Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ahhh...the life of a homeowner

I just have to first say that I am so psyched that everyone is actually reading my blog! I saw it mentioned on CNN last night and was just so blown away! :)

So...what's been happening? Well, Shane has been out of town for the past week, so between the dogs, not having any food in our new rent-a-fridge, and me being unmotivated...not much has been done. Here is our bedroom...which Gretchen has commented that it looks like a baby's room:

I'm going for the brown and blue once I get my headboard up, and get rid of the purple sheets, and get my stuff situated...this will be a nice and relaxing bedroom oasis.
Next room is the guest bedroom. I call this one traditional trailer (nice furniture to go along with the puttied holes in the walls). Before and after:

I will be painting this room...just don't know what color yet. I thought about straying from Kilz and looking into the Ralph Lauren Metallics...but that takes way too much work and effort. I'll try that in the bathroom. Maybe.
And the rest of the house...the fireplace still isn't painted, the living room isn't painted, the hallway isn't painted, the sitting room can't be sat in, and the kitchen is just alright...but by god look at that tile! Ain't it a beaut!

Just want to thank Yao Ming for helping us unpack as well...

And thanks to everyone who participated in the backsplash survey. My only problem is that the majority of you don't agree with me...what is wrong with ya'll? :) That thing is coming out - QUICK! That is right after we have the TV mounted on the fireplace, get everything painted, get the yard fixed up, and get new I'd say by 2020 this thing is history!

And don't worry, Shane will be home tonight and we will not be leaving the house this weekend until everything is in it's place and all decorated. So I promise to have better pictures (Better Homes & Garden quality) next week...or maybe this weekend...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Renting Appliances...

So, as you are aware - we do not have a refrigerator. And I knew that I wouldn't be able to tolerate that long - so I came up with a genius solution- I'll rent one!

This is one of those things that you always wondered who REALLY does this...and then something comes along, and that person is you. Then comes the part where you try to remember those commercials that you see on TV all the time or remember the names on all of those junk mail fliers...well the names are Rent-A-Center and Aarons. This seemingly appeared to be a quick, cheap fix to our problem of no refrigeration or washing abilities, but I quickly found that this is not the case. This is why renting appliances sucks:
#1: They treat you like a criminal who has just been released from jail, and only has the $3.54 that you were arrested with. Example: You have to have FOUR REFERENCES! I didn't even have to have that many references to get my job!
#2: You can pay weekly. Really? Who has time to go to the Rent-A-Center and pay weekly for their appliances? If they do, I don't know how they are paying because they obviously don't have a job.
#3: They have bars on all the windows of the store. Frightening.
#4: It is expensive, and a total rip-off. Now don't get me wrong, this didn't stop me from going through with the refrigerator rental, but if you do rent until you eventually purchase the appliance after 24 months - you can pay almost $2000 for a $500 fridge. P.S. Mel - I'm leaving ATC and opening my own Rent-A-Center. :)
#5: The salesman seemed to think that he was doing me a favor by not offering me a defective washer and dryer....Customer service at its finest!

While the fridge is being delivered today at is under complete duress that I go through with paying $75 a month to rent this little monstrosity. Oh, and best part - when I told the guy that I would not be paying weekly, but would just go ahead and pay for the month upfront - he said 'I'm impressed.' Well - I'm not...

And no pics yet...Shane took some last night, but I didn't put it in my purse this morning. Maybe if we get the computer set up tonight...well, I'll just stop because that ISN'T happening!

Monday, June 16, 2008

All Settled In...

Yeah right!

We have had a lot of progress over the past few days! All of the flooring is complete - hardwoods and tile look great, and we moved in on Saturday! The house is a complete disaster, which is to be expected, and we have come to the realization that we are going to have to get rid of a lot of Shane's stuff. :) Our cabinets just will not accomodate the 1,846,845 beer glasses that he has in his collection!

We have made our way through the kitchen stuff - not having a fridge really sucks. No cold beer, nothing to keep leftovers in, no cold water (unless you want to drink tap water, ugh) is amazing how we take things like that for granted. And not having a washer and dryer is proving to be a nuisance as well...I think that we may make a couple of late night trips back to Oakbrook to use the w&d!

I have no pics for this post because my camera batteries are dying and I can't find my charger...We are unpacking the bedroom tonight - so hopefully I'll find them and take some pics so that you can all see the pigstye that is our home right now. Also, check out the poll on the side - I'm soliciting suggestions as to how to handle the backsplash. Since we are now officially BROKE - I'm open to all creative suggestions!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


The flooring looks amazing. This was the status as of about 7:30 last night...I can't wait to go over during lunch and see the finished product!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Wow - two blog posts in one day! I just couldn't wait to talk about this...

All of the pictures below were taken by my dad today during lunch with his personal camera. The picture that was taken of me and my mom in the master bedroom (from my post on Tuesday) was taken with my camera. Is it just a coincidence that both pictures, taken by different cameras, have white bubbly spots on them? Again, is that the lighting...or is that a ghost?

I'm actually going to assume that it is dust (for my own sanity). According to, orbs are dust particles in the air that are highlighted by the flash of the camera or the natural light in the room. Multiple orbs in a photo are more than likely dust particles...not a supernatural spirit (i.e. a ghost dressed in a white sheet with eye holes waiting to pop out of a dark corner.)Thank God. Ghost Study recommends that if you are really trying to search for paranormal activity you should use an actual 35 mm camera...but who still has one of those? Guess I'll never know...

Take a look and decide for yourself!

Flooring, Flooring, Flooring!

The tile floors are being installed today in the kitchen and living room!! Hardwoods are being refinished as well!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Second Weekend of Renovations

Hello to all who have been patiently awaiting this blog post... :)

The second weekend of renovations was very productive. Again, thanks to my dad, mom, Debbie, Manny, and Katie for all of your hard work and much needed help! We have gotten so much done...and this wouldn't have been possible without you!

So on to our progress....
The master suite (ha - yeah right) is complete. Take a look at the before and afters! It isn't really that dramatic of a change, but a lot of painting, cleaning, painting, and painting went into this room. You will also notice that on the pic of me and my mom there are white bubble spots...could that be Casper - or just the sunlight???

And no, that is not a pile of sand on the floor...the previous owners smeared paint all over the hardwoods in that room. Who does that?
Another great accomplishment is that the kitchen is no longer green! Whoo hoo! So now, the sitting room and kitchen are the same color. This color should go great with the granite countertops and tile flooring that we have picked out. We hope to have the tile flooring done this week...

The brick backsplash is still intact, much to my dismay. But I think that I am going to wait until I re-do the countertops to tackle that project. So that must mean that countertops are just around the corner! And then we will work on the appliances. As you will notice, we do not have a I will update next week on how life is going living out of a cooler. Knowing me, there will only be one post about that before I just bite the bullet and buy one.
Moving right along...we transformed the cutsey little baby's room into what I like to call 'An Old World Office.' We actually haven't transformed it yet, because the walls haven't been painted, but we are on our way there! Wall color will be 'Muted Gold' for all you Kilz lovers...

In this room, we will have a very large rug because we were informed that there isn't really anything that can be done to get rid of the big black pet stains...unless we want to replace the boards. And since hardwood refinishing was not initially in the budget...board replacement is definitely not in the budget.
And to contradict my previous statement, the hardwoods are actually being refinished this week. I found a company called Mr. Sandless ( that comes out and refinishes the floors with chemicals and a brillo pad...not really, but that is the dumbed down version. They will be able to remove all of the paint and 'stuff' from the floors, and then stain all of the hardwoods the same color. I've heard good and bad things about the I'll let you know how they do. They are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday afternoon...keep your fingers crossed.

And say adios to the dark and dingy fireplace and hola to the recently primed fireplace! The color chosen will be a cream official Kilz color picked yet. I may have to stray...Home Depot is closer to work than WalMart is!

Doesn't it brighten up the room?!? And Shane was able to clean all of the soot and stuff out so we are starting fire on a clean slate!

And, last but not least, the hallway from hell. Jennie and Katie started this project last weekend, thinking they would be taking down wallpaper. Well, wallpaper came off and revealed more wallpaper underneath, which was apparently adhered to the walls with something similar to Super Glue. Which is where Manny comes he attempts to start taking down the second layer of wallpaper, it starts to rip off layers of the sheetrock. Which apparently, in the 1960's sheetrock was a beautiful shade of teal. So after he literally puts blood, sweat, and tears (I am sure that he had at least 5 nervous breakdowns in the bathroom) into this project, skim coats with plaster of Paris (not sure if you capitalize that's a proper noun, right?), we are ready for some paint....which I don't have picked out yet. But I think I'll let Shane take the lead on this one...he loves Dried Fava...again for the Kilz fans. Do I have any Duron lovers out there? Sherwin Williams fans - get your hands up! Benjamin Moore, you in the house?...(silence) Moving right along!
This past weekend was rough. My dad, who is a renovating/moving/yardwork machine, even sat out on Sunday. But he was there every day this week...I simply stopped by to supervise his work. :)
I can definitely say that this is MUCH harder than I thought that it would be. I don't know if I'll ever say any of the following phrases EVER AGAIN:
"Oh, this color sucks. No biggie...we can just paint it!"
"Hardwood refinishing isn't that big of a deal, is it?"
"Let's take this wallpaper down."
"Hey Shane, let's buy a fixer upper! That would be super fun!"
Well, I might say the last one again, but it will be when I am at a point in my life and career where I have at least $5K per month spending money to pay people to paint, do yard work, take down wallpaper, clean, etc., etc., etc. I will be anxiously awaiting that day...
We plan to move in this weekend. We have to move in this weekend - I need furnished pictures for next week's blog entry... :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Put the second coat of Red Fox on the sitting room...slowly making my way to the kitchen. Ugh - I hate painting! And how I am able to leave with it under my fingernails and behind my knees is beyond me!...

Monday, June 2, 2008

First Weekend of Renovations

Shane and I have finally closed on our first home! And now it is time for a little renovation and demolition! The first weekend saga... It started on Thursday. Closing was set at 11, and I had the plan all mapped out....spreadsheet and all! But when the closing was moved to 4 - I seemed to get a little off track. My plan to rip out all of the carpet, demo the handicap ramp, and pull up a few tiles in the kitchen didn't happen. I was lucky to go get my new puppies (pic below) and get back to the house by 9 p.m. My dad and Shane pulled up only one room of carpet...we are already behind schedule...the house was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!! Did we make a mistake?

Friday seemed to be more productive. My dad was at the house by probably 7 a.m. to start cleaning up the yard. When I stopped by at 8 - the random wood pile from the back yard was cleaned up and the remaining carpet had been ripped up. I go inside to take a look -- and not so good. The master bedroom hardwood has paint smeared all over it, and the office looks like it has at least 20 years of animal pee stains on the floor. Nice. Hardwood refinishing is NOT in the budget...All the guys are working on the yard...two huge weed beds have been ripped out, and the third has been started. My brother, Chris, insists that the place is haunted....we'll see!

On to Saturday. At the house by 9 a.m. (yes, on a Saturday) and the crew arrives shortly after. The 'crew' consists of Debbie, Manny, Katie, Wanda, Chris, me, Shane, David, and Jennie. My mom gets started by cleaning the walls in the master bedroom. The previous owners seemed to have no problem with letting their drinks spill down their walls...gross. So after vacuuming and wiping down walls...we are ready to paint. Before and afters are coming! The guys are still outside tending to the overgrown yard...roof has been blown off, gutters cleaned out, and tree limbs have been cut is starting to look like more and more like a real house!

Sunday...more painting. Kilz paint is the way to go (for light colors)! One coat guarantee...unless you are painting Red Fox...then it is more like a five coat guarantee. Debbie and Shane are cleaning up the kitchen...including cleaning cat hair out of the cabinets. Yummy. Cats are All of the tack boards and staples have been taken out of the bedrooms, and the yard is still being cleaned up.

Next step - what and how are we doing the floors? And when is this brick backsplash coming out? Stay tuned...