Thursday, November 29, 2012

operation knock-down drag-out: week 13.

well, we took it right down to the wire, but the bathroom got done before Thanksgiving! sure, Mark was adding the finishing touches and cleaning all the construction mess while i was en route to  the airport to pick up my mom, dad, and brother, but by the time we got to the house, the bathroom was looking something like this:

everything is done done done done done! and the best part is that in its inaugural weekend it has survived the use and abuse of 9 people for 4 days (mostly) unscathed. there is still a teeny tiny leak in the shower that needs to be addressed, but Mark is confident that its an issue within the fixture itself and not with any of the plumbing that's behind the walls. 

speaking of the shower, remember how i mentioned last week that we bought the wrong showerhead? turns out its harder than we thought it would/should be to find a showerhead that swivels, and we actually bought the wrong showerhead two more times before we found the right one. fourth times the charm? note to future self: the Depot tends to have a better selection of building materials, but Lowes has the better selection of the finishing touches.

did you notice the shelves i finally finished? i can't take the creativity credit for these, since i totally stole the project idea from a pinterest link, but i think they look fabulous in my bathroom. they gave me an excuse to play with power tools and make a sawdusty mess, and i only needed Mark's help a little at the very end, so i'm pretty proud of them.

the shelves are almost entirely decorative at this point, but could at some point be used to hold some more useful stuff. for now, on the top shelf i have a framed free printable that i found through pinterest, and a fake starfish that i cleaned up after i found it in the flowerbed by my mailbox last week. 

on the bottom shelf, there is a glass container from walmart that holds q-tips, an empty metal bucket from ikea, and a bear-shaped bar of soap that my mom brought from Yellowstone.

also on the bottom shelf is the old beer bottle that we found under the old tub during the demolition phase of this project. yes, i know its totally random and weird and it might make us seem like crazy alcoholics who keep their beer stashed all over the house, but this bottle had lived in this room for the past 29 years and i just feel like it would be wrong for it to live anywhere else.

there are not enough words to express just how good it feels to have this room completely finished and functional. Mark has declared this to be the last major house project for the year, which is a good thing since i've already managed to fill almost every weekend from now until next year with various sorts of holiday fun that does not include power tools or plumbing or renovating anything. this is it, folks. for now.

trips to Home Depot: this week - 3. total - 24.
trips to Ace: this week - 0. total - 2.
trips to Lowes: this week - 3. total - 10.

times Amanda has cried over this project: this week - 0. total - 3.
times Amanda has cried in Home Depot: this week - 0. total - 0.

days until Thanksgiving: -7. and i miss everyone already.

total cost of bathroom reno: $2210. and worth every penny.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

thankful wrap-up.

back to work today after an extra long holiday weekend. i'm still recuperating from Thanksgiving and all of the awesomeness that it was: family! leaf piles! turducken! turkey hats! matching aprons! uno! bowling! games! silliness! piecaken! hiking! waterfalls! and so many hugs i couldn't have counted them even if i tried!

all the fun and the craziness and the noise all over the house felt so right, just like home, and it was downright sad and quiet once everyone was loaded into cars and planes and headed home.

we stretched the weekend as long as we could to squeeze in as much as we could, which means that we had a fantastic time. it also means that i've given myself zero time to regroup and now i'm falling headfirst into Christmas. but before all that craziness kicks in, i just want to take a minute and round out my thankful list for this year. i might have even added a few bonus thanks, just because i really do have a LOT to be thankful for!

86. Mom.

87. Dad.

88. Stasi.

89. Abi.

90. Alex.

91. Claire and Nick.

92. brothers-in-law.

93. Gram.
94. Pap.
95. slide rules.
96. new tires.
97. leftovers.
98. rag bags.
99. air mattresses.
100. cameras.

and... bonus! because i just cant stop being thankful!
...or using exclamation points!!!
101. one-hour photo prints.
102. mail.
103. lists.
104. online shopping.
105. Christmas.

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."  
I Chronicles 29:13  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

recognize what you're thankful for.

this picture cracks me up every time i look at it.

76. my job.
77. Sophie.
78. community groupies.
79. naps. (just knowing they exist,i wish i had time for naps)
80. hair dryers.
81. colored pencils.
82. my iPod, which i can listen to instead of the Christmas music on the
      intercom at work. (is one holiday at a time really too much to ask?)
83. glasses and contacts.
84. comfy sweaters.
85. music.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

operation knock-down drag-out: week 12.

well, here we are: Thanksgiving week. the deadline is upon us. now if all went as planned, i would be sharing a lovely, fully styled grand reveal with y'all today. but y'know, things around here rarely go as planned. we would have loved to be done early, but its looking more like we're going to juuuusst make it on time, which is better than late, which is better than never. (read: hey family! dont cancel your travel plans for thursday! the bathroom WILL be done!)

this week was all about plumbing, plumbing, and more plumbing, because no matter how pretty your bathroom turns out, people will appreciate it way more if they can actually USE it.

Mark started with the vanity. before he could install and plumb the faucet, he added knobs to the doors and caulked the gap around the backsplash.

then he tinkered for a while under the sink. the process went kind of like this: tinker, test, leak, repeat. i think he only had to repeat the whole process two or three times, so i would consider that a major success...

... especially since it ended with a working, non-leaking sink!

over the weekend, after Mark installed the baseboard, his dad came over to supervise/help with the toilet installation.

i was busy doing things that were slightly more productive than hovering over the toilet installation process, but from what i can tell it went pretty smoothly. the toilet justbarely fits with the baseboard installed, which we are very very very happy about, since we neglected to factor the baseboard into our measurements.

you may have noticed that we ended up with a round bowl. i was thisclose to giving in and letting mark win and get the elongated toilet that would have taken up more space in our little bathroom, but he actually conceded before i had a chance. i think its quite lovely, dont you?

and oh hey, see the shower hardware in the background of that last picture? no, i didnt forget to mention it, i just took that toilet picture a couple days later, since the only other after picture of the toilet had Mark sitting on it and even though he was wearing pants i thought it might be a bit much to put it on the internet.

the shower hardware unfortunately did not go nearly as smoothly as the sink and toilet, and actually put up quite a good fight. Mark fought back, took a drill and a chisel to his beautiful new shower tile, and came out the winner.

and then we realized that we bought the wrong showerhead. crapbag. but other than that, all we need to do to finish the shower is to hang the shower curtain. which i have all ironed and ready to go. easy peasy. 

so what was i up to all week? eh, a little of this and that. mostly dishes and cleaning and laundry and replacing ALL the flourescent lights in the basement (they seriously burned out all at once!) but i did manage to squeeze in some time to work on my two bathroom projects: the shelves and the towel hooks. i dont have any pictures of the shelves, since it took both my hands and then some to assemble them, and the process shots i took of the towel hooks are boring and no fun, especially when compared to the final product, so blah blah drillmitersawgluenailcaulkpaintscrew BAM! finished product!

gorgeous, right!? once the shelves are hung i'll take pictures of them too. but until then, i'll be busy running around like a crazy person to get everything done and my house in a state of not-filth-and-squalor before Thursday.

trips to Home Depot: this week - 3. total - 21.
trips to Ace: this week - 0. total - 2.
trips to Lowes: this week - 0. total - 7.

times Amanda has cried over this project: this week - 0. total - 3.
times Amanda has cried in Home Depot: this week - 0. total - 0.

days until Thanksgiving: 2!!!!!!

it is thankful people who are happy.

66. two three-day work weeks in a row.
67. airplanes.
68. old recipes.
69. paint.
70. paid vacation time.
71. my seldom-used iron.
72. problem solving skills.
73. brand new lightbulbs.
74. the internet.
75. laughing is my favorite.

Monday, November 19, 2012

meal plan monday: thankful thankful thankful.

i had every intention of posting the countdown over the weekend... and then the weekend started flying by and i just... didnt.

so you get them now, just a couple days late, because it would make absolutely zero sense to jump straight from 6 days to 3(!) in our countdown. i dont want people to get the impression that i thought to myself "self, i'm going to start a countdown. i'm going to start it at 8 and then count down by 3's" as though that would be logical in any sense of the word. people dont need any more reasons to believe that i'm crazy. i'm too young to be taken away to the insane asylum, plus i'm really looking forward to thanksgiving with the fam this year and it really would be a shame to have to miss it.

speaking of thanksgiving, here are a few more things that i have been thankful for lately.

51. saturday mornings in bed until after the sun is way up.
52. shoeboxes packed full of fun and love.
53. that i am happy to be taking my holidays one at a time
54. new (to us) furniture.
55. uncles to help move said furniture.
56. slipcovers.
57. command hooks.
58. toilets that flush!!!
59. in-laws.
60. clean (and put away) laundry.
61. anticipation.
62. vaccuum cleaners.
63. a marriage that can withstand ugly rivalry games.
64. the home stretch of the bathroom project.
65. lawnmowers.

and just because this monday morning post that no one ever reads isnt quite long enough yet, here's my meal plan for this crazy awesome crazy week:

Monday: crock pot meatball sandwiches. (recipe)
Tuesday: chicken fried rice. (recipe)
Wednesday: breaded tilapia with rice.
Thursday: crock pot chili. (recipe)
Friday: Thanksgiving turducken and other various deliciousnesses plus
      piecaken for dessert.
Saturday: grilled chicken salad with fries.
Sunday/Monday: goin' to Gram's house.
Tuesday: let's eat out.

Friday, November 16, 2012

thankful for every moment.

41. water.
42. best friends forever.
43. family.
44. power tools.
45. sisters.
46. my dishwasher.
47. weight lifting gloves.
48. good memories.
49. date nights.
50. fridays.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

always something to be thankful for.

31. wd40.
32. sunshine.
33. oatmeal.
34. jazzercise.
35. fist-pumping with a room full of middle age ladies.
36. clean sheets.
37. friends.
38. deadlines.
39. shoes.
40. sleeping in 15 minutes on a workday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

counting down, counting up.

21. countdowns. (8 days!!!)
22. leafblowers. (aka my new favorite toy)
23. rain.
24. electricity.
25. grocery stores.
26. sweat pants.
27. eating lunch out on a monday.
28. my crock pot.
29. good health.
30. tiny clementine oranges.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

operation knock-down drag-out: week 11.

this week of the bathroom project just so happened to coincide with a "recovery" week of the p90x program. Mark decided to take advantage of this, and turned it into a full fledged "off" week instead. this way, he was able to make good use of his evening hours during the week, not have to spend any extra time or energy working out, and really was able to make some impressive progress on the bathroom.

first up: finishing the beadboard ceiling. all the calculations and measurements that Mark did were to ensure that the beadboard would be nice and square and centered once it was installed. this meant that the 4x8 panel needed to be trimmed on all four sides before it could be installed.

as far as the actual installation went, we used adhesive followed by some finishing nails. Mark applied the adhesive directly to the ceiling instead of putting it on the back of the actual beadboard panel. this meant that there was WAY less chance of us making a mess of ourselves or anything else that we might have accidentally bumped into as we maneuvered the panel into place on the ceiling. and yes, we did manage to make this work as a two person job, although i think having an extra set of hands might have been helpful, if a little bit of a tight squeeze in this tiny space.

based on the placement of the joists in the ceiling, there wound up being nothing solid on the short ends of the room to nail the beadboard into. to keep the beadboard as flush to the ceiling as possible and keep the ends from flopping around, the two short pieces of quarter-round trim had to pull double duty: not only would they be decorative and pretty, but they would also be nailed into the 1x8 trim boards to help hold the ends of the beadboard up and in place.

just in case you were wondering, this is NOT the correct way to install mitered quarterround trim pieces. its not that the miter is cut the wrong direction, its just that these ones got installed upside down. whoops.

 if you happen to be in a rush, it is very possible that this could happen to you. if this is the case, be very glad you chose to attach your trim with just nails instead of with glue. this will make removing your newly installed trim pieces slightly less rage-inducing.

we left the upsidedown trim pieces in place until the glue on the beadboard had dried, then Mark figured out a way to remove them without damaging any of the other ceiling pieces. this was key, as it meant that we had only wasted a $4 piece of trim and a couple hours instead of trashing the entire ceiling.

once we had that whole 'which way is up' issue resolved, the rest of the trim pieces went in without any issues. Mark chose to wear gloves to help minimize the amount of dirt and fingerprints he would have to clean up and/or paint over later.

 with all the trim pieces in place, Mark moved on to the task of verrrry carefully cutting away the beadboard around the exhaust fan. he decided it would be easier to do this after the beadboard was on the ceiling, instead of cutting a giant hole based on measurements alone and then hoping that it fit right once we put it up there. he's a thinker that husband of mine.

he made this look so easy. even so, i couldnt watch. there were just too many things that could have gone wrong. lost fingers, a bad cut, a slip and fall... it was way less stressful for me to just be in the other room. close enough to be there within seconds of a big crash, but far enough away to protect both our sanity.

with a few finishing touches: nail holes filled and touch up painted, all gaps caulked, TA-DA! we have ourselves a beautiful new beadboard ceiling!

but wait! theres more!

Mark also installed a weird looking partial piece of baseboard real quick-like. why just that one piece? why is it cut so funny? why was he in such a hurry that he needed to dry the caulk with my hair dryer?

well, that one piece of baseboard was the only one that was needed before he could...

*drumroll please*

...install the vanity!

oh, and he put up the lovely new light fixture too. sorry about the total lack of in-process pictures. i was busy making the most of the gorgeous weekend weather to do some much-needed-pre-winter yard work (mowing and leaf mulching, cleaning out some flower beds, and trimming a few bushes) and since our lawnmower is broken, this was especially exhausting and i needed all my energy to make it through the entire yard, and i also didnt want to take any unnecessary picture breaks because i didnt want to run out of daylight.

but since mark was on a roll this week, (and also because he needed to return his uncles tile saw soon) he decided to take on the last tile-related project: the backsplash and sidesplash.

the installation was very similar to what we've seen before:
- lay out your pattern, cut your tiles, and mix the mud (thinset this time)

- spread the mud onto the wall with the notched trowel. use a trowel with smaller notches for smaller tiles.

- press your tiles into the mud. clean up the extra mud from around the tiles and out of all the grout lines.

- use little blue wedgie spacers to keep the tiles from sagging down the wall while the mud sets. 

- jump up and down with excitement and joy at your beautiful backsplash!

seriously. look. how. stinkin'. pretty. this tile was not part of the original "design scheme" for the bathroom, and i am absolutely thrilled with how well it matches and complements the wall color and also pulls in the grayish color of the vanity. if i didnt tell you, would you even guess that it was purchased late in the game and straight off the shelf at the Depot? i love it so hard.

all the vanity needs to be called complete is some plumbing and doorknobs, both of which are things we have in our possession, and are itching to install just as soon as the tile is grouted and ready to roll.

only one more big thing left to purchase and install in the bathroom: the toilet. i did some research, and i thought we had one all picked out, but now there is debate between the members of my household: round bowl vs. elongated. a few people chimed in with their opinions on facebook, but since most of them sided with me, Mark decided that we need more responses in order to make an informed decision.

so what say you, internets? round or elongated?

trips to Home Depot: this week - 2. total - 18.
trips to Ace: this week - 0. total - 2.
trips to Lowes: this week - 3. total - 7.

times Amanda has cried over this project: this week - 1. total - 3.
times Amanda has cried in Home Depot: this week - 0. total - 0.

days until Thanksgiving: 9!