Monday, June 22, 2009


Wow…sorry about that. I fell off the face of the earth for a second, but now I’m back.

I don’t have the before and afters yet, and I know what you’re thinking, ‘What the hell have you been doing for over the past week?!?’ I’m not really sure, but I do have another project to update on, though. I’ll get back to you on the B&As…

We have really been focusing on the yard for the past month or more. We wanted to wait until the deck was complete before we started the backyard landscaping, and now that that is finished, and it is 90 degrees everyday, we have embarked on the backyard landscaping adventure!

This past weekend, we rented a jackhammer, which is also referred to as an electric breaker, to bust up what used to be a shed foundation. I was pumped! I picked it up from Home Depot on my way home from work on Friday, rushed home, and wanted to get started immediately. Here are Shane and I taking care of business:

So, after about five minutes, I’m tired, hot, sweating, and done. Shane takes control, and then after about 10 minutes, wants to give it back to me. After an hour of this crap, we had only busted half of the pad. We had plans on Friday night, so we stopped around 8:30, got ready and left. We got home around 3:30 a.m., so needless to say, we didn’t get as early of a start on Saturday as I would have liked. But we were back at it on Saturday morning around 10:45…again, sweating, tired, and hot. We took turns and finally got it done around noon. Here is our final product:

Next steps:

  • Remove concrete and lay under the deck (for erosion control)
  • Fill in concrete area with remaining fill dirt
  • Pull up any crazy monkey grass that has somehow risen from the dead and bloomed again
  • Cover with pine straw

Stay tuned!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Very Special Anniversary

It was a year ago this weekend that Shane and I finally moved into our first home. We closed at the end of May and spent almost three weeks doing some must-needed renovations before we moved in, including:
  • Ripping out the digusting berber carpet from the living room, and the even grosser kitchen tile, and replacing it with 20x20 porcelain tile.

  • Ripping up the carpet from the bedrooms, revealing hardwoods that were in bad condition (i.e. paint smeared all in the master bedroom, a huge black stain in the office, and carpet pad glue in the guest room) and resulting in the refinishing of the hardwood floors.

  • Clearing out some REALLY overgrown landscaping

  • Tearing down layer after layer after layer of wallpaper in the hallway, skim coating it with plaster, and then realizing that it STILL wasn’t smooth. Enter Venetian Plaster.

  • Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning…the people that lived there before were complete and utter slobs. For example, there was cat puke, FRESH mind you, on the carpet in the living room (which we simply covered with a paper towel), there was soda spilled all over the walls in the bedroom, and they apparently didn’t understand the concept of cleaning baseboards, and blinds that hadn’t been washed since the day they left the factory. It was gross.

But now, we have managed, over the course of a year and a lot of help from friends and family, to make this house our home.

Thanks to those who helped!

  • Jim C. – “The Machine” – he was at the house before Shane and I even arrived after our closing to rip out carpet, clean up, and/or anything that needed to be done. He helped us clean up the yard, painted the office, and pretty much tried to renovate our entire house in the first weekend. We couldn’t have done it without you…Love you dad.
  • Manny – “Paper Puller” – Manny took on the task of getting rid of the hallway wallpaper. After removing the first layer, he was surprised to find that there was even more paper underneath! He diligently worked, and I do not use this term lightly…Manny pulled paper like it was his JOB, until the task was complete. He then skim coated the entire hallway and sanded it to perfection. Unfortunately, our sheetrock is old and bowed and I still had to use a plaster finish to cover it up. I’m pretty sure that he wanted to slap me the first time he saw the post-plaster hallway…Thanks, Manny!
  • Debbie – “The Cleaner” – If you know her, you know she did it and she did it well. Wiped down cabinets, inside and out (and she probably managed to clean the back of them somehow), cleaned bathrooms, washed windows, etc. etc. etc. Thanks, Deb! There is nothing better than a clean house!
  • Wanda – “The Painter” – I somehow roped my mom into helping me paint almost every wall in the house. And she agreed to do the trim paint…sucka! She also helped Shane and I with our tile floor – speaking of…did we ever pay that back? Kidding…love you mom.
  • Katie – “The Babysitter” – our dogs were weeks old, not potty trained, and were completely confused as to why they had to live in a crate. Thankfully, Katie was there to watch and play and love our pups while we were doing house stuff!
  • Carlisle Brothers – “The Machine Part Deux and The Kinda Helper” – so my brother, Chris, was a huge help as well, as he still is when he helps us do yard work, clean out the gutters, sweep the roof (yes, I do ask him to do that). He is a lot like my dad in that he will work EXTREMELY hard to get the job done. That is a Carlisle trait, I do believe. His job was to take all the staples out of the wood floor from the carpet…ha! While he was performing this task, he convinced me that my house was haunted. Nice. Patrick, my other brother, is a little aloof at times, but still managed to contribute. He removed some staples…some…from the office floor. He’s such a wittle helper! Love you boys.

Well, that’s enough praise…we love you all and greatly appreciate all the help of those not mentioned! Stay tuned for some really juicy before and afters tomorrow! (yes, I’m committing to posting on a Saturday.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The New Deck...In All Its Glory!

Here are pictures of our completed deck, for your viewing pleasure. Cue music...

By the way...putting up lattice is SUPER fun!

Gate and stairs leading to the yard:

Gate and stairs leading to the driveway:

New stairs on the side door:

It was definitely a lot of work, and we owe a huge amount of gratitude to master deck builder, Matt, for all of his help!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Monday

I hope that everyone had a good weekend! I definitely wasn’t ready for Monday to be here.

Shane and I had a pretty good and productive weekend…

Saturday: WE FINISHED THE DECK! Yahoo! I’ll post pics tomorrow. Also, we attended our friend’s third annual party called Kirnfest and got to see a lot of friends that we haven’t seen in a while.

The most exciting part is that we ordered new windows and doors! I had someone come out from Window World who beat Pella by 50%. I told him that I still had a few more quotes to get, but they ensure that they have the lowest price or they will match it and double the difference. The only bad side is that everything is ‘custom’ (I just love when they claim that) so it will be 4-6 weeks before everything is installed. Oh well, I’m just glad to have that problem fixed and to have it done before it starts getting cold outside again. And if you don’t remember the issues with my cranking, crappy windows – go here.

Sunday: Shane had to be at work at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, although we didn’t get home until 1 a.m. on Saturday. He was home by 9 a.m. and starting doing all kinds of house stuff – making the bed, putting away his laundry, etc. It was really weird. We then tried to go to the pool in Smyrna (city pool) but quickly found that that isn’t going to be an option for us. A: You can’t bring in alcohol. Not that we are pheens, but still – I do enjoy a cold one as I’m baking in the sun. B: You have to pay…$3.50 per person. C: It was crowded and there were no chairs. You want me to pay to lay on the concrete? No thanks. So, instead, we just went home and took a nap. When we got our second wind, we went to see the new movie, ‘The Hangover.’ I give this movie five thumbs up and 15 gold stars – hilarious! I have a small group of movies that I can watch over and over and over again (i.e. Old School, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Knocked Up, etc.) and this one has made the list. I would totally recommend seeing it!

And, now it’s Monday…starting another week. I plan to get some goals accomplished this week, but how often do I say that?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posts this week, I've been busy, but I'm just not sure with what...

One highlight of the week is that my cost estimates for my door were COMPLETELY off base. Remember I said, 'It could be $100 or $1000...I don't know!' Well, let's just say that my first quote, because there will be more, fell way outside of this range at the $3000 to $5000 mark. They must have been confused or drunk or high and thought that they were walking into a mansion when they arrived to do the quote. I didn't spend that much on my entire kitchen renovation!!!

I have four more companies coming to give quotes over the course of the next week...stay tuned to hear if they are crazy fools or not.

Monday, June 1, 2009


It’s June…really?

Shane and I had a jam-packed weekend…no house-related stuff, but we honestly just needed a break.

Friday: Shane and I went to a good friend’s little sister’s graduation party (did you follow that?). Lots o’ fun…and then we went to Wild West, a little bar down the street. It was interesting, to put it mildly, but I got to meet Bob Whitfield who most of you (or a rare one or two of you) will know as Sheree’s ex-husband from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Shane told me who he was, because of course I had no idea, so I ran up to him and introduced myself. (Five beers deep…the only reason I decided to approach.) I told him that I knew him because I was a big fan of RHOA, and he didn’t like that too much (joking, of course). I didn’t get a picture or autograph or anything, but I can tell you that this dude is TALL! At least 6’5”…other than that this bar was struggling. I’ve never seen so many redneck fights, muffin tops, or toothless men in my life…wow.

Saturday: We hung out on the lake all day with friends and had a great time! Our boat captain almost killed us a few times, but overall it was a really good time. We left the lake around 8, and then headed to my mom’s to pick up Beau and Brother. They got to hang out with G-ma all day and eat the plants that she was trying to plant…needless to say, they had a great time! On our way home, Shane calls and says that some friends of ours are at Vintage Tavern in Smyrna, so we decided to swing by and hang out for a while. I knew it was time to go home and go to bed while I was standing at the bar and felt myself swaying. Good night.

Sunday: Me, Gretchen, Lindsay and her boyfriend hit the lake up again. It was SO hot out there yesterday, and I also discovered this morning that as a result of that heat yesterday I have developed a gnarly case of sun poisoning. Nothing like having your body covered in a red, itchy rash.

And now on to the highlight of this post – how did the May goals go?

  1. Finish reading Breaking Dawn (DONE)
  2. Organize office files
  3. Paint front door
  4. Paint kitchen trim
  5. Paint kitchen and bathroom ceilings
  6. Paint master bath and shower room
  7. Get bamboo shade for kitchen
  8. Sign up for 401K
  9. Figure out Breck medical bills
  10. Make 1 new piece of jewelry

One out of ten...awesome. So what are June’s goals?

  1. Organize office files
  2. Paint front door
  3. Paint kitchen trim
  4. Paint kitchen and bathroom ceilings
  5. Paint master bath and shower room
  6. Get bamboo shade for kitchen
  7. Sign up for 401K
  8. Figure out Breck medical bills
  9. Make 1 new piece of jewelry

This is seriously getting embarrassing…wish me luck.