The Ceramic Womb

…is what we call our “master bathroom.”

Here’s a funny anecdote.. if you google image search “Master bathroom,” this is what you come up with:

Google Img Master Bath

Don’t believe me?  Go ahead, click it.

For the record, most of those gigantic bathrooms are actually bigger than our entire house.  Who has that kind of space?  Also, what are these people doing in their bathrooms?  Hosting parties?  Exactly how many people are in this bathroom at any given time? The entire Duggar family?  I digress.

Here is our “master bath” from our first tour of our home —

Master Bath

“Master” Bath

The wood on each side of that picture is the molding framing in the sliding pocket door (can I just say I love pocket doors?).  Then, following the picture in from the left, you see the glass shower door the pink wall of the shower, and the grey toilet.  In the far right of the picture, just before the pocket door molding for the other side, you see the pedestal sink peeking out.  It’s a little hard to tell in two dimensions, but between the shower wall in the middle of the picture and the edge of the sink, is just enough room to slide through sideways to the toilet.  It is cramped to say the least. In the almost year (holy smokes) that we’ve lived here, we’ve both showered in this room one time each.  It is very cramped.  Also, I am sure you’ve noticed by now that the entire thing is pepto pink.  I want you to be assured that the inside of the shower is as well.  Every surface inside that shower – floor, ceilings, and every wall – is also this pink tile.  Thats why we call it the ceramic womb.  It is awful.

We have big plans for this bathroom, but I’ll get to that soon, this post is already getting huge just enjoying the sights.  Let’s just say, hubs went all hulk smash! on the thing and it no longer has a shower or 4 walls.

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Stay tuned!

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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.

 

Well, that’s unfortunate.

You know when you have the best of intentions… and then BLAM somebody else’s bad decisions throw a wrench in the works.

That’s how we felt when the paint on our basement door and the walls surrounding it began to peel out in giant sheets that we may or may not have decided to wear over our clothes like togas later…(insert that into the “awkward” category).

Paint peeling from basement door

Paint peeling from basement door

After plenty of time with the multitool, a hairdryer, and general malarky, we finally did get that whole nook and most of the doors paint-free.  After peeling off the top layer from the basement door, Kevin took it down and stripped it to the wood.  We had the shave it to finally get it to shut correctly, but alas.. it does!  Things are being added and removed to the to do list.. finally!

So let’s check on that list…

  • Prime, paint, and seal the cabinets.
  • Buy new hardware and add it to the cabinets (duh)
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Re-do the countertop (either paint or re-laminate)
  • Replace the floor
  • Finally finish installing the big light
  • Replace the under cabinet light
  • Find a permanent solution for the trash and recycle bins (on our way!)
  • Make the upper corner shelf open shelving
  • Possibly replace the above-window light
  • Add some sort of curtains to the window and the door
  • Strip and repair the doors to the outside and to the basement
  • Paint the doors to the outside and the basement
  • Bright high glass white paint on the trim
  • Create a family command center on the big open wall that includes a calendar, mail center, meal planner, and anything else we may find useful.
  • Decorate.
  • Enjoy.

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!

Small Changes Out Front

…that may some day have flowers.

The last owner(s) of our home had hired a professional landscaper to take care of their grass cutting needs.  The grass was a beautiful emerald green when we took the keys in March.  It was perfectly trimmed and edged without a weed in sight.  That was March… it’s now September (holy crap) and it totally doesn’t look like that anymore.  It was a hot summer and things happen.

In May, we started doing some yard work, itching to get outside and into shorts.  It quickly became evident that this was not the summer of outdoor labor for us as temperatures got to the triple digits here in Western PA.  Naturally, before we realized how hot it was going to be, we started ripping things apart with big plans for beautiful flowers to greet us and our guests.

I mentioned how nice the lawn was.  Key to this story is not the lawn, but the front garden under our big living room window.  It was ugly.  Things weren’t planted right and they definitely were not taken care of properly.  It was a sad story out front and it didn’t make me happy.  Still in my YAY SUMMER mindset, blissfully unaware of how sweaty and miserable I would soon become, I vowed to make it a much more inviting front flower garden.  Here’s the before (from our very first house tour)…

House on First Tour

House on First Tour

Here’s a close up of just the front garden.  It’s a really great picture that I slaved to make sure was the perfect white balance and everything as I am known to do.  Just kidding, I just took the previous picture and cropped it close in on the garden.  Enjoy.

Bush Closeup

Bush Closeup

Photography awards I will not win.

But, as you may possibly be able to see, there wasn’t much to love about this front garden.  Half-dead bushes, no color, no structure, all blah.

I took a shovel and dug up the bushes, most of them were falling apart and dead.  Three of them looked like they may be able to be revived.  The roots of those three bushes were still shaped like a pot so I sprayed them with the waterhose and tried to unclump the dirt around them.  Then I just took them back and planted them around our fence.  Months later, they still look exactly the same, so I don’t think thats a good sign.  Wait, no thats a lie, Kevin mowed over one of them, so two of them look the same, the other is just a stump.

So what did we do with this space?  A whole lot of nothing really.  After ripping the plants out, I started hand-tilling it with a shovel.  Basically, I would just shovel up a clump of dirt and then dump it someplace else, then stab it with the shovel a couple times to break it up.  I did this for about an hour and had managed to move around the dirt in about 3 square feet.  It was exhausting. Then, something was donated by the in-laws…

International Harvester

International Harvester

Yep! A tiller!  It threw Kevin around a lot… I have a video of it, but it was after he had basically gotten the hang of it, so it’s not nearly as entertaining as watching him learn.  This little 3hp workhorse made the job much much easier though.  Soon enough we had freshly tilled soil.  Kevin tilled in some peat and it was soft and lush and beautiful.  The next day, we got to work moving some random stones that weren’t serving any purpose around the back yard, until…VOILA!

New front flowerbed

New front flowerbed

It doesn’t look like much here, but once there is grass around it and some flowers in it, it will look amazing.  That’s right, we started this in May and it’s still empty. Well that’s only kinda true.  The part that is supposed to be grass is full of weeds (we’re awesome).  As for the interior of the bed, Kevin dumped multiple (I think around 5..seriously) boxes of old wild flower seeds into it before we left for vacation.  There may be one flower growing in there now.  It may be a weed.  We bought some gladiolas bulbs to put in it, and the end goal is to have it full of perennials so each year theres beautiful color out front with only weeding+mulching work to be done.  Really, the less work the better.. we kinda have our hands full.

Have you started any projects thinking they’d be quick and easy only to be foiled by the elements?

 

 

 

The Case of the One-Sided Window

On one of our multiple visits to our new home before closing, somebody noticed that there were windows visible from the outside with no trace of them on the inside.  From the walkway to the patio, you could see two glass block windows, one on each side of the chimney.  From the inside, nothing framed the fireplace.  My father-in-law asked me if I’d like windows there and I replied.. well, why not.  So he got immediately on that…

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As you can see, he actually just poked a hole in the wall and stared into it before covering it up with masking tape.  I think I even have a picture of him and my hubs doing just that.  He promises the window boxes are on the way and it’s a fun thing to tease him over.  So for now, we just have masking tape painted to our wall, but I believe him that one day he’ll deliver and we will have light boxes.  Until then, let the teasing continue.

When you’ve had too much family time…

We recently (Read: two days ago) came back from a long two week vacation with my husband’s family.  On top of that, I am in the process of setting up a home business.  Needless to say, it’s been chaotic and busy here so I apologize for the lack of updates.  I am hoping I can take some time today and schedule some fresh posts.  For now, here’s a picture from about a week after we moved in.  It’s suiting to share now since we just got done with another marathon family time. haha  It’s all in good fun, I promise.

When you've had too much family time...

When you’ve had too much family time…