Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 House Project List

I thought since I was going to share our project plans for our house for 2017 that I should give a recap of everything we did in 2016. When we found and bought our new house last year we knew that we were going to have some projects to do. We were lucky in that the house's bones were what we were looking for and overall in great shape. The house is all brick, had a brand new roof, new furnaces, air conditioners and a newly remodeled kitchen. Overall most of the projects are just cosmetic, updating things more to our style and family life.

Last year we hit the ground running literally the day after we closed. We painted almost every wall in the house which gave the whole house a new feel. We were also overwhelmed with a lot of orange oak wood everywhere. It was on the wood floors, trim, doors, windows, everywhere. We started the process on the main level of switching all of the wood over to white. It's amazing what a difference it makes!

The Living Room and Dining Room Before

The Living Room and Dining Room After

The Family Room Built-Ins Before

The Family Room Built-Ins After

One of the other big projects we took on was converting our garage from 3 separate doors to 2 doors. We couldn't get our cars through old doors, it was crazy! And it wasn't something realized until we moved in. So we had to have someone remove the middle brick pillar, install a new steal beam up above, re-do the brick and then get new garage doors. It was a big project but we are very happy this Winter pulling our cars in the garage!



Another project we did with the garage was change how we enter the house from the garage. Where they placed the interior door when they built the house made no sense. It went into the laundry room which is a pretty small space to begin with. So we removed the door, closed up the wall and added a new door that goes into our large entryway. It functions and flows so much better. 



One of the projects I'm most proud of is what we did in the entryway closet. One of the things I really wanted when we were looking at houses was a mudroom. Knowing how young our kids are and all of the school, sports and activities we have ahead of us, we really wanted an organized dumping ground for all of their stuff. When we walked into this house it was one of the first things I said I didn't like about it because there was no place for a potential mudroom. We came up with a great solution though. We had a large double door entryway closet and I asked Michael if he thought we could remove the doors and build in lockers to store all of the stuff. I found some inspiration pictures on Pinterest and Michael and I built the whole thing ourselves! It was exactly what I wanted and came out better than I ever hoped. The best part is that it functions perfectly. We come in through the new door from the garage and you run right into the lockers. So the kids sit on the bench, take off their shoes, coats, etc. and there are places for everything to go. 



A project we did that was simple but had such an impact thanks to the power of paint was our front door. There was a really heavy and not to mention ugly screen door on the door and the front door itself was very beige. The brick on the house is white with some tan and gray, the garage doors were beige before we removed them so it was all a little monotone. Just removing the screen door was an improvement, but the paint made a big impact. 

So now that I've shown you what we've done in the past 6 months, here's what we have planned for the next 12.

First is replacing our Kitchen and Family Room sliding and french doors. The wood on the door was never treated so it is warped, rotted and the doors do not open and close very well. We will be replacing both sets with white doors and trim.

Second is replacing the Family Room and Office carpet with Hardwood floors. The carpet in these rooms is 18 years old and is a berber with no padding. It's terrible. We want to rip up the carpet and install pre-finished hardwood floors and put down a large area rug.

Third is finishing white trim and doors on the main level. We have new trim in the kitchen, living room, dining room and entryway. We need to finish installing new white trim in the family room and office as well as painting the rest of the doors and windows white. We have 6 doors and 2 windows to paint.

Fourth is finishing and decorating the laundry room. When we had the door removed from the laundry room, we never sanded and painted the new drywall put in where the door was. We need to finish that new wall and then I'd like to add some open shelving and decor in there.

Fifth is a makeover of the kids bathroom. The kids bath is all original and it shows. We want to gut it in the next few years but for now I'd like to remove the shower door, paint the walls as well as the vanity, add new knobs, put a new light fixture in and add some new decor to give it a fresh look.

Sixth is landscaping. The people who lived here before had a lot of landscaping already but a lot of it was very overgrown and there was no rhyme or reason to its placement. It was as if they made a list of all the plants they liked and put one of each anywhere they had room for it. I'm too Type-A for that! This past Summer we tore a lot of things out, mulched all of the plant beds and planted some annuals just to have some color. This year we'd like to remove some more bushes and trees that don't make sense, plant perennials we know we love and have the right spaces for as well as build a raised garden bed in the backyard for a vegetable garden.

Seventh is our Deck. We have a pretty large, double-tiered deck that needs some love. It's 18 years old and needs a face lift. Michael and his Dad fixed the structure last Summer to make sure it is safe but now we need to replace all of the railings and either paint or replace all of the deck boards.

Finally is our Basement Flooring. We have the same terrible carpet in the basement as we do in Family Room and we hate it. We haven't decided exactly what kind of flooring we want to do down there yet, but we know we want to change it. We recently changed out the laminate floor that was in the bar area to some new wood-look tile so maybe we will carry that throughout, we're not sure yet.

So those are our project plans for 2017. We will see how many of these things we are able to complete and what items are added or removed to the list. I'll try to update as we complete things!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello 2017!

Happy 2017 everyone! I love the start of the New Year. It's a clean slate and a new beginning. It's fun to try and predict what will happen over the course of the following 12 months, look forward to things you know are going to happen and wonder what unexpected events will pop up!

Here are the things we are most looking forward to in 2017:
  • Watching Ethan and Sofia grow, change and learn 
  • Ethan's 5th and Sofia's 3rd birthdays
  • Lots of fun family outings and adventures
  • More home improvement projects
  • Our 9th wedding anniversary
  • Ethan starting Kindergarten
  • Our Disney World trip in November
  • Enjoying all of our fun seasonal events as a family

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good-bye 2016!

The last day of the year is here and I have to say 2016 has been great to us but it went by way too fast! There have been so many wonderful things to celebrate this year for our family. Here are some of our top moments from 2016:


Sofia started gymnastics and loved it!

We went for Winter walks and Ethan showed Ethan how much fun it is to jump in puddles!

We went to the Morton Arboretum train show

We went to a model railroad show


We signed Ethan up for swim lessons to get him over his fear of water

We made Valentine's crafts, it was Sofia's first ever craft

We celebrated Valentine's Day

We went to Wild Fest and Ethan got to ride Bubba again


We went to Kline Creek Farm to see the newly born lambs

We went to the park for the first time of the year

We put in an offer on a new home for our family and it was accepted but we would have to wait more than 90 days to move in

We went bowling with family

We decorated Easter eggs and had an egg hunt for Ethan and Sofia

We celebrated Easter

We became and Aunt and Uncle for the 5th time


We celebrated opening day for the Chicago Cubs and had no idea what a historic season it would be!

We went on a lot of walks and park trips while our house was being shown to potential buyers.

We stocked a local pond with fish

We made our first trip of the year to the Zoo 

We received and accepted and offer on our house. The countdown was on and the packing began

This guy really started to take to swimming and moved up to the next level

Ethan went to a how to be a firefighter class and loved every second of it


We celebrated Ethan's 4th birthday

I had a wonderful Mother's Day

We visited the Morton Arboretum's new frog exhibit

Packing continued

We celebrated Memorial Day

We closed on our new family home


A day after closing, work began on our new house

A week later we said good-bye to our first home

We began our new commute to daycare which is just a short walk or bike ride and it was amazing

The unpacking and decorating began and we returned all our boxes in 2 weeks time back to the movers

We celebrated Michael on Father's Day

We soaked up the sun in our new backyard, a new thing for our family after townhouse life

Two of my favorite pictures of Ethan and Sofia that I took all year


We celebrated the 4th of July with fireworks, fun and family

We took on a landscaping project to re-do most of the landscaping in our front yard

The kids fell in love with our sprinkler system

We continued working on lots of house projects

We discovered a new to us waterpark 5 minutes from our house and the kids wanted to go every day


Sofia went to her first movie, Finding Dory

We made several trips to the Zoo

Day out with Thomas

We soaked up every bit of Summer we could

We attended fun Summer festivals

We did a lot of house projects this month


Michael and I spent Labor Day weekend in Lake Geneva for a weekend away

Sofia became pacifier free and got to choose a toy for turning it in!

Sofia got her first haircut

My little boy had his first day of school at Pre-K

We celebrated a big milestone in Michael's business

We went to the fire and police stations open house

You guessed it, more house projects!

We hosted our first party at our new house, pierogi fest!

We celebrated Michael's 34th birthday with a day at the Zoo

We had family pictures taken


We celebrated our little girl's 2nd birthday with a panda-riffic party!

We decorated our new house for Halloween outside!

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, Goebberts

We played in a lot of leaves

I celebrated the start of my 34th year with my favorite people and a visit to the Zoo for Boo at the Zoo

I got to be a room mom for the first time for Ethan's Halloween party at school

We had an amazing Halloween with our little superheroes

We were deep in Cubs stress from the World Series


They did it, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years!

We continued to have a beautiful Fall and enjoyed the weather for as long as possible

We saw the Trolls movie and the kids became obsessed

Ethan had a fun Thanksgiving party at school

We hosted our first Thanksgiving at our new house

We began decorating for Christmas

We started all of our fun holiday activities, our first stop, the Chicago Botanic Garden


We had our first snow

We made crafts, baked cookies

Admired a lot of Christmas lights

We saw Santa

Ethan had his first Christmas program at school

Michael and I went on a Christmas date in the city and to see Jerry Seinfeld

We had wonderful celebrations with our families and we hosted Christmas Eve for the first time at our new house

Santa came

We've had a wonderful Christmas break with the kiddos doing so many fun things, going to the movies, ice skating, bowling, going to build-a-bear.

We even had a 50 degree day where we got to go outside and go for a walk and jump in puddles

What an amazing year! We made so many amazing memories and we are so blessed. We are in such a great season of life that I always want to remember these moments. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for the Dworianyn family!