movin’ on up… or over!

I have decided to move the blog over to blogger… so the new address is: http://amyandalec.blogspot.com/
All of these posts have been brought over to the new site… so everything’s the same!
See you over there :)

popcorn.

So I mentioned yesterday that the paint I chose was way too yellow. Well, I thought I’d give you a visual representation of the difference from what I wanted and what I purchased.
So here is the Martha Stewart Paint called ‘Popcorn’ that I asked for…

via
And here’s the actual colour that I purchased (the only photo that google would show me)… in store, I thought to myself, that looks a little too yellow, but I figured it would dry lighter, etc. etc… I was wrong!

via

Alec and I went to Home Depot tonight to see what they’d do about the mistake, since the colour I bought is clearly not what I asked for, and sure enough – instead of giving me Martha Stewart’s Popcorn, I was given Behr’s Popcorn Ball. I very golden yellow instead of a warm white. Hmm. After some convincing, they refunded the first can and we tried again. Success! It’s white this time around.

We’ve already put a coat or two on and it looks great. xo

day eleven

It’s been a long week and a half without a shower… but we seem to be figuring out alternatives just fine.
To refresh your memory… this is what the bathroom looked like before: (yuck)
Here’s a play-by-play of what’s happened so far:
Saturday
My brother and Alec started by removing all of the fixtures in the bathroom and then started removing the old ceramic floor and the walls… and the ceiling… The floor proved to be quite the tough cookie – eating up a lot of time out of the day. It’s funny how you don’t realize how much garbage a job like this will produce. Our garage is FILLED with debris.
Sunday
Once the floor was taken up, we realized that the fan in the downstairs powder room was vented to nowhere. Now, there isn’t a shower in that bathroom – but it still means that whatever the fan is sucking up is just ending up in a void in the ceiling/floor (depending where you’re standing). The fans that were in the bathroom were quite noisy and we decided that we might as well replace them in the process of venting them both to the attic and out the roof. More projects, more time. The new fan is delightfully quiet in comparison to the old and I’m excited for the same one to be installed upstairs as well.
At the end of the day on Sunday, the boys were where they wanted to be at the end of the day Saturday. A full day behind. Uh oh. So, Alec asked me to call the tile installation company and see if we could push the date of installation back a week to allow them to be ready in time. When I called, I was told that they thought the next available date would be in mid-May, but that they’d call me back tomorrow to let me know for sure. At the end of the day, our sub-floor was in and Alec had removed part of a stud that had water damage/mold from behind the shower. Other pieces of wood had a bit of mold as well, so Alec painted a fancy sealant on top of those areas to seal in the mold and prevent further growth.
Monday
I got a call early Monday morning confirming the bad news that if we wanted to reschedule, our new date would be May 9th. That was 3 weeks away. I called Alec, I called my brother and they both agreed to keep working to get as much as they could get finished. SO, after a  long day at work, my brother and Alec continued to work on the bathroom.
Tuesday
Another evening of work after work! My brother came to our house before we got home and started working hard on installing the behind-the-wall showerhead parts. It was nice to be able to decide where the showerhead will go (really high for us tall folks) but frustrating for the boys to decipher what the heck the instructions were trying to say. When Alec joined, they finished off the plumbing and put up the last of the drywall for the shower.
Wednesday
Tile installation day! The tiles themselves were dropped off around 8am, but the tile guys arrived mid-morning. They told Alec it would take about 4 hours, but they were here when he got back from work. Tiles looked great, no grout yet – but great!
Thursday
Grout day! The guys didn’t come until the end of the day… but it got finished and looks great.
Friday & Saturday
Because of the long weekend… we had both our workers (Alec and Andrew) working on Friday. They finished putting up the drywall and began the mudding/taping/sanding process. I came home from work to find out that they didn’t buy any paint on their last Home Depot run, so I quickly booked it there to buy some because they would be closed on Easter Sunday. I bought primer for the drywall and paint for afterwards… it’s called Popcorn, but looks way more yellow in the can than it did on the paint chip. Uh oh. We shall see what it looks like on the wall!!
Sunday
The painting begins… we get a couple coats of primer on there before we head out for Easter dinner.
Monday & Tuesday
We hit a bit of a delay on Monday because Alec caught the cold I have been battling for the last week or so. Poor Alec. So, even though he had Monday off – there was no change in the bathroom while he recovered. When I got home from work on Tuesday, I put a final coat of primer on the whole bathroom. I painted a test strip of the real paint colour, but alas…it is very yellow. So much for that can!!

So that’s where we’re at… I will try to go to Home Depot tomorrow after work to buy a different can of paint, some baseboards and anything else we need. Once the paint dries, the shower should be good to go. Then it’s the toilet and sink. (And good news! My special order faucet came in ahead of schedule! Woohoo)
Hope you enjoyed the update – we’ll have more to show you soon. :)

threat level midnight!

Well, if you’re not a fan of “The Office” then you won’t understand my title… but the important part is that we start the bathroom renovation TOMORROW!

Thanks to my brother and Alec, we will begin tomorrow with demolition and assessment of any water damage caused by the wrongly installed tiles.
We have hired The Home Depot to install our new tiles, as time constraints, having only one shower and having not that much confidence in ourselves brought us to that decision. We are very pleased with the price and how they were able to schedule us in for exactly when we need them.

I was out and about today despite my cold, and I bought a faucet for the sink and a new shower head. The faucet was special order and should arrive within 2 weeks, so a little longer than the whole renovation is scheduled to take but that’s okay! I really wanted a specific style. Here is the one that will be arriving for us:

Exciting… I know. I find it hard to pick fixtures like this without actually seeing them on the vanity or in my bathroom… but hopefully, everything will work well together.
And without further ado, here is the shower head that I bought:
I’ve really been missing having a handheld showerhead when it comes to the task of actually cleaning the shower… I just don’t get how I’m supposed to rinse the tiles when the water only goes certain places… and I end up using a bucket or wet sponge 1000 times… so bye bye annoying cleaning, hello easy rinsing!

Wish the boys luck… I will be off having my teeth cleaned and babysitting my niece, so hopefully it all goes swimmingly!

Mini update

Hello hello!
We are officially two weeks away from our tentative start date and have yet to hire a company to tile the bathroom. We got one estimate back, but it was a little too rich for our blood. The search continues.

In other news, I feel like I constantly get new ideas and think of projects we could tackle but haven’t been keeping track of them … SO… I made a list of all the projects that I’d like to do to the house and separated them into small, doable, one-day or weekend projects (also inexpensive) and medium sized, and of course huge (like the kitchen). This way when we are feeling inspired and full of energy (when our bank accounts are full, too), we can refer to the list and tackle one or two!

I will have to post pictures of our brand *new* bed that was lovingly gifted to us from my friends and all we had to do was get a frame & a mattress pad. Done and done. We have finally upgraded from my childhood double bed to a nice & roomy queen. And only for $100! I’m pretty excited about it. (hint: one of my proposed projects is a DIY headboard)

Stay tuned!

Goodness gracious… great balls of stress!

Happy Monday!

I am currently sitting at home because I should be having a contractor come and give me an estimate this afternoon, but he had to reschedule. Darn! I am really getting anxious and excited to have our bathroom renovated and I just want it to happen now!!

I am going to add some delightful (note: this is sarcasm) pictures of our bathroom in its current state and you will see how my “quick fix” post about re-caulking the tub didn’t last long and may have worsened the situation over time. If you want to refresh your memory before I go on… you can check that out here …go ahead, I’ll be right here…

And back to the present… it looks like this:

Here is a shot of the dreaded shower:

See that funny piece of duck tape in the bottom right corner? Well, our shower truly is shameful… Scott, being the nice roommate that he is, cleaned the house yesterday and in the process of cleaning the shower… a lot of the caulking from before peeled right off, exposing the little gap between tile & tub. This would be a problem, even though we’re renovated in two weeks (fingers crossed).
So, this is the temporary fix… yet again:
I had the opportunity to re-caulk the area that had a gap last night, but knowing that all four of us would be taking a shower this morning, Alec & I covered the drying area with duck tape and a garbage bag… yup, it’s pre-tty glamorous up in here.

So, as it stands… Alec has calculated how much tiles and installation would be if we went through Home Depot, and other than that – we are waiting on estimates from everyone we’ve contacted.
Oh, and here’s a piece of tile we have on loan from HD, which we are thinking this (or something similar) for the floor. I think it looks lovely with the carpet.
Gosh, those green tiles just have to go… have a great day everyone!! xo

Contractor needed!

If anyone knows anyone. . .

I have contacted about 5 companies and I’m waiting to hear back, so in the meantime I’m panicking and worrying that their availability won’t match up with ours…since April is fast approaching!

I am planning on taking pictures of the bathroom in it’s current state tonight and then I can share those with potential contractors and you folks!
I have also been collecting inspirational photos, because I’ve changed my mind yet again.

Geez, this is already exhausting and no work has been completed. . . Yet.

Low-flow. . .

My oh my. It has certainly been a looooooong time since we posted.
Since the last update, a lot of snow has fallen… and we’re getting antsy for spring! (like everyone else)

We are currently in the process of hiring someone to tile our bathroom after we do the demolition ourselves (with my brother) and begin to put everything back together again — but much, much prettier. (Sidenote: We have opted not to tackle the tiling ourselves as it is the only full bath in our house and there are 4 adults living here that need to shower.)
We have purchased our bathtub, vanity and a new low-flow toilet… much more appealing than a “low-flow” showerhead, for any of you Seinfeld fans out there. These items are being delivered curbside on Saturday, then Alec (& Scott, hopefully?) will lug them upstairs to wait in the guest room for the renovation.

We have a potential start date of…wait for it…drumroll……………………. April 9, 2011!!
So, if you’re in the habit of encountering us on a day-to-day basis, you might want to start thinking up excuses not to see us… cause we’ll be stinky! Haha…but seriously. Stinky.

ps. I’ll post some inspirational photos & photos of our purchases soon.

Landscaping 101

I can’t believe how different our yard looks today from last week. It is a HUGE difference. For those of you who have witnessed it first hand, you’re well aware of the jungle that stood before us. For those of you who didn’t get the pleasure of being eaten alive – it was like a scene from jumanji with the vines winding their way across everything and just way too many things growing and no planning.

As I said last time, I enlisted a couple friends and former coworkers of mine, who have had their landscaping company for 5 years now, to help with the process. Now “help” isn’t the right word as that’s mostly what Alec, Devon and I did as our bosses told us what to pull out, what to trim down and what to rake up. I was happy to comply, someone had finally taken charge!!

Our yard now looks like this:

One person’s junk…

You know the saying, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure! I have found/purchased 3 old crates that I will be fixing up to turn into shelves, stay tuned for the update on that one. I found one in my grandma’s basement and the other 2 at a flea market, then I saw my idea for sale at Pottery Barn for $80/ea … so my idea is way more cost effective :)

This weekend was the first weekend where Alec and I didn’t have to run in 10 different directions and we decided to be super productive! Yesterday, we woke up at the crack of noon (we’re real go-getters) and Alec mowed the lawn & was off to Home Depot to buy paint for the fireplace. I decided to be ambitious and re-organize the basement while he was gone. Alec came home to see his wife stuck in the middle of a huge mess, but I kept on going until all of the storage was allocated to the back “workshop”, all of the records were up off the floor and the kitty bathroom was moved into a better space. Success!

Two weeks ago, I had started the fireplace facelift by spray painting the gold-plated insert black – and Alec had followed up last week with a second coat. So it looked like this:

Although a HUGE improvement, it just made us want to proceed with the next step right away. Alec purchased paint at Home Depot, then sanded and painted the brick before beginning to paint. Here are some during shots:

The AFTER shot makes me so happy and I hope you agree that this was the right choice:

The mantel now sticks out like a sore thumb, so suggestions are welcome – but my rough blueprint in my head is leaning towards building out a larger, wider, grander mantel from the existing and either staining it (depending on the wood) dark or painting it… white? black? ideas? Maybe next weekend…

In other news, a kind old friend of mine, who owns a landscaping company, generously offered his time, energy and equipment to helping us attack our mess of yards. It took all day today (from 8:30 am to 5 pm),  2 professionals and 3 helpers (Alec, Devon & I) but it is finally a clean slate for us to make decisions about and to maintain. It is a drastic difference from what it used to be and those of you with children will now trust to let them loose in our backyard to play safely. I’m too tired and sore to go take “after” pictures, but I will share tomorrow … unless I can’t move at all.

What a productive, home-owning weekend… I’m proud of us and SO happy with the results!!