Josey’s Nursery (Part Two)

A few weekends ago, Tommy, Ben, and Tom all went to work in the nursery, putting up the last of the crown molding, bead board, chair rail, and baseboards. Then everything wooden got a coat of white paint.

A few days later, Tommy came up and smoothed out some areas that needed extra work and caulked some crown molding and chair rail that was too far from the wall (our walls curve all wonky).

While the guys were hard at work, Lana, Patti and I hit up the mall for some shoe-shopping. Life is tough when you marry a hard working man. ūüėČ

There are still a few areas that need to be touched up on the gray paint from where the caulk went up, and all the wooden parts of the wall need another coat or two of white. One corner needs a corner-trim piece. Other than that, the walls are done!

I went ahead and put the crib and rocker/ottoman in there too, along with some other things.

Big difference from where it started out right?

Don’t worry…the duck fabric on the rocking chair my mom and dad gave me is going to be gone, and so is the old leather/fabric combo on the ottoman I found for $20 at a flea market. I have a great white and yellow fabric picked out for them….but you have to wait to see it!

Those books on the floor also have a spot in my plans, but again, you have to wait. See where the lamp is on the floor? I’m thinking that would be a good spot for a table, and I might paint that lamp or replace it all together. It used to be in my room at my parents’ house.

Here’s her crib! I still need to make the bumper and bedskirt (and the curtains…) with mom. I also hung it for now with a banner my friend, Esther, made for the Covington baby shower.

The artwork on the floor will most likely go on the wall it is leaning against, beside the closet. But it will be on the gray part of the wall, not the bead board, obviously.

I’m waiting to hang art until the end, though. Here’s a better view of that wall:

Notice Liam looking in? The dogs aren’t allowed into her nursery anymore. But they like to think about it.

While we’re facing her closet, why don’t we look inside?

This should change a good bit as the nursery gets finished. Starting on top:

  • The things right in the middle, still in packaging, are grocery cart covers and baby carriers (for us to “wear” her), so they will probably stay in our cars once she’s here.
  • One of the monitor screens is up there, and that will obviously be in use elsewhere in the house when she arrives.
  • Her brushes, thermometer, suction bulb, etc. are in boxes, but they will come down and be put in drawers where they can be reached.
  • To the right is her huge pile of blankets, and those will be in baskets in her room, where I can reach them.
  • To the middle, left ¬†(beside the grocery cart cover), is stuff to go in the car or on her car seat. So that will be with her carseat. Or in the car. Duh.
  • And her burp cloths will be down where I can reach them too, instead of in a pile on the top left of her closet. (There are some frames on top of her burp cloths, and the box beside it is full of lightbulbs.)

On the bottom of the closet:

  • On the right, we have diapers, diapers, more diapers, and a few wipes. Most likely, I will move those up to the top shelf when room becomes available.
  • Her playmat (collapsed right now) and “super seat” will both come out when she’s ready for them! I will probably move them to the top of the closet as well, when room is available.
  • The paint that is beside the dresser will obviously be moved out (to the garage) once we finish touch-ups.
  • On the other side, there are two pink bags full of toys. The toys will be put in baskets/storage in her bedroom, where she can play with them.
  • The two grocery bags are full of clothes that have been handed down from cousins. They aren’t the right season for the sizes, but babies don’t always wear the “right” size for their age, so I plan to hang onto them just in case. There are some really cute outfits in there!
  • The carseat the grocery bags are sitting on is an old one that Lisa and Jonathan gave me and that I used for Will. I keep it because I never know when I might need it for a niece/nephew or a friend’s kid. Most likely, I won’t keep it on the floor of Josey’s closet forever.

So all of that will change.

The dresser belonged to my Nana, and Lisa had used it for her girls, hence the pink and green knobs. I haven’t decided if I’m going to give it a makeover in the future or not. Since it’s just in the closet for now, we’ll see.

On top of the dresser are:

  • A tote box with shoes (I love shoes, and I LOVE baby shoes!).
  • A basket with hair accessories and hats (and a feathery tiara and some sunglasses- she is SO my daughter).
  • A flower pot that was painted and filled with gifts from a friend. Now it holds jewelry that Josey’s been given (and some pretty rattles she was given that I plan to put out in her room).

Drawer 1: Bloomers, socks, tights, and legwarmers.

Drawer 2: Onesies.

Drawer 3: Leggings, pants, and shorts.

Drawer 4: Pajamas.

Drawer 5: Crib sheets and changing pad covers.

As for her hanging clothes, I plan to make some dividers (got the craft supplies for it yesterday), and I will definitely take pictures and show how I do it and how it looks in the closet when it’s done. Can’t wait to do that project!

Okay, moving on from the closet.

Standing beside the crib, you can see the rest of her room. We plan to put a rug down in the center of her room. I’m thinking something neutral with a lot of soft texture would be nice. She would like the way it feels, and once I add fabrics, it might be too much to have a colorful rug as well.

The toys that are in the corner (the jumparoo and the baby bouncer) will probably find their way into the closet, once there is room for them. And then they will come downstairs so she has somewhere to hang out with us when we’re working on our computers or I’m doing house stuff.

That corner is where I plan to make a little book/toy center for her. Can’t wait to get that done and share it with you!

The place where the changing pad is on the floor is approximately where her changing table will go…once I find a dresser with the right dimensions and right price AND convert it! =) (Another blog post, I’m sure.)

And, of course, the new chandelier is a happy addition to the room. I love it against the striped ceiling!

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m so grateful for family members who are willing to share their skill and time with us to make this room beautiful! It would not look like this without them!

~Meghan

The chandelier manufactured in Hell. And its replacement.

From the beginning, I have said that if we have a girl, she is getting a super girly nursery with a sparkly, girly chandelier. I love chandeliers in bedrooms and other spaces outside dining areas.

As soon as I found out we were having a girl (well, okay…even before I knew for sure), I started looking for chandeliers online. I wanted something with lots of crystal and sparkle. I also wanted something affordable. And something that wasn’t too big or too small for her room. This was a challenging list.

I hunted for months, and I found ZIP. Nothing I loved. Then, one day I went to Lowes to get some air filters, and I decided to stroll through the lighting section, just in case.

I saw a chandelier that looked like it might be the right size; it had an antique-y looking silver finish, and it was lined with clear beading. It had smooth crystals hanging from it, and four arms, so plenty of light.

(image from Lowes website)

I hated the candles on it. I just wanted plain, white tubes. I also would have preferred more crystal, and for the crystal to not be smooth, but cut, so it caught the light more.

I figured I could buy some crystal to string from arm to arm. And I planned to use round, more modern, lightbulbs instead. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought with some work, it could be a good fit.

I asked someone in the lighting department to help me find the right lightbulbs, and I bought 4 of the ones he suggested (for a total of $5 in lightbulbs).

I cannot begin to explain to you how much torture it was putting up this stupid chandelier.

Tom and I HATE this chandelier.

First of all, I get it home and assemble it, only to find that the light bulbs I was told to buy didn’t fit at all. That was so frustrating.

Thankfully, I went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in Atlanta with Jenn, and for the same price of those 4 bulbs, I found a box of 20. And these ones were the right size. Twenty bulbs for $5? Yes, please.

Oh, and one of the places where a hole should be to hang one of the crystal droplets had no hole.

But that’s not the worst part. Not by a long shot.

Tom and I had to put up this stupid chandelier four times. FOUR.

Time #1– The wires came disconnected, so we couldn’t get the lights to come on.

Time #2– The screw was too short, and the whole thing freaking fell from the ceiling. WHAT.

During that one, the crystal droplets went flying everywhere, and two of the lightbulbs shattered. We had to stop, find all the pieces, and then clean up the broken glass. Thankfully, I had bought 20 lightbulbs, and not just 4.

Time #3– We had to stop in the middle and replace more screws because the ones they gave us were awful.

Time #4– The wire kept twisting, so we had to pretty much disassemble it from the ceiling, put it up, and then reassemble it.

By that time, we both hated this thing so much. After putting up ceiling fans, we didn’t think that it would be a big issue, but it was a thousand times worse. Mostly because the whole thing was shoddy.

On top of it all, I needed to buy MORE crystal to make it sparkly enough, AND we had to replace the ugly candles that came with it. The longer it was in our house, the more aggressive our adjectives became for this miserable excuse for a light fixture.

Tom’s the one who suggested it was manufactured in the fires of Hell. I agree.

So, the night that we finally get it up, and all of it’s working, I get online to find replacements for the “candles” on it. And I see a chandelier that I like a thousand times better, which requires no extra crystal, and it’s $40 cheaper. At Home Depot.

WHAT THE HECK.

Why had they not had this chandelier up on their site two weeks earlier when I was looking online before I went to Lowes?!

So I turned to Tom and said, “What would you think if I said I want to take that chandelier in Josey’s room down and put up a different one?”

He just looked at me. An hour later (not really, but that’s how it felt), he said, “You’re kidding me, right?”

“Um…no.”

I told him all the perks of replacing it, my number one being the money saved. Then I told him to think on it.

Five minutes later, he said, “Well, actually…I hate that stupid chandelier so much that I don’t care if we take it out and never see it again.”

YES!

So I ordered the replacement, which came with white candle tubes with drips. I went ahead and ordered some plain white tubes to replace them as well.

And I never got a confirmation email. The next week, I was getting antsy. I knew the order had gone through, but I wasn’t able to track it anywhere. And of course, I hadn’t printed the order number. Great.

I had Tom check the credit card statement online, and it had no documentation of our purchase.*Sigh.*

I went ahead and ordered it again, and this time I made darn sure I could track it all.

And I also paid for two day shipping. I needed to go on and return that other chandelier to Lowe’s, and it was the only source of light in her room once the sun had set. I needed that to work on putting away her things.

Of course, the day after I ordered it again, the first shipment arrived. What was up with the light fixtures in her room? Some kind of bad juju going on.

I called to cancel the second order, and it was already shipping. Whatever. I was over it.

We took down the chandelier that Satan made and put up the new one. I went ahead and replaced the candles, only to find that all the tubes I’d ordered were about half an inch too long, and they kept the lightbulbs from screwing in all the way.

This time, though, I got clever. The candles that came with the chandelier were white, and the “drips” were only at the top half. So I flipped them over, and they look just like plain white tubes when you’re standing on the floor (versus a stepladder). Yay!

Of course, that might just be because I’m really short, but I don’t care. I can’t see the drips, and that makes me happy.

Once we had the whole thing installed (which went MUCH faster, thanks to directions that made sense and pieces that weren’t awful), I spent a couple hours on a step-ladder stringing up little pieces of crystal.

It was totally worth it.

YAY! Lots of sparkle, a couple extra arms for more light, and no ugly candles.

It’s also not about to fall and explode all over her room.

I think Josey will have fun looking up at it when she’s crawling around on the floor, too. “Girls like sparklies.” (Name that movie.)

Just for the record, when I went to Lowe’s, they took back the chandelier AND the lightbulbs I had purchased. I brought the receipt, told what happened, and had no problems.

And when I went to Home Depot with my extra chandelier and the tubes that I had opened already, they not only gave me back my money, but they refunded my two-day shipping.

Good for you, home improvement stores.

And thank you, chandelier #2, for not being made by Satan himself. I love you so much.

~Meghan

ps- check back tomorrow. More nursery pictures!

Friday Favorite: White Trash Holiday Crack

Today I’m going to share with you a recipe for something my friends call “White Trash.” I call it “holiday crack” because people make this around the holidays, and it’s SUPER addictive.

It’s also super easy to make. I first sampled this recipe at my baby shower in Covington, and the next week I was getting in touch with Kate, who had made it, to ask her for the recipe because I couldn’t stop craving it. It’s that good.

Kate had gotten the recipe from her Aunt Angela, and she graciously gave me permission to share it with all of you!

So here’s what you need:

1 box of Golden Grahams

1 bag of pretzels (I use the stick kind), broken into pieces

2-3 cups of salted peanuts

White chocolate bark (the recipe says one package, but  mine was a small box so I used more.)

1. Take the first 3 ingredients, and mix them together in a large bowl (or two, because this is a lot of food, and you don’t want to spill it).

2. Put the white bark in a microwave safe bowl, and melt it at one minute intervals, stirring in between, until it is smooth.

3. Dump the bark into the bowl(s) with the other ingredients, and toss with two large spoons until all ingredients are coated.

4. Spread out on large surface covered in wax paper and allow to dry.

5. Break into pieces and enjoy!

I have a few photos I took on my phone of the batch I made.

Here it is cooling:

And here is a little bit of it when dry (very close up):

I’m not kidding when I say it makes a LOT. I filled several large tupperware containers with it, and I took it to share at Thanksgiving with both my family and Tom’s. We are still eating it. (Not that we’re complaining.)

This would be the perfect recipe to make for Christmas because it makes so much that with one batch, you can set it out at parties, and you can package some of it up as part of your gift to neighbors, teachers, friends, etc. They don’t have to know how easy it is! (Unless you have a blog.)

So try this out. Trust me- you’ll love it!
~Meghan

This Is Called Procrastinating.

Today, I am wearing my “housecleaner” hat. I am finishing the laundry as I type this. But I have WAY more than that to do.

My to do list:

*Vacuum

*Sweep

*Mop

*Dust

*Dishes (put away and put in dishwasher)

*Clean Kitchen

*Sort through stuff in guest room before our friend arrives tonight and realizes there’s no way to get to the bed right now.

*Clean guest bathroom and downstairs bathroom.

Guess what I’ve done so far? Laundry. And I straightened a little in the living room. But I am getting a blog post out! =)

I have a lot to accomplish in the next few hours.

Goodbye forever.

~Meghan

Nursery

Some of my girlfriends have begun to point out that I have been suspiciously quiet about the nursery progress on the blog.

The reason for that is that I was planning to wait until her room was finished to post before and afters. But the reality is, it’s taking a while.

I’m the kind of person who simultaneously wants the room to be DONE- completed and perfect, and who wants to take her time to agonize over every decision.

Usually the agonizing wins out. And because I take the time to be SURE of every item that ends up in a finished room, I usually am very happy with each decision. This also means that we don’t have a single room in our house that is completely done. Hmm.

Back to Josey’s nursery.

I’ve decided to share it with you in bits and pieces. At the end, I’ll show you the “before” again, and I’ll show you the completed “after.”

The room we chose for her nursery is the second biggest room upstairs. We figured that eventually, when JoJo has a sister, we’ll put bunk beds in there and let them share the space. Or if we have two boys first, we’ll have her trade rooms with them.

This room was also completely covered in stuff. Stuff everywhere. I mean, you couldn’t even see the floor. It KILLS me that I didn’t take a picture of it before I started throwing stuff away.

But that’s what happened. I threw away LOADS of stuff that had been sitting there ever since we moved in. I divided the other stuff into piles of things to keep ¬†and use right away (smallest pile), things to keep and put in storage (aka: the attic), and things to sell/give away.

Anyone want to come pick up that big, blue lazy boy? The dogs have loved having it, but we’re ready to get it outta here.

Then I decided to come up with an “inspiration board.” I wanted the room to be gray and white, because I love those colors for boy or girl. I knew if I had a girl, I would do accents of pink, coral, yellow, and orange. I also wanted it to be super girly- think crystal chandelier instead of a fan.

I had a boy inspiration board too. It was made by July, and the girl one by the end of August. I didn’t know what I was having yet, but dang it, I was going to be prepared.

By September, we knew we were having a girl. We moved all the stuff that was still in Josey’s room out…and into the hall and the guest bedroom. Our ¬†(er…uh…Tom’s) workout room became a collection center for gifts from baby showers.

Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me. I need to have a yard sale, and I have a ton of things we’re keeping to sort through. As for the gifts, they have nowhere to go until her room is done being painted.

I went to the store and picked up samples of various grays and a couple of whites. (Next four images taken with my phone. Enjoy the grainy blurriness.)

After looking at it with some paint swatches I brought in the accent colors of the room, Tom and I decided our favorite was the gray that was second from the left, and we went with the white on top. The bottom one was way too bright.

But the paint can’t be done until the bones are up.

See, I didn’t just want to paint her room. I wanted to transform it. So Tom and I bought crown molding, beadboard, and chair rail to go up in her room.

It was interesting getting it all home (as well as about 6 gallons of paint) in our two small cars, but we did it. And we leaned it up against the wall until reinforcements arrived.

Enter the McFarlins.¬†Tom’s mom (Patti), dad (Tommy), brother (Ben), and sister-in-law (Lana) all came over to make it happen.

We painted the top half of the walls first. Well, actually, the baseboards got ripped out first, to make room for beadboard. Then we started painting.

While we worked on that, Ben was in the backyard working on the wood for the room.

Sam and Liam supervised.

That was in September. Some beadboard went up, some chair rail, etc. We would need some more days to get it all up and finished.

But while all that was going on, Tom and I were also living in the mold removal chaos. It was mostly taken care of, and we needed to get the baseboards repainted.

We hired a painter we had used before with good results, and while his workers were there, we went ahead and hired them to paint stripes on the ceiling of the nursery for us. That was something I had known from the beginning I would want. (Back to phone shots.)

Just looking at the tape, I knew we had made the right decision to hire pros for the ceiling. That would have been a headache to line up perfectly.

A few weeks later, Ben and Tommy came back up while Patti, Lana and I were at the baby shower in Decatur. They and Tom worked on the room some more, and most of the wood has gone up now.

And while at the shower, I received something for Josey’s room that the hostesses had paid for/Jenn had made for me. It was something I had wanted for her room, and I have the perfect spot for it already!

I fully intend to raise daughters who understand that you can have a fabulous life/wardrobe/attitude/etc. while still being a classy lady. Love that quote.

Since then, I bought a chandelier, and Tom and I have installed it. That deserves its own post, so I’m not including it today.

Saturday, Tommy, Patti, Ben, and Lana are trekking out one more time to finish the nursery. I am BEYOND excited about having the walls finished, because then I can start moving all of her sweet gifts into her bedroom and putting them away! Tom is quite ready to get his workout room back too.

So that’s where we are in the nursery right now. Fabric, chandelier, etc….more posts to come!
~Meghan

Oh No!

I am already running behind on my list. AGH!

My allergies are in full attack mode:

  • I can’t sleep well at all (last night I actually woke up choking on gunk in my throat), I can’t breathe except through my mouth, and I sneeze approximately 5.7 billion times a day.
  • My face hurts, my head hurts, and my throat hurts.
  • I’m going through a box of tissues every couple of days.
  • And all I want to do is lie down.

Add to that that on Monday, my list started with laundry (which got done but not put away) and couponing, which I had a month’s worth of papers to go through. Oops.

That set me way behind. I was still doing it yesterday and making my list, so I never did make it to the stores. Or do anything else for my Tuesday list. Oops again.

Today, I have gone to the stores, coupons in hand, and I even had ladies asking me about it in line. That was nice. “How much did you save, if you don’t mind me asking?” one asked. I told her I blog about couponing, so it’s hardly private to me, and I’d be happy to let her see my savings. From the look that got, I’d say she doesn’t know what blogs are.

And then when I told her what I’d saved, she said, “Wow. I have to quit being lazy and start couponing!” I assured her she could do it. And then I told her about Southern Savers and wished her luck. Then it was back to my day.

Home, groceries put away, and paid painters for a job well done on the baseboards and on the ceiling in Josey’s room.

And I know what I need to do next is go put away the laundry, straighten the closet, and clean the bathrooms.

I know it.

But all I WANT to do is lie down and rest my head. It feels like it weighs 40 pounds. And with all the stuff that keeps flowing out of it, it might.

Which leads me to this. I laughed out loud when I saw my mom’s response to her messiest child’s post on cleaning the house…voluntarily, of all things. I think she thought it was a miracle:

Oh no!

Looks like you spoke too soon, mom! ūüėČ

In all seriousness, I have a feeling that this week, the FIRST week, I’m going to be doing a lot of catching up and struggling to get on top of it all. But once I do, I think I’ll hit my stride and be able to keep up with it.

I hope so anyway. Until then, just know that I am sneezing from my bed, and the clean laundry is mocking me as it sits in the basket instead of in drawers where it belongs.

~Meghan

I’m Listed.

Yesterday, I looked around my home and thought, “Again?”

Keeping things neat and tidy is not a strength of mine. I tend to powerhouse through something after it has gotten so bad that I can’t stand it anymore.

Then I’m so proud of the work I’ve done that I admire it for a day or two. And then I forget about it, and it goes right back to cluttered chaos. My borderline- O.C.D. engineer of a husband loves this about me. (The sarcasm is oozing.)

To be fair, Tom is really good about not making a big thing of it when I let things get a bit….covered in fur, clothes, shoes, and tissues. (Gross.) But when I clean, he goes, “WOW! It looks SO good in here!” That’s my favorite part about cleaning- the happiness I hear in his voice. It makes the work worth it.

In fact, that’s probably the only thing I like about cleaning.

Anyway. I’ve decided it’s time to put on some big girl pants and keep my house clean. Consistently.

I needed accountability, so I pulled a Tom and made a list. Then I stuck it on my bathroom mirror so I can’t miss it. Then I told everyone on Facebook about it so I can’t just knock the list into the trash one day and no one be the wiser.

I was surprised how many other women said they do this as well, and some even asked what my list looks like, hence the post. Here’s a picture of it I snapped on my phone this morning:

This is a work in progress, because, well, I haven’t done it yet. So I might need to tweak it (add things, move things, etc.).

I also know that when Josey is here that might affect how I do the list. And as she ages, and as more kids are added to our family, the list will be affected. (As soon as JoJo is able, I’m gonna have her help me out by wiping down baseboards. I’m sure she will think I’m the best mom ever…)

So, for me, I started Monday with laundry and couponing because I can wash all the clothes from the week before, and I get my coupons in the Sunday paper. I’m bad about letting papers pile up and then having a HUGE amount to do with them.

I figure, this way, I can have laundry running while I clip and sort coupons.

As for the laundry, part of that chore will include putting it away, which I am really bad about.

Tuesday, I have both ironing and grocery shopping with *s beside them because I don’t necessarily need to go to the store every week or have clothes to iron every week. But when I do, that will be a lot to juggle with another chore, so I kept it simple- straighten the closet.

Tom was SO happy to see that on the list. My shoes are in a pile on the floor along with an old bridesmaid dress and other random clothes.

I told him last night that I plan to add “Straighten the car” to the list. My car is about as clean as my closet. Including a pair of heels on the floor. Not kidding. He looked at me like I had just offered him a million dollars and said, “AWESOME! What’s gotten into you??”

I pointed at my huge belly. It would be nice to have this under control before she arrives.

Wednesday, I left it at “clean bathrooms.” I hate this chore.

We have three full bathrooms in our house. Thankfully, it’s a bit easier because of my bathroom makeover a while ago, but cleaning tubs and showers is the worst part to me.

I also think bathrooms can make an entirely clean place look nasty if they’re dirty. So Wednesdays will keep them shiny.

Thursday, I will dust downstairs and sweep. We only have one rug down there, so vacuuming should be quick too. I think I might save mopping for every other week until Josey is here.

This job might need to be done twice a week. With two dogs that shed constantly, our blinds, furniture, and floors are always coated in fur. If left for too long, the fur rolls up like tumbleweeds. Seriously.

The dusting will include fans and furniture throughout the downstairs- not just the living room, where I am most likely to dust. That way, I will hopefully have a fighting chance against allergies, and when guests come, I’m not just then realizing we have cobwebs all over the dining room and foyer.

And since guests tend to visit on weekends, that chore will be done BEFORE Friday, when they would arrive.

Friday, I will do the same as Thursday, only upstairs. Our upstairs floor and the stairs themselves are completely carpeted, except for the bathrooms.¬†Vacuuming shouldn’t take too long.

Dusting shouldn’t be too hard either. And again, I don’t need dust upstairs where I can breathe it in all night as I sleep. Nor does my family.

Sure, I could do it all in one day, but I’ll tell you what- I won’t. It will get put off. And I’ll get overwhelmed and put it off some more. This way, it’s just a little something to do each day.

Other chores need to be done as well, but they aren’t on the list.

-I figure that I can wipe down the kitchen really well each night after Tom does the dishes.

-I’m bad about making the bed, but I love how much better a space looks with it done. So I’m going to try to do that each day.

-Cleaning out the fridge is a tag-team chore. I get grossed out by old foods, so Tom does that. While he does it, I need to take advantage of the sparseness of the fridge and wipe it down. That happens every few weeks.

That’s all I can think of right now.

My plan is to do these things in the morning. I have blog posts and emails to write, photos to take and edit, crafts to create, and a life to live. All of those things are motivators for me to get up and get the chore out of the way. When Josey’s here, I will probably work on them during her morning nap.

And if I have a day where I can’t get it all done, I’ll just do it another day. And not beat myself up over it. (At least, that’s what I’ve decided to try to do.)

So that’s where I’m starting out! We’ll see how this goes.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have more coupons to clip.

 ~Meghan

It Came From Within…The Sink. Part Two.

Alrighty. Where did we leave off yesterday?

Oh yes. This:

After all that, we had the mold mitigators come out once again, to spray for the mold and ensure that we wouldn’t have any more growing in our house.

Then the cabinets were delivered. I didn’t get pictures of that because I didn’t want to make the guy think I was checking up on him and taking pictures for some kind of legal reason.

The grout was the only thing they didn’t do, so Tom and I did that ourselves. It might not be as nice looking as having a pro do it, but it works for us.

The floors were up next. Oh my goodness.

We used Atlanta Flooring Design, and we were SO happy.

We chose a matte finish on our new engineered floors, and these floors have a thicker “wear layer” than the ones we had before, so we can actually have these sanded down and refinished in ten years or so, when we move out.

Also, we wanted to get the nasty carpet in our dining room and office torn up and have the floors run throughout those rooms as well.

I was so amazed. Three guys showed up at our house at 9:15 one morning, and they worked until 9:30 that night. They didn’t leave until the job was done. It’s hard to find people that hardworking anymore!

Our floors went from this:

To this:

To this:

“Aaaaaahhhhh” (That was angels singing.)

There was an INSANE amount of dust all over everything in our house. We are still cleaning it up. But at least we can breathe now. And I’d rather breathe dust than mold.

All the shoe molding around the baseboards had to be taken off as the floors came up, then replaced with the floors. And then the baseboards need to be repainted in the entire downstairs.

You can see where the paint came off the baseboards and the pre-primed shoe mold has nails in it. The paint will fix all of that, and we had someone come out to give us a quote this morning.

They will be back out in a week and a half, and the floors will OFFICIALLY BE DONE! Whew!

Oh, and here is the new island:

No more stubbing our toes on loose floorboards! And we have running water and a dishwasher!

“Aaaaaahhhhh” (Angels again.)

There’s stuff all over it because I have slowly been putting stuff back into our office now that the floors are done. Slowly, because I am making sure it doesn’t get cluttered in there again. The office won’t be shown today because the makeover in that room deserves its own post!

But I will show you the dining room:

A little devoid of personality, and I want to change the fabric on the chairs, but still. It is CLEAN. Without any nasty carpet that the previous owners let their pets pee on. Amen.

The crown molding and chair rails you see on the floor are going to go up in Josey’s room. Another post in and of itself.

And I was soooo excited because I finally was able to move furniture around a bit. This used to be in the foyer:

And now it is in the dining room. I am going to paint it black, I think, and it will get updated hardware. It also could use some artwork on the wall above it. And maybe some lamps or something. But it has lots of my serving pieces inside, which used to all be crammed into my china cabinet.

Now, my china cabinet has only a few pieces below, and lots of my grandmother’s china above, with a little bit of my own mixed in, and my own stemware and some serving pieces on display. Fun!

And then this piece, dating back to the 1940’s, finally got a home in the foyer:

I absolutely LOVE this piece. I plan to paint it a really fun color on the outside sometime in the future. Still undecided on what color.

And the inside of this piece is what allowed me to shift all the stuff from the china cabinet to the sideboard. Because all the stuff from the sideboard got shifted to here:

“Aaaaaahhh” (Satan.) (Just kidding, it was angels singing again.)

Look at all that storage! LOVE.

And while we were making improvements, Tom and I thought it was about time we updated the AWFUL builder’s grade fan in our living room.

Ugh.

So we learned a lot about fans that day.

And we got this one instead:

So much better.

And we replaced the nasty light fixture in the (always hot) office with the same fan. Yay!

And then we took the horrible old fan and put it in our guest bedroom over the garage. It’s always hot in there, and we couldn’t afford 3 new fans. Oh well. We have the same gross one in our bedroom.

Our thinking is that we work on the rooms that get the most traffic from guests (pretty much the whole downstairs) first, then we work our way up to bedrooms later.

Except for Josey. Her room will be the nicest in the house.

So anyway. I think you could say we’ve come a long, long, looooong way from two months ago.

We’re happy with the changes, and we’re so grateful for homeowner’s insurance.

And we’re also SO grateful that this happened before Josey was born. I cannot imagine all the dust and the noise and the stress going on with a newborn around. Phew!

~Meghan

It Came From Within…The Sink.

Let’s see. It started with this:

Which we wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for this:

And then pulling out all of this (and more), which was blocking the moldy puddle from view:

First we called the insurance company.

Who told us to call a plumber. So we did.

The plumber found leaks in the faucet and garage disposal. They took this nastiness off:

And we bought this for them to put in its place:

SO much better.

Then we called the insurance company. Again.

Who told us to call the mold mitigators.

Who came out and set up this very large, very noisy, but very helpful, dehumidifier:

Then the insurance adjuster came to our house, measured, took a disk of pictures and our old, nasty faucet and garbage disposal back as evidence, and got back to us later with an estimate.

Then he told us the check would be in the mail but to get the loose, possibly moldy floors around the cabinets up.

The mold mitigators came back out for their dehumidifier and left us with this:

For over a month, our kitchen looked like this. And we tripped on loose pieces of wood sticking out from the stove, yelled at flooring when we stubbed our toes, and glared at our cabinet with all it’s moldy grossness.

Why a month?

We waited on the estimate. Then we waited on the check.

Then we had to go to the bank with info about our mortgage and our insurance and ourselves to deposit the check.

Then we had someone come look at our kitchen and give us a quote on cabinets. Which took 3 weeks to come in.

Finally…they arrived. Unfortunately, they didn’t carry our model anymore, and we couldn’t just order a box. We had to order it with the doors and drawers and have them replace them with our old ones to match.

But first, the old stuff had to go.

First, Tom took all the drawers out.

Then Austin (Will’s dad and a great contractor) took off the cabinet doors. And took the cabinets apart.

But not before he took out our dishwasher and he and Tom moved the countertop out of the way (with the sink and faucet attached).

By the way- I hate that dishwasher. But it still beats having no dishwasher at all.

Everything got moved out of place, and our kitchen was in chaos.

And after the cabinets were moved out of the way…Austin found the mold. It was gross.

Also, apparently flies like getting under cabinets with mold. And dying. I about puked.

Yep. It was disgusting. Mold, sitting water, and gross floors. GAG.

So Austin cut the moldy drywall away.

And he took the cabinets and moldy drywall out. Then he tightened the pipe caps up and made sure they weren’t leaking anymore. And he sprayed bleach all over the floor.

Bleach all over the floor is strong, dude. He recommended the preggo chick take herself upstairs when the mold and chemicals made their debut, and after a few minutes, I had to agree. It was too much.

Austin cleaned the floors and took off.

Tom blocked off the bleached, icky area from the dogs. And this is what it looked like for a few days:

Uh-huh. Our house was so warm and inviting, let me tell ya.

The end.

Just kidding.

There is (obviously) more to the story than that. But it will have to wait for Friday because I’ve got approximately 20 pictures in this post, and I think that’s enough for one day.

Tomorrow…the turning point!

~Meghan

It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better.

A while back, I mentioned that we had a leak. With mold.

Over the next two months, we had our floors ripped out, our cabinets ripped out, mold cleaned, new cabinets installed, new plumbing done, and new floors put down.

I will show you what all we have done differently in our house since. But first, let me show you this picture:

It got worse before it got better.

The dust was incredible.

The smells of chemicals still linger.

I will share the stories.

But first I will say this- it was all worth it. Yes, even the mold.

And if you don’t have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance- GET IT.

~Meghan