Second Quarter

So, hey everybody.  We’re busy, and we’re neglecting our few, our proud, our followers.  Here’s a few bullet points on what we’ve been up to for the past quarter:

 

* Opening Day happened!  …And now we’re half through the season.  Oopsie.

* I edited a video for Jack’s Place for Autism, that played in Comerica for the month of April (Autism Awareness Month).  I got to attend the second game of the season on them, at which we had to get a line for the video from Alex Avila.  I shook his hand.  Twice.

* I went to So-Cal and Vegas with the fam.

*Mike stayed home and worked on remodeling our bathroom.  (Still in progress!)

* Mike and I went to Maine/Boston for a sort-of Anniversary trip and to fulfill my lifelong dream of visiting Maine. (sort of a lame dream)

* I got called in for Jury Duty and actually got to serve on a one-day trial

* Mike finished up at Schoolcraft and has moved on to Eastern University to finish his Bachelor’s.

* I started volunteering as a bridal consultant for the Bride’s Project.

* We went to Chicago for a weekend to do lots of eating, oh yeah and go to our nephew’s grad party

* Mike and I have shot a couple of weddings with our friend, Kris.  We judged them.  Ok, probably just I did.

* I took a couple of yoga classes for the first time!

* We went bowling and I beat Mike for the first time ever.  Probably at anything.

* We watched a lot of Shark Tank.

* Mike’s bro, Matt, and he re-faced our fireplace.  (kitchen/family room = complete!)

* I eat chicken a lot more.

* Keypers sits around looking cute,  mostly.

* Mike painted our front door red!  Ooh la la.

…And all in all we got to see some people and do some things and time is flying by.  I hope to post some more in-depth looks at a few of these bullet points and our trips and things.  Any requests?  xoxo.

 

don’t DIY this

We mentioned in our previous “yay-we-did-it” DIY post that Mike and I dreamt up and built our own giant ceiling light fixture. And as promised, here is a step-by-step on how we did it…

…and how you shouldn’t do the same.

 

1. Don’t measure your island to determine the size of box you’d like to have. Then, don’t build a giant box out of wood, stain it, and cut three holes in meant for hanging pendant lights.

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2. Don’t buy glass jars at any Home Goods, Michael’s or Bed Bath and Beyond, meant for holding kitchen goods. You will not use this in place of a traditional glass pendant light.

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3. Now, do not drill a hole in the jar cover so that you can then cut a bigger hole that will accommodate the wiring for the light bulb.

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4. Don’t drill more holes around that so that heat can escape.

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5. Do not hang this giant thing from the ceiling. Then, do not buy the wiring kits from Lowes or similar, run wiring through your 3 holes, and hook the wiring to the prepped bottles.

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6. Do not put the whole thing together like this:

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… or bother making it level…

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Do not DIY any of this.

Because you may get out of bed one morning, walk out into the kitchen, and find this:

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home sweet home

The kitchen is complete!  We started back around the beginning of June, tearing up our old carpet and linoleum, removing all of the old cabinets and counters, repainting, relighting, buying some new appliances, and on and on…and now I’m happy to say that the project can officially be stamped with DONE.  I am also proud and happy to say that we (ok, mostly Mike) did all the work ourselves (himself).  We are so excited to show you the final product!

But first, take a look at the journey through construction:

Kitchen, when Mike first moved in

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Family room before any work began

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Bye, bye carpet

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Bye, bye cabinets

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Walls painted… and what a mess!

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Nothing but take-out for dinner now

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No more squeaky floors

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The cabinets’ invasion!

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Getting there

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New bamboo floors

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And more 

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Quartz countertops (the one thing we had installed)

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My one major contribution: the backsplash

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And it’s a success!  (available for hire)

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Hardware and gratuitous Keypers shot

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New microwave action

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Our pride and joy, light fixture

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A few more finishing touches and…tada!  We’re done!  (come visit)

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go here for an interactive panoramic

We love our new and opened-up living area and kitchen.  Stay tuned for a DIY infotorial on that kick-a$$ light fixture.

Robot Slave

As a wedding gift, my dearest brother ordered us to buy ourselves our very own and long-coveted Roomba, aka Robot Slave.  We promptly plucked one from a Bed Bath and Beyond shelf and then left him sweating away in the garage while we finished our new floors.  We finally released him, and what a joy it is to have a little robot slave to sweep the floors while you complete an alternate task, or in our case, just watch in amused wonder.

50% of marriage ends in home improvement

Mike and I did a big DIY a couple years ago when we layed an office-full of dark bamboo flooring.  The bamboo was hard as nails, well, harder than our nails, and it was two long days of doing and redoing and cutting and wrecking and being sore and tired.  Afterward, Mike said we’d never do that again.

He got floor-laying amnesia, obviously, because as you may know, we are in the midst of another flooring project.  This time, thank goodness, it is going down MUCH better, and in addition to the floor, we’ve got new cabinets, a new sink, new counters in the works, new dishwasher, new everything in the kitchen.  It’s going to be gorg, but in the meantime we’re at each others’ throats.  50% of marriage ends in divorce because 50% of couples try to do a home renovation project.  Look it up.

We definitely learned something between project 1 and project 2, and this second round is preparing us for 3.0.  (That is, if we make it through this one alive.)  A few lessons and tidbits:

*Try to quarantine the room under construction. If you don’t, you’re opening up the rest of the house to the willing wanderer: dust.  Your floors will be dusty.  Your sidetables will be dusty.  Even the toilet will be dusty.  Maybe cover the air vents.  Maybe just move out.

*There is a banana in the bathroom.  Because… there is nowhere to keep the bananas.  Plan ahead and organize at the get-go.  I moved plates, utensils and foods from cupboard to cupboard as the old ones worked their way out of the kitchen.  I would’ve been much better off loading them into boxes at the get, and keeping their contents well-organized.  Instead I’ve got spices with the forks and an MIA popcorn popper.  And a banana in the bathroom.

*Wear gloves.  I learned this the first time but it’s worth mentioning.  Moving around wood floor with bare hands yields a palm full of slivers.

*Wear earplugs, too.  That nail gun is loud.  It also drowns out the neighbors when they are hollering over the fence at you to knock off all that power-tooling.

*Send your pets away.  Keypers has been on vacation with the ‘rents and he’s blissfully unaware of the mayhem happening at home.  He’s also not underfoot looking for attention, which is great since we don’t have it to give right now.

*Mike and I had our kitchen measured out by a pro., and then took that drawing elsewhere to use in ordering our cabinets.  Partially into installing them, we found out that our measurer didn’t account for the plumbing behind the sink and the layout we’d planned for wouldn’t work.  Don’t trust the pros; make sure you doublecheck their work or you’ll quickly be entering into problem-solving territory.

*Know how to problem solve.  If you don’t, then just lay down and cry.

*Not one thing is as easy as it seems.

*Thank God for the internet.  A 36 inch corner cabinet isn’t really 36 inches?  Who knew?  The internet.  The internet knew.  How do you fix a jammed nail gun?  Ask the internet.

*Don’t leave your indoor plants outside, even for two days.  You’ll be sad and they’ll be sad.  Your husband won’t be that sad because that’s a few less plants taking over every surface of the house.

*When you are removing the tape that you used to tape-off for painting, run a razor blade along the edge before pulling it up.  You’ll get a clean, beautifully done line.  Why doesn’t anyone teach this shit?

*Got a sound in the wall that sounds like a drip?  Make sure it is before you tear a hole in the wall and find out there’s not a drop of water to be found.  Unless you like holes in your walls, in which case, go for it.

*Water sucks.  There’re probably leaks everywhere in your house, or there once was and now there are are water spots.  Kilz is awesome.  It’s like a magic eraser.  Now you see it; now you don’t.

*Also, water is amazing.  You don’t know how good you have it that you can just throw dirty dishes in the sink or fill your watering can or wash your hands… ANY TIME YOU WANT.  Life isn’t the same without a sink.

*On that note…Buy paper plates.  It took us a few weeks to get on this and I wish we wouldn’t have waited.  If you have a bathroom sink full of dishes to wash you’ll remember why I suggested this.

*Be nice to your wife.  I asked Mike what he learned and this is his submission.  Pun intended.

 

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