Friday, September 30, 2022

What I'm Reading This Week #39

Um, how is tomorrow October?  Oh that's right, we reno'd our way through September so we didn't get to enjoy any of it.  Awesome.  😝  

I find it funny that as each project rears it's head that I begin furiously scrolling Zillow looking for a way out.  What I discover each and every time is that no matter where we are, there will be projects.  The downside being that we would have an inflated mortgage for a POS house that we'd have to invest tens of thousands of dollars in on top of what we paid for it.  So it's almost like a way to say "hang in there, you're going to have the house the way YOU want it and for much less than if you bailed and bought some rando house out of just being over it."


Now let's cope with:

8 Best Hip Stretches To Try, Demonstrated By Top Trainers  (Hmm, might have to make this a part of my morning routine when I have a working bedroom!)

7 Healthy Things to Add to Your Coffee  (There is nothing that makes coffee taste good that doesn't involve morphing it into a dessert but I suppose these can help.)

The One Thing To Take Off Your Nightstand To Sleep Better.  Nope, Not Your Phone  (I did this years ago because it was far too stressful during middle of the night wee's.)

45 Cute & Interesting Things To Do As A Couple To Deepen Your Bond  (Always looking for fun ideas we haven't tried yet.)

How to Make a Copycat Nothing Bundt Cake Recipe  (Just make them at home with this recipe and freeze them.  Their quality, like everything else these days, has gone straight in the pooper.  I was so excited when they made Snickerdoodle a regular flavor and it tasted like pure crap.  That was after the Mr got an email asking which would he be willing to do- pay more or have lesser quality ingredients.  Apparently they chose both.) 

50 Of The Most Heartwarming Posts Shared On The 'Wholesome Meets The Internet' Instagram Account  (Love stuff like this!  Y'all better have a dang tissue for #2)

No rest for the wicked.  That comes next weekend when we're officially taking a break because we are just very mentally and physically done.  So I will just push forward with what I can knowing that we're going to have some small break in the clouds.  I'm still not where I wanted to be but much further than we were.  I'm still amazed that as this process has progressed that the Mr didn't mentally snap and walk up to me and be like:

"No more 'summer projects' woman!  A man can only take so much!"  source

(Obviously, he wouldn't lay a hand on me but somehow I feel like in today's world I still have to spell it out for the dip wad who isn't fluent in sarcasm that stumbles upon this and clutches their pearls at the thought.)

What's on tap for you fine folks this first weekend of October?  

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hump Day Poll: Rituals


What is a daily ritual you have that you can't live without? 

A cup of tea after dinner usually accompanied by our 72% dark chocolate.  It just signals the day's end and it's either tube or hygge time.  If we ever skip it for some reason, I'll kick a pebble in silent disapproval and my day feels off.

What is a daily ritual you have that you can't live without?  (Morning or evening)

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Small Space, Big Headache Weekend Recap

It's Monday...again.  Gee, I wonder what we did this weekend??

Actually, we did a lot more than that.  Settle in.

Our hallway is so small that you can't lay fully stretched without your feet being in another room.  Shouldn't have been a big deal to knock out that flooring but because we are, US, it was.  I've never been happy with the custom stained transitions we got from the place to "save us time" from getting the ones that matched but if you'd told us we were going to have a 2 month delay then we would've ordered what we needed and been done.

The Mr ripped up the last of the carpet and baseboards in the hallway Wednesday in preparation for the weekend job so the carpet could be out for the bulk pickup the next day.  Then he saw the stair nose we paid $100+ for wasn't going to work with a floating floor.  

The only way we could still use it was if we nailed or stapled down the floors.  Having a pneumatic stapler could come in handy I suppose so he went to get that at the only Home Depot in the land that had it which took forever.  Plenty of reviews said they were able to install flooring with it so we were hopeful despite not seeing a ton of videos from YouTube University on it.  He did a test on a scrap piece of flooring into some plywood and nope. 


Of course not.

He called the woman from the place we ordered the floor from and she gave him a solution she 'thought' would work but he knew from what he read it wouldn't.  Now we're faced with the prospect that we're not going to get the piece for 2 weeks IF we can find an overlap stair nose and why?  Because no friggin' local stores carry those kind of moldings because they're flaming douchebags.  We already knew that but we thought we had that problem taken care of until it wasn't and then my vertigo set in.  This was also amidst me doing some back grouting on what I thought would be the final layer but oops, you forgot about the HUGE gap at the top that you have to backfill due to your walls being so out of square.  I was already playing the "Aggressive Battle Ropes" playlist before this doozy was laid on me.

As I'm furiously searching the internet for a solution, I come across a piece that looks the same as the profile we would supposedly need and already stained in walnut which isn't the color we have but will match the darker parts and it should at least look better than the poop we paid for that I'm probably going to have to stain walnut anyway.  No way to know, of course, unless we pay another $100 for the 'in stock' item that we can't pick up but should be here in 1-2 days which would put us at Sunday at the earliest to be able to start unless they meant they can't ship it for 1-2 days which means Monday or Tuesday.


I will be upstairs in the fetal position.  Oh wait, no I won't because the mattress is on the floor and despite having it that way most of my teenage years, when I try that as a middle aged hag with a broken body, I look more like this for my morning rise and middle of the night pee's:


Mind you at this point we haven't even made it to the weekend.

So we start thinking of the other projects we can do.  The Mr hacks off the top lip on the upstairs landing so the stair nose can be installed whenever that would be.  I went back in on Friday and did what I prayed was the final back fill on the grout before the final coat but wouldn't know until the next day if it shrank.  I had the intention of prepping my other accent wall materials and I didn't get around to it which sucked.  Then we got a shipping notice that the stair nose would be here Saturday!


Now the question was going to be, would it be the right color?  I did a big staining order for Saturday morning of stuff I was going to need including a metal can with water so stuff doesn't explode after staining, I guess.  Oy.  Then I wanted to see where the wall sconces I got came on the wall because they looked way bigger to me than I pictured and sure enough, they aren't going to work in the space.  I sent an email off to Lamps Plus to see how much I was going to be out to send them back before I bothered or if I was going to have to find a way to jerry rig these just like every other f&!*ng thing in this project or just get lamps that hang down instead of up.  Why do I constantly screw everything up?  I'm sure if I'd just taken my time instead of thinking sconce was translation for "small lamp that will fit" and measured that I wouldn't be in this delightful predicament.  But you know, why not catch another anvil when you're drowning?

The 'born under a bad star' luck continued into Saturday when Sir Williams of Sherwin who assured me on their website that the quart of stain I was ordering was (and the CONFIRMATION of said order) said I was ordering chestnut gel stain.  When the Mr went to pick it up, they gave him slate.  The base said it's slate on the order but the color very clearly says chestnut.   Chaos ensues and I order from a different store (not SW) across town, I went with him and they brought out the wrong effing stain!  I didn't order RED chestnut...chest. nut.  HOW HARD IS THIS TO READ A FRIGGING ORDER!?!?!?!  This has happened to us no less than 3-4x and no, I shouldn't have to go in and do it myself to get what I ordered.  The guy went back in and got the right thing.  We made a few stops at emotional eating places to stifle my tears and his rage and made our way back home.  (Yes, I know better.  Didn't care.  We were having healthy turkey chili for lunch.  Balance.)  The stair nose arrived and miracle of miracles, it was a matching color!  What it emphasized though is that the ones we paid to have "customized" were going to look like a crap show compared to the stair nose.  I grabbed a dark walnut stain pen to use on a scrap piece of transition and it was confirmed.  Gee, guess what I get to do?

He went up and did floor prep and notching for crap with his multi-tool.  I cannot begin to convey the absolute cringefest on so many levels for so many reasons when he's using that thing.  I want to leave the house when he's using it like he is as I type.  It would be one thing if we didn't have attached living and despite having the absolute scourge of the Earth on one side and the most vindictive, flaming witch on the other since the day we moved in, I don't like being the inconsiderate neighbor.  Though I will say, it's payback for the crap we have to listen to from them on the daily but I just know I wouldn't want to listen to what we've been cooking the last three weekends.  Oh well!  I painted several layers of Retique It on some boards for the wall project and gave myself a headache.  It doesn't smell toxic but just a little weird and since my nose is sensitive to pretty much anything, it took 10 minutes before my sinuses were yelling.  That also meant no table available for meals so we were hunched over ourselves on the white couches hoping no stains were imminent.  We finally stuck a fork in things around 6 or 7pm.  Who knows what time is anymore?

Sunday I made us brunch and the Mr was anxious to get to it.  I bought 6 tack cloths that I now needed to use earlier in the week.  Do you think I could find them?  No.  Was I getting frustrated to the point of tears that despite seeing them on the stairs two days prior they were no longer there?  You bet your sweet bippy.  So I blasted the board with canned air and hoped I wasn't sealing in something I'd regret because who gives a rat's ass at this point?  Not moi.  The Mr got to measuring and cutting with the tiny little closet being the biggest pain in the ass at this point.  Notches galore and we were getting precariously close to the end of our boards despite ordering 15% more.  Our hope was to not have any seamed pieces on that part and we were sweating it.  There were only 4 boards that didn't look like they had demons and goblins in the hickory grain so I was saving those back and we were using the 'starter' boards as much as possible that would fit here and there.  I swear that part took just as long as the full on rooms.  I suppose it's best we saved it for last because if he'd done it first, he probably would've been like "yeah, let's just wait until the carpet disintegrates in the bedrooms."   

Of course, it's always that last board in every section that gives you the most trouble.

If it's any consolation to him, this reno has enabled him to lose 8 lbs in the past 4 weeks while I've lost two from stress and not doing nearly as much as he has.  Le sigh.

I rounded things out by getting to what I thought would be the final grouting on the stone wall using the complementing grout-like caulk I bought from them that takes a few weeks to make for some reason.  I quickly realized their recommendation of one tube per panel is grossly wrong and I wasn't going to have enough.  Like if I'm lucky I might get 2/3 of it done and that would be just to cover the cracks and not bring it up over the stones. 😡

But wait...deaaaah's more!!

I HATE the color.  Like passionately.  Instead of light stone color conveyed online... it's beige and it now makes the stones look dark and crappy.  So I have a rather pathetic email in to the company asking if they have any hanging around or not so I don't have to potentially wait another month to finish it.  Then when I do, I am clearly going to have to water down some joint compound and paint it over the company's grout to significantly lighten it.  


He finished a little after 7pm and hopped in the shower while I heated up meatloaf and no salt sweet potato fries in the oven.  We settled in for some Chateau and co-ceau and I nursed a migraine the rest of the night that I still have this morning while he looked up how long you can still get an annulment.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, September 23, 2022

What I'm Reading This Week #38

Oh no, it's Friday.  

I know what that means for tomorrow.  


I mean..helloooo and happy Friday to you all!  The glorious weekend is here and it's the first one of official Fall so you know your homegirl is all over that.  (Or would be if she didn't have more gluing and watching her husband likely mumble under his breath why he didn't marry the woman his mom wanted to have an arranged marriage with since high school.)  

Now let's arrange:

7 Morning Stretches to Start Your Day  (Get that body limber and ready for whatchu got going on!)

9 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Inflammation  (Anything to help get this inflammation fest that has been my body under control is more than welcome!)

15 Rituals to Welcome Fall That Aren't Apple Picking  (Nothing screams Fall like pickleball.  (???)  But there are some other good ideas too and pick those apples y'all!)

The USPS ‘Holiday Season’ Just Got Longer and More Expensive  (Annnnd this is why I send my stuff UPS or FedEx.  USPS is just plain ridiculous.)

A TikTok hack claims to give you a cheap, trendy manicure. Nail techs are begging you not to do it.  (Actually don't do fakes at all.  I absolutely obliterated my natural nails as a teen getting acrylics.  I was a nail biter and those were my only option to hide them.  My nails developed long vertical ridges that look horrible and split at the ridges so they can never grow, the nail beds were never healthy again, they are brittle AF.  I've tried all of the hardeners, protein polishes, etc.  If I'd known, I never would've done it.)

Marlon Williams Finds a Sunnier Mood  (Great write up by The New Yorker.  If you guys haven't heard of or listened to Marlon Williams, you're missing out!  I'd suggest starting with his 2nd album Make Way For Love like I did.  Even better are his videos which always leave me cracking up.  His latest one is no exception.)

16 '80s TV Shows You Definitely Forgot Existed  (There are two I remember, how about you?)

For the third (and hopefully last) weekend in a row, we'll he'll be laying floor in the hallway.  I can't wait to have those damn long boxes out of the house but I know it comes at an aggravating cost.  I try to remind myself we're saving 4-5K by not having it done for us and I know it's of little consolation as I try to placate him with good meals.  I'm glad I pre-made some meals last week like meatloaf and chili that I can just warm up and not worry about.  I know one thing, it will be an immense pleasure to check that task off of the punch list!

What are you sassafras's getting into this weekend?  Let me live vicariously through you!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Hump Day Poll: Share Your Wisdom

What advice would you give to a 20 year old who wanted to know what you've learned up to now in your life?

Boundaries are important.  People are enigmas and even the most well intentioned can manipulate you to get what they want out of you or make you act the way they think you should.  It's important for your own mental health that you don't allow others to emotionally drain or manipulate you.  The easiest way to see if someone is crossing a line?  Treat them the way they treat you.  If they don't like it, that speaks volumes.

If they gossip to you, they gossip about you.  This one's from Grandma so you know it's good.  (Paraphrased to some extent about gossip saying everyone doesn't need to know your business.)  Both the Mr and I have family members who are heavy gossipers and we've heard the backend of gossip said about us that was 100% untrue.  The thing is, people always believe the gossipers so choose what you share with others carefully.  I don't tell people more than they need to know or anything I wouldn't want 20 of their friends that I don't know to know about.

People who give you backhanded compliments or say mean things to you are not worth having in your life.  Learn to walk away or if you don't feel you can cut them out then, as my friend says, "feed them with a long spoon" when someone makes you feel like crap about yourself.  Those people are not building you up and they aren't worth your time.  (Family or not.)

Don't live by familial or societal expectations.  Grieve how you need to.  Celebrate how you want to.  Live in a way that makes you happy even if no one else 'gets it.'  It's not for them to get or approve of.

Take care of your body/stay in motion/stretch!  At 20 years old, you leap out of bed, your energy seems boundless and you think "old" people are a bunch of whiners.  Wait until you hit 35, sucker.  No one tells you the endless amounts of stretching/movement/foam rolling it takes to keep a body limber as you age.  I am literally sitting here with two toes on each foot taped together because my foot muscles got out of alignment and one day I looked down and the second toe was headed toward the big one and the others were going to a different party.  NO ONE TOLD ME THAT COULD HAPPEN!  Years of a desk job and sitting most hours of the day have left me with the shortest hip tendons/tightest IT band on the planet that make even bending over or standing taxing on me.  Taking your body for granted will leave you groaning and griping well before you think you have a right to

Don't save travel until retirement.  They say travel is the only thing you pay for that makes you richer and it's true.  I cannot count the myriad of ways our travels have inspired us and changed our lives for the better.  Our home is decorated in styles inspired by our travels to Hawaii and the Northeast over the years.  While we may not have traveled outside the US, we love our adventures from all of the Hawaiian Islands (except Molokai) to Vermont in the winter to hot air balloon rides over wine country in Napa to strolling the streets of Savannah, Georgia to being alone in Elvis' home in Memphis.   We know far too many people who said they'd travel when they retired and died within months of retiring or never got there.  Do it while your body is able and you can truly enjoy it!

Your turn.  What advice would you give to a 20 year old who wanted to know what you've learned up to now in your life?

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Monday, September 19, 2022

Is It Done Yet? Weekend Recap

This is a test of the emergency broadcast system...straight from my hamstrings and calves for no apparent reason because gluing and standing on seams shouldn't do that and yet.  Friday night our workout was emptying the bedroom or else we were going to be setting ourselves back time wise.  When we finally got it out, we discovered that, of course, we didn't luck out the way we did in the office with a level subfloor.  The geniuses who laid it thought it would be more fun to glue a good deal of it down which meant it was going over the  seam and lumped up in several places.  Because we were having carpet laid instead of wood floors, it wasn't their concern.  We did some scraping with our big ol' floor scraper that eventually took care of all of the spots.    You know what else we discovered?  We apparently had water damage on our floor from the old window.

Don't worry, we checked it without our moisture meter and it was totally dry.  The carpet had corresponding watermarks meaning at some point our carpet was soaked through and we didn't even know it!!!  There was no discoloration of the carpet at all that would've signaled an issue so that is quite scary.  The reason we replaced the windows at all was because of a big ass icicle that was in between the panes of glass.  Yep.  There's a picture of it somewhere but thank God we had them replaced.

After that debacle, we were rarin' to go come Saturday morning.

Okay, maybe rarin' was too enthusiastic of a term but you get the drift.  Saturday it was the same as the previous one so you don't need the rundown of measure, cut, glue, line up seams, pound, curse, pound some more, see if that seam is actually a gap or the dark beveled hell that you ordered, pound, tape and repeat.  

Here's about 2/3 from where we ended Saturday night.  I forgot to take a pic when it was in the can for the evening.

Yesterday morning we got to it around 10am and it was time to say goodbye to the 26+ year old carpet in the closet.

There were a lot of finicky boards and notches and it would be no lie that the Mr's sweat has permeated every board in every inch of both rooms.  My feet were waving the white flag so I slipped into some proper attire.

In between, I made meals hoping to fill his energy meter back up much like a video game.  He finished up about 6pm and we just have the hallway left to do.  I say just like it's easy.  I'm pretty sure this turned him off to doing the first floor ever so we'll just have to put up with the creaking until the laminate peels off.    Just glad we got a deal on the second floor stuff.  

The biggest of kudos to the Mr for kicking all of the ass and more both weekends.  I know there's still the hallway and I know he's most anxious about that because of the stair nose and everything but once it's done we can get all of the boxes out of the house which would be awesome because those effers are 83" long!   I've got a LOT of work ahead of me the next three weeks so I may give myself today to rest up if I need it or at least get some painting of woodwork I need to get done so I hope I can find that rogue drop cloth I had.

How was your weekend?  Do anything fun/productive/illegal/mischievous?

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Friday, September 16, 2022

What I'm Reading This Week #37

Hello from Twitching Muscle Manor!  Where Biofreeze and Pain Relief Creams make big promises but get laughed out of town in these parts.  The Mr took Monday off because even working from home was too much for him and he truly needed the mental health break.  Not that he really got one since we got the closet loaded back up, I got to jankifying some stuff that needed addressed and then we had to come to a halt because the baseboards looked like they'd been used for buckshot demonstrations at the shooting range and also, you know, damaged by the ceiling dudes as well.  Is there no end to their gifts of destruction that keep on giving months after they left?  😖

So last weekend was a lot of power up and rarin' to go then hit a wall and slow as molasses.  We finally got the office back together just in time to pass out and for me to fire up the heating pad for a few hours.

Now let's fire up:

6 Fall Foods to Eat for Healthier Eyes and Better Vision  (Throw 'em all together and you have a dang good casserole!)

10 Best Yoga Poses to Loosen Up Your Hammies  (I hope my hammies don't laugh at these because they've been mocking everything else I've tried.)

The Naked Truth: 11 Benefits of Sleeping Naked  (My gynie told me to do this and it still feels weird.  LOL)

A Divorce Trend That May Reshape Marriage Forever  (Well, that's a pisser but I've heard of it more and more.)

The Grandma-Approved Trick to Make Your Kitchen Windows Crystal Clear  (Will have to give this a try.  I wonder if it works on blinds too to get grease off?)

50 Obsolete Things To Prove How Much The World Has Moved On And Changed  (You can tell what age the person who wrote this is.  Sorry kid but much of these were started in the 80's, not the 90's just because they still existed then!)

33 Memorable Commercials from the 1980s and 1990s  (To THIS DAY, I cannot hear Fur Elise without singing #5.  Just goes to show even the advertising was better back then too!  Pfft)

I would love to say we have a leisurely weekend planned but we do not.  Somehow we have to lay floor in the main bedroom.  I don't know how our bodies are going to survive it but we're up against a timeline and the choice is out of our hands since I had my mental shut off valve activated after the ceiling debacle.  I wonder if he can just tell them he's going to take every Monday off for the foreseeable future?  

What are you getting into this weekend?

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Monday, September 12, 2022

What Have We Done? Weekend Recap

Yep.  That about sums it up!

When you live in a shoebox, there is nowhere to move anything which makes it a little hard to lay flooring.  (Especially when you're storing eleven 83" long boxes up there to acclimate.)  So Friday the Mr got everything out of the office except for the behemoth desk so we could move it to the freed up subfloor.

To our amazement, the subfloor was completely level, the walls completely square and the OSB in way better shape than we were imagining.  The carpet?  Another story, kind of.  We did find a spot or two where our dog apparently whizzed which I wasn't surprised by and I'm sure we're going to be shocked how many more spite piss areas there are in the main bedroom when we tackle that.  

Then there's the matter of how much dust in the form of I'm going to assume skin was in the padding.  Just 26 years worth.  Enough to make me want to yarf and convinced I could stir it in water and rehydrate a construction crew to help us but I refrained from the science project.

It took a good two hours just to get started and lay two rows by noonish.  He was doing his thing at first and I felt in the way so I was patching the grout job and wanted to cry with the shoulder soreness of having my arms over my head.  

Then he called me in to look at patterns and which boards I wanted to use.  We made sure that any uglier spots went under the bed and desk.  I was the glue girl and I whacked more than my share of boards into place.  

Of course our horrible construction company hung the drywall off kilter so the spacers we got would work in some spots and not work in others because there was no wall to lean it against.  Always an adventure to see the young bucks they hired fresh out of high school vocational school to work their first job to be well on their way to being mediocre construction workers with zero pride in their work.  (I'm NOT ragging on all construction guys, there are actual craftsmen out there.  But you all know we've found everything from construction trash crammed behind cupboards to a completely burned piece of trim on top of the firebox that should've set the house on fire to now sawdust under carpet padding that they were too lazy to take 60 seconds to vacuum before laying the padding.  So yeah...mediocre at best is all these dudes were striving for.)


I think we were at the 8 hour mark before we got to where we had to stop at the desk. 

(The camera settings super lighten the floors.  They are nowhere near this light in person.)

Besides, both of our bodies had more than waved the white flag and it was no time before we were too hobbly and stiff to move.  I sat with my searing feet that were already hurting from being on the toolbox the previous few days on some hard ice packs.  The Mr strapped a gel ice pack to his aching knee.  Then we watched some Rachel Maksy videos and massaged each others feet to try to cheer each other up.  We had to wait for 12 hours before the floor could take foot traffic and we wondered how in the hell we were going to be up for hopefully finishing the office yesterday.  

Sunday came and we dreaded the day due to extreme crippling but had no choice.  The Mr did a grocery pickup and I made a big breakfast to fuel us for the day.  (Pumpkin pancakes for the win!!)  We put down ramboard to protect the floors then moved the desk to the back of the room.  We made somewhat quick time of moving everything out of the closet then hit a wall with install.  The Mr cut the transition piece so we'd have something to measure against since we don't have the final flooring to butt it up to.  It was the most irritating part of the room because lots of notches had to be made and I give it up to the Mr even if I was getting frustrated.  I would've balled up in the corner on some of those cuts.  Unfortunately, my legs were beyond shot.  I spent any time not helping in the front bedroom dump site with a heating pad on the "Satan's butt crack" setting digging into my thighs and butt with my wood tomahawk trying to release the muscle demons and failing miserably.  This is no time to give out bod.  But with all of the notching involved, I was pretty useless on all fronts yesterday.  😕  The Mr cracked the last board into the closet around 8:15pm and I thought he was going to collapse but dang it looked good.

He peeled off his sopping wet clothes and jumped in the shower and I started dinner.  Then he flopped onto the couch and we watched Chateau and had our cocoa before melting into the couches.

Today will be attempting to get the office back together if our bodies allow.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, September 9, 2022

What I'm Reading This Week #36

Oh, hello you!  It's Fridayyyyy!  I'd say I'm ready for the weekend but to paraphrase a wide eyed boy sitting in a pumpkin patch, there's nothing but projects as far as the eye can see.  That means no rest for the wicked and that be us.  We made some decent starts on a few projects.  I am probably 30% polyurethane now after breathing in crap on Monday night that made my throat sore and eyes crusted.  It does stink that we aren't able to really do much to completion just yet without having to switch gears to move on to other aspects that need addressed.  Such is the life of an attempted DIYer.  

(Stuffs is happening for tomorrow)


Now let's move into:

Research Shows That People Who Do Strength Training Live Longer—Start With These 10 Simple Workouts  (And they'll make people think twice about elder abuse when you can kick their asses!)

How to Prevent Dust Before It Forms  (Hazmat suit yourself?)

If You Ever Use A Body Scrub, Don't Make This Common Mistake  (Never really thought about it but makes sense.)

Dance like no one’s watching – and six more ways to recapture childhood fun  (Pretty sure I'm on YouTube for the concerts I give whilst driving.)

10 Hidden Costs of Owning an Electric Vehicle That No One is Talking About  (Um...yikes.  Look, I get it, gas cars=bad for environment.  But the more I read about EV's and the drain on your wallet (they forgot to include the more expensive tires on this list), to quote the cab driver from Home Alone 2 "it ain't much better in here, kid.")

The rules of flying like a decent human  (This article just reminds me of why I hate flying under normal circumstances much less now.  People suck and shouldn't have to be told this stuff.)

Dad puts microphone on 4-year-old son while snowboarding  (OMG, this kid is the cutest!  Treat yo'self and watch the video!  Yeah then just go to the TikTok channel and watch some more.)

I guess it's time for us to put our weekend warrior shirts on and hope for the best.  I don't know what it all entails just yet as we're still formulating our plan but it'll be somethin'.  😳

Whatchu got planned this weekend?  (Please tell me it's better than adventures in DIY!)

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Thursday, September 8, 2022

Our Master Bedroom Remodel Punch List


If you read my post about the inspiration for the master bedroom remodel, then you know I'm going for an English countryside vibe.  As a reminder, this is the jaw dropping picture that inspired me and I thought I'd include a mood board since that's apparently what real bloggers are supposed to do.

(Pardon my crap job at a mood board attempt)

I know, it's neutral.  It's meant to be.  Ever since we revamped the downstairs to be a similar color palette, my stress levels are much less than before.  I still feel as calm and cozy down there as I did when we put it together in January/February 2020.  If I want pops of color, there are accessories for that like throws for the end of the bed, art, decor, curtains, etc.  

I will admit that the bedspread is not my typical cup of tea but with Mount Midoriyama as my new bedframe, I need something that will cover the 18" of space underneath.  I could do a bed skirt but this allows me to have easy access without worrying about a bed skirt falling back in my face.  If I don't like the flouncy look then it's cheap enough to switch it out for something else.  Many people commented it's not warm so I may need a linen duvet over it anyway.  That Retique It is going to save me some money because I'm refinishing the top of our current Crate and Barrel nightstands as well as the top of the armoire assuming we can fix the wonkiness of it having been shoved to hell and back all over the bedroom.  I'm eager to report back on the fabulousness that will be that product.  (Ya hear me, remodel gods??)

In construction, a "punch list" is a list of items that need to be addressed before a project can be deemed complete.  So here's ours.

Ceilings smoothed (as smooth as they're going to get)

Paint Walls (Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige)

Stone Wall Install

Over grout Stone Wall

Soundproof common wall for muffled lusty escapades/to not hear neighbor on phone cackling

Install Wood Feature Half Wall/Long Shelf

Install Haddon Hall Style Paneling

Refinish Nightstands

Repaint Armoire  (Um yeah...not happening.  Will update as the project closes.)

Install Engineered Hardwood/Baseboards

Build Platform for Electric Fireplace

Build Reclaimed Wood Curtain Valance

Paint Door Trim


Hibernate as it will probably be winter now


As you can see, we have quite a journey ahead of us and you know, we only want it done within the next FOUR WEEKS!!  (ROFL- It won't be, you glutton for DIY punishment!  Try a month after that!)  Just writing all of that made me understand why they call it a punch list because I definitely want to punch something now.  I know logistically we should be able to do it but our bodies have let us know in no uncertain terms that 1) they are not happy about these activities early on so there will be much soreness and hobbling and 2) much like Murtaugh, we are too old for this sh*t.  (I will try to not let it know we're also pulling up the vinyl flooring in the bathroom to better match the new hardwood, pulling up carpet on the stairs and refinishing them as well as tearing out our balusters and updating them in a few months as well as eventually replacing the first floor flooring if the second floor goes well as well as the gym floor.  Le barf.)


So yeah, we have a LOT of stuff on the plate to get done and living in a state of constant chaos since well let's see.  I initially started this base jump into the rabbit hole Memorial Day weekend Friday when I said I was "just going to clean off the cart in the office."  (aka dumping ground #2)  So basically this whole second floor will have sucked up almost half the year by the time we're done with the two rooms.  


Anything on your to do list?

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Reno Inspo and Why I Don't Care About "Resale Value" Anymore


So y'all know the seemingly never ending saga of the "pre-reno" before the reno with having the ceilings smoothed.  You may be wondering what the heck the actual reno is anyway.  Ya see kids, I have loved the English countryside long before cottage core ever became a thing.  I love the cobblestone streets of Sussex, the thatched roofs and over-grouted stone of the Cotswolds and all of the texture that comes along with them like rustic beams, stone and plaster textured walls, book nooks, etc. etc. etc.  The first 20 years we owned this place, I was scared to do more than paint.  Hell, we didn't even have ART on the walls the first five years!  Why?  Because the generations before me drilled it into my head that "you have to think of resale value."  This home was supposed to be temporary; a stepping stone onto bigger and better houses where we would one day take over hosting of holidays and be the hub.  We even had it on the market three years after we got it and let me tell you, thank God it didn't sell.  The only bite we got then was someone wanting a showing the day after Christmas.  We smelled a rat and said no and they never called to schedule another one.  Mmm hmm.  Then we went to get our taxes done that year after we'd done some adjustments on our dependents and such as a bit of a "forced" savings plan and got $5000 back.  (I don't need to hear "you're giving the government a loan interest free!" because everyone said it but the interest back at the time would've been $10 and would be less now so  I'll take forced savings of money we never see to come back at tax time.)  Well, like many people, we had debt we came into the marriage with and seeing that opened our eyes to actually being able to pay it off and what the hell were we thinking looking at other houses we would just barely be able to afford and be even more in debt!?  

At year twenty, I said screw it and we were going to start decorating for US because obviously we weren't going anywhere.  I was tired of living under the black cloud of "resale value" that had been shoved down my throat and never feeling like our home truly represented what we (I) wanted to project.  (The Mr doesn't really care and I always give him the out but he hasn't turned an idea down yet.)   Besides in the past five years, I have seen that truly anything sells.  If people don't like my style, don't buy the house.  I'm one of those people who searches Zillow at least twice a month in our state and others that we'd like to move to and if it's one thing I know, there is literally NO HOUSE out there that I wouldn't have to do at minimum $30K of upgrading to and that includes multi-million dollar homes.  (Money does not equal taste, that's for sure!)

In 2020, we had a pre-planned kitchen reno and guess when it hit?  Yep.  The day they started TP hoarding and wiping the shelves clean at the grocery store.  Guess when the majority of it ended?  The day they were implementing lockdown.  Now it may have been 90% finished by just past mid-March 2020 but due to the cabinet company consistently not quality control checking their replacement doors, it wasn't "done done" until July that year.  You can see if you click the link above that we weren't screwing around with letting what we wanted finally shine through.

Like many people, I fell into a deeper depression than my normal throughout the first two years of the pandemic.  The bedroom became a dumping ground and since the closet didn't have any extra room and under the bed storage wasn't really an option, it felt like nothing had a home.  So just clean stuff out!  Well, easier said than done when everything is overwhelming and you don't know where to start.  That felt like every day for every project.  I'll cover that topic in the future but there was one show that saved my brain in the early years of the pandemic and that was Escape to the Chateau.  While Angel's style on some of her decorating is certainly nothing I'd choose, I loved all of the textures and treasures found as they rooted through the 150 year old chateau.  The Mr and I made it our Sunday tradition (still do) to watch it as a way to wind down the weekend though sadly we're on the current final season so I'll have to find YouTube channels of people who have been on Chateau DIY and see what they're into.  I longed to have a chateau-like or English countryside escape from life since we don't feel comfortable with flying and the only way to get it was to make one ourselves.

One day, I'm scrolling along and this picture stopped me in my tracks.


Kathryn from Life at the Mews in Yorkshire, England made my heart skip a beat with her bedroom remodel and I'd only gasped like that one other time and that was with the kitchen ceilings I borrowed for inspiration for our new kitchen.  I knew I couldn't do what I wanted with the beams like Kathryn did on the ceiling since I didn't have the room but that wall?  Must. have. it.  My brain swirled with ideas but I knew I couldn't (and honestly didn't want to) use real stone up there because I needed the option to remove it in the future if I wanted to.  

Another IG scroll showed me this gem from Cottage on Main Street:


Those are stone panels and she said they were easy to put up.  I threw the line out to the Mr to see if he'd move the bobber and sure enough after looking at Barron Designs website and watching some videos of similar products (not that exact one though) he said it looked easy enough.  


The only thing I knew is that I would want an over-grouted look but figured I could get that with some joint compound initially and then go over top of it with their colored grout.  A little while later, I saw that Mickie changed her stone appearance.


Okay, so if for some reason I didn't like the panel, this let me know that you could paint over it which was good to know.  (Obviously, the goal is to do the least amount of work as possible but given my track record and like the Hunger Games, I knew the odds of me having to do more are always in my favor.)  

We ordered samples of some colors and patterns that I was interested in and given the time frame they gave, I figured I'd better just order them.  I told the Mr I regretted it before I even ordered them because there is just that decades long mental beat down about resale value that kept ringing in my head.  What if I got tired of this look despite drooling over the style since I was 10 and feeling like I grew up and lived in the wrong place my whole life?  Would people look at it if I proudly posted pictures of my new space and immediately crap all over it as people like to do and would it then change my opinion of the space?  I hit "order" before I could change my mind.  Then suddenly we were talking about how it would make sense for us to replace the 26 year old carpet upstairs but we didn't want to have a crew of people in the house again and honestly couldn't afford it with labor.  Eh, screw it, we'll do it ourselves despite never having installed wood floors before.  Our friend's ex installed the laminate on the first floor and did it completely WRONG and he's 'in the business' so I felt like we couldn't do too much worse.  Well, if we're going to put down wood floors, we should probably have the ceilings on the 2nd floor smoothed to match the first floor when we added that to the kitchen reno because we wouldn't want a crew ruining the wood floors we worked so hard to lay.

And that is how we got here.

Oh and then another account that popped up was Haddon Hall not too far from Sheffield England and one scroll of their account tells you where I got inspiration for the other accent wall.  But given I have seen ZERO tutorials online that are doing what I'm doing, I won't reveal that just yet in case it craps the bed and I have to pivot.

So all of that to say I no longer care about resale value especially seeing the interior freakshows people are buying these days.  Our town is unfortunately booming and you could smear poop on the walls and it would still sell.  Luckily I'll only be smearing joint compound and grout on ours!  😝  Even at our most basic of decorating, I'm sure there are people who would've come in and said "eww, I don't like the color of the kitchen cabinets/countertops and the floors have to be changed and I don't like this trim so we have to paint all of that" yada yada yada.  So if they choose our house, they'll just have a little more to complain about other than paint color.

But those pics above give you an idea of where we're going with this.  Early in it's inception, I dubbed the project Chateau Pucker Butt since I was initially inspired by Escape to the Chateau set in France but traditional French design can be a little bougie for me to want to be in all of the time.  But English countryside homes or traditional English manors?  Yes please!  All day long.  So I shall re-dub thee Pucker Butt Manor in honor of all of the times our butts puckered at the scope creep of the project.  (We'll discuss how the scope creep will have us going outside of the boundaries of the bedroom another time because I'd like to forget about those looming projects.)  We're in the soup now with multiple projects started but some can't be finished until the floors are put in.  If you think that moving entire rooms to clear the space to lay down said floors should be easy, then you obviously don't live in a shoebox.  All of this with trying to establish new lifestyle and cleaning habits and not backslide on those so life has been quite a ride the past two months and hoping to trudge forward with some real progress sooner than later.

Do you/have you decorated with resale value in mind or say "someone else's problem?"

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