Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Season at the Caldwell's

Once again it has been a whirlwind of a holiday season and Christmas is less than a week away! I feel like when I was younger the month of December went by a lot slower and Christmas day couldn't come soon enough. Now I'm on the other end and I could use at least another week to actually get to enjoy the season and finish everything I need to do!

Since we moved into the house the 1st of December I spent most of one afternoon the next week putting up the Christmas decorations for us to enjoy even though the rest of the house was barely in order. The only thing we didn't get to this year was putting up outside lights. Oh well, there's always next year. Our house will be pretty bare once Christmas is over since that is pretty much the only things is our front room and decoration for the kitchen.

So let's get to the little Christmas "tour" around our house starting with our tree.


 Most of you know Eric and I both grew up with real Christmas tree's and have continued that tradition since we've been married. The last 2 years we've been able to keep this tradition alive thanks to Eric's grandparents who found and cut us a tree down while they were getting their's and then brought it to us. They're pretty much amazing for doing this and we got a beautiful tree this year! I especially liked that we were able to keep the tree tall this year.

There's nothing like a real tree right in your living room :)


And for the rest...



I'm looking forward to the coming Christmas's in the house. I'm sure each year will be added upon :)

To finish I'm sharing this year's family Christmas card.



Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday's so far!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ikea Dining Table Makeover


This post has been a lot time coming. I started this project back in August and this is about as simple and easy as a project gets, but one thing led to another and I ended up doing each step about every other week and then didn't want to showcase the final product with moving boxes in the background in a dark basement apartment.


Just about every poor, newly married couple I know has this dining set from Ikea. When Eric and I got married we found this set on KSL for $40. For being poor it was a great little table, but one thing I never liked about it was that there was never enough room for more then 4 people and no extra for the food once you get all the plates on it. With a growing family and our love to entertain I wanted something bigger. After looking at new dining sets I came to terms with it not being in our budget to get a new one so I decided to give our current table a makeover as well as make it bigger.

My inspiration came from all the farmhouse tables floating around pinterest and many DIY blogs. I figured this would also be a great way to make my table larger in width and length.

The first step was to take off the table top by just unscrewing it from underneath. Then I lightly sanded the base of the table and painted it white. I did the same with the 4 chairs, expect I used a spray primer and paint.

For the table top I used 2x6's cut down to my desired length. I used six of those on the table going across. (If anyone wants actually measurements I'd be happy to give it you.) For the wood planks I first sanded them down and rounded the edges of each. Then I primed them with a dark walnut stain. After the stain was dry I lightly sanded the wood planks again on the edges to give a distressed look. This is where I really started liking the result! Lastly, I did 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic (water-based) to protect the wood from spills and general wear.


To assemble the wood planks I used my handy-dandy husband (thanks hun!) to screw them all together with 1x3s and then attached the whole thing to the table.


There is SO much more room on the table now and room for two chair at the end making it a table for 6 people! I got these upholstered end chairs from Target to finish it off.


The updated dining set looks great in our new dining room!

Linked to:
http://www.blackberryvine.blogspot.com/2013/12/tuesday-to-do-141.html
http://www.ourtableforseven.com/2013/12/share-your-stuff-tuesdays-25.html#more
http://www.create-with-joy.com/2013/12/inspire-me-monday-week-101.html
http://thediydreamer.com/from-dream-to-reality/97-party-time/

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Happenings Since the Last Posting

Has it really been over a month since my last post! I feel like only a week has gone by although a lot has happened since October...a whole lot! So just a warning now this could be a rather long post, but I'm planning on getting back on the blogging wagon so here we go...

We started off November 1st by closing on our house! It was an exciting yet uneventful day considering we wouldn't be moving into the house for another month. We did the whole process of buying the house without a Realtor on either end and for the most part I would say it was a good experience for our first house. The seller was great to work with and we were able to work everything out between us where we were both happy.

I spent the next couple of weeks packing our apartment along with finishing some of my online classes. A huge thanks to my mom who came out for a week and helped with the girls while I did this! During that time Mia got her first haircut at a salon. She was very nervous because there was a guy who cut her hair and she is in that stage where she is very shy of men. After a few suckers she warmed up to him a little and the end result was super cute!


Also within the month of November Livy started sitting up all by herself and eating real food. There hasn't really been anything yet that she hasn't liked. My baby is growing up! Not crawling yet, but I don't mind all that much.

So after getting everything packed and cleaned that I could we left for Oregon the last week of November to spend Thanksgiving with Sara and her family. We lucked out of having to make the long drive that we originally were planning to make since Eric had enough flying mile for us all to fly for free as well as a free car rental. (The perks of having a husband that travels a lot.) With the last couple of weeks being so crazy this was the perfect break before our big move. We had so much fun in Oregon and getting to spend time with Sara, Collin and Addie. We really miss having them so close by.

My parents and two brothers drove up on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the next day we all went into Portland to go to the Zoo and have lunch in downton Portland at the vendor's food carts. Before going to the zoo we asked Mia what animal she wanted to see. She said a pig. Sadly there were no pigs but she still had a good time seeing all the other animals. She wanted to pet all of them.






After lunch at the vendor's we split up while some of the adults went to Powell's bookstore and we took the kids to get some ice cream at a yummy place called "Salt and Straws". It was a fun and relaxing trip with the family and nice to get the kids out on such a beautiful, sunny day.




Sara and I had a good time preparing for Thanksgiving as we shopped and cooked. We also enjoyed a nice girls lunch out in Newberg while we chatting about plans of starting up a blog together after the new year. :)

Thanksgiving was a huge success. We decided to try some new side dishes and all of them were SO yummy. Definitely keepers! To save on the stress of clean up on Thanksgiving we did all plastic wear but it still looked fancy once the whole table was put together. I would highly recommend this to anyone!





We flew home Friday afternoon and got home just in time to put the girls to bed and finished getting ready to move the next morning. Needless to say Saturday was a long and busy day of moving out of one place and into a new one. We had a lot of help on both ends which we were super grateful for, especially Eric's family coming out to help. I was sad to leave behind newly made friends and a ward we felt a part of, but it's so exciting to be in a house that is actually ours and I know this is where our family is suppose to be and I feel like we've moved into a great neighborhood and ward!

It's been a week since we've moved in and so far we LOVE it! Mia has barely bothered me at all since moving in as she is so entertained with all the new space to explore and room to play as well as having window's to look out of. I've been worked in getting us all settled in this week (Christmas decorations included) and only have a few more boxes to go! Life is sweet!
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