Bring on the great weather!

    What a great weekend we had.  It’s amazing what warmer weather can do to your mood.  Our winter has been super mild, but it has still been cold.  Having a blast of warm weather over the weekend and for the upcoming days, is going to be great.
    On Saturday we took Izzy to the park.  We figured that a nice long walk for the dogs would tire them out, so we packed up the camera and the dogs, and headed to the park.  The park is loaded with other dogs, all on leashes of course, but its a great place to let dogs interact and do some sniffing.  Ric is used to this interaction as he gets it all the time but I wasn’t all that sure how much of this interaction Izzy gets.  She ended up being fantastic, she loved being around the other dogs and was even pleasant around other men in the park (she’s usually “iffy” when it comes to being around males).

    We have been getting the itch to work on the house, and although I need to drywall, it has still been too windy to bring drywall home on the car, so this weekend Nicole and I went to Home Depot and tackled other projects.  The cabinets in the kitchen have no handles on them and can sometimes be difficult to open. We went and picked out some new handles which ended up looking awesome.

    One other thing we had to change was the awful vanity in our bathroom.  When we originally moved in, our bathroom was nonexistent.  It was straight out of Alcatraz.  We were able to get a great deal on a new kitchen and bathroom, but for the price, we would have to make a few sacrifices in the bathroom.  The vanity he chose was clearly something that he caught a great deal on because it didn’t go well in there at all.  It was gigantic and didn’t really match anything.  It was nothing we were going to complain about, but we were going to have to add a new vanity to our list of things to get.  This weekend we found one that looked great and like doubled the space in our bathroom.

Project: Curtains

    Nicole and I took off Monday because neither of us felt like working after the Royal Rumble party.  What a perfect day to complete a project.  A few weeks ago, Nicole had ordered some fabric online for some curtains she was planning on making for the second floor landing.  Curtains can be really expensive depending on what you want, we figured we would make them ourselves and get exactly what we want for a fraction of the cost.

We ran to Target and picked up a curtain rod for the window on the second landing.  Slowly, we are starting to bring life to different areas in the house.

This is the fabric that Nicole picked up online.

We needed a big space to spread the fabric out so we moved the couch and made our measurements marking the floor with white tape so that it was easy to identify the marks for cutting.

You don’t have to be a sewing master to make these, we picked up two rolls of hemming tape.  Its simple to use, you just stick one end to the fabric, fold it over and iron the area for 20 seconds.  It went pretty smooth for Nicole who can get angry quickly.  I was amazed that she didn’t throw the iron through the window.  She didn’t get angry once.

After we finished the first curtain, the second wasn’t nearly as tough because we sort of had a system down.

Simple curtain clips from Target.


Slowly starting rehab again…

    We took a break starting late November on all house rehab.  It was getting to be a little much but now Nicole and I are starting to get the itch again.  We slowly started working in the living room.  Nicole got the idea to turn the bay window area in the living room into a little bistro area.  Hanging from the ceiling in that area was this disgusting glass light that needed to go immediately.  She found the perfect light on etsy:

(This isn’t a picture from inside our house, it’s from sellers etsy store)

     We then wanted to get a pedestal table for underneath it.  It seemed like everywhere we looked they were between $150.00 ( for a mediocre one) and up to $500.00+ (for better quality ones).  We tried looking on craigslist but had no luck. Finally on Sunday we found one for $60.00 but at the last minute the lady called us and said that her husband had sold it without telling her.  Lame.  So we were back to square one.  We found one at the local AMVETS (thrift store) for only $45.00 and it was super heavy duty.  Old furniture is the best if you can restore it because everything was made so well back then.  We took the table home and sanded it down.  Nicole is in the process of painting it and I should have some pictures later on in the week.
     Having the light purchased and the table only left us with one more thing to get.  Chairs.  Nicole found 2 chairs on Target’s website.  I think they will look pretty awesome once everything is in place.

These are supposed to be delivered by the end of the week.  Fingers crossed!

Now onto Thanksgiving!

    We have busted our asses since buying the house with a set of goals that we wanted completed by winter.  We would like to thank my Mom, my Stepfather Henry, and my Dad Bob for helping us accomplish everything, it would have been a lot harder to do without their help.  New kitchen windows, glass block windows in the basement, roof replacement on the room off the kitchen, and redoing the dining room including a complete tear out off the bay window with new drywall.  We are exhausted, but one half of the first floor is totally complete.  Here are some pictures of the dining room:

Here is a really old picture from when we tore out the kitchen.  You can see what the dining room used to look like.

Here is the finished product.

Nicole found an old chandelier at the thrift store that she fixed up with some paint and some TLC.

   Now its time to take a break, at least until the new year!

Happy Halloween!

Ric hates Halloween and horror movies.  Ever since he watched “The Ring” he fears VCR tapes.

    Happy Halloween!  I’m pretty excited as this is the first Halloween in our new house.  We have no idea what to expect for Trick or Treaters in terms of how many we will see.  This is a tough Holiday for me because I love candy, and I have been candy-free for over a month now.  This year we tried to go the route of picking up candy that I don’t actually like.  We picked up “Dots”, “Toostie Pops”, and “Marvel Comic Dips” (basically fun-dip).  There will still be and urge for me to eat these things, I’m not going to lie.  But I’ll stay strong.  Its sort of like the equivalent of a smoker that has run out of cigarettes, and has no money to buy them, so he/she picks through the ash tray for some gross nub to suck out whatever nicotine that remains…but not as gross. 
     Over the weekend we managed to get our sun room (now declared a reading room) about 90% finished.  I totally love the room so far.  Its relaxing.  Last night I spent the last two hours hanging out in there under a blanket, with a glass of wine, reading.  I know that for some reason that description makes me sound like a woman, but try to look at it like I’m a man that enjoys wine, that was reading and was cold.  The room is great.  We have some things left that we still want to do in there like building a bookshelf, and some decorating tasks, but its pretty close to being finished.

We moved the rug from the guest room into this room.  We now need a new rug for the guest room.

This table needs trinkets.

We found this 50’s couch a the thrift store for 50 bucks.  It was in amazing shape.

Nicole is going to sand down the wood and re-stain it darker.  This couch is awesome.

    Tomorrow I will have a full report on the outcome of the Trick or Treaters!

I am hung.

    The drywall is all hung in the dining room.  Two days off of work and two full days working in the dining room.  All the drywall is up and is partially taped.  We are moving pretty fast on this room.  Today after work I started pulling the wallpaper off the wall on the upper portion.  I thought this would be a nightmare but I was totally wrong.  Most of it came off in huge portions and the spots that were stubborn, I used a curtain steamer that Nicole had.  It worked like a charm, even though sometimes it would spit boiling water on my hand causing me to cuss violently.  Luckily I didn’t have to use it all that much.  Saturday, Nicole is going over to her mom’s house to do some pumpkin related activities with her little nephew and I am going to get another full days work in there, taping and mudding, only this time (because it is Saturday) I will be consuming beer while doing it thus bringing a smile to my face.

Some of the seams aren’t  lined up at the moment because of old house shifting, but with some trimming and mud tricks, I’ll get it looking like the 

Not much I can say about this one.  Looks good to me!

 Tonight Nicole came home with a fall decoration that is amazing.  An Anise Wreath.  I love Anise.  I keep sniffing it.  I want to lick it. I love Anise.  The Wreath was pretty expensive the first time we noticed it at Target.  She found it on clearance for a fraction of the price.  Now we own it and this weekend we will hang it up.

The Sun Room Redux.

   Originally the sun room was the first room we re-did.  We painted the room, restored the old windows to try and get another year out of them, and made it a living space that we could occupy during the heavy remodel period.  Eventually when our contractor finished up in the kitchen, we realized that the sun room was just too small to be the main room to watch TV in.  It couldn’t hold more than two people.  I was unable to have friends over for football and even worse, I was unable to have friends over for wrestling pay per views.  That was unacceptable.  We moved the TV and sofa into the big living room leaving the sun room empty and once again, unfinished.  This of course drove me nuts.  During the week I primed the ceiling and then painted it the same off white, (almost beige) as the ceiling in the kitchen.  It was starting to look like something again.

   There was an old, unattractive, ceiling fan in the room that we took down.  It was ugly brass with old fashioned, cheap looking glass globes.  It was just plain ugly.  Cool looking fans were proving to be difficult to find but with a little Nicole magic, she had this fakakta fan looking totally awesome.  She painted the fan “Carbon Mist” which was a super dark gray.  We then went to Lowes and bought 3 new globes for lights.  This ended up looking brand new.

This is the original fan style that we had in the sun room.  This fan in the picture is the fan in our living-room but its the same style.

  That same day, I had gone to the store to get some liquid nails.  We have been keeping an eye on those electric stoves that give heat and display a fake fire.  They are pretty awesome and the store that I was at had some pretty good deals on them.  When I got home, I told Nicole about them and we drove back to look at them.  They have all sorts to choose from, some built into bookshelves, some with elaborate wood mantels, and then a simple metal model that looked like an old wood stove.  Nicole liked that one.  I totally didn’t think that would be the model that she liked but it was, and we bought it.  We are now one item away from completing this room.  A sofa.  This room is going to become a reading room, or a quiet place to go do some laptop work.  I can’t wait to get it done.  I want there to be two rooms for people to go sit and mingle in for the cocktail party at the end of November that we are having for our families and close friends.

So it begins again.

  The break from house work has ended and Saturday my dad came down to help tear apart the dining room.  Like every other project in this house, a simple idea turned into a huge pain in the ass.  I needed help on the bay window.  The plaster was crumbling and there were random sections of drywall that were heavily damaged.  Another masterpiece created by the previous owners.  We figured that if we were going to work on this project, we might as well do it right.  We decided to tear everything down and insulate the entire wall.  Of course when we started, we pulled down a section that had endured generations of water damage that was ignored.  This section was rough, and there was serious rot.  We pulled out some of the heavily rotted stuff and put in some 2×4’s so that we would have something to drill the drywall into.  Plaster is awful and removing it is even worse.  The dust and filth that spreads all over the house is brutal.  It was clear that we were not going to finish this project that day, but I wanted to at least get help doing the upper portion of the bay window.  I figured that if we could at least get that done, I could do the rest (or as much as possible) on Monday and Tuesday, because I took time off from work.

This was the area with heavy water damage and rot.  Surprise!!!

  I have to admit, I was not in the mood for a project like this after a super busy week, but with an upcoming cocktail party that we are hosting, time is running short and we have to get this place as close to normal as we can before hand.

The Guest Room

    Our guest room is just about finished.  We are just waiting to put the bamboo in for the floor.  This room was in bad shape when we first moved in.  There was drywall that looked like it was cut by a blind man, cracks in the wall, terrible molding with missing pieces, and outlets in the wall that were too close to the floor and not secured to anything.  It was pretty amazing.  Nicole and I wrecked shop in this room, tearing off all the gross molding, painting, patching, etc.  We wanted this to be a great room for family/friends to stay if they came to visit.  Here is how it looks so far (try to ignore the bad hardwood, that will be fixed soon):

This was molding that Nicole and I created using two types of wood.  A lot of the molding we saw at Home Depot was ugly and very expensive.  This was an inexpensive way to get the effect we were going for.

We replaced the cheesy wall lights that were in this room with a classier model.  I had to install little switches on these due to the fact that there was no wall switch in the room for them.

This is a rug that Nicole picked out on Overstock.  The colors go well in the room but it ended up being smaller than we wanted it to be.  It will work in there for now.

This lamp and night stand where treasures found at our local thrift store.  The night stand was in rough shape but Nicole restoration skills, this looks brand new.  The light worked perfectly and with a new shade from Target, it looks fantastic.

Brand new sheets and comforter set along with repainting the headboard a dark bronze brought this old bed to life.

Excited for the Weekend!

    I can’t wait for this week to be over.  I have a boat load of stuff to do this weekend and hardly any room to breathe, but I like it…..I think…so far.  Our contractor thinks he will be finished with everything by the end of next week.  The new counter is set to go in around Wednesday and I’ll be able too cook again and share my pizza recipes. 
    Saturday, Nicole and I need to spend the day making sure that we don’t have pealing paint on any of our windows, so it will be an entire day of doing that.  There can’t be pealing paint when the inspector comes.  We just want to be able to cook again like normal people and have a bathroom sink again!
    Sunday is going to be awesome.  I am a Bills fan.  I’m not a Bills fan that cries about how bad we are and puts them down all the time.  Every season is a new shot in my eyes and this season is no different.  I like what they have done with the defense and the QB that I pushed for to be the starter from the beginning is starting.  Sunday will be a day of football and food and I cannot wait.

    I’ll have a new restaurant review this weekend.  We want to go out to eat tomorrow so I should have something new to share.  Once this house stuff ends, I should be able to get back to the normal posting on here, beers, food, and shirts!

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