Friday, April 22, 2011

Before and Almost After: Kitchen and Dining Room

DISCLAIMER: The title "Before and Almost After" is very important here. We are nowhere near done yet, but I'm going to show you what you'd see if you showed up at our door today. (You can click on any picture to make it bigger)

A little reminder of what the kitchen and dining room looked like on the day of our closing:

Alright, Alright, Alright

I was pretty much set on abandoning the blog. Between work, getting my masters and trying to move I've been very busy. It's just so much easier not to blog!!

But... I have had MANY requests to update. I had no idea anyone other than my immediate family, Jaclyn and Angela actually read it. So I suppose that I can give you some updates, being that I'm on spring break from school this week.

1. We moved in to the new house. I didn't take a single picture the entire day, but Lauren did so I'll have to see if I can get my hands on them.

2. We had duct work installed with forced air heat and central air. It's an ongoing process, but we've already seen MAJOR improvements on our electric bills.

3. We've built a lot of Ikea furniture and slightly decorated.

4. I have a pretty serious "closet" that you absolutely NEED to see.

5. We still have A LOT to do. The downstairs bathroom is still gutted (Bill just got back to work pulling up the tile floor), we don't have any molding throughout the entire downstairs, the sun porch looks like a storage unit, the doors and molding around them need to be painted, and our bedroom is mayhem (other than our delightful new bedspread).

I will leave you with this picture that I took the other day (from the couch) that made me feel a little bit better about how far we've come.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'd Like to Thank the Little People...

Worst Blogger Ever Award goes to me!  Truth is, not much has been done since my last post. We have really cut back on working on the house during the week. The electric company replaced our meter (the old one was 26 years old), but the heaters still appear to be sucking electric.

We did manage to finish the kitchen though! The microwave was installed on Saturday- which finished off the major work.

Let me remind you of the kitchen the way it was...

We had a laundry list of things to do that included:

Peel Wallpaper
Paint Walls
Paint Cabinets
Change Hardware
Replace Appliances (Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Stove, Microwave)
Replace Molding
Tile Backsplash
Remove Heater from behind fridge
Paint Door
Change Lighting
Change Faucet
Update Electrical Outlets

As you can see, we have accomplished a lot! But there's still a few things left to do, that will probably have to wait until we move in.

So without further ado, I present to you our (mostly) finished kitchen!!

You can see the unpainted door and little crawl through to the bathroom to the left of the dishwasher. You can also see where the molding needs to be replaced behind the fridge.

I think it needs a rug or something to cover up the floor. We don't plan on redoing that part until we tear out those cabinets. Other than that, I'm in love!

What do you think?!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bubye Birdies: Bathroom Renovation Part 1

Making fun of the wild things you see in houses while on the hunt is fun... until they belong to you. I remember the first time I saw these love herons like it was just yesterday...

We were caught off guard the first time we laid eyes on the hand painted love birds we saw the first time through the house. Seemed like an easy fix- we'd tear down the wallpaper, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and replace the shower doors.

We hired some help for the wallpaper... 

Then Bill released the birds...

Side note: We took the doors out to the curb- obviously someone would want these beauties (plus it was trash day).  We came back the following day to find this scene at the curb:

All I can say is those birds better have broken out of their glass and flown away. I don't want to start off on a bad foot with our trash men... but if they did do this they don't know who they're messin' with! (I will say someone also suggested that the cold temps may have caused the glass to shatter... those trash guys better hope this was the case!)

Moving on...

Then our plans got bigger. We wanted a new toilet. Then a new vanity. And while we were at it, why not tear up the floor? Once all of that was out, why not the shower walls too? So we started demolishing the entire room, but more on that later...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Google Search: coupon code atlantic city electric?

We've had a pretty interesting few days. We got our first electric bill. It was for $845.03. You read that correctly. And no, I didn't misplace the decimal. $845.03 for a place we don't even live in yet!

So now we wait for our billing dispute to go through and gets loads of estimates from heating guys to switch our electric heat to gas. Anybody know a guy? who wants to do it for $5 and a case of beer? lemme know.

Anywho, I decided I'd start to share our bathroom demolition/renovation with you. This series may take a while to finish as work on the bathroom has stalled. (We're trying to not use the electricity as much as possible, so we're spending a little less time at the house this week while we sort it all out.)

But for now I will start to show you the demolition process. I'll leave you with a little reminder of what we're working with...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dishwasher, Dishwasher, Clean us a Dish...

After the chicken nugget experiment, we had some dirty plates. So we decided to test out the new dishwasher. Living in a rented apartment, we're lucky we even have a dishwasher. It's old so we pretty much need to wash the dishes completely before we load them for a sanitizing cycle.

We always see people (on commercials mostly) loading really dirty dishes into a new dishwasher and the dishes come out sparkling. So we decided to give it a whirl.

Question: Will our dishwasher fully clean a dirty dish caked with ketchup and honey mustard?

Hypothesis: Our dishwasher will fully clean and sanitize a dish caked on with ketchup and honey mustard.

Step 1: Create dirty plates.

Step 2: Load dishwasher with said dirty plates:

Step 3: Set dishwasher to normal cycle and press start.

Step 4: Wait 120 minutes.

Step 5: Open dishwasher and analyze results.

By golly, those dishes are spotless!

Conclusion: Our dishwasher fully cleans and sanitizes a dish caked on with ketchup and honey mustard.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's Chicken Nugget Time!!

Yes, this is an entire post about Chicken Nuggets. It's that important. 

When Bill and I were shopping for appliances we started to notice a trend in ranges: most of them had a "Chicken Nugget" button. In the beginning we thought this was strange. Then it became a joke, we'd sarcastically laugh about how we wouldn't buy an oven without one of these fancy buttons. When we walked into Art Handler we were sold on the deal they had on the Frigidaire professional series. But the best part? Not only did the oven have a chicken nugget button, but so did the microwave! We decided then and there that the first thing we cooked in the oven absolutely HAD to be chicken nuggets.

Well, last week we had the appliances delivered. The microwave wasn't in yet though. We hooked up the fridge and dishwasher, but the outlet behind the stove needs to be changed, so we only hooked the gas up to it.

We decided to pick up some chicken nuggets while we were at the grocery store today anyway.

When we got back to the house, we brought in some back up:

I pressed the chicken nugget button and the oven read 20 then started heating up.

(CHI stands for chicken nugget)

Because this was the first time we'd turned it on, the oven had that "I've never been turned on, so I'm going to smell like burning chemicals" odor to it. We decided to hold off on putting the nuggets in, canceled the nugget button and preheated the oven to 400 to burn off those toxic chemical smells. The oven couldn't have taken more than 5 or 10 minutes to get to 400 degrees. Talk about efficient!

While all of this was happening, we loaded up a tray of nuggets:

After about 15 minutes, we decided it was go-time. We pressed the nugget button again, popped in the nuggets, and 20 minutes later we had perfectly cooked chicken nuggets.

We were a little bummed that we bought cheap nuggets and actually had a serious conversation about how delicious it would be to get some frozen chicken nuggets from Wendy's to cook with our button. We're pretty serious about this.

All and all, we were pretty happy with the outcome. We had crispy, golden brown chicken nuggets. I don't know how often we'll actually use this feature, we're not really big chicken nugget eaters. I'll let you know how it goes with the nugget button on the microwave once it's installed, though.