"Two are Better than One!" ~Ecclesiastes 4:9

Friday, September 30, 2011

Reno Hood-style!

I posted our appliances on Craigslist this morning, requiring pickup on Monday before the kitchen demo.  However, I got an email within two hours showing interest in all 6 appliances and wanting to see them before the end of the work day.  They came out the house 10 minutes later,  left me with a 50% down payment, asked to pick up first thing tomorrow morning, and agreed to haul off many of the other things we had recently removed from the house!  I couldn't say no...I took the cash and smiled!!

It wasn't until Todd got home and I was explaining that I had sold the appliances, including the fridge, and they would be gone at 7 am tomorrow morning that I realized the full gravity of the situation!  Our new fridge will not be installed until mid-next week if everything goes as planned!  We planned on a few days without a fridge, but the weekend was a whole new ballgame.  Our solution?  Of course we had one -- and it seemed fun for a little bit, but now I am just miserable and have my feet propped up! We started by reducing the amount of food and beverages in our fridge and freezer.....yes, that means we have spent the last few hours indulging in ice cream and sorbet, and making margaritas with the remainder of the lemonade and limeade in the fridge!  Then, while enjoying my margarita, I moved everything from the fridge to the wine fridge which we temporarily set up in the dining room.  Tomorrow morning, I will move what is left in the freezer into the wine fridge and hope to eat as much of it throughout the day as I can, and then cross my fingers that what is left can just de-thaw and be okay for a few days!

As if being full, enjoying a little something, and running back and forth between the kitchen and dining room wasn't enough.....I continued!  I set up a temporary kitchen for the next week in our dining room.  Need proof I really did all of this tonight on top of the glutonous eating??  Here it is:  :o)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Claw Footed Tub

When we realized we were going to have to give our master bathroom so much attention, and renovate it completely, I immediately thought I wanted to replace the disgusting existing jetted tub with a claw-footed tub.  I felt this way for three reasons: 1) It would open up the bathroom more by not requiring so much space and 2) Claw-footed tubs are less expensive than jetted or soaking tubs and 3) Since I was so overwhelmed by the new project, I felt it would just make things easier to be able to drop the new tub where we needed it in the bathroom since it is freestanding.  While I do feel the new tub is going to open up the bathroom a tremendous amount, it has become the biggest obstacle in the entire bathroom project!

After shopping for several weeks, it took 2 additional weeks for me to actually pull the trigger and purchase the tub.  I realize now that with tubs that sit in enclosures, you can figure out anything on the back end and just hide elbows in pipes and things of that nature behind the tiling.  However, with a freestanding tub, everything has to be precise to the tiniest fraction of an inch because everything is exposed and has to come straight up out of the foundation.  So much for my "we will just drop it where we need it" theory!  The decision on which tub to purchase was greatly narrowed down simply by where our existing valves and drain lines are and how much play we have in relocating them!

Finally, I decided on a dual rimmed, simple, white-coated, cast iron tub.  It was so cheap I could have wet my pants I was so proud of myself!  However, I was quickly brought back down when I was quoted pricing for the decorative exposed pipes and trim that were as expensive as the tub itself!  While I was saving a great deal of money on the tub, this added stuff multiplied the price!  So, this girl found a sale over Labor Day weekend!  Long story short, I got the tub and all the fixins' for the price I wanted after a drawn out headache of a learning process.

Last night, this was delivered to the house....

This morning we opened the crate...

To reveal this....

Which was so heavy (the packing slip said 477 pounds to be exact) it took stopping a few times throughout all of the steps up and down in our house.....

In order to get it all the way to the master bathroom....

And, finally to its new home....

What does such ridiculously expensive plumbing look like, you ask??  A little something like this....

I am one happy girl who can't wait to soak in her new tub with a glass of wine :o)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Reno Drama

Our chandelier for the foyer finally came in, and I was so happy to have the exposed wires in the ceiling covered!  We had our contractor hang it due to the height of the ceiling which required scaffolding.  Thank goodness he was in charge of the project because the wiring in the fixture was faulty and sent surges through our electrical system causing shorts -- I would have had no idea how to diagnose this issue!  We are now waiting for a replacement fixture in order to go through the entire process of hanging again and fixing our blown fuses.

No worries...there is plenty of other reno drama where that comes from!  In other news, the master bathroom is on hold because we are waiting on our claw foot tub to be delivered.  Our contractor wants to triple check the dimensions of the tub before building out walls that the tub plumbing will require for support before anything can be finalized and moving in a forward direction.  I don't blame him, I am a little anxious about building walls, moving plumbing, and tiling without having seen the actual tub in the space.  Also, the kitchen (which should have been complete by now) is still sitting in boxes in our garage, with a new proposed install date of October 3rd.....no one at our house is holding their breath!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catching Up on Playing in LA

I have several new posts, but before I move onto what is most recent, I want to get this post in before it gets completely forgotten!

Two weekends ago, Todd was given two tickets to the USC/Utah game from a friend.  Long story short, the friend was somehow connected to a family well-connected with USC.  We arrived to the game to find ourselves, 5 rows up perfectly centered between the uprights in the end zone.  Needless to say, we had amazing seats and a wonderful time!

After the game, we were both hungry, and I wanted to stop at babycakes to stock up on some gluten free goodies.  Next door to babycakes, is one of the two restaurants in LA that claim to have invented to original French Dip Sandwich.  We went in to see what all the fuss was about....

...and after a mediocre meal, we decided Phillipe's will be where we attempt an amazing original french dip the next time around ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Guest Room in Progress....

Todd's parents are coming to visit, and with the guest bathroom tiling just completed, we decided to go all in and get it painted and furnished!  I don't know what I was thinking, but I completely forgot to take before pictures of our guest bedroom.  I do have two pictures from our house hunting trip, so the old owners' things are in the room:

As you can see, we had to work around a large amount of green tile.  In addition, the glass shower doors were missing when we moved in, the carpet in the bathroom (again, yuck!) had lived it's last day, and the door handles ranged from brass to chrome and brushed nickel!  While we just have not had enough time in a day to finish all of these projects, we have made huge strides!

First things first, we had the floor in the bathroom tiled.  I tried to keep with the more rustic Spanish-country look of the rest of the house, instead of letting the shiny green tiles run the show.  So, I went with an Italian porcelain tile that looked like natural stone to team up with the hardwoods in the attached guest room.

While I didn't want the green tile to take over, I knew I had to somehow embrace it while toning it down.  So, I decided to do with a green, white and silver/grey color combination to create a shabby chic look in the room.  Therefore, the walls were painted next in a calm grey with a touch of green to it, Koala Bear by Behr.

Now came the fun part, I needed to purchase a few new pieces of furniture and accessories for the room.  I have been looking for the exact piece of furniture that I had in my mind for months, with no such luck.  While wandering through Home Goods earlier this week I found two pieces that had the bones I wanted but weren't the right finish, and since I didn't even pay $300 for them combined I did not feel guilty painting them!

I really wanted a small chest of old square postal drawers instead of a dresser, but couldn't find any under several thousand dollars, even after antique shopping and ebaying.  This was such an exciting find, as it seemed to feed my big-enough-to-hold-something-substantial, but with cute-little-bank-of-drawers craving!  Shopping moral of the story - don't give up!

As you can see, it was a little too shabby for my room!  I wanted distressed, but this was just overboard! So, I painted it in some Cottage White Behr paint we had leftover from walls upstairs.  Then, I took some sandpaper to it to make the character from underneath come through.  I must say, I am embarrassed to even post this after picture with this ridiculous excuse for a discreet TV on it!  I knew I couldn't leave Todd's parents without a TV for two weekends!

Once the TV is gone, I will be hanging a mirror over this chest.  Again, the mirror I found was not the color I wanted, but I got it for a steal so it didn't matter.  It was a quick and easy spray paint project that went from this....

To this....

The last piece I purchased was an end table to continue pulling together my "Elizabeth's take on country" guest room.  I giggle as I say that because my sister does not believe I can do anything "country".  At our rehearsal dinner she made a toast explaining our relationship as country mouse, and city mouse...her as rustic brown and me as black and chrome!  I don't know that it is that bad, but I do have to admit I even surprised myself when I painted this night table which was a charcoal color, white.  Here is the night table before...

...and here it is in the room after.... Sidenote:: I am considering painting the wall plaque over the bed (which hides an electric box) white to match the furniture.  What are your thoughts??  Also, the bedding is stark white and temporary, I'm thinking off-white plushness with touches of green - any suggestions??

Okay, so now that I have put proof of my big decorating stretch out there for all of you to see, I must say how much I LOVE my new silver Ethan Allen bed!!  :o)

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you the completed bathroom....

As you can see, we have made a great deal of progress.  However, there are a few more projects to complete in here. They include:  patching the bathroom wall where we removed the diseased medicine cabinet, replacing door hardware so it all matches, complete painting the trim and doors (I got burned out), hanging the mirror over the chest, possibly painting the wall plaque, purchasing new bedding, and sealing the grout in the bathroom.  I will be sure to post when it is finished!  Now, we are off to be tourists with Todd's parents!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

California Drivers!

We held off for quite some time, as we did not want to be official California drivers!  However, after moving into our house, and waiting 4 weeks to get an appointment, and dragging our feet a little in between we are now licensed in California....which I believe was the last thing keeping us from being absolutely official Californians!

We had to re-take the written driving exam which made us feel like we were 15 again.  I hope you find this as ironic as me:  the one state we have lived in that requires a written test to get a license no matter what your age, has some of the worst drivers!  Hmmm  Yet, that is not the story I am telling here.  What I really want to share is that I got a perfect score on my exam, and Todd missed the maximum amount allotted in order to pass!  The women at the DMV actually had a sense of humor and joked with us when I asked if they could put it in writing that I am the better driver, so we can finally settle the dispute!  No such luck!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday Dinner at Mastro's

Our birthdays are only a week apart, so we try to celebrate together.  You may remember that last year, we took a trip to New York.  This year, with all of the craziness at our house, and crazy expenditures we decided to keep it low key and just go to dinner.  The weekend between our birthdays was packed, so Sunday night it was!  We originally intended on trying a new restaurant in LA, but didn't quite make it that far.  We had been told a local steakhouse, Mastro's was amazing so we gave it a try.  It was great, Todd had a pork chop and I got a filet, and they finished off our meal with birthday desserts.  

Cake for Todd.....

...and the biggest pile of fruit for me!
It probably looked like we were fishing for free desserts, as I'm sure its not everyday that couples come in to celebrate their birthdays together.  We took home leftovers, but were still so full we were just miserable!!  In case you all were wondering, we decided to buy something for the house for each other for our birthdays, but we didn't want it to be lame like the new shower fixtures or tile.  So, instead we purchased the wine fridge for our new bar as a birthday gift to each other.  We can't wait to have it installed, and enjoy it :)

Kitchen on Hold

Our kitchen demo and install were pushed back three weeks....frustrating!  I thought all along the kitchen would be done before we began the demo on our master bathroom; that was the goal at least.  However, the contractor we are using for our kitchen has decided to take a 10 day Alaskan cruise at the most inconvenient time for us and with no warning.  In the meantime, our main contractor, who has done almost all of the other major jobs in our house keeps pushing onward!

Kitchen cabinets in the garage - waiting for install
So, our garage will continue to be a cabinet warehouse until mid-September, and our master bathroom will be in reconstruction for the next few weeks.  The master bathroom and kitchen are the most major renovations you can do in a house, and it would figure we would be so lucky to going through both at the same time, despite all of our planning!  We continue to roll with the punches :)

Master bathroom - stripped down