Monday, September 22, 2014

Bathroom Re-do

Behind that sliding barn door was a powder bathroom that was in need of some updating, so that's what we did.  Heather found an inspiration photo on Pinterest, so I ran with it!
I usually get really excited at the start of projects and forget to take "before" photos, it happened again with this project, I already started pulling down the lighthouse wallpaper when Heather reminded me "did you take photos?"
So these are my two before photos.  There was green and maroon light house wallpaper boarder and a sponge paint effect on the walls...
Here is the old light fixture and vanity...(mirror already removed).  Step 1...remove everything
Step 2...replace with new stuff: additional sub floor
...and piece in new floor.
Next, add "planks" to the wall and a barn light fixture.  We found this light on Amazon.
Prime the planks
Next I added the counter top.  This I built out of pine, two 1x10's for the top and a 1x4 for the front.  Stained with Rustoleum "Kona" stain and sealed with Minewax Helmsman Urathane
It is somewhat of a "floating" counter top
Closer look at the finish
Then I added the sink and faucet, mounted on top of the counter
almost finished...
And done, mirror installed...
 Added a fun rug and an old ladder for little boys to climb up to wash their hands after using the "big boy potty!"
 On the other side, I built these floating shelves out of 1x4's and 1x8's, stained with the same Kona finish.
 ...and a gentle reminder to "wash your hands"
There you have it, a re-done bathroom with a barn inspired feel.

Pallet Art

Heather saw an idea on Pinterest to use pallet wood to make some fun wall art.  So Trigg and I got to work!  We started with the pallet wood and made a square sign, 20 inches by 20 inches.
Next, we used a stencil to paint on the design.  Hobby Lobby has a large selection of stencils and Heather found one that she liked.  Repeat the pattern over and over till the sign was covered...
Hang on the wall...
...and there you have it.
Pallet wood art!

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Front Step

Our house was built in 1999 and due to rain, snow and weather conditions in Iowa over the years our step to the front porch started to sink.  We had a classic case of "saggy step".  It had such a down slant that it made me nervous every time we had people over that they were going to trip as they stepped down.  Something needed to be done and we decided it was time to pour a new step and Labor Day weekend was the perfect long weekend to tackle the project.  
First thing to do...break out the old step.  Enter sledge hammer.  Tip number 1, cover up.  I covered the step with an old sheet to minimize flying bits of concrete and it worked really well.  Tip number 2, start on the edges and work in.  I started to break up the step Friday night and got as far as the picture below.  That was around 9pm and I decided to take a break till the following morning since the echoes of the sledge hammer could be heard through the neighborhood.  
 Saturday rolled around and more hammering.  I was able to get the step broken up and Trigg and I cleared out all the old chunks of cement.  Trigg tried to pick up every piece and if it was too heavy, he would tell me "That's your piece Dad!"  Trigg filled up a 5 gallon bucket, twice, with small broken bits of concrete!
Then it was time for some digging and building a form!  I dug two 40 inch footers, one on each side of the step.  Similar to a deck, if I dig footers down below the frost line, the step shouldn't move and shift with the changing weather (in theory).
 Sunday was cement day!  Trigg woke up ready to work!  He loaded up his dump truck with his tools and he was ready to roll!  With the form built, we were ready for cement.
 I borrowed a big cement mixer from some friends and that made a huge difference!  The large drum could easily hold 2 bags of concrete and allow me to add water and mix.  Through the whole project, Trigg was a big helper, willing to work when needed and willing to sit back and watch when needed too (notice the lawn chair in the shade, Trigg is making sure I'm doing a good job!)
 Labor Day = labor done!  New step poured and ready for traffic!
It turned out pretty good, although the top has a few spots that look a little different.  I may try to buff out the top using an angle grinder and a flexible sanding disc to give it a better look, but for now it's getting the job done!

Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair...Nothing Compares, we have the annual tradition of heading to the State Fair, over the tenure of our experience, we have found that it is best for our family to me to take a day off work and get there when it opens and be done by nap time (3ish)  This year was our first year to attend the fair as a family of 4 and we had a great time!  The army truck caught Trigg's attention when we got through the gates.
 Trigg in a army vest
 Trigg flexing his muscles after a few push ups!
 Next up...tractors!
 Big tractors and little tractors!
 Then Trigg and I took a ride down the Giant Slide!
 And we found the wooden train playground!
 We found the giant metal "American Gothic" statue
 Walking through the animal barns, Trigg saw this big pig's ear sticking out of his fence, so he went up and tickled Piggy's ear.
 Nothing Compares!
 We did see the actual butter cow and also got a family pics with this one!
 Trigg driving a fire truck! "wee-ooo wee-ooo"
 And Trigg got a Central College tattoo to match Dad's!
We had a great time at the fair, lot's to see and do!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


I'm a little behind on the old blog, but that happens.  As we do every year, we headed down to Indianola for the Balloon Classic this summer.  We got there early to Heather could check out a winery for a different event.  While we were waiting, Trigg and I went to check out the hay bales!
 Then we headed over to the balloon field to watch the balloons.  It was a calm night and the balloon flew!  Trigg spotted the balloons flying high...and what is that balloon...
Yeap, it's a monkey!
 Garrett enjoyed the balloons as well!
 Trigg sitting with Grandma watching the balloons fly into the field.
 Enjoying the evening with the whole family!
 We stayed a little late and Heather and I were sure the boys would fall asleep on the way home...nope, Trigg took the time to catch up reading his Lego magazine!
We had a great time, as always, watching the balloons and we are looking forward to them again next year!