3.29.2013

Laundry Room Makeover: I Saw The Light

We'll pick right up where our saga left off: Broken tiles and a bare subfloor. But never fear, our intrepid heroes will prevail.

First things first, a wet saw. We picked up this one from Lowe's for under $90, and I must say, it's a little champ. Through the online reviews we learned to make a small cut along our line on one end, then flip the tile around and make the long cut to meet the small one. This 100% prevented broken corners and left us with basically perfect cuts the first time, every time. Now if that's not success, I don't know what is. Here's Nate in action:
video

You can see the initial smaller cut in the photo below as the blade making the longer cut comes to meet it.
 We also picked up this mixing drill attachment for around $10. It seemed like a great idea, but really, we could have done without it. The drill wasn't quite strong enough to go up against the Thinset mortar, so we ended up detaching it from the drill and whipping it around with our hands.
Nate pours in the Thinset.
Mixed and ready for action!
 We took turns spreading Thinset (using corner and notched trowels) and placing tiles and 1/8" spacers:
Me trying not to Thinset myself into a corner.
Nate lays the last few from the garage.

 And after only about 45 minutes, we had a tile floor. Pretty miraculous after the prior day's events.
 The only bad part about making over your laundry room: Lots of laundry, no working washer and dryer. Don't wear clothes you care about on a tiling project - If you're anything like me, you'll plant your butt in the Thinset bucket more than once. I wish that was a joke.
Monday: Grouting, caulking, and the big reveal!

Recap day one here, and if cheat you must, here's day three.

3.28.2013

Laundry Room Makeover: Great Expectations

I teased you with a picture of some torn up linoleum on Monday, and now here I am to kick off the tale of mini-renovation. I decided to break it down into chapters of each day so you can follow along on the harrowing journey. For the record: We thought this would be a one-blog-entry kind of project. You can now look forward to three.

Maybe four. The joys of doing it yourself. Here we go...!
Operation Replace Linoleum With Tile, Engage!
 Our laundry room serves a couple purposes: One, exactly what it's name suggests, and two, as our main entrance into the house every day from the garage. It's also hanging out at a juncture where the living room, powder room, and my sewing room all meet, so it's a pretty high visibility little spot.

Which made the stained, ripped, and weirdly-skin-colored-pastel-and-white linoleum even more of an eyesore than that description presents.
Peering in from the sewing room doorway - Machines removed.
Two examples of the reasons for removal: Torn and stained.
Oh the ugliness.
 We wrastled (yep, it was beyond wrestling) our washer and dryer out into the garage, and mopped up all the water (from unhooking the washer) and accumulated lint carnage from the past year (YIKES). Then, onto tediously, carefully, back-breaking-ly tearing up the linoleum with hammers and chisels.
A couple hours (!!) later, we had it. And perhaps more remarkably in a 35 square foot space, we didn't chisel or hammer each other. I won't, however, say the temptation wasn't there a few times when we had to close both doors and bounce off each other while we slipped around in our own sweat or had our faces plastered into a corner. It was an adorable scene, I'm sure.
 Once up, it was time to choose the best tiles of the bunch and figure out a pattern.
 Nate came up with a great system where we created the grid the floor would have, laid out our tiles, and then numbered them based on how they would be laid to include an escape route for whichever of us put in the cornerstone. We put our cutting measurements on as well, so all we had to do was pick one up, see the number, and make the required adjustment.
 Sadly, we decided to go with a tile cutter instead of a wet saw...
 ...Which brought us lots (and lots) of this:
 
And this, children, is where our saga ends for today. Two dejected, sore, and hammer-induced-heachache-y folks with plans to procure a wet saw later that night and get back to it in the morning. But hey, at least that wretched linoleum was gone.
To be continued....


If you just can't wait, here's day two and day three, which includes the final product!

3.27.2013

Walkin' In A Non-Winter Wonderland

A surprise snow landed in our area on Friday, hitting our house with about 4 inches of the white stuff. Considering we hardly got that much this winter, and have no recent memory of any snow in March, we made the most of it. It was a sparkler of an afternoon - Thought you might like to come along on a pretty walk in our woods.
 Of course we also found some fun in our own front yard as well...
Mini
Teenage Mutant Ninja Snowman
Sunset Drive
 By Saturday it was disappearing in a hurry, but Tucker still managed to find a patch in the backyard to dip his toes in. He usually hates snow, but it must have been novel for him too - He was all about it!
Next up, what kept us inside the rest of the weekend in spite of the sparkly sun breaks. Hint: It starts with a 'ti' and ends with an 'le'...

3.25.2013

Random Round Up: Surprises

Snow, snacks, and a spontaneous major project. Sounds about right!
Backbreaking (but totally worth it) Project
Happy Belated 30th, Hubs
Homemade Home Fries
4" - We hardly got that this winter!!
Soy Matcha Latte - Try it with a shot of vanilla. YUM.
More on both the surprise spring snow and the weekend project later this week... Happy Monday!

3.22.2013

Spring Fling

Even though we woke up to snow this morning (um, what?!? where was that this winter??), I've got spring cleaning on the brain. The Floor Dudes (probably not their real company name) are coming tomorrow to measure the downstairs, so knowing things will need to be picked up and moved out makes me want to try to sort through the piles of crap treasures left over from our move.

A year ago. So there's high potential for most of the Spring Fling-ing to be pointed toward a trash can.

It wasn't only spring - These two blog posts from Cup of Jo and Bower Power came up in my feed last week and reinforced the sorting itch. So more of this is on my short list:
Big mess requires an aerial shot from the chair.
It's not a  pretty picture, folks. But it's got to get worse before it gets better, right? ....Right??
If you need me, I'll be flinging.

3.20.2013

Springing

Between beautiful sunny days with blue skies, spontaneous hail storms, and practically needing to build an ark today, it's beginning to look like spring around here.
Hail on the deck
Blooms in the back yard (the white are from my bridal shower last year!)
Hydrangea coming to life
Cherry trees around the neighborhood starting to turn pink
 And the most exciting spring happening for us is actually going on indoors... The measurement to get new flooring in the entire downstairs is scheduled for this weekend. The ball is rolling, and once it's scheduled to be put in we will get to tearing out carpet and putting in a new hearth. Here's to living in chaos for a few weeks - Woohoo...?
Having that hideous "white" carpet gone for good is absolutely worth every living-on-subfloor-in-dust moment coming our way. I'll keep you posted on the progress!

3.18.2013

Clover Do-Over

Everyone have a fun St. Patrick's Day yesterday? Happy belated! Hope there's not too much feeling green leftover...
Local pizza place sign.
And I thought this was fun - Found it floating around on Facebook this weekend:
(click image to enlarge)
Erin go bragh!
Till next year, Stumpy McWhiskey

3.14.2013

Pretty Little Things

You know what? I don't have it together this week. So enjoy these pretty little things from my Pinterest collections in the meantime while I try to scrape together some semblance of being an adult.
image
image
Hands of a Samboru Tribeswoman - image
Valentino for the New York City Ballet - image
X-ray of a rose - image
Switzerland - image
If you're on board the Pinterest train, feel free to follow me.

3.11.2013

Random Round Up: New & Improved

I didn't take a ton of pics this week/end, so mixing it up a little for today's Round Up. Some of this info is newer then the rest, but all will hopefully improve us. Too cryptic? Let me break it down.

We've been suddenly more active outside of the house of late. Nate and I have both been athletes in some form our whole lives, and I've been jealous as he gets to play soccer in a men's league. Lucky for me, I finally broke into a volleyball team in a work-based league! It's not as high of a competition level as I'd ideally enjoy, but it's been great (here we are in week 7 and I've forgotten to mention it thus far) to get my hands on a ball and play with a team again.
image
I also finally pulled the trigger and signed up for my first 5k race. It's been a goal of mine for years, but since I loathe running, it took a lot for me to actually think about really, truly, doing it. Nate and I singed up for The Color Run in May, leaving me plenty of time to train. It was my second session of two-runs-per-week this last week, and I hit the two mile mark. It's not a lot, but it's a lot for me!
You can see if it's headed for your city here.
Last and most exciting: Nate has been accepted into a distance civil engineering program through the University of North Dakota! He won't start for about a year, due to timing of the web-based schedule, but it's a huge deal. I think he's so brave for committing to it and going all in. PROUD WIFE!!
Funnily enough my father-in-law graduated from the engineering program at UND as well (he attended in person), so we're keeping it in the family. Go Sioux!