Monday, May 27, 2013

Kitchen Reveal

Here are the final pictures of the kitchen all painted and with the backsplash totally done! I  say final like there isn't anything else I'll be doing in there... yeah right! But for now, it is final mostly because I am so tired of working in there!





I love it so much :)

Dining Room Reveal

I finally found a picture of what our dining room looked like when we first moved into our house. It was red... for some reason, so was every other dining room that we looked at when house hunting. I think it was a fad. This picture is from the actual night that we closed on the house and it became ours!

I decided that this room was the first thing that had to be changed! I wanted it to be gray. What it turned out being was more of a light bluish gray. At the time, ANYTHING was better than the red but as time went on, I realized I still wasn't satisfied with it, but here is the blue-gray:

I also had the curtains hanging up in this picture. I need to find and re-hang them. 

So here it is now without the mirror or the curtains. I just hadn't hung the mirror back up because the paint was drying still. 

I don't know if you can tell a difference in the color but in person you definitely can. The walls look much better with the rug. I also took the bench out of there and put the 4 chairs around the table. But now that I'm looking at the before picture I kind I want to put the bench back!

What I still want to do in this room:
-get French doors
-take those blinds down
-hang curtains back up (should I do black again?)

  What do you think??

Subway Tile Backsplash

Our kitchen is FINALLY finished! Like I mentioned in my previous post, over my spring break, I had the bright idea to tear out the current backsplash and replace it. Mr. Crane swore it was going to be a bigger project than I thought it was going to be, but that didn't scare me! ;) Well, that project dragged on and on but now it is complete! And I am SO happy with it all! It makes it so much better that we did it ourselves! Here are some before pictures:

This one is from the night we moved into the house- such a fun memory! We ate pizza and slept on our bed which was the only piece of furniture we had brought over! But you can see that the backsplash was only two rows high with a little bronze border around the top. And the paint was a very dark tan. 

Here is a picture of the microwave area. As you can see, I had taken the border tiles off. It was SO easy!!! And SO misleading... as you'll see shortly. 

So now I'm thinking, "I've got this..." Mr. Crane was outside with his dad. I thought of how impressed he would be when he came inside and I had it all neatly removed. I moved on to trying to tear out the actual tiles. And what did I tear out? Humongous chunks of drywall... like it went really deep. I could see the studs in the wall. At that point I was thinking "Oh crap"... and I could already hear him moaning and groaning and saying "I told you so". 

Rather than tearing up the wall trying to rip the tiles out (they were stuck on there REALLY well) we (Mr. Crane, my father-in-law, and I) decided it would be better and leas messy to use a razor blade and just cut around the existing tile to cut those pieces out of the wall. Here is what that looked like:

This part that Mr. Crane did actually didn't tear the wall up much at all! 

Ahhh! Drywall stuff raises my blood pressure. And the ONLY reason I agreed to this plan was because Mr. Crane and his dad assured me that they could easily repair it... before the in-laws left for the weekend. It was Sunday when this was all going on. My fear was that we would cut all the tile out, my in-laws would leave, and then it would never get finished! No offense to Mr. Crane, it's just that I know he hates drywalling just as much as I do!

Anyway, here is what it looked like with the drywall repair in process. The GREAT part is that it didn't have to be perfect because the tiles would go right on top. However, it did look pretty perfect thanks to the men and their precision! It just had to be solid, which meant they had to cut out enough drywall to be sure they were drilling into studs:

They worked very hard on this part and I will be forever grateful!!! Thanks guys!!!

The next step was taping and mudding the cracks, done by the wonderful Mr. Crane. Then came my part... the new tile!!! FINALLY! 

I chose a white subway tile from Lowe's. I am obsessed with subway tiles. I just think they look so clean and classic. I wanted them to go all the way up to the cabinets because really, what is the point of having only two rows?? 

Here is the tiling process... the worst part was cutting the tiles with the tile saw. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, but it was so time consuming! Toward the end of the tiling, I asked (maybe more like begged) Mr. Crane to help cut them. I was so over measuring, going out to the garage, cutting the tile while getting soaking wet (I wore my raincoat), coming inside, and doing it all again. I figured it would be much faster with one person measuring and the other cutting. Unfortunately, the night I started, he was at work. So I had to wait until the next night to sucker him into helping. 

Here are some pics from the process: 

First of all, check out this cut... that's skill right there :)

Hooray!!! HUGE thank you to my loving and hard working husband and his dad, my father-in-law, for all of the free labor!!! You guys are awesome :) 

And thank you to my mother-in-law, who suggested that we take a trip to Barnes and Noble rather than sitting around waiting for the guys to fix the walls... because when we came back, they had almost finished! :)

Read the "Kitchen Reveal" post for pictures of the finished product!

Bathroom Storage Removal

Storage removal?! Whaaat?! I know, most people are trying to add storage to their homes, not removing it.

When we bought our house and moved in, we were very excited (and thankful) that the previous homeowners left us a few things! It was like Christmas! They left us a storage cabinet above each toilet. Best of all, they left the under-cabinet radio/cd player in the kitchen with a little note that said "Enjoy!" So sweet! And trust me, we have gotten a lot of use out of that thing. 

Back to the storage cabinets. The one over the toilet in our master bathroom looked like this:

The other day, I realized that it is HUGE and our bathroom is not. I mean, I didn't just realize that our bathroom isn't huge.. I knew that already. But I started to think, maybe if I took that down the bathroom would look bigger! To the right of the toilet is a narrow linen closet (you can't see it in the picture) that has plenty of space. I figured that whatever was in the  cabinet could probably just move into the closet. 

I went and got Mr. Crane's handy-dandy drill that I bought him for Christmas and probably use more than he does... hehe. I got to work. And this was not as easy as I thought it was going to be (Notice a theme? Nothing is ever as easy as I think it is going to be) . They had this thing rigged up, I mean it was intense. And it was heavy. 

After I got the cabinet off the wall, this is what was left:

See all those holes??! Yes, there was a screw in each and every one!! It was crazy. I kept thinking, this must be the last one... no wait, it is still attached, there has to be another one. And this is what I ended up with:

There were 20-some screws. Ridiculous. And that meant I had some wall patching to do. Which I hate. More than anything.

What do you think, does it look bigger?? 

Now, what color to paint this room... :) 
Here is an updated post on the storage solution I added to this space!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I downloaded a to-do list app called "Carrot" a while back and I just have to share it. I think everyone should have it. 

I always have a running to-do list. It is never-ending. But it feels so GREAT to cross something off! 

This app, Carrot, is a to-do list with a twist. It insults you, tells you that you're lazy, gets upset with you, etc. I can't get enough of it. It cracks me up every time I open it! And I actually try not to let it get mad at me, therefore I get more done!! Here is a screen shot of when I opened it up today:

When you check things off of your list, her mood improves. You earn points and get upgrades as you go to the next level. Here is my latest upgrade:

I was lucky enough to download mine while it was free. I'm not sure what the normal price is. But if it is fairly cheap, it is worth it if you're a to-do list kind of person like I am!! 

Bush Revival

Once upon a time, approximately one year ago... we had a pretty back yard. It lasted for a few months...

...and then the dogs happened. 

I love them and wouldn't trade them for anything. Dixie, our chocolate lab, is a digger. She likes to dig at the fence posts until she hits the concrete. She then gnaws off a chunk and carries it around the yard. It is something I don't think I'll ever understand. Along with cement, she also likes leaves, tree limbs, plastic, paper, pretty much anything she can get her mouth on. This includes the once-beautiful bushes in the backyard. They both used to have flowers on them. This one used to be so pretty. Now it looks like this:

So pitiful! In order to give this bush a fighting chance- I decided to move it to a dog-free zone, otherwise known as the front yard. This was WAY easier said than done. 

It took about 45 minutes to uproot this stubborn thing. 

Here is the aftermath:

Yes, I was bleeding. But I am so accident-prone that this could have happened while I was folding laundry. Something is seriously wrong with me. 

Here is the spot in the front yard I moved the bush to- it is next to the front porch:

I thought this would be the easy part... but of course not! There must have been another bush in this spot at some point because I was digging up some massive roots!!

Here is the bush in all its glory now... try not to laugh... 

Hahahaha I'm keeping my fingers crossed. But hey, it can't get any worse than it was. Well technically I guess it can. It could die. And that would be worse. But at least Dixie can't use it as a chew toy in its new location!