Archive for May, 2013

Chopping Down the Cherry Tree

Posted on May 31, 2013. Filed under: Gardening, Home |

This was the moment my husband has been waiting for the last 2 years. He could finally take out his revenge on this droopy, odd, cherry tree that blocks our house from the street.

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Our weeping dwarf cherry tree is annoying. It’s in this weird, off-center location in our yard about 15 feet from the curb and there’s no other landscaping around it. It’s so random. And it’s short at only 4 feet tall. Wop wop. If I were planting a tree like that, I would’ve planted it near some other plantings, or made it the center of a flower bed in the backyard. There’s no rhyme or reason for its placement.

Normally I love cherry trees. We have a large, traditional cherry tree on the other side of our driveway that is absolutely gorgeous when it blooms for about 2 weeks in the spring.

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It’s attractive other parts of the year too. I love its height and shape and the way it arches over the driveway.

The weeping cherry blooms for about 2 days and then gets all its leaves.

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During the winter (about 6 months of the year), it looks like a wonky, droopy pile of twigs. It’s not attractive.

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We decided to postpone axe-murdering our tree (pun intended) until it was the right time to sod. I didn’t want a big circle of dirt in our front yard where the tree had been for too long. As most projects lead to other projects, we also decided to tackle some of the weaker areas of our front yard with centipede sod or more liriope. But that’s for another day. This feature is purely Americana. By George, we’re chopping down a cherry tree!

Adam’s twin brother, Ryan, was in town so we obviously put him to work. The men took loppers and pruning shears and cut off all the droopy parts of our dwarf tree.

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Then they took turns with the ax.

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And the hatchet.

They put their backs into it. They chopped and chopped and pushed him over.

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Ahhhhh…. Our yard can breathe. You can see our house. Hallerlujah!

Next came the stump digging.

And the hole filling.

And now we’ll sod.

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Our evil supervisor with crazy eyes:

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It looks so much better. Next step: sod!

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Overhaulin’

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: Home |

I have a confession to make. Well a few confessions, I suppose.

I am extremely embarrassed by the state of our master bathroom.

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And it’s not its teeny weeny size that makes me blush. I am a believer that good things come in small packages:

tiffanysImage courtesy of Tiffanys

Mason

mrbean

Image courtesy of http://www.worldcarfans.com

I am ashamed about the dirt and grime and God-knows-what-else that accumulated in here for years before we called this place home.

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Somebody did not like cleaning. Somebody also did not lay the floor tile right or grout correctly or seal sufficiently or nothing. That’s right, I threw out the double negative. This bathroom gets me going. Look at the gunk stuck between the shower tiles! It doesn’t help that we live in Atlanta, with sticky humidity 8 months out of the year. Moisture problemos. Ew.

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That is the exhaust fan. Do you see all that dust build-up? I removed the cover to clean it and this is what I found.

What is WRONG with people???

Bleeeeech!

I clean this bathroom every week. I get on my hands and knees with harsh chemicals, a toothbrush, and elbow grease. It doesn’t matter. This shower has passed the point of no return with gunky mildew and possibly mold (though I haven’t found any of that yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were hiding).

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There are mineral deposits all over the shower doors. I spent over an hour one day on one side of one door trying to get it all off. It didn’t work and I gave up.

We also have this awkward gap between the vanity and the shower that only serves to collect dirt and grime:

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Which leads me to my next confession… Since I cannot get the grime off the doors and I cannot get the cement-like gunk off of the shower floor, I do not waste my time deep-cleaning in here. I know. I’m hanging my head low. Don’t get me wrong. I clean in here every week with disinfectant and scrub brushes, but I rarely pull out the big guns. I don’t clean the shower doors except for a quick wipe down. It’s simply not worth it. The only thing that will remove this crud is a jackhammer. I accepted that fact a long time ago. And it’s another reason I don’t bust my tush to thoroughly clean in here. I know this bathroom will be nothing but a memory very soon. I pray that’s the case. Do you hear me, God?

Whew. I feel better now that I got that off my chest. I can’t believe I confessed all of that. And yes, we shower in there every day. I sleep at night knowing that the surface of the gunk has been cleaned.

We’ve been pinching our pennies and doing our research. We’ve called in contractors and visited tile stores. I’m happy to report that this bathroom is about to get OVERHAULED! I will blog about it here – all our misadventures, our successes, and the demolition of Nasty McShowerson. So hold on to your Jockey shorts, this is going to be an adventure!

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Mason Whips His Hair Back and Forth

Posted on May 6, 2013. Filed under: Dog |

Mason shed 5 pounds recently…

At the groomer.

Mason before

BEFORE

and

after 1

AFTER

Like the summer do? He may have been hanging his head in shame at first, but he is quite happy with his shorter locks for summer.

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He looks so svelte. Is svelte a manly word? I don’t think it is. Hmmm… He looks so toned. I was worried he’d be a fat under that fur. It was hard to tell.  He looks fantastic, though!

after 2

He’s freer, cooler, and doesn’t drag as much crap in the house as he used to. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Mason instagram

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Bathroom Remodel – Practice Round: Part 2

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Home |

When I last left off, you were looking at our half bath in demolition stage. It was ugly and sticky (for real). It was also pretty smelly between the toilet pipe and the glue remover. Just thank your lucky stars you can look at pictures and not get the whole experience.

Small confession: the bathroom tile and trim were completed in September 2012. Yes, I’m slow to post. However, we just installed our new window treatment and I accessorized. So the half bath is officially done and ready for sharing. Boy does it look better! It looks especially nice with this great new faucet we picked out:

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Who doesn’t want to wash their hands under a water-breathing dragon?!?! Just kidding. We didn’t get this fixture. Can you imagine the conversations it would start?

Back to our bathroom…Adam and his dad measured for the 12” tiles with grout lines. They laid the cut tiles in the far-end of the room so cut tiles aren’t the first thing you see if they were at the threshold. It’s all in the details, people. The men applied the thin-set, scoring it with their trowel, and laid the tile with those little spacer thingies. We let it dry for 24-hours before we grouted.

I got to grout. It was messy, but satisfying. It took me a few hours to grout this small space, but I was a beginner. Adam’s dad mixed the grout for me and put it in what looked like a pastry bag. I piped the grout into the grout lines and used the float to wipe away excess or guide it into other gaps. As I went, I used a wet sponge for further clean-up. Once all of the lines were grouted, I wiped the floor 3 or 4 times with a wet sponge to wipe away all remnants of grout on the tiles. I had to change my bucket of water many times. Thanks to Dad for helping with that! We let the grout dry for 24-hours and I wiped the tiles yet again. Once dry, Adam opened the window and sealed the grout with an aerosol sealer.

About 48-hours after the grout was applied, we re-installed the toilet and sink. Because of the tile, the sink was higher than it used to be. We had to caulk it to the wall again, but it covered the original caulk line.

Next up was the trim. My dad came over with his saw and nail gun and helped Adam install the baseboard. This bathroom really was a family affair. Adam purchased primed baseboard at Lowes. Dad and Adam measured twice, cut once, and installed the baseboard with an electric nail gun in about an hour. A few weeks prior to this, I sanded down all of the shoe molding, stained it a darker color to match the vanity, and added polyurethane.

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Once the baseboard was installed, Adam easily reinstalled the shoe molding since we were able to salvage all of it and there were already nail holes. After that, I taped everything and painted the baseboard a bright white.

I wiped down the door frame and door and painted touch-ups where necessary. I also had a quart of paint mixed to match the walls. I used this to touch-up quite a few places that desperately needed it.

We got a new toilet paper holder. Adam hated the old one. It was crazy how vehement he was about it. I do have to give it to him though. The new one looks so much better.

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We threw away the ugly rubber roller shade. I freakin’ hate that thing. When we moved in, we had 3 of them, now we’re down to 1.

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The one remaining is for a window that is in the shower of the hall bath. I don’t know if there is any way to get around that since it gets wet. I’ve considered removing it all together and adding a frosted decal to the window. But that window is on the front of the house and Adam thinks it will look weird. And you’ll still see the shape of a naked person if they take a shower at night. Ooo la la. Anyway… we custom-ordered a café plantation shutter that took about 8 long weeks to arrive. Café meaning that it is not the full height of the window. It allows a lot of natural light in but still protects the privacy of the potty-goer.

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Wowza! What a difference it makes. I love that it allows so much natural light in and it looks classier than that rubber shade. Thank goodness.

All that was left were a few accessories.

 

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These glass shelves were here when we moved in, but they were in the master bath. We moved them downstairs and added a cute red plate with a smelly candle on it (HomeGoods), a framed photo of Grand Central (HomeGoods for frame, IKEA for print), a bud vase with a fake red bloom (IKEA), a red bowl with natural filler balls (HomeGoods), and finally, a photo of my wedding shoes since they correspond with the theme of city/boutique and one of my pairs was red. If you know me, are you surprised I wore two pairs of shoes at my wedding???

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So there you have it. A half-bath updated with a few changes that we think make a big difference!

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This bathroom was a great practice round for the next two bathrooms that we’re tackling. More info coming soon!

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