Category: Around The House

Home Goals 2018

We are in the midst of one of the most annoying home renovation projects that one can have done — getting the floors refinished in a house we’re currently living in. Three fourths of out home is original hardwood floor, which is awesome, except that it means basically moving. We’ve taken everything we own and put it either in a storage unit or in the non-wooden floor rooms, which are the den, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. But it’s a once-and-done scenario so we’re dealing with an extremely inconvenient week. Doing this task has me thinking about the next...

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How Our IKEA Kitchen Is Holding Up, Two Years Later

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had our kitchen for two years now! And on another exciting note, I just finished paying off the last payment on the HELOC we used to finance most of it. It goes to show that you can pay off a bunch of debt for something you really want if you put your mind to it. Also increasing your income helps too. So a lot of people considering IKEA kitchens wonder how they look after real life use. Two years into daily abuse, our stuff is holding up amazingly well, I have to say....

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Greening Up The Carport

Sometimes when I walk through big craft stores that have a faux plant section, I feel like I’m in a great aunt’s house, especially when I see the fake grape bunches. But that doesn’t mean that I’m too good for non-live plants. I love them! I have a penchant for killing succulents of all things, so I have a few fake succulents in small pots around the house. I also have been looking for a bigger faux plant to put under our carport to make it look more tropical and relaxing. I feel bad putting real plants under there since...

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Small Pool = Spool!

This summer in particular I’ve been driving myself to seek out water as much as possible after a drought of it the summer before for a reason I can’t really recall. I’ve gone to friends’ parent’s pools, to the lakebeach at Lake Murray, to the actual beach, and to hang out in another friend’s newly set up blow up hot tub. But that still is usually only on weekends. There are five days between each weekend that I could be submersing in water to cool down, relax, and just plain enjoy. So I’ve been trying as hard as I...

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Our Kitchen Renovation is Complete!

We bought our house seven years ago this month, and since the first time I laid eyes on it I knew one thing- that the kitchen had to GO. Like all first time, starry-eyed homebuyers, we thought the kitchen would or could be redone with saving for two years, max. We were so wrong. For years I tried to save and failed and tried again. Well, in 2015 I got serious about it and saved all of my freelance checks, so I had a little cushion to start. Then I started looking into how much it would cost to get the actual work done, the one totally unknown number. So I interviewed a couple of contractors. Then the numbers seemed pretty doable, actually. I still didn’t have enough saved up or a big enough line of credit on my card, so through the magic of putting myself into some debt with a home equity line of credit and a new travel rewards credit card, I suddenly had enough and started the wheels in motion. This is the first photo of the kitchen when we looked at it in March 2009.  With Jim and Andrew Heath of DadNDad Remodeling lined up to come in late December, and my Ikea kitchen plan in place, I started on the demolition, which I did all myself to keep costs down. I started about two weeks before...

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About April Blake

April Blake edits web content by day and writes by night, usually about local food, unusual flavors, and craft beer. Please follow me on Twitter, but not in real life.

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