Friday, August 30, 2013

Insert Sigh of Relief

It's blue.

It's blue. It's blue. It's blue.

Actually, it's Fairmont Penthouse Mosaic Blue by Valspar and it's perfect.  I cannot even tell you how nervous I was about this whole thing, but let's back up a little before we get to the good stuff.

West Elm held a Color Event a few weeks ago.  I went with a friend and we had a wonderful time. I talked to their stylist about this makeover and he gave me the confidence to go for navy!

I headed to my local Lowe's and picked three different blues that I thought looked like "navy blue."  I painted them on every wall in the bathroom.  The one I was the most excited about was the middle blue - it's Navy Blue by Pantone.  Sorry Pantone, but I wouldn't call that "navy blue".  It's more of a "royal blue" (i.e. it's purple).  I knew it was definitely not the one when my best friend walked into my bathroom and said "Oh! I like this purple color!"  I decided to go with the blue on the far right (this iPhone photo doesn't do it justice).

This bathroom painting project has been hanging over my head for weeks.  I just kept putting it off.  I had those paint swatches on the wall for weeks.  As excited as I was about the color, I just wasn't feeling motivated.

Then it hit me, I don't have to do this - I can pay someone to do this.  I know this is going to sound over dramatic, but I'm going to say it anyway: it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.  It's hard to explain, but this bathroom was sort of a mental block for me.  I wasn't getting this done and I wasn't getting anything else done.  When I decided to pay someone to do this, I became very productive.

This may seem crazy to some people (paying someone to do what I have the ability to do myself), but it was so wonderful.

For those of you that are local - I used Friend and Floren Painting.  The painter came to my house, we talked about everything that needed to be done and then he gave me a quote.  He's awesome to work with and the paint job is fantastic.

Ok, ok, let's get to the good stuff.

Speechless.  Completely and utterly speechless (I say this know I'm about to prove myself wrong with this wordy post).

I was so nervous about this color.  I was scared that a) I would hate it, b) it would make the bathroom feel smaller and c) that it wouldn't be the right blue.  I was so anxious to see it on the wall.  When I turned the corner to walk up the steps, I held my breath as I looked up at the bathroom.  Then I saw it, screamed and ran up the stairs.  It's such a nice blue and it didn't overpower the bathroom at all!  Phew.

As you can see, the mirror is still missing.  I have one.  I just haven't finished painting it yet.  It's not high on my to-do list.

Dad and I had many discussions about the mirror in this bathroom.  If the ledge ran under the mirror, then it would be tilted up.  We went back and forth on how to fix this problem.  We decided to cut out the section of the ledge that was right over the vanity, but leave the board and batten.  I drew a line 4 inches in from both edges of the vanity - that way, no matter what mirror I buy (or if I change my mind) the mirror will always fit in the gap centered above the sink.

The painter caulked in all the cracks in the board and batten (he even did the cracks in the crown molding below the ledge).  That really elevated the look of the board and batten.  It's the perfect finishing touch.

The light fixture is staying, but I plan on spray painting the body (not sure what color yet).  I really wanted to put my chandelier in here, but I think it will bump into the shower curtain rod.  That realization was quite a bummer, but whatevs.

I am very concerned that this bathroom will feel very masculine.  I need to get some girly crap in here asap.  I have art that I plan on hanging, but I'm not quite sure how else to add a women's touch.  Since Katie Brown isn't here to give me advice, I'll have to turn to pinterest.

"Then presto-chango, suddenly
The sun comes shining through
And what does Mr Sunshine say to you

This is officially the first painted window in my home.  I've painted all the trim, but haven't tackled any windows yet.  I'm loving the way this look, I think it has inspired me.

One more look back on what it used to look like:

And here's how it looks now:
There are just a few things left on the list:

– put up the mirror
– vent cover in shower
– add art and girly accessories (but not too girly)
– hang a towel hook
– replace the blind
– get a shower curtain

Using this bathroom has been an absolute pleasure.  Best change in the entire house. #sogladitsover

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Parents New Kitchen

Big things are happening! After 27 years in this home, my parents have taken the plunge and ripped out their old kitchen.  Hint, hint: this is the old one.  This kitchen worked very well for a long time.

It worked when we were little when we didn't take up much space.  But now that all the kids have grown up and there are two grandkids and one dog running around - there just isn't enough space.

This is the view from the front door of the living room and kitchen (and Charlie yawning). Here's the long and short of this kitchen reno - remove the wall between the two rooms and push the kitchen wall out.  In the end, they will have an open living room, dining room and kitchen.

This is the new kitchen in all it's light and bright goodness.  The black shape in the bottom left is the living room chair.  The tray ceiling is over the new dining room.

Where the unfinished floor meets the nice living room floor is where the old wall used to be.  What a difference!

This is one of the areas we are all very much looking forward to - it's a breakfast nook with bench seating.  It's so long that we could fit our entire family at that table, but we won't have to.  We'll also have the options of sitting at the nine foot island or the dining room table.

This the view from the backyard.  The section of the house that sticks further out is the shop - to the right of that was the patio and deck (both of which are now gone to make room for the new addition).

That new addition is the new kitchen area.  It's huge and wonderful and we are all freaking out just a little bit.

Here's what it looked like with all the flooring in...

And here it is with the cabinets in! I cannot express enough how exciting this is.  No more bumping into each other and now we all have a place to sit.  We can't wait to see it finished and finally be able to start using it!

Mom and Dad deserve this kitchen more than anyone can imagine.  They have worked very hard for many years and it's so nice to see them do something for themselves.  Though, they might regret it later.  I keep telling my mom that we are all planning on moving back in once the reno is done - for some reason she doesn't think that is very funny.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Her Bad Habit

Charlie is starting to develop a very strong (and bad) habit of sleeping in.  Is it wrong that I'm jealous of my dog?  We can talk about my issues later.  Instead, let's talk about how we got to this new habit.

I pump the AC every night because I love a cold room. Charlie does not, so she squirrels under the covers and stays there almost all night.  I absolutely love it.  She's so cozy.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, she gets hot and leaves the comfort of the covers for her own bed.  About an hour before I get up, she jumps back onto my bed and snuggles up against me - translation: she's cold again.  I grab the edge of the covers and fold it over her...

And that is where she stays until I make her get out of bed.

This wouldn't be so bad, except that she never gets up!  I've starting using a trick that most moms know - startling the baby into waking up by taking off their blankets so they get a little cold.  That's what I have to do with Charlie.  I take the blankets off her so she wakes up.

It doesn't always work.  There have been a few times that I've had to bribe her out of bed with the promise of a treat.

Because of her sleeping in - I've had to clean up after her twice in two weeks.  She takes forever to come downstairs and then putzes around outside.  I need to get to work, so I bring her in because she's just standing outside sniffing the air.  Am I living with a teenager? Normally, if she skips her morning constitutional, she can at least wait to go until I get home, but not lately.

My little teenager has forced me into purchasing a doggie door.  This isn't my favorite thing, but it will be very nice to let her go in and out as she pleases.  When the weather is nice, I've been leaving the backdoor cracked for her.  I recently taught her how to push it open when she wants to come in, but then the door is left open.  It lets the bugs in and it's certainly not something I can do during the winter.

My mom has been telling me to do this ever since I bought the house.  I didn't love the idea of putting a hole in my door or making that backdoor any less safe, so I put it off.  In the end, Mom is right again.

I felt awful buying this because it's just one more thing to add to my dad's to-do list.  When I was buying it, I had a fleeting thought that maybe I could do it myself.  Then I read the directions on the back.  No, I will not be doing this myself.  Not unless I want to be buying a new door.

Pretty sure I owe my dad the most amazing Christmas present ever.  That shouldn't be too hard since he's so easy to buy for.  #false.  He's so hard to buy for, but I'll think of something!  I owe him big.

Dear Dad,

Thank you in advance.  You're the best.

Ginner, Charlie and the carpet

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Messy Little Secret

Say hello to my messy, embarrassing secret - the jungle.  This is what my back yard looked like for several weeks.  Whenever I instagrammed a photo, I had to carefully crop out this mess.  I've been hiding it from the public eye, but I couldn't stand it any longer.

The side bushes weren't looking any better.

Not to mention this pile of junk from my garage.  All of that stuff was in my garage.  Can you believe that?  I hardly can.  It was hard to part with that spider/dust/dirt covered Santa, but eventually my mom talked me into parting with it (Are you sensing my sarcasm?).  Thankfully, my dad hauled this away in his trailer, so it no longer takes up my entire patio.

Oh what a mess.  I took this picture after I had started ripping out the weeds/flower/whatever.   I started on the right and worked my way toward the garage.  As I was ripping things out, I saw Charlie hunting through the weeds, but she just couldn't keep up with her prey.  A few minutes later, I encountered what she was after - a tiny mouse.  The fact that it was tiny didn't stop me from screaming.  Thank goodness it was a mouse and not a rat.  Shudder.

Me being a total gardening newbie - I started this whole process in flip-flops.  That would have been dumb enough considering what I was going to do, but it was also raining.  Why I thought flip-flops were a good choice, I will never know.  About 5 minutes into the process I grabbed my wellies and things went a whole lot better.

By the time I was done with the backyard, I had the beautiful pile of crap that I had no idea what to do with - so I moved on.

I was already wet and sweaty, so I decided to get it all the trimming done as well.  Every time I look at my trim job I just have to laugh.  Don't they look so sad and pathetic?  Oh the poor things.  Someday I'll have my dad teach me the skill of pruning, until then, well, this will happen.

I added in the trimmings from the side bushes and the pile was finally complete (and taking over my patio).  This is where the country girl side of me came out.  I looked at that pile of junk and thought What the heck do I do with this? 

At home, we take stuff like this and throw it in the burn pile in the field.  When my dad bags the grass as he mows, he throws it in the field.  When we are done with our Christmas tree, we throw it in the field.  So my first idea was Where's the nearest field?  Thankfully, my city has a website to answer pesky questions like this.

ps. Remember that little mouse I told you about earlier?  He showed up again in this pile and then hightailed it when I started moving the pile.

After purchasing and filling several large paper bags, my patio was finally empty.  It's weird to put my yard trash out with the regular trash, but I guess it has to go somewhere, right? 

Did you know that I love scrubbing my wood floors?  I love getting down on my hands and knees and scrubbing the floor (I'm not even kidding).  I don't know why, but it's a chore I actually look forward to.  Gardening on the other hand? Yeah, that bologna is just not for me.  The end result was not worth the effort.  But, there are many people who would disagree with me.  To those people I say - when are you coming over? 

All landscaping projects will be happening next summer, when my gardner sister will be back in her house.  Esther has so generously volunteered to do the weeding if I mow both yards.  Does she know I'm getting the better end of that deal?  Let's not tell her, because I really hate weeding.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Stairs are Finally Done

Saturday was a very productive day for me.  Charlie's whining had me up at 8 am and I was in get-it-done mode (Not to be confused with git-r-done. Totally different.).  My #1 priority on Saturday was to finish the stairs and hallway.  Oh my, does it ever feel good to have them done.

Let's start with the least exciting of the two - the hallway.

There has always been an access door in the hallway (so that we could get to the plumbing) but when my dad changed the fixtures in the bathroom, the whole got bigger and had little hole babies.  My dad patched most of it with drywall and he built a nice door for the larger opening.

This is one of those things that has been staring me in the face every single day.  Every time I walk up the stairs I look at the patched wall and the door and say to myself "I really need to paint that."

It's so nice to finally have it done!  I didn't realize how much it was bugging me until I was finished.  Later in the day, I was walking up the stairs and (being so used to seeing the unpainted wall) was surprised to see this finished.  It feels so good to cross that off the to-do list.

I painted the door and trim around the door gray to match the wall so it wouldn't stand out as much.  This door is quite an upgrade from what used to be there.  That's one thing that makes my dad even more amazing - he doesn't do anything halfway.  He could have just stuck a rectangular piece of wood in that opening like there was before.  Instead, he framed it out, put trim around it and put a very nice handle on it.  Thanks, Dad! 

Now on to the most exciting update - the stairs!

Many months ago, when I first painted everything, I taped off the stairs and gave them a coat of primer.  After owning the home for several weeks, I noticed the stair fronts getting scuffed up very quickly.  I decided to leave them that way until the bathroom was done (aka- no big work boots going up and down the stairs).

So this is what my stairs have looks like every day since I moved in - blue tape peaking out from under the carpet treads.  Plus, the carpet treads moved constantly, so I was always fixing them.

You could also see the blue tape from the rest of the living room - as my mom so wonderfully pointed out when I posted this photo on Instagram.  It was time to fix that little eyesore!

First, I cleaned the stairs with murphy oil (killing several spiders along the way) so that I didn't have to kneel in dust and dirt (and spiders, oh my!) while painting.  The water in the bucket was disgustingly brown when I finished.  By the time I reached the last step my knees were killing me! 

Since I needed to go to Home Depot anyway, I added "knee pads" to my list and headed right over.  I didn't want to be kneeling on those steps any more until I had those knee pads.  Seriously - best $8 I've ever spent.  What a difference they made!  

After cleaning, I painted on two coats of white semigloss (the same that I used for all of my trim).  Next, I peeled off all of the blue tape (insert huge sigh of relief).  Then, I cleaned the steps again.  The fact that I ended with another disgustingly brown bucket of water grosses me out a little - Were they really that dirty?  Bleck. 

The final step was adding on the carpet treads.  I bought these treads in gray and really love them.  Charlie appreciates them, too.  This time around, I cut up a piece of non-slip rug pad to prevent the pieces from moving around so much.  I just wanted to test it out, so I didn't buy enough for each tread.  If this works, I will.  So far so good.

This is something you've probably heard seen me say a million times, but I'm going to say it again - This is my favorite part of my house: I love the colors and the feel of this space.  It's so nice to look over there and no longer see that dang blue tape sticking out over the edge! 

I kicked Saturday's butt - along with the two projects I showed you today, I also:

- bought new lightbulbs for the dining room light (hello light!)
- scrubbed the living room floor
- scrubbed the hallway floor
- cleaned the kitchen
- ran some errands
- went thrifting
- went to Target
- wrote 2 blogs posts

Seriously, I kicked Saturday's butt.