Tag: Home Projects

Feels Like Home

Did you see the “H[ome] & G[arden] KP” page at the top of the blog? All of the posts related to house-shopping and home makeover projects are linked on that page. Also, as I finish more projects, I’ll add those links too.

Guess what?! It’s finally time for the before and after pictures of the downstairs! Keep reading to see ‘em.

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I can’t believe Borders is going out of business! I wish it was Barnes and Noble instead. I have so many high school and college memories connected to Borders. It’s sad. I went there this morning hoping to find plays for dirt cheap, but they were only 10% off, which is not much of a bargain at all.

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One of the other errands that I ran was a trip to Target to pick up more curtains. The front windows needed another panel or two to look right and my dad suggested that I swap the sliding glass door curtains with the front ones. The reason for the switcharoo is that the front curtains were about four years ago, but I just bought the sliding glass door ones. By switching them, I could buy more panels for the front window which needed them.

Then I tackled the stitch witchery project.

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I’m not a fan of ironing. I find it frustrating and never quite get all the wrinkles out, or even better, sometimes I make new wrinkles when I iron. Rawr.

Somehow I’ve managed to avoid using an iron for the past two years, but today has unfortunately made up for that.

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I spent about four hours ironing the curtains, followed by ironing the ribbon on to my curtains with the no-sew adhesive.

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The project wasn’t hard, just tedious. I realized about half way through that I should have picked up some starch spray to make the ironing go a bit easier. You know what would have also made the project easier? An ironing board. C’est la vie.

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When the curtains were done, I started cleaning up all the odds and ends that were living on the counters downstairs and breaking down boxes.

This is the drawer that I painted yesterday. It looks so much better painted and now all my pots and pans can hang out under the oven.

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Then I moved the outdoor table back to the deck, so now I have a nice, colorful deck set up!

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With all the furniture put into its new home and the stuff put away, I made a run to the trash with my Dexter-like construction trash bag.

Ready for the big reveal?

First, let’s flash back to the awful before pictures:
[edited to add pictures from the real estate website when the place oozed man-cave and hunting]

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Try to ignore me being ridiculous, if you can, and note the carpet, windows, wood work, and door.

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The back half of the house and kitchen.

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Entry way.

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Drum roll please!

The after —

The new entry way.

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The front half of the house with the stitch witched curtains.

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The back half of the house…

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The “dining room” table needs to be upgraded to something a bit bigger and rectangular someplace down the line. The current table fix perfectly in the “kitchen nook” I had in Washington, but it’s too small here. I really want something that can double as a work space or game table. I tend to rotate my work station every couple of months, so I want to be able to spread out and work downstairs if needed. Also, the kitchen itself is still a work in progress, but it’s looking good!

Projects I still to do include:

  • Decorate! Obviously, I have nothing on the walls yet and that needs to change.
  • Hang curtains in the office
  • Gardening
  • Paint the woodwork, cabinets, and doors in the three bathrooms.
  • Finish the flooring in the kitchen
  • Start/finish flooring in the bathrooms

Even though I have a few more things to do before everything is [mostly] finished, I can barely remember what house looked like when it was a man-cave.

Now it’s all ME. šŸ™‚

Some Assembly Required

Bright and early Wednesday morning U-Haul arrived to deliver my box ‘o stuff.

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It was a bit nerve-wracking watching the woman maneuver the box off the truck and position it in my parking space. I kept imagining the box falling off the forklift and all my worldly belongings being scattered over the parking lot.

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Regardless, I was just happy that it was someone else dealing with moving the box and not me.

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Unloading the box was much easier than loading it up back in Washington. With both my parents there to help and the fact that we didn’t have to strategically place things into the box, it took about an hour to take everything from the box and dump it into my house.

[Please excuse my grody appearance.]

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Dumping ground.

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All gone!

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My parents helped me assemble my Ikea furniture, start the un-packing process, and take care of a few other odds and ends, then they hit the road. It was sad to see them go.

Yesterday I also received an e-mail from my new advisor with summer reading assignments.

– Cut to today –

So this morning I started the day by enjoying my new deck chairs, a present from my sister, with homemade (!) iced coffee and some light reading on the theories of Foucault and Derrida

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As I was doing my reading, U-Haul came and picked the box up.

Buh-bye U-Box! You were a great help, but I’m happy to see you go!

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The rest of the day was spent slowly unpacking. I was just going to wait and post pictures after the whole unpacking progress is finished, but what the heck, I’ve decided to share a glimpse into my current state of chaos.

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I probably need to lower my curtain rods, but I think the curtains themselves work out well in my new room.

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I think one of the reasons I’m moving so slowly with the unpacking is because I’m trying to organize as I unpack, instead of just throwing everything into the general place it should belong… if that makes sense.

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I promise better pictures soon!

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After dinner I went back outside to do more reading, which sounded more much fun to unpacking… but man, I need to invest in a citronella candle ASAP.

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Goodbye Grimy Carpet, Hello Comfy Carpet!

So, that morning run? It didn’t happen, but I have new carpet!

The house is finally starting to come together. Tomorrow the U-Haul delivers my stuff and after a month of working on the house, I’ll almost be moved in!

I started the morning bright and early by moving everything off the carpet and putting the air mattresses into the bathrooms. Then I grabbed some Starbucks coffee for my morning of reading.

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It worked out well, because as soon as the carpet people arrived they began working simultaneously upstairs and downstairs, which meant I had to find something to hang out that wasn’t in the house.

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I moved my table outside and set up camp with my coffee and HP3.

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Every so often I’d pop inside to take some pictures and see how everything was progressing. The whole crew moved very efficiently, the old carpet and pad was out in about an hour.

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The new pad installed.

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As they pulled the old stuff out, they rolled it up and put in on the curb until they could load it into their truck.

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I really enjoyed my morning outside. It was nice to be forced out of the house sans internet and giving the chance to read, read, read.

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The head installer even gave me a hamburger for lunch. Too bad I’m a vegetarian and don’t really like fast food (meat).

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Around noon-ish I started to notice mosquitos and bugs flying around. I bought this all-natural bug spray the other day, because I wanted to avoid all the chemicals you can find in commercial sprays.

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Bug spray fail. Bummer.

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I snapped a picture of the “Surfari Party Bus.” I can’t figure out what the story is with this bus. Does the owner live in my neighborhood? Is it an actual bus? Is it some college student’s idea of a funny vehicle? Hopefully I’ll solve the mystery soon enough.

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By 1pm, I had fresh, new, clean, carpet! Check it out!

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My only gripe is that the installers managed to nick and ding some of my newly painted wood molding. I guess I’ll have to break out the white paint to touch things up sometime soon.

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Otherwise, I’m a very happy camper!   

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Florida Summers

Bright blue and sunny skies quickly transitioning to dark looming grey skies, accompanied by the sound of earth-shattering thunder, then the sky lets loose and there’s a monsoon . . . and then it’s back to bright and sunny.

A typical Florida summer — and what the weather pattern here in Tallahassee has been for the past few days.

Washington doesn’t know a good thunderstorm when it sees one, so I’ve been trying to enjoy the rain as much as possible.

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Rainy days are meant for being reading and being lazy.

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Friday morning I went out for a walk around Lake Ella. The rain (and heat) has made my motivation to work out minimal, so I thought that even if I just walked, that it was better than doing nothing.

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Then I went to Starbucks to enjoy some iced coffee and continue reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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Until the sky decided it was time to open up and dump some rain on T-town.

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Friday morning I also got the phone call that my carpet has arrived, so I used the afternoon time to finished up a couple of painting projects and clean the place up for Ashley’s impending arrival!

This is an in progress picture of the kitchen. I forgot to snap an after picture, so that’ll happen in another post. Also worth noting, the silly cabinet doors. They’ve been added to my list of things to rethink if I end up doing any sort of kitchen renovation projects down the line. I’ll just have to deal with them for the time being.

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Then, right on time, Ashley arrived!

We hung out for a bit, catching up, before heading out to 3 Guys Pizza for some spaghetti and a stromboli.

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After dinner we stopped by Club Pub to pick up some snacks and a cake mix for my HP-Birthday cupcakes.

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A asked me what kind of frosting I wanted and I said chocolate. Then she proceeded to ask me if I wanted dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate fudge, smooth and creamy chocolate, funfetti chocolate, and on and on. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options! I just wanted chocolate!

We also overfilled the basket, which I ALWAYS do, and used it as an opportunity to practice our deadlifts. šŸ™‚

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Hope everyone else had a good Friday evening!

Moaning Myrtle

Do you like the title? Did you catch the Harry Potter reference? What about the other recent post with the HP reference? I blame it on all the reading I’ve been doing and the upcoming HP celebration (and mourning) that will be happening this weekend.

This morning I went ahead and bought tickets for this weekend showing. All I need is for my sister and family to show up and this weekend is ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #1: I had this whole post written out and it disappeared! Gah. So frustrating.

Anyway, on Sunday night my toilet was acting up and I thought I might have a Moaning Myrtle of my own. šŸ˜‰ Of course, in reality, the stopper on my toilet wasn’t sealing completely and thus continuously trying to refill the tank.

You may now add “fixing a toilet” to my resume. I successfully changed the stopper from the old gross one, to a new clean one.

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Holding up the decomposing toilet stopped.

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Back to a fully functioning toilet!

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #2: All of Monday was consumed by painting projects. I’m so ready to be finished and I wish the painter hadn’t been ridiculously overpriced because I hate painting.

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I primed and painted the inside and outside molding and doors of the closet and bathroom. They looks 10 years younger. What a facelift white paint can giving a house.

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #3: I continued working on the door and I’m not sure if I love it yet. I ultimately decided to edge the peach frames with brown and then vice verse.

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In progress…

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Completed project.

I think it’s growing on me.

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Also note the finished edging around the window sill. The front of the house is officially complete, except for carpet, furniture, and curtains.

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #4: It’s been boring being in T-town without any furniture. It’s hard to read or play on the computer without a place to comfortably relax. I really want the carpet to hurry up and get here. Did you hear me carpet? Hurry up and get here!

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #5: The most recent house project involved wall anchors, a chicken noodle soup can, and curtains.

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I tried looking in several stores but I was unsuccessful in finding a cheap hammer, so I used what I had, which was a soup can.

Don’t even get me started on how frustrated I was with the wall anchors. I actually resorted to using some spackling compound to help the wall anchors still in the walls. Let’s hope the curtains stay up.

For now, they look pretty and definitely help me feel a bit more safe and secure with something covering the sliding glass door panels.

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I spent yesterday relaxing, running errands, and taking a break from painting.

Reading outside at Starbucks used to be one of my favorite activities, so I spent a couple hours doing that. Even in the oppressive heat, I love reading outside on a day when it’s bright and sunny.

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Fun Tallahassee Fact: Tallahassee actually has more hills, rural nighttime sounds, and foliage than Ellensburg.

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Moaning Myrtle Moment #6: Now that I’ve written this post twice, I’ve used up my reading time for the afternoon. I guess it’s time to face the paint and tackle the kitchen and edging.  

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Don’t forget to enjoy some sunshine today and maybe a bright flower cookie!

Almost? Not Quite.

Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.

The house is almost done, but with no furniture and yucky carpet covering the entire house, it still looks far from finished. Today consisted of lots of little projects and getting things back in order.

My dad had to leave by lunch time, so while he worked on the flooring project, edging the ceiling where I can’t reach, and hanging my door chair, I worked on cleaning blinds and more priming and painting.

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From here on out I’m on my own, but thankfully I don’t have much more to accomplish before the carpet is installed. This week I’m planning on working in the mornings and then relaxing in the afternoons. Maybe if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll even tackle a bathroom, which is not a priority at this point.

See the tan painted everywhere? I need to finish the baseboards so I can do the edging around them and then it’s done!

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I also am testing out the peach on the back kitchen wall. I think I’m going to go with it. It won’t be a big accent, but I think it looks alright. Am I alone on that thought? Dad keeps trying to steer me away from any more peach accent walls.

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I ran out of Dad work time, so he just laid the first bit of time so the carpet people can make the transition from carpet to tile smooth.

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Sorry for the yucky lighting! I’ll take daytime pictures tomorrow.

When my mom was up here she suggested that I extend the lime ceiling accent down the wall, so we did that today. I love it! I think it’s a great burst of color. As for the peach squares on the doors, I’m not sure how I feel. I’m going to paint the squares above and below the peach the tan wall color and then decide how it looks. Worse comes to worst, I’ll just paint white over it.

Also, see the new flooring in the “foyer”? It’s a huge improvement over the weird yellow brick that was there.

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Aside from the door, this whole area is finished! Check out my new lamp in the right hand corner and my CraigsList TV in the bottom left corner. The TV was cheap and in good condition, but it is quite behemoth. Eventually it’ll be my bedroom tv.

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Again, I need to take better pictures, but note new the lime green wall, the new lighting fixture, and the white attic hatch.

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The second bedroom/office/the sister’s room. Once I add curtains and some decor the room will be perfect!

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The other view of the bedroom/office.

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After dad left, I cleaned up the house, which was a complete disaster, then headed to Target. The second I hit the FSU campus the skies opened up it began to pour. When I got into the Target the rain picked up so much that I was rained into Target and left to wander the aisles till it let up.

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The only bonus to dad leaving is I get to steal his air mattress. I can only hope that the double air mattress set up will be a teeny bit more comfortable. I’m so ready for my bed, furniture, and books to get here!

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Keeper of the Keys

Remember my pretty new FSU key? Well this morning I learned how to change my own locks so that my pretty key actually works in my lock.

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Changing the locks was surprisingly easier than I anticipated.  

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All done!

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I spent most of today working on priming and painting baseboards and doors. Lots of detail work. This is the front hallway before todays projects.

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Front door is now painted white! I’ve only primed it, but it makes a huge difference to the look and feel of the house. I think I want to paint the inside of the squares one of my accent colors, probably the peach color.

Yesterday we also changed out the lighting fixture above the door and it looks much more contemporary than the stand yellow-ish globe that was up there.

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Peach accent wall. It’s not quite coral, but I really like the peach color.

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Peach wall almost done and tan around the doors.

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More painting over of the brown/wood doors.

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Getting closer. The main living room/dining area wall is now tan and I primed around the sliding glass door.

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Aside from painting, we made some serious progress in the flooring department. Dad laid a cement underlay and then put down some press and stick tiles, to see if we liked the look. The white-ish tiles are a vast improvement over the weird yellow brick vinyl. Dad’s going to try and tackle the press and stick flooring tomorrow before he leaves.

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We also went to Lowe’s and ordered the carpet.

When I submitted a change of address form to the Post Office, they sent me a packet of coupons. I probably would have ignored them, except I’m trying to become coupon savvy. Well, I found this Lowe’s coupon and we used it on our flooring purchase and saved a couple hundred dollars. Sweet!

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I took dad to Gordo’s for dinner. They have the best fries in Tallahassee and the main entrees are pretty good as well. Dad said it was someplace we should go again, which is always a good sign.

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Painting is exhausting. Sleep time.

A Work in Progress

Slowly but surely, the house is coming together. My dad is back in Tallahassee with me and we’re wishing and hoping that tomorrow will be the last day of major painting, but I’m not entirely sure that will happen.

Take a walk down memory lane to see how far the house has come since June 15th:

The main goal for today was to finish the upstairs bedroom, hallway, and move the painting project downstairs.

We almost accomplished that goal.

Dad painted the wall color on my office/second bedroom. A peach accent wall and light brown on the other three walls.

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I focused on painting and repainting the woodwork white. We had painted the railing before we left on Tuesday, but it didn’t fully dry, so we sanded it down and reprimed it today.

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The railing upstairs is now ready for the coat of bright white semi-gloss!

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Here is the railing after I reprimed it. Tomorrow I’ll hopefully finish it off with the white paint.

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The upstairs hallway is also nearly done. We painted brown on the opposite wall of the teal and I’m thinking of painting the small wall with the thermostat my bright lime. I’ve been putting it off, but I think I’m going to bite the bullet tomorrow.

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Here’s a picture of the almost finished second bedroom.

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While at Target yesterday I picked up a shower curtain for my bedroom and hung it up today. I love it! I think it perfectly ties in my color scheme and works with the 70s-tastic bathroom counter and tub.

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We took a break from painting to go to… LOWE’S and to order carpet. Sadly, our plans were foiled and we can’t order it till tomorrow. I’m starting to panic that I won’t get the carpet installed in time for me to unload the U-Haul. They say that carpet is usually installed a week after you order it, which would be next Monday, assuming nothing goes wrong. I have to get my stuff out of storage by next Wednesday. Gah.

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I did get my locks re-keyed and had a fancy-pants FSU key made. Do you like my welcome mat that I also picked up at Target? It’s a start to adding some color and personality to the outside of my house.

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The last stop of the evening was Comcast…

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By some miracle I was able to sign up for high speed internet, pick up a cable modem box, and set everything up sans hassle. The internet price is even the same as what I was paying in E’burg and is actually faster. I’m shocked.

Now I’m going to go read some Harry Potter for a bit and pass out on my air mattress.

So much work to accomplish tomorrow!

Paint Swatches and Paint Blotches

Is there a saying out there that the homeowners job is never done? Because if there isn’t, there needs to be.

Anyway, phase 1 of the home improvement projects is over (although far from finished) and I am even further in debit to my parents for all their help.

The three of us are returning back to St. Pete at the moment, so both my parents can return to their regularly scheduled lives. I’ll hang out in St. Pete for a few days and then head back to T-town on Friday to meet with a carpet installer and continue the painting projects.

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So what did we end up accomplishing?

Here’s a flashback to my bedroom pre-painting. Note all the wood trim, the wood closet doors, and the general darkness of the room.

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Now, here is the room painting in my funky teal, grellow, and tan.

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The white closet doors and molding really brighten up the whole room and make the colors pop. I’m still happy with my lime green. An important lesson was learned when I painted that wall lime, but thankfully it did not turn out to be a tragedy. I’m just happy that I didn’t paint a whole wall downstairs that color.

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The second bedroom/office is still a work in progress. Most of the trim and doors have been painted in their final coats of bright white, but I need to add color to the walls. Since the trim is the tedious part, the wall color shouldn’t be too difficult.

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Downstairs wasn’t the priority this trip, but we were able to do some wall color and priming.

This is the entry wall and stairs leading to the second floor before we did anything.

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Here’s what it looked like after I finished painting the stair wall teal.

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Then, at the last minute, we decided to throw some primer on the staircase before we left.

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I think the white stairs and white window sills really open up the living room. It looks a bit sterile with the white walls, but once I paint my colors onto the walls, I’m hoping the whole place will be bright and happy.

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My mom commented that the wood trim, etc. was sucking up a lot of the day light and I don’t have a lot of natural day light to spare inside. I want to add painting the inside part of the front door white, to my list of things to do.

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The last thing we did on a whim, was painting the wood under the kitchen counter white.

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What do you think?

While it opens up the living/dining area a lot, I’m worried that it’ll turn the kitchen into an eye sore, due to all the dark cabinets. Somewhere down the line, I’d love to redo the kitchen, but for now, it’s definitely not in the budget.

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Little by little the house is coming together. I wish we had accomplished more, but the prep and priming is the hardest part. The bedroom looks like a whole new room, so I’m sure the rest will look radically different once I’m done.

This trip I didn’t have any time to work on the outside or start any gardening projects, but my parents gave me this nifty flower pocket. It’s made out of recycled cloth that I can fill with soil and plant either flowers or herbs and hang it from my porch railing.

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I really want some bright colorful flowers on my porch, but the prospect of fresh basil available whenever I want is more alluring than pretty flowers, so I’m going to plant basil and parsley in the pockets.

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Once I’m going to be in T-town consistently, I’ll put my pockets to use and report back on how they look!

For now, I’m heading back to the beach for another couple days before I resume the house projects.

Owning It

Happy 4th of July!

Trivia for today – Which three presidents died on the 4th of July?

Other than playing American history related trivia at Mellow Mushroom during dinner, today was very un-4th of July-ish. Instead, day three of house projects included painting, painting, and shockingly more painting.

The morning started out alright. I continued working on painting the wood trim in the second bedroom.

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Problems arose when I popped into my bedroom to check out the progress.  

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The lime green-grellow color that I picked out was much more in-yer-face than I anticipated and I nearly had a meltdown over my color choices.

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I wasn’t sure WHAT I was going to do with the rest of that paint, since after seeing in on one wall of my bedroom I nearly had a panic attack. I scratched the original plans of putting the lime on two bedroom walls and ended up adding in a teal blue wall.

The problem with that was the colors still didn’t tie together and the room was feeling a bit bi-polar. Not to mention, I’m not sure my existing bedding will work with the color scheme.

Anyway, my mom’s brilliant solution to the bi-polar walls was to add boxes of the blue onto the lime wall. It actually turned out really neat and I think I like the room colors now. I won’t be adding any more big splashes of lime to the house. Even after painting samples on the walls, I some how screwed up in my paint color choices, but I’ve decided I’m going to own the lime wall in my bedroom.

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In the other bedroom, my dad worked on priming and painting the closet doors and the rest of the trim. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get to paint the walls the tan + peach colors.

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Then after my color meltdown, I tackled the hallway and the stairs. I haven’t quite figured out what other color I’m adding to the upstairs hall, but the teal will start at the front door and lead the eye up to my bedroom.

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The final adventure of the day was yet another trip to Lowe’s (take a shot!) where I considered some of my flooring options. I decided that the guy at Flooring America, our first and only stop thus far, was clearly working on commission and I didn’t trust him. At Lowe’s we found a very knowledgeable guy named Wes, who spent loads of time explaining all the different carpet, laminate, and vinyl options to us and I didn’t feel like he was trying to make a sale.

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Right now, I’m leaning towards this Frieze carpet for upstairs and quite possibly downstairs.

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My original plan was to install laminate wood flooring in the downstairs: living room, dining area, kitchen, half bath, laundry room, entry way.

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But that is either going to cost a lot to have installed or will cost a lot of time/effort if we were to install it ourselves, and I’m running out of time.

The more that I think about it, I’m not as opposed to carpet downstairs as I originally was. If I go with laminate, then I’ll have to get an area rug anyway, so maybe carpet will be the best and quickest way to go. More decisions to make!

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Funny story – As we were driving home from Mellow Mushroom, we passed a store called “Vinyl Fever” and my mom says, “Hey look, there’s another place to check out… they might have some good options!” It turns out she thought Vinyl Fever was a flooring store, but in reality, it’s a record/music store.

So which three presidents died on the 4th of July?

Trivia answer – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Adams.
Bonus – Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe both died on July 4th of the same year!