Friday, June 24, 2016

Fan of Friday: Week of 6/24/2016

Have you ever been watching a replay of a livestream of three grown men playing a children's video game and thought to yourself, "Hey, those puzzles look fun!" No? Just me? Ok...

I've made my love of Mostly Walking known before, but when the guys played a Nancy Drew game, which I also love, I fell in love with something new: Nonogram puzzles.

A Nonogram puzzle is a number puzzle kind of like a Sudoku. You're given a square, empty grid with the goal to fill in the grid with black squares in the appropriate positions. You determine their position by assessing the number clues/guidelines presented around the edge. These numbers represent the number of black squares in a row, with a blank square in between.

I have an addictive personality. That has been well established. Fortunately, as I get older, I'm better at channeling it at 'healthier' things, not like finishing an entire family-size bag of potato chips in one sitting like I did as a teenager. This new addiction I consider 'healthy'. It's brain puzzle! I mean, playing for hours a night probably isn't 'healthy', but I'm getting so good at them!

The website I visit has six different levels of  difficulty, including a massive weekly 30 by 30 puzzle. It usually takes me two or three attempts before I can defeat it.

They are really fun, little puzzles once you get the hang of it. I highly recommend trying it out if you haven't before. {Sidenote: I don't know how feasible they are to play on a touch screen/without a mouse. They are much easier to play when you can mark 'blank' squares with a right-click.}

Monday, June 20, 2016

Project House Update: The List - Version 4.0

This has been a big year. One of our biggest so far. I realized how much I could push Dan and how much we could get done if we sadly used our vacation time on projects instead of trips. We're already setting up for a lot of progress next year, too. Some of these pictures are already outdated with progress. That's the beauty of having a million things happening at the same time: there's always something else to work on if you get bored.

If you'd like to go back and see what we've accomplished in previous years, click one of the older versions of this list below, otherwise, let's see what's changed!

June 2013: Version 1.0
June 2014: Version 2.0
June 2015: Version 3.0

* means something Dan wants to do and I am trying to talk him out of.
# means something I want and Dan is ignoring and hoping I'll forget/change my mind.
bold means something new or completed since the last version of the list.


Done: Painted, installed new light fixture, set up corner table, hung some art, modified closet, repainted and upgraded doorbell
To Do: New flooring, new baseboards, new light*, coat rack or console table.

Dining Room:

Done: Painted, hung curtains, installed recessed lighting and repainted, new chairs, hung some art and new shelving
To Do: Find a big statement art piece, new flooring, new baseboards, new light fixture, redo dresser into china cabinet

Formal Living Room:

Done: Hung curtain rod and curtains, hung ceiling fan, painted, upgraded light fixtures, tiled fireplace, bought lamp, new floors, arranged furniture and hung art
To Do: Make mantle for fireplace, new molding, build built-in bookcases, get fireplace working

Kitchen/Breakfast Nook:

Done: Painted, new ceiling fan in breakfast nook, removed awkward ceiling fan in kitchen, installed new microwave, purchased refrigerator
To Do: New floors, new cabinets, new range instead of built-in oven and cook top, new counter tops, additional lighting under cabinets, pendant lighting over the sink, new bar stools, finish painting chairs for breakfast nook, new windowsills in nook*, new sink.

Great Room:

Done: Painted, purchased entertainment center, hung art, hung TV, routed cables through the wall, new coffee table, added more seating, new ceiling fan*, hung star mirror.
To Do: New floors, new molding, maybe repaint a more subtle color#, widen doorway to entryway, add sofa table.

Master Bedroom:

Done: Painted, installed new ceiling fan, purchased dressers, new blinds blades, hung curtains, purchased bed frame
To Do: New floors, redo fireplace, install crown molding, new door (instead of stupid sliding pocket door)#, find side table for Dan, more lighting.

Master Bathroom/Closet:

Done: Replaced sliding glass door, removed and patched toilet paper holder, upgraded toilet room
To Do: Paint, new floors, new vanities, remove overhead dry wall pocket*, new mirrors, add wall sconces, french doors into closet, new shower*, new shelving and organization in closet, chandelier, twinkly lights around top, furniture (including a standing mirror and an island/ottoman)

Guest Room/Guest Bath/Guest Closet:

Done: Painted bookcase and end table, bought bedding, painted room, installed new ceiling fan, window treatments, magazine shelves, new end table
To Do: New floors, modify/new bed frame, new cabinets and counter top, new toilet, new shower doors, paint bathroom and closet.


Done: Paint, new lighting, hung art (1 and 2)
To do: New floors, add baseboards

Hall Bathroom:

Done: Hung some art, removed drywall and purchased tub, removed carpet and wall to create one space
To do: Penny floors!, paint, new toilet, update tub, new lighting, new cabinets and countertop*


Done: Hung art, new dresser, new window, new windowsill, new desk, new ceiling fan
To Do: Stain shelving, remove desk and install cabinets, built-in cat box, new window treatment, paint, new floors, new lighting.

Workout Room:

Done: New windows and window sills, wiring for ceiling fan, paint, ceiling fan, new lighting
To Do: new floors, new window treatment, base boards, paint closet sliding door frame

Laundry Room:

Done: Purchased washer and dryer, electrical work on lighting.
To Do: Paint, new floors, move sink into garage, build platform for washer/dryer, purchase deep freezer, straighten out crooked pantry, install some shelving, find bench and storage for shoes, new lighting.


Done: Built Turtle's habitat, removed pokey bush
To Do: Remove gravel, plant some trees, fire pit, build housing to hide pool pipes, convert exterior shower into a shed, replace outdoor lights


Done: Removed fountain, planted some trees, removed a ton of dead cactus, new porch lights
To Do: redo driveway, paint garage door, new driveway lights, paint pergola

Other things we've done: new roof, updated pool solar heating, adobe bricks sealed.

Other things in progress: built Dan's external shop (Part 1, 2, and 3)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Project House Update: Fan of a Fan

I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, but we've got ourselves a new ceiling fan in the den!

On the list of tasks for claiming the den as my own, I'll be the first to admit a new ceiling fan wasn't on it.

  1. Replace the window. Done!
  2. Remove the built-in desks
  3. Buy and install cabinets in place of the built-in desks
  4. Buy a floating desk. Done!
  5. *Newly added* Upgrade the ceiling fan. Done!
The ceiling fan in the den is kind of a long story. Before we started redoing the house, this was one of the handful of ceiling fans with a chain. A chain ran up the wall and across the ceiling, terminating at the fan. Is anyone really a fan (haha, pun intended) of that look?

Skip ahead to 2012 when we redid the roof. My husband, who is just so smart, had the foresight to hire an electrician to run the wiring for the fan under the new roof when the old one was being torn off. This would allow us to get rid of that dreaded wire. It only solved half of the problem, though. The hiccup was the issue of running the wire down through the wall. However, our recent destruction of the blue bathroom has opened up the wall and allowed for the electrician to finish it up. You know, four years later, but whatevs. 

With the wiring finished, it was time for me to pick out a fan. For anyone on the hunt for ceiling fans, I've had much better luck with Lowe's than with Home Depot. They have a wider variety. We found this little 48 inch gem and brought it home. With a Mid-Century Modern feel, it pairs well with our new desk.

It fits well in the room. The light canopy doesn't output as much light as I had hoped, but for a den, it's cozy. It wouldn't be well-suited for a large room that needed complete illumination, but for an office, it'll work fine.

We're making small, random baby steps toward a completed den. Maybe 'completed' isn't the right word. Better. We're making progress toward a better den.

The biggest difference is still yet to come: tearing out the old, terrible, built-in desks and replace them with cabinets and storage. Knowing us, it will take us another six months to agree on a plan and another year after that to execute, but that's ok. We've got plenty going on in the meantime. That's the joy of juggling about a half-dozen projects at once.It never gets boring.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Project House Update: Shop Details

When we last left the shop, the exterior had just been painted. The interior was a blank, clean 'Polar Bear' white, but the shop was a drywall box. This post describe the details that took it from a structure to Dan's shop.

At this point in the construction, the contractors were basically done with their work. Dan was on his own to wrap it up. Step one: coating the floor. Before anything was moved in, Dan needed to coat the floor. It took him several days of cleaning, rolling, and letting it cure. I have never smelled something that chemically before. Fortunately, Dan wore a respirator.

The shop floor is now coated in a special garage floor paint. It's so shiny and clean.

In the right light, you can see your own reflection in it.

With the floor done, the last step before Dan could move everything in is painting. Yes, the contractor and his team painted the whole structure white, but Dan wanted more than that. In the garage (the one built with the house, not this new shop), he painted a gray half-wall to hide dirt. It worked so well that he did it again in the new shop.

A laser level, some tape, and more patience than I have and he had painted the full shop.

And that was it. He peeled the plastic off the windows, removed any remaining tape, and moved in all of his stuff. He's got a lot of stuff, but I helped with that part. We got a bunch of people and made quick work of it. Especially since the garage is nice and clean now.

In the six months since then, he's been organizing. He's been buying shelves and containers and labeling things like crazy. It's still a hot mess, but it's the definition of a work in progress. He'll get there. However, this is his favorite part: going through everything he has and finding homes for them.

The shop will probably always be a work in progress. Someday it will get a lift and a loft and maybe a corner wood workshop. But it's done enough for Dan. This building was his dream and as much as I complain and whine about it, I'm so glad he has it. It makes him so happy

Monday, May 23, 2016

Project House Update: Odds and Ends

In preparation for my annual whole house update with "The List" of completed projects and ones still to be done, I wanted to do a grab-bag post of all the little things we've been up to.

While our dining room still needs a large, full-wall statement piece, I did frame and hang the two pieces of elephant art that Dan gave me, because he's the best husband ever. They occupy a great corner of the dining room so I can see them first thing when I get home.

In the opposite corner of the dining room now lives this beautiful bookshelf from World Market. Comparable Art Deco bookshelves cost thousands of dollars, so I had this one pinned on Pinterest for a while. When a store-wide 30% off sale happened and I saw it in person for the first time, I couldn't say no. I haven't styled it yet, but I've got lots of pretty bits to show off.

In other news, while the window in the den still isn't 100% complete, aesthetically, Dan did install the windowsill. It's the same style of marble that we used in the work-out room. Yay for uniformity! And once it's done being caulked and painted, it'll be so pretty.

In the den, there's also been developments with the ceiling fan. We've got a new one on order from Lowes. A beautiful mid-century modern one to go with our mid-century modern desk. It looks really terrible right now because the wiring is in a state of change. There used to be a chain, running up the wall and across the ceiling. However, updates in the bathroom have changed that...

In blue bathroom, all the dry wall is out! It's really creepy in there now, but we've made so much progress!

With all of the drywall removed, we finally have access to the wiring in the den. Back in 2012 when we had the roof redone, Dan ran wire under the new roof for the ceiling fan in the den. One end of that wire has been dangling from the den ceiling since. Now that the wall is open, the remainder of the work required to finish the wiring can be done!

Additionally, we have a new tub! It's in the shop, still wrapped up in all its packaging, but we've got it! It's a long story about how this tub came to find its home with us, but I'll tell you that when it's all installed and pretty.

And I still haven't written up a run-down of the finished shop yet, but we'll get there. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, but we'll get there. Eventually. I think.