4 No Alvins Allowed

>> Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One of the serious perks of my job is that I am able to spend a good chunk of my time working from right here…

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You can even make out where my caboose has made a clearly identifiable indention in the couch cushion…lovely.

Other than when I’m out and about running around showing houses, as long as I have my laptop close by and my cell phone even closer by, I can work from just about anywhere. Pretty great right? Absolutely, but don’t go getting the idea that working from home means lounging in PJs until noon with the TV blaring. Work still has to get done and I’m not the only one with business on the brain. My little June bug works her little tail off from sun up to sun down.

You see, while I’m typing away from my perch, June’s on a mission of her own. A mission to kill.

Notice anything particularly schnauzer intriguing in this photo? (Pardon the gutter-cleaning debris, friends.)…

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Oh yeah, baby. We have a chipmunk living underneath the back patio. A chipmunk who June has had her eye on for the past two years and who I may or may not refer to as Chip-y Munk-y.

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I’m fairly positive June’s sole purpose for existing is to protect our house from Chip-y Munk-y. The second the sun rises? She’s looking for Chip-y Munk-y. Before she takes care of business (you know what I mean here)? She’s sniffing around Chip-y Munk-y’s front door/hole in the ground to see if he’s home. She’s even gone so far as to rip a section of guttering off the side of the house when she saw Chip-y Munk-y scurry up it. That was a fun experience.

It may seem like a fruitless task, but for June, a tiny chipmunk head on a silver platter is the stuff dreams are made of. And for me, Chip-y Munky is one hell of a puppy sitter.

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0 Heating Things Up

>> Monday, January 30, 2012

 

Remember the one time I went two whole years living in this construction site of mine without a microwave? I do, and during the span of 24 months, a girl gets pretty used to heating up leftovers in the oven and actually putting a tea kettle to good use (think dark ages)…but when all appliances are plucked from your kitchen thanks to a remodel and cold sandwiches and takeout become the norm, that girl begins to dream of the day new appliances would join in on all this rehabbing fun…especially that microwave I’ve become to so accustomed to living without.

Friends and family have threatened to buy me a countertop microwave for every birthday & Christmas since I’ve moved into my house, but I’ve refused for three main reasons:

1. Countertop clutter makes me itch with anxiety. The last thing I needed was a chunky appliance hanging out in the corner of my kitchen taking up precious counter space.

2. The master plan from the second I closed on my house was to mount a microwave hood above the range once I kicked off the kitchen remodel, so a microwave hanging out on my kitchen counter would be a complete waste and one more thing I’d have to get rid of during the overhaul.

3. I am stubborn. If I suddenly find that I can’t live without a microwave, I’ll buy one myself.

…Which is exactly what happened. You’ve never seen a girl so excited about the delivery of two cardboard boxes. This is a fact.

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My range can remain snug in its box for a little while longer, but that microwave? It had to come out pronto. Even though I’m not quite ready to mount that bad boy, EZ mac is calling…

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...and there is no better place to whip up a bowl of instant mac & cheese than in the middle of a living room.

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2 Friday Recap

>> Friday, January 27, 2012

Whew! It’s been a week covered in sawdust and knee deep in rusty nails. You’d think the mess would drive me crazy but the hardest part without a question was keeping little schnauzer paws from tiptoeing their way into the construction site. A pretty simple fix once I moved her treat jar from the kitchen…oops.

It’s hard to believe (and certainly worthy of a happy dance) that in just under a week, my kitchen has gone from dark-dated-cabinets-with-pink-counters-and-grouchy-half-a-century-old-appliances-with-a-mind-of-their-own…

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…to a full blown construction site with reconstructed-cabinet-boxes-still-naked-without-doors-and-a-handful-of-live-wires-snaking-from-the-walls…

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So what’s on the agenda for next week? New shaker style cabinet door install, delivery of 2/3 of the new appliances and ordering countertops.

That’s right, pinky. You’re next.

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0 Lessons from the Construction Site

>> Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cabinet Construction: Day 1 was hands down the best day of 2012 so far. Not only was it the first day my broken down kitchen took off on its newfound journey to beauty, but it also brought with it a few self-awareness “ah-ha” moments:

Hold on tight and never let go. When you find a cabinet maker who doesn’t think you are insane (or at least controls his facial expressions enough not to show it if he in fact does think you need to be highly medicated) when you whip out your make believe sketch, you know you’ve found a winner.

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Project envy is real. It kills me that I can’t join in on this phase of kitchen remodel, but glad I’m smart enough to leave this one to the pros.

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Time is ticking. While I’m super pumped to check cabinets off of my to-do list, an increasing level of fear is beginning to creep up on me as I inch closer to the knocking-a-big-ole-hole-in-the-wall portion of this revamp. Maybe it’s the mess that awaits—as if my kitchen wasn’t already a mega disaster zone—or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve never taken on a hole punching DIY before, but I’m shakin’ in my work boots over here…don’t worry. I don’t actually have a pair of real work boots. That would just be a bit too far over the line.



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0 Amateur Hour

>> Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today the sweet, sweet sounds of cabinet making are pouring out of my kitchen. (That sounded a little dirty and I liked it.) Cue the progress pics!…

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Ok, so technically no new cabinetry has been installed yet BUT these demo pics do provide me with the perfect segue into something this blog has been missing all too much lately. An amateur sketch, of course!

Here we go. Prepare yourself for a terrible representation that I am nonetheless still patting myself on the back for of what this chunk of my kitchen will look like when all is said and done…

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New cabinetry? A real live microwave? An oven that doesn’t decide on its own what temperature it will cook muffins even though you clearly told it to hang tight at 400 degrees?

Yeah, buddy. Things are looking up.


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0 Breakin’ It Down

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

Over the past few weeks, with kitchen remodel on the forefront of my mind, my world has consisted of  researching, number crunching, color sampling, and timeline assembling. Enough with the planning already. It’s time to make full use of my favorite dirty little four letter word: demo, baby.

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Very fortunately for me, the original boxes of my kitchen cabinets are still in great shape, so most of my cabinets will only have to be refaced with new doors and drawer fronts, eliminating the need for complete gutting. (Can I get a Hallelujah?!) However, since I am planning to create a new entrance connecting the laundry room to the kitchen, the section of cabinetry containing the wall oven/cook top has to be entirely annihilated and reworked to accommodate the new opening.


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Nothing a screwdriver, jigsaw, and hammer couldn’t take care of on a Sunday night…

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My hand to the home gods, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.


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6 Two of these things are not like the others…

>> Thursday, January 19, 2012

Can you spot the differences between the two kitchen mood boards below? I’ll give you a hint: The wall color, backsplash, appliances, lighting and cabinets are still the same…

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If you guessed that I finally forced myself to commit to countertops and cabinet pulls after hours of research and countless bottles of wine, you are 100% correct!

Simply simple brushed nickel pulls from eBay will suit my kitchen just fine…as did the $1.00 a piece price tag.

The countertops were a much more difficult (and much more expensive) decision. I’ve been struggling over the counter dilemma since I dedicated my home loving heart to revamping my kitchen. I knew I wanted a solid surface but was less than enthralled over my choices of granite. Don’t get me wrong, granite is fab for sure, but I wanted color less streaky/spotty/swirly/speckled-y and more uniform. Just the job for quartz.  And who knows? My Silestone quartz counters in Toffee may actually make me want to cook in my new kitchen when all is said and done. Doubtful, but still a possibility.

Woo hoo! Two more decisions checked off the to-do list. Progress, friends. Progress.


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2 I’ve Seen the Light…

>> Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Like many ranch styles homes of the 1950s & 60s, when my house was built some half a century ago, light fixtures that make you want to pop your eyeballs right out of their sockets were all the rage. Over the past couple of years, I’ve gone room by room plucking the old lighting and bringing in the new, but a couple of eye sores still remained. Like this creature lurking in my hallway…

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I mean, really? What is that? Whatever it was it was high time it found a new home in the trashcan. Not only was is ugly and clearly missing a part or two, but it hardly put out any light worth mentioning. Since it could only be up from here, a lovely little $12.00 brushed nickel light would be a huge improvement AND it even came with its own light bulb. Definitely my lucky day.

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I knew this project wouldn’t be quite as simple as the light fixture change outs I’ve done in the past. Based on my limited knowledge of light fixtures, I could already tell that the electrical box was not flush (enough) with the ceiling to attach the new fixture. In fact, there was no electrical box at all since all of the wiring was housed in the old fixture. So once the old fixture was removed (with power turned off, of course), I attached two pieces of scrap wood to the opening and mounted a new electrical box to the wood with a couple of screws. (Note: This blue electrical box is technically used for wall mount fixtures, but it’s an electrical box nonetheless and would get the job done and house my wires safely…and save me a trip to the hardware store since I already had it laying around. Besides, what fun is a DIY project without a little rigging anyway?)

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Once the electrical box was secure, I followed the easy breezy instructions and this light fixture swap was a wrap. Much better.

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