Monday, March 31, 2014

My Husband the Master Plumber

If you follow me along on Instagram you got a little sneak peak of the bathroom project we tackled this weekend.  This project has a much better outcome than anticipated, I always like when that happens!

The plumbing, the plumbing for the tub to be more exact.  I should forewarn you that neither my husband or I are or have ever been plumbers.  See we always had this little issue with the previous design of the bath, the tub spout and the water handle and shower head were not in line with each other.

It drove me crazy and I thought it made our bathroom look kinda hacked together.  This bathroom was not going back together misaligned.  I knew we could be capable to tackle it ourselves.  When I had remodeled our other bath we had a similar issue and a friend helped me move the pipes.  Though he did most of the work, I saw how it was done and thought that we could easily replicate.  

Though we could do it ourselves, I wanted to get an estimate from a plumber.  If it wasn't going to cost too much, I thought it could be worth my time and sanity to have someone else come in and quickly get it done.  The plumber game me two options; 1 move the spout over to the valve for $100, meaning the pipes would all be in line with each other, but off center in the tub and 2 move the valve over (like I wanted) for $275.  And that didn't even include the new valve I wanted, since I want to install new bathroom hardware which will run me around $125.  Umm, no thank you.  Looks like we were going to tackle this project ourselves.

I found this great refresher, and my husband spent Saturday watching You Tube videos of master plumbers.  I can't tell you the amount of time's he referred to how the master plumbers do it!  

We made our shopping list and headed out Sunday morning, in all we probably spent about $220 on supplies, including our new hardware set for the shower.  We went with the Delta Porter, it is currently on sale at Menards.

Once we were back home ready to go, we shut off all the water, empty the pipes and started cutting away.

We only had to make one trip back to the store for a few extra parts, I think that's a record!  We cut and assembled everything to make sure it was were we wanted and what we needed before any soldering happened.

Everything was looking good, so then we got to work soldering everything together.  This took the most time of the entire project.  


All in all this whole project probably took us about 4 hours, not too shabby.  We finally had everything put together.  This is the part where I imagined the project quickly going down hill, testing for leaks.

We turned the water back on, and success!  I couldn't believe it!  We didn't have one leak.  And trust me we looked for it.  We turned the water on and off several different times, low pressure, high pressure.  We also felt around at all the joints.  This success only makes me worried for the next project we have to tackle, the bathtub drain.  I only hope it goes as smooth!

I love completing projects like this.  We saved a bunch of money, if I had hired the plumber I would have spent $400 ($275 on labor we were quoted plus the $125 for the new hardware), instead we spent nearly half that.  It's also so satisfying to say, we did that!  On to the tub!

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Friday Five

I have to admit, my thought this week is "Is it only Friday?"  It's definitely one of those weeks and I am very much looking forward to the weekend!  One more day for me to go till my weekend arrives!

Here are a few moments from my week so far. .

1| We finally got started on our bathroom renovation, demolition has been completed!

2| I got my blog set up over on Bloglovin', so if you use Bloglovin' to keep up with all of your favorites and would like to see my posts pop up in your feed, click below!

3| I am currently obsessed with this orchid/pink color, can you tell?

4| I am about to buy my first bathtub ever.  We decided to go with the one from Menards and will be picking it up today or tomorrow, bathroom progress!

5| This is what I am by far the most excited about!  Martin and I booked a warm weather weekend getaway coming up in a few weeks.  It is SO desperately needed and I can not wait!  We will be headed to Arizona for a long weekend of sun and relaxation.

Here's to the weekend!  I have a feeling it won't be quite as productive as the last one, but hopefully there will be some updates on the bathroom sometime next week!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FabFitFun VIP Spring Box

I did it, I got my first subscription box.  After seeing many of them out there in blog world, I joined in.  Who knew that searching for subscription boxes there were so many different ones available, I sure didn't!  The concept is you sign up for a subscription and you get a treat in the mail, it may be monthly, quarterly, or with some brands it could be when you choose.  There are subscriptions out there for everything, beauty products, fashion, food, jewelry, you name it.

This one came to me via my Facebook feed, the Fab Fit Fun VIP box.  It's a quarterly box, for $49.99 you get $175+ of fashion finds, beauty secrets and fab fitness gear curated by Giuliana Rancic.  I liked that it combined different facets, and it seemed like a good value.  I also like the products and brands that I saw when I clicked over to the page to sign up, I thought why not give it a try!

Here's my Spring VIP box.

They also included a card which revealed all the products included.  Giving a description, retail price, and for some products a discount code if you were to order anything from that company.  It said my box was worth $217.91, I thought that was pretty cool!

What I got in my box:
Kai Perfume Oil, I was excited about this because it is paraben, sulfate, phthalate & phosphate free.  I have worn it a few days and so far liked it.

Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer, I have not tried this yet, but am excited to do so.  Again it is paraben, fragrance, mineral oil and talc free.  All things I would look for if I was purchasing the product myself.

Merrithew Mini Stability Ball and DVD, we'll see what I do with this.  I'm sure I'll give it a try at least once.

Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt, I'm looking forward to trying this.  It claims to buff away dead cells to reveal radiant skin and provide the benefits of expensive spa treatments.

Cult Gaia Turband, not something I would normally wear, but I think the navy blue with white polka dots is cute so I will give it a try.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Invisible Spray, love that I got this.  I already use this product and think that it is great, I can always use more!

Level Naturals Shower Bombs, there are several in the box and smell very refreshing, looking forward to putting them to use.

The Better Chip Spinach and Kale with Sea Salt, a healthy gluten free snack to give a try, why not.

Overall I'm happy with my first subscription box.  I got a lot of products that I may not have just come by on my own so it is a great opportunity to try something new.  Go here for more details and to check it out for yourself!

Do you have a favorite subscription box that you receive?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shopping for a Tub

I have to say this has been the hardest part of picking things out for the bathroom renovation.  If your just joining me you can catch up by checking out my motivation for the renovation, and the demolition.  Since I have been dreaming about this project for quite awhile I have been checking out tubs over the last several months, typically at the big box stores as well as at a few outlets we have in the area.

Besides making sure I'm meeting our needs with the tub that we select, the next biggest factor is not "out doing" our neighborhood, if that makes sense?  We live in a neighborhood that was constructed in the mid 80's, full of smaller homes, think 1500 - 1800 square feet.  Some have been updated, most not so much.  I've signed up for a weekly email with houses that go on the market in our area, as well as checking out Zillow from time to time just so I can be up to date with whats going on in our area.  I pretty much never see anything pop up but standard tubs and showers.

Enter my needs, I want something that is deep enough to soak in and easy to keep clean.  That's not asking too much, right?  A few other specifics, it needs to be white, have a left hand drain, and measure 60'' long.  I contemplated jets, but that automatically at least doubles the price, if not triples!  I feel like that is just too much for this bathroom renovation, as well I don't feel like I'd really use them.  I really feel that I would be happy, as long as I could just soak!  From looking around I gathered that deep enough to soak in meant looking for a depth of 19-20''.

On Monday we went out, and I did a little of this.

I had to make sure it was deep enough, it was!  In our area Menards had the best selection of standard tubs down on the floor that you could see, and for me to crawl in.  The ones at Home Depot and Lowe's were more up on display, so you could see them, just not crawl in them.

These are the three I've narrowed it down to.

Menards | Home Depot | Lowe's
They are all pretty similar in look, dimensions, and price.  The only one that has any reviews online is the tub from Lowe's.  They are mostly good, but a few mentions of having cracks and needing to be replaced.  The lack of reviews is the biggest thing that is making me hesitant to pull the trigger.

Right now the one in the lead is the tub from Menards.  I got to see it (and sit in it!) up close and in person, and I liked the feel of it.  Menards also has a promotion going on through Saturday where you receive an 11% rebate on everything bringing the price of the tub down to $212.71.  So pretty much I need to hurry up and make up my mind!

I should probably mention that this is the next piece we need in order to start reconstructing the bathroom, so the sooner we get on it the better!  I wish I had an easier time making these big decisions!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Spring Wish List

Here are a few things I am itching to add to my collection this spring.  You'll notice it doesn't include much spring like clothes, I attribute that to the fresh layer of snow I woke up to this morning.  I don't think I can wrap my head around actually being able to wear them any time soon!  Here's to hoping we do get a spring and don't jump right to summer.

A new cell phone case, mine has recently taken a beating and I think this light champagne gold one would be a nice spring update.

The Limited Exact Stretch Skinny cut, I mentioned these in my post the other day on my favorite dress pants.  I actually picked up a pair yesterday, they are still marked down to $29.90, which I think is a great deal!  I'm excited to add them into the mix.

A pair of Hunter Rain Boots, I love all the fun colors they come in.  I think this lipstick color is great and I feel like if you have to wear rain boots its most likely gloomy out so adding in a punch of color is needed.  I'm hoping to find a pair on sale, they randomly show up on some of the sale sights I look through, though they usually sell out in no time.

Statement necklaces (top, bottom), these two actually caught my eye when I was in The Limited the other day.  I think statement necklaces are an easy way to change up a more simple outfit and would like to add more to my collection.  I always see great ones at TJ Maxx and Marshalls as well.

Bare Minerals Liquid Foundation, I have always been a fan of Bare Minerals products and was excited when I saw this in my email.  I'm just about out of my current foundation and would love to give this one a try.  Right now it is just on QVC and not out in stores till May 1st.  I'll be waiting till it comes out in stores so I can give it a try, I always like to see how it feels first.

White Skinny Jeans,  I love these ones by Joe's Jeans.  In fact I love Joe's Jeans, I just won't pay full price for them.  I'll be on the hunt for these, or ones similar, at some of my favorite places to score discount denim like Nordstrom Rack, Off Saks, and they just recently opened a Joe's Jeans outlet close to me.  They are so comfy and I believe in paying a little more for something you'll wear for a long time versus a little less for something that is uncomfortable and only lasts for a season.  Usually I can find them for around $70 or so, if I hit it just right!

Can I also put out there that I am wishing for some spring weather?  That would be more than fantastic!  What's on your Spring Wish List?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: Demo!

*This post is brought to you by Boss Polymer

I hope everyone had a nice weekend, so glad I still have one day left in mine.  Though yesterday was well spent, bathroom demolition is now 99% complete!  Last week I lit the fire under my butt to get this project started by sharing my intentions on the blog.  Well thankfully that worked!

This bathroom is so teeny tiny, it has just enough room for the necessities required to make it a full bath.  As mentioned previously, a few years ago I took on a phase 1 makeover.  This phase involved removing the floral wall paper and replacing the vanity, fixtures and lighting.  The tile and tub were getting saved for phase 2.

Here are some pictures of the room in its phase 1 state.  I took them as is.  As in I didn't touch the room before they were snapped, this unfortunately is what it usually looks like.

This side of the room isn't terrible.  The update made a big difference.  Organized it is not, at all, as you can tell by all the products randomly thrown on the shelf.  We don't really use this bathroom consistently, yet that is.

Then you turn around and are faced with the not so pretty side.

The slopped ceiling has made for an interesting shower curtain situation.  There was a similar metal bar there when I purchased the house, it was all rusty and covered in plastic.  I made this one out of PVC during phase 1.  There was an awesome associate at Lowe's at the time who helped me pick out all the right pieces.  I just assembled them, covered everything with a little oil rubbed bronze spray paint, and installed.  It's held up great for the last few years, but it is time to go.

You can't tell in the pictures how gross everything actually is.  All of the grout is now this aged yellow brown color.  There are gobs of caulk everywhere filling in holes and mending seams.  And then there is this tub.  This tub has been a pain since day 1.  I was so excited to have this tub when I was purchasing the house.  Its an air jet tub, I thought yeah a perfect tub for soaking.  The first time I went to clean it and turned on the air jets black gunk came flying out.  It was disgusting.  No matter what I tried, every time I turned them on more black gunk came flying out.  I Googled and read and tried every remedy I could find, no change.  Needless to say this tub has never been a soaking tub for me.  I am so glad to be getting rid of it!  I would love to put in a nice spa tub, but it just doesn't seem right for now.  We are just in our starter home, not our forever home.  The hardest thing for me with this project is staying with what is practical for the resale value and neighborhood and not over doing it.

The bathroom fan/light has always looked like this.  I have always been terrified to discover what I imagine to be a big gaping hole under the base boards that were using to frame out the fan.  All will be revealed soon enough!

Yesterday the hammers came out, and the demo began!

I think this was the closest I have ever come to setting and meeting a realistic DIY goal.  It always feels like "Oh, I'll get this project done in a few hours" and then it ends up taking 3 times longer then that, right?!  My only goal for Sunday was to get the bathroom demo done, and we met it 99%.  The only thing left is the riser the tub was sitting on, which will be coming out this week.

Max had to come check out what all was going on.  You can see that riser still in place.  I can't wait to get rid of it.  There was a little ledge that always stuck out from the tub and stepping over it to get in always felt like you were going to slip and break your neck, no more!

I know it looks like a mess now, but I am so excited to have finally gotten this project started.  I don't doubt that it will take awhile to get finished, seeing as we really only have the weekends to work on it.  But it will get done and it will be worth it!  What projects did you get started on this weekend?

PS.  I'm now on Bloglovin', if you want to get my posts in your feed follow me over there!
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Friday, March 21, 2014

My Friday Five

Yay, Friday!  I am definitely excited for the weekend.  It's finally time to get started on the Bathroom makeover, see now I've said it twice on here so I really have to do it, no excuses!  I'm sure we'll barely just make a dent this weekend, but a dent is better than nothing at all.

Here is a look back at my favorite moments of this week.

1| I started the week of right on Sunday with a 90 minute massage.  90 minutes is amazing, and it was just what I needed.  I keep learning the value of spending time on myself so I can be the best version of myself to those around me.  It's funny because it's what I remind my clients to do on a daily basis, but I'm not so good at taking my own advice!

2| It is finally getting warm enough to start running outside again!  I know some of you die hard runners who run outside year round, but that is not me.  I really just took up running last summer.  I don't even really consider myself a runner.  It's not quite consistent yet, like this morning I woke up to another fresh coat of snow of the ground.  But it's looking more and more hopeful, and I've already gotten a few in!  I just love spending the time outdoors, getting the fresh air and clearing my mind.

3|  Speaking of warm weather, I've worn my spring coat to work everyday this week!  Granted I've still been wearing my winter boots.  But it's progress people, and I will take it!  It's supposed to reach 60 degrees today, that's going to feel like summer!

4| I am obsessed with Trader Joe's Thai Yellow Curry Sauce.  It is SO good!  Every time we go I come home with multiple jars of this stuff.  It's so easy to throw with some meat and rice and make a delicious meal.  Martin loves it too and usually cooks it up for us at least once a week.

5| Saturday night date night, I am so looking forward to it!  Usually every Saturday Martin and I try to make it our date night.  It usually consists of going out to dinner, and sometimes a movie.  Sometimes we mix it up, but we're pretty predictable.  Though the last time we were able to have one was February!  I've either been working or Martin's been traveling and we haven't been in the same place on a Saturday night in too long.  I know technically this hasn't happened yet, but I still consider it a part of this week and something I am very much excited for!

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you have a fantastic weekend, I fully intend to!  I'll be back next week to reveal the progress made on the bathroom, whatever it may be!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Everyday Elegance: Dress Pants

The other day as I was getting ready for work it just kind of hit me how much dress pants really kinda suck!  At least for the most part.  Most often they can be pretty shapeless and uncomfortable.  Granted I think anything without stretch in them in uncomfortable.  It also could be because I have to dance in my work clothes every day, in case you don't remember I'm a ballroom dancer by day.

About 2 years ago I found what I consider to be the BEST dress pants EVER.  Bold statement, I know.  But seriously.  They have a ton of stretch and a great slim profile.  I was reminded how great they are because the other day I thought I would try on some of my old dress pants and change it up a little, bad idea.  I went right back to these, I have several pairs in my closet.  I might as well just get rid of all of the others!

Drum roll please . . .

These amazing pants are the Exact Stretch Pants from The Limited.  They are seriously amazing.  If you are looking for an improved pair of dress pants I highly recommend you give them a try.  The great part is they come in 3 different lengths as well as several different fits.  So far the boot cut is my favorite, but I'm looking forward to trying out the skinny this spring for a new look.

Best part is, The Limited is always having great sales.  In fact when I popped over there to grab the info this popped up.

Better news, when you click on the Exact Stretch Pants, they are marked down to $29.90 which makes them nearly 60% off!  Amazing!  I don't know how long they will be there for, but I may have to add those skinnies to my collection at that price!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bathroom Remodel: It's Time!

I am writing this post to give myself a kick in the butt to get this project  started already!  Let me give you a little background. . .

We have 2 full bathrooms in our house, you can check it out on the floor plans.  Our downstairs bath was one of the first projects we took on when we moved in, so it is updated (for the most part) and significantly larger then our upstairs bath.  Due to that our downstairs bath is the one we primarily use for our everyday getting ready.

This past summer we had some extended house guests for the first time ever.  Usually we just have people for the weekend, and it's no big deal.  This time we had people for a few months.  The guest bedroom is right next to the downstairs bath, so naturally it would also be used by them.  Meaning my everyday getting ready bathroom became the upstairs bathroom.

After spending a few months in my teeny tiny upstairs bathroom it was motivation enough to pull the trigger on getting this remodel going.  Meaning I got motivated and planning this fall, and now many many, many months later we are still sitting with the same old bathroom.

The good news is, I've actually purchased a handful of the products already for the renovation!  Now I just have to use them, minor technicalities!

Here is the little clip of the upstairs bath from the floor plan.  See, it's really tiny!  Not only that, but it also has a sloped ceiling.  Several years ago we did a Stage 1 makeover.  Taking down floral wallpaper, replacing the vanity, mirror, and lighting, and adding a fresh coat of paint.  Now it's time to get rid of the tile and tub!  I don't have before pictures yet, but don't worry they will be coming next week.  Remember this is my motivation post, for me to get on it already!

Shower Door / Hooks / Paint / Vanity / Tile 1 / Tile 2

I have already purchased the shower door, and all of the tile.  It is all just sitting there, waiting to be used!  The vanity is what is already there, but I haven't decided if it will stay as is or if I will make any tweaks to it.  I'm thinking of going with the same paint color that I used in the office, Behr's Irish Mist. 

My goal is to get demo started this weekend!  I want to get on it before spring fully gets here and I won't want to be inside working on a project.  The first part will definitely be the hardest - the tub is coming out!  Never done that before.

Now that I've put it out there, I've got to do it, right?!?

Monday, March 17, 2014

House Tour: Dinning Room

Welcome to the next stop on my house tour, the dinning room.  In case you need to catch up we have already covered the floor plans, paint colors, laundry nook, guest bedroom, and kitchen.  I haven't had many true before pictures due to a computer crash with no back up in existence.  I did a little digging in my e-mail and was able to find the appraisal from when I bought the house which include some pictures of the property.

I present to you the original state of my dinning room.  I warn you, it is not pretty.  Ok, it's not horrible.  It's the memories that come along with seeing it and how horrible it was to transform, but we will get to that in a second.

You can see that it is not very big.  It came with some wonderful vertical blinds, and Pergo flooring.  What you can not see is that the red went all the way up, up and onto the entire ceiling.  It was also covering the door to the garage which you can not see off to the right hand side.

Let me tell you the story of how my dining room came to be.  Originally I thought the bones were pretty good.  I liked the bead board, I just thought the walls needed a fresh coat of paint and we'd be set.  I noticed there were some cracks and chips in the paint.  So naturally I wanted to get off any of the loose pieces and sand the areas down to prepare them for paint.  I went to remove a loose piece of paint and it just started peeling off like wallpaper.  It was crazy, chunks and chunks of paint were peeling off the walls. It was like it had been applied way to thick, or perhaps it was the quality of the paint used.  I'm not sure, but I had never encountered that happening before.

The room had been painted before the bead board had been put up and broken off pieces of paint were sticking up from the chair rail.  There was no way it was staying.  We had to get all the paint off as best as possible to create a nice smooth surface for the new paint.

Down the bead board came, and low and behold there was wallpaper underneath.  Seriously.  That year my parents and I spent Thanksgiving weekend peeling paint and wallpaper.  Sanding rough edges, and smoothing things out with drywall mud.  Painting, and painting and painting.  I can't even remember how many coats of primer it took us to cover that red ceiling.

All of that just to get a fresh coat of paint on the walls.  Who would have thought.  It stayed just that way for awhile, and then when we were remodeling the kitchen we carried the new engineered hardwood floors through to the dining room.

Here is my dining room today, same view.  Sorry for the bad lighting.

So much better!   The paint color is Squirrel by Behr.  It is my favorite in the entire house.  It's this muddy gray that I feel has a bit of elegance to it.  The dining table, chairs, china cabinet and buffet (that I now use as my TV stand, seen here under my spring mantel) I scored on Craig's List for $250.  They weren't in amazing shape, but they weren't in horrible shape either.  Everything was mid century solid wood.  The table has two leaves that can be put in for additional seating.  I recovered  and painted the chairs.  As well as painting the china cabinet.  My plans have always been to sand down and re-stain the table.  Maybe this will be the year?

You can see how the entry from the garage puts you right there at the table.  I have tried to corral the clutter with a mail station and some hooks on the wall.  But truth be told, this is how my dining room usually looks.

A dumping ground for everything!  I'm working on this not happening as bad or as frequently, we'll see how that goes.

This is the view that you have when walking in from the garage, which is how we enter our house 99% of the time.  I only use the front door when I go for a run.  Like the Charlie photo bomb?  He is a part of the usual view when you come in the door so it only seemed fitting!  You can see straight through to the kitchen.  On the left wall I have my large DIY chalk board that is currently empty waiting for some spring art.  I have to be careful though because my husband feels he has to get creative with his chalkboard "art" when he sees it empty for too long.

To the right of the doorway into the kitchen I have always pictured adding in a small bar cart with some art above.  I worry it will make the small room too crowded.  It needs some more art on the walls for sure, I hope that I can fit in a nice gold cart.

I am not crazy about the light fixture.  The shades always look crooked, no matter what.  I would like to replace it.  There are plans to add crown moulding, as with the rest of the downstairs.  Currently the only room that does have it is the office, and I love it in there.

This room gets a ton of natural light, and I love it.  I also think that's why this room can so easily pull off a darker color.  Thanks for stopping by today, hope you enjoyed my dining room!

TDC Before and After