Sunday, July 31, 2011

What We've Been Up To: Sweating and Killing.

Well we're done. We completely moved out of our old town home. THANK THE LORD. The idea of being homeless for a few more weeks until we close is scary but the thought of living in that hell hole anymore was depressing. It looked nice but we were ready for a place of our own.

We ended up renting a Pod:

We went with Pods because Rob found an amazing coupon on that we used. The best discount code was GOTJUNK, but we got another today when we changed our address - PODSDISC7. You'll have to let us know if it's any good. Also, we could have rented a storage unit but we'd have had to move everything into a Uhaul, then unload it into a unit... and then 3 weeks down the line do it again. With Pods you just shove it all in and they deal with it until you need it deposited at your new place. :)

We managed to stuff it full:

The only thing we couldn't fit in was the grill. It was shot and falling apart anyways!

Tetris champs... ish!

Also, if you're wondering what that yellow round mask is... 

Hot stuff(s)!

It's Rob's Lego man mask that he made last Halloween for the daycare's party (he's a teacher there). He refused to part with it. Silly boy. 

I also found this that he did while moving:
That would be on the back of the Advil bottle.

We definitely got a bit slap happy while packing our Pod to the gills. We got the house all cleared and cleaned by 7pm Saturday though... just in time for a 6 hour Call of Duty gaming session with some friends. Today we've only looked at saws at Lowes (for flooring) and laid around eating pot roast. Yay for Nana cooking!

I'm just SO glad it's over and that I only have one more day of orientation left at my new job tomorrow. 

And on the basement front, I'm turning into a bona fide spider wrangler:

 I killed this one with a biochemical combination of Glade lavender deodorizer, lemon toliet cleaning disinfectant, and Halo flavored (scented?) Victoria Secret perfume. It slowly shriveled up as I sprayed. Very cathartic. 

Yeehaw. Hope everyone else's weekend was better than mine! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

As-Is Ikea Haul = Insanely Cheap Kitchen Hardware

I could have made a dirty joke about liking black knobs but I didn't. I'm classy ;)

I thought I'd share a recent haul Rob and I got from Ikea while his sister was in town visiting this summer. Our closest Ikea is about an hour and a half away outside of Cincinnati, so we don't go all that often to save gas. They need to build one in Lexington. Bad!

Anyhow, we went to Cinci to go to Kings Island themepark and while there, to avoid the sun in the afternoon (sun + Diamondback ride = hurl), we took a break to eat meatballs and shop at Ikea. It was 20 minutes away. That's normal right?!?

Apparently on Tuesdays their meatballs are half priced by the way. Next time we go (probably sometime this fall knowing us), we're definitely going on a Tuesday!

After that we skipped the normal entry and cut across to the As-Is section and scored big time!! 

Here are a few things we found:

Gosa Krissla pillow, normally $39.99 for $2.00

Long Stocker planter, not sure on the normal price as they discontinued it. We got it for $1. 
Also don't mind the uglies in it, we ran out of boxes to pack stuff in... ghetto.

And the best buy:

Ohhh yeah, we got 18 packages of Hedra knobs for .50 cents! So we got 36 knobs for .25 cents each! Mega score! We grabbed every pack in the section actually because we knew we wanted to change the knobs out in our new kitchen but had been sweating the price of knob hardware. 
That's Ikea's official picture... they don't look so pewter-y in person, they're like an ORB (oil rubbed bronze) but instead of a gold tone they have a silvery glimmer. It's very nice. 

They're the knobs that are traditionally found on the Hemnes dresser line. 

We did the math and we ended up only needing 14 knobs for our kitchen. 24 if you count the bathrooms, so we'll have LOTS of spare knobs ha! Just a little overzealous... sorry Ohioans. My bad. 

We're planning on pairing the knobs with window sashes as pulls to complete the kitchen hardware. Like this:

See the pull on the drawer in the right lower corner?

Mmmm. Thanks, Ikea. You saved us a fortune in hardware!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eeeek! Or, It's a Dead Bug's Life ;)

I started my new job yesterday and have been completely exhausted every evening. That's why last night's post was so lackluster. It was all I could do to find some internet photos and slap them on there. The job is good so far though, good pay, benefits, etc. I'm excited about making money too but my body isn't used to all the back and forth after months of chilling on the sofa so I'm exhausted by the end of the day. I'll get over it soon enough though!

Anyways, we moved into my grandmother's basement tonight, after packing for a few hours and I'm totally beat again. I'll leave you with this gem that Rob found not 5 minutes ago in our basement shower:

I made this X-Large just to be mean. Ha, sorry!

There is no scale, sorry, but it was easily as long as my hand... and furry... and it must be related to a zebra too. :( I won't mention the 5 bat sized moths that flew in while we were moving our clothes in. Ugh. I'm not a good country girl.

Enjoy! Muahah.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Apparently our lender ordered our appraisal without consulting us-- I think this is bad business juju personally and he's just lucky we happened to have the electricity and water turned on for our inspection because he certainly didn't ask us first! Well, regardless, we got a surprise package in the mail yesterday that was the completed appraisal report.

We were initially worried about the appraisal because Rob had found a zillow report that appraised our house at $4000 less than our purchase price. Not good. We shouldn't have worried though, our appraisal judged the house to be worth about $7000 more than we were paying. And it also said that after necessary repairs of the siding, HVAC, and I assume various other things like the carpets and ventilation wells, then it would be worth around $21000 more than our purchase price (repairs that would take the house from an "average" condition to a "good" condition).

That is a nice WOOT figure! Especially considering that a house that is identical to ours in appearance, square feet, and LESS yardage sold last month for $26000 more than our house. And that house was stuck in the 90s- ivy wallpaper, hunter greens, and no updates in the kitchen and baths (older appliances and builder oak cabs). It was meh...

(From real estate listing)
Whats with the gap over the sink house designers?!

Basically, we were confirmed that this is a good deal yes, it just needs elbow grease and luvin'. In the end when we sell it on, the house should be a nice investment and a good turnover of equity.

Woop woop!

Crayola Box House

Hurrah for color!

It's probably wayyy too early to start planning wall colors, but this new house is like our barbie dream house so we never stop dreaming about what could be. Luckily though (at least this is how I explain it to myself) wall colors that Rob and I agree on can be put into any house, so it's not specific to this new house, if it should happen to fall through. I feel like I'm jinxing myself by saying that.

Rob is actually very into the design portion of our home. I expected him to be a bit blase about it like my own dad was, or to recommend crazy colors like bright orange like my dad did. Actually, he's quite good at it. He says this is because his mom's an artist and greatness passes on. Ha, possibly, but between us I think we've done well.

We've been stalking Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Martha Stewart paint swatches. I considered buying a paint deck from BM but the paints that I like are on two different decks and at $20 each, that's just crazy. So instead I just grabbed a swatch of everything. Yeah that's normal right? I did it in 3 trips too so they wouldn't think I was crazy. Although I am. I have about 70 paint strips from BM alone, and about half of the Martha line from Home Depot. Sorry trees, I need to indulge myself!

They're all currently living in that watering can, it is FULL!  And it's like the Barney bag when I reach inside it for colors. It makes me happy :)

I title this "the Can of Glory"

So I like color, a lot, but I like color in my pillows, curtains and bedding. Not so much on the walls, so I was leaning for a more taupe-y grey color scheme throughout the house. Rob likes color too and wanted it on the walls as well as textiles, he dislikes the builders beige walls that we've lived with for a year in this rented townhouse and doesn't like any pictures of gray walls I've shown him because he thinks they look cold.

Too Cold.

Boring beige. 

Fair enough, I get where he's coming from. But I didn't want a house that screamed CRAYON BOX either-- where each room is a different primary color and the whole house seemed disjointed from each other. 

Just looking at this gives me a migraine and heebie jeebies.

Obviously that's a bit of an over the top example, but apple green walls, blue walls, yellow walls, etc. was still too extreme. So we compromised with "whisper colors". Here are the rooms we love and want our house to emulate:

"The hidden harmony is better than the obvious."

-Pablo Picasso 

We've picked up some lovely sea blues and greens to carry through the house in varying shades and saturation. To us, brighter colors seem limiting, but by toning them down with gray and white then they become (hopefully) non-boring neutral backdrops. Plus, now Barney is proud of me. 

Don't act like you all didn't know exactly what I meant by 'Barney Bag'! 

I am excited now! Come on closing date, I want to paint! 

PS - I added the ability to reply to comments. This is so I can reply and have others see my reply, but also so we can have proper conversations instead of one way mirror talks. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mother's Day Side Table

I got this table for $8 I think, at Goodwill for my mom. When her and my dad divorced she left most of the furniture behind so her new house is a bit empty. I got this and another table for her for Mothers day but thanks to the wicked heat I've barely been able to touch it. This table was frustrating because my can of black paint somehow became a goopy mess. I should have just stopped and got some more but I got stubborn. 

Here is the before: 

The detailed panels are plastic, but the rest of it is actual wood. 

After a coat of Zinsser oil based primer (the gold label):

Mid way through with the black paint, fixing the top after I missed some goopy bits and had to sand it back down:

Very frustrating. 

And since I am horrible at using spray paint, I did all the detailed bits by hand with a foam brush. Yeah, remind me never to buy anything with detailing ever again. I kept finding spots of white in the black. ARGH!

And now the after:

(the poly is still drying in the crevices there, it's all 100% black with about 5 coats on the detailing, I promise) 

Heck no I wasn't going to paint the inside. Plus it'd be a black cave if I had. 

I do like the original pulls on it, they're neat.

 Overall I feel like it's OK-- and I'm not going to touch it again. But I just don't think I'm a fan of black paint. But any other color would looked a bit weird in Mom's living room. And I know our TV dresser is black too but I feel like the dresser would be cuter in creamy white (honeymilk)-- I don't like the idea of sanding back all my hard work though so I will wait a while. White is a much more forgiving paint too, when I brought the side table in from the garage to do the poly on it I had to do another black coat on it since I'd missed streaks of white all over it. *sigh*. I threw the can of black away last night so I can't be tempted to paint anything boogery black again. 

Things I learned:
- I don't like black paint
- Don't use old paint
- Don't leave primer on for weeks at a time since it grabs ALL the dust in the garage and you'll have to sand again
- No more pieces with detail on them
- Don't use black paint!

Oh well, live and learn! :)

What We've Been Up To: a Feature, Packing, Hair, and Old Paint.

This post covers the "highlights" of what we did this weekend. I'd say its all house related, but Rob's hair isn't. So it's not.

First off, our kitchen table redo was featured on Southern Hospitality's July Treasures!!!  Excitement!!!

I was checking my reader this evening like normal when I spied my table midway down her list and started jumping up and down. I didn't even read what she wrote about it for like 5 mins because I was so excited. I shoved the laptop at Rob, who probably thought someone we knew had died or something embarrassing had happened on facebook, but then he was excited for me too-- even though he has no clue who Rhoda is. He's the bestest cheerleader ever. :)

Secondly, we've been packing and patching holes in the walls left by our pictures and stuff. Packing is so boring, and Rob is forcing my lazy bum to be a bit more proactive about having everything boxed and taped up by next Saturday. Or by tomorrow, if we continue packing at his blistering pace. 

Yeah he took down the TVs already :( We watched Top Gear tonight via my laptop. It's not as high def. 

(That's Franklin the turtle's tank on the bar by the way)

Rob's terrified we won't get it done in time. But we really only live in three rooms of this house as our roommates were in the rest of it. We don't have THAT much stuff.

Rob's discovered a love of spackle in the process. He says it's "soothing". I think it's soothing to call him a spack ;) (some British lingo there for you). More power to you though. 

Although it makes our house look like a meth lab blew up. Wait, is meth the one that's in powder form? Or is that cocaine? Uh, lets go with both to be safe. 

...awkward segue away from the drugs and back to the topic of... hair...

This is not house related, aside from the fact that our kitchen looked like a poodle had been groomed in it, but, I cut Rob's hair tonight also. I have never trimmed anyone's hair before and I've only seen a hairdresser cut his hair once. And I have no brothers so am even more clueless with guy hair. I had NO CLUE what I was doing and panicked the whole way through. 



I promise the sides ARE equal, he just has curly hair and it was starting to dry and go crazy again. Lie to me and tell me it looks good, okay?

And lastly, I did get the hexagon table done, it's sitting next to me now, but it's dark out now and the pictures would be bad since I am still a novice at white balancing. I looked up some tutorials, but they're for Nikon's and Rob's Sony seems very different. Any advice for me?? This post is long enough as is though, and I want to give it some special lovin's. 

Hope you enjoyed the peek into our weekend, and I hope your weekend was good too! 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quickie House Update

Just a quick update to say that we have short sale news! Again! We got the purchase price lowered $2100 and we're going to change our loan from an FHA conventional to an FHA renovation loan. Then we don't have to fix the siding or the HVAC prior to closing. I'm not sure why our lender never mentioned this before? Our Realtor had to ask him about it. At least SHE's on the ball.

This means... *Drumroll*... We get to order the appraisal next week, it does mean at least another week before closing though I think... since we'll have to sign a new loan form. Possibly. I don't know. I'll take it though! 

We're so excited. We were down in the dumps all last night thinking about having to walk away from the house. We looked up some listings around us to get an idea of what else is out there and it was all blah, boring, and tiny. 

Or falling apart like this:

I don't know if you can tell, but the house is leaning... like the porch is at a 45 degree angle with the ground. The listing says "country living at it's finest!" Ha! Got to love Kentucky. 

Rob's observations:
I find it funny how the listings always fail to mention these things. I had no idea that house was sinking, it looks really nice on the website.
Of course I probably should have known from the previous listings - many failed to mention the faeces smeared into the carpet, the sewer problems or the roofing falling apart. Those that do mention the problems, well, they really aren't worth looking at. My favourite line I saw said the house in question "may have slight water damage." Sure. That doesn't sound like too much of a problem, we can sort that out. Apparently these days slight water damage means that the entire roof has collapsed in and several rooms have flooding. If we weren't put off by the random assortment of rooms in no particular order, or the neighbours sat outside revving their trucks, then the slight water damage made it final. Another example would be the house with "signs of mould." The signs being the whole basement rotting. It was so bad down there that Elizabeth couldn't even stand at the top of the stairs.
I guess on a final, but not so dramatic note, I should mention that the house we are in the process of buying does say that it has forced heating and air in the listing. Obviously they don't mention that neither work. 

I also finished painting a small side table for my mom's house that I'll show on Monday, or whenever the humidity calms down because right now the final coat is refusing to dry (and has been wet for 2 days now). Nice. 

I don't want you to pine though so this is what it looks like as depicted by my stellar skills:

Try to contain your amazement. And yes that's a halo, because it looks so good. ;)

Edit: I took off comment moderation and word verification. I didn't realize the word verification was even on sorry! Now it should be easier to say hello.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodwill Round 2 and some Pillow Talk.

I went into another Goodwill today to kill some time. This one is in a wealthy neighborhood in town so I wasn't expecting much.

Goodwill move their merchandise around, did you know that? Clothing dropped off at a Goodwill located in a well off side of town will likely be shipped to the poorer side. It makes sense if you think about it, only well(er) off people have clothing they don't need in decent enough shape to donate. So, moral of the story is that if you want to find good clothing and good furniture... drive to ghetto. Seriously. A friend of mine is a manager with them and he told me. That's why the Goodwill closest to me is so good, it's the only Goodwill in town with a furniture room so most of the furniture gets shipped there from others. Cool... and I don't live in the ghetto, but our Goodwill is between us and the ghetto.

Anyhow, I did find some stuff:

5 Williams and Sonoma dish towels and 5 matching dishrags. There were more in the store but they were not in good shape. The towels were 50 cents each and the rags were 25 cents. I have a small collection of red Williams and Sonoma products (apron, spatulas, measuring cups, etc.) Awesome find to add to my collection! :)

I also got another $1 down pillow:

Yum. Won't this look nice on the couch? No?

Yeah I'm rocking a friendship bracelet right now. 

Yeah I know it's ugly, but it has a down pillow on the inside! 

I read a tip a few months ago from the Nester I think... I can't remember. She mentioned that thrift stores are a great place to buy pillow inserts. It took me a while to understand what she meant since most are full of nasty baby vom covered ruffled pillows. Anyways, if you walk around the pillows and notice one that's still fluffy it's probably down. Then I take it down and gingerly sniff it (that's the scariest part). If it smells well enough then I unzip the pillow and see if it's got any weird stains all over it. If not then it goes in the cart! 

 Here are the covers of my recent pillow finds. 

They look much nicer out of their covers.

Then, once you've brought them home and had a quality inspection of them...

... bundle them up tight until you can wash them in the washing machine. They might have bed bugs :( And make sure to dry them well too or they smell like wet dog.

It's a bit time consuming but getting them for $1 and cleaning them is much cheaper than buying them new for $20 a piece from west elm or something.

In short sale news: We don't have any good news, I'm feeling a bit sick at heart really. Bank is refusing to fix the HVAC, we can't buy the house per FHA rules unless it has heating and ventilation. Catch 22. We also aren't willing to sink $2500 into a house before buying it. So we'll probably walk. :( It's a good thing there isn't a Bank of America in Kentucky (the owning bank) or I might have torched it in my rage.