Sunday, February 24, 2013

bathroom demo: no turning back now

I took some extra time off at Christmas and we decided to spend part of it tearing out the rest of our bathroom.  We were functioning quite well with our new shower and old sink and toilet but knew we needed to get our butts in gear and finish this project before the one year mark rolled around (I know, right?).  We had to get mentally prepared because as soon as we started the demo, we knew we would have to get our bathroom back to a functional state quickly as we had guests coming within a month.  When we took our hammers and crow bars to the walls, I got that same overwhelming feeling I got when we started this project in the first place.  But alas, it had to be done.  Let the demo begin.

Buh bye, giant, water-wasting toilet tank :


Is there anything worse than an old wax ring?

The obligatory "we're happy now, we don't know what we're getting ourselves into, let's capture this moment" picture.  And no, we weren't getting ready to go to or watch a KU game, this is just how we dress.  Every.  Day. 

I don't think we'll be using these anywhere in our house. 

No more linoleum, only subflooring now.

Without the bathroom door up, the bathroom seems so much bigger - well, as big as 20 square feet can feel.  The door was pretty much a waste because we never shut it, it took up room (especially if our robes were hanging up on the other side) and it covered up the window.  More motivation to try our hand at a pocket door!  See how spacious it looks?  

When we took out the threshold, we had to pull some of the carpet back.  And when we pulled it back, look what we found - the name of our friends who lived here for many years.  Of all the carpet in our house, this is the section we pull back?  Another reminder of how we want to love and take care of this house like they did. 

This demo was much easier than ripping out the shower - and a lot less scary as well!  Let's take a look at the to do list:
  1. Rip out tile
  2. Remove old shower pan
  3. Remove and clean up mold
  4. Convert two shower knobs (hot and cold) to one
  5. Raise shower head from six feet high to seven
  6. Re-route PVC piping to allow room for shower niches
  7. Raise subfloor with new plywood so new shower pan will fit over drain
  8. Install shower pan
  9. Install and seal drain
  10. Install shower niches to studs
  11. Install backerboard
  12. Caulk between shower pan and backerboard junction
  13. Caulk and seal around shower niches
  14. Learn how to tile
  15. Start tiling
  16. Freak out
  17. Ask yourselves, "why are we doing this?!"
  18. Begin divorce papers
  19. Tile for hours and hours and days on end
  20. Wonder why and how people do this for a living
  21. Shred divorce papers because now we know what we're doing and love each other again
  22. Seal tile
  23. Grout tile
  24. Seal grout 
  25. Install shower door
  26. Caulk corners and seams
  27. Install shower head and knob
  28. Shower for the first time since April
  29. Shower again later that day... just because
  30. Remove vanity
  31. Remove toilet
  32. Remove light, light switches and mirror
  33. Rip out linoleum
  34. Rip out drywall and trim around door and window
  35. Move light switch and electrical outlet because they are in the way of the pocket door
  36. Install pocket door
  37. Drywall
  38. Paint (fun!)
  39. Apply backerboard to subfloor
  40. Tile floor (with less freaking out because we are pros now)
  41. Grout and seal
  42. Install toilet
  43. Assemble and install vanity
  44. Assemble and install medicine cabinet
  45. Update frameless mirror
  46. Install vanity light
  47. Put trim and baseboards back
  48. Crown molding?
  49. Buy fun, new accessories
  50. Bathroom dance party

We've made quite a dent in the to-do list.  The rest of the list does not seem as daunting now that we know how to tile and since the remaining tasks are a lot less time consuming.  Famous last words, right?  Stay tuned. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

valentine's day: revisited

This blog has been mostly DIY/house stuff, but it's also kind of like my online scrapbook.  It's a way for me to record memories that Ehren and I are making.  I like that I can go back and relive house projects and special occasions and holidays and thoughts and day to day things that I might otherwise forget.  I've written about date nights at home here and here and just looking at the pictures takes me back - even though it's been only a few months ago.  I'm looking forward to looking back on these blog posts years from now so I can remember how we tried to make every moment special.

So now that I've gone all sappy on you, let's get even worse and talk Valentine's Day.  Before Ehren became my Valentine, my dad was.  One of my favorite memories growing up (that seemed normal to me at the time) was a little dinner that my dad would make on V-Day.  And by little I mean a TEN POUND HEART-SHAPED MEATLOAF.  Sounds disgusting and like something off Man v. Food, doesn't it?  Well, it wasn't.  It was delicious and provided many leftovers, as you can imagine.  He would also set up a scavenger hunt with multiple clues and riddles around the house that we would have to decipher before we got to our special V-Day present.  If only I had pictures to share!

V-Day isn't a big deal per se but we like to make it special.  Ehren and I have now made a tradition where we spend Valentine's Day at home.  We've been doing it for the past four years and I love it.  We make it a little more fancy by spending a little more money on the food and adding dessert and maybe some candles.

Here's the menu:

Ehren usually ends up being my sous-chef and is excellent at grating cheese.

I asked him to grate 1 cup of the white cheddar cheese for the creamy dreamy mashed potatoes which translated to 2 1/2 cups in his mind.  Heck, it's Valentine's Day, you have to at least double the amount of cheese.

The creamy-dreamy mashed potatoes recipe is from this cookbook that I got as a bridal shower gift.  Everything I've made from this has been delicious.  

Making balsamic syrup is probably the easiest thing ever.  Boil balsamic vinegar and sugar until it's thick.  That's it.

Mmm, fillet mignon.  Fun physical therapy related fact:  the fillet mignon is the iliopsoas major muscle in the cow.  We humans have this muscle and it's a very deep hip flexor muscle.  Woo, anatomy!

Sear them in some butter for about 3 minutes per side so they are medium rare.

Another "easiest thing ever" is oven roasted asparagus.  Snap the ends off the asparagus, drizzle with EVOO, salt and pepper and cook at 400 degrees until you can easily stick a fork in them (approximately 15 minutes)

Pouring wine is easy, too.  Especially with a fancy decanter.  And when your husband does it for you.

After the fillets are done, crumble goat cheese on top and broil until the cheese melts.  Then drizzle the balsamic syrup over the top.

A post isn't complete until Cozy makes an appearance.  Here he is begging under the table.  His new thing is resting a paw somewhere on us (foot, arm, shoulder, leg) to politely ask for a bite.

While we were eating dinner, I looked around and there were EIGHT toys surrounding the dining room table.  I think someone was trying to get our attention.

At first I thought the dinner would be a big, messy, pain in the ass, but it wasn't.  It was almost easier than some of the weeknight meals I make.  There were fewer dishes, very little chopping (only the potatoes) and I didn't even throw a spatula!  The hardest part was getting everything to finish at the same time.  Good thing I'm good at organizing and planning.  We finished the food fest with some Cold Stone ice cream that I picked up earlier. 

 I wonder what life will be like next Valentine's Day?  Will we stay classy and make more fillets or fish or will we go old school and start the heart-shaped meatloaf tradition?  All I know is that it will be better than the last as we will have another year of lovin' each other under our belts.  Cheers to that.

the black plague, part III: front door

Now the black plague has moved to the front door.  While I think the "rustic" and "distressed" look has its place, I do...

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