Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh How I Wish

I had a finished tile wall to show you. Alas, yesterday was a busy day. We have probably 5 tiles to install still (you'll understand why it is taking so long in the reveal) so hopefully soon. We did however order our molding for the doors, ceiling, etc which should be delivered today! Then I get the fun task of installing and painting it. I shouldn't complain though, Daniel has been doing all the nitty-gritty tiling. So until I've got something to show you here's something pretty to look at.

Wood Countertops

Here's to hoping our kitchen is as pretty when it is done. 


Monday, July 30, 2012

So Close I can Taste It...

I wish I had a big reveal but man does everything take 10X longer than you expect! Though, since I am going off this to do list, I may have bitten off more than I can chew in one weekend.

I did manage to check off a few items. We officially set a date for our appraisal so we have until the 8th to finish up. Obviously the big two are the flooring and tile. I can say we made some serious progress. Here's a sneak peek. (I know things look a little yellow but that is just my lack of white balance)

I LOVE all of the color variations. This one is my favorite. If you squint and tilt your head it looks like it says California.

See it?

Well, if it was written by a 5 year old boy with limited space, but I see it.

The tiling should be done tomorrow so I should be able to show you a few more details then! Yay for progress!


Friday, July 27, 2012


Just a quick post to show you our new counters!

They wont be blond for too long but I'm digging their woodsy vibe. Since they were super cheep for counters (thank you IKEA), we are going to see how it goes but I found a place that sells dark tung oil that should darken them up a bit but still make them usable for cutting (it is food safe). I'll let you know how that goes.

We've got flooring to pick up and tiling is happening so things are moving. Our August 8th deadline is creeping up but it is so worth it for all of the progress.

You may also notice the cabinet around the refrigerator. Yeah, I got that done too but haven't had a change to blog about it. So there it is.

Anyone else ready for a productive weekend. I feel like my life has been on fast-forward. On the plus side, I'm totally counting tearing up flooring as exercise. It counts right?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Movin' On Up

It is official, we now have a bed room again. We've been using the bedroom as a staging area for pretty much the whole kitchen project and most of the time it looks like this.

Not exactly inviting is it? Not that it is in any way done but here she is all cleaned up.

The almost empty stage (I had some serious mopping to do before anything was going in there).

Our finished wall- sans light switch.

Why yes the walls are still lavender.

And finally, with the bed back in. Still playing with the layout but Norman finds it very exciting. So exciting he had to kill a hippo in frame.

His happy face makes up for it though.

Lots of progress to show but currently things are everywhere. We have a joke here that I can only keep two rooms clean at any one time. Currently that is the Bedroom and Library.

In other news our flooring comes tomorrow and I may have more to show you (if I get the kitchen clean). I finished pulling up the flooring and look what I found. Do you think it is functional?

You never know with old houses do you. Has this happened to anyone else? The house we moved in to when I was 10 had a door hidden behind the refrigerator. To this day I wish I had opened it to see what was behind.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Grillin' and Chillin'

Because you know, that's what we did all weekend. If only that were the case right? We are up to our eyeballs in drywall dust but it looks like the project just may be wrapping up soon. I did have time (while Daniel was sanding) to eek out this little project.

First, some back story. About two weeks ago I was telling Daniel how I'd love to have a grill but I didn't think I'd use it enough to warrant buying one. Later that day we were taking the dog for a walk and there it was. Sitting on the side of the street, a little worse for the wear, with a sign that said "free- works". You had better believe I stopped that walk right there and wheeled that baby home.

It languished for a few weeks while other projects took precedent, so, without further ado, some before and afters.

Before- all rusted and gross


It is amazing what a scrub brush and some high heat spray paint can do right? Now I just need to find time to light this baby up.

Anyone else think the weekend was way too short? Yeah, me too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Little Seen Corner of Our Home

I don't believe I have shown you what is now the office since we moved in over a year ago. Since then things have changed and it has gone from this

It was a good library but it makes a better office. So we switched things around and have come up with this probably temporary solution.

I'll admit this is about as clean as this place gets as it serves double duty as craft room and office. I'm hoping to tackle some of that soon but you know how that goes. You can thank an impending appraisal for the relative cleanliness.

What I'd really love to do (besides paint) is add a day bed and move the desk. Clearly carpet needs some love too. The thing about home offices (or ours at least) is not much real work happens here. Daniel is usually parked in some other room in the house so I've pretty much taken over the space.

Our sudden progress is not slowing down but spackling takes time people. I hope to show you some major changes next week (because lets face it, we aren't going to get a very good appraisal without it).

Hope you all have productive and fun weekends!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Floor to Ceiling Challenge

You may remember last week  I challenged Daniel to a face off on who could finish their project first- me removing the flooring in the kitchen or Daniel removing the remaining ceiling boards in the bedroom.

I was so going to win. Seriously. I mean look how far I was.

Well, last night I came home to this

Curses he won! Obviously it took my non-competitive brain about two seconds not to care and just be super psyched about not having a hole in our bedroom ceiling any more but there was that moment.

Why the sudden spur forward you ask? On Monday our loan officer contacted us and said that basically he would pay us to refinance our house to a lower rate (obviously there is more to it than that but Daniel deals with those kinds of things). The only catch? We have to get the house appraised again which means it needs to look like it isn't in a million pieces. Easier said than done right? Apparently not. If I had known giving my husband an extra $200 a month would have gotten this project done sooner I just might have done it. We worked straight through to 9:30pm (which is way past my "I'm done" time) and are no longer living with open walls. 

We even finally got around to closing up the hallway. 

Oh and he finished the electrical too. Amazing right?

Obviously everything still needs to be spackled and painted but this is a huge step forward. Yay for sudden progress. Now I just have to go back and finish tearing up that floor. **double sigh**

Anyone else make spontaneous progress on their projects this week? I don't think I've ever seen Daniel so determined to finish a project.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Knobbing Around

You may remember that stripping the paint from our door knobs was one of my resolutions this year (#12 in fact). I'm always so sad when I see people have painted over antique metal (unless it is rusty). I know everyone has there thing, but that is mine. So, it should come as no surprise that the knobs in this house bugged me. Big time. Especially since many of the knobs looked like this.

I mean come on! If you are going to paint something at least paint it well!

I have been keeping my eye out for a non toxic paint removal system but most required a crock pot and I didn't want to deal with it. I poked and poked and finally found one that was a stove top method. One $5 pot later and I was working away.

It's a pretty simple method.

  • Dump a layer of baking soda in a pot you don't plan to use again.
  • Put in hardware
  • Fill to cover
  • Bring to boil and then simmer for 30 min or until paint is gone.
Boiling makes it go faster but you have to stand there and watch. After the paint is loose you just scrub with a wire brush and you are set. Look how much prettier they are clean and paint free!

Not all of the face plates were pretty but a little polishing restores their luster.

The knobs themselves were a bit tricky but the key is just letting them dry fully (water gets lodged in them). My knobs didn't shine up as much and were a bit rusty so I gave them a spritz of ORB spray and they were good as new (see, nothing against paint when it is needed).

Library Door


Obviously I still need to paint the doors but that is a resolution for another time.

Anyone else doing simple updates lately? Sometimes I just need a break from the major project the kitchen has become.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Piece of the Puzzle

This also could be titled "the one in which I got lucky and didn't have to spend weeks on yet another project" but I felt that it was a bit wordy. 

If you remember, there was one piece of our kitchen still missing as of last update. 

No, that stool isn't a permanent fixture. We were planning on building an open cabinet for the space but haven't really gotten around to it (i.e. Daniel's been busy and I'm not up to it). I've been keeping my eyes open but apparently 21" cabinets are less common. Lucky for me I never give up on a shopping trip and low and behold a quick "oh while we are here let me check and see if they have any base cabinets" at the ReStore paid off.

$25 bucks and it was even painted white. A sign. Obviously the door doesn't match but that can be arranged. Here she is in her new home.

You can see the painting is coming along. It is just the doors that need finishing. Next up is counters and then the tiling can commence. 

Isn't it great when you find just what you are looking for?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Watermelon, Mint & Feta Salad AKA Summer in a Bowl

I may or may not be addicted to Trader Joes. Not going to lie, I am probably in there at least four times a week and many of the employees know me by name. Come on, you know if you had a Tj's within walking distance you'd be there all the time too. Any-hoo. The last two days (hey, I told you I had a problem) they have been sampling watermelon salad and I just had to share it with you. This is definitely becoming one of my staple recipes.

It is super easy. Gather your ingredients.

Chop and toss.

I pretty much eyeballed it. I would guess it would be 1/3 cup feta, 1 tbs rice wine (or white balsamic) vinegar, one small watermelon, and 2 tbs chopped mint. Delicious and not that bad for you. I used fat free feta which made one serving (this made 2) cost me 1 pt+ (for you weight watchers folks out there).

This lovely thing showed up today too.
Sadly it won't be installed until the weekend but I am giddy just thinking about it (picture me dancing around the kitchen singing "it's finally happening!") 

Anyone else have an easy and low fat summer salad they love? My goal weight is about 15lb away and I am excited about getting there.


Linking up to:
Frugal Friday

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Monday, July 9, 2012

Face Lift

Remember how I told you last week I'd have all sorts of progress to show you? Yeah, nothing happened. But this week is different! First up I've got a serious face lift to reveal. Ready? You know you are!

For those of you who have been following along patiently with this little kitchen reno you will probably recall that many things had to happen to get the kitchen where it is right now (walls had to be taken down, moved, drywalled, beams torn out, and old lighting removed to say the least). All of that fuss left our kitchen ceiling looking a little shabby. I give you exhibit A

Here it is from another angle with details.

Here's what we've got now.

About a billion times better right? What's that? Why yes we did replace that fugly 90's track lighting! Isn't she a beaut?

We have been sitting on this light since we first started the kitchen. It is from Home Depot by Hampton Bay. We got ours in bronze to go with the other light fixtures.

Speaking of other lights, we also updated the light over the sink. I know, you're thinking, didn't they already do that? We did, but there were some issues. The main issue was that with the dining room in direct line of sight to the kitchen sink, anyone sitting down was blinded by the light (never a good thing). So a quick trip to the ReStore and $9.00 later we have this lovely little shade.

Pretty isn't it.

Even better is that it goes perfectly with the light we are going to be putting by the back door.

World Imports Lighting 9007-88 Luray 1-Light Semi-Flush Light Fixture, Oil Rubbed Bronze
Via Amazon

Amazon pulls through again with this pretty $43.53 dollar number. A steal right? Seeing as that similar ones were going for upwards of $90 at the ReStore I think we got a good deal. That should be here next week and soon our lighting will be complete! 

I'm still plugging away a painting cabinets. Slowly but surely my friends. I did attempt to install my new drawer hardware to show you but the screws they included weren't long enough to attach. **sigh** hopefully next week. I need to call and see what can be done.

Many little things left to work on, but the tiling and the flooring are the last big things.  Daniel and I made a pact, if he finishes removing the ceiling bits in the bedroom then I will finish tearing up the floor. If you've ever worked with a Dremel then you know I got the better end of that deal. More to reveal tomorrow but I thought I'd give you the big update today.