Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Half-bath remodel!

So, I decided to procrastinate on take a break from my governmental accounting class for a bit to share with you our remodeled half bath!  One thing I really can't stand about the original design of our house is the bathrooms... They have ridiculous counters that stretch over toilets and non- cabinet sections.  They also have mirrors for miles... Like, they ALSO stretch over toilets, because apparently, men need to be able to look at themselves when they pee?  I just don't get it.

So this is what it looked like before.  Note the wall-to-wall mirror and the counter that extends only as an excuse for the mirror to be there.  SO DUMB!  And the lino... oh heavens, this lino is all over our house, and it makes me weep.  So way back in October, before we announced the impending arrival of the baby, Ammon decided we should just get after this project.  So we did.  And for about 6 weeks, we saw some serious progress.

After demo... Almost nothing left!  There was some serious drywall work in here too - don't be fooled that we had it easy by not taking out the drywall.  In some ways, we might have been better off ripping out the walls altogether.

Next came re-doing the floors.  We picked these nice taupey-gray hexagonal tiles, and we're really happy with that choice.  Which is good, because we bought enough to also do the laundry room and the upstairs guest bathroom (we bought that much on purpose, not because we're bad at math).

I don't really have any other intermediate pictures, because the walls got mostly painted, and then Ammon had a minor hernia surgery, and spent 6 weeks recovering.  Ammon was NOT happy with the color of the walls until we got all of the furnishings and fixtures in, so I didn't take pictures, in case we had to change the wall color at the last minute.  So from mid-November until sometime in early-mid January, my half bath sat with mostly painted walls and newly tiled floors.  It was pretty depressing.

But then!  The reno bug hit again!  Or nesting.  Whatever.  Inspiration struck, and Ammon decided it was time to wrap this baby up.  And in very short order, our bathroom suddenly transformed into this:

I mean, can you beat a pink powder room with a dark vanity and oil-rubbed bronze fixtures???  It's nearly all care of Home Depot, in case you're wondering.  We used Behr's "Cupcake Pink" paint, but we had them lighten it by 50%.  We probably could have asked them to tone it down even more, but it's worked out okay as it is.  Vanity, vanity top, and mirror came as a special buy set from the Depot last summer for $399.  And the fixtures... they sure weren't cheap, but in such a small space, we wanted things that we loved, and we wanted everything to match.  Our biggest expense hands down was these fixtures, which are from the Porter collection by Delta.  We even replaced the drawer pulls on the vanity so that they matched (because I'm OCD like that).

Oh, and the inspiration for the whole room?  Those adorable hummingbird prints, which I found on Etsy.  We pulled the color for the walls out of one of the prints, and went from there.

Our next project is replacing our front fence.  Our old fence blew down in a really bad storm just over a month ago.

We hated this fence anyway, so it wasn't the end of the world... But man, it was a pretty darn inconvenient time to lose the fence.  Our area is in the rainy season from November through March, so only now is the ground starting to dry up enough that we can start looking at pouring concrete footings for new posts and rebuilding.  I'm **hoping** that maybe we'll have a new fence before we have a new baby, but I'm not holding my breath on that one...

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Winging it

These days, it feels like there just isn't that much of plan.  There is, in that we go to work Monday through Friday, and I'm still plugging away at school, and we have an unbelievable number of commitments and appointments.  Those things, they just kind of happen - except for school, which I'm forcing to happen, but that's a different story.  Everything else though, we're just making up as we go along.

For instance, food:  We're loosely following the meal plans that SkinnyTaste puts out, but I'm not nearly as on the ball with sticking to our meal plans lately.  We've been eating out a bit more again, largely because I'm TIRED all the time.  Like, the kind of tired where you go to bed at 8:30pm, you're so tired.  
Also, because it's just fun to eat out, and that is going to be limited once this kid makes its grand appearance.  We went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago with my cousin, and I got 2 desserts.  It was a great decision.

How I spend my free time has also been largely up in the air.  Some days, I can literally conquer the world.  Unfortunately, this almost always is followed by a day where it is literally impossible to get off of the couch.  Like, we went to this gorgeous spot overlooking the beach in Pacifica to take my maternity shots, and I had plenty of energy.  The next day, I watched Netflix for 6 hours, and we skipped church because I was so exhausted.  Oh yeah, that's a thing these days too:  We started going to church.  This is a pretty big deal for us, if you know both of our histories with organized religion and our personal beliefs.

Last thing we're winging?  All things baby-related.  This is the entirety of the progress we've made in preparing for the little bundle we're expecting 7.5 weeks from now.  A crib with no mattress, and a handful of space-themed clothing items that I couldn't pass up.  I figure that as long as the nursery is done by the time this kid is 3-6 months old (when we expect to transition him/her out of our room), we're doing okay.

Oh, and did I mention we aren't finding out the gender of the baby until birth?  Because that's a thing we're doing.  Leave your guesses in the comments!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Writing about hedging foreign investments is boring

Good morning!  It's cloudy and rainy this weekend here, how is it where you are?  The weather here is so weird - it's really hot and dry in the summer, so everything dies, and then it all springs to life in the winter.  Our  yard is ridiculously green right now (All weeds), I just can't believe it.  Then my friends post pictures of 8 inches of fresh show, and talk about the first big accidents of the year that coincide with the first big snow of the year, and I remember why we were so happy about a move to California:  easy access to snow without having to live in the snow.

I really don't have much to say today.  I'm avoiding a paper that I'm working on about the documentation a company must have when they elect to hedge a foreign transaction.  Yes, it is exactly as boring as it sounds.  You know what isn't boring though?  The fact that if I just buckle down and work, I will be done with my Bachelor's degree in December 2017!  There is light at the end of this tunnel!

Also, we have wild turkeys that live all over the suburbs out here.  This is across the street from a school and a shopping center.  Totally unrelated to anything, but funny, right?  They all mysteriously made themselves scarce about 2 weeks ago - I'm thinking they started fearing that they would end up on someone's table, and headed for higher ground.

In other random news, I have been craving the steak salad from Costa Vida so hard lately.  In fact, I had one for lunch Friday, and another one yesterday.  They were both magnificent.  The baby is doing this really fun thing lately where he/she makes everything sound revolting except for one food.  Generally at lunchtime.  If I try to convince myself to think about eating something else, I get nauseous and start gagging.  So instead of fighting it, I roll with it.  Please don't judge me.

And speaking of baby, we're already bumpin' a little bit around here.  I'm almost 14 weeks now, but this was taken a few days ago.  It's hand to believe that in such a short time my stomach went from being mostly flat to looking like I've been eating Thanksgiving every day.  I'm curious to see how much more pronounced it is at Christmas, when I'll be about 19 weeks.  I'm already transitioning into maternity, and haven't been able to wear pants that weren't leggings for almost 3 weeks now. 

Anyway, that's it.  I should get back to foreign currency financial instruments, because this baby is not going to bring its own money with it.  Unless he/she is ridiculously adorable, and becomes the next Gerber baby or something...  We can all have hopes and dreams, I guess.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Guest Bedroom reveal

Guys, we did it!  We finished our guest bedroom quite a while back, and it's already had visitors in it TWICE.  Granted, it was my parents the first time and just my mom the second, but it counts, right?  I've literally had this post in my drafts since June, so I thought it was time to show off what we did.

Before:  Vertical blinds, builder beige, and stains galore.  Out of all of the spaces in this house, we knew it would be a big win for us to get this done, and an easy place to start, if a bit time consuming. Carpet is staying for now, so it was a matter of sprucing up the walls and getting rid of the ugly blinds.

After:  I mean... Wow.  We impressed ourselves on this one.  I wanted to create a homey space, that almost anyone would feel welcome in.  I realize that lovers of ultra-modern would probably loathe to spend the night, but luckily, we don't have any super-hip ultra-modern friends or family.

First up, I spent 4 hours scrubbing the heck out of the walls.  It was brutal, but paid off in huge dividends.  There was so much stuff on the walls, that it would have been a  nightmare to try to cover.  This is that same corner shown above.  Look Ma, the black stains are mostly gone!

Next up, I painted the ceiling and we primed the walls.  Ceiling painting is my FAVORITE thing, guys.  I don't know why, but I really, really like doing it.  Plus, who doesn't love being covered head to toe in paint spatter when you're done?  We ended up doing 2 coats of primer - the walls soaked up a ton of primer, and we were also covering over paint samples, which took some extra attention.

We were amazed just how much brighter everything looked once the beige was gone!  Also, pro tip:  just go ahead and buy your Kilz (primer) in 5 gallon buckets.  If you're doing more than one room, you will definitely use it, and it applies really thick, so it doesn't go as far as a gallon of paint does.

We also did 2 coats of paint.  It's a pretty standard sized room that holds a queen, and we used about a gallon of paint for both coats. The color is a super soft, pale blue by Glidden called Blue Frost.  Yep, like the gatorade flavor.  But the paint color is soooooooo much prettier than the beverage color.  Trust me.

From there, everything else was pretty simple.  We found the headboard on Wayfair, and added in furniture we already had:  The nighstands were our old ones that Ammon made to match our old bed.  We found the rocking chair and the dresser at our favorite thrift store back in CO.  There's still some small details missing, like a mirror to go over the dresser, and something for the top of the dresser.  But really, this room is ready for any guest who wants to come visit.

If you want to come next summer, though, you might need to get in line - apparently the new baby is quite the draw with our close family and friends.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Becoming "that" blogger

You know that blogger who used to blog all the time, and then life got boring, so they stopped.  And then!  Out of nowhere that same once boring blogger starts blogging again because BAM they're pregnant?


I pulled the ultimate blogger stunt and convinced my husband to take an ultimate blogger picture with me, with my favorite blog-friend turned real life friend behind the lens.  All so that if I decided to suddenly be a preggo/mommy blogger, I was prepared.

Side note - getting a pregnant woman onto a tree branch 6+ feet in the air isn't super hard, but getting her back down is.  That was probably unwise.

I guess now is where I tell you all how blessed we feel and how overjoyed we are.  Yes, all of that.  Mostly Ammon really, because he's the wonderful, caring, and romantic one in this relationship.  I'm over here just feeling fat, nauseous, and exhausted, and asking the OBGYN every time we go in if it's actually a real baby in there.  Suffice it to say that while I'm thrilled by the idea that we will have a kid in the near future, it really hasn't hit me with quite the same force that morning sickness and general malaise have.
But thank goodness for this guy, who has totally stepped it up lately.  He's remodeling our half bathroom for me, doesn't let me carry groceries, and insists on indulging my food whims and wants.  It's a little embarrassing how much I've let him spoil me.  He's even suffered through the dreaded pregnancy hanger which is infinitely worse than regular hanger.  I had no idea.

That's a great book idea, in fact:  "Pregnancy... I had no idea".  It could literally fill volumes.

Oh, and if you're wondering, we're due May 23rd.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Right things

Oh snap, it's been a minute.  I bet you thought I forgot my password for blogger or something.  No, none of us are quite that lucky (yet).  But anyway, how are you?  I hope you're doing well, wherever you are right now.  I can honestly say that here, things have been better recently.  So much better.  We've started trying to work out again.  I'm trying to make some friends.  We're settling into this new life that we spent the last year shaping, and I have to tell you - it is starting to feel right.

Right like handmade lemon custard ice cream from the best ice cream shop in the Sacramento valley.  Oh my word guys, if nothing else I post convinces you to come visit me, let this be what does it.  I almost wept it was so good.

Right like buying the watermelon socks that the bike shop had on sale Saturday morning between the two group bike rides, and putting them on immediately, because they are everything.

Right like the CUTEST tiny little purple bell pepper there ever was, and super sweet yellow pear tomatoes from our backyard.

And right like this sneak peak of our MOSTLY finished guest bedroom, just hours before my parents used it a few weeks ago.  We haven't gotten around to hanging the artwork yet, but really, it's so close to done that it counts around here anymore.

Tell me what's going right for you these days... I want to know!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Catching up, and air mattresses

Oh hey!  How are you guys?  I'm just over here, vegging out and being super lazy.  Extraordinarily lazy for me, in fact.  Like, at this point I've been so lazy that Ammon and I might be sleeping on an air mattress when my parents come to visit in a few weeks, because I haven't gotten around to picking out/buying our new mattress set yet.


In my defense, a lot has been going on lately, and it's taken my mind off of home stuff.  Which is good and bad.  Good, because the amount of money we spend when our minds are on house stuff is staggering, and we get a little obsessive over each detail.  Bad, because we can't live in our guest bedroom forever... Or can we?  No, Kristen, you can't sleep in the guest room forever, even though it's turned out to be stupidly adorable, and you have no idea how you are going to decorate your master bedroom.  That would be silly.

 Just a little sneak peak of that cute as heck guest room.  There's actually a bed, nightstands, and a rocking chair in there now, but I'm trying to hold off on taking any more pictures until it's 100% finished.  But it feels very antique and bed and breakfast-y.  Not the vintage look that is so cute and Joanna Gaines has single-handedly brought to the front of everyone's attention.  More of things that look like your grandparents or great grandparents might have had in their old farmhouse.  Comfortable.  Homey.

Anyway.  The stuff I've actually been doing.  Yes.  On to that stuff.

The term is finally over.  Finally.  That was a rough one.  Not because the class was hard.  In fact, the opposite was true.  I had Finance this term, which I had already taken as part of my Associate's degree.  I tried to petition to have it counted, but they refused.  Which was silly, really, because the class I just finished was leaps and bounds easier than the one I took for my Associate's degree.  Except for the final, that is.  For my first class, our final was an online multiple choice and short answer test.  For this class, it was a major Financial Analysis project.  Barf.

I spent 2 weeks straight doing very little other than working or working on that project.  It was my hill to die on, and boy, did I almost die on it multiple times.  But in the end, I pulled out a 10-page boring as all get out financial analysis that I am stupidly proud of, and my professor remarked was one of the best in the class.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief last night when I got my final grade.  Even though I was done on Saturday night, it never feels like you're 100% done until the final grades are posted.

And then right as I was finishing up the term, Ammon was sick for a few days, and I started a cleanse, which gave me the "detox flu" for a few days.  Guys, seriously pity Ammon.  I'm on a crazy-restricted diet right now, plus I'm not drinking coffee.  AND I was sick for the first 3 days of the cleanse, because my body was overwhelmed by the detox.  I've been trying to not complain and take it in stride, but it left me not feeling like myself, and unable to do much of anything.  I ended up sleeping on the couch one night, because I was in so much pain I couldn't get comfortable in bed and I was keeping Ammon up.  It was bad news bears, guys.  Bad news.  Short lived though, because I'm now on day 6, and feeling mostly normal.  I still get some crazy headaches a few times a day, but nothing nearly like those first three days.

Oh, and then last night, it was girl's night.  I met up with the girls I met at the winery a while back, plus 2 girls I hadn't met before.  We had a lot of fun.  If I' being honest, this was probably a good use of my time - getting out of the house and making new friends is becoming a bigger priority for me, as we're finally feeling settled into our lives here.

It was declared that I'm the Charlotte of the group, which I'm entirely all for.  Whenever I watch Sex and The City, she's the character I identify with and root for.  Like, when she went off on Big and it sent her into labor?  I was cheering for her all the way!

And then tonight, I decided that we needed to have burrito bowls, since it's Cinco de Mayo and all, and Ammon decided that he didn't want to eat gluten-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free limited grain vegan with me at home (I told you it was ridiculously restrictive), we should go to Free Birds.  And oh man, that burrito bowl was like heaven in my mouth.  Obviously, this meant that I couldn't possibly work on the house, because once you've had dinner, the night is practically over, right?

So, yeah.  Maybe I'll work on house stuff tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll find another excuse to put it off.  Air mattresses aren't the end of the world, I guess...

What SATC character did you always identify with?

What's your favorite strategy for putting off housework?