Showing posts with label My House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My House. Show all posts

Saturday, September 13, 2014

7QT - All the Things!

It has been way too long since I last participated in Seven Quick Takes Friday!

Let me tell you.  I always have grand intentions of all the things I am going to share on the blog.  Half written posts, posts in my head, oodles of pictures taken with a specific post in mind and then...

Life happens and posts don't get written or finished.  And you never get to hear about that trip we took to Disney World almost two years ago.

So, for your reading enjoyment, here are seven quick blog posts I have been planning on writing.

1.  The Princess gets glasses.

In hindsight I should have probably realized she needed them.  She would get so upset when doing her school work that her letters looked wiggly.  I thought she was just being a perfectionist.  That was only part of it though.  Turns out wiggly meant blurry.  Go figure.
I got glasses too.  Not that I really needed them.  My prescription is the lowest one.  But I thought it would encourage her.  Good thing I don't actually need them because I have already managed to lose them.  Which totally makes all my lectures to her about taking care of her glasses and not losing them, a bit hypocritical.
2.  The Princess gets her first haircut.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eyesore Wall Turned Gallery Wall

There is a wall in my house I like to fondly refer to as the problem wall.
This ugly little wall is nicely located right between the front door and the laundry room door.

The designers of this house put a lot of thought into the location of all the eyesores.  Where should we stick all these ugly things?  Doorbell speaker, alarm speaker, thermostat, smoke detector, motion sensor.
We could put them on the wall next to the laundry room.  Tucked away where no one will ever see them.  But you know what would be even easier?  Sort of but not really.  We could put them a few inches away on the wall that is visible from the entryway, and the hallway, and the stairway, and the dining room, and the living room, and you know EVERYWHERE!  Oooh ya, let's do that.

Seriously.

And not only is the stuff not pretty, it's about as ugly as possible.  The alarm speaker and motion sensor are newer.  Yes, we could put this stuff around the corner but this wall already looks ugly.  Let's just add to it.  Ahem.

The smoke alarm is not even functional so I should really remove it.  Even though I know the wires leading to it aren't live, (had them checked) it still makes me nervous to just take it off and have those wires floating in the wall.  So, I will wait until someone who knows what they are doing can remove it.

Let's not even mention the fact that the thermostat is crooked.  Crooked.  For really.

The doorbell is an... antique.  I am not totally in love with the style.
The first thing I did when we moved in was try to eliminate all the brass everywhere.  I did remove the decorative thingy off the front and was considering painting the brown part.  I also removed the side chimes and discovered they are in fact functional so back they went.
After spending much time/energy/angst trying to change it, I decided to just embrace it and work with it.  After all, it is part of the history of the house and would a plain speaker box really be any prettier?

Plus, brass is back in!  Bring back all the gold things we finally managed to get rid of!!!  Right?  I'll never fully understand trends.

At first, I fixated on covering all the uglies but I was worried about the functionality being compromised.  I also worried that covering them would just end up looking like I had covered something up.

Then as I was browsing gallery walls on Pinterest, (I have always had a bit of an obsession with gallery walls) I realized the ones I loved the most had a mixture of frames and other oddities.

So, if I surround the ugly stuff with pretty stuff maybe people will notice the pretties and ignore the uglies?!

Obviously I NEEDED to run right out and start buying stuff to hang on my wall!

Except that wasn't really in the budget.  So, I decided to work with what I had and I could always add to it later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Slab Leak Survival Tips

Now, I don't like to brag.  But after seven slab leaks, I am starting to consider myself somewhat of an expert.  So I thought I would share my expert knowledge with my readers.  Just in case you ever find yourself unfortunate enough to have to deal with a slab leak.  Or seven.
First of all, what exactly is a slab leak?

If your house is built on a concrete slab, then the plumbing is under the concrete.  First, all the plumbing was laid out, then the concrete was poured on, and then the house was built.  So if one of those pipes under the slab starts to leak, it isn't easily accessible for repair.

How will you know you have a slab leak?

If your living room starts to resemble a swimming pool, you might have a slab leak.  If you start to suspect a child or animal is frequently having accidents in the same spot on the carpet, but they only get wetter when you try to soak them up, you might have a slab leak.
If you notice a high water bill, you might have been especially thirsty that month, or your might have a slab leak.  If your water meter is spinning, it might be possessed, or you might have a slab leak.

How will you locate the leak?

Water is funny.  It can come up in your living room and you may suspect a leak in the kitchen because it is the adjoining room.  But you might find out the leak is actually in the bathroom located on the opposite corner of the house.  Water will come up at the lowest point.  It might come up in the house, the yard, or it may just drain away under the slab and you may never see it at all.

Plumbers will locate the leak by using equipment to listen for it under the slab.  Wherever the water sounds the loudest is where they will dig.  It's harder to locate if it's a slow leak.
How is it repaired?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Orange Hallway

I love color.

Bright, happy, color.

The brighter the better.

Which is why I choose bright colors for the walls in my house.

When we moved in all the walls were white except for the living room.  That was dark fake wood paneling.  That was the first to get painted.  I refused to even move in until it was painted.  I had always wanted a green living room and a blue dining room but my husband wasn't really excited about the idea of green.  So, we compromised with blue.

Later I painted the dining room green.  WINNING!

The kitchen will be yellow someday.  And for some odd reason I decided to paint the downstairs bathroom a beige color.  I don't really know what came over me but for now I actually like it.  The red shower curtain helps.

The kids room is Periwinkle and someday my room will be teal with red accents.

We have a small entry way space which I decided to paint a taupe color since it was right in the middle of everything.

Which left the hallway.  The hallway leading to the kids room, bathroom and master bedroom.

What color to paint it?

There is one special spot where I can stand in my dining room and see the dining room, living room, entry way, hallway and kids room all lined up.  I love to see the green, blue, and Periwinkle together and wanted to add another happy color to the mix.

The sweet spot.
But what color?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Making the Bed

I know you won't be surprised to hear that I don't make my bed.

It's a habit I started back in my middle school days when I had a bunk bed that was in the corner of my room.  Trying to make that thing is pure evil.  That same exact bed is now in my daughters room.  In the corner.  Still just as hard to make.  Have you ever tried to tuck in a sheet while sitting on it?  Evil.

I have heard all the arguments about why making the bed is some sort of "necessity" but I don't buy them.

The "it just looks nicer and that makes me happy/inspires me/motivates me to clean/etc" argument.  Do what works for you but for me it really doesn't make a difference.

See, we have this fancy device on our bedroom called a door.  Once shut, the room disappears like magic.

I get up in the morning, leave my room and shut the door.  I usually don't go back in there much during the day unless it's to put away laundry (or let's be honest, dump it on the bed to put away later only because I can't climb into bed at night until all those clothes are put away.)  I just don't hang out in my room very much during the day.

I also don't show it off to company.  Hey, wanna come hang out in my bedroom?  That's something I haven't said in many years.  Because that would be weird.

Some people prefer to climb into a made bed each night but I am honestly not one of them.  It's one of the things that drives me crazy at hotels.  Those tucked in sheets that don't quite pull up far enough.  And they might as well be glued in there for all the good pulling and tugging and yanking will do.  Annoying.

Why would I want to replicate that in my own home?

I know what you are probably all thinking.  You know that if you don't at least sort of make the bed then that flat sheet gets all twisted and tangled.  It gets untucked and pulls up off your feet.  It gets scrunched up down at the bottom of the bed where you can't reach it.

My solution?

Ditch the flat sheet.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My House is Messy, but...

Is it actually the messiest house on the internet??

Well, it's high time we found out.

Now, I don't normally win contests.

My house isn't quite messy enough for Hoarders.

But it will never be clean (or beautifully decorated) enough to be in Better Homes and Gardens.

And I ain't winning any fashion awards for some strange reason.

But surely, if ever there were something I was in fact qualified for, it would be this.

Because folks, out of hundreds of houses, mine was one of 32 houses nominated for the Messiest House on the Internet Award over at My Life and Kids.

It's an honor to be nominated.  Really.

If ever I was qualified to win an award for anything, this, this certainly is it.

Seriously ya'll, if I can't win this one... well then I just can't win.

Now, you know I have no shame.  You have seen my poopvomit story after all.  So, I am just going to go ahead and ask you to head on over to My Life and Kids to vote for ME!

In case you are wondering what I would do with an amazing new Oreck vacuum when you already know I have a new vacuum...

I have a two story house.  It's all carpet except the bathrooms and kitchen.  The vacuum I have is a bit heavy to walk up and down the stairs.  The cat litter box is upstairs and those little granules get tracked everywhere.

Oh yes, the upstairs is just as messy as the downstairs.

Also, in case you needed the reminder of how messy my house really is.  Or you are under the false assumption that I have managed to clean it all from top to bottom (no idea where on earth you would get that idea) and no longer qualify as messiest house.  I thought I would close with a picture of the top of our entertainment center.
Where's the Alien?
It's been messy since we moved in.  Unless you count the time our living room flooded and we had to move all the furniture out.  It went right back afterwards.  And I am a bit unsure of how to even tackle that craziness.  So, I just leave it to my husband.  Which means it just stays.

And I remind myself to be happy for DVD's out of reach of the Princess.  Who loves to scatter movies and games across the floor of the living room.  Creating a sort of hopscotch game.  When a DVD gets crushed, you lose.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Duck

A couple of weeks ago I was in the kitchen washing dishes.  Ok, ok.  I was in the kitchen giving the dishes my "why don't you just wash yourselves already" stare, when I happened to look out the window.

I was greeted with this sight.
Now, there have been several times in the past that I have wondered if fighting with the pool to keep it clean and chemically balanced is really worth all the effort.  I mean maybe we should just buy a few fish and some lily pads and pretend it really is supposed to look like a slimy pond.

But this.

Well, this was the point of no return.

If Mr. Duck decided our pond pool was his own personal playground and invited all his ducky friends to join him, we would just never get it back.

I eyeballed Mr. Duck.  He flippantly ignored me.

How to rid the pool of Mr. Duck?  This was going to be a delicate operation.

I consulted my best friend, Mr. Google, for answers.  He laughed at me and responded encouragingly, "You're screwed."

I frantically texted my husband who responded helpfully, "Shoo him off."

Um.  Right.  Like I need to be attacked by a duck.

I briefly considered sending the dog out but the last thing I wanted, aside from a pond full of ducky poop, was to be cleaning duck guts out of the yard.

I decided to stand in full visibility, with the glass door between us for protection, and call the duck's attention to the fact that there was a very dangerous woman hanging out at this pond.

He responded by giving me his best, "you don't threaten me and in fact I don't even know you are there.  You might as well be a tree." look.

Taking a deep breath, I stepped out into the yard.  Clutching the door and preparing to duck (get it?? Ha! I'm hilarious!!) back inside at the first aggressive move by Mr. Duck, I made myself look as threatening as possible.

He responded by giving me his best, "you don't threaten me and in fact I don't even know you are there.  You might as well be a rock." look.

I got a text from my husband.

"What is it doing?"

"Just relaxing."
"Or perhaps calling his ducky friends."

Because just then the worst possible thing happened.

Friday, April 6, 2012

For the Love of Laundry

Last year I told you how much I hate doing dishes.

This year I am going to let you in on a shocking secret.

I love doing laundry!
Laundry
I know!  I know!  I don't deserve to call myself Non-Domestic.

But hear me out.

I started doing my own laundry when I was about ten years old.  Not because I was forced or even encouraged to.  I'm sure my mom made the casual comment, "Why don't you do your own laundry."  In response to some complaint of mine that this shirt wasn't clean or that skirt or whatever.  I doubt she actually expected me to take her seriously.  But I did.

And so it began.

I soon discovered the joy of laundry.

Maybe it's a bit strange but I used to love standing in the laundry room and listening to the sound of the washing machine.  It was always so soothing.  It was quiet.  I had peace and solitude in that room.  In the spring birds would lay eggs in the laundry room vent so the sound of baby chicks would mix with the swoosh of the washer and the smell of clean.

Heaven!!

Now in case you are getting too freaked out by my confession, I'll let you know the entire truth.  Yes, I love to wash the laundry.

However...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Two Day Plan

It was Thursday.

My mom-in-law was coming out on Saturday to celebrate her birthday.

This gave me two full days to paint the homeschool room and clean up the mess.

Thursday to paint.

Friday to clean.

Fool proof plan.

So, I pulled all the furniture away from the walls, pulled out my painting supplies and got started.

 I started with primer.
 Giving the walls a nice, consistent, even coat.
 With several breaks to kiss owies, serve emergency (I'm starving) snacks, and take the princess to the potty.
 As you can see, I consider it of utmost importance, to keep the primer coat from looking splotchy.

 At this point, I received a call from my husband, informing me he was on his way home from work.

5:00 already!?

That's ok.  I have all evening to finish painting and then all day tomorrow to clean up.

Him:  "Did you take the trash out this morning?"  (I had forgotten to take the trash out on Tuesday)

Me:  "No, today isn't trash day."

Him:  "You're kidding right?  Today is trash day."

Me:  (laughing to myself and speaking in an ever so slightly condescending voice) "No, honey.  Trash day is Friday not Thursday.  Sometimes I get confused too."

Him:  "What day do you think it is?"

Me:  "It's Thursday."

Him:  "It's Friday."

Me:  "No, it can't be Friday because you didn't do your podcast last night."

Him:  "It was cancelled this week.  Today is Friday."

Me:  "Please tell me you are kidding!"

Him:  "Nope."

I then turned around and took one look at my house.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's the Little Things

Sometimes the littlest things can make such a big difference.

This is actually a bit of a problem for me because I tend to be pretty oblivious to the little things.

I can't tell you how many times I have pointed something out to my husband and asked, "How long has that been like that?"  To the response, "Only the past year or so.  How are you just now noticing?!"

One of my mother's favorite phrases to me as a child was, "If it was a snake it would have bitten you."

The truth is that the snake not only would have bitten me but I probably would not have even noticed the bite until it was too late.

This is why the house often tends to get just a little messier each day.  If it's a gradual process I honestly don't notice many of the little things.  A pair of socks here, a scrap of paper there.  I step right over them without even noticing.  Then one day I look around and wonder how it got so messy again.

So, is it any wonder that, when I rearranged my dining/homeschool room/office/craft room, I didn't notice the obvious furniture placement solution?

A solution that my husband would have, had I asked him, noticed immediately.

Instead, I just stared at it for days and weeks and found myself frustrated that it just didn't quite fit the way I had originally envisioned.

 You see, the corner was a bit tight.

When I had planned on putting the desk against that wall, in my mind, there was plenty of space.  The desk, the drawer craft organizers, and then the lamp.

Unfortunately the lamp was pushed pretty tightly against the wall, and though it is not obvious, the lampshade was ever so slightly tilted.

Which bothered me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mission: Take Back My House - Part II

My house was looking better and better so I decided I needed to keep the ball rolling and take the Christmas decorations down.

They all came down on January 10th.  All packed up in their boxes and I even moved the boxes back into storage the next day.

It isn't even February yet and the Christmas tree is down!
Before
Before

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mission: Take Back My House - Part I

First of all, I'm going to make it very clear that I am a messy person by nature.  My husband is a messy person by nature.  We are both pack-rats.  I can't organize to save my life.

It's important that you understand this so the following doesn't come off as some kind of excuse.  I'm not trying to say any of this is actually responsible for my messy house.  Only that when you combine two messy people who collect and treasure clutter and then add other challenges to that mix, well, you end up with my house.

And when I say other challenges I think we all know who I am talking about.

Yep.  I'm pointing at you Pipe Gremlins.

But I am not going to cower in fear any more.

It's time to take a stand.

For the time being, the water is staying where it belongs, you know, in the pipes.  That is, aside from the bathtub leak.  But we have fixed that problem by not using that bathtub.

Ha!  Take that Gremlins!

The furniture is staying where it belongs along with clutter keeping to it's designated spaces.

So, I have decided to reclaim my house.

A long long time ago, before the first attack, I had plans.  I had ideas.  Things were happening.  I was painting trim and horrible brown posts.  I was arranging furniture in certain ways.  I was getting creative with what I had.  Heck, I was even scrapbooking!

Then came the Gremlins.  There's just something about having all your living room furniture stuffed into your dining room that suddenly takes the focus off the little bit of trim that didn't get finished.  You know, when you were interrupted by your son making a mad rush to the bathroom, only to return and find the curtains had been painted by your daughter.

Somehow that just fell to the background.

And let's be honest.  I gave up.  I just didn't care anymore.  Really, what was the point of finishing the trim?  Nobody would ever notice anyway because no one would ever be invited over to a house they could barely walk through.  Even if they did there were plenty of distractions.  "Why is your daughter's dresser in your dining room?" would probably be asked before, "Why is there a strip of green painters tape under that trim?"  And so that tape stayed there for well over a year.

Not to mention the fact that, when you have just spent thousands of dollars on fixing water leaks, that $20 curtain rod becomes a bit of a strain on your budget.

Finally I am giving up on giving up.  I've had enough of living my life according to the rule of the Pipe Gremlins.  Which pretty much says, "If you attempt to improve your home in any way, we will create another disaster to derail you."

I'm taking the risk.  Tempting fate.  Risking the wrath of the Pipe Gremlins.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stuff I Want: Doors / Stuff I Did: Curtains

When I walked into my house for the very first time and saw the living room I fell in love.  Not as much with how it looked then but with how I envisioned it looking.  It had so many of the features I was looking for.  I instantly felt at home.  I just knew it was the ONE.  It was actually the first house we looked at so, because we didn't want to be the people who just bought the first house we saw, we went around looking at all the other houses.  Then we came back and bought this one.

This is what the house looked like.
This is actually the picture from the listing (with my husband's notes) because we, in our enthusiasm to move in, never took any before pictures.
What I loved?  The stone fireplace.  The space.  The two story vaulted ceiling.  I hadn't really wanted a two story house but if I was going to have one I wanted the stairs to be spectacular.  When I saw that railing it took my breath away!  How cool is that railing?  I had never seen anything like it.  Best of all check out those doors!

Ok.  Maybe not those doors in particular.  But the doors they could be!

Something like...

Source: pella.com via Rachael on Pinterest

Except white.  With Bordeaux shades.  Exactly like this.

Shortly after we moved in I decided to price my new doors.  Just to know.  So that the next time I had a few hundred dollars burning a hole in my pocket I would be prepared.

I gave the salesperson all my specifications.  I knew exactly what I wanted and would settle for nothing less.

He gave me the grand total.

Friday, October 21, 2011

When it Rains...

You are all probably still envisioning me floating in my indoor swimming pool, hanging out with the Gremlins.
Flooding

Wet floor
So I thought I would give you a little bit of an update.

Wednesday of last week... Yes, I know I really should have written this last week...

The plumbers came out to fix the pipes.  Where have I heard that line before?

They brought in a leak locate expert who found the leak, in the bathroom floor, right in front of the door to our bedroom.

They brought in their equipment, 

jackhammer included,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Money Pit


I know I have been terrible about keeping up with my blog.  I apologize because I know you have all been pining away in my absence.  The only excuse I really have is that Summer is always a little stressful around here.  And hot.  Then Summer finally gives way to Fall.

Speaking of Fall, the stairs in my house have been caving in for awhile now.  Yes, caving in.  Like in that movie.  You know the one.  Where the people buy that beautiful house and it falls apart.  You know.  The story of my life.
Thankfully my dad came to the rescue yet again and cut a hole in our closet wall to access under the steps.
And we discovered a long lost treasure.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Homeschool Room

This year my son is officially starting Preschool.  Because his birthday falls in October he is one year behind all his friends who started Kindergarten yesterday.  Now rather than sending my little guy off to school, wearing a backpack that is bigger than him, taking tons of pictures, and crying all the way home, (cause you know I would) I'm cheating and keeping him home with me.  HA!  Yes, I am homeschooling.

Now, technically I homeschooled him last year too.  We did nursery school.  But that was mostly fun stuff and I made sure never to burn him out.  So if he got tired of something or didn't want to do it that day we didn't.    He really already knew the things he was supposed to learn anyway but I didn't want to push him and make him hate the whole idea of school.  I figured I would just use that year as a sort of practice year to get him used to the idea.  Some days we worked for five or ten minutes.  Some days he wanted to "work" all day.  And some days we didn't crack a book though we usually at least watched an educational video and read a book.  And whenever he sat down with a book to practice drawing his letters or numbers or puzzles or whatnot my daughter would sit down with him and draw or color.  Most days he would ask to "do school" so I consider the year a success.

This year is "for real."  Not that I plan on pushing him to the point of hating or disliking school.  The curriculum only calls for about 45 minutes a day 4 days a week.  I will probably add some fun supplemental stuff too.  If something is not clicking with him we will find another way of doing it or revisit it when he is ready.  I have already had him look through his preschool reading curriculum and it looks like he is actually ready for the kindergarten so I think we will just breeze through that and move on.

We will officially start the day after Labor Day because I have this firm belief that school shouldn't start until September.  Maybe because school started in September when I was a child or possibly because my birthday month is August.  Regardless, I refuse to start school in August!

Of course, as I am getting "prepared" (and by getting prepared I really mean thinking about and planning on getting prepared) I have been obsessively stalking Pinterest and anything and everything that will help me organize and set up my Homeschool Room.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stuff I Did: My Less Ugly Bathroom

Remember my ugly bathroom?
Ugly!
Ugly counter top!

Ugly dated cabinets.
More specifically, do you remember what was under the sink in my ugly bathroom?
Yuck!
Well for obvious reasons something had to be done about that.

So, while I was waiting for Vanilla Ice to swing by and fix my bathroom . . .

I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Ugly Bathroom

So, you know how when your bathroom mirror falls off the wall and shatters into a million pieces, and then you decide the bathroom really needs a good cleaning so you scrub it with a toothbrush, then you find a leak in the sink and a rotted out cabinet . . .

You know when all that happens, so you decide to take a bunch of pictures of your bathroom, so that you can write a blog post about it.  Because, let's face it.  When is your bathroom ever going to be THAT clean again??

Then you procrastinate writing a blog post about it.  Because, let's face it.  Who really wants to see pictures of your disgusting bathroom?

Then you see that DIY Network has a contest.  The winner gets a room renovated by Robert Van Winkle.

That's right Vanilla Ice, baby!