Archives for February 2014

Home-iversary! Our favorite projects – Part 2

Denny and I are back for Part 2 of our Favorite Projects!  We’ve been homeowners for five years this month so we are taking a walk down memory lane.  If you missed the blog last week, check out Our Favorite Projects – Part 1.

Kick off your shoes and let’s continue the tour…


Bathroom – Land of tub toys, squirting starfish and a happy little rubber ducky!  Stop by any evening at about 7:15 and you’ll see the happiest little bather on the block who will gladly show you her belly button.  🙂

before Bathroom pic monkeyWhat we did:  A HUGE addition to ensure bright beautiful sunlight would glisten off the custom marble and granite we imported from Italy and hand installed a few weekends ago.  Check it out…

after funny bathroom

What we really did – Not much.  Our bathroom is not exactly our dream bathroom just yet.  Over five years we’ve taken down the wallpaper and painted the bathroom a blue shade then realized we didn’t like the blue shade so we painted it a gray shade.  We switched out the light fixture and softened up the room with some new rugs and a fresh white curtain.  Stay tuned on the bathroom, we keep hoping that one of these days the granite fairy will fly by and fancy up this room.

after bathroom………………………….

And Finally, the Kitchen – Even though it’s only been 5 years we’ve already made many really wonderful memories in the kitchen – parties, family reunions and lots of conversations with friends and family.  We’re fortunate we’ve been able to update it, but regardless of how it looks, our kitchen is a special spot in our world.

before Kitchen counter shot before kitchen eating area

What we did – This was a HUGE project for us, and it would not have been possible without some project-savvy friends.  Over 5 years we’ve neutralized the wall color and switched to a white trim.  We added hardwood floors, painted the cabinets and added a new back splash.  We ditched the green countertops thanks to the discovery of the incredibly amazing Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kit .  Lastly we replaced the appliances one at a time as they each died over the past few years.  The kitchen updates were more challenging than we anticipated but worth the blood, sweat and tears.  I think we’ll keep it!

Kitchen DURING

A rough day in the McGee Kitchen

AFTER  kitchen Countertops

After Kitchen full view

I still remember the butterflies we felt when we signed on the dotted line to become homeowners.  Like all good things in life there was excitement, uncertainty and a lot of learning.

Sixteen gallons of paint, eight rooms, five years and countless memories later,

we’re so glad we followed the yellow-brick paved road to this house…

There’s no place like Home!


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Home-iversary! Our favorite projects – Part 1

On February 23, Denny and I will have our five year Home-iversary!

(This is where you throw confetti on us and sound your noisemakers – woo!)

Our new home 122

Only 300 teeny tiny payments until complete & total financial freedom.  Denny, pack your bags… Aruba awaits in 2039!

It’s really fun being homeowners, and over the past five years we’ve learned a thing or two about turning a house into a home.  We’re not exactly the Property Brothers so before you go any further, please lower your expectations for the updates that you’re about to see, but we’ve added some sweat equity to our humble little abode and it’s fun to look at the changes over the years.  So come in on, take off your shoes and try not to trip on the toys, it’s time to look back at some of our favorite projects:


Fireplace – They say it’s the heart of the home so it better look good!

before fireplace

What we did – The fireplace renovation started over some wine with the neighbors (isn’t that where all great ideas begin?).  We all agreed the green had to go… half a bottle later there were sledgehammers and demolition.  Cue neutral tile and some white paint and it’s like a whole new fireplace!

After fireplace


(Now we’ll hop the baby gate and move upstairs, we’ll go back down next week)

Master Bedroom – Where the magic happens (and by magic we mean sleeping through the night on occasion).   We went from a green space to a cozy gray place to lay our head at night.

Before Master bedroom

What we did:  We changed out the carpeting from green to a soft beige, and we updated the ceiling fan, blinds and curtains.  We painted the walls a calming gray and accented the trim in white (can you tell we LOVE white trim?).   Check it out…

After Master bedroom bed

After Master bedroom


Nursery – Land of an awesome little girl!  Can you tell we’re kind of crazy about her? 

This was my all-time FAVORITE project since moving into our home.  We don’t have any before pictures of this room.  But if you want to see where Kenzie calls home, check out our post from a few weeks before she was born.  Going back to this post makes me teary.  How is she getting so big so fast?


Guest Room aka OU Room – This is our way of saying Come & Visit!

 before guest bedroom

What we did – This room was a pretty simple makeover.  It required some green paint for the walls and some white paint for the trim (yes, we love that white).  It’s now our guest room/OU room but not just because of the green walls.   We have a college-style guest bed aka mattress on the floor (don’t judge) and the wall is covered with our favorite poster of all time – Pubs of Athens.  You’re welcome to visit, have a few drinks and pass out in here.  You wouldn’t be the first.

after guest room


Thanks for stopping by!

See you next week when we tour the rest of the house.


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Winter meltdowns…

We’re halfway through February and getting closer and closer to Spring.  We can’t wait for green grass and trips to the park and fun at the water table, wheeee!!!!!

cute mom blog spring

I normally try to embrace the winter.  It seems like the only thing to do when you live in the Northeast, right?, but the extended cold is making Denny and I crazy cranky lately.   So when we got to February we gladly waved buh-bye to January.  See ya January, don’t let the frost covered door hit you on your cold rump on the way out!

But before we spring into spring, I want to remember some really fun parts of the 2014 winter wonderland.  Here they are:

  • Two words:   Snow and Day.   I’m only a fan of the white stuff in 2 situations.   1.) Christmas Eve when I’m in front of a fireplace   2.) When it means an unexpected day off of life.   And 6 days into 2014 we had the latter.  Hooray!  Thanks to a huge blizzard Denny and Makenzie and I played, napped and drank wine with the neighbors (Kenz passed on the wine drinking part).  It was a glorious day!snow day
  • Dates Nights x 2!  Don’t check your eyes; it’s correct.  Denny and I went out on TWO separate nights since the start of the year.  One of the nights included the always-amazing lettuce wraps from PF Changs and the other night was a trip to Shea’s to see Wicked.


  • Home improvements.  What else is there to do in a vortex but complete some home projects?  We finished the picture wall and freshened up the upstairs with some new curtains, pictures and a lamp shade.  It’s crazy to believe that we’ve been in our house 5 years already.
picture wall collage

The long-awaited picture wall

  • The McGee family budget – we’re putting the Fun in Funds!   This honestly might be the most lame bullet point in the history of the blog but whatev, it’s the truth!  Denny and I  got crazy in Excel and it’s fun to be savings towards some other home projects down the road.  Who knows, maybe 2014 will be the year we purchase a family yacht.
  • Play dates – Kenzie has been a little social butterfly hanging out with friends and cousins.  She seems to be more engaged than ever with other kiddos.  A few weeks ago her friends from Erie visited for the day.  Kenzie thought that Penny (2 years old) was the best thing since Puffs!
funny mom blog kenzie and penny

Penny & Kenzie just hanging out on the Elmo couch 🙂

And last but not least…

  • The reminder of how lucky we are to have a healthy happy little girl.   Our girl is growing SO much!!  She’s now 16 months old!  She’s running and talking and reminding us all the time how independent she has become.  At her 15 month well visit we found out that she just had a HUGE growth spurt!   She jumped from the 30th percentile to the 76 percentile.  Whoa!  No wonder those skinny jeans were getting so snug.
funny mom blog 15 month check up

Way to grow Kenz!


Here’s to warmer days in the coming weeks!





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A really real post about a huge mistake I made

It’s been about 38 hours and I still have a terrible sick feeling in my stomach.   And although I normally blog about the funny parts of parenting, tonight is different.  Tonight I’m still thinking about the fact that being a parent can be very serious.  Let me tell you about my mistake…


It was yesterday morning.  I had my hands at 10 and 2.  I wasn’t touching or even looking at my phone.  The radio was low.  The visibility was clear.  The roads were not icy.  I was not tired.  And for some reason, I missed a stop sign.  In fact I completely drove through a pretty busy road… with my daughter in the backseat.

I realized it the split second that I passed the sign, and I’m certain that my heart stopped beating until we got through the intersection and I stopped the car.  I looked in the mirror and Makenzie was just looking up and sucking on her binky.  And as I looked back a truck sped through the intersection.

THANKFULLY we were fine physically.   Somehow we got incredibly lucky and the usually busy two-way stop intersection didn’t have any traffic for that one second.   We escaped a stupid error of mine and we are totally fine, but I’m shaken to my core.

I can’t stop thinking… What if there had been traffic?   What if we weren’t so lucky?

I can’t stop thinking… HOW did I do that?  HOW did I jeopardize our lives?  WHAT was I thinking?

I keep replaying it and I’m not sure how I missed the sign, but I did.

It’s been almost two days and I’m still shaking.   I’m still teary thinking about what the other outcomes could have been.  I’m still furious with myself.  And I’m still going up to Makenzie’s room every few minutes to kiss her sweet sleepy head.

There’s no doubt that we are INCREDIBLY LUCKY.  For some reason, someone was watching out for us.

Two nights ago I would have argued that I was an extremely safe driver, and that I was 100% focused, but this week proves I have an opportunity to do better,  And the reason I write this is because I’m guessing that we all have an opportunity to do a little better.  Being a parent can be really fun, but it is also a tremendous responsibility.  Being a parent is about being 100% focused on the world to protect our kids.  I’m not proud to write this but maybe it will make a difference for the other moms, dads and grandparents reading this.

Please think about what you’re doing when you’re doing it.  Drive slower.  Focus more.  And remember that we’re just visitors in this world with no length-of-stay guarantee.   Once you do that, hug your kids extra tight tonight.  I’m taking this experience as a reminder to ALWAYS be GRATEFUL for all I have in this world.  I hope you are too.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for not judging.

With Love,