Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Holly Jolly March

Tomorrow is the last day of March and I have a shameful secret to spill.

We recently broke a Bigger, Better, Best family record. Our Christmas lights are still up.

(Source) Bottoms up, St. Nick!
This was a problem last year, too.

It seems we are destined to be total hoosiers (that's hoosiers in the Missouri sense of the word, not the Indiana one), lacking only a one-eyed dog and a bad perm.

Both Hubs and I fully acknowledge our redneck tendencies. Cans of High Life spill out of our recycling bin, a good majority of the "nice things" I bought before age 20 came from a Crackerbarrel gift shop and we own a blow-up pool for Pete's sake. Still, I was shocked when Hubs mentioned that he's not itching to go outside and take them down. In fact, he's suggested leaving them up for next year.

I see his point. They won us $25 this past Christmas, so why mess with a good thing?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Can I get an amen?

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Can I get an amen?

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Can I get an amen?

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We are 99% done, which in my book is as good as done. Some plastic we bought to cover some lights isn't the right size, but that's an easy fix.

Stay tuned for all the before and afters!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Basement Boogie: 96 hours or bust

If you follow me on The Twitter, you may have noticed that my posts as of late are few and far between, desperate chokes for above-ground air. That's because I've instituted a take-no-prisoners approach to killing this basement reno by my birthday.

Which. Is Monday. 96 hours from now.

Yes, I'll be spending my final hours of my mid-20s hopped up on Mocha Frappucinos,  covered in dust and paint, laying floor and touching up trim.

I'm manic about finishing. Example: I met Hubs at home over lunch today to paint trim and hang doors. By doing this for three days this week, we squeezed in an extra three (wo)man hours.

Here's the big weekend to-do list, in no special order, save the last step:
  • Finish touch-up mudding on a weird ceiling section
  • Paint touch ups on ceiling
  • Touch up paint around fireplace
  • Grout tile back splash on bar
  • Hoe the floors to remove chunks of mud we let sit for too long
  • Vapor barrier the floor
  • Final coat of paint on stair treads
  • Buy a TV
  • Hang TV
  • Electrical inspection
  • Building inspection
  • Paint laundry room door
  • Hang laundry room door
  • Trim all windows
  • Trim shelves
  • Put door handles on
  • Hang doors
  • Make bar top
  • Stain bar top
  • Trim bar top
  • Epoxy bar top
  • Seal counter top
  • Finish outlet covers
  • Finish painting trim
  • Paint laundry room again
  • Paint laundry room ceiling
  • Move out trash
  • Paint laundry room floor
  • Spray paint bar stool wood
  • Add second handrail
  • Lay floor
  • Lay trim
  • Putty trim
  • Touch up trim
  • Move back in
  • Beer. Me. Bitches.
Wish me luck. I'll see you kids on the other side.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Basement Boogie: Surprise

This weekend, we busted our buns to get the whole basement painted. We had bought the paint during a big sale back in January and in our heads, we were going for a soft blue, a golden accent wall and a warm brown bar. It'd look very classic.

What we saw when we started rolling on paint was NOT what we remembered. A bold turquoise, what Hubs deemed "Kidney Failure Yellow" and a warm brown bar.

I don't know what happened. Either I was wasted the Sunday morning we went to buy paint or the Home Depot employers pulled an elaborate hoax, resulting in me owning seven gallons of fugly paint.

Thanks to extreme exhaustion, I was unable to hyperventilate and we rolled on a second coat. The second coat toned down the turquoise to a more calming level, but the yellow over the fireplace was horrible. Hubs suggested we try putting the brown over the fireplace since it was the one color we actually remembered buying and with the brown bar on the opposite side of the room from the fireplace, it might help balance things.

Here's what we have right now. I'm going to put some white trim up about four inches in on all sides of the top of the fireplace so it isn't such a stark difference. 

Frankly, I love the colors now and I got a full eight hours of sleep last night, so I can really trust this color love. I know people usually use terms like "spa-like" for bathrooms, but this basement is totally spa-like and aside from the tiny basement windows, not basement-y at all.

It says, "Hey, I know it's a little awkward that I'm not beige and my walls aren't covered with sports memorabilia, but dude, this ain't no man cave. I'm a basement and I look good. Hey, everybody! Come see how good-looking I am!"

Yep. My basement is Zoolander.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Basement Boogie: Beans have been spilled

We put in these built-ins a few weeks ago, but I just realized I forgot to show them off!

They are just 1/2 inch plywood, but we're going to trim them out with hardwood. That way, no one will ever need to know my cheap dark secret (like what I did there?).

The bottom half will get doors eventually and they'll be painted white, like all the trim in the room.

Why'd we do these?

Because there is a duct that runs in the six inches or so above them and frankly, building a soffit is a lot of work. Another secret, just between you and me, right?

P.S. Happy St. Paddy's Day, y'all! I'm all revved up and ready to hit the parade downtown, but tonight I'll be pulling my usual I-hate-St.-Pat's-crowds routine and heading off to a bar without a tent party. Fact: I'm not old, I've been anti-tent party since I turned 21. There's just nothing fun about throngs of morons and flimsy plastic cups of bad beer. You can find me in a luxurious booth at any old bar, enjoying a cool and foamy Murphy's, like a good Irish girl oughta.

P.P.S. We're curing our concrete countertop right now and once we've got it in place, Hubs promised to write up a little step-by-step how-to for you guys. It's going to look awesome.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Basement Boogie: A plague on our house

We are DIY soldiers of the toughest variety. 

Despite a terrible tango with a flu bug, Hubs and I preserved this past weekend.

Exhibit One: Stair refacing

Behold, a butt-ugly before:
And an appealing after:
 Hubs gave new life to our beat-up, lino-riddled stairs in an afternoon. Ten points for Hubs!

Exhibit Two: Window boxes

We needed to frame out the window indents so they would look finished and polished. Because drywalling sucks  wasn't what we had in mind, we decided to go for a wooden box that we'll paint white in a few days (joyous squeal for painting!).

The super-before:
The semi-before:
The before:
The semi-after:
 Already on the road to greatness, people! (Also, do NOT mind the gap - we'll be slapping some quarter-round on that after we paint.)
So, that's how we roll when we feel horrible and only want to drink some grape Kool Aid and drift off into a nap to the soothing sounds of Bob Barker, but cannot for many reasons. Among them: that Drew Carey has taken over the Price is Right and  is frankly running it into the ground; that it was a Sunday and even with thousands of channels, PiR isn't on on weekends; that we had no grape Kool-Aid; that we want nothing more than to be painting by this weekend.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We have light!

Hubs and I try out our DIY electrical for the first time. Pardon the potty mouth.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some assembly required

We've entered (maybe prematurely) the single best part of this basement reno - the decorating part. With the drywall sanded, we're really heading toward the end of this horrible educational journey.

Late last night, our living room looked like this:
No apologies for this crap-tastic cell phone photo. But, in case you can't tell - there are a boatload of boxes in our tiny living room.

Inside those giant boxes are: two accent chairs and one amazing sleeper sofa. All of which were under budget and of which only one lonely chair is currently assembled. Because it's kind of hard to enjoy a High Life Light and watch Teen Mom 2 and put together a couch and keep cats from playing with all the screws.

Once we've got them all up, I promise to take a better picture.

The couch will snuggle up by the basement fireplace and the accent chairs will be in the other room, for weary fooseballers in between bouts (matches? games? rounds? innings? I'm not even sporty enough to know fooseball terminology).

Arriving April 2 is our one and only budget-busting furniture buy: a rocker recliner. Now, before you get all sweaty and nervous that you've wasted days/weeks/months following a blogger who only now is showing her true bad-taste, calm down.

That's it. That's my girl. Isn't she pretty? The couch we bought is one solid color, so we figured a bolder side chair will give the room a little hubba hubba. A little va va voom. A little oo la la. 

Love 'em or hate 'em, you've got to admit that this doesn't look like your grandpappy's easy chair. 

Any guesses on what styles are lurking in those boxes? Any violent feelings in either direction about my darling little rocking chair? Let 'er rip!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

OD on Overstock

I am not a shopper with patience. I like zipping in, getting exactly what I need and then zipping out. No dilly-dallying, no hunting through racks and racks of junk, no sale-hopping - just efficient purchasing. 

I see all you guys with your amazingly cheap designer dresses and super adorable thrift store finds and yes, I get a little jealous. But not jealous enough to actually shop like you. 

For me, the best part of shopping is going out to lunch.

Anyway, my aversion to real-life deal hunting has led to a greater problem. I'm addicted to (Which, for the record, I would have never thought possible. Those "O" commercials of years past had me cringing just like the rest of you.) 

And I mean addicted. I browse it during lunch breaks, I flip through it on my phone during commercials of Teen Mom 2, I scroll its bountiful inventory every chance I get.

Overstock is like TJ Maxx in that it has everything and all that stuff is really cheap. Unlike the brick and mortar deal houses, though, I can plug in exactly what I need and be done. I realize this has been the case since the advent of online shopping, but I'm just now catching up.

Here's my latest find:

Sorry for the bad lighting and rumpled bed. Phone camera + hyper cats makes for ugly pictures, but you get where I'm going with this.

Yep. We went floor-to-ceiling for our new curtains! It's a pretty dramatic shift (and we rearranged the furniture since last week for a mini-makeover) from our cheap blinds, but I love it! 

What's your favorite spot for online deals? 
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