Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Want to See Something Annoying?

Can you tell what it is?


They're both Whirlpool. They're both stainless steel. I bought them both at the same time. 

One has a clock that's blue. The other has a clock that's green. Maybe I'm the only person that's driven crazy by things like this, but I don't think so! How did the microwave clock guy not talk to the stove clock guy? 

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Big Before & After Post (Part 4: The Basement)

Edited to add: The link to the supply list

We've finally made it to the last of the before & afters. These are of my basement which I know I haven't really shown you yet. Well get excited to see the whole thing! 

Here is the door to the basement. It's in the kitchen next to the stove. This door goes out to the side of the house right by the gate in the fence. There wasn't a lot I could do to spice up this space:
I used the extra paint from my breakfast room and added a shelf for my coats, dog leashes, keys, etc.
 Here's a close up. The yellow cup holds extra keys. The picture is kind of cute. It's a person walking with a dog, a cat, and a duck. I like that it has a dog and a cat. I have no plans to get a duck though! 

This is on the way down the stairs. This man is my home inspector. The unfinished railing was added before the house was actually mine. I have an FHA loan on my house. Those come with funky restrictions and one of them was that this stairway needed a railing before they would approve the loan. It's risky to put money into a house that you might not get! Fortunately, aside from the railing I just had to paint some peeling paint on the outside of the house and my dad had to board up the broken basement window
 There are so many crazy ceiling angles that it was hard to figure out what to pain what color. I'm still not sure what to do with the breaker box. Leave it grey? Paint it white? Paint it the wall color? Aside from painting the walls I also sanded the railing and painted it white:

Before the railing. The walls down here were filthy too and the windows were thin and original to the house:
 Here it is with new paint, a railing, and a new window. I replaced all of the basement windows (fortunately all of the windows elsewhere in the house are new):

Here is the bottom of the stairs. There's 100 different ceiling heights and a closet for the washer and dryer:
I just repainted everything with a semi-gloss paint that wouldn't show as many marks:
Here's the washer and dryer. Just in case you really needed to see it! My dad built a platform underneath them that I painted white:

Here is the basement the day I met the house (and my mom). This room really didn't need any work. Just new paint and a lot of the light bulbs were burnt out:
Here it is after. This rug I've had for 3 "houses" now. My old TV and TV stand moved down here, my end table is down here while the Christmas tree is upstairs, and my love seat that wouldn't fit upstairs is here too. The shelves have also been with me for 3 houses. The basement is just waiting for me to get a new couch so mine can move down there. It has a couch bed in it. I think it'll be a good extra "guest room" down there with the bathroom so close.
 As far as improvements I've repainted and changed light bulbs:

Here is the other side of the room. That window has been replaced and the closet my mom is peeking into has been insulated:

The barstools are just waiting for a high top table:

I know this post is more of a tour than a before & after... Oh well. Good thing it's my blog! 
Here is what's behind door number 1. Unfinished basement:

I wash my paint brushes out in here, keep my paint and supplies, and my bike lives down here during the winter:
There's also something that makes me really sad. A foreclosure means someone had to lose their house for you to be able to get it. I'm so glad to have gotten the house but this makes me think of the family that came before me and the little girl who had the pink princess bedroom: 
Sad huh? I won't paint over it because their memories matter to me for some reason.

Here is what is behind door number 2. The second bathroom. This is the before:

This is the "after." I'm not sure how I feel about the wall color. It might be too light. This bathroom had to be ripped apart. It's almost whole again. I have to learn how to lay floor tile. Maybe you can spy where:

This is what we saw when we walked through the house. My dad wasn't sure what to expect (since he gets to fix everything!). Because it was a foreclosure the water was off to the house (which is why there was blue tape over all of the faucets in most pictures). It wasn't until the inspection that "we" found leaky pipes. Even so, my dad said he'd have to take out the toilet to see why the tile was buckled. 
This is what I lived with for a year and a half. The drain was installed wrong to the shower. The water was coming up underneath the tile because of that. The family that lived here before me was only using this bathroom because there was also something wrong with the bathtub drain upstairs that caused it to pour all over the basement floor when it drained. These people's version of carpentry and plumbing certainly was amusing!
This is what I'm living with now. Everything is fixed and this is the tile I have left. I laid it out like a puzzle and probably have some tiles in the wrong place. This tile isn't made anymore. I don't want to rip up the whole floor, so I'm procrastinating on figuring out what to do and using the bathroom like this for now:

This is another before:
Here is how I'm keeping things organized in there now:

There you have it! A complete tour and before & after of my house! It's been a great 2 years! I still have several projects left to do, but have made some major improvements so far!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Big Before & After Post (Part 3: The Second Floor)

Edited to add: The link to the supply list

Part 3: The Second Floor is here! Looking at these pictures makes me feel such a sense of accomplishment! 

This is my bedroom before. It's 12'x12' and the 2 extra feet mean that my queen bed moved up here vs. to the first floor bedroom. When I bought the house the walls were dirty yellow and the carpet was brown indoor/outdoor scratchy stuff:
Here it is now. I have light green on the walls and am thinking about painting the light green white. I think the room would look really cool with white floors, white walls, and mostly white bedding. White walls would also give me more options to change out the colors elsewhere in the room. Back to the room's current state thought...
I have hung curtains, painted the walls, ripped up the carpet, and painted the floors:

My dad moved the light switch from one side of the room to the other and turned the switch into a plug for the TV. I love dads! 

The kitchen redo, the floor redo, and the window seat removal are some of my favorite home changing projects! once the window seat was ripped out, new trim was added along the floor to match the rest as well as along the bottom of the window. I also added a full length mirror (the ceiling was too low to put it anywhere else), new light-blocking blinds that the cat can't manage to break, and a fan that really helps with the room temp. during the summer:

Two steps across the hall is my "office." I don't do much paperwork, but if I want to it's there! I got rid of the castle and wall color, repainted (this is the same color as the bathroom so you can get a better idea of the shade), and of course re-did the floors!

If you walk away from this blog with only one thing learned it should be that paint can make a major difference! Stay tuned. The fourth and final before & after post is coming soon! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Quick Tip: How to Shred Chicken FAST

Again, not the most interesting topic in the world... But shredding chicken is a pain. Sitting there ripping apart chicken with forks or your fingers takes about thirty minutes to get two cups. I have several recipes that I love to make, but I don't make them as often because I hate to shred chicken!

Guess what I discovered.

-Start with defrosted boneless, skinless, chicken breast. 

-Toss them in the microwave for about 8-10 minutes for a pound of chicken to cook it quickly:
(looks gross huh?)

Now comes the fun part:
-Toss it in the bowl of your mixer (I have a Kitchen Aid. I have no idea if other mixers will do this as well. Sorry!).
-Use the flat beater to shred your chicken

-Turn it on. 
I like to lock it (on the right side) because the beater might move up in the beginning. 

-One minute later you have shredded chicken! One minute! I've lost hours of my life shredding chicken for no reason! 

This concludes today's quick tip. Enjoy!

The Big Before & After Post (Part 2: The First Floor)

Edited to add: The link to the supply list

Have you been dying for part 2 of my before and after house tour? I thought so! Let's get to it!

In the last post I showed you the outside of my house and the progress I've made on the stairs and living room. In this post I'll show you the rest of my first floor.

Here is the view from my dining room into the living room on the day I met my house.
Here it is now. I've replaced the light fixture and painted the walls and the stripes

Here is the view as you walk into the dining room from the living room:
Here it is now. The gold knobs are now silver and my tree pictures live in here.

Here is a view of the dining room coming from the kitchen:
So much better huh?!

I love the room too much to leave it without one more before & after picture:

Here is my bathroom. Have  I ever showed you this? I have lots of things I'd still like to do. I'd love a big tub and have the room for it. I also need to do something about the window. It lets so much freezing air in during the winter that it's like being in a hot tub while it's snowing outside! I also want to replace the horrible medicine cabinet with two mirrors. I am also thinking about painting the vanity. Probably black. Otherwise white. I'm not sure, so I'll wait!
So far I've replaced the shower curtain rod and added hardware to the cabinets. Oh, and I've painted and caulked like crazy. The color looks really obnoxious in this picture. It's actually a soothing greyish blue. I am thinking about painting the whole thing light grey though. 

Here is the view I have when I'm laying in the tub:
The toilet has been replaced and the doorknobs have been replaced. All of the pictures on the wall are of bubbles, water, and other bath related things. It's a bathroom though. Not much else to show! It's strange to have double sinks in a main floor bathroom. It seems like it should be a master bath. Because of this I almost took up residence in the first floor bedroom.

Speaking of the first floor bedroom... This is it. This is where I slept my first night at the house while I worked on my white floors. It's 10'x10' so it's a little small. The two extra feet in my tiny upstairs bedroom make a big difference. I did my planning for new furniture thing in here and realized I wouldn't be able to fit my bed in the room and walk. 
Instead I put my old bed in here and my old curtains. I framed some scrapbook paper and used my standard big pillows again in here. The whole room cost me $90. The window straight ahead is inside of the screened porch.

This is the other side of the room. You can see the hall and the stairs outside of the door. To the right after leaving the room is a linen closet and the bathroom. 
I bought this dresser and nightstand at a garage sale.

This isn't a before & after. I just wanted to show the layout of the first floor, since I haven't really. Here you can see how the kitchen, dining, hallway, guest room, bathroom, and living room link. the door that's closed is the coat closet.

Here is the kitchen. You've seen this before & after before, but I'll refresh your memory! Here is the before with the peel and stick tile, hood fan, and peach blinds:
Here's the after. Cabinets moved over, microwave above the new stove, hardware on the cabinets, and a pantry cabinet added.

Here's another before of the dirty walls and lack of appliances:
This room still makes me so happy! Here is the breakfast room and kitchen after with new paint and appliances:

Here are the peach blinds again:
I really do need blinds but hate the way they look. For now here is the breakfast room with bright new paint and fun tree curtains (oh and my bright white deck railings):

Now you've seen a before & after of my first floor. It's come a long way! The kitchen is one of the top contenders for "most improved" room! Stay tuned... Upstairs is next!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...