Posts Tagged ‘Justin’

You know how you should never tempt fate without knocking wood?   Saying that I thought we were just about done with the dining room, well, that was just silly on my part.   From here on out, I will accept that the house is always evolving and changing with us.

So, when last we spoke, Justin and I were lovingly debating whether the back wall in the dinning room needed anything else.

I smugly said no.  I was wrong.

Joann Fabrics was having an excellent sale this past weekend and I was there picking up fabric for a side project I will soon be sharing with you.  Justin and Audrey came with me and when I let Justin out of my sight for a few minutes, he came back with a literal arm load of picture frames, all 1/2 off.  That man of mine sure can spot a bargain!


So much for the bead and batten board.  I have to say though, I think I like this better.



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We are normally big New Years Resolution people.  Justin usually stiff arms me into doing something dramatic, like giving up pizza or burgers for an entire year.  He believes that a resolution should be significant, disciplined and a reminder of how lucky we are, by giving up something that we really enjoy.  It is kind of like doing Lent for an entire year.   I would imagine that we probably seem pretty smug in November.  “Look at those two, they gave up burgers/soda/fast food/pizza”….haha.  Even I’m sick of us.

This year we aren’t giving up any food items and instead focusing on our meals.  There is always room to cook more meals at home.  A few weeks ago, we purchased a share of a local, grass-fed cow.  It has been fun coming up with recipes and trying out new cuts of meat that we wouldn’t normally buy, with the added bonus of eating healthier meats.  We’re definitely going to do that again in 2012.

We don’t usually cook meals together, but tonight, while Justin was getting our dinner ready, I started cutting up the veggies for a crock pot meal that I’m going to cook tomorrow.

Nothing crazy, just some carrots, red potatoes, onions and a cut of beef (with a splash of whatever wine we have open in the house).   I’m still on the fence about whether to cook it tonight while we sleep or while I’m at work.  I’m a bit of a worrier, so if I use the crock pot while I’m at work, I set up my laptop webcam so I can watch it.  I’ve declared it the most boring web cam in history.  Piper the dog does occasionally make an appearance to sniff, so I can tell when it must be starting to smell good at the house.

Crockpot Cam

I threw everything into gallon sized plastic ziplock bags.  If we decided that we didn’t want to have a crock pot meal tomorrow, I could easily just freeze everything.

While I was cleaning up, Justin set the counter for our meal.  We try to use our china as much as possible.  We also put it in the dishwasher.  Why wait for a special occasion and baby it?

And of course, no new year meal would be complete without a delicious, fresh salad!





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So the kitchen project is moving along.  Each day there are new things to see.  Yesterday though, there wasn’t enough done to put up a post.

This is the view as you enter the kitchen.  The microwave still needs to be installed over the stove.  I think that plus the knobs will really make it seem real and close to the finish line.

The cabinet boxes are all in though, which is very exciting.  What isn’t exciting is the two scratches that appeared in the lazy Susan in the corner.  Ugh.  I’m sure that will get taken care of though.

So you can see that the toe kick has been installed.  Pretty!

The paper towels mark where the sink will go.

We picked beadboard for the knee wall.  At some point I’ll paint it.  We’d like to do picture frame molding in the dining room, so I suspect we’ll keep the bead board white.  I don’t know the rules for that.  I don’t dig the very visible seam in the middle but maybe there is an easy fix for that.

Now is where we cue the record scratch followed by the wah wah noise.  I was taking the pictures and I noticed something not good.

I leaned over the future countertop to take a picture of the new baseboard that the workers installed today and there, by the fridge is a gap, a big gap, between the floor and the bottom of the baseboard.  I busted out my level and the baseboard is level, the floor as you get closer to the fridge, is not.  If you’ve been with us all week, you know that we specifically focused on fixing the floor in that corner of the kitchen by reinforcing the existing joists and replacing the subfloor.  Insert head scratch.

We are meeting with the project planner, the Big Box Store scheduler and the General Contractor bright and early tomorrow to figure out if any of the minor hiccups (scratches and uneven cabinet doors) and the floor by the fridge are issues that can be easily remedied.

I have to say, I think I’ve rolled with the punches of this whole kitchen remodeling experience.  It is what it is.  That being said, I need easy.  I need the right answers tomorrow and I need this to all be done.  I still have stitches IN MY FACE.  I deserve a break universe!

On that note, I’m going to go pick up the wine I ordered at the fantastic Junior League Wine Tasting that happened last week, get a super fancy meal out of a drive thru window and come home to watch the Thursday night NBC line up (quick plug for our friend Sam.  He wrote tonight’s episode of Whitney so please watch and do much laughing).

Keep your fingers crossed for us!


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When I got home from work the house was dark and quiet.  There was a noticeable absence of boxes, which could only mean one thing!  Duty called first though, and Ms. Piper needed to go to the bathroom.  After a quick w-a-l-k (you have to spell it around these parts), I came back into the house and threw on every light that hasn’t been shut off in the fuse box.

The center cabinet will have glass doors and HOLY LORD does that pantry closet need some organization.

THEY’RE HEEEEEERE!!   Or at least most of them are here.   During my youth, the Christmas morning tradition was to wait on the stairs while my parents plugged in the tree, started the coffee and warmed up the flash on the camera (this was the 80’s).  The anticipation was nearly as exciting as the gifts themselves.  Turning on the lights today and seeing the form of our new kitchen starting to come together reminded me distinctly of that great Christmas morning feeling.

So far I’m really happy with how they look.  I’m an occasionally inspired cook, but lately I’ve had visions of trying out new recipes in the space.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but we picked Kraftmaid Cabinets in their Montclair Maple style in dove white.  Wow.  That’s a mouthful.  They are full overlay doors because once you start paying attention to whether a kitchen door is a partial overlay or a full overlay, you’ve already lost your damn mind and well, trust me, full overlay is lovely.

Want to know why we went with Kraftmaid?  Easy, soft close drawers.

I took one more picture so that you could see the contrast of the white cabinets and the Whitewashed Pine Pergo flooring.

I really love it and it isn’t even done yet!  I think that is a good sign.


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I would imagine that any young couple embarking upon the purchase of their first home does so with a youthful idealism and the totally misguided idea that the sellers aren’t trying to pull a fast one.  Well, that would be silly.

One thing that we’ve learned time and time again is that people can be incredibly shady.  A perfect, real-time example of this would be our current kitchen remodel.  When we had our contractor come check out the flooring in advance of the kitchen demo, he noticed immediately that there was a loose joist.  Strange, but worth fixing.  When we were putting together our budget, we factored in the removal of the current subfloor, reinforcing the joists and replacing the subfloor.  I’m really happy we did.

When Justin pulled up the linoleum last night, we found extreme old water damage, which would explain the dip in the floor under the refrigerator.  When the contractor came today, he said that based on the fact that none of the pipes show evidence of leaking, what was the likely culprit was a leaking fridge.  Makes sense with the pattern of damage.  He also said scary stuff about a person falling through (with my luck lately, I’m glad I didn’t spend too much time in that corner painting).

The far corner was the fridge location.

Being a regular Sherlock Holmes, we pretty quickly realized that “hey, the fridge we replaced in 2009, wasn’t leaking and the current fridge is definitely not leaking”  and we are the second family to live here.  I think we can all connect the dots.

Am I saying that the other family maliciously caused damage and didn’t disclose it?  No.  Would I put that past them considering all the other stuff we’ve had to replace or fix?  No.  (When we replaced the furnace, hot water heater and central air unit this spring, the tech guys told us the old stuff hadn’t been serviced…ever).

The point of all this?  I wish that we had been more careful about the inspection.  I think that we both fell so deeply in love with this place that it clouded our judgment and the seller took advantage of that.  Don’t let the fear of losing the property keep you from advocating for yourself, especially if there are concerns.  We’ve since discovered that sellers actually friends with some of our extended family, so there is always a chance that we’ll run into them someday.  I can’t wait.

The other important take away, if you are planning on doing a big scale remodel, don’t cut corners.  At one point we considered leaving the floors as is.  I shudder thinking about the future nightmare we are avoiding by doing it right.

The water damaged area is the darker wood on the right.

Our great team of workers are clunking away now and there are rumors that the new floor could be done by tomorrow.  More pictures to come!


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