Wednesday, April 16, 2014

House Update: The Pantry Install

We have a pantry. Hallelujah!

We decided to do the kitchen in phases because that would make going without counter space and a sink for a few weeks a little easier. Brian also decided to install a clean out sink in the garage so that we wouldn't really be without a sink. I mean, I did consider washing dishes in a tub out in the front yard, you know, Little House on the Prairie style, but when he decided he wanted a clean out sink in the garage anyway, I decided to go along with it.

Anyway, the pantry went up next so that we could have somewhere to store all the food that had been sitting on the floors or on the counters for the past 6 weeks. I didn't unpack food into the cabinets because they needed to be cleaned. But since they're being replaced, there was no reason to clean something that was going to be ripped out. So the pantry food sat in reusable bags on the floor of our kitchen.

Before... With a wall and tiny pantry...

Minus the wall...

Now. NOW. Behold... I got so excited to get an after pic that I took the picture before Brian put on the handles. But you can imagine black handles on the doors, right?

It's actually still not done. It needs toe kick and trim on the left side and top (which will go all the way to the ceiling to give it a built in look) and there will be a cabinet installed above the fridge with a panel to cover the side of the fridge. Since those are finishing touches, they'll be put on hold while we focus on the kitchen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

House Update: The Entry

One of the things we had to finish before starting on the kitchen was the entry. Brian wanted to patch the holes from tearing down the wall so that when we installed the pantry, we wouldn't have to cover and protect them from paint and texture overspray.

Brian had to install new drywall in the ceiling and on that exposed panel, then drywall mud over everything. After that came 2 coats of texture so that it blended in with the existing walls. Then yours truly stepped in and painted the ceiling and walls with 2 coats of paint while Brian installed the water box and outlet for the fridge.


Allie's new rug photo bombed



Don't mind the pink glow on the left side of the front door. It's because that wall is still peach so it reflects on the lighter, new color. Also lighting in here is already bad as it is, let alone when it's 11 p.m.

It's a small step but for one, there's no hot air seeping in from the attic and more importantly, it looks like there was never a wall there.

Still to do in the entry:
  • buy and install an entry light
  • paint ceiling and wall
  • install some floating shelves for keys, books, random decor (maybe some plants?) 
  • hang a mirror, for obvious reasons (you know... that going-out-the-door once over to make sure you don't have mascara on your cheek)
  • get a basket for shoes (Brian would usually kick off his work shoes right at the door to not track dirt everywhere but these days with concrete floors and all the demo work, we all wear shoes pretty much all the time)
  • install flooring (this will probably be one of the last things we do after all the demo work is done)
Up next, the pantry install...

Friday, April 11, 2014

House Shopping: Rugs Edition

Since we decided to do laminate floors throughout the whole house, I've been searching for some area rugs for the bedrooms and living room. I actually much prefer having an area rug that you can vacuum, shake out, and remove. When we saw the amount of dust that was hiding under the carpets that we pulled out of this house, I was fully convinced that I will never install carpet in another house ever, ever again. Ever. Never. Okay, just making my point.

{Click the pictures for links}

Master Bedroom

Option 1:

Rubicon Jute Rug

I finally found the perfect rug for our bedroom while dream shopping on West Elm. I was looking for a natural jute rug but I was hoping to tie in some white without it looking too pattern-y. I've read that having calm, neutral colors and textures in bedrooms encourages rest and relaxation. I have no idea if that's true but it all sounds good to me. I also wanted something that wouldn't be too fluffy, just enough for our feet to not hit cold floors first thing in the morning.

The only problem with this rug is it costs $599 for an 8'x10' which is waaayyyy out of our budget. I'm hoping I can find something similar for like half the price (or maybe even DIY a paint pattern on an all jute rug?) Or that everyone else will hate this rug and West Elm will be forced to give them away.

Option 2: 

Another option for our bedroom is to do 2 runners with an accent rug at the foot of the bed. I scored 2 of these runners at Target for $20 each (they don't have them online so that explains the crummy iPhone pictures on concrete floor).

They had a matching accent rug that was the same pattern (for $10!) but then I spotted this one right underneath that was $17. I decided to come home with both knowing that they'd be used somewhere.

I also figured that if I don't use runners in the bedroom, they might work in the hallway. We'll see...

Office/Guest Room

Detailed View

I'm going for a similar vibe for the office/guest room rug. I want something that will be flat and easy to clean, and basically just provide a little warmth and dimension. This rug at West Elm is actually my other backup for our bedroom in case my dream rug never turns out to be given to me for free. At a lower price with a similar jute/white pattern, it should fit in perfectly to either room.

Living Room

Option 1:
ALVINE RUTA Rug, flatwoven IKEA Handwoven by skilled craftspeople, and therefore unique.
This one is from Ikea, but is surprisingly pricey for a fairly small rug. I like the yellow accents especially because that's what I'm leaning towards for the living room area. However, I'd rather have a nice big 8'x10' since we have a huge sectional and I don't want the rug to look dwarfed by it. Either way, I'm keeping it on the back-burner.

Option 2:

MIAC Santa Fe Rain Wool Rug

This rug is actually on sale right now but still slightly over our budget. Plus I'm not completely sold on it. PLUS since the living room is like the farthest room from being done, I have plenty of time to keep shopping for a better deal and/or rug that might come along. Like this next one...


I first fell in love with this rug when I saw Dana over at House*Tweaking put it in her living room. But at $300 for a 5'x7' (plus the fact that it always seemed to be out of stock), it seemed like it would never happen. When I was shopping for a nursery rug, I definitely wanted something fluffy and soft that would be forgiving on baby skin. I had created an inspiration board with a few rugs from Ikea thinking I'd have to settle for something less than my dream rug based on our budget.

Thankfully, Rugs USA frequently has sales and come President's Day, I received an email for 70% off any rug. Yes, that means a $300 rug was going to be $90 with free shipping. As soon as I saw that, I frantically called and text'd Brian like it was an emergency. Because, let's face it, it basically was an emergency. He was unsure but his exact words were "If you think it's a good idea, I trust you." Boom. Done. Ordered. I didn't even have to think twice. I actually wish I had ordered 2 now but I suppose 2 of the same rugs in a house might be overkill.

Anyway, since the bedrooms still need to be painted, the floors are covered in rosin paper right now so I still have some time before making any final decisions (besides the nursery rug, which is still packaged up and stored in the office waiting to make it's debut). The office is done being painted but as you saw on Monday, it's full of boxes and furniture so putting down a rug is not high on the priority list.

And... if there's one thing I can do well, it's shop. Sometimes it means patiently impatiently waiting for a sale to happen so I can find that item I've been waiting for, all the while hoping it isn't out of stock. With the rugs being "big ticket" items, I'd hate to spend tons of money on something that I didn't love and then regret it especially if something better/cheaper came along later. I can be an impulse buyer, but Brian is definitely a wait/think/ponder life-in-general buyer so it actually balances out pretty nicely. (I mean, this is the guy who has literally been waiting 9 months to spend his birthday gift cards. And we all know that gift cards pretty much burn holes in my pockets.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Potty Chronicles: Day 1

"Have a kid, they said.

It'll be fun, they said."

This is what Brian said to me Monday night when we were discussing my day with Allie. Because. *Sigh....

I decided to try potty training her.

I know, right? I had heard from several moms that 18-20 months old was a good time and that girls catch on quickly. She was showing signs of being ready like helping me go to the bathroom (like handing me the TP and flushing) and had no problems sitting on her toilet. (I went with this simple Baby Bjorn potty chair.)

So Monday, I decided it was time. I was armed with M&M's, movies, books, toys, Lysol wipes and brand new big girl underwear. We were ready to be trapped in the house for 3 days of potty training boot camp.

This is my story.

Day 1
Allie woke up with her usual full diaper (#1 and #2). We put a pair of big girl underwear on her stuffed bear. Bear "went pee on the toilet" and received a treat. "Do you want to wear big girl underwear???" I enthusiastically asked. "Yeah!!!" came the emphatic reply.

After an hour of watching her like a hawk, I decided to load her up with some chocolate milk to get things going. And as I'm watching her drink her milk, I watch her pants soak up with pee.

It's okay. Rookie mistake. Should've known better. Clean it up. Thankful for rosin paper covering our laminate floors right now. I sit her down and try to repeat over and over "Pee goes in the toilet." but now she's screaming and crying because she's wet and I'm holding her so she doesn't run off and drip more pee everywhere.

I put her in the shower (since our bathtub is out of commission right now) and text Brian.

Morale is low.

It hasn't even been 2 hours and I'm already 0-1.

I have a meltdown. (Let's blame this one on pregnancy hormones.)

I eat 2 M&M's. I'm a grown up. I can have potty treats whenever. That's how these things work.

Allie goes down for a nap wearing her diaper because I don't even want to attempt sleep time bladder control.

2 hours later, she wakes up with a dry diaper. I immediately sit her on the toilet and pop in a movie.

She pees in the toilet.

I applaud, cheer, clap, throw confetti, and chest bump her. We wipe, wash hands, and she gets 5 M&M's because I couldn't be happier. She just looks happy to be eating candy.

Fast forward a few more hours and she is ready to pee again. Standing next to our bed. I quickly plop her on the toilet so half of it gets in the toilet. I cheer and applaud and point out she got some pee in the toilet. But this time she only gets 1 M&M and of course, requires another shower.

I put her in a diaper again for nap #2, which she decides not to take. Not only that, but she decides to poop in her diaper and then take it off in her crib. When discovered, its time for yet another shower, bleach, a load of laundry and another meltdown from mother and child. She goes down for her nap wearing a diaper (AND shorts this time) and then proceeds to spend the rest of the evening wearing diapers.

Things are not looking good.

To be continued...

Monday, April 7, 2014

House Update: The Office

It's finally here... sorta. The office is almost done! It's actually as "done" as we're going to make it right now so we can focus on the kitchen (which really needs to get done before Baby #2 shows up). It still needs baseboards, closet doors, and a new window, but for now, it's considered done.

Let's just rewind... These pictures were taken after we had removed the blue berber carpet, closet doors, and ceiling fan. It took 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint to cover those black walls, but it was so worth it.

And for the after....

Brian installed the new ceiling fan, all new outlets, switches, and plates and the laminate wood flooring. I did most of the painting (pats self on back) while he was at work.

We decided to go with a new ceiling fan because the other fan didn't have a light but we still wanted a fan because summers in Sacramento can be brutal. Our future guests (aka my parents or sisters) will thank us, I'm sure. After pulling up carpet throughout this house, I'm completely convinced that carpet in any house ever is a very, very bad idea. That means we decided to do laminate throughout the whole house (except the bathrooms). I've been on the hunt for some area rugs that will cozy things up a bit in the bedrooms so I'll have to spill on those in a later post.

Since this room is not in use (being the office/guest room), we filled it up with boxes and furniture so we can paint Allie's room (her room was the drop zone for all the boxes when we moved). This is what it looked like before we moved a bunch of boxes in... basically, it's the new drop zone.

I guess you can say it's not a true "after" picture because this is not what we plan on having the room look like long term. But when we've been living with concrete floors and walls in desperate need of paint for a month, I get super excited when I see one room get a little closer to being finished and our house getting a little further from being a construction zone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Friday thoughts on a Wednesday

  • Brian finally hung closet rods in the office/guest bedroom. I wasted no time in hanging all our clothing (which had been living in trash bags on our bedroom floor). I never realized the luxury of being able to hang clothes until we didn't have it for a month. The office is the closest to being completely done so every now and then, I walk past and just sigh contentedly.
  • Speaking of the house, we've had a few people drop by and the response is always "Wow... you guys have a lot to do." We gave Brian's parents a tour of their former home and his dad said it looked like we were living in a third world country. It was funny but also made me realize things could be a LOT worse and to go without a few comforts (like, you know, finished floors) for awhile is a small, teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy sacrifice.
  • I've realized something though... trying to keep concrete floors clean is like trying to fill a sieve with water. So I've given up and as a result, it's become a nightly ritual to shake the concrete dust out of Allie's clothes. And Allie. 
  • Yesterday she threw a temper tantrum performance. And I say performance because she checked to see if I was watching. Twice. She can be a bit dramatic sometimes and I have no idea where she gets that from.   ....   ....
  • Whenever I see inspirational home decor on Pinterest, it always makes me have a sarcastic response. Like "No, time didn't stand still when you had a baby." Or "Keep calm? Don't you ever tell me how to live my life!" Or "In this house... we don't make lists of all the things we do in this house."
  • We have project A.D.D. We're simultaneously working on the kitchen, bathroom, and office. We have our reasons but I think the kitchen is taking the lead, especially because the sooner we have a functional kitchen, the better. 
  • I also have crochet project A.D.D. I'm simultaneously working on 2 blankets, a sweater, 2 hats, and a giraffe. This is totally normal though, right? I'm pretty sure this is normal. 
  • I just heard Allie wake up. Meaning it was quiet (except for the pouring rain) and suddenly, I hear a small voice cry out "Shooooes!!!" ???
  • I just found a bottle of vanilla under my pillow. I don't even know.
So that's where my brain is. House stuff. Baby stuff. Chocolate. Cake. Sushi. Mmm...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Kitchen Plans

Since we're bouncing back and forth between the kitchen and the bathroom, I decided to create an inspiration board of what we're planning on doing with the kitchen.

The story: The custom cabinets were going to be everything I wanted in my dream kitchen but it was out of our price range (even though he gave us a really good deal) and since this isn't our permanent home, we decided to save our ideas for our dream kitchen when we actually own our own home. Our other option was to just paint the existing cabinets, but after discussing  it with the landlords (aka Brian's parents), we decided to go ahead and redo the cabinets with Ikea cabinets.

A few days before, I had received an email that Ikea was doing one of their kitchen sales so we were actually able to get all the cabinets plus appliances and still come in under budget. We didn't get a new refrigerator since ours is fairly new and in perfect working condition, but they did get a new stove, dishwasher, and hood. They ended up saving over $1k with their 20% off discount. And I say "they" but since they're in Maui, we did all the legwork and research and actual buying of everything.

Brian is going to do concrete counters on part of the kitchen (the island will be butcher block). I decided to do black accessories when I saw this pin on Pinterest. I have yet to see a Rifle Paper Co. print that I didn't love and since we didn't do any upper cabinets, I'll actually be able to hang some art in the kitchen (and possibly do some open shelving). We had that Ikea fabric as a curtain in our last kitchen but I really really want to do some black/white striped curtains to go with the French bistro vibe that this seems to be taking on.

I'll share the plans and process in detail once we get going on the kitchen but before any installing can happen, demo-ing the cabinets and painting the walls and ceiling has to happen. There's also a chance that new drywall will need to be hung on one wall that faces the outside, depending on what we find when we rip out the cabinets.

We also want to live with things like the blank walls for awhile before we jump into open shelving right away but still -- a lot to finish before things even get started. So for now, I'll just share my inspirations...

A Mostly Ikea Kitchen