooms including the Magnolia.  The peach tree was affected by it too.  I love peach blossom, they are gorgeous.  If only the flowers would last a little longer but qwe always have wind storm when the trees are just starting to bloom. 

Another perennial that I added in the garden is the columbine.  I have pink and purple.
I was concerned about the grapes not coming back because I didn’t see any signs of life earlier but I guess nature knows when it’s safe to grow.
I bought a pack of tulip bulbs a couple of years ago and sowed them in the Fall.  I was happy to see them grow and bloom last year but I was a lot happier this year to see them multiply in numbers.  I noticed that the tulip flowers open their petals when it’s sunny and closed them when it’s cold and rainy.  It’s amazing how nature works!



My husband’s favorite color is blue so I got some of these muscari and planted them along the driveway.  Hopefully they multiply in few years.
I bought some hyacinth from Home Depot when we got our pendant lights and planted them at the Mary Shrine garden.  I have purple and white and also had some pink ones at our front yard.

The last but not the list is the iris which I didn’t have pictures but I planted some of it as well by the driveway.  Hopefully they grow back next tear and bloom.

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