Monday, October 31, 2011

My First Giveaway!!!

So I am co-hosting a giveaway! The first of Love & Reno! This is a crossbody bag from Cindiesews (my mother that you've heard so much about from all her help with the house). I can personally attest to the wonderfulness of these bags (as I have two myself).

The winner of the contest will get to select their fabric from a huge range of choices and will receive one custom bag valued at $35!

For more information on the bag you could win, click HERE! And don't forget to check out the rest of the Cindiesews Etsy line (custom polar fleece blankets, t-shirt quilts, and of course the bag featured in the giveaway).

The contest doesn't go forever, so enter early and often!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Been A While

I know. I've been slacking on the updates lately. But I've been busy. And the bit of free time on nights and weekends have been spent working on the house and unpacking.

Anyway, some updates! Last week our kitchen counter came in. And it is gorgeous. Also, the appliances were all hooked up (yay for home cooked meals again).

The lights, mirrors, and sinks went in both upstairs bathrooms. The 2nd bath is complete (minus a little cleaning), but the master still has a couple things to do. It is so nice to have a working bathroom upstairs again to not have to go downstairs to shower and get ready in the morning. Though the up and down the stairs multiple times in the morning was a good workout, I'm not missing it at all.

This past weekend we tackeld a lot of cleaning and unpacking. But we also got a few things done. Like removing that awful, ugly storm door on the front of the house. It was always sticking and wouldn't open, too. And the house looked instantly better from the street. Then we added my painted bistro set to complete the curb appeal.

We also added some shelves in the kitchen (which as usual for us hanging shelves, was a much more difficult project than it should have been). Being a small kitchen, there is limited counter space. And we wanted to keep as much of that open and useable as possible. Not cluttered with appliances. So the extra shelves gave us a place to put more stuff we use regularly, like the coffee maker.

And finally we tackled a bit of that back room where the carpet was pulled up. Remember the glued down padding? Yeah we gave it some time to dry out and attempted to get it cleaned up. While we didn't get it completely clean (yet), we did make a good dent thanks to a putty knife and a shop vac with a scrubbing attachment. Hopefully we'll have time this week/weekend to work on it some more.

So much left to do, but it's starting to all come together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Little Bit Of Reno And A Whole Lot Of Cleaning

It's been a busy few days. Friday was another day of cleaning and our official move into our house day. No more temp. housing. And no more air mattress! Things are still a bit of a mess around here though. Lots of boxes, furniture in places its not supposed to be, etc. But it's slowly coming together.

Our kitchen is finishing up. All of the appliances are in. However the plumbing and gas still need to be hooked up, so the only fully working appliance is the microwave. (The fridge works too, just not the water dispenser/ice maker). But everything is looking great. Can't wait for the counters to go in and all of the appliances to work. And most of our kitchen boxes have been unpacked. But we still need to get the shelves up, the storage bench built, and the pot rack made/hung to finish unpacking.

The bathroom tiling was finished and grouted this weekend as well. Once that dries, everything can be cleaned up and the plumbing hooked up. And then we wont have to go downstairs and to the back of the house to shower and get ready in the morning.

The floors were patched where needed and mouldings were put back up or replaced. They just need a little stain to match.

This past Sunday was another busy family filled try to get the house in order day. While I began unpacking and organizing our things, Kevin and his mom vacuumed and cleaned the basement. And what appeared to be about 50 years of dirt and dust and cobwebs. And after hours of cleaning, it looks so much better down there. We even have a rug for in front of the washer and dryer now. During that same time, my parents tackled the ugly carpet. Or as much as possible. Turns out that the padding was glued to the wood floor underneath. So there are pieces stuck all over. And of course it is sticky. I'm planning to spend a little time this weekend to see if I can get any up/get rid of the stickiness. But it may require the floor to be refinished.

Oh and my refinished table. Fits perfectly next to the door. And the green matches the stained glass window above it as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Making The House A Home

After five weeks of construction, projects are beginning to wrap up! The electrical is almost done. Almost all the outlets and switches are in. All of the new light fixtures are up (and look great)! I especially love the master bedroom chandelier (I've always wanted a sparkly chandelier in my bedroom).

The kitchen is also finishing up. The cabinets have gone up and look great. The appliances going in is still in progress.

The bathroom tiling has begun as well. Both bathrooms have floor tile and some wall. The new block windows were installed too, so the wall tile can be completed. And I'm just a tad obsessed with the floor tile. Love it!

So now that most of the dusty, dirty, messy (etc. etc.) construction is done, we've begun the massive cleaning project. A lot of vacuuming and washing. And also starting to uncover and organize furniture and stuff. The living room was the first room tackled. After about a dozen washes and a few different cleaners, we finally found one that got the floors clean! Pledge 4-in-1 Wood Floor Cleaner. We started getting most of the furniture in place as well.

We then went to get the master bedroom together. Once again large amounts of floor cleaning and then some furniture arranging.

So tomorrow brings another day of cleaning and setting up the house. We will officially be moving in tomorrow (for good. I'm ready to get out of my parents' house). More cleaning and unpacking over the weekend. And hopefully soon enough it will really look like a home.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Like A House, Less Like A Construction Site

The other day, my mom and I spent a few hours and shopped for light fixtures and faucets. Lights for most of the house, and faucets for the kitchen and both upstairs bathrooms.

It took two trips to Menards, one trip to Home Depot, a couple hours online and an Amazon purchase. But I'm super excited for what we got. And I ended up under budget too! (Or at least I think I did based on what our contractor told me I had to spend...)

Today we took a trip to the house to bring some more stuff and check up on progress (and get mail since it's been a while). Taping, mudding and sanding were done in all but the upstairs bathrooms. The walls were mostly primed too!

Outlets had gone in on both the first and second floors. And switches were in on the second floor. Looks like just the first floor switches need to be done then covers on all of them. Apparently the placement of the electrical panel in the basement is illegal, so that needs to get moved to make it code and legal again. But once all of that is taken care of, the power can be flipped on!

Once the electrical is done, the lights can go up and we can fully move into the house (and actually be able to see, which is always a nice concept). Then it's just to finish up the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms and construction should be done. Well, until we get to that roof. There are still a lot of smaller projects we want to do on our own. Over time though.

Oh and that little predicament of the oil drum in the basement. Removed and cleaned up. There is still a little bit of an odor in the crawl space area, but the rest of the house is good. And that should go away after a little more airing out.

Hopefully we can fully move in sometime this week/this coming weekend! Then the fun decorating and other DIY projects can begin! (Since I keep coming up with more and more ideas for the house...) Oh and unpacking. Can't forget about that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

L&R Bistro For Two

Another table makeover! This one comes with a set of chairs. (I promise, I will eventually makeover more than just tables)

I love free stuff. For this makeover I shopped my parents backyard furniture that they were replacing. They had this little iron bistro set (that used to be my grandpa's) that no longer fit on their deck/with their decor. But it would fit perfectly on our front porch. The only problem was the black paint was chipped and peeling off. And our porch needs a little color (black not being the optimal one).

So I started by scraping off all the chipped paint with a wire brush. The chairs were in much better shape than the table. I then sanded everything down to get the glossy surface off (so the new paint would stick and not peel off like the current black).

Then came the painting! A couple thin coats of Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch in aubergine (from Home Depot). It took two full cans to cover the table and chairs completely (for anyone who might be thinking of trying this on their own set).

And voila! A new table! Perfect for our front porch with some flower pots to bring in even more color.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Never Ending Move

Friday we continued what seems to be our endless moving process. It was the last day in our (super boring white) apartment. We spent the day packing up the few things we had left and schlepping them to the house. And cleaning the apartment. Let's be honest, though. Kevin did most of the schlepping and I did most of the packing and cleaning. Goodbye Morgan apartment.

One last sunset from the apartment
While we were finishing our moving process, an abundance of workers were at our house attempting to make it livable. Drywall went up, cabinets and appliances were delivered, cable was activated, and electrical was pulled.

There were of course a few adventures along the moving process. First, we encountered a couple of scrap metal guys cutting up the old oil drum that was in the basement crawl space. This was a bit of a shock to us since we weren't planning on that being removed. Turns out one of the contractors had them come in to remove it. But when Kevin called the contractor to find out what was going on, they took off. Leaving a half cut up oil drum. Leaking oil and gas. Which can be smelt throughout the house and backyard.

On a later trip to the house, Kevin discovered that we were locked out. The chain had been put on the front screen door and front door, and the backdoor handle had been locked instead of the deadbolt. Luckily a couple of workers were just leaving the house and stayed to help break into the house. After about an hour and a half they finally got in.

We finally took our last trip from the apartment to the house about 9pm. We brought in the last few things and got a room cleaned up enough to sleep in. Since the house had limited electrical (a couple outlets in only two rooms and no lights), there wasn't much we could do around the house. My parents stopped by on their way home from the Blackhawks game to pick up Sadie. We went down to Champaign Saturday for the homecoming football game and decided it would be best for her to stay in a less stress environment for the day.

Sadie was ready to go and be done with the move
It was quite dark, but luckily we could see a bit with flashlights on our phones (yay smartphones!)
After a super stressful game and some non-stressful tailgating during the day, we headed back to the house, grabbed our stuff and went straight to my parents. Friday night with no lights and no computer/tv/electrical devices was a bit tough. It was also really cold making it an awful night's sleep. So until the lights go on in the house, we'll be out at the parentals' place.

Sunday was a nice relaxing day trying to avoid thinking about everything that has been going on/still needs to happen in the house. Once again Kevin had the Panther Prowl 5k run (that I couldn't run in... stupid foot). This time he ran with his parents. Kevin finished 2nd in his age group with a 32:49 time, his dad 3rd in his age with a 37:07 time, and his mom 1st in her age with a 37:08 time! Congrats to them all (and all the other family runners)! And special congrats to Becky on putting together such a great race! I promise I will try not to be hurt next year so I can run.

And now we sit and wait for power to be restored to our house so we can complete this never ending move.