Friday, July 12, 2013

Kitchen Update - or not.

I've been wanting to post pictures of the kitchen cabinets now that they are done (!!!!), but damn if it hasn't rained every day since June 20 (I'm not exaggerating!) and provided me with NO natural light to work with! My kitchen is already pretty dark thanks to being in the center of the house, and because we're not done updating the lighting situation anyway, that makes it even worse!

The next few days are supposed to be AWESOME, so I'm hoping for a few minutes in the late morning to grab some SUNNY pictures of the results!

So anyway, this is my un-update!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pinterest recipe: cleaning

So I'm sure you've all seen the pins on Pinterest and probably on some of your favorite blogs, about using regular household products to make "miracle" cleaners.

We're lucky (insert eye roll) enough to have well water at home, and even though we have a softener and shock our well with bleach every so often, we still have yellowish stains in our tubs, sinks, and around our faucets - so I'm always on the lookout for a better cleaning solution.

The one I've seen the most is blue Dawn (they all swear that the blue works best) and heated white vinegar.

I really hate the smell of vinegar, and don't normally use blue Dawn, but was intrigued, so figured I'd give it a shot sometime.

This past weekend I got a wild hair, and whipped up a batch following these directions:
  1. Heat 1/2 cup of white vinegar (I used Heinz Cleaning Vinegar that I came across at Walmart - I guess it's stronger than regular white vinegar) in the microwave for 90 seconds.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of Dawn detergent to a spray bottle and then add the warm/hot vinegar.
  3. Gently shake the bottle to mix.
I sprayed my master bath shower/tub combo until I - a. couldn't stand the vinegar smell and b. thought I'd gotten a good layer of BLUE on everything. I left it for an hour or so to sink in (other people have left for an hour and even longer).

I came back with high hopes, and with a scrubby brush, began to scrub the areas and then rinse. Unfortunately, it really made no difference.

This is my before AND after - nothing really changed!

Don't think I gave up and left it looking nasty like this - I used my trust Kaboom and Magic Eraser combination, and that did the trick.

Ah well, back to the drawing board, aka Pinterest!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pics of randomness.

And stuff.

Just a hodge-podge of what we've been up to over the past week, which unfortunately doesn't include finishing the kitchen.

Last night, I finally got Chuck to put up the last of the trim, and then found out the caulk we thought was new, was in fact, 10 years old. Oops. Hopefully we'll be finishing that up tonight and then this weekend I can put the finishing touches on the paint!Then we move on to the lighting... and then the backsplash... It never ends!

Anyway, so this past weekend we went to Cincinnati to visit some of my friends from high school, and on our way back Sunday morning, we stopped into Caesar Creek flea market and found a few miscellaneous things, to include some gorgeous blue mason jars:

Oh yes, all 4 of these puppies for $3.00. Nice.

And we harvested our first veggie from our garden - a HUGE zucchini! Can't wait to eat it!

Sunday afternoon was hot & humid, so we invited some friends over for some pool time - my first dip in the pool this season! And also our first time flying the pirate flag at the pool deck - good times ahead! :)

Pirate flag and an island girl... (Kenny anyone?)

You can see the awesome new deck stain here, too! 

 One last highlight of the week, at least for me (and the cats) has been the kickass cat tree I found at Costco (who knew?) for $68.00. I've never bought one before because they were so damn expensive, but figured for $68.00, it was worth it. The sucker is huge!

Chuck barely got it in the front door before 2 of the cats claimed their spots!

 (Sammie in the middle, Audi on the bottom)

We haven't decided where we want it to go permanently, so for now it's in the living room, backed up against the couch so they can leap from the couch to the middle tier. Only Sammie has made it to the top yet (it's kind of a big jump with not a whole lot of clearance below), but all 3 of the adore it.

And last but not least, I picked a few random flowers from the garden (some pink carnations, Stella D'Oro lilies, and some wild flowers) and enjoyed them for a few days in the kitchen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Upcoming project: Potting bench

Not that we don't have enough stuff going on right now with the kitchen cabinets, lighting, and eventual new backsplash, but Chuck dragged home this pile of wood from his family's old farm (it's old, old wood, and I'm sure it's lead paint on it... joy) and swears he can make me something cool from it.

What I've been wanting is a potting bench, kinda like this one from Ana White:

I think he has his work cut out for him, but hopefully in a few weeks I'll be writing a post all about it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New kitchen lighting

Well, at the time I'm writing this, we are 75% done with the kitchen cabinet painting ordeal that we started almost 3 weeks ago. We had some humid days that weren't right for painting in the garage, and plus we've had some days where we both came home from work and didn't leave the couch. Oh well.

What we did make some headway on is picking out some new lighting. We have 3 out of the 4 fixtures in our possession, and will hopefully get them installed in the next week or so.

Here's the situation.

We have can/recessed lighting over the sink and over the long row of cabinets/counter on the opposite side of the kitchen, then a totally nasty fluorescent light box thing in the center, and then a stupid looking way-too-close-to-the-ceiling light over our breakfast nook.

While we haven't found a track light we both agree on to replace the center thing, we're going for something like this (but we think we need 4-5 lights, and we'll install it running longways across the space):

 Or maybe this:

And to replace the 2 can lights above the fridge, I took a field trip down to Ikea (about 2 hrs away) and bought 2 of these:

And ALSO got it in the 15" size for over the breakfast nook table. I really love the industrial look to it and it's simplicity, but just hope that it doesn't clash too bad with the track light we eventually purchase!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer flowers & veggies

Just wanted to share a few pics I've taken of some of the flowers we have blooming around the yard right now.

 (Of course the sun went behind a cloud for this one!)

And this was actually taken a week or two ago, so 1. there are more on the vine now, and 2. I weeded. I promise.

But I love how small and scraggly the plant is (Roma tomato bush) and how large the tomatoes are already!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures in stain Part 2: Adirondack chairs

Back when we lived in the condo, we couldn't decide what sort of patio furniture to use on the small concrete slab we had out front. Chuck and his buddy got the idea to build themselves each a set of Adirondack chairs connected by a table in the middle. Unfortunately, I have no plans/instructions for this as it was done at his buddy's house when I wasn't around. Sorry! But anyway, what I do know is that it's made from cedar planks purchased at Menard's. You're welcome.

(keeping it classy with a Coors Light umbrella that may have come from Quaker Steak & Lube. Or not.)

Anyway, the chair served it's purpose well on the patio, and moved with us to the new house a few years later where it found itself out on our pool deck. Unfortunately, after a few years of being out in the weather, the cedar grayed and it got a little rough around the edges.

And then, we had a derecho (in case you're not in the Midwest where this term has become HOT over the past 2 years or so, a derecho is a straight line wind storm that can produce hurricane-force winds). And the 80+ mph wind gusts we got that day FLIPPED this heavy-ass chair over on the pool deck, and slammed it up against the deck railing. It also did this to our gazebo:

(listing pic)

Womp womp.

Anyway, so that being said, the Adirondack chair had seen better days and needed some help before pool season this year. So we dragged it to the garage (we actually balanced it on the back of our Gator!) and gave it a good powerwashing, leaving us with this:

Here's some of the damage from the storm:

 (sorry for the blurry iPhone pic!)

Anyway, Chuck took a planer (I think that's what this is called!) to these 2 spots to try to get some of the large chunks smooth, and then we went over it with both medium and smooth grit sandpaper with our Mouse sander (LOVE that thing!).

(after - MUCH better!)

We purchased Cabot semi-transparent deck & siding stain from Lowe's and had it tinted to "Burnt Hickory," a greenish-grayish color that we thought would compliment the red/cedar tone we stained the pool deck (and also matched the pillows I already have - but of course, forgot to pull out for the after shot).

We busted out the BIL's paint sprayer (hoping he never asks for this thing back - it's AWESOME - it's a Graco Magnum X5 airless paint sprayer from Home Depot) and gave it 1 good coat (2 in some spots if it was thin), using cheap paint brushes to backbrush any splatters or heavy areas.

It covered really well, without completely taking away from the grain of the wood, and it masked the light (damaged) areas where we sanded the hell out of it, so they blend in perfectly.

And what we didn't realize, is that we picked a color that matches the patio furniture we already had!

Linking up!