Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Day

Some day all three of our new appliances will be in working order, but until that time, here are some pictures.

The dishwasher before:

The dishwasher after:

The microwave and oven before: (If you forget how dirty the insides were, check that out here.)

The microwave upclose after:

The oven upclose after:

The offending simmer button that is always on:

We are still awaiting the parts needed to fix the oven-- the simmer switch is still on, the coils are still off-center, and there is still a scratch on the oven top. We've been given multiple deadlines which have all passed. I'll keep you posted on the outcome! Right now, we are simply building patience.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Coming Soon!

To a blog near you:

Pictures of the new dining room floor, shoe molding, vents, and outlet covers

Pictures of the new dining room curtain rod & curtains

Pictures of the new kitchen curtain rod & curtains

Pictures of the new kitchen appliances

Needless to say--we've been busy. Madi is approaching her first birthday, and we have set some house deadlines surrounding her party. She is pretty popular, and has invited 32 people to her birthday party. (Let me just say that is entirely family members--and all except two live within an hour's drive. Hmm. . . wonder why we moved here?) So stay tuned for lots of pictures.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Grass is Greener

We moved in over a month ago now, and as the weeks ticked by and box by box and room by room we settled in, the cloud of necessity began to clear. As the cloud edged to the east, we took a moment to standstill peering out of our windows in an effort to enjoy the view. It was during this glass-of-water-drinking moment that we took a look at our yard.

"Oops! Maybe we should cut that."

"What?" replied Josh. "Did you say something I couldn't tell as you were hidden behind the weeds?"

"Yes," I stammered as I waded to the swing set to retrieve our 11 month old who was busy picking grass from her lofty perch in the baby swing, "I think we need to cut the grass."

So my husband drug the hidden and neglected push mower out into the yard, changed the oil, checked the gas, and attempted to start it. Now this mower is a hand-me-down that invented the phrase hand-me-down. It was given to my dad by a neighbor prior to my birth, my dad used it, stopped using it, kept it, and passed it along when we needed it about 4 years ago. So it has definitely seen better days, and paid for it's room and board. But now, it refuses to mow another blade. Once again Craig's List came to the rescue with a $35 (2 year old) push mower. So that forest of a yard is now short,

and this now rests in our garage.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Appliance Saga

Obstacle # 1: Appliances are not in the warehouse--wait 1 week.

Obstacle # 2: The range top simmer button is stuck on, and the coils under one of the burners do not match the circle ring--wait 4 days for repair or replacement.

Obstacle # 3: The dishwasher & microwave installer is electrocuted at another home and due to heading to the doctor cannot arrive--wait 24 hours.

Obstacle # 4: The outlet to plug the microwave in is not in existence--wait 24 hours to install.

So hopefully by the end of tomorrow we will finally have all 3 of our appliances.

Disclaimer: Please ignore the blue tape on the previous post's curtain pictures. We do not currently have curtain rods, so painters tape was the only option.

Curtain Quest

So my maniac Monday for once carried over into Tuesday! I am on a mission to find curtains for the living and dining room.

Stage 1:
So this morning Madi and I ventured to Gabriel Brothers, TJ Maxx, and Goodwill. We purchased curtains at Gabriel Brothers, but neither of them worked out.

Stage 2:
While Madi napped, I searched online at JCPenney, Linen's N Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, Joann Fabric (yes I debated sewing), etc. I found ones I liked at JCPenney, but they were a little pricey, see them here.

Stage 3:
My mom graciously watched Madi for me, so I could grocery shop. So I stopped at Marshall's to look there. I found amazing Chris Madden Panel and Valance curtains on Clearance for $10 and $3 respectively. Now here's my questions for you:

The dining room: Can you put three valances across two windows, like so?

I just love the details on these valances.

The living room: Do your curtains really have to fully cover the whole window?

Another Marshall's nearby has two more valances that I currently have on hold until tomorrow night. Should I put them across the center of the living room window to cover the gap? Or should I call some stores near our Pittsburgh friends and see if they have anymore of the long curtains.

Here's the beautiful fabric up close.

Oh, and wait until you hear the story about why we do NOT have our new appliances yet. That's coming soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Motivated Monday

Oh yes, I am one of those absurd people who love Mondays. I always feel refreshed after the weekend and extremely motivated to get things done. Consequently, I plan out a chore packed day and work diligently to get it done. Tuesdays are my downfall. There is nothing special about a Tuesday--it's not the start of a new week, it's not the halfway point, it's not the day before Friday, and it's not the weekend eve. It's just a day. And with my maniac Mondays, I typically fall flat on my face on Tuesday. I slump into a coma-like state and feel drained and exhausted from my work-filled Monday. But since that's not until tomorrow, let's use my motivation.

Here's my to do list for today:

1. Clean up kitchen as NEW APPLIANCES are coming today. (I just realized as I was loading the dishwasher this morning that perhaps the installation does not include removing all my dirty dishes and reloading them into the new dishwasher. Guess I need to run our old one!)

2. Vacuum dining room, so it is ready for the new floor installation (beginning tonight--thank you Josh & my Dad!)

3. Remove wallpaper remnants and wipe walls in the entry hallway to prep for painting.

4. Paint first coat onto entry hallway.

5. Prime and first coat of paint on the kitchen wall spots that were recently fixed.

6. Exercise.

7. Unpack from weekend travels and put away folded laundry.

8. Weed front walkway and trim bushes.

9. Create grocery list for tomorrow.

I'm sure more will pop in there throughout the day. Well, I guess I need to get started. Exercise bike--here I come! Oh, and stop back later for pictures of the new appliances and some fresh baked cookies in the new convection oven!

Friday, July 18, 2008


It is amazing how the simple touch of flowers can brighten the room and create a finished look when in fact things are in disarray. My husband rang our doorbell last night and held out the most beautiful bouquet to me. It was our third date night since moving, and once again it was well worth the extra effort of getting food setup for Madi's dinner, making a horribly unfinished house somewhat presentable for Nana's visit, and myself somewhat presentable for the outside-of-motherhood world. And this morning, the flowers greeted me with their sunny faces turned upward as if they anticipated something magical.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bathroom Officially Accessorized

The rug: (finally picked up from Target)

The bath mat: (purchased today at Target)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Help! Ideas Needed!

Well, the appliances are not here, and will not be until sometime next week. They were not in stock in the warehouse, so we must wait.

However, in the meantime, I need your help trying to decide what to do with my kitchen. It is designed to be an eat-in kitchen; however, our dining room table is literally five steps away, so we are deciding to redesign the space. Here is a picture of the kitchen, and the corner that is in question. (Please excuse the wall color as it needs a second coat. The carpet that clashes so horribly will also be replaced at some point.)

My first thought was to put some type of hutch there, but then I also thought some space for sitting, such as benches or stools might be nice (maybe even a little table top for Madi to color on while I make food). I also thought about additional serving space for parties or additional work space when extra food needs to be prepared. We have pondered the thought of a kitchen island (maybe moveable). But really we are at a loss. My goal is to redo some type of used furniture instead of buying new, but I need ideas on what I should look for. So any suggestions would be appreciated. And of course, pictures too! Leave a comment with some feedback.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stay Tuned. . .

New Appliances are arriving tomorrow!

And the kitchen paint is almost dry!

Bathroom Blues

So my quest for matching bath accessory continues, and once again meets with defeat. This time we set out for Target, and once again found a bath rug. "I really think this one will work," I thought to myself, and could hardly wait to put Madi down for her nap and try out the rug. I scrambled to the red polka dotted plastic bags, and began riffling through them. Much to my consternation I discovered that the bag containing said rug was nowhere to be found in the house or in the car. An extended phone call informed me and the Target staff that once again I have had an attack of "Mommy" brain. The bag remained at the check out counter. So I do not have fun pictures of my newly assembled bathroom to show you. I did happen to find some cups for the bathroom that will not be destroyed in childhood tumbles. (They were a dollar for four cups!!)

And here are the cute fish shower curtain hooks I was telling you about.

And, so as not to disappoint, here are some of the previous owner "renovations" to our little bath along with some of the existing cabinetry.

Oh, soo beautiful. . .

I have really grown quite fond of this mirror as it holds the secret to the fat behind syndrome. Let me explain: as you can see it is divided into 3 mirrors, so as you are standing in front of it, part of you is displayed in one mirror, and another part of you in the adjacent mirror. Inevitably, you end up looking way larger than you are, as your gut and butt expand to cover all three of those mirrors. It is a great self-esteem booster! (Is my sarcasm detectable?)

Lovely towel rack. Can you notice the large bump in the paint below the rack? Not sure if it came out on the camera. I couldn't get all the bumps in the wall and the brown oozy streak that are above the light switch and will not come off with any cleaner. You'll just have to visit to see it.

Hand towel holder:

Above the air vent; such a careful job of painting that bright blue:

And finally, the tile that is missing pieces.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Little Surfer

The upstairs main bathroom (Madi's bathroom) will be a long time before it is remodeled. It is currently the one of our three bathrooms that is usable. The downstairs bathroom currently is carpetless and housing the litter box and a toilet that will not stop running. The master bath has half re-spackled walls and is missing a toilet.

We believe that someone attempted to remodel Madi's bathroom since the house was built. It has white trim and newer paint. It also has laminate tiling. I will definitely have to post some pictures of the paint and laminate to give you an idea as the work is not the best quality. I don't think describing it will do justice. Check back soon for these pictures!

So my task has been to determine how I would decorate this bathroom now and once it is redone. I didn't want to end up with an overly childish bathroom, as we are currently using it and it will be our guest bathroom as well. And I will admit that I am not the best at using bright colors in decorating. I tend for the more subtle approach. However, while shopping for bath accessories, I found the cutest items at Target. Check them out:

So these are the trashcan and toothbrush holder currently in the bathroom. The shower curtain I purchased is a simple white weave (did I mention I don't do bright colors easily) with fish shower curtain hooks. I'll show you pictures in my next post. My plan once the bathroom is redone is to purchase some fish (wood or metal) and one of those word signs that says Sun, Summer, or Sunshine. As the bathroom is also small, I am thinking of putting hooks for the towels instead of a rack. This would fit in with the more casual beach theme.

My quest today was to find a rug/bath mat, and some cups. I purchased a striped rug and fish cups at Kohl's today, but the colors really do not go, so I will have to be on the hunt another day (Madi will only handle one store in a day). Target has similar cups to the trashcan design, but let's face it with kids that will hit the floor once and the resin will chip. So I'm thinking simple plastic cups in bright colors. I'll keep you posted on my finds!

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Home Resolutions

As with any new endeavor, it becomes important to decide how to improve upon your last attempt. Therefore, I am trying to create good habits from the beginning with this new home.

Here are some of the old habits I am trying to break and new ones I am trying to implement:

  • Keep from forming a designated spot on the bedroom FLOOR for discarded clothing. Try for the hamper or hangers instead.
  • During nap times, do a customary 15 minute straighten to keep home from appearing as if a Madionic bomb went off. This alleviates embarrassment during friend and family drive-by visits.
  • Do a quick clean of the house weekly, so that it takes half an hour as compared to days.
  • Refrain from allowing litter box to overflow as current location adjoins society. This will allay gas mask usage in cat-pot areas.
  • Dress from head to toe IN-THE-MORNING, not minutes before Josh walks in the door.
  • Invite friends and/or family over for dinner once a week, thus helping keep the five afore mentioned tasks in hand.
  • Exercise 3 times a week to help remove last of pregnancy pounds. Make this top priority during nap time.
  • Implement date nights at least bi-weekly. Make use of babysitting staff (i.e. grandparents and honorary aunts) who are wishing to pound down the door in their eagerness.
We'll see how it goes. Definitely sounds like a challenge.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


So this blog was started a little belatedly, as we already have a number of the rooms remodeled. I've been holding off sharing these photos as they are not completely finished with pictures and curtains all hung up. But who knows how long that will take. So, here are our remodeled rooms.

Oh, and I don't have before pictures. Our first work weekend we had a large crew of helpers, and they were on major demolition mode. Before you could turn around all of the carpets were removed. So use your imagination, think blue trim, blue carpet everywhere, think dirty white walls complete with child hand prints and crayon.

The guest room:

Madilyn's bedroom:

Our bedroom:

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I love bargains! I love yard sales and trash days! I love taking something that was used or old and fixing it up. Every piece of our patio furniture was free--free from yard sales, free from neighbor's trash piles. Now it needed work, but mainly just a quick sanding and a little paint. It is with this mindset that I discovered Craig's List. Here is the ultimate yard sale that is open 24-7, 365 days a year. Here is the ability to navigate through those yard sales without getting in and out of your car fifty times on a Saturday. Here is the way to our new washer and dryer!

Now our home came with a washer; however, when we arrived not only was it unhooked, but it looked as if a pack of wild animals had chewed through the connections. And I don't even need to mention the cleanliness of it. I'm sure you'll scroll through my previous posts if you need a refresher on that issue. So we decided to look for both a new washer and dryer. And yesterday we found them--less than 2 years old and half their new price. So the washer is officially ready to go. Madi and I are saved the 5 trips a day to switch laundry at my mother's house. Now the dryer is another story. There is no outside vent for it. The previous owners vented their dryer into the basement. So we will be working on a solution to that. It is amazing all of the things we took for granted when moving into our previous home, but what a learning experience with this house.

Oh, and we have an old washer with chewed through connections and missing the hook up parts, if anyone is interested! Perhaps that will find its way to Craig's List!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Berry Brandy

So the dining room painting sessions are finished.

Here is the before: (after they took the carpet edges out)
Can you see the dirt stains on the carpet?

Here is the post-wallpaper, pre-paint stage:

And the final look:

The top color is called Lovely Bluff and the bottom is Berry Brandy. I just need to touch up the trim and vacuum the floor, and then Josh can start laying the laminate hardwood floor. The floor is currently white because we sealed it to hold in all of the pet odors. There were quite a number of mysterious "puddles". Removing the carpet was similar to using a black light to look at hotel bedding. Not a pleasant experience if you think about it too much.