Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend wah wahh, open house dupe and sneak peek saucy wench, we meet again.

This weekend was one of those ones that should've been better but just kind of fell flat.  There's this festival that goes on around here this time every year and I always make sure we're out of town for the day so as not to have to deal with the crowds and traffic.  There's this old antique warehouse I wanted to go to so we made a little day trip out of being in the neighborhood.  Some days antique places are awesome and some days...well, it's just someone else's crap.  The only thing I considered was a pair of oil lamp holders similar to these...

There's a spot on this tall, thin wall I thought they might look cool on but I decided against them.  I know when I'm looking for just the right thing to take over the current look, I'll probably always wonder if they would've looked as stupid as I talked myself into believing.

We went to this Mexican place even though I was trying to hint at the safer pizza option but the Mr said he likes having culinary "adventures" when we're out of town.  Yeah?  Well he wasn't the one in a 100 degree bathroom with a line full of women staring at the stall in the back of some hill jack flea market unable to unleash the kracken due to peer pressure.  I had to circle round and pray no one was in there when I was at the breaking point.  No Mexican food on the road...EVER.

There was a goodly amount of passing pop up storms which made the air even thicker and heavier than it already was.  I hate this time of year.

Sunday we had no plans so I made breakfast, we got sucked in to Love It or List It reruns and then decided before hitting an open house or two we would eat lunch so as not to be tempted to eat out.  So I made chicken dogs and a slice of watermelon and half a clementine.

We went to this one open house that caught our eye a few weeks back.  We weren't really considering it but we were nosy and so was half the neighborhood apparently.  Here's a few pics in case you're nosy too...

The above looks like a super modern Florida room but it smells musty in there and it was gross hot.  Lots of cracks in the walls so it felt like the over the top items were meant to be a distraction.  Just like this...

I don't know whether the Easter bunny is supposed to deliver me on Easter or if I'm supposed to bathe in a donut phone, either way it didn't distract me from the chunks of missing plaster and cheap box they slapped in and called a sink.  It was such a let down because the pictures in the listing were so nice but you see it in person and it's like "ugh!"  Wah wahhhh.

We came home and took a little nappy poo then went down and did a session on the Total Trainer.  Holy crap man!  We really upped our strength game last week and the Total Trainer laughed at us, kicked us in the gonads and left us a shaking pulp by the end.  Well played TT, well played.

For dinner, I roasted a small fryer chicken and made some mashed taters and green beans.  It felt like a good old fashioned Sunday dinner like I think they do on Blue Bloods.  I don't watch it but every time I flip by, I see them all eating.

I'm going to work on the TV armoire this week and hope the weather cooperates.  The dry time is ridiculous with this humidity.  I finally finished the side table.  Here's a horrible phone pic sneak peek...

You can see I tried to match the top as close as possible to the new flooring.  The Mr seems to love it so as long as he's happy, that's all I care about right now.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Witless and what I'm reading this week

I was up way too late getting these links together for y'all so excuse the lack of witty banter that should go here and let's get right to...

Learn the Right Order for Grilling the Perfect Vegetables  (So I shouldn't grill onions and raw potatoes at the same time?)

10 More Obscure References in Classic Rock Songs—Explained!  (Interesting info to put some of those odd lines to bed.)

Vintage Home: 11 Money- and Time-Saving Homekeeping Tips  (Get on it)

The 25 Best Foods For Weight Loss   (I need all the help I can get)

This Graphic Explains All the Health Hazards of Sitting for Too Long  (Okay, maybe I need to rethink this.  That graphic is scary)

Remember to Budget for Move-In Expenses when Buying a Home  (Good to know!)

31 Household Cleaners You Already Own  (Savin' Washingtons, yo!)

How to Make a Ladder Wardrobe  (Cool idea if you're short on space)

Why Your Time of the Month Causes Digestive Distress   (Curse you Aunt Flo!)

Working on Your Relationship? Give Movie Therapy a Try!  (I wholeheartedly agree!)

17 Signs You’re A Lapsed Catholic  (About half of these)

Compare Before You Wear: The Most Popular Fitness Trackers   (Anyone use any of these?  Thoughts?)

38 Things Only People Who Work From Home Will Understand  (A good deal of these)

15 Signs You’re Definitely Not Fit To Be A Mom  (Where is "hissing when you hear a child speak, laugh and especially scream?")

HBO 1983 Intro (Courtesy of the Mr.  I remember this to a TEE.  This either meant you were on vacation and found that awesome movie you wanted to stay up to watch after flipping through the HBO guide on the nightstand or you were at a rich friend's house who had HBO.)

I am ready for the weekend!  I think the side table I've been working on for like almost 2 weeks is almost ready for prime time tomorrow!  It has been a learning process and I hope it makes doing the rest of the furniture much easier to tackle.  I might poo myself when it comes time to do the dining table, which is why I'm doing it last.  La la laaaaa....I don't hear la laaaaa.

What's on everyone's agenda for the weekend?

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hooky for Health

I was informed earlier this week I am being kidnapped and the Mr is taking a hooky day.  Ferris isn't the only one who can take a day off, yo.

Usually I am the one trying to talk him into taking a day off so this rarity of instigation is quite welcome.  Not quite sure what we're doing but I know it's a road trip and we're getting up early so I can go back to sleep in the car...HA!

When I was a kid, my mom would let me choose a day during the holidays, I would play hooky and we'd take the bus downtown to look at the Christmas windows, visit Santa and create wonderful memories.  I wasn't jonesing for a perfect attendance award so I'd much rather have those days each year to feel the magic of the season with my mommy and she can blame those days for my obsession with Christmas, my affinity for the city and the reason I cry when I hear Petula Clark sing Downtown.

Health Magazine says that hooky days are actually good for you...

There’s a reason it’s called a mental-health day. Studies confirm that time off—whether on a trip out of Dodge or a 24-hour staycation—relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease. It also promotes creative thinking (attention, bosses!). And women in a 2005 study who took two or more vacations per year were less likely to be depressed than women who took one every two years.

Can’t swing more than a few days away? No problem: The length of a vacation had no bearing on how happy it made people, according to a recent study in the journal Applied Research in the Quality of Life. What’s more, the biggest thrill came before the vacation. So spread around the joy of that sweet anticipation by planning short jaunts throughout the year instead of one big blowout trip. 
So if it's a published fact, I say we should all imbibe in the occasional hooky day!

When was the last time you took a hooky day?  What was the best hooky day you ever took?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Adulthood = overrated

Yesterday was an interesting day.  For the past year, we've been noticing an occasional freeze over on our A/C line going out to the unit.  It wasn't all the time, usually when we had to turn it on because the house wasn't cooling down despite being cool/cold outside.  Since this ecard about covers my feeling...

...I wasn't going to risk having it turn into an issue.  I found a deal through a high rated company and we made the appointment last week for yesterday.  In the meantime, the Mr did some research on our potential problem and found that when that freeze over happens, it's likely down on Freon.  Now, in case you've got an old girl like ours (18 years to be exact...she's officially an adult), you may or may not know that the R22 refrigerant used in older units like ours is being phased out by 2020.  Of course new units are more efficient and such but despite having it, never...but are religious about filter changes, we're not replacing it unless we had to.

The dudes arrived and looked in the HVAC and said all looked good.  The Mr told him about the issue we were having and he suspected the refrigerant was low.  He said he wouldn't be able to know how low it was until they started filling it initially.  He said it would be $122 for the first pound and $100 for each pound after.  I told him we weren't going to spend $400-600 and he said no that he'd rather see us put that toward a new unit for that kind of money.  Oh, I'm sure you would, sir.  I mean, he wasn't trying to sell us one but I just got rid of a car that was 12 years old last year...we're all about running something into the ground.  Once he started filling it, he told us it was two pounds down so we told him to fill 'er up.  He checked it up and down, inside and out and while she has some miles on her, she's in perfect working order after the refuel and holy crap is it cold in here now!  I mean, I thought it was fine before but this is like make sure you're wearing the thick bra in company cold.

After they left, we got in our strength workout and while it wasn't a big calorie torcher, we both pushed the arms to failure and that's what it's all about.  That and the hokey pokey.

When we were done, I checked a website to see if the rug that was out of stock the night before was magically available.  Guess what?  It claimed it was!  I ordered it and a rug for in front of the door.  It wasn't my first choice but I just wanted the whole rug thing over with.  Ten minutes later I get an email saying they need to talk to me about delivery times.  Oh yeah...backordered.  Small rug will be available in July and the main rug...October.

Let me break that down...four MONTHS from now!

I looked up at the wall...


Then contemplated running head first into it.

Instead I decided to run to the antique store where I got my Annie Sloan paint and grab the quart of Paris Grey I needed since the little test pot I got barely put one coat on the furniture and another quart of pure white since I'm certain I'm going to run out before it getting properly coated.  $90 for paint.  How I wish that was a typo.

Then we went to a local area rug dealer where a little old man came out and flipped all of the rugs.  I told him what I wanted and he proceeded to flip every single rack and show me nothing but the opposite color of what I specified.  Finally, to get us out of there, I faked liking one and asked if he could write the info down and we'd come back with a swatch of a couch material.  Oy.

We decided it was a movie night and took advantage of the phone call we got to come back to the overpriced video store for half off.  We rented The LEGO Movie and Her.  (affiliate links) Both were good distractions from a day when I preferred not to be an adult.  I'll take 1982, playing in the pond with my next door neighbor chasing lightning bugs and listening to Duran Duran on the radio, please.

Any recent situations that have made you want to revert back to childhood for a day or two?

(This post contains a few affiliate links.  Should you choose to buy through them, you'll get a smiley box at your door and I'll get a few cents to keep the blog lights on.)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hanging in there

Back in March, I made a secret purchase.  Because I had to get two of them, one for each of us, it qualified as a 'big purchase' (we consult on anything over $50) so I asked the Mr if I could buy a surprise.  I got a sideways look like he wouldn't give the okay if I didn't drop a hint but I couldn't tell him what it was.  We'd talked about getting it but I wanted to wait for the right time to bust it out.  He agreed and after I made the purchase, I said, "now forget about it."  I might as well have grazed his man bits because he is very antsy and doesn't like secrets and drives himself nuts trying to figure it out.

Thankfully he did forget about it.

I was going to break out my surprise when we got back from vacation but upon our return, I knew our strength wasn't up to par for normal workouts, much less what I had in store.  Well, given all he's put up with on the remodel and my wild emotions, I wanted to reward him so I gave him the surprise Monday night.

Nothing says "thanks for hanging in there with me" more than suspension exercise equipment, right?

Let's peek in the box.

The LifelineUSA XT Jungle Gym (affiliate link) is a form of suspension training.  You've heard of TRX, right?  Well, same concept, different brand and almost half the price!  Believe me when I tell you I did my research before buying these.  Anything where you are leaning forward with nothing to hold you up but two straps with a possibility of face planting...I'm not taking that lightly.  It is rated 4 1/2 stars on Amazon just like the TRX system and that was good enough for me.  I printed off this list of TRX exercises from Greatist and we went down to the basement.  The Mr was nervously excited.  Perhaps this wasn't a traditional "woo hoo" gift but it was something we both wanted to try and now it was time to put our bodies (and faces) to the test.

In the box were two straps, an anchor to strap them over a joist or tree if you want to do it outdoors (no thank you), a DVD and a poster of exercises.

We put the anchor strap over our bare joist...

then slid the strap weights through the anchor and we were ready to go.

Well, I did make sure we got our exercise mat and had it underneath us...THEN we were ready to go.

If we were going to face plant, it was going to be a little softer.

Since we were busy trying to figure it out, I don't have pics of us using it but you can see videos from the company on YouTube here.  (Just a note, they use a bar for their videos so your straps wouldn't be that close for your exercises but they show the closer straps in the DVD included)   You can also check out the competitor's channel for some other exercise suggestions here.  They'll all look prettier doing it than some noobs looking like monkeys swinging in their pens at the zoo.

So what did we think our first time out?

Well, I am sore as hell as I write this!  The Mr was even sore the morning after and he always takes two days to feel the effects of a good strength workout.  From my neck to the shoulders to the back to the inner thighs and heck even the sides of my knees...all of it was sore and we've been doing some good strength training lately!

Does it take faith to use the LifelineUSA XT Jungle Gym (affiliate link) or any kind of suspension training?  Yes.  You have to trust that these two straps are going to hold your weight as you lean forward or pull back at a 60 degree angle without letting loose.  While I can't find a weight limit, if you get the wall mounts, it says that each strap mount is rated to 300 lbs per strap.  So I would say it's probably safe to say that is a good guideline to use, maybe take off 100-200 lbs to be safe?  If it's a big issue, I would email the company to see if they can give you an accurate answer.

I'll be honest, we didn't really follow their DVD.  Neither of us thought it could be used as a 'traditional' workout, more like 'here's some moves you can do.'  So between their suggestions, the ones on the list I printed out and just making stuff up on the spot, we spent an hour on it.  I burned 520 calories which is pretty low for a strength workout for the amount of time but we know a lot of it was laughing or adjusting straps and stuff.  I know we'll get a better routine down pat as we continue to use it but I think this will help work muscles that are forgotten about.  It's easy to take up and down which is a good thing because we had to take them down last night because the A/C guy is coming today and when they're up, it looks like a sex shop back room for the adventurous couple.

Have you done suspension training?  Would you try it?

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Regret, vintage bust and oven fries

As usual, the weekend went by too quickly.  Why does that seem to happen so often?

I was glad to take a break from all things remodeling for a bit even if we did end up at the home improvement store and got the rest of what I need to finish up our side table this week.  Man, this all sounded so good and easy in the beginning.  Given how long this small table was, I was starting to lose confidence I could refinish our dining room table.  We went to a favorite vintage store and we're friends with the owner and I was checking out his farm tables.  He has a very reasonably priced table for $460 but not quite in the right color right now but is willing to take orders.  As I ran my hand over the finish, the Mr said if that was the finish we would get for shelling out almost $500 then he thinks that I can get very close to that so I'm going to give it a go.  I'll probably save that for last when we have reclaimed our folding buffet table as the current media center.  So pathetic looking in here.  I found an area rug I love on Etsy but the seller isn't getting back to me.  I'm REALLY hoping she tells me she was on vacation or something but her customer service isn't impressing me right now and the Mr wants me to move on and I don't really want to give her our money either given she's not responding to a very simple statement (basically, yes...if you can dye that light gray and have a higher pile, I'll take it) then I don't know how things would go if there was an issue.  I almost had a panic attack the other night from it.



I even noticed the Mr getting in on the act last night...

Yesterday, I was certain I would be able to find perfect accessories for the living room at this vintage show but it came up a big, fat bust.  I was a sad clown the rest of the day. all sounds so easy when you're in the planning stages.  The execution blows.

I wanted a burger and fries for dinner so I got to it after our workout.  So if you don't mind some really crappy phone pics taken at dusk of this quick recipe, I can show you how to make perfect baked fries.

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Grab two washed 8 oz russet taters.

Cut it in half and then cut that half in half for four slices.

Take each slice and do the same thing.  Cut that half in half and then cut that half in half for four fries per slice.

Toss them in a big bowl.

Add some good olive oil, about 1 tbsp, and give it a toss to coat.

Scatter the fries on a cookie sheet and coat with freshly ground black pepper and the slightest dash of sea salt or no salt if you prefer.

Set your timer for 15 minutes and halfway through, about 7-8 minutes in, your fries are going to start letting off some steam.  That's when you know to give 'em a little shake on the sheet to make sure they're not sticking.

When the timer goes off,  is when you add any spices like garlic powder and rosemary or Mrs Dash, etc.

Give the fries a flip with the spatula so the side that has already roasted is showing off it's golden goodness.

Set the timer for 15 minutes again and at the 7-8 minute mark, give 'em another shake for good measure until the full 15 minutes has passed.

Thirty minutes and you have easy, perfectly cooked oven fries!

What did you do this weekend?  Do you make your own homemade fries?

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Get on that and what I'm reading this week

Man, has it been a long week!  I wish I could say the worst is behind us but I need to get on painting the furniture.  You don't realize how much you use a coffee table until it's not there anymore.  But thankfully the heat has died down a little so I don't have to be in a sweat box while doing it.  It's time to get on that, yo!

But enough of that, let's get to...

Brian Williams Raps Baby Got Back  (Yes, it's as good as it sounds)

7 Tips for Making Your Next Move As Painless As Possible  (For those of you looking to make the jump soon)

Watch Out for These 7 Heart Attack Symptoms  (Good to know)

Bathroom Workbook: 8 Elements of Beachy Style  (Because who doesn't want to keep it mellow in a beachy environment)

Go Grain-Free With a Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust   (I've always wanted to try this but have been too skeered.  Anyone try this yet?)

From the "Where Are They Now 80's Babies Edition"

Baby Mary From 'Three Men and a Baby' Revisits the 1987 Comedy 

'Baby Boom' Twins Talk Playing Elizabeth, Reuniting With Diane Keaton 

'Raising Arizona' Child Actor on 'Surreal' Film with Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter 

Mindy Kaling: People Call Me 'Ugly and Fat' — as a Compliment  (What the hell is WRONG with people!?!?)

Shadoe Stevens Remembers Casey Kasem: A 'Genuine Man' in a 'Cynical World'  (I had the biggest crush on Shadoe back in the day.  My friend and I stood next to him waiting to cross Rodeo Drive back in 1988 when he was at the height of his hotness.)

Billy Idol to Release First New Album in Nearly a Decade  (SO excited!  The last album of his I got was his Christmas album which is now in regular rotation during the holidays.  It's pretty damn good if you haven't given it a listen!)

Dr. Oz scolded at hearing on weight loss scams  (I'm sorry, I know there are a lot of Oz fans out there but I'm glad this happened, if not to bring awareness to people who blindly follow him without question.  If I bought all of the damn supplements he touts on a daily basis, I'd be broke.  I know people steal his image to sell bogus pills but if he'd stop touting the next "miracle" pill to people desperate to lose weight without doing what really needs to be done, they'd have nothing to latch on to.  *Stepping off soapbox*)

How to Create a Secret Doorway Behind a Bookcase  (I can't WAIT to do this.  We've had this plan for years to hide a hang out room that we don't want certain family members to know we have.  LOL)

Link seen between sitting and certain cancers  (Great...I'm screwed)

4 Things You Don't Know About Makeup with SPF    (Good to know)

25 Very Real Struggles Of Making New Friends As An Adult  (Yep...#4...done it.)

Tap Into Stud Space for More Wall Storage  (I'm SO figuring out a way to do this in the garage!)

‘The Money Pit’ Movie Mansion for Sale  (I need to watch this movie again.  So funny!  It's beautiful inside)

World Cup Fitness by the Numbers  (Even if you're not a soccer fan, it makes you respect the shape even the refs have to be in for a game!)

19-Year-Old's Body Image Essay Touches Collective Nerve  (So heartbreaking but I'm sure more than one of us has had these thoughts in a picture)

"Banned" Grey Poupon Ad  (Video:  I almost pee'd myself laughing)

This weekend, I'm taking a little break from working on the bigger things and hitting up some vintage stores to see what I can find for accessories.  I'm super excited!  Can you tell I've been locked up in the house too long?  The Mr seems to like this "minimalist" thing.  We literally have a couch, love seat, dining table and our TV on a folding table and he spins with glee when he comes home.  Okay maybe not spins but he probably does that when I go to the bathroom or something.  I would like to have our armoires back.

So, what are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Justification and the leftover trap

That happened the day before yesterday...fact.

It has been almost a week of less than stellar eating.  Actually, horrible eating.  A lot of it had to do with having so much food left over from Saturday and wanting to "get it out of the house."  Last I checked, our FoodSaver (affiliate link)  worked just fine.  But yeah, those homemade pints of ice cream (curse you Jeni!) (affiliate link) proved too strong when you feel like you "deserve" it after all of the crap you've been through over the past few weeks.  The temptation of warming up leftovers in lieu of cranking out a full blown dinner has just been too much for me to resist.

It needs to stop.

Well, we're out of leftovers so I guess it has no choice but to stop.  But still I look at the mindset and see how easy it can be to talk yourself into something quick and easy.  Last Friday, our friend came over to remove the carpet,  I was baking and cooking for the next day, we still had laminate to remove and it was getting late by the time he left for me to bust out dinner and then have to wait for the oven to cool before we moved it.  We got subs and chips for dinner.  (A regular sub, no monster sub or anything but still)

Saturday well, you know how that went.  So it was pork roast, mac and cheese and baked beans with the occasional cookie or ice cream sandwich.  That night we ordered pizza to refuel the boys and I had probably less than I would normally have on a regular high cal day so...yay?

Sunday we were so mentally and physically done that we had ice cream sandwiches for breakfast.  Not a typo.  I wish I could say I felt bad about it at the time but I didn't.  I do now but you know you're in that whole 'screw it' mindset when you're waving the white flag?  I let the Mr pick the spot for lunch to reward him for his hard work even though this was no longer a high cal day but you do that whole justification or "he deserves to be rewarded' kind of logic.  He chose a wing place (not a fan) and I got a quarter pound burger over a half pounder and we split a chili cheese fry which was seriously lacking in size so I guess that's a good thing.  Just as I was feeling proud of that decision, the new Reese Cup Oreos he came home with Thursday night began calling.

*shaking head*

Sunday dinner was leftovers so pork roast, mac and cheese and baked beans.  After dinner, I threw the leftover cookies in the trash.  Honestly, they weren't my best batches.  I was too rushed and they weren't worth the extra calories.

Monday was a decent breakfast, lunch was leftovers again and dinner was bbq pork roast pizza and a side of asparagus.  Yoga was on the agenda because we both felt severely out of alignment.  Then we saw a double feature at the movies and movie candy was had.  Oy.

Tuesday was painting the outside and waiting on the dumpster pick up and running on four hours of sleep.  No real work was done.  Breakfast was healthy, lunch was finishing off the leftover sides (who knew those things would stretch that long!??!) and fruit salad.  In between lunch and dinner were those pints of ice cream I mentioned.  I scooped us up a bowl of dark chocolate and my own creation of Biscoff cookie butter ice cream.'s as good as it sounds.  That's the problem.  Dinner was thankfully fish and veggies.

My water consumption has been pure crap all week and I can feel the water retention.  Now that the kitchen is almost back to normal, there's no excuse not to cook good, healthy meals.  I just generally feel crappy when I don't eat the best or have more sodium than I should.

I need to stop this madness before I end up in a serious backslide and take the Mr with me.

Have you fallen into the leftover trap?  How do you stop a backslide?  

(This post contains affiliate links.  Should you choose to partake in some retail therapy through them, I will receive a few cents to go toward blog expenses)

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bag and weight lifted

Yesterday was quite the day for our nerves.'s the parents went away on a week's vacation and...oh wait, wrong situation.  (Kudos for those who will now have Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff stuck in their heads the rest of the day)

When we originally pulled the Bagster out to the curb, we were going to leave it out overnight since they give you a three day window for pick up.  Yeah.  Not the most convenient but after we drug the damn thing out there, the Mr starts saying how he hopes people didn't see it and use it as an opportunity to dump their own crap in there overnight.  As I chewed on this new piece of the puzzle, I thought of a few jerks in the neighborhood who would have no problem doing that and stick an old couch or something in there.  We decided we were just going to have to drag it in and out every night.  When we pulled it back into the garage, I seriously pulled not just my back but my whole right side.  It was not pretty.  We called the company to see when we could expect pick up and they said they didn't have a day but it wouldn't be Monday so we didn't have to drag it out again.  She said they would know by 6am if we were on the roster for the day so we could call then but they could also show up at 6am so if they show up and it's not out there, they can charge you $50.  Later in the day Monday, I got an email from them that they would be picking up on Tuesday.  Monday night we went to a double feature and didn't get home until 2:15am.  We got up at 5:50am and I grabbed this rolling planter stand and we wedged it under the bag and used our forearm forklift straps around their straps to yank the bag out and it made it sooo much easier.

After we bought the bag and the appointment was made, I read a few horror stories of people who had less than stellar experiences like their bags weren't picked up or were rejected for whatever reason.  Of course I whipped myself into a frenzy, we both kind of did and were glad we were home so that we could make sure it all went off without a hitch.  As if the anxiousness of them arriving wasn't enough, we had another project going on...

That's our door covered up for the siding to be painted.  One of the things that the hauling company said it needed was adequate space so we had to make sure the painters were nowhere near us so we didn't get charged and our bag rejected.  We just wanted it gone as soon as possible.  Thankfully at 11:00am, we heard it pull up and we gleefully opened the garage door to this sight...

We were total nerds and watched the process.  This long arm comes out from behind the truck cab with two hooks to loop around the dumpster straps.

The driver manipulates it over via remote control and then loops the straps to get ready for the ride.

Up, up and away!

Then it goes into the truck with the other loads.  He must've had a hell of a morning because the whole thing was almost full and he had to move it to the right in a hole to make it fit.  That's no small truck!

I cannot begin to tell you the relief we felt when that thing was in the air and we knew there were no issues.  I knew the likelihood of anything going wrong with our particular load was low but still.  You get that bit of a pit in your stomach until it's all taken care of!

I wish I could say we're done but we're nowhere near done.  I have two armoires, a coffee table and a dining room table to stain and paint.  I just finally have the space in the garage to do it.  I still have to sweep it out and such but it feels like a weight lifted off of our shoulders.  (Up to 3300 lb weight to be exact)

Have you ever had multiple projects land on the same day?  

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oh yeah...that.

So you know how you get this bright idea to rip up the floors and carpet and then you look in your garage and see this?

Oh yeah...that.

Kind of totally forgot about the whole construction debris issue.  So after trying to set up with a local hauler where they will only give you a quote once they see what you have to get rid of, we had to get creative.  Enter the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag .  (affiliate link) 

It got good reviews on Home so I was all for it.  It's $30 for the bag there but if we had more time, we would've ordered it through the link at Amazon above since it's under $27 there.  Every buck counts, yo.  So we set it up in front of the garage and put the heaviest items on the bottom as it instructs being careful to make sure the straps the crane needs to lift it are on the outside.

We drug that unwieldy beast back into the garage because we didn't trust that other people wouldn't dump their own crap in there overnight and cause us issues.  So we filled it up, scheduled our appointment and we'll hopefully get it all out of our hair by the end of the day.

Of course it figures, they scheduled to paint the outside of our house today as well so hopefully everyone will play nice and we can get this taken care of.

How much is it to haul away?  Well, in our area, it's $119 (RetailMeNot has a $5 off coupon which I used.  Not much again, every buck counts)  So figure $150 for haul away but if you don't have a better option like us then it is something you'll need to figure into your budget.  (I wish we'd even entertained the idea of haul away)

We do have a back up option with bulk pick up for the carpet rolls but getting rid of the flooring would be interesting.  But please keep your fingers crossed there are no issues.  I'll update tomorrow!  :-)

Do you budget for haul away on home projects or do you totally forget until your garage is clogged up?

(This post contains an affiliate link.  Should you choose to buy through it, I will get a few cents to keep the blog lights on.)
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Glad that's over with: Our flooring escapade

You ever just dread something SO bad that you're like, "oh Lord, when I wake up, it's on."  It's like you want to skip the day and have someone else just take care of everything and call you when it's all done.  Well, I knew that we would probably run late and loud so I spent a good deal of Friday not only preparing what we would all eat on Saturday but made some bribe baskets for the neighbors with cookies in them. 

Our new Southern neighbors were very appreciative and she gave me a hug  I told her I was sorry and after how long it went, I probably owe them a full course dinner.  We tried to give one to the other neighbor but she didn't answer her door and ended up not even being home this weekend so MAJOR score there because if there would be anyone to retaliate for noise, it would be her.  We lucked out big time on that one!

Friday night, we moved all of our big furniture including two big ass armoires into the garage with our forearm forklift lifting and moving straps.  (affiliate link)  Jennifer B, here's your review...we wouldn't have been able to do it easily without them.  I will admit, they're more wrist straps given the height of our armoires, but I guess they have extension straps so we may get those.  But if you've only got two people available for moving and all of your friends are suddenly "busy" when you need to move, I wouldn't do any heavy lifting without these babies!  Thumbs up!

Our friend who was doing the install came over to do some prep.  This included removing our carpet (though I admit I was kind of bummed we didn't get to take it out.  I wanted to do that but he did it much faster than we probably would've been able to).  When he looked at getting the laminate off, it revealed our old floor, our very first DIY job...

The Mr and my uncle heat gunned the original squares the builders laid and they put those in the foyer and kitchen.  We had it for about half the time we lived here and it was kind of sweet and sad seeing it again.  We couldn't think of all the times our pup begged on those floors as I was whipping up dinner.  We were so proud of it.  We decided after he left, that we would take up the laminate and I admit, I love demo.  There's a certain satisfaction you get jamming a wonder bar under a slat and busting that baby out.  It was also neat seeing what our kitchen remodel would look like with our old floor.

It was like a time warp when we woke up the next day and saw that staring at us at the bottom of the stairs.  I admit, I kinda miss it...a little.  When the carpet was pulled up we were reminded of the great ceiling flood of 2010 with a huge water spot.

We both remember being in the place when there was 6" of snow on the plywood and no roof, how did THAT not leave a mark but the mini waterfall from the bathroom did even though we shop vac'd it rather quickly in comparison?

Anyhoo, the Mr and I made it our job to roll out the red underlayment to keep it quiet and I had to snap a crappy pic when the first board was starting to be put down.

I was basically useless.  I swept as boards were being cut but other than that, it was too many people in a small space and our friend is one of those guys who gets in his zones and just wants to get it done.  I understand because I grew up around many construction projects as a kid.  My friend (his wife) rescued me and we went shopping for 2 hours after eating lunch.  When we came back, this was about as far as they got and the Mr was helping...

I was kind of surprised at the progress at that particular point and was glad I wasn't there for the kitchen because I'm sure there was a LOT of cursing and speaking in tongues...maybe even a voodoo doll of us involved.  Even though our kitchen is small, it's a lot of angles and huge ass fridge that had to basically stay in there the whole time so yeah, I was much happier at Sur La Table sipping free lemonade than listening to the boys.  ;-)

It went much longer than I anticipated but it wasn't for lack of effort or anything, it's just that I'm horribly bad at judging how much time something like that takes.  Before that day, he kept saying he could knock it out in a day and I think even with our help, there were just a lot of variables even a professional like him couldn't foresee.  We felt horrible that he put in such a long day but in the end, it is probably better that it was knocked out in one shot instead of having it hanging over his head or us having to call and ask when he could finish and feeling bad.  By 11pm, we were at this point.

The floor had been laid and the baseboards were being cut.  I'll admit, after 11pm when the massive air compressor would run to refill the nail gun or the saw would go off, I would plug my ears and pretend it wasn't happening.  La la laaaaa!  I imagined our neighbors plotting their revenge and saying "the cookies were dry...not good enough!"  When all was said and 12:45am, the floor and new 4 1/4" baseboards were nailed in and most of the trim done.

It made me a little teary...

We both really love it.

We spent yesterday cleaning up the massive amounts of construction dust in the house.  We wiped down the walls and we got off the first layer of dust on the floors which were looking less than pretty.  I didn't want to get snookered into those high priced laminate cleaners off the bat so I did a lot of research online for all natural cleaners and I used a 50/50 mixture of water and distilled white vinegar.  At first the vinegar smell was really overwhelming and I LOATHE vinegar.  So I added about 1/2 cup of water after it went down some and added 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  It smelled much better  It cleaned well and as long as I went with the grain of the plank, it didn't streak.  I've also heard to add 1/4 cup of alcohol if streaking becomes an issue but we'll see.

I spent the rest of the day caulking...

T'was not a fun project and I'll tell ya, there were a few spots that I wasn't jazzed about and wondered how I was going to make them look good but I rocked that chit!  The Mr was quite happy with my ability especially filling in seams and corners.  I ran out of caulk so I'll be getting more of that today to finish the little bit I have left.  If I don't do it while I'm in the mindset, it'll get put off forever.

That was just a majority of our fun but there were other issues we had to contend with but we'll tackle that tomorrow.

I have to say, while my dad and I aren't close, I am grateful that as a little kid, he let me tag along on construction projects.  I don't have the full blown gene of knowing how to miter cut or lay flooring on my own but I can swing a hammer, paint a wall, prune trees, caulk like da bizness and am willing to learn before automatically calling someone else to do something we could do ourselves with a little research.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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