Welcoming 2014

We are welcoming 2014 with open arms.  2013 was another rough year for us, so we are looking forward to a happy, healthy, fun and laughter filled 2014.  That is our plan anyway!  And so far, we are accomplishing just that.  Coal was officially adopted on New Years Day, yay!  I have received several updates from his new family.  He is doing great and loving life in his forever home!  That makes me very happy.  I am so glad we met him during our trip to Orlando.  What a special boy he is. Below are a few of the pictures his Mom and Dad have sent me over the last few days.  He looks so happy and content!!


As for my hounds, everyone is happy and healthy!  It has been bitter cold, so we are hibernating inside most days.  It gives me a chance to continue practicing shots on manual mode. 

Ms. McGann came to stay with us over the New Year’s Holiday.  She is a regular boarder for us and settles right in. She and Coal took turns on the orange blanket.


Pippi prefers the couch…. the whole couch.


I have been looking at lenses.  I think I am 99.5% sold on the Canon 50mm lens.  Looks like a great lens for close up shots. I am also looking into external flashes.  I think this will really benefit me for my indoor shots.  Haven’t decided on which one would be best for me yet.

We have almost completed our kitchen remodel.  We are 99% done.  All that is left is painting the ceiling (which we are both dreading).  Walls are one thing and are easy and quick.  Ceilings are painful and it just sucks.  But we will suck it up and get it done.  We have to touch up the walls, paint the laundry room door and install the transition strip for the dining room.  We had our real estate agent come out and take a look yesterday at all we have done to the house in the almost two years we have been here.  I was ecstatic to get her feedback when she ran the numbers last night.  We are definitely on the right track for adding value to our home and if we sold it today, which we have no intention to, but if we did, we could sell for 45-55k more than we purchased the home for!!  It is great news for anyone to hear that, but especially so for DIYers, like ourselves.  We have not invested anywhere close to that increase in value.  So with that news, we know we can continue with other things on our list: convert wood burning fireplace to gas, plumb for gas for stove, install gas stove, remove carpet in den and replace with something else (not sure what yet), replace the rest of the windows (we have already done the kitchen) and remodel the hall bath.  It is a lengthy list, but we hope to tackle most of it this year.

As for the kitchen, we are very proud of our hard work.  Mitch did the majority of the labor.  I helped where I could.  I did designed most of the kitchen. 

The before picture is from the MLS listing and is really small……sorry.  I can’t figure out how to make it any bigger and I don’t have any pictures that show the before this well.  If you click on it, you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what we started with.







We are both very happy with the end result and happy that we did 95% of the work.  We subcontracted out the granite counter top installation and the pot lights installation.

We have some fun things planned for 2014, so stay tuned.  We hope everyone is having a happy and healthy start to 2014!!  This year is going to be a good one! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Welcoming 2014

  1. Yay for starting the new year with Coal going to his new home. Since I’m not particularly handy around the house, I’m amazed when people I know can do more than hang pictures. Your new kitchen looks awesome. Congrats!

  2. So happy for Coal! Your kitchen looks great! Oh, and you will love a 50 mm for indoor shots since it lets in so much light…I have been using mine a lot lately! I am doing everything in manual mode now too and I just switched to a full frame camera so the 50 mm has become more of an every day lens for me now 🙂

  3. Did Coal get to take his orange blankie with him? So lovely to see photos of him looking happy and settled in his new home 🙂

    I often wish I had a wider angle lens than my 50mm for photos inside, one day I’ll get one. Although I’ve never used one so it might not be an improvement but I do find I have to get further away than I’d like to take a photo. Can you borrow a wider angle lens? I’d be interested to hear someone else’s opinion 🙂

    Your kitchen looks awesome! Huge improvement. It’s very satisfying to DIY isn’t it. I think I OD’d on stripping wallpaper and painting the winter before last as I didn’t do any last year. I’m hoping to get enthusiastic this coming winter and get the rest of the house done.

  4. Ha ha ha! I wanted to know if Coal took the orange blanket, too! I’m glad he’s happily settled in.

    The improvements look beautiful! I hope you’re really enjoying it!

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