7th House on the Left

…the cat will demo.

The other day, we shouted from the rooftops about FINALLY ordering the kitchen cabinets. We also mentioned we had a few projects up our sleeve that we want to accomplish before the kitchen cabinets are delivered (which will be a day or so before Thanksgiving).

The first item on our list is widening the laundry room closet door. Until now, the closet has housed odds and ends like tools we use on a semi-regular basis, spray paint, parts of light fixtures that came with the house, and shoes. Now that the completion of the kitchen is near in sight, we want to get our laundry room organization in tip-top shape. An organized house is a happy house. Therefore, the laundry room closet will soon be the “central hub” for paper towels, extra detergent, cleaning supplies, batteries, “everyday tools”, the “emergency box”, and so on. In order to make it as organized as possible, the widening of the door is key to be able to actually get to everything.

We’re also hoping to find a place in the laundry room, outside the closet, for shoes. Oh, and the microwave. A while back when we were planning the kitchen layout, we realized we hardly ever use the microwave. That being the case, we don’t want to use prime real-estate in the kitchen. In our apartment, there wasn’t much countertop space, so we kept the microwave in the attached walk-in pantry/laundry room. It worked out for us so well that we’d like to adapt that idea to this space as well. Now I’m getting a little too ahead of myself. But we’ll come back to all of that later.

The other morning, my dad came over just as I was walking out the door for an appointment. He said he was going to get started on the door. Not thinking a thing of it, I said, “Awesome! Thank you!” and headed on out. A few hours later, I came home to find that my dad had not only taken the existing door out, but he also removed the trim, cut the opening for the new door and even went and picked up the new double doors that we ordered! He’s Superman. Then it dawned on me… I FORGOT TO TAKE BEFORE PICTURES! I know, what kind of blogger am I?! I guess I wasn’t expecting that much work to be done in such a short amount of time. Here’s what I came home to…

He even managed to go ahead and move the hot-water heater for the plumber that was coming the next morning. I’m telling ya’ll… he’s Superman.

Oh yeah, the hot-water heater. That used to be in the closet where the big round non-tiled hole is. Ugh! No photo! Yesterday, we had it moved to the attached shed – which is right on the other side of that wall. We aren’t plumbers so we had a pro come out, move the pipes, and all that jazz. Last week, we asked a couple companies to come out, take a look and give us a quote. One place quoted us $500 and another quoted $150. Guess which one we went with ; ) Well, the work was done yesterday and they did a fab job. Since it was moved, it seems that the water gets hotter a lot faster, too. Score!

But what about those nasty gaps in the tile, right? Well, now that we have the door opening for the new closet cut, we get to move on to the second item on our list of to-do’s: replacing the laundry room floor. This is something we totally wish we would have done before moving into the house. But hey, you live and learn. The plan is to rip up the tile, add hardwood floors, then everything to match the rest of the house. That way, we’ll have cohesive flooring that will ultimately make the kitchen/laundry area feel bigger and more integrated.

To have the new wood installed, we called the same floor guy who installed the hardwood in the bedrooms and kitchen (he also tiled the hall and master bathrooms). He gave us a phenomenal price that included materials (wood, supplies, etc), ripping out the existing tile, laying down the hardwood, and even ripping out the vanity in the half bath! All to the tune of just $1,400. Yeah, we could have totally saved a few bucks by demoing the tile floor ourselves, but with our super hectic schedule at the moment (both house- and non-house-related) and with the great price, we couldn’t pass it up. Done deal!

Melvin (the floor guy) and his helper showed up this morning at 9:00. Around noon, I left the house for an appointment. I came back around 2:00 to find them packing up their trucks… it was finished! Seriously. That’s just freakishly fast. If my dad is Superman, maybe Melvin is The Flash! Did I mention the floors look amazing?!

Already, the room seems so much bigger! The gaps near the baseboards will be covered with shoe-molding, which will be put down after the floors are stained.

wood instillation

The closet is just waiting to be organized! I’m envisioning perfectly lined up rolls of paper towels and canned-goods in alphabetical order…. Okay, back to reality. A girl can hope though, right?

Melvin also ripped out the vanity in the half bath – which is something I’m so incredibly excited about, you have no idea! The plan at the moment is to replace it with a cabinet that matches the kitchen cabinets. Behind the mirror, we found a huge hole. I’m guessing it used to be a medicine cabinet back in the day. My mind has been swirling with paint options. I’m thinking either stripes like this or a stencil design like this. The jury is still out on that one. Either way, it will be nice to finally paint the very last non-painted area of the house.

The next step is to have the floors stained to match the rest of the house. We’ve called on the same guy who did the rest of the house (he’s a different guy from the floor guy). He’s scheduled to get started around this time next week. Until then, we’re going to be hanging the new closet doors, installing an exhaust fan in the half bath, painting the half bath, and possibly a few other projects we haven’t quite decided on yet. Either way, we’ll definitely have our hands full between now and then. Including making sense of the totally chaos that’s currently in the kitchen.

All of the stuff that was in the laundry room found it’s way into the kitchen and is messing up my brain. Totally. It’s definitely like nails on a chalkboard.

Btw, for you Richmonder’s… Our tile/floor guy is Melvin at MB Tile. And no, we weren’t paid, perked or given a discount for including this! I’m not even sure he knows we’re bloggers. Melvin (and his team) are super nice, trustworthy and do terrific work! 

HIS + HER FAVORITE THINGS

posted by Greg & Ashley  /  11 Comments

Once again, it’s time for my and Ashley’s favorite things…

1. Shur-Line Pro Edger – We used this a lot when we painted all of the rooms in our house. It proved to be especially helpful when we had to paint along window, door, and baseboard moldings. Just be sure not to let paint get on the guides and you’ll have nice, crisp lines on every edge.

2. iCade - I love retro games, and I love my iPad, but the touch screen controls often leave something to be desired. While I’m not a huge fan of iAccessories most of the time, this is officially the best way to play classic Atari games on your iPad. Just be forewarned: the Atari’s Greatest Hits app uses in-app payments, but you can all the games for about $10. Not a bad deal, considering the Atari 2600 cost $199 when it first arrived on the shelves in the late 70′s.

3. Mythbusters – I couldn’t live without the Discovery Channel. It’s one of the few reasons I don’t just cancel my cable TV service and go internet streaming-only. Mythbusters is why I started watching the Discovery Channel to begin with, and I’d argue it’s still one of the best (if not the best) on television.

4. Bucky Cubes – Like Bucky Balls, but with more flat sides. I’m still waiting for my loving wife to get the hint and get me a set of these!

5. Geek Pocket Watch- I’m not much of a pocket watch guy, but if I was, I would have to get this one. You can’t tell it from the tiny picture here, but instead of the usual 1 through 12, it shows equations that work out to the standard numbers. This would be a great gift for all the math geeks in your life!

6. Siberia V2 Headset – It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a gamer, so a good headset is essential. After spending several years with the previous version of these headphones, I decided it was time to upgrade. The integrated microphone and closed-back design are welcome improvements, and they’re just as comfortable as my old pair. In my opinion, this is one of the best gaming headsets you can find for under $100.

1. Taza Pillow from Crate & Barrel – I’ve been searching for pillows for our current sofa for months. We want to get a new couch in the future (read more about that here), but with all of the projects going on, it will probably be a while. In the meantime, we need some pillows that will match the gray walls and the beige sofa, and these are at the top of my list. Gotta love Ikat!

2. Barefoot Contessa Harvest Pumpkin Butter- If you like apple butter and you like pumpkin pie, then you will love this Harvest Pumpkin Butter! It’s so yummy in the fall! You can put it on anything from pancakes or waffles to English muffins or biscuits.

3. Thanksgiving Bingo Place Cards - Even though we aren’t hosting Thanksgiving this year (you kind of have to have a kitchen in order to do that!), I went ahead and picked up a few packs of these Bingo Place Cards for next year. It will go perfectly with the vintage-inspired table I have envisioned. Yes, I’m thinking way ahead.

4. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Honeysuckle – I picked this up on an impulse buy at Walgreen’s a few weeks ago. The color ended up being perfect (a very light, nude color) and it delivers a great amount of hydration. It definitely earned a spot in to my “favorite lip gloss collection”. Yay for impulse buys!

5. Rachel Ray Stainless Steel Cookware – Now that the kitchen is getting closer and closer to being DONE, I’m so anxious to get cooking! I purchased this set of cookware shortly before we packed up the apartment (though I don’t think Crate & Barrel still carries it!), and I miss it so much! I cannot wait to unpack it and put every piece to good use.

6. White Christmas by Yankee Candle – Last year, I was told the White Christmas line at Yankee Candle was discontinued. But now, it’s miraculously reappeared – only with a different label. Now that it’s back, I’m even more excited to decorate for Christmas. Is the first week of November too early to start? ; )

So what about you… Any new favorites?

****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING ENTRIES****
Scroll down to see who won! 

Today’s giveaway is a double whammy! Yep, TWO lucky readers will win their very own set of Rubbermaid’s latest and greatest organization product: Bento Boxes.

I’m always a sucker for organization products. I think it may be more like an obsession. Everything is just so much more pleasant when your odds and ends are organized. The everyday storage boxes are nice, but then it’s pretty much impossible to keep the inside neat and tidy. But these guys aren’t your everyday storage boxes…

Among the many things that set Bento Boxes apart from others is my favorite feature: the internal flex dividers. The flex dividers help you divide the inside of the boxes when and how you need them to be divided. Yay for custom organization! Another great perk is that the tops can be used as trays, covers, or lids. They are also able to stack with or without the lids. Think this short video does a good job at bringing home the awesomeness…

To get your hands on a set of Bento Boxes, here’s how to enter:

  • All you’ve got to do is leave a comment with the words, “CONQUER THE CLUTTER!“.
  • TWO lucky readers will win one (1) set of Bento Storage Boxes (in Paprika, as shown above) – each a $113.93 value!
  • Prize ships anywhere in the United States and Canada.
  • The giveaway will wrap up Friday, November 4th, 2011 @ Midnight EST.
  • Only one entry per email address. To keep things fair and square, the winner will be selected using Random.org and will be announced right here on Saturday, November 5th. Good luck, everyone! 
A big thank you to everyone who entered and Rubbermaid for sponsoring! Without further ado, the two lucky readers are…

Congratulations, ladies!
As always, we were not paid or perked to host this giveaway. It’s just our way of saying “Thank you” to our readers. Images and video provided by Rubbermaid.