Monday, September 22, 2014

Home Reno - Let's Call it Quits

Let's not drag this out any longer.
This post is full of pictures
and the home decorating is not
yet complete
but it does finally feel like home.

The living room is a difficult
room to photograph
because it's narrow and
it really doesn't get a lot of 
natural light.

The large windows in the front of the house
are under our patio cover
so the light doesn't always stream in.

I realize I should have taken this picture
with the television turned off.
I just don't feel like retaking it..

I am loving my new floors.
I love the fact that
when I clean them, they are really clean.
Unlike the nasty dog hair carpet
that was in here before.

The rug is a a cheap Target rug and 
it is probably temporary.
Right now it serves as a place for the dog to lay on
and it's easy to clean.
I like the pop of color it adds to the room.

The living room is open to the dining room.
So far, this is my favorite room in the house.
I love my new red Karastan rug.
It was a splurge for us but I love 
how dramatically it changes the space.
I originally had it in the living room
but that's where the dog spends most of his
napping time and this rug and
a white dog don't mix.

Holy crap!
How is my dog not bald?
I can't believe how much he sheds this time of year.

I moved the liquor into the dining room
and set it up on my Great Grandma Pearl's
sewing machine.
(You can see my new baseboards pretty well in this pic)

 Not sure how she would feel about that.
Next to the booze is a 
sign I made out of wood slats I had in the garage,
painter's tape, and spray paint.

(It May Just Be The Booze Talking But I Want You To Know That I Love Booze)

That sign cracks me up
almost every time I walk into the room.

The reading nook is right off the 
dining room.

 The coffee table has been in my family for years.
When I was six,
I wrote my name in crayon on the underside of it.
The bowl of antique wooden apples
was given to me by Sally.
I've been looking for large wooden apples
forever and couldn't find what I wanted
so she gave me hers.
She's like that.

The kitchen is just to the left of this area.

When we were talking about doing something 
about the flooring a year or so ago,
we were going to do it in stages.
I am so glad now that we did the entire house
all at once.
I don't think I've ever owned a home
that had one consistent flooring material.
It makes my life so much easier.

So there is my mini home tour so far.
Again, there are more projects on the back burner.
I need to work on my office.
I work from home and have my computer set up
on a fold up camping table.
My files are in a litter box.

Thanks for stopping by!



Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Reno - Part 2

Let's see.
When we last left off,
the floors were done and I 
was the proud wearer of clean underwear.

What I didn't tell you was
that when the floors were going in
I started noticing how awful my baseboards were.
They were 2 1/2 inch baseboards
painted the same color as the walls
and also textured, just like the walls.

No Bueno.

So, to follow my theme for the month,
I decided on a whim
to rip them out.
And then I just did it.

Brian was at work at this time also.
Funny how that happens.
I told him that if I couldn't have new baseboards
that I didn't want any baseboards at all.

I would love to tell you that
I am really not as horrible as I'm making myself
out to be but....well, you know.
I was on a roll.
A high, I tell you, a home reno high!!
Baseboards were my crack.

So, Brian drove to Mesa to pick up my baseboards
that I had only seen online.
I was hoping I would like them.
And I did.

The only thing is, the baseboards
only came in 16 feet lengths.
Sixteen feet is really long.
Go out and measure your car and then come back
and finish reading this.

So Brian had to take his tractor trailer to pick up
three bundles of these.

1)  You are seeing the back sides,
my baseboards are not this ugly.

2) I chose 4 1/4 inch Spanish molding
in primed MDF.

3)  I should have mentioned that all pics have
been taken with my iphone and have  not
been edited.
Ain't nobody got time for dat.

When all the flooring was finished,
our friend, John, who is a wonderful carpenter,
came in and installed out baseboards.

Love them!

I don't have any pictures of them installed
for you to see, you will be able to see them
in the "after pictures" in Part 72 or Part 87
(depending on if I start a new project).

Side note: 
We have a pocket door for our office.
We very rarely use it.
I tried to close it the other day and it wouldn't close.
I figured it had just fallen off the tracks.
It wouldn't budge.
It was then that I realized that I never told John 
about the pocket door, and when he 
nailed in the baseboards,
the nails shot through walls into our door.
So that's fun. 

Now, here's where things get ugly.

So, yeah, I then decided that now would also be a great time to paint.
I love the paint color in my bedroom
and decided to go with it.
As you know from an earlier post, it didn't go well.
The color was horrible.
I won't go into it.
I'm still a little sensitive about the whole thing.

I decided to hire painters
because it's only money, right?
The only thing I had to do was choose a paint color.

I would rather sit on my dust covered sheets
in my dirty underwear eating Whoppers for another week 
than ever have to choose paint colors again.
This was the moment during the renovation
 that I lost it.

Everyone has their breaking point.
This was mine.
I even cried once.
I never told anyone that.
Paint does that to me.

Whomever says that paint is the 
easiest way to change the look and feel of a room
is a bad ass liar!
If baseboards are my crack,
then paint is my Methadone.

Painting sucks.
Hiring painters to paint entire rooms
of your house only to hate the color would suck more.
I had a week to pick a color since
the painters wouldn't be able to come in 
until a week after the baseboards.

I spent every day of that week
driving to various paint stores to get 
samples and slap them on the walls.
I had huge blocks of paint on every single wall
and didn't like any of them.

One would look great during the day
and then awful at night.
One would look lovely on one wall,
while looking like mud on another.
I couldn't choose a color.
I couldn't choose a finish.
I couldn't choose a brand.

I lost sleep over it.
A friend told me, "It's only paint!"
I killed her and buried her in my garden.

I finally found it.
The right color, in the right finish,
from the right brand.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you this.
This color has gotten a bad wrap.
I chose Sherwinn Williams Navajo White 
in flat but the paint itself was Dunn Edwards.
I loved the color that Sherwinn Williams had
but didn't like the finish.
Dunn Edwards had a nice flat finish 
with good coverage.
It's a beautiful creamy light yellow.

I chose White Fever for the ceilings (flat)
and baseboards (semigloss).

We were now on month two of having strange men
in our home on a daily basis.
I wanted everyone to go away. 
I wanted to swim naked.
I wanted to pee with the door open again.

Let's leave it at that.
 I'll be back soon with Part 3.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Home Reno - A 72 Part Series - Part 1

I'm starting to breathe again.
I've been holding my breath for the past two months.
Things are falling into place
and life is returning to normal.

Was the home reno worth it?
Ummm, ask me next year,
it's still too fresh.

Let's start at the beginning.
The floor.

Why did we decide to get new flooring, you ask?
Because my dog threw up one morning.
Just one little pile of dog kibble vomit on my carpet
sent me into a tailspin
and I knew I couldn't take it one more day.

Did I save money for this and plan out every detail
and make lists and create inspiration boards on Pinterest
like any normal person would do?

No I did not.

I cleaned up the dog vomit and then called
my friend, Phillip,  that is a tile layer 
and asked him to come and give me 
an estimate on new flooring.
I thought if I had an estimate,
then we could start budgeting for it.

And he came that same day.
And then he said the strangest thing.
He said that he could start ripping out all the flooring 
the following day.

And then I said the strangest thing.
I said ok.
Just like that.

You should also know that all this happened 
while Brian was at work and had no idea what was happening.
I am not a good wife, I know this.
So just shut up about it.
Something just took over and made me say "ok".
When Brian came home I just
told him about my day and then said,
"Oh, and we're getting new flooring tomorrow."
And he said, "Okay."
Because he's awesome like that.

So that afternoon
I ran to the tile store and picked out my tile.

I went with Vintage oak tile plank flooring.
 I am a lover of hard wood floors 
but not only was it not in our budget,
it also wasn't practical for us.

 And so the very next morning at 5:30 am
Phillip came and ripped out my flooring.

 See those nice big cracks in my foundation?
That was a pleasant surprise.

Every inch of carpet, tile, and 
Pergo was ripped out of our entire house.
Yes, we had four different types of flooring.
Totally normal, right?

Most of our furniture was moved onto
the back patio.
Which was awesome because
we are in the middle of the monsoon season
and we had rain and huge dust storms
the entire time they were here.

And, in case you don't live in Phoenix,
and aren't familiar with our dust storms,
they roll in like this.


The fun never stops.

Phillip estimated the job would take 
one and half weeks.
Due to several issues,
(foundation cracks and wonky walls)
it took just over two weeks.

Two weeks is a really long time,
did you know that?

For the first week,
we lived in our bedroom.
Only our bedroom.
I am grateful to have a door in our master
that leads out to our back patio.
Because that's where our clothes were.
And everything else we owned.

We lived off of fast food and 
turkey, mustard and dust sandwiches 
that I made in the bathroom.

And I didn't make my bed the entire time
that we lived in here.
And the sheets were covered in dust
and I didn't have access to my washer and dryer.

This was the hardest part for Brian
because the only television we could use
was a 12 incher.
And he hated every single second of this part.
Even though he was at work for 8 hours a day
and got to leave the house
while I just sat on the bed every day
praying I had enough underwear to last me
through all this.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the house,
tile was being laid.

And then it was time for them to move to the bedrooms.
Which was exciting because that meant
that we got to camp out in the dining room
and I could wash my underwear
and use the refrigerator.

(Handy Tip: Always throw out your leftover
baked beans if you're not going to be using your refrigerator
for a week.  It took two days to get rid of that smell.)

Cozy, right?

The hallway, bathroom and bedrooms took another week.
And as much as I love Phillip,
I wanted him to go away and leave me alone.
I know the feeling was mutual.
(I still love you Phillip!)

Let's just leave off there for now.
Part 2 involves
more rash decisions,
bad paint choices,
and pocket door mayhem.




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reasons Why My Husband Should Cut His Losses and Divorce Me Now

We've had a good run.
Married seven and a half years.
Had some great times together.
I'm going to miss him.

If you've been following me on Facebook,
you already know that in addition to deciding I needed new flooring,
I decided that I should get new baseboards.

Then on Saturday morning I woke up and thought,
Let's paint the house while we are at it.
And it seemed like such a wise decision since
we had no furniture in the house.
You're all with me, right?

So on Sunday morning I sent my darling husband off to
Home Depot to buy 5 gallons of Behr Wheat Bread.
I knew I would love the color because I have Chocolate Froth, 
which is the next color up on the paint strip, in the bedroom
and it is such a pretty taupey tan.

Here are some pics from the www of Behr Wheat Bread.

So all day Saturday, my husband taped off all the crown molding
and all the windows while I painted my ass off.
(I wish)
We painted well into the evening and even my
dear sweet Sally 
(best friend/step mommy)
came and helped.

When Sally walked in the door and saw the paint color,
her face just dropped.
I wondered if she was having a mini stroke.
Nope, she knew.
She knew that I had done something really stupid.
And I should have known that look because 
I do a lot of really stupid things.

I just kept painting, hoping that the color would change as it dried.
Sally, bless her heart,
helped me slap that miserable color on the wall.
Because that's what friends do.
They make you feel less stupid by acting as though
they, themselves, are also stupid.

And the color didn't get any better.
It was blue.
Gray blue.
Very gray blue.
I figured I would sleep on it and the color would magically
change into the most amazing decision of my life.

It didn't.

Apparently, I live in some reverse color wheel twilight zone universe.

I can't get a good picture of it with my iphone
but it looks like this.

So after Brian left for work,
my tile layer, Phillip, came and starting laying my pretty tile.
And the walls got worse.
Like a thousand times worse.

Even Phillips said,
"Um, why did you paint you walls this color?"
And my daughter Katie came over after I called her
and stated how awful it was.
And so I fretted all day long about how I was
going to tell Brian that we needed to repaint.

Sally came over and I made her tell me what to do.
Because Sally knows everything.
She will deny this because she likes to keep 
her wisdomy super powers undercover.
Buts she always makes the right decisions,
the first time.
And she brought me paint samples
from home and a slapped them on the wall,
and we found the perfect color
that looks great with the counter tops,
the cabinets and the flooring.

And then I told Brian.

And you know what,
he didn't really care.
He just said that he was never taping 
anything off for me ever again,
and I thought that was a fair trade since 
I really thought I deserved a good beating.
Did I mention that Brian is colorblind?
I'm not kidding, he really is.

Now I am hiring a painter.
And in addition to the walls, he is going
to paint the ceiling and the baseboards.
Because I am done!

So I am making a vow.
I am never making another decision again.
Sally will make all my decisions for me.
And I will always listen to my husband.
And I will not spend any more money.

However, I do have to wonder how my old furniture will look
next to all my new flooring and paint.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

So Far....I am Surviving This.

Once upon a time
I had two dogs
and enough dog hair in my carpet
to make at least one more.

Ranger, my yellow lab,
is a shedder.
June Bug, our newest edition,
is still learning all about
doggie doors and potty training.

Can you say, EEWWWWWW!

Last week after one June Bug accident,
I lost my cool and decided to call
our friend Phillip
who is an awesome tile layer and 
just get a quote.

I'd been looking at flooring for
quite some time.
I love the look of wood but know it 
wouldn't be practical for us.

I found wood look tile and
did some research on it and it really
seemed to be the perfect solution for us.

We have a pool
and a Lab who loves to swim
and he usually has wet paws
or muddy paws,
or dusty paws.

I called Phillip thinking maybe I
could get a quote and then mull things over
for a few weeks
and make a decision.

Phillips said, I'll be over in a few minutes
to measure and give you a quote.
Um, okay.

He came and gave us a very fair price
for labor.
Then he said,
"I can start ripping all this out tomorrow."
It just so happened that he had a break between jobs
and could either fit us in RIGHT NOW
or we would have to wait a few months.

I looked at the carpet and said,
"Rip it Out!"
And I didn't even have my tile picked out,
nor did I have a price for it.
But I didn't care.
I decided that living on concrete
was better than what I had been dealing with.

I did all this without discussing this with my husband.
This is something I would never do.
We always make large financial decisions together.

When he came home from work, I told him about 
what I had done.
He said, "Can we afford this?"
I told him, "Probably not."

We decided to do it anyway.
He was just as grossed out with the carpet as I was.
These were desperate times.

I went to Floor and Decor right away
and found a tile that I really liked.
Brought home the sample and placed it up against the walls
and counter tops.
It was a winner.

 All pics are from my iPhone, so we are blurry right now.
And my lens is probably dusty.

It was also very affordable.
Three pallets were delivered the next day.
Trying to get the same die lot was a little tricky 
and we actually had to go with three different die lots.
Fortunately, when they arrived,
they were all great.

We are having the entire house done in this tile.
Every single room.
All 1587 square feet of it.

Phillip showed up the next day and got to work.

We have been wanting to change out the flooring since
we moved into this house a year and a half ago
but couldn't do it at that time.

The kitchen was pergo.
Under the pergo was old glued down linoleum.
The living areas and bedrooms were all carpet.
The bathrooms were tile.

The kitchen, laundry room,
living room, dining room,
hallway and guest bath were all ripped out on Friday.

He is doing the bedrooms, my office
and our master bath after the front part of the house is complete
so we have don't have to move every piece of furniture out
of the house.
We can just shift things from room to room.

We have some major foundation cracks but he is taking
care of that.

We then decided that we probably should redo the baseboards
as long as we are at it.
I also have a friend that does cabinets, doors and trim.
I called him up
and asked him to come and give us a quote.
We are going from 2 1/2 inch baseboards
to 4 1/4 inch.
Again, Brian says, "Can we afford this?"
I respond, "Not really."

This was under the Pergo.
Pain in the butt to get out.

So here we are,
living in the dust bowl.

Seriously, we have a lot of our furniture on the back patio,
and have had two major dust storms 
since putting it out there.

We believe the tile will take about a week and a half
to complete.

So for right now,
we are eating out a lot 
and bringing food home.
Because my entire house is like this right now.

Wish me luck!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What the Heck has Holly Been Doing?

Hey Folks!

Let me tell you about what's been going on 
in my neck of the woods these days.

While everyone on Pinterest
has gotten the spring cleaning bug,
I've been busy doing a little cleaning
but have gotten the 
"Let's do a project" bug!

A few months ago I decided to change out
the colors in my house.

I went from reds and yellows
to blues and yellows.
While it was very pretty,
it never felt like my house.

I kept walking into the living room
wondering who lived there.
It was so NOT my style.

Fortunately, I didn't spend a lot of money
to make these changes.
The only semi expensive piece I bought was the 
blue ottoman in the picture above.

After trying to love it for a couple of months,
I sorta went crazy the other morning and 
moved my reds back into the living room and kitchen.

I'm home again.
I think it's impossible for me to be happy
in a house without red and yellow.
 This picture looks like I have yellow walls.
I do not.
That's just the sunlight coming through the open door to the right.
They are off white but I'm digging the yellow in the picture.

The blues all got moved into the bedroom
since it's still a work in progress.

As for the projects,
I just sorta went nuts.

I've been seeing a lot of DIY chalk paint
on Pinterest lately and thought I'd give it a try.
I'm a goner now.

I am head over heels in love with chalk paint!
You can do no wrong with it.
It doesn't show brush strokes
and it's very forgiving.
There's no preparation,
you don't have to sand before painting.
It drys very quickly.

I'm a horrible painter
which is something my daughter pointed out to me 
just a couple of weeks ago.

I hate the preparation.
The waiting for the project to dry.

For the chalk paint I used 
at I Heart Naptime.

It was so simple to make and I was hooked.

Please excuse the photo quality
on all of these.
They were all taken with my iPhone.

Here is an old before picture from my previous house
 of an end table that I bought
 at Goodwill several years ago.
Not bad but the honey pine 
just wasn't doing it for me.

I forgot to take a before picture
prior to this project.

I used Behr Pale Honey on the bottom
and Minwax stain in walnut for the top.

I love the soft yellow.
The picture below shows the color more accurately.

Then I sorta lost my mind and 
decided to pull out an old dresser
that I've had forever.
I had bought it for $2.00 at a garage sale
a few years ago.
I had gotten around to sanding it
and there it sat, just like that for over two years.
Crazy right?

Because in just over an hour it went from this:

To this:

I used Behr Awning Red.
I was shocked that I found my perfect red on my first try.

If you're thinking about painting a piece of furniture,

Also, I've been playing around with color
in the house.
I have some fabric that I bought a few years
ago and love it.
I actually loved it so much that I never wanted to
cut it and use it.
Am I crazy?

I finally decided to attempt to use it.

I bought six of these chairs on Craigslist 
after we moved into this house.
While sturdy, they are a little boring.


I attached it to the seat pads with
upholstery twist pins
 and I'm liking this happy fabric 
on my chairs.

If you can look at this fabric
and not smile,
then I just don't want to know you.

The chairs themselves need some work.
They are dried out and in need of 
a good wood conditioning.
I bought them off Craigslist from a guy
who raised St. Bernard puppies.

Teeth marks add character in my book.

Next project.
It's just a small one.
I had an old outdoor tablecloth
that I never used anymore.
I made some pillows out of it
for my side patio.

 And now I had better get to the spring cleaning.
And then I may just run to Goodwill to see what needs painted.

Also, if you could say a prayer for
my dear friend, Kris at Simplify.
Her Momma had surgery today.
Kris has the most amazing family.
Keep them in your thoughts and prayers today.


I'm linking up to The Golden Sycamore

Thursday, March 6, 2014

So You Think You Want a Puppy?

Two blog posts in two days!
That's gotta be some kinda record.
Someone throw me a tiara!

I want to talk about something important here.
But first, let's look at some pictures.

Meet Ranger.

 He was cute here.  

And here.

 And here.

But then he started to grow very quickly.

Look at those paws!

The incredible growing dog.

How does this happen in such a short period of time?

How does one dog eat so much?
How does one dog poop so much?
How did he become such an oaf?

How does one adoring mom take so many pictures of her dog?

Now, I am not just writing this post to show you cute pictures.
I also want to help you out a bit.

I'm sure that everyone at one time or another
has had a puppy,
or been around a puppy,
or knew someone that had a puppy,
or accidentally ran over a puppy.

Puppies are irresistible,
if you are not planning on getting one,
then stay away from them all together.
If you see, smell or hold a puppy,
you will take it home with you.
You are not strong enough to walk away.
You have to trust me on this.

God loves puppies so he gave them
sweet puppy breath,
the ability to chase their tails and 
to fall asleep with their heads in food dishes.
This is where they get you.
Then you take one home and
God laughs and laughs.

Listen up People!!

I want to tell you why you don't want a puppy,
and offer some advice if you are bat shit crazy and  get one anyway.

1)    If you get a puppy, you will need to work from home.
         This is quite difficult to do if you are, for instance, 
         a plumber or a Las Vegas Showgirl.
         Lucky for me, I am neither, so I was able to stay home 
         and work with him on potty training during the day.
         It is also necessary for you to be home because 
         you will need to take a lot of naps (see #2).

2)     You will need to take a lot of naps.
         This is because for the first five nights, your sweet puppy
         will scream like a howler monkey on crack even though he is only
         two feet away from your bed.
         There is nothing you can do about this.
         There are books out there that tell you to put a stuffed animal and 
         and a ticking alarm clock in his bed to comfort him.
         This is a lie.
         These things will only piss him off.

3)      Dogs shed.
         Even dogs that don't shed, shed.
         I have a friend that has a hairless cat and it sheds.
         Okay, that was a lie.
         But seriously, most dogs shed.
         We have a yellow Lab (see adorable pictures above) and I have never
         seen so much hair fall out of an animal in all my born days.
         If you do get a puppy, only choose the one in the litter 
         that matches your couch.
         You must buy a Furminator.
         Seriously, people, listen to me.  This thing is da bomb!!
4)      Puppies are expensive.  Been saving up for retirement?
         Forget about it!
         Dog crate, dog bed, dog food, well puppy checks, vaccinations,
         spay or neuter, Furminator (see #3), leashes, microchip, collars, 
         toys (see #5), exploratory surgery because you bought a 
         couch coordinated half witted dog that eats rocks (true story).

5)      Do not pay for toys.
         Your dog will not play with the cute squeaky bunny that you bought 
         at Petsmart from the Martha Stewart Collection. He will also not play with
         the rope toy, the variety of different size bones, the blinking balls or the 
         stuffed raccoon that you bought for him.  
         He will only play with the 16 ounce Diet Mountain Dew bottle 
         that your husband brings home every day after work.  
         And rocks.
         He will play with rocks (see #4).

6)     Dogs need consistency.  If you don't want your dog to be allowed
        on the couch, you will need to say "NO COUCH!" approximately
        3,256 times a day until he gets it. 
        Once he gets it, you will then start on "NO CAT TURDS!"
        This one is extremely important if you have a garden 
        and feral cats in your neighborhood.

7)     If you get a male puppy, he will hump stuff 
        and he won't care who knows it.
        Most likely it will be your favorite microfiber throw or your bed pillow.  
        He will be proud of his cleverness 
        and want to show anyone that happens to come over.

 I hope we've all learned something here today.

So why did we get a puppy?

Because we're morons.
And he's cute.
And a pain in the ass.
I can't imagine life without him.

Welcome Home Ranger Danger.