Random Round Up: Before the Sore

Because it was in truth a rough weekend full of long hours and sore bodies, I'm choosing to focus on the nicer things that went down over the last week/end...
Sparkler? Dandelion? Nope, nighttime soccer game field light.
Can't keep my hands off banana bread.
Backyard Bleeding Heart
Tucker J
The NFL draft - Love watching dreams come true.
More on the manual labor later this week. Happy Monday!


See Ya!

What's on the agenda for this weekend? Lots of sweat and lots of this:
Living/dining/sewing room castoffs from last weekend.
Except this time the tear out not only includes carpet and pad, but damaged hardwood, a toilet and sink, and laminate-glued-to-particle-board-glued-to-subfloor. Not to mention more furniture shuffling.

Try to contain your jealousy. Three cheers for demo!


Stop... Demo Time

Nothing like a little MC Hammer throwback to get your Wednesday going, eh?

We've officially started demo on the downstairs - You saw the baseboard get removed before, and now it's time for the real deal: Out comes the carpet, the damaged hardwood, and this weekend... The linoleum glued to half inch particle board glued to subfloor. I know, stop, you're too jealous right?

The sewing room was first on the list. Remember it looking like this after we moved in? I'd been making steady periodic progress on sorting it all out, and after some keeper items were moved out to the garage, we had this:
 The carpet came up, then the pad, and we were thrilled - THRILLED - to find that the pad hadn't been stapled down to the subfloor. It saved us lots of time and hand blisters crawling aroud with pliers plucking them out (whoever installed the original carpet were majorly staple happy on the upstairs pads). And enter disgusting 'what's-lurking-under-your-carpet' picture here:
 But through the magic of the internet and a scroll of your finger, it looks like only a moment before it was cleaned up and re-sealed (actually, it doesn't take long at all to seal, it's just an uber-stinky process)...
 And only one casualty through the whole thing - Who knew a paint roller's extended handle wasn't very strong? What can I say, I'm an aggressive floor sealer.
So there you have it, one room complete and ready for pretty new floor. Nevermind that this room still needs to be painted.... We took down a few other rooms too, but more on that later. Buh-bye white carpet!


My, What Big Eyes You Have!

When my pooch gets excited about something, his eyes get huge. It cracks me up every time, and I finally got it on camera. If you're grossed out by dogs licking plates, this is not the video for you... But you're missing out on something funny!
Happy Monday!


Coming To Life

The backyard is starting to look so pretty, I just can't help but snap some pictures as it develops.
Curly Willow leafing out
Magnolia, forsythia, and cherry in the corner/sideyard.

Rhodie bud

Magnolia in the fog, pre-blooms.
A street in our neighborhood.
Backyard Dogwood


Feel the Base[board]

We don't have our flooring actually ordered, but the prospect is just so exciting that we're starting the tear-out process anyway (we're doing all the demo to save a few bucks). Fifteen months is more than enough time living with mangy 'white' carpet - As you know, I've been itching to tear it out since day one. Seriously. Hives and everything.

Okay, mental hives only. But we've found our installer and sources (gotta love having a friend in the biz to steer us true), and all we're waiting on is a sample of our chosen flooring to arrive via FedEx so we can make triple sure we love it. I may or may not be stalking every white delivery truck I see within a mile radius of our home... For now, the "so far" visuals:
Old fashioned hammer & chisel method
Rounded corners have proven to be NOT our favorites...
Thar she blows! Evoke 'Gustave' 
Labeling system - Plan is to paint white and re-use. 
Nate couldn't help himself - He took down the coat closet completely.*
My sentiments exactly. Peace out, white carpet!!
Many more man hours to put in before things really start looking finished, but I'll keep you posted. Now that we're 99.9% sure what the floor is going to look like, the vision is in my mind's eye every time I walk in the house. Come on sample!!

*Nope, it's not a cool super-secret passageway in that closet - Just the trap door that leads to the crawlspace. 


Random Round Up: Lazy Days

This weekend wasn't exciting. And you know what? That was pretty much ideal. I think we even both took accidental naps on Sunday... Oh yeah, livin' on the edge around here.
Nail Doodle
My sweet pup, loving the downtime.
Delicious-smelling freesia from Nate's mom.
 And a little preview of what we've been working on almost every day...
More details later in the week. Have a great one!


Eat Food, Not Crap

...Seems like a pretty acceptable mantra, eh?

I found this picture on my Facebook feed a couple weeks ago, and it's such a great mnemonic device that I just had to share. Hope you find it handy and interesting too!
If the text isn't clear:
C - Carbonated Drinks
R - Refined Sugars
A- Artificial Sweeteners & Colors
P - Processed Foods

F - Fruits & Veggies
O - Organic Lean Protein
O - Omega 3 Fatty Acids
D - DRINK WATER (seriously folks, it'll cure what ails ya.)


Random Round Up: Anniverary Fun

We had a pretty fabulous, decadent, and relaxing day on Sunday. As it should be to celebrate our anniversary, right? It all started with a mysterious calendar notification from Nate to me...
And of course there were gifts (selfishly I only took a photo of mine, but Nate got some too, really.) - Year One is traditionally the gift of paper:
 The blueprints of Monica/Rachel's and Chandler/Joey's apartments from the show Friends (my all time fave)! Brandi at Fantasy Floorplans creates a huge variety from all different beloved programs. So fun!
Then it was off to partake in Nate's surprise: A couple's massage. Ahhhhhh-mazing.
What's next? Happy hour at the place we had our first date, then home to relax with the pup. Perfection.
On to year two and beyond!


One Year Married

...And I couldn't ask for better. I am proud and blessed to be the wife of an incredible man. What more can I say? I'm the luckiest girl around. Happy First Married Anniversary Nate! You have my heart, my love, my life, me.

All photos by Dana Pleasant Photography. She's incredible. Hire her immediately.


Rehearsal Rehash: One Year Later

One year ago today was our rehearsal dinner for our wedding. A full YEAR. It's amazing to me how time has flown.
My parents put together this sign for us :)
One year ago today I got to walk into my wedding venue and see family and friends who had driven and flown in from all over America. Some I hadn't seen in nearly a year. I'll never forget coming up the stairs flanked by my best friends and husband-to-be and seeing a cluster of my nearest and dearest waiting for me.
Rehearsed and as ready as we were ever gonna be..!
We had a small GPS crisis that day too when married bridesmaid-groomsman duo Brett and Mellisa,who flew in from halfway across the country, were steered to our dinner location instead of rehearsal by their rental car GPS. Mel, I'll never forget your hysterics and how funny it was to me and devastating for you. I'm a horrible friend... But I still think it's funny.

After an incredible dinner, 'maids and 'men spontaneously piled into cars and headed for a nearby watering hole to play pool and chat. We admitted to each other after we'd been there a while that none of us really wanted to come - we were all so tired - but in the end were all glad we did.
Dinner at Smuggler's Cove sitting with Brett & Melly
It was perfect. And I can't get over the fact that it was a whole 365 days ago. Cheers to our first anniversary weekend!


Random Round Up: Easter Weekend

A belated Random Round Up (I just couldn't wait to show you the laundry room reveal, what can I say) for a now-belated holiday. Hope yours was just eggcellent (enter eye roll here).
Fun with cousins at an Easter egg hunt!
My parents sweet princess dog Shiloh.
Our neighborhood is exploding in blossoms.
Fresh food in my hometown: Easter brunch at Fresh Start


Laundry Room Makeover: Grout, Grout, Let It All Out

...A little Tears For Fears, anyone? Anyway. Last week you saw us demo, purchase an emergency tool, and get our tile set in stone... literally. Now what? Grouting and yes, the final product. Squeee!

Nate found this little gadget of a tool in the tile aisle - A triangular metal head fits between the tiles and, with a little elbow grease, you can rout out all the Thinset that squeezed through. It leaves a nice even surface for the grout to settle into.
 Once that was done, time to mix up the grout (it should be the texture of peanut butter - YouTube search for tons of videos). Nate was unavailable *coughGOLFINGcough*, so this part was all me. I set up my 35 square feet with my grout bucket, corner trowel, grout float, and a clean bucket of water with sponges. Ready, set, grout!
I wasn't expecting the mess management to be so intense. Once the grout is swiped on, you wait about 20 minutes or so for it to start to dry. Then it's dunk a sponge, wring it out, get about 3 wipes in... and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And... You get the picture. It wasn't a great time.

It was good I was alone. But the result? Awesome:
Through the magic of television the blogosphere, we'll skip ahead 24 hours to the grout being dry and the trim being back on and the room ready to be caulked. The plan is that the baseboard and trim will eventually be painted white (along with all the rest of it in the house - BIG project), so white paintable and waterproof caulk up top, and grout-matching caulk along the tile-baseboard meeting line.
What's that I spy? The bottom of a washer and dryer IN THE ROOM?
 ......Ready??? Ta da!
Looking toward the garage.
Looking in from the garage.
 Seriously, we could not be  happier. I may have actually petted the floor a few times. It's an unbelievable improvement... Wouldn't you agree?
Here's what we used:

Corner Trowel
Notched Trowel
Grout Float
Tile Cutter (which would have worked had our tiles been smaller... so we hear.)
Wet Saw
Mixer Drill Attachment
Triangle Head Thinset Reamer Thingy

Tiles (2 boxes and a few singles)
Thinset (white)
Grout (#145 Light Smoke)
White Paintable Waterproof Caulk
#145 Light Smoke Caulk

Had we already owned the tools, the project would have been relatively cheap - Around $100. Since we didn't, well... It was significantly more. But we already have plans to use our leftovers on our family room hearth, and the future will bring tile work in the guest bath and hopefully the kitchen. We'll be getting our money's worth!

But for now, I think I'll go sit in the laundry room and pet the floor for a while.

For the whole story, see day one and day two of this makeover.