Monday, August 31, 2009

When we're not home improving...

This last week was hardly spent on any updating, decorating or anything house related, really. The closest we got to home improvement is we were supposed to have our shower door installed on Saturday, but the installer discovered that there was a missing piece and had to re-order. Oh well.

I've been feeling a little under the weather for the past week or so, so we laid low, caught up on Weeds and other DVR programs, and just enjoyed our house, some company, and each other. Yesterday we got out a bit and went to Lake Pyramid with a couple of my co-workers. It was great and Mark got to go waterskiing, which he looooves.
But really the biggest most awesomest news is, we're going to be an auntie/uncle!!!! Tali and Cliff are pregnant!!! Can you tell I'm excited?
I told Tali that the ultrasound (can you believe the baby is less than 2cm big?) looks like Stewie from the family guy. I'm sure Wildbaby will be much nicer though... I can't wait to spoil him/her. This will definitely mean more trips to Austin!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fly by the seat of my pants

Lately Mark and I have been talking about how we need a chair of sorts in our bedroom. It can't be very big, as we're tight on space. The thought is we will slide the dresser a little to the right and place a small chair in the corner to the left of it.

I'm thinking a golden yellow velvet will add a nice punch of color and look good with the green theme we've already got going. I love the look of the antique french circle back chairs like the one below (in a different finish and fabric though), but Mark thinks they're a little too feminine.
In the Domino book, we found a rectangular back upholstered chair that had nailhead detail on the edges that we both love. It looks similar to these.
To find the chair we want with the right fabric would most likely send us to a custom furniture maker and put us out way more money than I'm willing to spend. So this will most likely be taken on as a DIY project.

I can already hear Mark saying, "do you know how to reupholster?!" That's a negative. No clue. But how hard could it be? It's definitely not a complex piece, especially with the rectangular back. Anyone have any good tips or tricks?
As soon as things mellow out a little, I will begin my thrift shop search for and old chair frame.
(photos courtesy of The French Chair)

Monday, August 24, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends...

A plumber is coming by this evening to look at our sink. Thanks so much to Micah (our realtor and a good friend) for taking care of our warranty and calling this in for us. Hopefully our kitchen plumbing will be good as new tonight!

A friend of mine posted this video on facebook today and I was just floored at this guy's talent. If you haven't seen this performance yet, all I gotta say is he puts Susan Boyle to shame.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Pardon my absence the last few days... We've been busy with non-house fun stuff. We went up to Santa Barbara on Thurs to see Depeche Mode which was AWESOME. Yesterday I got to hang out with Cliff and Esteban on the set of Project Rant. The actresses they filmed were fantastic, friendly and a pleasure to work with.

After that, Mark, Debbie, Joe and I went to the John Lovitz Comedy Club at Citywalk, where we enjoyed the hilllarious comedy of Kevin Shea. Who thought something like gingivitis could be so funny?

We have done a little sprucing of the place though. I was given two awesome plants for my birthday yesterday. I pray that I can keep them alive, as they are pretty and add so much to our living/dining rooms. This one is from Mom and Dad and sits atop our wine fridge.
This one is from Mark.
I also picked up a nice table runner and two accent candle holders for the kitchen table. What do you think? We'll eventually paint, get curtains for that window and add some color with art.

Mean Rachel got me the Domino book which I've wanted for ages. I plan on picking up some great tips and tricks.
In other news, our kitchen sink is on the fritz. It doesn't drain and gross water comes up the disposal side if you run water into the other sink. Draino doesn't help... Hopefully it will be covered under our home warranty -we'll find out next week. It's always something, right?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Sanctuary

Our bedroom falls into the "done for now" category. Mark assembled our dark brown leather headboard last night and I think it really works in the space. It's hard to tell because of the lighting, but the curtains and the accent pillows are the same shade of green. **I really need to work on my photography skills (eh hem, Tali :) ).

Across from the bed is the dresser that Mark assembled. That's a painting I did in our old garage a while back. It will eventually be hung above the dresser -we just haven't gotten around to it yet.
That's really all there is to our bedroom. It's not very big, but still lovely if you ask me. To the right of the dresser is the door into our bathroom and on the wall opposite the windows is a closet that spans the wall. We haven't painted the closet doors or cabinets yet, so I figured I'd spare you all. We'll eventually spruce it up with some more accessories and perhaps some art over our nightstands, but alas, it will have to wait.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Living Room

We decided to relocate the sectional to a corner to help open up the room. It's the perfect fix.
Mark's famous armoire made it in one piece!
Now Mark is jonesing for a recliner. What is it with guys and recliners? We've found one that we both like, so now it's just a matter of saving our pennies. What do you think?

The room is definitely lacking that certain ummmfff. I think it's just a matter of hanging some pictures and getting an area rug. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Moving day - Part (day) 2

Our move is complete! We spent yesterday morning getting the last of our furniture from the condo and cleaning up. Mark recruited quite a team for the day's tasks. We had a total of eight guys there to help, so we were done pretty quick.
Once we were finished and enjoyed our pizza and beer, we went food shopping and stocked our fridge for the first time. -Not quite upright celery sticks or a cake on a pedestal, but tons of fruits for my blending pleasure, veggies, condiments, meat, cheese, and the standard assortment of frozen food from Trader Joe's.
I am so happy with our new blender! This morning, I made banana, nectarine, and mango smoothies.
In other news, Mark and I are loving our shower! The rain shower head from the ceiling is awesome and such a great way to wake up in the morning. I only needed two snoozes today! We hit a slight bump with our plan of making it so that we can switch from the handheld shower to the ceiling. Our water pressure is insane, which makes the water come out of both shower heads when you try to switch to the handheld, so today, David is installing a valve that closes the opening to the overhead one when we want only the handheld. Sounds complicated, but it's really a quick and easy fix.
I'll try to do a walkthrough video some time this week...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Moving day - Part 1

Phew! What a day! We pretty much moved in today... The big furniture will be moved in on Sunday, but everything else is here. We will be spending our first night in the house tonight!

Our sectional and the guest bed were delivered today. I am in loooooove with our couch. It's so cozy and comfy. We custom ordered it through Michael's Furniture, (you know, "your neighbors shop here tooooo!") upon the recommendation of friends. The back cushions are all down and you just sink into it.
I had lots of other projects scattered throughout the day. Aside from moving our stuff out of the condo, I did laundry, lined shelves in the kitchen, hung curtains in the master, and put together the guest bed. It doesn't sound like much when I write it down, but my tired-o-meter is maxed out.

Our guest room is pretty much done for now. We need to figure out what to do for the headboard/over the bed art. I'm open to suggestions! (Keep in mind that we live in earthquake country, so any over the bed art has to be light weight.)

Mark and our friend Kevin just put together our grill and we are about to enjoy our first bbq in our new house!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shoutout! - Project Rant!

As many of you may know, my brother-in-law Cliff and his business partner Esteban started a website earlier this year called Project Rant. They take people's real world grievances/rants/bitch sesssions and have real actors act them out. The result? Ultimate hilarity!
Project Rant is featured in a great article in the Austin Chronicle (Austin's equivalent to L.A. Weekly).

Aside from providing me with endless entertainment, how else does this relate to me? Cliff and Esteban will be our first houseguests! They are coming to Los Angeles next week on official Project Rant business. Can you tell I'm excited? I'm also in a mad hurry to make sure we have proper accomodations. The guest bed arrives tomorrow. Sheets have been washed, and hooooopefully, the guest bathroom will be ready to go. If not, they'll have to share our mini-Jerusalem, and that's cool with us.

*Speaking of sheets being washed, yesterday, was the first run in our new washer and dryer. Can I just tell you that our washer is the quietest washer I've ever heard (or not heard). So we now have the quietest (energy star rated!) washer and the quietest garage door.

So take a break from your busy work day and go watch a few rants! My personal favorites are Dear Paper Customer Guy, Childcare Clown (that's Cliff!), and Trans Fat Crackers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wall Pockets

See if you're not me, you're reading that title just normal, where as I read it like Jim Gaffigan's Hot Pocket comedy bit. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend watching for a hearty laugh.

Similar to what Jim Gaffigan says about Hot Pockets sending you racing to the bathroom, our wall pockets have had a similar effect on me -not for gross purposes of course, but just to see them!

Our shower has three pockets built into it. Two are on the side opposite the faucet to hold shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.
The third is on the same side as the faucet and houses the handheld shower. The beauty of this is if you're looking straight on to the shower, from lets say the toilet, you don't see it! The handheld shower pocket has a step built into it which was originally to work around the framing/pipes of the shower; however, the ledge is perfect for setting down a razor.
There is an additional pocket in our bathroom, just to the left of the vanity, where an old rusty medicine cabinet used to be. We had the pocket framed to be a square and tiled to match the shower. We will most likely use this pocket to house candles or other decorative objects.
The bathroom is pretty much done now. The vanity will be put in its place today, and then it's just a matter of touching up the paint and waiting for the shower door to be installed.

Mr. Sink Face, how do you feel about being put in your place?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shoutout! - Wildhouse Photography

So a slight departure from the home improvement blogging, I had to share this photo that my big sister, Tali, recently posted on her blog. She is such a talented photographer and this photo could make even the grumpiest of the grumpy crack a smile. If you are in need of a photographer, she's great to work with. She's based out of Austin, but is willing to travel.

The day the blue carpet died

The blue carpet died a long, long time ago, I can still remember... Ok enough of that. Our new carpet was installed on Saturday. Boy, what a difference it has made! The house seems bigger, feels cleaner, and it is oh-so-fun to roll around on bare, newly carpeted floors!
We had to rally on Friday night to get things done so we could have the place ready to go on Sat morning. I finished painting trim and painted our master bath. Mark sealed the tile in the bathroom and living room mud area, helped install our toilet, and cleaned the place up in preparation. David finished grouting the bathroom. I left around 1am. Mark and David toughed it out until almost 4am! We've decided that our shower is our tribute to the Wailing Wall. You may not be quite as close to G-d as with the real deal, but feel free to come on over and slip notes in between the stones.

Having a working toilet is AWESOME! We went for two days without one and had to drive to the market down the street. Oy.

After the carpet was installed on Saturday, Mark and I decided to take it easy for the remainder of the day. We had a date night that included some fantastic Korean BBQ and some lounging on fresh new carpet. We had originally planned on seeing Funny People, but following dinner, we agreed we'd both pass out in the theatre. Instead, we headed to Urban Home, where we found our nightstands. They were on sale for $99 each and are the exact look we were going for.

Sunday included the obligatory trip to Ikea. We originally planned on only purchasing curtains and other accessories, but ended up splurging (is it fair to use "splurge" and "Ikea" in the same sentence?) on a dresser and a desk. Our friends Pops and Mindy graciously lent us their truck to go pick up our goodies and the remainder of the afternoon was spent assembling. I managed the desk assembly and curtain install in the office. Mark took on the dresser. I don't have any photos of the dresser because I had to leave mid-assembly for my softball game.
Below is me fake-sitting at the desk, eating a nectarine. You will notice that the curtains are waaaay long. Ikea makes all of their curtains super long, (I believe 104" but I'd have to double check); however, they include a do-it-yourself stitch-free hemming kit with all of them, so that you can customize them. The job requires an iron and ironing board, so it will have to wait.

This week will be spent packing for the most part. Mark and I are counting down the days -literally.

Mark: You know what I just did?
Me: What?
Mark: Took the last Monday morning shower ever in that bathroom.
Me: Niiiiice.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Single-handedly supporting our economy

Ok, perhaps not, but it certainly feels like Mark and I are spending enough to pull the country out of this recession and in the mean time, creating our own personal mini-recession.

We're on the home stretch! Carpet gets installed tomorrow. 800-5-8-8-2-300 Empiiiiire. (If that doesn't evoke a jingle in your head, then you obviously don't watch enough television.) Yep! We went with Empire Today for our carpet. We originally had Home Depot come out and measure, but after getting a quote that was much higher than we were expecting, Mark took the initiative and called Empire, like the commercial told him to, and we had them out that same day to measure. They beat Home Depot by over $400, and even threw in the $50 that we had paid to get Home Depot out to measure. Not too shabby.

We also ordered our shower door yesterday. Much more $$ than I ever expected. Thick glass ain't cheap, that's for sure. We ordered through Lowe's (they outsource to Holcam). We originally were going to go with Direct Shower Door, but after a horrible experience with their customer service, we opted to go elsewhere. *Donna, if you're reading this, you should really work on your skills* We're going with a frameless glass door with brushed nickel hinges and handle.

The master bathroom is in the home stretch. I know, just one more day right? We were told by so many people that timelines are always off when it comes to home construction. It's looking good though, and is definitely worth the wait. I will post photos this weekend. David has also begun tiling the guest bath, so Cliff and Esteban, you guys won't have to trounce around on sticky cement when you visit!

And of course what you're all probably curious about, the french door is in!!! The second attempt was much smoother than the first. The framing still needs to be sealed and smoothed both inside and out, but the door is in, tile is in, and it looks faaaabulous!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's my French door and I'll cry if I want to

Juggling home improvement with a full time job aint easy, and I commend everyone who makes it look that way. Don't be fooled. After a fifteen hour day at work yesterday, I found myself laughing on my drive home, which quickly turned into sobs. Sometimes you just gotta cry it out.

The door doesn't work. The frame is level, the door frame fits, but the doors are warped in such a way that they only close if both sides are open and close at the same time -like cabinets that have one too many layers of paint on them (another experience I'm all too familiar with). On top of that, we didn't take into account the pile of the carpet we are installing in the living room and will have to tile a "mud area" around the door so that it can open correctly. In a way, this will be good, because we can have an area for a mat and shoes.

Mark is my rock and I couldn't do this without him. He knows just how to calm me down and get me to realize that it will all work out just fine. He will be renting a truck and exchanging the door today. He wins MVP for this project for sure.

Monday, August 3, 2009

White primer beneath your fingernails...

...Does not a French manicure make. (In case you were wondering)

I'm going to be stuck at work super late due to close, but I thought I'd give a sneak peak at today's project. In a way, I'm grateful that I'm not there, as I'm stressed enough thinking about our roof collapsing just looking at this...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Not the Dove Girl

Following work yesterday Mark and I regrouped at the house. My job was to start on the guest room, while Mark took on the ceilings in the living room and hallway. Painting ceilings is hard! Even with the pole thingy, you have to look up constantly, and neck pain sets in pretty quick.

I painted three of the walls in the guest room. I am in love with the color. It's so calm -the room really feels like a retreat. I was enjoying the retreat yesterday until my jump method backfired on me. You see, I have this painting method that requires minimal ladder usage. I edge on a ladder, but once I have edged, I jump up and down to reach the spots that are too high. In case you are wondering, jumping leads to splattering, and splattering leads to eye washing. A nice glob of paint landed right smack dab in the middle of my eye ball. Mark was quick to check the paint can for the instructions which told us to flush my eye with water for fifteen minutes. That did the trick, but I was not happy... Needless to say, I have ceased use of the jump method.
Today, we had a lot of help today from Mark's friend Russ and David's friend Adam. I focused on the guest room today. I painted the accent wall and touched up the rest of the walls. I also pulled up the edges of the carpet to paint the moulding.
Mark and Russ sanded the door jams in the house so that we can paint them and not worry about the doors sticking to them or not fitting. Mark went out and got a Craftsman Mouse Sander to help with the job.

The bathroom is still in the works, but it is coming along nicely and will be finished on Monday. Here I am taking an imaginary shower. I tried to find the Dove commercial from 2007 that everyone told me looked just like me, but I can't track it down for a side by side. If anyone can track it down, let me know!

Alright. We're beyond pooped. Goodnight!