WIMCW Father’s Day Gift Ideas

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I thought this week I would share some of my favorite gift ideas for that guy in your life. Some of these are things my husband would want (or asked for).

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I post about this company a fair bit but I LOVE Welly Merck Watches. I have the Los Angelas for women and love it. This one is the Paris for Men and I think it’s very nice looking. Their watches are high quality swiss without the expensive price tag. Use code Lattes15 for 15% off your order!

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I absolutely love the espresso machine my husband got me for mother’s day. If your guy is into coffee, starbucks, and smooth espresso I love the Breville Espresso Machine.

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I don’t even buy Dave normal shirts anymore – if you (or your husband) hasn’t discovered UnTuckIt shirts – go buy one. They’re shorter so they can be worn untucked, high quality, and fit GREAT. It’s all David wears now. They have a ton of cool colors and prints and make polos now too. They also do matching father/son shirts…yeah. Amazing.

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I’m not going to go into too much detail here (LOL) but MeUndies boxers…they’re soft, loose enough to be comfortable, and double as shorts. JK for that last part. I got David a membership of these last year for fathers day (mostly because he needed new undies) and he likes them better than more expensive brands like Tommy Johns.

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David just bought these Gray Jeans (does anyone know the difference between grey & gray? Like is one British? I can never decide which to use LOL) and he swears they are the most comfortable jeans he has. Plus the grey color goes with everything and makes the outfit look a bit nicer than just denim. I recommend their slim fit pair – he tried on the straight leg and they were really baggy.

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David has super wide feet and finding him comfortable shoes is always a HUGE pain. I can’t tell you how many pairs of shoes we have returned or he goodwills because they are too narrow. This Hawaiian shoe brand makes a REALLY cool sneaker, that can get wet and has pores to air dry, and looks sleek that actually fits his foot. Make sure your guy tries them on though because as I mentioned they are wide.

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My husband does the lawn work. He loves it (which is good because I would have no idea where to even start) but he always wants new lawn equipment. His preferred brand is Echo and this year the top of his list is a new blower. I’ve already replaced his weed whacker, lawn mower, and trimmer/edger so this is the last one. For a bit…LOL.

Hopefully this helps you ladies out there still looking for good Father’s Day gift ideas.

XOXO

Kendall

First Month with Baby

Everett is officially One Month Old today. I seriously cannot even believe it. Recovery this time has been so much easier! I’m already cleared for exercise (3 weeks earlier than with Kensington) and totally feel like myself. It’s a miracle. What’s even crazier is how similar and yet different they are. We had Everett’s Newborn pictures done and this about sums it up:

Where Kenzie was super independent, slept great right off the bat, and was just hanging out (get it? get it? Pun Intended) Everett loves being held, wants constant attention, isn’t a bad sleeper but struggles a bit more than Kensington. We had our amazing photographer (if you’re in Dallas she’s amazing – see her website HERE) recreate this favorite from Kenzie’s shoot with a “boy” spin so that we could have some parallelism with their shoots. Both my beautiful woodland babies. LOL.

We wanted his pictures to be outdoorsy and have lots of earth tones like his nursery (see Nursery blog post HERE). As per usual she did an AMAZING job and totally hit it out of the park.

I swear she is the baby whisperer to make our grumpy old man baby look so peaceful lol. Over the last month we’ve really gotten familiar with his “SOMONE BETTER PICK ME UP RIGHT NOW” cry, finally gotten to see his beautiful eyes (he didn’t open them for days after birth, They’re Navy like Kenzie’s was so I anticipate them changing), and been able to see what a newborn with crazy intense head strength is capable of – caution when holding: he will flip out of your arms with his crazy old man baby strength. #Fact

My photographer also had this incredible idea of doing a vampire setting for one of his pictures. David and I used to camp ALL THE TIME when we first started dating and really bonded over our love of the outdoors. TBH I think it was that ability to travel and love of camping/being outside that really solidified our relationship so of course we jumped at the chance. It’s the cutest thing ever:

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Then because Dave is such a sports guy, and played baseball for years (even was able to walk on in college), we made sure to get an ADORABLE baseball picture of our little boy.

I know everyone says having daughters is more fun because you can dress them up and put them in bows etc. but I am unbelievably excited for sports with this little guy. I’m gonna be that mom who knows all the players stats and goes to every practice. Sorry in advanced.

Then Last, but certainly not least, we took some family pictures. Ugh. They are the best. Seriously.

Are they not the cutest siblings ever? Seriously…

Me just loving on our newest addition. He’s so squishy and I love him.

Dave just looking like a model…like always. And trying to brainwash Everett into being an Aggie and getting a corporate job. I don’t think he’s having it though LOL

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And the worlds best family photo (but I’m biased LOL) Laura was amazing and brought Kensington’s face in from another picture, smoothed out wrinkles in our clothes and made the lighting perfect. I can’t believe it. I’m glad I like it since I ordered a huge canvas for our house. God help us LOL.

Ultimately having two kids under one is…a lot. It think it would be slightly easier if Kensington could walk, but ultimately its not as terrible as everyone warned us (maybe I can thank them for setting bad expectations so I could be pleasantly surprised). It’s definitely more challenging if one of us wants to go do something and the other person ends up 2 on 1 but its still a beautiful suffering. LOL.

XOXO

Kendall

DIY Laundry Tile Redo

We’ve replaced almost all of the flooring in our house. All 3 bathrooms, the entire “living space”, and finally the Laundry Room. Now there was nothing wrong, per se, with our old tile but it was the 8″x 8″ slightly off white tile of the 90s and we wanted to freshen it up. We’ve also redone our Kitchen, Landscaping, Bathrooms, Dining room, and Closet and you can see the associated posts. This one wasn’t super complicated but if you ask David it was the worst. LOL.

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Here is what we started with.

Day One: Dave Chisled up the old tile and cleared out the space. He also took the time to scrap up any chunky concrete and smooth the surface for laying tile on day two.

Day Two: Dave spread a thin layer of concrete, laid the tile, added spacers (we did really thin ones so we could fit as much tile as possible), and then cut along the final wall to fit. This space is pretty rectangular so we got lucky and most of the cuts were at the end (we used a wet saw to make the cuts).

Day Three: Clean off the tiles, spread grout, clean off tiles AGAIN. And VOILA. New tile. We also added our front entry washer/dryer, a heavy wooden shelf over the top for folding clothes, and 2 three section cabinets for storage. The ones on the bottom each have a hamper in them (one for dirty colors, one for dirty whites, and one for clean clothes. Yes I’m OCD.) and the ones up top have our detergent/bleach/irons/etc. in them. We want to add a door up top but at this time we haven’t.

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I love THIS printed ceramic tile from Lowes. It wasn’t very expensive and really makes the space look spectacular. Just check them out side by side:

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I’m so happy with this space! Kensington really loves the tile – every time we turn around she is sneaking in there to play on the tile. Now the only thing left to renovate in this house is our outdated Master Bath. We plan on doing it in the spring and then…I’ll probably be bored and want a new project LOL.

XOXO

Kendall

Taking time for yourself post-baby

With two kids under 13 months (yeah…we’re gluttons for punishment) it’s easy to get wrapped up in the kids, and keeping the house clean, and feeding everyone and all of the other Mom to-dos that come with a full house. A friend of ours says you’re not really a parent until you are on one-to-one coverage or higher and man do I agree. Having two kids is a totally different playing field than one, and we are adjusting as fast as we can. But that being said – it is SO important to take a little “me-time” to do what you love and relax.

For me, I have a few guilty pleasures that are my non-negotiables. These can be different for everyone but for me they’re:

  • Coffee – I have to have an iced Macchiato every day. Otherwise I’ll get a headache or fall asleep like a narcoleptic or just be generally cranky. Don’t come between this mama and her coffee. Thanks to my Mother’s Day gift I no longer have to run to Starbucks for coffee. My husband spoiled me with THIS amazing espresso machine and now I make my lattes at home.
  • Working out – this is my stress reliever. If I don’t workout my anxiety runs rampant and I become super tightly wound. I need the release.
  • Reading – even if it’s only 30 min a day (or right now 15 min every 3 hours when I pump) I like getting lost in a good book. I don’t really watch TV so reading cheesy teenage paranormal books is my equivalent of trash TV.
  • A good night’s sleep – not really super possible with a newborn but to the extent that I can sleep, I will. I am as close to a narcoleptic as you can be without actually falling asleep random places. I LOVE SLEEP.

I’m recommending that all Mamas out there take some time for your guilty pleasures. Carve out some time (min usually is during nap time) to workout, or read, or take a nap, but in general spend it doing something that RELAXES and resets you. NO! Dishes & laundry don’t count – I abhor an untidy house and compulsively clean but don’t waste your hour doing that. Take the time for yourself, and maybe assign a household chore or two to your husband to help. Or ask him to watch the kids for a hour so you can rest. Or take them to an hourly daycare for an hour or two a day. It’s OKAY!!!! Ask for help and don’t let your needs fall to the wayside in favor of everyone else. You’re a member of the family too and when Mama is happy: Everyone is happy.

Having kids requires comfy pajamas – that’s pretty much all I wear day & night unless I’m planning on leaving the house so here are 4 of my favorite pairs including the one I am wearing in the cover pic.

 

PJ1 – LINK

PJ2 (what I’m wearing in pink stripe) – LINK

PJ3 – LINK

PJ4 – LINK

XOXO

Kendall

DIY Outdoor Renovations

With a few days to kill in between getting off work and Everett’s arrival, David and I decided to knock some stuff off of our “honey-do-list” outside our home. Since we’ve moved into our house we’ve renovated the Kitchen, both small bathrooms, half the master bathroom, all the floors, the light fixtures, and turned an office into a giant walk in master closet (Posts here: Bathrooms, Closet), but we haven’t put ANY TLC into the outdoor area. So this weekend with the lovely overcast, we decided to change that.

First up, my project: Repaint our old Jungle Gym for the kids. The Playground came with the house, and when we first toured the home David said, “Well that’s gotta go.”. But lets be real – jungle gyms are expensive. So I convinced him to let it stay, under the premise that I would eventually paint it. So here we go.

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I probably should’ve power washed & sanded it before…but I didn’t. Cause I’m lazy-ish. And I didn’t care that much. LOL. I used these exterior paints: Paint, colors: WHITE, GREY. Not bad for a 3 day project at 40 weeks pregnant huh? Ultimately I think it looks SO MUCH BETTER, and even though our kids are too young to really appreciate it, it definitely makes looking into the backyard WAY less of an eye sore.

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Then came David’s first project: Re-Landscaping the front of the house (he informed me it’s called “landscaping” when he does it and “flower beds” when I do it. Heaven forbid I assault his masculinity on accident). We had ripped out a bunch of dead bushes a few months ago (I wish I had a better “before” picture) but there were 4 SUPER dead bushes and 1 GIANT tree-bush-hybrid-monstrosity in the right corner that we HATED. Dave and his father ripped them all out (I helped “supervise”) and then we had people come get all of the stone – I hate brown stone. I don’t know why. If you have brown stone I’m sure it looks very nice. But I can’t stand it. SO we replaced it with THESE longer white limestones and then filled it in with THIS dark brown mulch (which totally stained David’s hands so wear gloves!). The bushes are Nellie Stevens Holly Bushes (we replaced the 4 that had died) with Boxwood bushes on the ends. After Everett arrives I’ll fill in the rest with Hostas, Monkey Grass, and Petunias, but for now it is already a MILLION times better.

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Lastly, when we bought the house there was a mysterious blue tarp int he backyard around the trees. We FOOLISHLY assumed it was covering flowers and grass for the winter, and didn’t bother checking. WRONG. Turns out, for some reason the previous owners had filled in the area around the base of the trees with straight-up-sand. SAND. ugh. So of course my dogs LOVE it and dig in it and track it through my house. So needless to say, I HATE IT. I’ve been on Dave to put some of the sand in the playhouse, get rid of the rest, and then restore and mulch. FINALLY we got around to doing it and the before/afters are AMAZING! The reason we didn’t do the dark mulch in the back is for the reason mentioned above: it stains everything. The last thing I wanted was the dogs to roll around in it and end up covered in dark brown that they could then track through the house and get all over my furniture. Take these words of wisdom. LOL.

So these are our projects. we completed them all over 3 days or HARD WORK but I’m so pleased! It will be great to bring Everett back to a well-landscaped home.

XOXO

Kendall

Last Minute Baby Prep

We are officially full term. Which means we are now in the waiting game – eating spicy foods, walking a ton, eating pineapple, whatever we can do to try to get Everett here naturally we’re doing, but it looks like he’s going to wait until we induce Tuesday to make his appearance (so much like his sister in that regard). However, having a little extra time isn’t all bad (especially since I’ve had a bit of a cold that I want gone before baby comes) and I am in SUPER nesting mode.

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We decided (on a  whim) to redo the dining room yesterday and it turned out really good.  We brought a lot more color into the space and really livened it up. It’s the first thing you see in our house so now I’m so excited to have it updated.

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Then with 2 babies – I need my hands free so I went and bought this new diaper backpacknew diaper backpack. I had a backpack when Kenzie was first born and it was nice but frustrating because the zipper stuck and didn’t open fully. plus there weren’t enough pockets. This new backpack has a separate area for changing stuff, bottles, water bottles, quick access, and the main pocket zipper goes all the way to the bottom so you can see EVERYTHING thats in the main section. I LOVE IT. Plus it evenly distributes the weight on my shoulders so I can focus on babies. AND it has hooks to attach to your stroller handle so that it doesn’t take up the storage spot at the bottom (which means more room for shopping bags. WOOT).

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Lastly, I made a totally impromptu purchase…we bought a car! LOL. So my Ford Explorer has had a TON of issues over the last 2 years. I’ve replaced the A/C & heating systems, all brakes & pads & rotors TWICE, tires, the Nav system, and had 2 recalls. To say I was frustrated is an understatement. Then when I went to do my inspection/registration this year they told me I needed new tires. AGAIN. My tires are < 18 months old and I get them rotated every time I get an oil change. So I figured – mileage warranty on the tires right? WRONG. You have to have road hazard to qualify. Seriously? So they wouldn’t replace them. Rather than spend another $1500 on my 2013 car – I decided to buy a Nissan Rogue 2018 and I LOVE IT! I also get drove an Audi Q5 but it was a little too small for me, had a recall, and I was nervous about the increased maintenance costs. Ultimately I’m SUPER happy with my Nissan.

Now we just need a baby to put in it…come on Baby E!

XOXO

Kendall

Shop my whole look HERE

Bullet Journaling

My followers probably know by now that I LOVE to Bujo, and make lists, and organize. It’s therapeutic for me. A few weeks ago I put my newest BUJO pages in my IG story, and thought I would recap them here with some of my tips for staying organized with kids (and husbands because…yeah) and if you’re juggling multiple responsibilities (such as multiple jobs, communities/groups, clubs, etc.).

Let me start by saying: if you decide to Bujo you do NOT need to go the full artistic intense version that I do. In fact – I recommend starting simple so that you’ll stick with it (see my TIPS from my Bujo 101 blog post a few months ago). That being said, I personally find it easier for me to stay engaged with my journal when it is aesthetically pleasing so I spend a LOT of time prepping my pages so that I will use them.

All of that being said, here are my newest pages:

My Home Improvement & Gift tracker. No these don’t really go together. But I was using the full page so sue me. LOL. My home improvement just has a list of things I want to do in the house, semi-organized by their location in my personal home, and I check them off per my standard key (one line is in progress, 2 lines is finished). The gift tracker is by Family member so that when I have ideas I can put them on the list and when I buy them I can cross them off. I try to get gifts throughout the year AND keep track of ideas I have so this is super helpful for me.

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Movies & Quotes (sometimes Quotes from Movies) I like to keep track of all of David and I’s “Date Nights”. Even if its renting a moving at home and ordering pizza (we watch a lot of movies) we try really hard to prioritize time together and this is a fun way to recap some of our date memories. I also like to track inspirational quotes for myself, from multiple resources, so that when I feel like I need a kick in the pants, I have one handy.

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Books Read & DNF’ed (did not finish) I read A LOT of books. Like 200+ per year. I like to track my favorites on my “bookcase” (because sometimes Goodreads has a meltdown and doesn’t do what I need it to do) for quick reference when people ask for recommendations, and the ones I started but didn’t finish because I A) Don’t want to buy them and try them again and B) If I read 205 books but I started an additional 60 that were terrible – I feel like I deserve credit for that. Pat on the back.

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My Future Log & Key. I like to know what appointments I have upcoming, what holidays I need to prep for, Doctor’s appointments, and weird social-media-holidays for our blog. On top of that I try to follow a consistent key across all of my pages regardless of tracker or monthly page, this helps me remember what that is. #Pregnancybrain

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Last but not least – my Weight & Measurements tracker. For post baby. Cause I’m not dieting with a kid in me. But, I like to be prepared. This way I can track my monthly measurements and overall weight as I make my way back to my ideal weight over the rest of the year.

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In addition to these pages I currently am only doing a monthly tracker (instead of weekly since I won’t be working over the next few months and my job has been on hold for the last month). I also have a Breastfeeding tracker & sick days for my kids. Cause I’m that mom. I give my kids dirty pacifiers to build their immunity but then I track every day they’re sick. Boom.

Feel free to reach out with any requests for pages or tips!

XOXO

Kendall

Home Decor & the Budget

Today me, Kensington, and Mia (my mom) went to the Hollywood Heights Home Tour near Lakewood in Dallas. We went 2 years ago (but couldn’t go last year because I had just had Kenzie) and were dying to go back. It’s basically  showcase of some of the coolest renovated old homes in the iconic neighborhoods of Hollywood Heights and Lakewood. I was able to get some cool ideas for our house, and wanted to share some of my favorite looks.

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I loved this Modern/throwback Dining room. I recreated the look on a  budget for anyone interested in making the same view:

Lamp + Lampshade

Bar Cart

Table

Chairs

Ceiling Light Fixture

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Then I also loved this super cute idea. Have your Kid’s artwork framed for a cute small gallery wall. An adorable and brightly colored accent for their room. Find Similar Frames HERE.

We’re also thinking about renovating our Master Bathroom so I took pictures of some of my favorites. obviously white & airy are in. LOL

Penny Tiles were also all the rage (lowest picture) with varying colors of grout. Something I might keep in mind in our new shower. I also loved this idea if you have a big room and want more separation.

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They basically cut a room in half by putting this bookcase built-in 80% across the room. On one side they had a guest room and on the other an office. Less expensive than truly dividing the room, but it felt natural and really well defined. Something we might incorporate in our upstairs game room (which right now is a man cave & a workout rom – just nothing separating the two).

Ultimately it was super fun going to see all the newest trends and get to walk around one of my favorite areas. I definitely recommend in the future for any of my Dallas-ites.

XOXO

Kendall

Introducing your pets to baby

We have 2 dogs and a cat. My older dog has a VERY strong aversion to children (due to some poorly handled situations when he was a puppy as well as a fear of how to interact), and my cat is not declawed (I feel like declawing animals is inhumane). So when we brought Kensington home from the hospital I was a little worried about how the animals would interact with her. Not to mention, our dogs bark a lot – the very last thing I wanted to happen was for them to wake her up. And I’ll be honest, there was an adjustment, but I’ll share some of the things we did to make the transition a little easier.

  1. I sent my husband home a day early from the hospital with a blanket that the baby had been wrapped in to give the dogs – this way they could familiarize themselves with her smell before we arrived. I do think it helped a bit because they did a lot of sniffing but didn’t seem surprised to see her when we got home.
  2. We were VERY careful not to leave the baby on the floor or in dog height unsupervised. We wanted to make sure all of their interactions were monitored for safety (the last thing we wanted was a horror story from our pets being OVERLY affectionate).
  3. We made the choice to LET our dogs bark. Right from the get go. They barked when amazon packages arrived (which was often) and when David got home from work. It ended up being a great thing. Some of the best advice I got before we had Kensington was not to shelter her from noises. Let her nap mid-day but in the middle of the living room, with the vacuum going, the TV on, and the dogs barking. That way 1. she adjusts to sleeping basically anywhere and 2. she gets on a day/night schedule faster. This ended up being our motto and now, she doesn’t even notice or stir when the dogs bark. Its glorious.
  4. We let BOTH the pets and Kensington explore each other. Now my dogs and cat basically let her run all over them. My cat will play “chase” with my daughter where he lies in wait until she reaches him and then moves a few feet away again. And repeat. It actually helped teach her to crawl (better than any toy).

Ultimately I think its good for the pets AND my daughter to have each other. It helps them all socialize. That being said, had any of my pets had difficulty adjusting BABY COMES FIRST! She would’ve been prioritized over them no matter what, but we got very lucky.

XOXO

Kendall

Budget Bathroom Renovation

This week we decided (kind of last minute) to renovate our bathrooms. We have 3 total in our house, but we only did the 2 smaller ones (kids & guest). We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money so we tried to keep as much of the original as possible, but we definitely wanted to update the space. We’ve done a LOT to our current home (including the kitchen, all the floors, every light fixture, part of the master bath, and the closet – post HERE) and the bathrooms have been an annoyance. We don’t use them much but it annoys me how dated they look. I painted the cabinets last summer (post HERE) but it just wasn’t enough. So with our “surprise” tax refund, we went ahead and did both bathrooms. Before:

They weren’t terrible but I HATE the dated tile and even the white paint couldn’t make me love the cabinets. But we were balling-on-a-budget. So here was the plan: Get tile ourselves, cheap contractor labor, IKEA vanities, leave the bathtubs alone (since they are just basic white), new shower curtains, leave the toilets. BOOM. Makeover.

Day One: Demo – contractor rips out old vanities and all the tile

Day Two: Tile is laid

Day Two.Five: Mom realizes there is a HUGE hole in the wall and patches/paints it

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Yes I did it myself. With Cardboard. & spackle. & paint.

Day Three: Vanities go in. TOTAL MELTDOWN when we realize all of the plumbing needs to basically be re-routed to make the IKEA vanity work. Introducing Super-Plumber-Man to the rescue.

But its cool. It actually ended up looking PERFECT (and being finished approximately 20 min before our guests showed up to Kensington’s birthday party).

All in all it ended up costing us right around $2500. That includes:

TILEVanitiesFaucetsShower CurtainMirror TP HoldersBath Mats – Labor/Plumbing

Ultimately I feel like we did pretty well. We installed the vanities ourselves and assembled them – only paying for Demo/Tile & plumbing reroute. Next to come…we will be doing the tile in our laundry room ourselves. Dun DUN DUN.

XOXO

Kendall

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