dachshund

Kitchen Renovation Phase 3 - benjamin moore white dove painted kitchen cabinets and absolute black honed granite counters

Kitchen Reno-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate-vate

It’s like I’ve got this music in my mind…

Happy Fall Ya’ll.  That’s what I would say if I were from here, but I’m not, so I would say Happy Fall You Guys, or if I was on my blog I would say nothing.  For two months.  Can someone be my accountability keeper?   I’ll speed up the kitchen stuff since who cares anymore about every little step. Unless they’re Cobalt’s little steps, then I care about them.  They’re cute and they go tick tick tick tick tick tick tick on the wood floors as he trots to you.  Hey, who’s still reading this? Here’s our white kitchen…

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

And here’s our new window!!

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

And here’s a mini dachshund!

kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

That’s Nick.
kitchen renovation benjamin moore white dove

I promise I’ll take better pictures, but these are all old and terrible. Things started moving pretty quickly once the kitchen was painted.  We went back and forth between Benjamin Moore White Dove and Benjamin Moore Simply White, but I ultimately liked the slight softer tone to White Dove.  It felt less stark.  What didn’t move quickly was my decision-making.  I’ll pause and let everyone be surprised and confused.

The counters made my brain freeze up the most because I envisioned white in my head all along – either marble or something that looked like that.  Well, guess what? Marble is expensive and high maintenance, and I guess between me and Cobalt there are enough high maintenance things in our house.  The most durable and cost-friendly option was granite, but all the white granite options had too many other colors speckled in them, or they just seemed more beige/grey than white.

I liked a couple of the white quartz options, but those were a lot more expensive than granite, and seemed almost too plain. Basically granite was too busy and quartz was too clean/modern looking for me.  So, I switched gears completely and considered black for a contrast against everything else white in our kitchen.  I didn’t like the shiny/sparkly factor to the black granite though, so I started considering soapstone…also more expensive.

Then, finally, after hours and hours of neglecting my loved ones and being a slave to houzz.com and pinterest.com on my ipad, I found a new option!  Honed granite. Basically the polishing process stops before the buffing stage and you get a matte finish instead of a slick shiny one.  So I went and looked at some slabs again, and loved it!

absolute black honed granite

Done. Phew. Then there was the hardware to choose.  Which meant there was a lot of this.

benjamin moore white dove subway tile and honed granite

But, what does it look like in the sunlight?

benjamin moore white dove subway tile absolute black honed granite

This went on for many hours. I had narrowed it down to black or brushed nickel.  Black to match the counters and brushed nickel to match the appliances. (I was also trying out a light blue wall color in that photo, and you can also see the quartz sample on the right.)

This seemingly small decision was by far the hardest to make.  I called my friend and got her husband, one-year-old, and lab-doxie involved, and we were basically split down the middle.  So naturally, I polled Cobalt and Miles.  You can see the results here:

http://youtu.be/s6bHNwJlK3A

Cobalt helped, and Miles was pretty pissed that I was clearly trying to feed him metal instead of food.

Ultimately, I chose…….

the brushed nickel!  Not what I originally thought I would choose.  Actually, my first pick was a more aged finish that didn’t even make the final two because it just didn’t work with the rest of the materials.  I thought the black hardware would pop out a little too much in the small space, and I liked how the nickel ones added some more shine and matched the appliances.

Our next challenge was to find a kitchen faucet.  We knew we wanted a pull down sprayer, but most of those come with the goose-neck style faucet which would impede our new kitchen window. It was actually fairly painless to find a shorter one at a decent price, and the good news is that Cobalt really liked it.

delta cassidy kitchen faucet

delta cassidy pull down kitchen faucetIt’s Delta’s Cassidy faucet if you’re curious.

delta cassidy kitchen faucet

Nick liked it too.

fireman likes delta cassidy kitchen faucet

Now that we have that covered, if you’re wondering where I’ve been for two months, the answer is all of the places. Beaufort, Orlando, Ocean City, Charlotte, and Folly Beach – where we looked at wedding spots!!  I’ll share that with you next time once I sort out how much of the wedding planning  I want to write about.  A. I don’t want to give it all away, but I do want to share the process.  B. It will be a small wedding so I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings who’s not invited, but I do want to share it with the people I love, all of whom we may not be able to invite.  and C. I hate to even mention it, because I don’t like to ever recognize or talk about it, but I know there are plenty of not nice people out there wanting to hate, hate, hate.  And I don’t want to share it with those people.  Any suggestions?  Please comment your advice so I can sort this out. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep cruisin…

CCOTD:

In honor of Cobalt’s 6th bufday a couple days ago, here are all the toys, which are all his.  Not anyone else’s.

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his yellow long dog

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his pumpkin long dog

Cobalt mini dachshund loves toys especially his green long dog

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Emily and CobNew boat - Hunter 30 Sailboat

We Got a Boat…and Another Thing

I promised an update on our new sailboat that I didn’t get to last time, so here it is!

We’ll be doing updates to the boat too, so stay tuned for that.

OK onto part two.  The “another thing”….

Nick & Emily Engagement

We’re ENGAGED!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Cobalt learned a new trick and came running in at just the right moment with the ring 🙂  The only thing is, now Cobalt thinks he is marrying me.  But that’s OK.  We are both so excited and can’t wait to get married!!!  In a word, I am HAPPY.  So, so happy.

I’m excited to be able to share the planning our wedding with lots of DIY and lots of love.

Kitchen Renovation Phase 2

Kitchen Kitchen Ya Ya Da Da

Hey, hey, heeeey.  So, a lot has been going on this summer, but we are finally entering into a couple weeks of normalcy.  Perfect time to give a kitchen update!  This is the phase where we really saw what the overall layout of the kitchen come to life.  Let’s get visual shall we?  More pictures, less words.  Nobody has any time for that.

So here we go clockwise around the room.

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Fridge cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Sink and Cabinets

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Custom Cabinets

 

Phase 2 Kitchen Renovation - Kitchen Breakfast Bench Nook

Got all that??  I threw in some pop-up video action for you too.

Anyone have any time left for an update on what’s been going on lately?  Don’t worry we’ll stick with the more pics less words thing.

Mom and dad came to visit right after the last time I posted…

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Mom

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Dad and Nick

 

South Carolina Lake Murray Mom & Dad Visit - Me and Mom

Nick had a birthday!!!  Mabel says “I’m yo pwesent”  “My mom made me”.

Nick Birthday - Mabel Bloodhound

 

And I made him this delicious Lemon cake from this recipe

Lemon Cake

Which we brought on the new sailboat and then went out on the lake to raft up with friends and watch the fireworks!

Nick and Emily on the sailboat 4th of July

 

4th of July Lake Murray Fireworks on Sailboat

 

4th of July Fireworks Lake Murray

 

Nick also opened his presents which he should have known were for Cobalt

The next weekend we went up to Rochester, NY for the actual 4th of July with my family.  Cobalt helped us get there.

Cobalt mini dachshund sleeps in the car

After he slept a lot.  Here he goes.

Rochester 4th of July roundup…

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The last picture was the trip home where Emily had to pee and Nick made her go at South of the Border.  Cobalt was not happy.

I think the dogs had the best time of anyone.  Mabel went fetching in the water for the first time…

And Cobalt stole bread from the coy fish, some of which were bigger than he is.  We’ll go ahead and call that your Complimentary Cobalt of the Day….

CCOTD:

 

 

Kitchen Renovation Phase One

Ooops…and A Kitchen Update

Whoops. So May was a total FAIL on the ol blog….

 

forgifs.com

 

I’m not sure what happened to Spring exactly.  Between conferences, a wedding, random other travels and illnesses, it flew the freak by. Let’s do a quick recap and then move on to phase one of the kitchen so we can do that big reveal already.

 

There was Easter, and dying brown easter eggs…
dying brown easter eggs

 

I went to Nashville for work…
Downtown Nashville

 

My friend Merideth came to visit and our friend’s dog sang the blues on a sailboat…
Emily and Merideth on sailboat

 

 

My BEST FRIEND got married!!!!!
efoc at theresa's wedding
mom and dad

 

bridesmaids

 

emily and nick at theresa's wedding

 

We went to Myrtle Beach for Nick’s work…
Myrtle Beach

 

Nick got the gout…

 

My brother and sister-in-law Ben & Courtney, and our friend Naomi came to visit!  Fingers crossed that we got them hooked on moving here….
gang on sailboat

 

girls on sailboat

 

And today…we got a new boat!  More on that when we get it in the water.  But that does bring us up to today, and it’s actually the motivation for my post.  Nick and his friend, Andrew, went to Oriental, NC today to inspect and buy our new boat, and won’t be home until 9ish.  So I of course, think to myself the whole way home from work about all the productive things I’m going to do while he’s gone.  I’ll write my blog, I’ll work out, I’ll do laundry, I’ll clean, etc.  Well, fast forward an hour and it looked more like this:

 

couch fall

Followed by

 

 

and watching Gilmore Girls…

 

Gilmore Girls

 

Whoops. So I decided to do one load of laundry and start my post.  That’s something.
Back to the whole kitchen renovation thing.  We had the best contractor in the whole wide world, and we were actually sad when he left.  Nick said to me “Today is Glen’s last day.  That means he’s not coming over any more.”(insert adult man sadface here).

 

Glen and I worked on the kitchen design together, and between his squashing some of my dreams and replacing them with other neat ideas, we both agreed that we came up with a pretty great kitchen.   Here is a breakdown of what did and didn’t make the cut:

 

Island –  No. I wanted this so I could lean on it and drink wine have more counter space for cooking and gathering around, or even put the sink in it so I could be looking out the window instead of at a wall.  But, it just wouldn’t work well with the space.  It’d be too tight opening the oven door and trying to get around it.

 

Window cut-out – Yes.  It’s in the wall to the dining room – this was Glen’s solution to giving me a view to the outside (front yard instead of back) and a more open feeling standing at the sink.  We weren’t able to open up the whole wall but he cut out a nice sized window that I love.

 

Wine area – Yes. A glass rack and wine bottle holder – This couldn’t eat up too much valuable space in the kitchen so Glen and I found the perfect spot for it between the new fridge location and the…

 

Rachel Ray pantry! – Yes. This is what it was called the whole time, and how we now distinguish it from the bigger closet pantry in the dining room.  It is perfect.  It doesn’t take up too much room in the kitchen and it is so functional.  We can grab things we need while cooking without having to go into the dining room to get them.

 

Slow-close doors and drawers – Yes. I love these and now I assume all cabinets are slow close and end up slamming a lot that aren’t.

 

Farmhouse sink – Yes.  It’s as great as it sounds.

 

Marble countertops – No.  I thought the whole time we’d have marble or marble-like counter tops, but when that was no longer an option due to price and functionality, and I realized I didn’t like ANY of the white granite choices, I started exploring other options.  I actually did end up with a granite, but it is absolute black with a honed finish. It looks a little like soapstone, and I love the contrast it adds.

 

Subway tile – Yes.  With dark grout instead of light.

 

X Mullion glass cabinet doors – No.  Who knew it was so expensive to put wooden X’s on glass doors? So instead two hundred something a piece doors like this:
We went with the much less expensive classic mullion look like this:

 

There were a ton of other details and decisions to make, but I’ll go through those and point them out in the finished kitchen.

 

The first phase of the kitchen happened immediately after demo, and it was so exciting to see our new kitchen come to life!  First was demo, then opening up a wall…

 

 

opening kitchen wall

 

Then the first of the custom cabinets went in!!

 

custom cabinets phase one

 

Including the much anticipated Rachel Ray pantry.  Such a fun first step.

 

Rachel Ray pantry

 

As you can imagine, there have been a lot of Cobalt photos and videos taken over the last 2 months…so it’s a little hard to choose.

 

Your long awaited CCOTD:
mom and cobalt at jakes
Mom and nini at one of his favorite spots, Jake’s, where they have “Yappy Hour” and dogs are always allowed on the back deck area!  He says Mom, I want to go to da pwace wheyoh ev-wee-one pays attention to me and fwohs da ball fo me a wot.  

 

What? That could be a number of places but this time it was Jake’s.

 

 

It’s Amazing What A Fresh Coat of Paint and Some Firemen Can Do

Oh hey.  Um, I kept procrastinating got busy?  In reality, I started this at the same time that I started a new book I’m really into, and a goal of going  to the gym more often, plus I still go and do work at a place that pays me money during the day.   I also like to watch shows with Nick, play with Cobalt, try new recipes, and various other things in the evening time.  OK, I know this is where my mom-friends probably get furious, but for now this is the only reality I know, so how on earth do people do all the things they want AND work long hours?  Do you know how amazing I could be at life if I had more free time?  Don’t get me wrong, jobs are good, just maybe like ten more free hours a week would be nice.  Instead, I spend about that much time driving.  Maybe I need to find a way to work out and blog while driving.  I’ve figured out how to do plenty of other things while driving (apply make-up, talk on the phone, check my email at red lights, practice defensive driving, wear a seatbelt, and a helmet, and whatever else makes a firefighter who’s seen way too many bad things feel better.)  Anyway, I’m back now.  Let’s talk indecision.

Technically, I am pretty good at making decisions.  After I consider countless options, narrow them down, throw in some more options I didn’t consider the first time, narrow those down, and then test those options in many different scenarios and talk them through with various people who don’t care.   That’s pretty much how picking paint colors for the house went down.  In a shmillion simple steps this is how I did it:

  1. Searched incessantly for inspiration online – thanks to blogs like the one’s I’ll reference later, not to mention Houzz, on which I have spent way too many hours of my young life.
  2. Pulled out my stock of paint chips, and then realized my taste has changed somewhat in a relatively short period of time.  I hate that.  It makes me think anything I decide I love today I’ll hate in two years.
  3. Took a trip to Benjamin Moore, Lowes, and Home Depot to make sure I didn’t miss out on the perfect color that might be hiding at any one of those locations.  (Am I the only one who’s impressed that I only went to 3 places?  Sherwin Williams and a few others almost got added to the list but my head was spinning enough).
  4. Threw away any colors that I used in my last house.  The reason is two-fold.  One, I shared that house with someone else. There, glad that band aid is ripped off blog style.  And two, it would be really boring.  New house, new life, new colors.
  5. Decided on a basic color for the main living space like either grey, blue, off-white, yellow….I knew pretty quickly that I was drawn to a nice airy, beachy grey.   I wanted something that would complement anything I decided to change later on, and something that didn’t feel too dark or bold, or beige.
  6. Decided on complimentary colors for the bedrooms, dining room, and kitchen.  I wanted to make sure there was a nice flow room-to-room without too many different colors or tones going on.

Pete, the nice man at Benjamin Moore, noticed my growing confusion as I switched around dozens of different combinations of swatches on the table in his store.  So he brought me a piece of white paper and taped one swatch from each color family to it (about 4 colors) and said here’s your pallet.  Aside from switching two of them  to a slightly lighter/muddier shade, he pretty much nailed it.  He even talked me down off of my crazy ledge (Nick appreciated this especially) and convinced me to buy about half as many samples as I originally wanted to.  Pete is pretty much the best ever.  He even came in on a weekend when the store was closed because I called his cell phone with a “paint emergency”.  Those exist right?  I mean, no one forced him to give me his cell phone number…

Here I am practicing Pete’s paper palette (hello alliteration) method for another two hours later that night just to be sure.

Banjamin Moore paint chips
I managed to get the colors narrowed down to no more than 4 per room and tested them on 3-4 walls of each room to see them in different lighting and shadows.
Testing paint swatches on wall Paint swatches on living room wall 

The living room choices were:

Gray Owl

Benjamin Moore Gray OwlThank you Emily Henderson‘s blog for the inspiration and the Ryan Gosling photos

Wickham Gray

Patriotic White

Light or Revere Pewter

The Turquoise Home Revere Pewter Benjamin Moore

The Turquoise Home

If you are scouring the internet for gray paint colors like I was, I suggest visiting this page and this page as well.

The Bedroom & Kitchen choices were……

Woodlawn Blue

A Pop of Pretty Woodlawn Blue Benjamin Moore

A Pop of Pretty


Palladian Blue

Bower Power Palladian Blue Benjamin Moore

Bower Power


Nelson Blue

Nelson Blue Benjamin Moore Young House Love

Young House Love

 

Alas, the moment no one’s been waiting for!  I made a decision.  See, decision-maker.

The living room, stairs, and upstairs hallway ………

 

Gray Owl!  

gray owl benjamin moore living room

Before & After Living Room

Reminder, I took crap phone photos when we were first moving in.  Also, I don’t want to show too much of the walls because I don’t want to give away other projects that are coming up, so, random living room corner it is!

 

Bedroom…………

Woodlawn Blue!

woodlawn blue benjamin moore

Master Bedroom Before & After

Kitchen…………

Nelson Blue!

But you can’t see that before and after yet 😉  We’ll talk about that…on another time.

 

I was right with my gut on the owl gray and woodlawn blue, but the last one surprised me.  I thought for sure I wanted palladian, but it was just a little too bold for the size of the kitchen. Nelson blue was lighter, toned down, and flowed better into Owl Gray.

I suppose, to match this erratic post and go completely out of order, I should mention that I had already painted ALL the trim in the house before purchasing final paint colors.  I skipped that step because I forgot/didn’t think there was any reason why I would need to take pictures of it at the time.  Basically, after we bought the house we had a couple weekends to go over there to paint and get new carpet installed before moving in because we still had our old apartment rented out for another month.

Well, one of those weekends Nick was gone teaching.  So that means I got to paint a whole house of trim for two whole days of a weekend!  In an empty house that I just met.  With no heat.  Oh sorry, Cobalt says he was there too and did most of the work…then he grumbled and rolled his eyes over.  BUT, I did get to listen to obnoxious Christmas, 90’s, and whatever other music I pleased while trying not to fling to much paint as I danced around like a lunatic.


GIFSoup

I can’t complain too much because after all the trim was painted and the paint colors picked out, I didn’t have to lift a brush or roller on the rest of the house. Here’s a quick pro/con list to dating a firefighter for those of you keeping track:

Pros:

  • Saves lives
  • Comes with group of other firemen willing to do labor & take pride in their work…not sure the pro list needs much more than that but…
  • Captain cleanliness anyone?
  • They also have really neat outfits like turnout gear and badges and class A uniforms
  • I’ll stop.

Cons:

  • Super safety patrol about everything, especially driving (maybe that’s like half a con)
  • Leaves at any given moment for unknown lengths of time (for example, in the middle of the night, or during our favorite shows that I CAN’T CONTINUE WATCHING WITHOUT HIM, etc. etc.)
  • I said I wouldn’t complain too much 🙂

Here are a couple snapshots they managed to get of the firefighter painting party…..

firefighters painting house 

Firemen paint party

 Firefighters painting house

Thank you CFD xoxoxo

There’s nothing like being told later “we decided to go ahead and pry the mantel off with a Halligan bar”…

Firefighter Halligan bar handy work

 And naturally, as soon as the paint dried…

Firemen hang tv

But, they DID refuse to leave behind our Christmas tree,which I loved…

Christmas Tree

I also love even more that they helped paint after they already helped us move.  Seriously, nothing like em.

25

Ok, glad we’re all caught up.  Next time I’ll have to talk about decorating the living room and address one of my favorite projects, making pallet shelves, which I actually did at the old apartment, RIP, so I can show you more of the walls. I should have added “very handy, comes with many tools” to the pro list.  So, I will see you there, or I will see you on another time.

CCOTD:

Don’t fowget me.  I’ll just wait heohw in the box that says wittle stuff.

Cobalt mini dachshund sleeping in moving box

Re-staining a Railing & Dogs in Pants

It’s another snow day in South Carolina…what in the world??  We’ve got a few inches of icey-snowy mix on the ground, and it’s still coming.

Cobalt says nevohmind, I don’t hafs to go dat bad.Cobalt says no to snow

I worked from home today, and no one is supposed to be on the roads except for emergency purposes.  Well, we were out of coffee.  Lucky for me, and for those who have to come into contact with me today, I live with a member of the emergency services.  What a hero.  You can’t have a snow day without coffee, and I was JUST talking about that, and other related Lorelai Gilmore girl-crushness with a friend yesterday, so I was extra looking forward to it. Phew, moving on.

There’s so much I want to share from our move and our house and everything in between, but I had to finally realize I can’t possibly share it all, and I should focus on some actual DIY projects instead.  Or maybe I need to just rename this, Emily’s ramblings and a little bit about what you think you’re going to read…

Gilmore Girls Luke's

First up – the stair railing!  This was a relatively small project, but one I was itching to tackle right away because it is one of the first things you see when you walk in our house, and I was tired of letting it hit me in the face with it’s ugliness.  Because I did this project soon after moving in, I failed at taking before pictures, but I do have some accidental pictures that include the before railing in it.

It is hard to see what it looks like up close, but the stain is really worn and scratched up in a lot of places.  I originally snapped this picture to capture Captain Cleanliness in action.  I like things nice and all, but I can also be accepting of the fact that our kitchen is being worked on and we’ll have drywall dust/etc. everywhere for the time being. Nick, not so much.  He cleaned it up constantly, knowing it would be back in a day or two.  I’ll take it 🙂

stairs railing before

What the stairs looked like at move-in – banged up railings, old carpet, old paint on the walls.

stairs

To start out, the long railing was already off of the wall from when we painted so it made that one easier.  The other railing required taping off and protecting the new carpet that was put in by the time I did this project.

I used Minwax Polyshades in Tudor after browsing similar projects like this one from my favorites at Young House Love, and this one from Centsational Girl.

Minwax Polyshades Tudor

All I did for the railings and large post that I stained was give them a light sanding and 3 coats of the stain.  I waited a day between coats just to make sure it was dry, and I could have done just 2 coats but I wanted an even darker color.  After the first coat, I was a little worried that I didn’t choose a dark enough stain but after the second coat it got much deeper I was really happy with it.

First coat of stain on banister

That’s after the first coat of stain – see why I was a little worried?  It was a little light and still showing some splotchiness underneath.  P.S. this is what our garage has looked like for the past 6 weeks during kitchen reno.  Here’s the other banister after one coat:

20140104_182718

20140104_122412

Much better after another coat!

Railing after second coat

I did a 3rd coat for good measure and let it dry.  The next day I tackled the spindles. At first I thought a light sanding by hand would be fine before paint, but as soon as I started painting I knew it would be prone to chipping.  So, I sucked it up and sanded the spindles all the way down to the wood using a Mouse Detail Sander.

Sanding stair railing spindles

Cobalt knows how to be the center of everything.  Some might say he get it from his mama.

Sanded stair spindles

All sanded and a big mess to vacuum up.  Nick wasn’t volunteering this time.  Selfish.

Stair spindles ready for paint

Cobalt said he’d help though.

So, I got all the sawdust cleaned up, taped off the carpet, painted 3 coats of white (same color as the trim in all the rooms), and just like that (or 4 days and a little more work than I expected later), the railing was done!

Restained and painted railing

Until I realized that the hardware for the wall banister was still old looking.  So I took care of that with a few thin coats of Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

oil rubbed bronze spray paint

To go from this:

banister hardware before

To this:

spray painted banister hardware

To – hung!

firefighter hangs things       restained banister

Finally, because it’s more fun to do a before and after this way, and because I already had this made from sending a certain sister-in-law sneak-peeks…

Refinished banister

SO. MUCH. BETTER. I think that qualifies as my first actual DIY post.  Cheers to that 😉 It’s wine wednesday after all.

AND this also qualifies as complete spoiler of the carpet I chose for the upstairs.  Shit. Should we just skip that post altogether?  Do you care what I almost chose?  Or how annoying of a process it was?  Cobalt says, Wutevoh mom, move on to moh of me aweady.

CCOTD:

In honor of today’s snow day, a throwback to December.  The image text I just entered, “Cobalt snow pants”, made me chuckle.

Cobalt snow pants

That’s my brother Ben and his marsupial.  I’ll even throw in a rare appearance from Miles…

Miles snow pants

Yes, we do in fact have another dog.  But apparently I am some kind of evil stepmother because I supposedly love Cobalt more.

Alright, off to do the snow pants dance for another snow day tomorrow!!

The Before Tour

Well, it’s Thursday night so I went to a fabulous happy hour followed by bar-hopping Thirsty Thursday specials.  No, scratch that, I’m having a glass of wine watching Real Housewives on DVR while the smallest dachshund sleeps comfortably on my lap.  Quick, someone ask me how old I am while I can still answer 28 for another day and a half.

I figure any good DIY blog doesn’t jump right into house projects without sharing before pictures and a list of intentions.  Cobalt originally wanted to give the tour, but he calls every room “my room” so it gets confusing.  I’ll lead the way instead.

Living room:
living room before

living room empty

living room long view

stairs

Eventually, I’ll try to become more of a real person and use a real camera instead of my phone.  Maybe when I’m 29.

Moving on, the latrine.  Which also happens to be where we wash the dishes from which we eat. Sort of disgusting a multi-purpose room.

half bath

The blurry dining room:

dining room

dining room

Master bedroom:

master bedroom

master bedroom

Master A bathroom that is connected to the master bedroom that is my least fav room in the house:

master bathroom from bedroom

master bath

master bath vanity

Any tips for removing wallpaper?

The office…we’ll just keep this door closed for a while:

office before

Guest room…we’ll get to this when we have our first guests and are forced to at least make the bed:

guest room before

Guest bath…sorry future guests (aka Lorryn & Daniel), we probably won’t have gotten to this room by the time you visit:

guest bath

And finally, the kitchen…

This is the view from the small hallway between the living room and the kitchen where the oh-so-fancily wallpapered half-bath and door to the back deck are located:

kitchen view from living room hallway

That’s me, talking to our realtor, balancing on my heels like a 5-year-old because I was sick of wearing them all day.

This is the view walking into the house from the garage door:

kitchen before view from garage door

That’s me hiking up my pants because I didn’t know Nick was taking pictures.

This is the view from the dining room doorway into the kitchen, where you can see the kitchen window nook that looks into the backyard.

kitchen before window nook

That’s me blinking and biting my lip.  Thanks Chief.

So there you have it.  The official “before” house tour.  I’ll show more when I dive into projects in each room, and hopefully the pictures will suck less – either in quality or in lack of me awkwardly being in them.  There are a few little spots still missing from these photos like the upstairs hall and the backyard, but I promise to over-share later on.

Oh, I almost forgot about that list of intentions I was going to share.  But, Cobalt says he isn’t getting nearly enough attention/snuggles so I’ll post that tomorrow.  Without further adieu, your Cobalt of the day:

CCOTD:
The real frankenweenie. 

cobalt zombie sleeper

No day like a snow day.

Here goes blogging.  What better day to start than a rare snow day in South Carolina? I’ve thought about doing this for a while, just like I’ve thought about a million things that I want to do.  As it turns out, life is flying by and I’m turning 29 this weekend. WHAT.  So I’ve decided to make it my goal to do more.   Less thinking, and visualizing, and list writing, and more actual doing.  If I combined all the time I’ve thought about a project, or working out, and all of the other things I want to eventually do one of these days when I have some free time and things settle down…I’d have house full of  completed projects and six-pack abs.  Or, I’d at least be further along than I am now.

I’ve been waiting for life to settle down for a few years now.  Why doesn’t anyone just warn you ahead of time that it never will?  That could have saved me a lot of waiting.   But I do feel more settled than I have in a long time.  I’m finally in a really good place and I’m excited about the future so why not document it?  If nothing else, it should serve as motivation to keep me “doing”.

Fast forward through a lot of things to where this story picks up – I moved to Columbia, South Carolina in June of last year, and then moved into a house Nick and I bought last month.  That marks the 6th move Cobalt (Cobalt = mini dachshund, love of my life, sweet baby angel, Nick = boyfriend, he’s cool too) and I have made in less than 2 years.  Long story 😉 We love our new house, but there is a lot on our wish list to make it feel more like ours.  We’ve done a few small things so far, and are in the middle of a kitchen renovation so I’ll be sharing all that here.

Cobalt wants me to show you the house already.  So here it is the day we bought it

Our New House

And moving in (don’t miss the bottom right corner)

20131213_164523

And today…

snowy house
southern snow

southern snow

So there you have it.  A first glimpse of the house/life/dachshund you’ll soon be sick of hearing about.  Cobalt says, WHAT?? I have so much more to say!!

So, here’s your CCOTD (Complimentary Cobalt Of The Day)

Owwite, tell me all yoh pwoblems, I’m heowh to wisen.
(Alright, tell me all your problems, I’m here to listen.)
Cobalt still has a little twouble pronouncing his R’s. And sometimes his L’s.
Cobalt therapist

Until next time, cheers to doing.
wine