Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Tile Conundrum

Our bathroom remodel is finally picking up steam again.  Unfortunately, I can see us coming to a halt again here soon.  The reason?  The tub/shower tile surround.  I have NO IDEA what to do!!!  I love the tile we are going to be putting on the floor, it's beautiful with rich colors and has a wonderful neutral base.  I cannot, for the life of me, see that tile covering the entire surround as well.  It would be overwhelming!  I've been using my favorite resource of home remodel (Pinterest) and I've found a few idea for inspiration.  What are your thoughts?

Guest bath : surround

This uses a smaller tile than we have on the floor - but it's the mosaic insert that I'm really loving.

Guest bath : bathroom tub surround tile
This also has a mosaic insert and it has a matching mosaic trim around the surround too.  Fun details?

J wants to come up with a decision soon.  He wants this stage of the remodel done by the end of May.  I know we can do it (really, he can do it.  He does all of the tile work.  I paint :) )  Suggestions?
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up

Things have been slow going on the home front.  We are so excited that Lowe's FINALLY has the trailer we want back in stock.  (Really, J should have bought it over a month ago, but he debated just a bit too long and they were sold out when we went back).  Without a means to bring home all of the trim, doors, drywall, trees, and mulch, we've been waiting for the trailer to come back in stock so we can start back up on our projects!   I should have some progress photos for you by the end of this week!  

I also took my first bath in the new tub.  There is nothing more wonderful than soaking with some jets.  Aaaahhhh.

I may not have had a door or walls, but it was still so wonderful!

Happy Monday!
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Home Remodel Saving Tips

J and I are not millionaires.  We work hard so we can play hard.  That being said - home remodels cost money!  One of the biggest ways we save is having a very handy husband.  But since I am neither handy nor that helpful with the physical labor, I've been able to save us money by shopping smart.

Enter Ebates.  They are a BBB rated business that organizes coupons, sales and discount WITH a cash back reward.

From their website:

How Ebates Works

Ebates is the pioneer and leader of online cash back shopping. Ebates pays members cash back every time they shop online as well as provide them with the best coupons and deals online. Founded in 1998, Ebates Inc.'s websites have paid over $250 million in cash to its members. That's why millions of people have joined Ebates, and we're excited you are ready to start earning cash back, too.

J and I will be walking through Home Depot and find items we want - ceiling fan, door, toilet, paint sprayer, mini fridge, etc.  While we are in the store I will log into Ebates, click on the Home Depot link and we will buy all of the items we are planning on getting with 2% - 6% cash back.  Sometimes there are specials online that aren't in the store!!  I always choose In-Store pickup so there is no shipping.  Within the hour we are checking out with the items we can't buy online and then loading up the jeep with the items we bought online. 

The check we are going to receive in May will go directly back into our home remodel budget.  Some free money for shopping?  Yes please!

I also use Ebates for all of my online shopping.  Target is another one of our big purchases each week.  The Helena Target doesn't have the quantity of products that other cities have, so we will shop in the store to get ideas first.  When we are at home later, we can pick out out home decor and order it along with other necessary items.  Add on a Target Debit card and we save an additional 5% plus free shipping!

A little savings goes a long way.


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy (belated) Easter!!

Things have been quiet on the home remodeling front.  We are in a pending status until we have an electrician come out to run a new outlet for the tub.  We've decided to take advantage of the nicer weather and relax for a few evenings.

We hosted Easter dinner.  It was so much fun to have a house full of family.  The four nieces were just giddy to hunt Easter eggs.  Thankfully I made enough food for some leftovers - time for Easter part deax tonight!


This week we plan to get back to home remodeling work and put our lazy days behind us :)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Great Greige Debate

When J and I started looking for a new paint color for the main part of our house, we decided we loved the ‘Greige’ palette.  (view previous post here).

Greige is the new trend of beige and gray blends for a good neutral pallet for your home.  Pinterest searches of greige would keep me awake for hours because the options were limitless.  J and I were finally able to settle on a dark shade vs a light shade.  We had Silver Sateen by Behr (now discontinued) on the walls first and the color was too light, too blue, and too cold for us.

After a year we decided to repaint.  We had purchased multiple paint swatches from various paint dealers and settled on a beautiful shade – Fashion Gray by Behr.  In some light this color is a nice warm brown, in other is a soothing gray.  The perfect chameleon color for our home. 

But I don’t want that color in my bathrooms.

Which leads us to a lovely dilemma of Greige or not to Greige?  I was originally thinking a lovely tan would be nice.  NOPE!  No, no, no, no, no.  Every shade we loved in the store would be too yellow, too orange, too dark, too (fill in the blank with a complaint).  Now I’m back to looking at greige shades.  A few of the popular ones on Pinterest that we found to be WAY to light for our liking in the main part of the home (Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore, Perfect Greige by Sherwin Williams) may be the right shade for the bathrooms.  However, I love Behr.  Which means I need to find a similar shade in Behr paint.

After a little more searching, I came across a pin that lead to a website that has amazing comparisons that paired Revere Pewter up against Behr -The Hall Way Blog.
Main Living Area Paint Options

I'm thinking Sculptor Clay.  I can't wait to see what it will look like in the guest bathroom!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Now that the weather is starting to act like spring, it's hard to sit in an office on Monday morning.  I wish this weekend could be on repeat.

Friday we left for Bozeman to participate in a Marriage Enrichment weekend through our church.  It's a weekend full of lots of one on one time and some great conversation on how to keep your marriage strong, faith driven and long-term.  Nothing is better than a weekend away with my best friend and partner in crime :)  We had a BLAST!  Add in a bit of shopping and some really good food and this weekend made it into my top ten best weekends.  I didn't take any picture because I never even thought of it.  

BUT.........when we got home Sunday afternoon it was back to our regularly scheduled program.  House projects!!  (Ok - really, I cleaned and prepped for the week.  Justin did some house projects.)

The big project of this weekend?  Redoing the plumbing for the new tub.  I cannot wait to take a bath in the new tub!

Filling the tub up to test for leaks!

I can't say enough to describe how hard a worker my husband is.  Plumbing is like Greek to me and this guy was cutting pipes, running new connections, and doing all of this just so I could have a new bathtub.  I'm so grateful he loves projects like these.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

5 on Friday

The weather is getting warmer!!  Hallelujah!  Yard work is only a week away :)

Let's get started, shall we?

ONE
The bathroom is down to the studs.  I cannot tell you the number of times I've forgotten and walked in to use the toilet only to realize it's not there.  Seriously?  There's NO DOOR!  I'm sure it will click in my mind....eventually.

TWO
Speaking of the bathroom - I've finally picked a paint color and theme.  As soon as the plumbing is finished and the tub is set in it's new home, I can get to painting!  Can't wait to show you :)
Some of my inspiration:
Master Bathroom: beautiful stone bathroom
via Pinterest

THREE
We have an amazing weekend planned.  Date nights with the hubby are the very very best.

FOUR
I've had horrible allergies all week.  I was fortunate in NE to only take OTC allergy meds and never have to think twice.  Now?  I haven't found the magic mix except a Benedryl at night.  The poor hubby felt so bad for my coughing from all of the sinus drainage that he ran to the store at 11:30 at night to buy me cough syrup.  I was sound asleep when he got home.  I felt so bad the next morning when I woke up to that bottle on the nightstand.  He is such a great husband!

FIVE
J and I are hooked on Chrisley Knows Best.  Have you heard of this show?  It's the best!  You can find it on the USA Network.  I'm not even sure how to explain it - but southern expectations wrapped up in crazy.  


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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easy Dinner Option - Porcupine Meatballs

With home projects taking up all of our time in the evenings, I'm always looking for fast and filling meals.  I'm not a fan of most fast food or pizza and I'd rather make dinner as often as I can.  I have a few staple crockpot meals, but this is one of my favorite stove top meals.  You can mix and match the seasonings to suit your side dishes or your cravings.  This recipe came to me from my bestie, the first time I had them at her house I was hooked.   You can easily double the recipe to feed more - but 1 lb makes enough to feed us dinner and give J leftovers for lunch the next day.

Porcupine Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 cup water - divided in half
1/2 rice
1 can tomato sauce 
any seasonings of your choice
         **my favorites - chili flakes, chili powder, garlic, black pepper and a dash of soy sauce
                          Other options: steak seasoning and a dash of marinade
                          Garlic, black pepper, dash of Worcestershire sauce, celery salt


Mix your beef, 1/2 cup water, rice and seasoning in a bowl until blended.

Form into balls and place in a deep skillet.


Brown the meatballs using two spoons to keep their shape.

Mix tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water in a bowl and pour over the meatballs.  Lower heat to a simmer and cover for approx. 45 minutes.


Serve with any side dish!
Not the best photo, but they are SO good.



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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

40 Bags in 40 Days - Update


I've over shot my goal and donated/thrown away 26 bags.  And I'm not even done!  I have yet to get to the hall pantry closet and I have a pile of clothes I plan on sending off to Twice and ThredUP (amazing consignment websites online).

With the continued progress on the guest bathroom and half bathroom, it's easy to be distracted from my de-cluttering/downsizing goal.  However this weekend I plan on attacking the master bathroom and 1st hall closet.  Right now they are both a slightly organized, but overflowing, space.  Since we are removing the 1st hall closet to give the new tub space and adding in shelves in the bathroom, that closet needs to get empty fast.  That will really help my de-cluttering goal!  And since we are redecorating, I know I'll end up donating quite a few towels as we replace them with the new color scheme.

The master bathroom will really end up being a trash job.  I'm guilty of keeping all of the free samples I get and never using.  I really just need to sit down with a trash can and purge.  And since our bathroom will be remodeled last, I have no desire to purchase anything new to keep us organized.  Our shower area really needs a better storage solution than the current over-the-toilet shelf, but I cannot bring myself to spend money until I know what I want it to look like.  Anyone else have this predicament?

But all in all, it's so refreshing to look into two of the spaces we've already done and see the amazing progress.  We still have a ways to go with remodeling and future plans, but I couldn't be happier if I tried.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday was a good day :)  That evening we went to the Carroll College Saints Auction where I rocked the best three digit area code on my bid card.
 Justin is on the Athletic Association Board and had to work part of the event and while he was working I may or may not have bid on, and won, a trip.......

Saturday was more of the same around these parts.  Lots of projects with a bonus First Birthday party thrown in for good measure.  Sunday we ended up working on the few projects I talked about in the Guest Room Tour.  On one of our many trips to Home Depot we found a wall mount on sale and noticed the fan we liked was on sale as well.  Score!!



We also finished trimming out the half bath door and worked on getting the office door put up.
Half Bath
Office Door

And to clarify the paint color - here's a great comparison of the primed door with the new white going on.

White - Behr Snow Fall





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Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!  So grateful it's Friday, and this Friday I'm linking up with The Good Life, A. Liz Adventures, Carolina Charm, and Hello Happiness.  

ONE
It's a crafty afternoon!  My girl friend and I went shopping for supplies last week.  Can't wait to get started!


 TWO
Spring is really coming.  The weather has been in the low 50's and is suppose to hit the low 60's next week.  Spring is bringing out the happy in me!

THREE
We've finally made a decision on what windows we want and are working to schedule a time to get the first few replaced.  I can't wait to leave the windows open for the breeze.  No screens on our current windows have been making that difficult.

FOUR
We have a slightly busy weekend compared to our previous jam-packed weekends.  I'm so excited for a slight break.

FIVE
The Yellow bathtub is GONE!!   So many thanks to my hardworking husband.


THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Home Tour - Guest Bedroom

One of our most 'finished' rooms is our guest bedroom.  While we do have a 4 bedroom home, we designated only one room as a guest bedroom.  We are still in the process of replacing the windows, doors and trim but at this time, there is not much left for us to do.  One room down, 8 rooms to go!


The guest bedroom is where I do all of my ironing.  It's also where Justin stores most of his casual clothes.  Our master closet is a bit on the small side for two clothes-horses.  We still need to put up a ceiling fan and mount the TV on the wall to open up space on the dresser.  At this time only the cabinet in the dresser is being used, I've emptied out all of the drawers!  The hope chest and rocking chair were my mother's.  They are so special to me and I can't imagine them not being in our home.  I do apologize for the steamer still in plain view.  It's too tall to fit in the closet :(  And I use it often, so it's more practical sitting out.  But if we have a guest using the room - I roll it into the office!

*****Update 4/7/14******
We went to Home Depot over the weekend and luck was on our side.  We found the wall mount and ceiling fan we wanted on SALE!







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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Hunting We Will Go ~ Part 2


The first few homes we had asked the Realtor to show us were a big bust.  We had actually seen a home in the same neighborhood during an open house .  The neighborhood was total cookie cutter and the builder only had three floor plans.  Add in that it was so far outside of the city limits, they were crossed off our short list.

We had a few other homes to look at and at each it was just a disappointment.  One home we were really excited for ended up being a split-level entry.  We had no idea looking at the photos online or walking around the exterior of the home.  It was such a disappointment walking into the home and seeing our biggest negative.

I had actually lost hope on the basement-less home.  I even asked J if we could remove it from our search list.  However, the neighborhood had his interest peaked.  He grew up in Helena and the neighborhood was one he was familiar with and really loved.  It's an older, established neighborhood with great re-sell potential with only being two blocks from city limits, easy access to shopping and the interstate.  He convinced me to drive out one evening to drive around the home.

The exterior had us SOLD.
You can't see it, but it has two huge pine trees, beautiful landscaping and rock detailing we hadn't come across before.  The three car garage had J excited, as well as the matching shed in the back.  The very next day I sent our Realtor an email saying we wanted to see the home ASAP.  It had been on the market just at a month and we were nervous it would be purchased before we could see it.  So many homes that we liked were Under Contract when asked the listing agent or our Realtor to schedule a viewing.  With our fingers crossed we drove out to the home for our first walk through.

Oddly enough, the owner was at home the whole time we were there.  Besides that and the 80's decor and clutter, we could see the amazing potential this home offered.  The layout was just what I was looking for, and even without a basement, J was excited for all of the upgrades he could do.  We were shocked to hear that there had already been TWO offers on the home.  Both of which the homeowner rejected!  So we put our heads together with the Realtor and we came up with an offer that sealed the deal for us.  Just a little over a month later we moved in!

Side note - the day we saw the house was the day we got engaged.  And the day we moved in we had been married one month :)  It was a busy month for us!

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