Friday, May 27, 2011

with love from 2001.

Ryan and I started dating in the summer of 2001.  We had a lazy summer of love.  I remember hanging out, soaking up the sun and driving around- but always to the beat of our music.

I can't say that the music that we listened to that summer was groundbreaking, or not embarrassing.  But I can tell you that anytime I hear these songs, I am immediately taken back to a summer in San Ramon, driving around in this:

or this

[Guess which one is Ryan's- hint: he drives a Jetta now ; )   ]

and eating our beloved Togo's:

A few years ago I put together the play list for Ryan.  I called the cd "with love from 2001"- cute, I know.   Since we are approaching our 10 year anniversary (!) I thought I'd share our mix with ya'll to take you back  to our summer-o-love.

Song list:

crawling in the dark
don't let go
dressed to kill
first date
hanging by a moment
hello again
hit or miss
island in the sun
make yourself
nice to know you
no such thing
o girlfriend
the rock show
screaming infidelities
somewhere out there
the space between
summer wind was always our song
wish you were here
your body is a wonderland

Clearly we liked Incubus.  And clearly some of these are slightly embarrassing.  You can link to the play list at Grooveshark here.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

office update.

It's about time to give you and update on our office/music room.  Let's be real, it's Ryan's room.  And Riley's.  She loves the sun that spills in during the late afternoon.

As planned, I painted the room.  It took me forever.  And that is no joke.  I spent at least two full weekends and countless weekdays after work in there painting.  Why did it take so long?  I have no idea.  But it did.

I primed the walls since the color was light- and did two coats.  One coat wasn't providing enough coverage.  I also didn't tape.  Which is odd.  I am a very use rulers, measure, level, stay-in-the-lines kind of girl.  And when I've painted rooms in the past, I used tape.  But I went to town without it, and it seemed to work.

In my painting shirt!
how I paint trim w/o tape!

When it was all said and done, these were my favorite tools.

Small paint brush- worked great for small nooks and cranny's and for trim/ceiling area

Shur-Line Premum Corner Painter- I'm not a fan of the way the paint brush left strokes on the wall, so this little guy was great for the corners.  Not only to get the paint all the way in, but it left more of a roller look.

The Shur-Line paint edger also did wonders for getting right up next to the moulding and baseboards.  It was so easy, and saved time to not have to tape.

We are happy with the color.  (But I won't be painting for awhile!)

We brought the desk and shelf back into the room.

We also picked up a small desk drawer system at Ikea, since our desk doesn't have room to store office essentials.  The piano also found it's way into the room, and fit great next to the book case.

You've seen the closet before:

But we added a shelf to accomodate and organize all of Ryan's musical equipment.

Last weekend we hung the curtains from Ikea- and we love them.  They were a bit sheer, so we actually hung another set of thicker white curtains behind them.  It does ok, I might line the curtains with liner sometime in the future.  But for now, it does the job.  The curtains help make the walls look their truer color, and adds a nice softness to the room.

And that's the update.  Plans for the future?  Well we need to get a closet door, and start hanging pictures.  We have a general idea of what needs to go where, but are holding off- since the holes are now in our walls.

Monday, May 23, 2011

so ahead of the times.

The other day I was at Macy's, buying our new pantry storage system (more on that later), when I saw this table set up:

Looks strikingly similar to our wedding:

My oh my, what trend-setters we are!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

a lack of storage.

If you feel discouraged
That there's a lack of storage here
Please don't worry lover
It's really bursting at the seams
For storing everything
from socks to under-tee's

(10 points to people who know what song that is- twisted to explain our current bedroom sitch.)

Anywho- it's time to work on our master bedroom.  When we bought our house, I was worried our bed wouldn't even fit.

No joke.  I had quite the sigh of relief when we moved it in, and still had room to walk around.

Our old room in the ole' apartment was huge.  Like we had a bed, dresser, couch and room to do yoga.  It was nice.

Our new room fits our bed.  And that is about it.  Our awesome dresser has found a temporary home in the garage (until we Craigslist it) and the couch has found a temporary home in our living room (until I decide how we are going to set up that room.)

The eventual plan for the master is to get an upholstered bed, some new nightstands, and some beautiful chunky lamps.  Much like these photos:

The bed will have to wait, but we need the storage space, so we need to get the nightstands asap.  We aren't getting a traditional nightstand- it is more of a small dresser.  I wanted at least three drawers, and drawers that could legitimately fit socks, underwear, undershirts, etc.

I spent a few weeks/weekends looking on craigslist.  Usually I found one that would work, but they didn't have a pair.  For this room, I wanted them to match.  I also took a few trips to our local consignment & thrift stores, and came up with nadda.  Sometimes those just don't work in the timeline.

So, I sought out the web, and found two contenders.  Meet Legs and Squat.

Legs comes to us from Target, and as you can see, has the name due to her lovely legs.

I love this nightstand/dresser and think the legs make it look delicate.  However, the drawers look delicate too, and as if they won't hold as much as I would like.

In the other corner, coming from Home Decorators Collection/Home Depot is squat:

Squat is super cute, and is versatile as I think she'd look cute in other colors down the road.  While she's bigger, she looks like she'll hold more.

Problem is, I like to try before I buy- or at least see them in the flesh.  Since both pieces are online only, I was a loss.  So, I ordered one of each.  That way I can see which one I like, and order the other.  If I hate  legs, she's on the first trip back to Target.  If squat can't fit the bill, we'll drop her off on one of our many trips to Home Depot.

I have a favorite, but want to make sure it's love before we shell over the dough.  And believe me, this is a HUGE step for us- buying slightly legitimate furniture

Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

bird feeder.

You probably think we are nuts with all these posts about birds (here, and here). I guess we are just excited about having a house, with a yard, and tons-o-birds.

Back in Chico, I had wanted to find ways to keep Riley occupied while I was at work. I had read that a bird feeder was a great option to pique a cats interest. But sadly, the birds never came. So when we got our house, I wanted to do it right.

We get those coupon mailers, and I go through them every time we get them, and sort coupons to recycle or keep. Most get tossed, but I found one for Wild Birds Unlimited, with a 15% off coupon and free seed. Since they were local, I saved the coupon, and made a trip to the store the other day.

This place was great, I walked in and it was full of bird stuff. And bird helpers. I was greeted, asked what I needed, told them I knew nothing about birds, but needed a feeder and some seed. They hooked me up with this fine looking guy, gave me some seed (and a free sample) and I was on my way!  I also signed up for the bird club. Ryan laughed when I told him, but I get free seed down the road, so I was sold!

I hung the feeder on an already available "s" hook on our cover, and crossed my fingers that the birds would come. AND THEY DID!

It was great. At first I screamed with excitement whenever a bird came (ok, I do it still)- but they kept on coming. And all different types. We don't know their real species names, so we make them up- like Spike. We also have had Woodpeckers and Blue Jay's. And it is so cute, becuase they wait in line to eat. The all line up on the cable line that runs to our house, and when one bird is done, the next goes.

horrible pic- bird right where sun spot is...

So polite.

And, Riley loves it . She freaks out and barks at them. And since we have double-paned windows, they can't hear her, so they feel safe.

They also eat like pigs. They downed the whole tube of seed in two weeks.

But it is fun to be the popular dining location, and we love having them around!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

cuddle buddy.

I had a few computer things to work on tonight.  Putting together a photo book, and finishing up a few blog posts- but Miss Riley decided to park it on my lap.

It's actually a very common occurrence.

So my apologies for nothing new tonight- but it's hard to work with a tired kitty.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

wrong color.

When we were replacing the toilet seal in our bathroom- I thought it'd be a great time to paint the walls.  With the toilet out, it would be so much easier to get behind the tank because it wouldn't be in the way.

And it was a great time.  And it was so much easier. But, the color was all wrong.  I wanted a gray/blue for the room.  Something soft and subtle.  I ended up with baby boy blue.

So I put the bathroom painting project on hold, and went on to tackle other projects.  A few days later I went and picked up a few other paint samples, as not to have the same issue I just had.  Our bathroom has looked like this since we moved in:

Just like a crazy persons house.  So this weekend I finally jumped the gun, and picked another color.  I've decided, good or bad, I am going to finish the room with the color I bought.  The finalist? Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray (color matched at Lowe's to their no VOC Olympic paint).

It's gray, but it has blue and purple tones- so it is pretty.  I have a few things to tackle before I can finish painting the whole room- so stay tuned.  But, the few strokes of paint I've put up, it is MUCH better then the baby blue we had going on before!

Monday, May 16, 2011

new roof.

When we had our home inspection, everything was a-ok, sans the roof.  While a bigger ticket item then having to replace the seal under our shower door, it ended up not being a deal breaker.  Mainly because we got the bank to go halfsies with us on the purchase.

I don't have a great "before" shot.  I totally spaced on taking a picture of the front of our house.  So hopefully you can see what it looked like with these photos.

Hopefully you can see that the roof was a red color, looking not too terrible, but not too good either.  Please note the house didn't have gutters either.  Which, probably isn't too great for the foundation and drainage.

We weren't excited about putting on the new roof.  And, we were told in the inspection if could probably go a few more years.  But, we wanted it out of the way.  We didn't want to have to have the roof expense hanging over our heads for the next few years.  So we figured, let's do it now and start a clean slate.  So we sought out a roofer to take down the 2 roofs, put up a new one, and add gutters (yes, we had 2 roofs on this bad boy.)

We used Greg from Pacific Shingling Company, and we loved him and his team.  They were quick, fair and very knowledgeable.  The roof, like every other project, required a lot of decisions.  We had to pick out the color of the roof, gutters and downspouts.  We knew we liked a dark roof, but weren't sure if we should get black or a dark gray.  Greg ensured us that black will look the best for the longest- so we went with black.

They were so quick, that I have zero during shots.  I got a call on Monday morning at work that the rain had cleared, so they'd like to start on the roof.  When I got home, the roof was gone.  All three of them.  Yep, turns out, we had three.

The next day, we came home, and our roof was up.  It was quick.  But it looks great.

So we now have a new 30 year roof, gutters and a ridge vent.  While it is an expense we wish we didn't have, it does make the house look better!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

hall closet makeover.

Our house is old. And based on the lack of storage- I am assuming back in the hey day, people had less stuff. It’s probably a better way to live. (And the future for Ryan and I, as we have no more space.) But it makes moving into the new digs a bit more on the difficult side.

We have no hall coat closet. And much smaller room closets. But, in the hallway we have a massive cabinet. It is an odd place for a large cabinet, as it juts out in the hallway. But it isn’t custom. This cabinet existed in all the homes of this floor plan we toured. It may have been an afterthought of the house designer, but it’s standard nonetheless.

Well when we moved in, the cabinet looked like this:

That’s right, 50 year old contact paper. In shells and checkers. But beyond the nasty shelf liner, we had an odd odor going on as well. It is what you would expect contact paper from the 60’s to smell like. Gross.

I knew there was no way that I would store my clean linens, towels and toilet paper in a cabinet that I couldn’t classify as clean. So we decided to update. First order of business, take off the contact paper. This, like every other project we have tackled, took longer than expected. Much longer. We thought that using our putty knife to scrap the paper off would work ok. And it did, for the seashell paper. But, the checkered paper lived under the seashell paper- and it wanted to stay.

Ryan’s dad had brought over a plethora of tools to our place for various projects, and in his pile was this bad boy:

He said it is used to pull up flooring. What I saw was a big razor blade, and I knew it would do the trick. And it did. But boy, oh boy did it take forever.

[Side note- don’t suck up old sticky contact paper with a shop vac. As it will get stuck in the hose and create a big clog. Consider yourselves warned.]

So once the paper was off, I wanted to sand the paint off, to get down to the wood. So I pulled out a borrowed palm sander, and went to town. But, the shelves were still too sticky, that it was creating problems with the sand paper. So before I continued to sand, I pulled out my trusty goo-gone (a new-house staple) and wiped down the cabinet. It seemed to help get off the thick of the residue.

Then it was time to sand. And we were left with a much better state of shelves.  And I am happy to report that the weird smell from the cabinet was almost gone at this point!

The painting plan was I wanted to paint the back of the cabinets a color, then the shelves glossy white.  I had seen this idea before and couldn't wait to try it out in our house.  Much like this idea:
However, I didn't want to buy new paint.  So I used what I had.  I had purchased a few samples of paint for under $3 when picking out the paint color in the bathroom.  I had purchased a really dark one, which was darker than I wanted for the bathroom, but would be great for the closet.

Also, I wanted to prime the shelves, so I used a color match trim color sample (in flat not gloss) to prime the boards.  At this point it was looking good.  After they were primed- I went over them with our semi-gloss trim paint.  The shelves were looking so much better!

Lastly I swapped out the bronze knobs for our new brush nickel knobs, and voila- our cabinet was clean and up to date.

After the paint was dry, I went to town filling up the space.  I used containers we already had in kelly green from Ikea (which really popped well with the blue.)

Once we get a bit more settled, I will spend time prettying up the shelves- but for now, it is a 100% improvement from before, and is a great place to stash our crap!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

a seal and some tile.

We got our keys on March 10th.

On the 11th we went to work on doing a few *small* things before we moved in.  I wanted to paint the office/music lounge/i'm-the-coolest-wife-for-letting-my-husband-have-this-room, room.  Ryan was going to work on replacing the toilet seals.

We did the first seal together.  I started prepping the room to paint, and Ryan started on the second seal.  I was the scrapper of the goo, with my new found love for goo gone and my handy scrapper.

What we found was discouraging.  Rot.  Yuck.  The toilet had been leaking, and it had soaked the underlayment.  We partially peeled a vinyl peel-and-stick tile to see the damage.  Me being me, freaked out.  So bad that Ryan's dad drove all the way to the house to investigate.  I was envisioning a bathroom rehaul costing us thousands.  I thought the house was broken.  In my defense, I've never had a house, and heck, it could be broken!

Ryan's dad said it wasn't bad.  And, it meant we would be getting a new floor.  Since Ryan's dad had tiled before, we knew we could do it ourselves and save a lot of money. So Ryan and his dad went to town the next day pulling out the floor.  I tried not to be near, because any hem or haw, and I was shot back to "freak out Christina", and she is a special breed!

At first we were going to leave in the vanity and baseboards, so they rented a saw that cut right up against these things.  But, once it was all said and done, we decided that taking everything out would be easier.  So the vanity went to live in the bedroom for a while.

The nice thing about removing the baseboards was that I could take them to Home Depot to have the color matched for touch-up trim paint.  Making lemonade out of lemons people!

Once the nasty floor, the second old nasty floor (yes, they put a new floor on an old floor) and the old underlayment were up, we were left with wooden beams.  The next step was to prep the floor to tile.  Ryan's dad had a day off so he came over while we were at work and cut the boards to size.  Ryan screwed them in with drywall screws (after first attempting with regular screws).

Then came the time to buy tile.  I know you all know by now that I save photos of decorating ideas.  But, when it came time to buy tile, I realized that I had basically zero photos of bathrooms.  I knew that I liked subway tile, but for a shower/tub- not the floor.  So I was at a loss. We decided since we didn't have a decor plan for the bathroom yet, we'd be better off going neutral, so then any decision we make later won't clash.

We went to Home Depot and Lowe's for the tile.  I checked out a local tile store, but they were waaay expensive, and didn't have much in stock.  And, what is with local stores and their crazy hours?  You should be open after 5pm and on the weekends!  It didn't really work for our time frame.  At Lowe's and Home Depot, you can't take samples, so you buy one tile of each style that interests you. We ended up with about 10 or so styles. (And later returned them of course.)

We put the samples on the floor, next to the baseboard.  We quickly  weeded out a few and were down to two.  We had actually both picked one that we thought we were going to go with. But we let it settle for the night.  The next day we reevaluated, and decided we had it all wrong.  We went with Roman Stone, Beige from Lowe's. 

It was more expensive per square foot, but with such a small area, our costs would be low.  We thought the look was richer, but neutral.  We were sold.  So we went to Lowe's to pick up the supplies.  Ryan and his dad followed your normal rules for tiling a floor.  And I wasn't really a part of this project.  But I know it involved leveling, spacers, grout, mortar.  Here are some photos of the project.

Then end result?  It looks fantastic.




We still have to put the the baseboards in, and have a few more things to tackle in the bathroom.  But the bigger picture- who knew my music-loving, computer-nerd husband was so handy!

Great job Ryan (and Ken!) and expect more project coming your way : )
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