Living..

Now that all the major demo work is done we are enjoying living in our new house. There are still things to do… 

 

  • kitchen counter tops (still debating if we can afford granite or if I will be painting them) 
  • kitchen backslash  (have to wait till be decide on the granite)
  • guest bathroom shower walls
  • floor transition pieces
  • irrigation system
  • citrus tree care & maintenance (we are learning how to care for citrus in AZ. Any suggestions, advice or knowledge would be much appreciated) 
  • Install ceiling fans in bedrooms 
  • replace all light fixtures (what were these people THINKING with all the 80’s-style gold fixtures?!?) 
  • Finish replacing door hinges and door knobs
  • window treatments

 

I think I may have forgotten to mention the whole guest bathroom shower thing… 

 

Here’s the deal… The tub that was in the guest bathroom had a huge crack in it when we got the house. We knew about it because of the inspection. It also had doors. I hate doors on the tub. It makes you feel so closed in while you shower and I think it’s ugly… 

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Here it is without the doors…

 

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And the lovely crack … HOW do you crack a fiberglass tub? Beats me. But we wanted it replaced because we had no idea how much water was getting down there and what kind of damage that water could do. 

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After Karen taught me how to tile the floors she mentioned that she had tiled her shower walls… that got me thinking. If we’re going to replace the tub… why not just get a tub (no fiberglass walls) and I’ll tile the walls! 

 

So we called our plumber and he removed the old tub/shower and installed a new tub.. 

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Now, I plan to put up green board which is mold/water resistant and tiling the walls!

 

I still need to look at designs and figure out what I want to do but I have a few ideas.. 

 

I like the idea of choosing one main color/larger tile and doing an accent of mosaic tiles in a line around eye level…  maybe a mosaic like this: 

 

 

Or this is pretty: 

 

I need to pick a color scheme first… 

 

Anyway… Obviously still some work to do but we can do it at our leisure which is nice. 

 

 

We aren’t all work and no play… we have plenty of time to enjoy our new place too: 

Leon is taking advantage of having the bedroom TV temporarily sitting in the living room… he has his video games set up on the big TV and the football game on the other TV: 

 

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The cats are making themselves at home.. Chewie found the plant shelves… 

 

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She got up on all of those all on her own. 

 

Snowball likes the bathroom sink 

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And the bed…

 

 

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She is also a big fan of the white chair in the front room: (See the black and white ball of fur on the chair?)

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Well folks.. I think you’re about caught up now! If I’ve forgotten about something let me know and I’ll get right on it. I promise I’ll be better about blogging regularly from now on.. and THANK YOU so much for reading! It makes me so happy to have so many people interested!

 

 

xoxo

 

 

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Moving Day & Some Kitchen work…

We had tons of help on moving day. We are so lucky to have such amazing friends and family! 

 

Thank you SO much to mom and dad, Jack and Denise, Jane, Aunt Chris and Uncle John & Aunt Lisa and Henry!!

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Jack helped Leon install the washer and dryer which was awesome because apparently that was more than we bargained for. I guess someone fused the thing-a-ma-jig to the thing-a-ma-bopper so they had to replace the whole valve connection. 

 

We also trashed the dishwasher that came with the house because the trays were totally rusted out. We got a new one from the Sears outlet store for a killer deal and it’s all black. (The one that came with the house was white and black). Leon installed that last weekend. 

 

A major pain in the butt was the over the range microwave… 

 

The one that came with the house had a broken handle. We tried to glue it with liquid nails but it didn’t work so we got a new one at …. Home Depot!

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Uncle John and Leon started to install it when they realized it was used! The door had something dried to the inside and the mounting bracket was all messed up… So we took it back down and returned it.

 

 

We pretty much live here: 

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Round two… the next week. 

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“Uhm… babe I don’t think that gap looks right…” 

 

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Round Three: 

 

“We’re baaaaackk!” 

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Apparently the fancy template that comes with the microwave isn’t as accurate as it should be… and because we already had the bracket up we lost the butterfly anchor things behind the wall. At this point there are at least 15 holes in the wall from drilling and 10 of those wall anchors behind the wall…. back to home depot to buy more anchors! 

 

Third times a charm! 

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So now I have a washer, dryer, dishwasher AND microwave! I’m genuinely excited. It’s funny because I was actually getting used to not having a microwave and dishwasher since those things were lower on our priority list. So having them now is like a huge luxury. 

 

So my poor hubby’s “honey do-list” just keeps growing… My fridge doors opened towards the hallway instead of the kitchen and it drove me NUTS. If you look carefully in this picture you will see that the hinges are on the right and the handles are on the left. (You can’t actually see the handles of the fridge in this picture but its the only one I have that I can use to describe it) Meaning… to open the fridge you have to go to the hallway… then once the door was open I had to get what I needed, close the door and then walk into the kitchen. 

 

 

 

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Those of you who cook often can appreciate that THAT got old REAL quick. So I asked Leon to switch the door… 

 

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All done! 😀 He is the best… isn’t he? 

 

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So… now that my kitchen is in working order you’ll understand why I’m so excited to cook!! 😉 (See my post about dinner) 

 

Thanks again for reading!! 

 

Stay tuned!! More to come! 

The Reveal you all have been waiting for!

Okay. I’m ready to give you what you’ve been patiently waiting for. First I will tell you this. My cabinets look amazing. But they did not come easily or quickly. They DID come VERY affordable. So if you are reading this debating about if you can/should do this in your own home, here is my two cents. If you think the following statements apply to you, run out to the local Home Depot/Lowes/Menards and BUY THIS PRODUCT.

  • I want an affordable way to change the look of my kitchen
  • I don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in my kitchen
  • I am adventurous
  • I know my way around a paint brush
  • I have patience
  • I have time
  • I don’t mind my kitchen being in shambles for at least two weeks

The last one if the one I think will stop many people. It is SUPER affordable; $70 for the kit and  then you need a nice paint brush (I use Wooster Pro) and a screwdriver (to remove the hinges).

You have to be a little adventurous because let’s face it… cabinets aren’t cheap. And we are talking about removing the protective finish on your existing cabinets and PAINTING them. There is no going back. But don’t be scared! DIVE IN!

The most basic painting skills are a must here: know how much paint to apply to the brush, brush along the grain not against it… that’s about it.

It takes a lot of time. We are NOT talking about a weekend project here. If you took a week off work and did nothing but this you could probably get this done in one week… but who has nothing better to do with a week of vacation time?

Realistically, working on the weekend and a few hours after work each night I estimate you could do this in two full weekends and one-two weeks after work. That being said, that means you do not have doors or drawer fronts on your cabinets for 2 weeks. Have kids? Pets? Think about what is in those cabinets that you do not want them getting into. I’m glad I got mine done before we moved in.

We have (had) the same light brown, builder grade cabinets in the kitchen, hallway, laundry room, and both bedrooms… and I plan on re-finishing them all. However so far all I’ve got to are the kitchen and hallway. I have a few other projects to do before I move on to the other rooms. I have to make, stain and install the transitions from each room into the hallway and I have to make my guest bathroom shower usable first. (More on that later).

I also plan on painting the rest of my bookshelves that I got from Borders to make them prettier until we can afford nice ones. I already did one!

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Anyway … back on track.. cabinets…

Here I am hard at work… painting the final coat on the front of the doors

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Leon and Mom relaxing.. watching me… LOL!

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Then I did the decorative glaze. I’ve mentioned before that this part is optional but I think it is what makes the cabinets look nice versus “painted.” On this picture you can see the difference the one with the glaze in on the left… no glaze on the right.

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Here is a better picture of the glaze…

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You can see how it got into the grooves to create a textured look.

The glaze is fun and easy … glop it on in the direction of the grain and remove it in whatever method you desire. There are literally hundreds of different glazing techniques you can use. I just applied the glaze (java brown is what comes in the kit) and lightly removed it with cheesecloth.

The REAL pain in the behind was the protective clear coat. Honestly I was most nervous about that part because the only bad reviews I’ve read about this product revolve around the top coat. Many people had issues with a white-ish film on the cabinets, caused from the protective coating being applied too thick and/or goop-ing up in the corners and crevices. The trick is to move FAST. I mean … lightening speed.

I still got a few spots of the creamy white color mostly along the sides of the doors. I used a light sand paper to tame it down a bit. If I was super picky I could sand that part all the way down and start the whole process over on that edge but I don’t think it’s hugely obvious. Unless you are looking for the mistakes you can’t really see any!

That being said, here I am applying the top coat to the side of the cabinets.

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And the back of the door… see how it has a whitish tint? I was freaking out about it but when it dried  that went away.

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You have to let the clear top coat dry for at least 12-24 hours before using your cabinets… after it cures you can replace the hinges and add the hardware if you are putting hardware on. I HIGHLY recommend it. I think it REALLY makes a huge difference.

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And the final product…

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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YAY!! They are DONE!

I had to replace a few broken hinges which was a pain because they don’t make the same hinges that the builder used so I had to re-drill holes which made the wood split… ugh.

Sooo….. what do you think?

Back to business

Alright. We ate dinner and I have a glass of wine so I’m ready to get back to business.

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So last you all heard we were pooped from installing the floors, I had started on the base coat of the cabinets and Leon finished the plumbing issues. I posted that October 25th which was a Wednesday.

 

We had every intention of going back to the house that weekend to work on the floor installs and finish the cabinets… HOWEVER we decided to pay for someone to finish the floors. I know, we are shameless. Here was our thinking: If we were to continue as we were, we would have finished the floors around New Years… which would have put a little damper on the whole “move in ASAP” thing. 

*Special thanks to the Bank of Aunt Lisa* 😉

 

The floor guys came the following Monday – Thursday and not only finished the floor install but they also installed the baseboards! I debated between trying to salvage the existing baseboards and replacing them with upgraded 3 1/4 inch ones… The upgrade won. They look amazing.

 

Here are some before and after pictures of the floors: 

BEFORE: 

YAY for bare concrete!! 

 

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Pre-Demo: 

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This was moving day… I just realized I don’t have any pictures of the floor without our stuff on it…. (Excuse the mess!) 

 

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Mid Demo: 

 

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After: 

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BEFORE:

Front room (Or “Christmas Tree Room”) 

 

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AFTER:

We are still working on how to arrange this room…. 

 

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BEFORE: 

This hallway leads to all the bedrooms. See the cabinets on the left? See how they are boring light brown? 

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::DRUM ROLL PLEASE:: You are about to see the first peak of the cabinets!!

AFTER:

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(Patience! You will see the kitchen soon enough, young padawan!) 

Before:

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After:

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I am shocked at the transformation. 

 

We are really happy with the floors. They turned out great and look amazing. I’m learning how to best keep them clean and I’ve realized that micro fiber is my new best friend.

 

It’s REALLY funny to watch the cats run through the house because they are still used to being able to dig their back claws into the carpet for traction… They can’t do that anymore so they go FLYING across the room. :: giggle :: 

What do you think about the floors? Any suggestions on keeping them cleaned? 

 

 

 

 

I am a total slacker…

Thank you all so much for diligently reading my blog. I honestly had no idea how many people were interested until I slacked on the postings and my inbox became flooded! 🙂 Okay, maybe not FLOODED, per say… but I definitely had to answer to more that a couple of people.

So… THANK YOU! It makes me feel so wonderful that you all are so interested in the goings-on of our happy little abode. I will fill you in the what you’ve missed one post at a time. But, first I have to show off what I made for dinner tonight.

My favorite part about the Thanksgiving feast (other than spending time with loved ones of course) is leftovers! But I eagerly hoard the turkey leftovers NOT for turkey sandwiches .. but for Turkey Pot Pie! Something about the smell of a homemade- from scratch Pot Pie baking in the oven warms my heart. Plus.. it’s a sneaky way to make Leon eat veggies! 😉

First you throw all your veggies in a pan with some water and cook them till they are tender. I hate crunchy veggies in my potpie so this takes a while since I use mostly frozen veggies. Generally I just look through my frozen veggie stash and throw in what we have. Tonight I chose carrots, peas, corn, green beans and fresh celery. The pan on the left is the butter and onion flakes melting.

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I haven’t mentioned my new stove… flat top! I know, I’ve heard good and bad things about them but I LOVE it. It’s SUPER easy for clean up and when it’s not in use it’s added counter space! ❤

Any way… while your veggies are cooking I start laying out my pie crusts (I cheat and use premade), shred my turkey and I prep my “gravy” mixture for the inside. Flour, salt, Italian seasoning, onion powder and celery seed…

Drain your veggies and set them aside.

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You mix in the flour/seasoning mixture with the melted butter and onion flakes and then slowly whisk in milk and chicken broth till it’s nice and thickened and creamy.

Mix in the turkey and veggies and split the mixture into two pie pans… bottom pie crust already in place. (Don’t forget to spray the pans with PAM or you will regret it!)

Take your other 2 pie crusts and place them on top of your mixture, pinch the edges adn make little cuts in the top so it can breathe.

BELOW: The pie on the left already has it’s top layer of pie crust on it.

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Then bake!

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Let rest and enjoy.

So.. now that I’ve made your mouth water, have I earned your forgiveness for not posting? If you want the actual recipe with measurements let me know..  🙂

I’m going to go eat my dinner, pour myself some wine and I’ll be back in half an hour to post again! STAY TUNED!

xoxo