Saturday, August 17, 2013

Taking a Break from the DIY

We spent most of July working on the house, which was totally exhausting. Let's just say we've had a few days where neither of us wanted to do much of anything. But, if you know the two of us, you'll know we also find nature relaxing. Since we haven't had much time for a real vacation, we've been exploring the awesome hiking in Ithaca, as well as the fun summer activities here in town. As a bonus, Amit's weekday off is Wednesday, so we've been loving the fact that we get three whole days to explore together! (And Wednesdays make for some very quiet hiking, it's so nice to be able to avoid all the tourists.)

With three state parks all within 15 minutes, 
we've been getting a lot of good hikes in.
This was at Treman State Park.
We spent our Friday nights in July at Cornell, 
listening to the free concerts.
And eating some awesome ice cream.
During the week, we go for our nightly walk along the inlet.
Emma loves it!
The last time Ron and Mom were in town,
we took a little time out to do some shopping.
Mom and I are going to do some fun decorating with these!

We took this photo on our first hike in Taughannock State Park.
We had a big storm last week, 
and this was the same waterfall two days after the rain.
And this was the Upper Falls in Treman this past Wednesday.
We couldn't hike along the gorge because of the damage.

And what do we do on our Saturday mornings?
We go to the Farmer's Market, of course!
Well, after buying our eggs, meat and veggies for the week,
we sit next to the water and enjoy some fantastic breakfast burritos!
(And a little sparkling, fresh orange juice with a shot of beet juice.)
We're having a great time here in Ithaca and keep finding awesome new places to go! It's been great to have so much to do when we don't feel like painting trim.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Living Room Makeover

One of the things that we liked about this house was the way the living room and dining room were open, and we knew that eventually we could knock the wall out of the kitchen and have a great space for entertaining. Since we spend most of our time in the living room, we decided that making it look presentable was a priority. Thanks to Pinterest and Houzz, I had a vision for the whole house, but I'll let you decide whether or not it turned out...

I know it's been more than a month since we bought the house, but I'll fill everyone in on a few more details. After closing on the house on Thursday, we had to go back to Rochester for Amit's last day of residency (Friday). We left Rochester early Saturday morning with car loads of supplies and then we hit the ground running as soon as we made it to Ithaca. I tried to run around the house to take all of the before pictures before Amit brought all of our necessities in, but I know I missed some shots.

Dining Room on left, Living Room on right
Another view of the living room

Like I said in this post, we did a ton of work with Ron and Mom. As soon as they got to town, we got right to work. Amit had torn up the carpets before they got here, so we pretty much just got to priming and painting right away. Except for those darned carpet staples. There were so many staples to pull up! Let's just say we're putting plenty of sweat equity into this house. 
Here are some "In Progress" shots.
After priming the walls.
We tinted the primer to a beige, but it totally dried purple-ish.
Emma ended up spending her time at the top of the stairs,
since we were working throughout the rest of the house.
It's starting to look a little different...
After painting the walls - 
While I love wood,
I love white trim more.
Now my look was really starting to come together!

Once we had painted the living area, it was time to lay the flooring. Ron and Amit did an awesome job installing the laminate. I love my dark floors! (Next dog will need to have darker hair, though.)
Hooray for no more plywood floors!
Clearly Emma is happy about that.

Now that our furniture is in, it's really starting to look like a home. We've hung our curtains, hung a new dining room chandelier, and replaced the front door. Let's just say, it feels very good to have this room done!
Now it feels like ours!
(I apologize for the dark photos... It's been humid and rainy here the past few days.)

I'll leave you with our entire living room renovation - from beginning to end!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Updating Our Guest Rooms

Since our house has three bedrooms, and we currently only use one (unless Amit starts causing trouble), we have two extra rooms to fill! They both will function as guest rooms, but they also serve other roles - our office, my craft room, my yoga room, and a place for Emma to hang out. (Basically we're sending the one male in the house downstairs, unless he decides to take up crafting or yoga.)

Aside from the living room, let's just say the colors in this house were bright. While I love color, they were way too loud for us and my calm, peaceful color scheme for the house.

The main guestroom is the larger of the two extra rooms and while it was my favorite color, it clearly needed to be painted. Pink walls and blue carpet just isn't my style, though I guess the blue carpet could be reminiscent of the ocean...
Bedroom 1 - Before!
Now it functions as our guest room/office/craft room.
I have to say, the tables Amit built me look absolutely perfect in there! 

While we don't really have a lot of furniture to put in this room, it will comfortably fit the Aerobed when we have lots of guests. We did the same updates to this room (paint and carpet), even though I somehow picked a very similar wall color. We need to trim out the closets, doors, and install the baseboard trim in here, but we're making progress. We've turned it into a very serene yoga/workout room!
Bedroom 2 - Before!
I love how the blue looks with the white ceilings and new carpet!
Emma loves to come in here to tan and lay on my yoga mat.

Now that the bedrooms are nearly finished, the house is really starting to come together! We still need to finish the trim in all of the rooms, replace the current doors with some new six panel ones, and choose closet doors in the two guest rooms. Hopefully we'll have these two rooms fully finished within the next couple months!  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our First House

It's been almost a month since we closed on our first house! Yes, I know that this post is a little behind schedule, but let's just say we've had a lot of projects going on here in Ithaca. After working with Ron and Mom on painting, flooring, and some updating, we finally moved all of our "stuff" here two weeks ago. And as I write this, we're getting the carpet installed in the bedrooms. Slowly but surely, the house is starting to look more and more like our home. And I love it! Ever since we started the house search, we knew we wanted something that we could work on, improve, and make our own. Well... we got one! It's been a LOT of work, but it's totally been worth it.

Since the house started as a "Straight out of the 70's fixer-upper," I'll be doing more detailed room-by-room posts. There are some serious before and after shots here! Until I get to each and every room (the living room will be my first post - it's nearly there!), I'll hold all of you over with some quick pictures from our first few weeks of home ownership.
We love our huge backyard!

In the first 10 days of having the house, and with Ron and Mom's help, we managed to:
- Tear up the old carpet (which was in nearly every room)
- Washed the walls and ceilings to prep for the painting
- Prime and paint all the rooms (Turns out, I'm quite the painter!)
- Paint all the ceilings - Thank you, Ron!
- Install an automatic garage door opener
- Replace two outside doors
- Replace the toilet
- Replace the faucet in the kitchen
- Lay laminate flooring in the living room/dining room/kitchen
- Replaced the light fixtures in the bedrooms, living room, bathroom
- And finally, started to paint the trim (which we are still working on... There's so much trim!)

Emma didn't like the fact we were working 24/7.
This window in the living room overlooks the driveway.
Can you see Amit?
This is how you know Emma saw him...
It's one of her favorite places,
at least when someone is outside.
It's pretty cute to see her looking out the window.
Breakfast break!
Emma loves when Pappy eats... and shares his food. 
Emma's other favorite place has been by the front door,
where she watches her new friend, Mr. Chipmunk as he hangs out on our front steps.
She literally watches him (and waits for him) for hours.
Although, he hasn't been around as much since he ate all the birdseed.
Dinner break at Ithaca Beer,
such a great view!
And this is how we all felt after Ron and Mom left.

 Now that the carpet is being installed, we'll finally be getting the bedrooms unpacked and put together! It's going to be so nice to have the main floor of the house nearly finished. We definitely could not have made this much progress without Ron and Mom's help! Next up, our finished living room!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Quick Visit to Cooperstown

After being home for Mike's graduation party and some family time, I headed back east with Tricia, Krissy, and Matt. Since Matt had a baseball tournament in Cooperstown, we figured we would take some time off work and go watch some baseball, since we had never been! Little did we know it would end up being one very rainy week, some of us would be fighting a stomach bug, and we would end up finding some other crazy things to do!

Enjoying the sun and watching Matt play. 
With our baseball boy!
Cooperstown had some great views!

Well, since Kristyn and I can only take so much baseball, we found some other fun things to do in town. We dragged Amit to the Farmers' Museum. He, of course, tried to act like he wasn't going to enjoy himself, but then we happened to walk into the baby animals portion of the museum he perked up. 
These two baby goats were our best friends!
They LOVED Amit!
(And he loved them, though he'll deny it.)
While we waited to be able to feed our new friends,
we found some horses. 
Krissy tried to coax one over, but he wouldn't budge.
A cowboy at heart?
They ended up making friends with a nicer horse.

After rushing back to the babies, we were able to feed our little friends!
They were hilarious!
Amit even got in on the action - he fed one of the dairy goats.
(See! He loves them!)
Before we left the farming museum,
we rode the vintage carousel.
I rode a giant hen.
It was awesome!
What else did we do?
We stopped for ice cream, of course!
Though by this time it was starting to get chilly...
Then it rained. And rained. And rained.
So without any baseball to watch, we decided to drive to Howe Caverns for a tour.

About to go on our ride down the underground river.
It was really cool -
the rushing water kept getting louder and louder...
Then we stopped at the dam.
Our heads were way too close to the walls.
The tour stopped at the Bridal Altar. 
We were the only ones brave enough to pose on it first. 
Krissy was NOT having it.
The Winding Way was our favorite part...
It was like we were on a different planet!

Phew! That was one long blog post, but we did do quite a few things over the few days we were there! It was fun to watch Matt play his baseball (before it rained) and spend some extra time with family. Thanks again to Bruce and Tricia for letting us tag along! Hopefully the next time they visit NY, we'll get some nice sunny weather!