Spring Cleaning: The Shed

[  To distract me from our plumbing woes, I am going to move on from talking about that for a bit, since we need to get everything figured out with our Home Warranty/Insurance people and start our tour de Virginia for showers until it is fixed. We have plenty of pictures and will talk about the WHOLE process once it is all hammered out. Which will be soon, right?!  ]

This weekend, we tackled a bit of spring cleaning that desperately needed to be done. It actually should have been done before starting any of our projects since it would have been a great work station while sanding the cabinets and such, but…live and learn, right?


When giving the initial tour to some of our friends (some of which occurred at night), we heard many different descriptions of this space – creepy, ew, ouch I just stepped on a nail (just kidding, but it could have happened), and this will be awesome one day.


Basically, it was filled with a bunch of stuff that wasn’t ours, the wood stove’s vent isn’t attached (hence it is leaning to the side..we’ll get to that one day!), and walking around in there even with shoes was a hazard because there were nails, screws, other pointy objects EVERYWHERE.


That little red children’s chair used to sit by the wood stove. It got the most attention on our tours because it really was creepy looking!



So basically, we just shopvac’d the heck out of this place and moved the work benches around a bit. We also brought in some shelves from the garage for some extra storage:


We also stumbled on this etching in the foundation cement.. To me, it looks like “7-4-56” or “4-4-56.” Our house was supposedly built in 1957, which is why we find it weird that the slab for the shed was put down in 1956? Mysteries….



Snow Day

SNOW! Now, we rarely get snow and when we do, the entire area shuts down. We aren’t really equipped for snow, although over the years I think each of the cities/counties has started to learn the best way to pre-treat the roads and maybe stock up of a few more plows. Regardless, no one knows how to drive in snow and it gets dangerous. We like sand and sun here, just saying.

We got a light dusting last night-probably 2-3″, and I woke up to a glorious text from my boss-man saying that our company was closed for the day. So, what do I do? Noo..i don’t just lay my head back down and sleep in- I pop up out of bed and go outside to take pictures of our house in the snow. To be honest, I have been looking forward to this day for awhile.


I think it must have something to do with the ‘personality’ of the house, where you get a sense that it is totally in its’ element in the snow. Maybe it is the lodge-like wood paneling. Maybe it is that no grass will grow because there are too many trees around it. I don’t know.




In the back yard, I stumbled on some tracks-they ran right along the side of the house–Not sure on the animal?



Happy snow day!! 🙂

Fall Harvest

Every.single.project. leads to another. When we talked about our first phase of the kitchen remodel, we said we were going to:

Kitchen: (Phase one) Paint Cabinets, Stain fireplace, Bright window coverings/stained glass?, Paint Wood paneling, Paint Baseboards, Remove wallpaper

This has since turned in to way more than that as we peel back each layer of our onion of a house, but that was to be expected. While removing the paneling around the border of the kitchen, we realized two things:

1. We had to take care of the flooring during phase 1, instead of later like originally planned.

2. We needed to figure out a better way to remove the paneling because we kept breaking the tongue and groove connections.photo (3)

Since we ALL know that we do not have a shortage of wood paneling in this house, we decided we would ‘harvest’ some panels from the walls upstairs, cut them down to size, and re-install them downstairs.

We have two identical rooms on either side of a hallway and a bathroom in the middle. Here is a general floor plan of the upstairs done by our appraiser. It’s missing some walls, obviously, but you get the general idea..


We decided to start on the left bedroom first since our cabinet doors and drawers are curing in the right bedroom.


Notice we have the same items that we had in the kitchen: wood paneling, stick down tiles, and then some gorgeousss ceiling tiles, which are repeated in some other rooms in the house, as well.


There are two closets there-can you see them? They are undercover! This house is probably such an awesome house to play hide-and-seek in.


See how there are swiggly patterned sections between each flat section? On the reverse side of the wood, it is a simpler pattern like the wood in the hallway behind Josh.

Anywho, Josh started by removing the trim around the door, then took each piece out one by one. Our new process for removal is as follows:

  1. Hammer the crow bar in center of board and pull.
  2. Move bar down to base of board and pull.
  3. Move bar up to top of board and pull.
  4. Hammer the board back in toward the wall and use hammer to take nails out from the FRONT of the board, rather than trying to get the WHOLE board out with the nails still in.

If trying to salvage the wood, that is the best way to do it. If trying to rip it all out, just rip the suckers out with the crow bar. 🙂

This wall backs up to our shower, so that weird looking stuff is actually the grout that attached the tile. We were worried that we might find some water damage near this wall, but luckily there was nothing to be found. Phew!


Tucker with a photobomb.


We have a few more hours of removal to go and then we’ll get started re-installing everything down in the kitchen. These walls we will just leave open (we are only harvesting from internal walls to keep the house a bit more insulated) until we save up some money to hire someone to drywall both rooms and the hallway, but yay for progress!

Ahh, Freak out!

I had a major breakdown. With our kitchen being under paintstruction, our dining room is now our storage area. Our plates and glasses are stacked on our dining room table, our blender is in a Tupperware with a bunch of other crap, our silverware is on an Ikea LACK table we brought in from the garage. We move our oven into the center of the kitchen when we are painting and then when it is time to eat, we shove it back over into its’ spot and plug it in. Our house is in complete disarray, ya’ll, and we just need to get used to it because it will probably be in disarray for quite some time.

I have never been the type to freak out when things are messy. You can ask my tidy roommate from college who would neatly stack things on her desk while mine would be covered in papers and empty lime green bags of Chewy Sprees. (I probably drove her crazy- Sorry Laur!) But this weekend, when we decided it would be an awesome idea to start ripping out the wood paneling in the kitchen WHILE we were waiting for the primer to dry, I started crying and frantically saying “We need to do this one project at a time..this is too much.” Josh is awesome and put the crow bar down.. so, we’re good.

This is embarrassing but I don’t really care because hey, I want to remember how crappy this situation was once I have my beautiful white cabinets that I will appreciate so much more because WE DID IT. Plus, if you don’t have a break down every now and again, then you are a damn saint and I invite you to bring yourself over to our place to cook us dinner while I am sitting and crying on my kitchen floor. You’ll have to shove the stove over to cook though.

Saying goodbye to DVR

While house-hunting, we decided that if we bought a fixer upper, we would give up our premium channels and DVR to save us some moolah (and lots of wasted time) to devote to our home improvement projects. When we moved into our house, the FiOS staff told us to move all of our set top boxes, router, and other items over to the new house so that it would ‘transfer’ correctly. When installing the set top box, I accidently gave the technician our fancy pants set top box (the one we were supposed to send back to discontinue our fancy pants cable) and was confused as to why all of my premium channels and DVR were there. Confession: we kept it. We kept watching it. We kept loving the fact that we had DVR. It was hard to give up, but we finally did it.

Our DVR set top box is on its’ way back to the FiOS peeps and we got our streaming subscription to Netflix. I am now officially addicted to Orange is the New Black, so I don’t notice the fact that I don’t have a DVR and 12,000 channels. Looks like the plan might save some moolah, but maybe not as much wasted time as we expected…Here’s to hoping!

Not feeling it

We aren’t feeling “at home” yet. Things are still in boxes, in temporary spots, no pictures are up. We feel like we are living in someone else’s house. We have been avoiding doing these things “because we are going to renovate this room.” Right, but we aren’t going to be renovating EVERY room in the next few days, so we came to the conclusion that we need to make it livable for RIGHT NOW, rather than dreaming of what these rooms will be.

We took that to heart this weekend and finally finished unpacking a lot of the things that were still in boxes. We’ll get to pictures at some point. Then, we got a little crazy and pulled down the most obvious not ‘us’ thing in the house. The kitchen wallpaper. Yes, it was being held up in some places with push pins. No big deal. Please take a moment to say your goodbyes…


Wallpaper w/Stove


Now, it looks like this:

Wall Without Wallpaper Wall Without Wallpaper Wall Without Wallpaper Wall Without Wallpaper

Josh and his brother, Aaron, worked hard on prepping the cabinets for primer, so hopefully we will get started on that this week! The white walls definitely get me excited for what this room will be-white cabinets, here we come!! 🙂 Then, one day Josh and I will agree on a paint color for the walls and we’ll be almost finished with phase one of the kitchen!

Hurrah, progress!


Blinded by (the) Lowe’s

I almost threw up in my mouth when checking out last night at our first visit to Lowe’s as homeowners. Whoa. Yikes. Expensive, but so worth it.

We bought blinds for the 5 windows in the formal living room/now our bedroom, which sits on the front of the house and has a large bay window. Privacy was definitely a concern early on after we decided to put our bedroom here, however-this room makes a baller bedroom. It is HUGE. Coming from the rental where my shins hit our foot board EVERY SINGLE MORNING, having space to walk around the bed without physical harm is freaking awesome. 🙂

Here is a before of the room from a listing photo.

Formal Living Room Before

It already looks SO much different, with our headboard along the wall where the green couch is. The large bay window is directly across from the green couch wall-this is what it looks like without the blinds-we will be installing those either tonight or tomorrow..

Bay Window In Bedroom

As far as how our decision process went for the blinds, we measured our windows on Sunday morning and went to Home Depot to check out our options. We love the look of wood blinds and got a quote for premium true wood blinds. That quote was absolutely out of our budget, so we spoke with the very nice lady about the correct way to measure for the blinds and went on our merry way to Josh’s parents for dinner. At their house, we talked to them about their blinds and if they were real wood or faux (we thought they were real and they were actually faux!) So, we decided we would go back to check out the faux stuff. Home Depot didn’t have the sizes we needed in-house, so we decided to try Lowe’s.


There, we found the Levolor 2in. Faux Wood Blinds that Lowe’s custom cuts for you for FREE! Holla. Sign me up. (I think HD does this too-but they didn’t have what we needed on demand and we’d like to get dressed in our bedroom ASAP, thankyouverymuch.) Our cutter-guy was awesome and told us to leave our cart, keep on shopping, and come back in a few minutes. After we picked up some vital things like high quality paint brushes, primer recommended for Knotty Pine, and wood filler, we came back and they were ready to go! 🙂

Now, everyone cross your fingers that we measured everything correctly. That would be awkward.


Running on Empty

Whew, what a whirlwind weekend! Between cleaning the new house, moving all of our stuff, getting Fios installed, cleaning the old house, and all of the stuff in between, we are both beyond exhausted. At some point on Sunday, we came to the realization that we had passed the point of crazy. I think it was when we wrote TWO shopping lists with the same items on both, then bought everything but the one thing we really needed-a shower curtain. Luckily, Josh’s parents came to the rescue and invited us over for dinner – and we snuck in a shower prior to leaving.

The only thing I HAVE to say in this blog post is THANK YOU, THANK YOU to our families for all of your help getting the house prepared (BLEACH IS OUR BFF!) and your endless support through the move and life in general. Ya’ll are the bomb and we love you.