while the cat’s away, the mouse will play (with plumbing).

I hope you enjoyed your extended weekend (if you got one)! It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started getting these glorious holidays off and I try not to take them for granted. I was pretty busy the rest of the weekend so I had fully intended on doing nothing on Monday. Saturday we took Daisy to the vet for her annual checkup. Babygirl is looking good, down .1 lb from last year! We were a bit early for her appointment so I went into Target to kill time and walked out having only spent $10. Pretty sure my last 3 Target trips were all record breakingly low, as in under $20. I’m not sure what is happening to me.

Saturday afternoon I headed to my little cousin Adam’s birthday party while Keith went to a baseball game. Always nice to see the family! It also may have been the only family function in the past few years that I did not bake cupcakes for and they were sorely missed. Sorry fam!

Sunday we headed to the ballpark where we met up with my stepdad, my brother and my nephew. It was Bradley’s first baseball game! He did great, they stuck around until the 7th inning or so, too bad the game was so terrible. Bradley is 18 months old now and seriously the smartest. I asked him where Uncle Keith was and without any hesitation, he pointed right at him! Love that little fella.

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Sunday night we went to Keith’s parent’s house for dinner and that was nice. While there, his mom was asking my opinion on painting her basement and I decided I needed to squeeze some painting in ASAP. My livingroom trim has been half done since January and it’s a lot of annoying door/window painting that I just don’t feel like doing. I had decided I wasn’t allowed to do anything else without doing that first, so then I just wasn’t doing anything.

Well when I woke up Monday, I decided it was the day. I first stopped at Lowe’s for some other project supplies.

plumb

A few weeks ago, I used the bathroom in the middle of the night and when I flushed the toilet, water started pouring out of the tank. I pulled the lid off and water was spraying everywhere. I reattached the hose from where it had popped off and went to bed. The next morning, same thing happened. I called my sister since her boyfriend is a plumber and she told me to lower the water pressure. So I did and everything was fine for a few days until it did it again. I lowered the water pressure even more and it’s been that way for a few weeks. The water pressure was so low it was taking upwards of 30 minutes to fill the tank. Not an emergency, but really freaking annoying.

So, I watched a few videos online and figured I could handle it. While grabbing the toilet guts, I decided to be fancy and get one of those dual flush systems. Got home and sneakily went to work while Keith was downstairs watching tv. I was about 80% through the installation when I realized the fancy system would not fit. I had to pack it all up and take it back. And admit to Keith that my attempt failed. He just rolled his eyes. Got back to Lowe’s, grabbed a regular fill valve and had a working toilet in about 30 minutes! I was very proud of myself. I think I need to fuss with it a little more because it has a leak guard and that is doing some weird things, but it works!

After that, Keith was getting ready to go to the football game and I decided I was going to paint the entryway. I figured it would motivate me to get the trim paint out and then I could finish the living room.

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Here’s a shot of the entry from when we looked at the house. Off-white walls with beige trim. The tone on tone off-white just made everything look so grimy.

Here’s a more color accurate view. Pardon the mess.

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It just looked yellowy. And gross.

I did half of the entry, I didn’t want to start up the stairs yet, so it stops pretty abruptly on one wall, and the little back hallway. It’s a very anticlimactic after, because it was getting dark by then. I also didn’t paint the trim, so most people probably can’t even tell I painted. The color is Behr – Sterling. A nice, light grey.

after

It’s even less noticeable in the back hallway since the four doors in the hallway are gross off-white as well. Once I get my bright bright white trim, it will look awesome.

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I rolled up the entryway rug to paint and I think I like it a lot better without it there. It is a dark oriental rug and so big it covers most of the floor. Thinking of leaving it off entirely or maybe getting a smaller rug, it really opens the space up without it. We don’t use the front door anymore, so it’s not like people need to wipe their feet. Also dreaming of refinishing the floors. I saw a picture of someone’s floors after they were sanded down but before they were stained and loooooved the look of the blonde wood. Thinking of something like that way down the line.

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After I got one coat up I had one more project to complete before I called it a night.

I wouldn’t say this was a nightmare, but it was not fun.

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I don’t know if you’ve spent any time under a sink, but it’s pretty close quarters under there. Add in a gigantic garbage disposal and it’s even less fun. Luckily (?) the reason I was replacing the sink was that the plastic nuts had all completely broken off, so removing the old faucet was super easy. I would have had an easier time installing if either the garbage disposal was not there or my arms were 3 inches longer, but I am stubborn and wanted to do it by myself.

I was super proud when I stepped back and it was all finished and there were no leaks and I tested it and the hot was cold and the cold was hot. Ugggggggggggh. So I had to unhook those and redo them. That was honestly the hardest part. I have blisters on my fingers today from tightening those stupid nuts.

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But she’s a beaut! Delta – Lewiston with a pullout sprayer and fancy soap pump. I wanted one of those Touch20 faucets but they are like $400. No thanks.

I’m dreaming of non-laminate counters and an undermount sink but that will be wayyy down the line. The plus side is my faucet can come along for the ride.

summer cleaning…

Ready for the most boring post in the history of the internet?

Here goes.

Since I have no time for any sort of painting or home improvement projects, I decided over the weekend to finally tackle something that has been driving me insane for over a year. The pantry/kitchen cupboards.

When we moved into our last apartment, I took time before unpacking any kitchen boxes to decide where everything would live. I then put those things in there places and everyone lived happily ever after.

Until we moved. And I was trying to paint the kitchen and needed the boxes out of the way so things just got shoved in cupboards. No rhyme, no reason, just chaos. And so it went for the next 15 months.

Until I finally had enough. I couldn’t find anything, I kept buying doubles of things, there were items that I bought and NEVER used that were probably expired, items we just don’t eat anymore (packaged noodles, pasta in general) things would fall out of the cupboard and on the rare occasion someone would open a cupboard I would just feel shame wash over me.

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The pantry before. Note: These are crappy iphone pictures because I was not pulling out the big camera to take these photos. I am totally ashamed to post this picture, but luckily it no longer looks like that. You can’t even see all the stuff on the floor, that pile was at least a foot high. Also of note is the jar of skittles, Keith made skittles vodka a year or two ago…those are the leftovers. That cake flour was from 2009. Shameful.

I took everything out, checked every date and filled an entire garbage bag.

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Hey! Look! A floor! (With some weird trivets(?) that I have no idea where they came from and a basket of Keith’s pretzels.

We have organization! We have another cake flour that wasn’t produced in 2009! We have a healthy love of green beans and mexican food! I was also able to pull pantry items out of other random cupboards so everything is all in one place. I have since also shoved the vaccuum in there but I think I need to take it out becuase it is ruining my view.

There is another shelf up top that I couldn’t fit in the picture, but it just has paper towels on it now. I want to put in another shelf on the bottom because there are still things I can’t fit in the pantry like my collection of oils/vinegars and there is just wasted space.

Now these other cupboards were a much bigger deal because I didn’t have to go in the pantry every day, but I did have to open these cupboards since they were home to my spices. Months and months and months ago, I bought some glass jars/risers and organized my spices all nicely. I wanted to show everyone but the rest of the cupboard was so ridiculous, I couldn’t. Until now.

cupbefore

Ignore everything else and just look at my beautiful spices. I didn’t want to mess up the look so i labeled them on the top and end up picking up 2-3 spices before I get the one I want, but they are sooo pretty. Again, I took everything out…

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Haaaaaaaaaa. How fun. I found 3 canisters of cocoa, 2 almost completely full. Two of pepper, two salts, two oatmeals.

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This after is not as dramatic as the pantry after, I still need to do something with the shelf above the spices. Thinking of getting another one of those risers. And still need a measuring cup/spoon system, but I can breeeeeeeeeeeeathe.

I also cleaned out my closet a few weeks ago but it is back to being a disaster area. I really really need a dresser.

I really want to go clean/organize something else now. I did the tupperware cupboard after this, I have slowly been replacing all my cheap gladware stuff with pyrex storage containers and I love them but they are not as easy to store as plastic that you can shove and squeeze places. But sorry, I forgot to take a picture. (I know you are devestated.)

In more exciting news, we have our engagement pictures tonight! We have been engaged for 2 years and one week exactly, haha, but better late than never! Our photographer is Hot Metal Studio and I am soooooooooo excited. I am also incredibly awkward in front of a camera, but I have faith in them. Yay!

let there be light! and carpet!

So this weekend I finally got around to cleaning up the wallpaper mess in the livingroom. At least the stuff on the floor. I went and got some cleaning supplies at Lowe’s and had planned to actually start scrubbing the wall, but I never got around to that. Even just picking up all the stuff off the floor makes the room look a million times better.

The room has looked like this for the past few months:

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october

I would pick up the bulk of the wallpaper every once in a while, but it was still an eyesore with all the bits that would stick to the plastic sheeting.

So I cleaned it all up. My goal was to clean off the plastic and keep it to reuse it, but that idea got scrapped real fast and it ended up in the trash. I figured I got 6 months use out of it, I could throw it away.

I actually can hardly notice how ugly the wall is now that the floor is so clean!

Now if you thought that was exciting, wait ’til you see this! (Note: I realize I am the only one who cares about either one of these things, but humor me!)

naked light switches

This is what my kitchen looked like in April. And yesterday. Since the switchplates were wallpapered over, I threw them away and bought new ones. But, the lightswitches were almond, and dirty almond at that, so I refused to put the white plates over them since I figured they would never get changed.

Fast forward 6 months later…

ugly, uglier, ugliest

The switch on the far left was the dining room dimmer switch. Except the dimmer part never existed. I always felt like I was being mildly electrocuted when I touched that thing. One of the outlets look like it was painted over and then re-dirtied. Such a mess.

I enlisted Keith’s help for this one and though some were a little tricky, in maybe 30 minutes(?) we had them all done.

And they are BEAUTIFUL. Here, look at my light switches.

he looks a little crooked, but I DON’T CARE.

 

someone (me) forgot to buy that kind of outlet, so he has to stay almond for now. the bottom white screw was also too long due to the wonky hole in the tile, so I have to repaint that one white.

 

I am most excited about this one since it is the most used and was a gaping hole for 6 months. (still need to caulk between the wall/door)

also really excited for this one, since we attempted to change it once and the plug was sort of hanging out of the wall for months. (safety first!)

and a dimmer that dims! instead of electrocuting! and almost makes the wallpaper look not-so-bad, right? (wrong.)

So two very minor (<1 hour) projects that make so much of a difference! Hooray!

 

We also spent some time discussing the pantry, I want two more shelves in there, which Keith will be installing for me. Then I’m painting it and I can finally organize it instead of just throwing everything haphazardly in there. And I can hopefully re-organize my kitchen cabinets when that happens because oh man do they need it.

Probably the most boring post of the year, but it happens.

 

menu board

I was off work today, I had taken off to go camping but even though we didn’t go camping, I could not find the motivation to go to work. So I stayed home and got crafty!

I have been wanting to make a menu board for a while.

Source: sarahpotterphotography.com via Katrina on Pinterest

I’ve seen a bunch of them on pinterest and while adorable, I thought it would also help with menu planning/grocery shopping. My first goal was to make a list of 30 meals. Almost everything I cook results in leftovers, so 30 meals would mean we had enough meals to last a month+. I used a label template from Avery to type up the meals (also including leftovers, dinner out, order in). I also put the ingredients for each meal on the back. That way, when planning out that weeks meals, I can just pull them out and jot down my grocery list! Perfect! (Except one row got messed up and has the wrong ingredients but I didn’t realize it until today…oops.)

I was torn on whether I wanted to use a cork board or a magnetic board but everything was too plain. I did find a great chunky teal framed cork board on Target’s website, but it was 25$ plus shipping and that was a little much.  I went to Target today to see if they had anything interesting in the store and came across this stainless steel magnetic board for 9$. It was totally plain, but I liked that it was square and didn’t have an ugly frame.  Right next to the board, I found my inspiration. A 4 pack of washi tape and two sets of magnets all in coordinating teals/green/white.

Then I came home, sat on the couch with everything and the last three episodes of Bunheads (meh) and got to crafting. The most time consuming part was the meal cards. I had just printed them on white cardstock so they were really boring. I cut a piece of washi tape in half and added it to the top and bottom. The card holders are just two halves of a random little box, attached with double-sided tape. Everything else is held up by magnets!

menu board!

I think it’s pretty darn adorable, if I do say so myself! Now I just need to hang it in the kitchen! Altogether it was a pretty cheap craft.

9$ for the board
6$ for the magnets (3$ a pack)
4$ for 4 rolls of washi tape (lots left over)

19$ total!

Not too bad!

If I keep this up, I’m going to need a craft room!

pink is the new pink.

So last weekend, along with ripping wallpaper down, I did a little painting. By little I mean crafty painting, not wall painting.

I have been seeing these “eat” signs in kitchens around the internet and really wanted one of my own.

eat sign

At some point while looking for one, I decided to go in a different direction:

mangia!

I don’t exactly love the font (I would have rather had all lowercase letters – all though capitals are probably better because Italians yell a lot) but I kind of love it. It’s a shout out to my pap/my Italian heritage/the one word in Italian I know. It’s not as crooked as it looks, I just took the picture from that angle to get both of my kitchen colors in. And you can see my cupcake collection on the shelf. I wasn’t sure where to put it but I figured telling people to eat on their way into the dining room made the most sense!

I also did a little painting in the bedroom, painting these cheap birch frames from Ikea pink. I was struggling with what to put in them since they are so teeny tiny and thought I’d do a little take on “his and hers” but backwards, since that’s how we sleep.

hers & his

I’ll actually probably swap them out for a bigger font, but I just wanted to test and see how it looked. I did the hers in a swirly font and the his in a less swirly font (even though Keith has prettier handwriting). I also bought us some lamps!

lamp!

I had a tiny little Ikea lamp on my table and Keith had nothing on his. My lamp wasn’t bright enough and I really wanted matching lamps since we don’t have matching side tables. In case you haven’t noticed, lamps are EXPENSIVE. I have been hunting for months to try to find something in a shape I liked that wasn’t 40$ a lamp. I was at Walmart buying the pink paint for my letters/frames and stumbled upon these babies for 14$! They were a great shape and although they were shadeless I grabbed the last two and figured I could deal with finding shades later. And then on the other side of aisle, I spotted these shades, which were pretty much perfect. All blues and silvers, which is right up my alley! The shades were only 6$ so I got two lamps and two shades for cheaper than I could find one single lamp. I am pretty excited. For some reason, it makes me feel more grown-up/sophisticated having matching lamps.

lamps!

I think they make the bedroom so cozy. Keith said we didn’t need new lamps, but he already used his, so I think I win this round.

I am almost ready to call the bedroom complete but I still want a long dresser for across from the bed. I also want to paint it pink.

I’m so lucky Keith lets me do whatever I want in regards to decorating. I think he’d stop me if he totally hated something, but I’m not really sure, haha.

consistency is blue

Not much has been up with the house since I painted the bedroom. I still need to touch up the trim, but just haven’t felt like it. This weekend doesn’t look good either, because I have a paper due and we are going to a wedding. I’m in no rush though.

Even if I don’t spend my weekdays doing house-y things, I do spend them reading home improvement blogs, my favorite of which is Young House Love. They have a gorgeous home, seem really down to earth and aren’t afraid to get to work!

Another blog I really like is Teal and Lime. I found her blog from pinterest, her dining room must be pinned a million times. It was through her blog that I found my future dining room color.

She recently posted pictures of her guest bathroom, which she had painted in Martha Stewart – Enamelware.

source: tealandlime.com

I immediately fell in love with the color. It is so fresh and bright and clean. Even though I have already picked out (and purchased) the paint for most of the house I was trying to find a place I could use it. Maybe the powder room? Or one of the upstairs bedrooms? Too bad I already had my laundry room color because it would look great in there against the blue of the kitch…wait a second…

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behr - aqua breezeBehr- Aqua Breeze

martha stewart - enamelwareMartha Stewart – Enamelware

 

Yeaaaa, almost the same exact color I already have in my kitchen. At least I’m consistent!

*See the exposed light switches? They might still look like that. The switches are almond, I bought white ones to replace them and refuse to put the covers on until they are replaced. Because if we put the covers on without replacing them, they will never get replaced. Although it doesn’t look like they will ever get replaced this way either. Ha.

kitchen: after!

Well, the kitchen is complete! It took a whole lot longer than anyone would have guessed, but that’s usually how those things go.  It took over a day to remove the wallpaper. The flowery stuff came off pretty easily, but the blue gingham stuff on the bulkhead was the devil incarnate. And I am no longer friends with the previous owners thanks to this little surprise.

devil wallpaper

That is wallpaper above the sink. It was not only impossible to get to thanks to its location above the sink and behind a board, it was impossible to get off. I probably spent 3 hours working on that and my mom had to finish it. I think my neck is still broken due to the horrible acrobatics necessary to reach it.

Two of the other obstacles are visible in this photo:

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The first obstacle was the wall to the right of the stove. That lovely green stuff is a skim coat of plaster that was chipping off in giant sheets. Painting over it would have been a horrible idea, so my MIL chipped off everything that would come off (and it was a lot) and then had to spackle the entire wall. Then it had to dry and be sanded down before we could paint there. That took more than a day for all those steps. The second obstacle might not be that easy to spot so let me zoom in a little for you…

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Ahhh, this little electrical box was just wallpapered right over so imagine my surprise when I finally got the devil wallpaper down and found that. The wiring inside looks ancient so I’m sure wallpapering right over it wasn’t the safest thing. I’m calling this an OHS. Old house surprise. And I’m sure there will be plenty more.

So here are some in-progress shots of the kitchen…

kitchen in progress

kitchen in progress

Ahhhhh. It was so nice having that wallpaper off the walls. I felt like I could finally breathe in there. I was almost happy enough to just leave it like that.  Haha. Just kidding.

Now the good stuff. The afters. In just 3.5 days with a few gallons of paint and a lot of elbow grease, we were able to turn my kitchen into this:

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I am truly in love. The teal cabinets might not be everyone’s cup of tea but they are everything I ever wanted and I don’t think I could possibly love them any more than I do!

Now for funsies, a quick before/after:

kitchenba1

kitchenba2

kitchenba3

Looking at the befores I feel like I am suffocating. (Also don’t mind the lack of switch plates, we need to switch out the light switches and outlets because not only are they almond they are super duper grimey/nasty. So those will be replaced and then covered with some fresh white plates.)

I have to give a lot of thanks to both my mom and my mother-in-law. Without them, I would probably still be up there scraping wallpaper. They were a huge huge huge help and it was also a lot of fun to work with them! Love ya both!

And I feel as sleepy as Daisy looks so I’m calling it a night.

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kitchen progress

So we have been super busy at the new house and I have barely had a chance to sit down, let alone sit at the computer, but I figured I’d throw something up real quick because I am so excited!

The kitchen is nearing completion so hopefully I will be able to do a full reveal after, but here’s a sneak peek!

This was our lovely kitchen doorway before:

kitchen before

This is after removing the hippie wallpaper…

kitchen progress 1

(Hi mum!) And thissssssss is the after for that portion! The rest of the kitchen is very exciting but even this just makes me soooo happy!

kitchen progress 2

(I believe this was only the first coat, and the shelf needs another coat so don’t mind any splotches.)
before/after

I’d say it’s a definite improvement! And wait til you see the rest!

kitchen: before

So due to the closing date and very unsympathetic landlords, our lease on our apartment goes until the end of April. In some ways, this is annoying ($$$$), but in other ways it is nice, namely so that we can take our sweet time moving.

Of course we do want to get in there soon because new!house! and to be rid of the small dog symphony* that happens every morning.

But there were a few rooms I wanted to paint before we got in there because I figured that would be easier. First room: the kitchen.

 
kitchen

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kitchen

First things first, the wallpaper. I actually wouldn’t mind the weird hippie-flowery print if it wasn’t everywhere. It would have been okay on one wall, but more than one makes it start to hurt. Also the gingham pattern just adds to the…charm. 

Secondly, no, your monitor/eyes are not deceiving you, the cabinets are pink. It wasn’t until the second time we were in the house, during the inspection, that we realized the cabinets were actually pink. (Note: all before pictures are from the inspection, most things in the picture are not ours, so ignore them.)

And let’s not talk about the weird orange edge of the already ugly track lighting, I’m trying to pretend that all doesn’t exist. Or the weird square of tile backsplash next to the stove.

Luckily we began to take the wallpaper off last night and it was coming off pretty smoothly. My MIL is actually there now removing the rest of it. (She is an angel.)

Now the exciting part.

 
kitchen colors

The colors! I honestly spent the entire 60 days before closing hemming and hawing over what colors I wanted in my kitchen. I knew I wanted a teal, but finding the perfect teal almost killed me. I finally decided on Behr Embellished Blue with Behr Aqua Breeze. No plans for any lavender as of yet. 

I also want to switch out the hardware and my maybe-somedays include

– tearing out that backsplash. I want something pearly/shimmery/shiny.  

– MAYBE attempting to refinish the countertops (they have some dings/burns)

– replacing the track lighting.

Luckily the floors are new and the appliances are in fine shape so those will be staying as they are. Painting starts tomorrow so hopefully I’ll have some in-progress/after pictures soon!

*About a month or so ago, the dachshunds below us began waking me up around 6am with their barking. They continue to bark/whine/howl/moan all morning. It at least goes until I leave for work, not sure how long it continues afterwards. In a fit of sleep-deprived anger, I actually taped a note to the front door that said something like “to the owners of the small dogs who won’t quit barking – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE IT STOP.” (Not my best moment.) 😉