The First Sign of Failure

The First Sign of Failure

The First Sign of Failure

There it is.  The first sign of failure in the beautiful ardex countertops.

(Click that image and it’ll enlarge, by the way)

The criminal?  The George Foreman drip tray.  It got sat there and forgot about for a day or so.  When I finally realized it and picked it up , it left behind that huge stain and those holes.

I know its gross that a drip pan of grease sat there for any amount of time and that plenty of people will judge us for being disgusting, but I am just keeping it real.  I am sure there are plenty of people out there that wish they were more OCD about picking things up and are in the same boat as we are.  If thats you and you are reading this and still thinking, but I’ll just BE super cautious about these because I want them so badly.  Stop.  I did that.  I was super cautious.  I was constantly wiping things up as soon as they touched the concrete.  It still happened.  The good thing is I now wipe countertops constantly even though I ripped the concrete out.  So maybe if you want to train yourself that way, you SHOULD do this, but expect to be redoing it in two months.

That hole and stain up there was within 2 weeks.  We hadn’t even gotten around to doing the rest of the countertops yet and that one already had to be chipped and patched and resealed.


Moral of the Story.

Not worth it.



Not everything you read online is a good idea.

This and other amazing insight.

Brought to you by… Ardex Countertops.


I haven’t been blogging lately because my spirit was crushed.

I am so dramatic.

When we bought this house, my eyes lit up with the possibilities.  I was so excited to tackle every single project the moment we were handed the keys.  I just wanted to dive in head first and not even check the water depth first.  A year in and my enthusiasm was yet to bend.  Then came the ardex kitchen countertops.

We started renovating our kitchen to give it a quick pick me last June.  We just wanted to put some lipstick on a pig and be satisfied with it until we could gut it and set it up better.  I just wanted it to look pretty while I had to live with it.  When we moved in, it was filthy.  So gross.  It looked like somebody had murdered a marinara monster and it’s marinara guts had sprayed everywhere.  Everywhere.  Inside of cabinets, under the countertop.  Everywhere.  It was filthy.

So we started by stripping and painting the solid wood cabinets.  Great start.  It didn’t go smoothly.  If I were to do it over again, I would have used different primer. But that was last year and they have held up great.  I’ve touched up a couple spots, but they’re seriously in great shape.  Maybe I’ll post pics of that soon.  Let me get to that.

We knew we also wanted to paint the walls (obviously), replace the floor, and do something with the disgusting pink countertops.

As you know from the blog, the floors went perfectly.  Everything went down quick and easy and they turned out beautifully.  They’re still one of my favorite things in this house – if not THE favorite.

But the countertops.  Ugh.  The countertops that killed my blogging sharing spirit.  The paint we knew wasn’t going to work.  We just knew it.  $20 and your countertops are gorgeous?  Ha. Ha. Ha.  Even before we decided to “just try it” – I had my heart set on concrete.  I had all of the tutorials pinned on how to pour your own or the -ohlala- “quick and easy and cheap” alternative of just skimming on some concrete topper known as Ardex Feather Finish.  But I agreed to try the painting first and as soon as it chipped up I swooped in with PLEASECONCRETEPLEASE JUSTPLEASTLETSTRY IT.  The hubs reluctantly agreed and I ran to the nearest supply store and ran back with my $20 bag of feather finish.

We tried it first on an old laminate shelf we weren’t using anymore.  We could NOT get it to seal.  It looked gorgeous but we test spilled all kinds of stuff on it and all kinds of stuff stained it.  I was convinced we were sealing it wrong and switched the sealant out AND bought some food-safe wax.  Flipped it over and started the experiment anew.  New application of feather finish, new sealant, new waxing.  Spills and spills and everything was fine.  Hubs again reluctantly gives in (It has to be hard arguing with a lawyer) and we rip the painted laminate off of the countertop and start applying.

I posted some pics of the during process and then nothing more.

And you know why?  Because it was a miserable, terrible, horrid failure.

OK now I am really being dramatic.  It wasn’t that bad, but I do regret doing it.

Immediately it started staining.  Let me stop right there.  I put NO LESS than 4 coats of concrete sealant on these THEN wax.  By all definitions they should’ve been sealed.  However, that didn’t help.  The first disaster was the tray from a George Forman grill left a nice ring that DID NOT come out.   I love the natural “patina” of concrete, but that was ridiculous.

Then we left for a few days and came back to find that we had missed some water behind the faucet and it had got under the concrete and swelled and exploded.  It looked like the sink had a tumor.  THere was a giant hole.  It was not a fun argument getting home at 11 at night on a work-night and finding a hole in the countertops we had just done 8 whole weeks ago.

So it broke me.  I was disappointed and frustrated and was sick of working and redoing a kitchen that I swore was going to be 3 leisurely months and done.  But instead we’re into a year later and STILL devoting most of our time to this kitchen.

So that’s why I’ve been absent.  It’s not that we haven’t worked on other rooms.  It’s that I was frustrated and done sharing for awhile. I just didn’t have it in me.

So what’s changed?  We redid the countertops again over the weekend.  For the THIRD time.  And final time.  Because this time we didn’t take shortcuts or try some “quick and easy” tip we found on one blog that NEVER mentioned it again.  We bought a sheet of laminate for $90 and my husband and his dad relaminated the countertops.  I opted out because of previously mentioned feelings of self defeat.  But they’re done and ready to be installed and they’re beautiful.  They are leaps and bounds better looking than the concrete was on it’s best day.  People judge laminate.  But its a beautiful, durable, affordable option.  And I am really excited to blog about this kitchen and whole house again.. because those laminated countertops have restored my enthusiasm.  And I needed that.  I finally feel like sharing again.



So it’s been awhile.

I swear, I promise, it hasn’t been intentional that I haven’t updated my house’s dear diary that is this blog.

I’ve just been so busy.

I started my own law practice in September & it took off way more than anybody could have expected.  It excites me.

But also, we’ve been busy with the house.  We have made so many changes & updates, etc. that I really need to commit to word before I forget how/why/etc. and lose the memory.

I think I have the time today to run out some new posts about everything, so here it goes.  Hopefully.

Please accept my apologies.

Here. We. Go.

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On Sunday, I took Kevin to his first regular season NFL game.  We bought the tickets before the season started, so it was before we realized it’d be two teams out of the playoffs.  But we still had a great time!  (I didn’t know the Steelers could not be in the playoffs?? how is that possible?  ugh.)  I am bummed because these circumstances means Kev still didn’t get the complete experience as the stadium was half empty and mostly quiet.  My favorite part about going to games is how loud it is and how the crowd overcomes you.  But any game I get to go to feels like the super bowl to me.. so it was still an amazing time!

Happy New Year everybody!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am writing this post in advance so it is sure to go up, but if all goes well yesterday we should have attended Kevin’s first ever Steelers game!  I just want to take the time to wish everybody a safe and happy new year.  Have a wonderful time out there tonight, to everybody near and far.  Cheers to you and to 2013.

Best Foot Forward

I walk like a dude.  I walk heavily.  I walk not lady like.  I also have a career path that requires me to wear high heels on occasion and on every one of those occasions I stomp around like Godzilla.   Needless to say, I go through a lot of heel tips.  In the past, that meant shoes to the trash.  Then I found out you can buy new tips and replace them yourself.  I watched plenty of videos.  I found out Target sells 3 or 4 sets of new tips for about $5.  I was on board.  I was.

Just let the man do it.


It’s not as easy as it sounds.  Or maybe it would be if I had tried it earlier on in the actual carnage of my heel tip.  The truths is I had worn the tips down so far they would not come out.  Kevin successfully got them out of one heel, but not its twin.  So I really have no update other than DO THIS BEFORE YOUR TIP IS COMPLETELY GONE.  Has anybody ever successfully replaced their heel tips?  Any tips on replacing tips?  Seriously, I want this to work on the new shoes I just bought.  I threw all the old ones out in frustration.  Poor girl with new shoes.  Boohoo.


A “taste” of what’s to come

I’m so punny.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled kitchen updates for a preview into what I hope is Kevin’s addition to this blog!  He “claims” he’d like to add about his homebrewing to this blog, so to get him started, I uploaded the ridiculous homevideo of us both trying his first batch for the very first time.  Cue awkward dog scenes!

Happy Belated 4th Anniversary to Us!

Our 4th Anniversary Cabine

Our 4th Anniversary Cabine

July 26th marked 4 years since we took the plunge and married in front of 150 of our closest friends and family.  To celebrate this year, we took a long weekend and headed to Mason, Ohio for two days at Kings Island Amusement Park.  It was a great time that I would highly recommend to anybody – especially those who love roller coasters.  As you can see above, we stayed at a campground with cabins about 30-40 min away from the park.  We lucked out and were placed in cabin number 4!  The number 4 recurred a lot that weekend, in examples I wish were not sunbaked out of my brain.

We love going on mini weekend “staycations” and would love to hear about the ones you enjoy.  Wheres the last place you went?  How did you celebrate your anniverary?