Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's a Quarter...


For anyone who has any of the following similar experiences, you will understand my excitement.

a) Giving up your great street parking spot to lug your 8 loads of laundry to the nearest laudromat in chicago only to return and have to park in the next parking district

b) Having a washing machine die mid-cycle at the aforementioned laundromat and have to explain this to the man who speaks about 3 words of English

c) Sharing a washer/dryer with a houseful of girls

d) Bargaining for quarters, saving quarters, digging for quarters, if i never see another quarter in my lifetime...

Nate has already calculated that I saved $10 in my laundry duties last night. I'm sure this will get old soon :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There IS something wrong with our lawn mower

Our lawn looks awful. After all of the rain, it has grown out of control. I was going to mow it Sunday evening. I got it started on the FIRST try, mowed one strip and it died. I then began to try to restart it and no matter how many naughty words i said to it, it would not start.

Nate arrived last night and tried to start it - nothing. It had to be taken to the lawn mower urgent care center.

At least I think that the lawn mower has provided some good entertainment with our neighbors between me pulling it no less than 20 times to try to start it and nate dismantling it. Hopefully this will prevent them from getting too mad about our jungle of a lawn.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Step by Step

We are 95% done with the dining room floor. All we have left to do is cut half tiles for 2 of the 4 wall edges and reapply the woodwork.

STEP 1: The floor started out like this with the green carpet (which we still find little pieces of everywhere!):

STEP 2: Then, when we removed the green carpet, we found the original floor:

STEP 3: We had to put a subfloor over this floor, requiring 4 - 4x8 sheets of luan and 3 boxes of nails!

STEP 4: And finally, this is what our dining room looks like with our new table in it:

2 days until move in!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

GI Joe vs. Roller Girl

We started on our dining room floor last night. The most aggravating component of the floor re-do was going to home depot where last night's crop of employees could NOT get it together in terms of knowing where things were! After we finally got our luaun, nails, tiles and chalk line, we were in business. Nate was in charge of cutting the luaun and i was a human nail gun. A couple hours later, we had our subfloor done!

Next came the tiles. We were pretty tired after doing the subfloor but wanted to put some of the tiles down to see how they would look. "It's a good think I had GI Joe's as a kid - putting those decals on really helped me practice for this flooring project", commented Nate.

I got the fun job of rolling over the tiles with a rolling pin to ensure the adhesive stuck, hence earning the nickname Rollergirl, who if any of you have seen Boogie Nights...

We will be finishing the tile tonight!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I successfully started the Lawn Boy by myself last night and it only took 4 pulls. I'm convinced it is because my brother fixed something on it the last time he was here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Keep On Keepin' On

Well, we do not have any carpet left in our house and it no longer is in our front yard as this picture demonstrates


but i am currently nursing a blistered ring finger and a sore shoulder from pulling out staples along the living room & steps while Nate removes the tack bar around the room perimeter with his trusty crowbar. I would suggest wearing some shoes the first few times you visit us!

Our big projects that we have left to hopefully finish before the wedding are:

a) deciding on a floor for our dining room. Thanks to Home Depot, we learned that we cannot remove the current floor by ourselves given that houses built before 1982ish have asbestos in the flooring. We have decided to put flooring over the current floor which means putting down floor board and then choosing the actual flooring to have. Our main issue now is do we install something cheap and easy for the time being given that we have plans to remodel our kitchen at some point in the future or do the flooring right away so we can avoid that headache down the road? Hmmm...decisions, decisions....

Hopefully we decide soon b/c I think our house helpers are getting sick of pizza and chipotle for dinner!

b) finish removing staples, floor tack from floors and clean them. There is a LOT of dust, etc but very little refinishing that will be necessary.

c) Take carpet to the dump! (Unless anyone has a need for kelly green, brown, or outdoor carpet! (Sorry - the red carpeting has already been claimed!)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Family Affair!

We had some assistance from my mom, brother & sister tonight, along with my niece Toni, who did a good job of overseeing her dad pulling out staples as shown in this picture

Because we had so much help, we were able to remove ALL the carpet from the house!! Thanks also to Amanda for mowing our lawn. We still have some staples and carpet tack to remove, but it is exciting to see such results! We also moved out the last of the window "treatments"! And although Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite movies, I will NOT be making a dress out of these!

So here is a preview of our living room, which used to have bright green carpet

and now has the hardwood floor and is painted "Gobi Desert" by Behr.

Check out more pictures of other rooms with the links provided in right hand toolbar.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


We have had some surprises over the past couple of days - some fun, some not so fun.

1. We started taking up the green carpeting downstairs in the hallway first and discovered that the wood floors in the hallway are not in as nice condition as the back two bedrooms so probably will need to refinish those at some point.

2. Then when we got to the dining room, we discovered that the floor underneath the carpet here was not the hardwood that we had in the rest of the house but some REALLY old linoleum. Thankfully, the living room and two upper bedrooms still have the hardwood. Bring in the flooring contingency plan!

3. We had a painting elf (aka Doug) visit us Sunday who finished up all of our ceiling trim! Painting is done! (well, until we decide to bring out the brushes for the bathroom)

4. We had our first furniture purchase! Nate's grandmother bought us a dining room set for a wedding present. She wanted us to get it early so that we would have it when we moved in. Here is a picture from a website.

5. No more window treatments! Nate's grandmother also took them to Goodwill for us!

We have major flooring goals for tomorrow night so hopefully some updated pictures soon!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Remodeling wish list

The paint and carpet were really our priorities to get done before moving in and the wedding. Now that they are done, we are focusing on organizing stuff and deciding what stays and what goes. It seems that we keep adding to our list of little projects. Eventually, we will take on bigger projects. This is our remodeling wish list in no particular order:

1. Kitchen Facelift! Take out cabinets above counter that divide the kitchen and dining area to open it up more, extend counters into the dining room for a snack bar, new floor, new counters for sure and paint those dark cabinets/get new ones!
IDEAL: Barefoot Contessa :)

2. Master Bath: Currently the 2nd floor bathroom is a full bathroom but only in appearance, not function. The shower is not tiled rendering it useless. We would like to combine the existing bathroom space with the guest bedroom walk-in closet for a big master bath. The guest room dormer area then would be turned into a closet (where those shelves were in the "in the beginning" album).

3. Living/Dining Area: Take out the wall with the wooden posts that sections off the dining room & living room for one bigger space. This sounds easier than it actually is given that we would need to reroute both furnace and electrical, and get new floor b/c the wood stops in each room at the wall.

Those are our top projects that we are going to research in the coming years, after we experience living in the place for a bit.

You know you've been painting TOO much when...

...You have to show the girl in the Home Depot paint department how to open a can of paint. Yes, I am serious - she honestly didn't know, granted she WAS filling in from the service desk.

We have the bathrooms and the ceiling trim on the kitchen, hallway and 2 bedrooms to finish. So close!!