31 May 2014


This kind of clutter is generally not tolerated.

However, this happened:


Toilet paper holders are underrated. You don't realize how essential they are until you don't have one. I installed it myself! (Along with a hook and a oops-way-too-high towel bar.)

Again, I love driving home without passing countless strip malls & convenience stores. This stretch of road is a natural speed trap, but I just set the cruise and enjoy the view, and hope there's a good song on the radio. I feel like that should be a motto for a lot of things.

We have been coming home late every night, taking care of various forms of business. We are officially no longer tenants in the rental, and we were told we'd get the entire deposit back. Baller.
So last night when we came home from work at a decent hour, and spent the evening with friends instead of being consumed by responsibilities, it was nice. Really nice.

25 May 2014

updates on updates

Oh, hey there. Didn't see you because of my home improvement blinders.

I was talking to a neighbor yesterday about how Chris and I would love to join them this weekend camping at the lake, but we have wires hanging out of our master bathroom walls and we should probably take care of that. She and her husband are slowly fixing up their old house, too, and she said that you just learn to live with constant updates. We are just one big giant work in progress over here, in every aspect of that phrase.

Speaking of, we got the blinds in the office hung, so the neighbors jogging by and walking their dogs can't see me sitting here with my coffee, typing and coaxing the cat to poop outdoors.

 Well, 2 out of 3 got hung, since the 3rd set had the hardware stolen out of it. So the privacy is there unless someone crawls up into my bushes and takes a peek, and at that point they deserve to see something just for their efforts. Just another trip to Home Depot, which, by the way, should just get my paycheck direct deposited into their accounts. Also I'm getting really good at hanging blinds.

The garage sale went well. I ironically finally met a lot of the neighbors and made about $150. And this sweet little munker had a good time, too.

 At the end when I was closing up, I just started giving stuff away. One lady took a whole box worth of stuff. Good, because it's less stuff I have to shove in my car and donate.

Suze came by and saged any bad vibes out of the new place, and then we checked out the fancy Randall's down the road.

I have to go back today and start the deep clean of the old place. Hopefully we can knock that out quickly and efficiently. I want our deposit back. And I want to relax a little. You know, the finer things in life.

20 May 2014

checking in amidst chaos

This is what my life looks like right now:
P.S. We just got internet, yay! (Thanks Ash!)

Despite how hectic and exhausting these past few weeks have been, I'm loving the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • I love that I drive past a good half-mile of cornfield & forest area before I get to my neighborhood.
  • I love instant access to ice & cool water. I'm talking to you, new fridge.
  • I love that someone drove past us on the way to the mailbox yesterday, and stopped to welcome us to the neighborhood. (Ignoring the Stepford creepy factor)
  • I love the backyard that will actually get use. Now that padre has applied copious amounts of poison to the deck, the roach infestation won't be a deterrent. As much.
  • I love the natural light. Yes, I sound like an HGTV renter, but seriously. Scroll back up and admire that glow.
  • I love the developing coffee nook next to the fridge
  • I love how the house looks & feels fresher with every small update. I'm talking to you, A/C return air vent.
  • I can't find my mousepad. That's ok. We'll unpack it sooner or later. Along with everything else.
  • I love that the door to the master bath area closes so we don't wake each other up getting ready in the morning.
  • I don't know where to put anything. The chaos is tangible.
  • I love that there are no broken down cars sitting in driveways, or visible hoarders, or skid marks on the street, or overgrown yards, or traffic cones covered in holiday garland... I love living in a neighborhood where people are taking care of their homes.
  • I love that hubs will be installing the cat door this evening. 
So anyway, the list of things to do is still a mile long and we still don't have any window treatments on the office windows. I'm talking to you, chick walking her dog on rollerblades and all my neighbors who are forming opinions about us by peering in the windows. Yeah, we make Ikea furniture look gooood.

11 May 2014


My mom is constantly amazing, and my siblings and I always try to make her feel loved, not just one day a year. However, if there was ever an occasion for gifting a gardenia plant, today was it. We snagged the very last one for her today. It smelled lovely, and now I kinda want one! We turn into our mothers a little bit whether we like it or not. I'm lucky to have gotten a mother I'm proud to be like.

I mean, come on. Checkout the genius balancing act there.

Hey mom, a picture without "Ham Arms!" And your butt looks good!

P.S. Shoutout to another awesome mom, Smashaley. Calvin is turning out to be such a neat kid and she's such a great mom. Hey, she learned from the best, huh?

Chris's Big Deck

One of the first projects Chris completed at the new place is the deck. It's huge and weathered, but still sound. Yay for no termites!


The first thing we did to prepare was move the pile of bricks at the end. Unfortunately, they housed an infestation of roaches and I nearly died.

After Chris finished moving the bricks when I appropriately bailed, screaming into the house, he powerwashed all the wood & brick. Removing a layer of grime never hurts. Then, he stained the wood with Thompson's Waterproofing Stain. It looked like chocolate milk, but it dried a nice color and water beads up on it nicely. We even got to see it in action after we got some rain a few days ago. I am pleased!


P.S. We do plan to add gutters so that the downspouts don't empty right onto the deck. I don't know what they were thinking...

10 May 2014

Painting & updates

Today, I finished painting my craft room.
Then, we finished the master closet.
Then, I started on the master bath. The color we chose was one that was on sale at Home Depot because it was mixed wrong. Kind of a blueish color. It'll do!

We removed the old light fixtures to discover that the hole was horribly off-center. Of course.
So now we have to patch the old holes and cut new ones and fish the wires through in order to install the new fixtures. Something tells me we'll be using the guest bath for a while until the master bath gets all spiffed up.

So, the majority of the house is painted, and we started moving stuff in! Robby came by to help with the big stuff. We will move stuff in all week after work, and I think we'll be staying there by the end of next weekend. How exciting!

In order to live there, we'll of course have to have the cable set up. I've been dreading/ putting off that call to Comcast because it sucks so much talking to them. Somebody make me do it.

05 May 2014

craft room color

Not sure what to do with my time. Is it weird/ rude to paint while the painter is there? I feel kinda weird painting while the guy is there... painting. It's like, "Hey I'm paying you to paint but I'm going to hang out over here and paint too."

We hired a guy to do the main rooms, and opted to leave the small ones to save cash/ until we can figure out what color we want. The main rooms are all primed, and with that funky brown/gold/orange color covered up, it already looks so different. In comparison to the stark white of the primer, the baseboards all look yellowish. Ugh. Can't wait to see how fresh it looks with a fresh coat of white.

I started painting my craft room, and I just need to do the baseboards.

Speaking of, the color is perfect. [Benjamin Moore SLIP]
I love it. It's calming and energetic at the same time, and clean yet not boring. Check it out:





In the picture it's hard to tell, but it really is grey with a lavender tone. It's beautiful in person. I am happier with it than I expected to be. Even Chris likes it. Much better than the blue/green combo we started with.

Other projects around here include staining the deck, sealing the garage floor, replacing air vents, and painting the closets. Photographic evidence is sure to follow.

Also, someone needs to sign a lease on our rental because it's annoying getting 10 calls a day about showings, especially in the evening.

03 May 2014

Day 3 of home improvement

I'm fucking TIRED. And I smell horrible.
But I'm content.

In the interest of doing things the right way the first time...

Today I was supposed to remove all of the lovely shiny gold fixtures straight from 80's.com (toilet paper holder, towel bars, hooks) in the master bath, and replace them with the oil rubbed bronze ones we got last night. However, when I removed them, the holes and marks from the old ones remained and wouldn't be covered up by the new ones.

Our main goal is to do things right and resist the temptation to ghetto-rig. That meant that I had to caulk the holes, sand them down, and prime + paint. So, I got about halfway through that. I also scrubbed and caulked the baseboards to prepare them for eventual painting.

Still haven't decided on a wall color, but that can be a work in progress.

The color I was debating on for the master bath that I decided to put in the craft room is Slip by Benjamin Moore.

It's a light grey with lavender undertones. I got a little 8oz tester from Home Depot and painted a few swatches. Really pretty, but I don't think it's right for the bathroom. So, it's going into my room.

So, on my 4th day of straight home improvement-ness, I'll be painting my room. I figured I need to get my room set up first so I can get my sewing desk set up. There will be a need for curtains very quickly if we don't want the neighbors seeing us walk around in our underwear.

Other than painting, I busted out the oven cleaner and scrubbed the heck out of the stove's pop up air vent. It was gnarly. Now the only grease on that thing will be from MY cooking.

I keep asking Chris if I can rip random stuff out and he's like, "NO!"
He's no fun. But he's probably right.

What did Chris accomplish today? He worked in the morning, fixed a toilet, started replacing air conditioning vents with some lovely stark white ones, then powerwashed the deck area and prepared the garage floor for sealing/painting. Very manly stuff.

On the very last note, I finally lost one of the diamonds in my ring. The designer said that over the life of the ring, a small one might fall out. Honestly, with the stuff I subject it to, I'm surprised it lasted this long. It looks like a black hole in the middle of my shiny. Hmph. Luckily, Chris saw this coming and bought a couple extra stones when he got the ring. So all I have to do is take it in and have it fixed.


What did we do yesterday?

  • Woke up with Chris.
  • Cleaned old house. Made bed.
  • Packed a few things.
  • Met with realtor to put rental on the market.
  • Went to new house, saw that the sprinklers were on AGAIN. Figured out how to turn those things off for now.
  • Slapped a quick coat of paint on the mysteriously stained bathroom shelves. Ah, fresh.
  • Managed to lock the oven door. Can't figure out how to un-lock.
  • Mom & Ash came over, went to Walmart to buy a microwave because the painter guy was late.
  • 2 hours later, we left Walmart with much more than a microwave. Lots of beer.
  • Dropped Mom off at home, sped over to the new house to meet painter guy. Now we were late.
  • Met with painter guy. He gave us a new quote for the new areas to be painted with a different color, and fixing the not-as-awkward-anymore-but-still-ghetto built-ins.
  • Painter guy gives us contract/invoice and wants half of the money now, half upon completion.
  • Painter guy (Ok, let's just call him Jose from now on) follows us to the bank, where Ashley and I get paranoid about whether or not this guy will take our money & run.
  • Withdrawal money, give to Jose. He has sawdust in his truck; obviously he's legit.
  • Go to Home Depot to get fixtures for master bath. Decide what we want, then put it back because I figured Chris would want to help pick it out.
  • Pick out new toilet seat.
  • Almost pick out knobs, but realize it will depend on what finish we pick for the rest of the master bath.
  • Take pictures of cheap washer & dryer.
  • Get back to house, eventually figure out how to install new toilet seat. Dried up pee gets everywhere. Eew.
  • Patch some of the gnarly stuff in the tub with a porcelain touch up kit. Laugh at how tiny the paintbrush is. Realize we will probably need 2 more kits to finish. Contemplate how much we stink.
  • The kid that used to live in the house comes by on his bike to say hi. Freckled & skinny. ADORABLE.
  • Figure out how to apply the frosted glass contact paper to the windows on the front door. Get into a groove. It looks pretty good.
  • Install new door stops in the rooms where the doorknobs have smashed holes in the walls.
  • Un-install speaker on the back porch. Follow wires through walls into the garage. Pull wires back into crawl space. Done. (ish.)
  • Shove pile of trash into a large contractor trash bag & add to the pile.
  • Decide it's time for a tiny beverage. Wait on front porch for Karen to bring Calvin over.
  • They show up with Pate, who calls the house cute, and everyone has a tiny beverage. Chris drives by in the middle of our porch party. We all wave.
  • Pate figures out how to unlock oven door!
  • More beverage. Turn on oven to make a pizza for Chris.
  • Frank comes over! Looks at air conditioning stuff. Chris and Frank count how many air vents need replacing.
  • Stand around and discuss house & paint colors & decorative air conditioning grates.
  • Play with Calvin in a box.
  • Realize pizza is still in oven. Frank locks oven again.
  • I can't believe the damn oven is locked again. Call Ash to get Pate's number.
  • Oven gets unlocked. I'm still not sure how that works...
  • At some point, people leave and I've had a little wine.
  • Microwave some chicken nuggets and tator tots. Clean up a bit.
  • Go to Home Depot.
  • Pick out fixtures for master bath (oil rubbed bronze baby!), and stain for deck. And a new water pump for the toilet.
  • Get home, shower, go to BED.

02 May 2014


I totes wanted to put up some before & after pics from yesterday but I left my camera at the new place.
I did take a couple of adorable shots of Calvin playing in the shelves. It's like they were made for him!

My sister, mom, and I tore through that house yesterday. Every curtain rod and set of blinds is down. Every nail is out of the walls. The previous owners apparently loved to hang stuff up without properly anchoring it so there are several holes to patch. Those random wires tumbling out of the wall were removed when Chris got off work and ventured up into the attic. He also cut off the awkward part of the built-in shelves and it looks SO much better. We scrubbed tubs, cabinets, and even got the baseboards with toothbrushes in anticipation of painting them. Every single inch is clean. The place practically glows.

From 9am, there were people steadily moving in & out of the house-- 3 guys to give painting quotes, 2 guys that ripped out & installed new carpet, 2 guys that came to deliver the fridge, and of course us three girls cackling and singing and cleaning.

From the time I got there to the time we left, it looked so much brighter, cleaner, and more like... ours. Our blank slate.

We still have a lot to do, but we're slowly getting there.

Today they are putting our rental on the market. A small, sentimental part of me is going to miss this sweet little house. It's my first place after moving out of my parents, and it's the first place Chris and I lived together.

Sentiments aside, I'm ready to pack everything up and haul it into our new place!