***Have you entered the giveaway yet? Lynch Creek Farm is offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky winner to shop on their site full of beautiful wreaths, garland and holiday accessories. Enter to win here.*** First, a huge, ginormous hug (sorry if you’re not a hugger) to those of you who gave me the heads up about that uncooperative ad that was showing up over our posts. Super sorry about that but I think I have it fixed. I think it was specific to tablets (ipads, kindles, etc), but if anyone continues to have any problems please just give me a shout so I can ring someone’s neck take care of it. Thanks!! “Who knew I had it in me?”. Those were Joel’s first words after he finished replacing the hardwood floors in our vestibule all by himself. And just for clarity, it’s a vestibule because we’re high falutin’. Remember what the floors looked like after we pulled up the carpet in there? A few weeks ago I was busy installing the new drywall all around the front of the inside of our living room and vestibule so I suggested that he tackle the floor. Drywall for me is the type of project that I can do all by myself, until it comes time to install large sheets up high. So I wanted him available but not in my way didn’t necessarily need his constant help. :) Originally we considered keeping the old floor boards and painting them, even though they were a different width than the rest of the floor and whoever installed them just nailed right down through them. But there was a little incident during the best weekend ever that left us with this. Whoops! But we just went with it. Joel actually drilled through the now … continue reading
***Have you entered the giveaway yet? Lynch Creek Farm is offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky winner to shop on their site full of beautiful wreaths, garland and holiday accessories. Enter to win here.*** So, I’ve shown you a few pictures of our kitchen. You know, the heart of the home. Or in our case, the place where everything lands that doesn’t otherwise have a home. She’s probably going to be last on the list of room renovations, poor girl. And in the mean time she had become quite the labyrinth. Navigate the extension cords and tools we can’t seem to bring all the way back to the shed. Watch your shins around the new ceiling fan still to be installed, large box of things that need to be sorted to go to charity … take a second to have a seat in the random chair at the end of the path. Ohhhh, no, you can’t do that because my shoes have found a seat instead. :)
Thank you so much to Lynch Creek Farm for sponsoring this post and providing me that nostalgic holiday scent here in the tropics. First, how was the holiday weekend!! I ate too much, had too much fun and enjoyed every minute. I hope you can say the same about yours. :) I don’t know about you but the scent of evergreen always fills me with feelings of the holidays. Maybe it’s because I am from Maine and grew up surrounded by forests full of pine trees. And bringing fresh boughs into the house during the holiday season was always a signal that Santa was near. So I guess you could say I’m like Pavlov’s dog and evergreens are my bell. :)
A huge thank you to Simpson Strong-Tie for sponsoring this post and making such great products to help everyone accomplish some DIY Done Right! Exactly 8 months ago to this day I shared 14 curb appeal ideas that were all inspired by the abysmal state of the front of our house. We actually didn’t close on the house until March 29th, two days later, so I’m not sure what it says that I already had down on paper my ideas for whipping her into shape from the outside in. But, slowly we have been making progress on a few key items on that list and our latest project has both Joel and I feeling like we are seriously transforming this old house into something we think is awesome.
I’m pretty sure Joel thinks I’m a wing nut. I mean, all of our windows in our living and dining room need trim. I need to repair the wood slats above the door so I can finish up the baseboards. And I haven’t even bothered to install a doorknob on our new French door yet.
Ok, I don’t know about you, but when someone says they’re going to write about installing drywall … not that I know anyone who does that but me … I get all “oh yay”, “that’s super”, “I don’t know a more exciting topic”. Ummm, asphalt maybe? ;) Hopefully you note the sarcasm in there. I don’t know, it just seems so blah. But for some reason it has kind of become my thing around here. People that come in ask who did our drywall (ok, so it’s only family and they’re obligated to over-admire, it’s a requirement of visiting) and walk up and touch the walls (for an awkwardly long period of time) and squint and look for seams and cracks and imperfections. While I pray they don’t notice the little areas that I’m pretty sure only I know about. It’s true, I don’t think any wall can ever truly be perfect, but what I’ve come to figure out over the years is that it’s just one big mask for any other imperfect surface.
And photographing a little window opening proved to be equally challenging. Hahaha! Something about bright light in front of my face and no really great spot to take a picture from 10 feet below. :) I did manage a few better ones, but the window being 10 feet off the ground didn’t really help my cause. The plan was for me to install this little guy while Joel was at work so we could finally get the rest of the drywall up when he got home.
One of the reasons that we weren’t able to work on our living room progress in a normal working order is because we wanted to insulate the attic before we drywalled it in. Turns out we are leaving a small access opening in the front of the house so it didn’t really matter. #BestLaidPlans Buuuuut, I choose to believe it is all for the best because if we had the drywall up already it would have made it nearly impossible for me to hear Joel while he was maneuvering his way around our cramped little attic with the long hose attached to the loud insulation blower. It was a bit of a Marco Polo situation as it was, so all’s well that ends well, right?!?!
Tip #1 Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke is an excellent song to stain to. I guess that’s a matter of personal preference, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to walk in the guest bedroom again without singing “Everybody get up”. And I stained that floor long before all of this Miley twerking business and I refuse to let her ruin it for me. :) The Billboard Top 100 list was my closest companion during this hardwood floor restoration process so I’m going to give you the billboard chart of hardwood floor sanding and staining tips and tricks!
I’m going to start right out and say that I was more than skeptical when Kilz sent along some of their Kilz Klear for me to try on my newly drywalled walls.* *Side note – spell checker does not like the use of the word drywall as a verb. But since I often find myself in the act of drywalling I will insist on continuing to use it in such a manner. It’s like funner and bestest and those other non-words that really are words. I apologize to all of the grammar fanatics out there. :) I gave you a sneak peek when my cousin was here. And it really wasn’t my strategy, but I ended up tasking her with the priming and am now realizing that if it hadn’t worked out I would’ve been totally justified in blaming her for her poor application skillz. :)
In a perfect home improvement world roofs would get finished before walls and walls would get finished before floors and floors would get finished without any dog hair involved. In a perfect home improvement world new doors would get installed and not require any wood slat patching …
To date we have had to get 10 different permits for the work we’ve completed, and that is ongoing, up in here. 1 Mechanical for the new HVAC. 2 Building Dept – one for the general interior upgrades we’ve been making (like removing drop ceilings, stripping wood slat walls and installing a new board and batten accent wall) and one specific to the best weekend ever and the subsequent build-out and new windows and trim and siding. 3 Electrical – one for the original electric system upgrade, one for the HVAC electrical and one for the new electrical in the vaulted ceiling. 4 HARC Permits – That’s the historical review commission here in Key West. And they like to make decisions on things. :)
I’ve mentioned around here before how much I might be infatuated with Instagram. I think it’s fun to share in-the-moment happenings every now and again. Like a helpful dog while I’m trying to paint some trim boards.
So, the one project I kept telling my dad that I wanted to accomplish while he was here was to trim out the windows and doorway on the exterior of the house so I could move ahead with the siding. Just a refresher as to where we are today. Because I’m drawn to this picture like a bad accident.
Well, we did it! We made through the 31 day series! It has been so fun for me to share some simple yet sometimes overlooked tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. And a few things that didn’t really work out, like that garbage can trick, and I’m still not sure about the bottle cutting thing. I am oddly rejuvenated to get back on the home renovation wagon and forge full steam ahead toward some serious progress. We’re on the cusp of some BIG changes around here. Joel and I keep saying “we’ll be living like normal people before we know it”. And yes, that involves moving our furniture out of our side yard and into our house! #Can’tWaitForThatDay But, let’s get this series wrapped up pretty with a bow before we shift gears.
My official answer is … I think so. :) Update: My official-official answer … not well enough to be a fun craft project. :( Decisive, I know. But here’s the deal, my BFF Sue tried it over the summer and totally couldn’t get it to work. And when my very Proud younger cousin who enjoyed her recent visit said she had also tried and couldn’t get it to work I knew I had to give it a go. So I gathered my supplies.
To say that we grabbed Curacao with both hands and let it take us for the ride of our lives (in too many ways to measure) would be an egregious understatement. We soaked up every ounce of Caribbean goodness we could endure. And we watched, sometimes in awe, unsuspecting Americans make their move down to the island and almost instantly crash and burn.