I’m still here!

It’s been nearly a year since I posted anything.  It’s so funny, in my last post, I mentioned that I hadn’t updated anything because I was feeling lousy. About three weeks after that post I learned that I was expecting! That first trimester was a doozy. But we got a lot done despite my pregnancy.

I’ve been thinking about getting back into blogging a lot recently, but my house is in a very apparent state of renovation and to be honest, it’s a little embarrassing.  Earlier today, I felt so inspired as I was looking through old listing photos.  Our house has really come a long way.

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Listing photo

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As it sits today..with a cameo from Henry.

Okay don’t laugh. I told you it was pretty bad. We’ve mostly been focusing our energies on the nursery, so the living area has taken the back seat for a while. Yes, we still have folding chairs at the dining table. Yes, there are things hanging out of the walls. BUT, we have big plans for this place.

Any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. I’ll be posting our projects one by one over the next few weeks, as well as updating my About page with a photo of our sweet baby boy.

Until next time,

-A

So I did this the other day..

     I’ve been feeling pretty lousy since my last post, and on the days that I can pluck myself from the bed, I plan activities outside of the house to boost my spirits.  Nothing gets you down quite like a cocktail of chronic pain + S.A.D., so I try to avoid those two things at all costs. WHY OH WHY IS IT GETTING DARK AT 5pm??

 Anyway, because I’ve been sick/busy, I’m not quite ready to show you guys my latest kitchen project, so here’s a little nibble to hold you over. After vigorously cleaning the inside of my house in anticipation of friends visiting last weekend, I took a moment to sit and relax on our couch and look out the window.  Then I looked at the clock.  I had two hours before I had to wake my husband and meet our friends for dinner.  Not even five minutes later, I was outside with a four pound mallet and some gloves swinging my little arms off.

Why, you ask?  The previous owners of our home were a bit, um..creative, if you will.  They did this:

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As you can imagine, anytime we had company I was very compelled to explain that we were not responsible for that gross thing smack dab in the middle of our yard.  I also felt embarrassed when cars I didn’t recognize came down our road, staring at it as they drove by.

The very first time we pulled into the yard to look at this house, my husband and I agreed, that would be the first thing we did if we bought it.  Fast forward six months and it was still sitting there, eyeing us with contempt every time we pulled into the driveway.

In our defense, we did buy the four pound hammer to knock the bricks down two months ago.  After discovering all of the lovely creepy-crawly inhabitants in there, we decided to hold off. Since it was below freezing a few times that week, I ran out there with no fears.

After an hour of intense digging, pulling, throwing, and some very funny looks from my neighbors, it looked like this:

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That isn’t trash, it’s tiny pieces of mud off of the bricks.

I realize no one is as excited about this as I am.  I can accept that.  But I am very proud of myself for FINALLY getting this done, and progress is progress, no matter how small.

I’m also stoked about this next week, because my husband has FIVE WHOLE DAYS OFF, and we’re planning to finish some projects that will have a huge impact. Plus, we’re taking family (Me, husband, and the dogs.) pictures for our Christmas cards!

Have a great holiday, I can’t wait to share the fun with y’all!

Until next time,

-A

A useless feature.

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Please excuse the embarrassing mess everywhere…..

Our home has a fantastic open floor plan, which is somewhat unique in manufactured homes.  Many times there are a lot of little dividing walls that help support the roof, but our house is thankfully designed a little differently. That being said, when we bought this house, I knew I wanted to tear down the cheap looking column/bar thing that we had in the kitchen.  I honestly thought that maybe there was a beam or support of some type enclosed in it, because why else would it be there?  It certainly wasn’t for looks……

Except it was.  I just decided out of the blue one day to take a flat head screw driver and pry the particleboard back just enough to see inside.  Imagine my delight when I discovered that it was hollow!

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^That’s my super sleepy husband trudging through his homework after a long night at work.  He’s a trooper, that guy!

So anyway, after discovering that it was hollow and served no actual purpose, it had to come down.

Like, immediately.

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Who knew that removing that little piece would make such a difference?  Since our house was already a wreck from me taking on other tasks that week, I was just going to leave the bottom piece alone until we got some other things out of the way.  I kissed my husband goodnight/day and to sleep he went.

Good thing for me, he could sleep through a plane crash, because I have poor impulse control, and was DYING to know what was behind that bead board.

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I never learn, because that was where things became difficult.  There were screws fastening it to the floor, and when I say screws, I mean the longest screws in the history of the world, and to top it off they were cheap, so the heads stripped with no effort at all.  I, somehow, was able to remove three of the five that held it to the floor, and two of three that held it to the wall.  Naturally, I had to enlist the help of my sweet husband when he awoke….

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…but, try as he might, that sleepy caveman couldn’t get those screws to budge. They were too stripped.  I was annoyed, but I waited patiently until the next morning when we went to Lowe’s and picked up a GraBit, which worked like a charm.  Since this was “my project,” husband said that he wouldn’t help me anymore, and to bed he went.  I didn’t have a problem with that, because all of the screws were out and it would be smooth sailing from there.  I mean, that’s what I thought anyway.

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The pipes that were running through the 2x4s fit nice and snug, and as I mentioned before, I never have the right tools.  Since I didn’t have a handsaw or anything to make things easier, I used a drill with a boring bit and a hammer, and drilled, and hammered, and drilled, and hammered until I got the wood away from the pipes. Don’t judge me. Then I used all of my little person strength and yanked that bar away from the wall.  I don’t know a thing about electrical, so I just taped the wires to the wall until my husband woke up again.

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After the bar was removed and the mess was cleaned up.

Being the sweet guy he is, he cut the power off, took those wires off the outlets, pushed them through the pipes and fixed them with wire nuts.  Then he hammered the pipes til they were flush with the wood. I took out all of the busted up Sheetrock and I still haven’t made the repairs yet, but I’m getting around to it..

I don’t have a before/after for you just yet because that would reveal some other projects we have going on in the house.  You’ll just have to appreciate what I’ve shown you so far and patiently wait for what’s next…😉

Until next time,

-A

Vertical Storage.

A couple of weeks ago, while searching for a late night snack, my hatred for the bench/cabinet area beside our refrigerator became too much for me to bear.  I could not handle looking at it for one more second.  So, I did what any rational person would do and waited until the next morning grabbed a hammer.  It is on nights like those that I appreciate my husband working third shift.

The whole space was impractical. I just ended up throwing our recyclables (like toilet paper rolls) and other random things on top of it, because that’s all I really could do there.  From the moment I saw it, I was thinking about what I could do to make it better. Honestly, I like bead board, but not in this application. See how it sucked the light right out of this space? Shame.

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In my last post when I told you that the fridge was a tight fit, I wasn’t lying.  I was so scared to scratch it, and that made it more difficult to get this bench out.

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Again, the manufacturer did some overkill with the staples and finishing nails, and it was glued to the wall behind it.  I never have the right equipment so I ended up getting some splinters, and began to consider waiting until the morning to finish it, but I persevered. Sigh. I promise that one day very soon my pictures will be blog-worthy.

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After I got the bead board down, I hammered down/ pulled out any staples or nails left behind, and sanded away the glue.  This was what it looked like the next morning.  Like a breath of fresh air.  It felt like a big, ugly weight was lifted from my shoulders.  Sadly, it wasn’t that pretty for long. It ended up being a storage area for wood scraps, and sheet rock and all kinds of construction waste until the weekend when we took it all to the dump.  That’s Kailee down there.  You’ll be seeing a lot more of her.  She’s a photo-bombing fool, and I can’t even be mad.

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While I was waiting for the weekend I went to Lowe’s and purchased a wire rack in a chrome finish.   I put it together, threw all of our junk on it, and the rest is history.  Vertical storage makes my heart smile.😀  I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t even have the decency to style it up and make it pretty for you all. Well, this rack is serving as a temporary holding space while I’m doing other projects in other parts of the house.  Trust me, it drives me crazy, but for now, it works…and it’s SO MUCH BETTER than it was before.

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I can’t wait to show you everything else I’ve got going on!

Until next time

-A

Make way for the new fridge!

You already know that I am new to blogging, so I will go ahead and tell you that the project I’m writing about today is from two and a half months ago…when I wasn’t even sure that I wanted a blog yet. I didn’t take any photos before or after, and as a result, this post will be short and sweet.  Until a few minutes ago, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to tell you about this project, but it’s what got my feet wet and set the tone for all others. It just wouldn’t be right it I didn’t share it with you. The good news is that it can only get better from here.

For some reason, our fairly large kitchen only had enough space for an apartment sized refrigerator.  The opening was 32″ wide.  We bought a standard sized refrigerator measuring 36″ wide, and that meant that we had to do something to free up some space.  Obviously, tearing down a useless wall was much more practical than getting rid of my four precious little drawers, and it would brighten up my kitchen anyway.  So, that’s what we did.  I measured the little wall and it was literally four inches wide.  For those like me that are bad at math, 32 + 4 = 36, yikes, that’s close. With a built-in bench cabinet on the other side of the wall (I’ll tell you about that in my next post), I was soo nervous that our new fridge wouldn’t fit, even with the wall down.

Please forgive the TERRIBLE photo quality.  This first one came from the realtor.

All qualms aside, the night after we signed the papers, we went to work tearing that (non-load bearing) baby out… We were seriously unprepared for the hell that thing gave us.  To say that the builders were generous with the giant staples and nails would be an understatement. It took my husband, brother-in-law, and me two hours to get it out of there. In our defense, we were being fairly gentle just in case we could use the materials for future projects, and all we had besides our bare hands was a hammer and a crow bar. Not to mention it was the middle of the night.  Good thing our next door neighbors were out of town.

Anyway, Lowe’s delivered the fridge early the next morning and she fit in there with not an eighth of an inch to spare.  Imagine my relief.

Here’s another terrible quality photo from the next night after we’d gotten the kitchen stuff moved in and squared away. (and removed some cabinet doors and one UGLY chandelier.)

To be honest, I was bummed that we did all of that work, spent all of that money, and the front of the fridge wasn’t even visible.  Sigh.  Though, you’ll see in a later post that that is no longer the case.😀

Until next time,

-A

First Post

After toying with this idea for way longer than I should have, I finally started a blog! Let’s get to it:

Almost three months ago, my husband and I bought a 2008 model Giles Industries Razr XL manufactured home at a ridiculously good price.  It’s got a killer floor plan, gets plenty of natural light during the day, and has more than enough space for our tiny family. It’s awesome, but quite frankly, it’s a monochromatic nightmare. Everything in it is some shade of brown, and it’s in need of a few updates. I love design, and I have a passion for making spaces work for me. I have every intention of transforming this generic box into a lovely space for my husband and me. I’d love for you to join me as I chronicle my home improvement experiences as well as any fun DIY projects, or furniture transformations, or anything else I happen to get into along the way.

Until next time,

-A