Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween

That lil bugger is hanging up on our front door right now and waiting to welcome us home.  We've been on a much-needed vacation in New England.  Before my friend's life got thrown for a loop, we would've been in Savannah, GA today handing out candy from our rental on Jones St which I was kind of excited about doing since we get no trick or treaters.  But with her wedding cancelled,  I knew the potential for humid heat was too great, and that isn't my idea of Fall.  Instead, we've been in the Berkshires and southern Vermont sucking up what fall color was left and doing whatever the heck we want from our Fall bucket lists.

It has been such a trying year for the Mr between the health stuff (more to the point the BS health care system), people's reactions to said health crap, project after project at work, bogged down with tests needed for his job that have deadlines on them and then his derpy wife being all "hey, let's wing it and finish the workout space despite having zero experience except watching Renovation Realities."  He deserved something to look forward to and to finally exhale and I hope that this vacation was that for him.  (Me too!)  We thought last year was terrible with Grandma's passing and all that followed but this year has tried to outdo it which neither of us appreciated.  Pfft.

(For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links which means, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.)

So, on this holiday that brings back memories of trick or treating, dressing up as your favorite character and childhood innocence, we wish all of you those fuzzy feelings!   Whether you live it through your kids or grandkids, delight at the goblins at your door or turn off your porch light and settle in for a good old school scare fest with Freddy and Jason or little less gory and spend it with Linus and Charlie Brown.

How are you spending this Halloween?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Halloween Creepy Quiz

Remember when polls/quizzes were the jam when we had Myspace and such?  (I still go on Blogthings on occasion when bored.)

Well, I'm bringing it back for this Hump Day Poll!

1. Favorite horror or Halloween-themed song?  Thriller by Michael Jackson.  It's not Halloween without it!

2. Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or in an abandoned building.  Literally, anything living that isn't me or the Mr.

3. Have you ever played with a Ouija Board?  A looooong time ago.  You're moving, YOU are!

4. Favorite horror monster or villain?  I suppose I'm a Freddy Krueger girl.

5. The creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?  Things that go bump in the night.

6. If you were dared to spend the night in a “haunted house,” would you do it?  We already have unintentionally.

7. Are you superstitious?  A little.

8. Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?  On occasion.

9. Which urban legend scares you the most?  Bloody Mary

10. Do you prefer gore or thrillers?  Thrillers.  Gore is cheap.

11. Do you believe in multiple dimensions or worlds?   I don't really think about it.

12. Do you get scared easily?  About average, I think.

13. Have you ever played Bloody Mary?  I don't think so, why tempt fate.

14. Do you believe in demons/the devil?  In a way.

15. You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?  Jump up, grab a weapon, and threaten the hell out of it.  Though if it's a ghost, that really doesn't help.

16. If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?  I feel like if I answer this, it would be what Hell would be if I went there.  No thanks.

17. If you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life, what would you be?  A cranky middle-aged woman.  *looks down*

18. Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?  That was part of the Mr and I's first date.  Oh, and he left me when we started sinking in soft dirt.  He wasn't attached yet, so, "see ya!"

19. Would you rather go to a Halloween party or go trick or treating?  Free candy or drunk people.  Hmmm...

20. You’re in a horror movie. Are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?  I'd like to think the smart one but note even they didn't make it to "final" girl!

21. Do you have to watch something happy after watching a horror movie so you can go to sleep?  Usually.

22. Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time or the person who falls asleep?  Totally yell at the characters, but if I sense something gory is coming, I look away.  I don't need that in my brain, whether straight on or through my fingers.

23. Are you the one who gets scared, or the one who does the scaring?  Neither.

24. Favorite scary book?  The Ghost of Windy Hill

25. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?  Five.

Now it's your turn.

Answer all or pick your faves and answer below!

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Monday, October 28, 2019

How to Apply Peel and Stick Vinyl Tiles to Poured Concrete Floors

When you have uneven poured floors in your basement, your "easy" options are few.   The floor isn't level no matter how much your eye tells you it is.  The fastest way to confirm this is to put a long piece of baseboard down and stand back in horror.  Ours showed the edges of the piece were level in that spot, but the middle was almost 1/2" lower.  (Thankfully, we were going to be covering it with a console so you wouldn't see it, otherwise...caulk to the rescue.)

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  Should you buy through them, I may get a few cents to go toward blog expenses.)

I debated whether or not to get vinyl planks that look like wood, but the reviews I was reading said that it didn't stick well to poured floors.  You could put down luan, and it stuck well to that, but this was the last thing on our list before we were done with 2 months of work, and I didn't have it in me to lay down luan first.  I found these peel and stick vinyl tiles.

It wouldn't have been my first choice because I didn't want a busy pattern, but it was the most modern I could find that wasn't too harsh on my eyes color-wise.  When they tell you in the description that you don't need any tools and emphasize that, don't believe it.  I was a little more than miffed that it wasn't mentioned until I got the boxes delivered and was ready to go that they tell you you'll need "a tile roller for best adhesion."

So here's what you'll need if you're starting from the middle of a room.

I'm going to tell you right now, we didn't.  We knew we needed to start by a wall and against a different type of floor, so I wasn't going to bother with the chalk line, starting from the middle of the room and working my way out.  This was a basement, and no one would see it but us, so I wasn't worried about it.

The first thing you need to do if you have multiple boxes is go through the tiles, especially if you're dealing with a linoleum-ish situation.  These are factory pressed, and you've got everything from scuffs... nicks you may be dealing with.

Pull those out, and if you're going to have furniture over a specific area, then you can put the duds there.  Otherwise, box 'em up and return them for a new box because, in my eyes, those are defects because some of that doesn't come off.  Out of 15 boxes, I would say two boxes were duds.  I used them in spots I knew would be hidden.

Here's a glance at the painted floors we were covering.

As you can see, it wasn't pretty.

You need to do a little prep work if you're sticking directly to concrete.  Sweep/vacuum the floor and then clean it with a wet cleaner, or I used the water/alcohol solution I use on our granite.

Now, let me enlighten you on what you need (in my opinion) that they don't tell you.  A blow dryer.  When you peel back the backing on each tile, this is the adhesive situation.

The kind of rippled sections are the only parts that have enough adhesion that will actually stick.  The rest of it will have the stickiness of Scotch tape if I'm honest.  The only thing that will bring out the most possible adhesion is a hairdryer on hot.

It took about three minutes per tile, so put on a good playlist, you're going to be there a while.

Make sure you focus on the sides and corners since those are the most likely to peel back in general, especially with more wear and tear.  If you're more ambitious than I am and are putting down luan, this may be all you need on the sticky front.

If you're putting it on the concrete and the warm dryer still won't get it to stick to your satisfaction, get this HomeEasy Carpet and Vinyl Tape.  I saw it in a YouTube video from a floor installation company, and he's right, it worked like a charm.  

I ran lines of it about four tiles worth across and for the seams so each seam all around would be covered.  Then it was time to get to work and just line up the pattern as I worked from left to right.

It was an undertaking, so turn on your heart rate monitor because you're going to burn a lot more calories than you think.  

It took me two full days to get that area done.  The tape really did make a difference, and it's been down for three weeks and hasn't pulled up anywhere.  

I hope this helps someone out there thinking of sprucing up their basement space!

You can also use one box if you want to put a "rug" in front of your washer and dryer.  Stick 'em down then a bead of caulk around the edges to finish it/  Use painters tape to make super straight lines by placing it 1/4" from the edges of the tiles so it catches any caulk overlap and you've got a new, fun, functional piece for under $20!

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Friday, October 25, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #43

It's the last Friday of October and you know what that means...

This is my spirit time of year and I plan to roll around in all of the pumpkin patches, kick all of the leaves and wear all of the fuzzy socks!

Now let's roll into...

25 Common Words That Didn’t Exist Until the 1990s   (I'm pretty sure "brain freeze" was before the 90's but yeah)

These Vintage Diet and Food Ads From the 80s and 90s Will Actually Shock You  (Ugh, Crystal Pepsi was SO nasty!)

How to Wash Your Pillows the Right Way  (Ooh, good guidelines.)

24 Hilariously Horrific Halloween DIY Fails  (OMG, these are hilarious!)

Why Was The Amityville Horror So Terrifying?  (We've driven by the actual house- there is something peaceful but eerie about it.)

The Best Halloween Candy to Buy in 2019  (Those Butterfinger skulls are awesome!)

12 DIY Halloween Lanterns You Can Make In No Time  (In case you changed your mind on "general Fall decor" only.)

Halloween Hijinx: 15 Scarily Funny Horror Films  (I was OBSESSED with Love at First Bite as a kid!  I probably couldn't sit through it now though, I don't want to taint it.  Some of these do not count as horror movies in my book but Happy Death Day should definitely be added to the list!)

What It's Really Like Inside The 'Scream' House   (Um, I want to rent it for an event please!)

18 Creative Ideas for Leftover Halloween Candy  (Leave no Reese's Pieces behind.)

I hope you have a great last weekend of October and get in all of those fun Halloween/Fall activities before the hustle and bustle of Christmas sets in a week from today.  (Poor Thanksgiving, it so gets the shaft.)

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Home Gym Essentials When You Are Tight on Space and Money

Halloween is a week away and then the holidays are in full swing.  That means the potential for weight gain if you're not careful.  You can beat the New Year's rush to the gym by setting yourself up for success even if you only have a small space.

Many people transform their garages or basements into a workout room and for good reason.  The cost of gym memberships run about $550 per year on average.  They get that money whether you go or not, and apparently 82% of gym members go less than once a week.  For some people, the gym can be an intimidating place to be and maybe part of the reason they don't go.  We have lost our weight by doing pretty much all at-home workouts.  If you're looking to set up a space to dedicate to your health, here are some excellent places to start for less than the cost of a gym membership!

(For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links which means, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.)

PowerBlock Speedblock Adjustable Dumbbells (2-24 lb starter set)   ($160 at time of publishing) This will likely be the most expensive investment, but all weights are.  The cool thing about these is it saves TONS of space by being compact, and you don't have all of those traditional dumbbells lying around.

Weight Lifting Gloves ($15 at time of publishing) These are awesome because they have a little extra padding where the weights tend to rub.  Your hands will thank you for it unless you like the look of thick callouses.

UPOWEX Resistance Band Set ($24 at time of publishing)  Working out with weights is awesome, but it's always good to throw in some occasional resistance band training too since it makes your muscles react a little differently.  This set has detachable handles and straps so you can get upper and lower body workouts and is perfect to throw in the bag that comes with it to travel.

Extra Thick Puzzle Exercise Mat ($30 at time of publishing)  If your room has wood or concrete floors you NEED this.  I seriously screwed up my legs for years by exercising on a concrete floor not really thinking about the impact it was having on my joints.  Plus if you're in an apartment or condo, the neighbors will thank you.  Don't forget the double-sided tape ($8) to keep them in place.

18" Flatscreen TV- ($65 at time of publishing)  If you want a screen bigger than your phone for streaming workouts or don't want to lug a laptop every day, this is perfect.  Big enough to see well but small enough for a nightstand sized table.  There's an HDMI port so you can use streaming devices like Roku Express.  ($30 at time of publishing)  There are plenty of great FREE workouts out there like Fitness Blender, Jessica Smith, and POPSugar Fitness.

High-Density Foam Roller ($20 at time of publishing)  Do you really need a foam roller?  If you exercise, the answer is a resounding yes if you want to stay injury-free and reduce soreness time.

Heart Rate Monitor ($50 at time of publishing)  Look, I know this is the age of the Apple Watch and Fitbits and blah blah blah but I watched the Mr cycle through 4 different more "modern" HRM's to get what my old school one was constantly giving me.  If you don't want to invest a ton of money, this one will absolutely get the job done at minimal cost.

Balance Pods ($20 at time of publishing)  People often train and forget one of the most important aspects...balance.  These balance pods can be used just to stand on to improve your balance as you stretch or you can make them part of your workouts.  Do push-ups off of them, stand on them, and do squats, use them doing bird dogs without having a huge BOSU type ball taking up space.

Yoga Strap  ($16 at time of publishing)  Even if you don't do yoga, you should totally own this.  Stretching is something many of us skip after a workout or do kind of half-assed, and your body pays the price.  Using this for hip and groin openers will make a world of difference in recovery and improved flexibility.

That brings us to $430 for everything you need for a home gym to get you through the winter months and beyond for LESS than the cost of ONE YEAR at the gym.   The amount of equipment listed can also be easily stored in a bin, so it's not taking up any space.  You could absolutely get away with spending just over $200 for the adjustable dumbbells, gloves, and the mats if you want to stream from your laptop/tablet, etc. and work up to the other stuff to treat yourself for goals reached.  You don't need a lot of money or space to meet your fitness goals!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hump Day Poll: Fall Bucket List

This is about the time the leaves finally change in our area, and the day you notice them is the day a huge windy rain comes in and blows them all off of the trees.  Is it just me or does Fall seem shorter in terms of the amount of color you get?

Anyhoo...we've got one more week in October to fit in those bucket list items before the only leaves left are the ones crunching underfoot and the Christmas music starts blaring.  (Don't shoot the messenger.)

I plan to squeeze in some walks with my honey, maybe a night by a firepit, and I REALLY want a caramel apple this year.  It's probably been over a decade since I've had one and the craving has been strong since summer, so what better time of year to indulge to hold me for the next 10 years?

What's left on your Fall bucket list?

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

How to Workout at Lunch and Not Smell Like a Filthy Animal at Work

The time of day you choose to workout is a very personal one.  You can find 20,000+ articles telling you why X time of day is the best time of day and here's why.  All of that is well and good, but if it doesn't fit into your schedule, then it doesn't.  The best time of day to workout is when you will actually do it.  Everyone talks about how morning workouts give you a boost throughout the day, your metabolism is higher, birds will dress you afterward like Olivia Newton-John in the opening of Grease.  Well, that doesn't work for me.  My workout performance is crap, I burn 100-200 calories less than my early evening workout time, and I end up feeling tired all day long.

Sometimes, the only time you can realistically fit in a workout is on your lunch hour.  It shows a lot on your part for the commitment thing, but no one wants to go back to work smelling like an armpit!  If you're considering the occasional lunchtime workout (even if it's just a walk), here are a few things you may want to keep in your gym bag.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a must, and yes, you can find cheaper ones out there, but this one doesn't have any nasties in it, doesn't strip color-treated hair and leaves no residue whether your hair is light or dark.  Apply it before your workout to do its job to the maximum potential.  You can give a quick spray after if you like for some volume.

Body Wipes

These Good Wipes are a large size (9 1/2" x 11 1/2"), so you can clean more square footage.  They're also biodegradable, compostable, and made with natural ingredients.  If you're a dude and want a more manly scent, they have cedar as well.

No Talc Powder

You guys have heard me praise Lady Anti Monkey Butt before, the awesome powder with the funny name.  Not only can you use it before a workout but if you want a little added insurance after a super sweat sesh, a little puff'l do ya because no one wants swamp crotch.

Foot/Shoe Powder

Don't forget those tootsies!  Your feet are trapped in your sweaty socks, but you can keep bacteria at bay with a hit of this in your socks before your workout.    Use after your workout in your sneaks to keep your shoes from smelling like wet trash.  Obviously, I stick with natural versions but use what you like.

Fabric Spray

These travel sized all-natural wrinkle release sprays are perfect for popping in your gym bag.  I like to give my regular clothes a spritz before putting them back on after cleaning up after a workout.  Just makes you feel fresh all around.  (Keep the unscented in the glove compartment for straightening out seat belt creases before going in!


Naturally, you don't want to forget your deodorant since you'll likely need a refresh after slaying your fitness goals.  Pop in your favorite or try something new like this all-natural activated charcoal deodorant cream.  Old standbys are fine but sometimes its time to shake it up to a high reviewed new kid on the block.

If after all of this you still smell, it's time to jump in the shower Stinky McStinkerson!

Do you do lunchtime workouts?  What are your favorite post-workout refreshers when time prohibits a shower?

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Friday, October 18, 2019

What I'm Reading This Week #42

Happy happy Friday all!  It's been a busy week in our parts and we need a BREAK.  I had to completely pull myself off of cardio this week because my legs couldn't take anything, even majorly modified stuff so all upper body strength stuff for me.  😢  I had to cut my calories by about 300 to compensate for the lesser calorie burn which left me hangry.  My friend's mom died last night so it's been an emotional roller coaster the past few days.  We shared lots of stories, laughs, and tears.  I'm so thankful I got to see her one last time a few weeks ago.  RIP mama...and enjoy those meatballs up there!

We wanted to thank you guys for your comments and messages about the basement reno/refresh.  It took up way more summer than we planned but as usual, the end result was worth the struggles.  We learned a lot, we've got a relaxing and functional space all around and a basement that isn't shame worthy.  Gotta love that right?!

Now let's get to...

9 Magnesium Benefits That Could Save Your Life (Most of us are deficient!)

This One Phrase Helps Turn A Fight Into A Problem To Solve  (Depending on how bad it was though I could see it pushing me over from brooding to throat punch.)

Which Is the Right Oil for Baking, Frying and More?  (Good info to know)

The Best Way to Combine Strength and Cardio Into One Workout  (I can vouch, it'll kick your butt!)

20 Places to Visit On Your Next Route 100 Road Trip  (Visit ALL the places!)

30 Romantic Fall Date Ideas That Go Beyond the Pumpkin Patch  (How fun!)

How to Survive Encounters with Dangerous Animals  (GOOD info to know if you're planning any hikes this Fall!)

3 Ways Your Weight and Your Poop Are Connected  (#3 was quite surprising.  I don't have that problem though so no excuse.)

These Clever Hotel Hacks Will Upgrade Any Place You Stay  (That hanger thing...friggin genius.  Oh and I'm with Lindsay all the way.)

The Couple Who Bought the 'American Horror Story' Murder House Are, Wait For It, Living a Horror Story of Their Own  (Feel bad for these people!)

We're tipping past mid-October and that means you've got limited time to get your Fall on before you start getting pelted with holiday commercials and the beginning of the rush.  So here's hoping you've got some awesome, fun stuff planned for the weekend!

Spill it!  You're doing something great, aren't you?

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Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Basement Refresh Reveal Part 2

Yesterday we showed you what our workout space looks like now.  Quite a change from what we've been used to all of these years and it's so nice to have the dungeon feel gone.  But that was only one side of the basement, then we were left with the laundry side and basically vast piles of crap that had no home.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  If you buy through them, I may receive a small commission toward blog expenses.)

We didn't take before pics because this was part of that whole "scope creep" we talked about a few weeks ago.  This is what it looks like at its worst.

That was in the middle of some cleaning from shelves but the only difference is we usually had a walkway on the right to get to the washer and dryer in the back left corner and a huge 2'x2' DVD cabinet that was taking up way more space than we wanted it to just to the left of where the fan is in that pic.  It was a constant source of stress and wasted space, not serving us for 23 years.  That area always seemed to be a catch-all for everything, and enough was enough.

I tend to take over the dining room table for art/smaller DIY projects, and after a month of eating on what available table space there is, it can get frustrating for both of us.  I stumbled upon this IKEA hack for a craft table and got a wonderful, awful idea.

We could put down some peel and stick tile on that side, get a new, flatter DVD cabinet and have room for this craft table that we could use for my projects, if he got a model car or we wanted the space to finally put together that 1000 piece puzzle we bought in Stowe that took up all of the previous Christmas.  The Mr was on board, and so our new functional side of the basement was born.

Quite a few things happened.  Our full-sized ironing board used to be in front of the curtained shelves, and it was always a pain in the butt to walk around.  Not only that, but the second half of it was often a catch-all for random towels and odds and ends that neither of us put away.  So I decided if we only used the equivalent of a mini ironing board anyway, we could get one and put it on top of an IKEA Kallax and free up that space and get more storage in the process.  Score!  But more on that in a minute.  The curtains cover the visual clutter of the shelves.

You can see when they're open that it's a lot more busy to the eyes and we still have full access to everything.  It's nice to have an organized out of sight, out of mind thing while it's in my peripheral whilst working out.

Here's how that craft table turned out.

Unfortunately, I ordered the seat cushions before picking the tile pattern, but whatcha gonna do?  The Mr and I both have a saddle stool I ordered from Kohls that are plus size approved.  (Up to 300 lbs.)  They slide nicely under there, so they take up zero space.

Here's the space underneath.

Actually, here's a better view before the floor was finished...

(My new sewing machine will go in that bottom space.)

I got a Kallax drawer insert for the one spot it would fit and mocha water hyacinth baskets for other spots with a few spots open for random stuff.  The stuff I had barely takes up 1/4 of it so Hobby Lobby here I come!

We had a 23-year-old wire laundry center that was a wobbly mess.

Here's the laundry center the Mr built for me.  It's kind of a horrible pic, but you get the idea.

This one will hold a lot more and looks WAY better.

Here is that ironing center and a look at the pattern on the floor tiles.

It amazes me in 2019 that we don't have better peel and stick options.  The pattern looks more intense in pictures than it does in person though, I don't know why that is.  I'll be doing a separate post with tips if you're considering doing some on a poured concrete floor.

We've got a surge strip to plug in the iron and the task light that I installed over the craft table, but the arrangement works perfectly for our needs.   We even found a collapsible laundry basket at Home Depot that fits perfectly beside it!

The storage unit has four Kallax door inserts.  I replaced the knobs on them to bigger copper pulls from Target because the ones that came with them were teeny tiny.  I've got all of our laundry detergents, water refill bottles for the iron, vacuum soap for the steam cleaner and stuff that was basically strewn about all tucked away in here.

I'm thrilled with the space even if the tile pattern wouldn't be my first choice and can't wait to put the area to good use!  I've gotta get cracking on that sewing machine to teach myself how to sew since I have the space for one now.  I see lots of doggie collar covers for practice in my future!

I can't believe it's done!  I still have to pinch myself sometimes and my heart no longer races when Home Depot commercials come on.  I'm sure that'll change in 6 months.

The Mr cowers in fear.

Wanna shop our reno?  
Below are links to items used.  (Some are affiliate links and some aren't.)

IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit (for craft table)
IKEA Kallax Insert with Drawers  (for craft table)
IKEA Linnmon Table Top (for craft table)
IKEA Olov Adjustable Table Legs  (for craft table)
Mocha Water Hyacinth Baskets
White Counter Saddle Stools
Saddle Stool Covers (hopefully I can learn to make my own and change 'em out!)

IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit (for laundry storage)
IKEA Kallax Insert with Door (for laundry storage)
Target Copper Cabinet Knobs (for laundry storage)
Furniture Legs (for laundry storage)
Collapsible Laundry Basket

Mini Ironing Board with extra pad per reviews
Floor Pops Medina White and Grey Tiles
DVD Rack (holds up to 450)
Blackout Curtain Rods
Semi Sheer Tab Top Curtain (Ecru)
Pole Wrap

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Basement Refresh Reveal Part 1

It's finally here y'all!  The moment neither you nor we thought would come.  Let me take a moment to remind you of the embarrassing frat house workout area we had before.

Nothing had a place of its own.  Use the roller and chuck it off to the perimeter.  Stack the weights on the weight bench because they're easier to grab than using the weight rack that pinches your fingers.  Keep that equipment we paid so much for because what if we want to use it one day even though we might've used it once or twice the previous year.  Put crap off to the side and we'll deal with it later which equaled never.

This was our view on an almost daily basis as we watched TV to do our workouts.

That stud wall has been our view consistently for 10 years.  (Well, 23 but 10 of it being in the basement every day.)  We had our TV, the old DDR pads that I would use as mirrors to check my form on deadlifts and such, a crap MDF DVD unit, some pics of us doing Tae Bo with Billy Blanks back in the day and who wouldn't be motivated by former Hawaii football mascot Vili the Warrior screaming in your face?  You can also see how the string lights drooped down in your face randomly.  It wasn't pretty but it got the job done.  Certainly, nothing we'd want to show off.

Lest you think the other wall looked better...

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  If you buy through them, I may get a few cents commission toward keeping the blog up and running.)

The old weight bag chains are where the Mr used to hang his sweat towel and the water rower became a nice place to lean our steps against.  We only used the scale on that wall to emotionally pound us into the ground on a weekly basis.

Here's what it looks like now.

We got a new weight rack that doesn't pinch our fingers when we pick up our weights and I got a set of battle ropes that are tucked behind it on the bottom.  I got a long mat to put down over the flooring when we do them so we don't ruin the floor faster than we already will.  The old media rack on the back of the door is going to have to stay there.  The door is open 99.9% of the time anyway so we'll never see it.

For a side by side...

Here's a look at some of the art details.

I wanted some kind of zen like art on the walls but nothing that actually had to be hung up so I chose to go the stencil route.  I painted the lotus flowers Diva Glam from Home Depot and outlined it with a copper paint pen for some depth and shine.

Then I did a tree of life.

I used Worn Penny paint from Hobby Lobby but it's a few years old so I don't know if they still sell it or not.  I love the way it turned out and it spruces up the space a little bit without being overpowering.  If we ever get tired of it, we can just paint over it.

Now the part we look at all the time...

Looks a little different from the stud wall and Vili the Warrior, eh?  The only thing missing from the pic is the scale which is now on the right but pfft to it.  We took the Brimnes collection from IKEA and hacked it a bit with new handles to replace the cheap ones they give you and I stained luan for the backer on the tall cabinet for some contrast.

On the top, we have all of our most used fitness DVD's and then some fun accents to calm the space a bit with some faux plants and some copper accent pieces to match the handles.  The drawers store a box with odds and ends in it like deodorant, shoe powder, lip balm, etc as well as our Jungle Gym suspension equipment.  The bottom drawer holds our two peanut rollers so they're not just getting chucked around.

I was pretty surprised there aren't many Brimnes hacks out there.  It seems everyone is obsessed with the Kallax and Billy pieces.  Then we pretty much just replaced the handles on the console piece.

I had those bamboo boxes left from the top of our fridge but they just held a bunch of crap we never used.  This way I could still use the backer board they gave but it kind of matches the stained luan on the other piece.  Now they hold tennis balls, The Stick, and extra gear that we need while the drawers now hold our workout clothes.  The basket on top is from IKEA and holds all of our resistance bands and sliders for 21 Day Fix workouts.  I did make my own clipboard too.  When I wasn't looking for a clipboard, I found all kinds that were cute but I had no use for them.  When I wanted one, of course, all of those cute clipboards disappeared.  So I got a plain brown clipboard and found some cute copper scrapbooking paper and made my own dammit!

I use it to hang workouts I print from here and/or measurement charts and workout calendars.  I love it.

Of course, we had to finish it off with new sweat towels too...

It's nice to have a place to put all of our stuff that was just strewn about the basement before.  It's taking some adjustment for me to get used to not having the TV right in front of me since it's about two feet over but other than that, I really love it.  The TV looks so small but it's a 28" and gets the job done.

It's calming to look at and a far cry from what we've been looking at.

The bonus feature I got from building the wall is a new place to put my wrapping paper!  Some of you might remember my tutorial for the Wrapping Paper Wrangler which worked really well.  I had it screwed into the studs on top of the wall but I wanted the wall clear now and the Mr said some might fit in between the studs.  Sure enough...

Every single roll just fit from three different wrapping paper holders!  SCORE!!!

Finally the other wall...

I know, totally blank and we want it that way.  We do wall push-ups here for Shaun T stuff and I'll finally have the ability to do wall sits if I want to.  We'll have space to hang the Jungle Gym suspension stuff if we want to do circuits like we used to as well as space to stretch out to do the battle ropes.  We've got new string lights with a vintage look to them that are properly strung and up into the rafters so we'll never hit them with weights again.

The final side by side.

It feels like an actual gym space now and it's so nice to have the foam floors on the whole thing so that we're not trying to stay in a 4x6' space.  It's so relaxing but is still a great place to kick butt.  The room we have is unreal and we don't overlap into each other's space anymore.  We do have a few of the tiles that were cut for one reason or another and use those to put our weights on so we don't put indents into the floor.  We've dealt with these tiles enough to know they won't last forever and I presume the ones with the wood grain on top will be even shorter so I got extra to replace them as they wear in our regular spots.

But wait...there's more!  Come back tomorrow to see how the other side fared!

Wanna shop our reno?  
Below are links to items used.  (Some are affiliate links and some aren't.)

IKEA Brimnes Combo
Copper Drawer Pulls
Wood Wall Planks
Tree of Life Stencil
Lotus Flower Stencil
Bamboo 5/8" Floor Foam Tiles
Marcy 3 Tiered Dumbbell Rack
30 ft. Pro Battle Ropes with protective cover
IKEA Fejka Succulents
IKEA White Orchid
Cloudnola Copper Alarm Clock
Rosegold Tissue Box
IKEA Fladis Basket
You and Me Metal Infinity Sign

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