Monday, August 29, 2016

Derrick's Choice

Derrick doesn't have too much of an opinion on what I do around the house. He typically lets me do whatever I want and is happy with how it turns out. I always try to ask him though, just in case. In the case of the kitchen chairs Derrick actually did have an opinion!

Derrick liked the coral so coral it was! I painted the two remaining chairs and left the one blue just to see if I liked the mis-matched look. Alison and I called it the libero. I actually kind of liked the libero look but I really didn't want it looking to busy or artsy-crafty and it felt that way a little bit to me so the libero is now outside matching its friends and drying in the sun.

The other three are in the driveway after getting coated with a few coats of polyurethane. Thank goodness for spray poly making that job so much quicker and easier with all of those spindles.

I had a near miss earlier today when I almost forgot they were in the driveway.....oops! Luckily I remembered just in time.

I am loving the pop of color and the freshness they bring to this side of the kitchen. It's making me want to refinish that kitchen table though. One thing always leads to another!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Kitchen Chairs--I need your help!

I'm clearly shameless when it comes to taking hand-me downs and free furniture though I try to limit it to things we will actually use in our house. Both of our guest beds were from friends that didn't have space for them, my desk was bought off a friend, and our living room couch and dining room set were from family. When our friends, Rebecca and Michael, moved into their apartment, they offered us their kitchen chairs before they took them to Goodwill. Our old kitchen chairs are awesome but they've started to break and the cloth just wasn't super durable. I think they'll need to see an upholsterer at some point but I was happy to take these off of Michael and Rebecca's hands for a more durable option for the time being.

They were a little worn so it's always been my plan to paint them.

Originally I was thinking I'd go all yellow but recently I thought I'd try the dipped look. I was planning on yellow until I went to Lowes today and switched it up. I started with a primer/paint in one spray paint. There was no way I was hand painting all those spindles. I didn't sand before hand and I may regret that but I'm not going for perfection here. These chairs are going to get used and I don't want people worried about dinging them up. It happens.

Here is where I need your help! Blue??

Or Coral? Dang...this didn't photograph well. It's a deep color but this is looking red in this picture.

And do you even like the paint treatment? Maybe it's just a bad idea... what do you think? It seems I'm always drawn to blue but I'm a little worried this looks way to matchy-matchy with the curtains...or maybe it looks intentional?

We also have the blue bar stools which are basically the same blue color. Man....the coral doesn't photograph well...

I could also have two of each which could be super fun! I don't know, I need your help!

Ok..hit me! What do you think? I've got two more chairs that have already been sprayed white and are just waiting for a decision.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dressing up the Dresser

I painted the dresser in our foyer a couple months ago. I have really liked the black but I have not been a fan of the valspar chalk paint.  If I try chalk paint again I'll spend a little more on the Annie Sloan stuff because the Valspar was very hard to work with and is still chippy 3 months later.

I was imagining super long handles but the pricing on those things were crazy. The cheapest I could find for the length that I liked was almost $20 per handle which would have been 80 bucks for knobs! When I was at target yesterday I found these perfect gold knobs for $7.99 per pack of two which put the knobs at a total of $32. Way better!

Then came the scary part! I had to figure out how to make 8 knobs be perfectly spaced and level on four different drawers. I made a template by figuring out how far from each edge I wanted each knob to be and finding the center point of that measurement. Then I took the measurement of the height of the drawer and made a hole where those two lines met.

I put painters tape across the middle of each drawer so I could see my marks and also so the holes would drill more cleanly. Then I just matched my template to the bottom corner of each drawer and marked my hole. I flipped my template for the left versus the right side so the knobs were spaced the same from each outside edge.

I was totally winging this! I'd seen templates for cabinet doors but I couldn't find a template for dresser drawers so I just crossed my fingers that the end result would be right. I did check my dots with a level before drilling the holes so I would at least know they'd be level from side to side.

The stupid paint!! I pulled off my painters tape and it took large chips of paint with it. So frustrating!

The only bright spot about this paint is that it touches up well. You can still see it a little in this picture below but now that it's dry you can't see the touch up spots at all. The paint is so streaky though! I'm going to poly it so I don't have to worry about anymore chipping or worry about tip toeing around it when we put things on it.

Here it is with all the knobs in place! My template worked and I am super happy with the results. It dressed it up so much and finally made it look finished. A coat of poly and we're calling this one done!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Come back Rio!!!

Is anyone else totally depressed the Olympics are over? Also, why in the world is there not more coverage? If it was up to me, every single channel should be all Olympics all the time for those two straight weeks. Why is it only on about 4 channels???

Derrick and I really enjoyed the beach volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, track and field, and of course the equestrian. We also learned a little bit about the fencing and handball. We've decided my best shot at making the Olympics would be the modern pentathalon so training starts today! Tokyo here I come!

Friday, August 19, 2016

New Kitchen Bling

When we bought our house, the kitchen faucet came up in the inspection report as having issues. The handle was loose and would occasionally cause an odd side spray. We had the sellers tighten it up for us and we put it on the list for future replacement. 

Recently the handle really loosened up again and it was hard to turn the sink completely off so it was left dripping more often than not. Rather then fix it again we decided to go ahead and replace it with something that wasn't broken but that also had a bit more style then the basic builder grade we had.

I was ready! I watched several youtube videos and read several tutorials on how to replace a faucet. Easy as pie...anyone can do it! I cleared out under the sink and got to work.

Then I panicked. Water started coming out where I didn't think it should and I was worried I would snap a pipe trying to loosen one of the bolts. I shut the water off and called in a plumber. He came out, laughed at me, and had it done in about 30 minutes.

The new faucet is large and in charge! It makes a big difference and turns off like a dream. The head of the nozzle pulls down to become a sprayer so we plugged up the extra hole in the granite to the right. We're planning on installing an instant hot water spout there in the near future. Instant oatmeal and hot chocolate! So fancy!

The head switches between a normal flow and a shower flow...but it even has a button that makes the water pressure better. I don't know exactly why that is important but it's a cool feature I guess. The head is also magnetic so it pops right into place when you're done using the sprayer function. It's the little things!

Thanks for all of the support, messages, cards, flowers, and texts over the last week. It was a tough week but we're doing really well and feeling so much love! Derrick's taken the end of the week off to stay at home and regroup and it's been nice to have him home during the day. It was bittersweet with the sweet being able to spend a lot of time with his family, hang out with Joel for a week, and meet new baby Jesse earlier than expected. I'm glad to be back to the blog and settling back into normal again.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Moment of Silence

Derrick's dad passed away this week.

Derrick is working with his siblings to handle his affairs, plan a service, and tie up any loose ends that need to be taken care of.

It makes my kitchen faucet update feel pretty trivial so I'll be having a few days of silence on the blog until after his service sometime next week.

Thanks for your thoughts. Derrick's got a great family, great friends, and great support and we're both so appreciative.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Wicked Good Time in Bahston

We finally made it to the Boston area! Our friends Claire and Travis tragically (only tragic because we miss them) moved away almost two years ago and this past weekend was the first time we were able to get up north to see them. It was worth the wait...we had the best time and were reminded how much we miss seeing them on an almost daily basis. 

We flew in late Thursday night and stayed through Monday morning so it was a nice long weekend with three full days. Claire and Travis had it all planned out for us and we took advantage of every minute we were there. 

On day one we headed into Gloucester and Rockport. I had to google how to spell Gloucester again because it's pronounced Glooooooster or something like that. 

There was a street festival going on in downtown Gloucester so we walked the booths, bought a few things, and held a snake. 

You read that right! I held a boa constrictor and it was terrifyingly awesome. I saw them passing her around and wanted to hold her but as he was putting her around my neck I started having second thoughts. She was gripping my foot when I handed her back and I had to twist my foot away from her to get out of her grip. 

We had a delicious lunch at a deli while we were in town and then headed to Rockport. It's a little coastal town with the most adorable downtown. The parking is a little crazy in the small downtown area so they have a $1 trolley service that shuttles you in. We had the trolley to ourselves on the way in. 

Rockport was so cute! We checked out a little beach that was super crowded and put our feet in the water. Freezing by the way.

The coastline was so pretty and we sat on the rocks watching the boats for a while. Then it turned into us not being able to leave because there were some stranded boaters duck calling for a ride. We were sucked into watching their drama. Good thing it was a nice day. 

Don't forget this is a vacation with the Marceys so of course we snuck in an escape room on our first day there. There was a local place about 20 minutes from their house and we were able to snag the last room of the night. It was Claire and Travis' first room and we escaped with about 4 minutes to spare.

Day two was Boston day. We caught the train into the city and, surprise, surprise, we did not one, but two more escape rooms! We were only scheduled for one but we noticed there was an un-booked slot right after our first room and decided last minute to go again. Travis and Claire are officially hooked! We escaped both rooms. Trapology has some really well done rooms...if you're in the area we definitely recommend it!

A good waiting room sets the scene for a good escape room.

The escape room was followed by lunch and a walking tour of the garden and the city before we hopped on a duck tour.

I loved this view of the super old church next to the super modern sky scraper.

We caught a duck boat tour for the second half of the day. It was the perfect way to see the city and get some history. The fact that they drive from land into the water is pretty cool too. 

To make it even better, after the 7 year old had his chance, I got a chance to drive the duck boat on the water!

Day three was a full day on the relaxation station. Seriously, that's the name of their massive raft that we floated down the river on. The temperature was perfect and there was the perfect sun vs cloud cover ratio to keep both Derrick and I in our comfort zones. I could only snap pictures of our starting point or else risk losing my phone in the river.

We spent almost 5 hours just lazily floating down this river, eating sandwiches and snacks, drinking cider, and generally relaxing the day away. It was magical.

We were so sad to leave. Claire and Travis are such good friends and amazing hosts. We'll probably get to see them in October so it's not goodbye for long but it's definitely a bitter-sweet reminder of how it used to be hanging out with them everyday. The olympic gods must have known I was feeling sad because the cross country portion of the Olympic equestrian was on my personal TV the whole way home. It was quite the happy surprise!