Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 24: Shelves Above the Sink

Shelves, shelves and more shelves!!  ...our storage solution for our huge kitchen.  Remodeling a kitchen gets expensive... fast!!!  We could have easily spent triple our entire renovation budget on just the kitchen alone if we were to do it right.  Open shelving was the simplest, cheapest way to go, and I'm actually starting to like the look of it!  Mr P and I have seen many articles on where people have open shelving in the kitchen, some really fancy, some not so fancy.  One house tour in particular caught our eye, though. This is sort of the look we are going for (with the shelves anyways).  It's simple, raw, and still looks nice.  It's made of solid wood, and standard brackets.  No particle baord with laminate veneer crap going on.... we already have enough of that with all of our Ikea furnishings!

Last night we installed the shelves above the kitchen sink.  We aren't quite sure what's behind the walls (probably brick, but our drill definitely would not go through whatever it is), so we had to use rely on drywall screws (crossing our fingers they hold up... so far so good!  I was positive we were going to have a casualty with setting the cast iron Dutch ovens on them, but Mr P pulled through yet again!)

We also got spice containers, so our open shelving above the stove doesn't look like mad mess with all the different spice jars.  It's a good thing we know our spices, since they won't have any labels on them anymore!!  We didn't have time to actually put the spices in the jars, but I was just tired of seeing the jars in the packaging creating more clutter...

Leaving today for OHIO!!!  It will be so nice to see the bride- and groom-to-be, high school friends I haven't seen in a LONG time, and my mom!!   ...and it will actually be nice to get away from the apartment for a little while...

Though, last night the Fedex man came to our door with the new stainless steel commercial grade island!!  Mr P wanted to put it together sooo bad last night, but we just have too many things in our kitchen right now... more motivation to get things done quicker! So, I'm sure we will be anxious to get back to the grind after our little 4-day break.

Have a great weekend everyone :D


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 23: Shelves Above the Stove

Three quick tidbits of info this morning:

1. Mr P is awesome.  That's it.  He put together and installed the shelves above the stove while I was out shopping!!

2. SOMEONE STOLE MY MUMS!!!  Now I only have 1 mum, 1 cabbage, 1 kale... Hopefully someone doesn't steal the other mum before it blooms....

3. I am super excited for the O'Dell wedding this weekend in Columbus!  Congrats in advance to Megan and Kevin!  Last night my shopping ended in getting platform, peep toe, leopard print heels, and platform, blue suede heels... I thought I was going to come home to Mr P telling me I'm crazy, but he LOVES them both!  His little shopping extravaganza was quick, he knew what he wanted to get, and got "photographer" pants (i.e. skinny slacks!) from Express and a new vest (how come shopping for boys is so easy??)  Now we just have to get him a nice royal blue tie to match my shoes and we will be a stylin' couple :D


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 22: Nothing!

Mr P and I had fully intended to get things done last night, but when we sat down to eat dinner, we started watching Date Night (because I fell asleep to it before, and because we don't have cable yet), and we watched the whole thing!  It was 10pm by the time it was over, and we certainly weren't going to start using the jig saw and miter saw and drill at 10pm.... oops.  Better luck next time!

We did, however, go to Home Depot to buy shelving for the kitchen, 1x12's for above the sink, 1x8's for above the stove, brackets, drywall screws, etc. but it is all sitting in a pile in the kitchen still. 

..and I did do some minor decorating, a little festiveness for the season on our new stoop :D

I picked out the only mums that weren't blooming yet, so they last all season... stay tuned for future bloom-tastic pics!

Cheers to a more productive night tonight!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Days 18, 19, 20, & 21: Finally Moved

What a weekend!  Friday night we officially got all of our things out of the Hoboken apartment!  It was a lot of work, and a lot of "just throw it in a trashbag and we will figure it out later" thoughts as we packed up the last carloads of stuff that really doesn't pack well.  Once we got everything into the new apartment, we realized we really need to get rid of some things!!  We definitely should have done that before we moved, but this spur-of-the-moment move just didn't give us enough time.  It's a good thing there is a Salvation Army store right down the road!

The big news of the weekend is... (drumroll)... we got a new stove!!  AND Sears was able to get out the old nasty one.  Its just nice to have something brand new... We wanted our first celebratory meal to be something special, and I'm sure we will make something special to celebrate once we get everything put away, but last night we cooked rice on the stove for curry in the crockpot.... just rice??  Not so celebratory.

Most of the rest of the weekend was spent putting together our bedroom, with a new lofted bed frame!  Thanks to our good friend Zack, we now have our bed lofted above our dresser with a "closet" underneath.  It was completely made of 2x4's and 1x3 slats from our old bed, and cost less than $100 to build the entire bed including the clothes bar underneath.  The only thing that might have pushed us over the $100 mark was the 3-step ladder we had to get so I can make it up to the bed!  We definitely wouldn't haev been able to do it all without Zack's expertise (and muscles!!)  At first our frame was a little wobbly, but we eventually bolted it to the wall, so it doesn't move at all now!

After completing the bed frame, we decided to utilize the light outside, turn off the electricity to the apartment, and change out all of our light fixtures.  We definitely didn't know what we were getting into!!  The living room light is ancient!!!  And the wiring is even more ancient!!  We took off the fixture, but when we were disconnecting one wire, the wire basically crumbled and fell to the floor, leaving no evidence of where it came from in the soot-covered wire mess in the ceiling.  Unsure of what to do, we moved onto the kitchen light (such a breeze to change!!), and then to the bathroom. 

When we pulled out the bathroom glass globe covering the light, it was FULL OF WATER!!!  Last time I checked, water and electricity aren't friends.  No wonder we were getting "wiggled" whenever we touched our metal shower curtain rod while standing in our cast iron tub!  There has been water leaking in the ceiling!! 

We dumped out the globe, and set it to the side, again puzzled at what to do.  Luckily, though, we have a wall-mounted bathroom light, so we aren't totally out of luck with light in the bathroom.  After removing the wall fixture (and subsequently the only outlet in the bathroom, it was a part of the fixture, weird), we found what looked like brand new wiring!  This must have been the only fixture in the whole place that never saw water damage, haha, because the fixture was still ancient-looking.  We installed our new light, and hung the new mirror below it too.  Looks like a nice bathroom now! 

Now we only need the shower curtain my mom is making, a better storage system for my bathroom things and for towels, and a window curtain and we're set for the bathroom!  ...well... and that ceiling light.  Last night Mr P heard a dripping sound coming from the bathroom, went in, and found a drip coming from the ceiling light area and a solid stream from the ceiling to the tub!!  WTF!?!?  We ran upstairs to the neighbor who is remodeling her bathroom too, and apparently they found a pipe that had been leaking water for ages.  The pipe had a huge gauge in the one side, almost like it was twisted or crushed.  It's thick metal though, no human could make a water pipe look like that, so who knows how it got like that!!??  (I wish I would have taken a picture, but I didn't...)   At least we solved the issue of leaking water into our ceiling, and hopefully we will be able to install a new fixture and fix the ceiling soon.

Last night we finished the kitchen floor tile and moved our fridge next to the stove.  This makes our kitchen feel sooo big!

There were lots of ruts in the road this weekend, but we still accomplished a lot, hopefully we can finish the renovations this week and put everything away so we can start decorating :D :D :D   ...and hire an electrician to tell us what in the world is going on with our living room light, and fix our bathroom light!!  Next weekend will be a dud on the renovation schedule, because we are going to OHIO for the O'Dell wedding!!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Days 15, 16, & 17: Moving Moving Moving

Wait, it's already Thursday??  Where did the week go??

At least we are still moving forward with the renovations, even though it feels like we haven't done much this week.  Most of our time this week has been spent moving the rest of our things from Hoboken to Jersey City.  Though we only take 1 carload per day, it takes a good hour and a half at least just to pack up a carload, take it to Jersey City, unload the car, and put it in a place in the apartment where it won't be in the way (the "won't be in the way" part is getting tough the more things we bring!!)  Last night we brought all of the hanging clothes.  I've gotten pretty good at this part considering how many times I've moved.  I brought my rubberband ball home from work (that I worked so hard to get that big!!) and unraveled it to rubberband bunches of hangers together.  This is my easy way of moving hanging clothes.  The first time I moved I took them all off the hanger, folded them, put them in a box, then put all the hangers in a messy awkward mess in a trash bag, only to hang up wrinkly clothes again once I got to the new place.  Bundling the hanging clothes together by rubberbanding the hanger tops saves sooo much time!  It's a little riskier though, as some clothes may fall off the hanger.  Last night we only had one casualty, a cotton shirt of mine... Luckily it wasn't one of Mr P's expensive suits!!

As with all of the plumbing we had to do with this renovation, we ran into a few bumps while trying to connect the plumbing for the kitchen sink.  After making a few trips to our friend Danny at Home Depot, we finally have a working sink! 

Mr P has been taking good care of his butcher block countertops, oiling them multiple times a day like Ikea said.  I always had this notion that butcher block countertops were expensive, and maybe really good ones are, but at Ikea, it's the cheapest kind of countertop!!  Mr P loooooves this kind too, so it was win-win.  He says he will take care of it, oiling it when he's supposed to, sanding out any scratches, etc.  It's the prefect compliment to our otherwise drab cabinets.  Most Ikea cabinets are the same, just with different finishes on them.  Just changing the color or type of facing on the cabients can double, triple, or quadruple the price!  ....even though they are all the same particle board cabinets!!  Insane, right??  THAT'S why we stuck to white.  $46 for each of the smaller 12" cabinets, and $56 for the sink cabinet.  Not bad!

We have been trying to give things a "place" in the new apartment, but it's hard putting things away when we don't have much space to put it all.  We have a billion kitchen gadgets and tools, but we're not even going to start unpacking that stuff until we get shelving installed, the new stove delivered, and the new stainless steel island comes in the mail!  This coming weekend, our friend Zack is coming to build a bed "loft" for us.  Yes, just like college.  Though our ceilings aren't super high, we can still raise our bed high enough to put a dresser underneath it and have hanging storage underneath too.  This will free up a lot of space.  I know it's not ideal to have the top of the bed ~4' from the ceiling, but we're gonna have to deal! 

Last night we began ripping up the kitchen floors and installing the new floors.  We got really lucky having nice plywood underneath the ugly black and white diner vinyl (seems like a cool idea, but really feels like you are walking into a funhouse when you see it day after day), so we only had to rip up the vinyl sheeting, clean up the dirt and dust, and install the new peel-and-stick tiles.  Simple as that!  I told Mr P that laying these tiles are my favorite part of the renovation, because you can SEE such a big difference with not a lot of work.  That's why I don't really like doing the plumbing, or other hidden stuff, because it takes so much effort, and even though it's absolutely necessary, there's not much for the eye to see.

Though we can't use the stove, and we don't have many kitchen utensils at hand, we still were able to make our first real meal at the new place!  Perfect timing for a good, hearty, veggie and chicken soup.  So simple to make, nothing to cook, just throw it all in the crock pot!  I cut up chicken breasts, carrots, turnips, potatoes, onions, celery, and cabbage and put it in the pot.  I put in 1 quart of chicken broth, then added enough water to almost cover everything in the pot.  Mr P added spices (oregano, bay leaves, etc.), we set it to cook for 10 hours, and went to bed!  Yum!  Delicious soup ready in the morning!  Though, the potatoes and carrots were stilla bit hard, so I took some for lunch and set it for another 10 hours!  That was a little over the top, but it was sooo good last night for dinner!

Hopefully we can lay the rest of the tile tonight to have the kitchen all ready for the stove to be delivered this Saturday and the ugly old stove to get outta here!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Days 13 & 14: CRAZINESS...

Where do I begin... it's been quite a madhouse around here!  But, things are looking up, and the new place is starting to feel like home.

Friday night was a slow night, because after coming to Hoboken, changing clothes, and packing up our seemingly routine 1 carload to take to the Jersey City apartment, instead of going to Jersey City and working right away, we decided to take a small break for a drink and dinner at Zack's in Hoboken (and to watch Toledo get their butts kicked against Boise State).  After dinner we went to Jersey City, unpacked the car, and some other things that are slipping my mind right now because everything is starting to blur together.... 

Saturday we woke up early to be at the new apartment for when a guy came to turn on the heat in the basement and 1st floor.  Nobody lives on those floors, so if there was no heat, we would have pipes busting and our utility bills would be through the roof!  The movers were supposed to come between 2pm and 4pm, so Mr P went back to Hoboken to wait on them, and I stayed in JC to work on the apartment.  I successfully painted the pantry and the aquired pantry shelving unit and installed the shelving unit in the pantry so it's all ready when we move the rest of our kitchen things.  I painted the trim in the bathroom, and I moved everything out of the way so the movers could get the big things (i.e. couch) in the apartment.

Unfortunately, however, everything fit except the couch.  The 3 men from Alpha Moving we so nice and so helpful, and reeeaaallly tried to get the couch up the stairs, but it just wasn't happening.  It was pretty upsetting, considering we only bought the couch a year ago and it was the first real piece of furniture either of us have ever bought (besides crappy Ikea partical board stuff with laminate veneers on them).  Mr P and I went to Ikea after the movers to take back the cabinets and sink that didn't fit and to buy the new cabinets and sink.  While we were loading up the car, we began talking with a city commissioner who just happened to be walking by at the time.  When we planned to leave, Mr P let go of the sink (standing on end) to shake the commissioner's hand, and the sink fell crashing to the ground.  Luckily  it was only stainless steel, so it just dented and didn't shatter.... We got REALLY lucky that Ikea takes back practically anything, especially if it's still in the package!  Earlier when we had Plan A kitchen cabinets, we said to ourselves after packing up the car "Only at Ikea can you fit an entire kitchen cabinet and sink in a Yaris."  We totally beat that with our Plan B kitchen, and now we can say "Only at Ikea can you fit THREE kitchen cabinets and a farmhouse sink in a Yaris."

After returning home, our wonderful friend Nick came to help us put together the cabinets (who does that?  Nobody wants to put together Ikea stuff!!)  After putting together the center cabinet, however, we thought we had the wrong cabinet, so yet another trip to Ikea was planned for the morning.  We treated him to a pretty awesome Vietnamese restaurant, called Nha Trang, after helping... it was our first time there, and it was delicious!  Practically everything on the menu was $8 or less.  I knew I should have gotten something other than Pho, but I hadn't had it in a long time, so it was calling my name. 

Mr P and I went back to Hoboken to sleep since we didn't have a funtional shower at the new place, so we had to sleep on the floor in the living room (like the good ole days when we slept on the floor in the living room to keep cool by the AC!)

We tried to plan out Sunday so that we could get as much done as possible, and I deem it a success!  We got miscellaneous plumbing from Home Depot (thanks to our new Indian Home Depot worker friend who always seems to be in the plumbing isle when we go there everyday!), and then headed to Ikea.  After returning the assembled cabinet and ordering a new one, we realized we had the right one in the first place!!  The rest of the morning was spent assembling Round 2 of the same center sink cabinet (grrr!! at least we are good at assembling this stuff now!)

While I put together the cabinet, Nick came over again and he and Mr P strategically and successfully got the couch up the stairs!!  Though I wasn't happy with them trying to get it up there, afraid we would have a ripped up couch that we wouldn't be able to sell, I was ecstatic when they got it in the apartment!!

The rest of the day was spent installing the shower curtain rod, and installing the cabinets in the kitchen.  Thanks to Nick's expertise, we re-purposed our unused bed frame to make a bracket to attached the kitchen cabinets to the wall (we couldn't put them against the wall because all of our piping is outside the walls, and hence in the way).... then we had Nha Trang... again :D

We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!  The only things we have to do are install kitchen floors, paint the fridge, finish plumbing for the kitchen sink, hang kitchen shelves, and install all the light fixtures.  It doesn't seem that bad anymore!!  ...doesn't seem like a lot, but the kitchen is still a disaster zone!!

We are both really looking forward to having a nice place in the end :D

Cheesy quote of the weekend:
(as we are walking to the escalator from the parking garage at Home Depot)
Me: I heart you.
Mr P: I know.  It's because I'm so awesome.
Me: This is one of those times, when you are supposed to say something different back to me.
Mr P: (silence)....  You're going to put this on the blog aren't you....


Friday, September 16, 2011

Days 11 & 12: Bathroom

For the past two days, we have been really trying to finish the bathroom before our move on Saturday.  It would be a shame not to have at least the plumbing done!  Living without a toilet or shower is unacceptable!

We finished the bathroom floors yesterday, and today we ended up getting the toilet installed and water lines hooked up to the tub, however we are missing an overflow drain pipe for the tub, and we need an extension drain pipe and extension for the cold water at the vanity.  Plumbing stuff is so confusing!!  I think we can handle it though... we may just be out of an overflow drain pipe for the clawfoot tub since big box home stores say it's specialty plumbing.

We also need to install the new light fixture, hang the new mirror, and install the new shower curtain rod.  Crossing our fingers to have that done on Sunday!

Have a good weekend :D


Not Just Another Slice

Having pizza, seeing people eating pizza, taking a box home on their way home, eating a slice on their way home, sitting down at a "nice" pizza restaurant... pizza is sort of in your face all... the... time... living around here.  Its almost like college, except there are better different choices than Papa John's or Domino's.  Hoboken is flooded with pizza places, and for some reason, more and more seem to be opening up.  I just looked on and counted 27 MENUS!!  And those are just the ones that had "pizza"  or "pizzeria" in their name (or I know they are known for pizza).  There are certainly more Italian restaurants and other bars that serve pizza as well (...and keep in mind, Hoboken is only 1 square mile)

Mr P and I don't eat pizza that often, but when we do, we go to Benny's.... sort of like when we think of Ke$ha, we think of Blow... no other song.  We've had such bad experiences with pizza around here, we have sort of just stuck to the same place for such a long time.  I guess since there are so many pizza places, anyone thinks they can have good pizza, and its just not the case.

Last night Mr P picked up two slices from a new pizza place on his way home, called Basile's.  Expecting it to be average, I was pleasantly surprised!!  My slice had a crispy crust, and the parmesan on top was fresh.  The crust had cornmeal on the bottom... my favorite!!  It adds that little bit of extra texture that flour bottoms don't have.

We certainly ate it quickly, mostly because we were trying to get to the new apartment as fast as we could, but also because it was so delicious!

Can you tell which one was mine with breaded chicken, fresh tomatoes, basil, and minimal cheese, and which one was Mr P's with sausage, pepperoni, and lots of cheese???


Moving... with movers!

The "movers" are coming tomorrow... we're not exactly ready, but since this was the only weekend they could do it, we decided to go for it.  But "movers"...  sounds like such a foreign concept to me.  "Wait, I am going to pay someone to move my stuff??  What ever happened to renting a U-Haul and doing it yourself??  It's been on my mind a lot, since last night Mr P told me that we have to pay extra fees for the "time it takes the movers to get to Hoboken and back to their office from Jersey City."  Which makes sense, I guess, but its just more money we weren't expecting to pay.  I was pretty upset until I really sat back and thought about how many times I'vce moved since I went to college.... wow!  Since Fall 2005 I have moved to the following places:
  1. 2005 Toledo
  2. 2006 Van Wert
  3. 2006 Toledo
  4. 2007 Dayton
  5. 2007 Toledo
  6. 2008 Dayton
  7. 2008 Toledo
  8. 2008 Columbus
  9. 2009 Toledo
  10. 2009 Columbus
  11. 2009 Toledo
  12. 2009 Hoboken
  13. 2010 New Place in Hoboken
  14. 2011 Jersey City
FOURTEEN times??  Maybe I'm crazy, because that sounds like a lot... and I never had "movers".  Mr P has moved quite a few times since then too and never had movers (I don't think anyways). 

I guess the extra money we are paying isn't bad considering how many times we've moved and this is the first time we're paying someone to do it for us.

Now let's just hope our super long CB2 couch will fit up the stairs and around the corner into our new apartment...  otherwise we'll have yet another thing to post on craigslist!

Wish us luck tomorrow!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Childhood Lunch, Grown-Up

What did you eat for lunch growing up?  Were you a "packer" and refused to eat the "nasty" cafeteria lunch, or were you a "buyer"?  At our house, when the teachers sent home the monthly lunch menu, my mom, brother, and I would sit down at the table and decide for each day whether we wanted to pack or buy (talk about kids getting what they want! haha)  ...but at least we weren't too picky, and bought most days (except for "macaroni and glue" and "breakfast for lunch").  I think every child in the cafeteria bought on pizza days, if not for the pizza, definitely for the peanut butter fudge!!! mouth is watering thinking about the peanut butter fudge, and how people used to eat their lunches so fast so they could be first in line to snag the extras!

I remember eating a lot of turkey sammiches when I packed, and a lot of bologna sammiches.  I loved eating white bread, bologna sammiches with ketchup and mustard.... I think I would still devour it if I bought that stuff now.  While Mr P and I have been renovating the new apartment, we haven't been cooking much.  Last weekend when he made scrambled eggs, it was the first time we had used the stove in a week! 

Our cheap meal of choice has been salami sammiches... yes... the salami packaged like bologna.  It looks gross, sounds gross, don't think about how they make it either.  But, I can assure you it's delicious!!!  ...and cheap!  1 pound of the stuff is only $2.50!  We found really good multi-grain bread for $3.86, 2 for 1, making it $1.93/loaf.  Put it together with some lettuce and mustard, and there you have the grown-up version of your favorite bologna sammich!  Go for some nice mesclun greens and Gulden's Mustard, and you've gone gourmet, haha.

Today I've got regular yellow mustard and leftover iceberg lettuce (from almost 2 weeks ago!  It may not be that nutritious for you, but it's cheap, and it last FOREVER!)

I also packed some full-fat 4% cottage cheese.  Wait, what? ...doesn't it have a bunch of unnecessary calories??  No.  If the difference between low fat cottage cheese and 4% cottage cheese is only 25 calories.  4% cottage cheese has 115 calories per serving (check the label of your salad dressing, I bet it has more!!)  I suppose if you are really watching every single calorie that goes into your body, maybe it will matter.  If you like cottage cheese though, I suggest you try it.  It tastes so.. much... better, and it's so much more satisfying.  Same goes for whole milk.  Whole milk doesn't have that many more calories in it than 1% or 2% milk.  If you drink a lot of milk, though, those calories can add up quickly!! (so... maybe you shouldn't try whole milk! ...or get just a small container of it and eat it on your cereal as a treat on the weekend... it's heaven I swear!)

What do you pack for lunch now?  Do you eat out everyday?  I'm curious what the rest of you do for lunch!  Mr P always get teased in his office because he brings lunches that are more gourmet than dinners for most people!


Day 10: Onto Plan B

Quote of the night (following Mr P and I doing a big high five):

" We are awesome!  Only at Ikea can you fit two people and an entire 57.5" kitchen cabinet and sink in a Yaris.  This definitely wouldn't have fit in my Accord!"   (i.e. much larger car with a normal trunk instead of a hatchback)

Sadly, though, we have to take it back.  We were just too excited that we could get a cabinet, countertop, and sink, all for a relatively cheap price, in a configuration that fits our awkwardly arranged kitchen that has pipes and other unusual obstructions in the sink cabinet area....  we forgot to measure :(  We just assumed it would fit, but it's just a few inches too long.  It would fit if it could actually go wall-to-wall, but the water heater (and all kinds of scary gas and water pipes) are blocking our little sink nook by about 4 inches.

It was perfect for our situation (sigh).

I guess we're off to Plan B now.  Well, more like we have to figure out a Plan B.  Getting a base cabinet isn't hard.  Installing a sink isn't hard.  Getting the countertop is the scary part.  We don't want to PAY someone to cut and install a countertop for us, so we are going to try to do it ourselves (youtube will be a major contributor).

Considering we are MOVING IN THIS WEEKEND, we need to think fast!  Any suggestions are welcome, but Plan B right now consists of us trekking to Home Depot and buying a base cabinet, countertop, sink, and faucet and cutting the countertop and installing everything ourselves.... ahh!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Days 8 & 9: Bathroom

The bathroom is coming along!  Not a lot to show because there's a lot of busy work and scraping up tiles tiles and more tiles...  But between yesterday and today, we got rid of the vanity and toilet, took out the rest of the floor tiles, laid the rest of the wonderboard subfloor, grouted the joints, primed with concrete primer, laid the new vinyl tiles beneath the tub area, and moved the tub back into the general vicinity (not hooked up yet).

Tomorrow will be our "buying things" day, because we need to pick up the new "free-standing" kitchen counter with sink, faucet fixtures, take back some things to Lowes and Home Depot, and buy ceiling light fixtures for the kitchen and living room (I thought I got a good deal, 2 for $20, but I forgot that the living room light doesn't have a switch, just a pull, so we need to find new ones, one with a switch and one with a pull... possibly a ceiling fan with a light for the living room then??

I love "buying" days.  I'm so excited for tomorrow.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 7: Big Purchase

Though there's not a lot to show for today, Mr P and I did some hard work.

First, we went to the LaPointes' house to pick up lots of tools that they generously offered to let us borrow!  We wouldn't have gotten some of the things done if it weren't for them.  Mucho thanks you guys :D

Next we made the biggest purchase of the reno... a new stove!  If you remember what the old stove looks like (see first post), we definitely needed a new one.  We debated back and forth about it, but after the utility man came to hook up our gas and electric, we quickly found out that only 2 of the burners worked.  Plus the oven was only about half the size of a normal oven because the other half of it was the heating unit that used to provide heat to the whole apartment (which doesn't work either).  It was also rusty, HUGE and missing a knob.  Definitely not ideal.  Sears will take out the old stove when they deliver the new one, so it was a pretty good deal!  Since we aren't going to be able to take the stove with us when we leave, we decided to get the cheapest gas stove we could find that had a window in the front.... this is what will be delivered in a couple of weeks (except it will be black):

It's not bad... it does the trick, and it will be brand new.  Anything is awesome when it's brand new, right?

Next on the list we went to Home Depot for some plumbing pieces and paint, headed to the apartment around 12:30, and went to work.  Mr P worked on the laminate wood trim in the bedroom and the bathroom and did an AMAZING job with it.  It makes those two rooms look complete.  The only thing we need to do is go back and paint the old trim where we spackled.

I worked in the bathroom all day.  I ripped up floors tiles, laid and screwed down wonderboard backerboard and grouted the wall tiles that had been up for ages but never been grouted (again... who does that?).

Mr P insisted on painting the clawfoot tub, which I was not in favor of, because it was an unnecessary extra task that I thought we could do later if we wanted.  We ended up buying the paint today, and actually doing it today too.  Turns out he was right!  That $5 can of appliance paint was the best investment yet!  It makes our tub look very chic, and took little effort.  We just had to protect the white part of the tub and the walls with tape and plastic,  and get spray-painting!  Simple as that!  It's definitely not a perrrfect clawfoot tub reno, but it's the best we could do with the tools we had, and again, it was only $5!!  We sanded it down first with a electric sander, so that got out as many bumps as possible....

We ripped out the old vanity in hopes of getting the new one in today, but after reading the instructions more thoroughly for the vinyl tile we wanted to lay, we realized we had to put a primer over the wonderboard we laid over the chipboard subfloor.  Wonderboard is made of cement, which gets crumbly, not good for something that is basically a big sticker.

So, we called it quits a little earlier tonight in hopes of making progress on the bathroom tomorrow!  At least we got some gooood food at a Vietnamese restaurant around the corner called Saigon Cafe (probably my most favorite thing about the new place... walking distance to several Vietnamese restaurants and a Vietnamese grocery, which means awesome cheap produce and Asian groceries!) Mr P ordered a pan-seared peppercorn pork with rice and veggies and I ordered banh xeo!  My banh xeo had a surprising, slightly sweet twist to it with mung beans in the crepe part!

Another long week ahead of us, but it will be worth it in the end!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 6: Slow Start...

4 loads of laundry and a call from friends to watch the UT vs. OSU game at a bar in Hoboken owned by a diehard OSU fan from Akron prompted us to "start" our work on the new place today at around... 4pm. Ahhhh.  We should have gotten more done!  It was a good day though.  We reinstalled the laminate wood floors (MUCH trickier than taking it out!), ripped up most of the tile in the bathroom (1.... by.... 1....) and disconnected the clawfoot tub and moved it to the opposite side of the bathroom.

If tomorrow goes as planned, we should get LOTS done!  Our bodies are starting to feel this hard work though... so sore, ready to go to bed super early... wait, maybe we're just getting old?

Thanks to leftovers from Mr P's Friday lunch bought by his foodie bosses, we've been eating some of the best Italian food in Manhattan!!

So, even though we haven't been cooking literally at ALL this week, we've still been dining on delicious eats :D



Friday, September 9, 2011

Daya 3, 4 and 5: Painting, Painting, and More Painting

Wait... days 3,4, and 5 have passed already?  Where did the time go?  It seems like we just got started!!

For some people, painting a rental is just insane.  Why paint when you are going to have to paint it back to white anyways?  For us, painting is the simplest thing we are doing to this apartment!  ...but there's a lot of it.  Thankfully (or unfortunately, which ever you like to think) we have chosen an apartment that needs to be painted, and needs these renovations, and we have wonderful landlords who want us to make it nice!

The walls had been freshly painted when we first got the place, which was nice!  The kitchen and bath are bright white (read: blank canvas) and the living room and bedroom were tan.  Though, after having our current bedroom and bathroom tan, we really needed a change.  As you have seen in the first renovation post, we chose a slate grey, not really light, not really dark. 

The trim in the entire apartment has not been painted in a while.....

.....or cleaned, apparently!!!

 so we also teeeediously painted the trim too (apparently blue painters tape only sticks to flat paint... who knew?)  Trying to paint old walls with rougher edges with a big paintbrush and no tape takes lots of patience!  It was totally worth it in the end.  Here is most of the trim finished in the bedroom and living rooms, there were some areas that needed spackled, so no painting there yet (except I accidentally brushed right through fresh, wet, spackle that Mr P spent so much time getting to look nice... twice because of my big oops, haha).

The only painting left is the trim we missed because of spackling and the bathroom ceiling, thankfully!  I'm ready to move onto the real work!

Though we wanted to install the flooring tonight too, we were spent after painting trim and the ceiling all night after a week of long hours at work and long hours renovating.... We are going to be in heaven sleeping in tomorrow morning :D


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 2: Tip from the Asians

Do you wear your shoes in the house?  Did you ever think twice about what you are tracking inside?  What about when you are sweeping, did you ever think you are getting all of the dirt?  You aren't.  And this is what you would see if you wear your shoes in the house and tore up the carpet.  YUCK!  Good thing Mr P and I had dust masks... this pile I swept up was over an inch tall!!

Maybe Asians were on to something when they said no shoes indoors.

Think about this next time you walk through your living room with your tennis shoes on that you just wore all over town... gross.

At least we were able to rip out the living room carpet and carpet padding, and tediously pry out all the staples holding in those little patches of carpet padding (I swear we pulled out hundreds).

Next up: painting living room ceilings, walls, trim, and bedroom trim!! 


Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 1: "Bedroom" and Bathroom

As many of you well know, Mr P and I have decided to move to a new home in Jersey City.  We have mentioned that this is a great 'opportunity' for us, because we get to try our hands at doing some much-needed renovations in exchange for getting cheaper rent.  We could be in over our heads, or we could have a gorgeous apartment by the time we are finished.  We will find out in the next month or so I suppose!

Before :

bathroom before

kitchen before

kitchen before

kitchen before

living room before

closet before

bedroom before

Today we began this journey by starting with the bedroom and bathroom.  We figure if these are the only things we get done before we have to move out of our current place, we can survive.  The bedroom and living room have new laminate hardwood floors that had an improper installation.  Luckily, this is a good thing!  We don't have to buy the flooring and we don't have to cut it to shape either!

The floors were laid over top of existing carpet, so first we had to take out the floors, and rip out the carpet and carpet padding. We leveled the really uneven areas of the original hardwood flooring with a patch-and-level compound, laid the proper underlayment, and re-laid the laminate wood.  Luckily we were able to do this all in one day!  Now all we need to do with the flooring is install the new trim.

We also painted the bedroom.  Though the walls had recently been painted, we were eager to have grey walls.  Our current bedroom has tan walls, and it makes everything seem soooo brown and tan (i.e. booooring).  For some reason grey is more refreshing and calm.  Our bed linens are white, and our throw pillow colors don't include neutrals, so everything in the bedroom is compatible with at least any neutral-colored wall.

bedroom during

bedroom during

Between me going to Home Depot while Mr P waited on the utility man to come and hook up the electric and gas and waiting on the leveling compound to dry, we began scraping up the tiles in the bathroom.  We originally thought we would keep the existing tiles and just deal with what was there, because what we had remembered didn't seem that bad.  There were a few tiles MIA, but we could fill them in as needed, even if they didn't match.  However, when we got to the apartment today, we realized that there was no grout in the tiles!  I'm not sure if this was intentional, how long the tiles had been there, or if it was just a half-finished job.  However, the tiles are small, and grouting tiles that we really didn't prefer seemed like just as much work as ripping them out.  So, we started ripping them out!  Boy is that hard!  We didn't really know what we had gotten ourselves into when we started, because the tiles came up pretty easily, but I suppose those luckily chances to pull up 20 teeny tiles at once are few and far between.  We ended up chiseling out most of the tiles one-by-one.  Possibly we will get better tools to do the rest, but today we started from scratch, not expecting to start the tiles, so we just dealt with it.

bathroom during

After working hard all day, we decided we wanted to get as much as possible finished during the week.  It's a good thing we have lots of shepherd's pie and Benny's pizza left over from the weekend to hold us over until we get the time to cook again!

Stay tuned for more renovation craziness... This is our first attempt at many of the renovations, so expert advice is gladly welcomed :D