Friday, February 26, 2016

Life Lately

Happy Friday morning to you! I hope this finds you warming up with a cup of coffee as you settle in for your day. We've had a great week, and I've got a few photos to prove it :) The boys and I don't have much planned for the weekend, but I'm excited to check out "Fuller House" tonight on Netflix!

The other day, the sun was shining perfectly into our dining room as the boys had their snack--so I had to snap a few pictures.

One blue-eyed boy and one brown-eyed boy. . . <3 <3

On Saturday, we drove to my cousin Dayna's house to meet her three-week-old baby boy. He is so precious and tiny, and I immediately fell in love.

We went to Chick-Fil-A with Dayna, her three kids, and my Aunt Sally for lunch. Then we ventured over to a really fun park. The weather was just gorgeous--a high of 67! It was quite windy, but we got the fresh air we all so definitely needed.

Catching his brother on the slide :)

It's so hard to get them both in a photo, much less smiling. You have to take what you can get :)

Aunt Sally spoiled the kids with popsicles out on the porch. 

Catching one more moment with the baby before we had to say goodbye!

On Saturday night, I made a loaf of blueberry poppyseed bread. Mmm! I didn't get to enjoy very much of it though because I had an unfortunate stomach bug on Sunday.

On Sunday, Ephraim and I hung out in the nursery at church. He likes to conduct this train and shout "choo choo!"

Then we visited Grandma and Grandpa for pizza, Play-Doh, and trains :)

Working on some meal-planning and new recipes!

Yesterday, Nolan and I had dentist appointments with a new dentist. Ashley Graham was being interviewed on "Ellen", which is so surreal because I graduated high school with her in Nebraska! She looked beautiful. She's currently on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Nolan totally impressed me by staying still and not squirming during his appointment! This was the first time he's gone to the dentist for a real cleaning and not just a peek into his mouth. The hygienist was wonderful with him. She made it all fun, but kept things calm.

 He got to go home with a Chick Hicks toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and a couple of toys. He basically played with them all afternoon :)

Snowy Thursday afternoons are for baking! Ghirardelli has a really delicious dark chocolate chip cookie mix. Makes things easy!


Steve had a snowy commute home, so we were happy to see him at 8. We gave him hugs, and the boys fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows.

Have a happy weekend, everyone! 

Keep up with us on Insta @rachel.zimm. ;)

P.S. Astleigh and I are hosting an Instagram challenge throughout the year. Each Monday a new theme will be given. During the week, post a photo that gives your take on the topic. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! And on Fridays we'll pick our favorite and share it on our feeds! You in?! We'll be sharing next week's topic on Monday. And you've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "Current Reads."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Desperately-Needed Bathroom Reno

 When we moved into our 1920 abode, the first floor bathroom left much to be desired. The tiny afterthought of a powder room is tucked underneath our second set of stairs (the "servants" stairs) between the kitchen and the living room. There were many issues with the bathroom. First of all, the red linoleum floor was partially torn up, and the entire floor reeked of cat urine because a litterbox had been in the room for so many years. Second, the toilet leaked into the floor, causing the floor to buckle and the toilet to lean to one side. Third, the stucco yellow paint was peeling and cracking everywhere, revealing years and years of paint color changes. And fourth, the sink was so close to the toilet that you could use both at the same time. Not only that, but you could barely fit between the sink and the door if the door was closed. Yikes!

The red linoleum is the same as our kitchen floor, and it continued on into the hallway and the bathroom.

Do you see the toilet paper hanging down from the ceiling? Classy small-space solution :)

I basically avoided using this bathroom for two years--it was just too small.

To begin the renovation, Steve tore up the linoleum in the hallway and the bathroom. He sanded and stained the hardwood floor in the hallway to match the rest of the house.

The blue sink really only left about four inches for a person to fit between it and the closed door. It also leaked, thus the container on the floor to catch water.

Steve tore out the heating duct on the far wall (it traveled through the bathroom to heat the stairs). He cleaned up the floor, pulling all the nails and staples in preparation for hardiebacker (cement board). For the toilet, he installed a new PVC toilet ring (flush with the new floor) so the new seal wouldn't leak.

When we picked up our new corner sink at Lowe's, we were excited to see how much smaller it was than our blue sink!

Hardiebacker is installed. Planning the floor tile! 

Because our local store doesn't typically stock all-white tile, we used the black-and-white and replaced the black tiles as we went.

Steve took down the two giant side-by-side mirrors, revealing gross globs of brown glue and ancient pink paint. The blue sink left big craters in the yellow stucco paint. Steve replastered the walls and ceiling until they were finally smooth. This took several days. Then, he painted the whole bathroom a bright shade of white to lighten up the space.

He cleaned all the old paint off of the wood trim, restained them, and reintalled them.

From there, he installed the new sink and faucet, and a new light fixture (all from Lowe's). Last week, we bought a mirror from Walmart for only $25. It's the "Better Homes and Gardens Vintage Luca Mirror".  

Here is the final transformation!

We gained so much space with our tiny corner sink!

This is hard to get a good photo of, but it's the space behind the wall with the sink/mirror. Now that it's clean, painted, and tiled, we can use it for storage. (Or for the boys to play hide-and-go-seek.) :)

We are so happy with how it turned out! It was a project that took many months, and it was worth waiting for. :)

Have you redone a small bathroom like this before? I'd love to hear.

Friday, February 19, 2016

These Days

Another week of February has flown by, which means we're one week closer to SPRING! We've had plenty of snow and ice this week, so the boys have been playing their little hearts out at home. My life is so full of trains and cars and dinosaurs, and I couldn't be happier :)

We had a low-key Valentine's weekend. Lowe's had a "Build and Grow" workshop to make Valentine's picture frames. It was only 3 degrees outside, but we always have a good time at Lowe's.

On Monday, we stopped by the grocery store, and they were handing out free Valentine mylar balloons. The boys have been playing with theirs nonstop! (One has popped by now, of course.) :)

This was Ephraim cuddling up next to Daddy during a "scary" part of CARS on family movie night.

 We're getting ready to paint one of our bedrooms upstairs, which always gets me excited to choose a paint color. Our kitchen has been under construction since November '14, so I'm not sure which project comes first anymore :)

The final piece of our downstairs bathroom arrived this week-- the mirror! It was only $25 from Walmart's website, and it's the Better Homes and Gardens brand. I should be able to get photos of the bathroom this weekend, so I can share the MAJOR transformation next week :)

I made this Black Bean Salsa for Ephraim's party a few weeks ago, and I couldn't wait to make it again. It's not easy to get me to eat beans and vegetables, but this is so delicious!

1 red pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 jalapeno  (seeded and chopped)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained

Mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of sugar. (You can add 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper if you like extra spice.) Pour over the veggies. Chill, and serve with Tostitos Scoops.

Have a great weekend, everyone!!

P.S. Astleigh and I are hosting an Instagram challenge throughout the year. Each Monday a new theme will be posted. During the week post a photo that gives your take on the topic. Get creative, get colorful, get unique! And on Fridays we'll pick our favorite and share it on our feeds! You in?! We'll be sharing next week's topic on Monday. And you've still got time to post a photo for this week! The theme is "Winter White." Anyone can join in!


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