Grant the Tool Man

Every kid has their obsessions. For Grant he can get fixated on a toy or a book and want to do nothing else for anywhere from 10 minutes to a day or two. But it’s rare for an interest to be as consistent as Grant’s adoration of tools and all tool related activities.

He got his first set of tools at Christmas because of how much he loved helping daddy with any kind of “project.”


Hammering is a favorite and one of his earlier words was “hammer hammer hammer.” Complete with the motions 🙂IMG_0099

Shockingly (or maybe not) his intense play tool practice has led to actual abilities using real tools. Grant was helping Andy build something this past spring. He turned around for a nanosecond and Grant had picked up a hammer and was actually properly holding the nail and hammer. Possibly more adeptly than I would…IMG_0060

No one can teach him something like dada.IMG_0059

Sometimes things get crazy and we hammer our other tools.

Not sure if this means he’ll be in construction or just really handy around the house like his dad, but I don’t see his love for tools going anywhere anytime soon!


DIY: Foyer Revamp

If you ever want to stop blogging, here is my recipe:

1. Land an awesome new job that includes some travel and a lot of exciting, but major, responsibility

2. Get pregnant immediately after starting said new job [long story]

I can basically guarantee your desire and will to blog will disappear.

But hey, I still do want to chronicle life. And a lot of our life revolves around fixing up this 1963 fixer upper. So let’s get to it.

My preparation for the baby has been to spend a lot of evening hours on Pinterest and the Land of Nod website, feel sad about all the cute summer clothes I can’t wear, and eat frozen cookies.

Andy’s preparation has included finishing our basement renovation, overseeing a patio installation, putting together the nursery [I did help a bit with that one] and a million other things. His nesting is a lot more active than mine, let’s put it that way.

One such project was to revamp our foyer. I could have sworn I had blogged with a full pictures of the ‘before” foyer, but I can’t find it. So I’ll share what I have.

west elm light 3

We painted our foyer dark (peppercorn by SW) when we first bought the house. I love the almost black color and never want to change it. We also hung West Elm chrome fixture [still love] and had new tile installed to replace the linoleum.


We put in a dark wood coat tree that I had had for years. You can see the edges of it here.

rug 2

I didn’t give any thought to ever touching the foyer again.

Then Andy and a spare afternoon happened and now we have this:

Foyer hanging hooks


Basically, in the corner was the large coat tree. It looked nice, but had the tendency to get overloaded with coats. Then it just looked like a coat mountain eating up 1/4 of the foyer.

foyer coat hooks

He took two smaller pieces of walnut that he had, used a wood router to make a picture resting ridge, stained and sealed them. And then he hung them! He added chrome hooks that he found at Lowes. We had looked at cool ones from Anthropologie but just couldn’t justify the cumulative cost.

foyer hooks

The E is something we owned from Anthropologie. The pictures are all printables he found online or on Etsy. Frames are from Ikea.


And this is the view when you walk in:

Bright foyer redoI love how much more open the foyer feels now. In time we will likely have to think about more shoe storage and possibly a lower rack for kids coats. But for minimal time and money, we’re pretty happy with where things are now!