February 23, 2010

Updated link list

I'm really behind on snazzing up my blog with all the elements that I want it to have eventually. Someday soon I'll design it how it looks in my imagination. Once I figure out how exactly I want it to look that is...

I finally got around to updating my {Decorating and Renovating} links. Recently added are just over the river and white waxflower. The rest are a few of my favorite blogs to browse pertaining to D&R and I thought I'd pass them on to anyone else looking for a good read.

As always, I'm in the market for some new blogs to fill my google reader with. If you have a blog or have a favorites that you think I should know about- leave a comment! I like all types... Historic Homes, Renovating, Decorating, Crafty people, Cute Babies, Cooking and Funny people.


Harry Potter Quote

With the reveal of my all time favorite quite I must also stamp my passport into permanent nerdom, because the quote is from Harry Potter.

"It does not do well to dwell in dreams and forget to live"

My friend Abbie guessed the quote right! It just fits so well with me, as I tend to be a little bit of a dreamer and an over thinker. So this reminds me that sometimes one must pull themselves back down to earth to actually do and experience all the things they've been thinking of. Otherwise everything will just remain a dream until it is to late to do anything about it. Life, as I'm learning, is surprisingly short and fast.

- Eva.

Proud card carrying member of the " I love Harry Potter" club since 2001

February 19, 2010

Showing Fail

Our house got stood up again. Poor house.

The plus side to not having a showing is that the office door stayed closed all day, so the cat didn't have a chance to run in and take a massive whiz all over the carpet. As she so much loves to do right in the corner of the office. She'll go in her litter box just fine, as long as she can't get in the office. Part of me feels a little bad that I deprive my cat of her favorite litter box. But then I look at the carpet we've already had to replace once, and all those feelings go away.

I think this was our 26th-ish showing?

We're meeting with our realtors soon to discuss the spring selling strategy. Although all the discussions in the world aren't going to get rid of the train that runs by/next to our house.

February 18, 2010

Thursday 2/18, Showing #1,000,004

I wish I had something really interesting to talk about or show you on here. But there hasn't been much going on house improvement wise with us lately these last few weeks, so all I have to offer are a bunch of ramblings with no pictures.

The record breaking snowfall amounts have pretty much trapped us in our house on the past few weekends, prevented us from getting in the Wee house or getting down to the beach condo to finish the bathroom.

Last weekend, a first without snow recently, we celebrated Valentine's day on Saturday by taking a day trip up to New York City, to go antiquing/furniture shopping and eat yummy sushi before seeing Phantom on Broadway. Sunday we had two showings scheduled, so we had to be out of the house, and then my dad came down for a visit.

The next couple weeks and weekends are pretty full of non house related things as well. I'm not really sure how we're going to find the time to finish up the beach condo plans that we have before the rental season starts in late May. Not only do we have the bathroom to complete, but we've decided to change the flooring in the bedroom as well. Once the snow melts (is is ever going to melt?) we're going to go full steam ahead on building the massive man garage for the Wee house. Oh, and then there is the pesky little issue of getting our current house sold!

Speaking of getting the house sold, we had a showing this morning at 10:30. I have to be hopeful about it because you never know who or what showing will result in our buyers. {Even if I'm pretty sure these aren't our buyers} Last night it was such a pain to buff the house into showing condition. Instead of running around dusting and stashing our laundry baskets up in the attic, I really just wanted to kick back with a glass of wine and watch the Olympics.

However, I read this great quote from Lucille Ball that is really helping me right now to stay positive and upbeat. Which is really hard right now, because combine the house not selling with the standard Winter blues and you have one very cranky and miserable Eva. I printed out the quote and stuck it above my computer at work. When I want to just wallow in self pity and pissed off-ness, I read it and it really does help me pull myself together. Reminds me that I have find that part of me that was voted Most Optimistic of my senior class.

" One of the things I've learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism away of life can restore your faith in yourself."

Anyone know of any other motivate yourself out of a funk quotes that I should know about? Or have a favorite saying that they use to help cheer themselves up?

I'll let everyone know one of my favorite quotes soon... and will then cement my place in Nerdom forever.

Hint::: it's from Harry Potter:::

February 17, 2010

Showing # 1,000,000 -1,000,003

Just a quick update from our weekend showings.

We ended up with three weekend showing total- one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Right now I'm pretty convinced that only the Saturday appointment showed up/came inside. I know this because their agent left us a very nice note on the kitchen table, which basically told us that his clients loved what we've done to the interior of the house but due to the location of the railroad our house isn't the one for them.

You know what, I really appreciated that note. It was nice to hear that they liked the house itself, because I'm have this problem where I'm constantly doubting some of the decisions that we've made for the house. Mostly when it comes to a few rooms color and design choices. I get that the railroad is a problem for a lot of people, and really don't have a problem being "rejected" over it.

Our Sunday showings? I'm almost positive they didn't show up. Not a realtor card to be seen, the locks were still locked just so and all the upstairs doors were just as we left them. It is pretty easy to see when you're house has been fiddled with. Dimmer switches have been turned all the way in one direction and doors being left open are the big signs for us. Plus there was no hint of snow/salt being tracked inside on our freshly cleaned wood floors.

Fingers crossed we get some appointments for this weekend!

February 15, 2010

Conversation Heart

Saturday morning- Pete and I are headed out the door to spend our Valentine's Day celebrations together. Last minute he grabs a small handful of the conversation heart candies out of the apothecary container that I've placed in the mud room. I ask Pete for a blue heart please.

He gives me the one blue heart in his hand, and on the heart in pink writing (which now makes the heart our wedding colors) are the words-

"Me and You"

Which just happens to be a line from our first dance song, Happy Together by the Turtles, and is also part of the inscription that is inside Pete's wedding ring.

That little conversation heart made me smile like you wouldn't believe. The candy heart was just such a cute random bit of chance of adorable to get during our (day early) Valentine's Day celebration.

If I was a good blogger I would have taken the time to grab my camera and take a picture of the candy heart. I suppose if I was a really creative and crafty blogger I should have shellacked the heart and put it into a shadow box framed with the scraps of the bridesmaid dresses or something. But I ate it and enjoyed the moment instead. Cause thats the kind of girl and blogger I am. The kind that likes candy.

February 12, 2010

Showing # a million

This Monday our house was supposed to have a showing. And like all good little home sellers should do we spent Sunday night cleaning, buffing and polishing the house into perfection. We even raised the thermostat from our usual day time temperature of 49 to a balmy 65, just so the visitors wouldn't think the house is drafty and cold instead of warming and welcoming like it really can be.

Monday night after work and we come home to none of the tell tale signs of a house showing. Locks locked just as we left them. No card on the kitchen table. Not an extra footstep in the snow. I felt so bad for our house, like it was stood up for a date.

We just got a call for a Saturday showing. I hope they show up.

February 10, 2010

Way to measure...

Can you believe that over the 17 hours of work we put in on the bathroom a few weekends ago that there was NOT ONE set back? I can hardly believe it myself! As mounds of snow got dumped down on the coastline we found ourselves working hard like little workers bees without one giant and unsolvable set back or problem. Especially when compared to all the issues and roadblocks that we ran into the last time we worked on the bathroom.

Ok, I'm lying. There was one kinda sorta problem and hitch in the bathroom progress. Our sink vanity, the one we shopped all over for and planned around gave us quite the epic struggle to fit into its proper spot.

First we realized the door had to get taken off in order for the sink vanity to fit through to get into the bathroom. I swear that the vanity took a deep breath and sucked its sides in because it cleared the door frame with only a millimeter to spare. All of our measurements of the bathroom and we hadn't thought to see if the sink would fit through the door! Put a check in the lesson learned column.

Next came the problem of maneuvering the vanity into the position. You can see on the sketch above that it was not as simple most bathrooms. We tried every single conceivable way to get the vanity into place- upside down, sideways, one of us walking backward. At one point the vanity was wedged so tightly between the walls that we could have walked away and it would have been fine just chilling there 3 feet in the air. There was only one solution-give up and drink beer. Just kidding! Shaving down the sides with the reciprocating saw was the only option. It took two attempts at trimming the sides to get enough gone that we could wedge the vanity into place. Only a little bit of the drywall was sacrificed in the process.

February 8, 2010

Operation Cabinet Organization

Guess who has two thumbs and organized her kitchen this weekend??

::::This Girl::::

Motivated by the falling snow and a giant cup of coffee, I decided to take advantage of being stuck inside all day and get something house related done, something that I wouldn't normally do otherwise. Deep cleaning and organizing the kitchen it was!

First I pulled everything out of the cabinets and out onto the floor. This way I could see exactly what we had and could figure out a way to organize it. We have old school (1960's) cabinets that are really spacious, but it is one big cavernous space. None of those neat cabinet organizational doodads that modern cabinets have are installed inside.

Side note- Am I the only one that can get lost in the Ikea and Lowe's kitchen organization area? I just love to play with and stare at all the options they have for helping people such as myself (organizationally challenged) keep a space tidy...

My biggest problem is that I have a tendency to stack items that don't quite neatly fit together, so they shift and spill over inside the cabinets. In order to fix that problem, I decide to break everything up into neat stackable piles by use type, and to store anything that had a lid option with its proper lid on tight. For example, all my muffing tins are together. Same grouping idea with my casserole Pyrex dishes and since a few of those have lids, I stacked them with the lids on.

During this time, anything that was broken or has since be replaced with an upgraded got tossed or set aside for donation. Pete has two younger sisters in college, both with their own apartments and they have taken many of our hand me down kitchen items. I ended up with a decent size pile of stuff that we no longer needed or used.

I lined all the little kitchen electronics across the bottom shelf single file, this way nothing would get lost on the depths or be hidden by the giant toaster. Frequent use items, but ones that don't get to live on the counter, got placed in the easiest grabbing spot. Items such as the mini fryer, which I shouldn't be using on a regular basis, found themselves in a little less than convenient grabbing space.

Moving on to the top cabinets I started with the same general pull-everything-out-onto-the-counter method of attack.

Missing lids is my personal peeve in the storage container and travel coffee cup departments. I have this hatred of the lone plastic lid or the travel cup that is no longer useful because the vital component of the lid has gone missing. Everything got matched up with its right lid! The Pyrex storage containers, all the travel coffee cups and the set of CorningWare French White bakeware. Speaking of the CorningWare, I love my set! The containers look so pretty all lined up on the shelves and are so convenient to have for cooking. Thumbs up for CorningWare!

Every since organizing all the cabinets I can't help but to take a peek inside and crack a giant dorky smile. Something about the neat little stacks and lined up cups makes me all happy.

Edited to Add- Turns out Pete snuck a picture of me while I was busy trying to organize the spice cabinet. I keep it comfy on snow days.

February 6, 2010

Snow Saturday

The snow is falling down here in South Jersey! I have my usual snow energy buzz combined with a huge cup of french pressed Starbucks breakfast brew- which means I'm wired! Right now I'm cleaning out and organizing all the kitchen cabinets.

Hope everyone who is getting snow is snuggled up warm in their houses!

February 5, 2010

Organization Fail

Organization has never been my strong point in life. It is consistently one of my goals every year to get a little bit more organized, especially with paper things. I'm talking receipts, bank statements and silly little things like my birth certificate. Which, by the way, was filed away in my bra drawer for three years. Right next to my passport. Don't worry though! We got a even more super awesome place for both those documents now, and currently my bras are kept company by only level 5 important paper goods. Like the Phillies tickets Pete is getting for his birthday.

Anyway, I really thought I was doing good this year. We got receipt organizers for the kitchen and my purse, plus I got a really adorable Lily Pulitzer agenda to carry around. Every single receipt for this bathroom renovation immediately went into my travel notebook pocket, right next to the sketch of the bathroom with all the dimensions listed. I carried that notebook along with me everywhere. This way in case of returns, exchanges or a chance purchase we wouldn't find ourselves without the proper receipt or measurement. Definitely came in handy during our early AM tile return!

I'm sitting down now to organize all the receipts into an excel file, mainly to see if we're keeping ourselves on track for the budget, and I realize that they are all in one big cluster eff of a mess. Despite my efforts I'm facing an organizational fail. Truly organized people would have started an excel file even before starting this project, to map out what could have been spent where. Or they would have entered items into the spreadsheet right away after purchasing said items. Me, I sit down weeks (months) later and try to make sense of receipts that are longer than my already freakishly longer than average arms. I thought I was doing so good with this project!

Sometimes when you are a Type B personality trying to wedge yourself into a Type A trait the squeeze is just a little too much. I'll keep working on it though.

February 4, 2010

Bead Board Goes Up in the Bathroom

We started with this on Saturday. Our busted looking bathroom wall.

Then we pulled the trim out from its hiding place behind the couch.

And lined everything up on the holding area in the living room.

The cutting station got set up on the kitchen floor, instead of the outside deck we usually use...

...Because it looked like this outside!

After careful measuring, leveling and nailing- Pete installed all the top trim. He did the top trim first to make sure it would be level around the room. This way we could install the bead board paneling flush to the underneath and could hide any gaps cause by the unlevel-ness with the bottom trim.

Along came the bead board panels... We used individual click together panels over bead board paneling for three reasons.

One- the store was out of the large paneling sheets.

Two- The individual panels were exactly the right height already.

Three- it was going to be about 1000 times easier to carry the little packages of bead board up the stairs over one giant paneling piece . (And it was!)

A little while longer and all the walls looked like this!

And it looked like this outside!

February 3, 2010

Our renovation buddy...

... hates to be more than 5 feet from us during renovations. She patiently waited outside the bathroom open door while the two of us worked away inside.

The other renovation friend, otherwise known as Mindy Anna Fluffington the cat, tried to climb the bare drywall at 2am to sneak into a shower access hole. After I caught her hanging off of the bathroom wall she spend the rest of the weekend hiding under the bed.

February 1, 2010

Vintage Reproduction Love- Filament Light Bulbs

Even though my mind often wanders to how the Wee house will be when it gets put back together, I don't talk about those thoughts much on here. Mostly they stay in my head on repeat as I get through the tear down and gut portion of renovating.

Something about having a blank open space of a gutted house as a canvas both simultaneously excites and scares me. Something about too much potential...


I have a new found love. Filament light bulbs.

They are just gorgeous. Managing to be fresh but also have a very vintage sensibility about them, something that really fits with my ever changing and refining style.

A quick Internet search for Filament Light Bulbs and I found Rejuvination.com and all the fun house stuffs they offer, including these amazing light bulbs. How the friggen hay did I not know about this site before?! Or did I? I vaguely remember a visiting before. Regardless. It's you and me from now on vintage light bulb. You're coming over and are going to live with me someday. Hope you like beer.

And people say nothing good ever comes out of New Jersey.