Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Weekend Walking

It was Ryan's dad's birthday this weekend, so we went out to their place for Sunday night dinner.  They live on a gorgeous property and own 17 acres, and are surrounded by fields and forests, so we often go for walks when we go out there.  Usually they are the same old thing.  Walk, take some pics, play with his sister's dog, try to get the dog to get muddy in the water

This walk was no exception.  Ryan stood bouncing on the ice trying to get Willis to come play.

What doesn't usually happen is Ryan falling into the water.

He thought it was only ankle wasn't.

It was a cold walk home. 

Wednesday Smiles

I came home from work today to see this in the carpet:

It made me smile

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Making an entrance

First thing to go in the new house was this.

Ryan ripped it out on boxing day.  I know, how behind am I.  But the point is that we moved in on December 21 and this was torn out on December 26.  It's just so 80's! The bottom part might have been practical.  But we had big plans for this entrance way! We definitely wanted to remove the carpet, because carpet up to the doorway just wasn't practical.  And we wanted to just open it up and make it seem more spacious.  So out it came.

This is a popcicle stick light.  Lovely ain't it? I'm sorry, I am unaware of whether you can purchase these somewhere or if they are only made in kids craft time.


And here is a sneak peak at the after.  Still needs a light, floor all around it and such, but its getting there.  Now people don't have to worry about walking across carpet or hardwood to get to the closet and it is much more open to the living room, which should make the living room feel more open.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Basement Dwellers

When we moved into the new house, the whole main floor had to be renovated.  So that meant that we couldn’t exactly live up there.  So all of our belongings were piled into the basement.  Most of our stuff was put in the unfinished side.  We set up couches in the basement.  And the TV of course. 
Night 1:
Bed is at the end of the basement on the floor.
Kind of a neat way to spend the first night in the new house.  Not somewhere we wanted to be sleeping for the next month.

Night 2:
We set up the bed frame and dressers in the unfinished side of the basement.  Put down an old rug underneath the bed so it wasn’t quite so chilly on our feet in the early morning hours.  This is more like it.  Or this is as good as its gonna get.
Ryan had also made us a makeshift closet for the furnace room by attaching some 2x4 pieces to the ceiling and sticking a rod through the middle so we could hang clothes on it.  This is a lifesaver.  Not sure where our clothes would have gone if he hadn’t come up with this genius idea.  I can’t even really give more details on how it was made.  I think it was easy.  Or he’s just skilled.  That’s why I married him.

For Christmas, my parents gave us a heated mattress pad.  Same idea as a heated blanket, but under you.  Great timing mom and dad! We turn it on to high a couple hours before bed, climb in to a cozy bed at bed time, and turn it down a bit so we don’t have a sweat storm at 3am.  It has made the furnace room a bearable temperature.
We love it so much that we might just stay down here.  Or not...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

How to Strip

Oh you dirty dog you.  No, I didn’t just change the whole focus of this blog.  Clearly I’m talking about wallpaper, not giving lessons of the pole dancing variety. 

New house was full of wallpaper . Lovely stuff, probably circa the 80’s, just like everything else in the house.  I know that wallpaper is back in style, and to be honest, I do really like some of the stuff that’s out there.  It can look really neat and fresh and is more interesting than paint.  But it's a pain to remove and is fairly trendy.  I find that it is more likely to go out of style quickly than paint is. 

We had a border to remove in the master bedroom, and one wall and a border in the 2 other bedrooms.  The kitchen was fully wallpapered, but luckily there isn’t actually that much wall in the kitchen.  There is also a border in the bathroom, but that’s future Ryan and Kaileigh’s problem.  We are waiting a bit to do the bathroom because it’s not overly offensive.

So my parentals came over to assist in the removal process.  We started with the master bedroom border.  It didn’t seem overwhelming so we thought it was a good place to start.  First we started with wallpaper remover.  Just followed the directions on the bottle and sponged it on.  Let it sit for 15 minutes, repeat.  Then scrape off.  Typically the first layer comes off easily and the second layer is more tricky.  I think by the end we figured to sponge it and try to get the first layer off and then sponge or spray again and work on the second layer.  There isn’t much of a point in focusing too much time sponging the top layer, as the liquid won’t penetrate through it to the under layer.  Even using just plain water helps to take it off.  We kind of did a combination of both.  And sometimes used a paint roller to roll it on.  It was kind of just a bit of everything. 
The most lovely part of this process was when the drip marks from the spray turned yellow….mmmm nicotine in our walls, that’s healthy.
Room 2 – The office.  This went ok.  Mostly the wallpaper came off in large strips.
Room 3 – The spare room.  Not so good.  This room literally took half the day I think.  Originally we had my mom, dad, Ryan and I working on removing wallpaper.  We started on this room after lunch.  We had asked my brother to bring us food.  Muhahahaha sucker.  He got sucked in.  Hope you enjoyed your time off from university B-Rad! So we were up to 5.  Then, 2 of my parents friends stopped in to see the house.  Don’t ever stop in at someone’s house when they are in the midst of removing wallpaper.  This happens:

So we had 7 people working on this room for more than 3 hours.  Ridonkulous.  If we pulled off a piece larger than about 2 square inches we yelled out and made everyone ooh and ahh over it.  Needless to say, the kitchen seemed like a piece of cake after that disaster.

Notes about wallpaper removal:
We have plaster walls.  This makes removing wall paper easier because the walls are sturdier than drywall.  But you still have to be careful that you don’t take chunks out of the plaster with your scraping tools. (Good thing I know the appropriate names for these tools).
The wall paper remover might get you high.  Actually no it doesn’t even have that advantage.  It just makes you feel like you are going to pass out.  Open a window.  Don’t spray it in your wife’s face thinking that it’s just water in your squirt bottle.

That's all folks.  I'm out of tips.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Half a date night

Last night we went on a half a date.  It was only half a date because a full date would include dinner, and I made mac and cheese for dinner so that didn't count.  We went to the movies to see Contraband.  Ryan was working on the kitchen all day and I was working on an assignment, so we needed to get out, and we had a movie pass that my parents gave us for Christmas.

I wasn't expecting much because I haven't heard a whole lot about it, but it was really good.  It was about a guy who used to be a smuggler, who has to do it one more time to get his brother in law out of trouble after he dumps some cocaine that he was smuggling in the ocean and so he owes the bad guys.  It's crazy that what they go through in this movie actually happens.  It's a lot of effort for those poor smugglers.  It reminded me of The Italian Job, Mark Wahlberg is just so darn easy to like that you can't help but root for him even though he is doing something mega illegal. 

Turns out, half a date night isn't so bad as long as it gets you out of the house.  (But I do love food, so I will take dinner out any time).

Friday, 10 February 2012

Ploppin' the Plungers

Brace yourselves.  I am about to tell you about the greatest event ever invented.  The Plunger Plop.  It took place this past weekend, and takes place the first Saturday of every February.  It’s like Christmas.  Seriously, Ryan woke up raring to go at 6:30 on Saturday morning.  We had to get ready and get to his friends by 7:30 to eat breakfast and prepare for the day before us. 
Basically, the plunger plop is like horseshoes.  But with toilets and plungers.  We have “The Dome”, an outdoor rink in town, and there are about 14 toilets lined up down each side of the rink.  
Quite the site for an outsider I’m sure.  Usually there is ice on the rink.  We did start with a thin layer of ice this year, but between the warmish weather and all of the people walking on it all day, there wasn't much left of it by early afternoon.
It was the year of the wig.

It's like horseshoes.  We throw the plunger at the toilet on the opposite side of the rink.  There is a circle around the toilet, you want to get your plungers inside of this circle.  If you get the plunger in the toilet, it's known as a "ringer" and you get 10 points!  Ringers can win or lose the game.  It's kinda a big deal.  Beer may be involved.
Once again this year, my team did amazing, winning 3 of 4 games in regular season.  Playoffs hit and we were out of steam.  Lost the first game and we were done.  Maybe we will do better next year, but I say that every year.

3 Reasons Why I Shouldn't Be Spending Time on a Blog

This course....will be the death of me.

Although I am way behind on my blogging of what we have done upstairs, we are ready to move upstairs.  But this is all of our stuff, still in the basement.

Pile of thank you notes.....

Maybe this weekend I will find time to do all of them?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Where to Start

So first thing to think of walking into a 30 year old house that hasn’t been updated in…..about 30 years, is where do we start? What is the priority?  Easily knocked off the list was the basement.  Although the colgate green wall colour isn’t on our list of favourite hues, overall the basement was ok.   The paneling is a grey colour, which is better than the ugly brown wood that is most paneling.  And the carpet was fairly new due to a flood in the basement in the spring, so it was livable.

So that leaves the main floor.  We didn’t really narrow that down too much….Basically we wanted to redo the whole main floor.  We needed new flooring in the living room (as it was pink), the hallway and master (as it was forest green), and in the 2 other bedrooms as (as they were shag).  I thought I could live with the kitchen linoleum and the sun room carpet.  Then we looked into hardwood, and it turned out it wasn’t going to be much more expensive than carpet.  So we decided that we would get new flooring for the whole main floor. 
So here’s the plan:
Hardwood basically all of the main living spaces.  Living room, kitchen, hallway, sun room, all 3 bedrooms.
Ceramic tile in the entrance way so that wet shoes don’t ruin the wood.
Carpet in the 3 bedrooms.
(The only floor that’s staying is the bathroom since its decent and looks fairly new)
The whole main floor has to be painted.
Kitchen isn’t being redone, but there is some rearranging since we don’t love the layout, and want to ensure that the hardwood gets everywhere it needs to be for when we do the kitchen down the road.

So back to the question.  Where do we start? Do we start with a specific room? Which room is most important? Answer: all of them.  Really, all of the rooms are a priority.  We wanted paint on the walls before flooring went down.  Ceramic could be done right away, followed by hardwood, then carpet.  But since we needed to get the paint done and that was a big task, we basically had to take on the whole house at once. Yay for us!  It was also just logical to do this since all the walls needed to be washed, and then primed.  And we used the same 2 colours in most of the rooms.  It’s very overwhelming to know that you need to pain 1100 square feet all at once.  I shouldn’t talk; Ryan has done most of it.  But still, I feel for him…(and that’s 1100 square feet on the floor, multiply that by the 4 walls, ceiling, as well as priming, and doing multiple coats of paint)….
This is Ryan painting.  Except none of our walls are orange.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

House Tour - Part 2

The house tour continues! I don't know what was going on last week, but these pictures uploaded in less than 5 minutes.  (girl doing happy dance)

The Kitchen
This is the kitchen/dining area from the front entrance.  Straight through are pocket doors into the sunroom.

 The Kitchen
The actual kitchen.  Lovely wallpaper and all.

The Sunroom
Kind of an awkward size.  But we think it has potential.


The Rec Room
Don't be too judgemental....this is staying as is for the time being.  At some point I will have to go into detail about all the fantastic aspects of this basement that we need to change.

The Basement from another angle
To the left is the bar, at the far end is the bathroom.  The door on the far wall is the laundry room.  The door on the right is one of 2 entrances into the unfinished side. 

The Bar

The Basement Bathroom

The Laundry Room
This looks worse than it is.  It's fairly clean.  That's drywall on the walls, it just hasn't been painted.  Project? Maybe.

Unfinished Basement
I see storage, Ryan sees drinking games.

So that's all of it pre-renovation.  See how much there is to do? Not much can stay.  The basement will remain as is for now, until everything upstairs becomes livable.  

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

House Tour - Part 1

So I guess that the first step in this would be a new house tour.  These pictures are before any of the action took place.  This is what we saw the first time we went through it! Now I preface all of this by saying that we basically knew when we viewed the house that we were going to buy it and that it was going to be a disaster on the inside.  And yes, that doesn’t mean it was any less overwhelming when we went through it.  The basement basically saved the house for us because there was at least one room that I could live with (for now).
You see, we live in a very small town.  My parents live right outside of it; Ryan bought his house there a couple of years ago, and Ryan works there as well and can walk to work.  He likes this feature and didn’t really want to compromise and move anywhere else.  And I’m kinda attached to our small hick town as well.  So we knew we wanted to stay.  Problem with a small town is, the number of houses on the market is limited.  You don’t just call up the realtor and say you wanna look around at all the house options.  Months can go by where there isn’t a house for sale at all.  Then when there is one, it’s probably in the new subdivision where houses are over $500,000 (out of our price range that’s for sure).  People don’t move out of this town.  They die.  Is that morbid? Maybe, but it’s true.   So the only way to get a house, is to wait for that to happen.  Or that's how it seems to me anyways.
So anyways, a month before our wedding, I noticed on my way home one day that there was a for sale sign on the lawn of this house.  The next day Ryan called the realtor and we went to look at it.  We put in an offer a couple days later.  They received 2 offers at the same time, so we went in with our best offer and we got it! On the condition that our home would sell.  5 days later, we get notice that they have another offer (2 or 3 actually, I forget how many).  We had 48 hours to remove our conditions.  So we did.  Meaning, we bought this house without knowing for sure that the old one had sold.  Meaning we could own two houses.  Meaning we could be poor.  Luckily, everything worked out (after some very stressful times and pushing back closing). 
So here she is. Or he.  I don’t know if our house is a girl or boy.  I think it was an old lady when we started.  We will have to wait and see what it is when we get closer to completion.

Here we go, starting with The entranceway:
The lovey whatchamacallit in the entranceway.

The entranceway- from the living room
Master Bedroom
I have the pictures from our walkthrough in here, so they have furniture in them.  I figure you get a better idea of bedroom size if there is furniture in it.

2nd bedroom - or office

 3rd Bedroom

Upstairs Bathroom

The rest will come later. Mostly because I'm having issues uploading pictures, and now my font has changed and I can't get it changed back.  It has literally taken me a week to get those pictures uploaded....gah as if I'm not behind on this blog already!