warming up for the fourth

We decided to celebrate the fourth of July a bit early this year.  Not on purpose.  But what other excuse can I give for letting my husband buy fireworks?

No worries, it's illegal in our state to set off 'real' fireworks, so he could only get the 'kid' stuff.  But combining them made for a more interesting night.

[yes I'm aware there are nerf darts in the photo above and no I don't want to comment on their usage in this venture or amazing ability to shoot sparklers]

Check out that rock.  My friend is a lucky girl.
We used the beer bottles to keep the ashes off the driveway.  For the most part.  My brother is going to have some power-washing to do this week. [note two large burn marks, pre-beer bottling]

Perplexed over how to execute the next firework setup.
Shall I do an outfit post for hubby?  American Eagle cargo shorts, Saucony shoes, Tshirt via high-school days.  Oh and his socks are from Wal-Mart.  Ooh lala.

We had to hold in our snorting-laughter at this one.  Lighting the sparkler together looked eerily like the unity candle ceremony.  Fitting for this bromance.

No worries Mom, we played it safe.  No one lost a finger, limb or eyebrow.  Just good ol' safe fun.
Except for that one incident where Adam almost burned his hand.  But he escaped unscathed.  So that doesn't count, right?


bedroom progress: chair be gone

That's right, I waved my Ollivanders wand and voila!  That chair rail just apparated! Yeah, I wish.  If only Dumbledore were real.  He's make a mighty-fine DIYer.

In lieu of having any magical capabilities, we had to muster up the motivation to begin tackling the pesky chair rail the other weekend.  And by pesky I mean I don't like the color/placement of this one, so while I'm showering the other chair rails with love (paint them white, paint them white!), I'm just not feeling it with this one.  It was time for it to hit the road and I was more than happy to pick up my hammer and do some demolition.

But I let Adam have the first go-around so we could see what we were working with behind the chair rail.  Not knowing if there were layers of paint or if we would be seeing the original drywall, we wanted to make sure we removed the first piece carefully.  We decided to start with the smallest piece, centered between the two closet doors, so we could keep the damage to a minimum if we accidentally cut into the drywall. 

Adam slipped a flat head screwdriver along the side of the chair rail and gently tapped it with a hammer until the rail began to lift off the wall.  The trick is to keep the screwdriver absolutely parallel to the wall, otherwise the head will dig into the paint or drywall behind it leaving some gruesome holes.  Once the rail was lifted enough, he simply grabbed it with his hands and tugged it gently to remove the rail and the nails holding it into place.  And then promptly announced that 'he showed that chair rail who's boss'.

While Adam was surveying the damage, I took the time to hammer the nails down on the freed piece of chair rail.  Sure, it was going to end up in the dumpster, but we didn't want anyone (ahem, the dog) to accidentally step on or touch the nails before we got them to the trash.  Safety first people.

Back to the wall though, the result wasn't pretty.  The original drywall made an appearance along with about four layers of paint on the walls, which had created two neat little ridges on the top and bottom of the now-gone chair rail.  Knowing this project just got a bit more complicated, I went to work taking down the larger pieces of chair rail, careful to keep the screwdriver as parallel as I could, since the slightest touch sent the drywall crumbling.

It bums me out that the pink paint photographs red.  If only you could see the true color, you would understand my relentless motivation to redo this room.

I digress.  We groaned and sighed about the new project at hand and got to work.  I grabbed my scraper and went to work freeing all the loose paint around the previous chair rail by scraping in all directions.

And then Adam followed behind me with a first coat of primer, feathering the top and bottom portions so they wouldn't create more ridges on the already smooth portions of the walls.  We actually found a bunch of leftover paint in the garage from the previous owners.  So in an effort to save some green, we decided to use what we had on hand for the first few coats paint that would eventually be unseen, and use our saved pennies for the final coat.

Yes we're well aware this doesn't solve our rigid, holey problem.  But the primer really highlights those areas that are in need of a little TLC in the name of spackle'n'sand.  But that's a project for another night.  Once the primer dries.  And my arm stops hurting from all that scraping.


slow dog days

It's been a rough couple of day for the pup.  He has a bit of a cold - dry nose, not eating much, the works.
I hate it when he's sick.  Cause there's not much I can do unless he's violently ill.
So we've been taking shorter walks, longer naps and extra cuddles until he gets back to normal.

Which better be soon, cause I miss my playful puppy.
Who's always on the lookout for a stray squirrel or two.
He likes to keep them in line.


bedroom progress: to-do

Things I learned so far since our home renovation began:

1) Taking photos indoors, even with natural light is really, really hard when windows without curtains/shades are involved.  I must work on this.
2) Primer is not the ideal conditioner.
3) My husband is an engineer.  I knew this already, because that's his job.  But watching his thought process is fascinating to me.  Especially when it comes to picking paint.  It's like watching an animal in the wild.
That being said, onto our first room of attack: the master bedroom.  Mainly because it's pink.  And not just the walls.  The trim, the doors, the vents.  All pink.  And while we respect others' desire to have such a room, to us, a bedroom should be a soothing oasis where you can kick up your heels and fall into utter relaxation.  We also chose to bump this room to the top of the to-do list since we already have the essentials for our design: namely, a bed, dressers, side tables and our KAS bedding that we purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond a year ago and will definitely be staying around for a while.

Here's the current layout of the room:
This actually is our second-go-around of furniture placement, the first had the bed on the opposite wall where the dress currently resides.  But the off centered window meant the bed was pushed more into corner making it feel a bit cramped.  So we flipped the room so the bed could reside neatly in the center of the other wall.  And while the dresser is sharing space with the off centered window now, it doesn't seem quite as squished.  And my rush to get a layout put together resulted in one missing label (oops).  The striped section at the end of the bed represents where Ricki's PupStep Plus Dog Stairs hang out.  Even though he could hop up on the bed from the floor, we don't want the stress on his knee joints (a common issue for smaller dogs).  These stairs are sturdy but easy to move when we want them out of sight.  And Ricki can just saunter on up to his favorite pillow when it's bedtime without having to exert any extra energy jumping.
So here's what we've been calling home for the last month and half:

Please excuse the ridiculously wrinkled bedspread.  I had to remove a very sleepy, disgruntled puppy from it before snapping these photos.  No worries, he was relocated to the guest room where he quickly returned to his slumberous state.

So here's the rundown of what we want to accomplish in this room:
  • Remove the chair rail.  All three bedrooms have chair rail installed around the midpoint of the room.  We're just not loving it in the master and think a full wall of color would be much more calming.
  • Replace the closet doors and the main door.  They're pink and outdated.  All of the doors in the house need replacing, so we'll be doing this room-by-room.
  • Paint all the trim white.  My love affair with white trim continues.
  • Freshen up the ceiling paint - it's looking a little dingy.
  • Repaint the walls a soft grey to compliment the bedding.
  • Add crown molding - we love how this 'elevates' a room, literally.
  • Change all the outlet covers.  They're rockin' the old school 'almond' color which will clash with our freshly painted trim.  Changing them up with bright white covers will keep everything looking modern.
  • Tackle our sliding situation.  You'll notice the towel and pieces of textured shelf paper trying to hold everything in place.  Having a bedroom with hardwood floors has presented some problems, namely, the fact that every time you bump in the furniture it goes rolling across the floor.  We need to either secure a rug for under the bed or come up with a stay-put solution.
  • Come up with a curtain situation.  We're still undecided if we'll go with the soft look of sheer white curtains or punch things up with some color.
  • DIY a headboard.  Millions of tutorials on the internet, years of wanting to try one.  I cannot wait.
  • All the other typical items such as photos, decorative items and creative ways to 'stash' essentials such as Adam's cologne and our DVD collection (we're those people that fall-asleep-to-tv).
  • Refinish and stain the wood floor a dark mocha color (this will be well down the road, since we'll couple this room with the rest of the upstairs when it comes time to tackle this project.)
You know, just a few projects to fit in between work, volleyball, dog-walking and life.  We're excited though - the whole purpose of getting an older, slightly-outdated house was to spend the time making it our own.  Plus we're the DIY type of people who like to get a lot of bang for our buck, while feeling like we really accomplished something.

And so, the progress so far?  Moving the bed out of our room to create SUPERBED.  Oh yes, my husband is endearing.  And tackling that chair rail and pink trim.  More on that later.

Don't worry, this isn't going to become a DIY blog without any of the fluff.  I'll still leave you with random posts of photos, recaps of our daily adventures and exciting developments in Ricki's life.  But I know some of my avid readers (Hi Mom!) want the 4-1-1 on what we've been working on in our free time, so I'll try to include as many renovation updates as possible, even if they are just painting and don't involve actual demolition.  Although some will, just wait :) We've got big plans for this house.


blooming even more

You might be sick of seeing flower photos on my blog.
But I don't care.
Moving into a new house in the winter just means the first summer is full of surprises.
Here's last week's:


house tour: part two

So after our tour this morning of the downstairs of our new abode, I thought I should show you the upstairs.  Ya know, where we sleep.  Bring you full-circle.  Or full house.

So to get upstairs, you take these stairs sitting pretty right by the front door.  Hang a righty and you're greeted with this view of our upstairs 'landing'.

Straight ahead is the master bedroom, to the right is the full bath, to the far left resides the guest room and [unseen] to the immediate left is the third bedroom.  Also, that fixture?  Yeah, that's a ceiling fan.  In the hallway.  We can decide if that's brilliant or just plain weird.

Walking straight into the masterbed room you are greeted with a sea of...pink.  Yes, it's mauve town square in here.  Hence why this room is number one of the project list.  But we do love the hardwood floors - they just need to be refinished, and stained to a darker mocha color as opposed the orangey hue they're rockin now.

And the his'n'her's closets aren't too shabby.  Sure they aren't as amazing as the super-human closet we had in our apartment, but it's nice that we can each have our own space.  They're surprisingly deep too.  And adorned with pink doors.  Nice.

Next on the list is the to-be guest room, or the purple room as we've dubbed it.  At least until we change up the paint color to something more suited to male and female visitors.  Surprisingly this room has white trim [woot!] but we'll probably end up touching it up a bit to make sure it's the same color white as the rest of the trim we'll be updating.  So many whites, so little time.

You can really see the ivory-yellow trim color in this photo - it's painted on all the doors too.

The third bedroom was set up as an adorable nursery when the previous owners were here, but we're thinking it would make a great office/reading room.  Perhaps with a daybed in case we have multiple overnight guests.  And the color will be changing as well.  That yellow is, well, really yellow.

Last but not least is the hall bath, that was also recently redone.  We love the new vanity and mirror.

And that about wraps it up for the indoors.  House Tour Part Three will be arriving on the blog next week, with views of the outside.

And maybe, one day, when I find batteries for our Flip, a vlog tour will happen.  Until then I can only find Doritos.  So while you have no video tour, I have an afternoon of crunchy, cheesy goodness.  Things are looking up.

house tour: part one

Yes.  It's here.  Finally.  The house tour that is about two months past due, but in my defense, I accidentally 'hid' our house photos in a folder entitled 'Ricki's Birthday'...of which said birthday party did not take place in our house, so I didn't quite make the connection.

Never fear though, the lost photos have been found, and although these were taken extremely quickly after walking in with the keys for the first time, I'm going to post them.  Mainly because the rooms were still empty in these.  And all my current house photos involve a solid layer of plaster over the furniture and random piles of unfolded laundry.  We're just living the dream here.

So without further ado, the downstairs of our new home.  If you need a quick floor plan reference, you can find it here.

I don't have any photos of the outside of the house on hand, but picture a charming split level painted an obnoxious yellow color with evergreen doors.  Our back yard is on the tiny side due to the sunroom/patio add on, but it's landscaped beautifully.  I love how each week something new blooms.  Our front yard is huge, which in turn invites neighborhood kids to use it as the outfield for their pick-up baseball games.  I find it cozy that everyone is so friendly in this neighborhood.

One of our favorite things about first walking into the house are the french front doors.  Seriously.  Do you have ANY idea how easy these make moving?  Forget split box springs, double-front doors are the new black.

So upon walking in through those magnificent front doors (complete with lion knockers, oh the kitchyness), you enter into the mini-foyer looking into the living room/dining room/hallway.  It seems like our house has no 'set' rooms, but we love that it's so open.  You can stand in one room and see all the others.

That door leads to the kitchen, as does the hallway and to your right are the stairs.  The area to the right of the kitchen door is actually the dining [room] area as indicated by the lovely soon-to-be-replaced-with-a-modern-pendant-light chandelier.  Our table fits perfectly here, even when extended to comfortably seat up to eight people.  The carpet in this room is soft enough to sleep on, it's ultra-plush-goodness.  But we're not digging the faux stone linoleum that spreads through the hallway and kitchen.

The vaulted ceiling with the wooden beams had us at hello.  My love-hate affair with wood has me cringing at the unfinished, dark pine.  Luckily Adam has quite a bit of experience drywalling wood beams for a more finished look, so we can keep the look, but lose the wood.  And that large bay window?  Currently houses our 12lb pup who has been deemed the neighborhood watch dog.

Here's a view of the front door from the living room.  Check out those knockers.  Yeah, I went there.

Behind the open door is a hallway closet and to the right of that closet is a door leading to the garage.  Those spindles straight ahead are [thankfully] not load-bearing so they will be going the way of demolition soon.  But we'll be keeping the wooden barrier to add some definition between the hallway and dining area.  Plus there is some mega-storage space in there.

And one more spindling view back at the front door.  Notice the three cars, loaded up and just waiting to be unpacked into our new home.  Adam was impatiently tapping his foot while I begged to have a quick five minutes to snap some mess-less photos.

Onto the kitchen, here is the view walking in from the door connected to the living room.  The appliances and counter tops are relatively new, but those cabinets are definitely the originals.  We even found an old-school built-in bread box in one of the drawers! Still undecided as to if we'll stain, paint or just replace the doors on these.  Right now it serves it's purpose as home base for dinner-making.

Another view standing in the little kitchen nook that will eventually house a breakfast nook or small cafe table.  There's a small scale bay window to our right that looks out onto the patio as well.

Turn around and walk down three steps and you're in our family room.  It's huge.  Like 28x15.  The only thing I'm not digging (other than the wood trim that will soon be white) is the large walled fireplace.  I would love to paint it white or take part of it down, or recover it with wood panels similar to this

Walking out from the family room you'll find our sunroom, open, airy, tons of windows and even a skylight.  This room just needs a fresh coat of paint and the carpet removed.  Maybe we'll add some slate flooring?  We do love the bamboo shades that the previous owners left behind.  Unlike all the other curtains, those will are here to stay.

Walking back into the sunroom you'll see where you can walk up the stairs into the kitchen hallway or go straight ahead towards the downstairs bath.  There's a closet on the right side of the hallway as well as one straight ahead next to the full bath.  And if you turn left at the bend, you'll walk straight into our laundry/utility room.

This was taken standing in the family room looking into the living room/hallway/kitchen.  The openness, we love.  Don't mind our makeshift trash can, we're classy like that.

We love this bathroom.  Newly redone, huge 4ft shower and chocolate brown walls.  Other than painting the trim white, this room is finito.  Oh the trim?  Yeah, in this house, if it's not wood then it's painted this horrendous ivory-yellow color.  Cringe. 

And the last stop on part one is our laundry room.  Which is approximately 15x10, decent size.  While those tubs aren't the prettiest things to look at, they've definitely come in handy when washing paint and spackling off our arms.  And the storage in this room is definitely top-notch, this is only half of it.  The previous owners even had a freezer chest hooked up down here which might be a good thing to invest in down the road.

And that about ends part one of our house tour.  Stay tuned, part two: the upstairs will be coming at you this afternoon!



I love watching him play.

Volleyball and daylight and friends.
Now that's summer to me.


gettin' it done

Well hello there.  Mrs. Tim the Toolman Taylor reporting for duty.  Complete with primer paint in my hair.
It's a look that will grow on you.  Apparently ponytails and paint cans don't mix.  Or actually mix rather well.  Just not in my favor.

I'm back and in action after a quick trip to the doctor for some meds to mend my poor little ear.  And since I bounced back so quickly, Adam and I were able to put in a few good hours of work on our bedroom last night.  Wait...that sounds wrong...

We put in a few good hours rennovating the bedroom last night.

Much better.  We're taking the home improvement one step at  a time, or more noticeably, one room at a time.  And since our bedroom came complete with PINK walls and PINK trim and PINK closet doors, it was a shoo-in for our first project.  I'm actually planning to create a second blog where you can read all the details on what we're doing instead of posting it on here.  I'm sure you'd rather look at puppies and boats and shoes on here.  Me too.

Plus we want to actually document how we do things, so that when we have to repeat something in another room we don't get a major case of twenty-something memory loss and end up screwing it up.  So once we get that all set up, I'll post the link here for you DIY fanatics or for those who are wondering how on only our second day of rennovating, I ended up using primer as conditioner.

I'm by no means well-versed in home improvement, this is definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants project (well, for me.  Adam actually knows what he's doing.  I'm just learning as I go).  Although so far, it's looking good...as in the pink trim is gone.  Which makes me want to do a happy dance.  I have a love affair with white trim.  Seriously.

And since I don't want to leave you hanging, here's a [poor cell phone] photo of what happens when you get to move your queen size bed into the same room as the full-size guest bed.

'I deem it...Superbed.'  [Adam]


say what?

I had this brilliant idea that I was going to get up early yesterday morning and write you all a post about my weekend and then it didn't happen.

Mainly because I have an ear infection that prohibits me from hearing anything out of my left ear.
I've spent 95% of my time yelling 'what?!' and the other 5% just completely ignoring people because I can't hear them.
It made volleyball difficult interesting. I'm pretty sure my team wants to disown me.

So what does this have to do with me writing about my weekend?  Nothing really.  I was just hoping for sympathy points.  I'm a real pain when I have an ear infection, which is about once a month.  Something about narrow ear canals and my inability to keep them pristine.

You really wanted to know that huh?

To add to the pain, my car decided to go all rogue on me and get a flat tire.  Brilliant.  Especially since I needed new tires anyway and have been holding out on that expense.  So that couch we were planning to buy this month?  Long gone and now riding around on my wheels.  But hey, at least my tires look new and shiny!  Now if only I could muster up the strength to actually wash my car...



i'm on a boat!

Back with another edition of the Adventures of Ricki.  You know, cause his life is way more exciting than mine sometimes.  I'd tell you that I went on the boat this weekend, but that's old news.  However, RICKI going on the boat?  Now that's the stuff headlines are made of.  Cause he doesn't do water.  At all.  But he does do sunbeams, and boats have a lot of those.

So he took his talents to the water.
Well, kind of.  More like on top of the water, on a boat, tied to a dock.  It sounds less exciting than it is.

Although it didn't take much time for him to get comfy.

The constant flow of attention, pets and treats might of had something to do with it.
Next up - actually taking the boat out on the water.  And wrestling him into a doggie lifejacket.

We're going to need to get more treats.


memorial day recap, a wee bit late.

We went camping on Memorial Day weekend and being the ditz I am, I packed two camera batteries and no camera.  Fail.  Luckily my brother-in-law is a fantastic photographer and I was able to snag some of his photos to edit and post.

So without future ado, a weekend in the woods.  Without indoor plumbing.

Look ma!  No shower!

Lots and lots of hiking.  Except for Megan, she got a free ride.
snort.  newlyweds.

My mountain man :)
We actually drank water from that stream.  It was so perfectly clear and refreshing.

It was like watching an old movie when I looked at these two.  Like Little Rascals or Huckleberry Finn...or I'm just making this up.   I think the rolled up jeans are making me nostalgic.

I apparently have some mad fire building skills.
But don't expect me to go all mountain man on you anytime soon.  As much as I love spending the weekend among nature and my family, I really adore my indoor plumbing.  And showers.

.sidebar .widget h2 { text-align: center; }