Sunday, August 29, 2010

We're Back!

It has been a while since Alex and I have been working on the house or doing any blogging. We decided last minute to take a trip to Michigan to visit with family and take our own trip up north for our first wedding anniversary. Now, we are rested, tan, and ready to start some new house projects as fall approaches!

Here are some highlights from our "Pure Michigan" trip!

Of course we had to start by hitting the beach, there is nothing like a sunny Lake Michigan day at the beach, and we were lucky to get to play in some waves!

On the night of our actual wedding anniversary, Alex and I had dinner at Mangiamo in good old Eastown Grand Rapids where we got married.  It was wonderful, we even shared the same dessert we had on our wedding day.  Even better, they let us have dinner for free! It was so nice and special, the staff is still great there!
Next we were off to Traverse City to start our trip up north, we started by exploring town and doing a little shopping. We stopped at the Mackinaw Brewing Company for lunch and Alex got to sample their beers. He was pretty excited.

In the evening, we headed to Chateau Chantal, one of the most beautiful vineyards atop a hill in the Old Mission peninsula for some wine tasting.

We actually had never been wine tasting together so it was a lot of fun. Our favorite was the Rose Malbec.

We took a couple pictures of the vineyard. It is hard to tell but you can see Lake Michigan in the distance from the hill, it was gorgeous.

Then we were off to downtown Traverse for dinner, we like to check out more than one place usually if we are doing exploring, so we went to Red Ginger for a drink and appetizer. We ordered Sake, I have never tried it, so we did, and I will never try it again! Ick!

After Red Ginger, we went to Amical for dinner, we ordered mussels, and they were awesome! I usually can't eat mussels because they would make me cringe when I looked at them, but these weren't bad at all.

Then off to Mackinaw City! We crossed the bridge because I insisted on going to Castle Rock and to see a little bit of St Ignace, which sadly has gone downhill since we were little.

Here we are after racing up Castle Rock, lots of stairs, Alex beat me (jerk).

We headed to Mackinaw Island to do some shopping and sightseeing, we also went to a couple cute pubs and ate a lot of food that day.

Once we got back from our travels up north, we spent a lot of time with our nephew Henri, he is almost 1 now and starting to walk a little, check out his cute hat!

We went to Binder Park Zoo with Alex's sister, brother in law, and Henri. He loved to point at all the animals!  But the best part by far was hand feeding the giraffes!  It startled me at first (obviously, and I was mad that this was the only picture Alex got), but it was so cool! Their tongues are so long!

On our last day of the trip, we celebrated Henri's first birthday since we can't be in Michigan for his actual birthday, I can't believe how much he has changed in a year! Here is his topless cupcake photo with mom!  He dove in face first for that cupcake once she set it down!  It was hilarious and adorable!
 So that was our little Michigan trip!  Loved every minute!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Starting on the Guest Room: Carpet Removal

The four objectives we had to accomplish before we could decorate our guest room were:

1. Removing the carpet
2. Refinishing the floors
3. Adding a closet door
4. Painting the walls.

This blog covers the first step, removing the carpet. We checked under the carpet in a corner of the room to see what the hard wood floors looked like underneath, they weren't in very good condition, but could totally be refinished to look gorgeous! Here is a picture of the room with the existing carpet:

And time to lift it up!

Then Alex got started removing the carpet pad.

Pulling out carpet nails is so much fun! Right Alex?!?! This part wasn't very fun, we stayed up late getting every last nail, it was a pain!

And finally, after every nail was removed, we had the hard wood floor clean and ready to be sanded and refinished! You can also see in this photo that there is a curtain behind the door, what is that you ask? It is the closet for the bedroom, and at some point they had taken the door off of the closet and it disappeared from the house, so sad! So we had to find and install a closet door, will cover that in a separate blog.

And the view from the doorway to the room with the wood flooring exposed.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The New Sink in our Mini Bathroom is Installed!

So I made a previous blog about the sink we ordered:

We had to order this tiny sink because our bathroom is so small, and with the way the plumbing pipes are installed, the existing sink and toilet were so close together, when you would, ahem, use the facility, you would be leaning over the sink as you conducted your business.

Here is a before photo, it is hard to tell from the photo, but if you can picture a person sitting on the commode, their knees would be under the bowl of the sink and their chest would butt up to the rim of the sink, not comfortable, and certainly awkward! I  never really used this bathroom, I would just go upstairs to our larger bathroom to avoid the awkward space, anytime I did use it, it just reminded me we had to get a new sink.
So again, the very before when we moved in, beige and wooded fixtures, ick!
Then after we painted and got new fixtures, still didn't use it because of the sink.

Here is the old sink (the big round one) and our new Porcher Elfe sink (longer rectangular sink)!

Here is a size comparison photo, you can see that the Elfe solves our tight space problem, the Elfe sink only extends 9 inches from the wall, HUGE space saver!

Alex is holding the faucet we ended up getting, the original one I ordered was wrong, we needed a "single hole" since the sink only had one hole for the water, and I had accidently ordered a "single handle"- not the same thing, whoops!

Here is a picture of Alex holding the sink after attaching the drain and faucet.

Prepping to mount the sink...

And finally, the sink is up!!!

So happy with the final look! And yes, that is the original medicine cabinet to the house, someone once asked why don't we just move the mirror and cabinet over, but you can't destroy original elements to the house! Crime! Not to mention you have to move the plumbing lines, that didn't sound fun to us, no way. The new sink works great!

Here is a view from back behind the toilet (sort of), so much space now, the sink made such a difference in this room, I actually use it now! No need to run up and downstairs to use a bathroom, so nice!

*** Update!  The bathroom sure didn't stay this color for long!  Check out the new look we gave our bathroom here!